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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Getting Settled Part 1
Friday, March 30 - continued

Dan and I made the drive from the ferry terminal to Dan's hometown of Courtenay.  We took the new Island highway until we were about 20 minutes away and then Dan wanted to go down the Old Island Highway to enter Courtenay through the town.  I remember the first time that I came here; I had heard so much about the small town of Courtenay prior to arriving that I was sure that I knew exactly what it looked like before I got there.  I was surprised to get there and find it a much bigger place than I had been picturing - Dan had been describing the Courtenay of his childhood rather than the town that it had grown into today.  This time there were no such surprises as parts of the town had become familiar.  I was happy for Dan as we drove through the town; nothing beats the comfort of coming home.  We headed up to his dad's place where I know Dan always loves being - you instantly feel transported to the "outdoors" when you get there.  We had already been talking about having a fire there; having lived in the city for the last 5 years there haven't been many opportunities for outdoor fires and there's nothing quite like it.  We ended up going back into town to get some sausages and buns to cook on the fire - gourmet campfire dinner, yum.

Saturday, March 31

This was the big day.  Time to head to our future home, time to finally see the apartment that we picked over the internet.  There was an excited energy in the car as we were looking forward to this realisation of what this whole trip had been about.  Despite all that anticipation thee drive actually went relatively quickly, so quickly in fact that we actually arrived an hour before the walk-through of the condo.  So, we did what anyone who knows about Red Fish Blue Fish would do and went for lunch.  For those who haven't had the pleasure of experience RFBF, it's a seafood (obviously) restaurant run out of a shipping container conveniently located right on the dock.  For my foodie friends, you would have seen it on Top Chef Canada since one of the chef's was on this season.  The food is phenomenal, nothing too fancy just fresh, amazing seafood either wrapped in a tacone or deep-fried into the ever amazing fish and chips.  We ordered far too much than we could ever possibly consume in one sitting but it just had to be done, we were at RFBF! 

We walked, completely stuffed and with frozen hands, back to the car to head up to our apartment.  It was pouring rain, just as it should be I suppose.  I received warning after warning about all the rain and I am sure I haven't even come close to seeing the worst of it but I will take rain for my moisture-deprived skin over the winter dessert any day (at least for the time being).  We arrived at the building which looked just like the images on Google Earth that I looked at about fifty times before we ever got here.  We did the walk through of our apartment which was almost annoyingly thorough - I just wanted to explore it all on my own without having someone walk ahead of me pointing out every little flaw.  Turns out the owner of our condo seems to think himself a bit handier than he actually is as a few things have holes cut out of them for power sources that aren't actually there and other things are super glued into place... like the wall... who super glues things to the wall?  All the little flaws aside, the place was just as it was pictured and even better since the pictures fail to show the walk-in master closest and the half bath with in suite laundry. Once the agent from the property management company left we re-explored the place on our own.  We ran out to the car in the rain and started bringing in the few belongings that we had deemed essential to last us the 5 days until our belongings finally arrived.  This included: a television, the cable box, the PS3, one suitcase of clothes, 2 plates, 2 bowls, 1 pot, 1 pan, a knife, cutlery, and about 7 bottles of wine...  The wine was not actually deemed that essential but they were given to us as parting gifts so they just wound up in the car, I like the sounds of requiring 7 bottles of wine to travel though. 

Once the rain had finally stopped we decided to explore the area around our building.  It took just a 30 second walk to get to the water, the ocean.  Amazing.  I have never lived near the water, but I like the way that it feels.  We manoeuvred down some rocks and I bent over and put my fingers into the ocean.  Are you sick of me saying the ocean?  I'm not.  We walked along a path by the ocean that went into a park.  It was pretty muddy so we couldn't really wander off into the trees a bit more but I would like to one day when it's not raining.  We passed by some hooligans (which seems to run rampant in our neighbourhood) sitting on a bench and they sang something at us as we went by.  A few feet up there was a fresh bag from the liquor store, I determined that by using my detective abilities, so I am assuming that they were drunk.  We also passed by two people with their dogs - we noted throughout our time in Vancouver and since our arrival in Victoria that everyone out here as a dog.  Luckily it seems that my allergies are not as intensified when there is actually moisture in the air instead of just dander.  There was nothing much else adventurous that occurred that day, we hung out inside of our empty condo - camping in a condo as I liked to call it, we slept on the air mattress that I had insisted on bringing and Dan said he wouldn't be able to sleep on. 

