Now get to work, bitch

I’m the one in the back row, probably laughing too hard to do yoga properly. Image: Tribe Fitness

2017 is going to be hard. It’s going to be work. And it’s going to be lit.

This weekend, an amazing thing happened. A movement began.

And so did my 2017 fitness plans, haha.

It feels trivial to talk about running when there are more important things to be done and said and chased after. But I believe there are parallels in putting in the work to better yourself and putting in the work to bettering the world.

On Thursday, I did a MuscleFit class at the YMCA. One 2017 goal down.

On Friday, I did a yoga class. It was boy band themed. I stretched and laughed and had a great time. It was one of the best yoga classes I’ve done in a long time, thanks to the soundtrack but also thanks to the challenging and clever sequences put together by the instructor, Heather Gardner of Tribe Fitness.

On Saturday, I was too sore to move. Ah, the re-set of fitness after a recovery period.

On Sunday, I ran for the first time since Dopey. It was at the Running Room, it was 8k and it was relatively easy. The more important thing I did on Sunday, though, was purchase and commit to the advanced 10-week NYRR half-marathon training plan. I used this system for NYC and I loved it. The plan begins on February 28th, so my plan is to get back into a fitness and running groove so on the 28th I can hit the ground running. The advanced plan is intense – it has me running 6 days a week and the slowest pace is 5:45.

But if you want to see change, you have to put in the work.

So let’s get to work.

Erin’s Marathon Training Day 2

I still bike-commuted, though. So I wasn't a complete wimp.

I still bike-commuted, though. So I wasn’t a complete wimp.

I was supposed to do speedwork yesterday, but the crappy Toronto weather led me to flipping my cross-training and my run. I’ll have to run in sub-zero temperatures along icy sidewalks soon, don’t worry! I also didn’t want to go outside again once I got home, so I put on the 45 minute Vinyasa Power Flow class from YogaDownload.

I haven’t done yoga since before I got sick. And oh, did I ever feel it. Every movement hurt and I popped and tweaked with even the simplest of movements. It’s amazing how much tension your body can build up — and how easy it is to ignore when you’ve got other things to deal with. It’s the morning after and my shoulders are sore. This is not a good sign.

So, first workout down. I feel like a schmuck having cheated on the first week of training but 1) it’s the first week of training and 2) we’re dealing with a POLAR VORTEX. What the hell?




Marathon Training Day #17: Lunch Time Yoga

I did not take this photo. Blogger fail.

I did not take this photo. Blogger fail.


I know, I know. Wednesday was supposed to be speedwork.

But two things happened.

First, my friend Alison (hi, Alison!) organized a Seinfeld trivia night last night. I am terrible at trivia (unless it’s about Baby-Sitters Club or celebrity heights), but wanted to come out and support my friend.

Second, I NEEDED to do yoga. It’s weird how your body gets like that. A few years ago, I thought yoga a couple times a month was more than enough. Now, if I don’t do it a couple times a week, my body starts to rebel. And I haven’t been doing it enough since starting my training.

Yesterday, work was light on meetings, so I  squeezed in the 50 minute lunch time hot class at Yoga Tree. It felt good to stretch. My muscles are TIGHT. And my shoulder still isn’t 100% recovered from my bike spill in December — but I had never noticed while running. Yoga can do that.

I’ll do my speedwork today and hills on Friday. That means this is the third week in a row that I won’t be doing my “optional” Saturday run, but I’m okay with that.

Maybe I’ll do yoga that day instead.



Yoga. Surf. RawFood: Day #3

Another sunshine filled day, another morning I woke to howler monkeys. (These guys were going to take some getting used to.) Despite the early wake-up, I was pumped for surfing and pumped for the evening to come! It was New Year’s Eve and the reason I was in Costa Rica, to celebrate 2013 with strangers, Jackie, and my fellow Costa Rician yogis from the Moving into Stillness retreat. Who needs alcohol when you have the beach, the jungle, and a giant bon fire?!

