The Art of Not Being Good at Something

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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!



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!


  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!
  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!



This week I am happy to feature a nutrition and fitness firecracker from Boston, named Shelby Keys! ShelbyKeys

Coming from a family with less than perfect eating and fitness habits, Shelby has learned to push herself and to be a good example for others through good fitness and nutrition.  She is currently a certified Personal Trainer through ACSM, and will be completing her Sports Nutrition certification this fall. Way to go, lovely lady!

Why Shelby Keys Inspires Me:  Shelby inspires me because she doesn’t let things get in her way.  She could make excuses of family history, but excuse is not in her vocabulary.  She knows when to push her limits and recognizes that resting is important.  She doesn’t beat herself up when she has a bad day, but she knows that results come from outside a person’s own comfort zone.  She inspires me to work hard, and workout harder.

What we can learn from Shelby Keys: We can learn that small changes in the long-run will help you achieve those goals that you set out to do in the first place.  You are the only one who can make the changes that you want to.  If you want these changes badly enough, you’ll work your butt off for them.  Shelby has dreams and she goes for them, bar none.  I think ultimately we can learn that we have work for what we have, it won’t always be easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.


7 Questions with  Shelby Keys

What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?  Going from SKINNY to STRONG. Obtaining my dream job at an elite sports club as an RD and Personal Trainer. My journey is only just beginning and each day that I can be a role model and help others find balance and achieve optimal health is an accomplishment. Each time I enter the Crossfit box, I exceed my expectations and accomplish something great.

Who would you say inspires  you the most in terms of living a healthy fitness-filled lifestyle?  Every single fit and strong woman out there who is dedicated to putting in hard work and improving their quality of life. Those I see at Crossfit accomplishing amazing things inspire me to reach my full potential. I am insane when it comes to working out, but with an extensive family history of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., I refuse to let genetics get the best of me. My own little accomplishments inspire me to keep pushing on.

Who do you attribute as being your biggest influencer when it comes to the healthy lifestyle that you live? Honestly, I am my own influencer. Many of my friends don’t exercise daily and neither does my family.  A soon to be RD, I realize I need to be a good example for my clients and live the life I preach. I was sick of being overweight as a kid and really took it upon myself to live a healthy lifestyle and have since been determined to not end up overweight like my parents. Besides that, I have plenty of little influencers such as my crossfit coach, my boyfriend, and my fellow trainers who continue to influence me daily in terms of fitness and health.

If you had to describe what fitness means to you in one word, what would it be?  THERAPY

What do you focus on when you really don’t feel like doing that ‘next workout’?  Besides the ice cream I will get to eat after I workout…hmmm (jk)… I focus on how I know I will feel after. It’s never tough to get me to crossfit, but ALWAYS tough to get me to run. I have a love hate relationship with long runs, but I know I will feel energized after, confident, and satisfied. I also try to focus on the benefits of my particular workout as well as my goals. However, if I feel sore, tired, discouraged, etc. and moving in any way just isn’t working, I know to call it a rest day and try again the following day. Not every day is going to be a success and some days I might have to call it quits. But, rest days are so essential and my body will thank me. I know I will get right back into it soon enough.

If you could give advice to someone who is working out for the first time, what would it be?  Be consistent and make slow small changes. Too many people try to jump right back into fitness after months or years of doing essentially nothing. This sets them up for injury or discouragement, very similar to those who attempt extreme dieting. It simply does not work. You will give up before you reach your goal. Therefore, first find something you love doing. Exercise doesn’t have to involve the gym, it can be hiking, going for a walk, swimming, playing Frisbee, etc. Find what motivates you. Schedule time in your day. Make a plan. And lastly, perhaps hire the help of a personal trainer.

Favourite fitness/healthy quote:  Train Insane or Stay the Same!

Thanks for your answers, Shelby!  You can find Shelby on Twitter 🙂

Happy Training,