Blog Archives

Green Means Go! (Puke Means Stop!)

The OKRD is ramping up to a busy season, and while we’re ramping up we’ve been working on our off-skates fitness to give us a bit of an edge. As a fitness enthusiast, I’ve been working with our skaters to push them to their limits, and I figured you – my readers, can workout alongside us.

This is the first workout post I’ve done, and this workout was great. It definitely works your cardio and makes you sweat.

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Set a timer for 20 minutes and go through the circuit as many times as you can within the 20 minutes. We do our workouts at a track, so our laps are approximately ~400m (if I’m not mistaken).

Do this at your own pace and listen to your body!

Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer, but a very enthusiastic fitness person, with the hopes of possibly one day being a certified trainer.

Good luck!

Until then…

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2 years.

This weekend, I get to see what 2 years of the grind looks like. I get to see what numerous derby games, countless bootcamps, and much sacrifice gets me. I get to go to my hometown and I get to leave it all on the track..

Derby ate my life, my soul and my relationship… and I don’t look back in regret.

Sure, I probably should’ve focused on my nutrition, did more power lifting.. maybe transferred to a better team.. but I’ve prepared the best way I can with what I have.

I’ve gotten up at 5 am to go to boot camps in the morning to make sure I have fresh legs for practice, I’ve also gone to practice directly after boot camps to see what it’s like to have tired legs and to train hard. I’ve driven out of town to get more time on my skates with different skaters, I’ve skated on my lunch breaks to get even more time on skates – I skate pick up with ANY team who wants me, did my share of tournaments, shed tears, had my share of frustration and pain.. I feel so much more prepared this time.

 

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2  years of my life was spent looking forward to this weekend.

I know in my heart that I am double the skater I was last time I did this. I need to believe in myself that I am a good skater and that I can show them how hard I can work on both sides of the line. I will take the kind words and support and the butt kickings I’ve had over the years with every league and skater I’ve skated with with me, every little part of their lives have contributed to this journey and I appreciate every single one of them.

I feel like I can leave it all out there for the coaches, I’ve lost so much on this journey that I have nothing to lose on Sunday – and I will skate my heart out.

I see you tryouts, and I hope that you see me.

… until then..

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No Comfort Zones Here

I’m not old. I swear.

I honestly, feel like a teenager again. My daily life consists of work, homework, training and if I’m lucky, I get to hit up the skate park, another one in a long list of things that have become obsessions for Blair Block.

It honestly started pretty innocently at the beginning of summer, in my quest to find new things to try on my skates, I came across the awesome Rollerbones video of Estro Jen (aka Michelle Steilen), and from there it became this need to try to play at the skate park.

A Sunday skate date led me into the the skate park at Ben Lee and from then on, I felt like I wanted to just keep getting better and better because it was just so fun.

I’d find myself among 3 people at the park on Sunday mornings and just even dropping into a ramp and feeling the speed threw a shit-eating grin on my face because it’s just so damn fun.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t have any tricks I can pull, I just seriously love to ride the ramps and try to jump over things (I can’t even shoot the duck yet..), but just the sheer challenge to different levels and areas is just so much fun.

If you really want to get comfortable on your skates and want to step outside of your comfort zone, go to the skate park, try things out and pretty soon you too will be addicted! Also, check out Chicks In Bowls on Facebook!

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Yes to Hypertrophy!

So, for a while there, I was suffering from Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. It was mostly due to overuse, to running, jumping, and pushing myself as far as I could. This meant that I had to stop for a while, I had to rest, take a bit of time off skates and off training, and trust me, it was not a fun time. It’s not really an injury that I felt that sidelined me at all, it hurt enough that I couldn’t push myself, but not enough that I couldn’t skate.

Took a few weeks off physical activity completely, and re-evaluated how I wanted to approach my training in the coming year (and beyond!). I was lucky enough to win a free gym membership to The Woman’s Place at a Ladies Football Tournament over the summer, so I told myself that I would start training there after my rest time off of training.

