Yoga, Swim {The Hip}, Repeat.

That pretty much sums up my weekend. Lots of good things, sunshine, water and I even shed a few tears and reflected on life in general.

This past weekend there was an event called Valley Yoga Fest. The girls and I decided to go Saturday morning to check out the kids class (amazing) and I did the adult class nearby. The kids class was so awesome, they did about 40 minutes of yoga and then played on the BIG playground – what kid wouldn’t love that!

 

Valley Yoga Fest

I was at the adult yoga class on a beach towel since my girls had both of my yoga mats. Honestly, I didn’t care I was on a towel with the wet grass underneath me. I was just happy to be able to attend a class and have my children participate in one at the same time. The towel didn’t faze me. My girls wanted me over at the playground so I cut my class short, again that was fine by me because it meant I had happy kids and I got in a little yoga.

Well, this is where the fun begins! Lululemon staff were at the session and gave me and my friend a new yoga mat! They gave out roughly 10 or more to random people in the class that we attended but they wanted to make sure we both got one since we were on towels and then we could do yoga WITH our kids…all on mats! Both my friend and I were blown away! We got lots of goodies; samples, complementary yoga classes at local studios, sunscreen and flavoured water.

Valley Yoga Fest 2.jpg

With my husband on night shifts all weekend, we went out Saturday afternoon to swim. I am taking care of my boss’s pool so we spent around 3 hours swimming and playing. We repeated this on Sunday too; yoga in the morning for all three of us and swimming in the afternoon. I even managed to do 25 minutes of leisurely laps…good lord I could never be a swimmer!

During Sunday’s yoga class I couldn’t help but think about Gord Downie and the concert I listened to the night before. I started my practice with him in my thoughts and eventually got lost in the hour and some random hugs and refereeing with the girls. The last song they played during the yoga class was a Tragically Hip song. To be honest, the tears starting falling down my face in an emotion of pure sadness. Full circle yoga session for me I guess.

THE TRAGICALLY HIP

If you don’t know who I am talking about, look them up…they are the most Canadian band you’ll ever hear. Last night all of Canada basically said “goodbye” to them as their lead singer Gord Downie has incurable brain cancer {horrible}. They put on a three hour show during their last tour.

I’ve listen to this band since high school and loved them all along. There are slight references to Canadian towns {Bobcaygen}, the radio/tv broadcaster {CBC} and reference great moments in Canadian history {hockey} in their lyrics………..

If there’s a goal that everyone remembers
It was back in old seventy two
We all squeezed the stick and we all pulled the trigger
And all I remember is sitting beside you

You said you didn’t give a f— about hockey
And I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr

Saturday night I went to an outdoor concert to listen to them play as the CBC was airing their LAST concert live from Kingston, Ontario. I just needed to see the concert outside of my house for some reason and the outdoor venue was awesome.

They did THREE encores and Gord spoke briefly, mentioning the Prime Minister {Justin} but also leaving us with these words “Have A Good Life”. Oh man, I started crying! He was saying his goodbye and wishing US all well! OMG, lots of tears for his man. A friend of mine who attended another concert earlier in the week shared that he said “be kind to each other, take care of each other, and have a nice life”!

It’s true. We ALL need to be kind. We all need to take care of each other. If we could all do this, the world would be a better place I’m sure. The Tragically Hip may have finished their last tour ever but their music and their legacy will be with us forever.

I’m exhausted from all the activity, staying up WAY pass my bed time {so worth it} but also the sadness for Gord Downie. What now…well, I hope he’s able to enjoy life with his family, band members and friends.

How was your weekend?

Do bands have impacts on you? 

Did you catch the concert or see any reference to it online?

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all the Canadians near and far. 

May you celebrate with your family and friends. Eat plenty of good food and of course, drink plenty. And celebrate Canada’s birthday in style! 

Good luck to all those running the Epic Canadian race: 5k/10k or double race like my running buddy Krystol (I’m sitting this one out), and half marathoners. 

Cheers, Piper! 

Bell Let’s Talk Today #bellletstalk

Wednesday January 27th 2016 is “Bell Let’s Talk” Day. It’s main focus is to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around mental health.

All YOU need to do is use the hashtag #BellLetsTalk and Bell (a large company in Canada) will donate 5 cents towards mental health programs in Canada.

