RIDE: my journey.

It was the end of September ’18 when it hit me like a tonne of bricks that I really needed to get my ass in gear because my wedding was just 10 months away. Up until this point, I really hadn’t done much by way of exercise apart from the odd HIIT class here and there and even that’s a stretch.

It was around the same time that my friend Nathalie had messaged me to see if I wanted to come out to a spin class in the next few days. Intrigued, I signed up. Cardio was “never my thing” but I figured that with the help of some loud music, I would love it. To be honest, I literally just needed something…ANYTHING…to get me into shape. Correction…wedding shape!

Cue the seriously lame part of my story. I was doing some chores around the house one day when I picked up the vacuum and began to make my way through the house. I bent down to pick something up, turned to the right and…POP…I couldn’t stand up. For someone who’s never put their back out before (umm…hello, this doesn’t happen in your 30’s does it?!), I had no idea what to expect.

Low and behold, I could barely sit comfortably in an office chair for the next two weeks and getting in and out of my car was an absolute joke. My method of getting out of bed in the morning was rolling myself to the right and practically throwing myself off the bed until one foot hit the ground and I was able to push myself up to a standing position. Putting pants on was an absolute chore and I often needed my fiance’s help to do so! Needless to say…ouch.

After a few physio visits and a whole lot of “ow ow ow’s”, I was cleared to ‘start working out again’. Hah. Seeing as I had missed the class my friend invited me to, I reached out to RIDE and booked myself in for another one.

At that time I had no clue that I would be sitting here almost 6 months later absolutely obsessed with RIDE and everything it offered.

For anyone who has never been to a spin class (that includes choreography and heart pounding music), I suggest you try it at least once in your life. It’s fucken fun.

For anyone who’s been to a class, gotten completely discouraged and never gone back…I hope the next little bit of my post helps you out.

As my friend (and seriously wicked instructor) Barb likes to put it, for probably the first 20 classes I looked like a wet spaghetti noodle on that bike because I had absolutely no friggin’ clue what I was doing. I remember messaging her and asking a million questions about how to “properly” ride with the rest of them. With that said, here are my tips to you:

  1. Listen to the beat. The whole point of these classes is to RIDE to the music and RIDE as one. You’re not here for your own god damn dance party, you RIDE together. I’m not gonna lie, the first number of classes were overwhelming. The instructor was giving direction by saying things like “3-4 turns, right foot leads”. Well, to me that may as well have been Greek because it didn’t click, I didn’t get it. I think I was still trying to figure out how to snap my spin shoes in at that point.
  2. Don’t try to be a hero. If you think you have it, chances are you probably don’t unless you’re some sort of a coordinated superstar. It took me a solid 10-20 classes to finally understand the coordination and the importance of the tension and the beat. Trust me when I say that it is better to sit down, find it in your seat than look like that wet spaghetti noodle we talked about earlier.
  3. Don’t ever put yourself in the first row until you absolutely know whats up. Seriously, you will feel so much more comfortable by watching those in the front row and riding behind them. I looked at A LOT of butts and legs to figure out what to do with my own before someone *cough cough* made me RIDE in the front row. I’ve never looked back! Seriously, it helped a lot. Honestly, take your time, work on your strength and coordination and then be a fucking superstar.
  4. It’s not just about the legs. Your core strength is EQUALLY as important in this whole process as being able to pedal. Just because you’ve ridden a bike before, doesn’t mean this is going to be a walk in the park. My core strength was basically non-existent and being able to hold my body up and out of the saddle took quite some time. I’ll actually never forget the day I successfully made it through a run without having to sit down. It was a GOD DAMN MIRACLE but it felt SO good. It was then that I knew that all of my prior classes were starting to pay off.

Trust me when I say that you get better with every single class. Practice does make perfect and I’m not saying I am. You build on that coordination and you build on that strength. Before you know it, you’ll be in that front row having the time of your life.

Now, for me it’s not just all about the fitness part so listen up.

One key word that comes to mind when I think of RIDE is: community. Call it whatever you want to call it from the outside looking in but for me, it is a place I look forward to being in every single day. It is an hour out of each day where I am able to disconnect from the outside world. It’s where I can just enjoy the time to myself surrounded by a lot of awesome people.

The girls (and guys) at RIDE have been fucken fire. I won’t mention individual names for the fear that I leave someone out but you all know who you are and you all know that you make walking through those doors so awesome. I’m sure I’m speaking on a lot of people’s behalf when I say that too.