Sunday, April 1

We woke up on the semi-deflated air mattress in the middle of our new living room with the sun shining in because the curtains that came in the living room were so sheer that they were almost non-existent.  You could watch people walking through the parking lot which was a bit alarming especially since we are on the ground floor.  So day 2 in our new place began with going to find new curtains to give us a better sense of privacy.  I don't know if you have ever gone shopping for blinds for a patio door but it's a pretty aggravating process.  Perhaps it was just aggravating because we didn't actually measure the size of the patio doors.  We went first to Zellers, where we pulled a few curtains out of their packaging to try and get an idea for how big they were... sure they all have the measurements on them but I am self-proclaimed as the worst at spatial reasoning.  Dan is constantly making fun of me for my inability to understand sizes and distances; he'll ask me how big an inch is and I'll hold my fingers about 5 inches apart...  Not my strong suit.  I wasn't a fan of anything at Zellers, but I did learn why I pick everything for the house because Dan would have settled on the first set that he thought would have fit the space regardless of colour or design.  So we headed over to Winner's instead.  Of all the Winner's I have ever been in, in the middle of cities this one out in this kind of rural area was the busiest one I had ever been in.  I can't even remember if there was a single curtain in the place, I just remembered being amazed at how busy it was.  Home Outfitters was next and proved to have the best selection of curtains, we found a set that we (I) liked and headed home only to discover that the curtains were too small.  We crammed them back into the package and headed back to resume our search.  Finally, we found a pair that were actually very close in colour to the first and much larger - too large in fact, as the bunch up onto the floor because apparently if you have a window that wide it must be significantly taller... does no one else put curtains on their patio doors?  Baffled, we settled for it, at least they could be hemmed eventually.  That big task out of the way for the day, we were trying to figure out what to do for dinner.

We went to a sushi place downtown called Ebizo - it came highly recommended from my Victoria insider Allie.  It lived up to all the expectations from the recommendation and the reviews that we read on the internet.  The place was so busy on Sunday that when we initially got there we were told that there were no tables, however we convinced the waiter we could be in and out of there in a very short amount of time - we are not slow diners.  I have really been looking forward to some West coast sushi and I was quite delighted with my first taste of it.  Shockingly, I really loved the spicy salmon rolls.  Despite my best efforts I have really struggled to enjoy salmon, but it turns out that in the raw is what makes salmon work for me. 

We had a prank-free April 1st.  Instead we got a little more accustomed to our surroundings and I was anxiously awaiting the opportunity to go out and apply for jobs the next day - I hadn't worked in over a week which is an anomaly for me and I was going a little stir crazy in my mind.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

