And its name is EcoTrek.
I went to my first session this morning at 8 a.m. Sessions are 75 minutes long and are done completely outdoors, using nothing but our own bodies, a resistance band and nature. It was completely wonderful and a nice change of pace from my normal routine.
The group was small today, only three of us, including the leader. But it was a great introduction because I was able to ask questions and really get to know about the program. To start, each member of the group is handed a resistance band, with the level of resistance of their choosing, to tie around their waists and carry throughout the workout.
A majority of the workout was a really fast-paced walk (a tiny bit of jogging mixed in) on the path through the woods — ‘twas a very hilly path. We stopped at various points throughout the walk to get in some strength and core exercises. The first stop was at a large pile of large rocks where we picked up a rock and did a lot of squats of various types, including holding our rock while holding our squat.
We continued on the path and stopped at a little bridge, unleashed our resistance bands and did a bunch of arms and core exercises. Next up, we took it off the path and went through the woods, up and down leafy trails — even went off the beaten trail for a bit. After walking for a while through the woods, we stopped at a grouping of trees and wrapped our resistance bands around the trees for some rows and shoulder exercises.
After finding our way back to the path, we stopped at a mini clearing, brushed away some twigs, sat down and did some lovely core work. I don’t like core workouts at all. But, for some reason, doing them in the woods makes them a little less annoying to me. (They were still tough, but they were tough-fun.)
Our next brief walk lead us to an open park with picnic tables. You know what they use those for? Nope, not picnics. Push-ups. And tricep dips. At that point, it was time to turn around and head back. We really hoofed it. But, found our way back to the pile of rocks for some more squats, lunges and core work. We finished up and headed back to the cars, realizing we still had 10 minutes left. So, we turned around, headed back down into the woods and did about five minutes of stretching and then pushed it back up the hill to finish on time.
It was really an awesome way to spend a Sunday morning, and I’m going to go back. Definitely. There are several groups that meet at various places around the city, so I might check those out, too. If for no other reason than to get to know the local parks a little better.
A side note: The leader said she was happy I came to the session by myself, without needing to have a friend with me. It’s funny because I used to need someone to do these things with me, to give me the courage to do something new and meet new people. But now I’m able to take a class, sign up for a run and try something new without anyone holding my hand. It doesn’t scare me like it used to because I’m confident and comfortable in my own skin. I’m even OK with asking questions and making mistakes — because that’s how you learn.