Posts tagged ‘sports’

June 20, 2019

Results Review

I just recently finished a 12 week workout program by Results App. When I lived in Toronto I would get enough exercise walking and biking to get from A to B, but after living in Kampala for several months, I found that I needed another way to get exercise and get rid of my restlessness. I currently work from home and so I don’t go out often during the day. I don’t enjoy walking or running where we live because there is a high traffic road and no sidewalks! I started the app hoping it would also help relieve back pain that I had been dealing with for some time. It has definitely helped! Over time my back pain and stiffness became less and less until now I almost experience none at all. The ab work has helped, but I think that working my glutes made the biggest difference. Overall I am glad that I tried the app. For now I will continue with it though may decide to seek an open source alternative sometime soon. Below I list out what I like about the app, what I think can be improved, and things to be prepared for.

Here are the things that I liked about the app:

  • It plans the workouts for you so that you don’t have to think about it
  • The user interface is very simple and easy to understand. There is a voice option that can be turned on to guide you through the exercises so you don’t need to be looking at your phone the whole time.
  • The workouts change up over time and gradually get more challenging based on an initial fitness test and feedback you give after each workout
  • The workouts average at about 30 minutes though they got on the longer side closer to the end
  • Short video clips help with proper form of an exercise that is unfamiliar
  • The videos are short and don’t require too much data (an important one for Uganda!)
  • I like that there are alternatives offered for exercises that may be too challenging (i.e. knee push-ups in place of push-ups), though I only use them rarely because I am stubborn…
  • The app is flexible and allows you to choose how many days you want to work out each week. After you choose, it reminds you to keep to what you said you would do
  • When late on finishing the number of workouts that week, it tells you how many days you are overdue, and encourages you to get back in the game; I had weeks where I was sick or traveling, and appreciated that it had a balance between keeping you to your goals without overly discouraging you at missing a target. It actually took me 4 months to complete the 3 month program.
  • There is an option to set a separate cardio goal that can be measured using the parallel Runtastic App. It is nice how the two apps share info. Runtastic offers a choice of running training programs that are also available under the Results membership.
  • The cost is $12CAD per month with tax. I’m on the fence with this one. It is much more affordable than a gym membership and yet I sometimes think how they must be raking in the money with so many people registered. I would challenge Results to make themselves more affordable so that lower income people can also benefit.

Here are things that I think could be improved:

  • The workouts sometimes became too hard, too fast. I’m stubborn and so I wasn’t always ready to give an honest review at the end of a workout; it could be cool if they assessed performance based on the time it took to do the exercises rather than just our opinion.
  • The stretches are the same every time. I think they could also be a bit more varied.
  • The second time I did the fitness test it measured my improvement to be very small when I think it was more significant than that. I think that the test isn’t accurate because there are only so many exercises (like situps, squats, or burpies) you can do in a minute with good form. So perhaps the time period needs to be longer or the exercises need to be more difficult to get a better sense of overall improvement.
  • I think they focus too much on weight loss in the app. I would like the focus to be more about being strong and healthy and reducing pain while increasing mobility.
  • The app always asks after every workout whether I want to share my results with social media. I would like a setting where I can turn this question off so I don’t even have to see it. I don’t think my friends need to know how many push-ups I did on Tuesday.

Things to be prepared for:

  • I didn’t realize how much jumping this program has! I can’t say I love it but am getting used to it and have seen biggest improvements in this area. Fortunately the jumps are quite varied and so they don’t get boring.
  • I still get sore after these workouts even though I am past the 12 week mark! I thought I would get past it in the first week, but how wrong I was! I tried Insanity for a month and was only sore the first week, but for this program the soreness keeps coming, probably because the bar keeps getting raised higher each time.
  • The improvement on my arms is a much slower work in progress and not as much as I was hoping for. I’m going to keep chugging away at it though! I found this Runtastic article about incline pushups very helpful and am trying to do them on days between workouts.

That’s it! I hope that you find this review helpful.