Day 3:
Kevin began our last morning of 2012 with more qigong meditation. This involved more shaking and more thumping — every joint, limb, muscle, everything! — we were shaking out a whole year of stress, sadness, and anything that didn’t serve us. It was time to let go and get on track. I was preparing for a whole new year of change!

Kevin then guided us through a vinyasa flow class to follow. His attention to detail and the manner in which he teaches is truly remarkable. I am a huge fan of this teachings, and see why Jackie is too. I felt strong and fluid this morning. A great feeling for the new year to come, lots of positive energy was surrounding me. I could feel it!


Jackie, Kevin, and Emzy!

Jackie, Kevin, and Ezmy!


That afternoon was surf time! And, of course, surfing rocked. I worked with my surf coach Kimberley once again. This time we moved on to an advanced surfing technique to get out to the big waves faster: the turtle dive. Basically, you tuck and roll under the wave before it crashes into your face. I was exhausted by the end of it. Surfing is a lot of work for a little high. But it’s totally worth it! I was riding my own waves again and I wasn’t feeling afraid. Success!

Evening yin was lead by Ezmy once again. Another fantastic class — yin always is especially after surfing — but this one was cut short due to the New Year’s Eve festivities. After dinner, we gathered in a group and wrote down, and then shared, our fears, goals, thoughts, and resolutions for the year to come. Retreats blow my mind with the emotion and pure honesty that comes up. The therapeutic side reveals itself in a healing and accepting way. It’s absolutely amazing. People break down walls and open up, it’s a beautiful thing. We then partnered up and stared into each others eyes for 10 minutes. The uncomfortable and unsettling fidgeting took place, but ease and curiosity then took over. The power to look at someone, really look at them, can tell you a lot with out having to know or talk to them. Then we shook it all out! Just like I have done before.

Everyone then marched to the beach in silence and burned the things that came up we didn’t want to carry with us into the new year! It was invigorating to throw a piece of paper in the fine. But I believe it was the start of my big change for 2013.


Happy 2013!

Happy 2013!

My 45 days at Kula

This is me at yogalites at EnergyXchange. But you get the idea.

If anyone from Moksha Downtown was wondering where I’ve disappeared to for the past two months, don’t worry. I haven’t been kidnapped nor have a fled the country. Answer #1: I was home in July for a refresh and real outdoors Digby adventuring, and for birthday celebrating (not mine or Erin’s but our mother’s)! And Answer #2: I’ve been practicing at Kula. I know! I didn’t think it would ever happen either: the day I bought classes at another studio. Shame on me.

After the few experiences I’ve had a Kula (some great, others not so much), I had very mixed feelings about the space. Right away, I knew it would not be a place I would practice at regularly. But once I let my guard down and began to warm up to Kula a bit, I forgave them for my awful Reiki experience and actually brought an intro special. Lucky for me it was on the perfect day — the day of the Bloor Street Festival — because my 30 day intro turned into 45 days! Lucky me indeed. Kula was celebrating their birthday on June 10th and to celebrate Erin and I went to class for free. One discovery I’ve made – Kula loves birthdays (as do I!) whether it’s theirs or yours, there’s free yoga for everyone!

As you know Erin and JK are Kula advocates and practice there all the time. Given how close I live to the studio — which was too prefect for those early morning 6:30am-ers — I should too. But I’m too attached to my Moksha and can’t break away from it. It’s the yoga I love. But I do love trying new places and a break from the heat and sweat is always a good thing. So the next 45 days would begin a new challenge: to stay away from MYD and only practice at Kula. I had an extra 15 days, I was planning to make the most of it.

To this day I still think of my first class with Christi-an. I fell in love. Her class was pure magic.

I made the effort to try all the classes on the schedule and try a class with every teacher. I did rather well with this, but found my schedule more accommodating to the times Jen Slade taught. Which wasn’t a bad thing. Jen is a singer and. man can she ever belt out a tune. She also has an incredible joyful personality and makes you excited for yoga. Just know with Jen, class will always a surprise. Her music classes and the Power hours were my favourites. Tuesday 10pm nighttime yoga with Lindseed was also very lovely, if you can manage to stay up this late. I also really enjoyed my mornings with Marinella. Nothing like a hot hour and a hard class to wake you up in the morning. And the days where I would do both were both fantastic and tiring.

