My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Archive for the category “Move By Design”

Setback

So those of you who have been following the blog for the past few weeks already know that I cut my leg on my screen door and got six stitches. After ten days of resting patiently, I got my stitches out. Afterwards, my leg felt… mushy. It wasn’t really supporting my weight very well and I was limping more by the end of each day. Then I started to get these sharp pains in my ankle. The cut puffed up and went funny colours. Back to Urgent Care again. I was pretty sure my injury was infected. I figured I’d been in Urgent Care for a 1/2 hour or so, get some antibiotics and go to work.

Turns out I do have an infections (and the antibiotics) but I also have a tear in my Achilles’s tendon. The tear is very small but I have to be careful not to rupture the tendon. I have to wear an air cast for two weeks and then have it reexamined by the doctor. Luckily, I’m allowed to take the air cast off to sleep and shower but the rest of my day I’m wearing this sexy space boot.

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As a result of my injuries and the fact that I’m exhausted pretty much all the time, I’ll be taking the next few weeks away from the blog to recover. Unfortunately, doing my job uses up almost all the energy I have right now. This post actually took me several days to finish. So the blog will return on Tuesday, October 11. Thank you for understanding.

My last day of On Ramp

I recently completed the On Ramp course at West London CrossFit. After a half-year break from CrossFit, I needed a way to ease back into training and I’m very glad I chose this way! I really feel ready to get back to regular classes. My skills are back up to par and I even corrected some mistakes I’d been making previously without even knowing it.

Everyone graduates from On Ramp by running the same WOD (workout of the day) that they completed day one. The trainers recorded both times so we could see how much we’d improved in On Ramp. I wasn’t sure if my time would drop because I had done this workout a number of times before this round of On Ramp. I was pleasantly surprised to see a drop of a little more than a minute.

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On Ramp was designed to introduce people to all the essential movements and skills of CrossFit. However, it was also a great refresher for me. If you’ve taken a break too, don’t be afraid to come back. Don’t quit just because it’s easier. Talk to your coach about refresher options if you need a little help getting back to your best habits.

Why I love the Olympics

I’m addicted to watching the Olympics. I used the CBC app to stream from the opening ceremonies to the closing ceremonies. I cheered, laughed and cried. As the Summer Olympics wraps up for another four years, I’ve been thinking about why I love watching the Olympics so much.

Reason 1 – Unapologetic nationalism.

Other than Canada Day, there are not always a lot of opportunities for me to don my Canada gear and sing my national anthem at the top of my lungs. I adore seeing how much our athletes love our country; how they rock Canada clothing, hats, nail art, and even tattoos; how they tear up at the sight of our flag being raised in the Olympic stadium. I also enjoy watching the host country celebrate the best aspects of their home. It is a fine thing to have an excuse to be ridiculously proud of your nation.

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Reason 2 – The stories.

Say what you will about the media, they expertly craft stories of endurance, triumph and even failure that have consistently made me cheer and cry. I know these stories are heavily constructed and edited, but what story isn’t? The media necessarily needs to select and edit stories because there is just too much to cover otherwise. Besides, media is a business and ratings are their benchmark for success. Highlighting captivating stories draws in viewers. Knowing I’m seeing a story built by the media doesn’t make me enjoy it less and the Canadian media takes great care in covering as many Canadian athletes as they can.

Reason 3 – Armchair coaching.

“That’s not how you do a reverse 1 1/2 somersault from the pike position!” It doesn’t matter that I can’t even fall into the water without doing a belly flop, I’m going to shout out my instructions to the athletes as if they can hear me. Maybe not every family participates in this but it’s a lot of fun to coach from the couch. When I was a kid, my dad would get so engaged in televised sports that my mom bought him a foam brick he could throw at the TV. My whole family gets involved in yelling things at the Olympics, even my much more soft-spoken husband has been know to call out his encouragement.

Reason 4 – Humans at peak performance.

“Look at how strong her shoulders are!”

“Check out his leg muscles, they’re huge!”

“How does she jump like that?”

“His last dive was so clean!”

Somehow watching athletes achieve their goals makes my own less public and perhaps smaller scale goals seem much more achievable. If these athletes can give everything to their sport, I can lose five pounds, eat healthier and manage my stress better. The Olympics remind me that humans are capable of amazing things and that I am capable of achieving success if I keep working at it.