The instructors are all so unique and carry their own styles, its honestly amazing. Some of them even theme their classes to certain artists or genres of music which is so fun. That alone gives you so much class selection. The front desk staff are all so helpful and welcoming, it’s infectious. They’re just amazing. Last but not least, the acquaintances and friends I’ve been able to make (at a place that I thought was going to be pretentious) are the best EVER. You know who you are.

And if you’re still reading this far down, I want to wrap up by saying that this whole RIDE journey has inspired me to maybe, possibly, hopefully teach one day. The impact that RIDE has made on my life is undeniable both physically and mentally. If I can create that same meaning for someone else, well sign me the fuck up!

Since October 15th 2018, I have attended 154 classes. That’s 154 classes in 187 days. If that doesn’t scream “hooked” than I don’t know what does. I’ve really only missed classes to injury, travel or illness otherwise you can find me there every single morning before work and on weekends.

If you’ve read this far and are feeling a bit more inspired, come RIDE. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

xo

-ML

New Year. New Feels.

It’s 7:55pm on December 30, 2018.

I’m 1000% sure I’m not the only one that is sitting with my “Notes” app open on my iPhone trying to drum up some goals for 2019. Quite frankly, I’ve been thinking about this all week.

It is so cliche that come ‘the end of the year’ everyone is setting goals for ‘the upcoming year’. Before you attack my opinions, I don’t find anything wrong with this, I just simply find it silly that there is a ‘deadline’ on a start and a finish to creating and accomplishing goals.

Christmas just passed and the New Year isn’t quite here yet. It’s a super weird time of year where most of us have no clue what day it is, no clue whether we should be at work, at home, sleeping in or getting up early. The other day I literally woke up and said to myself, “Is it Monday, Thursday or Sunday?! Who knows.”

Get-your-shit-together_The-Red-Fairy-Project-600x600

Let’s face it, you don’t need a calendar year to dictate when you’re going to set or crush your goals. All you need is a positive state of mind and an attitude that is going to get you where you want to be – maybe that and your “Notes” app or wherever you record important things.

The end of December or the beginning of January are definitely not the only times during a year where you can start eating healthy, start saving money or start going to the gym. You can start that shit proudly on any day, during any week or at the beginning, middle or end of any month.

It. Does. Not. Have. To. Be. January. 1st.

I asked my fiance tonight if he had set his goals for the year yet and his response was “I don’t set goals at the beginning of the year, I keep setting goals all year long.” Don’t quote me on that being the exact thing he said but it was something to that degree.

“Smart”, I thought to myself.

Our goals don’t have to be achieved within a year. Our goals can be set and/or achieved within days, weeks or months. They can be physical or they can be mental. They can be big or they can be small. They can be public or they can be personal. While I don’t think that we should put a timeline on achieving goals, I do think that we should set them.

Here are a couple of simple but effective tips while goal setting:

  • Create a plan, don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.
  • Start small, start simple.
  • Write them down and include a deadline that works for you, not the rest of the world.
  • Be specific.
  • Leave room for failure, don’t expect perfection.
  • Track your progress.
  • Reward success, don’t beat yourself up over failure.
  • If you need to, or can, find a support system or a friend who might have the same goals in mind. You don’t have to do this alone.

Out of sheer curiosity I looked at the goals I had set for myself last year around this time and my goals were:

  • Be present.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Spend more time with family.
  • Paint more.
  • Buy less but buy quality.
  • Make positive changes. 

Here’s where I honestly ‘finished’ at the end of this year…

I feel like I certainly didn’t become more present. In fact, I feel like I got worse.

I started exercising regularly (and I still am) but it wasn’t until about halfway through the year. Honestly, I think this had a better effect on me than handcuffing myself to a treadmill on January 1, 2018.

I did get quite a bit of family time in but I can certainly improve in this category.

I painted once, maybe twice, but I did create a bit of a love for baking…or what I like to call “making a DISASTER of my kitchen and finishing with deliciously baked treats”.

Did I buy less? I don’t think so. Did I buy quality? Kind of. I don’t really know where to measure myself on this one, to be honest.

Did I make positive changes? 1000-fucking-percent I did and I am SO proud. I’m going to keep these positive changes to myself for the fear that someone takes something the wrong way but as 2018 winds down, I did make positive changes and IT FEELS SO GOOD.

So if you’re wondering if I am going to set goals for myself today, for 2019…I haven’t yet decided and I’m not going to get down on myself for not having a list by the time the clock strikes midnight on the 31st.

2019 is already going to be a big year for me because I am marrying the love of my life. I genuinely look forward to the goals we are going to set together, as a small team of two but I also look forward to creating my own.

