Frenetic Fitness

fre·net·ic /frəˈnetɪk/ done very fast and with a lot of energy, often by someone who is in a hurry.

Archive for the tag “outdoors”

When Nature Calls

I spend a lot of time outside. I spend a lot of time outside in remote areas. I have a small bladder. See where I’m going with this? I’m not known for mincing my words so let’s just say that in my circle of friends, peeing in the woods is a common topic of conversation.

As I was inspecting the offerings of a local outdoor outfitter at a canoe club weekend last year, I came across an intriguing box with pictures of women doing fun outdoor things.


“When nature calls, the answer is Freshette.”

Wha the Wha? Heavens to Murgatroyd, this is what has been missing from my outdoor gear box.

The first time the Freshette came out was at a 100 mile trail run aid station. Don’t think for one second that every single woman at that aid station was not intrigued. Miles and miles of bumpy gravel road lay between us and anything  remotely resembling a bathroom. Most of us knew we would be hanging around this station or one like it for hours. And hours. And it would soon be dark and no one wants to risk tripping on a limb, falling into sticker bushes or rubbing their bare lady parts all over some poison ivy while trying to find a discreet spot to pee. Men don’t typically worry about this stuff. They walk over to a wooded area, turn their backs to the audience and go. If only it were that simple for us. But wait, now it is! Or at least almost as simple. The Freshette has a collapsible spigot that comes with the funnel cup. So ladies,  all you have to do is get the cup placed properly, placement is important and you might want to practice a few times before you try leaving your pants up to do it, extend the spigot and aim. If you’re wearing spandex or loose pants you can do this with a minimum of fuss, no need to go pants around ankles anymore! No more risk of mooning someone coming down the trail because they didn’t know you needed a little privacy. Great for camping, long car trips in rural areas, backpacking, distance runners, paddlers or anyone who can’t do a marathon without stopping at every porta-john.

Instructions, right on the bag.

Instructions, right on the bag.

If there’s a woman in your life who likes to play outside, this is a great stocking stuffer or  “bonus” gift. Buying her a new canoe or kayak? Add a Freshette for those long paddles. Buying her a new mountain bike? Get her a Freshette for those all day rides. Buying her a new backpack? You know the drill. Of course I shouldn’t be all like, “man, when you buy your woman a lil sumpin sumpin…”  Ladies, do yourself a favor and get one of these. You’ll be glad you did, so will the hem of your pants, your socks, and your shoes.

The Freshette comes with an opaque bag so you can conceal it in your pack or gear bag but at this point, are you really concerned that anyone knows you have a pee funnel? So far everyone who knows I have one has asked if I’d recommend it. Yes I would. No one has asked to try mine out. Thank goodness for small favors.

Rewild Your Life

I’m Rewilding my life! This great idea came from We Are Wildness, a website encouraging folks to spend time in the natural world; studying, enjoying and learning our place within it.
It’s the 4th day of September so this is about 5 days late. Sometimes I forget to share things in a timely manner. I do not have a blog calendar no matter how many times I’ve been told that it’s the only way to be organized about writing. I’d rather live my life like a rabid squirrel, constantly looking for nuts but being too distracted to actually pick them up and hide them.
The Rewild Your Life challenge is to spend 30 minutes each day in a natural setting without electronics except to take pictures. Days One and Two were easy, it was the holiday weekend and we were camping by the lake.


Bikes, Kayak and Paddleboard. Ready for action.

Day Three I had to search but not too far because my workplace is set in the middle of a rural area and we’re surrounded by forest. I’m going to call getting to the treelined edge of campus a win in this situation. Today will most likely be the same, with a 10 hour workday in a concrete bunker followed by the needs of the family: school open house, errands and a hot meal on the table. There is a part of me that would like to claim reading about being outside as reaching the goal but I know in my soul, it is not the same as being there. The goal remains the same: to do something each day that reminds me where I find my peace.

Mixed Media

My mother in law is an artist. Not the dabbling kind that uses art as a stress relief or a hobby, it’s her living. And in the years I’ve known her and by looking at her catalog of work, her choice of medium has changed, shifted, grown, moved. I’m in no way creative but I am an appreciator of things of beauty. I think the same eye that allows me to enjoy her work, good museums, architecture, or even a simple weave of  fabric is what invigorates me when I’m in the outdoors. The colors, the smells, all the sensory overload that comes with being outside. I sometimes smell food cooking in a campground or that funky scent of warm stagnant water. I love the smell of fresh pine and the sound of leaves crunching under my feet.  When I first started jogging years ago, it was on the road. And then I met my husband who would rather be in the woods than anywhere else. Before long I was backpacking, mountain biking and trail running. I appreciate the outdoor space and what it gives back to me when I take my body out there and ask my heart and legs to pump extra hard and my home area gives me no shortage of media to work in.


Today my mixed media experiment took me on nine miles of pavement, gravel road, muddy single track over rocks and roots, up hills and down again. The only thing missing was a boulder scramble. In return for pounding my feet upon the trail I was treated to being chased by an angry growling beaver, the sight of a herd of white tail deer prancing in the forest and a decorated Christmas tree in the middle of the trail.


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