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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Gym Belle's Playcation

Last year, I tried the staycation thing. It was cheap, but I got what I paid for. This year, when a last minute opportunity to escape work arose, I decided to be a little more adventurous. I didn't want anything so serious as a spa or a fitness centered trip, but I wanted something active and varied. I packed my bags and took off for St. Moritz, Switzerland. Most people know St. Moritz as a ritzy ski destination, but the mountains and lakes make for excellent summertime fun as well. The highlights of my trip included:

Glacier Walk

Day one in St. Moritz I walked to the foot of the glacier. Glaciers are seriously beautiful from far away. When you get closer, not so much. You know what snow looks like after it's been around a few days? Extrapolate. It's still pretty awe inspiring, though.

At foot of the glacier is a sea of rocks that have tumbled down over the years, so if you want to touch the ice, you've got to make it over the rocks. A twelve year old Dutch boy gallantly offered to carry me across; I declined. Rocks being, well, rocks, some were big, some were small. Some were steady, most were not. I have no idea how no one twisted an ankle. It was insanely fun and I really put my balance to the test.

On a side note, as I walked, I noted a refreshing lack of lawyers in Switzerland. There were no roped off areas, no signs warning of falling rocks or cautioning that ice is slippery. In fact, I didn't sign one waiver during the entire trip.

Oh - and we drank from a stream on the way to the glacier. Yum.


As a kid in camp, kayaking was my lake activity of choice. More recently, I've been kayaking on the Hudson (totally free, by the way). I thought I knew what I was in for kayaking on Lake Silvaplana. I was dead wrong. I'm reasonably strong, and upper body strength is supposed to be my thing, but I was so not prepared for this. My arms ached. I've decided to blame it on my co-kayaker's serious lack of steering abilities. Anyone have any insight?


In all fairness, "hiking" may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I did walk through the woods and across and down several mountains. The most fun was taking ski lifts to the peaks of the various mountains, enjoying a nice lunch and then meandering down.

Ice Skating

One afternoon, after walking down the mountain into town, I decided to explore a bit and happened upon an outdoor skating rink. I love ice skating and spend a decent amount of time both at the Rock Center rink and at Bryant Park in the winter, but I had never skated outside on an 85 degree day before. Somehow the ice stayed frozen. Very cool. I got totally sunburned.

Horseback Riding

I used to ride regularly as a kid and at Riverdale during grad school, but hadn't been on a horse for a few years so I was extra psyched for this activity. I went on a two hour trail ride. We walked, trotted and galloped through the mountain paths. It was beautiful and Jeanette, my horse, was a sweetheart. The next morning, I rediscovered those muscles. Riders, you know what I mean.


The hotel had a huge indoor pool that was miraculously never crowded. A few years ago, when I was having knee issues, I tried to take up swimming. It only lasted a few months, but every now and then it's nice to swim laps.


I know I can run anywhere, but it was extra fun in such a beautiful setting.

The path around the lake was my favorite.

The beautiful setting and all of the activity choices meant that I didn't end up in the hotel's gym very often. This is the first trip I've taken in a long time where I didn't have to break out the itrain to stay motivated.

Now I'm back in NYC enjoying the lovely weather we're having and dreaming of my next trip.  I have no idea yet where that might be.  I'll keep you posted.

-Gym Belle-

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