Stay tuned for my goals as I set them. You’re welcome to follow me on Instagram @martalozynska – I am private on there but don’t be afraid to request! Unless you’re a complete weirdo, I’ll let you follow my life!

This will definitely be my last post of the year, so with that said I wish all of you a VERY Happy New Year. I wish you all nothing but health, love, laughter and gratitude in 2019.

-ML

RIP Kate and Anthony

I’m not usually one to post long rants or opinions but when I woke up this morning, I felt the need to speak out.

This week has been an emotional roller coaster for many. Icon and fashion leader, Kate Spade, took her life at the young age of 55 and today we woke up to the news that world-traveler, celebrity chef and author, Anthony Bourdain, 61, has also succumbed to suicide.

I can’t even begin to imagine the emotion that immediate friends and family are feeling. My heart breaks for them. Many have always argued that suicide is such a selfish way to go. That there are people willing to listen and help. Each time that someone passes away as a result of drug/alcohol addiction or mental illness, everyone always comments that help is just a phone call away.

Is it? Is it really that easy? If it was, icons, mentors and millionaires like Kate and Anthony would be calling too, wouldn’t they?!

We idolize, follow and live our lives vicariously through celebrities/athletes/influencers each and every day. They make such an impact on our lives. We need these people to bind together and make a difference. We need political leaders to stop f***ing tweeting nonsense and start paying attention to what matters in this lifetime.

As a just-turned 33 year old I can safely say that this is such a difficult time to be “growing up” in. These are some of the most challenging times that we are living in right now. Life is complicated, it’s stressful and unfair. We need a movement, we need help and we need it now.

Anxiety lives in my family and I am extremely thankful that my my mom, sister or I have never had any life-altering episodes. Knocks on wood. 

I want to be super clear that I am not a specialist, a doctor or a genius in these topics but what I do know is that I try to do little things to avoid negativity in my life and I want to share those things with you in hopes of them making the slightest little difference in yours, especially if you’re struggling:

  • Cut the bullshit (that you can control) out of your life. Stop immersing yourself in the Trump disgrace, stop reading articles that are going to make your blood boil. Stop following garbage on social media. Find the stuff that makes you smile and follow that.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep a day. This has changed my life! It’s changed my energy levels and it’s changed how I function on the daily. It allows me to wake up with a clearer and rested mind and it helps me make the most out of my days. Sure, we all have days where we are dragging our butts but only you can control that.
  • Eat healthy and exercise. I honestly give thanks to my fiance, Jordan, for being the one to guide me to a healthier lifestyle. I don’t think I could have done it on my own. We workout together, we workout often and we hold each other accountable to eating healthy. Grab a friend or your significant other and do the same. Trust me you’ll be happy you did.
  • Slow your life down. I used to be a ball of STRESS each and every day but I had control over whether or not that was going to be how I continued to live my life. I made a change and I’m happier and healthier because of it. You can too.

Disclaimer: Now let me make one thing very clear here…I’m not saying that by doing the 4 things I just mentioned you are going to prevent suicide, anxiety or mental illness. But what I am saying is that they are baby steps to achieving a healthy mind. They are little steps towards surrounding yourself with the right people. People that can hopefully make a difference in your life.

I don’t know what the answer is to preventing suicide or mental illness but what I do know is that I can, and you can too, control things that make a small difference. Small things that would otherwise bundle up into bigger things.

Thanks for reading. I hope that at the very least you’ve become a bit more aware.

Rest in peace Kate and Anthony. Thank your for your contributions to this world.

-ML

what’s important

I’ve been travelling for the last 16 days and my final day has been spent with my best friend, in Houston, TX. Today has reminded me of the fact that it’s the simple things in life that you should appreciate each and every day.

In the last 16 days, I have seen 3 wonders of the world, yet, being with my best friend has been the most rewarding/important.

If you don’t know the details, my best friend lives in Houston and I live in Vancouver, Canada. Seeing each other isn’t easy (and speaking every day isn’t always easy either) but each and every time we do get to see each other, it’s like nothing has changed.

Today has taught me that it’s the little things we should be grateful for. Whether that’s friendships, relationships or being able to spend an hour over lunch laughing and making memories.

Figure out what makes you feel good, wholeheartedly, and do more of that.

Love you Ally!

Hugs,

-ML

#BellLetsTalk

I’m about to start planning one of the most important days of my life–my wedding day. Traditionally, on this day, the father walks his daughter down the aisle and gives her away. Well, my father ‘gave me away’ before I was even born.

I’ve grown up my entire life without ever meeting my biological father. Sadly, last year, he fell extremely ill and passed away.

I’m confident that every person reading this post has at least one thing they want to talk about.

