The Art of Not Being Good at Something

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 1.26.58 PM
I went for my Saturday morning session this past week with my trainer, and since switching trainers in favour of changing things up a bit, I am perfecting techniques that I already thought I had perfected. Derp.

My new trainer tells me that my form is amazing but critiques and adds things that I could consider to make the exercise more effective, or to target some muscle or group of muscles I didn’t even know that I could target. He gives me options and things to really think about: “Break the bar when you come up,” “I want to put a glass of water on that back and I don’t want it to spill,” “Dig those heels in,” “Don’t think too much”.

Don’t think too much…

Thinking, although helpful in jobs that involve strategy (which mine usually have), is usually a great thing. It’s okay to think about all possible outcomes, weigh all your options, figure out the main goal and then all the tactics that are needed to execute. Overthinking is my nemesis. It’s something I’m working on, and will continue to work on throughout my life. This tends to hinder me the most particularly when it comes to working out. (Dating and relationships also suffer from my overthinking, but thank fack this blog is about fitness and not the latter.)

At first being critiqued like this was frustrating. My trainer could see it on my face, and I think I did threaten to punch him a few times. Poor guy gets a Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.30.30 AMfriendly bird flip every once in awhile too. I like to switch things up.

Much like I have learned that he’s only trying to help; he’s pushing me to do things that I don’t like to do, he’s making me think about things that I don’t want to think about. I want to think that my damn deadlift is perfect. That people will call a hotline somewhere to ask for my advice because it’s so great. Like an unsuccessful telethon let’s just say no one is calling yet. (Trés opposite of hotline bling…?)

What I’m learning slowly and accepting much more easily than I used to is the fact that it’s okay to not be good at things. It’s okay to be limited physically, mentally, emotionally, or however-ally.

The important part about not being good at something, at least to me, is realizing that you have a choice. You can choose to give up, or you can choose to learn how to do whatever it is however you can, within the limits set by factors that you may not be able to change or control.

Will it always be the best? No.
Will it always work? No.
Does that mean it’s not worth trying? To some yes and that’s okay too.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.38.14 AMYou’re in charge of you, not anyone else. I’m not going to judge you. You’re going to judge you, just like I judge myself and that’s probably the harshest judgment you’ll ever face in life. You.

My trainer at the end of the day doesn’t go home and lose sleep over my deadlift stance. He doesn’t practice with me late at night when no one is looking. He’s probably thinking about ways that we can tweak certain things and how he can help me attain my goals of perfecting my deadlift (so much that people do call me on the deadlift hotline) but when it comes down to it, I’m responsible for me.

I can quit, I can start again. I can flip the bird. I can yell. I can silently beat myself up, which isn’t good but I do sometimes anyway. I can read about it, I can write about it, I can overanalyze the shit out of it. Bottom line is it’s okay if you’re not good at something. It’s okay if everything seems to go wrong. It’s okay to quit. It’s okay to overanalyze, but at some point, you just have let yourself accept what you’re not good at, stop thinking so much about it that you overthink things, and just go and do it until you do have your version of it….whatever that might look like!

-Bexx

 

2015 NYE List – A Year in Review

2016Goals and resolutions don’t need to start at the beginning of the year, but a new year gives us all an opportunity to reassess the goals that we set for last year and try to figure out what we still have an opportunity to work on.  A clean slate, if you will.

A lot of people start fresh at the gym, swear off sweets, vow to not date any more people who aren’t good to them etc.  No goal is too big or small, if you put your mind to it! It’s better to fail, and fall on your face, than never try at all! I’ve fallen on my face numerous times, on all fronts haha

Looking back here are some key highlights from my 2015, some of my new favourite people, and goals for 2016!

