Archive for the ‘Let’s get physical’ Category

Me So Thorny

Thorns are a very good deterrent. Not enough to stop me, though. I spent great deal of time off trail on my weekend hike, following the Cresheim Creek. I won’t be able to do this much longer, however, as spring regrowth abounds. Especially the thorns. They pulled my hair, stuck through every layer of clothing I wore, and one even got me across the throat. Tricky plants. My efforts did not go unrewarded, though. I discovered a neat little swamp area and another waterfall.

I purposely mapped out my route so as to pass the local cvs on the way back, I must have been quite a sight in there with my muddy hiking boots, backpack, and thorns stuck all over!

We’re number 87?? How is that possible?

One of my favorite things about Philadelphia is the fact that it is a walkable city. The first time I came here as an adult, I was just floored at how many people lived in Center City happily without a car. Just last night I went on a date that consisted of walking to Chinatown for dinner.

So I was a little surprised that Philadelphia, the city where more people commute to work via walking than just about anyplace outside of Manhattan, was ranked 87 out of 100 Best Walking Cities by Prevention Magazine. Madison, WI was ranked number 1, followed by Austin, TX and San Francisco. New York doesn’t even hit the list until #39. Last year we hit the list at #31, so we’ve fallen considerably.

The study was commissioned by the American Podiatric Medical Association and included such factors as crime rate, air quality, access to parks, the number of people who walk to work, weather and number of athletic shoes sold (just because people like to buy athletic shoes doesn’t mean that they actually use them).

Via Portland and New York.

Sunday Hike Surprise

I took advantage of the slightly warmer weather yesterday and went for my first local hike in months. On a whim, I decided to use a different entrance than usual. This required a little more time on the Chestnut Hill pavement with some spectacular man made scenery. I passed the Cricket Club (yes, there is a cricket club in Philadelphia) and part of a neighborhood i call “sexy mansion land.” Avid Simspons fans might catch the reference. The trail begins near where West Hartwell lane turns into Cherokee Street, just before Springside School.

I suck at throwing frisbees

But that didn’t matter yesterday when I joined in on a pickup game of ultimate frisbee at 7th & Lombard yesterday afternoon. My sister who was in town for the weekend loves playing ultimate so we found a group online made up mostly of Jefferson med students. I wasn’t really intent on playing because unlike my sister, I stink donkey doo @ it. But I finally jumped in when they needed another person. I managed to catch most of the passes to me, but my fellow teammates were graciously patient and kind with my lackluster throwing abilities. Ultimate players are a great bunch. Ultra-friendly, competitive–but not aggressively so, quick to shrug off a botched play no matter who’s at fault. All games, even tournaments, are self-officiated–no referees or instant replays–anyone can call a foul and usually it’s the person who committed the foul who’s the first to speak up.

Anyway, I got a great workout sprinting up & down the field and covering a gal who could run with a mean quickness. Everyone was so friendly and I rarely get a chance to play team sports, so I’m sure I’ll be back there tossing the disc badly sometime soon.

Ironworks II

Just started working out in the last week — I walk a couple of miles each day, but my body is devoid of muscle. Like most things, gyms are more expensive in the city than in the ‘burbs — it’s over twice as much and no basketball/racquetball court/swimming pool like at L.A. Fitness or Bally’s. Still, it’s convenient, and I have to pass it every day, so if I don’t go it’s like it’s taunting me.

Slow, sloth-like movements

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve noticed the temps have neared sauna proportions the past couple days. I realize it’s probably not a great time to revive my outdoor fitness regime, but my flabby ass is in dire need of some exercise. I figured I’d avoid the heat tonight and instead head out for a run in the morning, though I’m not much of a morning workout person. Oh, what flawed logic that would turn out to be. So at 8:30, I’m chipper, motivated, and anticipating the commencement of my running routine. By 8:40, all that enthusiasm had been drained out of my entire being by the heat. I much prefer the heat to cold, but Holy Bananas! I forced myself to keep chugging along but I must have looked haggard and in pain, like someone that’s been lost in the desert for weeks, cause I sure felt that way. So I’ll try an hour earlier tomorrow and see if that makes a difference. If not, I may have to rethink the outdoor running thing and just suck it up and join a gym.

I must say, if you like to run outside, I think Kelly Drive is one of the best places in the city to do it. I always get extra bursts of energy enjoying all the lush greenery and views of the Schuylkill. When I approached the Girard Avenue bridge today, going west, (probably my favorite spot because it frames the river and the tree-lined running path so picturesquely), I half expected Curly from Oklahoma to emerge from around the corner and belt out “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” Corny, yea, but it kept my sweaty mess moving along a mite bit longer.

Just Think: I’ve AVOIDED Gym Culture for All These Years

I am still adjusting to the strange sensation of being present at my new gym, attempting to exert myself in the service of physical fitness.

My process of adjustment was not aided this past weekend, by:

Something I never thought I’d see. A man jumping rope….in hiking boots.

Something I hope never to hear again. “Pure Imagination”….the dance mix.

This is NOT my world. And yet, I must continue to persevere as the clutzy interloper I am.

Image source: Failure Magazine.

A lil something out of the ordinary: Terramar Adventures


Back when my cash stores were a little less paltry, one of my annual indulgences was an international trip to a faraway land where I could learn about another culture, fumble my way through ordering an entrée in the local tongue, and meet great people, those native to the country and fellow travelers alike. My travels have taken me on cross-country road trips through Ireland and Corsica, jungle and scuba escapades in Belize and Thailand, and backpacking the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu, among others.

Because of this love for visiting distant locales and my personal interest in supporting area entrepreneurs, I was excited to learn of a local venture, Terramar Adventures, which organizes off-beat activities for those of you looking for something a little more exotic than a weekend at the shore. Brothers Carl and Jonathan Ewald are Terramar’s co-founders who have taken their own life experiences in trekking across the globe, scuba diving, international marathons and other extreme sports and transformed it into a business that focuses around being active, discovering the world, and connecting with people. They ask you to write in about your unconventional dream destinations and activities and investigate turning it into a reality. Check out their schedule of events–upcoming local excursions include a scuba trip to Dutch Springs here in PA. Membership entitles you to discounts on adventure tours and activities and access to a community of thrill-seeking travelers. More details at

Story Credit: Thanks to Al for passing on Terramar’s website to Metroblog.

Help Sherri Find a Gym


I’ll admit it: I need to get in shape. Walking to work and back has been a good start, but I’m thinking that it’s time to contemplate the dreaded spectre of me at a gym. I know a couple closest to me, and I’ve even called one of them for a rate quote. But I don’t know what to compare that quote against, to figure out what’s a fair price for Philadelphia fitness. There also may be other Rittenhouse-square-region gyms that I don’t know about and should have in my list of options.

So help me out! Let me know who you like, who you don’t, why it matters, what it costs. My shrinking waistline (and wallet!) will thank you.

Image: clipartheaven.

An Unexpected Metaphor

Okay: I never expected to see this city named in a newspaper story about finding the G-spot:

She left us with this easy-to-remember geographic analogy: If the vagina is the Amtrak’s Northeast corridor, which starts in Washington, tell your man to stop shooting straight for Springfield, Mass., and try spending more time in Philly.

In the Inky, no less.

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