What kind of fuel are you using?

How much time and effort do you spend picking out your horses’ feed? Planning out their nutrition, making sure what they’re eating is going to give them the most benefit. If you’re like most riders/horse owners.. probably quite a bit. It’s important stuff, these animals do great things for you- and they rely on you to make good choices when it comes to care.

Next question. How much time and effort do you spend picking out what you’re going to eat? Are you as picky with what goes onto your plate as you are with what goes onto your four legged friend’s? If yes, then kudos! If you’re reading this and realizing that the amount of time and effort differs between the two- I hope I’m inspiring a positive thought process. I am by no mean passing judgement.

I should also mention that I am not a registered dietician, or nutritionist- and will not shove advice directly related to what you eat personally down your throat. Ever. It’s not what I believe. I do, however, believe in the power of the right foods. My exercise physiology professor started off a lecture the other day with this statement:

“95% of what you eat, your body absorbs..”

While this isn’t a new fact, it was a phrase that got me thinking. 95% is a lot! In the past year I’ve completely changed how I eat; at first only because I had two doctors telling me it was a good idea, if I didn’t want diagnostic surgeries- and then continued on because I just felt so damn good all the time. I truly saw how much better I was functioning.. physically, athletically (in and out of the saddle), mentally, and academically. The extra effort was more then worth the benefits!

We live in an society full of fad diets, weight loss tips, and people telling you their way is the best way. I live and breath evidence based practice at work and at school- and am skeptical of any claim I hear unless there is recreatable, realistic, and legitimate research behind it. Much of the research I’ve been reading lately is starting to catch onto the fact that the way we eat as a society in general is causing a myriad of health problems.

“Nutrition is not a mathematical equation in which two plus two is four. The food we put in our mouths doesn’t control our nutrition…not entirely. What our bodies do with that food does.” -T.Collins, Whole. 

The body is an amazing machine that will absorb what it needs, when it needs it, from what you give it. However, if you don’t provide it with the option of the things it needs, it has to compensate by using less ideal substitutes from the options available. Each individual body needs different things, and functions it’s best on it’s own special kind of “fuel”. While I can’t say what’s best for you, I can say that no body will be it’s best version on processed, refined, “fast” foods.

You wouldn’t knowingly feed your equine partner(s) something that would give them less energy, cause inflammation within their body, decrease their immune function, or put them at higher risk for a variety of health problems- would you? That’s precisely why you think about what you are filling their feed tub with. Likely you want to give them a type of “fuel” that helps them function at their best.

What kind of “fuel” do you fill your own tank with? Have you made changes recently to that intake and noticed differences? How do you think spending just as much time planning your own nutrition might improve your daily life, in and out of the saddle?

Think about it.

The Power of Food

I love food. I haven’t really written about some of my experiences with my new eating habits yet, so this post will be focused on that.

Before I go any further, I should say that any of the opinions expressed are based on my experiences and that I believe that different foods, lifestyles, diet choices will effect each individual differently and I am in no way saying that there is one way to eat or live. Everyone has to do what makes them feel healthy.

You may remember that over the past year I’ve had GI issues, as well as living a pretty nutso lifestyle (especially during the school year), my diet habits were pretty average for a full-time student, part-time worker. They were far below average for an athlete. I knew this, but I didn’t really believe that putting more effort into my nutrition would really change all that much. It seemed like a lot of extra work to cook real meals, especially when I hardly had time to eat and when I did my appetite was lacking; replaced by nausea and pain. This in turn caused a lot of stress- because while knowing my diet was crappy, I couldn’t see how changing it was going to fix anything- which became a never ending loop.

I have to admit, I never used to believe that food had a major impact on things. I knew it was an important aspect of health (energy in = energy out, etc etc), but I didn’t attribute it as much to things like sleep, focus, skin health, fitness, mental clarity, and stress levels (to name a few).

Well, I know different now.