TOP 10 OUTSTANDING MOMENTS OF 2015…

  1. Personal training – got a trainer for the first time, and am more ambitious than ever when it comes to health and fitness goals.
  2. Boston trip to see the Jays play at Fenway.  A dream come true!
  3. Nashville trip – fav part – Bluebird Cafe acoustic session (for all you Nashville tv show fans!)
  4. Cottage time – adventuring at the cottage with my favs this summer, fishing, trolling, water wading, bon fires, laughs and fun.
  5. Living on my own – it has been freedom that I’ve never experienced before and it’s the best! I’ll dance in my undies if I want to!
  6. Letting myself fall hard in ‘like’ –  love is too strong of a word.  I’m not ready for that yet haha
  7. Hanging out with my 94-year-old Grandma at Christmas, and making jokes about getting wasted and tearing up the town.
  8. Running an 8k race with Hilary on the tarmac of the Downsview Airport.
  9. Bonding with my bro before and during this Christmas holiday. I really appreciate him, and I have a lot to learn about the grown-up version of my little bro. He’s a gem. ❤
  10. Finishing a half marathon in under 2 hours and 30 minutes.  Not by much, but it still counts!
falling
TOP 5 DISAPPOINTMENTS IN 2015
  1. Not hitting all my fitness goals this year.
  2. Meeting a guy that I really connected with who I thought was super awesome; our first date felt like six and like I was talking to someone I knew my whole life.  Timing is everything though and it just didn’t work out. Excited for new man-adventures this year 🙂
  3. Not being as good of a friend as I sometimes need to be.  I want to be more present and there for the people who need me, like they are for me!
  4. Realizing that sometimes trying to change things is a bigger hurdle than you could ever imagine.  It does take one person to initiate change, but it also can take a village to help support. (I know I combined sayings here… but work with me village, work with me…)
  5. Having a personal trainer who didn’t actually seem engaged in helping me with my fitness goals.  After re-assessing and getting a new trainer mid-way through, I feel recharged and like it’s making a difference the way that I had hoped.
5 Goals for 2016
  1. Organize and launch a run in my dad (Pete’s) memory – Run for the Love of Pete to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
  2. To do something with my life, that is my true passion.
  3. To not just ‘lose more weight’ but get even fitter.  Body composition has definitely changed for the better and I feel so much stronger and leaner.  Just need to keep at it and not quit 🙂
  4. Run a 5K in less than 30 minutes, and a 10K in less than 58 minutes.
  5. Run a 10K with my buddy Darryl.  Accountability partners are where it is at, budddayyy!

3 Best New People of the Year-

  1. Stacie K-  Watch out for this one guys! She’s a figure competitor, and she’s working hard this year for a show she’s gonna win 😉 I met her through a friend of a friend, and she’s become a staple in my every day – including snaps, gym talks and me trying to get her to take up running.
  2. Marissa Lok – Honey Badger don’t give a f*ck!  One of the hardest working people I’ve ever met.  She most definitely takes one for the team, will be the last one up making sure things get done, and is one of the kindest, most thoughtful friends I’ve ever had.
  3. Lee Taylor and Aleisha Learoyd – Team Bell.  Meetings, laughs, good times – excited for more to come. These two most definitely make me appreciate the smaller things in life ❤ (At least all 10 feet of your combined ;))

noidea2015, it’s been great.  I’ve learned a lot about myself, life, and love.  I’ve decided to make 2016 about being present in all that I do – putting my phone down, appreciating the overall experiences and adventures.

Happy training, cheers to 2016, and to the year of being present!

-Bexx

How to Pick the Perfect Personal Trainer

When you have a trainer you spend a lot of time with them, just how much time you spend with them, is really up to you.
Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.47.17 PMI personally love morning training sessions and see my trainer TJ at 6 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Sometimes I think he’s plotting to kill me with his crazy training weightlifting/cardio combos, other times I think he just likes watching my face when he lies and says just two more burpees when I know we already got to 12. (He’s sneaky like that!)  All said in jest – if you know me IRL, you have probably heard a TJ story or ten, because I really appreciate my trainer and all that we accomplish within these hour-long sessions.  He’s like a big brother that you actually listen to, and sometimes he even yells out really cool things to embarrass you in the gym (This morning he yelled “NOW DON’T FART” when I was about to do leg lifts for my abs to try and embarrass me…I died laughing.)   All kidding and joking aside, he’s really good at reading his clients (HE GOT TRAINER OF THE MONTH FOR SEPTEMBER!!!!) – he is good at joking with some clients, being serious with others, and pushes some that need to be pushed in ways that they’ll feel comfortable.  This is a key to being a good trainer in my opinion.

