One of the other big changes to being back here is my amount of exercise and outdoor time. This I have alluded to many times in the past and is not necessarily a function of being in Saipan — mostly about the people I have the privilege of being around here. One of the first questions I had back at work at the hospital was — are you still running? when’s your next event? It just goes to show you how much a part of my life it became while I was here.
It wasn’t like I completely became a couch potato back in the States but I did have less time and less easy access to physical activity. One of the reasons it is so easy for me to get exercise done here is that it is just a hop, skip and a jump away from wherever you may live on the island. Like all things in life that become habit, you still do have to work on making it a habit in the beginning — but once it becomes habit, it is part of your daily routine.
There are generally three components to the things I do here.
Per wikipedia, it is “Promoted as both a physical exercise philosophy and also as a competitive fitness sport, CrossFit workouts incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman and other exercises.”
(Side note: Girevoy sport? I had to look that one up. It basically is kettlebell lifting!)
Back when I was here prior, I was looking to cross train a bit and join a gym. There really are just two choices on island — Gold’s Gym or this newly formed gym called “GetFitCNMI“. I ended up choosing CrossFit for the novelty of having what I call a ‘group personal trainer’ with scheduled classes and workouts or WODs (workout of the days). Not only was it extremely difficult and pushed me beyond my limits, but it also came with a wonderful community of people and coaches and emphasized the ability to modify every technique to one’s level. This made the workouts within reach for mere mortals ;) and gave you goals to look forwards to.
I’m glad to see the gym here flourishing and now moved into a bigger space. While I have not been back yet for very long, I already have visited a number of times and look forward to more.
Well, I am living on an island, right? When surrounded by water, use it! There are a few places I swim — although I don’t swim nearly enough and hope to make a consistent go of it. The water is always relatively warm and there is something about swimming and concentrating on breathing and nothing else that is relaxing but a good workout all rolled into one. Because of my erratic schedule, this is the hardest thing to plan but hopefully I will be participating more. I may not be swimming from Managaha again though this year… haha, we’ll see.
Running has been a staple since my time as a pediatrician in training. It is always easy to do at any time and can be adjusted to your schedule easily. There are plenty of places to run here and having a few fellow runners doesn’t hurt. It makes it so I definitely get out and it’s nice to have company. This past Saturday, I actually went to a track and did a little track workout. Well… right now my running is more like barely-more-than-walking and I have a long ways to go before I can truly say I’m running again but slowly I’ll get back to it. Hopefully I will post some of my routes again via my Garmin watch.
Stay tuned for more about life back in Saipan. (and p.s. maybe a break in the posts to talk about an upcoming patient transport I have ahead of me)