Training Tuesdays: stairs, stairs, stairs

I fondly remember when I was super crazy fit and genuinely enjoyed running stairs weekly. Yes, I looked forward to my stair running days. It was never easy, per se, but I had built up my fitness to a point where running stairs wasn’t the most excruciatingly awful activity I could imagine. I have no idea who that person was and I am a far cry from her now. However, I am committed to getting back to the occasional stair workout because stair workouts are crazy legit and a great way to build fitness. Also, I live practically next door to a giant (and I mean giant) staircase and it seems like something I should probably take advantage of.

That’s my long-winded way of saying, welcome to my inspiration for this  week’s post on tips for getting stair fit!

Why stairs? 
Okay, let’s just come right out and say it: stairs suck. There. Does that feel better? I hear you. Walking or running stairs does suck. But here’s the thing: it’s also really, really good for your fitness. You’re combining tons of muscle groups with almost instant heart-rate elevation (particularly if you’re just starting out).  I’ve done a fair bit of reading about stair climbing (mostly because I couldn’t figure out why they never seemed to get any easier), and it turns out that stairs are so damn good for you because you are fighting gravity with vertical movement, requiring your muscles to work harder. As a result, you not only increase cardiovascular fitness, but you also build muscle. Even running doesn’t have the same benefits (though it obviously does have many other benefits). So there you have it, stairs are awesome for your health…even though, yes, you’ll probably hate them.

A really important note here, when I say stairs, I mean legit staircases, not stair machines. I have no research to back this up, and am relying only on my own experience, but I have never used a step climber or stair machine that felt anywhere near as difficult as actual stairs. Maybe I haven’t been using the machines correctly, but the motion just doesn’t feel the same. I never feel like you have to propel yourself in the same way as on real stairs. It’s a total bias on my part, but I’m owning it.

How to Build Up your Stair Climbing Superpowers

1. Take it one step at a time (pun intended): This gets the prize for most obvious of tips but I don’t even care: start small and start based on your current fitness level. If you’re super fit already, you’re going to be able to start with running stairs. If you’re starting from square one, you’re going to want to walk before you run. If you’re somewhere in the middle, start with mixed intervals. Regardless, don’t be like me and decide to pick up stair running after a two-year hiatus with a set of 300 stairs. You’ll die. Find a staircase length that fits your fitness and goals and work with that. Build up from there.

2. Mix it up:  Stairs offer opportunities for workout versatility. You can just walk or run, but you can also take two steps at a time. You can do two-legged jumps up a flight or two in between running flights. You can mix in some side steps, and even work in a side lunge motion. I can’t say the sky’s the limit, but I can say there are a lot of variations so that you’re not just mindlessly running up and down a set of stairs. Sometimes that simply gets boring.

3. Work on strength on the side: Sure stairs help your strength, but building strength will also make stairs easier. Squats, lunges, calf raises, wall sits, and virtually any other leg and glute exercises will help build up the muscles that will make stair climbing easier. Note, I did not say they will make stairs easy, just easier. It’s all relative.

Other Tips & Watch-Outs

1. Be prepared for sore muscles from going down stairs: There is something about running down a set of stairs that will really engage some lesser-used muscles. When I first run stairs after a long hiatus, I find myself in some serious pain…but only when I go down another set of stairs. It may not happen to you, but if it does, you’re not alone.

2. Watch your step (literally): The last thing you want to do is fall flat on your face when going up or down stairs. Be careful. Walk before you run. We all have varying levels of balance, equilibrium and grace. If, like me, you are on the lower end of these spectrums, take time to get used to the motion of stair climbing before launching into full-on sprints.

3. Always have water: Long sets of stairs are going to leave you tired and parched, no matter what. I spent years thinking I didn’t need water during workouts. I was wrong. Take a bottle, park it at the top or bottom of the set of stairs you’re using and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

4. Outdoors is always, always better: On my lazier days, I used to run the stair wells in my condo building. All 14 floors of them. It was dark and overly warm and completely uninspiring (not to mention I always had an underlying fear that I would trip and fall and be found dead, crumpled at the bottom of steep concrete stairs, days after my fall). Outside, you can at least distract yourself with people watching, fresh air, birds, traffic, and a million other things that will briefly take your mind off the fact that you’re running stairs. Trust me, finding an outdoor staircase is worth it.

