There is always something to be thankful for…

•July 12, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The title of this blog is actually a quote from my speech to the CSS grad class this year.  Time to take a little of my own advice!be-grateful3.png

Thanks to all of you who sent me good luck before the show and congratulations after. It was a great weekend! I was (almost) totally satisfied with my new routine that I was able to pull off despite not being able to lift my right hand above my head or do a push-up until about 3 weeks out. I still have a lot of work to do before Nationals, but that’s what the next 4 weeks 4.5 days is for. But, hey, who’s counting?

A few things I have to get off my chest before the training re-begins…

On the business end of things, I need to give a shout out to IFBB Fitness Pro Caitlin Bailie for helping me put together my routine! I had to move some stuff out and around when I was injured, but she lit the spark for the choreography and gave me some challenging things to work on so that maybe when I grow up, I can be just like her.

Also I want to praise the design and sewing skills of Jaclyn Wilson, head cheese of JWCouture in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She made me an awesome routine outfit and FAST! I am always impressed with people that can sew custom suits because I have a difficult time patching Marc’s pants and stitching on buttons without getting knots in the thread. It’s sad really. Check her out here: http://www.jwcouture.ca/

To the handful of super supportive friends that don’t give me a hard time when I have to eat exactly 110 g of white fish and ¼ cup of rice while they eat cake…and don’t laugh at me when I’m up at 4 a.m. to do cardio…and – most importantly – understand the difference between hangry Kang and just-pissed-off-because-people-are-stupid Kang. You are the bestest!

On to the bigger thank-you’s…

I have the greatest trainer of all time: DAWN ALISON. Despite also training for her own nationals in bodybuilding (in which she is going to kick ass!!!), she gives me and the rest of her athletes, like, a MILLION percent effort and expertise. And yes, they let me teach math.

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Even after what seemed like the LONGEST NIGHT EVER (waiting 6 hours just to do the night-show fitness routines…first-world problems, I know!)…Even though she had cardio to do and her hubby/Fitbody co-torturer/jack-of-all-trades/human-insane-at-everything had to compete in a whole whack of categories first thing in the a.m….Even when she was surely tired and hungry and had to get up in 3 hours to train and get her team ready, she (they) stayed to watch me. That is devotion to the sport. That is devotion to her FitBody team. That is Dawn Alison. And that is why we love her.

 

Last but certainly not least, M., who continues to stands by me through the days akin to the peach pie meltdown, and this time even did a contest prep (but without the end contest)….just to see if he could push his own body…just so he could understand what it’s like. I call that crazy.

This prep, we were living apart, trying to sell a house, trying to make arrangements to move while managing two households, and (stupidly?) taking on another dog. Despite all of this, he was still patient when I was not and level-headed when I was REALLY not. This is the man that I get to marry next June. Hot as a teapot. Ladies, eat your hearts out.

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Nationals on August 13th!  Here we go again!

 

 

 

 

 

•June 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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I hear some pretty interesting things from people when I’m prepping for a show. Some of them ask me what I like to call “legitimate” questions because they are actually meant to obtain information that was not previously known. “How often do you train?” “When is your competition?” “How do you do that when your trainer doesn’t live here?”

Then there are the not-so-legitimate questions that I’m sure are meant to be rhetorical, but sometimes I want to answer anyway. “You brought your own food again?” “Don’t you want a cookie?” “Doesn’t this cake look good?” Well, yes. Yes, it does. But I’m fairly certain it won’t when it’s transformed into the extra couple pounds on your butt. That was my inside voice.  I’m sorry for the things I say when I am hungry.

These are the top 3 things I’ve heard from people this prep:

3.  “You’re lucky. Your muscles look big because you’re short.” ~CSS grade 12 student.  Uh, what?  Actually…although having a more compact body structure might help, my muscles look big because they are big.

2.  “You have beautiful arms.” ~Lady in front of me in line at the post office…as she strokes my deltoid. I didn’t know who she was.  Or why she felt so comfortable stroking me.  It was awkward and flattering all at the same time.

1.  “Forgive me for saying, but I can’t decide if I want to f*ck you or fight you.” ~Skeezy guy at the gas station. I was at a loss for words.  Only in Chetwynd.

Sometimes I wonder what goes through people’s heads when they open their mouths, but if they’re anything like me, the answer is “not much”!

 

Run, Kang, Run

•June 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment

During this contest prep, I began running again. I never thought I’d see the day when I actually enjoyed running again. When I was going to school in Fredericton, I started running because it seemed like the healthy thing to do. I kept running because it made me look good (I’m vain, I know). Then Depot happened and Sgt. Leblanc killed any love of running I might have had. (Really, did he have to yell that much?)

Since then – and now that I’ve started running again – I’ve learned a lot about running and what can make it great (at least for me).