Well, while in my lack of physical activity stupor, I stumbled upon (okay, not really stumbled upon..) a blog post from Sandrine Rangeon (AKA Francey Pants) on a 10-week Strength Program for Roller derby. Upon reading that, I discovered that she also had written a Hypertrophy Program that she suggests to do prior to the strength phase. Being the scientist I am, I decided to venture off into Hypertrophy land and see where it took me.

Hypertrophy is likened to building the foundation for a house, as it is increasing muscle volume. I figured, hey, if I’m starting new, let’s try building a house!

I’ve strength trained before, but not following any sort of regimen. At the beginning of this program, I did not set any quantifiable goals, however, I tracked and logged the weights that I lifted to see if there was a marked increase in my lifting ability. Below is a comparison from week 1 to week 6, and how many reps and sets are involved in each.

Exercise Week 1 (2×10) Week 6 (4×8)
Back Squat 80lbs 135lbs
Shoulder Flies 10lbs 20lbs
Assisted Pronation Pull Ups 10lbs 40lbs
Leg Curls (per leg) 35lbs 90lbs
Seated Low Row 40lbs 150lbs
Curtsy Squat 25lbs 70lbs
Back Extension 0lbs 25lbs
Calf Extension 20lbs 45lbs
Bench Press 40lbs 80lbs
Split Squat 80lbs 135lbs
Bent Over Row 35lbs 70lbs
Deadlift 55lbs 95lbs
Dumbell Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press 15lbs/arm 25lbs/arm
Hip adductions 60lbs/leg 110lbs/leg
Hip Abductions 60lbs/leg 110lbs/leg
Lat Pull Downs 100lbs 150lbs

 

I’m feeling really strong post-hypertrophy and I feel like I’ve laid down a strong foundation in which to build upon, I do miss doing the stairs and crossfit, but I feel like I need to really build my body better to prevent future injury (and to last as long as I can to make it to Team Canada Tryouts in 2016(?))

I now take a week off to rest and do a few cardio based activities as I prepare for for TOAST’s game against the NWO in Chilliwack and move into the 10 week strength program!

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… and it’s over, for now…

It was a nice bus ride home from Abbotsford, snow capped mountains, clear roads…. a clear mind.

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I did it, I really did it, and it all was so surreal. I didn’t make it as far as I would’ve liked to, but in the end, it’s something to aim for, a target…. a goal.

I know now what I need to work on, what key tweaks will help me reach that better level, I’ve got 2 years to get there.

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Thank you to everyone to sent kind words or ‘likes’, everyone who visited my blog to read words of this journey, Thank you to my hosts Bitter and Rogue, who were most amazing hosts and were super supportive all day long (nay! All weekend long!)

The journey isn’t over…not yet, not any time soon… in reality, this journey has just begun.

Let’s go.

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And here we go, Blair tries out for Team Canada: Take One!

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go.. and a short bus ride later, I’ll be in Chilliwack, BC for my first Team Canada try out. It’s taken me over a year to get to this point. I’ve trained hard and pushed myself so far outside my comfort zone that I no longer know exactly what it is. IMG_20130703_071727

I’ve been up at 5 am, away from home several nights a week, I’ve become stronger than I’ve ever been before, and this weekend will be a jumping off point for even more greatness. I’ll admit, it’s going to be a long shot, I know that there are far more skilled skaters than myself out there, but I’m going to leave it all on the track and skate away with a big FUCKING grin on my face because I can say it. I can FINALLY say it.

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“I tried out for Team Canada.”

… and I did it on skates.

I want to set a benchmark for myself to meet and exceed, I want to come back year after year and get better and better…. and this try out hasn’t even started.

Hey! 16 year old self, remember when all you wanted to do in your life was become a speed skater? Remember when nobody would help stand by you? Remember those dreams that you had?

