Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Getting back into the groove

After about a five month hiatus, I finally went back to the gym. 

You might recall my post from a few days ago about my traumatizing experience noticing my belly hanging over my spandex. Well, I decided to do something about it. I forced myself back to the gym. Now granted, I haven't been completely void of exercise. It's been summer time so most of the running I've been doing is just outdoors instead of at the gym on the treadmill. And of course I am always playing volleyball minimum once a week. But this week I finally got my butt in gear and got back on the treadmill and worked up a good sweat 3x already. I found a few good interval exercises on pinterest and now I'm feeling more eager than ever. 

I also went so far as to get my "my fitness pal" app back up and running, and again, it's got me more eager than ever to get back on track to eating better. Here's to dropping that few extra pounds that I didn't even know grew on me.

I'd love to hear about some of your own fitness challenges.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Uh oh, belly bulge...

In all the years that I have been playing volleyball, I have worn spandex for indoor, or a bathing suit and shorts for outdoor. I generally consider myself a pretty fit person. I've always had "bigger" legs, but I've also always had a pretty flat tummy so I never really complained, tit for tat right. 

Well, just the other day, I saw a photo of myself in my spandex and a sports bra, and I kid you not, my lower tummy was protruding over the waist band of my spandex. This is a first for me.....or at least that I have now physically noticed. Yes, I know, I am lucky that this is only just becoming a problem and it's not something I have struggled with all my life, but I am still absolutely mortified that I have been blind to the way my body is changing in this last little while.
Before & After
(I can't believe I am actually posting this on the internet)

I desperately don't want to become one of those women who, now that I am married, think I can just let myself go and stop trying to look good for my man. I love the way my husband looks at me, and it's important for me to believe that he wants to keep looking at me. So, I am now feeling more motivated than ever to get myself back in shape. I would love to hear some of your favourite get fit exercises. I am a particular fan of anything that takes very little time. I am trying to keep up with my running (usually a couple times a week), but I really would love any sort of quick couple step workout that I can literally do in the bedroom or bathroom right before I jump in the shower. 

I also know that weight changes aren't only reflective of exercise, but eating habits too. I, unfortunately, am a huge snack person. Even if I have just eaten a huge, well-rounded meal, I still cannot resist the urge find something to snack on. So my new goal is to try harder to only eat when I am actually feeling hungry, instead of right now where I eat because I am bored or stressed. Some other tips I have heard, are of course the usual eat lots of fruits and veggies etc. but the one that I think will be the easiest for me to keep up with is to drink 1 full glass of water before and after every meal. Apparently this is supposed to make you feel more full, and it also helps the digestion process. 

So, in my slightly traumatized, yet enlightened state of mind, I plan to add one extra day of running per week, do minimum one exercise before going in the shower (it can be a simple as 2 sets of 25 sit ups, as long as it's something physical), and to drink one full glass of water before and after every meal. 

Hopefully these few little changes will, if not show some progress, at least get me feeling cleaner and lighter so that I have more motivation to continue to pursue more challenging goals, with more drastic results. 

Either way I'll be happy to let you guys know how this turns out (even if I fail epically at all three goals), so I'd love it if you checked back for my updates :)

Happy healthy living!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bare knees?

This is definitely an ongoing issue that comes up. Having played volleyball for over 10 years I definitely have had my share of bumps, bruises and floor burned knees, but after years of wearing and not wearing knee pads, I've come to decide that I definitely prefer not wearing the knee pads. 

When I was in my first couple years of playing volleyball I definitely did not have a lot of skill so most of the time when I dove for a ball, I was sliding on my knees. 

The more skill I developed, the less I needed to slide on my knees. I learned to dive a lot more horizontally, and to use the length of my body to follow the ball. This does not mean I now never dive on my knees, but it's definitely a lot more rare. 

You might be thinking, well why not wear the knee pads, just in case, for those rare times when you do have to dive on your knees? To be honest, even when I did wear the knee pads, most of the time they would just slide up or down, and I'd have bruised knees anyway, so they really weren't much protection.
Plus, knee pads stink, literally!! Whether you wash them in between every game or not, they always, always, always will have a terrible smell!

