Friday, March 25, 2011

Pretending it's Work Out Wednesday.....A Tale of Two Girls Entering the Ring

Due to a crazy work schedule I've had to take a mini break from blogging this past week but rest assure, I'm back at it and "pretending" it's Work Out Wednesday.

So if you read my last post, or linked up for FTLOB Get Fit feature, you know that I have been trying to get fit for my upcoming wedding in July and have been trying a new activity: BOXING.

First off let me just say I LOVE IT!

I've been to two classes so far and while we have done different boxing drills in each class, I feel just as sore the next day.  It might sounds strange but I actually LOVE that soreness feeling...makes a girl feel like she was working hard/kicking ass and taking names :o)

I figure I should give you a little summary of what actually went on in the class in case any of you are interested, AND tell a story simultaneously to link up to TexaGermaNadian's Story Teller's Blog Hop

Boxing Class numero uno, here goes:

I arrive in Quincy the day before St. Paddy's day and the area looks like it's right out of the movie, "The Fighter".  As I am walking on the main road in town I see about 20 Irish bars mixed in with a few run down stores on one squished block.  Next to the "Clash of the Ash" Irish restaurant and pub I see a sign for "Cyr-Farrell Boxing Gym".  Super intimidated, I wait for my friend Amanda to meet me and casually sneak peaks into the window to see what I am getting myself into.

Finally she gets to the gym and we both walk in giggling like little girls because we were both so nervous.  I mean if you know us you probably wouldn't think we would ever act like that because we are both strong, confident, athletic women, but let me set you straight....we were being such girly girls haha.

As we walk down the stairs we see this short, rough around the edges type looking man wearing a Boston Red Sox hat.  As we walk over to him nervously I let Amanda do the talking and she says "Hi..ummm we're here for the first time....we don't have any equipment....and we don't know what we're doing".  Reluctantly, the guy smiles at us and says that we'll be just fine and he'll hook us up with some wraps.  Wraps? Wow this is beginning to get serious.

He gives us the wraps and we walk over to the bathroom to get out of our work clothes and into our boxing gear.  "You ready?" I say to Amanda who is in the other stall. She replies "yep" and as we walk out, disaster strikes.  We are wearing the SAME EXACT outfit haha.  I'm not exaggerating and I wish I took a picture, but we were both wearing silverish sneakers, black capri pants and a short sleeve green T-shirt.  We totally looked like we had planned it AND were being festive for St. Paddy's day.  Such losers haha.

Ok we didn't look THIS bad but you get my point

As we left the bathroom looking like twins and headed into the gym I started to get really nervous.  I had no idea what to expect.  Was I going to be good?  Was I going to be horrible?  We're we both going to look like matching fools who have no idea what we were doing? Probably.

Fear started sinking in and my hands began to sweat.  I always get super nervous doing something new, but this time the feeling was enhanced as I walked in and saw about 20 guys going at the heavy bag and sparring in the ring.  The place looked right out of the movies.

I then here someone say "alright ladies lets go", and I turn around and see this really good looking guy with beautiful blue eyes looking in our direction. (Jordy, he's got nothing on you babe if your reading this ;o) I then thought to myself,  "Oh man he's totally judging us. Shoot he's walking over here. Oh my gosh I am so nervous."   He then comes up to us and says, "do you ladies need your hands wrapped?" We both just stand there and stare. We totally looked  like lost puppies.  Finally say "Ughhh Yep" and he comes over, takes the wraps from me, grabs my hands, and then starts weaving the wraps over my wrists and palms.

And then It hits me; Crap. my hands are SO SWEATY from being so nervous hahaha.  Embarrassment ensues.  On top of that Amanda decides to jump in and add "you know we really didn't plan these outfits".  Oh God. Now I'm more embarrassed because he probably didn't notice what we were wearing....until now. 
Quickly I come up with a not so smooth line saying "yeah we didn't plan this but we mind as well use it as an excuse to go on a pub crawl tonight in honor of St. Paddy's day"...........crickets..........

Come'on...he couldn't even crack a smile for these girls? haha

"OK lets get started" the trainer says relieving us from this terrible awkward moment and he splits us into four groups.  He sends our group over to the punching bags and with a different trainer.....coincidence? I think not haha.

Amanda and I learn the basic jab and punch and begin sparring with the trainer. We both are pretty competitive so we're hitting pretty hard feeding off of each other's energy.  After switching between us, the trainer says "Uh oh...looks like we have double trouble here" and Amanda and I exchange smiles. 
We then move over to the punching bags and use the techniques we just learned.

