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

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

Running like a NorON

runningleaves
Source: http://www.runningwithcake.com

Whenever I have the chance to come home in the Fall, I try to take it.  There is just something about the Fall that really makes me smile.  I love the temperature, crunch and smell of the leaves under my feet while breathing in the cool air.

I haven’t been running as much as I’d like due to this pesky Achilles, but being away from my normal gym routine, and gym buddy, with limited gym access here up in Northern Ontario, I decided to hit the pavement and do one of my favourite runs.  It’s actually one of my favourite runs to do in the winter, so I figured that Fall would also do 😉

I always get nervous being in a small town running because people slow down to see if they know who you are, and I always feel like I should run faster, to make sure that they know that I am in fact an athlete. (I don’t know why?! Maybe because I’m slightly cray ahah)

NorON
Source: my camera

I did in fact run faster than my regular speed and I felt the fresh Fall air rushing through my lungs, and I could hear my footsteps echoing through the street.  (I was also a little out of breath, and could also hear that echoing through the streets too, but let’s downplay that part for the sake of the story haha)

I got to the centre of my little town of Cobalt (“if you don’t live there it’s your fault…” There is a song about the town that has that line in it in case you were wondering) and decided to run the stairs that are there.  I tried to take two at a time, and figured Rocky would have been proud. (Not so proud that I wasn’t wearing a hoodie… fail on my part.  Maybe next time.) When I got to the top, I must admit I was a little winded, but continued on my merry little way.

When I got to my street I ran by the houses and up the little incline toward home, and ended my run in front of my driveway, like I have done for more than 15 years now.  It always makes me smile, no matter how hard the run was/is.  It’s that familiar feeling, where times fades away and you are taken back to the very first time when you felt that feeling and sense of accomplishment.  This feeling never changes, no matter how many times you come running in.

I’m proud of being from Northern Ontario, and I miss it quite a bit.  In University I met a guy named Matty D (you may know him) from Canada Sudbury.  When he found out where I was from he said “Oh, wow a fellow NorON.”  I thought he called me a moron to be honest and was kind of taken aback.  So, as I do ever so politely, I responded with “Like, WHAT?!?” He said “NorON you know.. like a Northern Ontarionian without it being weird.” (He may not have said it exactly like that, but again for the sake of the story, work with me here.)  The term stuck with me, and for some reason still makes me smile.

I enjoyed my run tonight.  Every single moment about it.  And so I will continue this week to go on my runs here in Cobalt – running in a way that only a NorON would know…

-Bexx

 

Color Me Rad 5K – Toronto

ColorMeRadToday I ran a race, with some wonderful people, and got paint bombs thrown at me intentionally!

The laughter, the splashes of colour and the company, most definitely made this race my favourite of all time.

I haven’t run since the Sporting Life 10k, so my running was less than stellar, but I can’t remember a more recent time where I’ve had that much fun running.

Some Booty Camp and Femme Fitale ladies created a team called #WeSweatPink.  I ran with one of my besties, Hilary.  It was her first time running a race! I’m so proud of her.  She never thought she’d ever run a race, let alone one that was quite like the one we ran on Sunday. Sooooo proud!! Awh yeahhh!

Being sprayed with green paint, running through the bright pink station, and forgetting to close our mouths at the yellow station because we were laughing so hard, were most definitely highlights of our run (from my perspective at least! haha)

BeforeAfterColorMeRad

I’ve provided a little before and after for you guys! hahah And of course an awesome group shot! Awh yeahhhh!

Team #WeSweatPink!
Team #WeSweatPink! Photo cred: Andrew Kachaniwsky

Below is a video of the awesome finish!!!

Video Cred: Andrew Kachaniwsky 🙂

Hilary is signed up for the Kitchener Color Me Rad and I just might sign up for another round of colour.  It’s in October so the weather will be perfect to race in! 🙂

Happy training,

-Bexx

Sporting Life 10K 2013

Sporting life

I ran the Sporting Life 10K this morning.  It’s one of my favourite races of the year- both because it’s a huge race of 27,000 people, and because it is for a great cause.

All of the money raised goes towards supporting Camp Oochigeas, which is a camp that is run for children with cancer.  A lot of people were wearing what they run for on signs that were pinned to their backs.  It was motivational to run behind someone wearing “Run for those who cannot” or those who were running in memory of someone who lost their battle with cancer. It really puts things into perspective- you are still alive, you are running – now give it all you’ve got!

I haven’t been training, so this race intimidated me a bit. My Achilles actually doesn’t feel that bad though, so I’m pretty excited about that! Healing is awesome.

The race itself was awesome.  I used to run with music and now when I do races I find that running without it makes me more in tune with the things around me and also with how I feel.  I used to think that it would be terrible to run without the help of the music, but now I find it invigorating!

I looked up my time on-line and for some reason it’s not there.  I am curious to know how I did.  I know that I wasn’t hitting a PB, by any means, but I’d love to at least know for myself, to see how much work I have to do to start hitting some of those PBs! 😉

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last year.  I like shorter races, and I think I want to focus more so on getting faster, than distance.  I did a half marathon, and knocked it off the bucketlist.  Part of finishing that race turned me off of running for a bit, and I wasn’t sure why at the time.  Running in my head had become more of a job than something that was fun and that I enjoyed.  For now, I’ll put the half marathons on the back-burner and focus my eyes on the prize(s): some PBs in the 5K and 10Ks 🙂

Best sign on the side-lines of the race: “Fastest Parade Ever!” *grin*  I was quite amused.

2 million dollars were raised today for Camp Ooch, and at the end of the day that’s what counts the most!

Happy running,

-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

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