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February 4, 2018

Mont Tremblant 2.0

At the end of January I joined Sally-Jane’s annual Mont Tremblant ski trip. I was so happy to go because I had not been skiing for two years and Mont Tremblant is some of the best skiing within driving distance of Toronto. I had gone on a similar trip two years earlier. We ended up renting a van because we had a few people cancel. The group was graciously willing to leave an hour later so that I could have a networking meeting related to my job search. The drive was super smooth and we got there in good time with one interesting detour to get gas in a small town.

It was in the negative twenties overnight and we were worried that it would be extremely cold on the slopes. It warmed up a bit though and turned out to be quite bearable and strangely warmer at the top than at the bottom of the hill. The condition of the slopes was pretty good though a bit icy in places. I really enjoyed how clear the day was, a very different experience from skiing through fog two years ago! This time I became very comfortable with the black diamond level hills and skiing faster.




The following day I decided to go snow shoeing instead of skiing to save money on the lift and rentals and try something different. I went with Sanford and Rebecca to Domain Saint-Bernard. They took cross country skiing lessons and I went on a snowshoe hike on my own to Mont Onontio. I loved being out there all alone. All you could hear was the occasional wisp of wind or sound of wildlife, and the crunching of the snow. Snow shoes were definitely necessary for this trail because the snow was hard and you could easily twist an ankle if you hiked in boots and stepped through the top crust of snow. I enjoyed tapping the hardened snow on either side of the path with my hiking poles because it would make resonating sounds because of hollow areas formed beneath the hard shell on top. I can see myself doing more winter hiking! I enjoy skiing because you feel like you are flying, but snowshoeing you can go at a pace where you can enjoy so much more of the details of the nature and winter stillness around you.

My hike only took two hours and then I relaxed at the lodge for an hour waiting for Sanford and Rebecca. From there we went for lunch at a fantastic crepe place called Creperie Catherine. Yum! Rebecca and Sanford had booked massages at the Scandinave Spa which includes use of the baths afterwards. This was a day full of firsts and so I decided to go and see if there was an opening to use the baths. It was a fun and relaxing experience. There were several indoor and outdoor areas made up of hot installations, cold installations, and relaxation areas. They recommend that guests follow a ritual of hot experience for 10-15 minutes (a hot pool, steam sauna, or dry sauna), cold experience for a few seconds (cold pools or showers), and then relaxing for 10-15 minutes. I appreciated that there is a general rule to be quiet. I enjoyed it from an architectural standpoint because every bath area and relaxation room had a slightly different atmosphere and different furniture. I think my favourite relaxation area was a row of slightly rocking recliners that were outside beneath a trellis with heating lamps and the sound of waterfalls flowing into adjacent pools and a crackling fire. I spent a few hours there going through the rotation several times.



Our evenings at the Dentz chalet were cozy and relaxing. It was lovely just to curl up in front of the gas stove. We enjoyed two delicious meals together and played several rounds of Code Names. I think that we were a calmer group than past years and didn’t know each other as well, but we had some good laughs and conversations. *Sigh* I will forever be fond of winter escapes.



July 18, 2017

Swimming Lessons

From mid-summer of 2016 to early 2017 I was struggling with ongoing back pain. I didn’t feel entirely like myself because I am such an active person and so I think that I was in a bit of a depression. I have a friend who was encouraging me to try swimming as a low-impact way to be active, and finally I made the leap and booked lessons for May and June with Toronto Recreation. I was pretty happy when my roommate Susan later decided to sign up with me for the same class! We signed up for Adult Swim 2, but by the end of our first lesson we had graduated to Adult Swim 3! Susan and I were in luck because the third person who was supposed to be in our class dropped out and so it was like we had our own personal instructor! We refined our swim strokes, learned egg-beater, learned how to stride jump, and practiced diving. Susan was already a fairly strong swimmer, but learning to dive was a huge step for her because as a kid she had an ear infection and so never put her head underwater. I on the other hand was very comfortable with diving, but had to work at refining my swim strokes. Breast stroke was the hardest for me to learn, probably because I had to unlearn the wrong way of doing it! We also made first attempts at trying Butterfly! We were likely doing it all wrong (the instructor didn’t know it well and it wasn’t in the requirements for Adult Swim 3), but it was very fun to try and get a feeling for it! We also tried the somersault that swimmers do to turn around at the end of the pool.

