3 Spring Must-Haves!

It’s that time of year again, the geese are confused and back early here up in Canada, the trees are budding and the snow is pretty much gone in most areas!

I’m not going to miss the cold that much, but as we ease into this lovely new Equinox, I want to tell you about 3 Spring Must-Haves that should be in your outdoor running toolkit!

Nike Running Club:  Ask your friends to add you, stay accountable to yourself, get reminders sent directly to your phone! This app keeps me in check.  I love sneaking a peek at the weekly leader board to see where I am ranking against my friends – a little good healthy competition never hurts your motivation to lace on up, and head on out for one of those 5 am 5Ks I’ve been telling you about! 😉  

Deep Blue Rub: I recently discovered this product and I’ve switched from Deep Relief/A535 as this dōTERRA cream/rub is infused with the Deep Blue Soothing Blend of  CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils and gives you a cooling and warmth sensation that helps problem areas!  Getting back into outdoor running can be a challenge, but Deep Blue is your buddy that helps those achy muscles you feel when you’re getting old ;))  

10% Happier by Dan Harris: I picked this book up as a reco from my buddy Doug Foley over at The Happiness of Pursuit.  Dan Harris in this well-written book, makes fun of himself in ways that I connected with, pointed out similarities that I never thought him and I would have, and makes you realize that meditation, self-awareness and reflection are easily able to help us become that much happier (at least 10% ;)).  His journey through to meditation and self-realization are inspiring and attainable!

The running app keeps me accountable, the Deep Blue keeps my tired muscles happy and on point, and 10% Happier keeps me in-check to mentally re-set when I need it, and power through those tough moments when you’d rather turn around and go home to sleep in your gym clothes!  *Maybe that’s only me? 😉

Happy Training, lovely people!
-Bexx

Grandma Mary & The First Annual Run for the Love of Pete 5k

runfortheloveofpete
A lot happened this weekend, and as much as I don’t want it to take away from the race as a whole, I must explain so that you truly understand the impact that this had on me this weekend.

My grandmother passed away on Saturday at the age of 95.  She lived quite the life, and she was always funny and entertaining to me.  She laughed at all my jokes, put up with my crazy antics, swore I hadn’t changed at all since birth (I assume I was always this entertaining haha) and even posed for photos with me while I ‘forced her’ (read: encouraged her to do so, because “At 90+ you can do or say what you want, Grandma..”) to the give the finger.

For as long as I can remember growing up, when she was calling for you in the yard, she’d go through every grandchild’s name before getting to yours (including the boy names) every single time.  When I was getting in trouble this was awesome because it would sound like something along the lines of “Oh… Samantha, Mark, Trevor, Melissa, Matthew, er…Chad.. OHHHHHH REBECCA! WHATEVER your name is, get in the HOUSE!” and by then I would be half way across the yard in the opposite direction. She played cards, darts and bowled. She patiently sat with us all and tried to teach us how to play euchre.  (I never caught on).

She taught me what I remember to be one of the first jokes (play on words) I understood, and I like to think I’m mistakespretty funny – so I owe this all to Grandma and her coffee cup.  It read: I never make mistakes.  I thought I did once, but I was mistaken.  Now, I’m not sure if you get how hard it would be to explain that play on words to a 7 or 8 year old, and I figure Grandma had her work cut out for her – at the time mini Rebecca had felt it was all too obvious that you had in fact made a mistake if you had been mistaken.  It was clearly written on the cup. 😉

The reason I bring this all up isn’t because I want everyone to be sad or feel bad.  I just want you to know that this weekend had many highs and lows, but ultimately will always be one to go down in the books.

Run for the Love of Pete was something I told my grandma about recently, and she kept telling me how proud she was of me. I wasn’t sure how much she understood, because our conversations were all at yelling level, as her hearing had been going a bit, but I’m glad she got a chance to hear about it.

My dad wasn’t a perfect man.  He made mistakes, he did the best he could, but ultimately was one of my favourite people that I have ever met.  He was often the class clown when he went to mining conventions, always volunteered in the community where we lived, and defended me by yelling at all the neighbourhood kids when we got carried away chucking ice  balls at each other.  He was a gem.14289884_10101232710651650_2855432295706238207_o

I’ve been really lucky to be graced with such gems in my life, and organizing the Run for the Love of Pete was something that I have been saying I’m going to do for a long time.  I announced the run, started a new job, and was going to cancel the event because I didn’t feel like I had dedicated enough time to it (or the marketing of it).  However, when you announce that you’re going to do something, like my dad always told me, you must follow through or else people won’t believe you if you say you’re going to do it next time. And so I did.

Running is rather polarizing – some people love it, and some people really hate it.  There are in between people who sometimes run, and sometimes don’t run.  Most of my friends are the ‘don’t really want to run’ type people, but that didn’t stop them from running on Sunday, or volunteering to help organize and ‘run’ this race. (Pun always intended).

That being said I want to thank each and every one of you who ran, volunteered, encouraged me at any point before, during or after the race, gave me pats on the back when I selfishly needed them and made donations to the Heart and Stoke Foundation, or cooked brunch for ravenous runners (which is like risking your life via sticking your head in the mouth of a lion – don’t get between people who have run a 5K and a pile of pancakes is all I’m saying ;))
Organizing something that you hope will be a giant race one day, really makes you thankful for all the people that are in your life. I really lucked out in the friendship lottery of life.  Surrounding yourself with great people reminds you why you strive to be better each and every day just like them. So thank you, thank you, thank you. You all mean the world to me!

image1So, the first Run for the Love of Pete is dedicated to my Grandmother, Mary Coe. She could rock that white hair like no other.  Although her name isn’t in the title of the race, and she probably never ran in her life (except perhaps running after me or any of her other awesome grandchildren in the yard..which might count..) she was a woman who will not be forgotten.

She always reminded me to be better & to not take my gift of making people laugh for granted, and my dad always told me to do the things that scare me the most.

This Sunday amidst the laughs and jokes while running the Run for the Love of Pete 5k  (and coming in last so that no one else did) I thought about how Grandma and Dad were probably looking down at me from somewhere shaking their heads, and making some joke about how I actually managed to pull this all off among all the other crazy things I always have going on like I do, and it made me smile. ❤

Do those things that scare you the most, they are guaranteed to be some of the best things that you ever do.

With love,

Bexx

 

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

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

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