I love the beach. Why else would I call Charleston home for the last six years? Sadly, I don't make enough time in my life to enjoy the beach. Something that has been on my bucket list since I moved to Charleston and had yet to do was learn to surf. As a kid, I remember spending my days at Cherry Grove Beach with my brother boogie boarding all day and having the time of my life, so I knew surfing would be something I would most likely enjoy. Thanks to Isla Surf School I was able to check surfing off my bucket list and perhaps find a new hobby.
My Surfing Experience
I arrived at Folly Beach on a breezy Thursday afternoon. I parked near the Tides Hotel and walked over to Isla's spot on the beach at 3 St W. on Folly. I was greeted by the team which included Peter (the owner), Tommy (the Head Instructor), and Trip (another Head Instructor). I was also joined by the Cocktail Bandits (Johnny and Neka), as well as, Jessica with the Red Sunflower.
Prior to hitting the waves we participated in a "land lesson" lead by the comical Tommy. The land lesson is designed to teach you everything you need to know about surfing, including the board, how to paddle, and lastly, how to standup on the board. After laughing and learning (and admittedly struggling a bit to learn how to stand up on the board), we were ready to put on our rash guards, strap our boards to our ankle, and hit the water.
As I mentioned earlier, it was rather breezy out with a pretty strong current. You could definitely see a storm brewing off in the distance. With the pretty aggressive current, it was important that we stuck together in groups. Jessica and I headed out with Peter.
Actually carrying the board against the wind and getting it in the water was one of the hardest parts. By the time I laid down on the board, I was exhausted. However, I was determined to catch a wave. I paddled out to Peter and waited for Peter's cue to start paddling to catch my first wave.
A few minutes later, Peter yelled "paddle" and before I could blink, I was catching my first wave. I paddled hard and aggressively, a little unsure of when to stand. I waited for Peter to yell "stand" and up I went. I really surprised myself that I was even able to stand up. My first wave didn't last long as I felt super wobbly and ended up bailing out. However, the first wave gave me the biggest adrenaline rush!
I quickly got back on the board and paddled back out to Peter. After a few more minutes, I caught another wave, and to my surprise, was able to stand and ride the wave for a good distance. All in all in, I was able to catch about five waves, and stand up and ride about three of the five. The current was aggressive and paddling wore me out. We decided to call it a day just to be safe rather than sorry. I was really amazed to hear Peter say that if you could catch a wave in those conditions, then you could easily catch a wave in calmer conditions.
Overall, I highly enjoyed my experience with Isla. Peter was super patient and chill. He was a great teacher and easily calmed any fear I had. Surfing was the most invigorating yet relaxing experience I've had in a long time. It is definitely a great way to escape and decompress from everything that is going on in life.
(Photos courtesy of Parlay Vous)
The 4th of July has come and gone....sigh. I love the 4th of July. It's the middle of the summer when the temperatures go up and the tourists go down. When you can go to the beach, without sitting in hours worth of traffic. (But prepared to sweat your buns off). Anyways. what an amazing 5 day weekend we had. We started our weekend by celebrating a friends' birthday at Hall's. We got to do things we haven't ever done including tubing down the Edisto River, had a pool day, enjoyed Sullivan's Island on the 4th and Fireworks at a friend's house on James Island after.
Tubing the Edisto
If you're a local and haven't had a chance to tube down the Edisto River, I highly recommend it. It is fun, long day. We packed the car and tubes (deflated of course) and headed to Givhan's Ferry State Park. Being rookies, we made a lot of rookie mistakes. We were initially supposed to meet some other people who would be our second car, but didn't realize how far out the park and the other people didn't make it in time. So with our one car, we ventured out.
We went out of our way to find an ATM because we thought the park admittance of $5/person was cash only. We learned two things about this. First, there is a gas station right there, so you do not need to go out of your way to find one. Second, the park accepts debit cards.
Once we arrived and parked we had the mission of blowing up all of our floats. We brought a bicycle pump thinking that would be efficient. Lesson learned, it is worth the couple extra bucks to buy an electric pump. Luckily, some kind people camping at the park let us borrow theirs. It still took a good 20 minutes to fully inflate our tubes with the electric pump.
Once we got on the river, all was well. It was actually quite peaceful. There were other groups floating as well. One house left the music on really loud so we had some jams. We cracked open some beers as soon as we hit the water. (You can't drink at the park). The float lasted a good 3-4 hours. The river moved pretty fast (for the Edisto atleast). The water levels were high due to recent rainfall. We stopped at a beach, which we thought was close the end. DNR was out in full force, so we decided just go on with our float. We ended up paddling a good bit to get to the end, just because we were tired, a bit sunburnt, and needed to ensure there were people at the boat landing (the finish point) who could take us back.
We managed to find a ride, deflate our floats, and head home. I am absolutely looking forward to doing it again before the end of the summer. The bigger the group the better! So grab your friends and let's go!
