I have been journaling for as long as I can remember, first as a child, then on vacations, sporadically for a while, before a few years ago when I started journaling consistently, every single day. There are periods where I can look up entire conversations that I’ve had with people, nearly word for word. Lately, something has happened which is really upsetting, but also super awesome. I have become too busy to journal. Or at least to keep up with it the way I did. Which is sad because I liked the idea of being able to go back and know exactly what was going on, but seriously, it is so exciting that I am too busy living my life to be able to write about it.

On the Thursday of my last post, I spent the morning doing self-tapes with friends and watching Buffy, before going to work at 4 points. I didn’t make it to NOGI that night, because Midtown Med Spa, where Ayisha now does Lashes & Blades, was celebrating its anniversary with a fancy event. The people who work there waited in their rooms while clients (and potential ones) roamed around, drinking wine, enjoying food and asking questions. I spent some time batting my newly amazing eyelashes, and even participated in a live demonstration of lash extensions. It was fun to get dolled up and meet some interesting people, such as Ayisha’s friend Sarah, who was in town from Montreal. When the event was over, we all went out for supper.

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The following morning, I met Sarah at 4 points for a little photoshoot for her upcoming Extensa Method Training. She teaches stretching to Olympic divers, hockey players, Jiu-Jitsu teams…and that morning she taught some of it to me. It was a lot of fun, and so is she.

Not long after she headed out, Chie arrived for my boxing bootcamp. This was one of the rare occasions where I had someone else with me, but we still followed the same routine of circuit training and padwork. He very much enjoyed the fact that even as he put pressure on my wall sit, I still smiled.

We did some prep for the workshop that weekend, then I did the lunchtime jiu-jitsu class, where we worked on all the chokes. Especially the ones involving the GI. Not my favorite, but who knows what will come in handy during a roll.

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That afternoon, Ayisha had a self-tape to do where she was an absolute badass, so we worked on it and did it a few times, then her boxing friend from Montreal gave us an hour long private session which was intense and soooo much fun. We did the scenes again with this new energy before calling it a day

Back at home, there was basically a party going on, with all my roommates, including the new and unofficial ones, and Christine, who was in town for the Hubert Boorder film fighting workshop. There was talking, food and then we watched Brad’s Status, to support all of the amazing Montreal talent they were lucky enough to have in it.

On Saturday Christine and I went to the workshop, which I will have a separate post on, then we had lunch and went to the Monkey Vault, where we practiced the short fight choreography we had been given. When my partner left, they were still working on their stuff, so I joined in on a new friend’s private parkour session. We worked on vaulting, which was one of my goals for this month, and I achieved some stuff I had been pretty sure I couldn’t do, which was really exciting. It’s really comforting to see that the more you do the things that scare you, the less scary they are and the more you can do.

That night, a bunch of us went out for supper at The Green Eggplant, then we went to see I Feel Pretty. I can understand why some people wouldn’t like the movie, but I did laugh a whole lot, and the company was amazing, so it was an awesome night.

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On Sunday we finished the workshop, running a little more than 2 hours over, which was unexpected, and incredibly generous of our Stunt Coordinator instructor. I absolutely loved pretty much every minute of it. A few of us went for supper afterwards, which is becoming a tradition that I very much enjoy.

On Monday, Christine had to head back to Montreal, but Alyssa stayed, so we went jogging with my roommate and did some padwork before meeting up with some guys who had trained in stunts with her in Montreal. It was a really nice, fun afternoon. Nearly everyone I have met who works (or wants to work) in stunts has been super nice, helpful and awesome.

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I finished off my day with Jiu-Jitsu, which must have been hilarious to watch, because I was sore in many places, and literally had to lift my head up with my hands before I could sit up, because my neck wasn’t quite up to the challenge.

On Tuesday, some people who are either trying to get into stunts, or just want to train and practice their basics, came to the gym and let me join in on their training. I absolutely love training and working on this kind of stuff every chance I get, so it was an amazing opportunity. I recently saw a stunt girl who posts a weekly tally of how many hours she spends training, and while I don’t think I need to broadcast it, I definitely want to make sure that I am putting in the time and working on my crafts. I was told that my job now is to train, and I intend to take this very seriously.

I spent the rest of the day with Ayisha, and this girl is amazing. Not only because I really enjoy hanging out with her, but because she gets things done. Once she sets her mind to something, she finds a way to make it happen, and it is really inspiring to watch. I finished off the day with NOGI, where there were more chokes and a lot of work to never have two butt cheeks or two shoulders on the mat. Definitely good advice, but I may have sometimes gone into a semi-bridge position for the butt cheeks, which was not what she meant when she gave that directive. After class, those who wanted could stay and be drilled on certain useful techniques, especially to prepare the guys who were participating in the Ontario Open. I was incredibly excited when one of the things we were doing was something that I had been taught and could do, while others hadn’t learnt it yet. Not because I felt like I was better than anyone, but because for once I got to help someone who had spent countless classes teaching me all the things. And honestly, I am just really excited when I get things.

