Personal Fitness Training on the Beach

I’ll admit that since moving to Orange County, I stopped working out at the gym. Back in San Jose, we had a gym in our complex, which made it both convenient and free. I could stroll downstairs, hop on an elliptical or bike for 20 minutes and then do 20 minutes of weights and be done. Easy-peasy.

Here, it’s a bigger commitment of time and finances. Plus, when the weather is so pleasant and your view from a restaurant or bar is the beach, my inner wild child says, “Why on Earth would you go inside a gym and sweat when you can be outside relaxing?”

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed yoga on the beach immensely, and I get more than my 10,000 steps a day with a treadmill desk and walking my dog. Yet, I haven’t felt that muscle burn in more than 2 years. With Patagonia coming up, I need to get this body back to hiking shape if I want to make it 14 miles up a 3,000 foot elevation change.

Thankfully, my uncle Jerry is a personal trainer and he’s agreed to barter getting my butt in gear in exchange for my copywriting and copyediting skills to help his business. Today was our first training and because he knows the gravitational pull the ocean has on me, we trained at the beach. (Insert fist pump here.)

Getting our blood pumping, we sped walked 0.75 miles to our perfect spot with views of the water and a variety of platforms (benches and tables) to utilize. He brought resistance bands and a foam mat. We did all kinds of exercises I’ve never tried before mixed with many that were familiar like squats. (Oh so many squats.) We worked my legs until they were wobbly, then my arms until shaking, and finally my core.

For stretching, he asked me to get up and over a bench and I started laughing because my legs didn’t have the strength to step back down off of it. I knew if I squatted another inch they’d give out from underneath me. I found it hysterical that something so simple and within my grasp had my body revolting. I stood there trying to figure out how to get down and once Jerry realized this, he started laughing as well. My solution was to walk off it as a jump down rather than squat. It didn’t feel any better once I landed, but it was kind of like ripping off a bandaid.

The rest of the walk home was about half to one-third of the speed that it took to get there. My whole body was in a good kind of pain. For the rest of the day, I felt every step up and down each stair in my split level, three-story townhouse. I’m now debating whether I actually need to sleep in my bed on the top floor or if I can just stay down here on the couch in the living room on the first floor tonight.

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