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Archive for June, 2012

Proud to be me

This weekend is Pride in Toronto.  Some people see it as a booze fest and chance to get more naked than necessary in public, which is not always a bad thing…  It is by far the best 2 days of “people watching” all year though!  haha.  One of the local tv stations has a commercial running which asks: “What is Pride to you?”  To me, it’s a celebration of acceptance and life.  It’s a chance to tell the world “I am me, and proud to be!”

Side note… my back, chest and triceps are still deliciously sore from Chelsea.  LOVE IT.  No better sign of a job well done.  Also happy to report that although it was 37 degrees celsius last night in Toronto, I survived hockey.  Ran my butt off.  Sweat like crazy a LOT.  But a nice change from last week is I actually remember the game…  last week a bit of heat stroke/exhaustion may have kicked in and my brain turned to mush.  😮  Lesson learned.  When it’s hot out, especially when you’re doing any athletic type sh*t… KEEP HYDRATED my friends!  😉


Bit by bit, my girl and I have been working to conquer “Chelsea”.  Just to recap, Chelsea is one of the “lovely ladies” associated with Crossfit, involving 30 glorious minutes (so 30 sets ideally) of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats performed within 60 seconds as one set.  My first attempt I considered a disappointment, but I promised myself I would never surrender.  I stuck with her for about a month and my performance was gradually improving, but then other parts of life got in the way of my dedication to this b**ch.  A few days ago, Ange rocked out an impressive 20 sets while I was on my way home from work.  She was proud 🙂  I was proud of her 🙂  AND I was inspired to get back into this little game.  So, yesterday morning I warmed up on my spin bike and put up the old chin-up bar (yup, we still have yet to figure out a plan for the new one…).  I did figure out a system of getting the blocks of wood that support the sketch system up and down without injuring myself though.  Big win there.  😮  Off I went on my little mission to 20 sets.  I made it to 12, still keeping everything tucked neatly in the 60 second set window, but then the wheels fell off.  I was mad at myself.  I felt defeated for about 3 seconds, but then decided  “eff it!!”  and switched my game plan.  I turned of my interval timer and busted through the 20 sets without it.  Sometimes when things seem to hard I get discouraged, but I was determined to complete my sets.  So, next time I focus on bettering my time.  Or the time after that…  so what?  At the end of the day, I still completed 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups (only the last 2 sets on my knees), and 300 squats.  I’m going to celebrate that achievement 🙂

bruised, wet, filthy, and LOVING IT!

“Down and Dirty” -Spartan Race 2012

If you’re a fit, healthy, a bit crazy person who likes a new challenge and doesn’t mind getting more than a little dirty… obstacle racing might be the thing for you!  These things really only started to pop up in Canada in the last few years, but are now becoming hugely popular.  Yesterday, I made the trek up the Hardwood Hills north of Barrie Ontario to give it a shot.  I’m not the kind of person who gets nervous generally.  Heading into a Provincial Championships ball hockey game, while many of my team mates are ready to hurl from nerves, or careening down a steep single track through the forest on my mountain bike, or faced with some stressful situation at work, I’m generally pretty calm and collected.  Yesterday, I have to admit, I was a bit terrified.  “What the hell have I gotten myself into?!” ran through my head a few times.  To start things off, my GPS gave me the best “WTF?” it could when I tried to figure out where exactly I was going.  Then when I finally figured it out (including the directions that said to turn on 15&16 sideroad… YES.  That’s actually the name of the road!  Who does that?) Anyways, once I got there, I was a little surprised to find that the parking was about 5kms from the shuttle buses to the event.  Shuttle buses.  Ya, 6 buses for 5000 competitors and all their entourage.  After the 5km trudge through a field, the line to get on a bus took more than an hour.  Once I finally got to the event, guess what?  Another line to register :p  Good thing I got there 3 hours early hoping to watch a bunch before my turn!  haha.  When I finally was waiting at the starting line, it started to pour.  BUT… with all the things that seem to work against us leading up to the actual race, it WAS AWESOME!!!  Easily one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had.  🙂  Only part I would change would be having to do it without Ange, but we’re now signed up to do it together in July, so no worries there.

