A: B’s been working full-time for a couple weeks now and so I tried reading my book again while he worked. I also ate an ice cream sandwich for breakfast. B was so distracted by work, he didn’t even try to sell me on anything healthier. This is how busy he’s been! Me? Well, I got a concussion and basically stared at a wall for 7 days. But B took care of me so I love him and kept quiet while he caught up.
B: I remember the ice cream sandwiches and not much else. I know I was starting to feel really stressed.
I think A tried to do a few things herself and then needed my help and I was upset for being pulled away from my work. I always get upset when I’m focusing and then get distracted, it’s a reaction and not one I love.
There was a lot of stuff I wanted to finish working on and I know A needed my attention and I felt bad for feeling upset. It wasn’t me being upset with her but the situation. But I know I took this out on her…for which I feel sorry for.
Date #290 – Thursday, May 22, 2014
A:I went to a free Nike Training Club class at the Academy of Lions where Brian was doing his own crossfit class. It was great to be active again. I want to go to more of these, and also start running. I have a bit of trouble motivating myself to run now that I live in the city and not along the Beaches boardwalk (I was SO spoiled last year!). If anyone has any tips on staying active in the city, I would love to hear them!
B: So I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I haven’t posted about working out in about a month. That, sadly, is because I haven’t been working out (at least at Academy of Lions). I have no real explanation except that I haven’t been feeling motivated.
I think working out has a lot of cyclical effects. If you start working out (in a way that you enjoy and without injury) it feels great and you are motivated to go again. The more you go, the more you’re motivated. However, if you stop, you don’t feel as great, and then you’re not motivated to go.
This day I tried to break the cycle and it felt great. I can’t remember the entire WOD, but I know we worked up to our 1-rep max deadlift as part of our warmup. Despite being away I lifted 270lbs. Now I just need to get back into a routine.
It was great to be working out with A as well. Even if we weren’t doing the same thing, her being there for my post-workout high was awesome.
B completes CrossFit Open 14.5
Date #240 – Sun Mar 30, 2014
B: The last workout of the CrossFit Open and it was brutal. 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of both 95lb Thrusters (a front squat + push-press) and bar-facing burpees (a burpee where you must jump over the bar). In total, 84 reps of each. I completed in 31:07.
I wanted to cry and die but I stayed focused and it was great. A and a friend came and cheered me on. I love how much A loves the gym and how, over the past 5 weeks, we all came together.
A had a hang-over and so she left right after I competed while I stayed to cheer others on. She is so supportive.
A: Once again, I am so impressed with how B did. He got through and was so strong. My friend came to watch it with me but I was a total zombie from lack of sleep and… probably… all that whisky….
But I couldn’t miss the last day! After he finished, I went back to B’s and snuggled in bed feeling sorry for myself. Oh Sundays… The only thing that would’ve helped, I think, would have been a beer. I should’ve went to the bar with the gang after. #Regrets! (JK, no regrets. Sleep is better.)
B completes CrossFit Open 14.4
Date #231 – Mar 23, 2014
B: The second-last workout of the CrossFit Open had me doing as much as possible in 14-minutes of a 60 calorie row, 50 toes-to-bar (see pic above), 40 wall-balls (squatting and throwing a 20lb ball at a 10ft target), 30 cleans (lifting a barball from ground to chest) at 135lbs, and 20 muscle-ups. I got to complete 2 cleans, a score of 152.
This workout was super tiring and while kind-of-smiling in the picture above, I felt like crying. Everyone at the gym was super supportive, especially A. She came with a book and read and wished me luck and took photos. Having her there is such a calming presence.
I also helped coach some of my teammates to fantastic results, and filmed the workout of another athlete who has a chance of moving on to regionals (filming in a requirement). A said she feels comfortable at Academy of Lions and I like that. The people there are like family.
After I took a hot epsom-salt bath and cold shower. Then A and I ate a party-pizza from Bitondo’s and biked to her place. A great day.
A: I told B I didn’t think we should get pizza every Sunday and he looked at me and said, “Is that because YOU don’t want to eat pizza every Sunday?” I said yes. And then Sunday rolled around and I said, “We should definitely get pizza.” How could I EVER think I WOULDN’T want pizza? Oh, Andrea.
Well we get the pizza because B is so awesome and works so hard. This workout actually scared me a little but everyone did so well. Each week I want to try to do what they’re all doing more and more. I am very competative, but mostly in an “I see these people building strength and overcoming obstacles and supporting one another and pushing themselves hard and well and I want to be a part of that too.” It’s definitely good motivation.
CrossFit Open 14.3
Date #225 – Sunday, Mar 16
B: I felt so prepared for this round of the CrossFit Open. In the third week I was faced with an 8 minute workout where I tried to complete as much as possible of 10 deadlifts at 135lbs – 15 24” box jumps – 15 deadlifts at 185lbs – 15 box jumps – 20 deadlifts at 225 lbs – 15 box jumps – 25 deadlifts at 275lbs – 15 box jumps….
