training camp

That time I hurt Coach’s feelings

Yesterday morning I tried on my dress for Dynamo’s wedding (T-7 till I get on the plane!!!! Weeeeeeeeee!) to make sure it still fit. I’ve put on 3lbs since I bought it during the holidays, so I was concerned – it is extremely form-fitting, with cut-outs at the waist, made out of material with no stretch. The last thing I want is to spill out of the cut-outs: not sexy. When I bought the dress, my posture had to be perfect to avoid spillover. A 3lbs weight-gain, under such circumstances, is a big deal.

To my surprise, the dress fight perfectly around the torso and waist – a sign that my weight gain is primarily muscle mass and not fat. Yay. HOWEVER, there was a small problem: the dress had grown tighter around the butt & upper thigh area. My booty had grown. Tribute to all those squats, deadlifts and box jumps, no doubt.

At the gym last night, I asked Coach how I could reduce my booty: more cardio? starvation? high reps low weight? I had 2 weeks to slim down the lower body to fit into the dress. With his help, I was confident I could achieve the exact body I wanted.


WHAT do you want to do? You want to REDUCE that booty? I don’t understand. Why would you want to do that? Your booty is perfect. Glorious. Women would kill to have that booty and you want to GET RID OF IT. For a dress. That goes against everything this gym stands for. Here, we CELEBRATE booty! How DARE you ask me that? I am the COACH who gave you that booty, and you dare ask me, ME, to undo all our hard work? Sacrilege! Treason! You are breaking my heart. You have offended my feelings as a Coach. I am speechless.

Except he really wasn’t speechless at all, because during the entire 1.5 hour training session, he made snarky comments to and about me, my glutes, and my poor judgment.

At the end of class, he told me to buy another dress, because he refused to participate in such a foolish scheme.




2nd red flag: that time I went insane

Despite writing how disappointed I was to discover Beaut was a runner, he continued to nag me to run with him. [I’d like to remind y’all that I live in CANADA, where it is currently WINTER. It is COLD. There is SNOW. Winter is made for sipping hot chocolate spiked with Baileys next to a crackling fireplace, snuggling under covers and hibernation. I don’t ski, snowboard or skate: I don’t hang out with people who do that kind of stuff either BECAUSE THEY ARE CRAZY.] Beaut met my resistance with gentle encouragement: he, too, used to dislike running, but he grew to love it. All it took was a bit of patience (huh?) and perseverance (what?).

I told him. I warned him. I HATE running. Better people than him have tried to convince me. I WON’T DO IT. I DON’T CARE that I am a boxer, and that any self-respecting boxer runs ever since Hollywood and Rocky decreed that it must be so. I have conviction, y’all. I stay true to my core beliefs, and boy, do I believe, down to my soul, that running is the worst. THE WORST.

Then, a week went by where Beaut and I did not find a single moment where our schedules were compatible. Not. A. Single. Moment. Conflicting and opposing schedules. As we were concluding that we had zero opportunity to see each other that week, he mentioned he was heading out for a run, was I sure I wouldn’t join him? I was sure. Of course I was sure: it was -10C, and I was all toasty and warm in my pyjamas, indoors. SO sure. Except I was also curious about the logistics of winter running: what clothes does one wear? what shoes does one require? how does one not faceplant? All my questions were phrased in the neutral third-person. Not because I was intrigued, nope. He said we should really plan to go running together, that he was looking forward to it. Aww. Really? Awwww.

The next day I asked Kristen who’d tried and failed to convert me into a runner back in Summer 2014 to tell me everything I needed to know about winter running. Her response, “Winter running? Ew! Vanilla, who is this guy?! You hate running, remember??” Yes, of course I remember – I’ve spent 31 years avoiding running. I DON’T WANNA TALK ABOUT IT JUST TELL ME WHAT RUNNING SHOES TO BUY. I told Beaut about Kristen’s sassy remark and he asked me what I’d replied. I tried to dodge answering it, fearing it would indicate a bit too much about me and emotions and all that awkard stuff. He pressed. I confessed: I was smitten, and he was busy, and if the only time I could see him was while dying and freezing and running and hating my life, FINE, I’d take it, and he better realize all of this. And if he didn’t realize any of this, at least running would help me stay sexy. Then I wanted to crawl under a rock, because that was too much vulnerability. He laughed. Jackass.

On Saturday, I navigated the confusing, conflicting, overwhelming amount of information about layers, materials, wicking moisture, thermal insulation. I spent too much money, and properly decked myself out for winter running.

Yesterday, we went for a night-time run, Beaut and I. I was CRANKY. Possibly because I had just finished a 12-course traditional Ukrainian/Russian Christmas feast (my family celebrated 1 week late, to accommodate a travelling family member). My tummy was full, and round. Possibly because IT IS WINTER AND THIS IS STUPID. Possibly because I can think of many ways I’d prefer to spend my time at 10pm on a Sunday night. And possibly because right before heading outdoors, I referred back to my convo with Kristen, and Beaut didn’t remember it. When I stared at him in growing outrage, he sheepishly admitted he had a terrible memory.


We ran. I will never admit it, but I loved it, just like I was hoping I would. I loved shutting off my anxiety-laden ADD brain, and focussing on the rhythm of my feet on the pavement. I loved having someone next to me pushing me to not give up. I loved the feel of the cool air, contrasting with my overheated body. I enjoyed my creaking muscles. I liked that we got to chat; and for once, since I was extremely breathless, Beaut did most of the talking!

Any guy who makes me like running is clearly dangerous. What’s next? Eating broccoli voluntarily? This is a slippery slope.


First red flag

During the holidays Beaut called me up to propose a great idea. He was sure I’d be down.

Why not go running outdoors together?

I didn’t understand. Voluntarily?

Yes, for fun. We both want to stay in shape during the holidays, as we eat non-ideal food. It’s a great way to combine our training objectives with seeing each other.


I was dismayed: all this time, I thought Beaut was a stand up, normal guy. Now, I realize he has a taste for pain and discomfort. #unusualtastes

NOBODY runs for fun. Nobody I wanna hang out with, anyhow.


What else is he hiding?