Two Wheels and Many Hills

I went for a massive bike ride on Saturday. Massive to me at least.

I biked to the lake with two friends. 15 k one way with a solid downhill. We were zipping at 35 km/hour and it was thrilling and terrifying and FREEZING. Biking uphill I was all sweats and taking off my hoodie then of course the sun disappeared for a bit and all of a sudden it was minus 2 and windy as all hell.

It was amazing.

My friend and I had been planning this spring/summer bike ride ever since the snow started falling. We’d done a ride like this when we were 19. So here we were 7 years later not feeling as spry but just as determined. Our other friend A joined us for this ride. I’ve only known A for about 7 months. She’s the fiancee of my bf’s best friend. I really like her and so we invited her for the ride. A’s an athlete and you may be surprised to learn she only has one leg. Yeah. BUt get this… we were heading uphill and that girl, with one leg on one pedal was hauling ass up the hill. The pecking order uphill always went A, me, then L. Legit.

Granted A was less willing to stop on an uphill because it was difficult to get started on a hill but she was a good 20 metres ahead of me. I was amazed and then I realized I need to stop underestimating people. Anyone and everyone. Who cares if she has one leg, she’s definitely capable.

It was a fantastic ride. We stopped at the lake and had a picnic lunch then continued on. We circled back to town on a different route and the area was gorgeous. So stunning. I LOVE spring and summer. I love the leaves emerging from trees, I love the squirrels and birds being chatty and running around. I love the sound of water running and wind at my back (preferably, no one likes a head wind when biking or running). It was exactly what I needed.

The next morning I was curious and stepped on the scale. There was movement. In the downward direction. I actually squealed a bit. I try not to let the numbers on a scale dictate my mindset but that really encouraged me. It was early on a Sunday morning and after seeing that change I donned my running gear and went out for a run. I was feeling a little discouraged about changing from a 21 to a 10 km but that run was all I needed.

Oh! Speaking of, L and I registered for our run in July!! We also booked camping spots! That’s right. We’re camping!!! Haida Gwaii, please treat us right, I’m so excited!! We’re going to take the ferry over (7 hour ride, oy!) and we’re going to take everything in that we can in the days we’re there. I’m so excited to share that experience with you guys 🙂

That’s all from me today. Have a lovely week guys and do something for yourself that makes you happy and healthy!

Getting the Ball Rolling with Work, Life, Fitness

Hey!

Work

Work has been bananas and that’s not even the work itself. My days have gone from unstructured contract work of waking up when I want, doing work when I want, and the monthly board meeting I attend. Time was my friend. Now my work hours start at 7 AM and I have a 40 minute commute each way. Thankfully I have a shuttle I take and so I don’t have to be awake for the ride to work, I just show up. But that makes for 4:30 AM alarms, 5:30 ride to park and ride, and 7 AM at my desk. The shuttle leaves work at 6:15 PM and I’m not back in town until 7 PM. It’s cray. But it pays. So I will be sticking to this for the next little while. My main thing is since I am sitting for 90% of my day I need to pack foods that energize and fuel

Fitness

I now have about 2-3 hours a between arriving home from work and heading to bed so I try to make the most of it. I’m starting a half marathon training program with RunKeeper that begins Tuesday, April 1 and ends race day, July 19. It schedules runs on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. So during the week I have runs Tuesday, Thursday, Mondays now are free, Wednesdays, so far, are dedicated to washing my hair (I don’t want to spend my precious weekend washing my hair so this was my plan to get that out of the way mid-week). Oh and I went for a 5k run yesterday as it was actually gorgeous outside. The sun was out, the temperature was up, it was feeling spring-like and lovely. I had to take advantage of it.

Hey! If you have any fav workout songs let me know in the comments. I need to amp up my running tunes.

Update: went for a run today too! couldn’t convince anyone to go with me so I went solo and it was great 🙂

Life

One of my besties has been engaged for literally 2 years now. It’s kind of a joke between the three of us. Being named her bridesmaid, and being the only bridesmaid living in the same town as her, I’ve tried my darndest to try to get a date out of her but she’s just that girl that can’t be bothered yknow? She’s starting a business in September so finally feels that push to just get married before all hell breaks loose becoming a business owner. Friday I took her out to lunch and she told me her and her fiancĂ© decided to just go away on their own and get married on the beach at sunset just the two of them. I totally support her. Her dating her fiancĂ© has brought some tension in her family and I think the two of them eloping is, honestly, great. We will be here for a reception or get together after the fact and although I would love to see my best friend of 20 years walk down the aisle looking absolutely gorgeous (as she always does) I also absolutely know this is the best way to go forward. I’m so excited for her!

