Category Archives: reviews

Body Pump.

If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a “LES MILLS” class that’s offered at Goodlife gyms in Canada.  It’s an hour long weight lifting group class.  I’ve taken it over 10 times now in my lifetime and I think I’ve formed an opinion…  someone get out the crash mats, this could get messy.

First of all, I really like it.  The music is loud, albeit, a little out of date and mind-numbingly remixed.  There are lots of people taking the class of all different abilities.  And I’ll say it, I love a good, sweaty workout that leaves you shaky and sore for the next two days.  For these reasons it’s great.

The class is a great idea..

Here’s the problem.

Weight lifting exercises can be dangerous.  They should be properly supervised during the learning process.  And they shouldn’t be done too fast.  And the weights people are using shouldn’t be too heavy at first.

With all this in mind, imagine a class full of at least 25 people, one instructor who is also demonstrating, and booming music half drowning her out.  There is a lot of room for error.

Incident #1:  A girl in the tiny weight room attached to the back of the studio gets a 5 KG weight dropped on her toe in the rush to set up.  WTF.  If that had been me, I would have LOST IT!  I mean, my toes are LITERALLY my livelihood.  LITERALLY.  *I need a crash mat*  The girl was perfectly sane about it, but it has (obviously) stuck with me.  Too many people.  Not enough space.  Not enough focus on safety with weights.

Incident #2: Over head lifting too heavy, too fast, too soon.  Given that I know my body pretty well, and have lifted in the past, I was quite keen to up my weight load in these classes.  Surprise, surprise, I’ve injured my rotator cuff.  Again WTF.  I’m not blaming this solely on Body Pump, because it was me who overloaded my bar.  But the thing is, I didn’t know that would happen.  The instructor didn’t say, keep your weight low and slowly increase because of the risk of injuries.  I don’t care if you think you’re hot stuff, or the exercises seem too easy.  Do what I say for your own safety.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.  I just figured I’d be REALLY sore the next day if I loaded too much on… I’m an idiot.  But, ouch. my shoulder.

That’s it for the incidents.

For now..

Anyways, this rant comes down to this.  Weight lifting is no joke.  And although the group class seems like a good way to start, I think more attention must be paid.  I needed more help with my form.  A lot more.  And to be honest, I’m probably one of the more coordinated and body aware people in the room (being a professional dancer).  So what about the rest of them!?  I don’t know how to fix this problem.  And, please, don’t let this stop you from trying the class or weight lifting.  Just be mindful.  Start slowly.  Even if it feels really easy the first class.  Build weight increases slowly.  And I think most importantly, stay after class and ask questions about form, or google for some specific form info.  Because it’s your body, your possibly injuries, and your possible pain.  You have to be in control of that at all times.

Have you tried Body Pump?  What about any other types of weightlifting classes?  What did you think?!

Marbles.

Today started out with a slightly later rehearsal (10:30 am yeah!) and some fun scene work and dance cleanup.  It’s so lovely to spend time with such wonderful women.  The girls in this show are something else.  So strong and talented.  And so different!  It’s such a pleasure to get to know them.  I’m learning so much already.

After rehearsal, I headed to Waterloo to meet my family for dinner and to watch my little brother’s hockey game!  We ate at Marbles.  How cute is that sign?

Here’s the (freezing cold) arena where we watched my brother’s team play.  They lost, but they put up a good fight!  I haven’t seen my brother play since he was a little kid.  I kind of expected him to look about 9 years old in his hockey stuff.  Nope.  Full grown man.

This is me and my little bro!  Not so little, eh?!

My dad and bro got the Mill Street Organic Tankhouse Ale, which was AMAZING.  I had the house red.  A Pelee Island wine.  It was so easy to drink.  Very technical, I know.  But it didn’t have that kind of acidic taste that some wines have that make you have to take really small sips.  I should be a wine reviewer.. I know.

I had the black bean sliders with the chef’s salad.  The sliders were cute and had a different topping on each: Chipotle mayo, guacamole, and salsa.  They were pretty good, not totally blown away.  The salad was tasty with an asian inspired vinaigrette that was way too sweet for my tastes.  I still enjoyed it though.  To get the salad instead of fries, you had to pay an extra two dollars! What’s with that?!  I know it’s kind of standard, but it makes me mad every time.  Entrees should come with green things.  And that’s final.  We should have to pay more for fries.

