Push Away the Screen: MOSI Tampa

Disclaimer: MOSI provided me with passes to all exhibits, IMAX, rope course, and zip line. All opinions are my own.

 

My trio had Veteran's Day off from school. After my crossfit workout in the morning, we headed off to MOSI. We went to MOSI to celebrate Ronin's 7th birthday in July and have been wanting to go back.

We found this advertisement for the Tampa Trio: Lowry Park Zoo, The Florida Aquarium, and MOSI. And this Tampa Trio loves all 3 of those places. We've been visiting since my trio were wee ones.

We got our IMAX tickets to see Hidden Universe at 1pm, and it was 12:15pm so we decided to stay close to IMAX.

Ella immediately asked to go upstairs and be on the news. It took a little convincing on my part to get Ronin up the stairs. He was freaked out by the Christmas garland winding up the staircase railing.

I think at least one of the kids might have a future in broadcasting. Thanks Bay News 9 for this great exhibit! My gang loved seeing themselves on TV!

We stayed in the Disasterville for a while. My trio is fascinated by tornadoes and they have a great tornado exhibit with a chance to experience what the winds feel like in a F1 storm.

Haley and Ronin worked together to try to build a house that could withstand an earthquake. Ronin just liked the shaking.

 

Once we finished Disasterville, the kids were itching to go to the ropes course and zip line but I had IMAX tickets for 1pm. We quickly went downstairs to see if we could switch to the 3pm show. We were able to switch, so off we headed outside!

I had to check all my bags in a locker. I even brought my Camelbak for water for the course because one of their staff told me on our last visit that I could. But they wouldn't let me. I knew we wouldn't last too long because we get hot and thirsty when we're working hard!

Ronin and Haley did the zip line. Ella is still 7 pounds too light. Ella and I did the ropes course together. Haley went off by herself and I assisted Ronin for a short time. Those ropes can get a bit tricky! No pictures because I wasn't allowed to carry anything Undecided Here is Haley coming off the course. She's smiling and had a great time!

After the ropes course we went over to the playground and then inside to Kids in Charge. My trio love Kids in Charge.

Again, Haley and Ronin got along well and played store together.

 They all really enjoyed the AMAZING Bed of Nails.

And we also explored the new to us Mission Moonbase exhibit. They really liked this one a lot, too. Ella and Ronin even managed to get along for a few minutes.

It was time for our movie, so we headed back over to the main building. Upstairs we went, snack were bought, and our navigator Ronin brought us to our seats. In the very last row. I liked being in the last row. That used to be where I always sat when I took my middle school science class.

We munched on popcorn and drank water while we watched Hidden Universe. It was a neat movie. The images were stunning. Ronin loved the remote control truck that brought the giant telescopes up the mountain side. He had read about it in a Monster Truck book that we bought at the school book fair. He made a real-life connection and I was so proud. Laughing

After the movie, we made a quick dash through the high wire bike. Only Ella and Ronin were able to go. The dude had to close down the exhibit to go and run the hurricane wind exhibit. Poor Haley. I hate that it happened to her, but glad that it was her and not Ronin. That would have been B.A.D. The dude didn't tell us that Ella would be the last one until she was already on the bike. Fail. They need a sign with hours of operation. If they have one, I missed it, as did the 10 people lined up behind us.

Ronin went first and he thought it was so cool that he was as tall as the dinosaur skeleton. 

Ella didn't really have much to say about the whole experience because she felt so badly that Haley didn't get a chance to go.

After Ella got off the bike we headed right down to the Hurricane wind exhibit! Haley was determined that she would at least get to experience that!

They had a great time together!!

Ronin thought it was pretty cool, too!

 

We toured the butterfly garden and indoor pond, and the trio impressed the staff with all their knowledge. They know so much about Florida wildlife.

It was time for us to go! It was after 4pm, and we still wanted to explore the trails. But that didn't end up happening. MOSI recently started to charge for parking, and there was a H.U.G.E. line to get out of the parking lot and one of the pay stalls was down. Traffic was feeding in from 4 different areas in to ONE LINE. It was nuts. People were rude. Someone eventually came over to the broken lane, and because of where I was in line, I was the one he called over. After a brief discussion, I was let through without having to pay the $5 for parking. Tongue Out They really need to work on this system. I totally don't mind paying to park, but come on. Make it easy. Like the aquarium. They have actual tellers. It's pretty simple. Or just go back to free parking. That was always a nice perk about MOSI, the free parking.