So long story short, after learning to dive a little more properly, and hating the itchy, sweaty, stink of the knee pads, I've come to love NOT wearing them!

I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts? How do you play, bare knees?


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Paralyzing fear...

This morning I awoke to my puppy (who even at only 9 months old, has an extremely intimidating bark) barking like crazy at my bedroom window. Mark had already left for work over an hour ago. My first thoughts, maybe he's barking at the cat. Correction, hopefully he's barking at the cat. After a solid minute of this, he doesn't let up, and then proceeds to bark down the hallway towards the living room window. I start to get really nervous. Sadly, my first instinct is to put on something more than my underwear and tank top that I sleep in in case I have to run away. I throw on my sweats, but still haven't moved from bed. Neither has Captain. I then proceed to grab the pocket knife that I leave at my bedside and squeeze it tight. He keeps barking, at the window in the bedroom, and down the hallway towards the living room. He won't stop. I try to see if I notice anything through the crack of the blinds......nothing. Captain is still going nuts. I grab my cell and call Mark, no answer. Call again, still no answer (I know he's probably in his morning meeting). I feel myself getting more nervous, more stressed, I have 9-1 dialed on my phone now just in case. Captain still has not let up, and I do not have the nerve to actually walk up to the window, or walk outside for that matter, to check out what the deal is.

Now, you are probably thinking, why on earth am I getting so worked up. Am I really that chicken? He's a dog, probably just barking at the wind. 

Well truth is, I am that chicken. If I were in a horror movie, I'd be the person paralyzed by fear other than blubbering like a baby. I'd most likely be the first person to be killed off because I'm just crumpled in a corner unable to defend myself.  

Why/how can someone be that chicken, you are now probably thinking. The answer to that is: I am not completely sure. 

As a kid I distinctly remember my sister waking up in the middle of the night and calling out for mom and dad. My first instinct was to run downstairs to see if she was okay, but I was immediately stopped by my second thought: What if someone is attacking her? Now I should have let my love for my family run me down those stairs and protect her, but I felt like I literally could not move my body out of bed. Sure enough within moments my parents went running down and thankfully it turned out to be nothing more than my sister being startled awake by the newspaper being thrown at the door.  

Why didn't I react? I've always wondered. Why couldn't I bring myself to check on my family. Was it the logical part of my brain saying I wouldn't be strong enough to fend off any attacker, so then my parents would be left with two dead children instead of one. Is my "fight or flight" response always going to be "flight", except I don't even have the balls to run away.

I have regretted my actions from that night for a long, long time. For a while I just chalked it up to being a kid, but honestly, 15 years later, I'm still the same person. I get instantly panicked and paralyzed by fear.

In the last two years, my house has been broken into twice. The most recent time being only about 6 months ago. Both break ins were traumatizing and I wasn't even home when either of them happened. The violation of our home was unbearable. I cried and cried and cried in Mark's arms, and then cried and cried even more afterwards dealing with all the people coming in and out of the house to try to repair the damage. I still get nervous pulling up in the driveway when I know Mark isn't home yet, and I still get nervous every time I am about to leave the house and have to set the alarm, but slowly I thought I was getting over it. Mentally I thought I was getting stronger.

Today's incident with the dog is another example reminding that I am definitely not over it. I love that my dog is a reactive barker (i.e. barks when he sees or hears something foreign), because it should scare away any potential intruder, but that being said, when he continuously barks without letting up (like this morning), I fear that who ever might be out there is more than just some punk kid looking to grab some merchandise. What if that punk kid, is a mass murderer, or a junkie on some psychotic rampage. No barking dog is going to scare someone like that away. I know, I know, here I go again assuming worse case scenario. 

Eventually Mark calls me back and I stay on the phone with him while I check out the bedroom windows and then walk out the front door and check down the yard etc. Captain has calmed now that I'm walking around the house. Mark tells me everything is fine, and he's just a phone call away if I need. He reminds me that both previous break ins happened when no one was home, and no cars were in the drive way. This reassures me. We say our I love yous and we hang up. 