Yesterday I spent the day with my bf B, and it was so cute. We ran into a couple of his friends and his boss and he introduced me as his gf and it made me think aaaaaaw every time he said it. We’ve been dating for 3 months now but I just think it’s the cutest thing ever. He’s adorable.

I’m incredibly excited for spring and summer to get here. I am so invested in making the most of the area I live in. There are going to be so many adventures this season. Hiking, swimming, walking, running. I plan to run a half-marathon on Haida Gwaii this summer, I want to ocean kayak, and hike mountains, bike far, I want to stand under a waterfall and take a breathtaking photo on the top of a mountain. I so want to do it all because it’s all right there. I’m going to make the absolute most of this summer. And it’s so nice now that I have a job, I actually know I’m going to be staying in town, I won’t have to move and can actually make plans with my friends. I’m so excited!

I had a solid tequila night last weekend. My bestie, L had some peeps over and we planned to make tequila sunrises, and they were delicious, and I had many. It was a good night. Then this weekend she had peeps over again for games night and we ended up having this spontaneously amazing marshmallow fight. We never ended up making s’mores but we all had some great marshmallow victories. It was hilarious and so much fun 🙂

Money

I get to start posting about finances now! Yay! I have to say, I spent over $100 on running gear yesterday, I got an Under Armour top and leggings but I think I will be returning them because although they are great quality and look amazing I don’t need them. I want them. And that’s unnecessary, especially at that price. I can find items for less and I should spend the time to look for something in my budget. Just because I have money doesn’t mean I need to spend it. So I will be returning those today. I have two running leggings already that both cost a pretty penny and I’m only running 4x a week so 2 wears each and laundry day. With 3 pairs one will fall to the wayside so I’m happy with this decision.

I have 3 financial goals now that I’m employed.

1) Put a dent in my student loans.
It was perfect timing that my student loans payments started up again. My minimum monthly payments are $391/month *sob*. So I plan to drop more than that amount every month and get working on my principal amount.

2) Pay off my last credit card.
I put a good chunk on my card last pay cheque so I really want to get that out of the way in the next month or two so I don’t have to worry about interest and charges and my only debt will be my student loans.

3) Get some savings together.
I want to have a good amount put away for savings. I want to be able to take a trip, save for a car, I want to have options. I know that my living amount is incredibly low seeing as I don’t have a car, I live at home so rental is minimal, I don’t really buy groceries, so I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to squirrel away as much money as I can.

Every purchase needs to have a purpose. If I don’t need it, where could the money be better spent? I’m going to return my running gear and there’s now $100 I can put on my MasterCard. Now there’s a good use of my money. I also need to start living the cash life. If I don’t have the money in my wallet, it looks like I’m not spending. Impulse buying is no friend of mine.

Hair

I work administration on a construction site so it’s mandatory to be outside with a hard hat so that means no top buns for me. I’m really trying to save myself the hassle of loose hair and so I really want to be rocking mini-twists or a mini twist-out 100% of the time. It’s easy to maintain, it looks good, I can fit a hard hat over it. It’s a win-win-win. Weekend I may let my hair free but I honestly just want my hair protected and out of the way for the week. Right now my hair is loose so I’ll be twisting it up today before bed so I’m good until Wednesday wash day.

So that is my update for you all! I plan to post about topics individually so if it’s a finance post I’ll name it as such, hair, fitness, etc. Have a great day and you’ll be hearing from me sooner than later!

My Words Are My Wings: My 250th Post!

I started this blog May 2012.

I’ve appreciated every comment, every like, every follow. At 150 followers (eeeee!!) I really enjoying putting something out there and I do my best to ensure what I’m placing on my blog has substance. My blog has evolved since my first posts and it has continued to grow and reflect my interests. I try to cover what’s important to me without being all over the map.

Natural hair was my first love and I still enjoy writing about Rocco, through trials, tribulations and success, I am still in love with my natural hair.

Fitness is also something I try and incorporate into my life and therefore my blog. I have been on both ends of the spectrum; slothful and sedentary and then insanely active. Both are easy when you’re into it. Not moving from the couch is so simple, yet getting up for a morning run can be equally as easy– once you’re into it. The hard part is the transition! Going from that couch to putting on those running shoes and hitting the road is brutal. I’m in that place now. But once you’re out there, tunes on, hair up, it’s a great feeling and your body thanks you. Biking and running, count me in.

