It’s time to start getting in shape for swimsuit season, and there’s no better way than my proven workout routine called Floating Solo*. This workout is excellent for people that have few friends, are comfortable being alone, and aren’t looking for actual results. Floating Solo is the Unitarian Universalist of exercise plans, integrating a myriad of disciplines and offering the participant a holistic experience that exercises the mind and the body. Part of the beauty of this routine is that participants must leave their phone at home or in the car in order to keep it dry. This also allows the participant to disconnect from the immediacy of technology and have clear headspace to enjoy nature.
1 small tube
1 pair of non-tourist-looking river shoes
2-3 swimsuits with similar silhouettes
1 small lunchbox-sized cooler
1 blue ice pack
1 small reusable water bottle
2-3 canned beers
1 small plastic bag Sunscreen Floating Solo is a full-body experience. It targets the mind, body and soul. The routine begins with a brisk walk through town to the starting point of the float. Start at the headwaters or Sewell Park for a 60-80 minute session or Lions Club for a 30-45 minute session. Stretch out your legs by removing your swimsuit cover and bend over into a full pike stretch to put the clothes into your cooler. Seek balance as you position your bottom into the tube while holding up your cooler to keep it dry. Place it between your knees when properly seated in your tube. Remember to use a smaller tube with no bottom. This forces you to keep the abs tight as you V-sit through most of your float, and lifting of the glutes is encouraged to avoid bumping into rocks. The added bonus of not having a bottom in your tube is that you can enjoy the delightful tickles of the underwater vegetation. The arms receive ample attention as you use them to paddle around Texas wild rice, tourists that act as though they are drowning in their tubes with their feet on the ground, local kids providing cannon-ball-splash “lessons” to tubers, novice canoers that have no idea how paddles work, and dogs fetching items thrown past your head. Stop about halfway through the float to concentrate on legs and stretches. Park your tube on the side, and focus your keen eyesight on the ground. This improves concentration and mental clarity. Look for tiny (and sometimes very large) pieces of glass. Pick up each piece as you see it reflecting the sunlight, and place them in the small plastic bag you brought in your cooler. Bend and pick. Bend and pick. Bend and pick. Continue this repetition for 15 minutes. This helps stretch the muscles and fosters a mind and body connection with the Earth.
As you float on, remember the mantra “in and out”. Breathe in. Breath out. Take a drink of your beer. Pee it out. In and out. In and out. Let it flow through you. Feel the cycle. Breathe. Ahhhhhh.
Continue floating as time permits, and be sure to finish your beers or put them back in your cooler before you walk out of the river because the police/park rangers will give you a hard time. (There’s a “no consumption in the parks” policy.) Having one of those interactions might break you from your relaxed zen-like state. It’s best to avoid this. On your return power walk, stop at the Children’s Park, and make your way back and forth across the monkey bars. Swinging on the swings also helps the participant feel care-free with a tingly tummy that elicits an involuntary smile. As you continue the brisk walk back, be sure to drink water and remain hydrated. Finally, connect with other people as you share the glorious feelings you experienced as a participant of the Floating Solo workout plan. Embrace your tan lines. Bask in the aroma of the river smell in your hair. Enjoy paradise. *Floating Solo has no proven results. Watch out for snakes.
Kelly Stone is a sexual health educator and college lecturer who likes to think of her stand-up comedy as “edutainment”. She began performing in 2006 at an open mic in Philadelphia and has been hooked on comedy ever since. She hosts the monthly Hot Mess Comedy Show at Bar 141 in San Marcos, speaks to various universities on many different topics, watches Project Runway, and is still trying to figure out how to keep her boys from smearing Greek yogurt on the furniture. Follow her on twitter: @funnykelly or help stop her kids when they are trying to run across a busy street. There’s safety in numbers. Show Dates: Wednesday, April 16, San Marcos Game Night, 8:30 pm, Triple Crown, Free Wednesday, April 23, Greeting from Queer Mountain, Cheer Up Charlie’s, 9:00 pm, Free Friday, April 25, Hot Mess Comedy Show, 8:30 pm, Bar 141, $5 Saturday, April 26, Mr. Fest Comedy Showcase, 5:00 pm, Green Parrot, Free Tuesday, April 29, Funniest Person In Austin Prelims, 8:00, Cap City Comedy, $6/2 Cans Wednesday, April 30, San Marcos Game Night, 8:30 pm, Triple Crown, Free