#PrincessBootCamp – Ariel Week Fitness Plan

Disney Princess Boot Camp The Little Mermaid Ariel fitness nerd post

One of my first orders of business last week (Cinderella Week) was to clean my parent’s pool and deck to get it ready for Ariel Week. One Princess helping another one out! With Cinderella’s hard work behind me, I was ready to dive in and get my swim on.

Princess Boot Camp Ariel Week Disney Fitness Blog

As a native Floridian, I’m no stranger to swimming. I love swimming, but I’ve never done it as a workout before and boy did it kick my ass!

This week, as I was eating fish and channeling my inner mermaid spirit, you could find me in my parent’s pool in the mornings. And let me tell you, Ariel week was in January…so that pool was frigid. Instead of being off putting, I found it strangely invigorating.

Disney Princess Boot Camp The Little Mermaid Ariel fitness nerd post

Since swimming is the only activity I chose to do for Ariel Week, I had to find ways to create variety in a single activity. I did some research on the different kinds of strokes and styles that swimmers do and tried to a little bit of each stroke every day I was working out (4 days a week.)

Here are the strokes I did:

-Breast stroke

-Back stroke

-Doggy paddle

-Butterfly stroke

-Front Crawl

-Mermaid Stroke (I made this one up)

Each day I swam, I did as many laps as I could of one style till my body started to get sluggish and my pace started to slow, then I’d switch to another stroke or style and on and on till I’d hit around 60 minutes of swimming.

It was slow going at first, but by day 4 I really started to feel stronger. I could go longer with each style and my rhythm and breathing improved. On the weekend, I added a bonus day at the beach so I could try some of the strokes and styles out in the ocean itself (home of all mermaids.) It was much more difficult to do in the freezing January ocean waves, but it was a fun challenge that I had spent the week preparing for and was able to handle.

Swimming is an activity that I decided would make an appearance in future workout schedules because I enjoyed it so much and saw quick results with consistency and that was just one week. Imagine what a month of swimming could accomplish.

#NerdsLove

February is the month of love. Which often illicits a “Yuck” and an eye roll from me. Instead of my usual “down with love” attitude, I decided instead to share the things I love with my instapeeps. And the best part is that a bunch of you joined my challenge and shared the things you loved with me! Check out the hashtag #NerdsLove for more from everyone and each individual hashtag below for more specific expressions of love.

Me? I love it all! @NerdintheSand
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#NerdsLoveStarWars
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#NerdsLoveLaughing
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#NerdsloveGaming
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#NerdsloveAnimals
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#NerdsLoveZombies
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#NerdsloveJaneAusten
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#NerdsloveSports
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#NerdsloveStarTrek
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#NerdsLovePizza
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#NerdsLoveFashion
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#NerdsloveBuffy
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#NerdsloveDeadpool
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#NerdsloveMarvel
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#NerdsloveLOVE
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#NerdslovePresidents
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#NerdsloveFitness
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#NerdsloveConventions
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#NerdsloveDancing
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#NerdsloveTravel
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#NerdsloveSand
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#NerdsloveFamily
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#NerdsloveMondays
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#NerdsloveSocial
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#NerdsloveKiddos
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#NerdsloveFriends
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#NerdsloveHarryPotter
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#NerdsloveDisney
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#NerdsloveMusic
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#NerdsloveSpring
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It’s never too late to share what you love. The hashtag #Nerdslove is not going anywhere! Do you love something? Share it!
We’re all nerdy for something.

The Beach is My Dream, the Ocean…My Nightmare

I love the beach. Perhaps you follow me on Instagram. If you don’t…come on over: @nerdinthesand. But if you do then you know without a shadow of a doubt just how deep my love for the beach runs. It is a physical representation of the happiest place I could ever imagine being.
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I feel calm when I’m at the beach. I feel like I’m home out there. I feel like I know myself so clearly and that if I just reach out I could probably touch the hand of God, like in Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel. I don’t feel like a hurricane when I’m at the beach. I feel like a palm tree, deeply rooted and able to stand the harsh hurricane winds. My soul says, “Do your worst for you can’t touch me out here.”
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Everywhere else I’m the hurricane and the surrounding trees have to survive me. But here is where I am truly what I was made to be. A
song sung on the breeze. A shadow on the sand. Perhaps that’s why being away from it for 8 long years was just too long for my soul and eventually the shore had no choice but to call me back.

I do not feel the same way about the ocean. The ocean scares me. Deeply, down to my toes.

My mom likes to watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Every July I start to hear about things like Goblin Sharks and Vampire Squids and Fangtooth Fish and Giant Tube Worms and all manner of creatures that sound better suited for a horror film than for the ocean. A place I think we truly don’t belong. Though I don’t at all feel that way about space….interesting.

