I’m a pretty active person and I’m not saying it in a braggy way. It’s more of an I-need-to-be-active-or-I-will become-an-eating-potato-chips-while-on-the-couch World Champion.
By the way, that should totally be an event.
The great thing about being active is that you’re getting out and doing things. Movement is good, especially in this day and age when sitting is killing us. The bad thing about being active is that often you will find yourself feeling sore. When I first started boot camp last year I went about three months where I was sore every single day—different muscle groups—but sore nonetheless.
So I’ve become sort of an expert when it comes to alleviating the pain because the thing about being a mother is that you can’t just lie around in bed until the masseuse you ordered shows up. Mothers live in this place called 'reality.' This is why there are certain things I always keep on hand in my house:
Here are four things I do on a weekly basis that cause pain in my life. For ease of use I’ve created a pain rating scale:
99% of the time I LOVE delivering papers with my son. It’s a time for us to chat and joke around while getting in a bit of exercise. While delivering papers doesn’t cause me physical pain, sometimes my son just doesn’t feel like delivering them because he’d rather play. And you know what? I get that COMPLETELY because I bet all of us have times when we don’t feel like working but there are things like bills and mortgages, having to feed kids three times a day and laundry, so suck it up, buttercup. Only when I try to explain this to him when he's already in a bad mood because he wants to play but is forced to deliver papers due to having the meanest mom in the whole world it exacerbates the situation and I end up looking like this:
Like I said, 99% of the time I love delivering papers with him but that 1% leaves me with a headache. For the record, activities that also give me a headache include, but are not limited to: running and not drinking enough water, helping with homework, asking my kids to brush their teeth for the 92nd time.
Newspaper Delivery Pain Rating Scale: Meh, It's Tolerable Pain
How I Treat The Pain:
While getting out of bed in the morning shouldn’t be painful, I currently have plantar fasciitis, which is fancy doctor-talk for “heel pain.” I’m pretty sure I got it from running combined with never stretching so I want you to pay attention very closely at what I’m going to say next. Are you ready?
Stretching = Good.
Not Stretching = Bad
Plantar Fasciitis is typically at its worst first thing in the morning which means when I get out of bed and walk to the washroom I look like this:
Plantar Fasciitis Pain Rating Scale: Moderate Pain
How I Treat The Pain:
Speed skating is very lower body intensive. You’re supposed to skate around the rink at fast speeds in a squatting position. I have yet to master either of these essential techniques and yet my legs and butt still feel like a train wreck the day after speed skating.
Speed Skating Pain Rating Scale: Moderate to Stepped On A Piece Of Lego Pain
How I Treat The Pain:
Two words: Foam Roller. If you are a runner/biker/skater/skier/tennis player/or just active in any sort of way, invest in a foam roller. You will develop a love/hate relationship with your foam roller but I guarantee you're going to become addicted to rolling your muscles in a “hurts so good” way.
I do a bootcamp class three times a week. It is a combination of weights, sprints, burpees, and everything in between. It is what I like to call a vomit-worthy workout. In one particular class last year we did approximately 100 burpees and for the next three days I couldn’t bend my legs which made it very hard to do things like sit, walk, or pee.
Bootcamp Pain Rating Scale: Stepped On A Piece Of Lego Pain
How I Treat The Pain
Lastly, I’m going to leave you with these three pain-management tips:
I have friends who are athletes. They participate in marathons, half-marathons, triathlons, and duathlons. While training and on the actual race day, they carry gel packs or some other form of nutrition to give them energy because when you’re exerting your body for two to four hours without stopping, you need the calories to keep you going. Fueling your body is an important part of endurance sports.
RELATED: How NOT To Raise An Olympic Athlete
However, when you’re a seven year old kid playing soccer, or baseball, or hockey….or whatever other recreational sport your kid is in, he doesn’t necessarily ‘need’ a snack after every practice or game.
I don’t know who started the whole “one parent brings a snack for the whole team each week” thing but I do know we need to stop this snack insanity.
Newsflash: My kids can actually go an hour without eating.
Also? I don’t consider Rice Krispie squares, chocolate covered granola bars, cookies, or goldfish crackers to be a snack. They’re a treat. And if I feel my kids need to be re-hydrated, they drink water. Not juice, not a sports drink, and definitely not Freezies. Water.
I’m fine with you feeding your kids juice and treats, I’m not here to judge. And I completely understand succumbing to the pressure of bringing a “fun” snack when it’s your week. Nobody wants to be the Orange Slice Mom when last week little Tommy’s mom brought brownies. My younger son once begged me to not bring orange slices to his baseball game.
I brought watermelon instead.
And you know what happened when I opened the cooler to hand out the slices? One boy asked, “Where are the Freezies.”
We’re enrolling our kids in sports to be active and healthy yet we give them cookies, freezies, and juice after an hour of playing on a field. Conflicted messages much?
Honestly, our kids don’t need a snack every time they have a practice or game. And if they do? Well, here’s a cool concept...
How about each parent is responsible for bringing a snack for their own kid?
How do you feel about team snacks after a game or practice?
On an early Saturday morning this past August I found myself at the Brampton Farmer’s Market watching a bicycle being put together.
My kids have always had bikes and cycling is something we enjoy doing together as a family. We are extremely lucky because my father-in-law is a handy man. He visits garage sales, buys old bikes, fixes them up, and gives them to my boys.
Not all kids are that lucky, which is why we were at the Farmer’s Market. I sometimes like to show my kids how privileged they are and this was the perfect opportunity. Frank and his son Carm who own Scarfo & Son, a CAA Battery Assist Contractor in Brampton, were assembling three bikes to be given to children from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel. Kids who never would have a bike otherwise.
So why was CAA doing this? Well...CAA is obviously known for roadside and trip assistance. They actually saved my ass twice last summer when tires blew out on our van on two separate occasions. Once on the 400 HWY where I was convinced I was going to die because there was no shoulder and semis were whipping past us at 100km/hour. Thankfully, the CAA driver showed up within 20 minutes and got us out of there safe and sound.
But did you know CAA also has a bike assist program? We’ve been CAA Members for ten years and I had no idea.
I own two bikes:
Aside from my house and my wedding rings, Serenity is the nicest thing I’ve ever owned in my life. Nobody in my house is allowed to touch Serenity without my express permission.
And yes, I realize it’s weird that I talk about my bike like she’s real. But it’s also real that there is a slight possibility I would give up my job before I ever gave up Serenity.
Since Serenity cost a pretty penny, I like to keep her in good condition. I even learned how to change her tires. But I learned how to change the tire a year ago so I’m a bit of a Nervous Nelly when it comes to long distance rides because I’m worried that if I actually get a flat, I’m screwed.
Enter in the handy-dandy CAA Ontario Bike Assist App. This app will not only help cyclists find new routes, you can share routes with friends, it has video tutorials (like how to change a flat tire) and allows you to send an emergency message to a contact if you fail to check in at a certain point.
Here’s where it gets really good-->If you’re a CAA member and your bike breaks down and can’t be fixed, CAA will come pick you up and transport you where you need to go.
Ten years and one year of cycling under my belt and I had no idea. But now I do. And if you become friends with me on the app we can share routes.