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 ūüôā

fitness

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‚Äôre challenging yourself and not letting yourself plateau-¬†you won‚Äôt stay inspired, if you aren‚Äôt changing it up.¬† Needless to say, this doesn‚Äôt 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‚Äôll 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.¬†ūüôā

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‚Äôs not always going to be sunny out, but the sun is still there somewhere behind the cloud.¬† It‚Äôs up to you to find it, harness it, and get that inspiration back!¬† You own this‚Ķ do it up!

3-¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Write down your goals and check them off when you complete them-¬†I‚Äôm 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 ‚Äėfeel good’, I’ve helped someone else’ type feeling and it¬†reminds us of our own accomplishments, how far we‚Äôve come and where we‚Äôd 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¬†ūüôā

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?! ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ

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

The Return of the Mack…er…Bexx

lacing up¬†I picture my return to running like the first part of the Chris Morrison video in Return of the Mack when he’s walking down a hallway all¬†blinged out, cool and suave, and the lights are shining down and he looks so confident,¬†calm and collected like he belongs.¬† There’s a ‘no big deal’ attitude about the way he walks down that hall (click here if you care to watch and see what I’m talking about.)¬† When I lace up for the first time back, I’ll probably just have a ponytail, and won’t be wearing as much bling, but I think I could totally¬†find a tunnel around here somewhere to start and look/feel like I’m in the video.¬† I have no idea what this has to do with anything, but I promise I have somewhat of a point to make ūüėÄ (I’ll also never be quite¬†sure why I have so many obscure pop culture references from the 90s in my head….I ought to get checked out ;))

Having only been out of commission once with a pulled hammy, I never really understood how people felt when they were injured and couldn’t do anything.

I healed the hammy¬†in two weeks, and had welcomed the break from my crazy fitness routine at the time.¬† Now having¬†suffered from this pain in the back of my ankle/heel, for about 6-8 weeks, I have not only exhausted all of the people who I can complain to, but I have also learned to appreciate how crappy an injury can be.¬† I mean don’t get me wrong, there are worse things in the world than a small injury like mine, but when the doctor told me today that I could run again, I wanted to jump up and give him a bear hug.¬† I don’t think that’s really welcomed or legal… so I held back.. but the point is, when you receive good news like that, it’s good to have brought a buddy that you can hug when there is good news.¬† I’m sure I had another point, but I’ll go with that one.

I am going to get myself some new running shoes, lace up and hit the road.¬† Not right this minute (because I’m busy typing away to you guys) but sometime soon! This rest has given me a new perspective, and I need to figure out what routine will work best for me.¬† I can’t just add everything back into my workout schedule, but I’m overall just happy that I can run.¬† Obviously I will have to take it easy and do lots of wonderful stretches, but I’m so thankful to be back.

A duck out of water is like a runner without a shoe?¬† I’m sure you get what I’m trying to say.¬† Either way, I believe John Malkovich puts it best in Burn After Reading when he says: “You¬† f*ckers, I’m back!” (I would have probably used the word b*tches instead and said “I’m back b*tches, I’m back… but I wasn’t in charge.¬† Sad really. )

xox

-Bexx

Winter Running: Training with Vanilla Ice

runwinter

I have been running in the winter for a while now and my mom used to yell at me back in the day, saying that I was a little crazy for running in -30 degree celsius weather, and that I was going to slip and fall and break my neck.  So far so good, I have not! wooo hooo *fist pumping action*

I know that winter running is¬†a bit more dangerous than summer running, but to be honest I’m just as big of a klutz during all seasons, so the possibility and probability of me falling in any season is probably just as high as if I were to be running non-stop for 5k on a sheet of ice.¬† I’m the type of person who has tripped over my own pant leg on numerous occasions (one time my big toe got stuck in the rolled up part of my lulus causing me to trip and fall while simultaneously also losing my pants.)¬† Despite this being quite entertaining for the casual observer, I think I give people quite a fright when I say that I am going running in the winter ūüėČ

I am excited and proud to say that I have no accidents to report.¬† The occasional ankle tweak sometimes happens due to my weak ankles from so many sprains in soccer over the years.¬† I’ve never broken a bone in my life (touch wood) and I am pretty proud of myself.