I sit down on the couch and immediately start crying. I just can't help it. I can't control it. I don't want to be afraid, but I don't know how to take the fear away. I don't want to hesitate going in the shower because I might not hear if someone tries to break in. I don't want to hesitate to take the dog out for a walk because who knows what kind of disaster I will come home to. I assume it's common for everyone to get a little nervous once in a while, but the nerves for me come so frequently and so intensely that sometimes I feel like I can barely even function. Most of the time my coping method is to just ignore the negative thoughts, but I know I need some work to develop a method that really strengthens my mental capacity to deal with situations like this. 

Well that is all for now, time to drink a hot cup of tea and get myself relaxed. 

Take care!

Friday, October 17, 2014

West coast, the best coast!

Embracing beautiful British Columbia!

Yes, this really is the best place to live. Hot, hot summers, cold cold winters, and spring and falls filled with changing leaves, and rainy storms.

I love that one month I can be surfing & skimming the waves, and only a few months later, I can be up on the mountain boarding my way down.

One of my recent goals is to embrace the outdoors more. I just love being outside, and I definitely don't take advantage of all B.C. weather has to offer, but I am trying more and more to get outside.

I've only just recently learned to snowboard so I really hope this coming winter to give it another go because I thoroughly enjoyed it and I also really want to get out on the mountain to try snow-shoeing this winter.

Snowboarding Mt. Seymour
Snowboarding Mt. Seymour 

We're lucky here in Vancouver to have the Robson Square Outdoor Ice Rink so I definitely want to take advantage of that again.

Waiting for the Zamboni to finish at the Robson Square Outdoor Ice Rink

Don't worry, I'm not only a winter time outdoors kinda gal. Trust me, I love the outdoors during all seasons. 

In the summer time the hubby and I love to go skimboarding at White Rock Beach (we're a convenient 10 minute drive away), and we also have had a lot of fun heading to Vancouver Island to do some surfing. Again, we're not super experienced or anything, but just any opportunity to be outdoors, active and trying something new and challenging is a must in my book. 

Skimboarding at White Rock Beach
Surfing in Tofino

One of my favourite all year round outdoor activities is Camping! Obviously it's much easier and warmer if we go in late spring, summer, or early fall, but it really can be done any time as long as you're properly prepared. Unfortunately Mark and I didn't get to do any camping trips this year (my work schedule was much to uncoordinated), but hopefully next year we will get right back into it and get to bring the pup along with us. 

Mark Setting up our tent at Cultus Lake Campground

Now don't get me wrong, it's not like I have to be doing something extravagant to get me outdoors, I also adore doing the more basic things too. I try to plan leisure days at the park tossing a football with friends, playing California Kickball, or of course, playing volleyball. I love taking the dog out for daily walks both in the neighbourhood and at nearby parks, I do my best to run weekly as well, and I love when Mark takes me out for a ride on the motorcycle. Next summer I think I'm going to try to convince Mark to get bicycle bikes so we can do some leisurely cycling as well, but we'll see how that goes when the time comes!

Anyway, I plan to have many more outdoor adventure stories to share so stayed tuned, and I would love to hear about some of your favorite outdoor activities no matter what the season!

Take care & embrace nature!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What is the deal with the tall socks?

Far left: Me after winning Harry Jerome Sports Complex co-ed 4s league
Top: Me playing in a co-ed 6s tournament in Abbotsford, B.C.
Bottom: My high school junior girls team front row line up
Right: My current women's 6s league (yes, we're a player short here)
If you've gone on the court a couple of times, or even just watched any men's or women's volleyball, you've probably noticed some of the players wearing tall, almost knee high socks. 

If you're not quite used to the sport, then you're probably thinking: "Rididculous! Why on earth are they wearing those!"

I used to think the same thing when I saw the older players in high school doing it, but then I soon became one of them. 