I have to say when my 45 days were over I was very sad. I think back to all the classes I didn’t get a chance to do and this makes me even sadder. But I guess you can’t win them all. I would have done a 45 day challenge, if June 10th wasn’t the final day of my secret 30 day challenge. 75 days would have just been too much. Or would it?

So with that, I take back my sour feelings towards Kula and would recommend it to everyone. Whether you’re a new or experienced yogi, Kula offers a great variety of classes – hot, power, yin and restorative – you name it. You will find something that works to your individual practice. And with the overwhelming sense of community it really is a space for everyone to enjoy. Oh, and everyone should take a class with Christi-an and some point in your life. Trust me on this.

Thank you, Kula, for a fun and challenging 45 days. JK, I hope I made you proud.

Yoga, On the Beach!

UPDATE: Due to rain, Yoga on the Beach will now take place on Sunday, August 12 at 8am. Hope you can join us!


Now that you’ve all purchased your Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada lottery tickets – because I know everyone has – I wanted to extend the invitation to attend Yoga, On the Beach. Yes, this is another Team In Training fundraiser Cecilley and I have planned. As I said before, we have a long ways to go!


Okay, so the class won’t be at this beach. But you can pretend!


Come yogis, one and all! And start your weekend off on the right foot.

Join us at Sugar Beach for a special sunrise class on the beach staring at 8am. We’ll be rising and shining to a funky, creative vinyasa flow, taught by the amazing Jackie Szabo.

Your donation of $15 will help support Cecilley and Jill’s marathon mission, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. Please leave a comment on our donation page indicating your attendance to the class.

Please bring your mat, some water, and a towel for a possible after yoga dip, perhaps? And for those interested, optional brunch will follow. We haven’t yet picked a spot so please leave your suggestions.

And for those who may be driving, there is an Impark located at 178 Queens Quay East. Important details to provide for event planning. As well as directions – google maps! And again the time is 8am to 9am on Saturday, August 11th Sunday, August 12th.


This is proof. If you come do yoga on the beach, you will be as cool as Cecilley.


Honestly, what could be better than yoga, brunch and great company?

We hope to see you there!

Yoga Unplugged


What: Yoga Unplugged
When: Saturday, June 16 @ 4:00pm
Where: 889 at the Thompson (550 Wellington St. West)
Who: Nicky

This Saturday for me, began like any other. I woke up much too early for the weekend, ate my breakfast of peanut butter and toast, and a banana, with coffee and water, then hopped on my bike to meet Cecilley for our morning TNT run. But this Saturday was different. We were doing yoga after our run! Free yoga! Outside! At 889 at the Thompson Hotel! I was super excited (in case you didn’t already get that). For two reasons mainly, 1) we were going to yoga on a rooftop patio, and 2) this was totally Cecilley’s idea! My fit girl regime is totally rubbing of on her.

Cecilley and I getting ready for our giant yoga class!

So after a solid morning of running with Team Ontario – Cecilley and I may have arrived a bit late – this run was the first time it really took me a while find my groove. I guess it serves me right for arriving late. But that didn’t stop me! I still ran the marathoner’s route, all according to my new training plan.

Cecilley and I had an epic Saturday planed out, on top of running and free yoga. I waited all week for this day to come! After running with TNT, we would spend several hours lounging by the Thompson Hotel pool (don’t worry, we had a plan around the slight obstacle being a members only pool), then we’d yoga it up on the rooftop patio for 889 and Lululemon’s free summer yoga series Yoga Unplugged. And to end the night we were heading to the Wine & Spirit Festival at Sugar Beach courtesy of a bullfrogpowered event sponsorship. Thank you, Scott!

It would be an epic Saturday indeed.

Unfortunately, our plans didn’t exactly follow suite – the pool was closed because of a private function, and again Cecilley and I were running a bit late. So we don’t actually know if our Get-Into-The-Thompson-Pool plan would have worked, oh well. Something to test for next time.