So I've been doing Crossfit for about year now (I started late July of last year). Crossfit has transformed my body (hello traps and lats). However, I have hit a point with Crossfit that I'm realizing working out alone isn't going to help me achieve my goals. I desperately want to be able to lift heavier and just have more endurance and strength throughout workouts. I knew my diet was a major factor holding me back from this. Let's get real personal, I'm 5'2". I weighed 110 pounds up until my 26th birthday. In 2016, I switched some medication and gained 10 pounds. I've been weighing roughly 120 pounds since then. When I arrived back from Rome, I realized I had dropped nearly seven pounds, and felt incredibly weak. This was when I realized, I needed to supplement my workouts with an adequate diet. I want to be strong, and fit. Being lean isn't necessarily my main focus.
I looked around for the "perfect" diet for me. I didn't want to lose weight, I wanted to gain, but healthy mass, not fat. My gym started an RP Challenge in April. I knew would be traveling in May and wasn't quite ready to commit to this diet. What is RP, you ask?
RP, stands for Renaissance Periodization. This diet is from what I can tell, relatively new. It's highly promoted in the Crossfit/Weightlifting industry. RP is an individualized diet/exercise program designed to help you "cut" (or lean out) or "mass" (gain muscle/mass). It works in conjunction to your workout program. To get started with RP, you buy a template online. Each template is specifically designed for your body and your goals. RP is designed to be no less than a 90 program, with new "cuts" or cycles occurring every few weeks. RP is very stringent. You have to eat certain foods at certain times of day. It's designed to give you optimal fuel for your workouts. RP is a pretty serious commitment, but can bring you great results if you stick to it. Our gym has divided up into teams and are competing against each other for prizes and bragging rights. I am still learning to "clean" up my diet (getting rid of fast foods and processed foods), so I wasn't quite ready for RP. I hope to be able to do it later in the year and document my results.
Paleo is probably the most popular "Crossfit" diet. Paleo is essentially the "Caveman" diet. It is designed to rid your life of processed foods and eat foods straight from the Earth. One of the pioneers of the Paleo diet is Dr. Lane Sebring, The Paleo diet includes lean meats (even those of wild animals), nuts, fish, eggs, fruits, and root vegetables. The Paleo diet excludes dairy (a staple in my life, unfortunately), salt, processed oils, processed grains, and refined sugar. I've wanted to go Paleo for a while, but I am not sure I can go cold turkey excluding those foods from my diet.
Growing up my mom was a single mom. Between baseball games and practices with my brother and cheerleading with me, our diet was more grab and go. We were not healthy eaters growing up. Most everything we ate was processed. (I loved me some Beanie Weenies out the can...haha). Trying to transform my diet to a more mature, whole diet has been hard. My current goal is just to try and avoid as much processed food as possible.
Whole30 seems to be the latest craze in dieting and healthy eating. Whole30 is similar to the Paleo diet, with more food restrictions. With Whole30 you cannot eat or drink: sugar, alcohol (a major game changer for me!), grains, legumes, dairy, carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites, You also can't recreate "junk" food with healthy ingredients. Whole30 is designed to be done for 30 straight days. It is not designed for as a weight loss program, however, most people I know who do the program and do it right experience some type of weight loss. Whole30 is not for me, at least at this point in my life. I enjoy eating out every now and then, and having a drink or two. Being that restrictive on my diet, may not be the best fit for me mentally. Whole30 can cause some people to experience some psychological and mood problems due to the restrictive nature of the diet. Unlike RP, with Paleo and RP you do not have to weigh or count your food.
Recently, I started tracking my macros. I used Macro Calculator on IIFYM.com (IIFYM stands for it If It Fits in Your Macros). This calculator gave me the amount of Fat, Carbs, and Protein I should eat each day based on my goals and how much you work out. It is referred to as Reverse Dieting, because you can essentially eat what you want as long as it fits within your Macros (Carbs, Protein, Fat) for the day. It is very similar to RP, with RP being more targeted as to what you can eat and when you eat it throughout the day.
I've been tracking my Macros for about 10 days. I've noticed it's impossible to track on the weekends, if you go out to dinner or have a couple drinks. However, for me, I want to focus on controlling what I eat Monday-Friday for now. Obviously, you can tell I am not hyper-intensive about diet. My philosophy on it all is balance. Eat well and enjoy life. I will say I have noticed a change in my workouts since I have begun tracking my Macros and thus eating more. I haven't jumped on a scale lately so I do not know my weight, however, last week we tested out on some of our lifts and I PR'ed or tied my PR with all of my lifts. I am noticing I am stronger and have more endurance throughout my workouts. Below are some photos of when we tested out these lifts.
Overall, I think you should chose a program that fits within your lifestyle. Even if it is not an actual diet program, but rather just cutting out processed foods, eating less fast food, or dining out less. I think there is a happy medium out there. I think you truly can enjoy being healthier.
Haley Parler Moore
Charleston resident. Digital Marketer. Crazy Crossfitter. Bulldog Mom. Gamecock fan. Constantly clad in Lululemon.