“Me” Day

I’ve been spending some quality time with the girls over the past few days and I think Rina has appreciated spending a bit more one-on-one time with her Mommy and Daddy. Last night, she came to me with this sweet love note:

Rina <3<3<3<3<3 maman

Rina <3<3<3<3 maman

Last night, I was getting ready to not be able to sleep before my night shift tonight, but the husband had arranged for the girls to spend most of the day with his parents so that I could get some alone time and do whatever I wanted with my day, including nap before night shift! #hesawesome ! I quickly changed gears and planned my day accordingly! On my to-do list:

  • cook a healthy meal for night shift. During the holidays, I see a crazy amount of treats in (and out) of our break room and if I don’t plan my meals accordingly, it’s easier to fall off the wagon. Although my Whole30 is officially over since last Saturday, I have yet to have a “cheat meal”. It’s going to happen tonight with this recipe from Inspiralized
Image credit to inspiralized.com

Image taken from  inspiralized.com

  • Do a little laundry
  • Tidy up the house
  • Wrap-up Christmas presents
  • knit, if I have time left-over!

While I was slowly enjoying a late breakfast, the doorbell rang. I went to open the door and it was a flower delivery!

Photo 2015-12-22, 9 09 41 AM

The husband surprised me with a nice floral arrangement “just because” this morning! <3! More brownie points for him! I cleaned up breakfast, helped getting the girls ready and packed for the day and Ben drove them to my in-laws. I got going on the laundry and just finished cooking the Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl with Pomegranate and Maple-Sesame Vinaigrette (long title, delicious meal!) hence, where I will be breaking my Whole30 (maple syrup isn’t compliant to the Whole30). I did add some cooked chicken to the recipe for my night snack in order to bump up the protein content of the meal. I cleaned up my dishes and am now about to wrap up some presents all while attending to the laundry, and it’s not even noon yet! #score

I begged Ben to bring the girls back home for dinner as I will otherwise be away from them for close to 24hrs and I can’t remember when I’ve been apart from them for so long. At the same time, it makes me realize that maybe I SHOULD make it a point to take more time for myself once-in-a-while… Food for thought!

Enough blogging, I have a full day ahead and I plan on making the most of it!

 

 

Womanhood

*Sorry gents, this one will discuss women problems/issues. You’re more than welcome to read through, but I doubt you’ll be able to relate much*

So, I haven’t blogged in a little while and there’s a few good reasons for it.

  1. Sometimes, I just need a break from the blogging world. I try to cram so much in a day and instead of giving you crappy posts, I just take a time out and focus on me instead
  2. I have been having pretty painful sciatic pain for 8 days now and I’ve been trying to deal with that, hence the title of my post. I did my first WOD since last Wednesday yesterday and will talk about it more below

I have breached this topic before, but let me dive in today. I have had pretty consistent sciatic pain since my pregnancy with Rina, 5 years ago. I have done chiropractic treatments before that have given some positive outcomes, but it always ends up coming back. It has seemed that over the years, it gets aggravated, no matter what I do. It was painful when I was an inactive mom, it is painful whether I work out or not, so before you go thinking that it’s all because of Crossfit, let me tell you right now, it isn’t. It does flare up when I squat or deadlift heavy (over 100lbs), but this last flare-up started after a WOD where there wasn’t any heavy lifting involved.

I just happened to mention to fellow Crossfitters that I’d been dealing with this for a while now and what I’d been doing in order to try to get better, when Michelle mentioned she was a PT and I should go see her. I was able to get an appointment with her the same day and I’m hoping to be able to solve some issues.

After 2 visits with her, here’s what we have discovered.

  1. My sciatic pain might not be related to my sciatic at all.
  2. I may be too flexible for my own good.
  3. I may benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy.

I have breached the topic lightly before on the blog, but as a Crossfit woman, it’s no surprise that I suffer from “leakage” when lifting heavy or doing box jumps or attempting DUs or even sneezing, if I’m not careful. Apparently, this could all be improved with some pelvic floor PT.

