Category Archives: Exercise & Fitness

Stage Nature Center

It has been a little while since we have indulged in one of our favorite lunchtime pastimes: finding a new city park to explore. We tend to do this a little more in Tallahassee, but we have found that there are quite a few local parks in Troy which are beautiful and fun to explore – particularly in summertime. Today, we returned to the Stage Nature Center – where we had seen the mink earlier in the year – to see how it looks when everything has had a chance to green up.

This is the Rouge River, as it is here in Troy, a little more than a creek.

We only had about 30 minutes to spend at the park during my lunch hour, so we made a quick trip around the Sugar Maple loop. It was really neat to see the different colors of green in the leaves and how the sun lit up the trees. The part of the loop that we walked also had a display of the various stages of tree/forest lifecycle, with logs in various stages of decay and decomposition.

The nature center has programs in the winter/early spring where you can rent a tap for a sugar maple tree, then collect the maple syrup produced from the sap.

We spent a few minutes at this crossroads in the paths to watch some chipmunks. They are FAST little ones! One of them ran up a tree and started chittering very loudly for quite some time. At first, I didn’t know what was making that sound and ended up recording it on my Bird ID app. I’m not sure if he was mad or excited, but he certainly wanted everyone in the forest to hear what he had to say!

Just as we were about to move on from the chipmunk area, we spied four deer running parallel to our path. Donald’s phone has much better zoom on the camera and he was able to get this incredible photo.

A view of the Rouge River from the other side of the Sugar Maple loop.

We just did the short 0.4 mile Sugar Maple Loop today, as I only had an hour for lunch. It was really pretty and we want to come back after work one day to see what animals are active in the early evening, as well as spend more time in the back half to see if we can spot our mink friend again.

I love seeing all the different colors of green!

This was a very BIG bee on this flower. It’s in an area of the nature center which has been planted as a monarch butterfly migration station.

I love when parks make boards like this to help people know what kinds of flowers and plants are indigenous to the area, and to promote planting native plants in gardens. Sometimes, you will see a companion board, where they will inform you of invasive species in the area and ask people visiting the park to help remove the invasive species if they are seen during your walk.

This was just a quick out and back visit, but we had a lot of fun. It was great to take a break and get away from the house for a bit, as well as to enjoy the warm, sunny, non-humid weather while we have it!


You can now listen to our blog via our podcast! It is available from Anchor via Spotify, but we are also working to get it published to other podcast platforms. Don’t worry, we will be working on our audio quality as we go! Enjoy!

In Search of Fall Colors Paroxysm of Giggles

This episode is also available as a blog post: https://cadyly.com/2022/09/21/in-search-of-fall-colors/
  1. In Search of Fall Colors
  2. Stage Nature Center

Early Morning at Lake Ella

We had talked about making nutrition and exercise a priority, and thought that – on an ideal day – we could go for a walk in the morning, hike a bit at a local park during lunchtime, and then get some additional activity after work (maybe another walk, tennis, swimming, etc.).

We were both up early this morning and were still motivated for this, so Donald made us coffee and put it in travel mugs, and we drove over to Lake Ella. It is about 0.6 miles to walk around the lake, so that was our goal for the morning.

All of the Crêpe Myrtle trees were flowering and so pretty! We want to learn more about the flora and fauna we see around us, and become more familiar about what is indigenous and what is invasive to Tallahassee/Northern Florida. I did just a quick search, and it appears that the variety of Myrtle trees which have white flowers are known as Natchez Crêpe Myrtles (sometimes spelled Crape, but I prefer the French spelling 😉).

It was a beautiful sunrise, and many of the ducks and geese had little baby ducklings and goslings following them around. Lake Ella is known for its population of Muscovy ducks, but they also have common Mallards and Canadian geese. According to All About Birds, male Muscovy Ducks frequently mate with other species and often produce sterile hybrid offspring – we think that we have seen some of these hybrids around the lake!

We’ve been to and around Lake Ella dozens of times so far, but this is the first time I was paying attention enough to the signage to see that there was a map of the area! What we did take more notice of was the proliferation of Spin scooters in the area. There was a *lot* more scooters around the park now than before we left for Michigan. It’s as if they knew we are a little hesitant to ride them again (at least not before we get helmets!) after my tumble, and they are trying to entice us to ride them. 😊

This is probably one of my favorite views of Lake Ella. I love all of the Spanish moss in the trees!

After our leisurely stroll around the lake, sipping on our homemade coffees, we headed back home to start the work day. Mornings here tend to be a little cooler and less humid, so they are great for taking walks outside. We both really enjoyed our outing and hope to do it more frequently. Such a great start to the day: caffeine, exercise, fresh air, and beautiful views!

A New Chapter Begins at Elinor Park!

Today was our first full day back in Tallahassee after an extended stay in Michigan. Donald woke up happy and excited to get back to some of our routines.

Recently, we celebrated 6 months since I showed up on his doorstep unexpectedly. The next day, Donald took me to Elinor Knapp-Phipps park, which is nearby and one of his favorite parks to go hiking and enjoy nature.

