Blitzing, Running, Tidying, Dancing

The past week has been full and fun! Here are some highlights…

My office had a half day on Friday for the long weekend, so I took advantage of the afternoon to do some of my favourite self-care activities: Body Blitz with a massage, and some new nail art.

Body Blitz is a gorgeous spa with a therapeutic waters circuit. The circuit includes a warm Dead Sea salt pool, a eucalyptus steam room, an infrared sauna, a hot Epsom salt pool, and quick dips in a cold plunge pool in between. My favourites are the steam room and the cold plunge pool. It feels so good to sit and sweat, take a quick rinse off shower, then brace yourself for the cold rush. The circuit is relaxing, and my skin always feels so nice afterward. After the waters, I had a delicious hour-long massage, with focus on my legs. I’m know I’m very privileged to have massage therapy covered by my health insurance – something I am grateful for.

Lately I’ve gotten into nail art. I love it as a fun, temporary way to decorate myself. Every time I look down at my hands I get a surge of joy. My nail technician is also the sweetest woman. On Friday morning, Tim asked me what I had in mind for my nail art this time. I told him I wanted to do something bold and geometric. “What, like a really confident triangle?” Side-eye ensued.

Bold and geometric!

Bold and geometric! And yes, some confident triangles.

 

On Saturday, I tried a new running crew! I’m usually more of a lone wolf runner, unless I’m running with Steph, Mandy, and Kevin. I saw the event on Facebook, advertised as Running with Art Critics. The group would run to three galleries, and at each one a runner-critic would speak about the exhibition. There were about 7 of us – not nearly as mighty as Steph’s Run TO Beer group! – but we all expressed how this was the perfect marriage of our interests. The organizer, who is an editor of a great Canadian art criticism magazine, said he was inspired to create the event as a result of his need to see a lot of shows. As a runner, he figured the fastest way to get there was to run! For me, it was great because art openings are usually in the evening, there’s a strong association with wine, and they’re usually too crowded to see the art. Being able to go during the daytime and get some running in was a huge draw for me. The exhibitions were all great, and I likely wouldn’t have gone without the impetus from the group. I really hope they’ll do it again. After the run, I treated myself to an affogato.

The heavenly marriage of espresso and ice cream.

The heavenly combination of espresso and ice cream.

Saturday night was date night. Tim and I walked over to Ruby Watcho for a delicious dinner. Everything was tasty, but my favourite was dessert – a deconstructed s’more with cherries.

Twilight selfie... literally.

Twilight selfie… but we’re not vampires.

 

Sunday and Monday were devoted to my tidying project. I read Marie Kondo’s two books and finally decided to use the KonMari method for some spring cleaning. The main principles are:

  • Tidy all at once. Commit to going through the whole process, which can take several months. (Eek!)
  • Envision your ideal living space.
  • Tidy by category, not room – so all of your clothes and accessories, then your books, then papers, etc.
  • Discard first – pare things down, and then think about storage
  • Touch everything, and consider whether it sparks joy for you. This is the part that I think gets a lot of criticism. Some things are necessary, and while they may not give you a thrill, they can make you feel appreciation for serving their purpose, like a vacuum cleaner. That can be a keeper.

“I tried that Japanese decluttering trend where you hold each thing you own, and throw it out if it doesn’t give you joy. I threw out all my vegetables and the electric bill.”- Mindy Kaling

Trusting the process.

Trusting the process.

So far I’ve completed my clothes and books, and am working my way through papers. I was able to give away some of my books to friends, and my tulle underlay skirt for a friend’s wedding dress. It makes me so happy that these things are getting new life, and could potentially bring joy to someone else. I’m also really motivated by the vision of my ideal space, where I’m surrounded by things I love. (And again, I want to acknowledge the privilege I have of being in a position to declutter things.)

For something completely different -on most weekends, I try to stroll through Riverdale Farm to check on my lambs and kids. They’re getting so big!

How are you even real?!

How are you even real?!

Here's looking at you, kid.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

 

On Wednesday I did my last hard workout before the race on Sunday – 2km warmup, 4km at 5:30, 2km cooldown. Woof. I really haven’t done much speedwork at all over the past month, but I know I need to do it – especially since I’m running my first 10km race in a few weeks!

In the evening I did another dance class. This one was led by Tamina from The Girls Club, her entertainment company. The class was broken down into a warm up, some follow-the-leader style introduction to dancehall moves (so many body rolls!), a short workout, and then doing some choreography to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” Tamina created a friendly, safe space to be ourselves and encourage each other. At one point we took turns on a catwalk, each pausing a moment to pose and shine. It was a little silly, but undeniably fun. And the “Sorry” crawling? #SorryNotSorry.

IMG_2071

Amanda, me, and Tamina!

 

On tap for tonight and tomorrow – a last little shakeout run, and coming up with a race plan. Getting pretty excited – first race in a year and a half!

Call your girlfriend

I’ve been dancing since I was 4 or 5 years old. I’ve done ballet, tap, pointe, jazz, and late night kitchen dance party. Not to brag or anything, but I’ve always looked pretty amazing as a dancer.

tinydancer

Looking like a tiny pink boss with my sister.

 

Dancing has always held a special place in my heart, but with other commitments and stronger interests, I haven’t enrolled in any classes as an adult. But when a friend invited me to a drop-in, all levels dance class to learn the choreography to Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend,” I literally jumped with excitement. Within ten minutes I had purchased my ticket and called/peer pressured my girlfriend into taking the class with me.


I’ve found that Robyn fans are usually superfans. I can’t say I’m a superfan, but I do really like her music and think she’s pretty badass. I keep a few of her songs on my running playlists because they pump you up and make you feel strong as hell.

I was giddy during the morning and afternoon of dance class day, telling everyone who would listen (and probably some people who didn’t listen) that I was taking a dance class that night. My pal and I showed up to the event space and I was pleasantly surprised to see 3 other girlfriends there too. So many girlfriends!

The instructor was Nicky of Beyography. He and his assistant Katherine were fantastic teachers. As we warmed up, everyone was giggling. There were definitely some women there who were obviously trained dancers, but for the most part, the class was full of dance dabblers. There were initially some feelings of being self-conscious, but it seemed to melt away within a few minutes. Nicky was fun, clear, and patient as we learned and rehearsed the moves. During practice and when the music would pause, the class kept singing the song. We were grinning and sweating buckets.

Towards the end of the 2-hour class, I realized I was a bit sore and tired because I had been doing each repetition all out. This is funny to me, because it’s very… me. I have an on switch and an off switch. I am black and white, with zero shades of gray. Also, I was really really into it. I felt present and happy.

Here’s a clip of us dancing. The full version is posted on the Beyography Facebook page. I love that shoulder shuffle!

 

Leaving the class and for the next hour, I had an endorphin rush that I usually only get with running. I’m still tickled 4 days later.

I’m already eagerly refreshing the Beyography class schedule and looking forward to future drop-ins. It’s a really good reminder that exercise and moving your body are so much more fun when you’re doing something you enjoy!