WHOA lansi

francophile, oenophile, logophile, turophile

Tag: goals

New Year

I’ve been kind of putting this post off. Last year, I had it out in December. I was all prepared for 2013. I had my shit together last year, guys. This year, though. This year kind of snuck up on me. One minute, my wonderful boyfriend was down on one knee, asking me to marry him, & the next I swear it was New Years Eve. I swear that’s exactly how it happened.

I’ve said before that I believe in setting goals when you realize they need to be set instead of waiting for something like the New Year to take action. & I still believe that if I need to change something, that change should happen as soon as I realize it. That’s definitely something I try to live by, but like I said last year, it’s nice to look back on last year & decide what to do better this one.

Last year, I attempted to:

I can’t say I was entirely successful with any of these except maybe number three. We really don’t eat grains very often anymore. I’d say we’re usually 80% grain-free, 20% eat whatever we want. It’s a good balance, if you ask me, & something I’d like to continue. I’m still often very hard on myself when we do slip up, but I want to put it in writing: we did well, friends.

I wasn’t entirely unsuccessful with the other goals. There were months where I really did follow our budget better. & overall I think I’ve cut my shopping spending a lot. There were also times when we opted to have friends over instead of going out. I think we made an overall improvement there too. & there were times when I chose to be more appreciative & tolerant. That one is probably the biggest one I need to work on though. I promise to try, N. I promise.

With that in mind, here are my 2014 New Years Resolutions. (drum roll, please).

I think these are four challenging, but very achievable goals for me this year.

I generally try to be more specific with goals, but I made an exception with the first one. I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on our health (of course, as I write this I’m a bit sniffly). We weren’t sick often this year & when I was I could usually pinpoint why. Fitness Friday is still going strong & I’ve been making workouts, in & out of the gym, a priority. I’m not going to a CrossFit box like I would like to be, but I’m still making strides when it comes to my Fitness goals & that’s a good place to be. (I will master a handstand this year. It’s coming!)

This second goal probably seems odd to those who know me or follow my instagram. I do take a lot of photos. But I want to be more conscious of the photos I’m taking & make a better effort to use my DSLR. I’m trying to shoot primarily with my 35 mm lens. I like it so much better than my kit lens. I want to try to take more photos with it & not fall back on my zoom lens just because it’s easier. It’s time to challenge myself a bit with photography.

I’ve blogged way more this year than any other year & I couldn’t be happier about that, but I haven’t been actually, physically writing. Whenever I’ve lived abroad or travelled, I’ve kept a journal & writing in it – the physical act of writing things down – has always been very therapeutic for me. I’d like to get back to that. (& I’m starting today – my journal is currently in my purse!). Instead of mindlessly checking Facebook or Twitter in my downtime, I’d like to get back to writing.

This last one is a big one for me, & I think it’s a good one for this year. Too often I get pessimistic & over dramatic & let things bother me. I forget that this is a choice I make & that I can choose happiness instead. I’ve let myself forget to choose to be happy too often. I’ve let myself get carried away by the negative what-ifs & that’s not the person I want to be. As much as I’d like to be able to control every little aspect of my life, I can’t. There is so much that I cannot control. But, I can control how I react to things. & I can choose to be happy. This is largely inspired by the fact that we’re planning a wedding & wedding planning is notoriously stressful. This essay was another huge inspiration (thank you for that, Natalie. I don’t even know you for real, but thank you). I’m going to make this one happen.

So let’s go, 2014. Bring it on. I’m so ready for all the wonderful things you have in store for me.

