a challenge: what i’m capable of

I am a big fan of Molly Galbraith. Last fall, I got to meet her when I went to ladies retreat she put on in Ohio. She talked about her personal experience, how she works with women as a trainer, and about some pretty insightful body image stuff. One of my favourite posts of hers is “It’s hard out here–for a fit chick”  where she explained her own story and her journey, doubts, and eventual confidence as a fitness professional:

“So that’s what I want you to realize.  None of us have it all figured out.  Some of us are farther along in our self-acceptance journey than others, but we are all in it together.  In the meantime, let’s can the trash talk about our own bodies AND each other’s bodies.”

Needless to say, I have a girl crush on this lady. If you know me, you know I’m also big on all things acceptance and body love. Coming off of an awesome Love Your Body Week at Western, I was really excited to see Molly launching her own body love challenge to her followers.

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I’m a day late, but I decided that I wanted to be a part of this challenge. Rather than do a day or two here or there without really being accountable to anyone, I thought what better spot than on my (currently neglected) blog to keep that conversation about loving your body going. I was drawn into Molly’s invitation, where she shared pictures from big name awesome ladies in the world of (interweb) fitness talking about their own journeys to body love and showing their flattering and not so flattering selves to demonstrate that body acceptance and “body embracement,” as Molly calls the next level of loving your body, can happen regardless of how “good” you look or where you’re at. Amen to that!

So, in the spirit of the second day of the challenge, I thought I’d reflect on Molly’s 2nd Reason to love your body–because it’s capable:

“We are such a complex and divine piece of machinery, that we should constantly be in awe of ourselves, and I would be willing to be that there is something, at least one thing, that you do better than almost anyone else.”

I like that Molly talks about the physical and the non-physical capabilities of our bodies here (hers is to make people laugh). When I really thought about what I could appreciate my body for, of course I thought of all the physical things I’ve been able to impress myself with (from training up to and biking 100 miles to building the strength necessary to do sets of pullups) but also gave some thought to what I really do well but don’t acknowledge myself for.

This is mile 92 of my first century. I finished--with a smile!

This is mile 92 of my first century. I finished–with a smile!

 

On that note, I decided to celebrate the fact that I’m a writer. If you didn’t know, I keep a little portfolio website for my more professional writing beyond this blog. I’ve realized, especially lately, that not everyone LIKES writing. Whether it’s someone who can’t believe that I overshot a paper by 2000 words (fact) or the friend who wants to know how I got my foot in the door at Canadian Cycling Magazine, I am reminded every once in a while of the fact that I am a good writer. So, as Molly suggested, here’s my mantra:

I am capable of turning ideas into writing, and that’s awesome.  In fact, I am capable of anything I set my mind to, that I am willing to work for. “    x10!

writing = love

What are you capable of?
Will you join in on this challenge?
Who is your biggest girl crush in the fitness industry?

 

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All around awesome

 

 

Tonight was all around great.

After my chiropractic appointment, I had some dinner and then made my way to the park for bootcamp.

Salmon, kale, apricots!

Four sweaty girls came out and they got their money’s worth.

Warmup: mixture of jogging, lunging, shuffling, sprinting, etc. 

Workout: as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes: 10 sprints/runs between cones, 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 burpees, 10 sit-ups

core challenge: extended plank, up/downs, forearm plank, R plank, forearm plank, L plank, forearm plank, up/downs, extended plank (40 on/20 off for each)

cooldown/stretch

I’m sure they loved me as much as I loved them ;)! One superstar who used to come to my bootcamps at campus rec sighed and said “It feels so good when you’re done!” and then, “But I thought I was going to die during.” …sounds like my work is done! 🙂 My goal is to kick their butts but to make it something they can do. I want them to feel tired after but also that high from working out, not demolished. 🙂

After bootcamp, I got my own sweaty on.

Pretty freaking cool, huh?

Not cool: I totally forgot to snap a picture of my yogurt mess which was tip top delicious last night. Coconut, almonds, and some chopped up chocolate thrown into a bowl of greek/vanilla yogurt = holy schmokes happy belly!

Tomorrow there’s another bootcamp on tap and then I’m hoping to get started on my trip prep and to pound out a draft of my article for Bankrate. The awesome thing is that when I was interviewing one of my sources, he ended up being a cyclist. Since this was for my financial writing, I really didn’t expect to have the conversation I did. When we got to talking, he gave me about 10 ideas for other stories to pitch. Amen for people who just want to see others succeed. And yay for being inspired to pitch some story ideas and to get back on a regular writing/freelancing train!

