I Hate Exercise!

I hate exercise, but I understand that our ability to continue to be commuter cruisers and enjoy adventures year after year depends on staying somewhat physically fit. Mayo Clinic tells us that we all start losing bone & muscle mass at 25 years old, but it becomes more accelerated when we turn 65.  Oops, too much on our bucket list to accept any deterioration!  If anything, we need to be MORE fit than before.  YIKES!

Of course, you need to realize that our idea of “summer fun” might be a bit more demanding than usual. We’re planning our next “adventure of a lifetime”, a month in Alaska, that includes some fairly demanding hiking so I can hopefully take some amazing photos.  And we can see some sights that are off the beaten path for the normal “inside passage” cruise ship adventure, as wonderful as that might be.  Funny, we always wanted to take an Alaskan Inside Passage Cruise, but when I found out how much  it would cost, I knew I could plan an entire month in Alaska for the same price.

Hike to Exit Glacier, Kenai National Park, Alaska

So even though I HATE exercise, it’s a necessary evil.

I find that specific bucket list adventures tend to make me be more willing to stick to the “getting in shape” annual New Year’s Resolution.  Even though neither of us are overweight, today neither of us could undertake the 1400 ft of elevation gain in less than a mile that we’ll encounter on this trip…. or the elevation gains that we’ll find on the hikes we want to do in Denali National Park.  We may not be overweight, but we’re not in shape for these adventures!

No, we’re not planning to climb Denali, aka Mt McKinley, but if we’re in good enough shape, you never know what craziness might overcome good sense!

SO, I guess the first order of business for this summer is to put together our “get in shape” plan.  Uggghhh!!!

We started today with a 3 mile walk that won’t begin to touch the tip of the iceberg, so to speak (heehee).  We’ll need a more strenuous plan, much like when we got ready to spend 5 weeks in the Sacred Valley at Machu Picchu, Peru.  Not an easy summer, I might add.  We hiked far farther than any hike we encountered in Machu Picchu, but it’s difficult here in sea level flat corn country, to emulate the elevation changes that we’ll encounter.  When we first got off the plane in Cuzco Peru, we couldn’t even walk up the slight hill from the taxi to our rented apartment.  I thought we were done for.  But a few days of acclimation to the 11,200 ft elevation, made us ready for the lower elevation of Machu Picchu, even though some of the peaks can be 14,000 feet, Machu Picchu itself is “only” 8,000 feet.  And at the top, Mt McKinley is “only” 6,000+ feet.  Piece of cake — of course, we’re not climbing to the top!

How DId I Get HERE – I’m scared of heights! Climbing Wayne Picchu high above Machu Picchu and looking down on the Incan City through the clouds.

So begins this summer.  I HATE exercise.  But I’m going to LOVE our Alaska adventure and I WILL be in shape enough that I won’t be the old lady gasping for breath and lagging behind the rest of the small group of ten on the Exit Glacier Hike in the Kenai National Park!

🙂  So there!

Any ideas on what I should do to emulate the elevation change in flat, corn infested central Illinois?  We do have a small hill down by the dam on the mud puddle lake we live on.  We all call it the “damn” hill because it kicks our butts and isn’t anything CLOSE to what we’re going to encounter 98 days from today!  YIKES!  Please leave comments and share your ideas for getting me in shape for the Alaska hiking we hope to love!   Cheers!  Jan


  1. Jan,

    Where are you in Central IL? We’re in St. Louis and keep our boat on Carlyle Lake. If you’re in the are we’d love to get together. Please email me – svkintala att gmail dott com.

    S/V Kintala

  2. Hi Jan – we’ll be up in Wrangell at the beginning of June and cruising around SE for about a month before we start making our way to Seattle – if we’ll overlap at all, let us know – would love to meet up!

    • Hi Christy! We’ll be hiking & camping in the North Cascades Nat’l Park from August 5-7-ish, then taking the Alaska Ferry from Bellingham to Wrangell arriving in Wrangell, August 11. Sounds like we’ll miss you just barely. I’d LOVE to meet up too! Where is Hello World headed after Seattle? We’ll be in Alaska until August 29, but then fly back to St Louis. 🙁

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