cycling · winter · yoga

My goal for the week, 218 in 2018

I’m at 214 workouts so far for the year 2018 and my goal for the year is 218. For sure, I’ll make it.

My goal for this week is to make it by Friday.

Tomorrow, Sunday, I’m riding my bike. That’ll be 215

Monday I have personal training, 216.

Tuesday is all about driving to see the Messiah so no exercise then.

Wednesday I’m back at the gym for bike yoga.

And Thursday/Friday I’m at a friend’s cottage where there’ll be walking in woods and maybe fireside yoga.

Wish me luck!

fitness

218 in 2018: Halfway there!

As you all likely know I’m doing the 218 in 2018 challenge. It’s a simple challenge. The goal is to workout 218 times in 2018.

Our halfway mark is July 1. The halfway workout is 109. I’m at 108 and I’m about to get on my bike and ride 25 km. I think I’ve got this! Just under the wire….

Update: Almost 25 km ridden with Sarah this evening!

(Oh, please sponsor Sarah in the Friends for Life Bike Rally. I’ve made my minimum donation (twice over, thanks friends and readers) and she is just starting.)

What I have been up to? Biking some (but not enough), lifting weights, also dinghy racing, Pride marching, physio, and walking.

I counted a day’s worth of gardening. I’ve got a blog post in the drafts folder called “Does gardening count?” but since it involved shovels and a wheelbarrow and I got sweaty, I think yes.

Image description: A small sailboat on a trailer. Our sailboat. Our Snipe.

I’m actually less sure about Snipe racing but I counted that too. What’s the activity in it? First, there’s getting the boat in and out of the water. Even on trailer it’s work for me and Sarah. The hull weights 381 lbs. Second, there’s hiking. An excellent ab workout. Wikipedia defines hiking this way: “In sailing, hiking (stacking or stacking out in New Zealand; leaning out or sitting out in United Kingdom) is the action of moving the crew’s body weight as far to windward (upwind) as possible, in order to decrease the extent the boat heels (leans away from the wind). By moving the crew’s weight to windward, the moment of that force around the boat’s center of buoyancy is increased. This opposes the heeling moment of the wind pushing sideways against the boat’s sails. It is usually done by leaning over the edge of the boat as it heels. Some boats are fitted with equipment such as hiking straps (or toe straps) and trapezes to make hiking more effective. Hiking is most integral to catamaran and dinghy sailing, where the lightweight boat can be easily capsized or turtled by the wind unless the sailor counteracts the wind’s pressure by hiking, or eases the sails to reduce it.” Third, there’s a lot of balance required moving around in the boat. Finally, there’s a lot of pulling lines, ropes, halyards, etc.

I’m not sure what the rest of the year holds. Weights in the gym, for sure. Also bike riding. Also, more Snipe racing.

I’m trying to stay active everyday. See the Google Fit report below. That’s more than 1 hour of biking and walking each day. Not too shoddy, I guess. But I still feel like I’m missing something. I think it’s group activities and intensity. Mulling. Will report back.

fitness · motivation

Making Big Challenges into Small Ones

Along with Cate and Catherine and lots of others, I’m in the Facebook group in which people have committed to working out 218 times in 2018.

We’ve blogged about it lots.

Here is the official description of the group:

WHAT: The idea is simple. In 2018 there are 365 days. We are going to challenge ourselves to workout 218 times in those 365 days.

WHY: (1) Consistently doing deliberate exercise is one of the most important factors in developing good health and fitness. (2) Choosing to complete a workout or not is something we can control.

HOW: (1)Workouts are defined as any form of deliberate exercise/movement. Some examples are, lifting weights, doing gymnastics, a CrossFit WOD, a hike in the great outdoors, practising a martial art or yoga. Taking a dance class or playing rec softball with the folks from work also count. Do what inspires you to move your body. (2) Use a spreadsheet, a habit tracking app, or a notebook and give yourself a check mark for every workout you complete. (3) Share your progress with the group.

Let’s get cracking!

Image result for 218
Black text on yellow plate. Numbers “218.” Also ,a black border.

But 218 is a big number. It can all feel a bit overwhelming. Here’s the way I’ve broken it down. Instead of thinking about 218 workouts in a year, I did some math. If I worked out 20 times each month I will have definitely overshot the mark for 218. So my goal is to aim for 20 times a month, knowing that some months that might be a bit much.