My one rep max on deadlifts is 300 lbs, so I had a goal of 1 rep at 275lbs. I got 4 reps at 275lbs, or a score of 94. I felt like a superhero on each of the 4 275lb deadlifts.
A stayed at her place and met me at Academy of Lions in time for my workout. It was great having her there and taking pictures of me. I gave her a big sweaty hug right after.
Later we went to Dog and Bear with the rest of the team, a weekly tradition. It was fun talking with everyone. People kept asking A about her writing and I thought that was sweet.
A: It was sweet. B told me he corralled the entire gym to vote for my story in the deathmatch but I didn’t really know how much work he actually did until so. many. people. asked how my story did and told me I did a good job – because they read it! Woo wooo! This all made me feel really great and also welcomed which allowed me to relax a lot more. I sometimes feel like an outsider at the gym because everyone knows each other, etc. But I’m meeting more people and everyone is so incredibly nice that I shouldn’t let my own conviction harbour any ill-mannered thoughts.
In any case, B did SO well in the round. He beat his goal and we got some great pics. I always feel like I’m going to distract him by standing by his side so it’s nice to read that he thinks it’s great that I’m there. I mean, he tells me that too, but for some reason, if it’s in writing, it’s more solid than just saying it.
Overcoming stress and watching “Say Anything”
Date #218 – March 9, 2014
A: We spent the morning with my mom puttering around. Talking all at the same time or, more accurately, listening to my mom talk. B had to go to a CrossFit competition that I wished my mom was more interested in, so we parted and my mom and I hit up Kensington and the Eaton Centre for birthday shopping.
B came over after my mom went home and his competition ended and we started to watch Say Anything, only the most charming, heart-clenching, adorable, heteronormative John Hughes movie of life and I couldn’t believe B had never seen it. We didn’t finish because he went to Whitby to house sit, but it’s on our to-do list.
Here’s some Bruce Springsteen to get you in the mood to watch Say Anything, which you should definitely do right now (ahem, it’s on Netflix – easy as pie!!!0:
B: This was a potentially stressful day that didn’t seem that stressful. I was competing in the CrossFit Open 14.2 workout (click here if you don’t know what that is) at academyoflions and it was the last day of A’s Broken Pencil Deathmatch short-story competition.
I wished A was able to come see me perform, I was really nervous, but I understood why she couldn’t. Also, I had to go back to my parents’ place to take care of our dog Langley for a week, so I knew I wouldn’t see her for awhile. I called her after the workout and could tell she was stressed. I cancelled dinner with my parents and going to the bar with the people at the Academy and headed over. I’m so happy we got to watch Say Anything. It was my first time and that movie is so beautiful.
B completes the CrossFit Open 14.1 workout
Date #213 – Mar 2, 2014
B: It’s the beginning of the CrossFit Open, which means I’ll be completing a very intense workout (more intense that most CrossFit workouts) every Sunday for the next 5 weeks. If you don’t know what the Open is, basically it’s a worldwide competition designed to both unite the CrossFit community and help decide who will move on to Regionals and eventually the CrossFit Games.
At my gym, academyoflions, we’ve decided to also hold an in-house competition along side the Open. I am the Captain of a 4-person team, and it is my role to help the other 3 through the Open, giving them guidance and additional coaching.
The first workout was tough. It involved as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of 15 snatches (75lbs for men) and 30 double-unders (skipping). The toughest part was the metabolic effect of this wokrout. You want to move fast, but your muscles and lungs are exhausted.
A was with me the entire time and was very supportive. She was a calming presence as I prepared in the morning and while I warmed up. I’m looking forward to her cheering me on for the next 4 workouts.
If you want to follow my progress and see my rankings, click here.
A: B really inspires me to be a better person. Since moving to Vancouver I’ve become a lot more health conscious, which only amped up when I came to Toronto (despite my love for poutine). So B is this dedicated, knowledgeable being that wants to take care of his body so much so that he’ll be able to climb mountains when he’s 90. And he wants the same for me. Admittingly, I want this too, but because both my parents are absolutely terrible at taking care of themselves, I’ve never had anyone to teach me or lead an example for me. For this, I am so happy that B is like this. When we first met, I was nervous because I like to indulge. Then he told me he gets party pizzas on his cheat days and eat the ENTIRE thing. All is well with the world, I thought.
In any case, I’ve always know that what you put in your body can affect your mood 100% but I’ve never been encouraged enough to care more than a few times a week.
And B did so good at the competition. I like being at his gym because surrounding ourselves with healthy, strong, positive, and community-encouraging people is a really good feeling.
