Roaming the outdoors has always been a passion for Rachel and I, and when we had our son Jake just over one year ago we made the decision to do everything within our power to raise him to enjoy the trees and the sky and to hopefully become an adventurous person in general. That’s why in three months Jake will be going on his first hike. We’ll be doing all the leg-work, so he’ll just be along for the ride, but our goal is to inspire him from an early age to love getting out there.

That leg-work part is just a bit worrisome We’ve decided to hike up Mount Baker and spend the night at a little fishing lake that my father first took me to when I was about Jake’s age, and while it’s not an extraordinarily difficult route, Rachel and I had fallen out of the routine of exercising over the course of the pregnancy, so the idea of walking the eight or so miles while carrying both a backpack and a baby poses a bit of a challenge. That’s when we agreed to hold off on the trip for a couple of months until we get back into shape.

The next question we encountered was, how do we do that? Someone has to be at hand to watch Jake, and while we could take turns running or going to the gym or whatnot, we prefer to work out together. We came to a quick solution—it was time to invest in a piece of workout equipment.

After perusing the market a bit we decided to get something from XTERRA. But once again a question arose—would we get a treadmill or an elliptical? I’m more into running but Rachel likes a full-body workout. So we came to a compromise. Why not get one of each? We said that we like to work out together, didn’t we?

We got the machines two weeks ago, and all I can say is, it’s great to be back on the path to fitness. I didn’t know how much I missed being active until I started running again. The treadmill’s programs keep me pushing toward higher and higher levels of achievement, and all the while I’m feeling better conditioned and more capable. Sometimes when Rachel and I are working out at the same time we race for a certain distance, she on her elliptical and me on my treadmill.

I’ve found that the best part about having a treadmill right in my home is that I actually end up using it. When I used to have a gym membership I almost never went, but now I can just step on the machine when I wake up or get a workout in when I have a few spare moments later in the day.

All in all, things are looking and feeling good, and I’m looking forward to taking my son on his first fishing trip.