How to Sweat Out the Small Stuff Block Island Style

I spent 5 days on Block Island. It small island off the coast of Rhode Island. And Mr. SOTSS’s daughter K-Corn (my nickname for her) drew it so accurately here. It kinda looks like a duck.block-island-chalk

We were there to celebrate Mr. SOTSS’s dad’s 70th birthday and the 4th of July.

J-Beans (my nickname for Mr. SOTSS' other daughter) wearing her patriotic blue cat ears.

J-Beans (my nickname for Mr. SOTSS’ other daughter) wearing her patriotic blue cat ears.

The one thing I can say for certain is that there are no bad views anywhere.

adorable houses with flowers and picket fences

adorable houses with flowers and picket fences

There is only beauty out of each and every vista.

Heaven

Heaven

I would go for walks and take in the view only to turn around and see something even more beautiful.

I want to marry these flowers!

I want to marry these flowers!

So I figured since this blog is supposed to be about running and stress relief (and doing any exercise that makes you feel less stress really especially when unable to run) I would design this post to highlight that stuff.

Luggage Lugging

We arrived on Saturday morning to Port Judith, RI which is where you get the ferry to Block Island. They allow cars on board but you have to reserve a spot months in advance. It was February when we booked a spot for our vehicle but by then they only had a Sunday reservation. So the plan was to go to the “standby line” and hope to get over a day early. Unfortunately there were 30 other vehicles and the guy in charge said that the odds of more than 4 vehicles getting over that day were slim. So, we made the executive decision to leave the truck and go over with whatever luggage we could carry (2 adults, a teen and a tween) and parked the truck in a lot.

We had to sacrafice the beach chairs and water guns and the barbecue potato chips!

We had to sacrafice the beach chairs and water guns and the barbecue potato chips!

We managed 3 bikes, 3 rolling suitcases, one duffle, 2 back packs and a cooler on wheels. Frankly I think that is probably one of the most amazing parts of the trip. Nobody complained. This was quite the workout because not only did we have to get the luggage on to the boat but we had to walk it about a mile from the dock once we arrived to the realty office where they were going to let us stow everything until 3pm when the rental house was ready. Sometimes it’s the most functional exercise that can make all the difference. I used muscles in my arms and core (trying to walk my bike with only one hand!) that hadn’t been used in a while. So while this was sort of a bummer to start the trip with some hiccups it ended up being a great sweat session.

Bicycling
I had many opportunities to bike on Block Island. It’s one of the main modes of transportation there. I took a short ride while sipping my iced coffee on Saturday as we waited for the rental home to be ready for us. bike-iced-coffeeThis was a nice flat stretch and mostly I was sweating due to the sun and heat and not so much the effort. But boy did I make up for that later in the weekend. I took an early morning ride out to one of the two lighthouses on the island which was about 4.5 ish miles each way with rolling hills that I swear were mostly UPHILL! I am too conservative on a bike to pick up too much speed on the downhills and my bike only has 6 speeds so each uphill felt like 10X the effort. I had bugs stuck to my forehead when I got home but I enjoyed the challenge.

The reward for all my pedaling

The reward for all my pedaling

ne-lighthouse-bike

My heart rate really spiked which it hadn’t done in a while so that felt good. And while I don’t have a picture of it, a deer literally darted right in front of me as I was riding and I had to hit the brakes hard to avoid a collision. He made it across and darted up into the bluffs never to be seen again. That actually might have been where my heart rate really got pumping 😉 There was a bike ride to the beach as well and the last of my rides was with Mr. SOTSS to the other lighthouse for another hard working hilly few miles.

We made it!

We made it!

This one is getting printed and hung up in my home somewhere

This one is getting printed and hung up in my home somewhere

us-lighthouse

It was nice to actually enjoy biking as I hadn’t really connected much with the bike in April and May when I was riding around locally trying to replace my running with something.

