Gabrielle & I
Best day ever!
Jacob is a big brother!
2010 is going to be MY year to live healthy! I feel settled in my life as a wife, a mommy, and a nurse...and now it's time to conquer the self imposed obstacles that have stopped me from being the best me that I can be.
It's time to choose nutrient dense, nourishing foods.
It's time to move my body because my body was made to move.
It's time to eat to live.
It's time to love myself.
I plan on making simple, lasting changes in my life.
(Old update below. I wanted to save this still to my page because I enjoyed it so much, I hope it might insprie someone else to try it, and I am still very proud of this accomplishment.)
Around the middle of July, I was sitting inside, feeling sorry for myself because it felt like summer was passing me by. At that time, my son was 5 months old, and I wanted to get outside and exercise, but I wanted to include him too. Taking the same stroller walk over and over again just seemed boring....then I decided, what if I take a different stroller walk every time? With about 60 days of summer left, I decided to challenge myself to visit 30 different area parks this summer. Here's what we have accomplished as of the end of August:
1. Iron Horse Park - Centerville, Ohio. 7/15/09. Walked the Iron Horse Trail, a paved, tree-lined trail which used to be a railroad bed. Very quiet. At the time of the visit, construction was underway to extend this trail west from the park.
2. Orchardly Park - Oakwook, Ohio. 7/18/09. This is a very cool neighboorhood park with lots of play equipment, including a huge sandbox and water feature. We walked the sidewalks through and around this park, as there were no trails. Looking forward to taking Jacob back here when he's older.
3. Sugarcreek MetroPark, Centerville, Ohio. 7/19/09. This was our first big hike. We walked four laps around the prairie loop, a paved trail, when I decided to take the chance and see if the stroller could handle the trails. We hiked the orange trail to see Three Sisters, a grouping of trees each 550 years old, and the Osage Tunnel. It was beautiful, and I found a sport I love - hiking!
4. Carriage Hill MetroPark, Huber Heights, Ohio. 7/21/09. This park is set beside an old farm, including barn, animals, everything. We skipped this part, though, and followed the yellow trail along a boardwalk, through an open prairie, then into the woods, and back around the lake. Jacob enjoyed his dinner bottle on a park swing overlooking the lake.
5. Glady Run Reserve, Xenia, Ohio. 7/26/09. This area is a park & ride to the Little Miami Scenic Trail, part of a huge network of bike paths built upon former railroad beds. The trail is paved, wooded, and frequently travelled.
6. Delco Park, Kettering, Ohio. 7/27/09. This park features two paved walking path loops, one around a pretty lake with cute baby ducks, and one that surrounds the entire park.
7. Narrows Reserve, Beavercreek, Ohio. 7/28/09. We walked the river trail, which parallels the creek. My husband used to come to this area as a child to hunt for fossils. We looked for fossils as well, and found rocks with bits of shells. I was really hoping for a trilobite!
8. Indian Mound Reserve, Cedarville, Ohio. 7/29/09. This was actually two parks connected by a trail. The trail became progressively more challenging, narrowing to about a foot wide, then takes a dramatic turn up a 60-70 degree cliff. Needless to say, we had to turn around at this point as such a climb was not safe with the stroller. We drove to the connecting park to see what was at the end of the trail - a beautiful waterfall!
9. Cox Arboretum, Miamisburg, Ohio, 8/1/09. We visited this branch of the metroparks during the Butterfly Festival. I carried Jacob in his Baby Bjorn instead of the stroller during this walk through the gardens, which upped the resistance factor. There are also hiking trails, but we did not hike the woods today.
10. Schoolhouse Park, Centerville, Ohio. 8/2/09. This park has a wandering paved sidewalk through it's baseball fields, tennis courts, playground, and picnic area.
11. Oak Grove Park, Centerville, Ohio. 8/2/09. This park has a paved path around its perimeter. It is mainly in full sun, with a small pond as a visual feature. This same day, I repeated my previous hike at Sugarcreek Metropark.
