Anyone who has been around Sim or I in the last several months can tell we are working really hard to get healthy. We started doing Take Shape For Life and got a health coach. We started watching what we eat, (eating better as well as eating less), drinking more water, and getting active. I was doing Stroller Strides several days a week, but it wasn’t until I actually started losing weight on TSFL that I could actually push myself harder and run (as opposed to walk) more. Once the weight started coming off, I was amazed at how much easier it was to get out there and move. So as a family we started coming up with activities we could do together that got us off the couch, out of the house, and doing something physical.
Then on March 24th, Ana learned to ride her bike without training wheels.
She could move. FAST. And we actually had to run to keep up with her. We went on a few family run/rides with Sim and Ana on bikes and me pushing Hadley in my trusty BOB jogging stroller. We would go around our neighborhood, stopping at each play ground we came across.
Then one day I realized it was time for me to get a bike. I had a bike, but it was a hand-me-down and it didn’t really fit me and as a result ended up hurting me so much that I couldn’t ride for more than a few minutes before my knees were killing me. So over Memorial Day weekend I finally told Sim I was ready to go get a bike FOR ME. So we drove over to Bike Gallery and after test driving several models, I found my Townie. (Isn’t she pretty?!)
Then our lovely friends, Chloe and Patrick invited us to go on a bike ride. They were going to ride on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. They had gone the previous weekend with friends and thought we would enjoy it. They said they rode out about 3.5 miles and turned around (before it got too hilly) and came back. So 7 miles total. I wasn’t too sure if Ana could do it (heck, I wasn’t sure if I could do it!) since the furthest we had gone was about 1.5 miles around our neighborhood. But you never know until you try. We packed some bungee cords to strap Ana’s bike to the Burley in case she got tired and wanted to climb in with Hadley (we have a two-seater bike trailer). So we went on our bike ride, and it was awesome.
It wasn’t totally without drama. Ana’s bike slipped on some moss on the road and she crashed right in front of me. I narrowly avoided running right over her! But she picked herself up, brushed off the dirt, shed a few tears, and asked me to “take a picture and post it to Facebook.” I asked her if she wanted to get in the Burley but she said no. She wanted to keep going. And she rode the whole way. We calculated it on our GPS and it ended up being 7.75 miles total and we were pretty darn proud of ourselves for completing such a ride.
So the next weekend we decided to push ourselves a little further and go to the next segment of the trail (we went from Banks to Manning the first time) and go to Buxton where there was a little day use area and stop for a picnic before heading back. This ride would be 7 miles out, so 14 miles total. But we figured stopping for lunch and getting off the bikes would break up the ride and make it so the kiddos wouldn’t get too bored.
And that is exactly what happened.
The Oregon weather has been perfect, and we have been riding every chance we get. We are totally obsessed with our new family activity. I am so proud of us for turning our lives around and setting such great examples for our children. So does anyone have any new trails for us to check out? I’m taking suggestions!
(P.S. Thanks to Chloe for sharing some of her photos with me… so I could actually be in some of them!)