The Olympics are so much fun to watch and as Olympic fever dissipates, I am already looking forward to the next Olympics in Tokyo.

Ramping Up

So I’ve now completed half of the On-Ramp program at West London Crossfit. I’m really glad I arranged to retake this class as a way to return to Crossfit training. I’m trying to get back to my best habits and I know it’s better if I do it in small steps like the ones provided by On-Ramp. I’m getting a refresher in all the basics, (warm up, lifting, mobility, etc.) and now my form will be much better when I join the regular classes again. I’m sore from class but I feel good. I’m slowly starting to feel stronger and more confident.

I’ve gotten a pretty universal reaction from the coaches and Crossfit regulars. They look at me quizzically for a minute and then say something like, “You still train here?” I smile and tell them that I took a break but that I’m back now. Everyone is welcoming. Two more weeks of On-Ramp to go and then I’ll be back to CrossFit training. I’m looking forward to it.

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On Ramp

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I’ve been a member of West London Cross Fit since it opened several years ago. However, I stopped going last December. I had a bad bout of anxiety and I needed the time off to work on that before I could worry about building muscle.

Now that I’m feeling more stable, I’ve decided to go back. Today I attended my first On Ramp class. On Ramp is a program that West London Cross Fit runs to get people ready to start Cross Fit. During three classes a week for four weeks, On Rampers learn all the movements used in Cross Fit from stretches, to burpees, to proper bar bell lifts. Even though the classes are targeted for beginners, I asked the coaches if I could re-take the class to properly ease me back into my full workout routine.

My first class was really good. I like taking the time to review the basics and improve my overall form. I worked hard and I sweated. Beginner class or not, Cross Fit is a great burn. I’m looking forward to my second class already. This just goes to show that I am strong enough to go back to my best habits, even when I’ve taken a break.

My favourite reasons to do yoga at home

The dress code: I can do yoga in my pajamas, or my underwear, or nothing at all, (TMI?) I don’t have to do my hair or worry about how I look. I can roll right out of bed and hit the mat.

The class schedule: Yoga on demand 24-7. I can practice when I want for as long as I want.

The pace: I can speed up, slow down or take a break any time I need.

The studio: My house, my rules. I can have any setup I like. I get to choose the lighting, the temperature, the music, and anything else I like to suit my mood that day. I always get the best spot in the room too 🙂

My classmates: Me, myself and I…and an occasional furry visitor.

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The peace: Being by myself is a real meditation booster. The house is quiet and I can slow down and just be.

If that doesn’t inspire you to try yoga at home, I don’t think anything will! Namaste.

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My new workstation

I keep hearing that sitting is the new smoking. I’m no doctor so I’m not going to speculate on how bad sitting is. All I know is that as a teacher, I don’t spend a lot of time sitting down. However, in my new role as a special education support teacher I have to do a lot more paperwork than I used to. I found that sitting to do it was hurting my back and neck.

Image found at http://standingabout.com/the-ergonomics-of-office-work/

I created a better work environment by putting a paper box on my desk and placing my laptop on top of that. It wasn’t perfect but it got me a lot closer to the proper posture for working standing up. Plus I found I was a lot more productive working standing up.

Luckily, my principal was understanding when she saw how much standing up while working was helping me. She agreed to buy some stand up workstations for the department.

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I really like my new workstation. The legs are adjustable so I can get the perfect height. Besides, this is a much more professional look for my office. Hopefully it will help me stay more active at work.

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Back to the Gym

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My gym bag has been taken over by kitty!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been taking it a bit easy in terms of my workout routine. My anxiety makes me more prone to injuries and my depression exhausts me. Now that I’m back in treatment and starting to heal, I need to practice healthier habits. Right now I’m mostly just going for walks with Nick, doing yoga and occasionally hitting the elliptical and bike at the gym, so I’m not totally inactive. However, when I think back to the times in my life when I’ve felt the happiest and the most stable, I’ve been working out more often and with more intensity. My workouts release positive chemicals in my body and make me feel I’ve accomplished something. So now it’s time to set some proper goals.

