chocolate, practicum and kinesiology

Last week, I Facebooked [Faceboked? Well, if my Education prof in first year made “Amazoned” a verb, I suppose I can do the same for Facebooked] about gym game issues.  As in, issues finding gym games that don’t suck.

Yeah, there are a lot of gym games that suck out there.  It’s ridiculous.

So I got everybody to tell me their favourite gym games.  A lot of people really like dodgeball, apparently.  I hated dodgeball.  The only time I ever sort of liked that game was in middle school that time that Sam and I spun in circles and didn’t get hit until the very end of the game.  I think people thought we probably weren’t playing or something.

Anyway, a week or so before I’d met up with my friend Dia when she was here for BUSINESS TRAVEL!  Dia and I connected through my blog awhile back [I believe that’s what it was] — she’s got not only a Bachelor’s of Kinesiology, but a MASTERS as well.  So we had all kinds of nerdiness to discuss, it was awesome.  She works for Special Olympics Ontario, so we share this epic love for adapted physical activity and she’s full of resources and research articles that she sends me sometimes, and stuff like that.  We had coffee and it was awesome.

So, back on the subject of gym games, Dia dropped me an e-mail, and the next day, a gigantic package arrived in my mailbox [or maybe in my door.  It may have been too big for my mailbox].  Holy amazing.

physical activity materials from dia

Seriously.  Best title for a book about developmental physical education EVER.

So not only that, but I’m totally spoiled.  She also sent me TORONTO CHOCOLATE.  To add to that, she also gave me Toronto chocolate when we met up when she was here.  How sweet is that?

But not just ANY chocolate:

chocolate from dia!


Seriously.  If there was ever a food that was a party in your mouth with everyone invited [a la Moe Szyslack] it would be Toronto chocolate with Pop Rocks and hazelnut.  Thanks Dia!


On the subject of kinesiology [okay, the story about chocolate was sort of about kinesiology in a roundabout way], I’m in this class called Physical Activity and Aging.  As part of the course requirements, we have to complete an eight-hour practicum with seniors who are exercising.

You know what’s difficult about that?  Seniors exercise during the day.  Because when do seniors have free time?  During the day.  During the evening they are full of visiting their kids who work during the day, and hanging out at home, and going to bed early.  Or at least that is my understanding.  Maybe the people who work with seniors who want to exercise are just all “Hey, they have free time during the day, I can have a 9-5 job now.” and affect the socialization and exercise hours of seniors that way, I don’t know.  And what do I do during the day?  I go to school and I work and I attempt to get some of that awesome thing called exercise worked into my day myself.

So I finally got my practicum arranged at a senior’s apartment complex.  T, the therapeutic recreation coordinator, is awesomesauce helping me figure out when my practicum fits with my schedule AND theirs.  She is SO stoked about my practicum, it’s awesome.  I’ve met the woman once and she’s officially FULL OF AWESOME.

I went to what the schedule calls Exercise Tape today.  Originally i thought that meant Exercise VIDEO Tape.

It didn’t.  It meant Exercise CASSETTE tape.  It went on for half an hour and I observed and took about five lines of notes, and it was INCREDIBLY boring.  It was chair exercises.  Which, I mean, that’s awesome.  If that’s how the senior exercise boat floats, then that’s cool.  They do it every morning.  And they are all serious while doing it, or something, because there is no social involved.  Which is something I’d like to observe, since apparently having social support helps people adhere to exercise programs.  [There were seven people there today. Sometimes there’s two, and sometimes there’s fifteen.  Just how the exercise boat floats.]

Here’s the problem though.  It was half an hour, which means to make it work into my schedule on the two days a week I can go at 9:30 am . . . I have to do it for eight weeks.  And this thing is due November 23rd.  So no bueno on that.

T and I sat down and hashed it out. She was determined to make this work for me.  Super awesome woman, as I said about three paragraphs ago.  We got it set up.  I’m going for Ladder Golf the next four Wednesdays and Bocce Ball the next four Saturdays.  One O’Clock Games.  It’s gonna be awesome.  The tenants I met today were super friendly, and I’m sure they’re gonna kick my butt at these target games [TGfU model FTW].


