Keep Fit: If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Join ’Em

We took down our tree yesterday and, as per usual, I have fallen victim to the post-holiday blues. And this “condition” is exacerbated by the strange East End weather.

I like nothing better than working out outdoors. But in this not cold, not hot stage, what’s a girl to do?

I needed a break from running. A bit of cross training, in the form of a fun, East End seasonal activity. But it’s too warm to ice skate? Too cold to stand up paddle board?


This weekend, I tried both.

Saturday, I made the trek to Greenport to try out the ice skating rink in Mitchell Park. I don’t go to the North Fork nearly as much as I would like, and I planned on pairing my adventure with a trip to Lucharitos, a new Mexican place on Main Street.

And, of course, a nice, warm cappuccino from Bonnie Jean’s in Southold—the home of Long Island Coffee Roasters—was on the agenda.

Bouts of questionable ’80s music notwithstanding, the unassuming rink proved to be the perfect source of entertainment for a Saturday evening. We arrived at 4:30 p.m. and had a solid hour and a half to enjoy our time outdoors. It wasn’t crowded at all, which allowed us to skate, race and fall at our leisure.

With all that exercise, we had worked up quite an appetite. And—go figure—it was a little chilly. Or at least damp. So a plate of salsa and nachos was just the ticket.

Once home to Butta Cakes, which I’m told sold outta-this-world sweets, Lucharitos is the product of some creativity in the wake of destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy. As the story goes,  Butta Cakes was hit hard by Sandy, and owner Marc LaMaina decided that if he was going to rebuild anyway, he might as well pursue something he’s always dreamed of—a Mexican restaurant/bar. The mission is simple: affordable, delicious and locally sourced food. How could I not grab a taste at this lemonade-out-of-lemons establishment?

Suffice it to say, something good has come out of Sandy. Try the sangria (both red and white are available!), guac and shrimp tacos.

But, while skating was fun, Lucharitos brightly colored walls and south-of-the-border feel put me in the mood for warm weather activities.

So, when I woke up on Sunday and realized that it was nearly 50 degrees and sunny, I decided that it was time to break out my stand  up paddleboard. A risky venture, because I don’t have a wetsuit. But I donned my warmest running gear and stole my brother’s surf booties before heading out to Mecox Bay. I figured, I can swim; The bay is no more than six feet deep; I would hug the bulkhead…just in case. And, simply, why not?

Definitely no regrets on the decision. The water was unbelievably calm, and I was able to glide along the surface no problem. The sheer quiet provided an overwhelming sense of calm. And the wetsuit-boots kept my feet warm.

There’s simply nothing like being on the water, and I am so glad that I decided to forgo waiting until summer to experience that again.

So, as the weather continues to be fickle…if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

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