The key for me is to take it slow when winter running.¬† I’m have hit black ice before.¬† I think if you treat your body kind of like a car in bad weather you’ll be fine.¬† Make sure that your shoes do not have ice on the bottom of them right from the get-go (one time this happened to my ski boots – going in and out of the chalet the snow froze into a giant ball on the bottom of my boots and I sure did fall over.)¬† I’m not sure if shoes do this, but I figured¬†it might be an okay tip just in case¬†hah

SLOW¬†DOWN¬†–¬† you are not trying to break a world record, nor are you Super Mario trying to defeat Ice World.¬† You calm down.¬† (I’m mostly telling this to myself, because I’ve been known to think hey…. there aren’t that many people out here, I should try to speed this up and get home – almost ending in disaster.¬† Slow and steady wins the winter training ‘race.’¬† I believe Vanilla Ice put it best when he said [watch out for the] ice, ice, baby.¬† (Or at least if he ever wants to be quoted as saying anything profound, I added that little part in the beginning for him. You’re welcome.)

yetibexx
Yeti-Bexx

Layering is key.¬† I have this awesome Under Armor shirt that is sweat wicking, and helps heat you up during your run.¬† It’s one of my favourites and it also helps because then you don’t have to wear 10 shirts and a jacket.¬† Although the idea of me running down the road at high speeds toward you like an abominably dressed snow wo-man does make me giggle.Run with a buddy too, that always helps keep me motivated and if you do fall, then there is someone to carry you home! Think about it!¬†ūüėČ

I’m no expert, so take my advice for what is it, general tips on how I’ve stayed safe so far.¬† I’m not saying you’re not going to slip and fall.¬† I sure did do that the other morning in my mom’s driveway while just walking to the car.¬† Of course the neighbours were watching, and so while I was down there on the ground, I did not fail to take this opportunity¬†to¬†strike a pose like a model laying on a beach.

Probably not the most flattering picture of me in life, but winter running at it's finest ;)
Probably not the most flattering picture of me in life, but winter running at it’s finest ūüėČ

Be safe this winter season! (and if you don’t have winter where you are… then I should probably come and visit – I envy you sometimes ;))

Happy training!-Bexx

Training Week 3: Running like a Crazy Duck

Sizing up the competition! hah
Sizing up the competition! hah

It’s week three, at least I think it is week¬†three (oh how the time passes)¬†of training.¬† I’m easing in, and feeling like my old self again. (I, of course, use the term ‘old’ lightly haha)

When I first started¬†running a few of my friends used to tease me.¬†¬†I’m competitive.¬† I always want to win at everything and I was in a learn to run running clinic, but I still wanted to be the best.¬† When there was an opportunity to “pass” another runner on the narrow sidewalk in absence of a garbage can blocking my path, I went for it.¬† I would dodge and dart, which apparently mimics the actions of a ‘crazy duck.’¬† I’m fine with it.¬† There are a lot of fine ducks in history and stuff ūüėČ

Tonight I was near the middle (read: back, but I don’t want to talk about it.. haha) of the pack and my running buddy Rae (who is way faster than yours truly) picked up speed in the last kilometer of the run.

I do not know where it came from, but I turned into the crazy duck runner again.¬† I was determined to catch up to Rae¬†and pass some of the faster people in my running group.¬† I wove between garbage cans, and dodged tree branches like a maniac.¬† I have no idea where this drive comes from sometimes, and I sure as heck wish that I could find this inspiration more often.¬† It’s unfortunately one of those things that comes and goes.¬† I don’t want to say that it’s like some sorta divine inspiration because to me that sounds a bit hokey and the reality of the situation is that I doubt there was very little divinity involved.

I think the crazy duck run comes from wanting to win, wanting to be better and wanting to prove to myself (and everyone else who is clearing driving by to gain access to the Rebecca Running Show, free of charge) that I CAN be better.  I want to be great at things.  I want to see that time at the end of the half marathon be WAY less than my last.

I’m okay with being compared to a crazy duck.¬† There are worse things to be compared to in the world! ūüėČ

Challenge yourself.  Be the crazy duck in your running group.  I triple dog dare you!

runningduck

Happy Training,

Bexx-

*Magical Movie Moments*

Tonight at the end of our run, I felt like¬†I was¬†experiencing what I like to refer to as a “magical movie moment.”

A magical movie moment to me is when you experience an isolated pristine moment in your life that you feel should be present in a movie.  To help you relate to my nuttiness, I shall compare it to the floating bag moment in American Beauty, or to a scene in a girlie movie where you see the three friends walking through the parting crowd to a certain song, signifying that something awesome is about to go down.

Tonight was the night I was not quitting (as¬†I am sure you remember from yesterday.)¬† I’m proud to report (as I feel as though I am your local fitness Dougie Howserish¬†reporter/blogger) that I made it through this evening, and ended it with a smile on my face.¬† Now, I know what you’re thinking – how the heck does that translate or transcend into this ‘magical movie moment’ she¬†yammered on about in the beginning of this post?

We had about 1km of our run left and it started to snow.¬† We were just doing a short tempo run of 4km, and¬†my legs were still stiff from yesterday’s spin class.¬†¬†I was trying to tell my new running friend¬†about some races that I had done, in between trying to maintain my breath.¬† We reached the Running Room store as the snow really started to fall and I felt like this moment in time should have been recorded.¬† I’m sure I looked lovely (read: red-faced, sweaty,¬†gasping for¬†breath) enough to be in a movie… hahah.¬†¬† I just wish that I could have frozen that moment in time.¬† It was a moment of happiness that I feel as though the audience of a movie¬†would love to see, and could really relate to.

