Monday, August 25, 2014

A pledge.

I am making a pledge to my fellow curvy girls. I will be proud of my body and will stand back and admire it's talent at any size, because what my body can do is amazing... besides making a human being, it carries me through my day, up the stairs, running for the train, lifting my 25lbs baby... etc. etc.

I also pledge to be healthy and make an effort every single day to be better.

Today I avoided snacking (I wasn't really hungry just bored), I made a healthy dinner, did a 4k run and two 3 minute arm workouts.

What will you pledge? 



2 bras, 2 tanks, black pants, knee socks and an old pair of runners. It’s time to get muddy. This is my beginners look at getting muddy. I am a beginner of everything, an expert of nothing; except trying new things… so I am an expert at being a beginner.

I woke up abruptly to my phone buzzing; a gaggle of excited Mama’s cheering each other on, but secretly I think they knew I needed a wakeup call. I forgot to set an alarm and my dear sweet child chose SATURDAY to sleep in. I jumped up, startled Richard and headed to Thomas’s room… just to double check on him. Once he was settled I kicked it up frantically darting around my sleepy husband.

I hit the kitchen for an oatmeal muffin (Thank you Jillian Michaels for healthy, protein packed oatmeal chocolate chip muffins) and 2 bottles of water before dashing out the door on an adrenaline high.
I got lost (obviously) but quickly found on this foggy Saturday morning with a thunderstorm threatening to rumble through Vanessa and I follow the trail of cars heading to Albion Hills conservation area. She had a large coffee ready for me, sweet caffeine. I’ll take all the help I can get to willingly jump into mud puddles (ok, it doesn’t take much for me to happily jump through puddles… mud or otherwise).

We park and bounce out the car, excited to get going… excited to wait 2 hours for our heat time. The hum of activity carries us past the port-loos, over a bridge and into a thick crowd of clean runners. Thru the masses we see the rest of our group, they are all bibbed and ready to go.

We register… on the French forms, (because there was no line) so who knows what I agreed too, but what was done is done. Now the dreaded wait…

What better way to pass the time, than to drink an Endurance drink that makes your face tingle… and maybe your bum. So I did. It was watermelon and tasted of chemicals. It is supposed to block the lactic acid build up in your muscles to help you run longer. I started buzzing and dancing around… I think there was music, but it might have been all in my head. My friends didn’t say anything; in fact they danced along with me. That’s support people.

And we joked this is my Woodstock, a fuzzy head dancing around in a muddy field.

After a couple photos (Thank you Kev) we made our way to the starting line, I practically skipped and jumped in every mud puddle I could find. I enjoy the irony of the girls that tried to stay clean ON THEIR WAY TO A MUD RACE.

We lined up at the start, with the happiest old guy I have ever seen. Seriously… 60+. I felt a spasm of pride, but that could have been the endurance tingles from my watermelon juice.

We had an incredible hype duo DJ's Breeze & Maxwell Dillan blasted music in our faces and screaming for us to ‘warm-up’, ‘do push-ups, burpee’s and jumping jacks’ to which we obliged. You always do as the microphone’d man tells you. He also gave us the rules, no diving, no head first sliding and no piggy backs (I made that last one up, because the rules are pretty obvious).

Then he loaded up on to the sensor (to track our times) and blasted an air horn.

We’re OFF!

Vanessa and I start in a sprint, but only until we’re safely in the woods and away from the crowd. We slow to a job through the first ‘obstacle’ which is deep woods running, gravely paths, hills, sand piles. We hit the Frog Spa, ribbit ribbit! This involves slipping into a cool pool of mud and bobbing under beams. It’s the first ‘Yeow’ moment as you splash neck deep into brown water. The worst is trying to escape via a wall of mud, already picked over by the 10:30 heat. I paw at it like a scared cat before Vanessa offers me a hand and hoists me up, a running theme of the day.

Back to running… we’re 10lbs heavier with the mud squished into our shoes, but off we go with a hobble and pop. Still in the woods we job along the heat of the day finally kicking in, sweat and mud mingling in our eyes.

The Over Unders appear. For those unfamiliar… these are 5 foot walls you have to ‘hop’ over and love benches you have to crawl under. Vanessa popped over and yelled for me ‘Come on, Mel!’ I heaved myself on the wall, lost my balance and tumbled over. My first thought was I did it! My second was, did my left leg come with me, or did I leave it at the top? And then finally Fuck me I have to do this again?! I did have to do it again and AGAIN (just wait till I get to the Hero Walls or the Firewall). I do, go over and under FOR THE CAUSE, people.

We’re off and running again. Now things get fuzzy… I have no idea the order of the remaining obstacles, so we’ll summarize them the best we can.

DERBY: It’s my dream for rush hour traffic, a line of cars and you just run over them; hood, roof, trunk. This was hella satisfying.