How to find your own awesome personal trainer like mine:

1. Personality

  • social-media-personality-typesIf you don’t like being pushed, and the type of trainer you pick likes to lead your sessions with encouraging ‘yips and yells’ about fitness screaming “YOU WERE BORN FOR THIS” in your ear while you workout – you’re going to want to spend your session punching them with your mind, rather than focusing on the workout. This pretty much defeats the purpose.  If that is your style and you love the idea of having your own personal drill sergeant, pushing you beyond your own minds limitations, then this type of trainer may be for you!
  • There is no right and wrong type of personality when it comes to training – fit is what is the most important (not how fit they look, how they fit with you! ;)).  When you’re looking for a job at a company the culture and how you fit in matters, and the same thing goes for training – pick a person (and place) that is best fit to your own personality and what you’re looking to get out of a personal trainer.

2. Goals

  • Ultimately your goals and what you’re going to the trainer for are important.  I spend a lot of time at the gym and training.  That being said, you observe a lot of different trainer/trainee relationships.  If you’re going to the gym to see a personal trainer for the mere fact that you can tell Suzy and Mimi
    goals
    Photo cred: http://www.becomeablogger.com

    that you have a trainer, then your goals are going to be a bit different from someone who is looking to drop weight, improve their endurance or enter their first fitness competition.

  • It is important in this case to know what your trainer has in terms of  credentials or ‘claims to fame’. Have they trained both males and females?  Have they helped people get to their goal weight?  Have they won fitness competitions themselves? Do they know how to train people who want to do that? All very important questions to ask or look into when you’re trying to find the trainer who is right for you.  A lot of people will claim that they can get you to your goals, but don’t necessarily have the street cred to back that up.  (Note:  This does not give you license to blame your trainer if you are not hitting your goals if you mash pizza into yo’ face after training.  Diet is equally important.)

3. Price and Availability

  • How much are you willing to invest in a personal trainer? Some of my friends think I’m crazy and spend a lot on training.  I realize that I do. I also used to spend a lot of that money on pizza, so I think it’s a good reallocation of funds 😉  It’s okay to save your money and shop around for a trainer who fits into your budgetary life too.  At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for your lifestyle.
    Photo cred: www.nicabm.com
    Photo cred: http://www.nicabm.com

    Maybe it’s time for less pizza, or maybe it’s time to shop around until you find a super awesome trainer who is starting out and may have a Groupon deal.  It’s really up to you.

  • The time of day that you’d like to train is also important.  Some trainers are flexible with training time. If your schedule isn’t always the same,  you may want to find a trainer who can work with a more sporadic schedule.  Some trainers are working with other clients who have more set schedules, and they may not be for you.  Again, it’s really about finding someone who can work with you, and your schedule to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your training.

Overall, I’ve had a great experience with my trainer!  I started off with one that didn’t really mesh with my personality, and what my goals were.  These are some of the things that I thought about when trying to find more of what I was looking for.   I hope that this helps you when choosing your personal trainer wisely 😉

Any great or not so great stories about personal training to share? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Happy Training!

-Bexx

ps unsolicited plug – if anyone is looking for an awesome trainer, I happen to have one and know a few others as well 🙂 Let me know if you need any help sourcing!

2015 : Reflection on 2014 and goals for 2015!

2015

Once again I’ve put together my list of New Years resolutions goals for 2015 and below have done some reflection on 2014.

It was quite the year. I like to think of it as one that helped me grow into the person I am today.  Life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan, and sometimes the universe has its own plan for you. 2014 did not really turn out to be the “Year of Bexx” as I had hoped in my post from last year, but like I said, sometimes it’s within those lovely things that are unplanned and unexpected that you truly find happiness with who you are, and what you have to offer this world!

