Everybody hates January. After a well-deserved break from courses, assignments, readings, exams and –for some – the cold commute, we’re back to reality. Thankfully, while reality does include mountains of coursework, commuting in all kinds of weather and a general apathy that comes with the second semester… it also includes campus physical activity programming! I kid you not, if it weren’t for aerial silks and Jiu Jitsu, I don’t know how I’d put my toque and winter boots on every morning to trek to school. I’m hoping you all can also find something to be excited about and to make this semester a little more pleasant!
I’m happy to announce that on top of circus and jitsu, I’ll be continuing my ice princess adventure this semester in the Skating Level 1 registered class at Varsity Centre! I’m currently looking for a pair of skates to call my own, but it’s great knowing that rentals are available if I don’t find the right fit in time.
Welcome back everyone! It’s hard to believe it’s September again.
My name is Annette and I’m excited to be a returning contributor to the Life@UofT blog this year. I’ll be continuing to cover all things physical activity and fitness with a weekly post you can expect to be published every Friday.
If you’re new to the blog, hello and welcome! If you like what you find, you can check out the archive to catch up on all the fun we had last year.
A bit about me: I’m a fourth-year student double majoring in Physiology and Biochemistry and minoring in German Studies. I’m absolutely wired right now on account of impending doom (read as: LSAT), but I’m doing my best to be excited about all that will follow for the rest of the year. I’m a peculiar person – half of the time I’m a bit of a grandma who likes to go to sleep early and sleep lots, drink tea under a fuzzy blanket – that sort of thing. The other half of the time, however, I’m curtain climbing and training to be a ninja – I just don’t know an in between.
September is a big month, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that. Between moving in and out of apartments/residences, shopping for textbooks, starting classes and trying to override a very “Hakuna Matata” lifestyle and/or sleep pattern, there’s a LOT going on. You should see my calendar, it’s absolutely BONKERS.
Some classes are like meringues: light and simple. Some are more like chocolate cake: dense and rich, but very satisfying. Some are like sweet and refreshing ice cream that goes down oh-so-smoothly. Like custard, some classes are heavy and decadent. Others are like chocolate chip cookies, appreciated for their classic appeal. Classes that are like toffee are a lot to chew on, but still very pleasant.
Some classes, however, are like the bran muffin. The bran muffin is an affront to delicious things everywhere; it is utterly dull and a waste of time and calories. To make matters worse, it sometimes has nasty little shrivelled-up raisins lurking inside. No one likes a bran muffin.
Sometimes, you have to eat bran muffins though, don’t you? Perhaps when your sweet old Granny makes them for you, or when your local Timmies runs out of everything else, or when you feel like inflicting pain on those nasty little raisins. Sometimes, you just don’t have a choice when it comes to bran muffins.
The same goes for bran muffin classes. You will have at least one over the course of your university career; everybody does. Maybe you’ll need it as a breadth requirement, it will be a prerequisite for something else you want to take, or it will be the only thing that fits into your schedule. There will be no escaping it. That’s how you’ll end up in a bran muffin class, in spite of its snooze-worthy subject matter, never-ending readings, miserable locale—OISE auditorium anyone?—and its professor’s annoying goat-like voice. March 13th is the last day to drop an S section course, so it’s high time to decide if you want to stick it out or not. If you want or need to persevere, stick with me! I’ll try to show you how to turn a yucky bran muffin into a beautiful cupcake.
Okay, maybe not a cupcake, but at least a slightly-less-terrible bran muffin:
Emma’s Slightly-Less-Terrible Bran Muffin Recipe
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.
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.”
It’s a New Year!
A fun fact about me: I am a fitness instructor on campus.
No, but seriously. I love being a fitness instructor:
- I find group fitness motivating. It keeps me active, because I know that at least once a week I have to smile while I’m working out. That takes training. In our industry, we are often reminded that when we are instructing, our focus is on the participants getting a great workout. So I try to attend multiple group fitness classes a week to get a good workout myself.