Baby it’s…warm…outside: giving your body some love this winter

What a spectacular time to be alive! I had the pleasure of giving my beautiful friend a beginner ski lesson the other day at Lakeridge Ski Resort and was ecstatic to be able to hit the slopes in jeans and only a couple of thin layers. I can’t be the only one loving this warm streak, not to mention all the sun. We had a blast and I was reminded of how much a girl can enjoy winter.

Annette and friend on the chairlift at Lakeridge Ski Resort.

So, since I can’t imagine we’ve seen the last of winter just yet, I thought I’d highlight some of the many things to do on campus as well as in and around Toronto to keep your body moving and enjoy this so-far-mild winter!

U of T’s first Afro-Caribbean dance workshop: 10/10 would go again and again

This past Monday, Move U and U of T’s Black Students’ Association hosted the university’s first Afro-Caribbean dance workshop. It was one of many highlights of my four years at U of T. Seriously.

A moving image generated from a clip from the workshop which shows everyone dancing hand in hand.

 

The hour-and-a-half long workshop was a total blast! It was led by Arsenio Andrade, who was born and trained in Cuba and has performed internationally, and accompanied by the wonderful drumming talent of Richard “Popcorn” Cumberbatch who has been playing Caribbean indigenous drums since the age of 11. There was a great turnout and every single person seemed to be having the time of their lives – I know I was.

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).

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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.

“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.”

Feature: UC Yoga Club & Upcoming MoveU Events

For this week’s post I interviewed David London, the founder of the University College (UC) Yoga Club. David is a 3rd year undergraduate student studying computer science. He says he founded the club because he had a lot of friends who were interested in doing yoga but couldn’t afford to take a class. Knowing it was something David practised, it was his friends who brought up the idea of starting a club. David says he loved the idea because he wanted to teach but couldn’t do it full time.