Learning a New Sport? Stick With it!

Long-time readers know that I took up softball a couple years ago and it didn’t exactly go very well. I fell and scraped my leg at my first game, a couple years later I tripped and got a bloody nose,  I missed every ball that came my was.  I frustrated a lot of team mates, Ryan, and myself but I stuck with it because I was determined to have a sport again.

Two of my friends Lisa & Michelle  started playing around the same time as me and we all struggled to get the hang of the sport but this year something finally clicked and we started catching better, hitting well, and making smarter plays.

At our league tournament a few months ago we talked about how much we improved because of our sheer determination and refusal to quit. We all put up with a lot of flak from team mates and frustration but we persevered. I’m not saying we are now top players but we can hold our own now.

Lisa and I! :)

Lisa and I! :)

Are you trying to curl but keep falling while you sweep? Or did you join a golf or softball league and feel like the worst player ever? Here are some tips for sticking to it and persevering:

Have a Cheerleader

I would never have stuck with softball if I didn’t have Ryan there encouraging me and telling me to relax and ignore mistakes.  There were times I knew he was frustrated but he always tried to stay positive which made it easier for me to stick with it.

My cheerleader. :)

My cheerleader. :)

Buy the Equipment

Maybe it’s a girl thing, but don’t you feel more like an athlete when you have the gear? You don’t have to go out and spend hundreds on equipment, but getting your own stuff not only makes you feel like you belong but now you’re financially invested in the sport.

Practice privately

When you are trying to learn a team sport, there is no worse feeling than letting your teammates down. Practice on your own with a few trusted friends so the pressure is off.

Don’t Be Competitive

Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely competitive. So being in a competition of any sort and not performing well made me so angry! You can’t think like that, you’re in a rec sport having fun with your friends. Tell that competitive demon to go away.

Set a Goal for Yourself

Maybe you want to learn to spike in your adult rec volleyball league. Or you want to be able to do some fancy move in tennis. Just like running and working out, setting goals give you a laser like focus anmd an achievement to work toward. Once you achieve that goal, you’ll feel like a million bucks.

Have Fun

I didn’t have fun playing softball until my third year of playing. I enjoyed the socializing part, but actually playing was so stressful, I would get butterflies in my stomach when I was up to bat. But in that third year when I relaxed a little and had fun it made the experience so much better.

 

Softball ladies!

Softball ladies!

6 Reasons to Get a Stand Up Desk

It has been a couple of months since I started standing at work with my Varidesk station. I had to lobby for almost a year for this and was so happy when it finally came.

The Varidesk station was an awesome option because it cost $450 (versus $1500 for a motorized option) and has the ability to go from standing to sitting. The cheap stand up desk hacks you find online don’t give you the sitting option and you’ll really want that option. I also purchased a special standing mat for $60 which is essential to prevent achy feet.

On mornings where I’m really tired or after lunch I need to sit down which is why having the sitting option is so great. It takes me 2 seconds to put the desk down and pull up a chair.

Bsl9t_4CAAAy1jW

Reasons I love the Stand Up Desk

Reduces Upper Back pain- A Lot!

My chronic upper back pain has been almost complete eliminated since standing. It used to be really extreme and make I love it! I have found that standing for the majority of the day has eliminated my upper back pain, which was pretty extreme.

No More Tingly Butt

My butt thanks me greatly for getting off it during the day! You know how at the end of the day your butt feels tingly and sore? That’s lack of circulation! I’m also avoiding the dreaded office worker’s flat butt!

More Alert

I leave the office feeling more like a human being and less like a zombie. When I used to sit all day I would leave the office in a daze, my eyes dry and sore and my brain fuzzy. My stand up desk has made that dead feeling go away.

Don’t Need as Much Coffee

I used to drink 6 cups of coffee a day to stay alert and awake throughout the day. Now that I’m standing I have a cup in the morning and sip green tea during the day if I want something hot to drink. Standing all day keeps you more aturally awake so you don’t need as much caffeine.

You can’t sit for long periods at a time

I look at this as a good thing but when you get out of the habit of sitting all day sitting for longer than an hour becomes torture. Your butt hurts, your legs need to be stretched, long plane rides suck.

The best part of the stand up desk?

Dancing! You get to dance while you work, how perfect is that?

Down sides of a stand up desk

Now it’s definitely not perfect there are some downsides to standing up.

Must watch posture

Like I said, my upper back pain is completely gone because I don’t have to hunch over but I do have issues with lower back on days I don’t pay attention and lean against the desk and stick my butt out. I have to make sure I keep that big booty of mine tucked in.

You have to take your heels off

There is no way you can stand all day in heels. Not possible. But it is a bit of a pain in the butt to have to take your shoes on and off as you leave your desk for things. I spent this summer in flats and I’m buying more flat boots for the winter.

Expectations of co-workers

Because HR paid for my stand up desk I feel a lot of pressure to stand all the time. Sometimes I’ll be tired and want to sit but I opt to stand instead because I’m worried people will think I wasted money.

BvCDdubCUAATxCQ

 

Conclusion

I think the standing/sitting desk is the solution to our society’s sitting problem. It allows flexibility based on mood and you simply feel more human when you stand all day! Like anything there are a few downsides, but the upsides make up for it.

Thanksgiving 2014 – Family Over Everything

Happy Thanksgiving! Besides being a long weekend and an excuse to get together with family and friends to stuff your face, Thanskgiving is about stopping to reflect on the good in your life.

This isn’t an easy thing for me because I’m an over achiever. Instead of looking fondly on what I have I’m always thinking about what I want next. I’m working really hard to get away from that mentality for a more content life.

I don’t need a holiday to make me thankful for my family. I feel lucky to have such close friends but my family is my backbone, my everything. We squabble like anyone else but always get over it fast, and we are there for each other through thick and thin. I’ve had people envy the closeness between siblings and cousins, I just wish we all lived closer to each other.

Thank you universe for giving me:

My amazing husband Ryan who is patient, kind, and loving.

10325599_10154626074180484_8904677499773322171_n

Ryan’s sweet children.

I have never posted photos of their faces before. Typically you will see profiles or side of heads. This is just out of respect to their mother so I'm not plastering her children's faces all over the internet.

I have never posted photos of their faces before, just their profiles or back of heads. This is out of respect to their mother so I’m not plastering her children’s faces all over the internet. It won’t happen often.

My crazy Mom who taught me you never outgrow a sense of humor.

My mom and sister. You almost can't tell which is which because my mom looks so amazing!

My mom and sister. You almost can’t tell which is which because my mom looks so amazing!

My siblings who are my best friends and are there for me if I ever need them

 

This was taken in 2012! The last time we've had a sibling photo taken

This was taken in 2012! The last time we’ve had a sibling photo taken

My grandparents who were my rock growing up.

561885_10152745012555484_2050399873_n

My entire fun and crazy extended family, The Tynan’s.

538502_3772555926541_572155060_n

8577f535688bc5e1a4ec3d42cf80935d

 

Tips for Getting Back Into a Workout Routine

Fall Friday Fitness

To my loyal readers, have you noticed a lack of Friday Fit posts? That would be because I have entered total and complete sloth mode. Besides a weekly hike and a short dog walk here and there, I have not been doing any sort of psychical activity. Because I have been so lax in working out, I was too embarrassed to post how I did nothing week after week but today I decided to put it all out there.

My little group of coworkers who work out regularly are shocked that out of nowhere I just stopped. I have noticed my thighs are softer and bigger and my tummy is starting to stick out again. These visible cues makes it very clear that I need to get back into a running routine.

Fitness and healthy living are life time commitments, there is no finish line. Like any life time commitments sometimes you just get sick of it, you get tired and you stop working at it. What matters is that you start back up again and don’t beat yourself up but just get back to it.

Find What You Enjoy

I don’t particularly love running but I like getting outside with my dogs. Now that we are approaching winter I hope to get back to hot yoga as well. Both these activities are fun to me and won’t make me so sore I won’t work out for the five days after (Crossfit I’m talking to you! Ha).

Not a huge fan of running, but I love being outside with Rocky!

Not a huge fan of running, but I love being outside with Rocky!

Plan, Plan, Plan

One reason my lunch time workouts stopped is because I stopped planning ahead and packing a lunch, snacks, and workout gear.

Take a 2 Week Challenge

A lot of people suggest a 30 day challenge, but let’s be real, you are going to have at least one day where there is no way you can fit in exercise. I’m shooting for exercise every day for 2 weeks, even if it’s just a light dog walk.

Grab Your Buddy

My workout buddy Cat is about to give birth any day now so I’ll be waiting for a few months for her to recover and start up again. She and I would run or walk together, text each other our runs and mileage and share articles with each other. Having a workout buddy is amazing.

We did it!

Love my running buddy!

Don’t Go Out Too Hard

If you’ve gone a long time with no exercise, you can’t just jump back into your old routine. You need to retrain your body so you need to start slow and easy. If you overdo it the first couple of days, you’ll be too sore to move and you’ll drop it like a hot potato.

Track What You’re Up To

I believe part of my problem is that I stopped wearing my Fitbit a month ago. When I had that on daily, I would check my steps at the end of the work day and know how much I needed to walk around to get to my 10,000 steps. It makes you more aware of your habits.

I’m going to use Thanksgiving weekend as a way to ease back into it with a run on Sunday and a run or walk on Monday. I’ll get back into my lunch time workout routine next week and get back to it.

And if you too have been remiss going a month, or 6, or even a year without working out- don’t beat yourself up about it, just get back to it.

Weights

Gotta get back in the habit!

 

Apollo’s First Hike, Wishbone Trail

Yesterday I took Apollo on his first hike in Waterton. Because he is only about 8 weeks old I chose to hike the Wishbone Trail because it’s flat with gorgeous views.

Puppy's first hike

Puppy’s first hike

To get to Wishbone you have to turn onto Highway 6 before the Park Entrance as if you are going to the Chief Mountain Border Crossing. About 400 metres in from that turn to your right is the Wishbone trailhead.

The trail weaves in and out of the trees and plains which made for a beautiful fall hike. Apollo stuck right to my heels the whole time.

Gorgeous views

Gorgeous views

About two miles in we came to Upper Waterton Lake and a gorgeous sandy beach. Rocky of course headed straight for the water.

Not a bad place to play

Not a bad place to play

While Apollo enjoyed the sand.

photo 4

I’ll come back to this beach with the kids because we would have it all to ourselves.

I wanted to hike in all the way to the base of Mt. Vimy but I was worried about Apollo getting tired. Every time I tried to carry him he would squirm until I put him down.

Apollo trying to keep up with Rocky

Apollo trying to keep up with Rocky

On the way back he kept looking up at me and smiling which was so cute! I haven’t really warmed up to him until then. Watching this little pup troop along the trail and enjoy himself so much showed me that he was meant to my dog.

He kept looking up at me smiling

He kept looking up at me smiling

In the end, we did 4 miles in about 1:40 (that counts playing on the beach for a while).

He of course passed out and slept the whole way home but was surprisingly his hyper playful self after he got home and ate.

Here are a few more photos from the hike:

Me and my boys!

Me and my boys!

photo 4

photo 5

photo 3

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5