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Tribesports User of the Week: Ann L

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Posted by Ann L under Running, Kayaking on 14 May 2014 at 11:00 PM

Running AnnWhich Tribesports Challenge has been your toughest and which are you most proud of?

My toughest is the 30 Day Squat Challenge - I love 30 Day Challenges because they are long enough to create a commitment but not so long that you feel you will never achieve it, but man, this is a tough one. Once I go beyond 100 squats in a day I start to feel defeated and want to give up.

I’m most proud of Running 1000km in a Year.  I started this goal on Sept 1, 2012 and achieved it Aug 31, 2013 with 1030.45km. I’m not a runner, I don’t have a runner’s body - at least that is how I used to think. Running 1000km in a year didn’t make me a runner but having the passion, the perseverance and drive to get outside, no matter the weather and run is what made me a runner. This challenge was a huge motivator for me and a great accomplishment.

Can I also add my favorite? My favorite challenge was the 5 Person Relay. There is nothing like team spirit, mixed with a little competition salted with witty banter.  Definitely bring this one back. The original and the sequel with both a lot of fun and I got to know some of the TS members a little more.

In your bio, you say you "stopped looking for the quick fix years ago and made healthy choices and fitness a regular part of my life" - what was the toughest part of making that transition?

Commitment. I’m famous for starting things but staying committed is another story. I think that’s why I looked for the quick fixes, because I wanted instant results. When I didn’t see the results I wanted I would quit. I started setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. I set a few short term goals (30 min. of exercise for 30 days) and once I had achieved that I would set new goals. Doing things like 30 Day challenges were great ways to kick start a healthier lifestyle. As for healthier choices, I had a few wake up calls that finally flipped a switch in my brain. I started making wiser food choices. It’s all about control. Too much of anything is always bad for you.  I haven’t had a cold or flu in the last 5 years - Just another benefit of eating healthier. I never lost a lot of weight from all the miles I pound or the food changes but I would say I am the healthiest I have ever been and that makes me happy.

Medals

How has your life changed since you made that decision?

Mentally, I changed a lot. I think I got wiser. Wiser to the scams that the food industry tries to fool us with. Wiser to one of the realities of life - that the only person that can change me is me and if I truly want to change than prove it and do something about it. My head became clearer and the brain fog was lifting. At first, I felt like I was giving up some of my favorite foods but then I realized that what I gained in clarity and wellness was so much better than what I gave up.

Physically, I changed too. I had never participated in an organized sport, unless you count kick-the-can or dodgeball. I signed up for fencing lessons and bought a treadmill. It was a start. The fencing was a lot of fun but I didn’t pursue it beyond the one year membership. The treadmill was my way of getting me committed to fitness without having to go out in the harsh cold elements of winter. I worked my way from a 30 min walk to 10k run on the treadmill. A year later I decided to try running on the road and liked it. Like I had mentioned before, my weight never really changed but my shape did. I went down 3 dress sizes and I started realizing that “calories in vs. calories out” really was true. I love food, so I had to figure out how I was going to continue improving without giving up what I love. And that is burn more than I eat. I don’t eat out of the normal range of 1500-1800 calories a day but if I wanted to see change I had to get burning.

Pirate running raceWhich running race has been your favorite?

The Maritime Race Weekend in NS: Friday night at sunset is a 5k and Saturday morning at sunrise is your choice of 5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon all along the Atlantic coastline. I did the 5k and 10k last year and am signed up for it again this year. It’s a Pirate themed event with lots of swag, and bling. I have a bit of a silly side to my personality so of course I dressed up. The community gets in on the fun too. All along the route the community’s people are dressed up as pirates and the like, holding signs, cheering the runners on. The salty air, the fog hovering on the water, the waves crashing along the shore, the pirates everywhere, it was the perfect themed event.

It's awesome to see you get active with your family, what's your next trip going to be?

We have a few road trips planned for this summer and fall, taking us to neighboring provinces of PEI and Nova Scotia. We are going to do a Colour Run in June, which should be a lot of fun.  I had planned to run my first Half with my sister and our spouses last Feb at the Rhythm and Blues Half Marathon in Houston, TX but I shattered my wrist and tore my shoulder during a training run. I’m on the mend now and hoping I can do it next Feb. We also hope to one day travel to Ireland, Bermuda and Hawaii for a little run and sun.

Where in the world would you most like to complete a Challenge?

I’m not sure because I have completely stepped out of my comfort zone. I am a home body/ workaholic. And now I am looking for travel and race opportunities for us to take with our family and friends. Somewhere warm. I think I have had enough winter for a lifetime so wherever it is, it has to be warm. I’m sure you all can give me a few recommendations.

Beach Volleyball

Other than running, which exercises do you perform most often?                         

I would have to say low budget home workouts, cycling and kayaking. I don’t believe you need a bunch of fancy equipment or a gym membership to stay fit. I invested in a treadmill which got me started and keeps me going on the harsh winter days, and elliptical (that my hubby bought from an associate for $1, yes - $1) a few hand weights, ball and mat. I learned the importance of  incorporating at least 2 days of strength training thus I try to do that as often as I can.

Last spring I was having trouble with shin splints so I decided to dust off my bike and follow some of the advice I found in discussions on TS. With all the rolling hills in my area I fell back in love with cycling. I had planned on doing a duathlon this fall but I sustained a pretty serious injury with my broken wrist and can’t grasp the bike handle or brake. That just means I push it forward to 2015.

 As for the rowing, I am out on the water as often as I can during the summer in my kayak. The lake is massive, I can go for hours and not cover it all. I am so at peace when I am out on the water.

Ann Kayaking

Thanks for your review of the Tech Tee - are you excited for the new colors coming soon?

I LOVE color so yeah, I can’t wait for new colors. Funny though, I tend to wear a lot of black. The Tech Tee is a must have. The fabric feels like a second skin and pulls the moisture away keeping you dry. I wish all my tops were made of this fabric. It’s a perfect first layer for colder weather too.

Which Tribesports user makes your day? 

Ann running bib numberIt is a tough one because the whole TS community is so encouraging. I feel very connected with people all over the world, whom I have never met but somehow we get each other. I really can’t single out 5 names. This is a great community. If only the people we interact with face to face could be as encouraging as you all are here. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

What's your favorite quote?                                                                                                    

Another tough question as I think there are many words of wisdom we can learn from but I will choose one from my favorite actress.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

~Audrey Hepburn

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