A cartoon of a girl using a foam roller, with the words "This is how I roll" printed above.

Bittersweet January: getting back into courses and back into sport

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!

Annette is shown suspended from aerial silks.
7 more days!

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.

Text reading "Keep calm and kickbox".

Feature: Cardio kickbox at Goldring

I’ve never really participated in a group fitness class that wasn’t a quiet, restorative yoga session. As such, I had no idea what to expect from the “Cardio Kickbox” drop-in fitness class offered at the Goldring Centre. I came into the class without expectations, exhausted after a long day on campus, and somehow I walked out energized and uplifted.

Woman seen frolicking through a field of flowers with a text overlay which reads "This is me after signing up for kickboxing!"
Source: memeshappen.com
A doodle demonstrates alternate nostril breathing in a series of images.

A mindful moment: yoga and meditation at U of T

Let me start this off by saying I am not a yogi, nor am I a master of the subconscious – or any other level of consciousness for that matter. U of T’s new yoga and meditation programming is inclusive and inviting, and all you need in order to participate is your presence.

Yoga and meditation are available across campus five days a week at a variety of times to suit our crazy schedules. It’s drop-in programming so you can go as often or as seldom as you like. If it’s Wednesday, 5:15 p.m. and you’re thinking you’re done for the day, you can pop over to the Goldring Centre and join the “Yoga and Meditation” session which runs from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It’s flexible – in more than just the obvious sense.

That’s the session I had the pleasure of attending this week. It was held in the dance studio/multi-purpose room on the top tier of the Goldring Centre’s strength and conditioning centre. I’d never been in that space before and oh how I wanted to dance! It’s so bright and open, with a wall of mirrors that I could think of many ways to exploit.

The doors to the Goldring fitness studio.
This is the site of all group fitness at the Goldring Centre, for future reference!

Take an active break! : A small gym exercise routine

October is a terrifying time of year – and that has nothing to do with Halloween. I have never before been so overwhelmed with things that need doing/studying/writing. But we’ll get through this… right?

I’m kidding of course, we always do and we will again – that thought has always been helpful to me when I’m swamped and feeling hopeless.

When there’s so much to be done, it can be hard to squeeze in some physical activity. As many of us live in residences and apartment buildings with small exercise rooms, I thought I’d put together a simple small gym study break as a perfect addition to my self-care routine!

Try 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions of each of the following exercises for a fast, full body workout between textbooks!

Annette is shown in 3 stages of a pushup.

Skating Level I at Varsity Centre

Last week, I started my skating class at Varsity Centre. I LOVED it.

In addition to registering for the class, I registered to rent skate – which I’ll have access to every week for the hour I spend in class. I haven’t put on a pair of my own skates in a long time, so I imagined any pair I could dig up at home would be four sizes too small. I really appreciate the option to rent because not only is it inexpensive ($20 for the duration of the class) but it also means I’m not lugging skates to and from campus on top of my course materials.

When I got to Varsity Centre, I swiped my TCard and made my way to the arena (a familiar route, having attended a couple of MoveU skating events there already).

This is the entrance to Varsity Centre where you swipe your T-Card.

It wasn’t long before I ran into my coach, whom I identified right away (she was wearing a big headband with the word “SKATE” across the front so… lucky guess). Shannon later explained that what she was wearing was a concussion headband with significant padding to protect her head. “Cool!” I thought.

Getting in the door: Overcoming barriers to participation in physical activity

I’ve realized I’ve done you all a great disservice by not expanding the perspective from which I write. I’ve recently come to appreciate just how easy it may be for me to engage in physical activity on campus compared to some of my peers. So this year, I vow to do my best to step out of my shoes and into some of yours.

To start, I asked what prevents students from participating. With help from my peers and the people of Reddit, I’ve become aware of a few big hurdles…

Nobody likes to be the new kid. Being new at the gym can be incredibly unnerving. I can totally understand that. Gym culture these days is hard to avoid and it seems to be growing increasingly garish.

White and grey text on a black background reads "Set some goals, then demolish them."
The community can be a little intense sometimes.
Source: goodmorningquote.com

Well, That Was a Lot Harder Than it Looked: Circus Silks @ U of T

I walked into my first circus silks class at the Athletic Centre last Friday pretty confident (largely due to the fact that I found my way from the AC change rooms to the Lower Gym in the Benson building on the first try).

Essentially the layout of the Athletic Centre and, of course, University College. Good luck. Background Source: watchervault.com
Essentially the layout of the Athletic Centre and, of course, University College. Good luck.
Background Source: watchervault.com

I wasn’t arrogant — I know I know nothing about aerial silks, but the instructor asked if I had done anything similar or notable and I mentioned that I’ve been coaching gymnastics for over five and a half years and used to do aerial yoga.

This is aerial yoga. 10/10 would recommend. Even if just for the awesome Instagram photos you’ll get out of it. Source: yearningforyoga.wordpress.com
This is aerial yoga. 10/10 would recommend. Even if just for the awesome Instagram photos you’ll get out of it.
Source: yearningforyoga.wordpress.com