Category Archives: Travel

Travel Experiences

Escape Room Adventure

Company team building event

I received word that we were going out on Thursday night after our company meetings. No one knew where we were going which resulted in many conversations with growing anticipation. Since there was a high level of secrecy, I knew it was going to be good. Turns out, Seattle Escape Games was our destination and most of us were excited.

Let the games begin

After we arrived and signed in, we waited in a lounge area for the 1st round of teams to enter their Escape Rooms. Along with the event, our company provided catering. With 4 escape rooms and 7 teams, each round had time to kill.

I watched with anticipation as the 1st round of groups went to the escape rooms. I was in the 2nd round which gave me time to play a couple of games of Corn Hole. Along with this, I had the pleasure of watching 2 team members play a mean game of Jenga. They were amazing at it.

As we were relaxing in the lounge area, we could hear teams celebrating their accomplishments which added to our excitement. Each team has 60 minutes to figure out all the clues and escape the room. Each room has a watcher guiding us through the do’s and don’ts of the game. We were allowed to ask for help solving a clue, the 1st one was free. Each clue we asked for after the freebie, cost us a minute of our allotted time.

Turns out there was a low success rate with the 1st round, only one team made it out. Wow, this was going to be hard.

The Bank Job

We got the call to proceed to our Escape Room, which we chose The Bank Job. We were robbing a rival Mob Boss with an inside man that was supposed to be helping us. First, it was a poor choice to trust a Con Man, second, what am I doing locking myself in a room with 3 other people looking for an escape? Our company is full of smart, High D type of personalities, which can cause conflict if we don’t work together. I decided as a team member to let my other team members work their strengths and I would work mine. Needless to say, I was grateful we had a couple of “numbers” people on our team. I knew that would be important.

Finding the 1st clue

It was absolutely exciting to find that 1st clue. We went to work fast looking for that 1st clue which resulted in a quick find. The clue we found was easy. The problem was we were clearly overthinking the solution which slowed us down. With each clue, came new problems to overcome. Figuring out the clues resulted in an extremely rewarding feeling of accomplishment. We opened False doors, and crawl spaces. Sometimes, a new clue would send us running back to the starting point to retrieve corresponding clues. I remember bursting through a crawl space on my way back to the team with an answer, took the turn too quickly, and rammed my arm into a door jam. Yep, that was going to leave a mark.

Does it ever end

Every time we thought this clue would lead to our escape, we were wrong; the clues kept coming. We pulled together as a team and ended up getting out of volt in the end. When the volt door opened, we started yelling, throwing high fives, congratulating ourselves and enjoying the celebration. Our watcher comes down and congratulates us for getting out. Something told me that he was delivering bad news. We ended up asking for help 3 times which used up 2 minutes of our time which left us with only 45 seconds left on the clock. Darn! We were 1 minute 15 seconds over our time and considered “Captured”

Lessons learned

  • We are only as strong as our other team members. We couldn’t have done it without each other
  • Observation is key
  • Don’t dismiss something you see or hear
  • Don’t over think situations
  • Slow down; I still have a bit of a bruise on my arm. :=)

Is it for you?

I had a blast! If you are not afraid of small spaces and being locked in a room for an hour, I highly recommend you find an Escape Room and give it a try. If you like challenges, this is for you. Can you work with other team members and utilize each other’s strengths? If you can, this is for you.

Add another to my list

I wanted to try an escape room adventure. I can gladly say that I did. My next escape room adventure is on my horizon; maybe next time I am in Seattle or I understand we have one that has opened near my home. My list of Been There Done That adventures is growing.

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

The Sword Experience

The Sword Experience

My latest adventure

In January, I wrote down my top goals for 2019. Attending The Sword Experience was on that list and I can now check it off as complete. Watching the tour dates, I saw they booked a Texas event at the Austin Comic Con 2019. It was the perfect weekend getaway I had been looking for. I bought a Comic Con ticket and booked the event.

Picking up a sword was new to me. I am always looking for ways to enhance my fitness journey and I wanted to try it. I’m glad that I did. The experience made me recognize some areas in my life that I have been struggling with for 6 years now.