Let me enlighten you. No, it is not a fashion trend (although, we all know there are players out there who do it for the sheer look instead of the practicality of it). Yes, it's actually practical. I got taught to wear the tall socks (no they don't have to be knee high, but anything taller than ankle will suffice) for one purpose only. Here it goes, you ready for this? 

Drum roll please!.....: 

To clean your shoes without getting your hands and face dirty. 

"What the eff!?"  is what you are probably thinking. 

Let's be honest, even a freshly cleaned gym floor, is never really clean. We run around all over the floor and yes, eventually our shoes get mucked up, covered in dust, and lose their grip. 

In between plays, take your right foot and wipe the sole on the left side sock, and vice versa. Ta da! Clean shoes, and you haven't had to use your hands to wipe em (which I promise you will eventually use to touch your face - i.e wipe sweat away, move your hair off your face, etc.). Now you have cleaner shoes pretty much for every play, without getting all the gym floor grime all over your self. Yes, by the end of it your socks will be filthy, but easy enough because those just get thrown into the wash when you get home :)

Upcoming anniversary

Today's post I am actually looking for some advice. My husband and my first wedding anniversary is coming up in a little over a month and I am debating what kind of gift to get him. Typically we aren't very big on the whole gift thing, and we usually just end up getting something that we need as a couple (i.e. new sheets, couch, etc), or just do a date night, or a night in baking goodies together with maybe a long walk. 

I know traditionally for wedding anniversaries, each year is a different type of item, and the first year is supposed to be paper.

Now we aren't a very traditional couple (we moved in together after only about six months, we got married only two months after getting engaged, we got married outdoors in the pouring rain in the middle of fall, and our babies are our pets), but for some reason I have this urge to follow tradition on this one. 

Should I go traditional or should we keep pushing the boundaries and stick with our usual non-traditional?

I've found a list of all the traditional items based on the anniversary year so I've included it here just for reference:

1. Paper
2. Cotton
3. Leather
4. Linen
5. Wood
6. Iron
7. Wool
8. Bronze
9. Pottery
10. Tin
11. Steel
12. Silk
13. Lace
14. Ivory
15. Crystal
20. China
25. Silver
30. Pearl
35. Coral
40. Ruby
50. Gold

Clearly we have a ways to go to get through all of these but the first is paper. 

I've looked up a few ideas on-line and most of the suggestions are some sort of framed wedding memento, a coupon book, or a "why I love you" book. Now these ideas are all well and good, but again, we aren't a very traditional couple so I hoping to come up with something a little more out of the box. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

That is all for now, 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Puppy love!

So I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce you to one of my new loves. 

Say hello to Mr. Captain Axel! He is my now almost 9 month old Boxer/Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. 

We got him back in March when he was just only 8 weeks old, weighing in at about 10lbs. Of course as soon as I saw him my heart melted and I just had to have him (can you blame me?!)

(The car ride home)

(Getting comfy)

(Handsome posing!)

He is now weighing in at about 60lbs and, yes, I know I might be a little biased because he pretty much is my child, but he is just the best dog around.  Because he is a ridgeback he has this wicked little mohawk on his back which is always raised, and then gets even more puffed up when he's playing around or on high alert (see the dark stripe in the pics below). He has the awesome scrunchy wrinkly face of a boxer, but again because of the ridgeback it's not completely smooshed in!

Captain has an awesome temperament. The boxer in him is very loyal and eager to please, but the stubborn ridgeback balances him out so he's not quite so needy. My husband and I take him out to the dog park just about every weekend and he can literally play with any size, shape, or breed of dog. He's good buds with an almost 150lb Great Dane named Apollo, but also has a sweet little love affair with Ollie the Boston Terrier. 

(Captain & Apollo hanging out at a volleyball tournament with us)

I have to admit I was pretty nervous about getting a dog (I grew up with only cats in my family home), but Mark had owned a few dogs in his family home and I was confident he would show me the ropes. 

Well long story short, Mark realized how much work his parents must have done raising his childhood pets, because it was a lot more work then either of us anticipated. We had a few rough nights, and lets be honest a few angry nights or mornings waking up to messes and arguing about whose turn it was to clean up or take the pup out, but all in all Captain has been an amazing addition to our home.  He easily learned to sleep through the night with minimal whining, by six months old we were accident free in the house, and he was pretty quick to learn some basic commands. 

