Zen and Adrenaline

The last two days have been a study in contrasts...yesterday, zen. Today, adrenaline!

Yesterday, I got up early for a free outdoor yoga class, thinking it would be relaxing and soothe the sore muscles I was feeling after my hiking around the summit of Whistler. Unfortunately, the class wasn't the relaxing, slow-moving style of yoga I've gotten used to...so, today I have sore arm and back muscles to go with the sore legs! It was fun, though, and reaffirmed my decision to spend the rest of the day relaxing.

Off I went to the Scandinave Spa! As the name implies, this spa focuses on the a Scandinavian-style hydrotherapy experience. First step: you heat yourself up for 10-15 minutes in one of four heating areas...an eucalyptus steam room, Finnish sauna, thermal waterfall, or 104 degree pool. Step two: cool yourself down...rapidly!! There was a chilly waterfall, a cooling pool and a "Nordic" shower that made me feel like a football coach at the end of a big victory...icy Gatorade all over my head! Brrr! Finally, the third step was the best part: Relaxation. To allow your body to absorb the benefits of the hydrotherapy, I got to sit in comfy chair surrounded by wildflowers and flowing water and enjoy the play of sun and shade. It was amazing. I relaxed like it was my job...literally. I was there for seven hours :)

Today, on the other hand, I woke up to the first rainy day of my stay here. In spite of the rain, I headed out for a ziplining adventure! Meeting our guides, we had time to strap on the system of safety straps and harnesses and get fitted for helmets before reports started coming in of lightning in the area. Since the whole premise of ziplining is to attach yourself to a steel cable and zip out over tall trees and bodies of water, it seemed that going out in a lightning storm would be tempting fate just a leeeeeetle too much. So we sat it out, trading travel stories and tales of modern gypsying, which was a fantastic way to pass the time. Ah, to be a backpacker again...
After the storm passed, we headed out to the course for an amazing few hours of flying through the cedar forests and over the roaring river below. Within the forest, it smelled like Christmas and looked like something out of The Lord of the Rings. Once we shot out from the cover of the trees, the rain spattered our faces, the wind whipped our hair, and a sky full of clouds opened up over our heads. Magnificent! For the last zip, we were told to go "freestyle..." so I took the advice to go upside-down! A quick tuck and kick up into the air and I had a whole new perspective...I let go of the strap and flew across the ravine in completely inverse abandon! The video is about 15 seconds and isn't my upside-down run, but I hope it's fun to watch!

Following up the zipline adventure with a soothing trip to the farmer's situation, a long nap, and a good book was the perfect end to a rainy day. Oh, Oak Park, IL...you feel so blissfully far away!! I know I have to go back and face real life eventually, but I have a little more respite ahead of me, thank heavens!!

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