Check-in

I checked-in at Adrian’s booth at the Comic Con as instructed. The team delivered all of the promised benefits for the Gold level of The Sword Experience. (Autographed picture of Adrian Paul, armband for the event, a picture with Adrian Paul, and my bokken autographed the 2nd day.) I had the pleasure of meeting Anise and Beverly, as they revealed that they are amazing and bring a high level of customer care to the table. It is evident they take pride in Adrian and his work.

What is The Sword Experience?

Adrian founded The Sword Experience, as a way to pass on some of the knowledge he learned while working with world renowned action stars, stunt choreographers, and sword masters. To date, the testimonials speak for themselves. Not only has it given people a chance to receive the best sword fighting tips and techniques, training with some of the best sword experts around, but it has also given people a chance to do something different, to improve their fitness, their communication skills, their abilities, along with the chance to do something they may have only dreamed about.

The Sword Experience website-click to read entire about us page

The Event

It was exciting and nerve-racking to be in a room full of people swinging bokkens (practice swords). I was feeling a sense of empowerment as we practiced the Attack Numbering system and the Defense Numbering system. Adrian Paul (the founder of The Sword Experience and The Peace Fund, Actor, Director, Martial Arts Expert) and Anthony Buonomo (Teacher from Austin Historical Weapons Guild) were guiding us on our form and footwork.

There were many age groups and many different personalities in the room. The large diversity of the attendees and spectators was surprising. Each one of us had personal reasons for being there. Mine was to step out of my comfort zone and investigate the adventurous side of myself that I have tucked away.

Practice

We learned choreographed moves that were based on a scene out of Batman Returns. There were different moves in each of the 4 groups. We split up into practice groups and practiced our moves with an attacker coming at us. The feeling of Empowerment shifted to fear. It was a totally different experience with someone coming at you, which changed my frame of mind completely. I now feel exposed and uncomfortable.

The attackers learned the choreography for all 4 groups. They would alternate between attacking a person in each of the groups.

I continued to practice my moves off to the side as they shuffled practice groups in and out. I kept walking through the routine knowing how challenging it was to face off with someone. Anthony was a big help and guided me through my struggles with form and footwork.

Filming

After learning and practicing for 2 1/2 hours, it was time to film the scene. I am looking forward to seeing the results of the footage. We all lined up in 3 rows, down on 1 knee. We followed the command to stand, step out and present our bokkens. That was cool to see a group of people work together as a team and perform those moves as a group. Keep in mind we had 2 1/2 hours to learn it and practice it.

Oh, by the way, we were all dressed as Ninjas, except for the attackers. After shooting the opening entrance and the presentation, the attacks began. I had a great time and watching the filming process was actually like working on a movie set.

What I learned about myself

I have been trying to rediscover myself again for some time now. After the event, I did some soul searching and dug into some things that Adrian pointed out to me. He mentioned that I am holding onto stress and tension and instructed me to loosen my grip to let the bokken move with the hits. That stress and tension were holding me back. I wanted to know how and why I went from being confident, and outgoing to becoming a weekend recluse and homebody.

I can trace it back to 2 life-changing events. The accident I suffered 6 years ago affected my outlook and personality in many ways. I no longer trust myself or my decisions, I let fear hold me back which restrains my inner self (click to read about my accident). I have a friend and mentor that reminds me to let my inner Catherine out. Recognizing why I am holding back has been a struggle for me. This experience has helped me piece together the why’s which should help me overcome it.

Thank you

The event ran late and The Sword Experience team asked the Gold Experience attendees to come back to the booth at the Comic Con the next day to have our bokken autographed as promised. This would give me the opportunity to thank Adrian, Beverly, and Anise.

I arrive at the booth with bokken in hand and thanked Anise. She handed me a certificate that stated that I had crossed swords with Adrian Paul and survived. That was a cool certificate. I approached Adrian and handed him my bokken. He asked me if I enjoyed the event and I expressed that I was disappointed in my performance. He seemed confused and asked, why? I started talking and tears started pouring out of my eyes.

Remember, I have been holding back for a long time. Crying is one of those things I hold back on. I try to control my emotions and not let my emotions control me. I felt absolutely mortified by my actions. Adrian was gracious and understanding. As he reassured me, I regained my composure and thanked him and Beverly.