It sure as hell isn’t easy writing this or showing the world what makes me weak sometimes. But you know what’s even harder? Bottling it up inside and having it wear you down mentally. So with that said, I encourage you to find your person or platform and talk about what’s weighing you down.

Oh…and you don’t need a special day for it either.

I’m always here to listen. #BellLetsTalk

-ML

blue monday, who?

It’s been just over two weeks since the clock struck midnight and we jumped into 2018. I read this afternoon that today, Monday January 15th, is actually referred to as “Blue Monday”.

Apparently some mathematical formula dubbed today the day where:

  • We start to realize how much debt we racked up over the holidays
  • We feel bloated and gross from all of the eating and drinking we just did
  • By now, we’ve probably broken a resolution or two

To be quite honest, prior to seeing an article about Blue Monday, I had no idea that this even existed.

So what’s next? Do I sit here and dwell in misery? Nope. As a matter of fact, I didn’t rack up a lot of debt over the holidays. Instead, I spent quality time at home with family and friends. Did I eat and drink a lot? Yup. Definitely enough to make me feel quite full but at the end of the day, it wasn’t something a little exercise and healthy eating wouldn’t fix after the fact!

As for my resolutions, I’m not doing so badly because I actually made attainable ones.

What I am really trying to get at is that today doesn’t have to be Blue Monday. You can be your own problem or you can be the solution. Take a moment and ask yourself if you’ve done something for yourself recently. If you have, amazing! Keep going! If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

I did something small today that I’ve wanted to do for the last little while and that I hope will bring a bit of change in the way I think…a social spring clean, if you will. I unfollowed about 300 accounts on Instagram. You’re probably asking why…

Over the last few years I’ve started to follow accounts just because they were popular. It was time to do a bit of unfollowing. There is absolutely no reason why I have to follow the Kardashian’s on social (I use them just as an example). I’ve gained absolutely nothing but increased eye-rolls by following their insane lives. Good for them but at the end of the day, what am I gaining by following their accounts? Ab-so-lutely nothing.

The point of today’s rant is: do something that is going to have a positive influence on your life. Do something for you. Get rid of the negative crap. Don’t sit there and rot in misery because someone told you it was Blue Monday. If you’ve wanted to try a new class, try it. If you’ve wanted to take on a new challenge, do it. We get so caught up in other people’s lives, we forget to get caught up in our own!

-ML

 

365 days, 365 chances

If you’re like me, this is the time of year where you start to make a mental list of resolutions you want to make or things you want to give up.

Let’s face it, I’ve probably never stuck to a single resolution for an entire year so instead of trying to list 10 things that I know I won’t stick to, I’ll list off things that I know I want to accomplish or work towards in 2018.

  • Be present. I’ll be the first one to admit that I am hooked to social media. I want to make a very conscious effort to be more present and put my phone down both when I’m around people and when I’m not. It’s not going to be easy but it’s time to disconnect a bit.
  • Exercise regularly. I’m not going to commit to some insane workout schedule that I a) won’t enjoy or b) necessarily always have time for. Instead, I can make an achievable goal of 4 workouts per week. If I can’t stick to that then, well, I’m hooped!
  • Spend more time with family. My mom lives in Whistler (Whistler!!!) and I don’t spend nearly enough time with her. People would kill to have a place in that gorgeous village and I take it for granted. It’s time to enjoy more days up in the mountains and use that time and space to clear my head of every day “stuff”. It’s good for the soul. I could also really work on being in touch with my sister and nieces much much more. They live in Poland so it’s really challenging with a 9 hour time difference but that’s just an excuse! The same goes for my soon-to-be sister in law and her little family. Watching our little nephew grow up is awesome and I’d like to be a part of much more.
  • Paint more. Painting has always been a passion of mine and I very rarely do it. My mom just brought down some of my paintings from Whistler and I have to say I miss it! It’s time to buy some canvases, create some pieces and either sell them or gift them to friends.
  • Buy less but buy quality. When it comes to shopping, I’m a deal finder. I have a lot of crap in my closet but I want to start moving towards being a bit more of a clothing minimalist but including very good and high quality pieces. It’s a girl thing! ☺️
  • Make positive changes. Get rid of what’s eating you up inside. Do things that will make you a better person. Work towards goals, whether personal or professional. Don’t be afraid to take risks. And lastly, sometimes it’s ok to be selfish because if you don’t do you, no one else will! This might come with sacrifices but hey c’est la vie!

I’m wishing anyone who reads this a very wonderful, prosperous and inspiring 2018. I hope that everyone can find a little bit of inspo in this post. Everything is possible if you just believe.

-ML