Oh hello there

oh hello there.
I have gotten a few new readers and emails asking more about sports, kids in sports, gymnastics, training schedules, etc, etc. In no way do I consider myself an expert but I am knowledgable enough to pass on good information. If you search this blog or just scroll back, you'll see scattered posts on the subject. 
Right now, a lot of competitive gymnasts are on summer break. It's a two week period generally and usually when most take their holidays, visit family, etc, etc. I've stated this before but it's important for gymnasts to have a break, not just physically but mentally as gymnastics is such a mental sport. My biggest question regarding this is does a gymnast stop training altogether during this time. The answer is no. Although, there is no training in the gym, you are still expected to do some conditioning {even if you are on a beach in Hawaii}.
I shared some fun cardio to do with your athlete awhile back but above is a peek at what Lola does five times a week along with cardio and a few other exercises. It's important to keep her strength and stamina up. Obviously, the first few days back in the gym are gradual but there are expectations that the gymnast will still be able to pick up where they left off prior to the break. 
I think this is a perfect example of maintaining her strength and flexibility for these two weeks. Keep in mind that Lola is seven years old and a pre novice national athlete. It's a good fit for her. If your athlete is older, younger, national level or provincial, it will be different. Most importantly, don't forget to keep it fun and relaxed. No one wants their mother screaming at them to workout, am I right?!


take a hike

So you wanna hike a mountain with me?
Lately, I have been hiking mountains. I have actually been doing daily hikes for the past 10 months now but have recently stepped up my game in terms of time and distance. Previously, I was clocking in about 40 minutes four to five days a week with an easy to moderate incline but now I do almost four hours two to three times a week on a moderate to hard incline {for me anyways}. 

Grouse grind anyone?

The funny thing is, I actually hated hiking at first. Let's back up three years. I hiked the grouse grind {google it} for the very first time. It was awful. I was out of shape, hungry, poorly dressed, and I cried. I'm not even kidding. I finished it, barely, but I vowed never to do the grind again. And then I started hiking the chief {Google it}, but wouldn't finish the whole hike, and still didn't like it. But then, about ten months ago, I started hiking for a smaller amount of time on an easier trail. And liked it. I began pushing myself to go a bit further on harder inclines and really loved challenging myself. About three weeks ago, I decided to conquer the harder mountain trails. It still isn't easy for me but I am getting better and I am really enjoying it. 

I still consider myself a novice at it but wanted to share a few tips I learned {some the hard way} with you:

1. eat something. I'm not a nutritionist but common sense does prevail. If you will be hiking in the morning like I do, it's important to have a small breakfast. Whether that means a muffin, a bowl of oatmeal or a hard boiled egg, eat. Your body needs the calories from it. Obviously you don't want bacon and eggs and toast before as you will probably barf from exertion but having protein or carbs in an amount that will both satisfy you yet won't leave you feeling super full is best. Case in point: the first time I hiked the grind, I did so on an empty stomach. Not only was my body in panic mode from exercising hard, I was starving. It just made me miserable. All I could think about in between bouts of tiredness and crying was how I couldn't take another step because I was so hungry. And feeling nauseated. Never again.
 2. Wear appropriate footwear and clothes. Now don't go running out and spending a ton of cash on hiking gear yet {unless you want too}. But dress prepared. As you can see in the top photo, I am wearing running shoes. Not totally recommended but I find it easier for me to wear these as they are light and don't weigh me down and the bottoms are 'grippy' enough to prevent some slipping. Just don't wear converse like I did the first time. In terms of clothing, layers. No matter the time of year, you will sweat. In summer, a tank top under a long sleeve and in winter, a tank top under a long sleeve under a rain jacket. I had chose to wear an old see through tank under a thick hoodie the first time out and almost died from overheating. I couldn't take my hoodie off because I wasn't willing to show off my bra and boobs so I suffered. Now I wear a cheap tank that does the job. Don't forget a hat. Especially if you do trails that are open and not covered. I do two types of trails on my hikes: a covered one {like the grind} and an open one {usually by power lines}. If it's hot and sunny or cold and raining, having your head covered helps.
3. Water. Now, I try to carry the least amount of stuff as I possibly can. A water bottle is a pain in the ass to haul around but a necessity. 
4. Headphones. I don't always use them but it's nice to have if you feel like kickin' out the jams on mile seven.
5. A small snack. I pack trail mix or jerky. It's light, won't take up a bunch of room and satisfies my body by giving me much needed energy whether it's half way through or right after.

I use a small backpack to put my water, phone, and snack in. And my long sleeve shirt if it gets hot. And that's about it. I can't stand being weighed down so I keep it to a minimum. 

Once you get started, don't be afraid to challenge yourself by timing yourself and going a bit faster or further. And mix it up. Try different trails and inclines. And enjoy the views:


kick the dust up

if I had just these three things to wear for the rest of my life, I don't think I would mind.
I'm looking forward to the next few weeks as I will actually have time to get my photo studio set up and get the shop in order. I mostly shoot editorial but I also shoot animals as a side project {I know, complete opposites right?} if you are interested in collaborating, send me an email: lulahoney@gmail.com

picture from pinterest.


in the meantime

soon it will be summer break. she will also have a three week break from gym. i am looking forward to not having to drive anywhere unless i choose too. competitions are over for the season and it's good for these little gymnasts to have a break, not just physically but mentally as well. we have already started running at the local track {once a week for now but more often when she's on her break}. and we plan to spend as much time as possible in the ocean and lakes.

dig it babies



at the mall the other day. i love the hair-tucked-in-her-collar look in the bottom photo. when she isn't in the mood for a photo, she really isn't in the mood for a photo.so this is what i have to work with. #thestruggleisreal

more than a messy topknot

Lately I have been hiking a few hours a day. I needed a break from running but wanted to keep doing something that was still very physical and sweaty. 
As a reader of fitness and health magazines and blogs, I have noticed that nobody really shares all sides of exercise. Yes, we all read about the good benefits, mental clarification, and all that but what else happens when you workout? Here are some things my body is going through right now with this new fitness routine:

your back will break out harder than a teenager going through puberty - when I hike, it's uphill at a steady pace on a mountain. I sweat, my back sweats, and it breaks out. although, it's under control, it still happens. Be prepared to pay attention to that part of your body.

I'm so hungry I could eat and eat and eat - I'm not sure why but after a solid hike, I'm starving and just want to eat carbs. Although I was hungry after running, it was different in that I could have a smoothie or something like that afterwards and that would be enough..but after hiking I want pizza, cinnamon buns, a huge sandwich, etc.. It's weird and probably my biggest battle right now. I haven't tracked the amount of calories I've worked off when hiking or the exact kilometres but chances are I'm using more and going further than when running.

Your butt and legs will get bigger to the point your pants won't fit - story of my life. I have lost weight and my body is toning up all over but the muscles in my butt and legs have exploded. And as a result none of my jeans fit me. The waist is looser {yay} but it's just too tight in my upper legs and butt. It's cool to see that but also a pain to have to adjust your wardrobe.

Anyways, I just wanted to share this and point out it's not just about a topknot, cool runners and that post workout glow. It's hard, sweaty, and messy. But it's so worth it.


the marble effect

one of my favorited brands right now is scout and catalogue. A local {vancouver} company that makes clothing and accessories. Shown are two things I'm super stoked about:
The banderas crop tops
Indigo dyed coin purses
I love the use of tie dye in these products and the fact that it's cool and not awkward looking.
Check out the shop here: www.scoutandcatalogue.com