From a fitness standpoint

I have been teaching fitness classes for over 30 years. It was my 1st career and is now my “hobby” career. Before my accident, I taught a kickboxing class 2 to 3 times per week. The bag was a great place to let out the tension from my daily, high-stress job that I held at the time. After my accident, returning to kickboxing was difficult and I eventually gave it up. I currently teach PiYo and Turbo Kick. Both are great workouts but I enjoy trying new things to kick it up a notch.

When Adrian pointed out that I was holding on to tension, it brought me back to my kickboxing days. Punching and kicking that bag resulted in letting all that tension out. Adrian grabbed the bokken, started moving it and instructed me to let it move with the hit to let the tension out. He later told me, during my emotional moment, still embarrassed about that, to use the bokken as a tool to release the tension. In my mind, I went back to the boxing bag and how I used that as a tool for stress relief. Each piece of the puzzle is helping me understand myself better.

By the way, that was an amazing workout! The warm-up started with holding a squat for a minute. Everyone was like, yeah, I can do that. Adrian chuckled and said, “you say that now”. Within 30 seconds the room started erupting with loud breath releases and groaning. It was awesome! By the time we were done with the learning and practice sessions, everyone was sweating, red-faced and in disbelief of how challenging and invigorating it was.

Will I do it again?

Yes, I want to participate in this event again. I am going to continue to practice the attack and defense numbering system and maybe find a local teacher that can help instruct me. Now I know what to expect and it won’t be the first time having a bokken swung at me. That should boost my confidence.

One more thing added to my “Been There Done That” list. Whoop Whoop!

Catherine Bares

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Smoky Mountains

I recently had the opportunity to take a trip so, we packed up and headed to the Smoky Mountains. Here are some of the things we ended up doing on this trip.

Cades Cove Driving Loop

Near the Smoky Mountain, National Park Campground, you will find an amazing wildlife viewing area that we love to pass through – Cades Cove Driving Loop. It’s an 11-mile, driving path that loops around the cove and offers many spectacular views.

Valley of Rich History

The Cherokee Indians hunted Cades Cove for hundreds of years but no evidence was found of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821. Cades Cove offers a wide variety of historic buildings and historic information about the people that lived there.

  • 3-Churches
  • A working grist mill
  • Barns
  • Log houses
  • other restored nineteenth century structures

Wildlife Viewing

Over the years, we have been blessed with many wild life sightings while driving through Cades Cove:

  • White-tailed deer (Huge bucks, fawns, does, button bucks)
  • Black bears (Grown adults, cubs of many sizes)
  • Turkey
  • Coyotes
  • Hawks
  • Red Wolves-Which are not in the park anymore.

Many years ago the park released Red wolves into Cades Cove in efforts to restore wild wolf populations in suitable areas. Unfortunately, their efforts failed and the remaining wolves were captured and moved. Many were recaptured after straying from the park onto private land, 6 were killed – either hit by cars or killed by humans. Out of 33 pups born in the wild, only 4 survived. The wolves couldn’t find enough food to eat in this mountainous area. Many wolves left, presumably in search of prey, and some of those that remained succumbed to disease, parasites, and starvation. During one of our early trips to the park, we were blessed with a sighting of a Red Wolf and came across him later carrying a turkey in his mouth. I treasure that memory.

Wildlife viewing tips

Biking

Experience the cove on a bike. The loop road is closed to motor vehicle traffic until 10:00 am every Saturday and Wednesday morning from early May until late September to allow cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the cove. You can rent a bike at the campground store. It is strongly recommended to wear helmets and required of any children 16 and under. Visit the Campground Store Website.

Hiking

Hiking was high on my priority list. Since we visit Cades Cove several times during these visits, we chose to hike a trail in the Cades Cove loop – Abrams Falls, which offers up a scenic hike and a beautiful waterfall at the end of the trail.