We've had a few small hiccough here and there (worms - yes I literally had to pull it out of his bum!, a bad coughing virus - similar to kennel cough, and even recently a tumor scare) but thankfully he has always come back from the vet happy and healthy!

He is quite the little cuddle bug and has the most unique personality. He will eagerly await us at the door with his stubby little tail just going nuts, and tries to sneak in cuddles every chance he gets. If I'm on an evening shift at work, I frequently come home to my hubby and Captain spooning on the couch or even sometimes in bed, and I swear to you this dog knows how to use a pillow like a human!

Well that is all for now, but trust me I will have lots more pics and updates to share about this new love in my life!

I would love to see pics and hear about your pets too:)

About me!

Hi All, 

Welcome to my blog! No matter how you came to find it (whether by chance, or actually searching for me), I would love it if you stick around and check out some of my posts. I am super eager to hear comments & feedback so please don't hesitate.

Here's a little about me to get you started:
My name is Lindsay, and it's totally fine if you want to call me Linds. I am 28 years old and I was born in Surrey, B.C. Canada. I moved to Langley, B.C. when I was about four years old and grew up in the same family home until I was about 20 years old. 

I am the youngest of four girls, and we're all about 18 months from the next. Yes, my parents must have been busy, and yes, my poor dad living with five women in the house was rough.

(From left to right: Dianna (2nd youngest), Leigh (2nd oldest), Claudia (my mom), Bob (my dad), Me (youngest), Christina (oldest))

I grew up learning to ride motorcycles on camping trips (I think that was the closest my dad got to any of us having "boy-like" interests), but I also danced for pretty much all of my elementary school years (jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, hip hip, musical theatre). I then started playing basketball in grade 6 and volleyball in grade 7. I've always had a competitive spirit and sports was an easy outlet for me. 

Eventually in high school I focused my attention to volleyball, and to be honest the rest is kind of history. I started dating my now husband in 2009 after having met him while playing recreational volleyball together. About 6 months after that, we moved in together. Yes, everyone cautioned me not to rush in to anything but, I'm very glad I didn't listen because about four years after that, we were happily married...and still are.

(November 30, 2013)

We live in Langley (as renters), and are desperately hoping to one day soon own our own home. We have a very skittish cat named Mouse, who refuses to show his face when we have company over (aside from scurrying from one room to the next in total fear). On the total opposite end of the spectrum though, we have a 4 year old dog named Captain Axel. He is a social butterfly and is known for his devilishly good looks. 

I  do shift work as an X-ray Tech and spend most of my free evenings playing volleyball. I tend to fill my days off with a variety of things like: taking the pup for long walks, constantly reorganizing my closet in an attempt to improve my fashion sense (I've tried a few fashion posts here and there, but honestly my sister Dianna got most of those skills), working out, reading, and just trying to live my best life. 

This definitely isn't everything but I don't want to ramble too much, so this is all for now. Hope you enjoyed and will be back to check out my blogging adventures!

Why Volleyball?

Hi All,

My name is Lindsay and I am an avid volleyball player (this sounds like the start of an addicts meeting, however, that is pretty much accurate). I started playing volleyball at 11 years old (14 years ago), and have not stopped loving the sport ever since. 

As an elementary school kid I was a dancer (jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, musical theatre; you name it, I probably did it). But, as I got older I turned to sports (basketball and volleyball). My mother had a big push for basketball because she was an exceptional player back when she was in high school. I quickly realized though that there was no way to find time to play the sports and dance. So when it came time to choose; sports it was. 

I mainly focused my attention to basketball (again, my mother pushed hard for this), but because of my natural athleticism and coordination (I definitely have dance to thank for that) I quickly realized I was good at volleyball too. Moving into high school I stuck with both basketball and volleyball. Not to toot my own horn, but I was pretty good at both, always playing on the "A" team or even getting called to play with the older girls.

