Get Fit for Disney Plan

Ok, if you arrived at this page because you are a serious athlete wanting advice for the Disney races like the Princess Run or the Star Wars Marathon (which to me is watching episodes 4-6), you want to go here.  We applaud you, but this is for the average couch person who wants to survive taking their kids to the parks.

You can enjoy the parks even if you have mobility issues, but that would be someone else’s blog.

Couch to Mount Everest

Evaluate your current level of fitness.  If you have a step tracker, what are your average steps in a day?  Do you work out?  If you don’t, start out slowly, the last thing you want to do is injure yourself.

If you average 5,000 steps a day, add 500 steps, and increase your step goal gradually to get to 10,000.  At Disney, our average step count was between 15,000-20,000 a day.

Encourage your kids to walk with you.  This will help you train for stopping, starting, complaints, and sudden requests for potty breaks.   If you bring along your undisciplined dog, that will help you train for unexpected tripping hazards and being stepped on.

Maybe you’re more of a treadmill person.  If so, vary your speed.  At intervals, increase your speed to “getting across the park before your fast-pass expires” or slow down to “everyone leaving after fireworks”.  Studies have shown that interval training is more effective than staying at a steady pace.

The mall can be a good place to work out.  Get a map of the mall and hold it in front of you.  Pick a store and label it as your favorite ride, then pick another store at the opposite end of the mall as your second favorite.  Get to store 1 and store 2 within a 15 minute period, reward yourself by visualizing having a great time for 3 minutes.  Bonus points if you end up in a Disney store afterward.

Determine the weight of any children you have between 1-9 years of age.  Work your way up to deadlifting them and sustaining the hold for 30-40 minutes.  Your actual children may not want to volunteer for this until tall people stand in front of them during fireworks.  Either put on their favorite tv show, or get a stand in.  (Note, your dog will probably not volunteer for this either).

You can work out at the office too!  Stand up at your desk to simulate standing in lines.  Add squats to increase leg muscle strength.

Wear the shoes you plan to wear at the park- do NOT bring new shoes.  Follow this plan, and you’ll be ready to have a great vacation.   Good luck!

*Dreaming of my next trip… and Dole Whips.


March 10, 2013

keepcalmandcarryonWhine and Cheese

Whenever I complain about never being able to sleep in I usually get some kind of cutting comment from someone who wants kids and can’t have them, telling me that I should appreciate what I have.  I do appreciate my kids.  I also appreciate sleep.  My friends who are full-time parents get guilt for not appreciating their lifestyle.  What is that about?  Parenting without a break is a hair-pulling (sometimes literally) endurance challenge.  Then I get twitted for “farming out parenting to a daycare” because I’m a working mom.  No matter what your family situation is, you are not allowed to complain because you have it so good, according to people who have no idea what your life is like.

I officially give everyone the right to complain.  Within reason.  Don’t let it eat up your lives, people!  Picking who you complain to will help you get the support you need.

The reason I was thinking about this was that after attending the workshop for the summer reading program, I was not feeling inspired or revved up.  I was feeling bitter.  As bitter as a child-less woman at a toddler’s birthday party.  As bitter as a stay-at-home mom reading blog posts about a friend’s career achievements.  As bitter as a working mom seeing someone write a facebook post about getting up at noon to a day of doing nothing.

I didn’t have the time, resources, energy and personnel of the other librarians sitting with me at my table.  They were all children’s librarians in large libraries, each one of many sharing the load. I pictured them sauntering into their libraries, doing a program for a large and appreciative audience, then going home.  They didn’t have to figure out how to cover the library’s hours if people got sick, train for a new billing system, submit time sheets, update the website, replace the paper towels, shovel the back walkway, submit the annual report, catalog all the books, be on call for the security system….the whining in my head was reaching a fever pitch.  Even one of my other colleagues (not at this table) revealing to me that she couldn’t afford to fix her car didn’t cut on my inner tantrum.  I should appreciate my job, the autonomy of being in charge without any direction, the full time salary and benefits.   I questioned my mental health.  Surely there must be something wrong with me to be this bitter.

Then it hit me.  It’s ok to complain.  Nobody has it perfect.  Complaining does not mean you don’t appreciate what you have, it means that what you have comes with issues, just like almost everything in life.  Voicing a sentence or two about your troubles should be met with sympathy and understanding.  In a perfect world it would be.

Accept that you won’t get what you need from just anyone.  It is sometimes difficult to give that sympathy and understanding when the complainer is very different from you.   For example, complaining about having to get up at 9 am usually won’t garner you much sympathy from the general public, even though for you it was horrible because you work nights.  Your fellow night workers will get it immediately.  Complaining about being a library director to a bunch of people who would love to be in charge?  Not going to get much sympathy.

I held off whining to this group, and bit my tongue when they vented their frustration about being too structured and being bored with their jobs.  I will find another small library director and vent to her, and she will completely get where I’m coming from.


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