The Blog

My Ascent: The Journey Continues

It has (again) been some time since I have been on my site. I hope I haven’t lost too many of you! I actually have no idea who is on here or what my numbers are like. This site is first and foremost a platform for me to spew out my thoughts, ideals, my routine (or lack thereof) and the occasional recipe that I think is worth sharing 😉

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Since I have a good minute, I thought I’d share my current plans for the upcoming month and my feelings on what’s to come in subsequent months. This upcoming Sunday, August 7th I will be competing in the St. Albert Triathlon. It is a sprint distance (750 m swim, 20 km bike, 5 km run)- I was hoping to experience at least one Olympic distance tri (double the distances of a sprint) this summer, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Following the triathlon I had completed in May I felt the need to maintain all that preparation and conditioning for AT LEAST one more race.

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Performing 50 18″ box jumps for time. I completed mine in 1:16, a PR

On July 23rd, 2016 I had competed in an event called ‘Femsport’ in Fort Saskatchewan (a suburb of Edmonton, AB) which is a strength and agility competition. The events included: an obstacle course (which ended in pushing a 3/4-tonne truck 50 ft.); a kettle bell relay; 50 box-jumps for time; 125 lb tire-pull; 300 lb tractor tire flips. It was quite the day! Over 100 female athletes were participating, so the biggest challenge was much of the all-or-nothing, full tilt-to-rest effort all day long. Although I completed each event (even got some personal bests!) I was by no means good enough to podium. I was not discouraged or disappointed by this- the exact opposite! These women were SO motivating, so inspiring. Some of them were quite young (a couple of 19 year olds) and some more seasoned (including a 60 year old cancer survivor). What I took from this event was I needed to be more prepared. I had only given myself a few weeks to practice the skills, being in between triathlon races and vacations.

The night before my Femsport competition I watched ‘The Fittest on Earth’: a documentary that follows several of the world’s top Crossfit athletes competing in the 2015 Crossfit Games. If you ever need some kind of physical motivation or fitness inspiration, I highly recommend watching it (find it on Netflix). Currently, I won’t comment on whether or not Crossfit is my next venture, but I am absolutely enamored with the passion, dedication, and positivity from the sport and it’s athletes. I like the idea of having a variety of events/skills that you have to excel in, combining both strength and cardiovascular abilities. I like that what is expected of you seems impossible at first, but then with the right amount of heart and work ethic you find out it can be done.

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Experiencing Femsport motivated me to enter in yet another event: the Reebok Spartan Super Race, September 3rd, held in Red Deer, AB. It is a 12+ km race involving a variety of obstacles along the way. I have wanted to do a Spartan for a couple years now, and I thought no time like the present. Although I have very much enjoyed preparing for my triathlons, Femsport made me realize I have the potential for so much more.

***WARNING: SELF-CONFIDENT COMMENTS ABOUT TO ENSUE 😉 ***

Many have mentioned how ‘busy’ I have been this summer with my events and my races. It is no accident. Last fall I was feeling very lost in regards to my training. I had no focus. When a girlfriend had challenged me to enter in my first triathlon this past January, I had no idea it would ignite such a hidden spark inside of me. In my years competing in Figure, I had reached what I would call my ‘aesthetic  peak’. In all the preps I had done, I always knew by my cardio capacity, performance and recovery I was built for endurance; I also knew I was decently strong. I feel at the age of 33, I am approaching my ‘performance peak’. I have NEVER been in this kind of shape. The distances I have hit, the times I have beaten, the strength I possess, my ability to recover: I am surprising myself each and every week. I am a woman in her 30s who is simply just GOING FOR IT. Putting the work in, and continuing to see results is incredibly rewarding and motivating.

So to summarize, I am basically still searching for my ‘niche’. I simply enjoy training, but training with a purpose is so much more rewarding for me. The idea of a race/competition just adds gasoline to my fire. It makes me nervous, but mostly it makes me excited. As long as I continue to feel those butterflies, as long as I continue to enjoy the process and continue to improve- I will continue to challenge myself in as many ways possible 🙂

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine 

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Quitting is Immature

A couple months ago I was training with My Champ (a VERY rare occasion) and he noticed I was getting frustrated. He was teaching me some new lifts, and also (trying to) help me with my current technique on a few things. He called me out on my anger: “You can’t get mad just because you’re not good at something. You can’t just give up because you’re not immediately perfect (at this).” Man, is he good. Those who do not know me well may think I am good at most things- the truth is, I am NOT and the things I excel at took much time and effort before I mastered them.

I used this example to get through a tough day I had at work this past week. I won’t divulge into the specifics of what went on, but my confidence was suffering greatly at my job. I’m taking on a lot of new responsibilities in one of my roles at the hospital, and though I’ve been at this for a while there are days where I feel I’m just not good enough. Funny thing is, I had been having a great few weeks of training, and my personal life has never been better. Something had to shift, I suppose. I confided in a couple of colleagues regarding my concerns in my performance, and I’m so glad I did. Both individuals gave me the reassurance I needed: questioning yourself sometimes shows how much you CARE, and I am NORMAL!! Who doesn’t question themselves from time to time? Being over-confident can definitely backfire, especially in my line of work. No one is completely flawless. We should always be thinking of ways to self-improve or be better in our daily tasks. We (and by this I mean me) should also forgive ourselves and understand that we are human and can’t always be perfect.

I have to remind myself sometimes that I will never ‘know it all’ and I am going to screw up. That’s life. The world of health care and management is constantly changing and evolving, and I will always have to adapt. Getting back to the example I gave with My Champ: I can’t just give up when something is hard. That gets me nowhere, if not backwards. Can you imagine what our lives would be like if we quit because we weren’t automatically ‘perfect’? We would never learn how to walk: we would all be crawling; none of us would learn to ride our bikes because we fell; we would remain illiterate; we would refer to spaghetti only as ‘noodles’ because we kept saying ‘pisghettie’ instead. Ridiculous, isn’t it? Life takes effort and practice. I do tend to relate many life experiences to training, because the challenges we face physically are a metaphor to the obstacles we face in the outside world. Life, like lifting or running, doesn’t get easier- you just get better. Don’t ever quit; humble yourself, and grow to be better than before.