TOP 10 OUTSTANDING MOMENTS OF 2014…

  1. Flo Coe does TO.  My mom finally came to Toronto to visit me.  I’ve been here for like seven years! She took a bus, streetcar and subway, visited the Christmas market with me, had an amazing time at Absolute Comedy and put herself outside of her comfort zone to come and see me!! I’m so proud of her, and excited that she came!
  2. Cincinnati baseball trip this summer, and hockey road trips to Detroit and Buffalo.  To teaching people how to shot-guns beers, Chicago PD’ing door opens, getting ‘by the glass’ seats to see the Wings, to touring CinCity with some of my fav travel pals, Nick, Anj and Kristi – epic roadies are in store for 2015 too!
  3. Being maid of honour, limo (truck) driver, and MC at my cousin Melissa’s wedding. One of the most fun weddings I’ve ever been too, great guest list, and amazing bride and groom.
  4. Running the Sporting Life 10k in the Spring for Hilary’s first race! So many epic races set for this year with this lovely lady!!! 5k, 10K and a half marathon! Bring it on 2015!!! Hilary – you inspire me!
  5. Summer ciders, day drinks with the ladies, and a surprise birthday party hosted by some of the best friends I’ve ever had! Thank you, you guys mean so much to me!!!
  6. Thanksgiving in the Kawarthas.  I spent it with a great family, and friends! What an honour. Thanks for the invite, Kristi!
  7. Cruising around in a new Chevy Camaro via a perk from Klout! What a slick and amazing ride.  I’d buy two if it were in my budget 😉
  8. Having a wonderful Valentine’s date with my friend Darryl and Alex.  Thanks for letting me borrow him Em! We always have so much fun!
  9. Canada’s Wonderland on a not so sunny day with Hilary.  We had so much fun, and learned that we’re ‘too old’ for some things hahah
  10. Hallowe’en 2014 – dressed as lawn gnomes, filled with jello shots, and friends who never let me down for a good time.  We may have drank a bit much like we were eleventeen, but I’m so thankful to have all of you in my life.
TOP 5 DISAPPOINTMENTS IN 2014
  1. Getting laid off from my job at Corby.  Being unemployed for six months taught me a lot about myself, my friends and family (who relentlessly never give upremind me that I’m awesome no matter what,) that it doesn’t just happen to me, and sometimes things are just out of your own control 😉
  2. I have still yet to find my Romeo.  I think that is more so a result of me not always being happy with who I am.  I’m going to try to work on this in 2015.
  3. Applying to ten million jobs, getting interviews, thinking they went great and not getting the jobs. It’s a way more competitive job market than I’ve ever seen out there. I’ve realized through all this that work culture plays a huge role in determining where you want to work, and who you want to work for. Sometimes you learn later that some of the ‘rejection’ was blessing in disguise.
  4. Not getting to see Eminem live in Squamish.
  5. Getting a text message from someone who meant to send it to someone else. Sometimes technology is the devil. You learn a lot about other people though, and yourself.
Richard Branson5 Goals for 2015
  1. To run a half marathon in under 2h30 minutes.
  2. Get a raise at my new job, and rock their socks off as their new Project Manager on an awesome account!!
  3. Run a 5K in less than 30 minutes, and a 10K in less than 58 minutes.
  4. Keep up with blogging.  I said this one last year, but I need to stay more true to it! It’s a great way to talk out loud, without saying anything 😉
  5. Lose 40 lbs.  I’m well on my way! 🙂

3 Best New People of the Year-

  1. Erin MacIntyre– I met this girl in university through a great friend of mine, but only got to really know her this summer. This girl is a gem. She makes me laugh, has a genuine heart, and is an overall amazing friend! Thanks, for being my Snapchat animal drawing pal, and the best holiday party date ever!
  2. Brit Smith – I met this lovely lady at a friend’s b day party. Sometimes you just meet a person you know you’ll be friends with them after the party – and it’s this girl! She’s an inspiration when it comes to the gym, and healthy eats. She’s always my biggest motivator and fan! Can’t wait for more ikea trips, dinner parties and workout seshs!
  3. Don Laitinen– childhood forced friends (by our parents), thank you Facebook and Fitbit for reconnecting us. This dude always listens even though he is all the way in Ottawa to my crazy tales, makes me laugh when I want to punch people, and his dedication to the gym and healthy eats keeps me on my toes.  You inspire me to be better! #besties

2014, ahhhhh, good-fricken-bye.  It was a slice, but I’m moving on to 2015 – which started with a new job as a project manager, started an awesome 30 day cleanse, a new roomie moving in that I am really excited about and a car purchase happening in the Spring! (If anyone has recos, let me know :))

Happy training, and cheers to 2015!

-Bexx

149 Days until I face my own truth

149 days.  149 days to get my butt in gear; to lace up my sneakers in rain, snow, sleet or sunshine.  149 days to train.  149 days to break the barriers of my own mind.

