One thing has got to be like the other…

woman's world
My early 90s ‘fitness’ influence…

Since I ran that first lap in high school fitness became a very big focus for me.  I’m not by any means claiming to have been an athlete, but it was always important to me.  I would do crunches and crazy workouts in my bedroom before bed at night, that I had cut out from my Mom’s Woman’s World magazines, dreaming of the abs that I could have just like the girl in the demo pics.

I remember being so self-conscious about my body and never really knowing what to do about it.  My mom would tell me I look fine and encourage me to wear bathing suits that actually fit and instead I would sit on the shore with my jeans shorts on and my big t-shirt not really listening.

I wasn’t sure where my fitness journey was taking me, but I DID know it was important.  I think the key to success is really arming yourself with the right tools.

You cannot have fitness without eating right – just like you cannot appreciate how hard you work and how great you look, if you do not love yourself.

Now there has been some controversy about the recently released Dove ad.  Some are obviously pointing out the ‘yeah that’s great, but they’re still trying to sell you soap.”  I’m not going to disagree with that, but I’m going to really have to strain my brain to really convince my own self that this type of video is really transcending into soap sales.  I think Dove is trying to make a statement, a lot like the Nikes and the Under Armours of the world.  They’re trying to really resonate with their current and potential consumers.  Either way, whether successful or not, we’re definitely all aware of the campaign and talking about it, so they’ve obviously done something right.Love luck

I think the message is evident though – they’re trying to empower women to appreciate who they really are, and to question their harsh judgements of themselves.  We’ve all been guilty of it.  We all look in the mirror and complain instead of celebrating the things we’re good at, and the things we have.

I used to position things in my head as… “I’ve been doing it wrong for a while now…. ”  Instead I want to be more like my little inspiration’s “Daily Affirmation”  and celebrate the things I am good at.  I have struggled with healthy eating, but that does not mean that I am doing poorly.  I push myself at Femme Fitale every week.  I am trying to make the changes I want to see in myself, and the existence that I create for myself.  I’ve been working hard on the physical fitness aspect for a long time now, and I just need to marry this dedication to healthy eating.

Challenge accepted.

“I love my house, I love my hair…..I love my pajamas… and I can do anything good… Yeah! YEAH! Yeah!!! ”

Happy Thoughts,

-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

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 😀 (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

Social Media and 100 Days of Burpees

The other day I was on #fitchat and I met @300lbsandrunnin .  He was talking about his #100DaysofBurpees Challenge, so of course I needed to butt-in and ask what this was about.  300 lbs and Running's 100 Day Burpee (You can click here if you’d like to know more or participate.  Come join in on the burpee fun!!  If you do not know what a burpee is, you can click here.  My cousin asked what a burpee is and then suggested that it was something that someone did after drinking a Slurpee too quickly.  har har. )

Admittedly I’m picking up this challenge a little late in the game.  I started on day 20, and plan on continuing through to day 100, given my poor heel can take it.

The awesomeness of social media and ‘chats’ that are run on Twitter are evident once again and have proven to be quite beneficial to me.  Never would I ever commit to doing burpees for 100 days by myself! (Not going to lie about that one hah.)

Before, I never understood why people swore by chats on social media.  I have learned over time why.  You are chatting with people from all over the world who are interested in the same things as you.  You sometimes even get a chance to brag about your own accomplishments too, and of course sign-on to support others and participate in challenges. 🙂  (I’m not saying do it because you’ll get an imaginary internet pat on the back, but I’m saying do it because you will gain friends you didn’t even know were out there.)

I have had the opportunity of ‘meeting’ quite a few of you on social media and look forward to the day we can put the face to face with our friendships.  When I try to explain this to some of my friends, I get the “These people are not your REAL friends, Rebecca.”  On the contrary I believe quite the opposite.  I’ve ‘seen’ imaginary friends before, my brother used to have one growing up named Cheermuck.  (He’s going to kill me for writing that… and no I have no idea where the name came from, and when he drew a picture of him once he looked like a tree with a face on it.)  Anyways, returning to the subject at hand, I have also met people who I have talked to on social media before, and we’ve had some of the most solid friendships.  When you read and participate in someone’s social media, you do get to know them quite well before you actually meet them face-to-face.  You often already know a lot of things about them that you both have in common, the bonds have already been set.

Social media gives people an outlet, and allows them to say what they truly feel about their passions and what is happening in their lives.  Never would I ever have predicted that I would have such a great support network of like-minded people who are constantly encouraging me to get out and do my running, my planks, my burpees.  etc.  It’s like having 1000+ personal trainers and life coaches at your fingertips, or as some may call them, friends 🙂

Happy training,

-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 😉

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! 😉

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 😉

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

NYE List for 2012

calvin

I’m going to have to edit my list a little bit, as there are a few things that I don’t want going public  (read: names of boys/embarrassing details haah)…. but every year a wonderful group of friends and I, sit down (whether it’s together or in a coffee shop on our own) and reflect on the year that has passed.  We list the top 10 outstanding moments of that year,  whether we accomplished the 5 goals that we had set out for ourselves that year, 5 disappointments of the year (we can’t always be positive!) and the 5 new goals for the upcoming year.  Last year we also added a “3 best people of the year” section.  If we aren’t together we share via email.  This happened last year.

