Saturday, October 3

Travels: Petergof, a golden Russian fairy tale

For some, Petergof could be only a park with a sky high entrance fee. For me, it is one of the reasons to call Saint Petersburg a fairy tale city. This summer residence of Roman dynasty tsars really took my breath away. Hands down, it's sometimes also refered to as "Russian Versailles" for a reason. 

Grand Peterhof Palace and the Grand Cascade

Don´t get me wrong, I´ve never been to Versailles, but you can´t disregard the influence French and Italian culture had to Peter I (Peter the Great). St. Petersburg (former Russian capital) is full of breath-taking buildings and stunning architecture. And, golden details. Petergof and it´s gardens, however, are a step up from that.

Maybe the park doesn´t scream history as much as the Hermitage Museum, but you can find some gems in here as well - for me, it was the chamber of Catherine the Great. Furnishings from 18th century became my dream room immediately. I don't typically mind not being allowed to take photos, but this time the temptation was really high. I'm a good girl through... which didn't stop me from almost getting jailed the other day in Russia, but that's a different story.

Back to the park. Besides exploring several palaces, you can take a walk towards the sea, or explore the smaller side paths of the complex. The park filled with fountains and statues begs for exploring. I can imagine going there for a picnic... or on a date. I´d totally love to go on a romantic date over there. Make a note, guys.

Petergof is much more than just a tourist site. It's a magical place and I'd definitely recommend it to everyone. 
If you had already visited Petergof, what were your impressions?

Thursday, August 13

WCW: Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir

I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to sometimes sit down and share some of the women who inspire me. They will mostly be my fitness idols, but I can't promise not to mention JKR one day. #nerdlife

First of these woman crush Wednesdays goes to Katrin Davidsdottir...
Katrin caught my eye a couple of years back, when she was a rookie at the Crossfit Games. Her walking handstand skills have amazed me. It's not a big suprise after you find out about her gymnastics background (which I preach because gymnastics and athletics are the foundation of every sport), but it's still very impressive. 

She has recently won the 2015 Crossfit Games and claimed the title of ''The Fittest Woman on Earth''. (Not that I'm a fan of that title, it's quite silly.)

What I love about her is that Katrin's almost my height and that makes her body my ''goal''. She's got some serious muscle, but her body looks achievable and sustainable without any terrible diets. And when she dresses up, she looks absolutely stunning. 

You can find Katrin on Instagram at @katrintanja

Monday, August 10

Back on the track.

Let's be honest for a while. I like Mondays. Yes, you read it right. I like Mondays. I love fresh beginnings, empty journal pages. Most people would probably agree the first day of a new year is something special. Some people would agree the first day of a new month is something special. And I'm here, trying to convince you that - after all - Mondays are actually not that bad.

Mondays (as a version of my ''tomorrow'') were made to fix awful eating habits, get back to the gym (how many times have you heard to never skip a Monday?), to create a schledule in life (aka to get shit together) and (now I'm talking to the girl typing these words) to start being an active blogger again. I want to track not only my fitness journey, but most importantly, my life. I really feel like I'm missing out on something when I don't write down the memories. Looking back at my 2009/2010 blog posts made me do this. I'm back.

PS: The blog archives are empty right now, but I'll for sure be re-publishing some of my old posts. 

Tuesday, April 7

Documentary: Of Miracles and Men

Let's face the truth, I quote Herb Brooks and the movie Miracle way too much. However, that (even though it's bit weird) doesn't make me love the good 'ol Soviet hockey any less. Hands down, Tretiak and Myshkin are the best goalie pair of all times and boys like Fetisov or Kharlamov are hockey players who made history and nobody could take it away from them. Ever.

When somebody posted a link to ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary called 'Of Miracles and Men', I didn't hesitate to click the link. And after that, I didn't really care about the world for the next 103 minutes. 

The first part of the documentary shows the (not really all flashy) beginnings of players, along with the story of Anatoli Tarasov, one of the most important Russian coaches during the Soviet area. Then it moves on onto the first Canada-USSR games and - obviously - the Lake Placid Olympics in 1980.

Viasechslav Fetisov (I love how they only call him familiarly 'Slava') is re-visiting the Olympic arena with his daughter and I won't even try to hide that I had shed a tear (or two) during that part.  Then you get an inside look to the USA-USSR game with original commentary and footage.

Last part of the documentary is focused on Fetisov trying to play in the NHL... with all the struggles and obstacles because back in 1980s it was nothing but politics... and (because even sports documentaries need happy endings) it all ends as Slava hoists the Cup on the Red Square.

PS: Is Garry Bettman immortal? I guess so.