Money stuff. Not so thrilling to chat about but it is part of every day of our lives. It influences our actions, decisions, and those decisions affect us. I want to be in control of my money and not at its mercy. That’s me.

Minimalism and simple living. I found myself diving into the world of minimalism, allowing the simple themes to influence my living. I removed a lot of stuff from my living space and felt a huge freedom in that action. I try and incorporate this simplistic ideal in other areas of my life and it has proven worthwhile.

Cooking. A little side addition, but I’ve shared some recipes that I’ve tried and liked. I plan to add more.

I also write the occasional poem and oftentimes I surprise myself.

So thank you for reading this blog. Whether you were there at the beginning or came across it recently, it’s great to know My Curly Potential has been enjoyed by others.

Ndeshimona

The Day I Crashed My Bike

I’m bruised. My neck feels stiff. My fingers are scraped up. My knees are sore. But I’m okay!

Today is the first (and gosh I hope last) day I crashed my bike (that I can remember). So I got this new tracking app (a post will be up about that shortly) and I had  to try it out while biking. I was wearing mitts and I took my right mitt off to check out how I was doing so that I knew when to turn around and head back home. I was at about 5k and figured, yep that’s good, it’s rainy and gross, time to turn around. So, with my left hand, and only my left hand, I applied the brakes.

Going downhill.

Yeah. My brakes really work. So my bike stopped. I had one foot down then realized I would probably need both feet down. Both feet down, I assumed that was good enough to slow the momentum but nope my bike kind of flew up behind me and I flew over and landed on my knees, scraped my right hand and smacked my noggin on the ground. Ow.

From my prone position on the pavement I watched my water bottle roll down the hill and into the ditch on the right. My mitt went to the left along with my bike. I gathered myself up, got my stuff and turned around to head home while my bike made a low squeaky noise. No one was around at the time. *sigh* It was a sad moment for me.

Two words: Lesson. Learned.

PS: Helmets are awesome. Use one. Always.

PPS: I need a pick-me-up. Someone bring me a poutine. Or ice cream 😩

Biking In The Cold and Rain! Feeling Has Returned To My Limbs

I didn’t get to go for a bike ride last weekend because my biking buddy E wasn’t feeling well. So, you’d better believe I was up and at ’em this morning to make up for lost time. We met at 7:30am to ride to the neighbouring town. It was a cool morning. Felt like late fall. It was barely raining, no problem.

We start off and it’s a paved trail so things are good. What was great about this trip was there were no hills to conquer. It was actually a pretty gentle ride. The trail itself could use some more signs for directions. There were about three times we stopped and second guessed our direction but we didn’t end up going to the wrong way which was good. Anyway, the pavement ended and we were on a wide gravel trail with farmland on either side of us. There were geese, swans and ducks having a party along the way. The gravel was fine but it was getting a little muddy. Not so bad for me but not so great for E who does not have fenders.

So we’re going and laughing and chatting and after an hour and a bit we laugh about our toes going numb and our fingers and how wet it is out. Then about half an hour later we’re asking ‘Are we there yet?!’ We get to this portion where there’s a gas station and a McD’s so we think, we’re pretty numb, cold, wet and could just use a hot drink. We’re about half an hour from the town but we given in and stop at McD’s to dry off and warm up with some coffee. Good chat, hot(ish) drinks and we’re back on the road. After our drinks and feeling warm we decide that we’re going to bus back with our bikes.

Gorgeous view on the bike to town. We’re biking alongside the ocean, there are colourful sailboats in the distance enjoying the solid breeze.

Finally we arrive and we lug ourselves into town and stumble into a warm cafe/coffee shop. The guy behind the counter can’t believe where we’ve biked from. Aah! Soup and sandwich later we realize when the bus is coming. It’s on Sunday schedule so it’s less frequent than during the week. You should have seen how fast we packed up and headed out haha!

On the bus and headed home. Soo nice to be warm. As soon as I got home I turned on the heat, jumped in the shower and I’m now sitting in flannel pants, PJ shirt and my flannel housecoat. Soooo niiiice. Made a smoothie too.

Anyway, I think that was our last adventure bike ride for 2012! It was a great time and I’m glad we got to do it. I have really really enjoyed biking around my town and it’ll be nice to do that bike ride again when it’s a little warmer.