12. Beavercreek Community Park, Beavercreek, Ohio. 8/3/09. This park connects to Rotary Park via a nice, paved trail. Trail is partially shaded. This park has a memorial to a Girl Scout Troop tragically killed there in a train accident 50 years ago. I believe this are is also locally known as "Angel's Pass."
13. Creekside Trail, Beavercreek, Ohio. 8/3/09. This trail actually originates in Xenia at Xenia Station and progresses to Fifth Third Field in Dayton. It is a paved trail, again on a former rail bed.E.
14. E.J. Nutter Park, Beavercreek, Ohio. 8/3/09. The Creekside Trail passes through this park, featuring ball fields and a picnic area.
15. Creekside Reserve, Beavercreek, Ohio. 8/3/09. This reserve features a 1/2 mile prairie trail loop. Be aware it's in full sun.
16. Fairgrounds Recreation Center, Xenia, Ohio. 8/6/09. Some might not count this as a park, but the fairgrounds is ran by Greene County Parks and Recreation, is on the same property as a huge bark park and the now-closed pool, and I got 7000 steps walking around.
17. Xenia Station, Xenia, Ohio. 8/7/09. Several trails intersect here: Little Miami Scenic Trail, Creekside Trail, and the Ohio to Erie Trail.
18. Kennedy Park, Kettering, Ohio. 8/12/09. This park features ball fields, tennis courts, playground, and a picnic area. A paved trail winds through the park and into the parking lot of the school behind it. We ended up walking around the neighborhood and into the next park...
19. Polen Farm, Kettering, Ohio. 8/12/09. This property adjoins Kennedy Park. It is a beautiful property which used to be a working farm and now is a popular site for outdoor weddings. Dave and I almost had our reception here, and would have if the barn had heat!
20. James Ranch, Xenia, Ohio. 8/14/09. This park features a small flower garden, and a grassy trail designed for families. Multiple signs encourage parents to allow their children to lead the "hike" through this small area. We took the trail spur across a short bridge and followed the Creekside Trail until sunset, when we turned around and headed back twice as fast so we wouldn't be on a trail in the dark. This part of the trail is lined with buckeye trees. We also saw five deer sharing the trail!
21. Old Town Reserve, Xenia Twp., Ohio. 8/22/09. This park is said to lay at the birthplace of Tecumseh, an important leader in the Shawnee indian tribe. From this park we picked up the Little Miami Scenic Trail and walked north. Again, this trail is paved over an old rail bed, and among the features were a bridge over Massie Creek which is the same bridge the trains ran across! We also saw the biggest beehive I've ever seen - it looked like something you'd normally see on a cartoon.
22. John Bryan State Park, Clifton, Ohio. 8/25/09. This park is HUGE. It took me a while to find the trail head. We took the Arboretum trail, which takes a loop through the woods, exits the woods at the observatory, and loops back around down the road. I know this is not by far the most scenic hiking trail at this park, but it was the only one stroller accessible. This park borders a large gorge, and the terrain was not stroller friendly. I do want to go back sans stroller and see some of the more scenic features.
23. Hills and Dales Metropark, Oakwood, Ohio. 8/26/09. This park was completely refurbished in 2008, and was the most beautiful park I've seen. We walked around Dogwood Pond and then took the Adirondack trail boardwalk up to the PawPaw Shelter. I lost where the trail continued here due to my lack of map and their lack of signage. On the way back down the trail, I saw a woodpecker making himself a nest with a nice round opening ala Woody Woodpecker. I came home and re-read the map for the trails at this park, and now that I know where it goes, I want to go back!