I have agreed and signed up to do another half marathon.  I know that my pals from the SeaWheeze sure can tell you that I said I’d never do one again strongerafter I hobbled all over the streets of Vancouver after race day and the day after.  Despite this, I’ve signed up for the Mississauga half in May.

I tell everyone that one of my favourite moments in my running ‘career’ was running the seawall in Vancouver – it was a ‘sea’ (pardon the pun) of neon lululemon clad runners, all doing their best to hustle and finish those last few kms.  Some had trained, some had not (ahem: me….) and some were just doing the best that they could to accomplish whichever goals they had set out to conquer that day. It was a moment I wish I could have frozen in time.  Majestic.

I wanted to finish a half marathon.  At first I had set huge goals, and thought – sure I can totally break 2:15.  I was wrong.  I was also lazy.  I didn’t want to put in the time it took for me to get a time like that.  I gave up on some of my summer runs when I shouldn’t have.  I cut training runs short.  I dropped out of the Running Room course, which I had originally joined for support.  I blamed my body.  I blamed the weather. I blamed my non-existent dog named Henry.

The point is, I used everything within reach, as an excuse to not get what I wanted.  I was afraid.  I was afraid of not hitting my goal if I did train. What if I spent a really long time training and still didn’t hit the time I wanted? The problem with that thinking is that there is the opposite side of the coin to that argument;  what if I did train and beat my time – what if I even blew my own expectations out of the water?  What if my mind, was getting in my very own way?

rainI ready so many of David Willey’s “From the Editor” posts in Runner’s World and he’s always talking about how races can go a lot of different ways.  You can try to beat your PBs – sometimes you do,  and sometimes you don’t. Ultimately running is one of those sports that I find so interesting because the training and hard work that you put into it, can push you across the finish line at a time that you could have never even imagined.  The tough part is that you have to put in the work.

I have to accept the fact that I didn’t try as hard as I should have last time.  I made excuses and I have a great opportunity that lies ahead of me.  I can do what I did last time, OR I can put the time and energy into getting where I want to go.

So this time, I’m yelling “Back of negative thoughts, the ‘I can’t’ and the ‘I won’t evers’.”  I’m going to do this.  I am destined for great things.  The first step is accepting that I will get there if I try.
-Bexx

<—– I want to say this to myself some day ❤dontgive up

Summer Gym Bag Essentials : Hilary Jack

gym bag
I am sure most of you are familiar with my friend Hilary who I originally featured a while back in my NOT SO AMATEUR section (if not you can read the post here.)  Since she is an avid athlete – running and doing some sort of workout or activity each day – she has agreed to share her Summer Gym Bag Essentials with us!

nike shorts1) Nike Circuit 2-IN-1 Woven Shorts for Women ($44.99 CAD)  “These shorts are my go to in hot weather. They help with the inevitable chafing with any leg size  with a comfortable spandex short sewn in. When I’m running in hot weather sometimes a little fresh air is nice up the shorts, but you don’t have to worry about bearing your bottom with the spandex. The drawstring waist is great too, so they don’t ride up or fall down while you bounce!”
Under Armour Studio Rave & Flow Support Tank Top 2) Under Armour Studio Rave & Flow Support Tank Top  “This top was a gift to me from my kickboxing partner, and it is was an immediate favourite. The support isn’t great for us busty chicks to go without a bra if you’re doing high impact sports like running or other aerobics, so I double up with a bra. However no bra needed for a nice leisure walk on a hot day. This baby lets the breeze move in and around your body, which is cooling on the sunny hot run days.”

bugg

3) Original Buff  “I wear my buffs instead of a hat. I’m not a hat person, and these buffs offer full UV protection AND have a variety of ways to wear them from headband to bandana or in the winter as a full balaclava! I love that they protect my noggin and look pretty darn stylish as well. Highly recommend for you outdoor activity types if you’re like me and don’t like hats.”

Thanks for sharing your Summer Gym Bag Essentials with us, Hilary!

Do you have some Summer Gym Bag Essentials that you’d like to share on http://www.missbexx.com?  Email me at rebecca.p.yanyk@gmail.com with your top three and I may feature them here! 🙂

Happy Training! Stay Cool!

-Bexx

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