149 Days until I face my own truth

149 days.  149 days to get my butt in gear; to lace up my sneakers in rain, snow, sleet or sunshine.  149 days to train.  149 days to break the barriers of my own mind.

I have agreed and signed up to do another half marathon.  I know that my pals from the SeaWheeze sure can tell you that I said I’d never do one again strongerafter I hobbled all over the streets of Vancouver after race day and the day after.  Despite this, I’ve signed up for the Mississauga half in May.

I tell everyone that one of my favourite moments in my running ‘career’ was running the seawall in Vancouver – it was a ‘sea’ (pardon the pun) of neon lululemon clad runners, all doing their best to hustle and finish those last few kms.  Some had trained, some had not (ahem: me….) and some were just doing the best that they could to accomplish whichever goals they had set out to conquer that day. It was a moment I wish I could have frozen in time.  Majestic.

I wanted to finish a half marathon.  At first I had set huge goals, and thought – sure I can totally break 2:15.  I was wrong.  I was also lazy.  I didn’t want to put in the time it took for me to get a time like that.  I gave up on some of my summer runs when I shouldn’t have.  I cut training runs short.  I dropped out of the Running Room course, which I had originally joined for support.  I blamed my body.  I blamed the weather. I blamed my non-existent dog named Henry.

The point is, I used everything within reach, as an excuse to not get what I wanted.  I was afraid.  I was afraid of not hitting my goal if I did train. What if I spent a really long time training and still didn’t hit the time I wanted? The problem with that thinking is that there is the opposite side of the coin to that argument;  what if I did train and beat my time – what if I even blew my own expectations out of the water?  What if my mind, was getting in my very own way?

rainI ready so many of David Willey’s “From the Editor” posts in Runner’s World and he’s always talking about how races can go a lot of different ways.  You can try to beat your PBs – sometimes you do,  and sometimes you don’t. Ultimately running is one of those sports that I find so interesting because the training and hard work that you put into it, can push you across the finish line at a time that you could have never even imagined.  The tough part is that you have to put in the work.

I have to accept the fact that I didn’t try as hard as I should have last time.  I made excuses and I have a great opportunity that lies ahead of me.  I can do what I did last time, OR I can put the time and energy into getting where I want to go.

So this time, I’m yelling “Back of negative thoughts, the ‘I can’t’ and the ‘I won’t evers’.”  I’m going to do this.  I am destined for great things.  The first step is accepting that I will get there if I try.
-Bexx

<—– I want to say this to myself some day ❤dontgive up

Survival of the Fittest- The Ultimate Survival Kit

Lately I’ve been on a “what’s in your Gym Bag Essentials” kick, but I’ve decided to turn it a little more into an adventure with this post.

My friends at Man Crates asked me what key components would make up my ideal ‘survival kit’.  What do I think  is important for survival?  What would be in my very own kit?  I wracked my brain for a while and came up with some ideas.  Now as you know, I tend to not approach things conventionally, so my take on this is a little comical.

If I had to make a survival kit (which would have to come in a crate that’s pretty large… haha)  with just 7 things in it I would choose the following:

mancrates
http://www.polyvore.com

 

1. Matches in a Bottle – We’d all like to think that if we needed to survive in the wilderness or anywhere really – that’d we’d be cool enough to start a fire by rubbing a bunch of sticks together…. but really – let’s face reality – matches in a bottle would at least help me out a bit, and leave me more time to find some available food, or re-jig my ‘survival’ plan as necessary based on whatever is really going on out there.

2. Toothbrush with many types of toothpaste – Variety is key.  One time growing up I told my mom I liked bubble gum toothpaste and she bought a whole bunch of it on sale.  (I believe it was the Miss Piggy and Kermit Bubble gum toothpaste for kids.)  After a couple of months of that, you just want some fresh mint or something less ‘playful’ let’s say.  If you’re trying to survive fresh breath is still important.  If there are any other people with you, they will also like you better if you have this available.

3.  Asics – I love my Asics.  They are my favourite running shoe, and they would be in my survival kit because if I needed to run away from a bear or something (I’m not sure why I assume I’d be in a forest, but work with me here…) then I’d be set up for success.  (I probably also should have included a jet-pack, for such emergencies as well…hind-sight is 20/20.)