This isn't me and Amanda but these girls are at Cyr-Farrell hitting the heavy bag like we did.

"BEEP". The switching buzzer sounds and we move over to the next station.  Oh we are with the cute trainer. 
As he started to explain our next drill I knew me and Amanda were thinking the same thing. "Ok now we've got to show him what we got and that we mean business to make up for our awkward behavior before". 

And we did. 

Amanda held the small chest bag as I hit her with multiple combinations.  After a couple of minutes we switched positions and she started throwing punches at me.  "wow look at you two" the trainer said as he acknowledged how fast we had picked it up.  We exchange secret smiles at each other again.

"BEEP". Time to switch stations.

We then headed over to the speed bags both feeling confident and on top of the world but then we quickly came back down to reality.  The speed bags were really tough and it was all about timing, not strength.  By the end of the station we finally got the hang of it but we both felt that it is something we really needed to work on.

 "BEEP"...thank god haha.

Amanda and I then moved into the actual ring where there were 3 different trainers waiting for us.  They approached us and the sparring began.  They started yelling out different combinations they wanted us to hit them with and before you knew it I was seriously out of breath.  Now this was the stuff I liked.  Getting down to some serious cardio while working your upper body.

"BEEP". We were done with our stations and then ended the session with abs.

As we left the gym I felt really great about the whole experience.  It was something new and different that I really enjoyed.  All of the trainers were really nice and I never got a "creepy" vibe from them which is also good haha.  Amanda and I ended up going the next week again and the trainers switched things up which kept things interesting.  I think some of the other girls in our first class told their friends about the boxing or the really cute trainer that was leading the session because there was probably triple the amount of girls in the second class haha.

Well that's my boxing story.  I think I'm going to keep up with it every week so I'll be sure to let you know my progress and if I have any good stories to tell about any awkward encounters haha.

Take Care!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bridal Bod and Work out Wednesday

I haven't really been involved with too many blog hops before but when FTLOB introduced a new "get fit" feature I thought it would be the perfect way to gain some new tips and share with other's what I have been doing to get in shape for my wedding/over all health.

So first let me give you some personal background information:

I have never been a "skinny" girl. I've always had the athletic type body..i.e. pretty muscular, decently tall, and definitely not "small boned".  Luckily I've used my body type to my advantage by playing a ton of sports and specifically, excelling at soccer.  There is no way I would have been a college athlete if I was 5'2, 100 lbs with my style of play.  I also was never super concerned with my diet while I was at school because I burned so many calories while playing soccer that I could drink like a sailor and eat like a linebacker.

But then college was over and the "post grad" weight hit.  I never knew how much weight I had actually gained because I've never been into scales BUT it was definitely a decent amount.  I had stopped playing soccer but continued my college eating/drinking habits which ultimately led to my realization that I was becoming a fat mess.  Here's what I did about it.

Step 1. Get back into soccer
I hadn't played in over a year and it certainly showed physically, but mentally as well.  I understand the fear of hockey player's "hanging up their skates" because it's the only thing they have known for their entire lives.  It really messes you up when you go from playing every weekend from when you are 6 years old to when you are 23 and then suddenly stop all together.  So after taking a year off I joined a women's Fall and Spring team, and then this year I also joined a co-ed indoor team.  I can now say I am back in the full swing of things!

Step 2. Modify my diet
I don't follow any crazy type of diets....I just eat a lot healthier than I did.  I try to stay away from carbs as much as I can but don't cut them out entirely.  I also eat desert and red meat and some fatty foods.  The key is to eat it in moderation, eat A LOT of protein, and choose "smarter" options meaning sugar free/diet foods.

Step 3. Quit drinking so much!
Ok I make it sound like I drank every night of the week but really it was how much I was drinking in one sitting.  Simple truth about Hillary: I can drink beers for days.  I would go over to my friends house on the weekend and have a "casual" 6 beers, and then most of the time go out and drink on top of that. Probably not normal and I finally realized that I was drinking over 1000 calories in one night, nevermind the late night munchies I would have after.  My excuse used to be "well if I don't eat supper it will make up for it". Wrong. A. that's not healthy B. your still DRINKING half of the calories and average sized woman is supposed to consume daily.
So this ended up being a decently easy thing to fix.  Instead of beer I now drink wine, (which I can only have like 2 glasses before I start slurring haha), and mixed "diet" drinks at the bar (bacardi and diet, vodka soda).

All three of those steps have made a serious impact on my overall health but to push things in over drive I have been hitting the gym. HARD.  I have been mixing cardio and free weight training and have been trying to get into the gym 4-5 times a week.  I'll dedicate a whole other post about my actual routine in case people want to try it out but wanted to let people know that I am introducing BOXING into my workout plan.

