Active Lifestyle

Cycling in the Rain Brings Out the Inner Child

Groggy at 5:30 AM one recent morning, I didn’t bother to peer out the window to survey the weather conditions as I usually do.  Jumping on my bike, I headed out into the dark accustomed to cycling in the rain. Something was different.

Instead of the gentle on again-off again showers we’d been having, today’s dose of Pacific Northwest drizzle descended as stinging rain driving itself right into my face.

Back on Course

I recently took a six week hiatus from Crossfit.  September and October were spent ruminating over how I would like to see myself in 2014.  After participating in the CrossFit program for seven months now I was feeling discouraged that I still wasn’t able to lift the same amount of weight as the girls who were half my age. I keep forgetting about “my age” until I get a sudden reminder that the body I’ve been carrying around for 61 years has  put up with abuse and general wear and tear well before these ladies were even born!  As one of my coaches said, my hormone situation has changed and it’s to be expected that it  will take me longer to build up  strength. Dang, I keep forgetting about that little detail.  Being realistic helps a lot to get back on course.

Those Difficult Squats Again

Those difficult squats are still a challenge for me. It has been eight months since I started at CrossFit but I’m starting to notice some improvement in flexibility, stamina and strength but depending on any given day, some days I feel on top of my game and other days I feel very frustrated with myself.

The Perfect Squat.

The Perfect Squat.

While doing my warm up exercises this morning, I had to do 3 sets of 10 squats:  my absolute least favourite exercise. I’ve asked more than one coach at our CrossFit centre what it is I have to do to improve. Bottom line: PRACTICE.

The “Huli” Brings Out the Best in You

Last week after completing our hour long dragon boat training on Cultus Lake, several of us took the opportunity to practice a “huli” recovery.

In order to be allowed to paddle on the canoes with outriggers called the OC1 (1 man) and OC6 (2 man) this winter, we had to pass the “huli” (capsize) drill”.

Teamwork is needed to right the larger canoe so by preparing for a capsizing we learn what to do to avoid hitting the panic button.

Drying Out at Home after Huli

Drying Out at Home after Huli

What Makes a Great Teacher?

One of my most memorable teachers in high school was my grade ten algebra teacher, Mr. Buckley. Tall, lanky and very English, on the first day of school Mr. Buckley instilled immediate fear in us by merely furrowing his Frida Kahlo eyebrows.

Those Eyebrows Got Our Attention

Those Eyebrows Got Our Attention

So how did this seemingly intimidating individual endear himself to his math students  year in and  year out?

A Good Mentor is Authoritative and Not Authoritarian

Mr. Buckley certainly had his challenge cut out for him. Most of us were jaded survivors of the “New Math” taught in elementary school so we were firmly entrenched in our comfort zone of complacency towards any additional math instruction.

Co-creating Oomf on My Thwart

Yesterday we practiced our power starts for the upcoming dragonboat regatta on May 25 at False Creek, B.C., Canada. Power starts are used at the outset of a race to pick up boat speed quickly. The boat is given that extra “oomf ” where often you see the nose of the boat rise out of the water like a dragon!  Ideally all the paddlers need to be in unison when entering and exiting the paddle as well as moving their bodies forward on the enter and back to an almost upright position on the exit.
Dragonboat Paddling is a State of Mind

Dragonboat Paddling is a State of Mind

Just Be Coach-able

For those who don’t know, each WOD (Work Out Daily) has got a name. Today, I did one called F.G.B. (Fight Gone Bad). The idea behind the name came from a fighter called B.J.Penn who gave it this name after he completed the circuit of exercises and found himself flat on his back panting.

“I am finding my base and building around it.” Viviann

When I look at this video of these people half my age pushing themselves I learn a lot. I’m not a casual observer since I have tried to do this myself so I have an idea of what it takes to complete the circuit.

Reebok CrossFit and My “Blue” Leather Shoes

Three months’ ago I pulled out my tired Reebok aerobic shoes I’d worn in the 1980s when I was a Jane Fonda “workout-a-holic” in a women’s club in Salem, Massachusetts. At the time these no-nonsense, leather shoes, topped off with knit leggings that Fonda brought into the gym, turned the beefed up ballet look into a national trend.

My Jane  Fonda Era Aerobic Shoes

My Jane
Fonda Era Aerobic Shoes

Cultus Lake and the Sisterhood of Water Warriors

I first arrived in Chilliwack, B.C., Canada in September of 2011. I wanted to be closer to Harrison Hot Springs where I could go for the soothing sulphur infused water to treat my healing broken ankle. Having been away from Canada for 40 years, I’d been out of touch with the rich, Native history that continues to pervade this land; this land that still belongs to the Stó:lo community and their spiritual heritage.

Cultus Lake is Bottomless

Cultus Lake is Bottomless

Journal Writing CrossFit WODs

My wonderful coaches at CrossFit Chilliwack have reminded and encouraged me for the last two months, to keep a WOD Journal (Work Out Daily). This means noting how many reps I’ve done of assigned exercises in a short block of time. These intense, time efficient WODS, are highly effective in building strength and endurance, especially in the core area of our body. We tighten up the abdominal muscles,  tuck in the tush, and repeat the workout until the lungs feel like busting.

If you haven’t noticed already, we do an awful lot of sitting in our twenty-first century lifestyles! Core exercises help to train the muscles in our lower back, hips, pelvis and abdomen to work in synchronized harmony.  When strengthened, we enjoy improved balance and stability. As kids and young adults we took this for granted but as we age and those ever changing hormones come and go one more time, we see and feel the changes in how easily or not we accomplish our daily routines. Instead of making beautiful music, our bodies go out of tune and become discordant.