Kayaking
The house we were staying in had a large pond with a dock in the backyard and kayaks that we could use.

view of the house from the dock

view of the house from the dock

I had to have Mr. SOTSS get me in and out of the kayak the first time I went out but by the second time I got a little better and was able to be self-sufficient.

I now wish I lived on a lake. I'd kayak every single day.

I now wish I lived on a lake. I’d kayak every single day.

kayak-g

I really enjoyed my second time when i was all alone.

Took my music with me for my solo trip.

Took my music with me for my solo trip.

Well, there was this one swan who actually blocked my dock so I stayed out on the water a little longer. What a great upper body workout. My arms were sore after 30 minutes for sure.

I've heard swans are aggressive so I just paddled around a bit longer until my dock was free and clear

I’ve heard swans are aggressive so I just paddled around a bit longer until my dock was free and clear

I don't think I've ever been this up close and personal with a lily pad

I don’t think I’ve ever been this up close and personal with a lily pad

Walking
I took a walk alone a couple of times for some fresh air and to just get away from the hustle and bustle of the house with (at times) 13 of us!

nothing better than inhaling honeysuckles. LOVE THEM!

nothing better than inhaling honeysuckles. LOVE THEM!

I also used this time to take so many of my photos. My toe is now at the stage where I can walk mostly without a limp for about an hour. Anything after that and it gets a bit painful.

I have a thing for shed doors

I have a thing for shed doors

and I also love the weathered shingles that so many homes have in the New England area

and I also love the weathered shingles that so many homes have in the New England area

another view from my walk

another view from my walk

if I took a photo of every house with hydrangeas I wouldn't get very far. They are EVERYWHERE!

if I took a photo of every house with hydrangeas I wouldn’t get very far. They are EVERYWHERE!

Beach Activities

While I didn’t swim in the ocean as we all know about my panic attack when I did that triathalon 3 years ago, I did walk along the wet sandy shoreline and even did some stretching by digging my heels into the sand so they were lower than my toes. This felt great! A soleus calf stretch. sand-toesAnd even the walk from the car to the beach itself was a workout. Walking on unstable ground barefoot is hard work on those calf muscles. I took lots of photos of all the kids (Mr. SOTSS’ 2 girls and his dad’s wife’s 3 grandsons) in the ocean with envy as they jumped and rode the waves. Now THEY got a great workout in for sure. I took this amazing photo of two of the kids having a blast.beach-wave-fun

getting the mortar for the sand castle

getting the mortar for the sand castle

Sunrise Reflecting and Yoga
While these weren’t as physically stress-relieving, these were two other things I did that were just for me and my own peacefulness. I did some yoga poses during one of my morning walks just to find my center and I got up at 5am one day to catch a sunrise. There’s nothing more peaceful than being up before the world and hearing the birds chirping.

reflecting as much as the pond was

reflecting as much as the pond was

Eagle pose

Eagle pose

Sunrise from the dock

Sunrise from the dock

Another sunrise shot

Another sunrise shot

And Mr. SOTSS found his peaceful spot on the porch practicing guitar…guitar

While I’m sad that I’m not back to running condition yet, I’m really happy that I was able to be active and to take advantage of the surroundings and quietness to fill my heart with gratitude.

When you travel do you try and continue being active or do you relax your workouts a bit?

Any creative ways of being active?

8 Comments

  1. What a beautiful trip! We do an annual trip and stay at a beach house that sounds just as full. So much fun but I also need to get out for air and a little space sometimes too. Walking, running, searching for sea glass – I try to stay active – love exploring new areas that way too. Happy summer!

    P.S. you really need to enter those sunrise photos into like a calendar contest or something!!!

    • You know i’m always looking for shells I never think about sea glass. Do you make anything with the glass you find?

  2. Wow—just wow! That looks like an amazing vacation. Such a sharp contrast to our mountain vacations in Colorado. Makes me really want to take a vacation and rent a beach house!

  3. I love getting exercise in fun ways that don’t feel like traditional exercise. Summer is the best time for that! Thanks for sharing an insight into your getaway. Great photos!!

  4. Pingback: A little of this and a little of that -

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