Category Archives: Strength Training

Toronto Screenwriting Conference & WGC Awards…

I’m heading there this weekend to TSC 2011.  Then, Monday night, I’m going to the Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards.  Lots going on here, lots left to do.  I feel behind.  Will I ever get caught up?  Taking my work on the road with me.  Going to Kingston tomorrow night to visit with a friend then heading to Toronto on Friday.  Looking forward to the train ride.  Been a long time since I’ve done that.

Got some good workouts in this week too.  Getting stronger and faster.  My trainer set out a new routine for me for the month of April.  I bought a scale (something I thought I would never do) since I only check in once a month now.  It will keep me accountable.  Also going to work on a meal plan too.

As I said, lots going on here.


65Kg Sumo PR tonight…and the art of perseverance

So, it appears that a week off was AOK in my books 🙂

I hit a new PR of lifting very heavy weight off the ground (for me) – 65kgs in the Sumo deadlift.  Surprising how quiet your mind has to be before you attempt something new.  Like the fog has to clear and then it just happens.  I did 3 reps at each weight – 20, 30, 40 – and I was going to do 45kgs and I put on 50kgs instead, knowing I could always go back down to 45 if I had to.  I wanted to do 1, just 1, and I did it.

If you’ve followed the progression of my sumo deadlifts, you will know that I was barely lifting 65lbs back in 2010, and it was a struggle at that.  Tonight, I lifted 144lbs.  I can’t even believe it to be honest.

Becoming friends with Isabelle and writing for her blog got me thinking about how much I did not participate in sports when I was a kid.  I wasn’t all that co-ordinated (although I did step-dancing for a number of years too), and I was always slow to pickup on “rules of the game”.  Everything seemed to complicated…Therefore, I was always picked last.  I hated having things come flying at my head too (thank you volleyball).  I was great at Dodgeball (go figure).

Discovering my own rythm, my own sense of timing……like how I struggled for so long with the sumo deadlift at a mere 65lbs.  Week after week, I would go back to that weight.  At one point I was inching up by a pound a week when I was doing the conventional deadlifts.  My trick is to stick with something until I can overcome the obstacles in my way.  Like chipping away at a stone.  I’m beginning to realize, and maybe I knew all along….when it comes to physical activity, I don’t move at the same pace as other people….but damn, I keep trying til I get to where I want to go.  And, when other people have usually moved on, I’m only picking up speed.  I try to spread this over to other areas of my life too.

I really wish I had taken up strength training and weight lifting sooner.  I think it would have been one thing, when I was a kid, that I could have excelled at during gym class.  I’m sure glad I found it when I did.

Retraining the hands and the brain…

Since I started the Sumo-deadlift, I’ve been using the 45lbs (20kgs) bar to load up.  My hands have paid the price with callouses, but that’s okay.  Tonight, I switched over to the women’s Olympic lifting bar.  It’s only 15kgs, has a much smoother knurling, and a smaller diameter.  So, I had to retrain my grip and the weight loaded on the bar to make up for the 5kgs of difference.  I made up a nifty conversion chart for the 45lbs bar and had to redo it tonight… one point I thought I had lifted a heavier weight than I had…next week, next week.

New gym bag – hand-made by a local artisan ONLY $30!

by a local artisan!

Hand-made gym bag!

If you’re looking for a great catch-all bag for your gym stuff (or for general shopping), look no further.  My mom made this nifty hand-made bag, and it holds all my gym gear – 2 pairs of shoes, skip rope, bands, chalk container and extra bits and a notebook!  It could probably hold more since it made of crochet cotton so it’s stretchy.

If anyone wants one, she’ll make them for $30 each.  You may not get the same colours, but she’s been doing this a long time and owns her own store, so she knows what colours she has that will go well together and won’t steer you wrong!

Let me know if you want one by leaving a reply (or send me an email if you know me) and I can put you in touch with her.


A frustrating day…

How many things can go wrong to one person in a day?  I try to remember that I have a glass, that it doesn’t always get filled up…sometimes things spill out.  I think it was that way for a few people around me.  Or so it seemed anyway.