You see, apparently childbirth can be traumatic and damaging to a body (no sh** Sherlock!) I’m diving deep right now so if you’re squeamish, STOP READING NOW!

When I delivered Rina, I tore my perineum (the area between your anus and your vagina. Not sorry about the TMI right now because I’m sure I’m not the only ) to the 3rd degree and required 15 stitches in my nether region. Also, I attempted to push her out for 3 1/2 hrs. That may (or may not) have injured my coccyx. Add to that a second pregnancy with a second tear (only 7 stitches this time around!) and some baby carrying on the same hip (I am right-handed and have a tendency to carry my girls nicely propped on my left hip in order to have my right hand free for other stuff) and I have a slight shift (about an inch or so) between my hips. My left hip sits higher than my right one, resulting in an imbalance on EVERYTHING I do when I move.

Because I am so limber, I haven’t really felt the imbalance before, but after a few years of having to do extra work, my left hip, pelvis and sciatic have finally said: “Enough!” and I’m listening. It turns out that the Pelvic Floor Physio could help with what my PT thinks is mostly a coccyx injury that needs decompression. She is, unfortunately not allowed to do such a thing, but a pelvic floor PT is. I have an appointment next week and I will keep you posted when I go. As for now, I have also been told to stop stretching (just until we figure out the origin of my sciatic pain), which means I haven’t done any ROMWOD since last week. 😦 I have to say, I kind of miss it, but I’ll listen to the expert’s advice until further notice.

In the meantime, I dream of a day when I wouldn’t need to sit on the couch with my hot water bottle up my butt/lower back in order to obtain some relief. That and no leakage would be awesome too! 😉

After Kath canceled our Kitty and Cougar WOD yesterday (turns out she had too much on her plate and couldn’t fit this in her schedule), I decided to do the Box WOD at home, since it didn’t give me much time to get my stuff together for the 0930 class. Kath felt super guilty about backing out of the competition, but to me, it was just an excuse to get together with her and WOD together, we can do that anytime and don’t need the extra stress of the competition in order to do that!

Here’s what I did yesterday:

We only had a 25# KB at home so I went out and decided to get myself a little treat: a brand new 35# KB! I had both girls with me (Rina had stayed home from school with a cold and Béa was on a day off from preschool) and Rina didn’t want to be left in the dust, so she convinced me to get her a cute little 5# KB.

A family that lifts together... gets strong together! Lol!

A family that lifts together… gets strong together! Lol!

I packed the girls in their double stroller and set off for my run. I had a choice between running a 720m or 920m in my neighbourhood, so I aimed high and went for the 920m loop. Because I have the memory of a fly, I couldn’t remember that I had to do taters and did AKBS.  Pushing the stroller up the hills was interesting, seeing as the girls and the stroller combined added close to 80# of lump I had to get up 3 little hills. 1 was short, 1 was medium and long and the third was short but at a steep incline which had me walking. The fun part was that I also had to go a steady downhill on my way back home. I had to pause my timer, get the girls out of the stroller and get Béatrice set up with something to occupy her while Rina and I got to work on the AKBS. Rina was more interested in chalking up her little hands than actually lifting the KB, but she did about 20 reps with me. I broke mine up in sets of 10 and only started to lose my grip on rep #47. I finished my 3 reps and looked at my timer: 9:52. Not too bad considering I had last done this one RX (without having to push a heavy stroller up a hill) so I’m guessing I probably could have done a similar time as well!

So there you go, I should be back for more Crossfit tales tomorrow, if I feel like blogging about it! 😉

Out Like A Belly Button

I swear, the kids are adorable and all, but I sure wish they would sleep through the night. Béa was up multiple times last night which means I’m not getting the rest I need to recover from all the intensity I’ve been putting my body through lately.

