GGG – Day 4 – Your Favorite Form of Exercise

Gratitude Gift Giving Day 4 – What is your favorite form of exercise? What makes you feel alive after you’re done and gives you energy even when you’re exhausted from it?

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it. – Plato

I love exercise, but I don’t think of it like work. I love to be moving, trying new things, being outside, on the water, in a gym, alone and with friends. It’s hard to pick just which form is my favorite because I have many.

Today I was thankful for the TRX class with Julie again. TRX Suspension Training was developed by the US Navy Seals and includes straps that you “hang from” to do all kinds of resistance training exercises that kick your booty. The class helps to develop strength, balance, flexibility, movement and stability. It works all your core muscles using your own weight as resistance and it’s very challenging. I’m hoping it will help with improving my tennis game and just help me to get stronger in general. I like the feeling of being aware of my muscles, which means they are sore and hopefully improving.

After our TRX class, there was a dance class waiting to come into the gym. Julie was brilliant and suggested we stay for that too. I think she just wanted to get out of doing laundry and chores! But I was game!! She suggested we stay for half of it, but we loved it so much we stayed for the entire class and danced and laughed and just had the best morning ever. The class was called U-Jam Fitness, and it was a mix of music from around the world including Bollywood to Hip-Hop to athletic cardio dance. There was so much energy in the room, mostly from the regulars that must attend all the time because they seemed to know what they were doing. I, on the other hand, felt like I had two left feet, but I did it anyway, trying to watch the instructor and to keep up. It felt so good to dance like a wild one, and to the point where I couldn’t raise my arms anymore or squat any lower! I can’t wait to go again next week for some more “abuse.”

So today I’m thankful for TRX and U-Jam Fitness Dance classes in the gym with Julie. And I’m counting on enjoying some yoga, tennis, and perhaps volleyball and kettle bells the rest of the week. Life is good. Go out and “play!”


GGG – Day 3 – Nature


Gratitude Gift Giving (GGG) – Day 3 – How do you enjoy and appreciate nature? Where is your favorite place to be?

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Do you feel a calling to be outdoors? Do you feel peace when you’re near the water, the forest, the hills, open spaces?

Where is your happy place? Where do you go to feel like you’re just a little part of this big, wide, open universe?

My favorite place to go in nature is the ocean. I love the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. I love seeing the sealife and smelling the salt water in the air. I love looking out and not being able to see anything else but water and not knowing where it ends. I love watching the sun setting on the horizon and imagining the daylight being transferred to another location on the earth. I love being on the water, especially on a paddle board, but I’m just as happy on any type of boat.

But today we explored the majesty of the redwood trees in the forest of Big Basin, in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Knowing that some of these trees are older than the Mayan Civilization made me feel so insignificant. Our lives are such a small part of the bigger world, but we feel like we are so important right now! Standing next to these trees that have been around for over 1500 years is amazing. Some of the trees are over 250 feet tall. I loved looking up at them, standing inside a circle of them, and hiking through the forest and admiring all their different varieties.

I liked the shadows, the darkness and the light flowing through them. I liked the old and the new, and even the fallen.

Hiking with our family at this place less than 35 miles from home filled me with joy, even though the process of getting us all out the door today together was quite the challenge! It was worth the work and effort and I think I can say we all enjoyed our family outing.


Today I am thankful for the beautiful parks of California, and for family time exploring some place new. What or where are you thankful for?