Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Getting Back to Nature

Some Woodland Framed Roads Near Lake Hartwell, SC
By Laurie Epps

So, I'm all jazzed about the upcoming 5K this fall. Being a blogger myself, I started reading blogs about training for a 5K, and even looked at medical sites like the Mayo Clinic and John Hopkins to see how they weighed into it.

Slowly, some real patterns started emerging. The 5K 101 consensus seemed to be to workout 4-5 days a week with walking nearly every day, and an extra long walk on Saturdays. 

Easy enough, right?

Hiking at Earls Ford, SC

Wrong. It's harder than it sounds, but I learned so much from this failure that I wanted to pass this knowledge onto all of you. First weekend of this "long walks on Saturday" adventure, made me translate it to be "Ooooh, I can't go hiking to some of these magnificent waterfalls in this region.

My enthusiasm was obviously contagious, because I talked a girlfriend into taking this hiking adventure with me during her vacation. We went to this spot on the river that she's been going to for years. Best of all, we'd get to wear our swimsuits and go swimming. Wow. Hiking, Swimming, and wearing my flip-flops? I was totally in!

That week, I did my normal 4 days of working out, and got up early on a Saturday morning to set out on our adventure. My friend was so excited, she packed a lunch. I even brought my six year old, everyone knows that a touch of nature is good for a kid, right?

But from this epic fail, I learned the following key points to keep in mind:
Painfully Wearing Workout Shoes Post-Sunburn

  1. Never set out on a hiking endeavor in a pair of flip-flops. It's just not a good idea. You'll need more traction than that.
  2. Start small. Now this may sound like a cliche that you'd hear from your mom or your coach, but it's true. I bit off more than I can chew. Who even knew that I can hike four miles? But, there was no other option, there's no pause button on the side of a mountain.
  3. Life is too short to wear knock off brand sunblock. Being the "fairest in the land" I should've known this one. But I paid the ultimate price by forgetting this cardinal rule of my ancestors. I'm pale, at times even pasty white, and I don't tan. Nope. Not ever.
  4. Never wear old sunblock. I'm not really sure if it was the fact that the sunblock was old, or if it was because it was a knock-off brand, but it just wasn't worth it save a few bucks only to make it up by needing after-sun aloe.
Forgetting these rules caused a set back for me. I was so sunburned that I was swollen and red for well over a week. Yoga was painful. I just had to leave 3/4 of the way through. It hurt to wear shoes, like at all. So I ended up working out less, and now my ankles and feet look positively scarred. 

But I won't give up. I will instead learn from it. Perhaps try some of my longer walks on the treadmill at the gym, or take some walks that are shorter, and more manageable. Most areas have some trails that are fairly easy. Nearby downtown Greenville, has the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and when I lived in CA there were a number of trails in the Santa Monica Mountains. Do a little research, and find them. They're out there. Maybe you'll find me out there.... See you on the trails!

Laurie Epps is featured in dozens of news articles, and literary journals both on and off the web. Laurie is also included in a number of short story anthologies, and does some ghostwriting for prominent professionals nationwide. Laurie is also active in a number of writer support groups and networks with writers from all over the country.

Laurie is a single mom, and is still raising her two youngest daughters, Ellen and Chloe. Laurie’s grown daughter, Melanie resides in California. Laurie is also a proud momma of three furry-babies; Laurie has turned in more than one manuscript with cat fur on it. When not teaching or writing, Laurie gets in as much beach time as her budget will allow, loves to attend the Opera and Ballet, and she enjoys cross-stitch & knitting. Laurie’s sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and the Dallas Cowboys.

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