She's got gorgeous brown eyes! I just wish she'd keep them closed through the night! ;)

She’s got gorgeous brown eyes! I just wish she’d keep them closed through the night! 😉

 

Yesterday Kathleen cancelled our mesh on Sunday and I wasn’t too sad she did so. She’s been bombarded with visitors and hasn’t had time to unpack into her new house, so she will make time for that this weekend. I, on the other hand, will use this opportunity to do nothing (workout-wise) and just enjoy the long weekend with Ben and the girls, before I head back into work on Monday.

I woke up startled by my alarm at 0500 and somehow managed to get up and ready for my last workout this week:

I saw this on Facebook as I was feeling up before the workout and thought: Yep!

I saw this on Facebook as I was fuelling up before the workout and thought: Yep!

 

 

 

I teamed up with Tracey for the warm-up and literally was biting my arm during the wallsits! The plank holds weren’t as bad and I felt like I could have held a little longer on them, but those wallsits were pretty horrible, considering I had just finished those air squats at a good speed (for me!)

Skill: Kipping pull-ups 4×6 E2M

I focused on my strict for these and used the red and blue, but maybe I should have used the red and purple instead. It somewhat easy to do the 6 reps, but I my hands felt like they were on the verge of ripping.

WOD: Snatch & Grab

I had never done this one before and since it involved the ever elusive snatch, I had to resort to TG for today. I felt like a wimp using such a low weight, but then again, seeing as my 1RM is 60# made it easier to swallow. Here’s how I scaled it:

4 rounds of

  • 6 Hang power snatch @ 45#
  • 8 burpee bar hops
  • 10 front squats @45#

I really thought the front squats would be a piece of cake at that weight, but man, was I wrong! I had to break them into 3 sets for every round! I tried my best to keep all the burpee bar hops Rx, but had to drop to granny-style for a few reps each rounds. Jess walked in and smiled at me after one of my rounds. She was dancing and the best I could do was to give my Bitchy Resting Face. Sorry Jess! I was trying to save every calorie of energy for the WOD and smiling was impeding on that! 😉

bitchface

I have BRF and I own it!

 

Oh well, not my best WOD at all. To be honest, I didn’t really care. I just wanted to be done. Done with the WOD, but also done with the intense week I’d just put my body through. Here were my times for the rounds:

1:35 – 1:45 – 1:45 – 1:34

Which gives me 3:19 for this WOD.

I can’t wait to go for my massage this morning! That’ll start recovery painfully well! I don’t go for fluffy massages. I prefer the deep tissue kind and my RMT is also a Crossfitter, so she knows which muscles we work and what needs to be worked on. She’s awesome in a dominatrix kind of way! Teehee! I find myself breathing through the pain when she works on certain areas, but I know I always feel better after!

In the meantime, don’t expect a lot of posts until next week, because I’ll be out like a belly-button for some well-deserved rest & recovery!

 

Get Your Sweat On!

After yesterday’s workout at Kathleen’s, I felt super energized and ready to take on anything this morning. I was pleased when I saw this:

 

Skill: Back squat 3×10 E2M

I paired up with Telsey and Jen and truly didn’t know what to tackle for weight for these. I did 85#-90#-95#. The last round felt challenging, but I think I could have done 100#. Dang! Next time!

WOD: Escape the Trap

That was a fun team WOD and I remained paired up with Telsey and Jen. Because there were so many of us we had to start the WOD with the burpee BJ. I started our trio off by doing 8 true to form, then I did step-ups. At some point, I resorted to granny-style burpees, but picked it back up again. Second round was fairly similar, except we were taking a long time and Coach Caleb told us to go to the Trap DL part of the WOD after our second round and to come back to the burpee BJ afterwards if we still had time.

We were using 75# for the trap DL and that was way too light. I was even able to trot carrying the bar across the gym, so next time, I should go up to 85-90#. Once we were done with the Trap DL, Jen had to leave to get home in time for her hubby to get to work, and Telsey was getting close to her cutoff time as well so she did her 3rd round of burpee BJ and I took it upon myself to finish the last 30 reps (my 15 and Jen’s 15). It was slow, but I tried to keep things moving as best I could and we finished with a time of 23:06. I was pouring sweat from everywhere and even my hair was dripping.