I have not yet shared the funniest part of the story. When Susan and I had signed up for the lessons, we both needed new bathing suits and I needed goggles and a swim cap. We both ended up liking the same Speedo swimsuit we found at SportChek, and decided that we didn’t care if we were matching. We joked around that we could come into the swimming lessons pretending that we were freakishly close besties who intentionally dressed like twins, or else that we were two strangers who didn’t know each other and who upon seeing each other were appalled that the other had worn the same thing. We couldn’t help but document our roomie adventure by taking a photo in our matching swim suits in the dated change room (note the very bizarre ducts behind that we wondered if whether they were blow dryers)! Susan was also so proud of her diving that we decided take a video during our last lesson… and since we were already matching, we couldn’t help but make up a short synchronized dive sequence. It even included the “dab” move that Susan taught me is all the rage with her students. What a great memory of doing this together! What’s more is that it has become such a normal part of my week that I have managed to continue it by going to a drop-in lane swim on Wednesday nights. I am very proud of myself for finally doing something that I had talked about doing for so long! Next goal: do a sprint triathlon!


November 29, 2016



Els and Ron surprised me by taking me beach sailing or “strandzeiling” in Dutch. It was their first time to try it too. It must have been a good day for it because the beach near Ouddorp was humming with activity! It felt very different than two years ago when Tante Els took me earlier in the year and the beach was as almost deserted and we saw only one person kite-buggying. I learned that beach sailing is when the buggy is attached to a sail on a pole and kite buggying is when the buggy is pulled by a person holding a large moon-shaped kite. Kite buggying is more complicated but can be done in lighter winds, whereas beach sailing requires higher winds but is easier for beginners. We were taught by instructors and it was way easier than I thought it would be. You simply steer with your feet and control your speed by tightening or loosening a single rope that pulls the sail taught or lets it go. The biggest challenge is to pay attention and always know where the wind is coming from. That task was made easy for us as our instructor had us drive between two pylons. It was important which way we turned around each of the pylons in order to catch the wind in the turn. I’m guessing this is something that you would eventually get the feeling for with practice. We took turns in the buggies so that there was someone to push at either end in case someone got stuck in the turn! At first the wind was strong and sometimes you could even feel a rear wheel lift when making a turn (I loved that feeling!), but later on the wind slowed down and we had to stop a bit early. I enjoyed beach sailing and hope I will get the chance to do it again (I would like to try regular sailing too)!


On our way home we stopped for tea at my Oma and Opas. Then we headed back to Ron and Els’s and Opa and Oma came a few hours later for dinner the second day in a row. I feel so blessed to have been able to stop in and visit my family every year or so for the last several years!


September 23, 2016

Running 5k for Adam House

Over the past year I have been serving with a ministry in Toronto called Adam House. They are a Christian refugee reception centre that serves newly arrived refugees in their first few months in Canada. They help refugees through what is often the most difficult time of their lives as they come with nothing and often without their family and loved ones, have to go through a long and complicated application process, and have to adjust to a completely new culture and language. I love this ministry because they welcome people of all races, nations and beliefs, and yet boldly share and live out through service the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Adam House is the first home and family for these people and has a huge impact on their lives. Because they are a Christian organization, they do not get a lot of government funding. One of their main fundraisers is through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Will you consider supporting me as I run 5km on October 16th to raise funds for Adam House? If you want to know more about this ministry, just ask! I have so many great stories to share!

To give, you can find my profile at the following link: to pay with credit card, or you can give me cash or check along with your e-mail address. Donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt. Please also pray for this ministry. Thank you for your support! Sincerely, Lise van Overbeeke ] to pay with credit card, or you can give me cash or check along with your e-mail address. Donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt. Please also pray for this ministry. Thank you for your support!