Valentine’s Day WOD and a Southern-inspired Paleo/Vegetarian meal
Date #199 – Feb 14, 2014
A: I didn’t say anything to B but candid photos of people working out are not attractive. They’re horrible actually. Okay. Maybe I’m referring to myself but I am one of the however-many-percent of people who look utterly raunchy in candid workout photos. Never again B (just saying).
But Vday was so much fun. The Academy is so awesome and welcoming and I really want to go there this summer and get super buff. After, B made a Nashville (the TV show I am in love with)-inspired dinner as a surprise and my heart melted. It also melted because it was so amazing (especially the gravy) and delicious. Also B’s mom gave me a chocolate A too which B says is a big deal because the chocolate letters are a tradition so I guess I’m super lucky to be included in it. WINNING!
I want to eat that gravy – dayuuuum! B, post the recipe so I can have it?? (Apparently we communicate through this blog now.)
B: So, if you remember we solicited ideas for our first Valentine’s Day together and it went great! Thanks to Dhani for suggesting the V-Day workout at academyoflions. Thanks to @LiveWellTO for the idea to make a meal based on a favourite TV show.
I love working out and I love sharing that with A. I think she looks super amazing in these pictures. (really, who doesn’t when lifting a tire). I have to say that our form is terrible and that position is compromising our spines – what not to do when lifting!
We were obviously hungry after the workout. Here’s the menu for our vegetarian Paleo-friendly Southern meal:
Apple slaw (1 apple julienned, ½ red onion julienned, a few TBS apple cider vinegar, bit of honey, salt, pepper)
A: After the epic breakfast pictured above (it really isn’t impossible to transition into better foods and both of us can catch over coffee if you’re keen) I did an intro class, which B did too, at Academy of Lions. It was awesome. I can definitely see how people can get really into the sport. It’s fun to fantasize about doing crossfit with B because this class was so fun and I think we push each other to try hard and work hard and to feel good. It’s important to both of us. One day when I’m rich I’ll be able to everything I want – yoga, crossfit, swimming…….. #goals! For now, other than swimming, B and I are doing some exercises at home.
We joked about recording our home sessions but I don’t think anyone wants to see us half naked and extremely haggard at 11pm doing yoga or skipping while trying to keep two cats off our mats. It is a pretty hilarious time, though.
B: For anyone who is wondering, the breakast is a mixture of Hemp, Chia, and Buckwheat with Hemp Milk. Here is the recipe. I also made some sport drinks with lemon juice, dates, coconut oil and more.
I’m happy A is so interested in Crossfit. I can tell that if she starts doing Crossfit it will push me a lot more. Which is awesome. The daily yoga we’re doing is great too!
Holiday survival – Date #146 – December 16, 2013
A: So the Academy had a free talk with Nutritionist Nathalie Niddam about holiday survival (basically how to avoid derailing your health and nutrition plans completely), methods to use to avoid getting sick, and how to hasten getting better if you are sick. I love stuff like this because I get completely overwhelmed at all the information out there. It’s nice to channel it in to specific discussion on a regular basis…not to mention the fact that B and everyone we’ve spoke to at the Academy are a wealth of knowledge. B said it’s nice that I’m interested in this sort of thing and I think it’s important that we all be. He always says he wants to climb mountains when we’re 90. Fingers crossed.
One thing I learned was Iron and Zinc are extremely important as an anemic vegetarian. Don’t take Iron and Zinc together, though, because they compete. And too much Zinc can make you feel nauseous so best to take it with food.
In any case, these pics are from these anatomy quiz cards lying around at the gym. I know so little about the body, they intrigued me. Also, yes, I did go to reproductive section first just to check it out.
B: Monday was a busy day for me. I left A at 6am to get ready to record another episode of Academy of Lions Radio – the Podcast I co-Host and Produce. After spending much of the day at the gym A met me there for a nutrition talk about “Surviving the Holidays.” I was so happy A came because it made one more thing for us to share. She was super engaged the whole time and asked some great questions. When I saw the anatomy pictures on A’s Instagram I was overwhelmed with admiration. To me it was another demonstration of her care, attention to details, and unique viewpoint.
The talk was also very useful, as the protocol to prevent sickness (or at least fight it more effectively) has been used successfully on both myself and A in future dates.
Here is what we do at the first signs of sickness – take the following for 2-3 days max:
D3 – 5000-10000iu/day
Vitamin C 1000mg up to 3x
Zinc 30-50mg day on divided doses
Deep immune 3-4x day (this is a natural immune booster made up of multiple ingredients)
Olive leaf extract (can be available in Oil of Oregano)
Oil of oregano 2-3x/day – make sure to take probiotics 2 hours later (Oil of Oregano kills bacteria and your body needs to replenish. We take unflavoured Kombucha)