Sweaty deer stuck in headlights. "What the heck just happened to me?!?"

Sweaty deer stuck in headlights. “What the heck just happened to me?!?”

I came back home and had an interesting text exchange with Kath about where I’m at as a Crossfitter.  I feel that even though I still scale pretty much every WOD, I’m definitely out of the “newbie” category, but I’m still worlds away from the true athletes. Which makes partnering with people difficult at times. I love hanging out with new people because I was just there not so long ago, so I understand the struggle. At the same time, I think sometimes it would be worth it to challenge myself and team up with people I consider “beasts”. At the same time, I also would feel very bad if I slowed them down.

The mental struggle is real, I tell ya!

Once I had showered and refuelled with breakfast, I realized I had forgotten to clean the inside of my freezer and fridge last week, during the Deep House Cleaning, so I got right on that. Then, our tenants finally moved out and it was time to start cleaning the suite after they left. We still have a little bit to do tomorrow morning before the new tenants move in, but overall it went well. Except when I broke the telescopic mop. I was vigorously cleaning the ceilings (I was also amazed at how people can get ceilings so dirty, but I digress) and the silly thing broke in two.

I broke that thing like a twig!

I broke that thing like a twig!

I had no time to fiddle with that kind of crap, so I took my step-stool (midgets unite!) and got scrubbing with the old rag-and-cleaner method! 6hrs later, we have the bathroom left, vacuuming and mopping the kitchen floor as well as priming the holes that have been patched and painting the walls.

Yeah, not how I had anticipated my day or my last week off before heading back into work. Hopefully, I can still manage to book myself a massage. I’m pretty sure if Crossfit came out with a WOD involving having to wash walls, windows and vacuum, I would RX the crap out of that! Ugh! One last cleaning boom to do tomorrow and then I should be done for at least 24hrs!

Yeah right, one can only wish!

Barbells and Princesses

I had such a full day yesterday!

Crossfit in the morning followed by more house cleaning (I’m almost done deep cleaning the kitchen), interrupted with a lovely at-home pedicure by a mobile pedicurist /fellow crossfitter, more cleaning and finally, falling asleep on the couch while “watching” TV.

After I made my way to my bed, I woke up at 0500 and got ready for Oly lifting class this morning, because it’s “just lifting”!

Photo 2015-08-27, 5 53 29 AM

The tall snatch was a struggle with just the empty bar and it’s still something I need to work on. Why is everything snatch-related such a struggle? I guess we all have our weaknesses and the snatch truly is one of mine.

Since I missed the last testing session, I’m still using 65# as my 1RM for the snatch and that meant I used 55# today for the Snatch EMOM x 10 @85%. I think it went well overall, but I was feeling fatigued on my last rep.

For the hang clean, I really wanted to attempt 90# on my last set, just to prove to myself that I could do it without catching it on my sternum. Coach Caleb wanted us to focus on not dropping the bar in-between reps and get back into the hook grip.

My

My “wings” (as Ben calls my bruise) are healing nicely. And yes, I know, I look exhausted!

Everything went peachy until my 6th set. I managed all my reps without hesitation and after a pointer from Coach Caleb, I reminded myself to keep my chest and elbows up in the catch. When I got to 90#, I was in my head and really afraid of failing the lift.

1st attempt: failed.

I came back to the bar and approached it. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd attempt: failed.

I walked away from the bar. Sat on the bench for about 30s, then approached the bar again. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

3rd attempt: failed.

This time, I sat down right away and had a chat with myself. I knew I could do it, I had managed 2 reps earlier this week. Yeah, I’m tired, but I can totally do this. Just get to the bar and DO IT! You just need to drop into the squat to catch it.

