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?

Piper’s Run in 2013

All I can say is, What a Year! Lots of fun things happened at Piper’s Run in 2013; little feet, outdoor fun, running, time with family and friends, hard days, hard nights, gatherings, play dates and a whole lot more.

A few of your favourite posts (and mine too):

January: A New Year a new way of living life as a family of four. This was the month of figuring out life with two little girls and managing them on my own as my husband worked days and nights. I struggled for a little while with How to Love Two Children Equally but in the end managed to figure it out. I started to get active postpartum and start the long haul of losing the baby weight.

February: Blogging took a backseat to everything and I was okay with that. I had a baby and toddler to focus on. I tried to get out as much as possible but sometime would take Baby H walking indoors.

March: This was the month I had the BEST PARENTING DAY EVER, along with feeling like Super-Mom for a day! This was a good month 🙂

Mommy and Lilly skiing on the Bunny Hill at Ski Martock.

April: Lilly had her first hair cut, I went stroller running for the first time and had my first Mama’s night out!!

May: This month was the month I started (and never) finished monthly challenges. At least I tried. I also started my Operation Get Fit  for the bridesmaid dress. I was rather focused on working out so I could fit into the dress – hard work pays off.

June: All of a sudden I had a 3 Year Old and6 Month old…just…like…that!

July: I struggled with trying to balance it all and the fact that I take on too much and turned 33.

Testing the water

August: It felt like a quiet month yet busy with the girls. I gave up milk and Coca-Cola (no, I didn’t drink these together) and posts on the TOTS family page about How it’s important for Girls to play in the dirt too!

September: We traveled with the girls to Halifax, hit up Target for the first time and went to a wedding and we ate some good food from a local Food Truck.

October: I managed to do two runs this month: Valley Harvest 5k, the Miles for Miracles 5k but more importantly, Lilly ran her first race and we survived Halloween. We also had a great Thanksgiving with my family.

November: My husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. I signed up for the Fall into Fitness 30 Day Challenge and blogged almost every day – sometimes twice a day. A few of my favourite posts from the challenge were:

  1. Rest Day on Day 2 of the Challenge {Crazy, I know!}
  2. The Value of a DVD workout
  3. Don’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover
  4. What’s a Workout ?

December: This was a BIG month for us! I returned to work after a year of being on maternity leave, my husband became a Canadian Citizen, we celebrated Hilary’s 1st birthday and celebrated Christmas!

Citizenship 1

After writing this post I have to admit, it’s been a pretty amazing year. I’m thankful for my little (and big) family, my friends and all the opportunities I’ve had in 2013. I’m all ready for 2014! Let the fun begin!

What’s one of your memorable moments in 2013?

Anything you can look back and wish you did differently?

 

I Think I’m Injured :(

Okay, you are either injured or not, there is no in-between…right? Well, I actually feel like I’m a little injured but not really, it doesn’t make any sense. Let me back it up for ya….

Early October I played in a soccer game and felt like I injured my knee. I did not have a collision or fall down. Later that night when my knee started bothering me I just thought it was because it was my first game back in two years. Let me back up a little more….I had baby #2 almost 12 months ago now.

I had a lot of hip/pelvis and back pain during both pregnancies but after Lilly (baby #1) it took me a long time to recover. Recovering from Hilary’s birth was a lot better so I thought my hips/back would be fine this time. I got to be honest, I don’t think my body is back to “normal” yet. During that soccer game in October I felt the same pain in my hip/pelvis but it has since gone away – yeah!

Remember these photos (baby Hilary inside):

Don't be jealous

Anyway, I’ve been to an osteopath which is like having magic hands heal you. She was able to pick out old injuries without me telling her! But I just feel like I’m injured again 😦 I went for a planned 30 minute walk last Thursday with Hilary and Maclean. When we got close to our house (2 minutes away) they were paving the road and we were not allowed to walk down the street. There are no sidewalks in our subdivision so we had to walk ALL THE WAY AROUND to get home. Instead of doing the full 30 minutes I cut across through the school, a soccer field and two baseball fields, through a path and then was about 4 minutes from our house.

We walked for a total of 55 minutes so when I got home I needed to stretch out my legs – mainly my thighs. Later that night I could barely walk up stairs or squat down with Hilary … it wasn’t a pretty sight. I decided to take it easy and put the Thigh Challenge on the back burner…. 😦 I was really into it and was happy I was able to check it off my list each day but my left thigh is still  tender. I’m throwing in the towel in hopes that my thigh will feel better. No soccer this week either and I’m not sure about running….we’ll just have to wait and see.

