Camp Crystal Kai - The Experience

Camp Crystal Kai - The Experience

Fishing from a paddleboard. The idea has everyone in the group wondering what to expect. Floppy fishing hats pockmarked with lures and brown outdoorsman vests are the fashion accessories that immediately come to mind, but on this fishing trip, we take to the inlet of a green, grassy estuary that weaves through the center of Carrot Island. And we do so in bare feet wearing only our bathing suits.

Camp Crystal Kai - The Place

Camp Crystal Kai - The Place

A Camp Crystal Kai paddleboarding adventure is replete with activities in, on and away from the water. In addition to extensive time spent on a paddleboard, participants enjoy daily yoga sessions, shopping excursions, dinners out, sunbathing by the pool and cocktail hours on the porch. Yet, the Crystal Coast is as much of a draw for many participants as is the slate of activities.

Camp Crystal Kai - The People

Camp Crystal Kai - The People

Camp Crystal Kai is a week-long, all-inclusive SUP getaway for women that is held in North Carolina's stunning Crystal Coast. The camp will be held May 12-20 and is open to paddlers of all skill levels. It will include fitness classes, yoga sessions, relaxation and individualized paddling instruction provided by lifelong paddlers Casi Rynkowski and Anna Levesque.

Rynkowski is an avid paddler who has over a decade of experience training athletes, fitness enthusiasts and newcomers. She is passionate about helping those who are new to outdoor activities get on a path to a healthier lifestyle.

STEP UP YOUR SUP STROKE: The art of applying leverage

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"Leverage" is likely not the first term that comes to mind when you think about fitness and sports performance. Without leverage, however, you can't achieve any of the typical fitness objectives, such as power, strength, or speed. In fact, leverage is relevant to all basic movements we make. 

Archimedes once said, "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." That statement—a basic explanation of how leverage is created—is mechanical in nature, but it can be translated into human terms. 

 

Cross Training for SUP Outdoors

Casi Rynkowski is a go-getter. She’s a outdoor fitness specialist, certified personal trainer, ACA Level 2 SUP instructor, expedition paddler, SUP surfer and a mother of three. “Cross-training is key to increasing performance on the water,” she says. “The great outdoors can be your training ground with big benefits you can’t find inside the gym—both physically and mentally. Taking a break from your main sport of choice can also help prevent burnout and keep your passion alive.” Here, Rynkowski gives us her personal smorgasbord of SUP-supporting activities.
 

Finding your tribe on the water...

One of the key reasons I wanted to start my business, was to not only to share my love for adventure but to find my tribe of ladies which had to exist somewhere. Corporate world, to stay-at-home mom, to personal trainer, to outdoor fitness specialist living in spandex and craving waves to surf, bodies of water to paddle and rock to climb-- This is how I got where I am today. The transformation was not easy, often judged and misunderstood. I was blessed to have many male mentors in the outdoor industry who were willing to let me tag along, but I was always in a pod of guys and my skill often outmatched as my adventuring began in my 40's. The Outessa Summit is an incredible experience for anyone women wanting to make the leap but not having a tribe to do it with. Here is my latest article featured in Supthemag about the tribe of women I met at the Outessa Summit.

 

Make peace with your Mental Self

“How to lose weight and get fit in three months or less.” Somehow, that has become the average timeframe we allow ourselves to achieve our fitness goals. Three months is not any kind of magic fitness number - it’s just what’s left of a year after we carve out all the days that we have allow ourselves to fall off the fitness wagon.

November and December have become the official “game off” months in a fitness quest,  as the crazy holidays arrive, with big dinners and goodies galore. Then June through August have become the “I will be outside burning calories (translation: eating barbecue and drinking beer on the beach) months” and then, as winter vacation approaches, we cross off the two weeks before and after any vacation plan, to account for the stress of getting ready and then recovering from the time off.