2nd marathon team-building practice


4th marathon team-building practice

March 26, 2016

Skating on the Rideau Canal

PANO_20160131_131841On our way home from Mont-Tremblant, Neil, Benissa and I stopped in Ottawa and went skating on the Rideau Canal! One fun fact is that the Rideau Canal is the world’s largest skating rink and is 7.8km long! It was a beautiful one degree outside but thankfully the canal was still open! First we went to one end of the skateway called Dow’s Lake because Neil thought there would be Winterlude festivities happening there. We found out that the Dow’s lake section was cut off from the rest of the skateway, however the lake is huge and wasn’t very busy and so we enjoyed skating that section. At one side of the lake there was a giant inflated beaver and a beaver mascot where we couldn’t help but to play tourist and take a picture! Since it was the first day of Winterlude there was nothing else happening there, so we went back to the car and drove closer to the downtown so we could skate the other, longer section of the canal. This part of the canal is awesome because you get to skate under bridges towards the downtown, where eventually you get a glimpse of the parliament buildings! The canal was alive with people and there were food stalls right on the ice! When we turned around and were on our way back to the car, we ran into Sally-Jane and John-Paul. It was funny how we met them because Neil was taking a picture and then John-Paul skated into the scene! It was such a memorable day and I’m glad I can finally say I have skated on the Rideau Canal!


March 25, 2016


At the end of January I went on a two-day ski trip to Mont-Tremblant with a group of friends from my church. One of my friends has a wonderful cottage in the village and invites a group to join her every year. I had never been to Mont-Tremblant; the last time I was in Quebec was when I went with the Explore program to Trois-Pistoles in 2007! I enjoyed every part of the trip. The conditions on the mountain were excellent, the cottage was the most gezellig place I had been in a while, and I was in great company! Here are some fond memories that I have from the trip:

  • The day before I left I went to my Wednesday evening small group gathering. We had just finished talking about the importance of communal worship, and as a joke Howard asked the group who was not coming to church on Sunday. JP and I hesitantly lifted up our hands and explained we would be going skiing. When Kathy and Derek discovered I didn’t have skis, they generously lent me one of their own pairs!
  • I carpooled up with Neil, Benissa and Soojeen and we had some great discussions that made the time fly by!
  • It was obvious that I don’t ski often because the morning we went to the hill I forgot my poles in John-Paul’s car. My first journey down the hill was without poles as I navigated my way back down to the car! Luckily Sally-Jane and John-Paul were able to give me clear directions and there was a stand-up gondola that brought me pretty close to the car.
  • For the first morning I skied on my own, but then in the afternoon I joined the group. It was great because they first convinced me to go on a black diamond that they said was more of a dark blue, then a simple black diamond, and finally I was skiing black diamonds like a pro!
  • It was often foggy on the mountain. Near the top the fog freezes to the trees and makes you feel like you are in Narnia. I loved enjoying the view from the lift! Often times we took the singles line and ended up on the lift with strangers, but one time we got on all together and I decided to take a photo of the others. I found out later that I had captured my reflection in Becky’s goggles! IMG_20160129_140130IMG_20160129_145122
  • I enjoyed skiing through the fog even though visibility wasn’t great. It made me feel like I was moving faster than I actually was or like I was a character in a video game! Most of all I love skiing because it makes you feel like you are flying. I tracked my speed one time and I reached 45km/hour!
  • We enjoyed three wonderful evenings at the cottage. We shared two delicious meals and played a lot of games. We played a game similar to charades but the one where for the first round you have to describe the word, the second round you act it out, and the third you pick a single word to describe it. At the end we tried an “act it out under a blanket” version that Alexa and Eric tried out, and then Neil and I tried the version where you are only allowed to make sounds. I think the under the blanket version was the funniest to watch!
  • On the Sunday morning I woke up early and went for a lovely walk on my own on a trail in the woods behind the cottage. It was so peaceful and beautiful! We didn’t get much snow in Toronto this year and so it was nice to be surrounded by white!
  • I carpooled home with Neil and Benissa and we stopped in Ottawa to go skating on the Rideau Canal! But that is for the next post…. :)



December 30, 2015

Raptors Game

In November I went to my first ever Raptors game. It could actually be considered my first ever professional sports game. I went with my work colleagues because we were given tickets by one of our clients. The seats we had were amazing! It was cool to finally experience being in a large stadium and seeing how the building was organized. The game was incredibly close which made it exciting to watch! Near the end of the game they were calling time-outs every few minutes because it would be so easy for the game to tip in the favour of either team. I could see the amount of strategy that was involved. The Raptors were better at manoeuvring and passing to get close to the net, but the Knicks kept getting three pointers. Because we were behind the net, we got free blow-up noise-makers for whenever the Knicks would take a penalty shot in our end. They must do so much training to maintain focus during the ruckus! The Knicks won with only a two point lead.