Approach the bar. Set my hands. Pick up the bar. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

4th attempt: 1st lift successful! I wanted to celebrate, but there was still another lift to do. I reset the bar on my hips and reset my hook grip. Dang! That bar is heavy. All you have to do is repeat what you just did! You got this. I can barely hold on to the bar! Just do it, don’t think about it. JUST DO IT!

Hook grip. Exhale. Inhale. Block breath, dip and lift.

2nd lift caught very deep at the bottom of the squat and I was afraid I would crumple into the bottom, but I managed to push out of it and managed my 2nd lift! I threw that bar on the floor and was beaming! I had just done 2 reps at my 1RM C&J!!! Whoot! Whoot! Also, that was a 15# PR from my previous attempt at this only 3 short months ago!

Photo 2015-08-27, 7 17 19 AM

I couldn’t stop smiling! Looks like even though I’m exhausted, I can still find it in me to push hard and improve!

I came back home for a shower and a hearty breakfast before taking the girls to Hatley Castle for their surprise Princess Day! No cleaning today, I’m taking a break from being a housekeeper and I’m taking time to rest and enjoy my last few days off before my vacation is over! We went to pick up Nanny as I had asked her if she wanted to come with us (not to work, but to enjoy the day and be tourist in her new town).

The day had started a bit cloudy and cooler, but the sun came out and the heat did too. I chose to only pay for the garden tour as I highly doubted the girls’ attention span would last enough for the indoor guided tour. I think it was the best decision, even though I will have to go back one day to visit the inside of the castle.

We toured the Italian garden, the Japanese garden, the Rose garden and the green houses. The photographer in me had a blast taking some shot and editing them. Below is just a small sample of the 140+ shots I took today! 😉

Cuba Sì

As promised, here’s a review of our week-long vacation in Cuba.

We were traveling from Victoria to Montreal, in order to meet up with everybody else on our trip at the Montreal airport. We made our way the day before our Cuban departure, sleep in a hotel by the airport that had a shuttle service and had no issue with that at all. We repeated the same experience on the way back with the same service. I had to call for the shuttle bus to come and get us and it was there within 20 minutes. From Montreal, our flight to Santa Clara was close to 4hrs-long, followed by a bus ride of about 90 mins to the resort. I was ready to go sit and relax when we finally got to the resort. The girls traveled beautifully, sleeping on my lap at times, playing, eating, iPad-ing, and signing songs. Béatrice was being potty-trained and we put her in pull-ups for the flights, but she was good about asking to use the washroom and mostly ended up with a dry diaper after the flights.

Currency: If you love in Canada, don’t bother changing your money for some US funds before your departure as you get penalized once in Cuba. Their currency for tourists is the CUC (a tourist cuban peso) and isn’t worth anything outside of Cuba. Bring your Canadian currency and change it once in Cuba (either at the airport or at some local currency office (we had one on the resort with the rate exchange similar to the US $ ($1 CAN = $0.70 CUC). Make sure you get rid of all your CUC before exiting the country as you won’t be able to do so once back in Canada.

Medical Clinic: Yep, I even got to try this one out! I had started an eye infection on the flight from Edmonton to Montreal and despite using Polysporin eyedrops for 48hrs, it wasn’t improving and I ended up with a huge black eye from the infection, so I hired a cab (1927 Ford!) and made my way to the closest medical clinic on Tuesday. I walked in at 1330, saw the MD at 1332 and walked back out with my bill and prescriptions at 1345. It took a little longer because I had been told by the customer service rep at our resort that I could pay my meds with a credit card. Turned out I couldn’t and had to take a cab to the closest ATM to get some money. My cab driver was nice and waited for me while I sorted all of this and even waited for me while I was being seen at the clinic! I was given steroids, antibiotic drops and anti-inflammatory ointment, all for 50 CUC, including the medical consult. Total cost: 60 CUC including the cab rides. Not too bad!