I’ve never had a “unhealthy” diet, always getting all the recommended servings in a day, usually a little over in dairy, veggies, and grains. The healthiest I’ve eaten (before now) ever was probably when I was living in NZ, for a couple reasons: 1. In general the culture there eats fresher, healthier foods (smaller portions, more fresh veggies/fruits, and lean proteins), and 2. I was broke and living off family hospitality majority of the time- and I am blessed with a family of great cooks.

I’d had people recommend trying cutting out certain things from my diet, to see if it made a difference. I’d try here and there, but if I didn’t see a change in a few days I’d write it off and continue back to my regular eating. In March of this year, the Naturopath I’d consulted for the GI issues (which seemed to come and go unpredictably, confusing doctors all over the place), suggested I try cutting out gluten, yeast, dairy, and sugars. I actually decided to seriously try it this time (I do sometimes listen to doctor’s suggestions). While I had a lot of people in my life ask a lot of questions, I had just as many show so much support and give great advice while making this a habit. The first few weeks were rough, my body had to go through withdrawal, I had to learn how to grocery shop (not sure I ever knew how in the first place) and I had to make a bigger effort when it came to meal prep and cooking.

What are some of the differences I’ve noticed?

  • Clearer skin
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • More energy
  • Better focus, clarity, and general enthusiasm about everything
  • Less anxiety and worry about little things
  • Better performance (riding, working out, general life)
  • Decreased mystery GI symptoms
  • Weight loss, and a leaner look

Can all those things only be attributed to diet? No, probably not. It’s a combination of things. Health is just that. It’s everything in your life put together to make a whole concept. It’s multidimensional, drawing from physical, mental/emotional, economical, and social aspects, and it is a dynamic process. It has to be, our bodies and minds need different things as our lives change. Doing one thing like changing your diet is a step towards a healthier lifestyle, but it can’t be the only step along the way. What I eat has had a huge impact on pretty much every aspect of my life, and it has worked along side all the other things I do to improve my health.

I’m very much a believer that our bodies tell us what we need, and that variety is important to overall health. A friend told me when I started to make changes to my eating habits to “eat as many (natural) colours as you can, and always mix it up”. How fun does that sound?! But she was right, the foods that are naturally colourful are usually the tastiest, and also usually pretty good for you. That being said, if you’re eating all of one colour/thing all the time– you probably won’t feel very good.

So, saying that, do I still eat “unhealthy” things sometimes? Um, yeah. But sometimes is the key phrase there. Do I stick to a strict diet plan (ie, no gluten, no dairy, etc etc)? Not really, I follow a paleo based idea but sometimes I have dairy, and sometimes I have gluten. I eat what makes me feel good. Majority of the time that is a array of fresh, organic foods- little starches, lean proteins, fresh vegetables, small amounts of fruits. Nothing processed, nothing high in sugar, no gluten, small amounts of dairy. One day last week, when I was in a particularly negative mood, an entire box of KD was eaten. Did I die? No. Did I regret it? No. Did my face break out? Yes. Did I feel bloated and tired? A little. Did I feel better anyway? Yep.

Dieting is a word that I don’t associate with this post. Dieting would imply I’m doing all this to lose weight. I’m not. The weight I have lost wasn’t the goal. Fad diets are well known for drawing people in, working briefly, but never lasting. Why? They aren’t adherent to real life. They come along with unrealistic ideas of body composition changes, and reaching a certain goal in a specific time frame. They’re almost impossible to stick to, and when people “cheat”, they cheat big because they feel deprived of all the “tasty” food- kind of a all-or-none thing (“I haven’t had this in so long, so I’m going to eat ALL the calories this weekend”).

Diet has to be a lifestyle choice, not a 4-6-week quick fix to get that body you’ve always been dreaming of. There is no quick way to achieve a healthy lifestyle, and there’s no magic wand to wave to make your body look like the body you idealize. It’s a life-long process, and everybody will react different to changes made throughout that process.

So, there’s some of my experience along my pathway to healthy living, and a little opinion thrown in there too. I hope something in there has given you something to think about. What have you tried to change about your lifestyle? Was it worth it? How do you view health and nutrition? How does food impact other parts of your life?