Unfortunately, about half way through grade 12, my basketball experience was thoroughly ruined by an over-aggressive, not so pleasant descriptive word here, coach. It was the same coach I had had since grade 10 and for my club team, but I was growing up and had had enough. I took it upon myself to remove myself from that kind of attitude, pressure and criticism (Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, I quit the team). So there I was, an ex-dancer, an ex-basketball player, left with only volleyball at my side. I was lucky enough to absolutely loooooooove my volleyball coach throughout high school. I really have her to thank for making me fall madly in love with the sport. She taught well, kept me competitive, had a passion for the sport, and she really gave me a big push to join club to improve my skills. She constantly sent me home with flyers of different clubs to check out. In grade 11, I finally convinced my mom to let me try out for a club volleyball team instead of basketball. 

The first club team I joined was "Surrey Heat Volleyball Club". It was my first club experience and man was I terrified, I wouldn't say I learned a lot technically that year, but I definitely realized that there was a lot more to the sport than just what the high school level had to offer. The second year of club I played for "High Altitude" in Langley. I definitely learned a lot more of the technical and strategic aspect of the game that year. In my last year of high school, we got a new volleyball coach. I was sad to see my original one go, but I knew she'd left me with a solid foundation to continue to build upon. After a few weeks with the new coach, he invited me to try playing co-ed out of a rec volleyball league he ran in Langley. I was definitely a little hesitant at first to play with guys (I had seen the way guys can hit at nationals and it was terrifying to me at that time), but I've always liked a challenge so I said yes. 

My first co-ed experience was intense, but I surprised a lot of people with how well I kept up (keep in mind I was minimum five years younger than the next youngest person). I immediately loved how different the sport was having guys over 6' spiking the ball at me. I continued to play with that co-ed league and man did it ever change the way I looked at the sport. It was a way faster, more aggressive game. Less choosing a spot to hit and more crushing the ball hard and hoping no one could dig it. Now granted this was only a drop in co-ed league so the skill was not necessarily top notch, but playing there lead more people to ask me to come out and play in other leagues and thus my adventures into co-ed volleyball really blossomed. 

Being a girl playing volleyball with the boys, I quickly learned to be afraid of the ball, some of those guys hit ridiculously hard, and I was young, slow, and inexperienced compared to a lot of the people I played against, so naturally I got a lot of balls in the face. Fortunately, I took it as an opportunity to learn to get in better positions and react faster. After a while of playing in various rec co-ed volleyball leagues, and drop-in sessions (mostly 6s, sometimes 5s, if there wasn't a big turnout), I then got introduced to Reverse 4s, R2s,beach, and grass. Again, this totally altered my perception of the sport. I had to take into consideration guys only being able to hit back row, or having to deal with wind blowing the ball around, sun in your eyes, and what felt like a whole new set of rules. 

Suffice to say, no matter which version of volleyball I've played, I learned something new about the game and have had to find a way to adapt my game so that I could keep up. I am proud to admit that after 14 years of playing the sport that I desperately love, I still have lots to learn about the sport, but I am confident to admit that if you throw me into any volleyball scenario with any team, and I will definitely be able to handle myself and hopefully even impress a few people.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bump, Set, Spike: Volleyball Terminology


So I thought I would take this opportunity to be somewhat informative instead of just conversational.

Whether it's your first time out on the court, or you've been playing for years, I find there always seems to be some sort of new lingo on the court. Whether it's a system of play, or just a new term for a kill, the terminology always seems to be beyond me.

So let's start with some of the basics, and probably some of the most commonly heard terms (please keep in mind, these are just my interpretations of the terms after having played for about 13 years):

Bump/pass: Passing the ball from your forearms

Set: Directionally passing the ball with minimal contact from your fingers, to set up an offensive attack.

Spike/hit/attack: a ball contacted with force on the offensive with the intention of having it land on the opponents court, or off the block.

I will definitely post more volleyball related terms in the future, but I just wanted to start small and get the basics going.

Feel free to submit any terms that you've heard and are looking for an explanation on, I'll do my best to provide some clarification. :)