  • 5.2 miles round trip
  • moderate difficulty rating
  • parking lot

Hiking is one of my favorite, fitness activities. I find that the Smoky Mountains features cooler weather which means I don’t have to fight off mosquitoes, and the view is breathtaking. I find it risky with large drop-offs and slippery paths so, be sure to take precautions. You don’t want to end up in the E.R. as a result. Cold and rain can come up quickly, so do the research; what is the weather going to be like, what clothes to wear, what shoes to wear, what should you bring, etc.? Once, during my hike, a storm rolled in, causing the temperature to drop and I found the path extremely slick. I didn’t want to fall as a result, so I slowed my pace and kept a close eye on the path.

Pigeon Forge Titanic Attraction

There is something about the Titanic story that has always captured my attention so, we stopped in to see the museum and was quite pleased with it. The owner of the museum is none other than John Joslyn, who led a dive expedition to the Titanic site 2 years after it was discovered. As a result of his dives, 2 museums have opened up in Branson and Pigeon Forge, which exhibits some of the largest, permanent collections of the Titanic artifacts, and memorabilia. Guests enter a unique world that showcases exact replicas of the beautiful, handcrafted Grand Staircase.

Passenger Story

Each guest receives a card with a story of a passenger that was aboard the Titanic. At the end of the tour, their fate is revealed. My passenger survived the accident and her story turned out to be surprisingly interesting.

One tip I would like to offer: At the end of the tour, we had the opportunity to take a picture. The Grand Staircase was superimposed in the background and the picture is beautiful and professional looking. I wish I knew how well that photo would have come out, s0 I would have dressed nicer. As a result, I was unhappy with my picture, but that was my own fault. Other than that, this attraction deserves 5 stars!

There are so many things to do in the Smoky Mountain region. If ever traveling that way, make sure you visit websites and do some research. There are many places you can stay. Cades Cove is a major attraction for my family. So, when we visit the Smoky Mountains, we like to stay in Townsend. It’s the easiest access to Cades Cove and take Wears Valley Road when we venture into Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

Catherine Bares

Follow me on my Facebook page. New page and new link below.

Check out Power Systems for all the newest fitness tools

Tubes and Bands are effective, affordable and Fun!
Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Hiking Boots Blow Out

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

Recently, my husband and I took a trip to one of my favorite spots, The Smoky Mountains. Hiking is one of my favorite activities to do while visiting this region. We picked a trail within the Cades Cove Loop; Abrams Falls. It’s a moderate level hike that is 2.5 miles in and 5 miles round trip. It leads us to a beautiful water fall and is well worth the hike.

During the hike in, I started to notice a drag in my walk; I thought I picked up a vine or a stick on the trail. It turns out that the soul of my boot was peeling off from the front of the shoe. Every time I took a step the soul would be pulled under and it was causing me to trip. Luckily my camera backpack had some bungee cords attached to it. So, my husband jumped into action and made a temporary repair so I could make it to our destination.

During the hike out of the trail, my other boot started to lose the soul from the back of the shoe. Total blow out on both boots. I ended up having to pull that soul completely off. It was our first hike on this trip and we planned to make at least 2 hikes. What should I do? Well, in Pigeon Forge, there is a huge Outlet mall so, we went shopping. There was a Columbia Outlet Store that had my size and was priced right.

New Boot Risks

Now, experience tells me not to go hiking in a brand new pair of boots before breaking them in, but determination took over. The next morning I bandaged up all the blister prone areas and pulled my new boots on. Although I liked the fit better than my old pair, and they were more comfortable, the risk of blisters was ever present in my mind. We decided to hike the same trail since it was fairly short, and we knew the terrain.

It is a pleasure to announce that my proactive efforts paid off-No blisters! The Columbia boots were comfortable and supportive. I give them a 5 star rating.

Stay tuned for more posts about this trip with pictures.

Catherine Bares

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Places to Visit in New Orleans/Metro New Orleans Area

Outside of Bourbon St., What else is there to do in New Orleans?

New Orleans is well known for it’s party scene on Bourbon St. and it’s unique culinary, but there are many other areas of sight seeing in the Crescent City that are worth checking out. There are too many to list but this is a start:

Museums

Ranked by TripAdvisor as the #1 Attraction in New Orleans, named by USA Today as the #1 Best Place to Learn U.S. Military History, and designated by Congress as America’s official museum about World War II, The National WWII Museum features a rich collection of artifacts that bring history to life.

