January 30, 2017

Following up on my post from a couple of days ago…..

This morning I went to see my physiotherapist, who is awesome. Except when he tells me what I don’t want to hear.

No running.

What the hell? I thought you understood me? I thought we were on the same page? I thought we were friends? How am I supposed to deal with that?

Find an alternative form of cardio. Try swimming.

Now I know he’s lost it. It’s like he doesn’t even know me.

The diagnosis is bursitis in my right hip joint. Painful, but not untreatable and way better than osteoarthritis. Rest, treatment, ice and specific exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the hip.

Piece of cake.

Now can we revisit the whole “no running” thing.

The Best Thing in Life is accepting an expert opinion even if it doesn’t make you happy. A lesson we could all learn.

What Does it Take to Motivate People?

trail 1

If you could eat and drink and not exercise, yet still stay healthy….would you?  “Umm ya.”  I’m guessing is what most of you are saying. Well you can’t, so you need to find some form of exercise that works for you and that you will stick with.

For the past eight or nine weeks I have been going to a trail based boot camp run by my friend Donna.  Just for the record, I do not do the 6:00 am class.  I drag my sorry ass to the 9:30 am class.  So what motivates people to get out of bed and go to a workout, outdoors, occasionally in the rain?  Maybe the first time would be easy, but what would bring people back week after week?

I’ve spent 33 hours in a van with Donna.  Twice.  And I would be happy to do it again.  Both times she has passed a sweaty slap bracelet on to me with a smile and encouraging words. She has also told me to “suck it up bitch” when I’ve whined about running up a hill.  She’s one of only a few people who know that if I put my hand up while I’m running it means don’t talk to me I’m not having fun right now.  It’s called giving them “the hand”.  We can laugh about it now.

Fitness has always been a part of Donna s life and in high school and university she joined any team she could find.

“I found strength in belonging to a team and my self-esteem was created through my success in sport.”

100 steps of death

That feeling of inclusion and teamwork is evident in the way she runs her boot camp. Yes we are all moms, but we are all at different fitness levels, some have injuries and some are brand new moms with a totally different set of needs.  “She is always on top of alternative exercises for those with injuries – and keeps the class moving a good pace!” One bootcamper commented.  Her energy and enthusiasm keeps you going and before you know it the hour is over and your are done your workout.  Sometimes you don’t even realize how hard you have worked until the next day.

Donna originally wanted to study marine biology and has a BSc in Biology from the University if Windsor.  But living in Windsor, next to the Detroit River, didn’t do much to inspire that career. In 1998 she moved out West and entered the Exercise Science program at Langara College with the end goal being a kinesiology degree at SFU.  But, as often happens, life changed course and she found herself working as Head Brace Fitter at Paris Orthotics.  For the next nine years, after obtaining a diploma in Prosthetics and Orthotics from BCIT, she would work in the orthotics industry.  In 2006 she became a mom and focused on raising two active boys.  With more time on her hands now that her boys are older she has started a series of trail based boot camps.

“I find group training to be a lot like belonging to a team.  You can lean on members to help you stay motivated to continue your fitness journey.  There will always be someone in the group that helps challenge other members and I myself, find motivation through these members as well.”

cates bootcamp

We live in an area with an abundance of great trails and scenery and Donna has developed a program that has us sweating up and down those trails using rocks, trees and strategically placed water jugs full of water.  We have done plank with owls swooping over our heads.  We have conquered the 100 steps of death.  We have crawled like crabs in the sands of Cates Park.  We have challenged Old Buck and lived to tell about it.  We have laughed and we have commiserated over sleepless nights and school yard drama.  And we have sweat.   A lot.

“We laugh and have fun, I see progress in many and I love to show people that finding a place and time to exercise can be easy!”

With three time options on three different days Donna’s sessions accommodate lots of moms. Not everybody wants to go to a gym or run by themselves so this is a great option.  “No matter what you’re ability or fitness level, Donna makes sure everyone is getting what they need!”  She is a strong believer that staying fit and exercising is just as much for your mental health as it is for your physical health.  Her approach is educational and she is constantly introducing new exercises to challenge us.

“We love Donna – she rocks…even if she’s making us carry them up hills…LOL!!!”

So back to my original question.  What would motivate people to get out of bed and workout outside?  Donna would.

Educational, inclusive, naturally gifted, motivational.  Just some of the words fellow boot campers have used to describe our fearless leader.  “It also never rains during Donna’s boot camp…must be her super natural powers! LOL

The Best Thing in Life would be having Donna’s boot camp available to everyone!

Running. Cheaper Than Therapy.

runners

I can’t remember when I started running. I think I was in my late twenties. Some other ladies I worked with downtown were running at lunch time and I thought it might be fun. Wasn’t everything fun in your twenties?