Before I go to bed, I’m going to sort out my bootcamp plans for the morning and organize those story ideas and then dive into my journal, I think! What a perfect ending to a great day…

How do you like to end your days?
Have you ever had a similar experience to mine after an adjustment?  I’m so excited!

Start it right

 

Morning! I’m feeling particularly accomplished this morning.

I had three boot campers with smiles (or something like that) on their faces this morning, including Bee whose blog, Bee Goes Bananas, I’m sure you’d love if you aren’t already a reader!

After bootcamp, I decided to go for a morning run. It’s not uber hot out and I was feeling energized and pumped up (I guess my girls’ awesomeness rubbed off on me), but I was also feeling hungry so I had a quick energy gel and then hit the trails.

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…and then the trails hit me.

It’s not as bad as that looks but I was dirty. I hustled home and to prove that there might have been blood and sweat but not tears, I snapped a photo. Girls don’t sweat, they glisten…remember?

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If this isn’t a good look for me, I’m so shit out of luck because I  glisten like a pig every time I work out! I think this morning I probably did about 5 or 6 miles (we ran in our bootcamp workout–the one I posted yesterday) but I’m not sure since my garmin was dead and I frankly don’t care.

I refuelled with last night’s yogurt plus some kamut puffs and a banana. It was yummy, but it got yummier when I threw in some almonds and some chocolate soy milk. Oh hey, creating it as you go, you’re delicious!  The hungries I felt after my run are just proof that cardio = working up an appetite. All of a sudden it’s seeming kind of weird that people start working out and training for marathons and triathlons and all that to LOSE weight. I eat MORE when I train — not only physically do I need the extra calories but I definitely justify some things (i.e. the chocolate in this break) based on the workouts I do. Hmmmm…thoughts?! I think it was in Gary Taubes’ book that I read something about this whole phenomena…about how silly it is that we take up endless endurance exercise to lose weight when people also work out in this way in order to “work up an appetite” for instance if they have a big dinner to look forward to. Very interesting. Still, I loved my run this morning, I like riding my bike, and I enjoy swimming…so since that’s not my motivation I’m not crazy, right? 🙂

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Now it’s time for me to get organized and get down to business on my writing! I promise myself not to blog ALL DAY LONG but that doesn’t mean I won’t probably get distracted reading blogs and all that fun stuff…oh well! I have this spare time, I might as well enjoy it. Starbucks here I come. 🙂 After my life coaching session, I’m going to hit up a yoga class since my workouts are done for the day. My main goal: stay upright, since I have a knack for falling over these days!

Have you ever bailed on a trail run? Did anyone see? No one was around when I fell so I had to laugh at myself instead of having the pleasure of providing entertainment for someone else!
What do you do with free time? 

 

Short and oh so sweet

Well, I am home from my trip to Toronto.

It was short, and as you saw, oh so sweet! Lots of wine, lots of chocolate, lots of catching up.

I thought I’d be exhausted after the double dose of spin I got into in the morning–yeah, I’m hooked again on spin classes! There’s a reason why I became an instructor and bought a bike in the first place, and I’m remembering it this week. Also, there was one of my fav instructors back after having a baby so staying for her class after a seriously sweaty and awesome one by another really awesome teacher’s was easy. 🙂

The drive to Toronto was easy too–I had company from Mel and Nina, which made it fly by!

When I got there, Bonnie and I headed for massages. Like something out of Austin Powers, but awesome. It’s tradition!

Our friends who are in Toronto for chiropractic school joined us for a long overdue reunion, dinner, and wine!

With the wine drinking and awesome company came a really amazing conversation. The kind that makes you want to smile for the next few days (I’m in perma-grin mode, despite a hangover). We talked about a lot but some questions really struck awesome insight:

  • What holds you back/has held you back?
  • What does your life look like in 10 years?
‘Twas awesome. I’m realizing more and more how cool the people in my life are and how this happy, positive wavelength I seem to be riding is contagious (or I’ve just been ignoring the fact that it’s out there until now!).
I blame it a bit on buying this book for Bonnie for her birthday (on Angela’s suggestion)–“Four regular guys on a mission to complete a list of ‘100 Things To Do Before You Die’ and to help and encourage others to go after their own lists.”
You know we ate this up!
It also sparked my own mental summer to do list, which I started today as I drove back to London (after breakfast, of course).