  1. Know where you’re going. Last weekend, I went running in Valemount. Usually when I run in unfamiliar areas, I do half of my run-time, then turn around and follow my route back. M. showed me the route on his phone and I figured I could hack it. Then I got lost (ok, I also avoided this dirt road because I was wearing white shoes)…and the planned 9-km run became a considerably longer 12 km.
  1. When you don’t know where you’re going, it helps if it’s beautiful out.

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   Enough said.

  1. There is always time to find something fun(ny) on a run. Like Valemount road signs.

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I laughed when I saw this…and then I remembered that lady in Quebec that stopped to help the ducks cross the road and caused two fatalities. That’s probably why they put this sign up.

  1. The “Run, Forrest, run” cat-calls have never been, nor will they ever be, funny. (That one was for those of you that yell this at me when I’m running…)
  1. Nothing beats a good playlist…especially when the songs shuffle in a perfect order for a run.  It’s like the stars aligned, synced up with my iPod, and put all the songs in just the right order for that particular run.  A thing of beauty.
  1. It doesn’t matter how fast you’re running as long as you’re out there givin’er.   Sometimes I’m running like I stole something. Other days, I literally cry while I’m on the treadmill (I reserve these moments for when the gym is empty at 3:45 a.m.).  It doesn’t matter.

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And last but not least…

  1. Always take care of your body…you only have one. A sad realization has come over me in the last few months. My body is getting old(er). If I don’t stretch, roll, and recover, I start to fall apart rather quickly. On the bright side, I’m learning a lot about my pain tolerance from my massage therapist.

 However you run…for whatever reasons you run…just remember….

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When life gives you lemons, go do (another) leg workout.

•May 29, 2016 • 2 Comments

I’ve had one hell of a week…

Like all contest preps, I experience an entire mental and emotional rollercoaster. I go from happy to sad to angry to tired to straight-up idiot…usually spread out over the weeks, sometimes within a few minutes. This time it occurred over a few days…

It all started on Thursday when – angry and frustrated with the intense pain in my collarbone – I went to the doctor thinking that perhaps I had cracked it or something. Turns out my sternoclavicular joint is just inflamed. And it hurts like crazy! I can’t lift my arm above my head or across my body, which means no upper body workouts (*tear*) and I look like an idiot trying to get in and out of my clothes. The doctor told me to take 3-4 weeks off. I laughed. He did not. I said I would compromise. I’d take a week off and go to physio. So now I’m on a steady diet of cardio and leg workouts [insert resounding BOOOOO here]. Definitely throws a wrench into my grand plans to TOTALLY ROCK, but sometimes you just gotta make a new path to get there.

Then yesterday, I headed to Prince for a course scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. I had spent Thursday evening prepping food so that I would have enough to get me through the entire weekend. Then I left it all in my fridge. Bah, stupidity. I could have cried (trust me, it crossed my mind), but I managed to problem solve, picking up an electric skillet and some more fish. On the bright side, when I get home late on Sunday night, I’ll have food in my fridge.

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You gotta do what you gotta do.  Cooking fish in my hotel room…

The stupidity continued during my cardio this morning. The fitness room in my hotel didn’t open until 6:00 so I went for a run instead. As I was running, I saw this sign:

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I thought, Oh my gosh, I KNOW!

Then I realized it said “bait cars,” not “bait CARBS.”

Bahahahaha.

I am slowly losing my mind.  Wish me luck, I’ve still got 6 more weeks of this to go!

 

 

Of all the things I’m gonna lose, I’ll miss my boobs the most.

•May 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment

At 8 weeks out, I’m excited to eat a massive piece of cheesecake look ridiculously awesome on stage for one day only. There have been a handful of shows in the last few months, and seeing all of the super conditioned athletes is pretty darned motivating. The winners, centre-stage, with their trophies…

Speaking of trophies, I dug these bad boys out of my box of fitness gear as I was looking for my itty-bitty purple sparkly bikini.

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I laugh about these trophies.  I usually take them to school and laugh about them with my students. They are hilarious looking.  And I’ve never really known what to do with them. I mean…as you can see, they are pretty much an exact replica of what I look like at a show. And how I pose. We’re even the same colour!

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Trophy vs. Kang

And that’s about as far as the similarities go.

My head…much larger than my body. Rather reminiscent of those caricature bobble heads that you get as a novelty item and – if you’re 60-years-old – affix to the dash of your car. The trophy? Not so much. Her head is relatively proportional to her body. I may not be rocking the same mullet as she is, but who needs that hair when your head is already ten times too big?

Next, I give you full permission to check out my rack. Oh, wait. There isn’t one. I’m not exactly one of those girls that was gifted (gifted?) with a solid set of melons. There is no motorboating and there is certainly no glass-cutting as the nipples of my plastic statue might suggest. Thankfully I’ve heard anything more than a handful’s a waste.