So now that I’ve got you all fired up, get out there and get your stair climbing on!

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Training Tuesdays: 2 Year Injury-versary

My oh my, how the time flies.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two years since the day I went for what I thought would be an innocuous 10 km run that ended up turning my workout world upside down.

A mere 6 months after my injury, I wrote an anniversary post lamenting the change to my lifestyle and identity. Little did I know that another 1.5 years would follow, another 1.5 years in which I would continue to experience improvements followed by setbacks, over and over again; another 1.5 years in which I would struggle to work back to even the shortest of runs; another 1.5 years in which I would have to reimagine what an active lifestyle would look like for me.

Then after a full year, I wrote another anniversary post, as if I wasn’t still in the throes of injury recovery. Ah, naivety. Now, a full two years later, I feel so much wiser (about my injury and my fitness, not in general). Though there have been a lot of ups and downs, I’ve learned so much about what it takes to maintain my fitness without further injury. It hasn’t been easy and I still have a ton to learn, but the sum total of my acquired knowledge after 2 years of injury comes down to this:

1. Injuries really can last a long time, and it doesn’t mean you’re weak or lazy: Let’s be honest, sometimes I still struggle with this one, but the reality is that I’ve been working hard to build strength and despite this my injury is not 100% gone.  Some injuries are just more persistent and challenging to address than others.

2. Taking it slow is always the best approach: For the longest time, I was using past injuries as a benchmark for this injury. All my other injuries had healed relatively quickly. Not so this time. I had to take a ride on the patience train and recognize I was in recovery mode for the long haul.

3. Getting to know your own body’s aches, pains and responses is critical: I thought I knew all the early warning signs, but I didn’t. Two years in, I can see most of my injury regressions a mile away. I can tell the difference between pain I can work through and pain that tells me to stop. Noticing that difference has kept me from major setbacks (knock on wood) for most of this last year.

So happy anniversary, you broken old SI. You’ve taught me a lot about myself in these two years, and I’m coming to terms with you more and more every day. Salut!

Monday Musings: always turn the light on

Easter 2018 won’t go down in history as my first in Vernon or even as the year that, as a 38 year old no less, I insisted that my partner plan an Easter hunt for me because my parents (who usually stage me a hunt) declined our invitation to join us.  It won’t even be known as the year that my partner knocked the Easter hunt out of the park by leaving a trail of chocolate eggs from our bedroom door, all the way down the hallway, and down the stairs into our living room. It should be, but it is not.

Instead, Easter 2018 will go down in history as the year I broke my toe. Because I was too lazy to flip on a light switch.

I will  spare you a picture because no one needs to see pictures of feet on the internet and also, if I’m being honest, it’s not even the horribly bruised and impossibly crooked kind of broken toe. It’s just slightly swollen and with the faintest of purple hues developing around its tip. In other words, it’s not even an impressive broken toe.

Although, as my partner pointed out, it is sort of impressive that I managed to break the toe next to my pinky toe without at all harming the actual pinky toe. It’s somewhat implausible, and yet there it is. But that’s a bit of an aside, my point was that it’s really an unimpressive break. I can still walk* pretty much normally.  I don’t have to suffer the humiliation of some sort of weird air cast. I don’t even have to hide my foot in shame. Totally unimpressive.

Still, it is my broken toe and I’m presenting it to you as a cautionary tale. Next time you ask yourself “should I turn on the light before walking down the staircase?”, do not respond to yourself with a slightly offended “um, NO, I can walk down the stairs in the dark without hurting myself, thankyouverymuch.” You cannot. I cannot. I have the broken toe to prove it. Turn on the light. Just do it. If you turn on the light, you will not ram your foot into the corner of the staircase wall with roughly the same force as a professional football player winding up to kick a field goal.

So turn on the damn light. Save your toes. It is almost flip flop season, after all.

 

*I cannot, however, run, which, to once again be honest, I’m not at all upset about. 