I got this same¬†feeling when I¬†used to do¬†night running at home a couple of years ago.¬† I’m from a small town in Northern Ontario and I used to go running around 8pm every night in the winter (much to my mother’s dismay) and sometimes it would start to lightly snow.¬†¬†There were no cars on the road,¬†¬†only white noise – just me, my¬†trusty sneakers¬†and the snow.¬† It looked like diamonds falling from the sky – a magical moment that I wish that I could have¬†shared.

Tonight was a great moment.¬† I didn’t give up;¬† I met a new running friend; I set some new goals for myself, and I experienced a magical movie moment.¬† I’d say today was quite a success, and I can’t stop smiling ūüėÄ

To many more “Magical Movie Moments,”

-Bexx

Training: The Good, The Bad and The I Want to Give ups….

Training has started again for my next half marathon.¬† Some days I grumble as I put my shoes on and I don’t want to go, but I know that once I am done I will feel so much better and energized.¬† Sometimes mid-run I want to quit, I get a pain in my side, or I develop this fictitious knee pain that convinces my already wavering self to throw in the towel and go home.¬† I don’t want to be like this.¬† I have trained for years and I would like to tell you that this feeling goes away after years of running, training and doing many different types of workouts, but sometimes it creeps up on you, no matter how many motivational quotes you post for yourself on your Facebook page.

I’ve tried a lot of things – boot camps, boxing classes, pilates, Bikram yoga and I always come back to running.¬† No matter how long I’ve been away, I always get the urge to return.¬†¬† Long distance running in an amazing thing to me.¬† There isn’t just one ‘type’ of person that can do it.¬† In high school I was told that I couldn’t be a sprinter because I didn’t have the right body type.¬† Now in hindsight I might not have been the next Donovan Bailey (mostly because I’m also not a dude…) but it would have been nice to not have been given such self-esteem squashing advice.

Thin, not so thin, tall, short, old, young – ¬†you can run.¬† You might not make it to the Olympics, but you can run and you can set goals for yourself.¬† In races people who are twice your size will barrel past you and kick your butt, much to your novice surprise.¬† You will also school some athletic¬†looking people who¬†you thought you never could beat.¬† I am rather competitive sometimes (read: all the time) and I always like to pick someone who¬†I’d like to try to beat at the starting line of a race.¬† I don’t think I’ve ever really beaten them, but it’s a fun game I like to play with myself to ease¬†my nerves before a race.¬† I always get that feeling. like when you’re a kid and you’re playing your first softball game and you think to yourself “is this a bad time to say that I have to pee?!”¬†just as you¬†take the out field for the first person to go up to bat, ¬†before a race.¬† This is something that will never change over the years no matter how many times I race, and to be honest I’m glad it doesn’t.¬† It brings that nervous surge of adrenaline through¬†my body and reminds¬†me why¬†I’m there in the first place.

It’s not like I’m racing to win (perhaps some day I will be 90 and enter a race in a small town and win my age category by default, but until then I don’t see myself taking a gold anytime soon haha)¬† I’m racing for myself.

I am going to admit that right now I’d like to quit training for this half marathon.¬† Training after you haven’t been running for about a month or two is really hard.¬† You want your body to do what it did two months ago.¬† You want to throw on your runners and feel that ease of the soles on the pavement, like you’ve been doing this all your life.

Last Thursday, I stopped at one point during my run and said to my running partner Rae that I didn’t want to do it anymore.¬† I didn’t quit, but I wanted to.¬† My attitude for the rest of the run was less than pleasant to say the least.¬† Post-run we had a chat, and we have decided that a) I am hard on myself and b) I need to keep at it if I am ever going to improve or get back to where I want to be.

My point is, I’m having a hard time finding the motivation that I always pride myself in having.¬† I’m the person who gets up at 5:30 am to take a bus downtown to take a workout class.¬† I’m the person who does a class in the morning and a boxing class at night.¬† My friends call me crazy¬†at times¬†and they never want to believe that even I want to give up sometimes.¬† What I’m doing this time around during training isn’t just physical, I’m also trying to give myself a training in motivating myself past those points of wanting to give up, and really pushing myself to do better.¬† I am not a quitter.

I’m going to do better.
I’m not going to quit.
I’m going to kick some butt (sometimes my own hah)
I’m going to try to not get frustrated with myself
I’m going to believe in myself
I’m going to accept the bad days and embrace them as much as the good days.
I’m going to try harder.

Train on!

-Bexx