Greetings from another Wray! This time it is Kim, Tripp’s little sister, Kim.

Tripp asked if I would write a blog entry while we were here visiting him in Ukraine. I am a Kindergarten teacher and an aerobics instructor in the States. I typically teach or take 6-8 classes a week ranging from cycle to weight lifting to Pilates to interval training. I was a little bummed that there was no fitness center on the Viking River cruise ship, so I thought I would write an entry about working out while traveling in Ukraine.

First off, we brought an iPad with videos to watch like P90X and Insanity that I planned to do in the cabin on the ship, but alas, the cabins are barely able to fit one person between luggage and beds, so onto plan B!

By motivating my brother to work out with me is always a good way to keep accountable. We were up by 6 am many mornings to work out before the tours, so there was no excuse that we didn’t have time or were too tired. I will go through each city and good ways to work out!

ODESSA- Run 2-3 times up and down Potemkin Steps is sure to get your heart rate through the roof. Looking for more than just working legs, use the little park at the top of the steps. There are many trees that line the pedestrian street, which makes it shady and cool. There are many park benches and museum steps along the way too. Do Tabata intervals (20 seconds on with 10 seconds of rest and do 8 sets alternating mountain climbers and burpees… 4 minutes of work all together with high intensity intervals). We used the park bench for tricep dips and push ups too!

SEVASTOPAL- Beautiful parks with Ukrainian men playing chess, children playing around fountains, and a coast view make an ideal place to run! I felt safe running by myself and it is relatively flat. This was the highlight of my workouts in Ukraine! I then went to a memorial where there were 4 small steps that I timed myself running up and down to see if I could get faster each time. There were also grassy areas that were perfect for timed planks.

YALTA- Known for its health resorts and beautiful views made it ideal scenery for a run. What Tripp and I didn’t take into account were the extreme hills! It was an uphill battle from the start! As I told Tripp when we got to the top and turned around- just like life, you work your butt off to get to the top in order to coast and relax on the way down.

TOURS- The hot sun and walking tours also allowed for that daily sweat session if we were unable to dock in time for a work out before the tours began. A particularly strenuous tour was the Cossack museum in Zaporozhe where there is a big hill that Tripp and I went up. He took the smarter way of going down the gradual incline on the backside while I quickly slid down on my bottom because I had no traction on my flip flops and it was very steep!

VACATION- At the end of the day, we are here on vacation and it should be treated as such- a break. I took three days off working out and we have been enjoying ALL of the delicious foods that Viking is known for serving on their boats. If you are ever on the Lomonosov ship, try the chocolate ice cream with chocolate shavings! You will not be disappointed!

First and foremost, I came to Ukraine to visit my brother. I had no expectations of what I would do or see while visiting. All in all, this is a beautiful country. Nevertheless, I am excited to return to my gym family in Richmond, Virginia and to have my bubba back in the states with me! Love you Bubba!