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

Tree Pose Focused

hot yogaI think some things and people come in to your life for a reason.

Recently I started going to Tula West at Ossington and Bloor, and I’d have to say it has been quite the game changer.  I’ve done yoga before.  I actually used to go to Bikram yoga a couple of years ago, but it didn’t last.  I liked the heat aspect, but didn’t really connect with the poses and type of yoga that it was.  I thought at the time that my little flirt with yoga was pretty much over forever.

This new year, marked a time in my life when I really wanted to do something different, put the past year behind me, reflect, learn and make myself better.  (Pretty much everyone starts the year off this way, no?! hah)

I decided that I wanted to do yoga on a Saturday morning and asked my friend Jill to join me.  I’m glad that we did this – not only do we have Saturday morning brunch dates afterwards or before, but I’ve also had someone with me on this spiritual journey.  I had never done hot hatha before, but was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this class, and how much I pushed myself during.  After the class, I felt like a million bucks and was in a head space that I hadn’t been in a long time.  I was that grinning idiot on the subway 😉

I must admit that I was rather skeptical about all this “zen” stuff, and didn’t really think that this would change my life or really make me a better person.   I thought I’d end the class twisted up like a sweaty pretzel, sad about the poses that my little stumpy legs couldn’t/wouldn’t ever do, but  SURPRISE! – that was the furthest thing from what actually happened.

I’m not going to tell you that I am a super flexible yogi with it all figured out, because I am not that either.  What I am though, is someone who is open to this new experience; willing to concentrate and push myself further than the week before, and someone who is truly feeling that yoga should have a bigger place and role in my life.

The instructor last week during tree pose, scared the heck out of everyone when she was talking calmly one minute and then started clapping and yelling in the next minute.  “This is your life.  There are always twenty things coming at you at once trying to distract you from the goals that you are focused on.  Keep focused in your tree pose.  Take the lessons you learn here and apply them to your outside life.  Don’t let anything distract you from the things you zenwant and deserve.”

After a long week in the hustle and bustle of the city, with what seems like a million work projects on the go, and the normal stress of every day life that sometimes overwhelms you – there is something about putting down your yoga mat, placing your towel on top, laying down, inhaling deeply and letting everything sigh right out.  Gone are the stresses of the week, your shoulders loosen, your head clears and you are focused on then and now.

The Better Person

I’ve written similar posts to this oBetter personne before on workout buddies/support systems, but tonight made me realize just how important it is to surround yourself with great people.  Well that’s not fully the truth – this whole weekend has made me realize this.

Ultimately your friends are there to support you when you need it, and also tell you when you’re being ridiculous.  I’m pretty ridiculous sometimes, as you know, so it’s always nice when people are around you to give you that reality check.  (I hear “Oh Bexx!” a lot because of my silly antics. hah)

I think the better the people you surround yourself with, the better person you become.  iI’s like when you have a running buddy.  When they are a bit faster than you at first it seems discouraging (if you let it.)  “I’ll never get there!” *pounds table with fist*  As the weeks pass and you keep up with them, less out of breath than last week, you realize that you too are improving.  You are becoming what you surround yourself with.  (I don’t recommend running with an Olympian in this analogy….like we all have goals and it’s great to surround yourself with greats, but if you’re trying to speed up to an Olympian you may just end up feeling worse about yourself, and that’s not the point.  I’m sure you get my drift! 😉 hahah)

Tonight I got together with some old university roomies that I mentioned in my NYE list post, and we had dinner, caught up and discussed our individual lists.  Jay Skyped in because he couldn’t make it to Toronto (more crazy snowing going on.)  We never judge each other on our respective lists, accomplishments or goals, we just listen and celebrate with a Kidstreet clap (please see 17 second point of the video for an example) when someone has accomplished something amazing etc. We discuss and laugh, and overall end the evening with some awesome YouTube clips.

The one thing that stood out to me tonight that I wasn’t expecting, was that I have let far too much time pass in between when I had seen these people last.  I was on the outside of some of the inside jokes, and I’ve fallen behind in their lives unintentionally.  I’ve gotten so wrapped up in my own ‘stuff’ that I have forgotten to reach out as much as I should.  I’ve missed important proposals, dance caves, DJ Earworm mash-ups, and important life milestones, like getting dream jobs.  I am adding another goal to 2014 – to make sure that friendships like these do not get put on the back-burner for other ‘stuff.’

We talk about goals; we talk about failures; we talk about things that wouldn’t even make sense if you repeated them ten times; we laugh; we reflect on the things we can do better, and the better people that we can become.

*thankful*

*plays fav mash-up smiling*

-Bexx

Winter Wonderland: What to add to your winter workout gear!

