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

6 End of Summer Favourites

This summer I’ve found a lot of favourites, that will continue to be favs into the cooling down months! (We all shudder when the F-word is mentioned, so I won’t say Fall ;))

Photo Credit: Fabletics

1- Fablectics –  I suppose I can’t really say it is one thing – it is many things. I have so many awesome capri tights that continuously get me compliments at the gym with awesome new patterns; I have cute workout shirts, and a killer tote bag envied by many.  Kate Hudson – you done right!  My fav piece is the bag to the left, with its beautiful graffiti-like design, that I use for soccer and quick travel weekends.  Superb!Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 7.39.02 PM

2- Life Brand Exfoliating Face Wipes – I run, train with my trainer three times a week, do yoga and play soccer.
That means I’m often a sweaty mess.  These wipes were reco’d to me by my fellow super fitness fanatic friend Hilary (you can read about her and her amazing fitness journey here). These wipes swipe that gross-sweaty-salty-after-sport grit off of your face and exfoliate your skin.  They make you feel like you’ve just washed your face, even if your reality looks more like sitting on the side of a soccer field post-game taking off your soccer cleats!

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.34.20 PM
3. amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – I got a tester of this lovely product and used it for the first time when I was in a pinch between work and an event.  When you’re on the run, and you’ve worked out, or even just had a long day – this dry shampoo smells great, and really dries up and freshens thScreen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.47.16 PMose less than fresh (read: greasy) spots.  That sounds like an infomercial.  You’re welcome.

5. The Daily Crave Veggie Chips –  I was at a gourmet grocery store (why, I’m not sure) and I found these gems. Tasty like a real chip, but wayyyyy less salty, gluten free, vegan free… haha kidding.  They are vegan though for real! They are also dairy free, with no artificial flavours or colouring, non GMO, and no hydrogenated fats.  (Check out their website for more info!)

6. PC Blue Menu Sparkling Water  –  I’m trying to give up pop.  I love Coke Zero, but hate the idea of Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 9.51.34 PMaspartame.  That being said I was looking for an alternative that still gave me the fizz aspect with some flavour.  With no additional sugars, this one won.  I love all the flavours they offer, but mandarin is my top pick of the bunch.  They offer lemon, lime, and pomegranate blueberry as well!

If you could add to the list what are some of your favourites from the summer that would be greatly enjoyed by all this Fall to accompany their healthy-ish lifestyles? Let us know 🙂

Happy Training,

-Bexx

 

Running is my therapy

I’m angry at the snow preventing me from running my best pace outside on the non-icy sidewalks.

I’m angry at my legs for being too short to fit the regular lengthed lulu winter running pants.

I’m angry because I just stubbed my toe while trying to find my running shoes.

I’m angry because I missed my running group tonight because I had to stay late at work.

photo: http://www.popsugar.com
photo: http://www.popsugar.com

Today is one of those days that you just want to crawl into a ball and hide from the world.  I want to eat a giant chocolate cake, topped with whipped cream, and then finish off a bag of jalapeno cheddar Doritos for my dessert.  There are no rules when you’re angry, apparently – dessert can be chips, and dinner can be cake.

Regardless, today I am a little ball of anger, and that’s not usually the case.  If I ever drank coffee and experienced that caffeine high people claim to need to get their day going, I’d probably bounce off the walls and have no friends left because the pain-in-the-butt sunny disposition that I already possess, would result in people wanting to punch me out.  However, today I’m just angry.

I don’t usually talk about negative things, but I think it’s important to acknowledge when you’ve just had a terrible day, and it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself for a little bit – provided of course that you’re not using your anger to punch someone out etc. Anger is healthy.  My life is not perfect.  It is okay to be angry at so many different reasons that it don’t make sense.

Today is that day.