At the end of the day I like the idea of winning something at my competitions. It gives me a little validation for being hungry ALL THE TIME and exhausting myself to the point where my students actually ask me, “Did you die?” while I lay panting on the floor halfway through my routine. That being said, I really have NO idea what to do with these funny trophies. Taking suggestions!

The Grass Is Always Greener…

•May 5, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Disclaimer: I’m about to go on a little bit of a rant.   If you have a tender heart and are easily offended, you might not want to read this…

The other day, someone said to me, “You’re lucky you don’t have kids so you can workout whenever you want.” I looked her, smiled, and said, “Yeah. I guess so.”

This is not the first time I’ve been told this. I’m fairly certain it won’t be the last.

I will not pretend to know what parenting is actually like. I have no idea. So forgive me if I’m a little insensitive (read: I’m about to be a lot insensitive). But, my dear friends (and in this case, acquaintances) that are so burdened by your children, please excuse me while I toot my own horn a little.

While you may be working a full-time job as Supermom, I am working a full-time job as well. And yes, I realize that your job doesn’t end at 3:00 (and probably includes little Johnny deciding to teeth, tantrum, and shit on everything all at once), but – if I want to be a good teacher – neither does mine. On top of work, I choose to volunteer both in and out of my workplace. Damn right, I choose to do that. Why? Because I enjoy it. And because I think that kids like yours deserve opportunities to play, volunteer, and just have fun.

Working out “whenever I want” has to happen at 4:00 in the morning and then again at 4:00 in the afternoon. Sometimes those times change because life happens and we all know that life doesn’t always work on a schedule.

I’m not complaining and by no means am I downplaying the role that you have as a mom. (I myself had a Supermom…like, seriously…four days a week, she ferried me 2-hours each way to Kelowna so that I could skate. And I’m only one of four kids!) She did things that I can only imagine being selfless enough to do. Because – let’s face it – mothers are often selfless.

Let me tell you why I’m ACTUALLY lucky.

I’m lucky because I get the opportunity each day to make healthy lifestyle choices for myself. That might mean getting my ass to the gym…even if it is at some ungodly hour. That might mean preparing food that’s good for me…even if it tastes like cardboard.

I’m lucky because I get a chance to do something that I love to do. Every damn day. And while there are bad days…sometimes lots of bad days…there are enough good ones to make it all worth it. I imagine parenting must be a lot like this, but of course, all I can do is speculate.

So the moral of my little story: We all have our own lives and we choose our priorities. It doesn’t make me lucky or not lucky because kids aren’t one of mine. I am not “Tra-la-la Kang”, carefree and eating bonbons all day before I casually stroll to the gym for a wokrout.  I work hard so that I can live the life that I want. Luck has nothing to do with it.18ixhn61bei5hjpg

Stop looking at me, Swan!

•April 24, 2016 • Leave a Comment
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Strangely enough, not the first time that I’ve quoted Billy Madison this week…

Today was another awkward day at the gym. I’m all for checking out a hot guy…or girl, for that matter. I can definitely appreciate a jacked human being. And maybe sometimes I will catch myself ogling someone shamelessly, mouth agape, drool sliding conspicuously down the right side of my face. Heck, it happened yesterday when they displayed a picture of Carey Price on the screen during our pro-d day.  Carey Price…that man makes me want to…

 

But I digress. At the end of the day, the gym is my happy place. We’re all there for the same reason, right? To pick up heavy shit and put it down again.

Enter creepy old man. Stage left.

I love me some barbell hip thrusts. My butt loves me some barbell hip thrusts. And apparently the old guy loves it when I do said hip thrusts. This is one of those exercises that is best executed facing a wall, like those abductor/adductor machines that most women spend an unnecessary amount of extra time on. And so I use the bench closest to the wall for my hip thrusts. However, this older gentleman likes to position himself in the small space between the wall and me (you know, as opposed to exercising in the vast amount of open space in the rest of the gym). And he watches me. He watches! It’s weird. It’s awkward. And I don’t know what to do other than switch directions and let the rest of the gym-goers have full view of my hoo-ha thrusting 80 lbs into a bridge position.

I feel like I should be supportive. I mean, here is this older gentleman who is obviously trying to stay active as he enters his…70s? Maybe he’s just curious as to what I’m doing. Maybe he’s contemplating doing some hip thrusts of his own. (Only now am I realizing how dirty that sounds…) Sure, we all have our reasons for looking, watching, glancing surrepticiously, staring blatantly at others at the gym. But this is one time (well, two times…) that I wished I had gone unnoticed!

Until next time, happy thrusting…

 
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