I know I shouldn’t be attached to things…and perhaps this is my lesson for today.  And by things, I mean material things, the thoughts you have about yourself, the goals you set.  Sometimes you have to let things go to get them.  An odd concept, but does it work?  Probably.

I had some snafus today – I guess the least of which (but which costs me the most money…) is that I lost my expensive skipping rope.  It disappeared somewhere between the Y on Saturday afternoon and tonight.  It’s always in my gym bag.  It wasn’t when I got there today.  The only thing I can think of is that I left it behind on Saturday and someone picked it up.  My own fault, but still frustrating.  I came home, looked for it, couldn’t find it, and immediately ordered a new one.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s $60, but it’s still $60.  It was an investment.  I’m going to pretend that it broke and that I had to buy a new one.  🙂  And who knows, maybe it will show up somewhere.  Stranger things have happened, this month even.

All in all, if this is the kind of month I’ve been having…an ongoing series of irritants…then I want to win the lottery.  I think it’s only fair.  $50M.  I could solve and gain alot of problems with that kind of money, the least of which would be buying a new skipping rope.  It’s not a big dream or anything….I think it can happen.

I also saw a friend struggle with a lift at the gym today.  He is working towards his first meet on Saturday.  He was frustrated that what he thought he could do, he couldn’t.  He was having some trouble with his knee too, so that didn’t help.  He’s very patient with others, yet it seems that when it comes to his own expectations…not so much…he has a very short rope.  He’s a perfectionist — I get it.  I am too.  It’s frustrating to fail.  To miss the lift, or whatever else it is that you do in life.  It was interesting to see him all fired up, raw, emotional.  I like seeing people close to their limits.  It makes them more human.


What scoliosis taught me (about myself)…

Over the last few months, I’ve been doing some thinking about my scoliotic back and how it has impacted me as a person.  My scoliosis is idiopathic in origin – meaning that is has an unknown origin.  There are studies online that indicate, depending on what type, that scoliosis could be anything from a muscular virus to skeletal to structural issues.

My spine has an S shape, twisted to the left, at a fairly significant degree.  Therefore, my left ribcage is also twisted.  This could have an impact on my when I’m older, as some scoliosis patients discover that they have heart and lung problems, mostly on their convex side.

I also had Harrington rods inserted along the length of my spine when I was 13, in 1987.  I had a brace on for 3 years at that point from the ages of 10-13.  Absolutely the most critical time for any girl when she’s growing up, and I was encased in a piece of plastic 23 hours a day, from my hip crease to just underneath my chest.  The hour I was out of my brace, I lounged around and jumped in the shower.  It was my little freedom every day, and I savoured it.

And, some women experience rod breakage as they get older.  I don’t want that, nor do I wish that upon anyone.  The rods doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on pregnancy, but I guess that depends on the woman.

So, what has my back taught me?  Patience, acceptance, and that you make the best of the hand you’re dealt.  Could be better, could be worse.  A co-worker of mine has a great saying…’s not whether your glass is half empty of half full….just be damned glad you got a glass at all.  She’s a bright lady.  🙂

A new PR….it makes me happy!

Hello all….I haven’t had too much news lately on the strength front, other than moving to the Y….but tonight was another personal record for me – what a Christmas present!  I am 27lbs away from lifting my body weight in a Sumo-deadlift.  Is that something or what?  I lifted 133lbs (the bar + 40kgs) from the floor tonight.  So excited.

I wasn’t even lifting 100 lbs in October – and then I had my breakthrough night.  Since then I have been inching my way up again, some weeks doing more, some weeks doing less.  I find the more reps I do, the tighter my back gets and so I am choosing to do less reps every week.  I was feeling good tonight, so I just kept on adding weight.  I went down to lift 133lbs and I hesitated, then I just set my mind, showed up, and did it.  No thinking, just doing.  Sometimes it works!

More good things to come in 2011!!!!  I can feel it!