Below you will see my email to the group from January 2012.  I have edited it a bit to preserve some self-respect (I hope you don’t mind :))

From: rebecca_yanyk@hotmail.com
To: Jay, Bren, JRod, Eroki, Paul, Jane, Jill 
Subject: NYE List 2011 Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2012 14:33:01 -0500

Hello Folks, Here is my list, I know I wasn’t there at midnight.. I hope you guys don’t mind recapping a bit for moi. I love all of you guys so mucho!  I read over my stuff from last year below and thought that some goals were rather funny, now that I read back.

TOP 10 OUTSTANDING MOMENTS OF 2011…
  1. Getting a promotion!!! As I’m sure you can reference below, that was a great disappointment for 2010.  It took me a whole ‘nother year, and I got said promotion Dec 2010, but I did not give up. 
  2. Being asked by my two lovely friends to MC their wedding, and doing it without looking silly, barfing, screwing up etc.  Basically launching my career in stand-up is what I’m saying.
  3. Travelling to Sweden for work and actually getting my butt somewhere other than North America.  although not on my own dime (yeehawwww!) I got to live like a queen and the experience is one that I surely will not forget for a long time.
  4. Getting published/interviewed for an article in Canadian Running magazine.  Far from famous, but still super excited to be part of a publication 🙂
  5. Attending a course on Public Speaking, doing my speeches and gaining the skills that I need to do the best stuff ever.
  6. Meeting a boy that I really like, and realizing that sometimes it’s really not you the timing may just not be right- doesn’t mean the end of the world.  I’m still learning, this is good 🙂
  7. Becoming a Big sister to a Little Brother through the Big/Little Program.  Highlight-  “Rebecca, because I’m 16 I’m going to be done the program soon (18), but that’s okay.. because even when this program is over I’m going to remember how much confidence that you have, and I’m going to be like you.”
  8. Dropping out of the half marathon a day before-  to some this might not seem like a highlight- but for me this was a highlight and pivotal moment in my life where I said.. “no, you’re not prepared… there is nothing wrong with that, but you don’t have to do this if you’re not ready.”  I never used to say no.  Now I do 🙂
  9. Going home for Christmas and not getting into any fights at home.  Although most of the majority of my time was spend elsewhere, i’d like to report that maybe just maybe we’ve (all my fam) has grown enough that we get along now? I’m probs jinxing next Christmas.
  10. Making my 90 grandmother laugh at Christmas and feel special.  “You have not changed a bit since I’ve met you, Rebecca.  You are still crazy!”  ❤
TOP 5 DISAPPOINTMENTS IN 2011
  1. Not losing the final 40 lbs that I would like to.
  2. Finding two roommates who are less than my favourite people…. le sigh 😉 (randoms off craigslist)
  3. Finding someone who likes me, but sometimes it’s just not enough… = le single Bexx 😉  (Oh well, gives me more time to figure out me.. until I’m 40 ;))
  4. Getting dumped in a subway station.  Subway dump has become his new name. 
  5. My bestie Leanne quitting Corby.  I miss seeing her everyday.5 GOALS for 2011
  I only completed one goal for last year…. I travelled again to Sweden, Calgary, Vancouver, NYC.  I did not surf, get a bf, finish my half marathon or exercise/go running with Brenda so she can attain her Olympic gold medal in water polo. 5 Goals for 2012
  1. To go parasailing
  2. To meet someone who compliments me and my life, at the right time 🙂 (my psychic says I’ll meet two dudes I need to decide between and be super happy and awesome/excited about love by Oct… so don’t panic.. hahaah 
  3. To travel more, and see more of the world
  4. To pay down debts.  Not all of it (unless I win the lottery,) but a nice chunk.
  5. Lose the last 40 lbs 🙂 

3 Best New People of the Year-

  1. Amira De Vera–  She is a friend from Twitter.. haha we met at an event, but since then we have hung out and become super close.  She is a 5 foot (barely) tall bubble of energy.  Absolutely amazing.
  2. MM (timing dude from above… I’m not giving up on him just yet.. but if it’s meant to be.. it will… if not.. I will marry Freddy Prince Jr.  no big deal..)
  3. Sue McGrath-  a new friend from work.  I knew her before but we were not tight.  We go to boot camp together now, and she is one of the most genuine, awesome, honest, amazing person that anyone could meet.
xox b*tches,
Bexx”
I wanted to share this with you because I hope that you all do the same this NYE.  I don’t really look back at my list from the previous year until I sit down to do this again.  It’s interesting to see which goals you have accomplished, which you have blown out of the water (throwing those goals down and making them yell MERCY! because you so awesomely squashed ’em) and how sometimes you aren’t necessarily where you thought you’d be, but you’ve still come so far and accomplished so much.
I can’t wait to post the reflections from this past year and the new goals for 2013!!
2013 is going to be a great year, I can feel it!
-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 😀

To many more “Magical Movie Moments,”

-Bexx