Watersports to Keep You Fit

The Arkansas heat is miserable. Well, the humidity is miserable, and the heat is just a bonus to that misery. Things get HOT here, and I am less motivated to exercise in the summer. Probably more so than any other season! I have found that maintaining your health is easier to keep up with when you’re doing activities you enjoy! I love hiking and walking my dogs, but when the pavement gets too hot for them and their paws (if the air temperature is 95 degrees then the concrete is 140) then that’s marked off the roster almost entirely unless I want to get up before dawn.

Spoiler: I don’t. So what can I do to keep active? Then it hit me. Water sports! I love the water, and I love swimming. If I’m not in or around the water in the summer I don’t want to be outside.
This past weekend we rented a paddleboat for less than $11 at Pinnacle State Park. My husband and I paddled around for a good hour, and let me tell you, my legs were feeling the burn! When you’re doing something fun, you don’t notice how much work you’re doing until it is over. Now, Pinnacle State Park doesn’t allow you to swim in their pond, but many other parks in Arkansas do and also have marine rentals available! Get out, grab a paddleboat, and if you get over-heated relax in the water a while.

Speaking of water, we visited Lake Catherine the next day for a 4th of July adventure! This park is another great place to rent boats, and this time we chose to take out a tandem kayak. Disclaimer: if you aren’t good at communicating directions with your kayak partner, I highly recommend a single kayak instead unless you enjoy spinning in circles out in the open water. If the paddleboats were leg day, then this was arm day. Our arms were so tired, but we felt proud because we went to the end of the lake and back. Afterward, we swam at the swim beach. We were still exercising, but the water helped us feel refreshed. It was so fun!

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise, and it takes the weight off your joints, which is helpful if – like me – you don’t exercise enough, and your joints aren’t ready for an intense workout. Physical therapists often recommend hydrotherapy for this reason! I’ve even been looking into hydrotherapy for my dog, Rosten, who has hip dysplasia.

Paddleboarding is an activity I’d like to try next, as it seems like a perfect way to work on your full-body balance. I’ll give my arms a break, though. If you’re interested in any of these activities, Rock Town River Outfitters is located in the heart of Little Rock! They provide rentals and can get you started on your watersport journey.

Whatever you decide to do this summer, whether in the water or on dry land, remember to stay safe and hydrated!

Family, Seasonal

Holiday Birthday Blues

If you have a birthday on or near a holiday you know that there are a lot of hurdles when it comes to celebrating. I was supposed to be born in June, but when it became apparent that my mother’s pregnancy wasn’t happening anytime soon, they slotted her for July 5th to induce labor. Her doctor, however, had a fishing tournament that day – so I ended up being born on July 3rd.

Being an Independence Day baby meant firework-themed birthday cakes, lots of actual fireworks (which I never liked much), and cooking out on the grill once I had blown out my candles. My friends could seldom make it to my parties because most had out-of-town plans preceding the 4th. That was always disappointing, but my parents did their best to throw me a big shindig. My attendance may have been down, but I always had fun, even if only one person showed up – and I have been best friends with that girl since I was three years old!

What I run into now as an adult is the lack of planning capabilities. I know anyone with a Christmas birthday, or one on Thanksgiving knows that these times of the year are booked solid! You have to plan months in advance if you are wanting to go somewhere to celebrate or if you just want to do something special.

With the 4th of July happening in summer (obviously), I and the Memorial Day babies had better know what days we’ll have off from work months before our birthdays because there will be no last-minute trips! Good luck finding lodging anywhere, especially if you’re like me and forget you have time off before, on, and after your birthday – the week before.

Another bum deal of having a holiday birthday is the themed parties. Listen, I love Halloween and the idea of a spooky birthday sounds fun, but if you’re like my husband, who was born at the end of October, the novelty wears off after your fourth costume party. To this day, he still doesn’t want to have his birthday associated with Halloween at all – and I totally get that! I still hold a lot of animosity towards fireworks.

The MVP of holiday birthday kids though are those born in December. Is the day that you’re supposed to receive gifts and celebrate your birth on or near the day your family gets together and exchanges gifts? What could be more annoying, especially for a kid? I have had several friends while growing up that never got gifts because of the proximity of their birthday to Christmas, or if they did get gifts, they only got one. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all blessed to receive any gifts! But when your friends get a Power Rangers-themed birthday in August, and you are relegated to being gifted as an afterthought – there is a discrepancy in fairness there in the eyes of a 9-year-old.

So, it’s safe to say we holiday-born kids have had a bit of the birthday blues in our lives at one time or another. I think it’s also fair to say that we’re grateful to be here another year! Whatever day your birthday falls on, I hope you have a wonderful celebration of your life. You’re unique and deserving of a day to celebrate yourself and if that means ignoring a holiday to do so – then go for it! There may be many birthdays, and there are many holidays, but there is only one you, and there are people who are so glad they get to say “Happy Birthday” when they see your face!

Happy Independence Day / Teighlor’s Birthday everyone!