Showing posts with label expat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label expat. Show all posts

Monday, September 28, 2015

Another Climb Up the Mountain

My head cold is definitely in the final stages of existence. I know this because far fewer tissues are being defiled and my appetite is back.

It felt good to meet up with the SWIC hiking group for another Monday climb up the mountain. There's a lot to think about while climbing the 850ish steps to the top. How lucky I am to be able to do this every week. How blessed we are to have the chance to live this adventure in China. How much I miss my family and friends in the US.

When we get to the top, we always take the obligatory group photo. Some might think of it as just another picture of ourselves, but to me it means more than that. It takes a lot to get to the top. It's a strenuous climb. Sometimes we are attacked by mosquitos. We sweat a lot because it's hot and humid. But, still, we do it. All the way to the top.

Then we rest. We take in the views and enjoy our success. Even though we repeat this every week, it still feels like we crossed some imaginary finish line. After that, everything is just covered in happiness.

We tried a new place for our post-hike cool down and I ordered watermelon juice. It was delicious, but I would have rather had a smoothie. I'm definitely a smoothie person.

Just for fun, here are some random things I saw today:

A merry-go-round - probably part of the Mid Autumn Festival which is a celebration of the moon.

This sign - you might not know this, but there are a boatload of dogs here and many strays. I hope the dogs can read so they know to stay off this one random street.

Do you prefer juice or smoothies (especially after a workout)?
Did you see the super blood moon?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Sick Zone

For the past few days our apartment has been a sick zone and it felt like all I could do was empty tissue boxes.

My attempt to rid myself of my cold on Thursday with a run did not work. In fact I ended up losing my voice and taking two more days of mostly rest. Maybe what I needed was an IGP.

I took a walk on Friday morning to test my energy level (so low I decided to skip Pilates), but I did enjoy the sights on the walk.

Beyond daily planking, the only other thing I did was bake. I finally had all the ingredients to make Buffalo Chicken Quinoa (recipe here), one of my all time favorite meals (and gluten free).

Today I woke feeling like my cold had taken a turn and all I could think about was running. All the virtual cheering I did for my ZOOMA friends who ran the Cape Cod race really had me itching to go.

To make sure I didn't do too much, I ran intervals. It was a much better run than my last one:
1. I was feeling better
2. the weather was cooler
3. it was earlier (no sun).

Before I knew it, I had run nearly 4 miles.

I'm going to take it easy the rest of the day and share this little video of an epic sendoff my old school gave to a student (link).

1,200 high school students and staff come together to give a 21-year-old student aging out of the special-ed program an epic, sweet sendoff.
Posted by ABC News on Friday, September 25, 2015

I love GOOD news like this. Let's keep it going. Tell me something you've seen or heard recently!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Exploring on Foot: Shenzhen International Garden & Flower Expo Park

My trips with the SWIC hiking group lead to a Fitbit party on my arm quickly!

You can tell by my Fitbit stats (which are still sorted by US time) that I was up about 6AM and then walking with the hiking group between 9-12.

Today we explored the Shenzhen International Garden & Flower Expo Park. The park was created for the expo in 2004, but is still open to the public and free. We walked around almost all of it. 

Here's a glimpse of some of the interesting things we saw.

Near the end we spotted these. Not sure what they are called but it looked like the idea was to walk across them. It looked difficult and like it would be a serious leg workout!

What part of the day are you most active? 
What's the strangest piece of fitness equipment you've ever seen in a park?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Mountain Monday: 5 Lessons on a Rainy Day

The forecast for today was thunderstorms.

Approaching the meeting place for the weekly climb up the mountain, the sky looked rather ominous.

We always go unless it is pouring.

Here are some lessons I learned from today's hike:

1. Don't let a little rain scare you away. I would have missed out on a great climb and great company.

2. Mosquitos come out to party when it's wet and cooler.

3. I'm still afraid of thunder, but friends laughing at me make it better!

4. Athleta shorts stick to your legs when they are wet.

5. Sometimes you have to take a lot of breaks on your way to the top. It's ok.

It did start to rain on the way down the mountain. Good thing I also had an umbrella. It was still a fun hike and the post-hike chatting at Starbucks is always entertaining.

Climbing the mountain also helps me hit my 10,000 steps. I love the feeling when my Fitbit has its little celebration on my wrist.

In other news...the difficulty level is rising on my daily plank challenge. Today we had to do 10 second walking plank, 10 second spiderman plank, right into timed standard plank. Oh abs on fire!