No one did anything particularly mean or bad to me today.  I just have an issue with letting two hundred things go, without getting angry about them at the time, or speaking up about my feelings. Where a normal person would say something while these two hundred things were happening at the very time they were happening, I just let things go, and process internally.  It’s something I’ve been working on for a while and every now and again, I still have an angry day. I’m having less of them and I’m getting better at telling people how I really feel about things that happen to me, but I’m not perfect by any means.

Life-is-ten-percent-Holtz

“You cannot change the things that happens to you, but you can change how you react to them.”  I read that quote somewhere once, and I try to remember it when something bad does happen, or when someone is a big enough jerk to me that they warrant a flying drop-kick.  (Note: I don’t want you to try to picture me doing one of these, because it will take away from the non-hilarity of this blog post ;))

That being said, I’m not going to eat the cake or Doritos (Sorry, guyssssss!)  I’m going to lace up my shoes and run a long run solo, on the wintery streets of Toronto, in my too long for me winter lulu pants, with my tunes cranked up, and a slight grin on my face, because the anger will dissipate as I run my very first steps out the door.  Running is my therapy.  Anger get out of here 😉

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

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

Summer Gym Bag Essentials a la Bexx

What does your summer gym bag need in it!  Here are 3 of the things that I don’t leave home without!

1- SPFSunscreen-  I must admit that I have tried a few different types of sunscreen, mostly because I burn and turn into a lobster shortly after being in the sun.  If you have ever vacationed with me or played a sport with me, you’ve probably at some point been asked to help me apply sunscreen to my back.  You’re welcome.  My skin thanks you.  Don’t be embarrassed or think it’s not cool to put on the sunscreen.  I’ve been there; I’ve blistered.  Just don’t.  If you’re outdoors for any sport, make sunscreen your best bud! Coppertone SPORT is my absolutely favourite!wahta

2-  Water.. (or Wahta, whichever you prefer really.)  Make sure you bring some with you wherever you go.  You never know when you’ll be stuck outside in the heat, or on a smelly streetcar.  When you’re playing sports or running, make sure you bring some with you in your fuel belt or in a large water bottle.  No sun/heat stroke for you! Sometimes when water feels like it’s  just not enough, grab some Wahta and try it out.  Fun to say and drink, it’s a new one that I love to carry around.

3nuun energyNuun Energy–  I was asked to review these, and I absolutely love these tablets.  I have tried the Cherry Limeade and they’re my favourite so far.  They give me that little boost of energy that I need in the afternoon to keep me on track for my upcoming workouts in the early evenings! I’m must confess I used to have soda in the afternoon, but I’m trying to give it up.  This is a great alternative for me.  I don’t drink coffee, so this is my only source of caffeine.

Happy Summer, guys!  Hope the heat treats you well!

-Bexx

Review: Fitbit vs Nike Fuel

fbnfseBexx Note (03/19/14):  Since posting this review I have stopped using my Fitbit, as it has burned my wrists and left permanent scarring.  Reports are saying it is a chemical burn or skin reaction.  I am not currently allergic to anything at all, and from the looks of the burn it appears to be chemical.  The fitbit Flex is still fine according to reports, but the Force should be recalled.  I still saw it in stores last week in Ontario, Canada, so be careful.

My friend Hilary got a Fitbit and when I was working out with her one Friday she told me all about it.  I went out the very next day and purchased one myself.  I had heard about the Fitbit before, but I was curious, and intrigued.  I also wanted to see if something like this could help me be more conscious of my every day activity levels, and overall fitness.  Her husband had the regular Fitbit Flex, which offers more colour options, but less in terms of display.  This ultimately made my decision easier – I’m all about the visual so I went with the Fitbit Force.

That week my friend Lawrence who works with Nike provided me with a Nike FuelBand SE so that I could test it out.  He swore it was better than the Fitbit.  I must admit that for my purposes, I am still in love with the Fitbit Force.

