In-Depth Blog Post #8: This is the End

Good evening all.

I hope you are all doing very well, because I can honestly say that I haven’t been. School has been very stressful these past couple of weeks, and with by busy life starting to get busier, I am struggling to keep up with all of it. Cadets is starting to become a big part of me since so my positions are moving around and I am being put in more leadership roles, which kinda frightens me. School is starting to pile up as summer comes near. The adventure trip is almost two weeks away from happening, and In-depth night is less than a month away! All of it is moving quite fast. However, this is the life I’ve chose and I do these things because I want to, so I am excited to see how I do by the end of the year and see how I end up.

On a more lighter note, In-depth is coming near! I feel like just yesterday I was telling myself. “Oh in-depth is so far away, I don’t need to worry about it right now’, or “There is so much time before in-depth! The possibilities are endless!”. Well the possibilities are not endless. They are quite limited actually. I have very little time to work on In-depth, and although I have a pretty solid idea of what I will be doing, I still have time to change a few minor things. And none of this would be possible without my mentor. He has helped me so much throughout the year as he helped me grow into the fitter person I am now. I set goals for myself such as making it into the parachuting course and being able to run a mile under 6 minutes. With the help of CrossFit, I have been able to meet all my goals and beyond, still surprising myself after doing CrossFit for a couple of months. I have become stronger, faster, and an overall healthier person because of CrossFit. Not only have I seen the improvements in myself, but the other people I have done CrossFit with. CrossFit is an amazing activity that I strongly recommend to anyone who wants to be healthier both physically and mentally.

My mentor and I have had countless conversations with each other. From sports to fitness, it became really easy to talk to my mentor and have a pleasant conversation with him. However, there ha been times where interruptions has happened in our conversations.  Interruptions mostly can be seen as being rude and obnoxious, but when my mentor interrupts me, it is to correct me an to fix my mistakes so I won’t make the same mistake again. For example, I was talking about my parachuting course and I was saying somethings about what I would have to do. Luckily, my mentor has had experienced with parachuting before, so he is quite knowledgable in the subject. I told him about something I need to do when I leave the plane, and he interrupted me saying that I am doing something wrong and he showed me what I was suppose to do. This interruption was justified because is keeping my safety in mind and helped me correct myself before I made the mistake. Interruptions can be helpful and well needed in some situations.

While I talk to my mentor, there are different attitudes that I experience throughout the conversations. These attitudes often change, but there has not been a time where I have had an attitude in which I am arrogant, bored, or eager to triumph my mentor. I was always eager to learn and kept an open mind. In the beginning, I had the explorer attitude and was just super keen on learning more about CrossFit. I asked so many questions about CrossFit and kept gathering information. I was focused on expanding my knowledge about CrossFit and wanted to learn about everything. Later on in the year, I had this one conversation in which I had a learner attitude when I was still trying to get to know my mentor better. I wasn’t too focused on exploring thoughts and ideas, but wanted to learn about his personal life and what he is about. A situations changed, my attitude did as well.

Well this is the end. I can’t wait to show you all what I have accomplished in a month. This has been an awesome year and I have grown in so many ways. To end things off, here is a super amusing comic.

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That’s all folks!

In-Depth Post #6: On Our Way

Good day.

Wow, spring break has passed so quickly. I thought two weeks would have lasted longer but it seemed to pass within a blink of an eye. Which kinda upsets me. I wish I took more time to relax with the time I had before the crazy months of April-May-June start. One week has passed already, but I swear it felt like a month. My final months of TALONS are coming, and all I can do now is push through everything and hope for the best. And hopefully survive.

Anyways, my In-Depth is really coming along! After spring break, I thought it would be a good idea to rest for a few days and skip Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after going through such vigorous training for cadets. But on Thursday, I went back after a week and felt better than I ever did! I felt stronger, well rested, and ready to take on new challenges. I have started to gather some ideas for my In-Depth night learning centre as the date comes closer and closer. My best idea so far includes creating my own personal “circuit” for CrossFit that people can easily tryout and have a feel about what CrossFit really is. Of course it won’t be nearly as intense as a real CrossFit workout would be, but just a glimpse of what to expect. I feel really strong behind my idea and am excited to see how it turns out!