Bottom line, we let the days, weeks and months that overlap holidays, summer, vacations, sickness, quarterly business cycles, menstrual cycles, special events, bad mood days and hangnails sabotage our fitness plans. I am human too, and I battle these demons – damn you HBO series Game of Thrones.

How much time does all this leave us to achieve our fitness goals? Six months maximum, scattered across the calendar - and that’s before we even factor in wildcards like those hangnails. 

How can you maintain a fitness progress if you keep starting over? Unfortunately, you can’t. My point is not to paint a bleak picture, but to deliver an ever-so-important smack on the melon with the fitness reality two-by-four. There is NO optimal time to start a fitness journey and NO real reason to stop. The reasons we invent are self-imposed ways of avoiding the hard work that we need to keep doing during those less-than-optimal times. 

How long does it take to achieve a fitness goal? Speaking broadly, let’s say at least six months. Consistency, frequency, and intensity of your training, plus sticking to a healthy diet and including sufficient recovery time, all play a huge role. The reality is, you’ll probably need closer to a year. What you do after you achieve your goal is also key.  Here are some fitness facts to chew on.

If you are on a quest to build muscle, the average male who is controlling all of the above factors and eating a pristine diet can expect to put on one to two pounds of muscle per month. That doesn’t sound like much of a result for living a perfect fitness life, but if you factor in a daily venti one-pump cinnamon dolce latte, an occasional party night, and eating a gallon of ice cream once in a while (hey, it happens), you will delay your success and push your timeline to reach your goal out even further.

Weight loss can be a bit easier to achieve, because you can “rob Peter to pay Paul.” To lose one pound, you need to burn 3,500 calories in a week, and you can do that through diet, exercise or both.  The average person can lose one to two pounds a week with workouts and controlling calorie intake, but those hangnails can still get in the way, and the robbery works both ways.  You can kill it in the gym one week but still eat away your progress the next.    

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If you have not figured it out yet, we all live very much in our heads, and our “Mental Self” can prevent us from achieving our fitness goals. Changing how you approach fitness could be the key to your fitness longevity. Start by looking at fitness as a permanent part of every day, and not just a temporary solution. Make it your lifestyle. Build it into your everyday routine, not just through diet and exercise behind four walls, but by living it with your family and friends. If your Mental Self is getting in the way, and you can’t envision what living a fitness lifestyle could look like, here are some guidelines to consider.

1) Find your tribe. There is strength in numbers. Friends and family on the same quest can help you keep on track. You will still need to do the work and fight your Mental Self, but having a friend who can help you tell it to “get with the program” is a major benefit.

2) Explore fitness weekly. Indoor rock gyms, mud runs, triathlons, and - my favorite - outdoor adventure sports, all deliver awesome cross-training benefits disguisedas social fun. Mother Nature is the best cure for an ailing Mental Self. Sunshine and fresh air have a way of making your workout feel not so laborious. Skip the gym sessions and get outdoors as much as you can, even if you just bring your weights outside.

3) Plan physically active vacations that will allow you to mentally power down but keep your body revving.  Sure, your Mental Self can become fatigued from work overload, but that does not mean your vacation needs to consist of flopping on the beach for seven solid days.  One of the best ways to complete a brain dump is by tackling an outdoor fitness adventure that fills your mind. Rock climbing and surfing are great for this.  

4) Last but not least, for the love of all things fitness, realize that fitness needs to be a permanent part of your life.  You work for money or you don’t get paid.  Fitness is no different.  You need to work at it to get there, and to keep it.

Winter's Respite

Photo Credit:  Peter McGowan

Improving your surf skills takes time on the water.  Something I lack as a busy mother of three, business owner and living an hour and a half from the ocean.  I do what I can, when I can and it makes me happy.  I was honored to be included in this story from Joe Carberry in SUPthemag.  Although I am a transient Rhode Island surfer, I do hope to plant my roots there someday soon.  For now I will continue to take the trek north or south, chasing waves.