Stones throw

Work colleagues

Near the end of the game I somehow managed to give myself the most bizarre and embarrassing injury (second only to walking into a hole in the road on the streets of Kampala). During time-outs the mascot and cheerleaders would come out and throw free T-shirts into the crowd. I reached out to catch one that was coming my way (the guy beside me got it in the end) and as I did I sort of half stood up and then sat down hard. I somehow managed to come down and sit right on the edge of my phone! Ouch! I swallowed the pain and and managed to hide it as we left the stadium and even went out for drinks, but when I got home my ass was swollen and black and blue! I was walking funny for almost a week! Excluding my injury it was a great night. Next time I think I’ll just avoid getting swept up in the fandom so that I don’t get distracted, since that is when I usually hurt myself. :P


June 22, 2015

Toronto Winter 2015

I’m publishing this a few months too late since it is a post about things I was up to this winter. I haven’t been as diligent with my blogging while in the final stretch of finishing my thesis. Even though I spent most days working away on my thesis, I still had some great times with friends that I want to remember.

Window view


To celebrate New Years I went to the annual Devos party. This time it was in Brantford at their new house. It was great to see friends from Maranatha again and to see Dave and Shirley’s new place. I counted it as the fourth Devos new years party I’ve been to! This year for the first time we didn’t follow the tradition of running to the stop sign and back in our bare feet.

Another party I went to was Andrea and Cameron’s engagement party in February. It was a chance to meet up with an interesting blend of architecture and highschool friends. I got a ride there with Emma and it was snowing like crazy. On the way home we had a little scare when we spun out on the road and were pushed lightly into a snowbank. We would have been stuck for hours if we had to call CAA, but miraculously there was a Tim Hortons a stones throw away where a guy and his buddy with a tow truck were chatting in the parking lot. They towed us out of the snow bank right then and there free of charge. Hooray for kind and generous human beings!

That same night I went to Wilson’s birthday party that was in a Condo event space in Liberty Village. It was great to meet new people both inside and outside of Grace Toronto church. The evening went by too fast. Nothing quite passes the time like a glass of wine, good conversation, a DJ, and dancing!

In March I went to a party celebrating spring at an architecture colleague’s apartment that they call the ‘Loft’. It was a musical talent showcase and social evening. There was some amazing music that included some Tabla drumming that originates from northern India and Mark’s musical talents on guitar.

Hotpots and other delicious meals!

On January 20th I went to Rachel’s place for a Hot Pot dinner with Rachel, Vikkie, and Jacky. It was a long time coming because we had talked about it since the four of us went hiking in the Adirondacks last August. When I told them that I had never had hot-pot before, they decided they would remedy that by having a gathering in the new year when I would be back from Africa. Hot pot is asian cuisine that involves a big pot of boiling broth in the middle of the table and then a bunch of raw meet, seafood, vegetables (mushrooms and greens),  and noodles to throw in. After they are ready then you fish them out and dip them in a dipping sauce that is a mix of all sorts of ingredients like soya sauce, garlic, raw egg, oyster sauce, peanut butter, and the list goes on. It is a fun way to share a meal! It reminds me of hot oil fondu. I guess this is the year of hot pots because a few weeks later I was invited last minute with John-Paul to another one at Joe’s place.


For the Winterlicious festival in Toronto Vikkie, Petra, Joy, and I went to Czehoski on Queen West. The food was delicious and I liked the atmosphere. I didn’t know this at the time because it was winter, but apparently they have a cozy little rooftop patio.

I joined a small group at my church (a.k.a Grace Gathering or GG) when I moved to Toronto in January and we met every Wednesday evening and went through a study on the book of Mark that was following the Sunday sermons. We  always shared dinner together before jumping into the study. It was a great way to grow more relationships with people at my church who live mostly in my part of town. To celebrate Melissa’s birthday our GG went to the Real Jerk on College street for Jamaican food. Yum!


