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!

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!

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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Culture

Happy Saturday and happy Blogmas Day 18, friends! It’s the weekend, it’s mildly chilly outside, and I am getting ready to snuggle in on my couch. I have a mug of Sleigh Ride and I’m ready for a perennial Christmas tradition – Hallmark Christmas Movies!

You know the ones. Someone is way too busy or jaded for the season but a series of hijinks leads to both love and festivity.

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YYCEats

Beer 9 Wrapped

Can we talk about how cute the wrapping for Beer 9 is!? There has been a lot of great wrappings during the Beer Exchange (and a super borderline one that I did not post for my beer), but there is something about that gift tag that just tickled my fancy.

It indicated that there was something special about Beer 9 and it did not lie.

(Note: More information about the beer after the cut. But also more information about Survivor so just… like… read through with caution if you don’t want to be spoiled.)

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YYCEats

Can we just talk about how nice it is to spend a night at home sometimes, even during the holiday season? I know FOMO can be a very real thing (Rylee gets crazy FOMO when it’s time to go to bed). But, like… what if the thing you are missing out on is some quality time in your home that you spend a lot of money to live in?

I had originally planned to run a few errands tonight, maybe take a barre class, but it was crazy cold out and I just did not have it in me. Instead I had a super lovely evening in, with my treadmill, candles and a bath with a good book. I went super low-key for dinner (bagged salad with chicken strips on it) and soon it’s time for the season finale of Survivor. (Again… still Team Erika.)

But today’s post… today’s post is not about my nice night at home. Today’s post is about Beer Exchange Day 8.

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Culture

Real talk time. I totally get that I’ve been writing about a lot of “going out and having festive fun” things so far this Blogmas. And I know that’s not everyone’s vibe. Maybe your going out comfort level is different than mine. Maybe you always prefer “home” to “not home”. Maybe you just need a little break because you’ve been out too much. Maybe you live where the air hurts your face.

We all have our own reasons to prefer to be at home. So, this week, I will be featuring activities that I’ve done at home this holiday season and ideas to keep your home time festive.

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YYCEats

Y’all! Y’all! How are we here on Beer Exchange Day 7? How are we so far into this month?

And how has it been such a nice December? I feel like this time of year is often frantic and crazy. And, while this December has definitely been very full of social events and projects, it’s felt very manageable. I’ve been wondering if part of the reason it’s been like this is because I’ve been taking a few moments daily to come and check into this space?

I don’t know, y’all, but it’s been nice.

Beer Exchange Day 7 - Wrapped
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Culture

Market Collective Entrance

Let me start by saying that I get it – this picture looks like a medium bustling conference centre in the year of our lord 2021 where we can gather if we are double-vaccinated and wearing masks. (And look at how I snuck the COVID mitigation tactics that are in place right in there at the beginning – so smooth these days!) But once you take just a few more steps further, you’ll see that you are in a quirky, festive world of local artisans – you’re at Market Collective!

Market Collective Bathrooms

If you didn’t get it before, these festive bathrooms will leave no doubt that you are at a kitschy, quirky, holiday market. Calgary regularly hosts a ton of holiday markets. You could probably hit up a different one every weekend between the beginning of November and Christmas, if you planned carefully. Some of these are higher end, premium artisan markets, like Art Market at the Telus Convention Centre. Others are held in community centres and feature all the amazing home artists that you didn’t know were in your community.

Market Collective strikes a perfect balance between the two ends of the spectrum. Sure, there were several big name breweries on site and a few artists were definitely at Art Market as well. But for every artisan I recognized, there was one that was completely new to me. I can’t show any of my purchases because many are gifts, but let me just say… I bought quite a few awesome things and I did not break the bank. And it was so exciting to support people in my community.

Vintage cars

I feel like it is shockingly hard to describe the vibe at Market Collective. There are hipsters, grandmas, young couples with babies, skateboarders… (In fact, there is a full-on, though little, skateboarding park right next to a kombucha stand.) It just feels like a welcoming, open-hearted place for everyone. You can buy vintage clothing, beard oil, yummy treats, and jewelry to fit any style you want.

Vendors

This picture is… questionable (in terms of quality). But it gives you a bit of the vibe – you can see Ol’ Beautiful growlers on the left (yes, they were selling beer as well!), clothing in the foreground, and shoppers gathered around some cute jewelry in the background.

The best part? You still have an opportunity to hit up Market Collective next weekend (Dec 17-19)! I bet you still have some holiday shopping to do and supply chain lines are sketchy… shop local! It’s only $6 for the weekend and I bet you’ll love it.


No summary question here… just a rant

I’m only a very tiny blogger so I haven’t dealt with this much. Oh my god, its hard to take good pictures in public! I didn’t want to obviously get anyone’s face in the pictures. I didn’t want to linger at any stand for too long, because I wanted to let people see the wares. Ugh. I will get better but… not today, my friends. Not today.