Haven been to a class at 889 at the Thompson before, right around the time they opened, I knew outside yoga was in the works for the summer. But I had no idea to what capacity. There had to have been 150 people doing yoga on the roof for the kick off.

Can you spot me?! Thanks Yoga Unplugged for capturing Cecilley and me in action. 

The only slight downer — very minor, but for a class of this size kind it’s of important — some of Nicky’s instructions were unclear. I was left slightly confused several times with what arm was going where. And it didn’t help I couldn’t see her at all. Lucky for me (and every one else I’m sure) the Lululemon gals in their hot neon pants (I really want a pair) were easily spottable for a visual aid. I liked the fact they were also taking the class. I also had Cecilley there to correct me when needed. But having walked away with a free mat and yoga shirt from Lululemon as a present for being there, I will stop complaining! Don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed this class and I love that things like this are happening in our city! But the best part of class – looking up to the sky every time we twisted. Or maybe spotting the onlookers from the hotel rooms and condos. You completely forget that people do live there.

Look for this every Saturday all summer long, I highly recommend it at least once. And with a different music theme each week you’re bound to find something that appeals to you. But arrive early! Spaces are limited.

I was already pumped for the following Saturday to strike a pose! If you haven’t guessed, Madonna was the theme.

Looking forward to the rest of 2012

One of the weirder — and more fun — fitness accomplishments of 2012.


At the beginning of the year, both Jill and I set fitness goals. Ambitious ones. Don’t remember? You can check out mine here.

Of the five goals I set, I’ve accomplished four. Weekly yoga is no longer a goal, it’s part of my work-out routine. Jill and I crushed a sub-55 10k on April 13, when we ran the Toronto Yonge Street 10k together in 54:57. In general, I’m a pretty healthy eater, sticking to a near-vegan diet. Sure, I slip on the carbs and the alcohol occasionally, but I don’t want to punish myself constantly. I work my body hard and it deserves a beer (or three) or a glass of wine (or bottle) every once in a while. And the morning person thing is so much easier in the summer, but, in general, when I plan a morning work-out, I make it more often than miss it. There’s still room for improvement here, but I consider this goal complete.

Which leaves me with the first goal. And the biggest one. I had my eye on the May 6 marathon, but training beat me up. It made me tired, sore and hate running. I do not regret down-grading to the half-marathon. Not one bit. But the disappointment I felt with my 2:14 time had me re-assessing my running goals for the year. And now that Jill is quickly on my heels as the premiere runner in the family, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I want out of running.

I want to get faster.

I want to run a sub-2:00 half-marathon more than I want to complete full one right now. I know I have it in me to do a full and I know that my time to run a full will come. But I want to do with 4 hours on my mind, not 5. I want to run a sub-1:30 15k. I want to pass more people than people pass me.

It’s that simple. After putting my body through 30 days of yoga, I realized that fitness, for me, is about pushing my body to get faster and stronger, to test new limits and try new things. It’s not about celebrating what I can do and accepting what I can’t. It’s about running as hard and fast as I can, and crossing the finish line knowing I gave it my all. It’s about finally doing a handstand. It’s about doing a 5-minute plank, then saying ‘screw that, let’s go for 10.’

I think running faster ties into this better than running farther at this point. I believe this will change eventually, and I’ll seek to run faster and farther in the same training cycle, but not right now. Eventually.

First up is the Midsummer’s Night Run 15k. Jill is running it too. I want to cross that finish line under 1:30 together.

I’m on the hunt for a great half-marathon this fall. Suggestions?

30 Day Challenge: Days 26-30

We did it. I don't know how, but we did.


Well, it’s done. And by the end of the challenge, I just wanted it to be over. Here’s how the (exhausting and painful) final five days went down.


Day 26 (Wednesday): I rarely do Moksha right after work, and when I gave it a go on Day 26, I remembered why. The classes are packed. And a packed class means it’s hot hot hot. I was glad to sweater after a few gentle classes in a row, but I found this class to be really overwhelming. Good, but overwhelming. Next time, I’ll stick to the am silent class.

