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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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So I'm trying out a new piece of equipment at my gym called an "elliptical trainer". I generally stick to the rowing machine and stationary bike, but Jeff and I are going on a 10-day backpacking trip with some friends later this year, and I figure I need all the help I can get. :-) On a canoe trip, my least favourite part are the portages (where you have to hike on land between lakes, carrying your canoes and other supplies/equipment), and I figure the hiking trip is going to be like one long portage.

I'm back into a regular workout schedule, finally, and am realizing that a large part of the motivation is having a clearcut goal in the shape of an event coming up. Getting in shape for our canoe trip on the Nahanni River is an example. I've never been on a real backpacking trip before, so am a bit nervous about it. We'll be going with our friends Alison and Jeff. We've been on a canoe trip with them before; they're great fun.

Anyway, my typical workout schedule is going to the gym 3-5 times/week these days. I do cardio for about half an hour (gradually increasing this) on the elliptical, rowing machine, or stationary bike. Then stretches and crunches, followed by weight training for about 20-30 minutes. There are days when it takes tremendous willpower to get to the gym. There are days when I can't wait to get there and work out because I need a stress outlet or am just feeling antsy. I usually take my Walkman or MP3 player, so use that as an opportunity to listen to more music. These days I've been listening to Jeff's and Maya's new CD, "Retro Rocket Science", and some Ookla The Mok.

Today's Blatherpics:
  • T-shirt that my friend Scott Dixon sent me from Ireland (he's a history prof at the University of Belfast) for my birthday, which is next Thursday (Katy's birthday is the same day, by the way!).

  • I get tremendous amusement out of Scott's drawings, and he knows it. This one came with the following inscription:

    C. Scott Dixon as Robert DeNiro
    A special birthday sketch by the master impressionist
    on this
    Your Birthday
    (and there is a shirt in the envelope as well)

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