My Fitness Goals for 2017

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I’m thrilled to have been asked by Sport Chek to be one of their ambassadors for this coming year. It is an honour to be a part of their ultra inspiring #ChekSquad and to be able to share with you all some of my fitness goals for this upcoming year.

1) Run a half-marathon. This first goal is unfinished business from 2016. My one and only fitness goal in 2016 was to run my 1st half-marathon and due to my back injury this past summer, the goal of running a half in the fall was thrown out the window. I’ve never been so excited to have a second shot at something. I have already started training and cannot wait to finally accomplish this goal.

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2) Participate in a sprint triathlon. One of my earliest fitness and sport-related memories from childhood is the only triathlon that I did when I was a kid. I grew up being on the swimming team so the swim part was a breeze but never really ran or biked much so I remember those two latter parts being quite challenging. Fast-forward 20 years later, with all the inspiring athletes I’ve been following on social media as of late, I’ve been itching to give it another shot!

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3) Finish a Spartan Race Trifecta. I’m a big fan of obstacle races and mud races and Spartan Race is hands down one of my favorite ones to do. I have partaken in Spartan Races for two summers and have become obsessed. What I like about them is that they have 3 different races with 3 levels of difficulty – Sprint (3-5 miles, 20-23 obstacles), Super (-10 miles, 24-29 obstacles) and Beast (2-14 miles, 30-35 obstacles). I have never tried a Super or let alone a Beast but if I’m 100% back to health in 2017, this will be one of my goals.

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4) Try new sports. Since I will be spending part of the winter in British Columbia so I want to spend time hiking and also cross-country skiing. I think the BC mountains will be the perfect setting to practice these sports. I am also open to trying a bunch of different workouts, I just want to be outdoors and as active as possible.

5) Get stronger. This last goal is more of a general goal but after this year’s injury, my goal is to correct all of my body imbalances and strengthen my weak areas in order to prevent any future injuries. The stronger I get, the less chance of injury.

What are your 2017 fitness goals?

What I’m wearing: Nike Pro Warm Notebook Allover Print Women’s Tights (get them here), Nike LunarGlide 8 Shield Women’s Running Shoes (get them here), Nike Pro Classic Padded GRX Women’s Bra (get it here).

This post was written in collaboration with Sport Chek but all opinions are my own.

5 Questions With: Amelia Boone

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If you’ve been following my fitness adventures, you know that I took part in my first ever Reebok Spartan Race last summer. I also recently visited Pursuit OCR (you can see my post here), the first Canadian indoor obstacle course to train for this summer’s Spartan Race. The Spartan Race is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done physically in my life but also one of the most fun I’ve ever had during a race. I’m thrilled to share with you today my interview with an inspiring woman and athlete, the 2013 Reebok Spartan Race World Champion, Amelia Boone. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be the champion of one Spartan Race, let alone be the world champion. What a feat! I’m thrilled that Amelia agreed to answer a few questions on her journey thus far. Hope you’ll enjoy!

1) What first got you interested in fitness? When did you start being really active?

Fitness has always been a part of my life from a young age. I was a year-round athlete, shuttling from one sport to another my entire childhood. Even in college and law school, when I didn’t play any formal sports, I still would go for runs and hit the gym for stress release. It wasn’t until I graduated law school when I started really focusing on athletics (late in life, I know!) – I ran my first obstacle race with fellow attorneys at my law firm, and then just got hooked. Doing obstacle races made me realize I needed more strength work in my routine, so I added CrossFit to running, and found a nice balance. 

2) You are the 2013 Reebok Spartan Race World Champion, what kind of training is required to obtain such a title? What is your training regimen like?

Reebok Spartan Race is a great mix of endurance and strength. You need to have a great aerobic capacity and a strong running background, but you also need to balance that with upper body strength. So training is always a balancing act finding the perfect mix of the two. I generally run or do longer endurance workouts 5 days a week, and then add in CrossFit or other strength training 3-4 days a week. I take one full rest day a week (though I will do some mobility work and go for a walk or do a light spin on a bike for 15 minutes or so to keep blood flowing). 

3) There seems to be more and more women interested in races like the Reebok Spartan Race, why do you think that is? How are women seen in the circuit?