Walking, walking and more walking … and some stretching.

How was your weekend?

Do you get injured very often?

When injured to you slow down, stop working out or push through it ?

 

Saturday night running

Last night I went for a run but not just any run. I was running the Miles for Miracles (satellite) run with two friends. I mentioned before that I would be doing this run to help raise money for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome or TTTS. The main run was to be held yesterday in Ontario and we ran it here, in Nova Scotia.

After getting all of our little ones to bed….or at least calm enough to leave the house we met at 8 pm. We were supposed to be four mama’s running but one mama couldn’t make it. Sometimes you just can’t do it all.

I made “race bibs” for us with a picture of Jolene’s twins, our names and even gave us a number 🙂 Wearing glow sticks we headed out onto the gravel track which was 70% pitch black. The goal was to run an “almost 5k” (4.5k) as that;s what was planned in Ontario. I had worn my garmin to keep track of how we were doing. We ended up going the full 5k and not stopping once! Well done ladies!

Miles for Miracles Run 2013

Jolene is pictured in the middle (bottom photo) is the Mama to the twin girls AND a 3-year-old boy. She brought us a little goody bag: Wine, chocolate, granola bar and water. I brought granola bars and chocolate soy milk for us too!

Since we rarely get together without our children, we sat around for a little bit…chatted, ate and drank.

Congrats to Jolene for not only training over the last 2 months but finishing her goal run. Your twin girls and son have such an awesome role model and lots of fun adventures ahead.

See you next year Miles for Miracles.

Run or Dye 5K Race Recap

Running in tutu’s has to be one of the best ideas ever! That’s what I did this past weekend with my sister-in-law and some friends….covered in coloured dye and running/walking up down cross-country ski trails. Let me tell you all about it….

After being up three times with Hilary Friday night, I got up at 6 am, prepped for the run, ate some breakfast, got on Facebook and then hit the road in +3 degrees. Brrrrr.

Lots of fog!

Lots of fog!

The drive to Ski Martock usually takes about 40 minutes but I guess I was so pumped about the run I got there in 30. When your driving to a run make sure you have some good tunes to listen too. I sure did but they were from 2005!!! Apparently, I rock out to kids tunes way more than I do my own – gotta work on that one.

After meeting my group of friends we loaded on a school bus (we felt like kids again) and off to the hill we went. Dressed in white t-shirts, white tutu’s, and colourful socks….We.Were.Ready.  Since we had our race kits we were able to head right down to the start area and party it up…and that we did.

run or dye 2

Team tutu

There was lots of dancing, cheering and colour in the air.  They let 500 people “run” every five minutes starting at 9am and we were the third set to go.

Team tutu

Before the Dye

Nothing like a little dance party to get you pumped for a 5k run 🙂 It was a lot of fun at the start area, lots of hype and energy.

After Dye

And then we were off…it was slow going as we were at the back of the 500 pack but we slowly worked our way through people that were walking. The route was on the cross-country ski trails at Ski Martock – so very hilly, muddy and random hay in places that were really muddy. We had to walk down some hills as it was really slippery and wanted to avoid falling on our butts.

run or dye 4

After going through the orange dye station and at the end of the 5k 3k run.

We hit all the dye stations and got to the end and realised that it was over before we knew it. It wasn’t quiet a 5k but closer to 3k. I was a little disappointed as I had it in my head we were running the distance of 5k. Maybe they changed the course because some of the trails were too muddy and not safe or they compensated the distance because it was SO hilly…I dunno. It was still a lot of fun.

run or dye 5

After our run we hit up the dance party/dye bubble, grabbed some water, saw a few people and got the bus back to our car around 10:30 am. There were still people waiting to leave the parking area for the run when we arrived back at our car. We later found out traffic was backed up on a number of roads and the main highway as 7,000+ people were attending the event! Well done Nova Scotia…way to represent!

This was such a fun, easy, and laid-back event and I would do it again in a heart beat. We are already planning our outfits for next year.

Driving home I was a little embarrassed as I passed cars since I still had the dye all over my head and face. I passed one car and looked over, she had it on her face too. I felt better 🙂

The girls were really happy to see me and I quickly grabbed a shower so I could play with them again. It’s been two days since the run and I still have patches of dye on my skin!

PS – Thanks Mom for babysitting the girls while I ran and Sai took his course – we couldn’t have done either without you. xo

Have you run in a Run or Dye/Colour Run?

What run have you done that has been your favourite?

Throwback Thursday: Soccer

Last night was the first time I played (indoor) soccer in 2 years! For a girl who grew up playing, coaching and traveling all over Nova Scotia for soccer, I still can’t believe that I took two years off. I still remember my last game of the summer season; the field, the players and that we lost.