I'm on a Boat

Monday, March 26th
On the Road
Once all the tears had been wiped away, that quiet excitement of a road trip began to settle in.  The route was familiar; we have taken it many times with varying ultimate destinations in mind.  Most commonly we headed this way to get to Banff; a place whose meaning has changed over the years from a gateway to snowboarding trips to a place that felt a little like home thanks to brother I had there to just an escape away from the everyday grind of Calgary.  I recognize markers all along the road like odd shaped clusters of trees and peculiar rock formations scatter in the horizon but despite all that familiarity it felt different this time, it felt final.  I watched the scenery passing by the window and did my best to memorize the drive so that I can recall it at will in the future. 
As we drove through Canmore we saw an animal running in between the highways – there’s still some debate between Dan and I about what it was.  I instantly claimed it to be a wolf but Dan was a bit reluctant to believe it; he argued, instead, that it may have been a coyote.  It was for sure a wolf.  He had a wolf’s face!  Dan argued with me a bit, pointing out that wolves travel in packs – my response was “the lone wolf”, it’s not an expression because it never happens...  As we made our way towards Lake Louise I kept my eyes peeled searching for more elusive animals.  I’ve always wanted to see a bear but in all the time that I have spent up in the Rockies I have never been afforded such an opportunity, mind you that can certainly also be considered a good thing.  But to see one from the safety of my car would be a real joy.  This, of course, did not happen.  Before we knew it we were encroaching on the BC border and the town of Field which has always been a special place for Dan and I.  The first trip we ever took together was to Emerald Lake Lodge; a majestic cluster of cabins nestled onto the shore of the lake and wrapped up in mountains that provide you with the most incredible sense of peacefulness.  I remember when I told Dan that we would be staying there and as we looked it up he discovered that there are no televisions there... NO TVs...  Dan was not impressed, “What will we do there?”.  The truth is you don’t do much, but you certainly don’t miss having a TV; instead you watch the fire, play board games that you haven’t even considered playing since you were 12.  We ended up staying there quite a lot, always taking a trip into Field – it’s a picturesque mountain town that Dan would sometimes dream up ideas of living in.  His favourite image came from there: the local hockey rink with sticks stuck in the snow at either end.  Yes, there were many fond memories of Emerald Lake Lodge and Field BC (these memories brought to you by CRMR) and we swiftly moved past it and Dan pointed out that this is when our adventure really begins.
We had now passed by all the familiar, all the comfortable memories.  The roads to follow were ones that we had only travelled together once before.  The succession of towns not quite as certain but as we went along we remembered the small towns splayed along the side of the road.  We stopped in Revelstoke, nearly the halfway point from Calgary to Vancouver, we were 5 hours in and not the least bit tired.  I think the excitement and anticipation of reaching our eventual destination prevented us from feeling the exhaustion that had been building over the last week.  Dan had a friend there to visit briefly and then we headed off to town to get something to eat before making our way back on to the road.  We decided that we were just going to push on straight to Vancouver.  We hadn’t made any concrete plans about where we should end up on this first day of our journey and that indecisiveness seemed to only aid in pressing us forward to our next known destination.  The boredom of driving for so long began to set in as we approached the town of Sicamous; I know this because we began to think up slogans for the towns as we passed through them and we found it so hilarious that we were both in tears.  Here are a couple of our favourites “Sicamous, we’re next to a way better town”, “Shushwaps, teenagers will throw up on your boat”, and “Sicamous, you can stay here when you’re dragging your daughter back home”.  I can tell as I write them that they’re nowhere near as funny as we thought they were at the time... but damn were they ever funny then. 
We arrived in Vancouver at about 9:30 that evening, we had been on the road for over 11 hours but thanks to the time change we had gained back that hour you lose when you “spring forward” each year.  Reaching the city brought on a collective sigh of relief between us.  As we navigated through Vancouver’s surprisingly quiet streets we became excited once again with the brief realisation that things are actually happening, we are actually doing this.  We stopped, of course, for some beer before heading to our hotel where we promptly collapsed.  We had a couple of drinks before realising that we hadn’t anything except candy and Malteser’s since Revelstoke over 6 hours beforehand.  We started walking down Denman trying to find something good to eat – I was more than happy to have some of the Pizza by the Slice that we saw almost right away, but Dan has something against Pizza by the Slice...  Instead we started walking, peering into the windows of restaurant after restaurant.  Once Asian noodle place had plastic portrayals of each menu item in the window...  Why do people do this?  Why do they think that this is ever a good idea?  No one wants to see the food they are considering eating preserved in an eternal state.  It’s creepy.  We did not eat there.  Instead we found a Greek place that redefined tacky as the ceiling was painted like blue sky filled with white puffy clouds.  The windows boasted green and white awning on the inside, and a small white picket fence ran around the entire space like a 3D wallpaper border.  All that being said, the pizza we had was delicious. 
Tuesday, March 27th
