Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Monday was a day filled to the brim with travel, but Tuesday and today—filled with memories of the amazing time I had in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They are memories I won't soon forget, and today is the first of a few posts in which you'll read about my trip. I've much to show that relates to living the fit life. You see, Jackson is surrounded by the Teton Mountains, the Snake River and Yellowstone National Park. You can't help but find something to do that gets your heart rate up. Even if it's nothing more than walking about town, spending money in all of the touristy shops. (Best find: a fur-coated jock strap. The tail cost extra. Who buys that?!)

On Friday morning, I had some time to myself so I laced up my running shoes and covered some new ground. I really wanted to hit the trails, but thought better of it in an effort to stay safe in my solo state. (Never forget that safety is key when you're running by yourself—especially when you are covering unfamiliar territory.) The streets of Jackson did not disappoint. I headed through town, then came upon the foot of a mountain. It was the entrance to a national elk refuge, though no elk were in sight.

I followed the dirt road for a bit, stopping to snap a few photos here and there. The views were so inspiring that I began to harness my inner Forrest Gump, but it started to get a little secluded so I turned around. In an effort to get back into town without seeing the same thing twice, I detoured through a neighborhood. Someone shouted, "What are you training for?" To which I replied, "Nothing...just training." That's the other thing—people in Jackson are so friendly! There must be something in all that fresh mountain air.

And speaking of air, at first I thought it was the slightly inclined road, but then I realized all of my huffing and puffing was being caused by something else—the altitude difference between Jackson and my hometown. Whenever you run in higher altitudes, you need to give your body some time to adjust to the thinner air. There isn't as much oxygen to go around, which means your lungs have less to work with...which ultimately means your blood, and therefore the rest of your body, has less to work with. Once I found my groove, I couldn't even tell the difference. Though be warned, the higher you go, the longer your body takes (it could be days) to get used to things. And it will get used to things, as did mine. I eventually found my way back to our cabin at the Elk Country Inn where I did some brief strength training.

I found this bench, which made for some great inverted rows (which I mixed with pushups). If you have something like this at your park, position yourself in between two of the bars and hang with one hand on each. Keep your back off the ground, legs bent comfortably, then pull your chest to the bars using your arm and back muscles. If you don't have a bench like this nearby, your gym should have a smith machine—set it at chest height, then do all of the above to achieve the same effect.

I also did triceps dips on a swing before moving back inside and whipping out the exercise bands for bicep curls and side bends (to hit the obliques). Then I took a shower. I still had some time before my friends would return from their horseback adventure, and I wanted to check out The Jackson Whole Grocer...


Tammy said...

I swear I would never dread a run if those were my running routes.

Unknown said...

I still don't understand that spider-looking bench!

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