Sunday, August 10, 2014

3:56 PM
Even though it has been over 20 years since I had a real summer break, summer time still holds all the promise and allure of long days, warm nights, aromatic BBQs and dribbling watermelon slices.  Despite the confines of the everyday, the summer magic still seeps in through the cracks and around the edges - be it in the taste of a home-grown tomato picked warm from the vine, or in the long evenings spent at the park or at the pool, or in a simple dinner eaten slowly...outside...under the stars...

And while seepage is better than nothing, I also firmly believe in diving deep into the possibility of summer - by stretching days, weekends, and weeks to maximum possibility. And so that is what the month of August of my Fitness Project will be about - Summertime and Fitcations...

The back story: I screeched to a halt at the end of July, just having completed a month focused on swimming as part of my Fitness Project, and realized that I had been so busy treading water in all other aspects of my life that I had given no thought to what the focus of August would be.  I contemplated doing a triathlon to build upon running (June) and swimming (July), but could not find one that fit my schedule.  I also knew that with school starting, multiple trips planned, and job constraints that I had to be smart about what I took on. Then, on a nine hour drive to Sunriver, OR to spend a week with my college friends and their families, inspiration struck --  The month of August would be dedicated to Fitcations (i.e., get-fit adventure vacations).

Week One: If you ever want a destination that allows you to fully experience a Fitcation, I recommend Sunriver, OR.  For the third year in a row we spent a week sharing houses and meals with 8 other families in a place that has the magical combination of a natural and developed playland: a river to float down and SUP and a waterslide to careen down; beautiful forest trails to run and mountain bike and smooth, paved trails for the kids to bike and scoot; mountain lakes to swim in and pools to splash in... you get the point.

The kids clocked more miles on their bikes and scooters that they had in the previous summer months combined.  I ran at least ten miles most days, six to ten at grown up pace, the difference at kid pace as they biked or scooted to their next destination, usually a pool. I SUPed up the river and floated down, including stops at a rope swing. I climbed a 10,300' mountain and windsurfed at the lake at the bottom. I biked everywhere, including a beautiful 6AM mountain bike ride along a river to a waterfall. I finished each day physically exhausted, stuffed with delicious homemade food, and excited for the next day’s adventure.

To give a perspective on what our fitcation consisted of, I have included an email, verbatim, that my husband sent to my parents halfway through the week:

Having a great time. Only checking email every other day. Example itinerary for today: 6am - 8am mommy mountain bike, me and kids bakery, 9am -11am kids mountain bike to river. 11:30 - 2:30 me mountain bike, mommy and kids pool + lunch. 2pm mommy and kids leave for group float down river. 2:30 I arrive and SUP up river to meet flotilla. 4 pm floatilla arrives at house, mommy SUPs back up river to get car, me and kids hot tub and snack. 5:15 mommy arrives back, showers all round. 6:00 dinner. 7:00 bike to park to listen to music, rock climb, roll on grass. 8:30 bike back for milk and books, kids pass out. 9:00 adults hang out. 10:30 adults pass out. Tomorrow, do it again.

For a further perspective, here are a few pictures from the week:

South Sister Summit - 10,300'
Planning Next Year's Conquest
Mountain Bikers!
2YO Mountaineer In The Making
Mamas Who Run (10 miles)
I love this sort of thing – the feats of endurance, the pseudo-triathlon nature of our days, the fact that so much happened at the pace and direction of my children. I didn't send my kids to summer camp this year, but instead I gave them, and all of us, this. I can imagine no better modeling for them than to get to spend time with a wonderful group of kids and adults that make a point of coming together each year, six years running now, to celebrate the joy of play. That, in and of itself, is pretty epic.

To learn more about my Fitness Project, please contact me at,, or connect with me on Facebook.


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