The National World War II Museum Website

Audubon Institute Featuring

Mardi Gras

Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide contains 164 colorful pages of facts, photos, features, and fun, including more than 50 individual parade profiles and maps. The award-winning magazine includes a history of the event; answers to the 25 most frequently asked questions; an illustrated glossary of Mardi Gras terms; and articles on New Orleans personalities, traditions and happenings. For more than three decades, the city’s top writers and photographers have worked together to create a publication that has achieved genuine collectible status. With more than three million copies sold, Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide is recognized as the program to the event.
Mardi Gras 2019 is March 5, 2019!

Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Website

Cemetery Tours: No, this is not a typo!

Catholic Heritage

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

THE WORLD’S LONGEST BRIDGE OVER A BODY OF WATER

www.TheCauseway.us

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, sometimes only the Causeway,[2] is a fixed link composed of two parallel bridges ssing Lake Pontchartrain in southern LouisianaUnited States. The longer of the two bridges is 23.83 miles (38.35 km) long. The southern terminus of the Causeway is in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. The northern terminus is at Mandeville, Louisiana.
Since 1969, it was listed by Guinness World Records as the longest bridge over water in the world; in 2011, in response to the opening of the allegedly longer Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China, Guinness World Records created two categories for bridges over water: continuous and aggregate lengths over water. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway then became the longest bridge over water (continuous)[3] while Jiaozhou Bay Bridge the longest bridge over water (aggregate).[4

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Swamp Tours

As you can see, we have a diverse city with many sites to see, resulting in unexpected experiences when you travel to the city of New Orleans and the Metro New Orleans area. I am not a travel guide; more of a local resident who feels that so much of our Culture is overlooked, because so many people consider our area a party destination only. Don’t miss out! Do some research.

Catherine Bares


 

Follow me, share me, talk about me

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Seattle/Emerald City Charm

On the Road

I’ve been on the road for the past couple of weeks and have been quiet on the blog side; my apologies.  Although I am still out of town, my last trip to Seattle has inspired me to write this blog.  I am finally ready to publish it and send it out.  Please leave a comment about your favorite spots in Seattle. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience Seattle charm yet, what would you do if you were to end up in the Emerald City?  Any bucket list wishes?

Pikes Place Market

There are many things to do and see in Seattle.  One of my favorite things to do, when I make it downtown, is to venture into Pikes Place Market, a public market that opened in 1907, overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront. (one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers market in the United States) If you make it into the market, be sure to check out Pike Place Fish Market, where flinging fish from the display cases to the scales for cutting and packaging has become one of Seattle’s most well-known landmarks.  It is quite entertaining to watch the flying fish and the delighted patron’s reactions, especially those seeing it for the 1st time.

Along with flying fish, the market showcases many businesses; seafood, fresh produce, fresh flowers, crafts of all kinds, art, specialty foods, and an abundance of bakeries, cafes, diners, restaurants and sweet shops.  There are 3 floors of unique shops, specializing in collectibles, comics, jewelry, books, art and more.

Street performers have long entertained shoppers which adds to the Market’s ambiance.  You will be surprised by some of the talents that linger in and sets up to perform.

Other attractions that I felt were well worth the time and investments

  • Seattle’s underground tour (learn about the Emerald City’s strange and quirky history)
  • Museum of History and Industry (one rainy day we ventured into this museum and was engrossed in Northwest history, innovation growth and much more)
  • Mt. Ranier (Wilderness hiking, camping, and climbing)
  • Space Needle (Amazing views of the water, city, and mountains.  Newly added, floor to forever glass floors that are calling me back to check out. Maybe on my next trip)

Restaurants

There are many restaurants in the downtown area that provide a unique dining experience.  Some come with amazing views of waterfronts, marinas, or the city. For the wine lovers,  you may want to check out the Purple Cafe that features a unique, circular, staircase wine rack system.

What are your favorite adventures in Seattle?  Where would you go if you went to Seattle?  Leave a comment, I would love to hear about it.

Catherine Bares


 

I’ve been there and done that many times.