Cuban Accommodations: We went along on this trip with my parents, my brother and my niece and my brother’s girlfriend (one of my friends 🙂 ) and her kids too. All in all, there were 6 adults and 6 children on this trip. Our resorts was Cayo Playa Santa Maria, located in Santa Maria (north or Cayo Coco). The resort itself was nice enough, but not super luxurious. I seem to remember we had chosen this one because they had a “Kids’ Club”, to which we didn’t end up taking advantage of. Live and learn! The rooms were clean. We had issued with the tub and shower draining properly, and although we had someone look into it for us, it never got resolved. The rooms were done on a daily basis, although sometimes, late in the afternoon when we were trying to get the kids to rest a bit. The fridge was filled with beer, pop and water everyday as well. One thing I was missing when we were there were facecloths. Apparently, they are nowhere to be found in Cuba, so I’d bring a couple if you really can’t do without them. I ended up using a bath mat / towel when I needed one. I think the only drawback was for checking-in. Long line-up, with only 2 clerks at the desk to do 2 buses worth of check-ins: fail! The staff we had to deal with were all very friendly and attentive, on the other hand. AC was available in both the adjoining rooms we had (King bed and 2 twin beds for the girls) as well as a ceiling fan.We never had our patio door open (other than to go hang laundry out on the chairs) as it was too hot to do so with temperatures between 32-35ºC everyday. E only had one day of partly cloudy skies, no rain over the 7 days we were there and saw plenty of heat lightning.

Food: We had a choice of 3 À La Carte restaurants for dinner, but were only able to book 2. All the other time slots had been booked solid after our 2nd day on the resort. My advice would be to go on book those early on in your trip. One of our restaurant was the Asian one and the food was ok, with limited choices for kids. The other one was the Seafood one and only 4 of us ended up going to this one because our reservations was for 7:30pm , after a long day on a Catamaran excursion, on the eve of our departure and the children were too tired to come out to eat. (More on that later).

The buffet was ok in my book. Not terribly bad, not amazingly good. I think, overall, there were only 2 dishes I really didn’t like. Most of the fish I had was absolutely delicious, although, I was the unlucky one with all the bones in the fish. They made a pretty awesome fried rice where you could chose your components, same with omelettes in the morning. You had to be there early though as the lines filled up fast. Not a lot of choices for Whole30-compliant food, but I was on vacation, so I didn’t stress about it. I tried to focus on fruits, meats, vegetables and rice.

Lettuce is almost unheard of there and the only “greens” they had were green bell pepper and cabbage. That got old pretty quick.

I can’t really comment on the booze as I’m not a big drinker. We had wine a few times, I had a Sex On The Beach and a few sips of Mojitos and that’s about it. The drinks were good, from the few I had.

Gym:  I had a quick look at the gym (usual treadmills, stationary bikes, some free weights and benches for presses) and the AC wasn’t supper effective in the little facility so I decided to make my own WOD on the beach:

4RFT:

  • 400m run
  • 25 burpees

I didn’t time myself, but tried to hustle as best as the 33ºC permitted. I would go in the water to rinse off the sand and cool off before the runs. That was my one and only workout while I was there. My bother had brought his TRX and managed a few more workouts than I did. Good for him for not slacking off!

Spa: Ben and I booked ourselves a 1hr-long couple’s massage and it was nice to go relax while my parents watched the girls. The only thing is they had a musical cue on their CD that told them when to move from limb to limb. It was a bit distracting. We were allowed 1hr of relaxation in the jetted pool, but we hadn’t brought our bathing suits. No problem, we were allowed to come back the next day to enjoy the pool.

Beach: This is where we spent most of our time everyday. We would go after breakfast and never had any trouble finding 12 lounge chairs under the shade. We had brought our own tarp and pegs for shade on the beach and never ended up using it.

There were a lot of big rocks/boulders submerged under the sand where the chairs were and you had to be careful about your steps making your way down to the water. The sand was soft and white and, apparently, the beach had suffered some erosion since the previous year (as per previous vacationers).

The water was a ver clear aqua colour and you spot some barracudas often. We only saw 2 small jellyfish on our entire trip. Depending on the wind, some days the water was calm and others, the waves were a bit stronger.

