Fitness

barre headshot

I know, I know. No one is thrilled that I am writing this Fitness Friday post. I’m not even thrilled that I’m writing this Fitness Friday post. Consistency sucks. Our lives are inconsistent and nothing is worse than when things feel busy or out of control and then someone starts preaching the value of consistency in your face. You just want to shout “I’m doing the best I can!”

I know you are, babe.

But when you get into a consistent habit, it does actually feel so good. This is an anecdote that I share a lot, but several years ago I decided to prove to myself that I could build a habit… so I started making my bed every morning. And now, while parts of my morning routine will vary, making my bed is always a part of it. (Though I haven’t really taken this lesson forward to building other habits… maybe that’s a goal for this year!)

What does consistency have to do with Fitness Friday?

Okay, yes, that is kind of a facetious question – I feel like the answer is pretty self-evident if you know what “consistency” means.

Webster’s Dictionary defines consistency as “harmony of conduct or practice with profession”

Webster’s Dictionary

Since Webster’s is doing my job for me, I’ll provide context.

I am doing a barre challenge – in a studio! – for the first time in forever. (Barre West‘s 60 Day Heartbeat Challenge, to be specific.) The goal is to do either 30, 40, or 50 classes in 60 days, either online or in person. Y’all know that I love challenges and this balance between constraints but flexibility is perfect for me. I don’t have to try to go every single day (or else fall into a panic spiral), but it gives me inspiration to prioritize barre classes.

This is not a revelation – but it’s definitely working.

In yesterday’s class, my instructor (the incomparable Adriana, co-founder of Barre West and my former boss) gave a great quote from her husband. He said “working out is super fun when you’re in shape, but when you haven’t been working out it sucks” (paraphrased).

Yeah. That one really hit for me.

And that’s why consistency is awesome and terrible at the same time.

Culture

On Theatre Thursdays, I discuss topics related to theatre. I also write about local productions that I think #yyc should see. Today I’m talking about a show that I was supposed to see almost two years ago – Vertigo Theatre’s Cipher.

vertigo theatre cipher
Poster lovingly stolen from Vertigo Theatre. Credit to Tim Nguyen.

Cipher was originally set to open just a few days after what almost everyone I talk to cites as the “start” of the pandemic in Canada. (March 13, 2020, if you were wondering. Though there were cases in the time leading up to this, March 13 is when everything really came crashing down around us.) And, yes, I had tickets to opening night.

Almost two years later on January 20, I had tickets to opening night once again. And, yes, it was well worth the wait.

So, what’s Cipher all about?

There are lots of articles around that talk about the plot of Cipher and I’m not going to do that here. Better reviewers than I have already done that work and you know I’m not here to be helpful. Only emotional.

And the thing is, though it has a great plot crafted by Ellen Close and Braden Griffiths, I would argue that Cipher is about the experience, not the story. This story is a story meant to be told as a play. No other art form would do it justice. A good portion of the story is told entirely through choreography – some narrated and some not. I admit that it took me most of the opening sequence to “get” that it was choreography (I couldn’t understand why The Beacon Hill Body [Kaleb Tekeste] was moving the way he was), but once I got it, I was hooked. The choreography adds to the sense of mystery, obfuscating reality in the symbolic, and allows the characters that Grace [Ellen Close] imagines to populate the Beacon Hill mystery be ever present.

I also have to shout out the set and lighting design by Narda McCarroll. It is easily transformed and visually striking, allowing the actors to weave through different settings or moods in an instant. It is especially successful when paired with the sound design by Torquil Campbell and projection design by Jamie Nesbitt in order to establish the digital world that Grace and Ameen [Antoine Yared] navigate through.

Should I see Cipher?

Y’all should know by now that I only write about shows that you should see. Cipher is not what you think of when you think of Vertigo Theatre, but it is both thrilling and enthralling. You’ll want to talk about it with your seatmates after you leave. The show runs until February 13th and tickets can be purchased by visiting their website or calling (403) 221 3708. Do it, yo!

Culture

What I Read: December 2021

I didn’t realize it until I saw everything I read together, but December was a big speculative fiction month! I also got on a crazy Seanan McGuire (also known as Mira Grant when she writes sci fi) kick. This is pretty typical – once I read one of her books, I need to just keep reading them. Thank goodness for libraries!

The Desert Prince by Peter V Brett

The Desert Prince is a big book! I actually started this one back in November, but it took me a long time to read it, despite being a good read. I will admit, I think I need to go back and re-read the Demon Cycle books, then tackle this one again. There are a lot of references to the original series and Easter Eggs, which I think I would appreciate more if I brushed up on my Leesha, Arlen, Rojer and Ahmann…

Finale by Stephanie Garber

Finale is a super solid ending to the trilogy. As we know from my “What I Read: November”, I love Tella’s messy nonsense and I was glad to see more of it in this book. Plus a deeper insight into The Fates, a bit of a love triangle with two bad boys, some daddy issues… what a fun, easy, YA read!

Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews

Okay, again – just like The Desert Prince, Iron and Magic is the first of a spinoff series. The authors recommended reading this book between Kate Daniels #9 and Kate Daniels #10. I haven’t read a Kate Daniels book since the early days of the pandemic and I should have read in the suggested order. I’ll give a better review on the re-read, lol.

San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats by Mira Grant

This sweet little novella in the Newsflesh world is what hooked me back into Seanan’s books. Don’t get me wrong – San Diego 2014 is a book about a zombie uprising so it’s not sweet at all. No novella where you know most of your protagonists are doomed is sweet. But it is so compelling to see how they get dead and Seanan is incredible at researching/crafting her worlds.

Angel of the Overpass by Seanan McGuire

Despite being linked to her Incryptids series, the Rose Marshall books read very differently. I would compare the feel of Angel of the Overpass to the Diviners series I read at the end of 2020. In these books, we are building an American ghost story and it feels like all the good, bad, and messy pieces that make up America. (But also… ghosts!)

Feed by Mira Grant

This is the first book in the Newsflesh world I referred to above. I first read Feed long enough ago that I sort of forgot exactly what it was about. If you love books with solid science about living in the far aftermath of a zombie outbreak, you’ll love this book. If you love Seanan McGuire, you’ll love this book. Oh, and if you love World War Z (the book), you’ll love this book – it feels similar without copying at all!

When Sorrows Come by Seanan McGuire

You knew this was coming. I always pre-order the new October Daye book and read it when I’m on holiday break. When Sorrows Come doesn’t drive a lot of the world forward, but it does some awesome things for Toby. Besides. I love Toby and Tybalt, I love Quentin, and I don’t mind a light book. It felt like the characters deserved this break from heartbreaking nonsense for some old-school hijink-y nonsense.


I feel like I’ve been wrapping up a lot of my TBRs lately and now I’m getting back into re-reads. Which is totally cool, but I’d love to know – what great things have you read lately? I want to read them too!

Fitness

Fitness Routine equipment

I have to admit that I didn’t exactly set out to brand myself as a non-fitness girl, but the more I think about it, the more accurate it seems. I’m just a girl who likes to move her body sometimes. (And always feels better when I do, as much as I don’t want to a medium percentage of the time.) And speaking of liking to move my body… I feel like a solid second Fitness Friday post is an old classic – my Fitness Routine.

Day-to-Day Fitness Routine

Psych! (Does anyone say that? Is it actually supposed to be “psych”? Like “psych you out”? Or is it “sike”? Why do I apparently think it’s 1999?)

Anyway, as if I have a day-to-day fitness routine.

Over time, I have learned that my life is too variable and if I try to make a pre-set, organized, rigid plan for each day, I will inevitably fail at it. And then I will be stressed out and beat myself up over it, which will ultimately lead no exercise at all because “why should I even try?!”. A classic shame spiral.

I have discovered that, while I love challenges (this is known), 30 classes in 30 days type things don’t really work for me. This is what growth looks like, my friends.

Okay, then what IS your fitness routine?

I’m glad you asked!

Though I won’t say “on Mondays I do this, on Tuesdays I do this”, I will say that I have favourite classes/instructors that I try to hit up every week, if I can. If I hit three of my favourite classes in a week? Ohhhh, that is a good week, my friends!

So, in a good week, this is what I would like to do:

  • 3 barre classes
    • I’ve been doing in person classes at Barre West, and I really like:
      • Jenn’s Wed 545 class
      • Janet’s 610 am class for weeks I have stuff after work on Wednesdays
      • Kate’s Fri 445 class for weeks when I go into work early on Fridays
      • Amy’s Sat 1030 pilates class
      • Morgan’s Wed noon class on weeks I’m not working – but there are lots of other good ones!
    • I also have some great online barre recommendations, but I think I will save that for another post
  • 1 spin class
    • I’d love to do more, but spin literally takes up your entire evening because of the sweat factor. Like, a 1-hr class becomes a three hour chunk of your night.
    • I go to Hotshop, mostly the Silverado location and I’m obsessed with:
      • Lindsay’s Sun 915 Spin & Reset (essentially a Spin & Yin yoga combo) – there’s also a Tues 700pm version of this class
      • the Sat 1145 Spin & Sculpt that Brenna used to teach – a good class to sweat out a night out
      • I usually go for the combos, but if I’m going to pure spin, I will always show up for Brenna, Amanda or Alex
    • I think Stax is going to start doing in person classes again soon and I could not be more excited
  • 1 yoga class
    • My hips lose their minds if I don’t do this.
    • I should probably get into a daily home practice but… I’m not there yet. Work in progress, baby!
    • I’m also not really in the habit of any go-to classes right now and the in-person yoga scene has changed so much in the past two years that I need to put some work into finding what I love again.
  • Walk daily
    • Again, I’m truly happiest if I walk for a bit every day.
    • Plus it’s a great way to feel like you worked out on days that you don’t want to or don’t have time to do a full workout.
    • Plus you get to listen to podcasts.
    • I recently read a blog post where someone talked about reading on the treadmill and I feel like I am all there for winter.

