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“Little Victories” and Where To Find Them

You’ll never guess what I got to do last weekend. I took a stunt fighting seminar! We have a Jiu Jitsu regional event every few months and last Saturday’s regional welcomed Lori O’Connell from British Columbia.

Lori O’Connell is a 5th degree black belt in Can Ryu Jiu Jitsu and a professional stuntwoman! Move over Ronda Rousey (former UFC champion), I’ve found a more suitable role model.

Source: lorioconnell.com

Source: lorioconnell.com

It was AWESOME. Best decision I’ve made recently. We practiced different aspects of stunt fighting and then choreographed short stunt scenes and filmed them. I picked up a signed copy of her book When the Fight Goes to the Ground: Jiu-Jitsu Strategies and Tactics for Self-Defense afterward, which I’m super happy about.

Trying new things has been bringing me a lot of pleasure lately. I think it’s largely due to what I’ve coined as “little victories.” Often, when you start something new, it takes a period of a sort-of blind, hopeful dedication before you find anything to celebrate. You have to be patient and trust that the successes will come. In my new aerial silks class, however, we recently agreed that every time we climb up on the silk we get to experience a “little victory.” It’s such a challenge and it feels so good to just attempt it and come out of it with sore arms and a smile. I felt the same about stunt fighting on Saturday, so I’m wondering if the sources of these “little victories” tend to be the uncommon, unorthodox challenges we take on.

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I would take on lots of these challenges — and I’m sure I’m not alone — if it weren’t for the associated cost. Some of the most unusual, awesome experiences to be had are the most expensive to finance. So, in this post I want to highlight relatively accessible, relatively inexpensive adventures to be had on campus and in Toronto.

  1. Parkour: Parkour — also known as free running — is like street gymnastics. Instead of walking down the sidewalk to get to the subway, a parkour practitioner (parkourer?) dives over a railing, flips off a curb and over a bicyclist to get to where he/she needs to go. You too can make a Rube-Goldberg (common physics project: a machine that accomplishes a very simple task in an utterly complicated sequence of steps) of your commute! For $115 you can take the parkour class at the AC for the term.
  2. Springboard Diving: This is SO tempting. Learn to dive (read as: be a mermaid/man)! Take advantage of the only Olympic sized pool in the city at the AC. Only $84 for the term!
  3. Fencing: I had the privilege of trying my hand at fencing last year and it’s really a lot of fun. It’s a great way to stay active and embrace your inner warrior. Best part? It’s available at the AC! We ought to give that place more love. Look at all it has to offer! The fencing class is a little pricier than some other options, though each session is also almost 2 hours — whereas the less expensive choices above are shorter sessions. The price tag on a semester of fencing is $175.
  4. Gymnastics: I tend to show some bias here, but the fact of the matter is that gymnastics is one of the three fundamental sports for athlete development. Also, you get to fly and feel magical. Flexibility is a big plus as well, you can’t train for gymnastics without “making gains” in that department. This class has a bigger time commitment associated with it, as it runs twice a week for almost 2 hours. The cost is $285 for the semester, which works out to about $7/hour of instruction.
  5. Trampoline: Who doesn’t want to fly? You can earn your wings at the AC in the trampoline class. $155/semester. Cape not included.
  6. Drop-in Recreation: I’ve been mentioning a lot of registered programs, but let’s not forget about all the free drop-in programs available! From Zumba to strength and conditioning classes, these free fitness breaks are available at all of the athletic facilities, so you’re never far from them!
  7. MoveU Fun Fridays: Have you heard of Fun Fridays? Your MoveU team organizes fun fitness events every few weeks on Friday evenings. They’re usually outlandish — outlandishly awesome! Quidditch, pickleball, water polo… I’m interested to see what they’ve got coming up next! Best part: FREE.
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Source: giphy.com

Well, not yet but between MoveU Fun Fridays and my aerial silks class, I think early excitement is justified. Can’t wait for more little victories!