About Me

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I am a momma-to-be, a teacher, fitness/yoga instructor, runner, celebrity stalker, chocolate lover, embarrassing dancer, wine guzzler, can't-live-without-my-girlfriends kind of girl. I also have a collection of high heels that strongly outweighs my collection of runners. My goal is to find balance in my life through health and exercise- and when I say balance, I mean kicking ass in the gym and enjoying food, wine, family, friends, and basking in celebrity news. Let's eat clean and do some craaahaaayzy workouts together... followed by a glass of wine.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge... and Indulge.

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Serves me right, I guess.

I was trying to be a good teacher and inspire my students in an epic game.... of dodgeball.

I know what you're thinking- it's the gym teacher's way out, throw out a few balls (ha!) and let the kids pummel the crap out of each other while said teacher sits back, reads the newspaper and enjoys a morning croissant on the bench.

Actually, dodge ball has truly advanced from the time you and I cowardly hid in the corner at age 8. Dodge ball, unlike the movie suggests, has evolved from the invasion game where one kid with a pitcher's arm knocks the teeth out of the rest to multiple games that actually has kids up and moving and not eliminated with one hit. I was playing "everyone for themselves"- a dodge ball game where if you are hit, you crouch down for the time being, but when they person who got YOU out gets hit, you get to come back in the game. It can truly go on for hours. The kids love it, and it keeps everyone active. Including said teacher, who was the main target (obvi) throughout the game.

I was expertly dodging, ducking, dipping, diving, and... dodging the ball(s) when I awkwardly twisted my knee and felt a twinge. I laughed, crouched down (in agony), and held back tears. Then I did what any mature, normal 20-something teacher/authority figure would have done. I continued to play the game.
I'm a competitive person. My friend Jessi is an amazing runner, and runs for the love of it. She has been running since high school when most of us were chowing down McDonald's three times a week with extra McChicken sauce (yes, they have this). She is a natural runner, her stride graceful and sleek. She is more of a runner than I'll ever be, but doesn't feel the need to compete in races. This makes me respect her love for running even more. If she had been playing dodgeball with teenagers, she would be able to say "I've hurt myself" without wincing in pain and trying to be cool. Note to self: learn from Jessi.

I did a short 20-minute circuit with my grade twelve's on Friday after the knee incident, including running suicides, bunny-hop squats, skipping, ladder activities, and more. Stupid move #2. It wasn't until later that night while blog stalking that I realized how much it hurt! So, my dreams of going for a long run on the boardwalk and trying out a new heavy-bag interval style bootcamp this weekend were squashed. I also wasn't able to see my love, Gudrun. Devastating.

Candy and cupcake table, you took away my sorrow.
So, I decided to really enjoy the weekend. Saturday was my girlfriend Katherine's bridal shower! This was no tea-and-crumpets kind of bridal shower. I am a bridesmaid and we decided to have a "Bridesmaid- the Movie" themed shower. If you haven't seen this movie, you NEED TO SEE IT. The shower had the MOST amazing food possible, enough liquor to satisfy the entire wedding, and ladies who dressed up, wore heels in the house, and overall had a great time. This is what life is about- balance. Kick ass in the gym (this includes fellow dodgeballers) and kick ass in life. What's the point of working so hard if you can't let yourself enjoy your social time, a few drinks, and a cupcake a few times a day month?


Fine. I'll have a glass. But only because you're forcing me.

Injured or not... heels are a must.
The bride got to go home with an even more exciting gift!

(If you haven't seen the movie, this will make no sense...)
What a glorious day! Carter surprised me on Sunday with the words "Hangover" and "Shopping". What a combo- going to a power mall and shopping at such stores as Marshall's (um... anyone else think this is EXACTLY the same as Winner's?) and then seeing the Hangover II.

Before the movie, we went to a few home stores and my favourite- Carlton Cards. I could card shop all day long. I find it oddly soothing and almost like meditating. I often cry in card stores. Do not judge me.

After we came away with 12 cards (yes... 12) and watching the movie, we went home where I got to enjoy my take-home gift from the shower... a cupcake. Then we made Kraft Dinner. Amen.

No, no. Thank YOU.

Moral of my weekend: when you do something stupid, reward yourself. All weekend long. The end.

I'm so glad you picked classy bridesmaids to be in your wedding, Katherine.

What is your food weakness?

Sundays are usually cheat days, and I love me some KD and chocolate.

Um... I thought this blog was about fitness. So far you've talked about your woman crushes and an unhealthy obsession with chocolate.

Um... yeah.

Have you ever tried to look cool and wound up injured in the end?

Dodgeball is deadly. I also knew a girl in high school who jumped up and down and broke BOTH her feet. From jumping. BOTH. So I win.

Friday, 27 May 2011

I think I'm in love... With my yoga instructor.

Pin It One of the first things people say to me when I tell them I teach yoga: "I could NEVER do yoga. I'm not flexible".

Listen up here friends. Admit it: you say you couldn't do yoga, but truth is, you're scared! I was too! I was scared to go because I knew that I would suck. And let me tell you, I did.

My first experience with yoga happened in university. I am bow-legged and have huge, mother-of-all-else hips, so to sit down on a hard surface, cross-legged, for even 2 minutes, was like death to me. My butt hurt, my knees were stuck way up in the air, I could barely sit up straight. Everyone else was sitting perfectly still in Lotus pose (how the HELL do people make this pose look so easy?) and I was struggling to just sit.