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Well, kid… this weekend, these dreams come true. It may not be the olympics, but it’s damn close and you’re going to leave it all out there for the coaches to see, I want you to make those coaches want to watch you. You’re going to go there and be a sponge, you’re going to learn everything you can, because this is the dream, and you’re going to live it, and you’re going to have the BIGGEST fucking smile on your face!

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Weekends Suck sometimes…

I love weekends. They provide me with time to get offline, do some crafting, skating.. time to clean the house.. all, great and wonderful things.

I also hate weekends… they tend to have a lack of routine, company coming, dinners out and time spent with my husband who has horrible eating habits (Sorry Dave :()

I managed to stick to eating properly for  an  entire 2 week period, I made good eating decisions. I was very active as well, but once the weekend hit… BAM, no routine, no preparation and I was eating not-so-great food and forgetting my daily water intake.

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All that hard work I managed to do in a 2 week period was wiped away by one long weekend of eating not as cleanly as I would’ve liked to. I remained active over the weekend (Skated Friday, Bootcamped on Saturday and did the stairs on Monday), but like Carly reminds me.. “You cannot out train a bad diet”

Weekends are hard on trying to eat clean, but I take the bad with the good and remember that not-so-long-ago I would’ve been eating far worse than I had been over the weekend, and that’s an accomplishment.

That being said, I wish it was the weekend already. 😦

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A Sense of Balance…

Inspired by these blogs here:

http://www.blacksheepsk8.com/roller-derby-everyone-welcome/

http://glitterandspite.blogspot.ca/2013/06/the-topsy-turvy-world-of-roller-derby.html

I’m writing this because I am one of those players that they blog about.. I am competitive, I do train several days a week, I want to step out of my comfort zone and play higher level teams and strive to become the best roller derby player that I can make myself. That said, as a competitive player (on a team that emphasizes playing for the fun of it), it takes some finesse to create a sense of balance in my life. For me, while I do want to be the best and hopefully one day, skate with the best… balance is the key to survival.

As evidenced by this blog, I have several hobbies.. and apparently, I make it a hobby to collect more hobbies. I make cards, I work on / detail cars,  I now do autocross, I also spend at least 4-5 nights of my week either on skates training or doing crosstraining, along with being a wife, a homeowner, a dog mommy, a full-time web developer.. and also doing school part time.

I won’t lie, sometimes my life gets a little much for me.. so I have to check-out once in a while, but for the most part.. this is my madness and I kind of love it.

My weeks are very regimented. I’m up at 6 am to get ready for work and I commute about 30-45 minutes away from my home. After work, the activity of the night is dependant on the day of the week. Derby practices invade my Mondays/Saturdays (soon to come on Sundays), I train at a crossfit-style gym on Tuesdays, I do stair training on Wednesdays, Autocross Thursdays, Run day / home gym day on Friday, and Sunday is an open day. Throw in Games, homework, and real-life in there and soon you can see where balance is the key to survival.

How do I balance things? I sacrifice my after-party time at home games so that I can get home early to spend time with my husband and dog, I also keep a google calendar of my training dates and games and share it with my husband so he knows when we can squeeze in some time with the Pinto, or housework or whatever we need to do. If I know that a weekend coming up is quite full with the derby, I make it a point to clear my calendar the weekend prior (or week), to spend time with him, when I am not at Derby.. life is NOT derby, life is life.. if I’m working on the car, I’m working on the Car… if I’m at autocross.. my brain is only focused on cones and improving my times, and if I’m doing homework.. it’s homework time, time to focus.

That said, when it is derby time… It’s derby time. Everything else in the world goes away, personal problems that I have get shuttered off, I don’t think about the next autocross course, or when I’ll be mowing the lawn at home… I come to derby to play derby. Just like I go to the gym to train, for me.. that isn’t social hour, that is time that I am using to tune my body, to make it stronger and faster.

