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.

Summer9

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

Summer Gym Bag Essentials a la Bexx

What does your summer gym bag need in it!  Here are 3 of the things that I don’t leave home without!

1- SPFSunscreen-  I must admit that I have tried a few different types of sunscreen, mostly because I burn and turn into a lobster shortly after being in the sun.  If you have ever vacationed with me or played a sport with me, you’ve probably at some point been asked to help me apply sunscreen to my back.  You’re welcome.  My skin thanks you.  Don’t be embarrassed or think it’s not cool to put on the sunscreen.  I’ve been there; I’ve blistered.  Just don’t.  If you’re outdoors for any sport, make sunscreen your best bud! Coppertone SPORT is my absolutely favourite!wahta

2-  Water.. (or Wahta, whichever you prefer really.)  Make sure you bring some with you wherever you go.  You never know when you’ll be stuck outside in the heat, or on a smelly streetcar.  When you’re playing sports or running, make sure you bring some with you in your fuel belt or in a large water bottle.  No sun/heat stroke for you! Sometimes when water feels like it’s  just not enough, grab some Wahta and try it out.  Fun to say and drink, it’s a new one that I love to carry around.

3nuun energyNuun Energy–  I was asked to review these, and I absolutely love these tablets.  I have tried the Cherry Limeade and they’re my favourite so far.  They give me that little boost of energy that I need in the afternoon to keep me on track for my upcoming workouts in the early evenings! I’m must confess I used to have soda in the afternoon, but I’m trying to give it up.  This is a great alternative for me.  I don’t drink coffee, so this is my only source of caffeine.

Happy Summer, guys!  Hope the heat treats you well!

-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

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

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.*

“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