MAKE YOUR OWN BOOT CAMP: DECODING THE BACK COVE ADULT FITNESS TRAIL
The Back Cove Adult Fitness Trail that surrounds the soccer fields at Preble Street claims you will "Run, laugh, challenge, and have fun" — but what are you actually supposed to do on those strange wooden structures? It appears to be a pretty good workout when combined with a healthy jog, so while we wait to hear the official word from Portland Parks and Rec on what to actually do, here are our best educated guesses.
• SWING BALANCE LOG Get onto the log through the entrance on the near side, and balance on the log while walking across it to the exit. Get a few friends on there with you to make balancing extra tough.
•MONKEY BARS Think back to elementary-school recess and you should know what to do here — swing from bar to bar monkey-style. If you want a more athletic challenge, do a few pull-ups along the way.
•WALL UP AND OVER Pick up a little speed as you jog toward the lower front wall and then hurdle it, lightly grasping the top of the wall and turning your body sideways as you leap over. From there climb over the second, taller wall, then do your best to hurdle the third wall — this may be more difficult than the first without the running start.
•ANOTHER WALL Build up the confidence you lost when you couldn't get over the third wall of the Wall Up and Over by getting another running start and hurdling over this one.
•MYSTERIOUS WOODEN V-SHAPE Maybe the sign got stolen off of this obstacle, or maybe it broke at some point, but its intended purpose is now a mystery. Here's an idea: partner up and stand at the small intersection of the V, facing each other. Put your hands together and lean in, as if you were doing push-ups against each other. Then, keeping your hands pressed together, shuffle down the wooden planks toward the opening of the V; as the distance between the two of you gets larger, it'll take more effort to stay balanced. See how far down the V you can get! Don't have a friend? Try doing step-ups onto the wood, or maybe leaping back and forth from one arm of the V to the other.
•ANOTHER WALL Get a little befuddled by that V shape? Hurdle over this wall; you've got that skill down now.
•CARGO NET CLIMB Grab onto that massive cargo net wall, carefully climb up, then go back down the other side. This is a great arms and core exercise. (If you're up for an extra challenge, go down arms and head first.)
•FINAL WALL You're an old pro at this wall thing now — do one last hurdle to really show this course who's boss.