Referring to DeBono, CrossFit’s my concept is fitness. CrossFit’s main goal is to create ultimate athletes and the practical idea for fitness is a variety of workouts. Through these workouts, you are creating a fitter, stronger, and healthier person both physically and mentally; however, there are more specific concepts that will help you focus on more specific practical ideas. For example, if the concept was strength, your practical ideas would focus more on strength such as olympic weight lifting. If your concept was cardio, you would work on interval training to get a higher cardio rate. My mentor and I had a conversation, and he said, “today we will be doing a lot of sprints and running. Not a lot of upper body will be done.” Reading Mulder’s post earlier, I asked, “Is the concept for today’s workout higher endurance?” And he responded with a yes, and that was our goal for that day’s workout.

As for alternatives, CrossFit is all about alternatives. When you are not able to do a certain workout or the maximum weight of another, you adjust so it fits for you. For example, if you are suppose to do 30 squats, but you hurt your back earlier in the week, you would do a different workout that would try to focus on the muscles that you would work while doing squats but in a way that wouldn’t be hurtful to your back. My mentor and more experienced CrossFitters have all offered me alternatives. One time when we were suppose to do pull-ups, I couldn’t do all of them because my body wasn’t strong enough for it. So I used a band, (a rubberband but larger) to put on my knees and help me bring myself up when doing pull-ups. Alternatives like these help me reach my main goal of becoming fitter, but in a way that is more suitable for my level of fitness. As DeBono states, “The main point is that having a way of doing something does not mean it is the best way of doing it” (p. 125). And that is especially true with CrossFit as so many people are different and unique.

These next months are going to be stressful. I need to balance my life of school, CrossFit, rugby, cadets, paratrooper training, and the adventure trip. It will be hard, and I’ll probably cry once or twice, but I’m pretty excited to see what I can do. Thank you again for reading and until next time!

-Azaly Addam

In-Depth Post #5: I’m Not Cocky, I swear!

Good evening.

FINALLY IT’S SPRING BREAK! After many weeks of intense work and busy schedules, I am excited to finally rest for a couple of weeks before the hectic April-May-June months come. However, I feel that my spring break might not be a break but more of a preparation for the second week of Spring Break. On March 14th, I am leaving for Vernon for one week to do by pre-parachuting course and see if I can make it and get my basic parachuting wings! I have about a week left before the intense course happens, so the first week of the break will mostly consists of preparing myself physically and mentally. I’m excited for sure, but definitely more nervous and anxious than I was a month ago. The intensity level is high, and I am competing with 15 other cadets to make it to the top 5. Hopefully I do really well on the course.

Now onto In-Depth. About a month of In-depth has passed already, and In-Depth night is coming soon. I still have no idea what I want to do for the night yet since the possibilities are endless. My first idea is that I could make a presentation about CrossFit workouts and how I have improved over the months. Another idea I have is to create a miniature obstacle course for parents or teenagers that are coming so I can show what to expect when doing CrossFit. The possibilities are endless, and I am excited to see what I will come up with.

CrossFit continues to go smoothly for me. I am managing to balance my busy life with school and cadets, and I see myself improving every time I do a workout. My chin-ups count has almost doubled since I have started CrossFit! I use to do 8, but now I can easily accomplish 12 or 13! The workouts are still hard to do, but I see myself pushing myself to limits I haven’t seen before. I am constantly outside my comfort zone which is excellent since life isn’t all about being safe and comfortable. During CrossFit, I see myself wearing a variety of hats often. I don’t stick with one side, as I feel that you are not gaining prospective by using one “hat”. In the conversation with my mentor, I saw myself wearing mostly the white and black hat.

My conversation with my mentor:

Me: What is the ideal amount of push-ups I should be doing for my age?

Mentor: Well someone with your body and size should easily be doing 20-25 proper formed push-ups.

Me: Is there a certain type of push-up I should be focusing on?

Mentor: Different types of push-ups work on different types of muscles. It all depends on what you are trying to improve. Tricep push-ups are really good for your arms, while wider push-ups focuses on pectorals and shoulders.

Me: Since I can easily preform 30 tricep push-ups, would it be safe for me to preform hand-stand push-ups since you have seen my abilities?

Mentor: If we work on your form and take it slowly, I can see you doing hand-stand push-ups in no time.

Me: Will this help me prepare myself for my parachuting course?

Mentor: It will help you with your balance and your core.

As you can see in my conversation, I used my white hat often to ask for solid information about push-ups in the beginning and for hard facts about what I should do. Later on, I used my black hat and to think critically, by asking if I have the ability to do a certain type of workout, and how this will help me.

