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!

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.

Annette is shown in three poses on aerial silks.

Taking stock of the semester: what is there to celebrate?

If you’re as prone to self-deprecation as I am, the end of the term may inspire some troublesome realizations and painfully remind you of all the goals you set in September. As the year winds down but exams wind way, way up, it’s hard not to take stock of the past few months – if only to procrastinate.

It’s really easy to identify the goals we didn’t realize and the plans we didn’t follow through with, and the associated negativity is not something any of us needs right now. So, I’m looking back and while I can’t ignore my “areas for improvement” I am sandwiching my criticisms of myself with silent celebrations of all the things I did well and accomplished.

Annette is shown in three poses on aerial silks.
As well as some flashy, Instagram’ed celebrations.

Keep calm and skate on: an update

As much as I enjoy putting a mouth guard in and my fists up, I’m a princess at heart. A clumsy princess, but a princess nonetheless.

Annette is shown participating in Jiu Jitsu with a crown drawn over the photo.
That’s supposed to be a crown…

Only two sessions remain in my Skating Level I class at Varsity Centre. I’d say I’m going to miss it, but I already know I won’t be able to resist picking up where I left off in the new year. I registered in the class in September because my skating could only ever take me in one general direction and my favourite – and only – way to stop on skates was body-checking the boards. I’m happy to announce I’ve not only developed my skating skills and feel much more comfortable in my skates, but I’ve also gained a new appreciation for figure skating and have enjoyed my chance to be an awkward ice princess.

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.

Hello September: Play Day and early goal setting

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.

Annette is seen hanging upside down from a set of aerial silks.
(I spend a lot of time upside down…)

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.

Drop-In Skating and Exam Prep (Already?!)

I’ve been feeling a little-more-than-a-little subpar recently. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or a change in routine due to injury or just everyday stressors, but I don’t like to hang out in ruts like that. Last Friday served as a nice little pick me up, thankfully. I finally made it out to drop-in skating at the Varsity Centre!

I regret that I didn’t take pictures, I was consumed by how good it felt to be using my legs after making my arms so terribly sore at aerial silks. I’ve been less active recently and I think that might be contributing to my lousy mood. Skating with a good friend helped! I went on Friday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon and it served as a nice study break. Skate rentals are available for only $3.39 (debit/credit only) and entry is free with your T-Card of course! It wasn’t very populated, which I really appreciated. I definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you’re looking for some space to make some mistakes (I sure am!).

Source: www.macedoecunha.com.br
Source: www.macedoecunha.com.br

Meet the Crew!

Hey y’all!

Inspired by Annette’s post about the MoveU Crew, I’d like to share some of the fabulous features of the HealthyU Crew that I’ve been fortunate to be a part of in a communications role. I love being able to share our successes and achievements around campus— especially because an awesome team of students and volunteers are responsible for planning and executing the campaigns and events! Perhaps you’ve seen them at Clubs Day, Street Festival, in libraries and common spaces, and at walkabouts around campus… Here’s a snapshot of each of the four themed-teams that make up the Crew!

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The HealthyU Crew is a combination of four healthful initiatives: HappyU, FuelU, MoveU, and SafeU

Sports and Recreation at UofT: A Second Look

Like most U of T students, I’m proud to be one. People like to call us pretentious and I like to argue there’s a big difference between being pretentious and being justifiably proud. We boast top 20 spots on lists of the world’s best universities and I’m “sorry I’m not sorry” that gives me the warm fuzzies.

While we excel as an institution overall, according to UniversityHub.ca (contributor to the Huffington Post), our sports and recreation programs are less well known.

Clearly something’s wrong here. We have a wealth of sport and recreational facilities, services, activities — there’s a lot going on here! We have FOUR athletic centres (if you count Varsity Centre), FOURTY-FOUR men’s and women’s varsity teams, the ONLY Olympic-sized pool in the city, a wide variety of registered and free classes, drop-in recreation, a FANTASTIC, SUPER-AFFORDABLE sports clinic open to students, more playing fields than I’m aware of and SO, SO MUCH MORE.