24. Caesars Creek State Park, Waynesville (I think), Ohio. 8/28/09. Ceasars Creek is named after an African American gentleman who was adopted into the Shawnee tribe. Exactly how he got there is a mystery; about six different legends explain his life. Anyway, the park was created when the Army Corps of Engineers built a dam across the creek, creating a lake. This park is HUGE, so we stopped at the visitors center and asked the park ranger for assistance. He recommended we try the Gorge Trail; the portion running along the creek, on the back side of the dam, is flat, gravel, and stroller friendly. If you'd like to hike the rest of this 1 mile loop trail, be prepared to climb a lot of stairs. We also visited the Flat Fork Ridge trail, which leads to the spillway (where you can collect fossils by permit). You have to drive across the street to see the beach area; it looks kind of run down, but there are plenty of sidewalks.
26. Seibenthaler Fen, Beavercreek, Ohio. 8/29/09. This is a protected wetland reserve owned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and has a one mile boardwalk loop trail. The loop part was actually flooded, as this is a WETLAND and yesterday evening it was pretty wet around here. We walked most of it, though, and it is beautiful.
27. Ron Kehl Park, Bellbrook, Ohio. 8/30/09. This is a small community park, with a trail loop through the woods of about 1/4 mile and a paved walking trail loop of about 1/3 mile. There is also playground equipment, a picnic pavillion, and a basketball court.
28. Huffman MetroPark, Fairborn, Ohio. 9/9/09. We hiked the service roads along the base of the dam, then followed the trail around the Mad River and the resevoir lake. Beautiful scenery, mostly flat, and if you're a bird watcher, this park will not disappoint you. There was someone there marking off buried cable, and I'm hoping they may be planning a renovation at this park soon.
29. Eastwood MetroPark, Datyon, Ohio. 9/9/09. My visit here was short due to already hiking hard at the previous park, and my lack of a map. We walked around the lagoon, and saw where the Creekside Trail and the Buckeye Trail intersect. We started on the Mad River Rec Trail, but turned around as a passing freight train scared the *bleep* out of my baby. Would like to return and investigate the paved trails further, as soon as I can find a map!
30. Grant Park, Centerville, Ohio. 9/13/09. I had actually intended Bill Yeck park to be #30, but the trail head has no parking lot, so this park was plan B. This park is beautiful, but probably had the most challenging trails for the stroller of anything we attempted. We did a combination of trails because I would walk on a trail, and then suddenly the path would be too steep or too narrow to safely navigate with the stroller, so we would have to turn around.
31. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland, Ohio. 9/20/09. Added another park for fun!!! I love zoos!!!
I cannot begin to explain how this fitness challenge has excited me about the sport of hiking, and shown me that you can exercise as a mommy with a small baby! My son has loved these hikes as much as I have, and YES, he's been with me for every single one!
WE DID IT!!! WOO HOO!!!
In case you're wondering, I did have repeat visits to some parks. The repeats do not appear in the log above, as my challenge was to visit 30 different places. I visited Sugarcreek Metropark 4 or 5 times, and also had several visits to the Little Miami Scenic Trail.
I am an RN. I graduated from a diploma nursing program in 2002, and just graduated from Indiana Wesleyan Unviersity on 4/25/09 with a BSN degree!!!
Ultimately, I will become a nurse practitioner and nursing professor, and have completed a PhD degree.
I love Hawaii, and I plan on visiting twice a year. This will happen. I have faith that the opportunities will come.
I love to write. I will write a book, or multiple books, in the future, when the inspiration arrives and the words just flow out. I cannot and will not force creativity.
I want to run a 5K race.
I want to have the spare bedroom unpacked and cleaned before Easter (Hey, I got this one done!!!)
I want to stop binge eating and night eating.
I want to love myself and accept myself exactly as I am.
No fast food.
No fried foods.
More details to come.
Name: Jeni M.
Tools I have found helpful outside of SP:
The Holy Bible
The Beck Diet Solution
The Food & Feelings Workbook
Dr. Wayne Dyer
The Power of Now
Michelle Leclaire O'Neill's "Hypnobirthing" method