Archive for exercise

Weekend review: Hiking with Tessie

This past weekend, I got to puppy sit one of my all time favorite pups, Tessie. She’s part hound and just needs to run and exercise; otherwise, she kind of loses it and gets stir crazy. So when I made plans for the long weekend, I made sure to include Tessie-friendly activities.

On Saturday, I went hiking with Sophie and her human. We’re regular hiking buddies, but it was a little different this time since I had Tessie. We went to Great Falls on the Maryland side and totally rocked Billy Goat B and C paths which put our day’s total at just over 6 miles. We skipped Billy Goat A since you can’t take dogs on that trail, but we still got some great views.

It’s amazing to see dog’s communicate and to watch how they show each other stuff. Tessie is apparently a total chicken when it comes to water; where as Sophie is part fish. The first beach area we spotted, Sophie was just waiting to chase rocks and sticks and Tessie just wasn’t sure…


But after a few romps and some encouragement from Sophie, Tessie got her paws wet and even went up to her chest at one point.


Which gave me time to enjoy the scenery a bit more and take in this view…

By the end of our hiking day, Tessie was leading us and letting us know she wanted to play in the water a bit more. Of course by the time we finished 6 miles, all she wanted to do was lay down in the back of the car. Sweet pup 🙂

On Sunday, my sister and I had made plans to hike Old Rag but since we both weren’t sure if we were up for the 8 mile loop and rock scramble, we opted for a less intense hike and one where we could bring Tessie along. This time we headed out to Fountainhead National Park in Fairfax, Virginia. Totally different to Great Falls, this trail was definitely in a more wooded area with fewer watering holes. There was no rock scrambling, but there were some hills that put the cardio in cardiovascular. We did a 6 mile in and out hike. Here we are at 3 miles just before we looped back:


I don’t think Tessie could believe her luck at all the running, sniffing, and exploring she got to do this past weekend. I was pretty impressed myself. I just gotta say I’m loving all the hiking I’ve been doing this year and the old knee isn’t complaining either!


No gum allowed

It should come as no surprise that I’m a bit of an exercise junky and I often challenge myself to try new things. Just last year I completed 2 half-marathons and this year, I’m training for a triathlon in May. I also enjoy other torturous activities like yoga, specifically hot yoga, where the average temp is 103-105 degrees.

You sweat, you stretch, you breath, you concentrate – all good things. But, it took me a few times to actually admit that I enjoyed the classes. Initially, I had to get over the yoga ego that many yogis possess, then it was more or less the structure that bothered me…very rudimentary and almost factual. There wasn’t anything overly zen about it, but once I let that go, I now actually look forward to the sweaty release.

However, there is still 1 thing I can’t let go and 1 part of the class that still bothers me – every instructor’s need to call out individuals in an effort to correct them, but ultimately to embarrass them. I’ve been to multiple classes with  multiple instructors and since I’m still considered a yoga noob, I partake in all the noob classes which is of course, filled with other noobs who in turn make noob mistakes.

We fall out, we drink water, we breathe through our mouths, we wipe away the sweat, we try to leave the class.

I’ll admit, I’ve done at least one if not all of the above and it really is a learned discipline to complete a class without mistakes. I get that many of the rules are in place for our own safety or for preserving the concentration/energy of others in the class, but truth be told…I’d rather someone sit down in the middle of a pose to drink water than have the instructor single them out to tell them they can’t drink water just now. In my book, that’s far more distracting.

What’s even more distracting is an instructor coming up to you in the middle of a pose telling you to spit out your gum because it’s not safe. Really? I walk and chew gum, talk and chew gum, run and chew gum, swim and chew gum, bike and chew gum…but you’re telling me I can’t breathe and chew gum? Interesting.

In the overall scheme, I understand that there is a risk in breathing in deep and thus swallowing said gum but…

a. there was no posted sign to say ‘No gum’
b. you’ve now ruined my concentration
c. now I feel like a jackass
d. I like to chew gum when I work out, it keeps my mouth from drying out, damnit!

Who would have ever thought someone telling me to spit out my gum would infuriate me so much? If I hadn’t bought a deal for 5 classes, I probably wouldn’t go back, but I’ve registered for another class tomorrow night, and I’m half tempted to chew gum again…just to prove a point.


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