Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Nitty Gritty Part 1: Workouts

Many of you have asked about “real life” in France, including the food, school, and workouts.

Here is my first blog about day-to-day life in Bouzigues, France - Workouts

How do we workout in France? Excellent question!

I run just about every day. I have two running routes: La Plage and Beverly Hills.

La Plage (the beach) is what I call my route around L’etang de Thau (that is the lagoon on which we live). It’s about a 10K run from my house to Balaruc Les Bains, which is the next village over in one direction, and back home again. This run is mostly flat, except for a few hills – including the killer, loooong hill close to the end. I’m always glad to finish that hill!

During this 1-hour run, I pass by the port of Bouzigues, the flamingos, the edge of the lagoon, the river with the fish that don’t eat, and the dechetterie (small dump). There is no lack of variation in scenery!
Beverly Hills is what the locals call the hillside that looks over Bouzigues. This hillside is covered in McMansions, thus the nickname. It is also very hilly, as the name implies. On this route, I run away from Bouzigues, up a super steep hill that provides the most gorgeous view of L’etang, down the other side of the hill into vineyard country, into the village of Loupian where there are Roman ruins on La Via Domitia, and back home again.

This week on my Beverly Hills run, I startled an older Frenchman (probably late 70s). We had a great conversation in my broken French about the length of my run. I was able to communicate that I live in Bouzigues and run over the hill. I told him I thought it was maybe 8 kilometers, but he assured me that it’s at least 10.

Mike does a bike ride almost every day – through the hills behind Beverly Hills. Thanks, Reed & Debb for loaning us the bike!

We also windsurf, but we’ve decided that that is not really exercise. The hardest part about it – physically – is carrying the board and sail to the beach. However, while one of us surfs, the other is doing push ups on the rocks, or dips, or squats, or lunges! Yesterday, I had to walk to the boat launch, and I decided to do walking lunges the whole way there. I know, I’m sick.


I forgot what weights look like! I’m atrophying, and it’s so sad! We have a miniscule gym in Bouzigues – right next to the school. However, it doesn’t open until Sept. 15.We plan to be there on Sept. 15! From what we can glean from our limited French, we actually get a key and open and close the door whenever we want to use the gym. Cool!

Until the gym opens, guess what weights Mike got for me? Rocks! I’m serious.

We were at L’Orb river this week, on a rock-covered beach. Mike started hefting rocks. He handed one to me and asked, “How would this work for biceps curls?” It was perfect! We found another that was perfect for delt side laterals and another that was perfect for overhead presses. Now I have a 3-rock set of weights for home use.

That is a lot better than doing curls with the computer bag or overhead presses with the space heater. That’s what we were doing our first week here.

I’ve also discovered that doing lunges with Josey riding piggyback is quite challenging – especially with my back foot up on the stair.

Although our town is very small, 1200 residents – and most of those are not year-round, there are also local yoga, step, and elder-aerobics classes next to the school. I’m definitely going to give the yoga classes a try. Of course, those don’t start until October.

I’ll let you know about the gym when we get there.
Love to all!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

you guys should write a book about your rock workouts - je suis tres serieux (sp?!)! That's hilarious...and terrific.
I'm going to force Jim to sit and read your whole blog...as a very unsubtle hint that I am JEALOUS and I want to do the SAME THING!!!