On January 22nd I went to Toronto’s Design Offsite festival (TO DO) opening party at a shop called Smash in the Junction. It was a really awesome space. I arrived too early (a common fault of mine in the architecture scene because early means arriving before midnight) but since people intrigue me I approached and spoke to a bunch of strangers. I met an interior designer and a guy who writes for a neo-noir webseries called Haphead. Finally some archi-folks arrived and it was nice to reconnect!

That following Sunday after church I went with a group of people from Grace to Come Up To My Room, an alternative art event at the Gladstone Hotel. This was the fourth time I had seen either this exhibition or their twin event Grow Op, and I was a bit disappointed by this year’s exhibits. One of my favourites was Fiber Optic by Lizz Aston, a layered hanging textile. Another one I liked was Lazer Harp by Menalon and The New Beat that allowed people to play notes by putting their hand across a set of laser strings. I did wish the piece was more spatially engaging though like the sculpture Andrea and I came across in Montreal. There was an exhibit called In A Space that I didn’t care for as a collection, but there were one or two pieces I liked such as big crumpled up squares of black paper that were then re-opened and exhibited like art pieces, and a scarf with perfect geometries that was hanging on two nails to distort the forms.

Fiber Optic

Bent geometries

On February 4th I went to an exhibition and panel discussion at the Urbanspace Gallery called Mapping Ground: Representing the Urban Imaginary. The lectures and discussion were very interesting and offered excellent precedents and new ways to think about my own work. The exhibition itself didn’t offer me much insight. To me the maps seemed curated as art pieces rather than as functional maps (I even noticed that the maps were colour-coordinated although each was created by a different contributor). I think the maps lost something by being separated from the original work that would have included associated legends, diagrams, and other information.


I actually remained quite active over the winter. I joined a soccer team made up with a few people from Grace that I have played for in the past. This time it worked out really well because many of my teammates live in the east end and could give me rides to games. We remained undefeated until the playoffs! Unfortunately I injured my back and was unable to play in the playoff games.

I took advantage of the short winter by going skating quite a bit. Monarch park is close by and has a skating rink with unsupervised public skating every morning. I would often go at nine and start my work an hour later. There would usually be only one other person there. I would just dance around while listening to some tunes on my phone.

Vikkie and I went skating together twice. The first time we went to Greenwood Park where they have an ice rink with an ice path beside it. It’s a nice option because there is no barrier around it and so it’s possible to skate anytime. The second time we went to the rink at the Harbourfront Center. We met a quirky guy on the rink who spent hours and hours on the rink doing a bunch of crazy skating tricks on hockey skates and liked to skate circles around people. He was talented and so it was kind of fun to watch him though I think he got on some people’s nerves. Vikkie and I also picked up where we left off watching the TV show Once Upon a Time. This season the characters from the movie Frozen were thrown into the mix.

Skating 11001462_10153174905582845_1509153606_o (1)

On the first weekend of March I went skating on the Saturday with Tamar at Nathan Philip Square. It was crazy busy but there was a great energy and we had fun just skating around and chatting. The next day I went skating again, this time at Kew Gardens park at Beaches with Andrea and Cameron. It was so warm that we had to avoid a slushy patch of ice.

I had a few sporting firsts this winter. On a weekend in February I went cross-country skiing with Wilson, Esther and John-Paul up at the Mono Nordic Ski Club in Orangeville. I enjoyed it for the cardio and also the beautifully calm and scenic, snowy landscape. I’m glad I had the chance to cross-country ski since I didn’t have the opportunity to go down-hill skiing this winter.

Another first was playing ultimate frisbee. A team from my church asked me to play when they were short a female player. They knew that even though I couldn’t throw the frisbee well, I would at least be able to defend. I actually surprised myself when I dove for a frisbee in the end-zone and made an epic catch!

And that’s it for my 2015 winter fun!

April 9, 2012


Soccer, or football as they call it here, is probably the favourite Ugandan sport.  If you want a good conversation starter, all you have to do is mention the Premier league.  eMi encourages the interns to get involved in the community and spend a few work hours of our week volunteering somewhere; I filled in a position needed at a nearby school for an assistant soccer coach.

It was the first time I have ever coached soccer even though I played for many years.  I coached the under-seven co-ed team and it was a lot of fun introducing most of them to the sport!  They were a great group of kids.  Although we didn’t win many games, the kids always had a blast and got a really good grasp on the sport.