Monday, October 7, 2013

Just A Hop, Jump and Skip to Fitness!

No I did not carve this but I wanted to put up
a picture of an AMAZING pumpkin carving. 
For as long as I can remember, I have loved carving pumpkins. When I was a kid and living at home, the number of pumpkins that mom grew had a direct relationship on my happiness. The more pumpkins that were produced meant increased levels of happiness on my part. So every Halloween I look forward to my annual pumpkin carving with great anticipation. However, the one thing that I am always missing is a good pumpkin carving knife. I have always wanted a nice carving kit but have been unable to find one that suits my needs. And by this I mean a knife that doesn’t bend or break in half the minute I try to saw open a pumpkin.

So I went out of my way to go to every kitchen and specialty store that I could find in an attempt to search for a carving knife or kit that would satisfy me. But I couldn’t find one! So I ventured online in my search and ended up choosing Pro Pumpkin Carving Tool from Zombie Pumpkins. As soon as it came in the mail I had to take it for a for a spin, so yesterday I went out, bought a pumpkin and busted open my newest carving toy.

And here is my creation!

I took multiple pictures of it lit up but they all turned out blurry! No matter what setting I tried it always came out blurry, so I gave up.

SEE! Very frustrating.

It was my first attempt at trying to do a carving of not cutting all the way through to get the “shaded” effect. And it worked alright. It’s not as clean as I would like but I need some kind of pumpkin chisel to get the smoothness that I crave. 

Mental note, find a chisel.

The knife worked fairly decently. It’s sharp and sturdy and easy to use. Plus the blades are a tiny bit bendy which helps when making a curve in the cut. In a couple weeks I am going to try to do a more intricate carving so we’ll see how the knife stands up to the real test.

On another note, I think that I have started a new fitness trend at the gym! Jump rope! Wait… that didn’t sound right. I’m not saying that I introduced the gym to jump rope because that would be a blatant lie and I can’t even begin to take the glory for the creation of jumping rope. But in the 8ish months that I have been attending my gym I have never seen another person jump rope. In the past month I have become slightly obsessed with ending my workouts with at least 10-20 minutes of skipping (and my ass and calves are thanking me for it). And now for the past 3 days I have seen other women skipping! Maybe I have inspired these people to pull out their jump ropes from the dark corners of their closets, wipe off the dust and go back to a youthful form of exercise that has been forgotten by most people.

Or maybe I have a big ego and imagination and I want to take the credit for this jump rope awakening.

But now that I am on the subject, I highly recommend mixing up your fitness routine and busting out your old jump rope for a nice little cardio session. Skipping is an inexpensive form of exercise which tones muscles, increases your cardiovascular health and burns just as many calories, actually probably quite a few more, than some cardio machine.  When I first started skipping I struggled to get through 10 minutes of non-stop jumping. Now I am up to a solid 20 minutes of fairly skilled skipping and I am always looking for new moves and going faster each time.

Remember doing the Jump Rope for Heart in elementary school? Remember how awesome that was?

While looking for some new moves to spruce up my skipping routine, today I found this video and was impressed with myself to learn that I already am doing a majority of the moves. Scissors, high knees, side to side, forward and back, running on the spot, double hops, butt kicks, one foot hops and two at a time are on my “DONE” list. However, the criss-cross, heel to toe, short sprints and one foot side to side on my “TO DO” list. But the heel jumps and up & over look brutal and frighten me! Maybe in time I will attempt these moves without fear of getting tangled in the rope and falling on my butt and/or face. Wouldn’t that be a pretty picture? Ouch.

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