An example would be a few years back I attended a “Mental Health First Aid Course – Adults working working with Children”. Part of the funding to run the course came from Bell which allowed participants to pay a lower registration fee. And to be completely honest, after taking that course I truly believe everyone should take it.

You don’t have to be Canadian for them to raise money. You just have to care about others and use the #bellletstalk hashtag. Those who use Bell can also raise money by making mobile and long distance calls, texting or tweeting out #BellLetsTalk, even sharing one of their photos on Facebook.

I mean really, what’s stopping you from using the 12 letters when you tweet today? 

I don’t know about you but I know more than a handful of people living with depression, anxiety, stress and those people are close to me–> Family AND Friends. There’s lots of people I come across each day {online too) that I don’t know are dealing with their mental health. Maybe it’s stress, maybe it’s bipolar, or mood disorder. You sometimes never know!

If anything, just use the #BellLetsTalk hashtag today because you care – even just once!

Do you know anyone with a mental health illness?

Did you know in Canada, 1 in 5 children who need mental health services need them? ~CMHA

27% of Canadians are fearful of being around people who suffer with a mental health illness. ~Canadian Medical Association

What are the numbers in your Country?

Will you use the #BellLetsTalk hashtag today?

I was not asked to write this post or link back to Bell – this was written simple because I want to be apart of #BellLetsTalk day and support my family and friends.

Lest We Forget

Remembrance Day in Canada always holds a place in my heart. I’m thankful for the people who fought for our country (and others). I’m also thankful for my family and friends who have fought for us (an other countries).

My brother’s been deployed and continues to serve in the Canadian military. He/we also have a number of friends who are in the military; leaving their families for deployment, training or education. I always take time to think about them and not only what they have done but what their whole families have gone through. Those families that stay behind while their spouse goes off still must keep moving forward.

Leaving for Afghanistan

I have a love-hate relationship with this photo. The pride in my brother’s face as he stands with our parents, about to leave for the unknown amount of time. My parents who are just holding it together, even though my father looks completely devastated and my Mom just being their for her only son. Families sacrifice while their loved ones leave.

So today, I will remember those in the past, in the present and in the future, thank you for serving our county. And thank you to those families as well.

For veterans and those in active-duty, GoodLife Fitness is offering free access for the Month of November (1st -30th). For more information, go here.

Summer Fit Gear Exchange {Canada}

One thing I love about the blogging community is how motivating it can be. A group of fitness/runners/healthy living bloggers are excited to share the Summer Fit Gear Exchange {Canadians only} lead by Brittany at Running Mama Journey. Check out below how to participate!

Summer Fit Gear Exchange 

Are you interested in a summer fitness gear exchange?  

To help fellow fitness enthusiasts reach their goals?  

To make new online friends and motivate others?

Blogging friends, join us to help keep other fellow fit Canadians motivated and excited about fitness and feeling good about where we each are on our path to living a healthy lifestyle.

“Gear” can be anything from: clothing, water bottles, food, head bands, hair clips, rehydration tablets, speed laces, notebooks, DVD’s, yoga accessories. Basically, you should find out what the person is into or share some of your favourite go to’s! Really, the items are endless that you can get.

Interested in participating? Heres how it works:

  1. Fill out this form to participate.  You’ll need to fill it out by June 7.
  2. Look for an email from me by June 10th with your pairing. It will also be fun if we commit to following all the participants so as part of this initial email I will include participants usernames for the various social media platforms.
  3. Email your partner by June 15th. This is the person who you’ll send “gear” to.  Get to know them a little! Introduce yourself.
  4. Dont forget to send a little group love! Tweet, instagram, Facebook message not only your partner but @runningmamajourney and some of the others included in the email you received.
  5. Shop and have fun! You should spend $40 on the gear (this can include shipping costs roughly $10).
  6. Send your partner their gear, and include a motivational note. Ship package so that your partner receives their items by June 26th.
  7. If you’re a blogger, please write a Summer Fit Gear Exchange post to be live on July 6th. I’ll aim to have a link-up on my site just prior to this date.  Lets work together, and if you do not have a blog don’t worry! You are welcome to email mymamajourney@gmail.com to share your post (2-3 paragraphs and pictures showcased throughout the day on July 6th on http://runningmamajourney.com/ ).
  8. During the month, and when you promote your post on social media, please use #SummerFitGearExchange

Sign up and you will receive an email soon.