My rating: 10/10

Sunday, February 1

Fitness: January fitness, #30daysofyoga

Yesterday I successfully completed the 30 day yoga ''challenge'' let by lovely (and sometimes a little bit crazy.. in a good way!) Adriene from Yoga with Adriene. I had posted about it before I started, hoping it would help me not give up... and man, the start was tough. During the first two days/videos, I was getting up off the ground to look how far I was in the video literally like every 3 minutes... aka my typical yoga mindset (as I described in the article about me commiting to the challenge) - ''I hope this will be over soon''. 

On day 3, I probably twisted my back too far and my right shoulder blade was pain in the ass (and I'm not even going to censor this, I could barely move my arm)... and suprise suprise, day 4 was named 'Yoga's got your back'... Seriously?! 

However, this was probably the biggest struggle I had following the challenge, besides being discouraged by the lenght some of the videos had.. everything over 30 minutes seemed too long, not the pratice itself, but the feeling before it. Was I going to give up? Hell no. 

I've downloaded a timer app for my phone, so I didn't have to get up to check the video to know how many minutes of practise I had left. And I bought a mat. On day 28 of the challenge, but I still did. And I even woke up early a couple times to get the practise in before leaving on busy days and it felt awesome... doing yoga during sunrise, it doesn't get much better than that.

To be honest, it took me about 20 days to really get into it. After that, I didn't feel grumpy and I was doing the videos because I wanted to, not because I said I would. I was excited to do yoga. Me, the one who never finished a yoga video before without feeling discouraged. And to think that I did all the  30 workouts, circa 677 minutes - more than 11 hours of yoga in January? I'm super proud.

At first, I was not happy about day 30, because it encourages you to do a free-style practise, but it turned out as a lot of fun. As someone who's only following guides maybe I should start putting down my own workouts more often. 

Thank you, Adriene!

The only small little problem in the back of my head is that for most of January, this yoga challenge was the only thing I did workout-wise and I wanted to do much more, but now I've got a whole new month to fill up with workouts. 

Tuesday, January 20

Video: Hockey in Kenya

When I talk to people and we stumble across the stereotypical ''ice-hockey is only played in cold places'' opinion, I usually have to stop and explain how it is. Yes, ice-hockey is also played in countries  like France, Spain, Mexico, India... or Kenya. Need a proof? Watch this:

I love the passion that shines out of the video. You can't fake it. It's not only a hockey thing, but you can clearly say whether a person is passionate or not. These guys have so little and they get so much out of it. It's all about you attitude. Yes, it's an expensive sport, the cost of it is a worldwide problem, but you don't need the best equipment in the universe to play for fun. A pair of skates to lace up, a stick  to grab and a puck to drop. And a heart that beats for the game. Nothing else.

Tuesday, January 6

Movie: Fury (2014)

At the begining of December, my friend and I went to cinema to see Fury. I'm a fan of history and I have seen countless amount of war movies and documentaries and I really wanted to see this film. To be honest, sitting in the cinema seat, after first couple of minutes I quickly turned to ''I'm not sure if I want to see this''... but after I figured out it was war at it's rawest form, my mind switched to ''this is fucking awesome'' (it's my blog I can swear if I want to) and I was enjoying every minute of it.

 ,,I had the best Assistant Driver in the entire Ninth Army in that seat. Now I got you. I promised my crew a long time ago I'd keep them alive. You're getting in the way of that. It ain't like the newsreels up front.'' is one of the first lines in the film. A tank crew gets a new boy and they're going straight to the front. The problem is that the boy is not a fan of the war. However, he learns how things work real quick. 

It's not a movie for everyone, but you're gonna enjoy it if you like: 
x dead people 
x watching people killing other people 
x Star Wars
... because there really isn't much more. Except a love story twist and eventually a happy ending. As I said, it was hard to swallow at first, but I ended up loving it. Wouldn't necessarily want to see it again, but it's a great film. Minus the 'reality' factor missing at some scenes. I read a review of one guy counting down how many shots Brad Pitt actually survived in the movie and couldn't help but laugh.

 ,,Best job I've ever had.'' 

My rating: 9/10

Friday, January 2

Fitness: #30daysofyoga

I didn't really make any resolutions for this year, as I know it's all about myself and my mindset and the changed number in the calendar won't change my attitude, but I've stumbled across the thought of trying to find my way to yoga.

And boom, Adriene from Yoga with Adriene is starting a 30 days of yoga series today (January 2). I almost jumped off my chair when the introduction video (below) poped up in my subscription box - this is my chance. I've tried yoga many times and I was always full of all the feelings yoga should not give you - like impatience, sadness, almost up to the point of anger. I'm not sure if I've ever actually finished a yoga video all the way to the last minute. Yoga is just not my thing. However, I know the benefits of yoga and I really want to suck up this challenge and complete it. 

Aaand, since goals are always better with friends, I'd like to challenge you - as you're reading this - to participate in this challenge too. A little yoga has never killer nobody, right?

All of the videos will be up on Adriene's Youtube channel and it's all competely free. No excuses!