So when lunchtime came and he asked me where I wanted to go, I picked Elinor. On the way, we talked about how this felt like a new chapter for us, and discussed some goals we had. We both want to use this feeling of a new chapter to motivate us to exercise more and establish more of a routine to our days. We want to track my diabetes more closely and spend more time reflecting on our days and recording the everyday adventures that we cherish so much.

Florida winters are far from barren, unlike Michigan, where most of the trees lose their leaves and the days are frequently overcast and cold. When we left, the Florida forests were beginning to brighten with the bright green of new growth and the azaleas and dogwood trees were blooming.

Being back, we noticed that the wooded areas have filled out to become even more lush with vegetation and there is so much more green to see wherever you look.

The weather was beautiful! It got up to 93 degrees today and was a little humid. We definitely worked up a sweat hiking around, but it was so worth it! The air was filled with the sound of cicadas and cardinals as we walked and bright green dragonflies flitted around.

I opened my Merlin app to identify some of the other bird calls we were hearing. We heard:

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Great Crested Flycatcher
  • Carolina Wren
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Northern Cardinal
  • White-eyed Vireo
  • Northern Parula

We saw a small black and white woodpecker and spent a bit of time trying to see the Northern Parula. The app showed it as being a bright colored bird with a yellow belly and teal body. We never saw it, but we knew the general area it was in: about mid-height on a tree about 20 feet into the tree line.

The magnolias were so pretty with their dark and light, glossy leaves. This orange flower was all alone on the side of the path.

We came upon this field just as we decided to turn around to head back. We would have loved to stay longer, but somehow the lunch hour had come to a close and it was time to get back to the work day.

We both really enjoy getting out into nature and hiking around whenever we can.

After I finished work, we were going to take a swim in the pool, but it was closed. We ended up switching gears and playing tennis. It was warm and sweaty, but it felt so good to play together again.

Overall, it has been a fantastic day! We are hoping to get some movement in 3 times tomorrow: before work, lunchtime, and after work.

I can’t imagine anyone else I’d rather adventure through life with. Donald, you are the best, and I love you! 😘❤️ I can’t wait to see what this new chapter holds for us!

4WBW: Week 4: Day 26

Week 4: Four-Day Split: Full Body

The premise this week is that we will work on each body part only once per week,
except for calves and abs, which will be worked twice.

Day 26: Back, Biceps & Abs

  1. Barbell Bent-Over Row (5 sets; 12 reps)
  2. Lat Pulldown (5 sets; 8/8/10/10/12 reps)
  3. Single-Arm Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Row (5 sets; 8/8/8/10/10 reps)
  4. Barbell Biceps Curl (4 sets; 10/10/12/12 reps)
  5. Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl (3 sets; 10 reps)
  6. Machine Preacher Curl (3 sets; 10 reps)
  7. Crunch (3 sets; 20 reps)

Thanks for joining me on this journey! If you have any suggestions/encouragement, I’d love to hear it!

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4WBW: Week 4: Day 25

Week 4: Four-Day Split: Full Body

The premise this week is that we will work on each body part only once per week,

except for calves and abs, which will be worked twice.

Day 25: Shoulders & Calves

  1. Overhead Dumbbell Press (4 sets; 12 reps)
  2. Smith Machine Upright Row (3 sets; 8/10/12 reps)
  3. Dumbbell Lateral Raise (3 sets; 10 reps)
  4. Seated Calf Raise (10 sets; 10 reps)

Thanks for joining me on this journey! If you have any suggestions/encouragement, I’d love to hear it!

DSCN7986

4WBW: Week 4: Day 23

Week 4: Four-Day Split: Full Body

The premise this week is that we will work on each body part only once per week,
except for calves and abs, which will be worked twice.

Day 23: Legs & Abs

  1. Back Squat (5 sets; 10 reps)
  2. Leg Press (5 sets; 8/8/10/10/12 reps)
  3. Leg Extension (5 sets; 8/8/10/10/12 reps)
  4. Lying Leg Curl (3 sets; 8/10/12 reps)
  5. Romanian Deadlift (3 sets; 8/10/12 reps)
  6. Seated Leg Curl (3 sets; 8/10/12 reps)
  7. Reverse Crunch (2 sets; 20 reps)
  8. Crunch (2 sets; 20 reps)

Thanks for joining me on this journey! If you have any suggestions/encouragement, I’d love to hear it!

DSCN7986

4WBW: Week 4: Day 22

Week 4: Four-Day Split: Full Body

The premise this week is that we will work on each body part only once per week,
except for calves and abs, which will be worked twice.

Day 22: Chest, Triceps, Calves

  1. Incline Barbell Bench Press (5 sets; 10 reps)
  2. Dumbbell Bench Press (5 sets; 8/8/10/10/12 reps)
  3. Dumbbell Flye (5 sets; 8/8/10/10/12 reps)
  4. Rope Pressdown (4 sets; 10/10/12/12 reps)
  5. Dumbbell Kickback (3 sets; 10 reps)
  6. Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension (3 sets; 10 reps)
  7. Standing Calf Raise (3 sets; 25 reps)
  8. Seated Calf Raise (3 sets; 25 reps)

Thanks for joining me on this journey! If you have any suggestions/encouragement, I’d love to hear it!

DSCN7986