My first run was, of course, pathetic. I wore heavy tennis shoes, as that was all I had, and made it about a mile before thinking I might throw up. “This is a lot harder than it looks” I thought. I had, of course, had images of myself bounding along the seawall going for miles and miles without a care in the world. Returning to the office glowing from the experience. Refreshed and ready to do it again the next day. Not so much.

Oh right, and the next day I couldn’t move. Or walk downstairs for a week.

My first “race” was the Vancouver Sun Run. This was back in the 1993 when only about 18,000 people ran it instead of the 60,000 that do it now. I had never done a race and had no idea what to expect. I had to pee every 5 minutes for the two hours before the race. What’s that all about anyway? Nerves? Anxiety that I may have to go during the race so just to make sure my bladder is completely empty? Needless to say I did not win or set any records. I did finish it though. And I didn’t have to pee once.

I find running cathartic. There are times when I just put my head down and watch the pavement pass under my feet. It’s my time to think. And not think. So many times I have had something on my mind and running has resolved it. Or I’ve had nothing on my mind and running has brought me inspiration. This blog has relied heavily on my running schedule.

There have been times when I have hated running. Wondered why I ever started. It’s hard, there’s no denying that. And sometime your head just isn’t in it. I’ve gone through times when I have gone running (begrudgingly) and cursed every step of the way. “This sucks” being the very least profane of them. I have been known to scream “just shoot me now” as I push up a hill. But if I leave it too long between runs my husband gives me that look. That “go for a run before you rip somebody’s head off” look.

So why do I do it? Running can be a lot of different things to different people. It can be painful, invigorating, boring, sadistic……the list go on. Some hate it, some love it and some tolerate it. I personally have a few reasons.

I love to eat good food…..and wine
I tend to get to far into my own head
It’s cheap (after your pay for the $200 runners twice a year)
I can do it anywhere

What will I do when I can no longer run? It has happened a few times for short periods of time. A few weeks. But I’ve known there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. A time out there when I will get to run again and I’ve found reassurance in that. But to never ever run again? That’s a scary thought for me and my family.

I still don’t consider myself a “runner”. I’ve always thought that runners were people who trained and actually come close to placing in the top ten of races. People who wear those cute little shorts and use glide to avoid chafing. Chafing? Pretty sure I’m not going fast enough to chafe anything. Why can’t I be a runner. I run. Don’t I? So that makes me a runner right? I should go for a run and think about this some more.

The Best Thing in Life is that I can, just like that, go for a run.

Earth Day 2015

I don’t usually post twice in one day.  Hell, I don’t usually post twice in one week.  But its Earth day and I have had such an exceptional morning that I feel the need to share.

earth

To start, I had a great night sleep last night.  Sleep is an amazing thing.  It can make or break your day.  My daughter has not been a great sleeper for the past few years.  She feels the need to wake me up at odd hours to tell me that she need to go pee.  Despite assuring her that I don’t actually need to know this she insists on doing it.  I am also fifty years old and for any others out there experiencing this you know that night sweats and restless sleep just go with the territory.  So a good, full nights sleep is a bonus anytime I can get it.

Building on that, I made breakfast and, as it wasn’t raining, I offered to walk my daughter to school.  Every Spring she participates in Kilometer Club at school.  Over a month and a half students track how many kilometers they walk and collect ribbons.  We live 2 kilometers from the school and get to walk this beautiful trail in the process.  It’s cool and sunny and the air smells so good at that time of the day.  It’s also twenty minutes of time that we can chat about whatever is going on in her life.  Or not.

Roche Trail

Once I dropped her off I headed home to quickly change and get to Bootcamp.  My friend has started up classes in our area that utilize the local trails and nature to kick our winter butts into shape.  She is so good at motivating us and making it fun at the same time.  About half way through she mentioned that at her early morning class (6:30am  is way too early for me) they had seen two owls in the trees.  Sure enough, they were still there.  They were chasing this poor chipmunk up and down the trees trying to get a snack.  It was so cool to see and it gave us a well needed break from carrying rocks up a steep hill.

owl

Once we were completely exhausted and our legs couldn’t make another step I followed her back to her place to pick up my lunch.  Another friend of mine, who is a holistic nutritionist.has started marketing her salads in a jar.  Every Friday she emails out a menu of salads.  You can order and pay online and then pick them up after bootcamp.  This week I chose….

Basil’iciousKale Salad:
Ingredients:*Kale,*Carrot,*Soaked Brown Rice
Dressing:*ACV, *EVO, *Fresh Basil & *Parsley, *Garlic, Sea Salt & *Pepper

Serving Suggestions: Makes a great side to any protein main or just mixed it all together with some left over Wild Salmon or Freerange Chicken.

kale salad

So here I am sitting at my computer enjoying a clear blue sky, tired legs and a full tummy.  So many of the Best Things in Life and its only 1:00.

backyard