Hope you will join us, Piper 🙂

Have you ever done a fitness gear exchange? Or other exchange?

Canadian Reebok Spartan Race Giveaway! {CAN only}

I’m excited to be able to share this with all you CANADIAN peeps! I’ve never participated in a Spartan Race but have seen lots of pictures and heard lots of great stories about them!

Spartan Race

What is a Spartan Race?

Spartan Race is the world’s toughest obstacle course race {started in 2010}, with over 30,000 competitors in Western Canada alone taking the challenge each year”.

They have:

  • Races all over the globe
  • Different distances with different levels
  • A unique culture and community of athletes striving together to overcome any and everything.

There are three course offered:

  • A Spartan Sprint: at least 5k plus 15 obstacles
  • A Super Spartan: at least 13 km and 20 obstacles
  • The Spartan Beast: 20km and 25 obstacles

{Taken from their website}

Halifax Sprint

A Spartan Sprint would totally be enough for me, I couldn’t image doing any more! Though I am currently injured, I think this would be lots of fun to be at. Could you image Volunteering at this event, watching everyone do these challenges up/down a ski hill? I’ve done something similar back in 2013 and it was a blast and SUPER challenging. Good luck to all those participating this year!

CONTEST:

One person will win a free entry fee for an Eastern Canadian Spartan Race {events in Ontario to Nova Scotia}.

To enter: leave a comment with what distance you’d want to do! PLUS – I need to be able to contact you via email/twitter etc. so make sure you leave a contact.

*And a little bonus to receive 15% off your registration Use Code: AROO15 

You can check out their website here: Reebok Spartan Race

Contest runs: Wednesday May 13th – Wednesday May 20th, 2015. Winner will be randomly selected for a Eastern Canadian event of their choice and contacted Thursday. {again, leave your contact info}

Have you ever done a Spartan Race? In Canada, US or elsewhere ?

Which distance/challenge would you do? (Spartan Sprint / A Super Spartan / The Spartan Beast?

Note: Spartan Race provided me with a race code and 1 free entry for a blog post. I was not paid for this post or given anything. All opinions are my own. 

Mental Health and Being Active #BellLetsTalk

I’m a firm believer that being active; exercising, working out, physical activity – whatever you want to call it…. can help keep you focused, deal with stress and keep you sane. I’m not saying that it’s the end all be all for everyone but being active for me keeps me grounded, helps me deal with life stresses, lets me escape for a little while and keeps me sane.

I run. I play soccer. I do DVD workouts. I ski. I snowshoe. I walk. I try to bike but not a strong skill for me. I swim. I play with my daughters outside.

I enjoy team sports and individual challenges.

I value the benefits of being active. I value how it makes me feel physically and mentally.

It’s part of who I am and hopefully will always be.

I’ve never been depressed, sad at the appropriate times but not depressed. I’ve never been diagnosed with a mental health disorder though I have experience times of great stress and anxiety. I do however, have a family member who does suffer from depression and at times that has been hard to understand.

But you support. You be there for them. You talk about it. You engage them in life.

I am writing this post as awareness and to support the #BellLetsTalk day that is happening in Canada. You don’t have to be a subscriber of Bell to add the hashtag of #BellLetsTalk. You simple just have to type it in any message you tweet today.

Those Bell customers you can text, tweet, call long distance and share an image on Bell Let’s Talk Facebook, in return Bell will donate 5¢ every time you do text, tweet, call etc. Bell Let’s Talk Website

They have already had 20,134,357 tweets, text, calls and shares…keep it up! Let’s help raise awareness of mental health issues and help raise money for some much-needed initiatives. Photo: We've surpassed 20 million tweets, calls and Facebook shares! That's an additional $1,000,000 for mental health initiatives. Keep it up, everyone! http://ow.ly/t2eE6 #BellLetsTalk

Last night I managed to run 7k – something I haven’t been able to do in a long time (for many reasons). I felt like I accomplished a little goal of increasing my miles, pushed my body and improved my state of mind. Physical activity is important to me that’s why I make it a priority in my life over other things.

Help end the stigma around mental health and hashtag your tweets peeps! (Or call, text, share).

What has “being active” (exercising, working out, physical activities) done for your mental health?

How do you support someone who might suffer from a mental health disorder?