day 3: veering off course

My teeth chattered as we rushed to the court for early morning stretch class. Steam swirled over the pool where warm water met chilly November air.


me: It’s so freaking cold.

Irina: I can see my breath.

me: What in the world? Why is it so cold???

Irina: Holy hell. Wait… what?? Is it starting to rain????? OMG… it’s raining. 

Both of us: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO {while sobbing uncontrollably}

It was barely spitting when we headed into stretch class, but by the time were walking back to our rooms, the drizzle was much more determined. Daybreak afforded us a good look at the ominous cloud cover above. There was no mistaking it: those skies were getting ready to open up and pour.


Not the actual Day 3 sky. The clouds were much darker that morning.

We discussed our options.

Neither of us wanted to bail on the hike, but we knew how miserable we’d be if we had to spend 2.5 hours hiking in wet boots and socks, with layers of cold, wet clothing stuck to our bodies.

The decision was made.

We advised our Van 6 hiking guides that we would be hitting the gym for 3 hours instead of joining them on the hike.

One hiking guide leaned in and whispered, “I wish I could join you“.

I felt a slight twinge of guilt that others were sucking it up and braving the elements while I chose the more comfortable option. I know Irina felt the same way. We vowed to really push ourselves and each other.

As hikers began loading into vans, we entered a quiet and chilly gym.

Well, I guess it’s just the two of us, she offered.

I felt another pang of guilt. Had we made the right decision to veer off course?

Everyone else chose to hike in the rain. We are such wusses. My negative talk-track started playing, right on cue.    

Just as I started down the rabbit hole of virtual self-flagellation, my phone buzzed, signaling a new text message. And, in a freakish show of inter-connectedness born of a 32-year relationship, my husband sent me the following:


Exactly what I needed at the exact moment I needed it. I passed my phone to Irina and we both gushed over what a sweet and tender gesture that was. I sent a quick text back thanking him for being so supportive and for lifting me up when I was feeling down.

Sentimental feelings were packaged up and put away. There was work to be done.

We mounted our treadmills, inserted our ear buds and started our indoor hikes by working out to the Hill Training program. Not more than 10 minutes later, a few other guests trickled in. A few minutes after that, a handful more.

It felt good to know we weren’t the only two who had bailed on the hikes. It was also nice to see so many ready to sweat so hard, with no trainers around, just because we held ourselves accountable.

This was my routine:

  • 70 minutes hill training on the treadmill
  • 10 minutes hill training on the elliptical
  • 10 minutes on some contraption called a NUstep
  • 10 minutes on the rowing machine

Just as I was heading back to the treadmill for another 40 minutes, trainer Cliff arrived.

Looking good, ladies! Nice to see you pushing yourselves! Since you’re already here and working up a sweat, who would be interested in a private HIIT class?, he asked.

I did the quick math in my head. I had just finished 100 minutes of cardio with no rest, and he was proposing running us through a 30 minute High Intensity Interval Training class.    

Without even having to consult with The Russian, I already knew what our answer would be.

Simultaneously we responded, “Sure, let’s do it!“.

Because we’re stupid like that.


Cliff showed no mercy. He took us through a crazy set of sprints on the treadmill that made my knees scream for mercy. Yes, those same knees I had ruined during Monday’s hike through sand dunes.

Half hour later, we were done. And by done, I mean TOTALLY FREAKING DONE. Done like dinner. Spent. Kaput.

My clothes were so wet, you would have thought I had gone hiking in the rain. Karmic justice, I suppose.

For any normal person completing 130 minutes of cardio exercise would be considered one helluva workout. Not so for guests of Movara Fitness Resort.

Our day was just beginning.


We had the luxury of a 20 minute break between our impromptu private class and our next gig: Hip Hop Burn, a Zumba-inspired program focused on one specific genre: Hip Hop.

Yay! More cardio! Kill. Me. Now.

It never ceases to amaze me how much work dancing is. Although, I use the term dancing very loosely.

After lunch, Cliff led a lecture on “Lasting Change“, where he shared his personal journey of weight loss. This marked my second cry of the week. Thanks a lot, Cliff.

After that it was back to the court for Kickboxing with Sharon.

Holy. Holy. Hell.

That woman takes no prisoners. Back sweat, boob sweat, knee sweat. I had all the sweats. Thanks a lot, Sharon.

No rest for the wicked: immediately after kickboxing came Strength Training, I’ve never been so happy to lift up heavy things. My legs were so happy, they were ready to send out thank you notes to anyone and everyone responsible for an agenda item that did not involve running or climbing.  

After dinner, the group lecture focused on Becoming a Realist – AKA: The Math of Weight Maintenance, featuring some very useful information. For instance, do you know your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)? It is the total number of calories you burn in a resting state. Meaning, if you didn’t move a muscle, this is how many calories your body would burn on its own in a day. Once you know this number, you can factor in the extra calorie burn from incremental exercise you do to get to your total daily calorie burn value. If you track the calories you consume, then it’s simple math; calories in versus calories out:

  • Calories in > Calories out = You gain weight
  • Calories in < Calories out = You lose weight
  • Calories in = Calories out = You maintain current weight.

Once you take emotion out of the equation, it’s easy to see how cut and dried weight management really is.


The Lecture Hall. I’m sad we forgot to snap pics of guests (ourselves included) laden with bags of ice, attempting to heal injured body parts.

After the lecture, I rewarded myself with a 50 minute Swedish massage, by Scott, which rocked my world. Not in THAT way, you pervs. It just felt so good to be doing something kind to my body after the abuse I’d inflicted the previous 3 days.