Two years ago, I decided when Sai went back to school I would take the winter off also knowing we wanted to have another baby at some point. Well, that’s all done now, I signed up for the indoor season and played my first exhibition game last night.

How did it feel to be on the turf again? Thumbs Up, FANTASTIC ! …. as Lilly say’s.

I was actually so nervous that I had butterflies in my stomach starting late in the afternoon! Seriously, who get’s butterflies at 33 years of age going to an exhibition soccer game? I hope it’s not just me.

Number 19 back in action 🙂

DSC04050

It was great to see the girls, meet a few new ones and realise my gear is still in good condition. It’s only a 60 minute game and I played 25 minutes in the first half and 20 in the second. Overall, I was pretty pleased with my fitness but man sprinting after the ball or someone on the other team sure got to me in the end. I didn’t feel too out of shape … guess my few runs and T25 is helping. Yeah for me!

Waking up this morning my knees and hips hurt but other than that I’m okay. I don’t think my body has fully recovered from having given birth 10 months ago. I had a few pains in my hips/pelvis, that I did during my pregnancy while I was playing last night. Let’s hope in time this goes away.

I’m hoping all the sprinting last night, a good T25 workout tonight and T25 stretching on Friday will get me ready for Run or Dye on Saturday. Yup, it’s white tutu wearing – paint the sky – run a 5k on cross-country ski trails time! Whoop Whoop!

This is me over 10 years ago!

Anna soccer  10 years ago

I remember this play like it was yesterday. I lobbed the ball in the air down the line and my friend Tracey (left to me in white) sprinted down, crossed the ball and scored!

It. Was. Beautiful!

But, I have no idea what I am doing with my hands.

I do this when I run for some reason; thumb tucked in and fingers pointing.

Did you take a few years off from your favourite sport?

How long did it take your body to return to normal after given birth?

Do you do weird things with your hands when you run?

The Power of A Mommy Group

You know sometimes Mommy’s groups get a bad reputation of just being an excuse to get together, gossip and complain about their lives but it’s not always the case.

While at the park you see mom’s (and some Dad’s too) hanging out while their children run around, climbing on the playground equipment and you think “it’s a walk in the park for those parents”. Well, it’s not always the case. Sometimes it can take hours for a family to get their stuff together and get out the door to meet up with their friends and children. The stress of trying to arrive on time, juggling nap times, meals and oh – the potty too can make you want to stay home on your own turf because it’s just easier. And on top of that there are tantrums…I’m just going to leave it at that.

Best friends since birth!

Best friends since birth! (2.5 years old)

A Mommy group isn’t just a play date for kids. It’s more than that, it’s full of:

  • an opportunity to learn from other mom’s experiences (not to compare children)
  • a chance to leave the four walls of your house for a few hours a day and escape daily tasks that keep piling up because we don’t have enough time to “get to it”
  • it’s social …. no, not like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It’s LIVE, IN-PERSON socialization and personal interaction
  • it’s laughter when you need it most
  • it’s refreshing, inspiring. and can sometimes include really good food.

When I was on maternity leave with our first daughter Lilly, we started a play group from our prenatal class. There was 4-6 women and babies that would get together weekly. We called it our “Monday Funday”….oh yeah! The weekend was over, our husbands were back to work and it was time for us to get together. We would rotate from house to house each week and would always have a pot luck lunch. These were some of our best meals of the week….I’m not kidding. And if you hosted, sometimes your husband was lucky enough to have a little taste of what we ate for lunch. There was also the “field trips” that we took to farmer’s markets, the zoo, the park, the beach and the cookhouse for lunch.

The babies were born within 6 weeks of one another and have grown up together for the last 3 years. Each June and July we have a birthday party almost every weekend. It’s a fun time of the year because the kids get so much play time together. I’m talking about the kids here….not the Moms. Okay, maybe I am talking about the Moms … and the Dad’s too.

This time around with Hilary who is 6 months old, we have a few mom’s and babies that we get together with. Sometimes a big group and sometimes just a few. The best part is that the babies are getting exposed to other babies and the mom’s are able to connect, get support and enjoy each other’s company for a few hours.

A Mommy group of friends is a powerful group. It’s supportive, encouraging and inspiring. I know there are days that I can count on my group of Mommies for support; whether that’s a play date, a meal dropped off, last-minute pick up arrangements at day care or a simple phone call.

Mom’s or Dad’s – do you go to a play group?

What’s the best thing about your playgroup?