Photo by 3haus Photographics

Summer To-Do List

Columbia Lake
Considering yesterday Calgary and its surrounding communities and cities declared a state of emergency due to flooding from heavy rainfall, it’s hard to believe summer has arrived today. Inspired by a couple other bloggers and the first day of one of my favourite seasons (who am I kidding, I love them all!), I put together a little summer to-do list of some of the things I’d like to do. 
1. Enjoy cocktails with friends. I want to host a cocktail party but I envision this being outside and that’s not an option for us due to our lack of outdoor space. Elsie of A Beautiful Mess has been posting a ton of amazing sounding cocktail recipes that I am dying to try! 
2. Take advantage of the mountains. Go hiking and backpacking. The rockies are too close not to take advantage of!
3. Experience more Calgary events. Street Festivals, Food Truck Events, Fun Runs…Take advantage of some of the fun local things happening around Calgary. Play tourist at home a little bit. 
4. Take a road trip. I can’t wait for our trip to Vancouver, Portland, Seattle, and Kelowna. I love a good road trip and I love visiting new cities. 
5. Attend an outdoor concert. I bought tickets for Folk Fest. I’ve heard great things about it so it’s about time I did a full day at Prince’s Island. 
6. Nail a handstand. I’ve been practicing and I’m determined to nail a decent handstand. The summer I was nine, I had a similar goal, but with cartwheels. What I’m saying is that I’m an nine-year-old at heart.
7. Get away with the girls. Boys will be boys, so let’s leave them at home and have our own fun. I’m thinking some lake time is in order. Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone and make up some cocktails too!
8. Rock a flip flop tan and some freckles. Nothing says summer to me better than sunkissed skin and tan lines from my havaianas. Come on Calgary, bring on the sunshine!
9. Bike to work as much as possible! We live in the perfect neighbourhood to take advantage of biking to work. It’s such a great way to start the day. 
10. Spend time outside daily. Summer always flies by. I’ll save my hermitting for winter, when darkness sets in before I leave work and the ground is frozen for months. 

Enjoy the first day of summer! What do you plan to do this season?
Nashville North
Wedding Shower

June Burpee Challenge

I’ve talked a bit about the CrossFit-style workouts I organize every week at work in the past. It’s grown quite a bit since I first started it, which makes me so excited. I love that my work lets me run these Fitness Friday workouts every week. They’re really no longer than a smoke break and are significantly more healthy. It’s also expanded to include a Yoga practice what happens a few times a week already. I haven’t checked that out yet since it happens at the same time as Fitness Friday, but I definitely would like to in the future.

For June, I’ve also decided to put a Burpee Challenge out there. I sent this out not only to those on the Fitness Friday distribution, but also to our All Staff distribution list. Fitness Friday is still a relatively small group of us and I wanted to remind everyone that they are all welcome to join us anytime and also challenge them to a month of burpees. Anyone can do burpees! They’re tough, but easily modifiable to suit any level of fitness.

The challenge started today. Yes, I realize that it’s technically still May, but since this challenge is happening with coworkers, I thought it made more sense to start it on a workday. So May 31 it is. We’re starting at 5 burpees today. From there, we’ll be adding one burpee a day until June 30. That means on June 30 we’ll be doing 35 burpees. It’s pretty simple.

I’ve also added that you can break them up into sets. So when they numbers get higher, everyone can still get them done. Obviously, your fitness will improve more from doing them all in one go, but that can be a bit intimidating. I figure doing them at all is a step in the right direction, so I wanted to make it attainable.

Anyone reading this blog is also more than welcome to join us in this Burpee Challenge as well! I’ve already challenged N to it.

If you’re not sure what a burpee is, you can check out the video below. Emad’s burpees could use some work, especially towards the end, but mine are mostly ok.

The main rules are that your chest needs to touch the floor and you need to jump up at the end. In the video, I’m always jumping my feet forwards and back, but you don’t have to. You can step forwards and backwards and it still counts. You also don’t have to do a push up. You can get down the floor and then worm your way back up. Check You Tube for more variations. There are plenty out there.

I made a little calendar that makes it a bit easier to understand how the challenge works. Check it out if you’re interested and leave a comment if you’d like to participate!

Have a great weekend and Happy Burpee Month!

Chest to Bar Pull Ups

I was going to hold off on posting about CrossFit until the Open was over. N took some photos of the WOD on Sunday and I’m trying not to come off as too CrossFit obsessed (although I am, I know). 