If Atlantis were a real place and it was up to me to search the depths of the ocean just to find it, then it would stay lost forever.

On my recent road trip up to New York with my brother we drove through Delaware. This took us across the scariest stretch of road I’ve ever been on. The Lucius J. Kellam Jr Bridge – Tunnel. It’s series of bridges and tunnels that stretch over an expanse of the ocean itself. Not a bay or a lake or a gulf or a stream, but the edges of the ocean. Look left and you can just make out a distant horizon that must be the shoreline, but look right and you are faced with the expansive stretch of deep blue sea with no end in sight.

I thought for sure that while we crossed it, some catastrophe would hit. Maybe we’d get stuck in that tunnel for hours on end only to be engulfed in the very ocean the tunnel was supposed to protect us from. Or we’d get stuck on the bridge in traffic and a Sharknado would come sweep us away into the ocean where the rest of the sharks were lurking.

I was never afraid of the ocean as a child. It’s only in adulthood when the overactive fears of our imagination are given a voice. As children we have those same fears, but the monster under the bed is just a shadow and shark attacks are less likely to happen than car accidents and lightning never hits the same place twice.

Adults know that shadows only exist where there is a sliver of light. We know that sharks are a reality and of course lightning can hit the same spot twice, it’s not like it has memory or anything.
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The beach is my dream and the ocean, my nightmare. How funny that the two should be so intertwined for I could never have the dream without the nightmare. For one to exist, the other has to as well! The irony is not lost on my. Or rather God’s imminent sense of humor. He’s constantly laughing at my fears, the way a loving father laughs at a child who’s too scared to look under the bed. “Sweetheart, there’s nothing under there. Don’t you trust me? Have I ever let you down?”
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The Nerd Returns to the City

“Well… I didn’t expect that!”

I was so sure that the tears I’d cried over leaving New York were because deep down I wanted to go back. I wanted my life back. I wanted what was familiar and what had become “normal” for years.

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But there I was, back in the bright lights and I felt like I was gonna jump out of my skin. I am not an anxious person and I’m not a worrier. But everything about being back made me feel anxious and made me worry. I was late to meet my friends. I was bustling along the streets. I was stuck on the train that seemed like it would never move.

This was the life I’d lived for the past 8+ years. For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer (and let’s just be honest…it was always for poorer.) This was how I’d lived. Blissfully unaware of the madness of the city because I’d become a part of the madness. I was the madness. I understood it and it had become a part of me. I fell in love with it. (Read about That Time I Fell in Love)

The first weeks back in Florida, I had a frog permanently living in my throat. I was on the verge of crying every single day. My mom asked me if I wanted to sing at church and I burst into tears saying, “It’s too soon! It’s not the Journey.” My friends suggested I try online dating to get over a certain person I may tell you about someday, but I burst into tears just reading the profiles saying, “It’s too soon! I’m not ready.” I drove out to the beach and even that didn’t feel right at first (despite what my Instagram portrayed) and I cried the whole way back saying, “It’s just not New York. It doesn’t feel right!”

Everything seemed to be a pressure point. Everything seemed to set me off. So, here was my chance. To make the choice to stay on the path God called me to walk on or to turn back around and run to something comfortable. It’s funny to call New York comfortable. It’s the least comforting city I’ve ever lived in. Surrounded by 8 million people and constantly alone. But when you acclimate to something it does feel comforting to be a part of it. So New York was the comfort and Florida was the challenge?? What an unexpected outcome!

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I was truly shocked by this panic attack. I’ve never even had a panic attack before, so I can’t be sure that’s what I was experiencing. But my heart was racing and I couldn’t breath… so I started to pray.

To be honest with you, I’ve been mad at God. Why did he call me to leave my beloved city? Why did he bring me down to Florida where my purpose is still being figured out? Where my friends and family already have their lives figured out down here?

I decided at some point that I was too angry to listen. I decided that I was going to make my own way!

If you’ve ever gone your own way, you’d know it’s not the right move! I know it’s not the right move and one restless night God hit me hard with the news that I was supposed to be listening! And this feeling that I felt in New York was just confirmation that I’d made the right choice in listening to God. That moving was His plan, not mine. And that my new challenge was to listen for the next light he shines in front of me instead of buying batteries for my flashlight and finding my own path.

It’s not a revelation. It’s not new information! It’s just a daily reminder that I need to constantly turn my eyes up to Him. And a daily reminder that I am right where I need to be. Even if it’s hard! Especially if it’s hard! And trust me…it’s been hard.

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