So… the race!  The first third was rolling hills.  I’m a runner, but I’m not used to running steep hills.  I’m also super competitive with myself though, and damn stubborn.  Those hills were NOT going to win!  (although the wet and slippery grass/mud was interesting)  Then came the obstacles!  We climb ropes, walls and giant piles of hay bales.  We waded through a seemingly endless amount of smelly, sticky mud – at one point I took a step and sunk over waist level 😮  We carried sand bags, pushed loaded wheel barrels, battled warrior guys with those giant padded Q-tip looking things, AND leapt over fire!  WHAT A RUSH!!  Sound awesome??  Check it out:    OR

I think I’m still trying to get the mud off! 🙂

finding myself pt. 2

First off, I need to correct a few dates I wrote in my previous post.  The Cuba vacay was in 2008, not 2009.  In 2009 my laptop had a meltdown and I lost a bunch of my pics.  So there will be a bit of a photo timeline “gap”.  I did still exist :p I just have no pictures to prove it…

In 2008 and 2009 Ange and I tried a loooong list of the fitness “quick fix” trends.  Ya know, the ones you see infomercials about if you stay up too late watching tv.  P90x was fun, and a good challenge.  I still throw in the Ab Ripper X DVD from time to time when I want to get a good little core work and I’m tight for time.  Insanity was awesome fun, and helped improve my speed and agility for ball hockey in the first month of the program.  Problem I found with this one, I spent all my time focusing on the one routine and completely dropped my weight training sessions.  Also, the second month I actually found to be counter-productive for hockey performance.  Just my opinion though… 

February 2010 I FINALLY got the position I had been working so hard for at work.  Promoted to from assistant to store manager, albeit in on the bottom of the location food chain. 

This was also the year Ange and I decided to skip our usually post-Christmas Caribbean vacay, and the year I enlisted myself for an amazing butt-kickin’ by a fantastic trainer.  Finally, I really started to see the results I had been wanting for so long!  Similar to the concepts expressed by the Primal Blueprint theories, my PT taught me to “lift heavy things”.  She also taught me the importance of balance between nutritional consideration, strength training and cardio.  A line I used the first day we met: “I’m a cardio junkie!” and I was!  Pre-PT, I had been one of the girls who could be seen spending copious amounts of time sweating it out on the treadmill or elliptical and minimal time doing any sort of strength training.  While I wanted to slim down, I didn’t want to “bulk up” too much.  What a common misconception among the female population!  Muscle helps burn fat/calories.  Duh.  :p 

Don’t want to bore anyone too much all at once… so for today “that’s all folks!”  I’m already getting tired of reliving my past.  So next post will bring things up to the present 🙂

summer 2010, post-6 months personal training

finding myself – pt.1

Ok, this one’s a long time overdue, but I needed to have some time to put it all together.  Stress levels really do play a huge part in health and wellbeing for me.  I’m know I’m not alone there!  I put on a “cool as a cucumber” act pretty well though, even when I’m really a disaster in my head.  I work in retail.  I think otherwise I’d burst into flames or something.  Ok, here we go.  I can’t believe I’m going to post some of these pictures, but what’s in the past is history, right?  Maybe it’ll be helpful for someone…  at least that’s what I tell myself 🙂

In 2006, I was transferred away from my cozy Waterloo camera store, to a busier one an hour away.  I moved in with my friend (later girlfriend, funny how that happens…) in a small little town an hour from work.  This was the start of my life as a commuter.  My health and wellness paid the price.  MS is not so forgiving of neglect and I was so run down I was hit with a pretty solid relapse that left me unable to use my right arm.

