I don’t know about you but it seems to me that as soon as I hit the road for a little Vay-cay with the fam-fam, the first thing… ok, ok… things that go out flying out the open car window are fitness, eating, and our budget. We set off with good intentions to cook dinners in the RV and not go out and be moving around all day to stay fit. We talk about how we packed all the toys and goodies the kids need so we wont need to buy them souvenirs or nic-nacks to keep them busy. We would talk, but we wouldn’t really plan. We’d bring food, but we’d eat out. We’d budget, but we’d overspend. We’d make it a goal to be active, but we’d let our training go slack. This year, with training in full swing and a renewed determination to teach the kids healthy and productive eating, spending, and fitness habits, we hit the road for one of our favorite little corners of the world, Graeagle, Ca.
Sure, since we were heading to the mountains we could make the argument that we’d be out and about so there’s no need to plan specific workouts. But the reality of the visits to any of the lakes in the Lakes Basin is that they are predominantly splashing and sun bathing, severely lacking in sufficient endurance laps (that is to say, there are none). The reality of our time spent at the campground is more fighting over the hammock or playing ladder ball, which is not exactly a high endurance sport. We decided that this year, planning what workouts we need to accomplish is critical to staying on top of our goals.
How do we keep up with our conditioning while on vacation? I’m going to be honest, it wasn’t easy. With a boy on the Cross Country team who cringes every time we mention the words strength and training in one sentence and two eight-year-olds with the attention spans of ADHD gnats, it felt that first morning like we spent more time discussing the workout than actually doing it. We got into a flow though and while arguments and sighs are unavoidable no matter what we are doing (including picking out a Netflix movie on TV), the kids kicked some serious vacation fitness booty!
We made our daily workouts the first thing we did after breakfast while it was still cool. Waiting until the afternoon means running into two potential obstacles. First is the heat, and on this trip, it was for real! Next is getting so busy or worn out by the time we go to work out that we make an excuse to skip it. We decided we weren’t going out to have our fun until our needs were tended to: breakfast, clean up the RV, and fitness.
So what did we end up doing? We did runs every day except our rest day. Some were longer and some shorter. We based the distance and intensity off of Michael’s cross country schedule so he could keep up with his training while out of town. The running program he follows falls right in line with our Spartan training so it is a win for everyone! The twins rode their bikes so they could keep up while still building their own strong muscles.
We also did yoga, an obstacle course, dance, and conditioning on the grass by our RV. Each day was something different and fun. We targeted cardio with the runs and dance and endurance with the obstacle course and conditioning. Yoga was for flexibility, strength, and balance. It is also brilliant for helping the kids to calm themselves, and learn mind and body control.
It may sound like we overdid it, but we didn’t. We payed attention to our bodies, respected each other’s limitations, and modified as needed. For our first long run, the twins were really fussy and complained of the heat within the first half mile so Alex and I turned them around while Mark, Michael, and Asher finished their endurance run. Alex and I took the littles back to the park where they ran around and played soccer, suddenly impervious to the heat. Alex and I did conditioning and practiced some challenging dance choreography. While we missed the long run, we made up for it!
We were successful with each workout because we kept the kids in mind. Being active with kids means being mindful of them: their abilities, needs, moods, and preferences. If they enjoy one activity over another, we prioritize that activity. The twins love the obstacle course we created so we made sure we brought it with us. It ended up being my favorite training day. It was fun, dynamic, and helped get the littles conditioned for the various challenges of a kids Spartan race. Because it is designed for kids, it takes a little more ingenuity for the bigs to get a good workout. We add reps or additional challenges to make sure we are sweating too. For example, the kids had to carry buckets of water from one point to another. It was a challenge for them but the buckets are really, um, how do I say this? Light. They are light. The solution was for the bigs to do lunges and do twice the distance and let me tell you, it worked! Mark carried both buckets just for that added little umph.
I am very proud of all the kids and how hard they worked! We had a great vacation that didn’t last nearly long enough and we stuck to our guns with our goals. We still had all our afternoon fun: swimming, walking, bike riding, hiking, and when it got too hot, some seriously competitive game playing back at the RV. We also walked around the town, watched a parade, and enjoyed the Graeagle Fire Department’s annual pancake breakfast, complete with Sparky the Dog! Now… about the meals and budget. Tune in to part two for our budget and meal plans.