Monday, 24 February 2014

Taking Care of Myself When Sick and Jamieson ProVitamina E Review

I have slowly but surely returned to the land of the living!  Last week I started going back to training and lucky for me it was reading week at school and also a recovery week at skating so I was able to ease myself back into exercising and being out of the house.  After being sicker than I have been in years I feel like I now have some new insights into how to take care of myself when I'm sick when my mommy is far away in another province.

I think one of the hardest things for me was remembering to eat.  I was so sick that I had zero urge to get off the couch and make some food but I didn't want to lose any muscle mass so I forced myself to eat regular meals and drink lots of fluids and found that I would often feel better once I had eaten.  Another thing that made me feel marginally better was not wallowing in my own filth.  I cleaned my room, I washed my sheets, I showered on a (semi) regular basis, one night I even put on makeup and regular clothes and went to dinner with some friends (by regular clothes I mean black leggings and a sweater).
I'm trying so hard to look like I'm not dying is it working?
I think that the most important thing I learned through this horrific flu experience though was not to push myself too hard.  The one day I went back to training and school was so draining and not worth it because I felt so much worse the next day and probably delayed my recovery a bit.  Because of this I opted not to race this weekend in hopes that I will be fully recovered to skate national team trials #2 next month.

During my week from hell I did make a life changing discovery.  You might remember that I described my face as being "so dry it felt like it was going to fall off" so once I was feeling well enough to walk to the mall across the street I went on a mission to find something to repair my poor skin.  I would like to point out that this was not just a red nose but skin so dry that my eyelids were burning (I didn't even know dry eyelids was a thing that could happen).  I went to Shoppers and picked up the only face cream I saw that said it was for "dry and very dry" skin because at this point I didn't even care if I was going to break out (it also happened to be on sale, score).

I ended up with the Jamieson ProVitamina e Moisture-Rich Nourishing Cream.  It comes in a pretty big tub (compared to other face creams I have used) and doesn't look like anything fancy but oh my goodness does it work.  I used it overnight and by the next day my face looked like my normal face again!  It even helped heal up an acne scar that would normally take much longer to look that much better.  It is very thick but hasn't caused me to break out at all so I've continued to use it every night and sometimes during the day, I even wore it under makeup the last few days and didn't break out at all.  Since using this cream my face looks smoother and my skin looks healthier and I have to use so little of if that it will probably last forever.

This is about how much I used 
I will admit that where I live it is very dry as well as very cold right now so if it is warmer or damper where you are or if you have oily skin this might not be for you and I probably won't continue using it if it gets hot and humid during the summer but for right now this is the perfect product for my situation.

Bonus picture of the view out my bedroom window right now, it's just encased in ice

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Liebster Award

Oh look a fun mid-week blog post! Olivia ( nominated me for a Liebster blog award which is basically a little question tag.  I'm supposed to write 11 random facts about me then answer some questions from Olivia and then make 11 of my own questions for the 11 people I nominate but since I don't even know 11 bloggers I think I'm going to skip that step (sorry, sidenote: hi other bloggers let's be friends).

Random Facts:

1. I was born 6 weeks early and only weighed four pounds 

2. I've broken both of my legs (about a year and a half apart) one speed skating and one playing soccer
3. My little sister and my cousin both speed skate and my parents are both coaches so skating is really a family affair for the Morrison's
4. I'm in my fifth year of university and still have no idea what I want to do with my life
5. I have British citizenship because my dad was born there even though I've only been to England once (take me back!)
6. I've seen Taylor Swift in concert twice and it almost killed me that I couldn't go to the Red tour

7. I'm an English major (I'm running out of interesting facts)
8. I actively played the euphonium until I finished high school (and was actually pretty good) 

9. I honestly can't even remember learning how to skate
10. I often wish I was a gymnast even though I did gymnastics when I was younger and wasn't very good
11. My favourite place in the whole wide world is our family cottage 

11 Questions: 
All time favourite...

1. Beauty product? I don't know if this counts but I am currently loving my Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter.  I got it because I had a gift card and it is incredible for taking off makeup.
2. Clothing item? I have these beige pants from H&M that are higher waisted and skinny and I probably wear them anytime I go out anywhere and I've had them for so long that I can't even remember buying them ... are the from H&M?

3. Makeup brand? I wouldn't say that I have a favourite brand, I like different things from different brands.

4. Fashion label? Oh dear, I could pretend I know a lot about fashion and designers but I don't, I definitely don't know enough to have a favourite ... 80% of what I wear on a daily basis is from lululemon

5. Beauty blog? I'm not sure if people consider this a beauty blog but sprinkleofglitter 

6. Celebrity crush? I have a lot of celebrity crushes but right now it's probably One Direction (all of them I don't even care) and/or Josh Hutcherson

7. Song? My favourite song of all time is probably Our Song by Taylor Swift it just doesn't get old

8. Singer/band? I honestly could not pick a favourite I listen to too much and on such a broad spectrum

9. Tv show/movie? Fave movie is The Sound of Music, it's amazing I will fight you on this

10. Book/Series? My favourite book series will probably always be Harry Potter but I think that my favourite stand-alone book is probably The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (I just read it and it's incredible)

11. Food? I'm a big pizza fan ... don't tell my coaches

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Help, I'm Pathetic

It's Saturday so that means it's blog post day! I don't know if I ever told you guys that Saturday is new post day but I decided it was a while ago and so here we are. I'm trying really hard to post something every week but it's a little difficult especially since I have done nothing all week except for sit on my couch.

