Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spinning My Wheels on June 4

I would like to invite you to a very special event:

Kilimanjaro Spinning (Indoor Cycling) Challenge and Online Silent Auction
10 a.m. June 4 at the Summit YMCA, 67 Maple St., Summit, NJ

The online auction -- with some absolutely fabulous items -- will be right here on the blog. Bidding starts May 26.

I decided to host a special Spinning class (with the fabulous instructors Monica & Joe) fundraiser for Global Alliance for Africa because indoor cycling is a major part of my training for my upcoming Kilimanjaro trek.

I love Spinning because it creates less pressure on my knees. I get great anaerobic training in each class. Proper Spinning posture helps you tighten your core. Great music helps propel you forward. Most of all, the ride, is in the mind.

During the Special Event we'll be emulating my next journey up Mount Kilimanjaro, to the very top and then down again... Be prepared for a fabulous ride -- Kilimanjaro is like climbing the side of the globe -- from the equator to glacier.

Hope to have you there! You can sign up by sending me a note at A pledge of at least a $50 donation to Global Alliance for Africa will reserve a bike for you with a souvenir license plate!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Atlantis: Plus-Sized Paradise

As I am preparing for Kilimanjaro, I am feeling stronger, leaner and more adventurous.

When it came time for my husband and I to book our first family vacation with our 3-year-old daughter, we decided on Atlantis in the Bahamas. It seemed like the right mix of fun and relaxation for our vacation-starved family.

I was excited about the trip but harbored a trepidation that I think a lot of people who are overweight or obese do.... Even though I have been working harder over the past few months, I am still very much a plus-sized adventurer, especially around my hips. I worried that I'd get stuck down the water slides, sink the intertubes, or I would have to sit out the dolphin experience simply because I couldn't squeeze my rear into the wetsuit. Of course, there was the annoying anxiety of walking around in a bathing suit for four days.

My first move was to pick out swimming gear that I could feel comfortable playing in. For me, that was a pair ofLane Bryant swim shorts (because seriously, why should men be the only ones who get to cover their thighs with active swimming gear?) to go along with a cute swimming top.

I made a deal that I would just do the best I could, and if I had to sit something out, at least I'd be doing it on Paradise Island with sand between my toes.

The Atlantis was everything I hoped it would be -- and more. It was luxurious, fun and the swankiest place I've ever been (I usually spend my days off sweating up a mountain). I never once felt uncomfortable in my own skin.

When I first arrived at the Atlantis, I let my husband do all the crazy stuff (aka Leap of Faith and Abyss straight-down water slides). Each day I got a little braver. It started with me taking my first-ever water slide -- a tiny little one my daughter did before me. Whoosh. Down I went to the pool below.

It was a vacation for a lot of firsts -- such as my first time hanging out with a dolphin (while wearing a wet suit that fit). I don't remember ever saying I said whee, wahoo and yippeee so much in one week.

My husband nudged me into trying the Serpent Slide, an intertube ride that swirls through darkness before emering into a slow journey through the (glass-enclosed) shark tank. I laughed and shrieked my way through the Current, an intertube "river" ride that includes rapids, with an optional trip down the Falls.

I seriously don't remember saying whee, wahoo and yippee so much in a four-day period.

I should mention the Atlantis had lots of healthy eating choices (such as egg white omlettes as part of the OMG breakfast buffet at SeaGrapes) to stay somewhat on track (minus the frozen drinks of course). There was also a fitness center, though walking between the Beach Tower and Royal Tower was a nice hike, to keep up activity between the lounging.

I finished my day with a lovely morning beach walk truly felt I was on the path to a life full of more adventures.