Day 27 (Thursday): For the second week in a row, I hit up Yoga Sanctuary’s morning class. The Sanctuary has a neat challenge on, where if you do all their 6:45 classes in June, you get all the 6:45 classes in July for free. This means that, unlike last week, when we only had three people in the class, this class was packed. But the gentle pace was a nice way to wake up and recover from the Moksha the night before.

Day 28 (Friday): Power at Kula was cancelled again!! This made me sad and frustrated. While JK opted for a restorative class, I decided to head to the Karma Moksha class. This was a really overwhelming day already, outside my fitness regime, and as a result, I wasn’t in the right headspace for the super-specific, slightly (okay, really) condescending tone of the teacher. This class was the exact opposite of what yoga is supposed to be about. I left the class feeling terrible about yoga, terrible about myself and terrible about life.

Day 29 (Saturday): I made up for the lack of Friday night Power with the Saturday afternoon class. Power at Kula is an hour of magic. I felt so much better about everything when this class was over.

Day 30 (Sunday): We finished the challenge with a free live music flow class at Kula. Jen Slade really brought it for the hour to impress the tons and tons of newbies (the class was super packed). It was challenging, playful, but not exhausting. The perfect way to end 30 days of yoga.

I’ll write a more thoughtful recap post in the next few days. Right now, I’m still trying to sort out my feelings about Jill’s big secret.



My big 30 day secret


This is why my last challenge supposedly didn't count.


Okay, it’s finally time to spill the beans… I too did a 30 day yoga challenge! Another 30 day challenge, but this time a real 30 day challenge, according to the Matt Elliott rules of a 30 day challenge. This is a true story, my friends. Now that you all know Erin and JK’s 30 day challenge stories, here’s mine. Yup, that’s right, I did another 30 day challenge and I haven’t told a soul. I’ve kept this secret hidden for 30 days. I don’t care what Matt Elliott says. This is my second challenge, completed.

Why would I do this again in the matter of 6 months? Well let me tell you, there is a long (well it’s really not that long) and intense (this will get intense, trust me) story as to why I did this again and basically it has to do with Matt and a little something Erin told me.

When Erin decided to do a 30 day challenge, I was beyond excited. Anything Erin does that makes me feel as though I might be responsible for it makes me happy. Basically, this means anything yoga related. And it made me even more happier knowing Jen was along for the ride. I knew Erin and Jen were both going to get through this no problem – remember if it’s your first challenge ever, the buddy system is very important factor for success. Let me rephrase this. I knew Jen would be fine. Erin, on the other hand, may quit yoga after this is over, but she would power through as much as she’d want to quit. That’s Erin, push until you can’t push any further.

During this time (while Erin would be yogaing all the time) I decided to run. I’m destined to be a runner, and I will be one if it kills me. That was the plan anyway – to run all the time – that was of course before I heard the news. I don’t remember the conversation exactly, but Erin came to my house before going to Kula one night (this was before her challenge began) and basically spilled the beans that according to Matt, my challenge didn’t count. Because I doubled up when I missed a day of practicing. This happened 3 times! And because I practiced one day in my kitchen listening to a teacher’s podcast. I only did this once!  My challenge doesn’t count, in the eyes of Matt Elliott. I was beyond angry when I heard this news. I went on an emotional yoga roller coaster back in January. I felt amazing, I wanted to murder things, and I gained acceptance with my practice in a much deeper way. To have all this work slammed to the ground was maddening. So I retaliated, I took on a new challenge, to prove Matt I, too, could conquor his 30 day yoga challenge rules and practice everyday at a studio somewhere. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want to steal Erin or Jen’s thunder, I did this for me. And where I was still Living My Moksha, I thought it made sense to practice more than a lot.

Well Matt I did it. I did yoga everyday in a class room with a real teacher (not via podcast from my computer) AND I even doubled up a couple of days AND still practiced the next day. AND I’m even going on day 33. So there! You can even check my Daily Mile updates. This happened for reals.

I feel much better now 🙂