It is officially springtime!   Everyone is anxious to shake off their hibernation skins from the long winter, and head for the outdoors.  Masterpiece Fitness offers outdoor sessions for all!   The clients I train running can hit the trail!  I do a lot of circuit training at Dannelly Park where we can incorporate running and circuits.  Folks love getting their bikes and kayaks back out of basements and garages and launch them on the trail and in the water.  For my swimmers, I offer the New River in addition to outdoor pools available summer months.  While training people biking for the Annual New River Duathlon we cool off coming and going in the river.   We are so blessed to live where we do.  We are surrounded by great playgrounds provided by the Creator, Himself!

As most of us are aware we tend to get a lot of spring showers and summer rains.  We also can experience dry summers, but for the last couple we have gotten our share of rain.  I loved the lush green fields it produced, and the incredible crops of wildflowers we enjoyed.  I made several amazing trips down the New River in various locations and enjoyed the wild ride of the swollen river the rain provided.

One thing that always amazes me is if it is raining, people go in!  If runs are planned clients cancel.  I always loved playing in the rain as a child and as a mother with my four children.  My black lab, Sam and I taught the children how to enjoy barefoot walks in the mud.  When I was asked by my oldest son if he could get in the mud puddles with Sam, I replied, “Honey, that is what God made them for!”  I have treasured photos of ecstatic children sitting and laying on contented Sam in huge mud puddles.  I would read them stories out on our front porch as we watched the storms come in and could smell the rain before it arrived.

We were privileged to enjoy a beach cottage on Topsail Island where we created many fond memories of playing in the rain.  As soon as an afternoon shower arrived everyone would grab their belongings and flee.  Not us!  We were usually already wet so we enjoyed the whole beach to ourselves.  Many times that is when we would go for runs, especially me.  It was a great way to stay cool.  The rain really enhanced the building of the boys’ sandcastles!  Nothing was more fun than swimming and trying to body surf in the rain.

Humor me as I recall some fond memories to encourage you to try playing in the rain for yourself.    I would call it work out or exercise, but it is just the benefit of playing.  Sadly enough we as adults forget how to play.  Nothing delights children more than to have their Mom and Dad play with them.  Create your own family fun!  Have a soft ball game in the rain.  It will give a whole new meaning to sliding in first!  Bike rides in the rain are a blast, and stop for a dip in the river.  Nothing is more beautiful than to watch rain drops hit the surface of the river and splash at eye level, especially if you are fortunate enough to catch sunlight just right as it creates the most beautiful diamonds your eyes will ever behold!

If you have children or grandchildren spend this spring and summer enjoying the rain as never before.  Create memories your children will remember forever.  Take lots of pictures to bring back simple pleasures we often forget about as we are climbing corporate ladders.  If you no longer have children to play with, go get some of your friends together, and engage them to play in the rain.  Remind them of how many calories you are burning so you can go have ice cream afterwards.   Of course they will act like you are crazy, but just remind them crazy people have all the fun!   I know! ☺

I included some photos of a yearly local event, the New River Virginian Challenge Triathlon I participated in as a team member.  Our team known as “Fine Wine” getting better with age, consisted of Robert Tasselmeyer, who did the 40 miles of biking, Bonnie Harrington, who paddled the river 12 miles, and myself running the 13.1 mi from Allisonia to the finish at Foster Falls.  The rain began in the afternoon and was steady during the run.  I splashed through every mud puddle and enjoyed the sounds it creates hitting the leaves on the trees.  I was thankful to be cooled by it, and after crossing the finish line I promptly headed for the river to take a dip.  The frame photo was following the dip in the river.  My fellow teammates looked more civilized as they had had time to shower and put on clean clothes.  We enjoyed great comradry and made great memories!

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