There were free smaller catamarans excursions (max. 4 people) that lasted about 30 mins and free-kayak rental as well.

Animation was on the beach in the morning and moved over to the main pool in the afternoon. We never partook in the activities as we wanted to sit and relax.

Pools: We had a pool very close to our room and although there was music poolside, I think they closed the pools around 6pm daily, which meant you could get a full restful night of sleep. The pools were well maintained, although lots of sand and oil residue from the sunscreen could be found. The water was hot all the time and even hotter in the afternoons. Finding chairs in the shade was a little harder at the pool than it was at the beach, but we were never there very long and usually retreated to our rooms for some shade and nap time when we’d had enough. The little ones enjoyed the pool more and the big kids enjoyed the ocean more. We compromised by doing the beach in the morning and the pool in the afternoon.

The girls and Ben, playing in the pool

The girls and Ben, playing in the pool

Excursions: There were a few tempting excursions I would have liked to do had we been without kids, but we settled on only the one full day Catamaran excursion. There was one where they flew you into La Havana overnight that I would have liked to do (too expensive with the kids), another one where you went to see Buena Vista Social Club perform live (finished around midnight, again, not happening with the kids) and one where you went into Santa Maria to see the Che Guevara Memorial as well as some of the city and churches. I would have love to learn more about that piece of history, but with temperatures being what they were beach-side, I really didn’t want to drag the kids too far from the water.

The one excursion we settled on was the day-long catamaran excursion. We booked it for our last full day in Cuba, Saturday (so that all the kids could get on for free). Kids are free all the time if they’re 6 and under, and on Saturday, it’s free for kids 12 and under.  We had to be ready to go at 0800 which left us ample time to grab breakfast at the buffet (starts at 0700). We hoped on a bus that took us to the marina (20 mins), where we boarded a super clean catamaran, with a crew of 3 on board. There were 2 bathrooms that were kept immaculate throughout the day. The rest of the boat was wiped off of water often and kept immaculate as well throughout the day. We left using the motor for the first part of the day, making our way to the “reef” where we had 1hr to go snorkelling. All kids had to wear life vests and adults who were strong swimmers didn’t have to. Ben brought his GoPro with him so we were able to capture some pretty cool photos and videos.

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Once we were done with that, they served us a light snack of tuna salad on crackers. It was a hit with everyone and was gone in minutes! We motored around, until they brought us to a the dolphin sanctuary. This would not have been my choice had it not been included in the day. I’m not a fan of dolphins in captivity, but the girls liked the little show they put on:

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Once the show was done, we also had the opportunity to interact with the dolphins. Ben had his gGoPro and took some footage, but it was a bit hard seeing as we had to hold the girls in our arms. We had water up to our chest and the dolphins swam up to us so we could touch them. Our dolphin had one cloudy eye and the other one had plenty of scars on its back… 😦 We had lunch at the sanctuary of lobster tails for the adults and chicken for the kids. After lunch, we got back on board and Rina needed the First Aid kit (she cut her toe and was bleeding) and the staff was quick and attentive.  They teased us with sights of beautiful sandy beaches before dropping us off in a sandbar that was rocky and choppy. Not my favourite part of the day (and I think nobody enjoyed this very much out of our little group).  We quickly came back on board and we set out on the water and finally opened the sails and cut off the motor. That was MY favourite part of the day, fo’ sho’!

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The music was blaring, people were dancing and drinking and we all had a blast! We came back to the marina, back on the bus and everybody was tired. I debated about going for our dinner reservation (at 7:30pm) at all, but Ben offered to take the girls to the buffet and put them to bed so I could enjoy a last dinner with my parents and brother. His girlfriend fed their brood at the buffet as well so it was just our little family of 4 that night. It was nice to reconnect with that part of my life and although the food was ok, we laughed a lot at my mom’s fear f the gecko that was inching closer on the ceiling and just life in general.