 

 

Week 2, completely different from Week 1

Well, it started out kind of similar. Actually it started out worse. Monday and Tuesday while I wasn’t as fatigued as I was after week 1, the nausea and abdominal pain/ flu-like symptoms were back with a vengeance. This is pretty much exactly how the ND said it would go. After wednesday though- things started feeling normal and this week I’ve really figured out how to eat right with what I can eat. What a difference!

If you’re just tuning in, this is week 2 of being on a very restricted diet (no gluten, dairy, yeast, or sugar), and of making the switch to a paleo way of eating.

It’s pretty safe to say that over the latter part of this week I am very much in love with how I feel! I have so much energy! It’s energy that lasts all day, even through my crazy non stop weeks! The food I’m making tastes amazing, and I’m really starting to get a routine down for cooking and meal planning (even in the minimal hours I have to myself in a day). I really thought it was going to take adding an extra couple of hours in a day to make this work- but with all the extra energy I have lately it hasn’t been a problem to make real meals throughout the week.

Besides the energy, I’m in a better mood a lot of the time as well! I only had one frustrating moment this week where I got a little overwhelmed while out for supper, first at Hermano’s, where everything on the menu looked so, SO, good- but because of my numerous restrictions currently I could basically have none of it. That turned around quickly when we found a place called Boon Burger down the street- which is a vegan restaurant. Never in a million years would I have seen myself enjoying a vegan burger (I had the bombay talkie burger on a quinoa bun), but it was super yummy! I mean, I’m still questioning what “bacun” is…. but past that I was pretty impressed. I’ll definitely be revisiting Boon again. Their sesame potato fries are to die for! As well as going back to Hermano’s once I can eat a little bit more of the menu.

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The most exciting thing for me, again going back to the energy I have, was this weekend. Friday I had my first coaching session with the Graysville 4H club which gave me some good insight of what I’ll be working with over the next few weeks. Saturday I rode two horses- Felix in the morning (who was amazing, and I am so excited to ride more of him this year!), and then took Willard for a long 4 mile hack where we dealt with some of his grumpiness in a very productive way (serpentines for 2 miles will make any horse a little more focused and responsive), and then went to the gym and had a great work out (Deadlifts super-setted with core exercises anyone?)- came home from that day feeling like I could still go out for a run.

Today (Sunday) I worked the afternoon at MORfit and then attended a friend’s choir concert. After that I headed out for a run which turned out to be the best run I’ve had.. possibly ever. 5 miles, absolutely pain free (a month ago I could hardly run a mile without paying the consequences of not being able to walk for a week- stupid ITBS) at a pace that was 1:30min faster then I’ve ever run. I’m pretty sure I smiled for most of the run. I just feel so good!

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Felix! Cannot believe he is 3 already!!!

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Here’s to hoping that week 3 sees some of the same results!

Lessons, Habits, Progress

Decided to take a study break to write a post. And now I have writers block. THANKS BRAIN.

We’re in the home stretch. Only two exams left this week- after a quite successful run of five.  Found out today that I got a 94% on the psychology paper I wrote on the power dynamics Eric Lamaze used to influence the series of events surrounding the disqualification of Tiffany Foster from the olympics and FEI’s hypersensitivity protocol. I also got a B on my A&P lab exam, and a B+ on my P&C practical. Both those written exams felt very good as well, so hoping for good results there.

Besides studying like crazy, I’ve been working as much as I can, as well as riding and working out. So basically the past month all aspects of my life have been colliding into one big happy fun time. There were a couple weeks in there where I managed to pick up around 4-5 shifts in the week, as well as got out to the barn 5 times (as well as other forms of exercise), and wrote 1-2 exams. There is a reason “time-management skills”  has it’s own section on my resume. I’m getting used to living out of my car and using gas stations for wardrobe changes. Between driving across the city for work and play, and out to the country for training, I don’t have a lot of time to spend at Ainslie St. The time that used to be taken up by classes is quickly being replaced by five billion other things. Speaking of which I should really figure out when my spring class starts.