We do enjoy our visits to MOSI, and visit usually a few times per year. We like the special traveling exhibits and always attend those! Mythbusters will be arriving at MOSI very soon and I hope to see you there!!

 

Have you ever done a Ropes Course, or seen an IMAX film?

 

Fueling with VitaCost

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Vitacost.

 

I was happy when I opened the box and saw all these goodies!

 

Immediately my husband, kids and I tore in to the orange chocolate bar.

It was really good. I really liked the hint of the orange flavor. Yummy!

I always am a firm believer in paying it forward. So I took in the Quest bars to my CrossFit box and shared those with the coaching staff. I honestly had no idea that Quest bars were THE BAR at my box, so these things went FAST!! I heard some of the coaches talking about how they like to let them warm up in the car and then eat them and they are nice, soft and gooey!

I was really excited about trying the protein drinks. I have been really struggling with finding a great tasting post-wod protein drink.

First I tried the Vanilla. Normally I am not a fan of vanilla, but this one was GOOD! I had also never had Chai before so the taste of cinnamon surprised me, but once I got used to it (took about 3 sips) I was good to go.

This has been the drink I've been going back to time and time again. I have yet to try the chocolate one.

I did try the True Whey and it was tasty, too. But it needed more vanilla flavor, so on the second day, I added 2 scoops instead of the one that's recommended. It made all the difference in the world.

I had heard of Vitacost but had never ordered anything from them before. I found their prices to be competitive with companies like GNC and Whole Foods. And I love that they deliver right to my house. I hate shopping so having it arrive on my front door was priceless!

The products that I received can be ordered here:

Smoothie Choc-A-Lot  Drink

Super Cacao Mandarin Orange Chocolate Bar (this was so yummy!!)

True Whey Vanilla

Vanilla Chai (my FAVORITE!!)

Quest Chocolate Protein Bar (my CrossFit box LOVES these!)

You can connect with Vitacost through all forms of social media!

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!!

 

How do you fuel before/after your workout?? If you have received the gift package that I received which item do you think would have been your favorite?? I was surprised that the Vanilla Chai was my favorite!!

A Dirty Blogger does Tough Mudder

Disclaimer: I was provided with a media pass to participate in Tough Mudder. All opinions are my own.

 

I had about a week to prepare for Tough Mudder Central Florida. Having a media pass meant that I could pick any wave, either day. I put out a call on Facebook and was welcomed by my friend Kris to join her team: OFF THE CHEESE. They would be running on Saturday and we met up at 7:30am on Saturday morning, in the POURING rain, and started on our trek to Westgate River Ranch in River Ranch, FL which is just east of Bartow.  The rain stopped as we got on to I-4 and the sky looked blue and clear by the time we arrived in River Ranch.

Traffic was backed up to get in to the ranch, but we were able to see some obstacles and runners along the way, and for the amount of people that were there, I think we got in fairly quickly.

We gathered up our group of 5, and waited for the second group of 5 to arrive. We waited a while. We heard wave after wave being announced, we stood around and took pictures. We also had the husband of one of the girls there and thank goodness for him! He helped me through a couple obstacles!!

After waiting for a while Michelle (in the orange) and I decided to head over and check out the shopping area. And I really needed some water.

We found the Wheaties tent where they were giving out shirts for Movember. I also had a bowl of chocolate milk (I still hadn't found water!!)

We walked around some more and FINALLY I found water. $3 for a Dasani water. I guess it could have been more. Undecided And then we decided we'd check our bags and hope that our other 5 team members would arrive soon!

Gear check was $5 and worth every penny! They had security checking our bag numbers with our athlete ID numbers and security was heavy on the check in and on the check out.

My beautiful Lesportsac extra large weekender tote (Devotion print) did a GREAT job!! I had packed that tote full with room to spare.

What did I pack to my FIRST Tough Mudder?? Since I've done numerous mud runs in the past, I knew what to expect, and I didn't forget anything :)

2 towels

washcloth

soap

shampoo

2 garbage bags

flip flops

clean sneakers

pants

shorts

shirt

panties

bra

clean headband

And wouldn't ya know it, my friend needed a garbage bag and a pair of shoes! Jenny to the rescue :) We both happen to wear a size 9. It was fate that I packed extra shoes.

