Monday, June 25, 2012


I have just pretty much merged all my online activities and blogs under one single roof and domain: my cyber house rules To follow my stories and adventures - please click on the link...

Also - the roller derby stories will resume once I am back on 8 wheels! It should happen in July or August and I cannot wait for the bruising to resume (I think?)

Thanks for reading me!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Derbalife: My Success Story

I never thought I'd do a before & after picture thingy!
I know I will be accused of tricking this image. Myself I look at it and think it totally looks like I pushed my belly out on the left and sucked it in on the right. And I wouldn't blame anybody for thinking it.

But where would that take me? I pushed myself so much during this challenge... My goal was not weight loss. It was simply to increase my strength. I'm 45. Getting older by the second. I woke up one day a little over a month before my birthday and for the first time in my life: I felt old. I couldn't bare to look at myself in the mirror. I was in a transition from working 80 hours per week, living on the road, touring with a racecar team, signing autographs simply because I was the only female "wrench" at my level of competition to ... nothing. Unemployed, suddenly moved to San Diego, and living on a boat. The word transition does not do justice to all the changes I was going through so of course that evil old MIDLIFE crisis was bitch slapping me on a regular basis.

I needed to do something, and fast. So I did what any crazy 45 year old French Canadian would do and joined roller derby. Assuming 3 derby practices per week would be enough to whip me back into shape I quickly realized I needed more. I was no longer a 20-yr old bouncing back without effort.

Then Angela Bergman (cue angelic sounds and bright lights) asked all her Facebook friends to support her and vote for her. She had just completed the Derbalife Challenge. Her results were absolutely stunning! She inspired me to do more...

Like I said, weight loss was not my goal, as you can see from the pictures above... But what have I accomplished? I started this challenge on September 19 and it has just ended. Six consecutive weeks of:
  • daily tracking my calories;
  • reducing certain "toxins" like coffee - now down to 2 cups per week rather than one a day and an average of one or two cocktails per night max rather than... (the past is the past right?);
  • daily routine of crunches, squats and lunges;
  • with the help of a heart monitor I started tracking my calorie losses, and in doing so I turned everyday task into a work out from doing the laundry to taking the trash out - I strapped on the monitor and performed my chore with an increased speed and being aware of how I did everything trying to make every action count;
  • I rode my bike 2 or 3 times a week, etc.
I look back and see 42 consecutive days at maintaining a healthy routine. They say all it takes to create a new habit is to perform it for 21 days... Well, I've doubled that time during this challenge so my Derbalife Routine is now MY routine.

I feel so much more confident and happy about myself. My track speed may have only increased a slight bit, but at least its better! The buddy system and the coaching support is a definite plus. And of course, I recommend the Derbalife Challenge to anybody who seeks any kind of self improvement.

I still have some of that "bag of jell-o" hanging out around my core area, actually 2 inches less than 6 weeks ago so just imagine where I'll be 6 weeks from now! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Parallels Between Fight Club and Roller Derby

FC Quote: "The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club!"
DERBY:  First rule of joining San Diego Derby Dolls is: 
You do not talk about the Dollhouse location!

FC Quote: "The second rule of Fight Club is: YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB!"
DERBY:  Second rule of joining San Diego Derby Dolls is: 

FC Quote: "The shit that came out of her mouth..."
DERBY: "Slam her in the handrail!" - "Whip me!"  
"Hit her!" - "Push me!" - "...and then I landed on his face!"

FC Quote: "Only after we lose everything, are we free to become anything"
DERBY: Bad habits die hard. Only after you rid yourself of them 
(arms out of control, standing tall while skating, straight knees...)
will you truly start skating like a real derby girl.

FC Quote: "Fight Club was the beginning, now it's moved out of the basement, 
it's called Project Mayhem."
DERBY: First we had Melissa Mayhem. 
Then Mr. Mayhem. 
Now they are getting married: 
our very own Project Mayhem.

FC Quote: "Now, a question of etiquette - as I pass, do I give you the ass or the crotch?"
DERBY: Normally the ass. You give the ass when you bump as you sit
on your opponent. But what you are getting in return is... the crotch.

FC Quote: "The things you own end up owning you!"
DERBY: My pads have my smell in them. Permanently.
My feet have blisters from my skates.
An entire room is dedicated to my derby gear.
My gear not only owns me, but is a part of me,
as I am a part of it.

FC Quote: "Only after disaster can we be resurrected."
DERBY: At first your fear of pain from being slammed cripples you,
then it happens: you get hit so hard you slam down on the track.
Once you realize it wasn't so bad, you jump back in the game.
Then post pictures of your bruise on Facebook.
And you can't wait to go back for more action...

Fight Club is THE pop culture movie of all times. Roller derby has its own class of pop culture. You don't just join a league and practice a sport, you become engulfed by a lifestyle. You leave practice every night sore but smiling. You show your bruises with pride because they symbolize much more than the mere practice of a sport - they are a testimony of your gutsy bravado.

Fight Club is NOT about the fight. It's about feeling alive after being part of the walking dead. Going through life without care, without passion - working, paying the bills and buying status and suddenly something happens. Something with impact and it shakes you awake. Its the bitch slap across the face. Its the alarm going off on your life reminding you of what matters.

Roller derby is not about getting slammed either. Its about setting challenging goals and achieving. Its a level of teamwork that very few sports achieve. Oh, its a SPORT. Cannot be compared to "fake" wrestling. Every slam, every hit, every bump is real. Just ask any derby girl, she'll be more than happy to show you her bruises and her scars.

And you've never felt so alive... just like the guys after a fight in the movie.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Derbalife: 2 Weeks To Go?
If my involvement with this challenge has proven anything to me it's that I am definitely a classic case of OCD.

