Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fitness North 2 Wrap-up

Oh my heart is tangled
all around you.
When you've got trouble,
I've got trouble, too.
Liz Longley
It was a little after noon on Thursday when I looked back over the last six hours and realized I had just finished a 6 am 5K walk, an hour long pool class built around deck push-ups and relays, a spin class, a kickboxing class, another spin class, a trx class and a 3rd spin class. But the cool part was even after all that I was going to experience something for the first time ever, that I can remember, and certainly the first time as an adult. Jimbo was headed into a gondola, and headed up the mountain the easy way. Why haven't I been on a gondola that floats through the air? I'm not afraid of heights, I'm not afraid of ski lodges although I never go to them, and I'm not afraid of riding in small compartments. I am afraid of snapping a wire, and then reading about the fat dude that snapped the wire... But I checked on the weight limit (680lbs) and while I have been in that zip code before... I have moved far away. Which doesn't mean I was willing to share my gondola ride with someone else, I'm not tempting fate :)
Trying not to move very much, rock the gondola at all, or actually breathe all that much either, I didn't do a great job of taking pictures but here is a deer that was grazing below me, or possibly by the looks of it a rhino.
So thanks to the fine wires at Lutsen Mountain in really northern Minnesota. I crossed another thing off my bucket list, well one that I didn't know existed until actually seeing the gondola's. But what the heck, I am going to enjoy my new found spirit of adventure.
The 4 alumni of fitness north got to take this little excursion while the newbies got their lecture in. We are way up in this picture and good ways from Lake Superior way in the background. From left to, Lizzie, Zach, and Camille.
Here is the shore and lighthouse on the tip of Grand Marais, Minnesota. Grand Marais is about 30 miles south of the Canadian border. A fishing village with lots of cool shops and a whole lot of places to eat. Not that we got to sample the famous Sven and Ole's pizza but it's nice to know pizza hut hasn't run it out of town.
The aptly named Beaver House for some reason had a giant fish coming out of its storefront. Which got me thinking...maybe a giant hippie coming out of the awning at Sunshine Daydream would be cool? I think I will stick with what we got. And leave the Beaver House alone to tend to their live bait and glass bottle selling. Now that is some niche marketing right there.

Friday marked the last day of full exercise for the week. Again out into the brisk morning air for a 6 am walk. I was 4 for 4 on shorts in the am and I wasn't changing now. The car said 23 degrees as we headed to the start line, the wind coming of the lake made me a little cold, but I'm not giving in. I sort of shuffled/limped/waddled through the morning hike and was happy to warm up in the pool. My plan to defeat winter and wear shorts much longer is sadly a huge underdog to Mother Nature's plan to remind me she makes the rules. We had a 3 hour mixed body circuit/ab/ relay class in the morning that I thought was the toughest one yet.
The last hike of the week was at Split Rock State Park... Home of the Split Rock Lighthouse. I had been there before, but the waters kept me off the island before. I was ready this time with old shoes, and a determination that if I needed to get wet I didn't care. If I can ride in a gondola, damn it, I can get to the island. It was a school holiday and there were kids everywhere in the park. They were going to watch me get my way to that island. And they did. Of course, they were just walking next to me as the low tide made the walk out their dry, easy, and short. Still a victory in my book :)

You weigh out Saturday and it is certainly the way we like to measure the success of these programs. 10 people got on the scales that morning, 10 different body types, 10 different levels of fitness, and 10 different amounts of weight they wanted to lose.... And 10 people got off the scales happy. I had never seen that happen before on weigh-in day. Everyone had great losses with the smallest being 6 lbs which had to be in the 4% range for that person and 22lbs on top which was in the 6% range for that person. All told the 9 people lost a staggering total of 106 lbs in their week. They pushed themselves further and harder than they could imagine. They got the support and knowledge of the staff. They got friendship, inspiration, and understanding from each other in a small environment best suited for their needs. It was a successful week. It was hard but it was worth it. And I am certain all 9 of those other campers would agree. Peace, Love, and I love you mother nice, Jim


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