mountain bike racing through 2006 @ 170+lbs

Went to work for a week with a saline lock taped in my hand, but the game face never changed.  The change came in my weight though!  Every day, I kept driving right on past that gym of mine.  The membership card burning a hole in my wallet 😮 When I stepped on the scale one morning and read 173lbs, I was done with it.  I made the commitment to myself to make a change.  I stopped driving by the gym every day and actually went once or twice a week.  I asked for a pair of inlines for my birthday and started skating around our block for half an hour in the evenings.  I even eased up on the beer consumption.  Oh!  I also stopped the late night snacking on whatever culinary work of art created by one of my roommates.  I was done with it.  My girlfriend and I had a crazy idea to put a team together to enter a 24 hour mountain bike relay in August.  It was insane!  Awesome, but insane.  Of the 4 laps I managed of the 20km track, I’m pretty sure I remember flying over my handle bars once or twice on every lap.  Battered and bruised, but it was such an accomplishment at the time.  🙂

vacationing in 2009 @ 150ish lbs

vacationing in 2009 @ 150ish lbs

The first half of 2007 was bad news.  Although I was happy that I finally got the promotion I had been working so hard for, I was not a happy kid in my home life.  Then in June, my girlfriend at the time dumped me for someone else.  Great.  My heart was shattered for a little while, but there were better things on the horizon.  Cue Ange.  My “highschool” crush was back in the picture.  Finally, we were meant to be, and provided the healing support each of our recently scared hearts needed.  I was on cloud nine 🙂  With happiness back in my life, my success at losing weight improved even more. 


 to be continued…

For fun…

Ok, so it’s totally staged, but fun anyway. Ever played Mario Kart? 😉


Oh! Forgot to mention earlier. First matter of business when I got back to my job today- put up my office chin-up bar and cram in a few sets of pull-ups before anyone else showed up. :-p geek, but love it! Haha

back in business

First day back at it after my week off.  This was the most low-key and relaxing vacation I have ever experienced.  If you know me at all, you’d expect my holidays to be a non-stop string of activities crammed into every waking hour.  This time was different, and kind of refreshing once I got into the groove.  Not once did I drag Ange out of bed at some un-godly hour and very rarely did we have a “schedule” to keep.  While it was a nice week, with spare time which would normally be perfectly suited with blogging… I didn’t really write at all!  Other than 5 days of tennis, which I have to say I’m getting pretty descent at (it’s becoming less of a game of “chase-ball” and more of actual tennis) and two nights of sweating my butt off at hockey, there wasn’t really a lot of bad-ass crossfit to write about.  We still haven’t managed to wrestle up the chin-up bar either.  Truth be told, I think we’re both a bit scared of how the actual process may go dealing with our crappy appartement walls.  If the whole building falls down, I will be deleting any and every blog which mentions anything to do with drilling holes… just saying…

Today however, I’m back in business.  Back at work.  Back into my scheduled life, complete with my Crossfit-ish workouts and Paleo cooking.  Tonight will be fish I think…. or maybe Cauliflower crust pizza after my mom sent me home with a big head of the stuff last night.  Yes, I often get sent home with random veggies for some reason.  Every family has something, right?  🙂

Oh!  And I’m addicted to avocado.  Like, bad.

It’s my party

So, I am now officially a “30-something”.  I tried to get in a post last night as my last post in my 20’s, but after 2 failed attempts, I gave up!  I’ve been dreading this birthday for oh… probably the last 365 days, but now that it’s here, I’m over it.  I’m 30.  I’m healthy, and fit, and HAPPY.  And yes, 30.  Pfffft… whatever.

I had the most wonderful birthday I can remember.  Started like a normal day really, with coffee and our usual sweet potato breakfast.  then we headed down to the beaches the check out all the little shops, people watch, and just hang out by the water.  The weather was perfect, and the morning was great.  🙂  Next Ange took my to my mom’s to say “hi”, but turned out to be a surprlab birthday BBQ with all of my family.  We haven’t done that since I was a kid… it was really nice.  My mom is a vegetarian who is thankfully very considerate of accommodating my Paleo ways.  There was BBQ chicken breast, steamed broccoli, spinach salad, and some Greek yogurt and berries for desert.  Plus fresh veggies for munching in the afternoon.  Even with all the good food, I still ate too much. :s. sooooo full….