Final Thoughts

This is one of the first times I’ve ever sat down and tried to articulate what my perfect week would look like.

It’s fluid, it seems oddly achievable. It gives me space to try new things and not feel like I’m letting my plan down. If I decide I’m not chill with doing in person classes for a moment, that’s okay. In short, this “routine” works with my lifestyle. But it might not work with yours, so I highly encourage you to sit down and do this exercise too. (Ha! Exercise…)

So, speaking of new things… I want to try some new fitness things! New providers of things I like! So, you know what that means – give me your recommendations below!

Fitness

talking about fitness as a non-fitness girl

Well well well, my friends. Here we are, two weeks into January, and I return to my blog, full of inspiration and 24 spam comments to delete. What else is new?

I didn’t intend to take a break after Blogmas, but it was super nice and refreshing. Plus I probably should have expected it… the first two weeks back at work after the holidays are always crazy for me and this year was extra crazy, with the Omicron of it all. No matter how hard I work before the break to get ahead, there are always things that come up that I have to deal with when I get back. And I’m somehow always a little bit surprised by it.

Joey from Friends shocked gif
Shocking.

But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about…

Fitness!

Yes. I am, like so many bloggers before me, going to do Fitness Fridays. It’s going to be a limited run for now, until the end of February, but who knows where the inspiration will take me!

It might seem like a misstep that I haven’t done this before. After all, “Fitness” is one of the five categories I picked when I first started this blog six years ago. (Oh dear… I don’t love that math.) The number of fitness posts I’ve actually written can fit on one hand, if you don’t count the one about my barre studio closing down. However, there is a very good reason for this…

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Life

2022 Word of the Year: Open

My friends, welcome to 2022! It is the first day of January, it’s a balmy -15 degrees outside (5 degrees Fahrenheit for those Americans out there), and I’m feeling super positive about the future.

Okay, yes, the Covid outside is Covid-y. (Omicron has hit my province, just like pretty much everywhere in Canada.) And I’m not quite sure how that’s going to impact various areas of my professional life. But my employment is stable and safe, and I know how lucky I am even during challenging times. So I’m not going to complain.

Any, hey, I didn’t have to get any emergency dental work done during the Christmas break this year! And I was able to get into and out of my parking spot as needed for the entire break.

Small victories, my friends.

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YYCEats

Who would have imagined that on Day 12 of the beer exchange and Day 23 of blogmas, I would still be sitting here writing? Not me, haha. This consistency has been so good for me! And here I am, watching Thor and drinking the last bits of Beer 12. So… let’s just get right into it, shall we?

Beer 12 in fire place
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Stuff About Me

Ten Good Things

Today is Blogmas Day 22 and it is going to be another one of those little bit weird posts. This week of the year is always a little bit crazy for me. (I coordinate a course at work that starts first thing in the New Year and things always sort of pop off this week. There is no way to get ahead of it, it’s just the way it is.) Add to that the fact that the Omicron variant is popping off as well, which is obviously having an impact on post-secondary education, and… it’s been a time. But my blog started as a place for joy and distraction, and that’s what it’s always been for me. So today will be no different. Today, instead of dwelling in the stress, I am going to redirect my energies and challenge myself to write about ten good things that happened this week.

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YYCEats

Oof, this post is going to be a late one going up. (Though… still on the correct day! It’s still going to be Day 21, which is the day it is supposed to be going up. Which makes me a success!)

Anyway, today I finally watched Tick Tick Boom, which I should have watched a month ago because 15 year old me would have been aghast that it took so long to watch a thing about Jonathan Larson, but life is life and here we are. I loved it.

I also watched Spiderman: No Way Home but I will say absolutely nothing about it because I understand very much that people have feelings about spoilers.

So, with all that nothingness out of the way, let’s move onto the penultimate beer of the Beer Exchange – Beer 11! Follow me through the cut, mes amis!

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Stuff About Me

Well well well, mes amis. We are reaching the part of Blogmas where I am getting super hyped for the holidays and running out of ideas to write about! I will be on winter break starting on Friday and I am so excited. Sleeping in, cleaning my house, reading books, and working out during the day time?! Yes, please! These are my Christmas traditions!

Annoying Kevin - my christmas traditions

Hmmm… or is being annoying to Kevin in selfies my Christmas tradition? (Literally, I think I have a Christmas picture where I try to force joy upon Kevin every year for the past decade.)

None of this is true. My family has actual Christmas traditions that don’t involve me being a hot mess. Traditions that reach back years, traditions that might look super weird to outsiders. But guess what? I’ll hazard a guess that your family’s traditions would probably look super weird to us!

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