As of today I’ve had three lessons with M&C, and they have all brought significant improvements (for both me and Willard). The first lesson was really fun. We focused on grid work, and it was clear the Willard missed jumping over things. I felt great in the tack, confident and focused. The second lesson was a bit different. I was less focused to begin with, but that quickly changed as the lesson progressed. In the beginning I was sluggish in the saddle, my back hurt and my knee was not enjoying much of anything. Then I realized how much I was falling into old bad habits (hip angle too closed, shoulders forward, leg back). Then I thought about all that work I put into that biomechanics project I did my first term, and between that and Charlene manually adjusting my position in the saddle, I quickly fixed my own biomechanics and had quite a productive lesson after that. Just took me a while to wake up that time apparently. But it was an enlightening lesson for me in many ways, one of those ways seeing how my education- all those technical things about the human body I’ve been studying all year- are truly helping me to progress as a rider. It’s helping me change my perspective on things like those pesky old bad habits I’ve been trying to banish for so long. I stumbled across a quote the other day that fits this situation.. “When bad habits are hard to break, try bending them”. A lot of it is about perception.

That lesson showed me that I am well on my way to gaining new perspective, and that maybe those habits won’t always hinder me- but instead help me to progress further.

Oh, and the horse was good too.

My lesson today was much more focused (from my view anyway). Since Willard is still pretty enthusiastic about the whole jumping idea (sound effects included). We did quite a bit of transition work, before and after jumps. While is is very keen to jump, he is listening much better than even a few weeks ago. Where he used to grab the bit and launch himself at jumps, he was waiting with me for deeper distances and actually rounding himself over the jumps (of course followed by a squeal and a buck after because apparently it feels really good to jump oxers lately). Today there was only some of that, moreso after the jumps opposed to before. Charlene thinks that one more week and this “spring freshness” should be out of his system. Can’t blame him really, jumping IS pretty fun.

The biggest difference I’m noticing in my riding so far this season is that I am also better at waiting in the tack. Previously I had a tendancy to see a distance, and wait for it, but let myself fall forward in anticipation- which would throw the horse off, and lead to a chip or a extra stride before the jump. Whether it be my common sense progressing, my improved over all fitness, or M&C’s strategies working (probably all three), it brings a lot more confidence into my ride. For both horse and rider.

So that’s riding covered. The only other sort of interesting news I have that is fitness related is that I’ve finally started making ground with my pesky quad injury. After a few months arguing with it (especially during running), with the help of my ATs awesome/horribly painfully effective thumbs and elbows, as well as well planned rehab exercises, it has progressed from quitting at 1 mile, then to 2 miles, and now last week we were up to 3 miles before it started feeling like WWIII was taking place in my left leg and glutes. That day I also did a 5 miler maintaining a 10:30min/mile pace! Personal best for this kid! My training has kind of shifted from being in the gym 5 days a week to being in the barn 5 days a week mixed with more running and more body weight/pilates style exercises. I’ve found that for now, with my schedule and what is most effective for my lifestyle at the moment, this is the program that works right now. I still try and do a heavy lifting day 1-2 times a week, because it really is effective for me as a rider. I’m really looking forward to this summer to expand my training more with new ideas that come up!

Between everything else, the mission to solve my GI problems is continuing. The naturopath I consulted in March originally suspected parasite, while the Gastroenterologist recently suggested it definitely was not a parasite, and although I don’t have too many of the symptoms, Crohn’s might be the case and would like to proceed with a colonoscopy to confirm, which I said I would consider after all the other tests came back. I did stool and saliva testing for the Naturopath, and more blood tests for the Gastroenterologist. The GI guy was correct on the parasites, as I saw the naturopath today and got my test results back. The tests also showed some inflammation in my small intestines, but that could correlate with the high levels of yeast, bacterial growth, and gluten build-up also present. So while I wait the next 2 months for my Gastroenterologist to get blood test results, the naturopath has put me on 3 different herbal supplements to rid my gut of the bad bacteria, yeast, and gluten- as well as recommended I try out a restricted diet. Restricted being the understatement of the year.