All in all, a lovely day.  Oh, and to top it all off, I got my first Menchie’s frozen yogurt creation.  I don’t even have a pic because I ate it so fast.  MMMMmm frozen yogurt.  I’m so glad those kind of shops are so scarce around here.. danger. bay.

Do you think it’s crazy to charge extra for a tiny side salad instead of fries?!

Mad Men

I’m obsessed.

3 seasons in 2 weeks.  That’s 13 hour long episodes per season.

Send help.

No, wait don’t.  Send popcorn and coconut milk ice cream.

The FASHION!  I can’t get over the dresses.  Seriously. It’s a great show.

I’ve been watching it on Canadian Netflix.  Which I’m loving so far.  I also got a free trial and it’s easy to love free stuff.  I’ll keep you posted.

Have you watched Mad Men?! What do you think?

The Midwife of Venice.

This book. was. amazing. I would highly recommend it if you’re into historical fiction.  Or awesome books.  Whatever.

The Midwife of Venice is set in Venice (duh) during the 1500s.  The main character, Hannah, is a young Jewish midwife who has invented a really early version of forceps which she calls “birthing spoons”.  It’s such an interesting look into that time period.  The setting is beautifully described by the author, Roberta Rich, you feel like you’re there with her.  The plot revolves around the conflicts between the Christian and Jewish faith at the time.  A Jewish woman was forbidden to help a Christian woman in birth.  But Hannah’s reputation is such that the Christian nobility seek her out.  What follows is a story of true love, trust, friendship, and above all, fighting for what you feel is right.

Apparently, I have a bit of a theme going lately with the two books about midwifery in a row.  I’m really enjoying learning about how women actually made it through birth back then.  One crazy tidbit I learned about in this book was called “crocheting” a baby.  As I understood it, if the baby was fatally stuck in the birth canal, and the momma was going fast, they would send a hook up there and hook to baby out by the skull then use a silk cord to literally pull the baby apart limb from limb out of the womb.  Obviously, this was a very last chance device that was used.  And of course, it would have been a horrific experience for all involved.  Birth is no joke.  I can’t imagine…

Anyways… on a  happier note.  I would totally recommend this book if you’re into history, Italy, women’s issues enthusiasts, or just general LOVE CONQUERS ALL kind of stories.

 

The Birth House.

First things first.  I got an amazing gift this Christmas from Mr. Best Things: A Kobo Vox E-reader!

I got the hot pink one.  In an awesome faux book cover!  What can I say, I love to read.  We’ve been joking that I might leave him for Kobo.  It already has it’s own personality…

I love it so far.  It’s quick and easy to get books into the library, and with the crazy amount of Chapters gift cards I got from my “inlaws” I haven’t paid a cent for the 3 books I’ve read since receiving it!  Most recently, I read:

The Birth House is set in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia in and around the early 1900s.  Written by Canadian writer, Ami McKay, it’s a great look at what life was like in rural East Coast Canada, specifically, with regards to women’s issues.  The main character is a midwife who is being constantly challenged by a new, local “Doctor” who wants to force the local women to travel to his institution and endure his “new, safe measures” for modern birth.  Like being completely put under and having their babies pulled out of them, only to wake up and not remember a single thing.  WHAT?  It’s crazy how far our process of birth has come and yet it seems so similar to what these women were fighting for: the right to choose what to do with their OWN bodies.  And often, the tried, tested, and true method of birthing; surrounded by women, without too much intervention (unless, of course, there’s a problem) is what women will fight for.

If you’re interested in this topic, or many others, like the Halifax Explosion, the First World War, or Boston in this time (the Boston Molasses Flood.. what? a crazy event I’d never heard of before), I’d highly recommend having a read of this book. It’s not a long book, so it flies by with a little bit of a love story cooking along in the background.

Also, I watched a fantastic documentary called “The Business of Being Born” that talks a lot about the same subject; how women have had the power of birth taken away from them.

I think they would make an amazing little pair just for your own learning pleasure, or that of a book club!

Can you imagine what it must have been like to give birth back then? Miles from the closest “hospital”, with only the local midwife and the women of the area around for help.

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