Final stats for the day: 

  • 29,720 steps*
  • 13.1 miles
  • 2,507 calories burned (vs. 1,200 consumed)
  • 1 Swedish massage

*Note: both Irina’s and my stats for Day 3, the day we bailed on the hike and did our own things, delivered the most steps, mileage and calorie burn of any day that week, proving that we are are our own toughest personal trainers. Huzzah!

Ready to skip straight on over to Day 4? click here.

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

82 thoughts on “day 3: veering off course

    • That text arrived at the perfect moment, Lisa! I knew I was making the right decision but I couldn’t help but to second guess myself. In hindsight, Irina and I made the best decision to stay indoors that day.

  1. That’s like a week of exercise crammed into one day. Just as with your last post, I can’t help but think ‘hello injury.’ But you did it! And hopefully you still have some knee cartilage to show for it. 😉

    • Carrie, I’m so proud of how much I honored my body and my limitations that week. Every time I’d feel creaking in those knees, I would slow the treadmill to a walk and add incline or just move to the elliptical. My do-over week was all about addressing mistakes I made 3 years ago. I’m just surprised I was able to do so with minimal argument from my insecure and negative self-talk.

      • That’s the way to do it–listen to your body and adjust as needed. And don’t let that negative self-talk get in the way! (If only our go-to was positive self-talk instead of negative. Why is it always easier to listen to the negative? Sigh.)

  2. Huzzah indeed! You rock Nance! I do wonder, like Carrie, about people pushing it too hard and getting injured though… that would be a real shame to be sidelined early on. I hope they really drove the point home about lifestyle change as well, because as you know, it’s the only thing that works long term. Just love hearing about your experience here!

  3. Nice to see you found alternate ideas when the weather wasn’t cooperating, because that’s usually when it’s easiest to talk ourselves out of an activity. Good for you 🙂

    • My intention with my do-over experience this time around was to really listen to my body and what it needed. Happy to say that good sense trumped ego 99% of the time this trip.

  4. So. Much. Cardio 😦
    Although I know it is good really!!
    I would have opted for not the treadmill mind you…
    Yes I do know my bmr it is around 1670 calories. The exact figure escapes me but I work it out fairly often 😀
    I don’t blame you for not going out in the rain…I went running in a stream this morning (it was supposed to be a path…) and I hated my soggy feet…any I was only out for 40 mins!!

  5. I love your message from hubby. What a great dude! There’s no shame in staying out of the rain. It’s not like you took the morning off. Hey how do you calculate the BMR???

  6. Reading this, I feel happy! For the fact that you survived. And learning the cut and dry theory of weight management. Intuitively I’ve tried to do it…my weight hasn’t changed in the last year. My hubs has lost 46 lbs just the way we eat now, I’ve lost zero. Despite lots more activity. Life is not fair.

    • The realities of BMR were truly depressing. Most elements are outside our control. i.e. Sex: males have higher BMR than females. Age: Younger = higher than older. Height: Tall = higher than short. So, given I’m a 49 year old woman standing 5’5, that’s 3 strikes against me. All I can control is what and how much I put in my mouth, and how much I move.

  7. Oh my goodness, what a day 3! and I’m totally not surprised that on the day you felt you were “bailing” you actually did more! I’ve been doing research (okay, pinning things on Pinterest) because I am at the point that it would benefit me to add weights a couple of times a week, to my routine. Aiming for good arm workouts to help, and then start doing wall sits and such to reinforce the legs.

    • There is awesome stuff on Pinterest for that, Kate. Also, if you invest in a couple of sets of dumbbells (I’d recommend 5lbs and maybe 8lbs) you can find some great upper body/dumbbell workouts on Fitness Blender.

      • Just click on “Workouts” >> “Full Length Workouts” and then use the left sidebar to customize the type of workout you’d like to do: you can fill in as much or as little as you’d like. I usually select the difficulty level, then the body focus/workout type and then how much/little equipment i have access to. Love it!

  8. 29k steps AND a swedish massage… what am I doing wrong??? Oh yeah, now I remember.

    Mass balances on human beings are fun. Calories in versus out is so logical, isn’t it? Excess consumed energy gets stored; we are the ultimate batteries, our bodies, but what are we really saving ourselves up for?

    As always, Nancy, much respect to your perseverance, even if you didn’t go on that hike. And happy new year to you!

    • Happy New Year to you, Trent! I have a fresh blog post from you in my inbox that I am intentionally waiting to have the quiet to read. Some posts I can skim while multitasking. Yours aren’t those kind.

      • Thank you Nancy, means the world that you read my stuff.

        Not that I’m close to your level of dedication, but I started exercising on the rowing machine! Ever done that? It’s ridiculously painful.

      • Yes! I love the rowing machine! If I invest in one piece of equipment for my new home (left the home gym and contents in the last place when we sold), it would absolutely be a rower – but the nice wooden ones with the water wheel. We’re still knee-deep in renos of this 1960’s money-pit, but once I figure out where I could set up a small gym area, I’ll be on the hunt for a solid rowing machine. Good for you – it’s a terrific total body workout.
        p.s. In the above recap of Day 3, my last 10 mins of the 100 mins of cardio before the private HIIT session was on the rowing machine. 🙂

  9. HUZZAH for sure!
    I know that I am way behind, but am reading this at the best time ever. I’ve been sitting at my desk all morning and talking myself out of an after-work run. Thanks to you, I’ll not be still sitting after 5:00.
    You motivate me, Nancy!!

  10. Pingback: day 2: I’m a mountain goat | my year of sweat

  11. Holy woman, you! You are so badass! I would be crying the entire time (and eating chocolate). I am so impressed with your ability to push yourself (or let others push you) beyond your limits! I bow to you, oh Saint Nancy! I love the cushy seating in the lecture hall!

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