Fitting Fitness Into Our Next RV Adventure
Fitness on the Back Burner
Fitness has long been an issue that I have put on the back burner when life gets busy or overwhelming. When my schedule got tight, my workout was the first to go. Now that I am, as I like to say, staring down the barrel of 50, I’m seeing the importance of pursuing my fitness dreams and going healthily into the second half of my life.
I have two beautiful sons and a darling companion that I want to spend many, many more years having wonderful adventures with and that can’t happen without fitness.
The funny thing about exercise though is once you get in the habit, it is hard to stop. But getting in the habit means not stopping at all. It’s like that hill I used to pedal as a kid – if I could just get up that one hill, I could turn around and coast for a half mile at top speed. But to pedal up that hill, I had to throw everything I had into it and when my thighs were burning, I had to pedal with the force of my will. I always made it because I knew the joy of coasting down that series of hills and they were worth all of it.
So here I am, 49, and finally making fitness a priority. I’ve spent some time getting my conditioning back up. Pedaling, walking, just moving. When I decided it was time to start lifting again, to really make some changes, that’s when life brought an old friend back into my life. Funny how life does that, huh? She’s that one friend from college who turned me on to lifting back in the late 80’s. Every little contact with her on Facebook is like a reminder to me that I had dreams and it’s time to go get them. Maybe that’s why fate paired me with a bodybuilder who refuses to miss a workout?
Planning for Fitness
So here we are, planning three weeks on the road and I finally think I have the itinerary nailed down when my darling companion asks me “Do these campgrounds have gyms?”
Of course they didn’t!
Campgrounds are set up for aging Baby Boomers who aren’t the least bit interested in exercise.
But I realized I needed to solve the gym issue because I’ve only just begun pedaling up that big hill with weight training. So a new layer of logistical puzzles was added to my planning process.
Two things helped get me out of planning hell:
Our YMCA membership is good all over the country and we can work out at any YMCA along the way. I didn’t want to leave any of that for the last minute though. I checked every overnight stop for a nearby YMCA. Sometimes I chose campgrounds based on their proximity to a YMCA. Other times, I had to settle for some local gym that would charge us a day rate or a YMCA along the route where we’d stop mid drive. But I mapped them all out.
Thousand Trails Membership
For this trip, we realized it would be cost efficient to get a Thousand Trails Campground Membership. Believe it or not, most of these campgrounds have small fitness centers for guests to use. Talk about convenient! Once I added the Thousand Trails campgrounds to the puzzle it all worked out.
To be honest, I’m thrilled to have Mike’s support and constant subtle reminders of my goals. Since I’ve started lifting again, I’ve noticed weight coming off and muscle coming on and I feel really good about it. I’m also glad we’ll be making fitness a priority this trip because, after the last trip, I had the worst case of cankles. I think getting in for a good workout on every driving day (every other day) over these three weeks is going to be time well spent.