So 20 times a month is roughly 5 times a week. So instead of focusing on the 218 times a year I focus instead on the 5 times a week. That gives me two rest days. I’m not sure why but it seems easier to think about than 218 times in a year.

Do you ever break down big challenges into smaller pieces? What’s an example from your life? The biggest one I can think of other than working out is dissertation writing. I advise my graduate students as well to focus on chapters rather than the entire thesis. It seems to help a bit.

fitness

My 218 Workouts — Guest post from Leslie Zborovski

Leslie spinningWhen an active and inspiring friend and colleague invited me to join the 218 Workouts in 2018 group, I eagerly joined.  I started my fitness journey three years ago, and went from being pretty inactive to regularly getting in 6 workouts per week.  I was excited to tally my efforts.

I was enjoying a lazy day and hadn’t planned to do a workout on January 1st, but when I logged into Facebook late in the day and saw tons of “218 in 2018” posts all over my newsfeed, I decided then and there to stand up and do something active.  Just 15 minutes of lower body stuff (squats, lunges) and some yoga poses and stretching all while watching TV.  I counted it.  Workout #1.  It was purposeful movement.  The posts from the group members made me do it.  I didn’t want to fall behind.

Most of my workouts are typically more intense.  I take two 55 minute spin classes each week and get in three 90 minute strength sessions plus a yoga or movement class.  But, on a day last week that I just couldn’t bear to go out through the snow to go to the gym, I still managed a 30 minute yoga video that I found on Youtube and did in my living room.  It counted.  Workout #33.  Purposeful movement counts in my books.

In addition to being motivated by contributing and being a part of the Facebook group, I also decided to track my minutes per workout and totals in my spreadsheet.  In the first 6 weeks of the year, I have spent over 2500 active minutes in the gym! That’s incredibly motivating to know, and I feel proud, empowered and strong!

I relished adding two entries today having done spin and then a movement class. I have discovered I am a bit competitive (or maybe very competitive!?) even if it’s just with myself to keep up my pace.

Leslie chooses to be active to focus on overall health and wellbeing and to set a good example for her family. As pictured in the photo, Leslie spins in the SPIN To Conquer Cancer fundraising event in support of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, raising research dollars in memory of her friend Ellen who passed way from Multiple Myeloma in March 2015.  https://pmhf3.akaraisin.com/SPIN2CC/LeslieZ 

fitness · walking · winter

218 in 2018: Group post on how it’s going so far

A few of us here are doing the 218 workouts in 2018 challenge.

What’s it all about? It’s pretty simple

“WHAT: The idea is simple. In 2018 there are 365 days. We are going to challenge ourselves to workout 218 times in those 365 days.

WHY: (1) Consistently doing deliberate exercise is one of the most important factors in developing good health and fitness. (2) Choosing to complete a workout or not is something we can control.

HOW: (1)Workouts are defined as any form of deliberate exercise/movement. Some examples are, lifting weights, doing gymnastics, a CrossFit WOD, a hike in the great outdoors, practising a martial art or yoga. Taking a dance class or playing rec softball with the folks from work also count. Do what inspires you to move your body. (2) Use a spreadsheet, a habit tracking app, or a notebook and give yourself a check mark for every workout you complete. (3) Share your progress with the group.

Let’s get cracking!”

How’s it working out for us? Here’s our progress report.

Hilary:

I used to work as a stone and brick mason, with tough, physical days 14 hours a day, five days a week for months at a time. Now I work at a business school. Adding a 20 minute walk to my downtown commute counts. Taking the millions of stairs instead of the Mount Everest escalator in my office building counts. Today, a two hour walk with a friend in the park and down a busy Toronto street counted. Back then, it wouldn’t have been on my radar; now, it counts.

Hilary works at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON.

Jenny:

218 in 2018 turns out to be just the right combination of goal setting and accountability for me. It feels manageable, and consistent with how I have managed fitness accountability in the past. This year in particular, January 1 coincided with a return to work at the end of a maternity leave. So, I find the weekly goal of 3-5 workouts helps me to carve out a little ‘me time’, and achieve a regular feeling of accomplishment.

Jenny is a boulderer, mother of two, occasional knitter, and aspiring cyclist.

Sam:

One of the interesting things about the “218 in 2018” group of which I’m part is that it gets you to think about what counts as working out. The group has allowed me to think of myself as active (at 28 of 218 so far) even though I’m currently injured. It’s helped me stay on track with all the physio. (So much physio!)