We let ourselves sleep in for the first time in a long, long time.  There was nothing to do, no agenda to be met.  It felt amazing.  We dragged ourselves out of bed and headed down to use the hotel’s hot tub in hopes that it would aid in relieving our muscles that were still sore from moving.  There we met a family from P.E.I.  The father was quick to divulge the fact that he owns a car dealership and recently put in over $100,000 into renovating his home.   He was also quick to show his disbelief and shock that we were moving to a new city without jobs – we decided then that we would no longer share that information with strangers.  By the time we got ready for the day it was time for lunch, and found a place in Gastown called Pickenpah.  It was a Caroline-style little BBQ place tucked into the corner of a building where you would think it was impossible to fit a restaurant and yet there it was.  Dan was quite excited to discover that they had can of Lucky right there on the menu – it was confirmed, we were in BC.  We both had pulled pork sandwiches which were awesome.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone.  Afterwards we walked around the Gastown area for a bit before heading back to the hotel.  We literally did nothing until Dan’s mom came to meet us and then we headed off to dinner.  We went to the Boathouse in English Bay, an easy walking distance from our hotel.  I may be unemployed, but I still scrutinize other restaurants in the way that only a member of the industry actually can.  We were greeted at the door by a hostess and a man who was either a maitre ‘D or a manager who took one look at us and offered the lounge.  Actually, he didn’t really offer it, he presumed it.  Dan and I talked about it afterwards and we’re sure it was because Dan was wearing a hat but that kind of thing really drives me nuts.  I think in the service industry you always have to set your own judgements or biases aside because you really never know the situation with people – a millionaire could walk into your restaurant looking halfway to homeless or a critic could come in looking that perfect amount of disheveled that a lot of writer’s seem to strive for.  I also noticed that the table cloth was put on the table with the seams on the outside – those that have worked with me can attest to my particular annoyance with this when it came to folding napkins.  It was nice; it reminded me that I’ll always have that server mentality no matter where I am or what I am doing.  My meal ended when I was polishing off Dan’s plate (as I often do...) and I got a bone in the halibut – that will end my dinner every time.  I didn’t complain or anything, there wasn’t much left, but I’d take a hair over a bone any day.
We went back to the hotel and watched We Bought a Zoo based on the emphatic reviews it received on Tannis’s pinterest.  I really liked it and cried a little bit (like I needed more crying) and Dan fell asleep.
Wednesday, March 28th
I started the day late once again.  Dan had gotten up earlier and was forced to entertain himself as I was not willing to get out of bed until I was ready.  I got up in time for lunch again which we had at Vera’s Burgers, a chain in Vancouver.  They were pretty damn good burgers, but the onion rings were the real delight so I would recommend saving room for those.  After having lunch we headed up to UBC just to check out the campus: wow.  I feel kind of cheated for not considering going there for university.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Ottawa U has a beautiful campus as well and Calgary’s campus is pretty nice but UBC looked immaculate.  I don’t quite understand what’s going on there because there seems to be a pretty unusual integration of homes within the campus that can’t possibly be for student housing... Unless it’s for super loaded student to buy their housing while they go to school because some places looked really nice.  After driving around for a while we decided to go the Museum of Anthropology which is either right on campus or just across the street (I’m not sure where the barriers are).  We both loved the museum and I have about 100 pictures to prove it.  There was a lot of native art and artifacts which I found really interesting because I didn’t really learn much of anything about Natives growing up in Ontario.  Dan, however, had learned quite a bit when he was in school and I have also been learning a lot more about it through this history of the Canadian West course that I have been doing.  It was really great to see some of the things that I have been reading about right in front of me.  We actually spent about 3 hours walking around the museum.  We left feeling both entertained and informed.  Next we headed back to our hotel to get ready for the hockey game – this was the part that I had been looking forward to the most.  I love going to hockey games, especially hockey games where you’re in the majority with the fans instead of having Calgary Flames fans yell and sometimes even throw things at you.  That being said, Dan was sitting next to a teenaged boy cheering for Colorado and I had the single most annoying woman sitting next to me cheering for Colorado...  and by cheering for Colorado I mean she was constantly yelling dumb crap like “Kick his ass”, “Punch him in the face”, “Ya Avs, Vancouver sucks”.  Delightful.  I have never had to work so hard to suppress the urge to grab another woman by her ponytail and... Well, I’ll just stop there.  The game was a lot of fun; we were closer than we have ever sat before (except one time that we snuck down into someone else’s seats).  It’s amazing how fast and how big those guys are.  At one point LaPierre checked a guy into the boards right in front of us and you could the intensity and anger in his face when he did it... You don’t see that on TV.  After the game Dan went down and got his hat signed by Kassian – I wasn’t there but I can picture his face lit up just like all the kids that were probably also trying to get signatures.  We went to a place called Fritz with a friend of Dan’s and had some fries and poutine before crashing one last time in Van before making our way to the island.
Thursday, March 28th

