The End of Year 3

Most people end and start a new year on New Years. As a teacher, we mark our years by the school calendar. I can’t believe that I have finished up year 3! It has gone by so fast! Older teachers always say that you hit the five year mark before you blink and all of the sudden it’ll be twelve years and so on. This year was my best year yet! I loved my job and the people I worked with after a rough second year. I’ll be returning to the same school in the fall and I’m excited to continue on with my students.

This summer I am teaching summer school for six weeks and nannying three days/week in the afternoons. Summer school is only half days and we have every Friday off. The reason I’m working so hard over the summer is that…I bought a mountain bike!

When Matt first convinced me to mountain bike last fall, I hated it! I was so out of shape from my foot surgery making it hard to keep up. He convinced me to give it another try and I demoed a bike in April in Fruita (western CO). I absolutely loved it! The trails were flowy and fun. Also, I am in much better shape now and was able to keep up.

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After this trip, I knew I wanted to have a bike to bring along on camping trips. I didn’t want to be left behind at the trailhead! I rode another demo bike in Fort Collins a few weeks later and once again loved it. It makes me feel free and more daring than I typically would be! Matt and I started looking and found a used bike and I bought it. Hopefully I will have a lot of fun adventures on this bike in the future!

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We are off to New Mexico this weekend in the camper van with friends! I am hoping to get in a few rides on my new bike along with some hikes. Who knew I would have a new hobby??! IMG_1674

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January in Colorful CO

Happy last day of January!

January used to be my least favorite month of the year. It is always so gray and seems to drag on forever. However, this January was a great start to 2016. It was filled with a lot of adventures and fun! Here’s a quick recap:

New Years: We started out in Denver for New Years Eve with friends. It was great to catch up and was one of the best New Years to date. The place we went wasn’t too crowded and had great music. We then headed up to the mountains to play for a long weekend. I snowshoed on Saturday and went snowmobiling Sunday. I had never snowmobiled before by of course my adventurous boyfriend insisted it would be a great time…and it was! It was a lot less scary than I thought and it was a beautiful way to explore the mountains. IMG_1286

Back country Skiing:

We grew up taking cross country ski lessons and skiing with our parents, however I had never gone back country skiing. We rented some cross country skis and drove up the Poudre Canyon and went skiing. It was SOOO pretty and fun! There were no groomed trails so you just went on the snow covered trail. I think I enjoyed it more than snowshoeing. We covered about 6 miles on our skis. On the way back the weather got a little dicey! The temps dropped and the wind picked up which created a lot of blowing snow. I was not dressed appropriately and Matt broke a ski, but we survived!

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Courage to Risk Conference:

Last weekend, I was able to attend the Courage to Risk Conference in Colorado Springs with some girls from work. This is a special education conference held at the Broadmoor Hotel. The hotel/grounds were beautiful and the conference had great topics! I think we will try to go again next year. It was a nice change of pace and was a refreshing start to the new semester.

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Lastly, the month ended by staying in town and enjoying some of the local breweries. We had planned to go skiing this weekend but are supposed to get a huge storm today. I didn’t want to be stuck in the mountains or traffic, so we decided we would wait until next weekend. I was a little disappointed because I wanted to get out and ski before I forgot all my tips from my lessons in Michigan. However, this ended up being a great way to end a busy month. The weather was really nice on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We decided to take our bikes out for a spin around town. However, the snow started around 6, so we took a cab home! We covered around 11 miles. It was so nice to be outside and enjoy the warmish temps!

P.S.: My roommate last year found that cruiser in the dumpster at our apartment. We washed it and gave it a little TLC. IMG_1366

Workouts: I’ve been much more consistent with working out now that I’m finished with grad school. I’ve been going to Bodypump one time per week and am trying to get back into running. I can run about 2 miles now. I just got a new pair of running shoes and they are oh so pretty. 🙂

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Xoxo Rachel

 

 

Why I Love BodyPump

I joined the local 24 Hour Fitness club after training for my half marathon a year and a half ago. I joined so I could switch up my exercise, use the equipment, and possibly go to a group class. I was able to get a super sweet membership deal with my student discount (Hello Master’s Degree!) and started going regularly.

I had heard my aunt rave about BodyPump during holidays so I was excited to see that the gym had this Les Mills class. If you don’t know, BodyPump is a full body workout that utilizes light weights and  repetition. You workout each body part to a song and follow cues from the instructor. For example, you may squat for 6 minutes because that’s how long the track is. We do various types of an exercise and the music is usually upbeat and energizing. I would never push myself to do weights for that long independently.

The first time I went, I had no idea what I was doing. I grabbed a bar and two 10 pound weights for it along with my bench and some 10 pound hand weights. I was incredibly sore and shaky by the end of the hour and learned that I needed to figure out what weights I actually needed. I couldn’t use the same chest weight that I used for squats. However, I was hooked. I figured out what weights worked for me and have slowly built up from there. I go weekly and have noticed a change in my overall appearance. Before, I simply ran and did some push-ups and used my 10lb. dumbbells at home. While I was never big, BodyPump has made me feel and look so much stronger!

If there is a class near you, give it a shot! It takes a few times to really figure it out, but it’s worth it!

-Rachel

A Very Colorado Thanksgiving

Hello!

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? I missed laying on the floor at grandma’s feet with a food baby.

This year I had planned to run a Turkey Trot as my comeback from foot surgery, but that didn’t happen. I settled for some relaxing long walks and hikes at 9,000 feet instead. One would think that the altitude doesn’t make much of a difference, but the 4,000 feet gain from Fort Collins to Summit County is certainly noticeable!  Here are a few scenes from a beautiful long weekend!

We took the sweet pup on lots of walks, checked out the views, and visited the cutest Starbucks in Breckenridge!

Now onto 2.5 more weeks of school until the next vacation can begin 🙂

 

– Rachel

The Saturday Morning Run Returned…

After a solid month of grad work, final essays,  and writing reports for work, I finally got a Saturday morning run in.  Since my foot surgery I was able to build up my running again in August and September but lost a lot of fitness in October. It was a beautiful day (as usual)…hopefully I can keep it up!

Off to take a nap so I can enjoy the breweries later 😊.

Rachel

Rachel in Colorful Colorado 

Hello! I have no idea what I’m doing on this site, but I’ll give it a shot! 

I am still in Fort Collins and am working as a special education teacher. I work with students with moderate disabilities. It is fun and exhausting! I am finishing my master’s in Learning Disabilities in December from Michigan State (fingers crossed!!). It will be a big relief when that’s finished and will free up more time. When I am not working on grad school or school school, I am busy exploring Colorado! 

I started dating Matt a few months back and he loves to stay busy just as much as I do! I rarely find time to just sit on the couch…which is a good thing! However, this has put a dent into my workout life as I often fill my weekends with other adventures. I am working on getting my running back after foot surgery in June.  I wasn’t able to run again until early September. Hopefully things will start to slow down with work reports and grad school! When I do get to run I try and soak in the last bits of warm weather! 

I’ll leave you with some pictures! 

   
    

  
-Rachel