We go to Disneyland a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. People always ask us why we go and if we are tired of it yet, but we are not. We love it. Disneyland is our version of sailing, or Hawaii, or Mexico, or wherever that happy place is for you- that’s Disneyland for us! Once we get there, it is easy. No one has to worry about what we are going to do or boredom- the park provides it all!!! This year we bought season passes so we were guaranteed that we had to go at least two times in order to get our money’s worth- such a hardship! Last week we spent our time in the Happiest Place on Earth once again. Disneyland is a pretty amazing place. It’s an especially great place to be able to test your endurance. On average we walked between 20,000 and 30,000 steps per day while we were there. That breaks down to walking almost a half marathon every day! I was amazed that my kids can do it, much less me!
I know that I spend a lot of time doing before and after comparisons on this website, but I find it an imperative to do so because it makes me reflect on why I don’t want to gain weight and be a larger person/unfit person again. When Guinevere was just 14 months old, and I was 31 years old, we went to Disneyland for the first time as a family. We stayed in an inexpensive hotel that was almost directly across the street from the park, the idea being that I wouldn’t have to walk very far to get to the park and we wouldn’t have to take a bus or car to get there. I was prepared to have to walk a lot all day long to the park, but I was not prepared for the way that my body would react to that much walking! By the time we got back to our hotel every night I was absolutely exhausted. Didn’t matter that the hotel is only across the street, walking across the street the extra 500 paces or whatever was one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever lived through in my life! LOL! To make matters worse, we were staying on the second floor of the hotel that did not have an elevator. Bradley would pick Guinevere up and carry her up the stairs while I would slowly make my way to the top of the stairs and into our room to collapse on our bed. It was five days of sheer exhaustion. Fun, yes, but exhausting!
That trip didn’t deter me, however. We have continued to go to Disneyland quite regularly. For a while that meant making accommodations for me that included having a bus that would pick us up at the hotel and drop us off at Disneyland, almost at the gate. We would also leave the park midday so that Gigi and I could nap, and our trips typically lasted nine or more days so that we could go really, really slow. It worked, but it was exhausting and I knew that I was putting significant limitations on my family.
Much like the hike to Heather Lake, this trip to Disneyland was a polar opposite experience than what we used to have back when I was heavier. We planned to stay at a hotel that we stayed at one time before, which is about a quarter mile away from Disneyland. If we were going to take a bus, we were going to have to pay extra, on top of our hotel fees, to use it. It seemed silly to do that considering we are in much better shape than we ever were, so we forewent the bus this time and just planned on walking to and from the park. I was amazed that never once on the walk home was I so exhausted that I wished that we could have a taxi. In fact, I think that our walks back to the hotel were one of the highlights of our trip. Every night on the way back we would relive the day with singing and dancing on our way down the street; I think we were probably pretty annoying to people around us. LOL!
Over the course of six days we walked a total of 57 miles. We wore our pedometers every day so we could keep track of how far we were going. I was shocked to see the distances that all of us were making, especially my son with his little short six-year-old legs, walking the same distance the rest of us much taller people went. He was such a trooper! I wore really good shoes every day, of course, and never once did I feel like my legs were sore, my knees were sore or my feet were sore to the point that I couldn’t go anymore.
I will admit that my hips were sore from my childlike running down the hill expedition that I did earlier in the week during that one workout. That probably wasn’t the best form of exercise for getting ready to go to Disneyland! I bruised my hips, or bursa sac, which wouldn’t have been a big deal normally, but walking that much for that many days in a row and sleeping in a hard bed was a little uncomfortable by the end.
All in all, I would rate Disneyland as a fit person way higher than when I was heavier. Disneyland is slow hot and hard when you’re a heavy person. At 210 pounds, which is about where I’m at right now, it wasn’t hard, it wasn’t hot and it was a lot of fun! On top of that, while I was there, I kept looking at women’s fashion. Turns out that you don’t need to be a tiny little stick anymore to wear short shorts or a bikini, so I wore my short shorts with my saggy thighs the entire vacation, and even came home and went to an event last night wearing my short shorts. So, I suppose I will rock the 3 inch inseam now!
Disneyland is such a magical place for me. I love it there. It is where I’ve seen my kids come alive and awake to the world. Each time we’ve been we’ve seen leaps in imaginative storytelling and, when they were little, massive vocabulary growth- they would rapidly work to accumulate the language needed to tell all about their adventures. It’s been a place where we can let go and let our kid side come out to play. It’s where love and whimsy rule, now I appreciate that tremendously. Now, for me, it’s also a test of my fitness every time. If I can endure Disneyland, I know that I am doing ok. Doesn’t it just seem appropriate that I run the half marathon there??