And today I conquered the daily recommended 20 strokes with The Stick.

Tell me something you learned from your fitness today.
Do you exercise in the rain?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sweaty Saturday: Hatha Yoga + More in Pictures

I eased into my Sweaty Saturday because my very first yoga class in China wasn't until 9:00. After a small breakfast and some coffee, I was off to meet my friend Young.

The studio was already bustling with activity (which I thought was a good sign) and after a little confusion at the door over shoes, we were directed to room #2 for Hatha class.

The website describes Hatha as:
The most ancient, complete and popular form of yoga for mental and physical health.  Hatha yoga with simply yoga breath and deep relaxation to finish.  This class is perfect for those who are new to yoga or just want a gentle stretch.
A gentle class, ideal for beginners, that focuses on sun salutations, the 12 basic Shivananda postures and a final deep relaxation. The basic asanas in the Shivananda sequence are traditional postures that have been practised for centuries.
When we entered the room, our instructor waved us and one other new girl to the front and told us her English was not very good so she would only be speaking Chinese during instruction. Not what I was expecting, but ok. I can watch and imitate. Then she added that most of the class were regulars, so there might be some poses that we couldn't do. Again, no big deal.

Our instructor was very helpful during the class, often coming over to us (and others) to adjust our poses. But since the class had mostly repeat, experienced participants, she included many challenging and some difficult poses. Even though there were several that I couldn't do at all, I still had a good workout and can now work on improving.

After class mrC and I had lunch.

Cheesy quinoa and tuna

I read a little.

We ran some errands and bought some pre-cooked corn for dinner.

Gluten free Skyline chili spaghetti :)

After dinner we walked for Gelato.

We stopped at our favorite bike store for a new bell for my bike.

The weather tonight was so nice. Nice enough to run. If I ran at night.

Have you ever taken a "beginner" class that wasn't?
Are you a morning or evening runner?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Exploring Shenzhen on Foot: Chiwan

One thing that I do a ton of here in China is walk! I can wrack up 10,000 steps before lunch time some days which is really good for my FitBit challenges. My friends in the hiking group know how to help with that.

Today we explored an area of Shenzhen (where I live) called Chiwan. From our Monday hiking summit on Nanshan Mountain, we can see the other mountain which inspired our trip today.

Xiaonan Mountain: aka Little Nanshan Mountain - 850 steps

I met up with the small group and after waiting out some rain underground in the metro station, we walked to catch a bus to Chiwan. From the bus stop we had to walk a little ways up the road to get to the entrance of the mountain. There was quite a bit of construction going on, but a friendly Chinese man on a scooter guided us through. We followed the road until we found the steps. 850 steps later we were at the top where we found an very large observation area and an old fort. Although this mountain is approximately the same climb, the mass is smaller than our regular hiking mountain. Hence the name, little.

Tomb of the Last Emperor:

Our descent off the mountain took us right by this historical spot. Song Shao Di Mu became emperor at age 7 in 1278. When losing a battle with Mongols, his protector Lu Xiufu took him and jumped into the sea. Legend says his body washed up in Shenzhen near the Tian Hou Temple in Chiwan.

By the end of our exploring, my feet were toast, but I completed day 2 of my plank challenge: up/downs and arm lifts. I did 3 sets of 5. Then I relaxed.

Are you a FitBit user?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Getting Rid of Jet Lag with Fitness

After an amazing couple of weeks in the US, we are now back on China soil.

Even though I am the traveler that feels every bit of jet lag (think waking up at 2AM), I was excited to get back into the swing of things here in Shenzhen.

Friday morning, I joined the SWIC Hiking Group for a 7K walking tour of Futian, one of the seven districts that make up the city of Shenzhen.

25 women from 10 countries!

We explored Shuiwei village and Stone Museum.

We walked through Huanggang Park and watched the locals dancing. I even got asked to dance!

We strolled the Furong Greenway and toured the Xia Sha Museum and Temple.

After all that walking and the China humidity, I took a nice long afternoon nap!

I was out of bed early on Saturday and decided that a short run might help get rid of the final feelings  of jet lag. mrC walked the boardwalk while I ran two laps.

After a little breakfast, we went for a refreshing swim. It felt really good to stretch out in the water and relax poolside.

Two full days of fitness and I was toast! Goodbye jet lag!

How do you beat jet lag?