The great outdoors

I spent this past weekend in northern Wisconsin at my parents’ cabin. The Northwoods is truly the epitome of “the great outdoors.” The air was so pure and fresh, with a beautiful pine aroma. I spent every spare minute outdoors, taking deep, refreshing breaths and soaking up some vitamin D.

There is no air-conditioning at their home, so I woke up each day to bright sunshine on my pillow and birds chirping in the background. It sounds annoying, but it was actually pretty fantastic.

When I got home, I realize that I spend far too much time in my air-conditioned family room. At any given moment, you might find me watching TV, checking my work e-mail on my company iPhone and reading blogs on my laptop. Multi-tasking, yes–but the tasks don’t reflect things I love. I firmly believe that you should be able to look at my schedule and know what I value, and my life hasn’t been that way in recent years.

What do I value? Family, friends, laughter, health, sunshine, new experiences, making memories. Since summer is slipping through our fingers, I decided to focus on the “sunshine” aspect of the list first and make a list of things I can do outside, rather than languishing on the sofa:

  • Train for my second 5K.
  • Take a long walk with Jon and the pups.
  • Go to the park and enjoy the swings. Bring a friend’s kid if I’m feeling too embarrassed to go alone.
  • Pack a picnic lunch and head to the local forest preserve.
  • Take a horse-back riding lesson.
  • Find a “movie in the park” night at a local park district.
  • Explore my neighborhood on a bike.
  • Find a community garage sale, park at one end of the neighborhood and walk to all of the sales.
  • Go mini-golfing.
  • Lie in the hammock with a great book.
  • Fill up the kiddie pool and splash around with the dogs.
  • Visit a botanic garden.
  • Plant flowers.
  • Run through the sprinkler (Yes, I’ve done this recently. No, I don’t have kids. Adults get hot too!).
  • Go to the drive-in theater. Switch cars with my parents for the evening so we can sit in the back of my dad’s pick-up.
  • Go to the local farmer’s market (and buy some fabulous cheese while there!).
  • Roller skate (this one is dangerous if you’re as klutzy as I am; I firmly believe people are born without wheels on their feet for a reason).
  • Volunteer to walk dogs at a local shelter.
  • Rent a paddle boat or canoe at a local pond (typically $5-$10).
  • Go fishing (catch and release!).

What would you add to this list? Does your daily schedule reflect your priorities, or are you, too, wasting far too many precious hours?


About Kristen K

My life has always been pretty darn fantastic--except for one thing: my weight. Not too long ago, I tipped the scale at 283 pounds. I'd gain some, lose some and gain some right back, and I was so frustrated. When I saw a notice for a Biggest Loser-style contest in my local paper, I applied on the spot and I felt like I won the lottery when I found out I was one of the five contestants chosen. We worked out four times a week with trainers and followed a clean eating diet, and my life completely transformed. I've lost more than 60 pounds and I'm feeling confidence for the first time in my life. I'm 29 years old with a great husband, a rewarding job, two adorable dogs and fantastic friends. Weight loss continues to be a struggle now that the contest has ended, but this time I know that I can do it and I'm fully committed. This blog has seved as an accountability tool as I journey from a happy, but fat, person to a happy and confident person. And for the first time in my life, I'm no longer putting it off until tomorrow. This time, I'm starting this minute.
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One Response to The great outdoors

  1. Beth says:

    Great list! I think you’ve mentioned you’re from the northern ‘burbs, but my parents’ southwest suburban town has a citywide garage sale in September — . The central area by my parents’ house is pretty giant — I’ve clocked about 2+ miles of walking just by exploring the blocks immediately around them. There’s also a dinky parade with a pirate float 😉

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