We woke up this morning and quickly got all our things together and started for the ferry terminal.  We arrived at the ferry terminal at 11:30 and waited about an hour until boarding time.  We finally boarded and I sat at the back of the boat watching the mainland fade away in the distance as I wrote this...  I took a break and headed up to the deck to look out at the island as we were approaching it.  Now, here I am on an island surrounded by ocean.  It seems crazy in my mind, but it looks amazing to my eyes.    

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Moving On

Monday, March 26
My last day in Calgary began when I woke up filled with nervous energy. I was exhausted after a weekend of moving every last one of our belongings and cleaning our apartment. Literally my muscles were aching as if it was the day after running a marathon and I was covered in little cuts and bruises that, thanks to my insanely slow healing process, I will have for months to remind me of all the painstaking work that went into packing up a life that was over 5 years in the making. I milled around my empty apartment at 1am with literally nothing to entertain myself with, I moved from empty room to empty room thinking of how long it had taken to fill them with such good memories. Finally I convinced myself to return to bed and attempt to get so much needed sleep.
Yup, awake again. Now that we had said all our goodbyes and everything had been packed away, I just wanted to leave and apparently so did my body because it was not interesting in the sleep that I so desperately needed! I roamed around the empty apartment again, this time I picked up a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and randomly wipe away at any kind of discoloration on the wall... This is what I don't understand about cleaning an apartment when you move out - they're going to paint the walls, why do I have to clean them? I swear half of the stuff on those lists is intended just to justify not giving you back the full amount of your damage deposit. That thought made me a little angry, so I went back to bed to get a couple more hours until it was time to get up and complete the final touches.
The alarm on Dan's Blackberry is probably the most annoying alarm of all time. This is probably partly because I had finally managed to sleep into a good sleep and also because for the last two years that alarm had incidentally woke me up at ridiculously early times in the morning, especially since most of the time I had only gotten to bed a few hours beforehand. The morning's event had been laid out the evening beforehand, wake up, move the bed, vacuum the bedroom and clean the baseboards, pack the vacuum and cleaning supplies in the POD and then finally bring down the bed and hope that Dan actually does know how to use a measuring tape and the bed is going to fit. It's amazing how two people that generally lead very unstructured lives turn into Type A personalities when faced with certain situations; you would have thought Dan was a former military man with the precision he expected out of the move. Of course, we had forgotten all about the bikes that we had in the bike storage room downstairs - there was no way they were going to fit anywhere. So, we went down and unlocked our bikes, wheeled them out onto the sidewalk and left them there - if you're in need of a bike you may want to check out 14 Ave and 5th St in case they haven't already been scooped up. We then made our final touches on the cleaning of the apartment, jammed our bed into the POD (it fit!) and then it was a mad dash to finish line as Dan returned the "No Parking" signs used for the POD and I went through the walk-through of our apartment all while we became increasingly short-tempered with each other and anyone who dared to cross our exhausted paths. Apartment walk-throughs are kind of a load of crap if you ask me, just as I was getting mad about cleaning the walls, there are a number of completely insane tasks on those lists that were probably never completed when you moved in but you never thought to check. One such thing was the top of the kitchen counters - when has anyone ever done this? I remember doing it at our last apartment and this time I wasn't having any of it. I know it wasn't done when I moved in and it certainly wasn't getting down now. My biggest pet peeve, however, is the oven. I used the oven's self-clean feature, and then I scrubbed the inside of that thing for a good 45 minutes. Seriously, when I was done with that thing my finger tips had completely pruned and yet there was still burnt on particles of some dinner from three years ago. Sure enough, in the walk-through the oven was pointed as being insufficiently cleaned... garbage! I felt like Sylvia Plath I had my head in that oven for so long (that was a little English major joke for Rachel). At this point I didn't care enough to argue, I just wanted to be on our way. So finally the inspection was done and I headed downstairs to wait for Dan. When he came back, we handed over our keys and said goodbye. We sat and had our last breakfast at the Lazy Loaf and Kettle which I am slightly depressed to say was kind of terrible since the eggs were that pale yellow that you know indicates that the poor chicken that laid them was probably stuffed into a cage - look at that I am already talking like a British Columbian! After breakfast we drove until COP where we filled up on gas and Dan checked under the hood for stuff and then we took our last picture in Calgary in front of COP which you can't see in the picture from all the snow... it was the perfect weather to drive away from Calgary in. As we drove I started to cry thinking about all the people that we were leaving behind. As much as you may be ready for something new, a new place to live, new people to meet... I don't know that you can ever be ready to leave everyone behind. For me the hardest people to leave were those that I work with, for the last three years I have been blessed to work with some of the best people that I have ever met. I had made a family at Cilantro, filled with wonderful people who I looked forward to seeing everyday when I went to work. Like any family it wasn't all sunshine and lollipops but those people were worth putting up with each and every one of the disagreements or dissatisfactions that ever happened to arise. I never could have left any other way, I couldn't have left to work at another restaurant, I couldn't have left to pursue some other career; this is the only way I could have ever left - to move on to somewhere else that I had always wanted to be. As I cried, I realised I had my family right there behind me - in a tree that they had made for me to remember them, but I would never forget them with or without a tree. And then Dan did what Dan does best for me and made me laugh and smile as he pointed out that he was going to miss a lot of people but not Ryan M yet... because every time Dan shoulder-checked the whole way from Calgary to Vancouver he was looking at a picture of Ryan. I needed that, I needed all those people wishing us well and knowing that I will have their love and support no matter where I am, just like they'll have mine...

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Oh hey Lulu!

Alright, so I have been working mostly days this week and while this seems to make more free time for me, it means that Dan is actually around during my free time...  This is awesome, but I have a hard time tearing myself away to go and do some workouts.  The reality of us having worked opposite schedules for so long is that when we do have time, I am still used to treasuring it like it won't happen for another week or so.  So I need to really give myself a kick in the ass next week and delay all our post-work hang time to get my workouts in.  I did, however, go to yoga last Saturday again and I will be going again this Saturday.  The benefit to going to yoga at a studio for me is that I pay for it beforehand, so if I don't go I'm just throwing away my own money - as someone of Scottish heritage, this is a pretty good motivator in and of itself (if you haven't met any Scottish people lately, they typically lean toward the "frugal" side of things).  I also made my first ever personal trip into the overly popular Lululemon.  I have been in before, but never to get anything for myself.  After my first yoga class, I felt a bit out of place with my intense bright coloured running gear, so I thought I would enjoy getting something a little more casual to get me into the yoga "mood".  All that being said, I will make one thing perfectly clear... If anyone ever sees me sporting Lululemon pants out on the town, or out shopping, or even at the grocery store in those pants, I give you full permission to harass me to the extent that you know I would put upon you in the same position.  That being said, I did enjoy my lulu experience - those people really, really care about yoga.  All the sales girls were asking me about where I was taking classes and they all seemed genuinely interested...  plus, they were all very helpful.  Basically it was the polar opposite of the shopping experiences that I usually have when I go to get my other sports gear, particularly at the snowboard and skate shop.  I end up in these stores quite a bit between shopping for snowboard gear and buying clothes for myself and Dan so that we can both continue to deny that we are adults and continue dressing the same way that we did in high school.  Generally your experience goes as follows: you walk into a store that feels more like someone's parent's basement because there are three teenagers sitting on a couch watching a skateboarding or snowboarding video and when you between them and the screen to check out the shoes you feel like you're getting in the way.  From there, you usually end up holding something you want to buy but you need help with a size or you have a question and you hold it out in front of you for like ten minutes putting on your Oscar-winning performance of a confused face.  However, when no one acknowledges you after ten minutes, you'll put it down and walk around looking at other things and finally go back to your original item - rinse and repeat.  Eventually, you take it to the till - please note, this is always where you will find the most useful person in these kinds of stores.  While everyone else is sitting watching that movie or gossipping in the back, this is where you will find the one kid who is actually making an effort to work.  While this has happened to me quite a bit, there are of course always exceptions and when they occur they are really awesome but from my limited experience at lulu this is not the case.  I was actually helped by three different people, a different person for each different product I was looking at and they were all really well-informed.  So I finally have succumbed to the pressure to be "yoga-cool" (yes, I completely just made that up) I now have my very own yoga mat, yoga pants, and a shirt.  You won't be seeing any of them unless you see me in yoga class!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Just a Quickie

This is exactly the kind of quickie I was not referring to -
as for the guy climbing out the window post coital... weird
and impressive.
Now, before you get ahead of yourself, the title simply refers to the briefness that this blog entry will actually take on.  I actually did a workout yesterday but I didn't have time prior to work to blog about it - I didn't leave my workout any longer than I normally would prior to work but thanks to my super cute new haircut, I actually have to do something with my hair before going to work.  Granted, doing something takes significantly less time than it did when my hair was half way down my back, but it still takes more time than throwing it in a bun and running out then door as I do it.  So that's why I was unable to get to this yesterday and as for today I am in between shifts and I'm trying to get a whole bunch of things done that I won't bother boring you with.  I stuck with the slow and steady workout yesterday, setting the machine to its highest possible resistance, thus far I am still finding it too hard to push for more time but I am sure that I'll get there soon enough!  Oh yes, no workouts Sunday or Monday due to my staff party... you know how it is.