4. Solar Powered Raccoon Light– Lights with batteries will eventually run out.  Raccoon Eyes (see above) will not; plus he’s cute and could double as your very own “Wilson”.  If Tom Hanks got a volleyball, I would get Raccoon Eyes, and we’d be friends. (I’d probably also rename him a few times over the course of our adventures together, as I would be the boss in charge.)  As long as there is some solar light to charge this puppy up, you should be good to go for a long time.

5. Beef Jerky –  I went on a road trip recently and we stopped in at this place that had 30+ flavours of beef jerky.  This was a place called Heaven… or something like that…  In survival mode, I’m sure flavour matters less, but I think it would be great to have some of this on-hand because it tastes good, and gives you protein.  Win-win if you ask me.

6. Trendy Moose Sleeping bag  Now this is my idea of camouflage! 😉 I really do love the sleeping bag, and I think that if you can have one trendy item in your survival kit, this would for sure make the cut.  (Please keep in mind I am from Northern Ontario, so my views may be a bit skewed on this trendiness… heh)

7.  2 Person Guardian Elite Survival Kit [SKT2] –  So I’m a cheater… in my survival kit would be a real standard survival kit (there were not rules given to me on making this kit.. .so….)  I’m particularly happy they included a deck of cards for entertainment purposes, because sometimes in crisis, you need a distraction…like playing Go Fish with Raccoon Eyes. Despite his keen eyesight, I’d probably still win every time for the record.

This kit includes a Deluxe Hikers Backpack – containing:
Food and Water: 12 Boxes of Aqua Blox Water Boxes
12 – 400 Calorie Food Bars (4800 Calories)
20 Water Purification Tablets – each tablet purifies 1 liter
Am/Fm Radio with Headphones and Batteries
Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight – 3 LED flashlight
36 Hour Emergency Candle
12 Hour Green Emergency Glow Stick
5-in-1 Survival Whistle
Box of Waterproof Matches
2 Emergency Survival Sleeping Bag
2- 16-20 Hour Body Warmer
2 Person Tube Tent with Rope
2 Emergency Poncho with Hood
16 Function Knife
Leather Palm Work Gloves
2- N95 Respirator Dust Mask – NIOSH approved
50 Feet of Nylon Rope
Safety Goggles
Sewing Kit
2-24 Piece Deluxe Hygiene Kit
6 Pocket Tissue Packs
Guardian 57 Piece Deluxe First Aid Kit
Notepad
Pencil
Deck of playing cards for entertainment
Infectious Waste Bag

All in all if you’re really trying to survive, I’m sure some of my items are useful, but perhaps not all. (I’d keep the real Survival kit stuff in mind.) You may want to re-jig my list.  As comical as this may be, when trying to survive staying warm, hydrated, and fueled up in terms of food are all of the utmost importance.  Stay safe out there guys!

-Bexx

Running in the Rain: 2 Tips for Running in the Rain!

Rain There is something really refreshing about running in the rain, yet I shy away from actually doing it often, because I’m afraid of getting soaked.  I’m made of sugar you know.. so I will obviously melt 😉 iphonerain

I was running the other day, and I saw the gray cloud looming over my head, and internally I scoffed at Mother Nature’s cloud and was thinking that I’d for sure beat the rain.  I was sure that I could out run the cloud, but in hindsight was very wrong.

I was stuck under a little wooden bridge, mostly stuck there on the premise that I did not in fact have shelter for my iPhone and didn’t want in fact want to risk its functionality on account of a ‘little’ rain.  I watched the rain drops hit the little stream that goes under the bridge and was surveying my options.  It slowed down for a little awhile and as I was about to make my getaway, the sky opened and dropped some buckets onto to Cobalt as I stood there.  I could have phoned a friend I suppose…. like on that show Who Wants to be a Millionaire or Cash Cab, but no one would have felt sorry for me at all… haha

As the rain let up a second time, off I went, hesitantly risking my own melting and demise (Fact: This is not true at all.  I will never melt in rain, unless it’s acid hydrochloric rain?!)  It was a calm rain for a little bit, but then reverted back to torrential.  I put my iPhone inside my two shirts and under my sports bra in hopes of shielding it from the rain and continued on my run.

