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

Winter Wonderland: What to add to your winter workout gear!

If you’re reading my blog from California a) I’m jealous and b) this post may not pertain to you, unless you plan on visiting me in Canada. *This is perfectly fine and welcomed.*

I workout close to home, so I tend to boot it home and shower here versus showering at the gym.  I also tend to change at work from work clothes into my gym gear (suit-up, if you will) to save time too.  I’m not sure how many  of you do this as well, but regardless I think there are a few items that you should have on hand for that walk home or to the gym to make your winter wonderland walking a success.

The Miss Molly (Source: http://www.graceandlace.com)
hipster toque
(Source: http://www.etsy.com)

I’m a huge fan this season of leg warmers.  One may say I have a bit of an obsession with them.  My favourite to put on these days over my workout tights to keep the ‘pistons of power’ (Read: legs) warm, are from Grace and Lace.  They recently appeared on Shark Tank, so it’s a bit of a wait to get them sent to you, but SOOOO worth it.  They’re cute, warm, and if you put them under your boots, the little lace part sticks out and gives your outfit some pazazz! *spirit fingers*. Your legs also stay warm, which is ultimately the goal at the end of the day.

The second piece that I love for winter is a nice loose toque that I like to refer to as ‘the hipster toque.’  Now mine is bright red and has a pompom on it, and it cost a dollar.  However, you could go more upscale with your ‘to and from the gym toque” –  the world is your oyster.  It’s great for after the gym – you can throw it over gym hair that may not be acceptable looking to that hottie on the street who’s checking you out.  Think about it, a nice little toque adds that ‘you’re cute’ factor to some hair that could potentially otherwise just look like a sweaty mess. Think about it.  Functionally, your head stays warm as well – BONUS! 🙂

roots pants
(Source: www.canada.roots.com)

The third item is a nice comfy pair of jogging pants.  These days my favourite pair are from Roots.  They’re the classic-style baggy jogging pants.  They can go over your workout shorts, capris or tights, and they add that extra barrier between you and the winter wind.  I love how comfy and baggy they are.  They’re also great for lounging on a regular day, or perhaps at an après-ski type situation by a cozy fire.

For all of you starting some awesome new years resolutions at the gym, hopefully this helps!  For you pros out there, feel free to add some of your tips/favourite gear in the blog comments section! Sharing means caring!

Happy Training!

-Bexx

Fresh off the Press – 2014: NYE List

2014

Every year some old roomies from university and I share our New Years resos. (You can see last year’s post here: NYE 2013 List)  I’ve decided to make mine public, and I sit here (proudly) hang-over free, at 8 am writing this while the condo is quiet and most of you have yet to rise (except for the hardcores who have already been out at 6 am running 8k and stuff haha 😉 [Bexx note: I then got distracted, cleaned, went to a movie, then did some work, and am now completing this entry.  I am like Dory in Finding Nemo- ‘Something shiny” heh.]

I didn’t really quite accomplish the goals I set out to do in 2013 fully, but I still had a great year – great friendships, meeting wonderful new people, and reuniting with some friends who I thought were lost forever.  It’s been a good year of learning about myself, the world, and how much I can push myself when I need to.  I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be the year of Bexx 😉 [Bexx note: I say this every year, and every year is equally as awesome for the record, all for different reasons of course!]

TOP 10 OUTSTANDING MOMENTS OF 2013…

  1. Realizing that not everyone is going to like you, or all the things you do, but you’re still going to do the best that you can.
  2. Being asked to be my cousin Melissa’s Maid of Honour in her July 2014 wedding.
  3. Winning a plank-off competition at bootcamp.
  4. Gaining more confidence in the public speaking world, and hitting a lot of goals I set for myself at work in terms of confidence, and measure of success.
  5. Having someone tell me that I was an inspiration to them 🙂
  6. Meeting a cab driver who changed my perspective on a major life event.  It’s interesting who you will meet, and how they will change your life/perspective in only a very short time.
  7. Getting to see beautiful Dublin, Ireland and Barcelona, Spain this summer with some wonderful people! (Two more countries on my Life KPIs list complete!)
  8. Making great new friends, maintaining the old friendships and hearing from some people I never thought I would again!
  9. Spending time with my mom and bro this summer.  As much as they tease me about being a princess, they still make me dinner and take care of me :)
  10. Going “skiing” with my cousin Melissa at Christmas.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a really long time.  Thank you for that.
TOP 5 DISAPPOINTMENTS IN 2013
  1. Not winning the lottery, again.
  2. Not hitting all the fitness goals that I wanted to (BUT became a burpee queen regardless! WIN!)
  3. Getting stranded in Barcelona sans id/passport/credit cards.  (Learning that your family and friends will always be there supporting you no matter how far away they are!)
  4. Not becoming Prime Minister of Canada.  That’s always disappointing, not just in 2014! (I’m repeating this, I still think it’s equally as important this year.. haha)
  5. Learning that the Caramilk secret is still a secret 😉
5 Goals for 2014
  1. To run a sub 58 minute 10k.  This year it will happen. 2014 you will be my b*tch!
  2. Get fit and have fun Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod styles.  Work b*tch!
  3. Run a NWM half, with Jaymie.
  4. Post regularly on my blog! I always have issues with keeping up 🙂
  5. Actually tell people how I feel about things, and standing up for the things I believe in.  Confidence will be key for me in this.