My roommate from college, (who was also a college athelete), are going to our first women's boxing class tonight! I am super excited but nervous at the same time.  Now I don't think this will be "Million Dollar Baby" type isshhh but I know that it will be challenging.

I have decided that if I blog about my workout's it will hold me accountable and will force me to get to my prime bridal bod.  So check back each week to hear about my progress and to maybe learn some new tips or ideas! I've got PLENTY :o)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And it's Back to Long Distance....

But only for two weeks this time ;o)

What I have failed to tell the blogger world is a little info about my future hubs and our long-long-long distance relationship.  Let me break it down:

Jordan is Canadian and moved to St. Louis when he was just a "wee lad", (insert with Irish accent for St. Paddy's day), and has family living in both places.  I am born and raised in Boston (well really a small cow town in the burbs but we'll keep things easy). And all of my family lives here.

We went to the same college in Massachusetts and started dating our Freshman year. So for the first two years of school he would be in MA from September-May and then back to St. Louis in the summer....doesn't sound so bad right?

Look at these babies circa 2004

It wasn't...until the dark years came (such a drama queen haha).

Jordan decided to go pro our Junior and Senior year which meant he was in Michigan/Albany/Georgia/wherever..I can't keep it straight...from September- May and then St. Louis for the summer. He kept this living situation up for another year which tallied our Long-Long-Long distance relationship at three years.  Looking back on it I think we were probably nuts for doing that but I'm glad we did  because it shows that we are a strong couple and can probably get through anything...queue the corny music in the background haha.

Hahahahah Please read this title!

Last summer was the first time we had lived together for a long period of time and going into it I had wondered if we would only be "good" is a long distance couple.  Our Freshman and Sophomore years of college had been so long ago that I couldn't help but question if things had changed.  Would he annoy the shit out of me if we were together 24/7 for 7 months out of the year?

Well the answer was yes, but it wasn't a "I want to kill you and can't stand looking at you" kind of annoyance (thank god), but rather a "you are annoying the hell out of me right now but your pretty funny/cute so I'll forget about it in 20 minutes", kind of thing haha. You get what I'm preachin?

So we ended up having an awesome summer together filled with great times and lots of memories but I knew there was a void in Jordan's heart because his friends and family were all the way back in St. Louis/Canada.

Which brings me back to our current short long distance relationship.  Jordan is visiting in St. Louis for the next two weeks and will be catching up with his family who he has not seen in a year and half.  He is a huge family man and is so excited to see everyone. I have to say I am sooo happy for him but I will miss him terribly!
Luckily he'll be back in no time and our Long-Long-Long distance relationship will be over for good as I will be traveling with him next season. 

But being together for the long haul raises new questions....Where are we going to live next summer? Which family will we visit during the holidays? Where are going going to settle once he is done playing hockey?  All questions we both think/stress about on a daily basis but I at least take comfort knowing we'll be tackling them together :o)  Any of you reader's out there have experience with long distance relationships or have trouble splitting time between families? I'd love to hear your stories!

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Favorite Thing About European Hockey: The EARLY Off Season

Granted Jordan's season came to an end a lot earlier than most player's in Europe right now, but's so nice to know we won't have to potentially wait around till the end of May for it to be over.  Here's what we have been doing in the off season so far!
This past weekend we went to Sunday River in Maine with my family and took a much needed break from the Boston daily grind. Well I guess I just needed the break but either way we both had a really great time.  This was Jordan's second time skiing in 13 years (first time was in Finland ) due to hockey contracts, concern for injury, and snow being melted when he was done with the season.  We decided if we are lucky enough to ever make it to Austria for hockey or just to travel, we are DEFINITELY skiing the Alps!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Help! Calling All Alternative-Lifestyle'rs

So if you have been keeping up with me you know that Jordan and I are getting married this Summer, (if your a new reader it's 7/3/2011 to be exact), and I've run into my first "living an alternative lifestyle" situation:
The Wedding Registry

Let me break it down for you.  Jordan is usually away for 6-8 months playing hockey where ever  and I  stay back in MA to continue working.  We usually rent a "month to month" apartment for the Spring and Summer during the off season when he is home and we are never 'settled' into one place for more then 7 months.  We do not own our own home yet and I will be traveling with him next season to Europe.  Basically we will be living the nomad lifestyle for a few years because Jordan doesn't plan to retire anytime 'soon'.

Can't you just see us now?

