Зарядки or “morning exercises” were a part of every good Soviet's morning routine. It's a tradition that continues to live on in most Russians' ideal schedule, particularly when traveling or vacationing in a new place. Hotels, camps, resorts all offer their vacationers morning exercise before breakfast each day. I decided that this would be a fun “optional” activity for our summer project, and apparently so did several other Summer Project participants - I was shocked when nearly 15 people showed up on our first morning! Every morning at 7:30, the brave fitness gurus and I would run together to the rocky shores of the sea for a 30 minute exercise routine I'd planned out the night before. We did just about every exercise I could think of, including, but not limited to the following: stretching, running, skipping, jumping, lunging, balancing, squating, push-ups, tricep raises, calf raises, holding a plank, leg extensions, wall sits, obstacle courses, and just about anything we could think of with the materials we had at hand! It must have been quite a sight to behold for passer-byes. What a great way to begin each morning, testing the limits of my personal creative prowess and my participants' physical abilities! We had a great time, even though behind those smiles, I knew they all were thinking, “what does this crazy American want me to do now?” Here are some clips of our morning зарядки.