I’ve been lucky to spend more time than usual in Lake Tahoe this summer. The mountains always are the first to tell you what’s coming. At the recent Mountain Bliss Women’s Weekend in Truckee, we were all a bit surprised by the morning chill. And this week, there’s a certain movement in the air that has the chipmunks scurrying. A fellow runner slowed on the trail yesterday morning and said, “I can smell it!” I knew what she meant: Fall is gently whispering to us.
And we’re whispering back… as an apparel company we like to answer Mother Nature. Our NEW Dept Athletic Tank is perfect for the lingering summer, but in colors to greet fall! My personal favorite is the tank in Macchiato paired with these new Camouflage Leggings. My second favorite is the tank in indigo paired with the Tossed Roses Leggings. (These new leggings are made of silky soft polyester from recycled plastic bottles.)
But enough about fun things to wear. Let me tell you about this morning’s Summer Cool-Down adventure. It all began with some decisive encouragement from my friend Inger Norman (founder and owner of Mountain Bliss Weekend for Women) that went like this, “Hey! What are you…?… You know what let’s do tomorrow morning?! Meet me at West End Beach. For a workout with Anik who owns Paddle Elite Fitness and Waterman’s Landing on Lake Tahoe. It’s so much fun. And a great way to start the day! OK, show up at 7:15! Bye!”
The night time temperatures are dropping up here in Tahoe, and I stood shivering on the shore of Donner Lake this morning not quite believing that we would actually go for a swim. My running shorts and fleece hoodie hid the fact that I wore a swim suit underneath. “I’m cold enough already,” I thought! Anik from Paddle Elite Fitness flung open the back doors of her Sprinter Van upon arrival to reveal carefully racked SUP and Prone boards. “Phew!” I thought. Surely we’ll stay on the boards.
We began the morning with a warm-up on the beach, then a warm-up paddle around some buoys. Back on the beach we were given our workout. Prone board paddle, SUP paddle, beach run, then swim, repeating the circuit for 40 minutes. My first time on a board in years, each time out I gained confidence and picked up a tip from Anik. Primarily a cyclist and a runner where the upper body doesn’t take much heat (other than the beating sunshine), my shoulders burned on the prone board. My oh-my-gosh-this-is-so-fun smile transformed into an I’m-loving-this-pain-so-much grimace. Wow! Shoulders? Check.
Some of my favorite memories from living in Truckee are the early morning swims I used to take with friends. I always resisted getting in the lake when it was so early and cold, but always emerged from the water a new person knowing I had shared something special. There are few things that make me feel as alive as I feel after a morning lake swim! Today was no different. I grumbled a bit to myself beforehand. And then beamed from ear to ear as soon as my arms began pulling my body through the water. I bounced up onto the beach after the first round, quick to tell Anik, “This is so amazing!”
I floated out on my board for the next round, and every other woman there offered me a cheer. Great job, Kim! At one point, I just stood up and let the board sail over the water and surveyed my surroundings and mentally pinched myself, the equivalent of giving thanks.
How many of us are lifted up in the morning like this?! There is something that happens when you are communing with nature, surrounding yourself with positive people, building connections and friendships, doing things that are truly a source of joy. This morning was one of those mornings. It was my church. You’re right, Inger. It was so much fun. And a great way to start the day!
I have this on my fridge. It’s appropriate for this post: