Are You Up For A Challenge?

21 Sep

I organized a 30 Day Squat challenge at work a couple months ago and it ended up going great! A lot of people joined in, you’d find groups of staff and managers randomly squatting together, the residents thought it was hilarious and would count along with us, all in all, a success.

Everyone agreed they’d like another challenge but picking one ended up being the new challenge. A squat challenge is great because you can squat basically anywhere and you don’t have to touch anything. All the other challenges I thought of involved being on the ground ; ab challenge, plank challenge, push up challenge, and nobody was going to want to do those at work. Lay on the ground mid-shift? Uh, no thanks!

So instead of using a pre-existing challenge from the internet, like I usually do, I made up my own. It has a lot more flexibility than most of the 30 day fitness challenges out there, but that’s why I like it, it makes it more likely people will be willing to try.

What brought on this new challenge? Many people at work, myself included, keep talking about wanting to get back in to a workout routine but it just isn’t happening. There isn’t enough internal motivation to get you to follow through with the workout you planned when you’re exhausted by the end of your shift. Or there are errands that need to be run, or dinner to make for the family (that one doesn’t apply to me obviously lol), or ya know, just life stuff to contend with.

So the workout gets pushed back, thinking you’ll go tomorrow instead of today, or you’ll do something after dinner instead of before, or whatever lie you tell yourself to let you off the hook for the workout you were supposed to do that day.

This challenge isn’t about one specific fitness move, or one specific type of workout, this challenge is about working out in general.

The rules are simple!

(1) Set a goal for how often you want to workout over the next 30 days, you can calculate based on how many workouts per week, or for the span of the month, whatever works best for you.

(2) Write the goal on the tracker that is on the wall beside everybody else’s tracker, so we all know what each other is aiming for.

(3) A workout consists of any activity you classify as a workout as long as it is 30 minutes or longer. What are some examples? Yoga, gym session, dance party with the kids, walking, exercise dvd, running the stairs at work multiple times throughout the day, or anything else that gets your body moving and you feel is a workout.

(4) Track every time you workout on your tracker over the 30 days. Encourage your friends, have fun, share your workout tips, invite a friend to join you in the gym, or the dance party, or in whatever activity you are doing.

That is basically it. The whole challenge is based around getting us moving more over the next 30 days. Helping to encourage our flagging motivation and willpower to kick in and remind us why we feel better when we move more.

I thought I’d open the challenge up to you! I don’t have a tracker for you, but it is easy enough to make your own. I know you won’t have my work peeps to encourage you to keep going, but I’ll encourage you, and you can include your friends and family that you see in person so you can all encourage each other.

Why not, over the next 30 days, get a little more active, try a new type of workout, maybe even start to build the habit of moving more, so that eventually we don’t need a challenge to get our butts moving, instead we move because we want to. Wouldn’t that be an amazing reward to ourselves at the end of the 30 days?

Even cats know some movement is good! Be like a cat!

Annoyed By Consciousness

20 Sep

I find that if I don’t have somewhere I absolutely have to be on a Friday I sleep in, and it is glorious. I actually try to give myself one day a week where I don’t check my messages, or email, or go on social media, and I just sleep in and be lazy all day. Having that day off from the world helps me function better during the other 6 days of the week. However, sometimes I take that day of rest a tad too far.

This past Friday I slept in, to be fair I didn’t go to bed until around 4am, but still, I slept in. When I woke and saw it was around 1pm I briefly thought I should get up, but I was so incredibly exhausted I rolled over and went back to sleep. The cat, who was sleeping on the bed, also rolled over and went back to sleep. We are in sync like that lol.

The next time I woke up dusk was approaching. Yes, you read that right, I slept through all the daylight hours. It was about 4:45pm, dusk comes early now.

Even though I still felt tired I figured I should probably get up, sigh. As I got up so did the cat, though he didn’t look impressed to be awake. We went to the kitchen, I got Striker food and water, turned on the kettle, went to the washroom, and when I got out of the washroom Striker was sitting waiting for me. As soon as he saw me he meowed then walked in to the bedroom. I followed him of course, I am nothing if not well trained.

What does Striker do when he gets in to the bedroom? Jumps on the bed, lays down, and looks ready to go back to sleep!

Not gonna lie, I wanted to curl up with him for a cuddle but felt that if I did that I’d never end up getting dressed and being upright for any decent length of time that day. So I told him no, I had to stay up and get dressed. He looked completely unimpressed by my getting dressed instead of laying back down. But then again, he often looks unimpressed by things I do.

I went back to the kitchen, made tea and a bite to eat, then settled on the living room chair. Striker came out of the bedroom gave me a dirty look, then jumped on my lap, stretched out, and went back to sleep.

Apparently sleep was the only acceptable activity he approved of for the day and I ruined things by waking up and getting up.

I guess I’m not that well trained after all.

He spent the rest of the day, or should I say evening and night, randomly waking up to glare at me before rolling back over to sleep.

Normally I would wonder what the hell I was doing sleeping an entire day away but these are not normal times and I figure if after a long week at work with a lot of emotional ups and downs my body decides it wants to deal with that by being unconscious for a long time, well, I’m gonna let it. Sometimes we heal by activity, or by motion, or by being with others, and other times we heal by having solitude, and sleep, and giving ourselves permission to not be productive for a while. You do what you need to do, I will do what I need to do, and lets have the only ones judging us be our pets, we know they are doing it anyways! 😉

Blep!
Pretending he didn’t blep.

Pandemic Diet Tip

16 Sep

I was out walking on a trail near where I live the other day and started contemplating what I was going to have for dinner. My options were something from my kitchen, that I had already paid for and was the logical choice, or once off the trail head over to where there are a bunch of restaurants and pick something up.

Because buying food when I already have food at home is the less brilliant choice I of course went with that one. *rolls eyes*

However, as I was leaving the trail and getting back in to the neighbourhood I started thinking about the logistics of going to buy something.

First, do I have money, or something I can tap?

Second, has my face gone so bright red from working out I look like I may pass out?

Third, where do I want to go?

Four, am I forgetting anything?

My answers started off just fine. I had my phone which I could tap to pay. I took a look using my camera and my face wasn’t so incredibly red I didn’t want to be seen in public. I still had walking time to choose between my food options.

And then it hit me…my mask. Because I had gone out to a trail that is not overly populated, was not going to be gasping for breath thanks to my decision to not run during the poor air quality day that it was, and I was intending to go home soon as I was done, I had not taken my mask.

Well crap.

I take my mask everywhere. I choose to not go in to stores if I don’t have my mask on, whether or not the store has a sign about needing to wear a mask in order to enter or not. And there I was, without my mask.

Now maybe, maaaaaybe, I might’ve gone in somewhere without my mask on if I got there and nobody else was inside but! you never know which stores will have a sign up saying a mask is mandatory and I am just that lazy that I am not going to risk walking all the way to where the restaurants are and then not be allowed in because my mask was at home.

So there you have it, my first diet tip of the pandemic, forget your mask so you can’t follow the impulse to buy dinner instead of going home and making something healthier…that you already paid for…really, it is a bit of a financial tip also if you think about it lol.

Covid Dreams

20 Aug

Have your dreams changed since the pandemic began? My dreams are apparently a bit unique in that they are usually a coherent story, it is like watching a movie while sleeping. I actually really enjoy remembering my dreams because of the entertainment factor. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it sucks when the dream is overwhelmingly sad or scary, but for the most part they are entertaining. Its like even in sleep my brain doesn’t want to be bored lol

So here I am, getting through the pandemic, doing my thing, and then one night my brain incorporated this new way of living into my dream. The procedures we have all been adopting over the past months have taken a deep enough root in my brain that even sub consciously I want to follow them.

I find this fascinating.

The dream! In the way of dreams it seemed logical and made sense while I was dreaming it but upon waking it doesn’t quite make as much sense as it felt like it did in the moment.

I was with a friend walking through a building, we had been shopping and had some bags in our hands, it was the end of the day and we were looking for the door we needed to exit to find our ride. We came across a large empty room, think hotel ballroom type of place, where the chairs are all pushed to the side and are comfy enough for a ten minute sit but after that you start shifting because your butt hurts from lack of a decent cushion. There was a stage at one end, not massive, the size you might have at a convention, so those speaking are higher than the crowd and visible by all.

My friend and I decide to sit down for a couple minutes cause our feet hurt, and then continue looking for our door. As we are sitting people start coming in the room, they start uncoiling wires, setting up equipment, getting the stage ready for something. They didn’t ask us to leave and we found watching them interesting so we stayed. We figured somebody would eventually say we had to get out since they were obviously prepping for an event of some kind and we would leave then.

Crowds of people started to stream in and before we knew it there was a group large enough to fill the room, all standing, facing the stage. They were all in a good mood, obviously anticipating something fun. My friend and I were debating trying to fight our way through the crowd to get to the door, which was on the other side of the room, but by this point we were curious who was going to be on the stage and nobody had kicked us out so we were inclined to stay.

A band came on stage, I wish I could remember which band it was, I just remember in the dream being psyched because it is a band I love and I couldn’t believe I was going to get to watch them in this impromptu concert. We decide to stand and join the crowd and as soon as we did I realized how many people were in the crowd, and how none of them were wearing masks, or distancing, and how it was impossible to distance in that room, and there was zero ventilation, and it was basically a space I wouldn’t have thought twice about being in back in January but now horrifies me. I was overwhelmed with the need to get out.

I kept thinking that if my work finds out I’m here I’ll be put in to self isolation for 2 weeks without pay and who can afford that? I also kept thinking this is going to be the next place an outbreak is linked to and I wanted nothing to do with that nonsense.

The rest of the dream is a bit fuzzy. I woke up with a jumble of emotions and thoughts that stayed with me while I contemplated the dream. I don’t buy in to the idea that dreams mean something or are trying to tell me something, but I do think they can open your mind to seeing something from a different angle, or at least give you something to think about for a bit.

So far that is the only dream I have had that incorporated things from my covid lifestyle in to it. Not gonna lie, I wouldn’t mind if my self distancing, mask wearing, hand sanitizing, no traveling, lifestyle kept itself out of my dreams for a while longer. I mean c’mon, a break from reality, especially such a quickly changed reality, can’t be a bad thing, right?

Revelstoke, BC

7 Aug

Lauren and I went away for 3 nights, 4 days, to Revelstoke, BC. For those of you who don’t know, (and I don’t judge if you don’t know because I didn’t!) that is in the BC interior, about a 6 hour drive from Vancouver.

It was great to get away from the normal day-to-day, though a bit odd to be travelling while there is a pandemic going on.

The trip was designed so we could have minimal contact with other humans. We just wanted to drink, and hike, and drink, and throw axes, and drink, and shop. Ya know, standard summer stuff lol

We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to, but we had fun and that’s what matters. Oh, and we didn’t melt, though it sure felt like we would, that also matters! Trust us to pick 4 incredibly hot days to travel and plan all outdoor activities for.

I attempted to edit the pics into a video, instead of showing a slideshow on here like I always do. Here’s hoping it turned out!

Pandemic Buying

6 Aug

Admit it, you bought something during the pandemic that you look at now and go “what was I thinking?”

For me that item is a Dutch Oven. I bought it when everyone was baking bread and I thought I might want to try. All the easy bread recipes I found said you had to use a Dutch oven, which of course I didn’t own. Because why would I?

Canadian Tire was having a sale so I impulsively bought one. And by “impulsively” I mean I kept refreshing the page for hours because apparently everyone and their dog was trying to buy from Canadian Tire that day.

I just assumed it would arrive quickly. It did not. By the time I got it in the mail I was already back at work. I was on two weeks self isolation in March but after that ended I was back at work because I’m deemed essential.

To help you realize how dumb of a purchase this was for me, I bought it in March, I finally got around to opening the box in July. The end of July. As in, the very end of July. And that was only the packing box! The actual box with the Dutch oven in it was opened yesterday. Yeah that’s right. August 5th. Go ahead. Judge me. I can take it. 😜

It is now washed, dried, and I’m trying to figure out where it is going to live. Obviously in the back of a cupboard where it isn’t blocking access to any of the other kitchen tools I don’t use.

I mean seriously, I couldn’t have at least bought a new purse? That would’ve had way better odds of being used! 😂

Cats and Gravity

3 Jul

I put off swapping a load of laundry because Striker was stretched along my legs, completely passed out, and incredibly adorable. I figured I’d just wait until he chose to get up, ya know, as one tends to do.

He rolled over and I’m not really sure what happened but things went wrong and next thing you know he’s flopped on the floor on his side.

Before you freak out, he’s fine! The only thing hurt is his pride.

Striker did what a cat always does when slightly less graceful than normal, he immediately went to his food bowl and started eating like that was the plan the whole time.

I, like the mean human I am, laughed a little. Then I took advantage of not having Striker on my lap, and dealt with the laundry.

When I came back into my apartment Striker was not only unimpressed with my behaviour but outright cranky about it. It took cuddles, and apologies, and slight grovelling, to get his forgiveness. Even with all of that he is still giving me this expression…

Unimpressed cat

Perhaps I’m not quite forgiven after all?

Canada Day 2020

1 Jul

Happy Canada Day! Hope it was fun, not too wet, involved at least one person you are fond of, and that you were safe while celebrating!

Canada-Day 2020

Not the usual Canada Day message lol

I worried this year, that people would be stupid, say screw the self distancing and masks and being careful, all because they wanted to enjoy the day. I think partly that didn’t happen because so many events and celebrations were cancelled, and partly it might be possible that I should give people a bit more credit to not make a dumb choice that puts everyone they come near at risk.

