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

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

Tree Pose Focused

hot yogaI think some things and people come in to your life for a reason.

Recently I started going to Tula West at Ossington and Bloor, and I’d have to say it has been quite the game changer.  I’ve done yoga before.  I actually used to go to Bikram yoga a couple of years ago, but it didn’t last.  I liked the heat aspect, but didn’t really connect with the poses and type of yoga that it was.  I thought at the time that my little flirt with yoga was pretty much over forever.

This new year, marked a time in my life when I really wanted to do something different, put the past year behind me, reflect, learn and make myself better.  (Pretty much everyone starts the year off this way, no?! hah)

I decided that I wanted to do yoga on a Saturday morning and asked my friend Jill to join me.  I’m glad that we did this – not only do we have Saturday morning brunch dates afterwards or before, but I’ve also had someone with me on this spiritual journey.  I had never done hot hatha before, but was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this class, and how much I pushed myself during.  After the class, I felt like a million bucks and was in a head space that I hadn’t been in a long time.  I was that grinning idiot on the subway 😉

I must admit that I was rather skeptical about all this “zen” stuff, and didn’t really think that this would change my life or really make me a better person.   I thought I’d end the class twisted up like a sweaty pretzel, sad about the poses that my little stumpy legs couldn’t/wouldn’t ever do, but  SURPRISE! – that was the furthest thing from what actually happened.

I’m not going to tell you that I am a super flexible yogi with it all figured out, because I am not that either.  What I am though, is someone who is open to this new experience; willing to concentrate and push myself further than the week before, and someone who is truly feeling that yoga should have a bigger place and role in my life.

The instructor last week during tree pose, scared the heck out of everyone when she was talking calmly one minute and then started clapping and yelling in the next minute.  “This is your life.  There are always twenty things coming at you at once trying to distract you from the goals that you are focused on.  Keep focused in your tree pose.  Take the lessons you learn here and apply them to your outside life.  Don’t let anything distract you from the things you zenwant and deserve.”

After a long week in the hustle and bustle of the city, with what seems like a million work projects on the go, and the normal stress of every day life that sometimes overwhelms you – there is something about putting down your yoga mat, placing your towel on top, laying down, inhaling deeply and letting everything sigh right out.  Gone are the stresses of the week, your shoulders loosen, your head clears and you are focused on then and now.

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

“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

California Dreamin’, Barcelona Thievin’

I promised a few people I would post about this, but I want to keep it in a more positive light instead of a ‘woe is me’ post – so here goes 😉

danger-thieves-barcelonaObservations and reflections after my Barcelona trip where my passport and all id/credit cards etc were stolen:

1) A piece of paper does not define you, but it most definitely helps you get back to Canada.  People can steal all of your things, but they cannot take your spirit too 😉

2) Some countries are known for certain things… (re the title of this post) Sometimes these things will happen to you.  I shall visit California soon! haha

3) You really learn a lot about yourself, your friends,  and your family, in a time of (let’s call it) chaos for dramatic purposes 😉

4) When you are left to figure things out by yourself, you are more resilient than you think that you are.  GIve yourself credit for this.

5) You do not always have to be independent, it’s okay to ask for help along the way.

6) Things will not always go your way, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from all that happens and move on a stronger person than when you started.

These things seem pretty simple, but you sometimes forget when you’re not in your ideal environment/circumstances.

I am currently on vacation in Northern Ontario – listening to crickets, reading books on my mom’s patio, canoeing across lakes, walking on paths by the lake with my cousin bestie, catching up on tv, having meals cooked for me by my awesome little bro, enjoying my 30th birthday celebrations (again) family style, playing night golf, having lunch and a Pete’s Dam walk with my bestie.  It’s only Tuesday and I’m here until Sunday.  These are the things in life that remind you that life can be simple and awesome.  I’m doing a lot of reflecting here and have an interesting post coming up!

bewhereyouwant

I’m thankful for this time to relax,  get my mind and self back on track!  I’m super excited for things to come!

-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 🙂

fitness

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