Run for the Love of Pete 5K : The Why

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 9.24.43 AMAt first, I wanted to do something in the memory of my father, Pete. I wanted to raise money and awareness for heart health so that people around me got to live longer and learn about the things that they needed to do to accomplish this. I love running, so why not pair the two?

Over the course of wanting to launch this run (I’ve been thinking about this for about a year and a half), I had anxiety about hitting send on a mass email, hitting create on an FB post and talking to people about it in general. I’d hold back. I realized that all I needed to do was take the first step.

In all my research around running races, and organizing them, I scoured the pages of Runners World Magazine and any online resource that I could. If I was having this much trouble taking the first step to creating a race to ‘change lives’ then how many other people were having the same struggle? I mean this from all standpoints in life. Were others struggling to run? Were others so afraid of what other people thought so much that they were just sitting and waiting for that perfect moment to do what they really want to do?  Were other people so paralyzed with fear and self-doubt that they just sat on really great ideas for a really long time instead of just getting out there and doing them?

I was (and still am a little spooked) about taking the first step. What if one person comes to the race? What if no one shows up? What if it’s raining? What if people look at September 11th as a negative date? What if I don’t raise awareness or money and fall flat on my face? There will always be ‘what ifs’.

I took the first step yesterday.

I almost puked in the car.

Some people will understand, some people won’t. Some people will laugh at your goals and mine, others will suScreen Shot 2016-05-18 at 9.16.28 AMpport them with banners (think signs made out of glitter and uncooked macaroni, that’s what I see ;)), and do whatever they can to help.

I set-up the Facebook invite, and to some that will seem rather trivial (or an archaic way of doing things hah), but it has taken me months to hit that ‘create’ button. My buddy Doug took me for a ride in the car. He made me listen to a podcast that really changed the way I look at this hurdle. I have to spend more time looking at why I want to do this, not at how or what. The rest I can figure out along the way. (Check out this TED Talk with Simon Sinek if you want to learn more about the ‘why’).

All I have to remember in every step of this process, no matter how good or bad this goes, I took the first step – the first step of many to come.

I will learn a lot throughout this whole thing, things won’t be perfect and I will refine and change things as I go. I hope that you join me, as we take many first steps together, never forgetting the why along the way!

-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

The Better Person

I’ve written similar posts to this oBetter personne before on workout buddies/support systems, but tonight made me realize just how important it is to surround yourself with great people.  Well that’s not fully the truth – this whole weekend has made me realize this.

Ultimately your friends are there to support you when you need it, and also tell you when you’re being ridiculous.  I’m pretty ridiculous sometimes, as you know, so it’s always nice when people are around you to give you that reality check.  (I hear “Oh Bexx!” a lot because of my silly antics. hah)

I think the better the people you surround yourself with, the better person you become.  iI’s like when you have a running buddy.  When they are a bit faster than you at first it seems discouraging (if you let it.)  “I’ll never get there!” *pounds table with fist*  As the weeks pass and you keep up with them, less out of breath than last week, you realize that you too are improving.  You are becoming what you surround yourself with.  (I don’t recommend running with an Olympian in this analogy….like we all have goals and it’s great to surround yourself with greats, but if you’re trying to speed up to an Olympian you may just end up feeling worse about yourself, and that’s not the point.  I’m sure you get my drift! 😉 hahah)

Tonight I got together with some old university roomies that I mentioned in my NYE list post, and we had dinner, caught up and discussed our individual lists.  Jay Skyped in because he couldn’t make it to Toronto (more crazy snowing going on.)  We never judge each other on our respective lists, accomplishments or goals, we just listen and celebrate with a Kidstreet clap (please see 17 second point of the video for an example) when someone has accomplished something amazing etc. We discuss and laugh, and overall end the evening with some awesome YouTube clips.

The one thing that stood out to me tonight that I wasn’t expecting, was that I have let far too much time pass in between when I had seen these people last.  I was on the outside of some of the inside jokes, and I’ve fallen behind in their lives unintentionally.  I’ve gotten so wrapped up in my own ‘stuff’ that I have forgotten to reach out as much as I should.  I’ve missed important proposals, dance caves, DJ Earworm mash-ups, and important life milestones, like getting dream jobs.  I am adding another goal to 2014 – to make sure that friendships like these do not get put on the back-burner for other ‘stuff.’

We talk about goals; we talk about failures; we talk about things that wouldn’t even make sense if you repeated them ten times; we laugh; we reflect on the things we can do better, and the better people that we can become.

*thankful*

*plays fav mash-up smiling*

-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

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