Sneak peak of the summer 2012 (epic?) to do list, which I think will be worth a page of its own on here:

  • feed ducks – starting it off with a bang 😉
  • go on a roller coaster
  • beat everyone up a mountain on my bike
  • bike to sarnia
  • watch a sunrise
  • sleep under the stars
  • do a mud run
  • write for a new magazine
  • trail run
  • go on a road trip
  • meet someone famous
  • do yoga on the beach
  • try long boarding
  • go to an outdoor concert
  • eat something I grow
  • bake with flour from Arva – it’s close and it’s supposed to be delicious!
  • go sailing
  • go boogie boarding 🙂
  • ride a century
  • ride a tandem bicycle
When I got back to London (after two pit stops and a snack), I met up with friends for a swim! We did about 2400m, which felt okay (considering Bonnie and I got only a few hours of sleep after talking our hearts out at bedtime!).
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After the swim, I was ravenous. Repeat of yesterday’s turkey sandwich, loaded with sprouts and tomatoes (I’m craving veggies)!

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This afternoon I spent at Starbucks, working away on a freelance assignment and trying to sort out the continuing education credits I need to get this month to keep my fitness certification current. Progress!

Now it’s nearly time for me to head to yoga with my friends!

How’s your week going?
What’s on your summer to do list? 

Home stretch

In 3 days, this semester will be over! I only have one exam this semester and then I’ve got time off before summer school. Can’t wait is an understatement.

Yesterday was a productive day which didn’t feel much like Easter, except for the mini eggs I treated myself to for dessert. The Easter Bunny (my mother) delivered a family size bag on Saturday, so I put a decent amount in a container to last me a while and will take the rest to the Gazette office tomorrow to share with all the people who couldn’t make it home to obtain junk food from their families in the name of studying.

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Things started off with a pretty mundane breakfast.

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Then I spent a few hours at Starbucks (my version of the library), where I wrote Bonnie’s birthday post  and did a bit of homework while drinking copious amounts of coffee and snacking on an apple with nut butter.

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When my butt was numb, I headed home to go for a run. Of course I managed to time my 30 minute run for the middle of the hour when it rained…but running in the rain doesn’t bother me as long as I’m warm, and warm I was.

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Yeah, the point of the picture is to show off my new shoes–which match my running jacket! I love it when life coordinates itself. I also love wearing brand new shoes on a muddy trail. Liberating!

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After my 30 minutes of bliss, I got greedy with giving myself permission to have awesome breaks and went to yoga for an hour of sweaty awesomeness. The class was a power class but luckily for my shoulder, which came alive during the class, it wasn’t that tough but was more of a stretch.

I did manage to catch the lyrics to one of the instructor’s songs I love. I proceeded to google it, download it on iTunes, and listen to it on repeat for the rest of the day.

When I got home and showered, even though I’d had a second apple in the car on the way to yoga to tide me over after my run, I was ready for lunch so I tossed together leftover turkey, sweet potatoes, and a salad with cranberries and pecans.

It hit the spot! I went back to Starbucks (I have a problem) and I got down to work on my assignment due today. I finished most of it using plenty of decaf coffee as fuel. I also mowed down on a Kashi bar when my tummy started to talk to me.

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When I got home, I wanted something quick for dinner so I threw together stuff I had kicking around the fridge. I cooked beef and mushrooms and onions (oh red meat, I missed you…I felt a twinge of guilt but again, I’m trying to be more conscious about my meat choices and definitely am grateful to this cow), kale chips, and added some  leftover mashed potatoes to make a meal. Yum.

I finished up my assignment last night and headed to bed, expecting to fall asleep immediately. Instead, my mind raced until I let it all out in my journal. Lots on my mind…but at the end of the day I realized all I can do is do my best. Yes, it’s cheesy, but spending the day with me myself and I yesterday was awesome. It gave me the fuel I needed to write a personal essay about that topic—realizing that you come home to you at the end of the day and that you need to learn to be okay with that person first and foremost. Epiphany much. I’ll share that essay ASAP, as soon as it’s done serving it’s scholastic purposes.

And now it’s later than I thought it would be and I’ve checked breakfast and submitting my final portfolio for my writing class off the list. One of my courses is officially done, so that’s kind of a big deal.

Now I’m debating whether or not to head to the pool to attempt a swim with my shoulder. It’s fine but it I’m a bit anxious to swim since it likes to wake up during the middle of the day or a workout. Decisions…

How was your Easter?
Is school wrapping up for you?