Thursday, 20 February 2014

How Long Would the Movies Have Been If Frodo and Sam Were Out Of Shape?

I don't have a car. I live a 20 minute walk from downtown and my work and easy access to major bus routes mere metres from my front door. The lack of a car has never been a huge issue. However, it means that getting from the bus stop to my gym means a 10 minute walk up a fairly steep hill.

It looks just like Mt. Doom in the background there complete with lava.

The first time Katie and I arrived at the bottom of the hill, I almost turned around right then and there. I highly doubted that kickboxing would be worth climbing that hill every time we came. While I quickly learned that kickboxing was worth it, it didn't stop either of us from saying a word that rhymes with puck every time we reached the foot of it. When we were really lucky, a fellow gym-goer would pass in her car and offer us a lift before we reached the hill. I'm not going to lie, I love those nights!

Between the illness and car rides, I had managed to avoid the hill for a good two months.  I had almost forgotten just how much I hated it. Then on Tuesday night, I had to face the hill. I was meeting Katie at class which meant I could catch the early bus after work. It also meant there was zero chance a fellow gym-goer would be driving by at that time.

Actually, you kind of do, Boromir.

I cringed when I saw the hill. It is the Newman to my Seinfeld, the cylon to my Adama, the cilantro to my any-food-people-mistakenly-think-tastes-better-with-cilantro, and I hate it with a passion.  I cursed Katie and I started my long trudge up the damn thing.

And it was easy.

I was still huffing when I reached the top but I didn't have to stop to catch my breath.  In fact, I was moving at almost the same speed I had on the flat parts of the road. I was proud of myself and I texted Katie to tell her I had made the hill my witch... or something like that.

It can be hard to remember to celebrate the little victories on the road to fitness when you have a long way to go. You lost 5lbs? Great. Now go lose that other extra 85 you're packing around with you. It takes moments like this to remind me that I am making progress.

That was the night I realised my rib cage below my chest is smaller than when I started. That was the night that I upped my weights. That was the night I noticed my upper arms don't jiggle as much when I shake them. That was the night I did a combined total of 15 minutes worth of burpees (before switching to skipping for the last five rounds because burpees just suck). That was the night my trainer stopped giving me an alternative to chin ups and just made me do them.

That was the night I conquered my Mt. Doom.

I am becoming a healthier, fitter me and this hill is proof of it.

No Question today. I just want to bask in my own awesomeness for a little while longer.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

And Already February is Better than January...

I know all none of you are anxiously awaiting to find out how my very first macaron making session went. Well, I'm admitting that it occurred so that's a good sign. The taste was right, the look was good, but the texture was off. Still, they photographed nicely.

I knew what I did wrong as I did it so while I didn't share these with anyone, I will definitely give it another go. I learned an important lesson that everyone should know about making macarons, and I really can't stress this enough, make sure you have a Frenchman on speed dial. Honestly. It will make your macaron-making life so much easier.

Also, for someone who hates the French as much as I do (it's a soccer thing), I am racking up a fair number of French friends.

I did something else exciting last weekend, I booked plane tickets!

At the Giant's Causeway in 2011
I was very, very lucky growing up. My dad is an Irish immigrant so every couple of years we'd go there for the summer to visit the family. Sadly, I can't go for an entire summer like we used to, but I'll be back for a couple of weeks. Besides, at this age a couple of weeks is probably all my liver can take!

After my January of illness and crap workouts, February has been going much better. Lunchtime runs are back on and my attendance at the gym has been as regular as a Metamucil user. You're welcome for that lovely mental image, by the way.

Question: How about you? Any travel plans for 2014?

Friday, 14 February 2014

End of the Week Already?

Happy Valentine's Day!

I neither like nor hate Valentine's Day but I do like an excuse to post this:

I discovered Katie Cook's drawings about a year and a half ago and I love her. Not only does she have the cutest Star Wars series, her Gronk comic is simply lovely.

Proper post coming tomorrow but I just wanted to ensure I got the Katie Cook up today!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Well, That Sucked

I spent most of January either sick or recuperating from being sick. While I avoided the really nasty bugs going around the office (read = I was able to be in locations where a toilet was not handy), it really sucked thinking I was better only to find myself curled up in my bed the next morning wondering why I hadn't died in the night.

Linden and Tosio, however, rejoiced in all the extra time they got to spend snuggling with the mom-food-lady. After a four days of illness (including a weekend), they looked down right pissed when I got up at 6:30am to shower and get dressed for work.

How could I not cuddle with this?

The downside to this was that I'm only 1 month into the new year and I've already missed my goal of 11 visits to the gym each month. Seriously?!? REALLY?!?! I picked 11 because I figured that even the months when I have Alumni Band practice once a week I could still make it to the gym 11 times. Mind, given how many days I felt like death, I still made it there 9 times and I always gave it my all when I did. Not too shabby.

During one of the visits, I even ran on the treadmill for 4 minutes straight. I know that might not sound like a long time to many of you but for me, I was fucking unstoppable. Or I was until I stepped off the treadmill and did my best imitation of this guy while trying to grab my water bottle.

My legs did the exact same jello movement.

While I'm not totally ready to proclaim myself cured (I've learned that lesson!), I haven't been feeling as bad for as long so that's something.

On the upside, I'm making macarons for the first time this weekend. I won a gift basket from Bon Macaron at Christmas which included a book of macaron recipes; I figure it's time I tried my hand at making them myself. If it goes well, look for a post about it on here in the future. If it goes badly, I'll delete this paragraph and deny I ever wrote it.

Question: Make me feel better. What's something that went right for you in January?