When it comes to working out, I know what I like.
I like running. When I can’t run, or need to cross-train, I like swimming. If I don’t have enough time to swim, I like the recumbent stationary bike, and I like supplementing all of these by lifting, and by doing a wide variety of hip and core strengtheners (check out my favorites here and here).
If you’d told me before last weekend that I would also like a workout that involve a canoe, a paddle and a mosquito jacket, I would have declared you insane.
I’m one of those people who gets weird, phantom mosquito bites in January, and can put up with about 30 minutes on the rowing machine at the gym before boredom hits. But an opportunity to write about a camping trip to Assateague Island, off Maryland’s Eastern Shore, led me to purchase a mosquito jacket (park rangers warned that the bayside campsites are buggy all year round), rent a canoe and paddle six miles to a back-country campsite.
And guess what? It was fun!
Breaking out of my comfort zone let me paddle into a gorgeous sunset on the Chincoteague Bay …
… camp alongside a beautiful (if buggy) marsh …
… see a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean …
… and get a killer upper-body workout decidedly more exciting than the rowing machine at the gym.
I’ll post the link to the full story about the camping trip when it runs next year. I mention it now because it offered a powerful reminder that even when we think we’ve got our perfect workout lineup, we can challenge our minds, bodies and spirits by daring to mix things up.
When’s the last time you broke out of your workout comfort zone? How did that work out for you?