LIGHT AT THE TUNNELS END: This was ridiculous. Both Vanessa and I jumped in. That’s where it stopped, because the mud was up to our vaginas and our feet wouldn’t move. Vanessa got hauled out, my a muscly hunk. I rocked my way to the end of the pit, but pulled myself out before ducking into the tunnel, which resembled a sewer drain… a FULL sewer drain.

I feel like this is the right opportunity to explain these ‘pits’. They are not dug out. These pits are built, by taking loose soil and piling it high and then filling the middle with water. It means once inside it’s a 4 foot wall of mud, straight up. No elevation, no stairs, steps or handles. The later in the day the trickier your escape.

SPIDER WEB: This is an elastic maze of invisibility. Dozens of strings are wrapped around trees and you’re left to navigate over, under and through. Just don’t snap yourself in the thigh. Ow. Or get the tongue of your shoe caught.

And can we talk about WHERE the mud is at this point? Everywhere… I can feel it sloshing in my panties.

MUDSLIDE: This giant slide is only reachable via climbing wall (freaking walls HAUNT me). Once at the top you jump into a slide, sounds fun until you get to the bottom and duck under the smelliest brownest water yet. I held my nose, but if I turn my head at just the right angle I can still smell it.

Now mud really is everywhere. I can taste it.

WATERWORKS: This comes up twice is a welcome surprise. It’s a fire hose in a tree that cascades the bridge with fresh, clean, not-from-the-bottom-of-anyones-shoe water.

BALANCE BEAM: There were two levels at this seemingly easy obstacle. We went the hard route to make up for the tunnel failure. This is a another pit but strung across are 2 by 4s, and 4 by 2s. I wobbled in the middle and pleaded with my centre of balance, ‘please don’t let me be the schmuck in the water. Carry me through sweet director of equilibrium’

FIREWALL SLIDE: This sounds fun, but it’s not. Involves climbing ANOTHER wall and then sliding playfully down a pole, but your hands are slick with mud, you have no breaks, but your thighs burn as you slip down… especially if you fell over a wall at the beginning of the race.

SUPER HERO CARGO CLIMB: You skitter up an angled cargo net, straddle the top and skitter back down. Only suffering a slight anxiety attack when you throw your leg over the top.

HERO WALLS: These bitches are angled, but not in your favor. Gah! I tried the ‘hard’ and failed, the ‘medium’ and failed… I was able to do the ‘easy’. Damn straight if ‘purse lady’ (yes there was a fully made up woman carrying a purse) could do it, I could.

Then we’re galloping through the woods, always up hill and we see the end. We hear it before we can see it. We run, full out. We’re so close, until we’re not and a particularly steep hill is clogged with walkers. We make it past them and spring through the crowd to the final two obstacles.

KONG: A new obstacle this year (although they are all new to me) is a beast, mainly because of the audience staring at your butt. It’s a wall (yes ANOTHER ONE) with a rope and foot pegs. Using the rope you climb this two-story wall, shimmy or bear crawl (thank you Thomas for teaching me the hands and feet method) across a cargo net before repelling down the other side, with just a rope.

Your feeling of accomplishment fades as you look on to the last obstacle.

MUD CRAWL: the deepest pool yet is tucked under a drooping cargo net. You slip in and swim across (or drag your weary body) and emerge at the last mud pile, but good luck dragging yourself out. Most people end up belly down sliding out, head first into a huge mud pit. Vanessa had to again hoist my mud soaked but out.

That’s it. We celebrate. Just a short SMASH, SLIP, SLIDE, CRASH. I eat dirt at the last turn, pulling Vanessa down with me, but it’s too slippery to get up and I consider crawling across the finish line, but there is Kev with the camera and I get up.

WE FINISHED! We got a medal!

I’m exhausted, battered and bruised.

Vanessa and I completed the course in 1:03:57.

We spent the next hour cheering along the remaining runners, picking dirt out of our curves and discussing the cervices we thought we might find dirt in the privacy of our own bathrooms.

Kim, Lyndi, Dee and Jen triumphantly finished the race at the 2 hour mark. A huge feat considering Kim has her leg in a splint (GO KIM). We cheer them on and collect for pictures.

Later finding out Kim did every obstacle… even the gross tunnels that I didn’t. I feel like a schmuck, but I am proud schmuck so I let her hug me with cold, wet arms.

We all donated our shoes, showered and headed to the car… where I stripped down and tried to find a clean spot. Nope. One does not exist.

Finally on our way home, my body rebels from all the over working… I eat the most delicious granola bar ever and we talk about next time, because we’re insane.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Not Fitness related AT ALL.

The conversation highway. Is ANYONE familiar with this?

