Tag Archives: fitness

It Doesn’t Pay To Get Discouraged

“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”
― Lucille Ball

I have a terrible habit.  Often (or sadly, most of the time) I concern myself with what others think and look to the outside for validation. I’m not a fan of stereotypes or labels, but for whatever reason, I allow myself to be boxed in by them all the time.  But I’ve reached a breaking point.  Last year, while I was working towards a personal trainer certification through the YMCA, I expected support but instead was frequently met by comments like “really?” or “it doesn’t sound like you” or my personal fav “you know it’s really something for an outgoing sort of person”.

I suppose I’m not surprised by the reaction, but more or less disappointed that I allowed those reactions to discourage me.  I finished my certification and was so unbelievably proud (it was, after all, a lot of work), but was saddened by this feeling that I couldn’t share my excitement about this new path with a lot of the people I know.  And even more saddened by the fact that I allowed what other people feel I am capable of to shape my own perception about myself.  Subsequently, I let a few new opportunities pass me by and scurried safely back inside the person some people feel I should be.

Yes, it’s true…I love to knit.  I know I’m your ‘hippy’ friend.  I know you think I sit around chugging back beer and making pessimistic remarks about the state of the world (which granted sometimes I do).  I know you think I’m socially awkward, a little off, eccentric, or ‘different’.  I know you didn’t think I knew how to even locate a gym  or that I even owned a pair of running shoes.

But there is a lot you don’t know.

If you judged, it’s ok.

I am, however, the only one who gets to decide who I am.

I do own running shoes and a treadmill.  I work out 6 days a week.  I believe fitness should be about more than your body.  I support wellness (mind, body and spirit).  I am continually looking for ways to challenge myself…physically, creatively, emotionally.

I’m social…too social at times, but I love to learn and I love to meet new people.

I’m pessimistic, but also very motivated and driven.

I’m no supermodel, but my body is beautiful.

I believe being fit has nothing to do with the ‘shape’ of your body and everything to do with loving and caring for yourself.

I exercise hard and I fuel my body with home cooked whole foods.  I love to eat and don’t know the word ‘diet’.

I like to run and I’m completely in love with my evening swims at the pool.

And yes, even though i desire to train bootcampers with burpees and mountain climbers…even though I’m fascinated by learning about anatomy, nutrition and wellness…even though I spend my nights reading about training principles and program design…and even though I don’t have perfect abs (but holy shit you should check out my cardiovascular system)…

I’m also still your ‘hippy’ friend who loves to knit, guzzle back a few beers…and yes, I am sometimes the ‘weird’ one.  It’s ok.  I can be more than one thing.

I can even be some things you don’t think I am.  The fact is, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and I don’t much care for the confinement of a box.

To reaffirm this new path that I have chosen for myself I have been working towards yet another certification.  It feels good to be doing something I love.  Final written and practical exam booked for November.  Couldn’t be more excited.

and maybe one day I’ll learn to knit and run at the same time.  (i’m close…I swear…so close).

Multigrain braided bread

A Marathon of Baking

Multigrain braided breadRight around the time I decided that I wanted to try training for a sprint level triathlon (500 m swim, 20 km bike and a 5 km run), I simultaneously dove right into a marathon of sunday baking.  We are still pushing along with making all of our breads and baked goodies.  So while the loaves and muffins and pitas baked away, I sketched out a rough plan for my new 10 week training program.  The first step will be to have my bike fixed.   It had two tune ups last year and somehow still woke up this spring in the worst shape ever.  In reality…I kinda need a new bike, but that’s for another budget year.  Right after I pear upside down muffinsput the pear upside-down muffins in the oven, I also gathered all the information I will need in order to plan my weekly swimming sessions at the local pool.  Unfortunately, the schedule at the pool here is less than ideal and most of the lane swimming times happen during my work day.  However, there are a few times throughout the week where I can catch a swim before work or later in the evening.  So this week I will get my bike off to the shop and start off with a mix of swim and run training.

Perhaps thinking about a triathlon is what spurred the excessive baking this sunday.   My lovely took care of making our bread for the week (one loaf of multigrain and a beautiful braided loaf that looks so so wonderful).  But while I was thinking of extra runs, long distance bike rides and swimming laps…I also thought about all that my body has to do in a week.  I have a very physically demanding job which should make all this training an extra challenge.

pita breadI’m finding it really hard these days to stay motivated with work-outs, crafting, creating and writing.  I think in part due to isolation…a lack of community to share and grow with.  Yesterday we went to Toronto for the day and it was so refreshing (for a rural girl) to spend the day surrounded by so many people.  Although I hate to admit it, some part of me is still a city girl.  I was raised in both settings and always feel like I hover somewhere in the middle.  Loving the silence and beauty of where I am, but craving the hustle of a more active social life.  So far my weekend has been in both worlds.  Saturday we visited the Royal Ontario Museum, ate delicious vietnamese food on Spadina and snooped around the second hand delights of Kensington Market.   Sunday, nestled in our country life, I’ve been baking, running and digging up wild leeks out on the trails.

What we baked this week:  2 loaves multigrain bread, Rosemary and Parmesan Foccacia (a gift for our rosemary parmesan foccacianeighbour), Pear Upside Down Muffins and a dozen pita breads.   What I picked up in Kensington Market:  a fantastic red floral vintage smock apron and a cotton batik wrap skirt for summer.  What I loved at the ROM:  beautiful displays of butterflies from their specimen collection and inspiration perhaps for a future embroidery project.