We had to check out at 0545 the next morning, back on the bus at 0645 (late as per Cuban time) to make our way to the airport for our flight at 1145. That was a long wait at the airport, but we managed fairly well. Béatrice sang the whole time she was on the plane and it was bittersweet to say goodbye to all my lovely family. It had been almost 2 years since I’d seen them all and with the cost of flights to go back home, who knows when we’ll be able to afford to go back? That’s also why I didn’t really care about our accommodation or the quality of the food. To me, this trip was about spending time with my family, for my daughters to get to know their cousins and for us all to really soak in the sun and relax. I’d say our goal has been surpassed x 100 and to me, that means a very successful trip!

Sigh

It’s been a busy week and I’ll try to recap quickly.

Last Monday was a Civic Holiday here and we enjoyed the day at the beach with Ben’s mom who was visiting from Kingston. We hiked to Mystic Beach and had fun in the sun and sand before we headed out for the typical lunch at Mom’s Café.

Bra's natural summer highlights! I'd kill for these!

Béa’s natural summer highlights! I’d kill for these!

Rina, swinging from the rope swing on the beach

Rina, swinging from the rope swing on the beach

Cutie pie!

Cutie pie!

Rina, wave jumping

Rina, wave jumping

I had only 2 days at work before I was officially on vacation and although I was counting the hours on Wednesday. Let’s be real though, I kind of clocked out mentally around 1500, even though I was working until 1930. Nothing fazed me on that day and I was happy and lighthearted to make my way to my car at the end of the day! Off for a full month and I was more than ready for some time off. I already had 2 overtime calls to come in to work tonight so far… Not gonna happen!

I’ve spent yesterday and today getting some last minute shopping and making packing lists, getting everything organized and packed for our Cuban vacation! I can now say we are 98% ready to go, with little adjustments left to be done for our carry-on luggages.

I went to the Oly class yesterday morning and I was stoked to see Ryan show up: I wasn’t absolutely certain if there actually was a class or not and I was starting to think I’d gotten up at 0500 for nothing! Here’s what we did:

Photo 2015-08-06, 5 54 20 AM

High hang, low hang, full squat snatch x6 E3M

Lots of rest for these and we were to work up to 75% of our 1RM. Mine was supposed to be 48.75#, but the closest I could get to was 48.5# (not enough small plates to make it a real 75%, but close enough). I was struggling on some reps and had to repeat a few, but as I warmed up, it felt smoother towards the end.

Squat Clean, Front Squat, Split jerk x6 E3M

Again, we were supposed to only go up to 75% of our 1RM so I used 67.5# for all my reps. The split jerk was unstable at times, but I managed all my reps. I was exhausted by the end! So much rest and yet, I was done for!

 

This morning, I woke up at 0500 again and I was still tired. I’ve been going to bed a little later than usual and I could definitely feel it this morning:

I had misread the WOD last night and thought it was only 1 round. Gulp! There was no way I could do this RX seeing as my 1RM DL is 160# and my 1RM clean is 90#. That would have been cutting it too close to exhaustion and Coach Caleb wanted us to do close to 30 reps/30 secs. Sometimes, the guy cracks me up! 😉 No way I was going to achieve that either, but I was happy that I managed some pretty stable rep scheme throughout all rounds. I did FG with the following reps:

DL @ 115#:8-8-9-8-8

Front squats @ 65#: 9-9-9-8-8

DUs:5-7-8-11-12

Sometimes, I look at my reps and feel a bit discouraged at how low they are. Then, I analyze them in a different way and I’m pretty happy with my work. For example, my reps are low on the DL, but if you tally it all, it comes up to 4715 lbs moved in 2:30. For the front squats, it comes up to 2797 lbs squatted in the same amount of time.  As for my DUs, I only managed to string 8 in a row (last round), but they felt smoother with each rounds. Funny how I can do those better when I’m more physically tired. Maybe it’s because I’m not as tensed up?

I’m ready to put a hot pack on my shoulders and real for the evening before yet another busy day tomorrow!