Yeah, yeah. You make Lotus look so damn easy, realistic-looking cartoon chick.
 I automatically decided that yoga wasn't for me. Besides... I was an athlete. Yoga wasn't hardcore enough. (Please keep reading as I bitch-slap myself for ever thinking that).

Fast forward a few years later, when a regular Sculpt class attender named Tanya told me one day after class how much she loved yoga. I laughed and explained to her my first experience. She told me about a woman named Gudrun who taught at a small, privately-owned gym just around the corner from me. Tanya is really fit and strong, so I decided to take her up on it.

Little did I know that Gudrun was, in fact, my dream woman. She took my breath away, literally. The class was HARD! Not just in a sit-in-lotus-for-45-minutes hard. She challenged me with what felt like a million downward dogs, chattaranga push-ups, arm balances, planks, and some really awesome poses. I left feeling inspired and wanting more- I wanted to challenge my body in a new, different way. Plus, I wanted to be her.

Here she is. God damn. 
I went to Gudrun for two years before deciding to take on a year-long yoga course and become a certified yoga teacher myself. I always make sure that I go to her class at least once a week, even with my heavy teaching schedule. Her yoga classes are never the same and are always the perfect mix of challenge, stretch, and zen. She is so accomplished and experienced, and... she wears really cool jewelry. I love her.

Are you impressed, Gudrun? I shaved my legs for you.
Last weekend I was attending my regular Vinyasa Yoga class, and afterwards Gudrun asked me if I was interested in paddle boarding. I shrieked with excitement as that is something I've been dying to try! She said that she just bought three boards and that I should give her a call sometime in the summer and we could go together.

She asked me to call her.


My idol, dream woman.

She asked me on a date.

I think I peed my pants. Happy day, she noticed me! All those times that I gave myself a pedicure in the car on the way to yoga class paid off! I am still beaming. I think I'll play hard to get.

What yoga pose do you find extremely challenging that others find easy?

Lotus pose, hands down. As a yoga teacher, this is the core pose that I'm just supposed to be able to do. Not happening. I also hate Hero pose.

What inspires you to get to the gym?

A killer class (and Gudrun) will get me to the gym every time. It is SO IMPORTANT to find a class and an instructor that suits your needs! Just as personalities clash in every day life, sometimes your workout styles can, too. If you've always loved to dance, then why not go to a cardio dance class or Zumba? Make it enjoyable and you'll get there more times than not.

Any fun fitness classes you'll be trying this weekend?

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Cupcakes and Personal Bests.

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Mint Chocolate Cupcake from Life Is Sweet... I want to make out with you.
I like to attribute most of my success to chocolate. When I got an A on my report card, I got a chocolate bar. After a hockey game, I'd be allowed to have a chocolate chip cookie. When it was celebration time, I'd get a slice of chocolate cake. My brother, sister and I used to give Mars Bars to each other for our birthdays... for an embarrassing number of years. Halloween was less about the costume than it was about what was most important... free chocolate. My university roommates would send me to bed with an entire bag of chocolate cookies when I was going through a break up. And I ate every one of them. In bed.

You'd think I'd pick a career that doesn't completely juxtapose my two biggest endorphin highs, but I didn't. Instead, I've tested out a new theory. Eating a cupcake the night before race day = success.

A few weeks ago my family and I competed in a 10km run through downtown Toronto. I love this race not only because you get to window shop as you run, but because most of my family- both immediate and in-law- ran the race, too! Here is my Dad, sister, brother-in-law, husband and I before the race:

Apparently my sister and I were the only ones who heard "1,2,3... look tough!" when my Mom took the photo. Hot.
The run was amazing. It is mostly downhill (amen) and much to my surprise, I killed my previous personal best by over three minutes!!! You can't tell, but I'm yelping with glee as I crossed the finish line: 
F&@#! YEAH!!!!
Then I saw two people puke. Awesome.

I attributed my personal best to the cupcake amazingness that I had the night before. Chocolate and mint is my idea of heaven. And it MUST have made me run faster. So, when I was gearing up for my fourth half marathon just a few weeks later, I decided to try it again.

Alright... I didn't eat ALL of these. But I could have.
Sunday was race day and it was cold and rainy. I had my banana and half a bagel and went off to the race. Again, I was killing it. 5km, 10km, 15km down- on track to absolutely demolish my previous personal best.

Okay, so maybe I should have eaten more than one cupcake. I hit the wall hard at 17km and dragged my ass to the finish line at 21.1km. Through the proverbial wall-hitting, I still managed to best my best- by 3 minutes! I crossed the finish line, exhausted at 1:51:45, beating my previous time of 1:54:45. Next time, I'm eating two cupcakes... and I'm getting under 1:50.

Carter was there to support me and snapped this gorgeous photo of me.

That's great, Carter. I'll be sure to frame that one.

I'm new to the blogging world! Here goes my first round of questions. Post your answers!

1. What is your pre-race ritual?

Mint Chocolate cupcake (yeah, that's right... it's now a ritual), getting everything ready the night before, pasta dinner, banana and bagel breakfast

2. If you could see anyone at the finish line, who would it be?

I'm always excited to see Carter... and if I could, I'd see the Easter Bunny. Then I'd tackle him.

3. What is one embarrassing song that you listen to when working out?

Not going to lie... this could go on for a while. I'll leave you with this one for today: Billy Ocean's Loverboy.