TWIR #102: oh running, you cruel beast

I think last week’s work and workout and moving activities caught up with me this week. Last week, my energy felt fantastic. This week, my body was just tired. Every workout felt like a monumental effort, especially the day I decided to try a run. Good lord, these legs did not want to run, particularly uphill. I had to remind myself that this is what running is like. You can have a week (i.e. last week) that feels solid, when you feel like you actually might be getting your running mojo back, and it can immediately be followed by a week when you wonder if you’ve ever run before.  Such is a runner’s life.  Enough preamble, let’s take a look at what I got up to.

Saturday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations:  Hurrah! The last of our furniture and belongings arrived on Saturday. The morning was a flurry of directing movers, putting our bed together, and unpacking our beloved moose artwork. Somehow, we still managed a trip to the gym, including lots of dead lifts and leg work.  All in all, I was pretty damn impressed with myself.

Sunday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: two words: furniture shopping
Observations: Is there anything more frustrating than furniture shopping with your significant other? My sense of urgency is not my better half’s sense of urgency. He wants to make smart choices and I just want to get our house done. It is a recipe for (mostly my own) frustration. Also, two weeks of eating whatever the hell I wanted caught up with me. By mid-day, when we rolled into my favourite Kelowna gelato shop, I couldn’t even fathom eating the tiniest size. Me. Unable to eat gelato (!!!). This was the moment I realized I need to go back off sugar during weekdays. So long, nightly bowl of mini eggs. Sigh.

Monday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: My free trial at the local gym ran out so I had to suck it up and drop $11 for a drop-in fee because I hadn’t yet decided firmly on a gym (more to come on choosing a new gym next week). All this is really an aside. The long and the short of it is, I had a decent workout, balancing out Saturday’s leg work with some much-needed upper body and ab work. After Sunday’s indulgences and subsequent feeling like total garbage, exercise felt like a dream.

Tuesday
Activity: run
Relevant Stats: 5 km (but not all of it was running)
Observations: Maybe it was starting my run at the dreaded giant staircase. Maybe it was just exhaustion catching up with me. Maybe it was sugar withdrawal lethargy. Or maybe, just maybe, trying to go from running once a week to running major hills was a really bad choice. No matter what, this run killed me. I took more walking breaks than I’ve ever taken in my entire life and both my legs and lungs felt like they had nothing to give. Epic run fail.

Wednesday
Activity: mini strength training + walk
Relevant Stats: 30 min. strength + 30 min. walk
Observations: This was definitely one of those days where I wanted to do absolutely nothing. I kept plugging away at work and before I knew it, it was 3 o’clock and no workout had happened. Going to the gym at that point seemed overwhelming. Please know that I understand it was not actually overwhelming. But that is how it felt to me in the moment. And so, I opted to set up an at-home workout in our delightfully cold garage followed by a nice hilly walk for good measure. I admit I felt better afterwards, even though it wasn’t the world’s most challenging workout.

Thursday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: After Wednesday’s weak-ass workout, I was determined to actually go to the gym. Not only did I hit the gym, but I committed to a 6 month membership. Big steps! I was hoping to do some back squats and dead lifts but all sorts of meatheads (sorry guys, total negative stereotype there) were standing around their heavily-loaded bars chit-chatting with each other instead of doing their workouts and getting the f&#k out of my way. As you can see, this type of gym behavior gets me all riled up. The gym is not your place to be social. Despite this unfortunate turn of events, I did a solid leg and glute workout and left a sweaty mess.

Friday
Activity: strength training (upper and lower body)
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations:  I got my dead lifts and back squats in today. Apparently I picked the right time of day for the gym. There was no idle chit chatting at all. Noted! Today’s workout was also one of those great mood changers. I was in an absolutely foul mood before my workout but it turns out that dead lifts are an excellent way to work out your crankiness (and give yourself nice, sore glutes for the weekend…who doesn’t want that?).

With that, a long and tiring week has come to a close. I’m excited for a weekend that will include continuing to set up our home, making decisions on furniture, cider and/or wine shopping, and A SCHNITZEL NIGHT at one of the local golf courses (!!!!). Jealous? You should be. Happy weekend y’all!

TWIR #101: moving as a workout

Well, I can’t say that this was my best week of workouts, unless you count all those 12 hour days of packing, unpacking, moving shit around and carrying stuff all over the place. ‘Cause if you count that I’m doing just fine this week. I can also tell you that I feel exhausted, if that counts as a measure. Enough preamble, let’s get to this.