Tips for running in the rain:

1) Embrace it; laugh about it; dance in puddles – bring out the inner child in yourself that hasn’t done anything super fun in a long time.  You’ll be happy that you did!

2) Try and have a dry place to store your electronics.  Sometimes I even run with a little baggie in my sports capris pocket for occasions like a random rain storm.  As fun as dancing in the rain is, you don’t have to have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a new iPhone 😉 rainsummer

I hadn’t felt that refreshed in a really long time.  I also must have looked a little bit crazy laughing in the rain.  It was just what I needed.

Happy Training,

-Bexx

Northern Summer


I think sometimes we all need a vacation.  From the hustle and bustle of our lives, from our own over-analyzing minds – an escapism where we are sometimes only able to find solace in the familiar – our childhood home.

Lately I’ve had some time to reflect on my life, what I do, who I am, and numerous other soul-searching endeavors that could easily leave ones head spinning.  Something that we should all undoubtedly do at certain points to evaluate our lives.

I remember a friend telling me once that once you hit your thirties, you will stop reading books like the Alchemist and just face reality that life isn’t all inspiration and aspiration.  I hope that I never stop dreaming, and envisioning bigger and better goals for myself and those that I choose to surround myself with. Thirty or not, I refuse to believe this.

I think that facing yourself, what you’re good at, and what you’re not good at (let’s call these the ‘works in progress’) are some of the hardest things that you can do.  It’s easy to sit there and say I’m really good at ‘x’ and ignore that perhaps you have done things to yourself and other people that are the result of those things that you’re not so good at.  Perhaps insecurity is at the forefront of some of these things, like it is with me.  Heck, I didn’t even really want to start this blog for years because I didn’t want to look silly, or have people thinking ‘what gives her the right to write about these things? What does she know?”

I struggle with the idea that ‘it doesn’t really matter what other people think’, because in some ways it does.  There are people out there who read and see what you do, they judge your work, your credentials based on a small amount of interaction and evaluate who you are, what you have to offer, whether you have influence or ‘klout’.

The key is to have enough confidence to know who you are, the values that you represent, the person that you are and the work that you do. (A friend’s father told him that recently and he was kind enough to share this wisdom with me.)  Keep your head held high, and believe in you.

Summer9

The people who matter the most will know you, stick around even when you’re a bit of a sh*t-head, hug you when you’re down, and become the biggest cheerleaders that you didn’t even realize or appreciate that you had.  They’ll encourage you to blog more, talk to people more, and shine that light that is you regardless of how dim you may feel it is at the moment.

Part of it is just recharging – hanging out with people who make you laugh, who sign you up for dragon boat races when you don’t even know how, those who remind you that writing is for the soul and is one of the hardest things we do sometimes – “it is ultimately spilling your guts out in text form.”

-Bexx

Summer Gym Bag Essentials a la Bexx

What does your summer gym bag need in it!  Here are 3 of the things that I don’t leave home without!

1- SPFSunscreen-  I must admit that I have tried a few different types of sunscreen, mostly because I burn and turn into a lobster shortly after being in the sun.  If you have ever vacationed with me or played a sport with me, you’ve probably at some point been asked to help me apply sunscreen to my back.  You’re welcome.  My skin thanks you.  Don’t be embarrassed or think it’s not cool to put on the sunscreen.  I’ve been there; I’ve blistered.  Just don’t.  If you’re outdoors for any sport, make sunscreen your best bud! Coppertone SPORT is my absolutely favourite!wahta

2-  Water.. (or Wahta, whichever you prefer really.)  Make sure you bring some with you wherever you go.  You never know when you’ll be stuck outside in the heat, or on a smelly streetcar.  When you’re playing sports or running, make sure you bring some with you in your fuel belt or in a large water bottle.  No sun/heat stroke for you! Sometimes when water feels like it’s  just not enough, grab some Wahta and try it out.  Fun to say and drink, it’s a new one that I love to carry around.