Long story short (seriously though, I got a 100-page reference package), I am to avoid all gluten, dairy, and sugar- limit my fruit intake and bump up my veggie intake. I’m not sure how my Starbuck’s addiction feels about this. However, while I initially panicked because, lets face it, that is a lot of things I can’t eat, I then realized that my diet lately has been shifting that direction anyway. It will definitely take a little more time and effort on my part to make the complete shift, but I have been looking at the “paleo” way of life for a while, and this restricted diet is not too far off that line of thinking. The past month or so, I have been feeling really good, and during that past month I’ve been eating less starchy/processed stuff. So maybe, hopefully, the naturopath is onto something with this. Either way, it’s a new adventure.. or maybe challenge is a better word! I hope to make time to record some of how it goes on here, so if you’re interested make sure you stay tuned!

I finish exams Wednesday, where I will get approximately a 12hr break before I start full-time at the Manitoba Major Soccer League as their program coordinator for the summer. It’s sure to be a crazy summer (per usual), while I keep around 10 hrs a week in shifts at the gym, plus full time at MMSL, riding, showing, spring courses, and everything else in between. Bring it on!

 

 

Carrot at the end of the stick

“You’ve got that ‘march glaze’ about your eyes.. its that time of year for you students”

Yep.

Talk to any student right now and they’ll either give you a zombie-like reply and/or mumble something about “only 3 weeks left.. so close”. I know pretty much all my peers, as well as myself, are pretty much over the whole classes, assignment, school idea.

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Totally burned more calories on my run then are in this dish…. Totally.

It carries over to other things as well- like running. Tonight, for instance, the only reason I convinced myself that doing my run was a good idea was by bribing myself with cake and ice cream. Productive? No, not really. But, hey, it worked. And it was better than sitting on the couch and eating cake anyway. Right?

But in all seriousness- I’ve been working really hard at keeping my motivation levels up. 2 weeks ago now I started a self-designed “pre-show season bootcamp”, which I have been sticking to as best I can. I’ve been putting all the fitness programming knowledge I’ve learnt this year into action (anybody want a trainer?), and feeling the results. In a good way! Since I’ve made so much progress with my back and hip issues- much thanks to the great AT/Chiro that helped me get on this track, Dr. Notley – I want to go into this season as best prepared as I can to not back track. There is definitely some fear there that it will all kick up again as soon as I start riding full time- but I’m trying to keep my thoughts trained on the fact that I’m in great shape and stronger then I’ve ever been. And if it does, then I know how to work through it. Anybody who has had a lingering injury will know how tough that can be sometimes. If you’re interested in seeing some of my workout plans, I post them all on my Fitness Log, so feel free to take a look!

It’s been a pretty quiet few weeks for me, school wise. Well. Relatively speaking of course. It’s kind of the quiet before the storm. The storm being finals. The quiet being me still running around 6 days a week not knowing what I’m doing half the time. But hey, I’ll take it. The last big project I worked on and finished (B), was a group presentation on “Norms in Athletic Therapy” for psych skills in sport and life. Past being frustrated with my fellow group members for most of it (apparently none of them had really done a presentation or public speaking before…(thank you 4H)), it was a pretty fun project. Instead of sticking to boring classic research for our references- we decided to interview two practicing ATs from the community and use their answers to support our points. Norms was a pretty tough concept for us to present- and there were definitely aspects we lost marks on because of that. Norms are the things you do in life, but don’t think about really.. ever. For an AT it would be something like showing up before a practice, having a certain set of personality characteristics (naturally or taught), or being the type of person people are comfortable talking to. Its things that aren’t in the code of conduct, but things that are often past down through peers or teachers you have along the way. What norms do you have in your career, or daily life? In groups/organizations you are a part of?

The next big paper I’m writing is on (hopefully anyway, proposing the idea to my prof tomorrow) the Canadian Eq. Team and the Tiffany Foster situation at the olympics- mainly on how Eric Lamaze and the other members of the team reacted relating to the topic of “leadership” in sport. Should be a pretty interesting topic, I think!