At my best times, I workout five to six times per week for an hour. My workouts consist of CrossFit, cardio at the gym, swimming, biking, hiking, and yoga, (it sounds like a lot, but if I don’t change it up, I get bored and stop working out.) So from now until my summer break starts, I’ve got four weeks to achieve five one hour workouts per week. I’m going to start with lower impact workouts and work my way up to a full variety of exercises.

Week one :

Monday – Yoga.

Tuesday – Cardio at the gym.

Wednesday – Yoga.

Thursday – Cardio at the gym.

Friday – Day off.

Saturday – Hike.

Sunday – Day off.

Week two:

Monday – Cardio at the gym.

Tuesday – Yoga.

Wednesday – Swim.

Thursday – Yoga.

Friday – Cardio at the gym.

Saturday – Hike.

Sunday – Day off.

Week three:

Monday – Bike ride.

Tuesday – Yoga.

Wednesday – Swim.

Thursday – Yoga.

Friday – Cardio at the gym.

Saturday – Hike.

Sunday – Day off.

Week four:

Monday – Cardio at the gym.

Tuesday – Crossfit.

Wednesday – Swim.

Thursday – Yoga.

Friday – Bike ride.

Saturday – Hike.

Sunday – Day off.

I think this is a reasonable plan and I feel confident I can accomplish it. I’ll update you as I work away at this. #dowahtworks

30 Day Yoga Challenge

So a little while ago I posted that I found an excellent online yoga class. Yoga with Adriene has some 30 day yoga challenge playlists posted and I just completed the one at the top of this post.

At first I thought it was going to be difficult to do a yoga session every day for thirty days but I quickly found myself looking forward to each class. I felt so great after each class. On days I was really busy, I even got up early to make sure I had time to practice. Before I knew it, the thirty days was over and I had accomplished my goal.

Each session is between twenty and forty-five minutes. For each session Adriene provides a mantra for meditating and increasing focus on the practice. A few example include “I trust” and “I am grateful for…” Adriene talks about each mantra and then leaves it up to you to incorporate it into your practice as you like. I tied them to my breath by focusing on one word on my inhale, the next on my exhale and so forth. It worked really well for me.

Each class was unique. Adriene provided lots of opportunities to move within the poses and explore my practice. I enjoyed this thirty days of yoga so much that I’m going to start on one of her other thirty-day classes tomorrow. I hope you’ll join me. Namaste.

 

Yoga and YouTube

*NOTE* Before starting a yoga home practice, it is a good idea to take a session of beginner’s classes first. It’s a chance for you to get familiar with the basics of yoga. Plus an experienced yogi can make sure you’re doing the poses correctly.

Time to get on the mat.

Time to get on the mat.

A while back I posted about starting a yoga home practice. I’ve been doing more yoga lately but instead of going to classes, I’ve been following a yoga class on YouTube.

Yoga with Adriene is an amazing YouTuber who offers yoga classes once a week. She has also created a number of 30 day yoga playlists. I’ve tried a few of her videos so far and I’m really enjoying them. Her style of yoga works well for me and she does a few things in her videos that keep me coming back.

I like the fact that there is only music at the beginning and end of the videos. I prefer to practice yoga in a quiet place. I can focus on my breathing and meditation without the distraction of music. Too many yoga videos contain constant meditation music, (or ‘plinky-plonky music’ as I call it,) and it’s distracting. I need to concentrate on what the instructor is saying and what I’m doing. That’s enough for me.

I like Adriene’s instructing style as well. Her classes are a bit more advanced than a lot of what is available on YouTube, which allows me to get more out of my practice. She moves within her poses, rather than locking into them, and encourages her students to do the same. She sets a good pace for flow (or Vinyasa,) but also provides enough time to breath and explore the poses.

I also like her sense of humor. She laughs at her own jokes and makes references to Disney characters and movie quotes. She is dedicated to her yoga practice but because she doesn’t maintain a serious attitude the whole way though her classes are more fun.

If you’re interested in doing some yoga at home, I recommend you visit Adriene’s channel. I’m current working my way through her 30 Day Yoga Camp so I’ll report back on how it goes when I’m done. Feel free to follow along too! Namaste.

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