Happy Sunday and happy biking! 🙂

PS: Oh yeah! On our bike ride, through farmlands, among an assortment of heavenly smells (yuck) was the BIGGEST pig I have EVER seen. I didn’t realize they grew so large. This guy may look small but he rivaled a Mini Cooper.

One massive pig.

One massive pig.

Bike Riding Awesomeness!

Just got back from an amazing ride with my friend E. We left home at about 8:40am and I got back about 12:40pm.. Solid four hours. Well, there was a Timmy’s stop but that’s just how we do. It was a great ride. We did the same route and went a bit farther. Hung out at the ocean, watched people feeding swans, ducks, geese, seagulls, pigeons. Everything with feathers and wings were out there. And it was such a beautiful day. I’m so fortunate, it’s nearly December but it was felt like early fall.

There was one hill that just about did me in. It was steeeeeep. I got about halfway but then we just walked our bikes up.

Oh! And the swans were intense. I wasn’t about to get to close. This one bunch, it was the grandparents and two kids and the one kid was hiding behind his grandma as she was feeding the swans. And there were two swans close to her on either side of her. So the poor kid was hiding and he would peek around one side and there would be a swan staring down at him (the swan was legit taller than this kid, no wonder he was scared), and he would peep around the other side to see another swan checking him out. Not cool Grams. Anyway, here’s some pics for ya.

What I’ve Been Up To

Heeeey! Checking in. I’m gonna break it down for ya:

Life

Life has consisted of being at work and being at home. Regular stuff right? Last night I was in bed by 8:30pm. I don’t really know why.. I just had this overwhelming urge to lie down. So I did. I think I fell asleep an hour later? So that was a long sleep. I remember waking up at 2am completely awake then talking myself back into sleeping. Work has been good and Saturday I’m going for a long bike ride with E. I haven’t seen Hermie since Sunday… I’ve missed biking.

Hair

Rocco’s a star. I’ve been doing a good job managing my mane. I’ve been putting it in big chunky twists or braids. Not for the purpose of having a braid/twist-out but more to keep him in his stretched state and not sleeping with him out to get smooshed against my head in the night. Tonight I am washing my hair. It’s getting close to three weeks. I just want to get rid of the build-up which I’m sure is happening. I think I’ll start with an ACV rinse and then do a no-poo and conditioner. And then I’ll put him in braids. I don’t really have the time/energy to try to flat-twist so this will do for now. Regardless, Rocco’s been in pretty great shape.

I wore a full fro to work yesterday. I had a snazzy part to the right to kind of separate the magnificent roundness of it. No comments, or side-eye so y’know, can’t go wrong with it. What’s kind of funny is I’m working away and such and we have this creative company downstairs who works with us on some projects and they come upstairs to use our kitchen. And a couple of these boys have ‘fros more impressive than mine. Really! The guy I was working with today had a pretty great blonde fro happening. Not gonna lie I was a little jealous by its magnitude but I’m sure I’ll get there soon! haha

Style

A couple of posts ago I mentioned developing my style and not being constricted to a uniform. While that’s still the case, I mean, it’s pretty great being able to wear whatever I want, I’m really happy that the office is pretty casual. Jeans are allowed *phew* and sweaters and whatever. But because it’s so freaking cold in the place, I have been all over the long sleeved shirts, the sweaters, the cardigans. Comfort and warmth is my ‘style’ right now and I am soooo okay with that. Really.

All in all I’m just doing my thing. I’ve been really good at starting my mornings with yoga. I like having that in my routine. And green tea. Loooove having a cup of green tea while I do my makeup/hair in the bathroom. I like my morning drill. Tomorrow’s a bit lame.. end of the week so I don’t really wanna stock up on crap… so I have one egg left… no lunch meat… no condiments either– OH YEAH!!!! I just realized today that both my mustard AND mayo are BOTH expired. And by expired I mean expiiiiiiiiired like August… how nasty is that?! What’s gross is that I already had the mustard spread before I realized but I still made a sandwich out of it because I could not cope with having to buy something… plus I had had it the past three days so whatever… bring on the illness… but yeah. Tomorrow I’m getting a lunch from Timmie’s on my way to work and calling it a day. Eff.

Otherwise, this week is nearly over and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve gotten good feedback from work so I’m happy about that. Happy Thursday to you all and happy thanksgiving to my American readers.

ta!