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Visualizing a Memory @ Travaasa

Visualizing a memory

Visualizing;

  • At times it’s empowering
  • At times it’s calming and relaxing

Today, it was calming and relaxing.  It started at the edge of the infinity pool when I closed my eyes and opened my ears.  My thoughts focused on the noise of the water while it was cascading over the edge and crashing down to the pool below.  The sound at the edge drowned out the voices around me.  Then I focused on the breeze blowing up over my back and my shoulders.  I decided to pick a memory that came to mind and invoked the visual of a moment in time.

I am suddenly transported to the beach; Maui, Hawaii.   The waves are rolling in, the water is refreshingly cold, almost shockingly cold which resulted in goosebumps.  The water is clear and vibrant blue.  I see sail surfers jumping waves, and parachute surfers flying sky high after hitting the top of the waves thinking how exciting and brave that must be. I soaked up the moment and cherished the memory.

While enjoying my relaxing, resort retreat at Travaasa, visualizing a memory added another dimension to the accomplished, high level of relaxation already achieved, and also raised the success level of my agenda and goal for this trip.

Give visualizing a try.  Let moments, sounds, and smells trigger memories and thoughts. Ride the wave!

Add that to my list of Been There Done That!

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Stepping out of my Comfort Zone

New adventures

Trying new adventures is exciting for me.  I look forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and experiencing new adventures, new food, and meeting new people. My experience was amazing and I hope you enjoy reading about my stay at Travaasa Spa and Resort, Austin, TX (now Miraval, Austin).

Stand-up paddle boarding

I remember relaxing at the edge of the infinity pool, looking out over Lake Travis. The water was beautiful and inviting sitting at the bottom of the valley the pool overlooked. After closing my eyes I visualized a memory that I had while relaxing (click to read that story). Upon opening my eyes, I decided to figure out what the rest of my day was going to include.

Stand up Paddle Boarding was my choice for the day.  The water in Lake Travis was beautiful.  The view from the top of the hill at the resort’s infinity pool enticed and called me to participate in the excursion that I noticed on the event board for the day. It would be an adventure that I could write about.

Launch time

We launched our boards and I started in a kneeling position to paddle into a nearby cove.  I followed my coach’s instructions on proper feet and body placement on the board, to make the transition from kneeling to standing.  What happened next was a huge surprise to me.

Fear stepping out of my comfort zone

“Fear” set in; I stepped out of my comfort zone.  Balance in my PiYo class is completely different than balancing on a board in the water.  I was always comfortable on the water boating, skiing, fishing, trawling, and swimming. The fear surprised me.

Running all of my Coach’s instructions through my thoughts, I worked towards connecting on a physical and cognitive level. Going back to my boating days, I kept Imitating the body shifts that I would make to keep my balance. I struggled with the technique as my Coach kept walking me through it and encouraging me.  He inspired me to let go of the fear and relax through the motions.  Enjoy the scenery” he said, and “if you feel like you are going to fall, just fall into the water, don’t try to catch yourself.” -I am happy to report that I did not fall.

Soaking in the scenery-creating new memories

Upon exiting the cove and heading to our destination spot, I was able to work through the challenges and really connect my body to the movements of bending my knees, leaning forward and pulling the paddle board across the water. I found the most challenging part was the steering. As my balance improved, the steering kicked in.

Along the way, I soaked in the scenery.  The aquamarine colored water was clear as day. In amazement, I watched Garfish swim up to the surface only to dart back down after seeing me.   I watched water plants as my board glided over them.  The hillside that we were heading towards grew larger with each stroke moving me towards it.  Curious bystanders were everywhere.  I paddled my way past some anchored boats. Their passengers were enjoying the cool water with their friends and family, on big floating islands.  I saw Jet skis zipping around the middle of the lake, causing wakes that we had to maneuver our boards across. Pulling out of the marina, there were tour boats filled with adventurers wanting to share and enjoy the environment. I could hear screams from a nearby Zipline excursion that were exploding, and echoing off the hills which traveled across the water.

Precious resource returned to its glory

It occurred to me that on my first trip to Travaasa, this very lake that we were all enjoying, was completely dried up due to a 5-year drought.  The thought of this beautiful, precious resource completely dried up and gone saddened me.  It reminded me, once again, how delicate life and nature truly are.  So, that day, I lived in the moment, appreciated the experience, felt empowered by my success, enjoyed the company of my fellow adventurers and thanked God for every moment and for restoring this precious resource. 