If you’re reading my blog from California a) I’m jealous and b) this post may not pertain to you, unless you plan on visiting me in Canada. *This is perfectly fine and welcomed.*

I workout close to home, so I tend to boot it home and shower here versus showering at the gym.  I also tend to change at work from work clothes into my gym gear (suit-up, if you will) to save time too.  I’m not sure how many  of you do this as well, but regardless I think there are a few items that you should have on hand for that walk home or to the gym to make your winter wonderland walking a success.

The Miss Molly (Source: http://www.graceandlace.com)
hipster toque
(Source: http://www.etsy.com)

I’m a huge fan this season of leg warmers.  One may say I have a bit of an obsession with them.  My favourite to put on these days over my workout tights to keep the ‘pistons of power’ (Read: legs) warm, are from Grace and Lace.  They recently appeared on Shark Tank, so it’s a bit of a wait to get them sent to you, but SOOOO worth it.  They’re cute, warm, and if you put them under your boots, the little lace part sticks out and gives your outfit some pazazz! *spirit fingers*. Your legs also stay warm, which is ultimately the goal at the end of the day.

The second piece that I love for winter is a nice loose toque that I like to refer to as ‘the hipster toque.’  Now mine is bright red and has a pompom on it, and it cost a dollar.  However, you could go more upscale with your ‘to and from the gym toque” –  the world is your oyster.  It’s great for after the gym – you can throw it over gym hair that may not be acceptable looking to that hottie on the street who’s checking you out.  Think about it, a nice little toque adds that ‘you’re cute’ factor to some hair that could potentially otherwise just look like a sweaty mess. Think about it.  Functionally, your head stays warm as well – BONUS! 🙂

roots pants
(Source: www.canada.roots.com)

The third item is a nice comfy pair of jogging pants.  These days my favourite pair are from Roots.  They’re the classic-style baggy jogging pants.  They can go over your workout shorts, capris or tights, and they add that extra barrier between you and the winter wind.  I love how comfy and baggy they are.  They’re also great for lounging on a regular day, or perhaps at an après-ski type situation by a cozy fire.

For all of you starting some awesome new years resolutions at the gym, hopefully this helps!  For you pros out there, feel free to add some of your tips/favourite gear in the blog comments section! Sharing means caring!

Happy Training!

-Bexx

Fresh off the Press – 2014: NYE List

2014

Every year some old roomies from university and I share our New Years resos. (You can see last year’s post here: NYE 2013 List)  I’ve decided to make mine public, and I sit here (proudly) hang-over free, at 8 am writing this while the condo is quiet and most of you have yet to rise (except for the hardcores who have already been out at 6 am running 8k and stuff haha 😉 [Bexx note: I then got distracted, cleaned, went to a movie, then did some work, and am now completing this entry.  I am like Dory in Finding Nemo- ‘Something shiny” heh.]

I didn’t really quite accomplish the goals I set out to do in 2013 fully, but I still had a great year – great friendships, meeting wonderful new people, and reuniting with some friends who I thought were lost forever.  It’s been a good year of learning about myself, the world, and how much I can push myself when I need to.  I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be the year of Bexx 😉 [Bexx note: I say this every year, and every year is equally as awesome for the record, all for different reasons of course!]

TOP 10 OUTSTANDING MOMENTS OF 2013…

  1. Realizing that not everyone is going to like you, or all the things you do, but you’re still going to do the best that you can.
  2. Being asked to be my cousin Melissa’s Maid of Honour in her July 2014 wedding.
  3. Winning a plank-off competition at bootcamp.
  4. Gaining more confidence in the public speaking world, and hitting a lot of goals I set for myself at work in terms of confidence, and measure of success.
  5. Having someone tell me that I was an inspiration to them 🙂
  6. Meeting a cab driver who changed my perspective on a major life event.  It’s interesting who you will meet, and how they will change your life/perspective in only a very short time.
  7. Getting to see beautiful Dublin, Ireland and Barcelona, Spain this summer with some wonderful people! (Two more countries on my Life KPIs list complete!)
  8. Making great new friends, maintaining the old friendships and hearing from some people I never thought I would again!
  9. Spending time with my mom and bro this summer.  As much as they tease me about being a princess, they still make me dinner and take care of me :)
  10. Going “skiing” with my cousin Melissa at Christmas.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a really long time.  Thank you for that.
TOP 5 DISAPPOINTMENTS IN 2013
  1. Not winning the lottery, again.
  2. Not hitting all the fitness goals that I wanted to (BUT became a burpee queen regardless! WIN!)
  3. Getting stranded in Barcelona sans id/passport/credit cards.  (Learning that your family and friends will always be there supporting you no matter how far away they are!)
  4. Not becoming Prime Minister of Canada.  That’s always disappointing, not just in 2014! (I’m repeating this, I still think it’s equally as important this year.. haha)
  5. Learning that the Caramilk secret is still a secret 😉
5 Goals for 2014
  1. To run a sub 58 minute 10k.  This year it will happen. 2014 you will be my b*tch!
  2. Get fit and have fun Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod styles.  Work b*tch!
  3. Run a NWM half, with Jaymie.
  4. Post regularly on my blog! I always have issues with keeping up 🙂
  5. Actually tell people how I feel about things, and standing up for the things I believe in.  Confidence will be key for me in this.

