20 Days of Eco-Wellness, Day 17: A Day at the Zoo

I am obviously a huge supporter of zoos. I’m even a huge supporter of people going to the zoo strictly for entertainment reasons. I honestly don’t care if you visit the zoo to gawk at animals and conservation is the last thought in your head. Know why? Because it doesn’t matter why you came to the zoo. Your visit helps conservation efforts. And it’s good for your health as well.

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20 Days of Eco-Wellness, Day 13: Just Read

All my life, I’ve been an avid reader. One of my earliest memories as a child is stacking a pile of books as high as my bed the night before Christmas, and when I woke up too excited to sleep anymore, I would read the entire stack before waking the rest of my family. It became a Christmas tradition, even if I now recognize it as a parenting hack to allow my mom and dad a couple hours extra sleep.  Read More “20 Days of Eco-Wellness, Day 13: Just Read”

Kayaking: An Experiment in Conservation Fitness

This past weekend was very much a Conservation Fitness weekend. Bowling for Rhinos on Saturday. Sloth Army on Sunday morning. Then to round it out, Chris and I tried out kayaking in the afternoon.

We’ve tried kayaking before. We’ve done kayaking on Whidbey Island before. It was years ago, and we were considering getting kayaks to go on adventures around Washington. So we decided to rent a couple and try it out. Only, we tested out kayaking on one of the worst days to do so- 4th of July weekend, in the afternoon, on an incredibly windy day.

That time did not go well for us.

But that was before. Nowadays, I know the owner of Whidbey Kayaking Company. She’s part of my Sloth Army. I must have told her a dozen times I would come by and do some kayaking. For whatever reason, I figured this time, I’d follow through.

My husband and I showed up at the marina ready for a cool day on the water. It was not a cool day, though. It was a gloriously warm day.  Typically I am not the biggest fan of the sun, but paddling out in the Puget Sound, which is a refreshing 50 degrees right now, I was willing to tolerate it for the occasion.

May is whale watching season. The grey whales are out and about, and I was hoping to catch sight of one. Unfortunately, they had been spotted earlier in the morning, and lightning was not likely to strike twice. It didn’t. But we did observe a curious seal pup checking us out. And we even saw a group of seals hanging out together. It was an odd sight, since seals are more or less solitary.

Throughout the two hours we were on the water, our guide (my friend, the owner), pointed out tons of interesting aspects I didn’t know about Whidbey and some animals. I’m not much of a bird-nerd, although I’m not opposed to learning more. So when Krista shared how murrelets (a smallish water bird in the Pacific Northwest) were indicator species, along with pigeon guillemots, I was intrigued.

If you want to know how an ecosystem is holding up, you can take a look at key species in the environment. Thriving birds indicates a somewhat healthy food web.

Wow, the day was tacking up to be fun, fitness oriented, AND educational!

While kayaking is considered something of a leisure activity, I definitely got a workout in. Krista showed us proper technique for paddling, which if you do right, should work your core more than your arms. After two hours, my obliques and abs were shouting loud and clear “WE HAVE BEEN WORKED OUT!”

It was a beautiful day, and we were glad to have taken Krista up on her offer to join her. It made up for our first kayaking experience, but more than just having a good day, it was connected to my philosophy of Experiencing Nature.

With Conservation Fitness, I strongly urge each of us to explore the outdoors, to experience nature. It can be a hike, a walk in a park, or visiting a zoo. But I think the best way to experience nature is in your element, being active, and gaining a better appreciation for the natural world.

My element is water. I am so at home with water. The ocean calls me every time I go near her. But I don’t spend as much time as I’d like in the water. Swimming and other water activities are not as common in Washington year round as other regions. But kayaking. Wow, that was an experience. Still isn’t something I can do day in and day out, but it definitely is something I consider part of my Sacred Space. It’s something I will try to do again, as well. Maybe as a reward for completing certain tasks.

After kayaking, I was thoroughly exhausted. It was a wonderfully productive weekend, and I look forward to more adventures with conservation fitness.

30 Days of ZooFit: ZooFit’s Guide to Mental Health

I tote a lot of advice and promotion to physical health and well-being, but rarely touch on the topic of mental health. Perhaps because I think of myself as a little mentally unstable, I don’t think I’m qualified to share on the subject. But fear not, while I remain mostly crazy, I do have thoughts on getting mentally fit as well as physically. And yes, it revolves around having fun and saving the earth.  Read More “30 Days of ZooFit: ZooFit’s Guide to Mental Health”

100 Ways of EarthFit: Mother’s Day Part 2- Maiden of the Pass

Celebrating Mother’s Day at Deception Pass could have been hit or miss.  How many moms out there would say “You know what I want to do on a day celebrating ME?  Go visit the tide pools at Rosario Beach!”  I mean, that’s what would think to be a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day, but I’m not actually a mom, so… Read More “100 Ways of EarthFit: Mother’s Day Part 2- Maiden of the Pass”