Oh, I’d also like to mention within the span of less than two hours, I went form watching kids play floor hockey to watching seniors work out.  I also walked 4K today and am going to the gym tomorrow. I got this kinesiology thing down.


i’m so glad to be here, this day has become sacred . . . i’m trembling with thankfulness . . .

who am i, who am i that You have brought me this far, this far?  who am i that You have brought me so far?

all those years of spoiled complaining . . . i said “it’s not enough”. and You have forgiven me for everything, everything. and You have given me everything, everything . . . it’s too much, it’s too much, You’re too much, You’re too much

who am i?

Thankfulness . . .

  • My SAVIOUR.  And how FAR Jesus has brought me.
  • My friends . . . near and far.
  • My family
  • The kids and my coworkers at my amazing job.
  • My respite girlies who teach me so much and make me see things differently–BETTER.
  • Cupcakes
  • My badassmatic asthma community
  • Canadian healthcare
  • Music and musicians who share their stories
  • LOVE.
  • That WE are the STORY being WRITTEN

What are you thankful for?

an open letter to canada

Dear Canada,

We need to have a little talk.  It’s October 5th. It’s apparently 31*C outside.  And while I enjoy this, it’s not particularly suitable when I wore my [new] hoodie and [new] jeans to school today.  [Note: in Saskatchewan, they call hoodies BUNNYHUGS.  I love this.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and cuddly.  Because what is badass about a freaking bunnyhug?]  And then it became 31*.  Last week it was like fifteen.

Next week it will be snowing, or hailing.  I swear.  Canada, you’re a little indecisive about this whole weather thing.

Or perhaps you’ll revert to actual seasonally appropriate temperatures and I can wear my new jeans and new hoodie and fuzzy socks and not feel ridiculous about it.

How does that sound?  We got a deal, Canada?



playing in leaves : a case study

So not only do I have a pretty dang sweet job [where I get to play with lego and plan gym games], I also do super-fun stuff at school [kinesiology — the program where you play in the gym, talk about food and watch a fair amount of YouTube.  Oh yeah, and help learn how to teach people to change themselves so that they can in turn do the same for others.  Nothing better.]

And really, it’s not every day where your prof ends class telling you “Go play in leaves!”

. . . I take these things literally.  And tell my friends that my homework is to play in leaves.

And they believe me.  Okay, it wasn’t ACTUAL homework, but I determined I’m going to someday become a grad student and write a thesis entitled “Playing in leaves: social, emotional and physiological benefits”.  That’s legit, right?  I guess up here in the frozen north, I’d have to have a second study about the effects of playing in snow, too.


In preparation for said thesis, I asked Donald and Mike to rank how they were feeling prior to playing in leaves on a scale of one to ten, ten being the happiest ever.  Mike declined to answer and Donald gave a seven, which decreased to five once we saw a Lost Cat sign, then increased back to seven once the role of exercise in the cat’s lostness was discussed and it was determined that the lost cat was getting a lot of exercise.

Evidently, I do very scientific studies.  The initial scale test was performed while seeking out leaves but before arriving at the study site, which the participants than prepared:


Yes, we did walk there with a rake.  Awesomeness ensued, including Donald skipping.  Happiness scale should have been repeated for validity.


pushed in leaves :]

Donald then said “Give me your camera”, which I surrendered to him, then he pushed me in the leaves.

After leaves were dragged across the park and put into a pile, participants fell/jumped into the leaves.  One participant also lost his sunglasses, which were not found.  This did not alter happiness that playing in leaves had created.

The scale test was repeated after playing in leaves, and both participants answered 10 out of 10.

lovelies! <3

After which the participants meandered home singing the Bananas in Pyjamas theme song in accents.  Because nothing says happy like singing theme songs to ’90s kids shows in accents, walking home with a rake and making London Fogs.


While further research needs to be conducted, validity of this study is greater than that of the Wakefield “study”.  Participants not only ranked happiness higher upon questioning, but also appeared more happy.  Based on primary research, it can be determined that playing in leaves can have positive effect socially, emotionally and physiologically.  Further studies will be modified to include more rakes, more participants and more leaves.