Day 4
50 sit-ups

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Downward Dog

So instead of my usual workout, today I tried yoga for the very first time.  I have always been a bit resistant to yoga as a form of exercise because I am more accustomed to cardio.  But I went into it with an open mind and I was suprised by how much I actually enjoyed it.  I could really see how yoga can aid people in their day to day lives with the exercises in breathing and relaxation.  I found that I was stretching things that I didn't even know I could stretch, like my feet muscles - I have been an active person for a long time but I don't recall ever having felt the arches of my feet being stretched and exercised.  I thought that was areally cool feeling, it's quite a strange thing to feel a part of your same old body do something totally new.  Luckily it was a class specifically for beginners because I think it would have been very difficult to follow along in a more experienced class.  I was also really impressed with the instructor, this woman was in phenomenal shape.  Watching the grace that she displayed in the movements was amazing - she did these hops from one pose to another that were so silent it was almost eerie!  So that's my goal in yoga, I want to do eerily silent hops... well I will probably aim for more than that, but I really liked the hops!  Thus far my favourite poses are the warrior poses, it's neat to see how far you can stretch out and how each time we did it I felt that I could stretch out a little bit further.  After completing the class I really felt a difference, I genuinely felt incredibly relaxed and renewed.  So it looks as though I have fallen into the yoga trend and I am pretty happy about that, I'll be back again next week!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Slow and Difficult All the Way

So with my last two workouts I have been doing some experimenting due to a rant by Jenna Marbles that I watched the other night.  If you have not seen any of her videos, you're missing out on some hilarity.  While not all her videos are nuggets of comedic gold and can sometimes be a bit brash, when she's on, she's on.  So the one that I watched the other night was a rant about people in the gym (a topic which I can certainly relate to).  Her particular gripe was with the people that are always looking over at your machine to see how long you have been on there or what distance you have gone.  I can understand that for sure, but I think I am a little guilty of it myself.  I definitely take a peak at the machine next to me when people have gotten there before I have, but it's more as a motivational tool - seeing what other people are up to is a way of kicking my competitiveness into high gear allowing me to push myself further.  I get it though, I catch people doing the same to me sometimes and you kind of feel like you're being judged which is not at all what I go to the gym for.  So in this rant, her annoyance was with the fact that people are looking over at her because she is going so slow - this is because she cranks up the difficulty on the elliptical instead of hanging out on a lower setting and going as fast as possible.  So I decided to test this out for myself, yesterday during my workout I stayed at a moderate difficulty but tried during bursts of higher intensity instead of staying at a consistent pace.  With those settings in the same amount of time I went .9km further and burned slightly more calories.  Today, I went all out with the highest possible difficulty setting and stayed at a consistent pace.  I found that in 15 minutes I burned the same amount as I had yesterday at the end of my 20 minute workout.  I also felt that I really felt my workout in my muscles a lot more while I was working out, I could feel the muscles throughout my legs (and even a bit in my arms) working.  So I think I am liking this new approach, if I can get more out of a shorter workout than I definitely think its worth it.  Also, I didn't get to do my sit-ups yesterday because there were two girls performing what can only be referred to as an ADD workout.  These girls were all over the place doing every kind of exercise imaginable.  They were doing burpies, push-ups, lifting weight, jumping jacks... it was like workout stereotypes from various had thrown up on these girls.  They had moved all the smaller equipment out of the way, and jammed them to the back of the workout room making it impossible to actually use any of them.  I don't know if what they were doing was an ideal workout, but even if it was the perfect workout, I just don't think I am interesting into that spattering of workout that reminds of elementary school gym class when you were only allowed ten minutes a station and then you had to move on to something else - I want to get into an activity, not move on to something else before I even really get to derive any pleasure or sense of accomplishment out of what I was just doing.  So I am going to keep on with my boring but consistent workouts.