Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Getting Outside

Do you feel like you are constantly wagging a war between life and sport/outdoors? That each day you face the choices (or challenge) of work vs bike, meals vs hikes, or worse TV vs anything? I have to admit that I am completely guilty of participating in this war- a war that should flat out not exist.

The problem is cyclical. It starts with a long day at work, followed by "what should we eat for dinner?, followed by I'm too tired/too full/too hungry to (fill in the blank- hike, run, bike). And better yet, as a female-do-everything- the heck-herself- young lady I feel the need to be great at everything for everyone.


(that's me spending my time)

See it's not enough to just work and come home and call it a day. I want us to eat healthy so I take charge of that. The dog needs to be walked. The bills need to be paid. Blah Blah Blah. Are you catching the drift here? And for all my fellow mountain girls with small children you definitely feel the pull in a thousand directions and the guilt of taking a little "me" time outdoors.

I'd love to hear from everyone on any tips, tricks, or whatevers that help them just get the heck outside more. Here are some things that seem to help me:
  • Meal planning- I am so not the organized person in daily life but I do try to do a little pre-planning in this area. For me, I've discovered that an evening meal makes or breaks my outdoor time. If I have nothing planned I will eat junk and then crash on the couch. Lately I've been cooking two large pots of different beans on Sundays and refrigerating or freezing them for the week. My typical meals look something like this: black bean soup, homemade bean dip, beans and rice, stir-fry, and eggs and spinach.
  • Game planning for the week- I try to take a good hard look at my week and figure out where the outdoor time is. If every night I have a commitment- I find something to let go of. Do I really need to visit that client or can I reschedule them? Can I switch something to Saturday morning? etc. I say NO a lot. I squirm out of plans.
  • Organizing- I'm feeling like this seems to be a theme in this post even though I feel like it is a definite area of weakness for me. What I do for organizing is simple- I have two small folding boxes with bike gear for the week and running gear for the week. I can literally grab that box and be outfitted head to toe in under five. I waste a lot of time looking for random pieces of apparel, remembering where the heck I put my running shoes, etc. So this seems to help.
  • Keep it local- I would love to hit trails that are a thirty minute drive from me. Those trails are by far better, climbs are sweeter, and of course the downhills?- killer. But during the work week I have to make compromises. I walk to local trail systems and gain another thirty minutes to spend outdoors.
  • Lastly consider where you spend your time. Last week I read an article about how we all have a lot more time in our day than we think and it really made my wheels spin with possibility. If you cut technology out of the equation- time really does become more plentiful.


kadfoto said...

Great post, great thoughts. I've been struggling with this lately, winters can be especially tough. With the increase daylight in the evenings, I'm hoping to break the cycle though - and return to a more healthy state. I think meal planning is key, and something I need to spend more time with. All too often, no plan leads to crappy dinner which in turn leads to no energy to do much of anything!

Betty Mountain Girl said...

My thoughts exactly! Winter tends to be the hardest for me as well. I can do alright on the weekends, but the workweek tends to have zero time outside without a lot of preplanning and gusto :)

Thanks for your comment!

Sara said...

Thanks for this post! As an outdoorsy girl currently based in New York, I always find myself waging this war. I really like the idea of creating "gear boxes" for the week. I'm much more likely to head outside after work if I pack for it the night before -- this would take it to a whole new level!