So gear is checked, (including my cell phone) and now we're just waiting to find the rest of our team. More opportunity for fun pictures! I love all the DC and Marvel Comics characters, so when I saw this group, I had to get a photo with them!

We finally meet up with the other 5 members of our team, so now all 10 of us are ready to go!! We hustle over to the starting line and we have an obstacle BEFORE we can even get to the start. We have to climb a wall. Two boosts up and I was up and over. I tweaked my ankle on landing, and while it hurt a tad, I knew it wasn't anything too serious and was thankful we had like a 10 minute inspirational talk and national anthem to get through before we started. It gave me time to rest my ankle and make sure I was good to go. I was.

And GO!! We were off. We started off running and soon we were to our first obstacle. The Kiss of Mud. This was disgusting.  Running towards this obstacle we saw lots and lots and lots of cow poop. Big huge piles.

This mud was so thick and it smelled so bad of sewage. I did everything in my power to not have to put my hands down in it. I was so careful and watched people in front of me step in to big holes and KISS THE MUD Yell Yuck!! I'm not sure how long it was but I'd guess it was at least 1/2 mile long. We come up from this one and went in to the Jesus Walk. Where you guessed it...we walked on water. Tongue Out

We came out of that one a little cleaner but I still had somehow managed to get a HUGE glob of sand/mud/something inside my right shoe right under my toes. It was starting to bother me and we still had 10 miles to go!!

 

The sack-up was next on our course. Basically we carried bags of sand around a designated area. Some people ran. I walked. But I picked the biggest sack I could find.I figured I might not be able to do all the obstacles, but this one I could surely do, what with all my CrossFit lifting and all. Tongue Out I'd guess my bag weighed about 40 pounds.

We came out of this "obstacle" and in to a water station. I could see the rings from Hangin' Tough in the distance, so I told my 4 team mates (oh right...forgot to mention that those other 5 that we waited OVER AN HOUR FOR ditched us!) that I would catch up to them because I wanted to try to get the mud/sand/whatever out of my shoe. Hangin' Tough literally looked like it was 400 meters away.

It took me a long time to get out my triple knots and there was a huge glob of mud/sand/whatever, and I felt so much better once it was out of my shoe, so off I went to find my friends!!

Little did I know that Hangin' Tough was 2 MILES and 1 obstacle away!! The course took us away from Hangin' Tough before bringing us back around again.

Here I am all alone on Mile 3 and Mile 4. Thankfully the Mud Mile obstacle wasn't difficult and I managed that one just fine alone Laughing

I caught up with my friends in line, and this is when the weather took a turn for the worse! It started to get windy, cold, and rain was coming down. Undecided Oh well. We were already wet, what's a little rain, right?

I did not attempt the Hangin' Tough obstacle. Hanging is a weakness of mine, and I just didn't want to do it. LOL.

But my friends tried it! Michelle fell before I could snap a picture (I'm sorry, but so proud of you for trying it!!) Kris started off well, but those dang gloves were slippery and she lost her grip. Tip...DON'T WEAR GLOVES!!

 Next up was the electric eel. I opted out of this one. I have metal in my shoulder and they said anyone with metal in their body shouldn't do it. Darn. I really wanted to get shocked.

Doesn't Kris look like she's having so much fun??

Next up was the Warrior Carry. Not sure how, but I got separated from my group and did this one alone. There was no one there for me to carry, so I just walked through and when I came out on the other side my group was there. Apparently Mile 5 was also in the Warrior Carry area and I missed that one! Oh well, on to mile 6 and the official 1/2 way point!! Woot woot!!

We went through another Jesus walk, and suddenly were at the Glory Blades. I thought about doing this, but after watching a few people get hurt, and my #1 goal for Tough Mudder was to not get hurt, I decided against doing them. I cheered on my team, though! And we got photo bombed in the last picture. Love it!