I hope all goes well these next two weeks, and I am excited to share how everything goes!

Chow!

In-Depth Post #4: Over doing it?

Hello all,

a few more weeks have passed, and I can genuinely say that I am tired. With the adventure trip starting up and new courses coming into play, my life has been far from easy lately. I guess it is partly because I am not use to everything yet and still am adjusting, but sometimes I ask myself a common question: am I over doing everything? To add onto my CrossFit life, I have PE in my fourth block and Rugby after school on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. To finalize everything, a lot of higher ranked cadets in my cadet core are leaving, so lower ranked cadets (including myself) are being moved to bigger positions with more responsibilities. I’m excited to take on a bigger leadership role in cadets. However, with me tiring myself out with all this fitness and the ongoing stress of homework, will I survive at the end? Or am I digging myself a hole?

Honestly though, when I try really hard, I know I can manage all these activities. I have never experienced anything so stressful in my life, but once I get through it, I can do anything. I just can’t wait to see myself in the end of everything.

Besides my sore body, CrossFit has continue to go well. I am seeing myself improve exceptionally in both my mental and physical state. I am concentrating and paying better attention in class, as well as been steadily growing stronger. I am definitely seeing the benefits of CrossFit. I’m glad that I chose it as my In-Depth project. I am constantly learning new techniques in the world of CrossFit. For example, just last week I learned how to do a power jerk, which really works out your arms and back. The main focus was technique for me, which I am still trying to master. I can’t do as many pounds as I want, but overtime I will gradually increase the amount of weights I can lift. My mentor has been very supportive of me through the past couple of weeks. Since I got my wisdom teeth removed, he has been helping me get back on my feet and into the routine I was in before.

Since my mentor is the professional, I always give my full attention and listen to Rob without any hesitation. Although he values different ideas than me, like how he thinks CrossFit should be left to the elites while I think everybody should be introduced to CrossFit to some extent, I can always see his prospective and agree from where he’s coming from. I am constantly learning new information from the world of fitness when I listen to him, and I constantly ask him questions to further my understanding. i ask questions like, “do you believe body building is healthier than CrossFit?” or “is a certain part of your body more likely to get injured when doing this type of workout?”. These are all questions that help me understand.

Evermore, he has great answers to the questions I ask. Even though I might ask a little too many questions, I hope he sees it as me trying to improve myself. I ask a variety of questions. For example, I might ask, “What is a healthy body mass for my height and age?” or “Should I feel pain in a certain muscle group after doing a certain workout?”. I ask these questions to clarify any questions I had wondering around in my head. Additionally, when I need help with a certain workout, he demonstrates it slowly and properly, and does it with me to make sure I understand. I don’t ask many multiple choice questions however, since I feel like I would get better answers from being specific and focusing on one question.

Thank you for reading! Come again!

In-Depth Post #3: A New Hobby

Good evening. I hope you are all doing well.

The past few weeks of doing CrossFit have been a little more than exhausting. But in the few weeks I have been doing it, I am really starting to enjoy it! There is something about getting up and doing an intense workout that gets the blood flowing. I love the feeling accomplishing something so early, and having the rest of the day to do more. Many find it hard to work out during the day, and I understand why that would be. There are so many task of life going on in everyone’s lives and to top it off by adding an hour workout? It’s ridiculous. That’s why waking up every morning isn’t as hard as everyone thinks. Thankfully I found my motivation.

So in the past few week, I have seen a great improvement in my fitness! Although it has only been a short period of time, I can see some difference in my body and the amount of workouts I can do. For example, I remember in the start that I could only do about 25 consecutive proper push-ups. However, my push-up count has boosted to about 35, maybe 40 push-ups! The fact that I can see small improvements like this within such a small amount of time gives me hope and excitement to what I could possibly do at the end of in-depth.