3nuun energyNuun Energy–  I was asked to review these, and I absolutely love these tablets.  I have tried the Cherry Limeade and they’re my favourite so far.  They give me that little boost of energy that I need in the afternoon to keep me on track for my upcoming workouts in the early evenings! I’m must confess I used to have soda in the afternoon, but I’m trying to give it up.  This is a great alternative for me.  I don’t drink coffee, so this is my only source of caffeine.

Happy Summer, guys!  Hope the heat treats you well!

-Bexx

The sharpest pencil in the box….

pencil

I think I’ve learned a lot in my short 30 years.  Part of me always wishes I could go back with the knowledge that I have now (like in 13 going on 30) and tell my teenaged self that everything will be just fine and not to worry so much – chill out, enjoy things and most importantly learn all that you can.  I still tell myself these days to chill out and to stop worrying so much about life, and just take it all in.  I’ve taken up yoga and meditation.  I try to slow myself down and appreciate what is around me.  I forget all this and resort back to my old thoughts sometimes.  I’m far from perfect.  Life is a learning process after all!

I did my first podcast the other day (Bexx plug here)  and even though I did it over the phone I was more nervous than I’ve been in a long time, and was super glad that the podcast was not in person. (I probably would have sweat all over the equipment and short-circuited everything, thereby sabotaging my very first podcast of history heh) I’m not sure why I was so nervous – I can’t really explain it, but I was. I never really pictured or thought that I would ever be featured on a podcast or have a blog that anyone read (besides my family and closest friends.) For me most of the things that are happening lately are a bit surreal and makes me feel kind of funny.

In the midst of all these recent happenings in my life – whether it be work, volunteering or just overall every day life events, have made me realize that we all have dr seusssomething special to offer. I think it’s good to accept what you are good at and realize that you have something to offer the world, that other people don’t.  No one is exactly like you, no one thinks exactly the way you do, or does things the way that you would.  Based on all your previous life experiences, you walk through the world sometimes giving yourself less credit than you deserve.  Maybe you think no one would listen or read if you wrote a blog, or maybe you’re afraid that people will judge you or already know the things you do.  They don’t always.  Sometimes people can share in what you write and connect with it through their experiences, but yours are still unique.

Use what you’re good at.  Don’t be afraid to tell your stories and share your thoughts.  I have always worried so much about what people think, and hesitated in a lot of ways in my life.  Say what you want to say. You’re important.

Play on playas,

-Bexx

Run, run, as fast as you CAN’T!

excusesYou always want to do things that you can’t.

Usually I want to run marathons, ULTRAS even, when I can’t even walk down a flight of stairs because I have an injury plaguing my beloved calves (#sorrynotsorry?!)

Oh, the things I would do right now if I could, I say silently to myself, as if I actually would if I could.  Who am I kidding? Rebecca! Are you bonkers?  The answer to that question is obviously yes in most cases when I ask that question, but I find it both humourous and ironic that in most cases we crave to do the thing that we can’t more than anything in the world.

I feel like maybe if someone started a really nasty rumour that the world JUST ran out of turnips, and there was only one left that I, Rebecca P., had the opportunity to try – then maybe (just maybe) I’d eat one.  I’d probably gobble the whole thing up like it tasted like a  buncha Cool Ranch Doritos and be sad that there wasn’t more.

I promise I do have a point.

My point is, the mind is a powerful thing!  Half of working out and eating properly on your health journey has to do with your mind.  Obviously if you’re injured, it’s a bit of a different story, however, if you can’t run because of your calves, then you know for a FACT that you can do arms, or you can do abs.   You probably won’t do an Ultra even though your mind wanders and wants you to, but you don’t really have excuses to jump completely off the fitness train.  If you do make excuses you’re choosing to be a victim to your crazy thoughts of the “I can’ts”.  Sometimes I wallow in my own self pity when injured, so I get it. The best thing you can do is figure out what you CAN do, and be open-minded about things.

Turnips and I may never be friends, and I may never run an Ultra marathon (injured or not), but I WILL make sure that I aim high in my fitness/nutrition challenges and give each and everything a shot, or taste for that matter!

PS I Google’d “Get what you want” and this came up? What the flying F…..*sigh* False. This is NOT what I wanted.wtf