In health news I’ve finally got a date with a specialist… unfortunately not for another month or so- which I guess isn’t bad for wait time. I’ve also started looking into seeing a naturopathic doctor- so here’s where I ask you lovely readers- does anyone know of good names in Winnipeg?

As I alluded to in the opening paragraphs- I’m in the homestretch for the semester. What’s my “carrot at the end of the stick”? Besides cake.. it’s getting on my horse and starting spring training! Everyday I get through is one day close to riding season. Assuming I can get my saddle on the white buffalo…

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Do what you love. Find it. Do it well. If you don’t know how to do it, learn. Know that it will rough you up a few times, and occasionally bring you to tears. Do it anyway, to the best of your ability. You’ll have no other choice. There is no end- only the journey. It will be a long one- but know this: You will be forever changed.

Tuesday night rambles

To continue my trend, check out where I was a year ago!

Usually, on a Tuesday night, I’d be in bed by now. But since I somehow ended up consuming WAY too much caffeine today.. I need to do some typing to burn some energy.

This nice weather we’ve been having is making me want to kick into gear on the riding front- unfortunately school is getting in the way! I’ve been really upping my work-outs to compensate. And watching a lot of youtube videos, like this one. And studying.. of course. But seriously.. counting down the days, minutes, seconds, until I can get riding!

I had my first shift at the new job yesterday. I am working on a casual basis, so any shifts I have right now are as covers for other employees- I don’t have a permanent shift yet. Which is actually perfect because it basically means I can pick and choose which shifts I want. What student with my schedule would complain about that? It became very apparent yesterday that I am going to learn a BUNCH from this job. Whether it be in interacting with clients, managing a business, or, of course, everything else related to the fitness field. Only had one embarrassing moment yesterday (surprising for me), where my boss was going through a mock start up program (new members are guided through a basic fitness program by the staff on duty) with me (where I was guiding him through the program) and I couldn’t figure out how to work the treadmill. Awkward. Thankfully he switched roles with me and helped me out. He seems very committed to thoroughly training his staff, and helping them gain knowledge in every way he can in this career path. Looking forward to my next shift on Thursday, where I’ll be flying solo for the first time! Eek!

Today I got some more news on my health (or lack of) diagnosis. I had a voicemail from my GP letting me know that my CT was clear, and my appendix was/is healthy and there is no need for it to be removed. Great to know I was literally minutes away from having an unnecessary surgery. I owe the anaesthesiologist who put a halt to the procedure a big thank you! Only downside to this is that we still don’t know whats causing my symptoms. At least now that is ruled out. I am meeting with my GP tomorrow to move onto the next step- a referral to a gastroenterologist (spelled that right the first time, heck ya!). Can’t say I’m too excited about meeting with MORE doctors. This has sure been a year full of them. But, I don’t control life; I control how I react to it. So, we are going to keep thinking positive and take it as it comes.

In my last post I think I mentioned I had a pretty off week of exams, two marks around a C+ in courses where I should have been getting much higher. Crediting that to bad symptoms of the mystery ailment, and bad head space because of it. The week after that I wrote three more exams. The marks for two of which I got back, and both were A- (prevention and care of athletic injuries, and intro kin)! That definitely is a boost! I feel pretty good about the last one I’m waiting for too.

In other news, I really just want it to be riding time. 5 more weeks! Let the count down begin!

Here are some fun pictures, just for fun!

Sunrise on Ness Ave

Sunrise on Ness Ave

Zoo day anyone?

Zoo day anyone?

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I'm sure the staff at Value Village love us..

I’m sure the staff at Value Village love us..

 

Etc.

There’s a classic Manitoba blizzard blowing around outside, this was yesterday, a few hours before it started raining/snowing/blizzarding… luckily I got back to the city before that occured.

Ice road trekking (aka highway 2)

Ice road trekking (aka highway 2)

AND it’s the first day of reading week…I think it’s time for an update, don’t you?

First off, a year ago I was doing much crazier things then I am now. Well maybe not crazier, but very different. Click here for a blast from the not so past. Or check out my archives really from anything before April of last year.