It takes all sorts of nuts to create a world like ours, especially the derby world… and I can, and always will appreciate the ladies who come to come to have fun.. they consistently remind me that Roller Derby is fun! They remind me of why I joined the sport to begin with, and while sometimes I may bash heads with them.. in the grand scheme of things, there will always be room for the athlete and the recreational player. By having these varying levels of players, we bring balance to each other – The athlete can train the rec players, and the rec players keep the sport fun to play … we all love and appreciate this sport, and no matter how much you work for it, at the end of the day.. it’s just that… Roller Derby.

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Do Good Things

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It’s short, and simple… and my goal for June… Do. Good. Things.

I feel like last month (May 2013) was a very negative month for me, I was feeling really down on myself about not losing enough weight and then getting sick and losing 3 games in a row (winning helps, I won’t lie). I started to really not care about things, I didn’t eat properly, I didn’t really take care of myself, on top of that I let this negative attitude bleed into everything else and I really affected a lot of my friends negatively.

So, for June… I’m going to be positive and I’m going to do good things.

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Good Thing #1 – Eat Clean – So for the past week, I decided to let myself eat whatever the hell I wanted to eat.. sugars, starches.. pasta.. creams.. bad things. I thought in my head that if I just let my body enjoy this for a little while, I could get back and focus on the good clean basics of lean proteins and lots of greens.  Well, my body gave me the answer I wanted it to give me… it HATED all the bad food, it felt terrible and digestion was poor and there was no energy to be had. So.. to be good to my body, I’m going to Eat Clean. I’m going to follow the nutrition plan that Carly at Vo2Max Kelowna set out for me and take it each meal at a time. I now know for sure that my body liked the clean food, and the only thing that liked the bad food was my taste buds.. and sorry taste buds, you’re tiny in the grand scheme of my entire being!

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Good Thing #2 – Unplug  – I will no longer be available for reaching after 9:00 pm. At that point in time, I will put down my phone, laptop, tablet and technology that connects me to the internet and unplug my brain.  I find that staying connected often bugs me out and keeps me awake at night, by unplugging.. I can offer myself a proper wind down at the end of the night and also learn to appreciate the world without technology.

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Good Thing #3 – Dress up! – It helps to look good so that you can feel good, so I think dressing up and making myself feel and look pretty is a good thing! Feeling good about yourself can put a smile on your face, and a smile can be infectious!

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Good Thing #4 – Be more open-minded and positive at work (at home and in general) – I emphasize the work environment because I know that I can get very set in my own routines and schedules that I forget that when I get set in those ways, the only person that gets upset and angry is myself, and if I just go with the flow and be positive and open minded, not only will others around me be happy, but in turn, I can feel happier about work and life in general!

A few more good things that don’t need a novel written about them:

– Reward myself with Stamping treats and nail treats instead of food

– Ride my bike once a week

– Make a card once a week

Hopefully I can do some good things in June, and I hope that you too can do some good things. What kind of good things do you want to do in June? Leave it in the comments below!

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Rest Week!!

I’ve been a little MIA in the blog world lately, and it’s mostly because my real-life (work, derby and school) have taken over! I’m currently writing this while on away on a business trip and it’s been a whirlwind of 3 weeks of derby games.  I didn’t come out victorious in either game, but I learned a lot.. and really cemented my skills as a jammer – only took a year to get there.

I have to say though, after those 3 weeks of awesome fun, workouts and getting sick in the process.. my body is done. My hips are tired and I need a break. So… I declare this week: REST WEEK.

I will still try to eat cleanly (when I get back into town), but I need to give the old muscles a rest. Taking a break really re-sets your mind and body and hopefully you can come out refreshed.

Within this rest week, I hope to finish some homework and post a few more blogs about some cool events upcoming and some neat cards I’ve been working on lately (and oh, have I been working on some cards *cough* box sets!! *cough*)

I’ve also been perusing the BRAND NEW Stampin’ Up catalog and I can’t wait to order some delicious treats from there to show everyone.

More later!

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