by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
It’s the time of year when you wish you could hit a “pause” button. Summer is fading faster than a bottled tan. Although we cannot stop the clock, we can make the most of it …
Think It, Do It
Before this day is over, take five minutes for a simple exercise. (This one does not involve sneakers or sweat.) Fast-forward to early September. Just as the holidays bring season’s greetings, you will be asked about your summer by everyone– from acquaintances to neighbors who had the luxury to be living in a vacation home for the past weeks. Be prepared.
Today, write a summer closure. It can be a bulleted list, blog, journal entry, or take any form. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished this summer. Replicate the days you loved. Schedule definite times to fit in must-dos. If you won’t settle for a beach-less summer, set a date and go. Make time for treats with the kids. Learn to bird watch. Perfect your swim stroke.
Determine highlights you want to make yours before the season shifts. Write the events that are most important to you as if you’ve already experienced them. Include details– how you felt (relaxed), looked (toned from all that core work), and experienced your surroundings (with toes in sand and cold drink in hand). Take this visual postcard into the season’s end, with peace-of-mind you achieved a happy, healthy summer.
It is never too late! Realistically, you cannot start a tomato-and-herb garden at this late stage. So … cultivate a fall garden. A luxury vacation may not be possible to plan in a week’s time, but a mini-vacation can be just as satisfying. In other words, don’t let yourself off easy. Recharge as the lazy days pick up in pace. Get back into your fall routine. But, do not forgo what is left of summer’s bounty.
Take your fitness routine up a notch. Outdoor opportunities for exercise, sports, and other physical activities may have distracted from your formal year-round workout programs. Get reintroduced to your fitness staples. Now is also the time to add something new. Try a different Group Fitness class, weight machine, or training program. By fall’s busy days, you will be comfortable enough with these novelty workouts to use them as stress-relievers.
If you’re still trying to manage that bikini, try a few weeks of Small Group Training at an intense level. Boot Camp can help make those flip-flop outfits more appealing. Don’t get discouraged. There are plenty of reasons to aim for a beach body– mainly your health– even after summer is gone.
This may not be your summer for The Islands, Disneyworld, or even camping. Make it your year for a different adventure. Try something new. Advance your fitness program. Adopt a pet. Learn to love better. Dare yourself to experience all you can without worries of all you cannot. The clock is ticking, and it is not easy. Yet, come mid-September, you will be thankful you lived summer 2013 to the fullest.
Create a Holiday
You don’t need to wait for Labor Day to have a gathering. Host a backyard dinner with friends. Enjoy a quiet cook-out with close family. Share the fascination of a starry sky with friends, just for the sake of trying that new telescope. (It’s only been in the box since Christmas!) Throw a horseshoe or hula-hoop party. Declare a National Sprinkler Day and set the game rules. Get creative and celebrate it.
The days pass quickly, so take advantage of evenings as well. As the sun sets, the temperature often cools. Go for hikes, play golf, or fish at a nearby park. Don’t save outings for the weekend. Seize daily opportunities, including the opportunity to do nothing. Attend a tree-frog concert. If there were tickets, they’d be free. Life does not have to be extravagant to be fun. Now is the time.
You may not be on a cruise ship or at a far-flung locale, but you still need to disconnect. We all know physical absence from work is irrelevant in today’s world of constant electronic connectivity. If you opted for a staycation, being faithful to downtime will be even more challenging. Spend a vacation day on vacation, regardless of where you go or what you do. Shut off all gadgets and disconnect from the world.
Don’t wait for official vacation time to enjoy this escape. Dedicate an hour daily to spend without television, computer, or phones. Tackle everything from household projects to inner peace. Sixty minutes daily sounds like a luxury. Lavish yourself with the gift of time, which is often what we wish for most at summer’s end.
Fall brings its share of fundraising marathons, walkathons, and sports. Be ready with a body built for your next round of activities. Members often enjoy teaming up as they train for local running and walking events. We develop a camaraderie through the common goal. And, this goal propels us to take our workout to the next level. There’s nothing like a deadline of a marathon to keep you on track.
For a list of fall marathons, both near and far, check out www.running.about.com/od/marathonsandreviews/tp/fallmarathons. Choose one that appeals to you. The Bike MS: City to Shore Ride 2013 is on September 28 and 29. For details and registration, visit: http://bikepae.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?fr_id=20331&pg=entry. Fine-tune your cycling routine and share your talents for this great cause.
If you’re a fall athlete, a personal trainer can share tips on how to strengthen and build stamina to excel at your sport or seasonal events. If the extent of your participation only includes spectatorship, your biceps can resemble those of a top-notch player as you pump a fisted hand in cheer.
A Proper Send-Off
Approach each day on its own. Try not to let history, even yesterday, define it. Try not to let the future cause you to fear it. You have this moment. Live it to the fullest and send it off. Fall leaves will drop at your doorstep soon, but not today. It’s hard to be blue about summer’s end when you’re still experiencing it!
Summer sunset (introductory photo): Copyright by Moyan Brenn; http://earthincolors.wordpress.com/
Girl on raft: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gracewong/183286968/
Camera in grass: http://www.flickr.com/photos/widerbergs/7389450334/