Open workout 13.5 was announced last night though and I did it tonight. One of the movements is Chest to Bar Pull Ups. I’ve never attempted a Chest to Bar Pull Up. I currently can do strict pull ups, but I haven’t figured out kipping and I definitely haven’t figured out Butterflies. Since I didn’t have time to learn either of these things tonight before attempting 13.5, I did whatever I could to get my chest up to the bar, as many times as possible. This mostly involved a lot of leg swing, hip drive, and sheer determination. 
We all had a pretty good laugh about my “technique” (or lack-there-of) afterwards. So now there are kipping pull ups, butterfly pull ups, and my method: Alanna pull ups. I got one of the coaches to video an example of what this looks like so I could share. 
Enjoy, have a laugh, and, if you’re doing 13.5, GOOD LUCK


I tried to take a little break from the fitness talk, but with the 13.3 announcement coming up tomorrow at 5 pm PST I figured it was time for a little update.

We didn’t go skiing the Sunday of 13.1 so I redid the workout. I’m so happy I did because the snatches that had been nearly impossible that Thursday were suddenly so much easier. I went from 107 reps to 120 reps, which was a goal I didn’t expect to attain.

My ranking after 13.1
Canada West vs The World

My first thoughts when they announced 13.2 on Wednesday night were, “It looks simple. That definitely means it’s going to hurt a lot.”. That was a pretty accurate assessment.

Workout 13.2
AMRAP 10 min
5 shoulder to overhead (115#/75#)
10 deadlifts (115#/75#)
15 box jumps (24″/20″)

This was one of those workouts that forces you to question any thoughts you may have had about how strong your cardio is. I’ve always done well at cardio-based CrossFit WODs and this one destroyed me. After ten minutes, I was literally sprawled on the floor wondering why I’d put myself through that. One of the coaches came over to high five me and said something about how he guessed I’d be re-doing it Sunday. I didn’t understand what he meant at first since I had no idea about the number of reps that I’d done. 

It turns out that I’d done 197 reps. Obviously I was going to have a hard time accepting that as my final score. 

We went skiing on Saturday at Lake Louise, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel on Sunday. I put on my compression socks though and hoped my legs wouldn’t be too sore. N and I both knew I was going to try for 200 reps. 

I went in the second heat this time and watching the others do this WOD again made me wonder what was wrong with me. The look of pain of their faces had me second guessing my decision to do it over. What if I didn’t get a better score? What if I did the whole WOD over again and nothing changed? I had to try anyway. At least I’d know I’d be getting a good work out in. 

I beat my score by 12 reps. It hurt just as much and I ended the workout flat on my back again, but at least I got over that 200 mark. I know I would have been really disappointed if I hadn’t redone it. 
The best part of this whole story is probably the fact that I almost didn’t end up submitting my score. I watched one of my coaches do it (297 reps! Insane!) and then had to run home to shower and get ready to head to N’s parents’ for dinner. It was only once I got there and was showing him the video of my coach doing part of it that I realized I hadn’t actually submitted my new score. 
I added my score to the website from my iPhone with 38 minutes to spare. Fewf! 
Tomorrow they announce 13.3 and I’m excited to watch the showdown and see what’s in store for me this week. I’m betting on pull ups. There’s got to be some pull ups coming up somewhere. 
Until then, I’ve been having some fun on the Reebok and CrossFit websites. You can customize your own CrossFit shoe! I was bored the other day so this is what I came up with. 

Run Run Run


One of my goals this year is to get faster at shorter distances, namely 5 km and 10 km. I’ve only run 5 km for training so I’ve never really pushed myself. Speed work is so important though, so I’m making an effort to be faster.

I went for a 5 km run at lunch today. I wasn’t expecting it to be very fast, but it felt good. I didn’t really pay attention to my watch until I hit 2 km in 10:05. I never run 2 km in less than eleven minutes. And it felt good, really good. I did a bit of a double take, I was so surprised. So I decided to consciously try and keep it up for the rest of my run. At 3 km, I was right at fifteen minutes. Holding that 5:00/km, I kept an eye on my watch and by 4 km, I was breathing hard. I came in under twenty minutes. All I had to do was hold on for one more kilometre and I’d reach a goal I hadn’t expected to attain until much later this year. I mean, it’s January 7. I only set these goals a week ago! I just tried to keep my feet moving quickly and stopped my watch at 5 km: 24:46. My first time running 5 km in under 25 minutes. Walking back to the office, I was pretty much grinning from ear to ear.

And doing a little happy dance.

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