Everyone is looking for at home workouts. This barely pre-pandemic post on the NYT 6 minute workout is often in our top 10 during these pandemic months. It’s appreciated, Catherine! I think you knew something was coming. This month it was number 8.
“As mechanical engineers who consult on heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, we’ve been closely following the evolving body of knowledge about how the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus (the virus which causes COVID-19) spreads through the air. We thought some folks might be interested to know some of what we’ve learned, and how that’s affecting our thoughts on returning to the gym.”
Cara and Sarah are guest bloggers, fit feminists, and mechanical engineers thinking about when it’s safe to go back to the gym. This was the most read post of the month by a long shot.
Cate interviews Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease specialist and Chief of Staff at Humber River Hospital in Toronto, and a frequent voice on CBC and Global TV to make sense of some of the tangled messaging about COVID-19 and outdoor exercise.
Cate puts on her social scientist hat and listens to the bloggers talk about going back to the gym.
“In most of Canada, gyms aren’t open yet, but clearly, they have their feet in the blocks waiting for the starter pistol. It’s understandable — fitness studios depend on class and member revenue to survive, and most have hefty investments in space and equipment. We had an animated conversation about this among the bloggers about our own comfort, and realized that most gym managers/ owners are not likely to err on the side of caution — they want to open, and as soon as they are permitted, they will be looking to their members to tell them what will work for them. So what DO we feel safe doing? I captured the key themes from a few of our bloggers.”
Susan reminds us that it’s okay not to be okay with all of this.
“You weren’t built for this and you don’t have to say it’s okay, or good enough, or the same, or tolerable. Day after day, your nervous system seeks and searches and wonders when it can dare to be soothed, when it is allowed to declare a need to just be with, without being accused of. . .something. . .bad. It doesn’t understand and that’s okay, you weren’t built for this.”
Ottawa Centre MP Catherine McKenna biked to work in a dress, posted a pic on Twitter for Bike to Work Day, lots of people hated it, but feminists and cyclists of Twitter came to the rescue. Sam chimed in and also blogged about it.
This #BikeToWorkDay, let's continue to promote cycling and other forms of active transportation for smarter, and cleaner communities. 🚴🏻♀️🚴🏿♂️🚴
But number two is when the Covid-19 posts begin, with Cate wondering about a feminist response to the pandemic. (Was it even a pandemic then? I don’t remember. It’s all a blur.) Is there a feminist response to Covid19?
And then someone suggested I write about it for The Conversation. Thanks Sandy!
What’s The Conversation? Their tagline is, Academic rigour, journalistic flair. Which I like. I started as a journalist and then went back to school and completed a PhD.
Here’s what they say about themselves: “The Conversation Canada launched in June 2017. The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public. Our team of professional editors work with experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public. Access to independent, high-quality, authenticated, explanatory journalism underpins a functioning democracy. Our aim is to allow for better understanding of current affairs and complex issues. And hopefully allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversations.”
Here’s what I wrote for The Conversation, written in English and they translated it into French:
She likes being in the same article with J. Lo and Shakira. Turns out Selene Yaeger was a late starter in endurance sports.
I love our blog community and our Facebook page and our growing group of Twitter friends, but sometimes it’s nice to reach out and meet some new people and connect with them about feminist fitness themes. Thanks to The Conversation!
“When you take up rock climbing, you don’t have that “luxury.” You have entered a subculture where adolescent male sexual humour has had free play. By convention, the “first ascensionist” of a climbing route gets to name the route, and they name it for whatever is on their mind. Sometimes the results are delightful and witty. Names emerge from days of hanging out at the cliff, working hard, shooting the breeze with friends. There’s a rich kind of free association and play that works its alchemy.”
Our most read post of 2019, #1, was Cate’s 2018 post on being 53 1/2 and still menstruating. That post, on what may seem like an oddball topic for a fitness blog, hit a nerve. From the many comments and reposts we learned that Cate is certainly not alone. It’s on our top ten list pretty much every month. (5415)
In May, in light of the ongoing Caster Semenya controversy, Martha blogged about sex tests. That was our fourth most read post of the year. (2382)
In 2014 I blogged about CrossFit and women’s bodies. People read that post a lot, and to be honest, I suppose it’s got some appeal because of the images. It’s often on our top ten list and this year it’s number five. (2169)
Who would think vibrators would make for good prizes in women’s sports? Someone did and Catherine blogged about it in May of 2019. That post was our sixth most read post of 2019. (1831)
Nicole urges us when it comes to food choices just say yes, please or no, thank you. ” I urge us all to try to break free from “I can’t because I’ve been bad, naughty, I fell off the wagon, etc.”. We all have different reasons for choosing to eat what we do, day in and day out. I’m not here to discuss the pros and cons of different food plans. But if you are presented with food (cookies, chocolates, etc.) that you choose not to eat, simply say “No Thank You”. The location of the opportunity for snacking does not matter – it can be at work, your friend’s house or your parent’s place. ” That post was #4.
In the 5th most read post of December Nat puts out her wish for high performance formal dance . wear. ” I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, why can’t we dance the night away at weddings & other formal gatherings without drowning in our sweat? Whether you prefer a snappy suit or a darling dress no one feels great in their getup after even a short stint of enthusiastic dancing. “
“I’m no human metabolism science expert, but I think the upshot here is this: the rate of lipid turnover (part of human metabolic activity that affects weight maintenance and change over time) varies in the population. Experts thought that we could improve our rates of lipid turnover through exercise. Turns out, not so much. In a way, this is good news– it’s offering another scientific puzzle piece to provide a picture of what we already know: in general, people gain weight as they age, independently of their eating and activity behaviors. This opens the door to shifting talk away from addressing how older bodies look and toward how older bodies feel and function for those who have them.”
“In any case, this penchant for sharing myself means that it is not uncommon for me to mention my workouts with a class—maybe I’m discussing Newton’s laws and drawing an example from a recent lifting session at the gym. And usually, after the first incredulous question, “You lift weights?” the immediate follow-up question will be, “oh yeah, how much do you bench?” And I get stumped. I imagine my more skeptical students taking the inevitable pause as proof that I’m deceiving them about my weightlifting (I clearly do not fit their mental image of someone who strength trains regularly). But what I am actually stopped by is how overwhelmingly difficult it is to retrace their misconceptions back far enough to answer their question. Where do I begin?”
“I have been running for 16 years. I have run 2 full marathons and several half marathons. During my 30s I went to spinning class, on average, 4-5 times a week. Often double headers, and sometimes a run, followed by spin class. Then I learned kettlebell and yoga and became a devotee of a lovely local studio for a few years. For the past few years I have been going to a women’s studio for strength and conditioning workouts. And yet, I still feel like an imposter, on occasion, when it comes to fitness (don’t get me started on my career).”
This is the month when we all wanted to know if the headlines were right. Will soda kill us? Catherine weighed in. And her post on that controversy was our fourth most read post.
Number six was my unplanned angry post on the story about the swimmer who was disqualified for breaking modesty rules even while wearing the team issued bathing suit. And yes, race was a factor. Grrr. (In the end, the decision was overturned.)
My old post about crotch shots, it’s always on the list somewhere, was number seven.
Happy 7th birthday to the blog! (Tomorrow is happy 55th birthday to me!)
That the blog’s birthday and my birthday line up so nicely is no coincidence. Tracy and I started the blog roughly two years before our 50th birthdays as part of our “fittest by 50” challenge. If you want the full story about that, buy the book. Or read the blog posts from the early days.