Tag Archives: Vancouver

Getting back to the basics  

This year has been challenging for me in several ways: huge career changes, personal relationship rollercoaster and a massive stall in my fitness progression.

Although navigating the first two has been challenging, it’s the fitness component of my life that normally helps me manage and be successful in all areas of my life – and I’ve been pretty silent about it as of late. Back at the beginning of February I took these photos showing the progression I was making over the past few months while working with a trainer and nailing my eating plan:

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February 2015

Just days after I took those shots, I injured my back quite badly. I went from working out daily and feeling incredibly strong.. to constant excruciating lower back pain.

After visits to several doctors and medical professionals, I had X-Rays and an MRI done to find out exactly what was going on. The MRI scan showed I had damaged both disks between L4 & L5 to the point that disk material was protruding.

If you don’t know much about this type of injury, there is no ‘healing’ from it per se. The disk material is rubbing up against the nerves running up and down my spine, causing shooting pain down my leg and lower back. The pain comes and goes in waves. Sometimes, if I move enough in the morning and throughout the day and don’t stack my spine the pain is bearable.. If I don’t move much and I’m under a lot of stress, it’s beyond manageable.

This part of your body isn’t able to regenerate, thus leaving you with either rehab or surgery. Surgery isn’t an option for me because the injury is not that bad and frankly I’m too young to have my entire back compromised by opening it up to make repairs to the disks.

Up until now, I’ve been taking it easy by waking or doing light cardio and a lot of upper back, shoulders and arms – nothing heavy loaded unless I’m seated and there’s no pressure on my lower back.

What now?

As a trainer at Element Athletic, I’m fortunate to be able to still instruct and lead sessions (thank god, otherwise this injury would be even more difficult for me to manage). Being in the gym and watching other people progress gives me joy and boosts my mood. I’m so proud of the progress the members are making and grateful to bare witness to it everyday.

With this new change, I need my fitness levels back up now, more than ever. So as I struggled to determine how I was possibly going to afford to do rehab, Element Athletic’s newest trainer, Steve Ballard: the Booty Engineer, came to me offering to help repair me through training instead of physio. It couldn’t have been at a better time – talk about manifesting!

Steve is a certified power lifting coach who, before I was injured, was really looking forward to working with. Now, months later (and me still being injured), Steve has offered to take me on.

The training

Thus far, we’ve had two sessions and I haven’t been this pain-free in months. I’ll explain more about what we’re doing along the way, but essentially we are working on re-training my movement patterns in order to re-teach my body to fire with my abs, core and glutes before my back.

More to come!

 

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Gettin’ uncomfortable left, right and centre

Even though I haven’t been blogging a lot, I’ve been getting pretty uncomfortable these past two months and I thought it was due time to share a few uncomfortable situations.

Uncomfortable situation #1: The big move

Faith and I like to plan and are pretty organized – but there are times when we choose to let some decisions happen spontaneously… and moving around Vancouver just so happens to be one of those decisions. In typical fashion, we decided with 13 days left in the month of February to move to a new apartment March 1.

Decision = best ever.

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Our new place is in a heritage building right downtown Vancouver, within a few minutes walk from both of our work places and two blocks from the harbour/seawall. It has hardwood floors, high ceilings, exposed brick wall and huge picture windows: in other words, gorgeous.

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My living space is very important to me and this has hands down been one of the best moves we’ve ever made :)

Uncomfortable situation #2: A new man

Without going through the extensive details… I’ve finally found myself a good-hearted man with many similar interests in the city of Vancouver! It’s very new, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been a situation where I’m sharing my life with someone… and I like it, a lot. When someone can make you laugh more in a month than you have in the past year.. you know you have a good thing going! :)

Uncomfortable situation #3: My first kettlebell competition

A few weeks ago I competed in the Vancouver Open Kettlebell Competition. I signed up after being encouraged by one of my fellow Element Athletic-ers who asked if I’d enter with her, and because I love a good challenge, I of course said yes.

After agreeing, I had to choose my element. Since my snatch isn’t perfect (I can snatch a good amount of weight, but I still don’t jump properly and tear my hands up) – I decided to do the long cycle. For females, you only need to do one side at once (males need to do double hehe) – so I said, hey why not?

Long cycle consists of a clean and jerk, locking out at the top, for each rep. The craziest part? I’ve never trained the jerk. Ever. until three weeks before the competition.. so the fact that I got the technique down and powered through the five minute set was actually crazy.

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So how’d I do? I placed FIRST in my element and weight class! According to the club’s ranking tables, I got to second rank – not bad for my first competition!

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It was a great day filled with some amazing people. I can’t wait until the next competition!

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Uncomfortable situation #4: Bungee jumping

Shawn came up to Vancouver for a week and his only stipulation was that we needed to go bungee jumping. Instead of being nervous and freaking out.. I decided not to think about it. Mentally blocking out what was about to happen worked right until actually getting to the bungee spot in Whistler. Shockingly.. not thinking about it up until that point helped! I wasn’t scared.. but I wasn’t overly excited either haha.

Let’s DO THIS!

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For some reason, they suited me up first so without question I continued to not think about it and got ready to launch myself off a bridge.

See, I was happy:

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Once I got to the edge, they truly know how to keep your mind from freaking out because they talk to you the entire time. Before you know it, you are on the edge and they are counting down… five… four… three…. two…one…. JUMP!

So what else could I do, but jump? That’s me wayyyyyyyy down there at the bottom!

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We all did it! Post jump, surging adrenaline, group photo:

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After all of these crazy things in the past few months, I also turned twenty-six this past week… that means I’m OVER a quarter century now!
I’m no longer in my “early twenties.”

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My birthday was spent with the people and in the places I love – and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

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Needless to say, the experiences (albeit many terrifying as hell) have been incredible. I feel like a different person and more prepared than ever to tackle the next items on the list.

The morning after my birthday, the new man in my life was walking me to work (I know, cute, right?) and he looked at me and said “you know, you have some pretty amazing people in your life right? You are one very fortunate girl.”

This I know well and having someone new in my life recognize that, made me smile.

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