I’m also counting walking (which I don’t usually unless they were super long dog hikes in the woods) because for right now, with this knee, walking is a deliberate choice and it is exercise. I walked for an hour and fifteen minutes in Vancouver sunshine the other day while there for a conference. Right now I’m all about weights at the gym , knee physio, walking, and riding my bike on the trainer. They all count.

Cate:

I’ve already written a few times about what a motivator this group was to me in 2017. I think, more than anything, it helped me break the habit of “ach, I don’t feel like working out today, I’ll do it tomorrow.” That habit in the past meant that I usually only worked out maybe twice a week through the winter. Last year, this group kept me on track.

“What counts” for me is any episode of purposeful moderate to intense activity that is not what I would be doing anyway just going about my daily business. A walk to do errands in my neighbourhood or a short bike ride to a meeting doesn’t count, for me. But choosing to ride my bike even though it’s raining might, depending on how much it feels like an exertion.

I also count by episodes, not by comparable intensity. If I go to the gym and do a bit of a run and then a weight workout, that’s one count — “going to the gym.” But if I get up and go for a short run, then much later in the day go to yoga class, that’s two counts because they are two separate times of motivating myself to work out, get changed, etc. This leads to some weirdness where a 3 km 16 minute run “counts as much” as a 150km, 8 hour bike ride, but I think it all balances out in the end!

cycling · eating disorders · feminism · fitness · motivation

A return to fitness in 2018 (Guest post)

Biking with a friend

I love to make New Year’s resolutions, although I sometimes have uneven results. My main and most exciting New Year’s resolution for 2018 is to do 218 workouts – they don’t have to be particularly strenuous or any set length but they have to be fun and pleasurable.

I hope that 2018 – the year I turn 40 – will be at my fittest year ever. This isn’t an extreme goal because my fittest year was probably 2011, when I was running regularly, had not yet gotten my driver’s license so cycled everywhere out of necessity, and impulsively bought an expensive personal training program. I was 33, so it is not as if I am trying to re-live athletic teen years, which would be considerably harder. I was actually the type of kid for whom gym class was a nightmare. I walked the field when I was supposed to run, regularly ‘forgot’ my gym clothes, and dreaded group sports when my lack of any skill would be humiliatingly apparent to all my classmates.

I was not fit in any sense of the word until my late twenties when I started to cycle everywhere often, in those years, pulling two children and/or groceries (!!) in a bike trailer. When I was 30 and newly single I decided to try some new activities: running, roller derby, hot yoga, and weight-training. I felt fantastic, met some great people, and began to think of myself as a fit, even athletic, person. I felt strong and powerful and had a lot of fun. I still remember the exhilarating day I ran 13 km for the first time. As someone who a couple years earlier could not run one block, I was extremely proud of myself.

Unfortunately, the fitness activities got confused with and integrated into disordered eating habits, which dulled my enjoyment. Healing from disordered eating, which for me meant restricted eating, and unattainable weight loss goals, meant also giving up some of my fitness goals. But now I am about turn 40, a busy PhD student, community activist, and mom. Giving up a strong focus on fitness may have been necessary for me to heal from disordered eating but it also meant that I lost the physical and emotional benefits of fitness especially the almost magical effect it has on my ability to deal constructively with stress.

I miss the camaraderie that accompanied roller derby practices and group runs. I miss experiencing my body as strong and powerful. When I think about my life in ten and twenty years, I want fitness to be an everyday part of it. So, I have made a plan to get to my fittest this year and to re-discover the joy of fitness.

The plan is simple: do 218 workouts in 2018 which will include some weight-training, a gentle triathlon, and a few no-pressure and fun 5 or 10 km runs.

Maybe I’ll even, finally, attempt a fall half marathon – but only if it brings me joy. I also hope to cycle year-round instead of taking a long winter break after which I always feel hesitant and creaky. The focus, other than doing the 218 workouts, will be on feeling pleasure in moving my body and having fun participating in physical activities with other people.

There will be absolutely no weight loss goals or restricted eating plans and I will steer clear of others who have integrated those elements into their fitness plans and motivations. I’m excited, motivated, and ready to have fun and feel strong!

Kayaking in Venice in 2017

Becky Ellis is a PhD student at Western University who studies the bee-human relationship in cities. She is a mom to four kids and a community activist. Becky loves gardening, cycling at a leisurely pace, and taking millions of pictures of bees. She also maintains the blog Permaculture for the People about social justice and urban permaculture.