Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Chrissy

Since I decided to quit the “gym” and have an Alcohol-Free-February and I’ve never felt better! Everyday has been a challenge but I’ve learned extreme discipline, enjoying exploring new fitness workouts and literally doing something different everyday.

Not drinking a drop of alcohol has been the biggest struggle… but I’ve stuck to my goal, practiced self-restraint and learned to say no. The first few weekends were hard going out to bars where normally I’d be downing beer after glorious beer… but it’s gotten easier to say no and not feel like I need to drink in order to be social. I even went out last weekend and had an amazing time at a pub with friends alcohol free!

The best part about all of that? The next morning I get up refreshed, bank account still liking me and I have zero guilt about what I did to my body the night before! I’m actually struggling to decide if I want to keep this healthy living going or go back to drinks only in moderation. If anything, I definitely learned a lot about myself and how to use exercise and other positive actions to get rid of stress.

One of the best workouts this week was definitely my Kettlebell workout at Vancouver Kettlebell. I convinced a few of my adventurous friends to join me and Darren showed them the ropes of kettlebell.. and they kicked butt! While they were getting an introduction into the moves and proper form, a fellow kettlebell go-er and I suffered through the “Chrissy.” The Chrissy is an intense workout with just two exercises: the kettlebell swing and burpees.

It looks like this:

30 Burpees
20 Kettle Bell swings

25 Burpees
25 Kettle Bell swings

20 Burpees
30 Kettle Bell swings

15 Burpees
35 Kettle Bell swings

10 Burpees
40 Kettle Bell swings

5 Burpees
45 Kettle Bell swings

Advanced = burpee exercises are done with a high knee jump
Beginners = burpee exercises can be done without the jump

I struggled through the burpee with the high knee jump… which by the last few rounds looked like a pathetic hop instead of a real high knee jump (I’m using Insanity workouts to get some power back into my jumps!).. but cleared the workout in pretty good time (which I didn’t record.. fail!). Once that was over the group was just about to do their first workout so I joined in on that and then we flipped some tires..

and used the ropes!

(Thanks for the pictures Alex!)

This past week was filled with a huge variety of activity once again. I’ve gone running three days this week! I’m aiming to run 3-4 days a week for the next few weeks and seeing how my training goes from there. I’m favourite place to run is on trails so this weekend when my friend suggested we go running through an old growth forest in Vancouver. We intended on running for 30 minutes, we ended up going for an hour! It felt so good and I definitely think I’m starting to love running again… bring it on half marathon!

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The Standing Climb

I’ve been trying a lot of new fitness workouts lately so when my friend Justine (<- amazing massage therapist, check her out!) suggested we try out a cool spin studio she wanted to try – I was definitely up for it! I’ve heard so much about how great of a workout spinning is, but I had never been to a spin class so I didn’t really know what to expect going into it other than the fact that it was going to kick my butt.

Verdict? I loved it, it was a great workout!

First of all the studio is called Cadence Cycling Studio and it’s located on West 6th and Granville St. Mondays are actually my days off, but instead of sleeping in, I got up at 6:15am to get to the 7:15 class because, well I never say no to a morning workout! The best part was, the first class is complimentary, so how could you not give it a try?

When we got there, the girl at the front desk was super nice, and made us feel very welcome even though we were outsiders and have never been to a class before. (I’m sorry to say this but I’ve found people to be very clicky in Vancouver and are not overly friendly/inviting to new people… and I try a lot of different fitness places!) She explained everything to us from where things were in the studio, how the class was going to run, what the shoes were for and how they should fit.. and then even came over and set up our bikes for us before the instructor even arrived!

Class A customer service and very fitness-encouraging! This is the type of positive and encouraging environment every health and fitness business should deliver. It made me as ease almost immediately.

Once the class started I was smart to pace myself because it got really tough, really fast and I sweat my butt off. My favourite part about spinning is that you are working out as part of a big group, but you get to set your own intention for the class. You get to turn up and down your own resistance and you choose how hard you want to push yourself. It’s an amazing cardio and endurance workout and it was such a great way to start my week :) My favourite part was when we were alternating from the seated and standing climb positions and you really got to test yourself! I loved the standing climb because I could feel how powerful my legs were and how strong I felt. Before I knew it she was telling us we only had 15 minutes left… the 45 minutes seriously FLEW by.

First spin class = success, I can’t wait to go back!

The rest of my day was spent relaxing and prepping for the YWCA program, Welcome to my Life, I volunteer with. Remember last October when I mentioned I was going to start volunteering… well I liked it so much the first time I decided to keep volunteering. It helps grade 7 girls talk about their fears of making the transition to high school and covers topics like trust, honesty, choices, self-confidence, community service and many more. Think back to when you were 12 or 13 and how confusing and scary life was… tough huh? The fact that I can help teach and guide these girls about how to deal with drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, relationships and finding themselves is tremendously rewarding.

To be it’s a no brainer, I enjoy it and personally take a lot away from the time I spend with them. Going through that age now in our society must be terrifying. If I can offer any insight or guidance to any one of them in one way or another, I will feel as though my time has been used to it’s fullest advantage.

The best part? They are all so outgoing and fun! It makes the program so much better when the girls are comfortable to express their ideas and trust their friends and us enough to be themselves.

Do you volunteer your time? What do you do and what do you take away from it?

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