We came across a hydration station that also had Clif Bloks. Those things were GOOD! I really liked them. Easy on the stomach and gave me a nice pick me up. But not enough of a pick me up to attempt the next obstacle, the Funky Monkey. It started to rain on us again while we were waiting in line. Kris left her gloves with me, and off she went. She did really good. Made it more than 1/2 way, but then the chick in front of her who was going feet first was moving slower than her, so Kris had to hang and wait, and then the chick left a big glob of mud on the bar, and Kris' hand slipped on it, she lost her grip and down she went. I was so bummed for her. I thought she had it for sure. Silly feet first girl.

Mile 7 was upon us before we knew it and so was the Gopher Tunnel (that's what I called it. It's official name is "course hazard.")

That's Kris heading in to the tunnel and I was right behind her. It was literally a tunnel dug right in to the ground with a wooden plank on the top. It was dark. It was hot. It was a tight fit and the closer we got to the end, the tighter the fit got. But I did it!!

The next obstacle was the cage crawl and I did that one, too!! I didn't get any photos of that, but you lay on your back and sort of float in mud and pull yourself along on a chain link fence that is above you. That was probably my favorite obstacle.

Mile 8 brought us the Arctic Enema. I knew straight away that I wasn't going to do this one. Nope, no way. But I loved cheering my teammates on!

These crazy girls took a running start, Michelle held her nose and in they went!! It was literally filled with ice cubes. O.M.G.

I attempted to get a video but the wall was too high for me, but I did catch them on the way out!! They couldn't get out of there fast enough!

We did some jogging to warm them up, and came across another course hazard and some trench warfare. Again, just big paths dug out and filled with mucky yucky muddy water. And wouldn't ya know it...this is where I suffered my only lasting injury (besides some bruising.) I was slipping in some mud and didn't want to fall all the way in, so reached out and grabbed a bush that was full of THORNS! Ugh. It cut my fingers and left behind little thorny parts. But I was a trooper and on we went past mile 9 and mile 10!

And then the WALK THE PLANK obstacle loomed out ahead of us. Kris and Michelle went and stood in line and I went to fix my shoe and wait for them! They did it and I'm so proud of them both!!

They were cold again and wanted to run. I was not in the running mood, so told them to go on their way, I'd catch up, and I befriended another walker on the course. I went through the underwater tunnels alone, and then caught up with my friends at the Mystery Obstacle, which was called the Anaconda. I didn't get a photo, but it was basically big black tubes at a nice steep angle. Tom gave me a boost, I grabbed the rope and climbed up through the inside of the tunnel. It was alright. I'm glad I did it.

We hit mile 11 and the Berlin Walls.

I wonder what Kris is thinking as she is giving Michelle a boost up the wall?? Tongue Out

I know what I was thinking! I was so glad to be almost finished!! I wanted a beer so badly!

And after doing 11 miles, and at least 1/2 the obstacles, I felt I had earned my beer!!

The last two obstacles were Everest and another Electroshock Therapy.

Everest looked cool, but all I had left in me was walking. I had no desire to try to run up this obstacle. But my friends did it!! Yeah friends!!

And then I saw the most beautiful sign EVER!! Seriously. I ran to the finish line! Why weren't all these other people running?? Weren't they are happy as me to finally be finished?

I can officially say it! I AM A TOUGH MUDDER!!

And walking around the after-party, I came across two people that had on shirts from CrossFit Blackbeard. My good friend Mindy from Mindy's Fitness Journey works out at CF Blackbeard, so I thought it fitting that I get a quick picture!

Later I learned that one obstacle, The Phoenix (jumping over fire) was taken down before our wave. Why? I don't know. There were also several severe injuries including 3 broken ankles, one severely ripped bicep, and one injury so bad he wouldn't tell me what it was. They also had to close the course to allow an alligator to pass and the Underwater Tunnels obstacle had a big cottonmouth swimming nearby! Yikes!

Final Reflections: I had a great time and would totally do it again. Though I'd prefer more than a week's notice. The aid/hydration/fuel stations were great. Loved the bananas and the Clif bloks. I did more obstacles than I went around, so I'm proud of myself for that. But most of all I am proud of my friends! I loved watching them complete things that I couldn't and cheering them on was so much fun!!

What's coming up for me in the mud run world?? I am doing Pretty Muddy (the family wave with my trio) in December, and then in 2014 I have the Spartan Race in February and the Savage Race in March.

Have you ever done a mud run? Does this sort of physical activity appeal to you??