FitBitForceFitbit Force $130 CAD
Pros:
i)  Clear display.  Measures daily steps, miles, stair flights climbed, active minutes, calories burned, allows you to input weight changes, track sleep patterns, and allows you to track your calories and water intake.
ii)  If you are a fan and user of MyFitnessPal, it links with the Fitbit allowing you to track calories in and calories out, along with all your activity.
iii) Vibrates and lights up once you’ve hit your step goal for the day.
iv) Has a great application for iPhone users and also a great Dashboard for PCs.  You can add your friends to it, and have them cheer you on, or taunt you for fun!

Cons:
i)  Limited wrist bands colours available.  Currently available in grey and black.
ii)  The community for Fitbit is not as large as the Nike community.  If you are big into community engagement, you may want to wait a little longer until this community is built up…or maybe get one and join me!
iii)  If you are into cycling, it doesn’t accurately count your activity.  I’ve heard of people attaching the Fitbit to their shoes to account for their activity, but I haven’t tried that yet myself 😉

Overall: Comfortable wristband,  no flashy branding,  and can blend in with other jewelry accessories.  I love that is links with MyFitnessPal and I find myself making sure that I get my steps in even if that requires that I do some ‘foot-fire’ football running drills to hit my steps in my room before bed.  *Note: My neighbours may not be a fan of this as much as I am haha.   I’m a bit crazy like that.  By far my favourite fitness related tracker thus far.  I usually quit or stop tracking with technological devices like this, but with Fitbit Force I am going on strong  – a month and a half now and down 15 lbs! Fitbit and MyFitnessPal combined really make you aware of what you are  doing and what  you’re not.  Awareness has also been an issue for me, so this is absolutely wonderful.

NikeFuelSENike FuelBand SE Retail: $150 CAD

Pros:
i) Uses motion-sensing technology to capture your movements during the day and converts it to NikeFuel. Tracks the intensity of your workouts, sleep, counts yours steps  and tells time.
ii) Strong community is what Nike is known for – this aspect does not disappoint. You can compete against your friends in some ‘friendly’ competition to see who has earned the most NikeFuel.
ii)  NikeFuel SE  has a coloured meter which allows you to see where you are at in terms of activity for the day.  Also allows you the opportunity to track which hours you have ‘won’ for the day.  (An hour ‘won’ is an hour where you have been active and earned NikeFuel for 6 minutes consecutively within an hour.)  It reminds you to get up and get active, which is especially helpful when you have an office job where you sit a lot.  It sends you a personalized (essentially a Go, Rebecca, Go!) message of encouragement.  If this isn’t for you, you can also shut this option off.

Cons:
i) Heavily branded, and is not as comfortable on the wrist despite having adjustment pieces available.
ii) Display is not as clear as the Fitbit, and it is a little less clear what exactly you’re seeing when you hit the button.
iii)  Battery lasted approximately from Sunday to Wednesday evening vs the Fitbit week-long battery life.

Overall:  I think this is a good option for someone who is heavily into training and measuring the intensity of their training.  Ultimately it depends what you’re trying to track, and what is important to you.  With its sporty sleek look and great community, this device is awesome if you are competitive and want to have that community engagement and support.  It has come a long way from the original NikeFuel that first came out years ago.  The sleep tracker is also an added bonus that a lot of other devices don’t have.  Nike has done a great job in improving this device and I’m interested to see the next model and how they adapt to the needs of the user.

It really depends on you.  I’m a bit biased because I tried my Fitbit first and I think it’s really hard to change my mind when I love something.  Different strokes for different folks.  I think when purchasing you need to keep in mind what exactly you’re wanting the device for.   Overall, these types of devices shine a light on your habits and actual activity level.  I think a lot can be said for something that allows you to see what you’re really up to in a day.  It makes you accountable, aware and allows you to really gauge whether or not you actually want to do something with the results you find.  Maybe you’re a lot more active than you thought, or maybe it’s the opposite.  Either way, knowledge is power, as they say! 😉

Feel free to leave comments below on your experience with Fitbit or NikeFuel.  I’d love to hear your opinions!

Happy Training!
xo
-Bexx