Spring is my favorite season. I am so happy when the days are get longer and warmer but the nights are still cool. I love seeing the daffodils, tulips, forsythia, azaleas, rhododendron, and all the other spring flowers blooming and slowing adding color to the grey and dreary days of late winter. The green grass and trees seem so fresh and even though my head aches from all the pollen, I feel recharged and energized, much like waking up after a good night’s sleep.
The past few weeks, our entire family has been spending more time outside. We walk or scooter to the morning bus stop, the kids ride their bikes or play outside after school and the dog is getting walked more each week then he did the entire winter. We went camping two weekends ago overnight and last weekend we spent an hour or so helping clean up around the Sligo Creek trail. I smiled when I heard my four year old say, “Hairy vine, no friend of mine,” as he pointed to a particularly thick strand of poison ivy running up a tree. He had heard that phrase a couple weeks before at his good friend’s birthday party at the Audubon Nature Center in Chevy Chase.
Three weeks ago, I enjoyed for the first time this year one of my greatest spring pleasures. I rode my bike outside. I feel the sun on my face and the breeze as I went up and down hills. I only biked for about an hour that day and barely made ten miles, but it was great. I biked to my kids’ school and surprised them by pulling them out of their classes to go to the school book fair. The following week, I biked to Whole Foods to pick up a few groceries and then back to my starting point. Today, I had planned to stay home and catch up on cleaning, but when my neighborhood carpool fell through, I had to go out anyway so the bonus was another bike ride.
Today, I biked farther than I have previously and I can feel my body getting stronger and faster. I am getting more familiar with the bumps and hills on the trail and my muscle memory is kicking in. I am not nearly as fast or as nimble on my bike as I was when I used it to commute regularly in Philadelphia or when I worked part-time as a bike courier, but I love using my legs to pump up and down and actually take me somewhere instead of just spinning on the trainer. The trainer serves its purpose and has prepared me for these for now short jaunts outside. I am looking forward to longer rides and rides with my family and friends.
There were many people on the trail today, running, walking, biking, jogging and just enjoying the beautiful day. It is on days like this, that I feel lucky and blessed to be able to use my body and to be outside and enjoy the sun and soak up much needed vitamin D. Today was my day off from my squat challenge but I felt good stretching the muscles that I have been working so hard lately. If you are on Facebook, check out https://www.facebook.com/Samantha.Gibson.Fitness?fref=ts, for her 30 day squat challenge and general health and fitness tips. I am working on changing my life one habit at a time and working toward a stronger healthier body. After my bike ride, I even came home to take the dog on a short hike in the woods.
This outdoor exercise not only works my body, but it also feeds my soul and makes me a better wife and mother because I am happier and healthier.