It seems like more than just a year ago I was planning all those exciting things! At the same time it doesn’t feel like it’s already almost been a year since I landed back on Canadian soil! Most of the past year has been spent with the plan of returning to the other side in the back of my mind. It’s happening. Don’t worry. This blog will get interesting one day again.

Okay, so what has happened in the past few weeks? Well, I’ve experienced what many students experience during February leading up to reading week. Complete burn out. Along with some unpleasant symptoms of whatever is going on with my health (hopefully answers soon on that). There was a week in there where I was unable to really eat much because of lack of appetite and over the top nausea- which did have a great effect on the two exams I wrote that week. Thankfully, I guess, those symptoms mysteriously disappeared for my remaining 3 exams the next week- and I’m hoping for better marks on those ones. I debated going to the hospital a couple times when I was home in Ctown, but didn’t feel up to facing the surgeon I had before- so waited it out. What would they do anyway? I had a CT scan this week, and go in for results next week. If there are any. Not sure how I’ll feel if I find out it was actually Appendicitis all along. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there I suppose.

In other random news, I’m inching closer to dead-lifting my bodyweight (165lb)– got up to 150lb last week!  There is a video of that here. My gym time has been slightly less this semester. Well, I shouldn’t say that. It’s just been different. I’m staying active in other ways, besides strictly just the gym. I’m pretty sure I’ve only been to the gym at school maybe 5 times this term? But I’ve been at the “Homewood gym” pretty much every weekend- so those turn into my weight days. During the week I’ve found myself doing yoga, who my friend Michelle teaches, which is usually a solid work out. Also been taking a intro dance class twice a week- finding muscles that haven’t been used in a while. Yay for fitness groupons! This isn’t close to what I was doing in the first term, where I was in the gym around 5-6 days a week. However, the rule of quality vs quantity is coming into play right now. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

 The closer we get to spring, the more I’m starting to itch to get on my horses. One of which resembles a white, furry, house at the moment. The other one has near doubled his size since fall (height wise). Come the end of March, boot camp begins. For both Willard and I. The first few rides will, I’m sure, be America’s Funniest worthy. They always are.

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OH! I have other news! I almost forgot!

About two weeks ago, I think, I went to a job interview. A interview I really only went to because I was surprised to actually get a reply back to my original application. An application I sent after seeing an ad on kijiji which I almost didn’t even apply to, because, really.. do I have time for a job? No. No is the answer. But anyway, went for this interview for the experience of going for an interview. But the interview, which was for a gym assistant at a small gym in St. Boniface, went very well. It even involved a testing of my knowledge of kinesiology (which I rocked, thank you first term). And after discussing what kind of hours I was looking for, etc, it was revealed that not only would the hours work well with my monster schedule- there would also be a chance for me to gain working experience with the Athletic Therapist they have situated in the gym. Uhm, no way! Yes way! So I left the interview, not knowing whether or not I had gotten the job- but now with a new excitement about the possibility of getting it. Completely different from the “meh-whatever-don’t want a job right now anyway” attitude I went into the interview with. Skip ahead a couple weeks, and I GOT IT. So, I’m hoping that it turns out to be as great a experience as I think it will be! It’s definitely a foot in the door of the AT/Kinesiology industry, anyway.

Other things that have happened the past few weeks:

  • Learned some basic massage techniques, which I’m sure my family and friends will take advantage of. I know Leah already has. 
  • Began some taping techniques, and learned that it is NOT as easy as skilled people make it look. I never was good at arts and crafts, turns out that skill hasn’t developed over time either. Definitely going to be a lot of practicing for that going on.
  • My hair can ALMOST completely go into a pony tail. The day is near, my friends.

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  • I have almost made it the entire winter without putting on a parka. Stupid right? Don’t worry, I still wear a jacket. Just one that doesn’t have a tag saying good up to -50 or whatever. And I still have my parka with me, in case of emergency. However, this also means I’ve made it through the coldest days (-45 degrees Celsius, approx), which now means that all the other days feel like t-shirt weather. No point giving in now.