Another reason I believe I am enjoying CrossFit so much is because how supported I feel when I arrive to workout. There aren’t a lot of people in the morning group when I workout, but the people who are there are really nice. I have met a few teachers who workout before heading to school to teach for a full day. Although I am new and anxious, they are always there to help me when I don’t understand a specific workout or if I am doing something wrong. And my mentor has also been extremely helpful with me as I continue to grow. He has to work with many people, so I understand when he doesn’t always talk to me. But when he does, he is quite helpful and interesting to talk to. Although I haven’t used De Bono’s, “Now that is interesting” (p. 49), I show my mentor that I am interested by asking further questions. I ask about how he got into CrossFit, and what steps did he take to open SheepDog CrossFit. He is quite open and willing to share his story. To be interesting on my part, I share facts about myself like the goals I want to accomplish in cadets, the careers I want to pursue, or the daily school life of a high-school teenager. Although it is not on topic, I share information about myself that he might find interesting and can relate to. However, I usually focus on CrossFit when I ask what if questions. My what if questions revolve about a fitness activity. For example, I would ask what muscle would I work out if I did this instead of this? My what if questions further my knowledge on CrossFit. I always clarify with him whenever I am in doubt, for my knowledge and safety. I could injure myself at any moment, so it is important you know what you are doing. I can’t really share any past knowledge about my fitness life with him because I don’t have any adequate experience that he or I would benefit from, but I respond by asking questions to further my understanding.

A new semester is about to start, and I am ready to take on the challenge of new classes, new classmates, adventure trip planning, cadets, and CrossFit. It will be an interesting time for me, and hopefully I get through it without breaking anything.

Thanks for reading, and chow for now!

In-Depth Post #2: A Smooth Beginning

Good evening y’all. First semester is almost over already?! Where has the time gone?! It felt like just last week that I got back from my summer vacation, now I’m done half the year! It is been a stressful few weeks for me. I had an english essay due, a film project to finish up, math everyday, cadets, and I have to worry about what classes I want to take. Or even if I want to continue my time at Gleneagle. And to top it off, I started my In-Depth! I’m not going to lie: it is going to be a stressful few months to come, but I can not wait to see what I accomplish by the end of it!

So for my In-Depth, I’m doing CrossFit if you didn’t already know. With my busy schedule, I am finding it hard to concrete a time for my CrossFit training. CrossFit also needs to be done on a daily basis to be able to see results. So believing in myself, I made a decision that I yet have regretted. I will do CrossFit in the morning. So every morning, I get up at 4:50am. I quickly brush my teeth, put on some shorts, and bike about 3km to the CrossFit location where I would start my CrossFit class at 5:30am. The class ends at 6:30am, giving me enough time to go home, get ready for school, and start my day.

i-immediately-regret-this-decision

It was super hard on my first day. I was sore, tired, and unmotivated to continue with the day. And with the amount of work I am getting in school, it is hard to adjust. I go to bed as early as 9pm now, so I still receive my daily amount of sleep. I am not complaining since it was my decision, but I wish I had more time so I can adapt to the sudden change physically and mentally.

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Can’t even

But besides the getting up in the morning part, I am really enjoying CrossFit! There is this rush I get after working out that I would not get from drinking coffee or sleeping for an extra hour. The people there are really supportive and are helping me get through my first few days; however, they are still intimidating since they are all older than me and have been doing CrossFit for a few years. At first, I thought I would do fine since I consider myself to be an active fellow; although, my first CrossFit workout was brutal. The workout was something I never experienced before. over 100 push-ups, 80 sit-ups, and 120 medicine ball throws in one routine?! That is crazy. I only did half of each, and I still could barely move after the workout. I almost puked the second I stepped outside the building. Trust me, at first I was really frustrated with myself. But at the end, I was kinda excited. Excited to see what I will be able to accomplish by the end of the project, and to see what skills I can do that I thought I could never accomplish.

My coach for the morning classes is Robert Farrer. He is one of the owners of SheepDog CrossFit and usually teaches the morning classes. He is a wonderful person. He is supportive, educating, and just a cool person to talk to. I do not have as much interaction with him as I would like because it is a class and I am not his only student, but there are times where I do talk to him. This is how I incorporate the first three chapters of Edward De Bono’s “How to have a Beautiful Mind”:

How to Agree: I believe fitness is one of the most important aspect of living a healthy life, and since Robert is very educated in the field of fitness, he agrees with me. Although I recently just met him, I believe we have similar values of fitness, and see its importance of living of good life. I also agree with what he says about CrossFit, and how it leads to a healthy life. Robert is very educated in the field, and I would not question him on the topic.

How to Disagree: Since I only recently started CrossFit, there hasn’t been anything I really disagree with Robert. Like i said before, he knows far more than I do in the field I believe disagreeing with him without adequate knowledge on the topic would be rude and arrogant; however, I have put my own opinion on specific workouts and how they are to be done. Besides that, I haven’t found an opportunity to really disagree with him on the topic of CrossFit.

