3 years ago for Christmas, we became a dog family. I grew up with parents who grew up around lifestock and they did not want animals themselves. Growing up, we had a cat and a dog at different times and some strays adopted us at intervals, but NEVER a house pet. After getting our Christmas puppy, I learned just how often some pet owners walk their dogs. I had never noticed. I had never needed to care. After I got a dog, I started seeing dogs and their people. Before, I walked a lot, but it was JUST moi. Recently, I joined a dog walking group. My new German friend lives in an apartment and walks her 90 lb. lab A LOT. I have an active breed dog, but he is happy to walk ten miles with me one day and chill the next. I have a walking blog and even I don’t want to walk as much as my friend. I am having fun in my new club, but I don’t want to commit to walking with companions (besides my dog) more than once a week.
How much is that gym pass? You know the one I’m talking about. The place that looks really cool, but you pay the fees and haven’t been back since Jan 12th. There is a registration fee. There is a monthly fee. There is a fitness consultation fee…….. They don’t make it easy to stop paying their fees. When my recent gym asked me the reason I wanted to cancel my membership and I said because I’m moving to China, there wasn’t much of a counter-argument to that. LOL However, I can guarantee they would have found some way to prevent me from leaving under normal circumstances. Soooo… if your gym pass membership is on autopilot attached to your credit card, give it a 2nd look. Cancel it or go to the gym. Going to the gym is fun. I highly recommend it. However, I don’t like paying reoccurring fees for nothing. Walking is free. There is no registration fee to get started.
We just spent the weekend in Tokyo. It was our 3rd time going to Tokyo. We had a lot of fun. It is not a cheap destination. The Olympic games are going to be there next summer. Soo cool!!!!!! I have never been to an official Olympic event, but when I was 8+ months pregnant I used to walk around the excitement of it all EVERY day. I worked in downtown Salt Lake City in 2002. The Austrian news set up camp right outside the door of my office building. In my early years, I even raced in a few ski races in Utah in the eighties. Alas, I was not destined to be an Olympic level skier, but I enjoyed the excitement the games brought.
If you want to go to the Tokyo Olympics, DO IT! It will be so awesome. We went to the city in 2014, 2018, and 2019. We are not Tokyo experts by any stretch, but the city is getting ready to host the games. If you are staying at a major hotel, you book an airport limousine (big bus) right after baggage claim and off you go. You get dropped off directly at the entrance. The subways there are crazy, but they take you everywhere. We paid about $5.50 per person for day passes. The subways are so big there though that we felt like we were on an underground mountain hike. (NO JOKE!) Some of the intricate underground passageways have stores with treats that will make your mouths water so be sure to pack your CA$H. (Insider Tip: Brioche cubes!!!)
Things to do in Tokyo if you go to the Olympics or just go cause Tokyo is awesome. 1. EAT 2. SHOP 3. WALK A LOT to see stuff 4. Wake up to see the sunrise in skyscraper land. (We did this on our first trip due to jet lag. It was awesome! 5. EAT 6. REPEAT We probably won’t be going since we will be heading back home to USA in summer 2020, but I know these games are going to be sooooo impressive. If you are planning on going to Tokyo as a mere tourist, I highly recommend a workout routine beforehand because it is exhausting. Try to be at your optimal fitness level. You may not be competing in the games, but you need to be your best YOU. It is so exciting.
I am not talking about the kind we talk about in my church regularly. That is a whole other subject. Everyone has been lost in that way before at some point. I am talking about you don’t know where you are. LOST! Once upon a time, I was an ambitious intern. Well, not as ambitious as some of my fellow interns who got to work at the Supreme Court or caring for the Clintons’ cat (It was 1996.) or other places that they deemed cooler than our internships, but an intern nonetheless. I met a lifelong friend the moment I walked into my housing and with our “lesser than” internships, we had an AWESOME summer. My friend got asked to housesit for a week and she took the job only if they took me on too. That weekend morning, I arose and went for a walk. I love walking. I’m sure that is not obvious. I did not wake my friend to tell her I was leaving. It was before cell phones and constant connectivity. It was a beautiful Maryland summer morning. Everything was complete perfection. I was in a residential area with some of Washington DC’s chicest homes. I walked for a while then it started to get warm. I could have kept on going, but I had no provisions. I needed to turn back. The only problem is that I didn’t know the way OR the address where I was staying. Before panic sunk in too bad, I remembered I had seen a street sign with my beloved home state on my morning trek. I backtracked until I found the UTAH street sign and prayed to find my way back. I was sooo happy to get back to that house.
