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Sep 13, 2011 - 0 comments

The summer has been insane and busy, but now summer is over and fall is proving to be even more hectic!

I'm still running for leisure.  I get out on average every other day if not every day.  I've kept the same route, adding a little more distance to my runs every other time (or so) but lately I've tackled routes that are much less flat.  I keep track of how much further I've run using a pedometer tracker I've found online:  

I love that it enables me to keep very close watch on my progress.  I haven't been measuring my time, but I can guess by my lunch hour running sessions that I can more or less run 3kms in 20-25 minutes.  I should really invest in a stop watch so I can get a better idea of my time.

  My calves have never been more rock solid (and sore! haha) I think next year will be when I start registering for races.  I've also noticed that my breathing has changed while running. It seems that my breathing will (usually) correct itself if I begin to feel winded.   I've been told that happens; that the body will find ways to regulate itself.  Hearing about it and experiencing it are two different things.  It's very encouraging!  

Besides running, I'm only a few days shy of being smoke-free for 4 months!   I'm not even going to attempt to cover all the positive changes that making that choice has done for me. I feel incredible!  I'll never smoke again!  

Yoga & dancing have sort of been put to the side and have become things I practice only on occasion. But I DO practice!!  Yoga comes more naturally for me and my dance routine is getting impressive! (^_^)

Tutoring continues as well.  I have the same 4 students who have taught me just as much about teaching as I've taught them about english!  
My lessons lately have consisted of writing "penpal letters" to each other weekly.  We each describe three interesting events of our week, we exchange & read them out to eachother;  I correct and explain any grammar errors I notice & we have a discussion about it afterwards.  They key, I've discovered, is to keep them talking!!

We also do an exercise where I will show them a picture and ask them to describe it in as much detail as they can think about.

These are my two favorite activities because they seem to benefit my students the most (and they seem to like them the most also!)

Other things I do with them is read novels with them (sometimes I read, sometimes they read), written grammar/verb exercises, "I spy" (a game where one person describes something that they see in the room and the other person has to guess which item), and finding synonyms.. just to name a few of the activities we do the most frequently.

All these have proven to be very useful english teaching tools that keep the students interested and engaged in the learning process.  They are all doing extremely well!  They're such amazing people.

The garden flourished, despite a wet summer and sub-standard maintenance on the part of yours truly. :/  I need to have a solid plan & design for my garden for next year instead of just "winging it" like I have the last 2 years.  
I'd like to move all of my herbs into their own spot and keep the area I have now for vegetables and the wildflower border I planted around it (which should look especially lovely next year when my lupins have matured and are ready to bloom)

My last update is that Harvest Jazz & Blues officially kicks off today!  :)  Let the partying begin!

A Few Updates

Jul 15, 2011 - 0 comments

It's actually been very difficult for me to find the time to sit down and write lately.
Since missing my first official run, I've been running with Danielle each weekday , the length of the walking bridge and back.  We've decided to forgo the yoga for the time being as we both are very much content with our running routine & don't want to make any changes to it just yet.    

Running has become significantly easier.  My lungs no longer feel weighted down with molten lead after my runs.  My strength and endurance have spiked also!  Very happy with the results I'm getting from it.  

I've also managed quite nicely to stay away from cigarettes.  I don't miss them.  At all.  I'm very proud to say that! (^_^)

As for tutoring;  I can't begin to describe how rewarding this has turned out to be.  I've really found something I have a passion for and all of my students are improving so much with their english skills.  I'm very happy for them.  And I'm so pleased that they enjoy taking classes from me.   I try to make it as interesting and informative as possible and I'm definitely on the right path.  They are also the best kind of students to have.  Eager and excited to learn.  It makes my teaching experience even better!

Because of my new-found love for teaching, I've very seriously considered enrolling in TESL courses and get my teaching certificate.   Reason:  Once I'm certified TESL, I can go anywhere and everywhere I want to, bringing with me a trade that is in demand in every part of the world.  

This, I feel, is my calling; and my means to travel and explore the world and to take part in the many different cultures that I've only ever been able to read about but never experience for myself.  :)

Life isn't perfect, but, dammit, it's getting very very good!!!

Time to Tone Up

Jul 05, 2011 - 0 comments

I'm looking up ways to gain muscle without losing any more weight..  I'm about as slim as I should get.  Time to tone up.

According to the BMR index, I'll need to consume 2, 078 calories a day in order to achieve my goal.   I'll be doing much more research on this, fact finding & number crunching as well as daily brainstorming advice-sharing sessions with Danielle during our runs/walks at lunch.  
Since my friend Jacqueline has returned from London, and she's been training with weights for the past few years, I hope to get some good advice from her as well.

The run today felt good and it's becoming increasingly easy to do laps across the bridge without needing a break.  This is encouraging! :)

Physically, I'm currently in the best shape I've ever been, and I'm still just getting started.

Exercise Tracker

I hate huge disappointments

Jul 01, 2011 - 3 comments

So, day of the run.

I had been awake since 5:00 am, anticipating, prepping, getting very excited, feeling ready.

Now, things happen; to everyone; every day.  Like for instance travel arrangements, umm, foiled. :/  No one's fault really.  Things happen.  But, although I know this is nothing to take personal, and it was after all just a 5 km run; the fact that I've trained the past 4 weeks for it and was in the perfect mindset for it this morning, and to have it all fall away from underneath me without even notice caused me some pretty deep disappointment. I had worked for this.  Told so many people I was going to do this; heard so many people tell me how proud they were of me; and then I don't even race. :/
It's nobody's fault.  But the little voice in my head that hates failure with a passion will have a field day with this for sure.  I'm already so severely depressed and disappointed with myself.  :(

So, while I didn't get to the race, I ran my usual 5 km circuit.  I thought it might make me feel better.  It did for a while but I'm still very upset that I didn't get to race.  Very crushed.  It won't go away. :(  

I'm so embarrassed that I didn't even show up.

I definitely need to make some improvements on my reliability.  This would not have happened had I not decided to sell my car last year, so I guess I know what I need to do next.