On the weekends, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago. Beyond Bikram was originally published in July 2012.
Last Friday, my brother asked me if I wanted to do a seven mile hike that was considered to be strenuous. Since I had spent Thursday driving 10 hours to see him I was more than excited to do it. I needed to move!
He wasn’t kidding about the strenuous part. We had to go up some steep hills more than a couple of times. At one point giant trees blocked the trail forcing us off into the woods for a bit. The only way to get back on the trail was to climb over some smaller downed trees and climb straight up a dirt hill. The hill was steep enough that a small portion of it required me to almost crawl up it. I was hovering just above the ground and grabbing whatever I could with my hands to help pull me up.
At one point he started to wonder if we were a bit lost. There are two trails out where we were. At some point you could connect from one to another and end up doing a 15 mile hike. He was worried we had crossed into 15 mile hike territory. The good news is we didn’t. Eventually we found our car and completed seven miles. What’s interesting though is that I physically felt like I could have done 15 miles had we needed to. I didn’t have enough water with me for a 15 mile hike, but if I had I believe I could have accomplished it.
Why am I writing about hiking on my Bikram blog?
Well, here’s the thing. My exercise consists pretty much just doing Bikram yoga. Yes, I enjoy going for walks.I work from home a lot and will often get up and go for a 10 minute walk to stretch and clear my head. I like to take a 30 minute walk after dinner. However, I am not doing long walks or walking on anything other than relatively flat ground. I was really surprised to find myself able to hang in there on the 7-mile hike. Yes, I was sweaty and tired when we were done, but I never needed to stop to rest during the hike, and I kept up with my brother – who is in excellent shape and in training for Tough Mudder – just fine.
It makes me think that my yoga practice has made me fitter in ways that I am not aware of. What do y’all think? Have you been surprised by your level of fitness outside the studio?