AND… I got an iPad!!!!    :D.  For the last few months I have monopolized Ange’s for blogging, etc… Now I have my own  🙂 I have the most awesome girlfriend. ❤

laughing at myself :-p

That’s right, I’m still talking about the stupid chin-up bar. Although yesterday Ange and I felt like the stupid ones :p. First off… Here’s the completely sketch old system we had rigged up. apartment walls just aren’t that thick. Neither are the door frames. Hence, notice the blocks of wood tucked under the damn thing to stop it from letting go of the broken old hockey stick screwed into the wall on the outside of the door. All it needs is a few scraps of duct tape and it could be an excerpt from the Red Green Show… The real challenge came in taking the stupid thing down when ya want to put it away. I just don’t have 3 hands to hold the bar and both wood blocks at the same time. The gash on my left leg explains what happens when ya do it wrong…

That’s got nothing really to do with the feeling stupid though. So, Monday I was all excited with the new purchased toy. Brought home the little flat box (about 24″x24″x2″) with a huge smile on my face thinking “hell ya! This is the greatest thing ever!” Yesterday I even managed to convince Ange to help me put that shit up. Um… Ya. I’m laughing just thinking about the two of us staring at the box, and the bits, and the instructions, with puzzled looks on our faces. I’m not sure how I figured they had managed to put the BAR in this little box?! Answer: they didn’t. So, last night included another trip to Fitness Source to get the somewhat crucial element of my new toy. Needless to say, the thing is still not up. :p. Maybe today 🙂
Oh! And tennis was great fun! Even though it was insanely hot and humid yesterday. Sitting on the balcony this morning with a coffee and my chick, all bundled up in sweat pants and a hoodie… Oh, welcome to Canada… 😉

Wing it

Day 2 of our stay-in-t.o. vacation. The weather network called for a day of rain (after the sticky hot humid nasty of yesterday, bring it!) but it’s actually getting pretty nice out again. Man… To be a weather man… a world where being totally wrong has no consequence…
Anyways, while there is a list of housework to get done today, there will also be a good old-fashioned butt kick, tennis style. For fear of my ruthless demise, I’m not going to make any mention of just who will hand out the butt kicking though. 😉 All in good fun regardless. I’ve done some digging through my massive photo library and found a few pics to support my last message about my battles with the demons surrounding body image and weight loss. I’m hoping to get that posted later today too.
Stay at home vacations are wonderful sometimes… Our lives are so consumed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, that sometimes it’s just nice to “wing it”. Generally speaking, I’m sooooooo not good at that! I manage to cram as many things into my life through structure and tight scheduling of my time. Especially with adopting the Paleo lifestyle, I’ve learned to make the adjustment of getting up every day at 5:30am to prepare food for the day. Even now, when I don’t have to head off on my hike to Waterloo for work, my mind still springs to life at that time. It’s only a week… Not like I’m retired (I wish!!) so I figure “why change it?”. I’d just pay the price on Monday…
Wow. I’m boring. I’ll come up with something crazier for next post.
Oh! Something cool… I’m super excited!! Ange and I have one of those chin up bars that you can hang up in a door frame. Two problems with that.
1- the only door in our apartment that it fits is attached to our obviously over-filled sports closet.
2- we have a cat. A curious cat. So every time you open the door to the sports closet, he wants to investigate. After an unfortunate incident a few years ago featuring cat vs. exercise ball, no further investigation is allowed. You try hanging from the bar trying to crush trough your reps while also trying to deflect a cat. Not pretty.
Sorry, detour there…. I’m SO excited cause we found a wall mounted chin-up bar! Take that cat!! Be putting that up today 🙂
Don’t you worry crossfit… Chelsea and I will meet again soon

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