I think women are looking for ways to push themselves physically and mentally. And women more and more are seeing that being strong is pretty awesome, and there’s no better mix of strength and athleticism than a Reebok Spartan Race. The numbers of women in the circuit is growing, and more and more, we are beating men. While I love to compete against other women, I always check the overall standings at the end of the race – I love to see how I stack up against the field as a whole. 

4) For those interested in getting into these kinds of races/obstacle courses, what advice would you have for them?

I always tell people that anyone can get through a race. You may fail some obstacles, may have to walk some, but you learn what you need to work on and come back stronger. A great introduction is to get together with a group of friends and do one as a team. There are all ages and abilities out there conquering a course – you’ll always find a helping hand. 

5) What are your next fitness goals? What objectives have you set for yourself?

I’m always kind of looking for the next challenge and the next way to push my physical limits. I’ve had great success in Reebok Spartan, and will continue to run those, but I’m looking at venturing into doing more ultra marathons this year – I have a few 100k’s and a 100 miler on the race calendar. 

For more information on Reebok’s latest campaign and their #BeMoreHuman campaign, go here. For more information on the Spartan Race, if you want to join me this summer, go here.

Pursuit OCR

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Last summer, I had the chance to take part in my first ever Spartan Race. For those who aren’t familiar with the Spartan Race, it’s basically a run and a big obstacle course for adults. I love playing, working out and having fun, so this was the coolest race to take part in.

Since the summer, I’ve been looking at training and improving some of the skills necessary to succeed in the Spartan Race. There were a few obstacles that I didn’t do so well in, so I was looking to see how I could do better for next year. A few months ago, I heard of Pursuit OCR, 10 000 square foot gym and the first official fully functional indoor obstacle course in Canada. The bonus, the gym opened up right around the corner from where I live.

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The opening of Pursuit OCR generated a lot of buzz and media attention in the city so I was thrilled to finally have the chance to meet some of the guys behind the project and try the gym out myself a few weeks ago.

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Pursuit OCR is not only an indoor obstacle course but also a gym that offers personal training, fitness classes and more. Will and Mikey, two of the guys behind the space shared with me why they wanted to open up Pursuit OCR:

What inspired you guys to open up the space?

Mikey: It’s Will’s brainchild, he wanted to do this for a while but I think our common denominator, we all come from a place where play is important. It’s important for your mental health, physical health and overall happiness. To be able to provide a facility where you can play, that’s what it is. Kids get playgrounds, kids get recess and we get offices and cubicles.

What is your main goal with this space?

Will: We haven’t thought about it long term. Of course, we’d like to have more facilities but at the end of the day, when people come through and they’re smiling and having fun, that’s the primary thing. They’re here to explore movement and in exploring, you should feel happy and find joy out of that. If someone’s not having a good time, then maybe we failed but if someone’s having a good time, they’re learning to move again and they’re developing or relearning skills, whether or not they come back to the gym, that transfers onto a real world application. Whether they’re playing with their kids at the playground or they end up playing more themselves, then that’s mission accomplished.

What are some of the things you offer at Pursuit OCR?

Will: Our program director Mikey has put together a fantastic team of coaches and instructors that all also love to play. It’s basically based on movement.

Mikey: I conducted the group simply because I wanted to create a space where there would be a platform where people could meet. We’re not an elitist facility, we never say we’re the best, I always give the example that you get a rock climber who meets a ballroom dancer, they both share their passion for what they do, the next thing you know, the rock climber is ballroom dancing and the ballroom dancer is rock climbing. The beauty of it is that we live in a city that has that. I think it allows for people to understand and realize that they can do all of these amazing things in Toronto. Toronto is one of the few cities that is open to this concept and is very appreciative of the fact that there is an adult playground.

What are some of the classes people can come take?

Mikey: We have a hand balancing class. Our coach Chris is the U of T gymnastics coach, I love him because he’s a hippie who just loves to play music and go upside down, he’s a free spirit. We also have a small bar training class. Joanne is an accomplished circus performer. We also have a rope aerials class. The stuff that you do in our classes, have some sort of thing that will help you improve your experience on the course, in the playground. Those three coaches, because of their background in circus, they know how to play, they’re very creative and energetic. When they first started doing what they did, they were clueless but they are now able to enhance and transfer that passion to other people as well.

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As you can see from the photos above, I had the best time monkeying around the space. I also worked on a few things that will hopefully help me when summer and the Spartan Race comes back around.

For more information on Pursuit OCR or to go try out their indoor obstacle course, go here.