Be A Grinder!

I’m not the most coordinated person on the planet. I’m also not the strongest or the fleetest of foot. But I’m learning that doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of getting healthy. I’m also realizing that my exercise self can learn a little something from my writing self. Determination and the desire to improve are everything.

Karyn Good Blog

I’m a grinder.

Merriam Webster’s definition of a grinder: athlete who succeeds through hard work and determination rather than exceptional skill.

I’m not sure about the athlete part, but as someone who started at the bottom of the fitness rung, I’ve definitely made progress during my five month strength and fitness training journey. Heck, as a person who hadn’t done a squat or a lunge (never mind a plank, because WHAT!) in literally decades, I’ve come a LONG way. I’ve learned being slow, methodical and clumsy doesn’t matter. By showing up and doing the work, even when I’d REALLY rather not, my physical strength is returning and my mental health is improving. I’m increasing my flexibility, balance, endurance, and coordination. So, win!

My writing is following the same path at the moment. The words aren’t flowing and the path forward is often foggy. But I’m determined to get this project done so I will sit my butt in my chair and I will work through my roadblocks. I will grind away until I get where I want to go.

But back to exercising! Here are a couple of things I use for inspiration and motivation.

Harder To Kill Podcast by Steph Gaudreau. Steph is also the force behind Stupid Easy Paleo which focusses on nutrition, fitness, and mindset. Steph’s philosophies also jive with the things I’m learning from my personal trainer (Yes! I have one of the those and more on that in another post).

Nerd Fitness Blog. An excellent resource.

Run, Selfie, Repeat – Kelly Roberts. Kelly is on a mission to help others become the strongest version of themselves. She’s honest and open and lots of fun. She also just ran the London Marathon (it didn’t go well) and got a selfie with Prince Harry.

You gotta be who you are. Own your starting point. Set a goal. And grind away at it until it’s met.

Are you, like me, a grinder?

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A Writer’s Journey To Slow Fashion

My transition into slow everything, food, fashion, fitness, has been, well…slow. My evolution into a conscious consumer a work-in-progress. Good habits take time to cultivate, after all. And it’s not always easy. Improving my health, my carbon footprint, or my writing craft takes effort and a great deal of planning. Oh, the planning! I find I’m no longer the jump right in and get it done sort. The older I get the more planning becomes one of my cornerstones to achieving my goals

Cue my foray into slowing things down and letting go of Fast Fashion. I read a truly alarming statistic the other day in an article discussing the movie: The True Cost.  In a conversation with Livia Firth, Founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age, a fashion activist (also the wife of Mr. Darcy, sometimes known as Colin Firth), she mentioned The average garment remains in a person’s closet for an average of five weeks. What!?!

My first thought was the amazing amount of time some people must spend shopping. Yikes! If you’re throwing away clothes at that rate, you must be really like the mall. I’m also wondering about the amount of money being spent. But when you can buy a t-shirt for $4.99, who cares if you throw it out when it falls apart after one wash. So much of what we consume is disposable. Unfortunately, it’s not biodegradable.

Livia Firth is also a force behind the 30 Wear Challenge. When you buy an article of clothing commit to wearing it a minimum of thirty times. I know some of you are already a pro at this concept. But some of you, like me, might want to check out your closet, or take a look in your daughter’s closet. Or at her floor. What about that one-time-wear adorable holiday outfit you bought for your grandchild? Or your dog?

An estimated 1 million tons of textile waste is dumped into landfills around the world each year.

Armed with that tragic stat, I did a little research and learned what I could do to be more conscious about my wardrobe choices and my shopping habits. Enter the words: eco, ethical, and sustainable.

Me? I’m a terrible impulse shopper. So that’s one of the habits I need break. Turns out it’s not that hard to do when you have to keep an ear to those three ideals and the commitment to 30 wears. Shopping then becomes a little overwhelming, to be honest. But not impossible. Hence the planning part and also the realization I have to take it slow. Ease my way towards my end goal of an ethical wardrobe.

Five Ways To Becoming A More Thoughtful, Slower Consumer:

  • Buy local.
  • Buy less.
  • Buy used.
  • Buy from independent designers.
  • Buy quality garments that last.

My discoveries so far: Miik (A 100% Canadian Company), Tonle (A Zero Waste Fashion Line) and SlumLove Sweater Company (Ethically Handmade in Kenya).

Personally, it’s also about improving the lives of people at the very beginning of the supply chain. The majority of garment workers are women who work and reside in some of the most underdeveloped countries in the world working for factories and brands who have little regard for safety and labour protection issues.

A dress from Tonle, a zero waste fashion line.

Someone complimented me on my Tonle shirt (my new favourite) the other day and after I said thanks I asked if they wanted to hear the story behind my shirt? As a writer and teller of stories, why not wear one?

What’s in your wardrobe?

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Recharging With A Spring Writing Retreat

Everyone needs to recharge their batteries, including me. An emotional reset and to rejuvenation of my writing routine was required. What better way to indulge in a little self-care and be productive at the same time then a writing retreat? My first one! And what better time to have it then spring and channel it’s spirit of renewal.

My writing group had been talking about a retreat for awhile and we finally made it happen. We found a place close by for the day-only attenders that supplied meals and snacks and it was affordable. The trifecta of retreat perfection. Enter the Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre situated in the beautiful Qu’Appelle Valley.

I was there to write, or rather revise. And revise I did. After three days worth of solid effort I felt I’d accomplished what I had set out to do which was to make some headway on my work-in-progress and jumpstart my lagging routine.

The accommodations were basic but we each had our own room with our own bathroom – so win. So what if I hadn’t slept in a twin bed in, like, forever. It was cozy and the place was impeccably clean – very important. The rooms were small but some of our group were clearly comfortable with the setup and chose to write in their rooms, some with the door open and some with theirs closed. Since we were the only group in a space able to accommodate approximately fifty, I chose to write in the huge common area, complete with big comfy chairs and a wall of windows. Also, it was close to the snacks. In went my headphones, on went my music and I got busy.

The away time was also something of a personal retreat for me. There was no television, so that temptation was easy to avoid. I also made a pledge to avoid social media. Who needs to scroll through their Facebook newsfeed when you have twelve lovely ladies to share stories with? What else did I do?

I went for walks along many of the mowed trails. One of which led to this meditation labyrinth. The idea being you wound your way to the center leaving your worries and stresses behind you. There was also a sun circle and other short hikes to take

Of course, I read a book! This was my first time reading Annabeth Albert but it won’t be my last. Can’t wait to dig into her new one in this series this weekend. It was the prefect way to unwind at the end each night. 

I may even have taken a short nap one afternoon! I’m certainly looking forward to repeating the experience. Perhaps in the fall! It’s safe to say the retreat was enjoyed by all and everyone expressed interest in doing it again.

I would love to hear whether you’ve been on any sort of retreat or taken some personnel time? Perhaps you want to share what your favourite at-home escape is?

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