So back to the dilemma, what the HECK do we put on our wedding registry? All of my bridesmaids met up last night to discuss wedding shower details and they have been begging me to tell them where I am planning to register.  Here's what I've got so far:
  • Macy's
  • Target
  • Best Buy
I think for the lifestyle we are about to embark on money and gift cards will be best, but I feel like "grandma" won't be comfortable giving her grand baby a Target gift card for her wedding.  With that said, I think it would be a good idea to put SOME physical items on our registry.

After reading a post from fellow Hockey Wife AJ , I started to think we should register for things that will be really helpful to us while we are living in another country.  Here are a few things I have thought of:

  • Sling Box- Allows you to watch and control your T.V. from home and stream through your computer (which you can then connect to your t.v. in Europe).  Jordan and I watch A LOT of tv/movies so this will be HUGE for us!
  • GPS (with European maps)
  • Luggage- 'Nuff said
  • Durable Digital camera (that's waterproof)-I have about five digital camera's sitting around my house right now, all with broken screens.  I have NO LUCK when it comes to camera's because I find myself dropping them on the ground or mysteriously getting them wet.  We are going to Cancun for our Honeymoon and I would LOVE to take pictures underwater and not have to worry about my camera getting wet by the pool.  This type of camera will probably be good too when Jordan and I are slingin beers around the bars in Europe haha.
  • The Kindle- Not really sure if I can get away with registering for this because it will mostly be for me because I like to read more than Jordan does...but like they say "happy wife, happy life"...right lol?
  • iPad2- (I guess if we get this I don't NEED the Kindle) The new iPad2 has a camera built in so I'm assuming it will be just as easy to use Skype on it as it would on a laptop. Plus its lightweight and easy to travel with!

I know each of these items are expensive but I figured that people may want to go in on a gift together...or even better, just give us gift cards toward those purchases (not talking to you Grandma ;o) Beyond those type of items I've also decided to register for things on our honey moon like a couples massage, bottles of wine for our room, romantic dinner for two etc get the picture.  I'll probably end up registering for some "typical" registry gifts too but I would LOVE to hear peoples opinions/suggestions! Especially those of you married bloggers out there that have been through this registry ordeal ;o)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

CAUTION: Social Media and Hockey Careers

I've been meaning to blog about this for a while.

A couple of weeks ago Jordan forwarded me some of links to a popular NHL hockey fan page and blog that were about a player's wife who had been using social media to air her feelings about the current organization her husband was playing for.  Both pages displayed the negative "tweets" she had put out there and basically called her out for being the reason her husband got traded.

I have mixed feelings about this whole ordeal.

On one hand I don't think the wife is solely to blame for her husband getting traded due to a couple of "tweets".  That would just be crazy.  Her husband is the one in the driver's seat and is the one who has "control" (I use that term loosely) over his career. 

On the other hand I'm sure the organization didn't want a negative image painted for themselves by a WAG who was using multiple social media outlets to discuss business.  Because thats what hockey is; a business. Like any other company, the hockey world frowns upon discussing business through social media.

I remember when I was first entering the work force a few years ago and the whole facebook privacy issue was at it's peak.  I remember thinking to myself "oh crap, I have to de-tag all of those college photos" that may have been less then appealing to companies who were looking to hire a young professional.  Same goes for college applicants and high profile (collegiate/professional) athletes.  They most definitely have to use catution and keep their photos private and/or monitor what they are being tagged in.

You may want to consider de-tagging if you have any pictures of you like this haha.

The fact of the matter is that the social media is HUGE with Facebook, Twitter, blogging, YouTube etc.  You really have to be careful what is being put on the Internet by you or about you because it has proven to effect more than just your personal life.

Now you may be thinking if you read my previous posts, "Hill you have talked about Jordan and Jokipojat openly...aren't you contradicting yourself?"  Well, yes I sort of am BUT I would never state my feelings about the organization as a whole or other players on the team.  When I have talked about this season the farthest I have gone was saying that it was "crappy", and that most of Jordan's contract was fulfilled.  Those are just facts. However, I did take Jordan sending me those links as a subconscious warning because he knows that I started this blog to discuss the hockey season and what was going on with us.

So with that said, I will be more careful in the future when discussing the current hockey season, BUT I will still use this space as an outlet  to share with other's my general feelings and experiences with it.  I know this is the reason why many other people tend to remain anonymous on blogs which makes sense, but I feel that in our current situation it is ok to share SOME personal information.

Have any of you readers ever experience any consequences due to use of social media?  Here is blog post I found discussing a NHL hockey player's tweeting and the lesson that should be learned from it.