Monday morning I woke up with a bit of a cough but I thought nothing of it and went to training.  I had done one of our three relays and I was still coughing and my lungs felt a little bit like they were burning so I very dramatically told my coach "I think I'm dying."  Of course my coach knows by now that I can be just a tad overdramatic so she had me do one more relay and take the last one off.  I took the afternoon off training in the hopes that I would feel better and be able to do more the next morning (which was a harder session) but that evening I got a fever.  I still had a bit of a fever Tuesday morning so I took the whole day off.  Wednesday we didn't have training so I didn't do anything that day either except for clean my whole room because I was honestly getting really tired of sitting of my couch.  On Thursday I was so tired of doing nothing that I got up and went to skating.  I didn't really do anything, just skated around by myself and did a bit of a bike in the afternoon but I may have slightly jumped the gun in going back to training.  On Friday I felt worse and stayed in a onesie on my couch all day and had no desire to move (happy Valentine's day).  Today I am (thankfully) feeling a little better but just going out into the world briefly has left me completely exhausted and my face is so dry it feels like it is going to fall off.

I have now missed an entire week of training.  I've been on the ice twice in the last eight days and I haven't done weights at all in the last week.  I'm trying not to freak out because when I look in the mirror it still looks like I have muscles and I know one week isn't going to erase a whole season of training, but with just over a month until second trials I am really hoping that I'm feeling immensely better by Monday (please please pleaseeee) because I really need to get back to training.

Moral of this story: get a flu shot every year

If any one has any tips on how to beat a cold/the flu let me know because I am currently feeling very terrible and pathetic and would like to not feel like this anymore.

Sunday, 9 February 2014


The winter Olympics are in full swing which means 1. I am SUPER excited and 2. I will be wearing my Canada toque every day until it's over.
The Olympic Oval (where I train every day) has set up a Sochi lounge so we can watch Olympics while we're at the oval/university and we are currently recording about 15 hours of footage overnight/during the day so we can watch anything that we miss while we're doing other things (like sleeping ... there's an 11 hour time change).  The oval sometimes also puts the Olympics up on the big screen which can be really distracting while we're skating.

Of course I am very excited to watch the speed skating both long and short track and so far we have gotten to watch Sven Kramer race while we ate breakfast before our own races Saturday morning and watch Ivanie Blondin who's from my home club skate today.  Short track starts tomorrow and everyone should watch it! It can be absolutely insane and Canada has a lot of medal contenders but as always anything can happen.
Look at that doesn't that look ridiculous?
I also really enjoy watching the snowboarding events.  I haven't been able to use my snowboard in years because I don't want to get injured during the competitive season so I get to live a little vicariously through the olympic snowboarders (although my skills are nowhere near).  I am also in love with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir so I am ridiculously excited to see them skate again.

seriously don't even get me started on them
What are you excited for? Who are you rooting for?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Body Composition

Every few months at the training centre we do some body composition tests.  I usually get really curious to see the results but I also dread it a little.  During these tests they take measurements of my legs to calculate my thigh volume as well as skin folds to calculate what percentage of my body is fat.  Every time I have these tests done the results come back and I'm told that my thigh volume is too low and I have struggled in the past with my fat percentage dropping too low.  Bigger leg muscles means faster skating, it's as simple as that, but fat percentage is a little trickier.  If your fat percentage is too high then you're basically just carrying dead weight that can slow you down but if it's too low your body will start breaking down protein (muscles) for energy and can lead to other health issues (especially for women).

I've always been small.  It's just something I've always dealt with, I don't think I hit one hundred pounds until high school.  From about 12 or 13 years old every year I went to the doctor for my checkup she would ask me this series of questions: "Do you eat meat? Do you eat vegetables? Do you snack in between meals?"  She once asked my mom these questions to make sure I was telling the truth and I was also once asked "You're not making yourself throw up or anything are you?"  I understand that the doctor had to ask me these question but it was still uncomfortable and couldn't help wondering if there was something wrong with me.

Growing up in the speed skating world I used to hate that I didn't look like everyone else.  I was basically skin and bone wrapped in spandex.  I didn't like how my legs didn't touch when I walked like all the faster skaters in my club and my mom had to custom make all my skin suits so that they would fit.
Racing at 14 years old 
In high school I actively started to try to gain weight.  I would have a protein shake almost every night before I went to bed and tried to eat in between meals during the day.  When I moved out to Calgary at 19 and had the body composition tests done for the first time I was told that my thigh volume was too low and that my fat percentage was ok but that I shouldn't let it get any higher.  I had been obsessing about my weight for years but had never in a million years thought that my fat percentage would be on the higher end of the spectrum (for speed skaters).  I started to cut out unnecessary things like sweets and unhealthy snacks but I didn't replace them with healthier options.  My fat percentage dropped, my thigh volume dropped, my energy and performance dropped, and I had to have an emergency meeting with my coach.

Right now I am happy with my body appearance-wise but even though I've always been fit it is not how I have always felt.  I think that athletes can tend to have obsessive personalities because we are always trying to seek perfection in order to be the best.  In the sport world I also think that it is much more common for people to comment on a person's size or to talk about weight.  I can now look at my fat percentage number and not let it affect me too much because I know from experience that I can't skate as fast at 12% as I can at what I am now but I've also realized that it would probably be healthier for me not to memorize my thigh volume number and not to compare either of these things with other people.  I now use these tests mostly just to make sure I am still going in the right direction.  Is my thigh volume going up? No? What can I change so that it will? Did my fat percentage drop? Guess I better up the carbs at dinner.

at trials in November (
I would also encourage you to read this article about Clara Hughes and Gillian Carleton: 
"Canada’s Olympians not exempt from depression and anxiety even with success"