Now that I’m with transportation and slowly exploring army life in the “mid-South” of Tennessee, I’m giving my love affair with Jillian Michaels some time to breathe. All relationships need space.
My latest attempt to avoid a gym membership was a romp through some local hiking grounds with Jonathan. Or what should be more accurately called chasing my fiancé through the woods for 1.9 miles.
I’m spoiled by my home state’s proximity to Appalachian hiking trails (my engagement photo shoot took place right next to one of my favorites), so I’ll admit I was judgmental about Tennessee’s options. Luckily I’m not an expert hiker, so my judgements were mostly based on Tennessee’s trails not boasting any overlooks (I’d be more into hiking if I could even slightly handle bugs, or low-growing plants that brush against your ankles and in that moment sort of feel like they could be bugs, so screaming and jumping away frantically is probably an accurate response move along nothing to see here).
Jonathan found a medium-difficulty trail that sounded like a good mid-South hiking starter at Dunbar Cave State Natural Area.
The just-under-two-mile path winds to a close around the cave that gives the trail its name. Unfortunately, only the cave’s exposed opening is still accessible to the public; the bulk of the cave is gated and chained to protect us from diseased bats. Is it too late in my life to develop an unnatural fear of caves?
The signs before the cave’s mouth gave a little history of the area (the cave at one point had a man-made wooden dance floor and was a book-able party spot), and introduced some of the wildlife you could expect to encounter in the cave.
And by “wildlife” they actually meant SPIDER CRICKETS, (sometimes called cave crickets, sometimes shortened to “sprickets,” and always, ALWAYS a giant, blind, wildly-jumping-at-my-face bug that I’ve had WAY TOO MUCH EXPERIENCE WITH AND WOULD PREFER NEVER TO SEE AGAIN) so I climbed up for this picture and then was like “okay let’s go I’m done with nature.”
Despite my resistance to be friends with all the earth’s creatures, the trail was a decent-enough challenge for an amateur hiker; in the future I’ll likely repeat the loop twice and pick up the pace. Separating myself from the sprickets is great motivation.
How do you avoid a gym membership, or add to your membership with at-home/outdoor workouts? What are your favorite body-weight or low-equipment exercise routines?