Well that’s my 1000 words. I’m now on reading week, 3 days of which I’m at the school anyway learning first aid and other school related things, hoorrah for being a good student. The other days I’ll probably be doing one or more of the following: eating cake, reading non-school assigned books, re-watching Grey’s Anatomy, working out, sleeping, napping. If only I could get paid for doing any of that.

To any students out there, make the most of zombie time.. To everyone else, hug a student!

Just in time

I’ve broken my record for length between posts, I think. Which must mean my life is finally getting back on track (insanely busy)!

It’s been just over a month now since “the surgery”, and I’m finally almost back to normal. I’m done dressing changes, and although there is still some healing needing to be done- I’m pretty much able to forget about it and just let it happen. Which is good, because that means I can ride! Yesterday was my first real ride back since surgery, and I haven’t been that happy in a long time! Willard has been moved to McMullans for the week as we’re planning on going to Fall Harvest this weekend. Yes, a show right after a month off- an excellent plan, isn’t it? Any other year I might not have felt comfortable doing this, but this year I have complete faith in my horse and our ability that this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. And here is where I need to say a HUGE thank you to my friend and fellow rider Laura Clark, who rides at Bluebear and also hails from Carman. She has been coming and hacking Willard for me over the past month and after riding him tonight in the ring I was so happy to find he was moving beautifully and so willing to do lateral work. Like I never got off! I knew he would be in good  hands with her. So, Laura if you read this, thank you thank you thank you!  It’s great to know my horse is in relative condition even when I’ve been unable to ride for a while.

I rode for about an hour and a half yesterday, and an hour today- I just couldn’t bring myself to get off. Even though my body has gotten a little too used to the easy life. I’ve been slowly trying to add things to my schedule, like work outs and now riding, plus work- and soon school again. 2 months ago it was easy to do all of those things in one day and still have energy at the end of the day. Now, it’s a little more challenging. I’m still trying to find the energy I used to have. I’m sure it will come back, I’m not really giving it a choice. Hopefully over the next couple weeks, as my schedule starts to pick up again I will feel back to normal. School is only a couple weeks away!!! I can’t believe how excited I am! Before I started this post I had my nose stuck in one of my texts already. Wonder how long this will last? Haha

My class schedule is pretty full. Actually, it is completely full. I have 10 courses, my 5 for the fall are: Nutrition, Biomechanics, Data Analysis, Anatomy and Physiology, and Scientific Principles of Fitness and Conditioning. Following those, with my AP running all year, are: Intro Kinesiology, Research Methods, Prevention and Care of Injuries, and Psych in Sport and Life. It’s definitely going to be a challenging year, to say the least. To add onto my school schedule, I plan on riding and working as well. Although fall has some of my tougher courses, I think it will be the easier term, schedule wise as most days all my classes are in the afternoons- so I’ll have most mornings and evenings free to work and ride and study. The winter term things get a little crazier with courses spanning from late morning to evening classes plus a Saturday class- which means I’ll be in school 6 days a week. Unfortunately this was the only way I could schedule things so I got into all my classes and labs, so it will have to do! The past week or so has been a flurry of me organizing text books, gym memberships, locker rentals, and everything in between. Thankfully most of that is done now and I can focus on Fall Harvest, and then finish moving things to the city and settle in there. As much as I’ve been pretty stressed lately, it’s all for the right reasons and I’m very excited to face the challenges that come up this year in school. I proved to myself in Anatomy this spring that I can get decent grades if I work hard at it, so I hope I can continue proving that to myself in the future. That B was definitely not easy for me, but it was such an accomplishment when I got it! I still stop and wonder sometimes why I chose this path. What is someone who has always drifted towards arts and never did well in sciences doing in a Bachelor of Science degree in one of the most challenging specialities?! At the same time, I can’t see myself doing anything else. And the more I talk to other people in the profession, the more I fall in love with it.

That’s all I’ve got for now, I’m exhausted! Here are a couple pictures from my ride on Sunday- and I hope I write again soon! There will definitely be a Fall Harvest update!

MS River Rouge cruise!

Roomies!