Saturday
Activity: semi-planned rest day
Relevant Stats: move-in day!!!!!
Observations: I had some extremely high hopes (read: unrealistic) of fitting in a morning mini hike in the hills behind our friend’s place. But then I was so exhausted after the drive up the night before, and we had to get up so early to get organized for the arrival of the movers, and it was like -4 in the morning and it just wasn’t happening. Instead, we ate giant scones while awaiting the movers and I spent the rest of the day frantically trying to organize the kitchen because I cannot stand a disastrously disorganized kitchen. 

Sunday
Activity: unplanned rest day
Relevant Stats: so. much. unpacking. and. errands.
Observations: Once again, I had hopes of finding a gym to check out, but it was very apparent by mid-morning that it wasn’t happening. We had so much to do around the house, and so many errands to run to pick up stuff for the house. Also, I woke up almost unable to turn my head at all, so I figured that maybe a workout wouldn’t go particularly well. I was still on my feet all day and most of the evening and I consider that damn well good enough.

Monday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: Determined not to let four days go by without a workout, I got myself organized for a solid at-home workout in my brand new basement. It is such a luxury to have the space for this that it made me desperately wish I had more equipment to use. Despite a meagre assortment of equipment and a very stiff neck, I worked up a good sweat. On top of that we continued to run errands and do house stuff, and even spent three hours assembling a new credenza without a major tiff. That’s a winning day.

Tuesday
Activity: run!!!
Relevant Stats: 5 (painful) km
Observations: When I say it was painful, I don’t mean because of my injury or even my random neck pain. It was painful because I haven’t run in a while and because Vernon is a whopping 300ish metres higher in elevation. You can tell me that doesn’t make a difference, and I will tell you that you can suck it. I have always found that even a couple hundred metres of elevation makes a difference to running, particularly when one is not in good running shape. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Wednesday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations:  At long last, we visited a local gym to check out the scene and to take advantage of a free trial. If you haven’t noticed, I’m super fussy about my gyms after being spoiled with a well appointed downtown Steve Nash Fitness World location for years. Well, this gym wasn’t quite up to those standards (lacking in kettle bells and prowlers) but it was okay and it was nice to lift some decent weights and do some solid back squats. Also, she gave us five days for free instead of three so that’s a win. Evidently these local gyms are super stingy with their trial periods. Three days? Come on!

Thursday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 30 min.
Observations:  This was a short workout because we’d also gone to check out some potential personal trainers and I’d been gone from work for way too long. I’m not super optimistic about the trainers at this studio but I also have to accept that no one is going to be just like my old trainer. Sigh. As for my workout, I forced myself to make the half hour worth it with all my “favourites”, including box jumps and all sorts of kettle bell torture.

Friday
Activity: stairs
Relevant Stats: 35 min. + 5 min. abs
Observations: I haven’t felt so close to dying nor so close to puking as I felt today while attempting to run stairs. I used to run stairs weekly, the same year that I was also a hiking superstar with legs of steel and the cardiovascular fitness of a legit athlete. That was well over a year ago, and it’s safe to say these stairs almost killed me and I have no idea how I used to run stairs like it was nothing at all. I know it says I ‘ran’ stairs for 35 minutes, but I will point out that a) I was AT the stairs for 35 minutes, but there were many, many breaks at the top to give my lungs a chance to stop burning and b) “running” is an overstatement, particularly after a few rounds.  The moral of the story: I have a lot of work to do to get back to stair running shape.

And that’s the week. I am ready for a full on weekend, complete with a legit break from work and minimal moving-related activities, which will be challenging since the movers are bringing the rest of our stuff tomorrow (don’t ask). The phrase that best describes how I feel at the moments is ‘stick a fork in me, I’m done’…or perhaps, ‘get a cider in me, it’s Friday.’ Yeah, actually, the latter sounds like a much better descriptor. I’m off to get me that cider. Happy weekend y’all.

my nemesis

TWIR #100: whaaaat?!?! 100?!?!

Well, good grief, how did I get to 100 weeks of writing these little updates? It feels like only yesterday that I published my first TWIR. Actually, that’s a lie. It feels like years ago, because it was. Still, let’s say a little happy birthday to the TWIR today, because 100 weeks of anything is pretty damn impressive.