Catherine Bares

Add another to my Been There Done That List!

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

#Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone at #Travaasa

Trying new adventures is exciting for me.  I look forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and experiencing new adventures, new food, and meeting new people.  I wanted to share an experience that I had during my stay #Travaasa Spa and Resort.

Stand up Paddle Boarding was my choice for the day.  The water in #Lake Travis was beautiful.  The view from the top of the hill at the resort’s infinity pool, enticed and called me to participate in the excursion.

We launched our boards and I started in a kneeling position to paddle into a nearby cove.  Once in the cove, I followed my coach’s instructions on proper feet and body placement on the board, to make the transition from kneeling to standing.  What happened next was a huge surprise to me.  “Fear” set in.  It was then that I realized, I stood up and stepped out of my comfort zone.  Even though I perform and teach a great deal of balance work in my PiYo classes, it was completely different balancing on a board in the water.  I grew up on the water in boats, skiing, fishing, trawling, and swimming so, the fear was a huge and unexpected surprise to me.

I ran all of my Coach’s instructions through my thoughts and worked towards connecting on a physical and cognitive level.  I remembered the body shifts that I would make during a boat ride to adjust to the boat rocking over wakes.  I struggled with the technique but, my Coach walked me through it and encouraged me.  He inspired me to let go of the fear and relax through the motions.  Enjoy the scenery” he said, and “if you feel like you are going to fall, just fall into the water, don’t try to catch yourself.” -I am happy to report that I did not fall.

Once we exited the cove and headed to our destination spot, I was able to work through the challenges and really connect my body to the movements of bending my knees, leaning forward and pulling the paddle board across the water.  The steering was the most challenging part but, once the balance empowered me the steering kicked in.

Along the way I soaked in the scenery.  The water was aquamarine colored, and clear.  I  watched gar fish come up to the surface and dart down when they sensed my presence.   I watched water plants as my board glided over them.  The hillside that we were heading towards grew larger with each stroke moving me towards it.  Curious bystanders were everywhere.  Boats were anchored with their passengers enjoying the cool water with their friends and family, making memories.  Jet skis were zipping around the middle of the lake, tour boats were pulling out of the marina filled with adventurers wanting to enjoy the environment. Screams from a nearby Zip line excursion were exploding, echoing off the hills and traveling across the water.

It occurred to me that on my first trip to #Travaasa, this very lake that we were all enjoying, was completely dried up due to a 5 year drought.  The thought of this beautiful, precious resource completely dried up and gone saddened me.  It reminded me, once again, how delicate life and nature truly are.  So, that day, I lived in the moment, appreciated the experience, felt empowered by my success, enjoyed the company of my fellow adventurers and thanked God for every moment.

Catherine Bares

Remember; follow me, share me, talk about meFacebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

#Visualizing at Travaasa

Visualization _wm

Visualization;

  • At times it’s empowering
  • At times it’s calming and relaxing

Today, it was calming and relaxing.  It started at the edge of the infinity pool when I closed  my eyes and opened my ears.  My thoughts focused on the noise of the water while it was cascading over the edge and crashing down to the pool below.  The sound at the edge drowned out the voices around me.  Then I focused on the breeze blowing up over my back and my shoulders.  I decided to pick a memory that came to mind and invoked the visualization.

I am suddenly transported to the beach; Maui, Hawaii.   The waves are rolling in, the water is refreshingly cold, almost shockingly cold.  The water is clear and vibrant blue.  I see sail surfers jumping waves, and parachute surfers flying sky high after hitting the top of the waves, thinking how exciting and brave that must be. I soaked in the moment and cherished the memory.

While enjoying my relaxing, resort retreat at #Travaasa, the visualization added another dimension to the accomplished, high level of relaxation already achieved, and also raised my success level of my agenda and goal for this trip.

Give visualization a try.  Let moments, sounds, and smells trigger memories and thoughts. Ride the wave!

Catherine Bares

Remember; follow me, share me, talk about me

Facebooklinkedinyoutubeinstagramby feather
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather