Grandma Mary & The First Annual Run for the Love of Pete 5k

runfortheloveofpete
A lot happened this weekend, and as much as I don’t want it to take away from the race as a whole, I must explain so that you truly understand the impact that this had on me this weekend.

My grandmother passed away on Saturday at the age of 95.  She lived quite the life, and she was always funny and entertaining to me.  She laughed at all my jokes, put up with my crazy antics, swore I hadn’t changed at all since birth (I assume I was always this entertaining haha) and even posed for photos with me while I ‘forced her’ (read: encouraged her to do so, because “At 90+ you can do or say what you want, Grandma..”) to the give the finger.

For as long as I can remember growing up, when she was calling for you in the yard, she’d go through every grandchild’s name before getting to yours (including the boy names) every single time.  When I was getting in trouble this was awesome because it would sound like something along the lines of “Oh… Samantha, Mark, Trevor, Melissa, Matthew, er…Chad.. OHHHHHH REBECCA! WHATEVER your name is, get in the HOUSE!” and by then I would be half way across the yard in the opposite direction. She played cards, darts and bowled. She patiently sat with us all and tried to teach us how to play euchre.  (I never caught on).

She taught me what I remember to be one of the first jokes (play on words) I understood, and I like to think I’m mistakespretty funny – so I owe this all to Grandma and her coffee cup.  It read: I never make mistakes.  I thought I did once, but I was mistaken.  Now, I’m not sure if you get how hard it would be to explain that play on words to a 7 or 8 year old, and I figure Grandma had her work cut out for her – at the time mini Rebecca had felt it was all too obvious that you had in fact made a mistake if you had been mistaken.  It was clearly written on the cup. 😉

The reason I bring this all up isn’t because I want everyone to be sad or feel bad.  I just want you to know that this weekend had many highs and lows, but ultimately will always be one to go down in the books.

Run for the Love of Pete was something I told my grandma about recently, and she kept telling me how proud she was of me. I wasn’t sure how much she understood, because our conversations were all at yelling level, as her hearing had been going a bit, but I’m glad she got a chance to hear about it.

My dad wasn’t a perfect man.  He made mistakes, he did the best he could, but ultimately was one of my favourite people that I have ever met.  He was often the class clown when he went to mining conventions, always volunteered in the community where we lived, and defended me by yelling at all the neighbourhood kids when we got carried away chucking ice  balls at each other.  He was a gem.14289884_10101232710651650_2855432295706238207_o

I’ve been really lucky to be graced with such gems in my life, and organizing the Run for the Love of Pete was something that I have been saying I’m going to do for a long time.  I announced the run, started a new job, and was going to cancel the event because I didn’t feel like I had dedicated enough time to it (or the marketing of it).  However, when you announce that you’re going to do something, like my dad always told me, you must follow through or else people won’t believe you if you say you’re going to do it next time. And so I did.

Running is rather polarizing – some people love it, and some people really hate it.  There are in between people who sometimes run, and sometimes don’t run.  Most of my friends are the ‘don’t really want to run’ type people, but that didn’t stop them from running on Sunday, or volunteering to help organize and ‘run’ this race. (Pun always intended).

That being said I want to thank each and every one of you who ran, volunteered, encouraged me at any point before, during or after the race, gave me pats on the back when I selfishly needed them and made donations to the Heart and Stoke Foundation, or cooked brunch for ravenous runners (which is like risking your life via sticking your head in the mouth of a lion – don’t get between people who have run a 5K and a pile of pancakes is all I’m saying ;))
Organizing something that you hope will be a giant race one day, really makes you thankful for all the people that are in your life. I really lucked out in the friendship lottery of life.  Surrounding yourself with great people reminds you why you strive to be better each and every day just like them. So thank you, thank you, thank you. You all mean the world to me!

image1So, the first Run for the Love of Pete is dedicated to my Grandmother, Mary Coe. She could rock that white hair like no other.  Although her name isn’t in the title of the race, and she probably never ran in her life (except perhaps running after me or any of her other awesome grandchildren in the yard..which might count..) she was a woman who will not be forgotten.

She always reminded me to be better & to not take my gift of making people laugh for granted, and my dad always told me to do the things that scare me the most.

This Sunday amidst the laughs and jokes while running the Run for the Love of Pete 5k  (and coming in last so that no one else did) I thought about how Grandma and Dad were probably looking down at me from somewhere shaking their heads, and making some joke about how I actually managed to pull this all off among all the other crazy things I always have going on like I do, and it made me smile. ❤

Do those things that scare you the most, they are guaranteed to be some of the best things that you ever do.

With love,

Bexx

 

Run for the Love of Pete 5K : The Why

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 9.24.43 AMAt first, I wanted to do something in the memory of my father, Pete. I wanted to raise money and awareness for heart health so that people around me got to live longer and learn about the things that they needed to do to accomplish this. I love running, so why not pair the two?

Over the course of wanting to launch this run (I’ve been thinking about this for about a year and a half), I had anxiety about hitting send on a mass email, hitting create on an FB post and talking to people about it in general. I’d hold back. I realized that all I needed to do was take the first step.

In all my research around running races, and organizing them, I scoured the pages of Runners World Magazine and any online resource that I could. If I was having this much trouble taking the first step to creating a race to ‘change lives’ then how many other people were having the same struggle? I mean this from all standpoints in life. Were others struggling to run? Were others so afraid of what other people thought so much that they were just sitting and waiting for that perfect moment to do what they really want to do?  Were other people so paralyzed with fear and self-doubt that they just sat on really great ideas for a really long time instead of just getting out there and doing them?

I was (and still am a little spooked) about taking the first step. What if one person comes to the race? What if no one shows up? What if it’s raining? What if people look at September 11th as a negative date? What if I don’t raise awareness or money and fall flat on my face? There will always be ‘what ifs’.

I took the first step yesterday.

I almost puked in the car.

Some people will understand, some people won’t. Some people will laugh at your goals and mine, others will suScreen Shot 2016-05-18 at 9.16.28 AMpport them with banners (think signs made out of glitter and uncooked macaroni, that’s what I see ;)), and do whatever they can to help.

I set-up the Facebook invite, and to some that will seem rather trivial (or an archaic way of doing things hah), but it has taken me months to hit that ‘create’ button. My buddy Doug took me for a ride in the car. He made me listen to a podcast that really changed the way I look at this hurdle. I have to spend more time looking at why I want to do this, not at how or what. The rest I can figure out along the way. (Check out this TED Talk with Simon Sinek if you want to learn more about the ‘why’).

All I have to remember in every step of this process, no matter how good or bad this goes, I took the first step – the first step of many to come.

I will learn a lot throughout this whole thing, things won’t be perfect and I will refine and change things as I go. I hope that you join me, as we take many first steps together, never forgetting the why along the way!

-Bexx

How to Pick the Perfect Personal Trainer

When you have a trainer you spend a lot of time with them, just how much time you spend with them, is really up to you.
Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.47.17 PMI personally love morning training sessions and see my trainer TJ at 6 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Sometimes I think he’s plotting to kill me with his crazy training weightlifting/cardio combos, other times I think he just likes watching my face when he lies and says just two more burpees when I know we already got to 12. (He’s sneaky like that!)  All said in jest – if you know me IRL, you have probably heard a TJ story or ten, because I really appreciate my trainer and all that we accomplish within these hour-long sessions.  He’s like a big brother that you actually listen to, and sometimes he even yells out really cool things to embarrass you in the gym (This morning he yelled “NOW DON’T FART” when I was about to do leg lifts for my abs to try and embarrass me…I died laughing.)   All kidding and joking aside, he’s really good at reading his clients (HE GOT TRAINER OF THE MONTH FOR SEPTEMBER!!!!) – he is good at joking with some clients, being serious with others, and pushes some that need to be pushed in ways that they’ll feel comfortable.  This is a key to being a good trainer in my opinion.

How to find your own awesome personal trainer like mine:

1. Personality

  • social-media-personality-typesIf you don’t like being pushed, and the type of trainer you pick likes to lead your sessions with encouraging ‘yips and yells’ about fitness screaming “YOU WERE BORN FOR THIS” in your ear while you workout – you’re going to want to spend your session punching them with your mind, rather than focusing on the workout. This pretty much defeats the purpose.  If that is your style and you love the idea of having your own personal drill sergeant, pushing you beyond your own minds limitations, then this type of trainer may be for you!
  • There is no right and wrong type of personality when it comes to training – fit is what is the most important (not how fit they look, how they fit with you! ;)).  When you’re looking for a job at a company the culture and how you fit in matters, and the same thing goes for training – pick a person (and place) that is best fit to your own personality and what you’re looking to get out of a personal trainer.

2. Goals

  • Ultimately your goals and what you’re going to the trainer for are important.  I spend a lot of time at the gym and training.  That being said, you observe a lot of different trainer/trainee relationships.  If you’re going to the gym to see a personal trainer for the mere fact that you can tell Suzy and Mimi
    goals
    Photo cred: http://www.becomeablogger.com

    that you have a trainer, then your goals are going to be a bit different from someone who is looking to drop weight, improve their endurance or enter their first fitness competition.

  • It is important in this case to know what your trainer has in terms of  credentials or ‘claims to fame’. Have they trained both males and females?  Have they helped people get to their goal weight?  Have they won fitness competitions themselves? Do they know how to train people who want to do that? All very important questions to ask or look into when you’re trying to find the trainer who is right for you.  A lot of people will claim that they can get you to your goals, but don’t necessarily have the street cred to back that up.  (Note:  This does not give you license to blame your trainer if you are not hitting your goals if you mash pizza into yo’ face after training.  Diet is equally important.)

3. Price and Availability

  • How much are you willing to invest in a personal trainer? Some of my friends think I’m crazy and spend a lot on training.  I realize that I do. I also used to spend a lot of that money on pizza, so I think it’s a good reallocation of funds 😉  It’s okay to save your money and shop around for a trainer who fits into your budgetary life too.  At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for your lifestyle.
    Photo cred: www.nicabm.com
    Photo cred: http://www.nicabm.com

    Maybe it’s time for less pizza, or maybe it’s time to shop around until you find a super awesome trainer who is starting out and may have a Groupon deal.  It’s really up to you.

  • The time of day that you’d like to train is also important.  Some trainers are flexible with training time. If your schedule isn’t always the same,  you may want to find a trainer who can work with a more sporadic schedule.  Some trainers are working with other clients who have more set schedules, and they may not be for you.  Again, it’s really about finding someone who can work with you, and your schedule to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your training.

Overall, I’ve had a great experience with my trainer!  I started off with one that didn’t really mesh with my personality, and what my goals were.  These are some of the things that I thought about when trying to find more of what I was looking for.   I hope that this helps you when choosing your personal trainer wisely 😉

Any great or not so great stories about personal training to share? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Happy Training!

-Bexx

ps unsolicited plug – if anyone is looking for an awesome trainer, I happen to have one and know a few others as well 🙂 Let me know if you need any help sourcing!

“Gym Budddddayyyy!”

workoutbuddy

Having a good gym buddy is important to me. Sometimes I lack the motivation to even get to bootcamp, let alone find the motivation to get my butt to the gym!

I’ve lucked out over the years.  I have met some fitness friends through classes I’ve joined, and some friends have taken up fitness over the years and joined me on my crazy fitness pursuits.

My friend Hilary used to wake up during the summer months when she didn’t even have to be up (she is a teacher with summers off) to run with me virtually, every Tuesday and Thursday morning at six am.  She would do her run by her place and I would do mine around my hood.  There were mornings I didn’t want to get up, but I knew I couldn’t disappoint her. Halfway ‘you can do this’ messages and the thought that someone else was going through the same thing as me made me try harder and feel more accountable for my workout.

I have two friends named Alex (Beinsy and Giordano to be specific) that are great workout buddies too.  Beinsy and I have been friends since Uni and over the years we’ve tried some crazy kettlebell workouts, running and cardio feats.  Giordano and I hit up bootcamp and crush some Goodlife Combat workouts together.  All in all, these ladies have helped me reach so many of my goals, that I can’t even begin to list them here 🙂

I’m not saying that you can’t ever do a workout by yourself, because those workouts are important too.  What I am saying though, is that a good gym buddy can sometimes motivate you to push beyond the limits that you set for yourself.  Sometimes these limits are set on purpose, and sometimes they are just mental blocks that prevent you from reaching your next fitness level or goals.  Either way, it’s great to have a workout buddy who will push you out of your comfort zone.

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Top 3 reasons to have a workout buddy:

1.  You will feel like getting up and doing that workout because you’re accountable, not only to yourself, but to your workout buddy.

2.  You will get satisfaction knowing that you are motivating someone else to do things that they wouldn’t necessarily do by themselves either.  Who doesn’t like that little ‘feel good’ “I’ve helped someone!” feeling?! 😉

3.  They point out the positives (at least a good one will!)  When you crush that goal, or do that extra burpee, they will point out and celebrate your accomplishments.  Sometimes it’s nice to get a pat on the back from someone who isn’t you!

Happy Training!

-Bexx

Sporting Life 10K 2013

Sporting life

I ran the Sporting Life 10K this morning.  It’s one of my favourite races of the year- both because it’s a huge race of 27,000 people, and because it is for a great cause.

All of the money raised goes towards supporting Camp Oochigeas, which is a camp that is run for children with cancer.  A lot of people were wearing what they run for on signs that were pinned to their backs.  It was motivational to run behind someone wearing “Run for those who cannot” or those who were running in memory of someone who lost their battle with cancer. It really puts things into perspective- you are still alive, you are running – now give it all you’ve got!

I haven’t been training, so this race intimidated me a bit. My Achilles actually doesn’t feel that bad though, so I’m pretty excited about that! Healing is awesome.

The race itself was awesome.  I used to run with music and now when I do races I find that running without it makes me more in tune with the things around me and also with how I feel.  I used to think that it would be terrible to run without the help of the music, but now I find it invigorating!

I looked up my time on-line and for some reason it’s not there.  I am curious to know how I did.  I know that I wasn’t hitting a PB, by any means, but I’d love to at least know for myself, to see how much work I have to do to start hitting some of those PBs! 😉

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last year.  I like shorter races, and I think I want to focus more so on getting faster, than distance.  I did a half marathon, and knocked it off the bucketlist.  Part of finishing that race turned me off of running for a bit, and I wasn’t sure why at the time.  Running in my head had become more of a job than something that was fun and that I enjoyed.  For now, I’ll put the half marathons on the back-burner and focus my eyes on the prize(s): some PBs in the 5K and 10Ks 🙂

Best sign on the side-lines of the race: “Fastest Parade Ever!” *grin*  I was quite amused.

2 million dollars were raised today for Camp Ooch, and at the end of the day that’s what counts the most!

Happy running,

-Bexx

5 Ways to Stay Inspired This Spring

As the lovely Spring weather arrives, I want to make sure that you all stay inspired.  I sometimes use these to help myself stay inspired, because inevitably we all need it at times 🙂

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A few of the things I think that you can do to feel your best while embracing this wonderful new season:

1-       Always make sure that you’re challenging yourself and not letting yourself plateau- you won’t stay inspired, if you aren’t changing it up.  Needless to say, this doesn’t mean ditch your favourite spin class altogether.  It means change things up and add new things into your routine.  Try a new barre class, join a social media #plankaday type challenge and you’ll be really surprised how much this inspires you to improve and do better. The encouragement from those around you will help especially when it comes to social media. 🙂

2-      Keep a positive attitude- You will do more, achieve more and celebrate more success if you have a positive attitude about fitness and health.  It has happened to all of us- bit by the ‘bittter bug’ – we have a negative attitudes sometimes.  It’s not always going to be sunny out, but the sun is still there somewhere behind the cloud.  It’s up to you to find it, harness it, and get that inspiration back!  You own this… do it up!

3-      Write down your goals and check them off when you complete them- I’m a big fan of lists and setting goals. I get extreme satisfaction from checking things off of my list and writing the date that I completed them beside it.  (See my Life KPI List)  There is a lot to be said about the positive reinforcement that is found through keeping a running tally of your accomplishments.  It’s all to easy to focus on the negative, but the positives will continue to take you to that new level.

4-      Look for others who are on similar journeys to your own- power in numbers! When you feel like giving up find a group of similar people who are on the same path that you are when it comes to fitness.  Maybe it’s joining a class to really keep you inspired, and rev up, or maybe it’s calling up some of your girl friends and going on a hike.  Either way surrounding yourself with like-minded people helps you maintain your path, but also reinforces the healthy choices that you’ve been making on your own.

5-      Inspire others- sometimes when you inspire someone else, the positive energy comes right back to you.  It arrives in the form of that ‘feel good’, I’ve helped someone else’ type feeling and it reminds us of our own accomplishments, how far we’ve come and where we’d like to see ourselves as well.  I’m not saying do things solely to inspire others, your heart also needs to be in it for you.  At the end of the day if you set a great example for those around you,  they will not be able to resist being inspired by you too 🙂

Happy  ‘Spring’ training,

-Bexx

Being a Gym-rat and Weight Training like Arnold…

Back in the day... when he wasn't busy with the nanny... too soon?! ;)
Back in the day… when he wasn’t busy with the nanny… too soon?! 😉

This week I have eased back onto the fitness train with an awesome cardio, strength and muscle-building routine with my friend Beinsy.  A friend of hers designed the routine, and she used it when she was in fitness competitions.  We do 3 sets of 3 different exercises.  We repeat these three exercises (20 reps of each) 4 times.  I’m sure there is a much better and less complicated way to say that, but alas, I am me and that’s just how I say it 😉

Today’s morning workout was hard on the lower back, but other than that I feel much stronger than I did when I started on Monday.

We did the workout Monday, Wednesday and this morning.  Week 2 will be amazing.  I start kick-boxing again, so I am sure that will also help.

I’ve honestly missed some good old weight training in my workouts.  I think that I often forget the value of adding these into my workouts.

I will soon be training for the Sporting Life 10k and need to get the running training in there too somewhere.  For me, balance will be key.  I’m not sure how I’m going to fit it all in, but I need to make sure that I at least try!

Are there any favourite circuit/weight training routines that you use?  What do you find the most effective in your training?

We workout!! Beinsy and I as Gym-Rats (Halloween-ish ;))
We workout!! Beinsy and I as Gym-Rats (Halloween-ish)

Always looking for some great advice and tip sharing!For now I will settle into this new routine of being a true ‘gym-rat’!Happy training!-Bexx