Saturday
Activity: strength training (all prowler all the time)
Relevant stats:  45 min.
Observations: Can we all just acknowledge the amazing fact that I drove to the gym on a weekend??? And then, once I got there, I forced myself to do all the prowler pushes that I hate, including chest presses and the weird prowler squat to plank things (I have no idea how to explain them). It was hard and my legs hurt and that is all I can ask for from a weekend workout. We also had our going away party at which fate intervened and made it such that we got the only order of our beloved deep fried pickles before the restaurant ran out even though everyone else at our table also ordered them. I shall miss those deep fried pickles. Also, Tap n Barrel needs to up their deep fried pickle game. I mean, what kind of pub runs out of pickles on a Saturday night?!?

Sunday
Activity: strength training (focus on lower body)
Relevant stats: 45 min.
Observations:  OMG, I made it to the gym TWICE on a weekend! I was as shocked as you probably are. I went to town on my glutes with bridges and single leg dead lifts and squat cleans and all sorts of other fun things that made me feel somewhat justified when I ate not one but two of my beloved Breka donuts. As if this makes it okay, I feel the need to point out that both weren’t apple fritters the size of my head.

Monday
Activity: run!!!
Relevant stats: 4.5 km
Observations: This was a momentous run for me in that I only stopped running to wait for lights to turn red. My legs and lungs felt pretty good start to finish on account of my impressive slowness.  My SI, however, did not feel so great. It was stiff from the start, but I suppose it’s a good sign that it didn’t get any worse.

Tuesday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant stats: classroom observation + driving (i.e. all day spent on my ass)
Observations: I believe I walked less than half a kilometre all day.  All day.  For the first time in months, I spent close to 2.5 hours in my car driving out to observe a workshop at one of our client’s facilities.  So that means 2.5 hours of driving plus six hours of sitting on my butt in a classroom, followed by about four hours of sitting on my butt on the couch at home because I was exhausted from getting up at 5 am. Activity fail.

Wednesday
Activity: half-assed strength training
Relevant stats: 30 min.
Observations: I had another early start that made a pre-work gym session impossible, followed by a day of back to back meetings. By the end of my meetings, I had zero desire to go to the gym, especially because I would have to go to my least favourite location. I am proud of myself for sucking it up, paying for overpriced meter parking, dealing with the world’s tiniest change room lockers, and an overcrowded workout area to make myself do a half hour of strength training. I consider this workout to have been my shining example of perseverance this week.

Thursday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant stats: 60 min.
Observations:  This was my last session with my trainer here, which I am still not ready to accept.  As a perfect send off she crafted a wretched combination of leg/glute workouts in a circuit that included double kettle bell squats, double kettle bell walking lunges, high prowler pushes, low prowler pushes and squat hold battle rope waves. Ugh. It was awful and I hated it, and I am still going to miss her.

Friday
Activity: moving day!!!!
Relevant stats: ugh.
Observations: I had great plans for one last early morning running interval track workout in my ‘hood. And then our bank caused some serious snags getting documents to our lawyers. I’ll spare you the whole, long story. In the end, what it means is I now have to load up my car at some ungodly hour of the morning so I can get to our lawyers in time to sign papers so we can take possession of our house. Instead of running intervals, I’ll be hauling boxes of stuff to my car and probably eating one last apple fritter as I drive away from this town forever (okay, that was totally for dramatic effect…I’ll be back often).

That brings the week of workouts and my time in Vancouver to an end. By the time you all read this, I will be in my new home town, hopefully with a stiff drink in my hand because, good god, it’s still snowing on those mountain highways and that makes me an anxious driver. Happy weekend y’all.

TWIR #99: running in high gear

Betcha you thought that post title means I’ve been fitting in some killer runs. Ha. No such luck. But I have done more running this week than usual and it’s felt like a week of running around in general. I started a new job, which is mostly remote but involves occasional on-site meetings. This week was jam packed so it felt like assembling puzzle pieces trying to plan for driving to and from meetings, to fit in workouts, and to find time for little things like this blog.  I’m not complaining, by the way. It’s the first time in months I haven’t spent the majority of my work days bored out of my mind. Being busy is good. With that out of the way, on to my workouts!

