Running is my therapy

I’m angry at the snow preventing me from running my best pace outside on the non-icy sidewalks.

I’m angry at my legs for being too short to fit the regular lengthed lulu winter running pants.

I’m angry because I just stubbed my toe while trying to find my running shoes.

I’m angry because I missed my running group tonight because I had to stay late at work.

photo: http://www.popsugar.com
photo: http://www.popsugar.com

Today is one of those days that you just want to crawl into a ball and hide from the world.  I want to eat a giant chocolate cake, topped with whipped cream, and then finish off a bag of jalapeno cheddar Doritos for my dessert.  There are no rules when you’re angry, apparently – dessert can be chips, and dinner can be cake.

Regardless, today I am a little ball of anger, and that’s not usually the case.  If I ever drank coffee and experienced that caffeine high people claim to need to get their day going, I’d probably bounce off the walls and have no friends left because the pain-in-the-butt sunny disposition that I already possess, would result in people wanting to punch me out.  However, today I’m just angry.

I don’t usually talk about negative things, but I think it’s important to acknowledge when you’ve just had a terrible day, and it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself for a little bit – provided of course that you’re not using your anger to punch someone out etc. Anger is healthy.  My life is not perfect.  It is okay to be angry at so many different reasons that it don’t make sense.

Today is that day.

No one did anything particularly mean or bad to me today.  I just have an issue with letting two hundred things go, without getting angry about them at the time, or speaking up about my feelings. Where a normal person would say something while these two hundred things were happening at the very time they were happening, I just let things go, and process internally.  It’s something I’ve been working on for a while and every now and again, I still have an angry day. I’m having less of them and I’m getting better at telling people how I really feel about things that happen to me, but I’m not perfect by any means.

Life-is-ten-percent-Holtz

“You cannot change the things that happens to you, but you can change how you react to them.”  I read that quote somewhere once, and I try to remember it when something bad does happen, or when someone is a big enough jerk to me that they warrant a flying drop-kick.  (Note: I don’t want you to try to picture me doing one of these, because it will take away from the non-hilarity of this blog post ;))

That being said, I’m not going to eat the cake or Doritos (Sorry, guyssssss!)  I’m going to lace up my shoes and run a long run solo, on the wintery streets of Toronto, in my too long for me winter lulu pants, with my tunes cranked up, and a slight grin on my face, because the anger will dissipate as I run my very first steps out the door.  Running is my therapy.  Anger get out of here 😉

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.

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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

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

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

“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.

spotme

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