Sunday was on awesome day out on the water. Jake, our dachshund, loves the water so he was ready to take off on the paddle board. I, however, had just changed into dry clothes after falling into the water earlier in the day. I then decided I’d grab my camera and wait for these two to fall into the water as well. Neither one of them fell in, but Jake jumped in several times in an effort to swim after the ducks swimming around. His leash was strapped to the board so he didn’t get very far. We learned our lesson last year when he decided he’d jump into the Tennessee river after a flock of geese. I had to jump in after him because I was afraid he might drown once he got tired and his rear end started to sink. I’ll say though, he gave those geese a run for their money, but he never caught up with them. Bless his heart, he tried though. We love our adventures with Jake and he loves them too. The hikes, not so much, but the water is definitely his forte.
I’ve been lucky enough recently to get to visit a few beaches and this time I got to visit Gulf Shores, Alabama. Nothing short of beautiful, I might add. It was also nice to thaw out for a few days as well to catch a break from the cooler weather further north.
I have been fascinated by piers as of lately. I am mesmerized by each one’s unique structure and length. Each one pulling my eye into the distance of the horizon through my camera lense. It can be somewhat dark under piers so its a good time to practice learning ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed, at least for me, since I am still learning to master the exposure trio.
All in all, it was a great trip and the seafood was great!
During a recent trip to Texas that didn’t start out too well, I decided to drive down to the beach in Galveston, Texas. The beach being my “go to place” when I needed to clear my head and think about things. All of the “what if’s” and “why’s” that had previously flooded my brain disappeared into the sound of the crashing waves. It made me realize that the “what if’s” and “why’s” don’t really matter in life and that I’ve wasted so much time trying to change what I cannot. Sometimes I have wondered if there will be a time in our lives where the past meets the present and future in a effort to make life perfect. Truth be told, there is no perfect life and all of us have troubles beyond our control. It’s how we handle them that counts and whether or not we learn from our mistakes. As I left the solitude of the beach, I left with a new sense of purpose and clarity.
In light of my “Ego Buster” post and my lack of physical strength, I decided it was time to start strength training otherwise I was never going to be able to hike the Appalachian Trial. This last week, I came across this CrossFit gym (firebreathercrossfit.com) and after five days of workouts, I have never been more sore in my life and I’m not exaggerating either. After my initial workout, just when I thought I wasn’t sore anymore, a new set of muscles were worked to the core and I was sore all over again. During the lifting workouts, I snickered to myself as I added small weights onto my bar when I saw others in my class adding heavy weights to theirs. I asked myself if I would ever be able to lift that much and I reminded myself that I was only going to get out of this class what I put into it. So far, during every workout, I have found the strength deep inside to drive myself even when my muscles were shaking and I wondered if I had anything left.
A bit of advice for beginners (such as myself), yes, CrossFit is a mind game. If you let your head think that you can’t do something, you never will. During a hard WOD (workout of the day), let’s face it, your muscles will feel like silly putty and you will wonder how you’ll make it to your car, trust me. Another thing, don’t feel intimidated by others in the class because let’s face it, all of you are there to get stronger no matter how much weight you can lift. You will also get to know those in your class and you will be able to encourage each other during workouts.
Just remember, there are going to be workouts that kick your butt and you’re going to be crazy sore. You may also curse the day you stepped into the gym to begin with but chances are you are going to love it. I promise!
Initially, I wasn’t going to share this picture, then I realized that I just had to. It is a picture of my son gazing upon his newborn daughter just minutes after she was born and three days before Christmas last year. It was one of those moments that will bring the weakest of grandparents to their knees. “Strong, I told myself, be strong.” It wasn’t easy holding back my emotions as I snapped pictures of this perfect moment. In the moments that followed this picture, I began thinking about my son’s love for his child and I was even more grateful to be able to capture this moment for him. Not to mention, I couldn’t wait to hold this precious little bundle of joy. You see, it’s moments such as these, that make taking pictures a pure joy for me. I can often spend hours gazing at old pictures of my own children and events in their lives that shaped them into who they are today. I love to reminisce on their crooked little grins and their accomplishments in pictures. It reminds me that nothing is more precious than the love we have for our children.
For quite a while now, I have wanted to hike the infamous Appalachian Trail. Yes, quite a feat, since about only 25% of those that start the 2,200-mile trek from Georgia to Maine actually finish. In an effort to start testing out different pieces of gear my boyfriend and I had for the AT hike; we decided it was best to start hiking the smaller trails to test our endurance as well.
I’ll tell you though, after a mere hike on an 8-mile trail loop at Fort Mountain State Park in Georgia this weekend, I definitely know I am not ready for the Appalachian Trail, physically or mentally. If you’ve got a big head you might want to consider dropping the ego now! For those that think you could leave tomorrow, I hope you’re in shape and by in shape, I hope your strong. Not just in your arms, but in your legs and ankles too. We made it through the 8 miles by putting one foot in front of the other and because we couldn’t wait to go eat once we finished our trek through the woods.
After a day of rest and by rest, I mean sleep, we decided to take on another trail, only a much smaller one this time. We hiked about 1/2-mile to the Toccoa River Swinging Bridge in Blue Ridge, Georgia. I had imagined a rope bridge but it was secured by steel cables anchored at each end. It’s really a suspension bridge and a bit bouncy but feels very secure.
After our small hike we drove around and visited a place called Mountain Valley Farm in Ellijay, Georgia. It had a great food market and some farm animals there that I was able to get pictures of. Needless to say, this was my favorite!!
I wonder what adventure awaits us tomorrow?
During a weekend trip, I was out and about taking pictures of the coast in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Turns out trying to master manual camera modes can be tricky, especially if your trying to understand how aperture, ISO, and shutter speed work together. I still don’t fully understand it, but I’m learning more every day. My goal this weekend was to try and get some really good pictures of the sunset. It’s funny, until this weekend, I never realized how fast the sun actually sets. I guess we get so busy in our daily lives that sometimes we don’t stop to appreciate the little things.