3 Best New People of the Year-

  1. Alex Giordano (@lexxgiodano) –  Gym buddy of the year.  This girl makes me giggle while planking, and always helps me push myself when I want to give up!
  2. Lindsey Chapman (@lindseygchapman) – It’s interesting to realize you can meet new friends at the bar too, not just men! 😉  Bubbly, funny, and entertaining, this lady is one of my new favs!
  3. Sammie Kennedy (@sammiekennedy) –  Bootcamp and kick-boxing coach, she was even a good sport when we made her attend a twerking class this year, that I’m not supposed to talk about.  ❤

Richard Bronson posted today using a quote from Confucius that I really like and he also added a few of his own words:  “”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step.” By making one little change, you could have a profound positive effect on other people’s lives as well as your own.”

I hope you all had a great 2013, and will have an equally great, if not even better, 2014! May you accomplish all of the goals and resolutions that you set out for yourself!

Happy training,

-Bexx

Bexxified: Surviving Cold and Flu Season

poofI wish I had THE magical advice, which would rid you of any chance of getting a cold or flu this winter season.  Heck, I wish I had this magical advice so I could also give it to myself and avoid whining and crying and missing workouts because I can’t breathe.  I think you forget how much you like breathing through your nose while you sleep, until you can’t.  It makes me angry when it happens. A few times I’ve even got so frustrated I yelled “COME ON!” at my congested nostrils.  Stop laughing, I bet you have too, so stop pretending you haven’t. (Yelling at them didn’t work, but it made me feel a bit better, in spirit at least.)

There are a few things that I will unsolicitedly tell you what I do to fight off colds and flus during this lovely winter season, while simultaneously making up words…*sigh*  Hopefully some of them will help you.  Sometimes these things help, sometimes they don’t.  Regardless (placebo-ish thoughts or not) doing these things makes me feel better and makes it seem to me as though my colds/flus are shorter than most.

Bexxify Yourself for Cold and Flu season in the following ways:Arnold

1- If you start to feel sick, tired and fatigued, get ample amounts of ZZZs and drink a lot of water.  Sounds simple, but we forget.  Whether you’re a little stress-ball working extra hard during your company’s year-end, or running yourself down visiting ten million (I may exaggerate a bit) relatives during holidays, make sure that ultimately you are getting the rest that you need to keep the germs at bay.  Germs hate strong immune systems.  I wouldn’t mess with Arnold, colds and flus won’t mess with Arnold-Immune, as long as you keep strronnggg. *flex*

ColdFX2- If you start to feel a tickle at the back of your throat ,or like the front of your face is going to fall off/front of the face headache – eat ice cream.  (Okay, I may be lying about that part….) If any cold or flu-like symptoms appear, be proactive about things.  Big fan of ColdFX.  There are numerous professionals that agree or disagree with the use of this, but it makes me feel better.  I suppose one doesn’t really know if it works because it’s supposed to prevent you from getting sick at the beginning of the sickness. If I’m not sick once I’ve taken it, I assume it worked.  I am no medical professional, so who knows.  I consider this and Echinacea to be the ninjas of cold fighting.  One could argue that Oil of Oregano makes them feel better, but it tastes not as great, and burns.  I am not a particular fan, but I have taken this as well when told it would help.*Sneeze

3- Wash your hands.  Don’t be touching things on the subway then eating or touching your own face with said hands, because Joe-McSneezerson could have been touching that pole before you got on the subway,  you don’t know.  I’m not saying get all paranoid and become one of those people afraid to touch anything, but be cautious.

So these are a few of the things that I do to protect myself from dreaded cold and flu!  Despite my sarcastically sound advice on this topic, sometimes you’re still going to get sick.  You’re going to want to yell at your congestion like I do, and maybe even shake your fist at it.  If this does happen, curl up under your biggest blanket, drink lots of water, get a lot of rest, and most importantly demand someone bring you soup – at least that’s what I do!

Stay healthy,

-Bexx

*Confession: Paused half way through cold and flu tips to have a little dance party to Applause-Lady Gaga and Stompa- Serena Ryder. Then I tried to drop a beat to Rihanna and Eminem’s The Monster, but still have to learn the song a bit better first.*