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On Wednesday I did the morning boxing class with Chie, where I did my first deadlifts, and was told to be more careful when training, because he can’t work on my kicks when my shins are all bruised. It was still a really fun class where I sort of got to try sparring, and I’m sure I smiled even through the hard stuff.

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That afternoon I worked with Ayisha, then did some BJJ, but I had to leave early to get to a viewing party. Chris River, who is an awesome actor and a really great kid, was on that night’s episode of The Expanse, and he did a wonderful job. It was sweet and sad and cute and watching him and his mom watching the episode had to be the cutest thing ever. The kid is also hilarious, so we were thoroughly entertained.

We ended the night with steak night, which usually comes after jiu-jitsu, but who am I to say no to spending time with friends? (I used to do this a lot…with so many excuses…but I’m working on being much more ‘go with the flow’ and spontaneous and less shy and self-conscious) It was a great night. (or day actually, from start to finish)

I had SP training on Thursday, followed by working/hanging out with Ayisha. We have been working a lot on the film and tv side of things, which will soon include self-tapes, which are something I am very familiar with, from helping out friends, from class and from working as a reader. They’re an incredible opportunity to act and discover a character, and the perfect embodiment of “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. We mostly worked on that and updates for the website until I had to head home to Montreal, luckily with company, because otherwise you get very tired around 2 am…

One of my friends was locked out of his house when we got there, so he ended up staying over at my place, and getting picked up from my grandparents’ place Friday morning while I made cupcakes. I spent most of the day with my mom and aunt at my cousin’s, preparing for her sister’s bridal shower and bachelorette party.

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When they headed home, I drove over to Paragym (and totally got lost walking from my car to the entrance) so I could train with Christine and Alyssa. At first we just did a warm up and worked on our kicks, but then Christine came up with a combo whose sole purpose was to run us through the gamut of reactions. We ran it a bunch of times with the different ways of avoiding getting hit, then filmed ourselves taking the blows, so we could see what sells and adjust accordingly. They were awesome and mostly had to adjust the height of their kicks or the angles of their punches, but I had a lot of work to do. From being too stiff to looking down to a bunch of other things, it took me a lot longer to get to a point where we were satisfied. I still have so much to work on, but every time we meet up and do things like this, I improve exponentially. I am at the complete bottom of the skills level, but that is completely fine with me. I am going to keep training with people and working on it on my own and watching the videos and learning from my mistakes and from other people. Because even if it takes me a million baby steps to get there, eventually, I will get there. And I am completely enjoying the journey, so while the destination will be awesome, it doesn’t really matter at the moment.

After a few hours, we went to Christine’s for a healthy, protein-filled supper, fun conversations, a clothing giveaway and some UFC videos. I am slowly starting to watch fights as not just a series of blurs until one person wins, but to be able to recognize what people are doing. It started when I went to see Tomb Raider and recognized all kinds of different martial arts and moves, but at the John Stead workshop, it kind of bugged me that I could remember the sequence okay, but wasn’t familiar enough with the moves to tell my partner more than punch, punch, kick. It’s a lot easier to remember the choreography when you can tell yourself right hook, uppercut, roundhouse, than if you just register whether it is the arm or the leg that is moving, which in itself is an improvement on how I used to watch fights. Again, I am a huge fan of baby steps.

On Saturday, there was more prep before the actual bridal shower. Chelsea showed up in a white dress, so she obviously wasn’t surprised, but I would like to hope she was happy with everyone who came and what her mom put together. There were games, so much food and the cutest/funniest video series from her fiancé answering questions about their relationship. I used to love going to showers when I was a little girl, and this one was no exception, but so much more exciting and a big deal because my cousins are like my siblings and we are all growing up. Which was pretty obvious when we got to the bachelorette party. I believe there is a ‘what happens at the bachelorette party stays at the bachelorette party’ rule, but I can say that the food we had catered was delicious (so let me know if you need a take home chef in Montreal), I was overwhelmed and so touched by what people notice and think about me, and I did some more #allthethings. I also somehow agreed to participate in the next jiu-jitsu competition, because I missed all the guys from 4 Points participating in the Ontario Open. This means I have a little over a month to train and get ready for it. I would be terrified, but someone told me it helps to have no feelings when it comes to competitions, so I’m trying that for now.

Finally, Sunday was Mother’s Day, so I spent the day with the women who go way above and beyond what the title implies, and help make me the luckiest girl in the world.

“It’s not about what you tell your children, but how you show them how to live life.”

-Jada Pinkett Smith

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