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: so. much. walking…and eating
Observations: It SNOWED!!!!! It snowed a legit amount. I was over the moon excited Saturday morning and may have dragged my better half out of bed at an ungodly hour to take advantage of pristine, powdery snow before the sun had its way with it and turned it into slush. We walked a lot. It was only 13 km according to my phone, but we went for a short walk before breakfast and then left the house at 9:30 and didn’t return til almost 4. That’s a lot of walking, though, to be fair, there were also stops for farmer’s market shopping, wine purchases, beer sampling, and lunch. It’s all about the balance. At any rate, it was a magical day of snow walking and fresh air.

Sunday
Activity: run!
Relevant Stats: 4.7(ish) km
Observations: Imagine my excitement when what I thought was supposed to be a rainy day turned out to be partially sunny. Since most of the snow had melted from roads and sidewalks, I opted for a short run to test out the old SI. Aside from the fact that my lungs and legs wanted to die, the run felt pretty good, particularly with a blanket of sparkling white snow still lingering on lawns and parks.

Monday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: Ugh. This was not my finest workout. Perhaps predictably, my SI was quite stiff from my run.  I attempted to focus on my upper body with some arm and shoulder work but, as it turned out, I’d also done something to my right shoulder blade. I had no idea what I’d done, but it didn’t feel great. The name of the game for this workout was ‘modifications’. I also spent a lot of time wondering if my body will ever be truly pain free.

Tuesday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: You know what’s probably a bad idea when your SI is still stiff? Adding 20 lb to the prowler and doing some solid prowler pushing.  In the moment it felt sort of okay, but by the end of the day I was hella stiff, to the point where I could barely sit on the couch without having to readjust my posture every 5 minutes. I know, I know, all of you sane readers out there are like ‘why would you have done a heavy load bearing workout when your SI is already stiff???’ The answer is simple: I sometimes make stupid decisions.

Wednesday
Activity: track workout (running intervals + strength)
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: Remember how I just said I sometimes make stupid decisions?  Here’s another one: I went to the track to do running intervals even though my SI was still stiff and bugging me. If you didn’t believe me in the past when I’ve said I hate driving to the gym, you’ll probably believe me now. I just couldn’t deal with the thought of wasting all that time in the car. Thankfully the running wasn’t at all painful for my SI. It was only painful for my poor, tired legs, who did not want to run at all and who shuffled along at what may have been the slowest pace I’ve ever run.  On the plus side, my SI actually felt 10 times better by the end of the day. My body makes no sense to me.

Thursday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: I realized this was my second last session with my beloved trainer, which was super sad for me until she made me do the dreaded seated-position-to-single-leg-standing-to-single-leg-hop-to-single-leg-squat-to-sitting thingies. I HATE THEM. Then I wondered why I will miss her so much. As always, this workout was full of things I hated, most of which involved me having to use arm and leg strength at the same time, which just seems like a double-whammy of cruelty.

Friday
Activity: strength training (upper & lower body)
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: Today I came to the conclusion that nobody works anymore.  I went to the gym at 10:30am it was jam packed, like not a single bench available on the women-only side. Seriously, is this city full of people like me who have totally flexible schedules? Or are these people somehow able to survive in this city without working at all? If so, how do they do it???? Seriously, I want to know. Anyway, as a result of there being no benches, I had to go to the co-ed side which, at this location at least, is basically a de facto men-only side.  Know why? It smells. Look, I am the first to admit I do not smell like a spring daisy when I am working out but my god the smell over there was tough to even stomach at first. Ugh. Now that I’ve ranted about all that, I barely have any energy  left to tell you about the actual workout, which was solid.

Well kids, that wraps up another week of workouts and my first week at my new job. Wahoo! Now the weekend is upon us and it is officially my last weekend in the city of Vancouver. Before I know it, I will be loading up the old Hyundai and hitting the road for my new digs. I cannot wait to be reunited with all my worldly possessions and to finally feel like I’m not living in transition. Wherever you are and whatever’s on the docket for your weekend, I wish you much fun, laughter and wine (or whatever your celebratory substance of choice may be). Happy weekend, y’all.