Or hey, maybe there were tons of parties happening, and people breaking all the rules in place to keep us safe, and two weeks from now we’ll have new outbreaks. What do I know? 😛

My day was spent at work, enjoying the Canada Day celebration we had there, which was odd, but fun in its own way. Then I did a quick workout and came home. That’s it. It is possibly the quietest Canada Day I have ever had.

Thanks to Canada Day celebrations being online I got to enjoy fireworks in the comfort of my own home, I’ll put a link to the video below. I could have gone outside at 10pm, pointed my phone at the sky, and apparently seen virtual fireworks but it is raining here and that just wasn’t a thing that was gonna happen…by me anyways. I’m sure some people went out and tried.

I also enjoyed some of the concerts put on by various Canadian artists, or I suppose it was technically one concert with each artist being in a different place, and clips being shown one after the other.

I’m adding a small selection of some of the clips, they are all on YouTube if you want to find more.

You probably didn’t spend today how you wanted to, just like you haven’t spent the year how you wanted to, and that sucks. The restrictions we follow seem that much tighter on special days, because aren’t those days supposed to be exempt some how? Except of course they aren’t, we just wish they were.

I’m sorry if your Canada Day wasn’t what you wished it was. I hope though, that you were safe, and those you care for are safe, and that you can find some bit of the day that made you smile.

A Snippet of Adulting

15 Jun

This morning while waiting for the kettle to boil so I could make tea I had nothing to do. Instead of just standing there I prepped my breakfast for the next two days.

Now, before you start to be mildly impressed at this random burst of responsibility let me point out my meal prep consisted of measuring oats into Tupperware bowls, tossing in measured toppings, and popping the lids on the bowls.

Not exactly rocket science, or even cooking.

Despite how ridiculously easy that was I have decided that was some weird combo of adulting and self care, and if that’s the level I managed of those two things today, well, that’s the level.

Not everyday can involve meal prepping entire dishes for the week ahead. Not every act of self care can be something Instagram worthy.

Some days tiny, almost insignificant actions, can be what result in an easier time later in the week; which to me equates to self care, and in this case meal prep, in the most loosely used definition of the term.

So try to give yourself a bit of credit for the small things you do for yourself. They count. You know why they count? Because I said so! And if that isn’t a classic adult answer I don’t know what is lol

Never Just An Oil Change

13 Jun

An oil change never ends up being just an oil change, have you noticed that? Sometimes the add on expense is a new filter, you grumble a bit, but get over it quickly. Other times the unexpected expense brings your total cost to $1698.42 and you want to cry a little. Or eat cake. I really wanted to eat cake, sigh.

Turns out my front brakes were at 5% and my rear brakes were at 20%. Not good! The mechanic was surprised because the test run he did with my suv had no squealy brake noises, no indicators anything was wrong with them. Poor little suv was chugging along like everything was fine when in reality she was hurting…I’m sure there is a metaphor in there somewhere but I’m too focused on the new balance of my Visa statement to figure it out.

In the end the front brake pads and rotors were replaced, as were the rear brake pads and rotors, the front brake hoses were replaced because they had holes in them, they performed a brake fluid flush, and oh yeah, the actual oil change.

Here I had been so cocky that I had $126 saved up, enough to get the oil change and pay for whatever little thing they would say also needed replacing, all paid for without having to pull out the credit card. As it turns out, that $126 won’t even make a dent in the bill and Friday, which is sit down and budget day, is going to be a day of math magic while I figure out how to deal with this unexpected expense.

I’m trying to focus on the bright side of things, and the list I have is as follows:

I was told that if I had kept driving my front brakes would have been grinding metal on metal within two weeks, so yay that I avoided that!

This was all an unexpected find, I went it there thinking nothing was wrong with my suv, so thank goodness I went in and this was found before something worse happened.

The shop I go to is run by an amazing guy who knows I work Sundays through Thursdays,  he stayed late to get everything fixed so I could pick it up and have it for when I work on Sunday, saving me the expense of a rental vehicle.

I’m lucky enough to be able to take on the debt of this bill and still be able to pay rent and buy groceries.

So yeah, in the end does it suck all of a sudden having this huge bill to pay? Yeah, of course it does. But it would be a hell of a lot worse to have had the brakes fail and be in an accident, or do that metal on metal grinding thing, or have a less competent mechanic who didn’t notice something didn’t look quite right and dig a little deeper to discover how bad of shape my brakes were in.

Every time I get pouty about my new Visa balance I’m going to do my best to remind myself of all those positives, and maybe, just maybe, get myself a slice of chocolate cake because hey, I’m human, and sometimes cake helps make things a little bit better. 😉

choc cake

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