I think I might have developed this concept while inebriated. And then I am disappointed in myself that i haven't shared it with the world until now. I mean I have studied this phenomenon for years.

The conversation highway exists in every room; except maybe when you're alone, unless of course you're talking to yourself, then it is more of a roundabout than a highway. ANYWAYS, don't get sidetracked Melanie, Fuck.

Let's do this with pictures.

This represents a typical conversation with 4 contributors.... subject: a, b, c & d. Everyone is engaging in conversation, everyone is being patient with no interrupting. The sound easily hits all the off ramps, everyone catches every word, but how often to conversations divide...?

See... now a & b are carrying on, while c & d have exclusive rights... in this situation the off ramps are closed, possibly due to constructions BUT...

What happens when a talks to b and b talks to c, which makes c talk to a and NO traffic makes it to d OR worse... 

Some words take the off ramp to c, but not all of them, road blocks cause b to detour.  What if these were words... 

How do you know if all your words are taking the right ramps? How can you be sure? And when it's friends... who cares, but what happens in a client meeting when a straight my, pairs with a rouge eat to a guy named Richard, Dick for short? 

And the CEO hears Eat my Dick??? That's why you ALWAYS need to signal, wait your turn and watch the signs.

Conversation highways... be careful. 


Ps. The model can be altered to accommodate more off ramps, depending on the crowd, but it will always be better to speak directly a to b.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

American Ninja Warrior

Is this a thing? ANW

I saw this last night and was captivated by it. I want to do these things. A spider jump? Silk ropes?

I could never do this... I hate that I could never do this, but COME ON, I am not spider man! Who is?



Mud Hero

4 more days to prep and plan for Mud Hero... do you think I can train for a 6k obstacle course in 4 days?

I'm an optimist, but COME ON. I dropped the MUD ball.

I also JUST looked at the website to gain some perspective. It looks like -- shit, it looks tough. A fun kind of tough, but tough. Am I really up for crawling through mud during what is supposed to be a THUNDER STORM? I am as hard core as the next guy, but my fingers get cold. I know... talk about random. How am I supposed to  climb a cargo net with numb fingers? It's not even possible, I'm just saying.

Think of me on Saturday... Think warm finger thoughts.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

What's the best?

You know what's the best??

Things that aren't.

Yup, that's a thing.

Are you with me?

Things that you should be doing, but don't want to. Things that you can secretly do without doing. Those types of things include exercise.

I love exercise that isn't.

I mean something that gets your heart rate up and makes you feel warm and sweaty, but isn't exactly exercise; its a decision to take the long way around.

My daily no exercise includes parking as far from the subway as I can, opting to take the stairs instead of the escalator and walking to co-workers offices instead of sending emails.

There is nothing pretty about taking the stairs
Some days, the good days, my no exercise is walking to the park and actually engaging in activity with the babe. Up and down the slide, swings and climbing walls. It's my decision to carry Thomas instead of bringing the stroller and he does make me huff and puff, especially when we take the stairs. 24 pounds of baby, plus my purse, car keys and diaper bag. Thomas even helps with my arm workouts when he squirms uncontrollably.

No exercise is all the exercise this old body has time for these days.

What's your daily no-exercise?


PS. As I type this I am squeezing my abs in a no-crunch. *grunt*

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

And now… 3 minutes a day to sculpted arms!

Remember I said ‘Every Fad’, I buy into EVERY. SINGLE. FAD… unless it costs me money. Although come to think of it, the only thing I have bought is the 90-day challenge and that helped me lose 30+ pounds. So, maybe I should be a little more critical, but a little less cheap.

Anywho… this week’s fad is 3 minute workouts.

I am not expected to drop dozens of pounds or inches with this, but if I can maintain the arms I have with 3 minutes a day, I’m in.

Oddly enough this was tough. Granted I hate Push-ups and it’s only been one day, but I got a little sweaty. #win

It’s HIIT so you aren’t ‘slow and steady’ing this… you’re going as fast as you can for 30 seconds.

I am sure I will tire of this in 24hours, but that’s today. It might work.


PS. Follow this link to the actual article which says you should do three consecutive sets… so it’s 9 minutes. I’m still only doing 3.

One YEAR later!

It's been an entire year since I was pregnant with a baby. I've had a year to bond with my baby and reinvent myself... or better to finally 'figure myself out'.
35 pounds and 25 inches LOST!

I have lost 35 lbs so far. I have 15 to go, but I am exhausted from work right now... lame excuse I know, but 16 hour days don't leave a lot of time for running.

My new 'work' look
I need to sort that out because in 2 weeks I have a 6k run. A run through obstacles and MUD. Yup! I am running the MUD HERO run in Toronto... I have no idea what to expect beyond getting DIRTY.

I am hoping to get back on the daily entry chain, but GAH! the pressure!