How to Differ: My mentor and I haven’t really gotten to know each other that well, so it is hard to discuss our differences. However, I notice that we have different values about how often we should workout. He believes that you should go hard for a few consecutive days and only resting for 2 days a week. I believe that we should take more rests in the week. But like I said, Rob is the professional in this situation.

Thank you for reading my blog, and I can not wait for you to see my improvements! Bye for now!

In-Depth Post #1: Off to an Anxious yet Exciting Start

Well hello there.

The Christmas season is over, the mall is starting to calm down, and the TALONS students have just begun their in-depth project! I’ll be honest: I am quite excited to start in-depth this year. The idea of spending time to learn skills you are passionate about is interesting to me. We have such busy schedules in our lives and might not take enough time to enjoy the hobbies and activites we like. The fact we are getting marked on it is just the motivational post we need to pursue our interests.

This year, I had a variety of ideas. I wanted to do skills such as photography, ukulele, dancing, and singing. I even had the idea of sword swallowing at one point! (I did not bother running it through Ms. Mulder. I had a gut feeling it would not go through.)

But at the end, there was one activity that circled my mind constantly. It is becoming a growing sensation and I feel it would be beneficial for me to be part of it.

This year, I decided to do…. CROSSFIT!

whatisCrossfit

 

Now you might ask, what is crossFit?

Well, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program designed to prepare you f8cab551004953db454bdaa9babcd5136or life and for sport better than any other program. CrossFit uses the best methods currently available to improve general fitness and incorporates them into a structured program. These methods include high intensity workouts that are both physically and mentally challenging. What makes it different than other workout programs is the level of intensity and endurance needed to do CrossFit. Workouts include running, gymnastics, powerlifting, olympic weightlifting, and other forms of workout activities. CrossFit is not for everyone, so you should carefully do your research before joining anything. CrossFit also focuses on every part of the body, rather than a activity focusing on one muscle group. For example, biking improving mainly on your legs or kayaking improving on your arms.

And why on earth would I do this to myself?

Personally, I believe fitness is the key to a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy soul. It has been proven that healthier people live better lives, so why not start young? Also, as an army cadet, I have opportunities to reach my full potential as an individual. Some of these opportunities include parachuting and gaining my Royal Canadian Basic Parachuting Wings which is a high achievement. However, the requirements for the course is intense. 7 pull-ups, 39 sit-ups, and run a mile under 7 minutes? It way seem easy, but with about 20 kids ranging from the age of 16 to 19? Competition is not easy. I believe CrossFit will help me achieve my goal of making it in the parachuting course and becoming an overall healthier person.

Who are you planning to have as your mentor?

Ncrossfit-fuengirola-slide01othing is solidified yet, but I was curious in this CrossFit instructor who co-owns the SheepDog CrossFit location in Port Coquitlam. His name is Sebastien Lavoie. He used to be in the Canadian Forces, so this man knows what he is doing, and would be perfect at helping me reach my goal.

How are you planning on reaching this goal again?

The main way to improve your fitness is to be consecutive. You can’t slack off and take a few days off. That is how you lose the fitness you just worked so hard for. I know it is said that you need to meet with your mentor for 1 hour a week, but I feel like I will be meeting with my mentor more often than that. I need to create a steady workout plan and stick with it to see results. I might try to quit, and I might cry a few times (or a lot of times) but I need to find my motivation. I will be doing my training at the CrossFit building in Port Coquitlam (SheepDog) and hopefully, if i find time, on my own once I gain enough skills about what I’m doing.

CrossFit seems kinda cool. What would you need to do CrossFit?

So the main need I need for accomplishing CrossFit is motivation. Without that, I would be as useless as a bag of potatoes. wall-balls-black-and-whiteMotivation is the flame that will push me to my limits and be the best that I can be. On a more technical note, the equipment I need for CrossFit include workout equipment such as medicine balls, weights and bars, pull-ups bars, jump ropes, and a variety of equipment that I still have yet discovered. Besides that, I just need my gym strip, a water bottle, and my courage.

A few questions I have for CrossFit include:

– How long does it take to develop the basic skills of CrossFit?

– Can CrossFit be done on my own if I understand the fundamentals of CrossFit?

– How long will it take until I see improvements?

– Can CrossFit be adapted to fit for every fitness level?

Well these are just a few questions I will hopefully answer by my next post. Thank you very much for stopping by and I hope you have a good day!

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