We like to travel, but my husband didn’t want to go to China. The Great Wall was on my life to do list though. Well, when work moved us here that is how I knew I’d definitely be finally seeing it. It is much less commitment to just come on a ten-day tour to China! This portion of the wall is on the border with North Korea. It is in Dandong, China. Most Western tourists will see the wall on their Beijing stop. Beijing is not near here at all. Obviously, I like hiking but some of the stair climbing on this had me scared and breathless. It is not suitable for everyone, but there are portions anyone could do. The stairwells easily rivaled any scary European ones we had climbed up. It took us about 2 hours to do the entire Dandong wall. There was an entry fee of around $10 / 60 RMB per person. It was a really fun day trip from our current home.
I was just on booking dot com looking for some future accommodations today and I came across an article that I had to read. The 5 best hikes in the world Wow. What will they include? Five is sure a small number. I go to the list and I have only loosely heard of one particular destination. That isn’t to say that the other ones are not epic, but insert eye roll. I don’t need some list. Is someone going to give me a medal cause I have done their particular list? I want my 5 best readers to know that the hike YOU do is the very best one. You don’t need to go anywhere special to do it. You do it where you are. Disclaimer: if you are from somewhere flat like Kansas where my dad is from, then you may need to actually go somewhere. My general definition of hiking includes a bit of varied terrain and elevation change. Anyway, you can go on a hike NOW. (If not, you can highly likely go on a WALK.) If you want to add some random BEST to a future list, great! But don’t choose only to do something if the circumstances are perfect. Get out and sweat a little or a ton and get some fresh air.
I recently read this as a comment somewhere referring to exercise. It caused me to ponder the why…..?…. Maybe because it is something that most everyone does so it is rarely intentional. You join a gym, pay your activation fee, your monthly fees, etc…. Because you have spent A LOT of money, you just know you are FINALLY going to get fit. Those $1000 sign-up fees will guarantee your success. I always thought it would be rather exciting to join a gym. ****I have since joined a few. ***** I came from a small town and the only ones I had used were at my high school (in a scary basement on dirt!!!) or at college in the 90s. Today’s college gyms are a little different. Think: NICER. It was fun at a “real” gym for a few years. I attended lots of dance and yoga classes. I still can’t dance, but I was at the epicenter of the Zumba craze. (In the back looking very dorky!!!!!) After pondering the above question coupled with a book I just read called Predictably Irriational by Dan Ariely I am going to surmise it is because we don’t value what we don’t pay a lot for. In order to make walking cool, it is time to charge people a lot for it. LOL
When we arrived in China, we had little to do. We immediately checked things out and walked a lot, but it got hot. I walked the dog at night and it felt like a sauna. We preferred to stay inside with the a/c. Then, school started and family walks took a back seat more often than not, but school is out for Chinese New Year this week.
I’m not a new year’s resolutions kind of person. It’s a good time for gyms to make a lot of money, but I have no interest in paying for a gym pass and not using it. When I have had a gym pass, I used it regularly. I don’t want to get ripped. I just want to be physically fit every day of my life. When I was on the track team in 1990, I was ripped. I didn’t know it at the time. All I knew was that all my friends were faster than me and I could not keep up. Do you want to get fit? You don’t need to do something extraordinary. You don’t have to win any races or beat anyone. You just need to move. Walking is a great form of low impact exercise. Hiking is also a great form of low impact exercise. Biking is too!!! If you have weight to lose, it will come off if you stick to it. If you don’t have weight to lose, it will still benefit you. Make 2019 AWESOME!!!!
I didn’t really want to spend Christmas in China. You can get cheap flights to Australia from there if you look, but I didn’t want summer for Christmas either. My Christmas dreams include a foot of fresh falling snow so Australia was out. We came to Europe where cold temperatures and Christmas markets would put us in the Christmas spirit. We took some long flights and ended up in Prague. The winter chill was definitely there. Was my coat up for the challenge?