When my coach instructed me to write down ALL that I ate and to tabulate my calorie intake, I thought to myself "Yeah, right! As if..." As if I would ever do or maintain such a thing (as I sit here with my heart rate monitor strapped on just to see how I'm doing!) When I first looked at the documents she asked me to fill in, I gawked! Such work!

*shakes head in wonderment over such low self knowledge*

I downloaded the app My Fitness Pal into my phone. What looked like a HUGE hurdle was actually like crack for a need-to-check-in-regularly-whore like myself.

You see, as a kid I was obsessed with coming home and checking our mail box. I always hoped to find postcards from the unknown. Of course nobody ever wrote me, so sometimes I actually mailed stuff to myself just so... I'd get something in the mail. Oh the shame! As I grew older and technology offered me more opportunities to check in (the mail box lead the way to the answering machine that lead the way to the remote answering machine which lead the way to the pager then the email then any addictive website known to womankind, yeah Facebook - IN YOUR FACE YOU ADDICTIVE BITCH).

So... this brings me to today. My Fitness Pal allows me to jot down every single thing I eat. It even allows me to factor in my exercises and calorie reduction (thus clearing my guilt trip over the extra cookies). But, the average results from the exercise I did really was nothing more than guestimates the program offered. After doing an intense workout with my Derbalife Accountability Partner (howdy partner) I realized just what I was missing out on: accurate info on burned calories!

I have 2 weeks left of this challenge. So far I can tell you my waist has lost close to 2 inches, my back fat has trimmed down and my track speed has increased (almost 2 laps on the 5-minute time trial).  And now I get to strap this new toy on and push myself to make everyday activities part of my workout (again, I'm OCD so of course I'll find a way to turn doing the dishes into an actual workout, or walking to the laundry room, or ... sex?)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Derbalife - Week 4

I'm thrilled.

Joining this challenge was the push I needed to get back in the groove. When I lived in Canada, I was an avid gym user. I was lucky enough to work-out with some of the best! Actually, one of my work-out buddies was the Canadian Middle Weight Body Building Champion! I had access to top notch coaching on muscle building and toning. If I missed out one morning, then I'd eat shit the next.

Having this unofficial club was the motivation I needed to set my alarm at 5:30 am 5 days a week.

Then I moved out here, joined a race car team and toured the country for 5 years. Truck stops and McDonalds was our regular food fare. Although I lead a highly active lifestyle from being on my feet from 9 in the morning til midnight, the food certainly did not contribute to being healthy. Restaurants 3 times a day, 7 days a week for 10 months out of the year... it was a killer!

I needed incentive to whip my ass back into shape. But the fact I was unemployed and enjoying a cushy lifestyle aboard a boat made it so hard for me to hit the pavement. My motivation was at an all time low. I easily convinced myself the 2-3 derby practices I went to each week was sufficient. But it wasn't. My core was wasting away in a land that oddly resembled a Jell-O filled balloon. And the back fat? Not very becoming!

A derby pal was what inspired me! She posted before and after pics from her Derbalife Challenge. OK, the fact she won a sweet pair of Antiks also helped sealed the deal! Now I find myself tracking my food and even lowering my alcohol intake (to actually see the amount of drinks on the screen glaring at me like a silent guilt reminder was not good) and I am now more aware of what I eat AND drink including the water (no, I wasn't solely referring to beer and Malibu)!

I may not win a pair of Antiks, but already 4 weeks into this challenge I feel like a winner!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Can't Help But Wondering...
Now that I've been enjoying derby 7 months of rough-grueling-crunching-slamming-growling pleasure I really wonder why every single woman does not give this sport a try? Except for the catty ones. Maybe.

I also wonder how could I turn Marr Bulls into my real name? Like on my driver's license and passport and stuff. You  know, make it official. This name suits me, it just does. A league girl told me last week "That name really suits you." and then added "I hope it doesn't insult you that I just said that!"

At first I felt pride, then I felt quizzical as to if I should feel shame since she politely pointed out that there was a hint of an insult in calling me Marr Bulls.

*hangs head in shame*

NO WAY! I love my name! It's goofy with hints of craziness! Like the label says: You can play with me! Collect me! Swap me! Heck, I'll even let you whip me!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Diary of a Derbalifer - Part 2
My first week in the Derbalife challenge went off with a BIG start! In terms of working out I did not cut corners:

  1. Ran a 5K on day 1 with all those other things I mentioned in Part 1;
  2. Went to Derby practice twice (or was it thrice, not sure);
  3. 2 bike rides with a minimum of 5 miles each times and pushing it hard;
  4. Worked all day at our home bout so that kept me on my toes and running from 2:30 to 10:30 pm (ok so it was followed by a couple of beers);
  5. Participated in the 1-mile sprint on skates for the Girl Scouts;
  6. Went sailing so we could try out the spinnaker sail and had my heart rate up in the gazillion beats per minute (yes, it was a killer!)
  7. Did the week 1 workouts daily (the balancing thing, the one leg stand-ups, the ice skates...)
And what's going on THIS week?

I started a cold. I've been a sick puppy. I went to derby practice but once! OK, kudos for staying beyond bootcamp and hitting the track with the league girls, and I did go sailing twice and swam with the luminescent fishies one night - but still. I'm a bit disappointed in myself.

I know, I know - I'm under the weather and this cold is seriously kicking my ass! But, I have been without energy. Today is the first day that I started feeling less like a zombie and more like a real'ish person. Kinda.

I have 2 days left to honor my promise to myself for this week.

p.s. As I'm writing this post I have the oven toasting up my new snack - Pita Chips. I'm a big snacker. So may as well make it on the healthy side with some homemade pita chips. Yumalicious!