CrossFit on the Go

Mens sana in corpore sano

A famous latin phrase, which roughly translates to, “A sound mind in a sound body.” I truly believe this and with the goal of soundness in mind (pardon the pun), I’d say I try to strive for good physical fitness in my life. Traveling to a new place and being quite mobile while there, I knew my go-to workout scheme was going to get a bit shaken up. But, I was hopeful with this piece of knowledge: crossfit gyms do exist in New Zealand.

I am not actually finding much chance to attend such gyms, however (apart from a glorious first week in the country where I was close enough to attend the very cool MAD CrossFit near Wellington with the friendly owners Matt (a Kiwi) and Donna (an American)). On to plan B and a sort of organic development of a new workout scheme to keep me somewhat fit and sane. After having worked to attain some sense of strength and competence in the crossfit domain I don’t want it to all go to hell. I mean, I don’t want to get all scrawny and weak you know? I thought I’d share my top 5 tips that I’ve been learning about working out in uncertain circumstances and with little or no equipment.

1- Never turn down the opportunity for a little sightseeing.

Contrary to what London’s department of tourism might have you believe, the best way to see a place is not from the top story of a double decker red bus. The best way to really see a place is by some sort of self-propelled means. Run, walk, bike, kayak.

Please don’t rent a segway, I will laugh at you.


(Willing Workers On Organic Farms) Farming often provides a great chance to be active and test out those muscles. One of my hosts, Terri, teased me when I was leaving her house, saying, “I’ll never forget how your eyes just lit up when you saw that trailer of gravel that needed unloading.” You caught me Terri. Am I that transparent? Seriously, though, wwoofing is fabulous and one of the reasons I like it so much as an instrument for travel is that you get to be moving around and doing stuff.

3- Pick up heavy stuff
Weights are made from heavy materials, but let’s not be needy…anything heavy can be a weight. Squats with a rake used as a barbell with water filled buckets as weight? Tried it. Heavy log used for overhead presses? Check. Bench pressing my hosts’ squirmy 5 year old daughter? Nope, I’m not that brave. But you get the idea.

4- Try new things

Take a yoga class, try spinning (not yarn), maybe even go to the pretentiously named, “body balance” class (not to be confused with body pump or body combat also offered at this particular gym). Traveling is also a fantastic opportunity to try out one of my favorites: the “deck o’ death” workouts. Deck o’ death is simple: get a deck of cards, assign an exercise to each suit in the deck (e.g., hearts = pushups, diamonds = situps, clubs = squats, spades = jumping jacks), the number on the card designates how many reps you will complete (ace = 15, face cards = 10), shuffle the deck, place the stack face down, and flip cards until you have completed the whole deck. So, for instance a 5 of diamonds would necessitate 5 situps, 10 of hearts would be 10 pushups, etc.

5- (and for the person serious about getting some crossfit in) Pack a set of gymnastics rings. Perfect for pullups, dips, entertaining daring kiddos. And photogenic.



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Andi
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 16:36:33

    Beautiful… In so many ways…



  2. crashsonDavid Swietlicki
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 20:40:15

    Wonderful! You’ll have lifelong memories that others can only dream of! Good job! We’ll look forward to exchanging information about your experiences upon your return to the US…. You are returning, aren’t you? 🙂



  3. Ange
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 02:03:59

    Great tips, sweet pics, and beautiful writing, Leda! I love it!



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