3 Best New People of the Year-

  1. Alex Giordano (@lexxgiodano) –  Gym buddy of the year.  This girl makes me giggle while planking, and always helps me push myself when I want to give up!
  2. Lindsey Chapman (@lindseygchapman) – It’s interesting to realize you can meet new friends at the bar too, not just men! 😉  Bubbly, funny, and entertaining, this lady is one of my new favs!
  3. Sammie Kennedy (@sammiekennedy) –  Bootcamp and kick-boxing coach, she was even a good sport when we made her attend a twerking class this year, that I’m not supposed to talk about.  ❤

Richard Bronson posted today using a quote from Confucius that I really like and he also added a few of his own words:  “”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step.” By making one little change, you could have a profound positive effect on other people’s lives as well as your own.”

I hope you all had a great 2013, and will have an equally great, if not even better, 2014! May you accomplish all of the goals and resolutions that you set out for yourself!

Happy training,

-Bexx

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 Bag Essentials- Bexx

In Bexx-ercize Your Workout Closet I let you guys in on some Bexx favs when it comes to workout clothes.  Now I rarely switch up my essentials, but most recently I’ve decided to add some new items that I now absolutely love! I am not affiliated with any of this brands (opinions are all my own) I’m just being honest because it’s what I wear :))  Let’s start with the head and work our way down:

source: www.sparklysoul.com
source: http://www.sparklysoul.com

Sparkly Soul headband  With my new fringe, I need to keep my hair out of my eyes.  This non-slip headband not only does the trick (I have a silver thin one) but it stays in place. That is key – plus, it sparkles – need I say more? 😉

Sporting the Under Armour long sleeve with Duke the dog.

Under Armour AllSeasonGear Long Sleeve-  I live in Canada (eh?) and so keeping warm in between workouts, and on my way to and from the gym or my workout classes is important.  Everyone wants to steal this shirt.  I can’t blame them, but that’s why I practice sprints every now and again – you never know when someone is going to try to punk your favourite workout shirt.

lululemon Run: Inspire Crop II
lululemon Run: Inspire Crop II

Lululemon Run: Inspire Crop II– These are my new favourite running capris.  I like that they come up a bit higher on the waist than most workout pants. When you’re kicking butt at burpees the last thing that you want to worry about is losing your pants.  (Trust me I’ve been there….hah.)  There’s also a drawstring in the front in case you’re really worried.  My legs are a bit short, so the capris are a bit longer on me, but I still love them. There’s also a great pocket to store things (like keys) in the back.

procompression
Pro Compression Train Low in Pink

Pro Compression Trainer Low Socks– I love these socks. I own some full length (up to the knee) compression socks, but I also love this lower version which still provide the foot with compression while you work out.  I alternate between different kinds of socks, but these are a current favourite.  I have them in pink (as pictured.) They’re lightweight and have great moisture control for the feet.  Stink and sweat be gone!

My shoes are always Asics.  I own about five pairs, so I won’t bore you with that 🙂

That about sums it all up – these are the things that are currently my ‘gym bag essentials.’ (I also carry Bath & Bodyworks PocketBac Sanitizing Anti-Bacterial gel in my gym bag too, for the record!)

Hope you all enjoy your training and workouts while looking super fab,

-Bexx

Running like a NorON

runningleaves
Source: http://www.runningwithcake.com

Whenever I have the chance to come home in the Fall, I try to take it.  There is just something about the Fall that really makes me smile.  I love the temperature, crunch and smell of the leaves under my feet while breathing in the cool air.

I haven’t been running as much as I’d like due to this pesky Achilles, but being away from my normal gym routine, and gym buddy, with limited gym access here up in Northern Ontario, I decided to hit the pavement and do one of my favourite runs.  It’s actually one of my favourite runs to do in the winter, so I figured that Fall would also do 😉

I always get nervous being in a small town running because people slow down to see if they know who you are, and I always feel like I should run faster, to make sure that they know that I am in fact an athlete. (I don’t know why?! Maybe because I’m slightly cray ahah)

NorON
Source: my camera

I did in fact run faster than my regular speed and I felt the fresh Fall air rushing through my lungs, and I could hear my footsteps echoing through the street.  (I was also a little out of breath, and could also hear that echoing through the streets too, but let’s downplay that part for the sake of the story haha)

I got to the centre of my little town of Cobalt (“if you don’t live there it’s your fault…” There is a song about the town that has that line in it in case you were wondering) and decided to run the stairs that are there.  I tried to take two at a time, and figured Rocky would have been proud. (Not so proud that I wasn’t wearing a hoodie… fail on my part.  Maybe next time.) When I got to the top, I must admit I was a little winded, but continued on my merry little way.

When I got to my street I ran by the houses and up the little incline toward home, and ended my run in front of my driveway, like I have done for more than 15 years now.  It always makes me smile, no matter how hard the run was/is.  It’s that familiar feeling, where times fades away and you are taken back to the very first time when you felt that feeling and sense of accomplishment.  This feeling never changes, no matter how many times you come running in.

I’m proud of being from Northern Ontario, and I miss it quite a bit.  In University I met a guy named Matty D (you may know him) from Canada Sudbury.  When he found out where I was from he said “Oh, wow a fellow NorON.”  I thought he called me a moron to be honest and was kind of taken aback.  So, as I do ever so politely, I responded with “Like, WHAT?!?” He said “NorON you know.. like a Northern Ontarionian without it being weird.” (He may not have said it exactly like that, but again for the sake of the story, work with me here.)  The term stuck with me, and for some reason still makes me smile.

I enjoyed my run tonight.  Every single moment about it.  And so I will continue this week to go on my runs here in Cobalt – running in a way that only a NorON would know…

-Bexx