Hi everyone! Today is super exciting! :) I'm starting a new series on my blog where I highlight an athlete, and they get put in the "spotlight." Daniel is an inspiration with how much hard work he puts into the sport that he loves, and I hope this will inspire you to run or find a sport that you love as well. He put in a lot of time to answer my many questions, so please take the time to read them, it's definitely worth it. Keep scrolling to read this exclusive interview! :) Enjoy!
1. How long have you been doing track for?
Since the end of spring in my grade 7 year. It challenged me at the start because I started so late into my life at the age of twelve, where as everyone else had already been there since the junior team. But I really loved it.
2. What got you into track?
What got me into track was how incredibly unfit I was! Haha, I was a chubby kid up until that year and when we were young, a lot of kids gave me grief for it, but soon as I started my growth spurt and got into walking then jogging to lose weight and I started running almost everyday for sometimes just hours at a time. I joined the school running club and was always on time and eager to start. I usually finished laps ahead of friends in my class, and then one practice my principal asked my to check out the ( local track team) because my former coach Dave and them were old friends and saw potential in me as a sprinter.
3. What events do you compete, and what ones are your favourites?
I started off really excited to do the 400m sprint because I first saw Usain Bolt race in the 400m on TV during the Olympics but I soon discovered I had asthma at the age and I just couldn't do it. I came silver in my very first and only race of that track meet that day which was the 400m I had waited and trained that season to compete in, but it wasn't for me. My coaches started training me for shorter events, eg.100, 200, and 300 sprints. My next meet I was ready to go and I competed in those three events as nervous and new as I was to the sport that year. My family and I were surprised that I held three gold medals at the end of that day and ended the year with athletic award for #1 in the events 100m, 200m, and the 300m.
Later into my career as a sprinter I focused more on perfecting my starts and I dropped the 300m to become a 100 & 200 meter sprinter today.
4. Do you have any tips for a beginner runner?
Stay motivated and remember what my grandpa always told me as I started on my path to becoming a sprinter: "do what you want most, not what you want now." If you can think like that there's no stopping you from obtaining the future you want most.
5. What do you do to get the jitters out pre-race?
I honestly always get them out on my way to the track on race day haha but once I'm in my blocks I take a deep breath and block out all sounds but the person with the gun and imagine I am the only one on the track and my family and friends are the only ones in the stands that I can see; I'm running my own race.
6. What do you eat pre and post workout?
I have organic trail mix protein bars & coconut water hours within my races for a high amount of glucose & potassium. But the important part is preparing by eating the right foods days in advance, eg. quinoa, nuts, vegan protein, bananas. But I train on a daily basis so eating everything I need is ALWAYS a main priority.
7. How do you celebrate after a victory?
I like to spend time with my competition! Haha, it may sound weird but it's not only a team that you grow with, it's your competition. Your competition is also a family, you grow with them; you grow because of them. I like to celebrate with the ones who beat me, lost to me, and pushed me to my limits. At all the track meets there is always a stand that sells things like granola bars, Gatorade and BBQ for the athletes and families and my favourite thing to do after a long day of races is to sit back, have a cheat, and enjoy a fresh burger with my competition.
8. What are your others hobbies besides running?
I love biking in my free time! I can bike with a group of friends forever! There have been days where we had biked for over 10 hours. I remember when I was younger I would always complain that I wanted a bike like my older sisters yet...I couldn't ride a two wheeler! Haha. So my two sisters today are now 22 & 24. They are the ones who spent that whole week with me nearly 11 years ago teaching me how to ride on two wheels and since then I haven't stopped with biking, it's one of my favourite hobbies.
9. Favourite brand of running shoes?
New balance has always been my favourite because of the curse of having terrifyingly wide feet..it comes from my biological Grandpa Danko from Croatia. With feet like mine you deal with what you're given & the shoe fits. My mum always laughed and said "my little runner with the swimmers feet" because apparently they look like flippers haha.
10. What do you typically eat in a day?
It really varies on what day it is, I have my cheat days every now and then and what my mother cooks for dinner is nearly never my choice but when it is quinoa is definitely one of my favourites. On an average day though I will have a parfait and vegan smoothie for breakfast and lunch is always high in protein, and on a daily basis I will most likely always have trail mix and hummus.
11. How do you stay on top of eating healthy? Any tips?
You need routine! Once you get in the routine of eating the way you are supposed to, you won't find any difficulty with it at all, it becomes a lifestyle. Beware of breaking your routine ! It's what steals your motivation; consistency is all anyone needs. If you can eat healthy, or as some people say "diet" with friends, it makes it even better! :) It almost becomes a competition.
12. What keeps you motivated?
It's what makes me happy. Sure I need motivation and that's what my motivation is, I'm happy to be healthy! It's what makes me happy along side my friends, family, and wonderful girlfriend! All I can remember is one point in my life last year I had quit track for personal reasons for almost 2 months and I just became really sad and I couldn't do anything... I just wanted to wake up, have a protein shake, and run with my team again. I went back because it's what I enjoy. You just need to get out there and find that one thing you enjoy doing. It can be yoga, running, swimming, biking, even golf! You just need to get out there and enjoy what you're doing and that will motivate you. You won't be able to get enough.
13. Where do you see yourself in the future?
I can't honestly answer that because I haven't decided on my future and if I did I hardly think it would be exact. But I really do see running in my future whether it's coaching or competing, and I definitely see myself with Hayley in my life. I guess I could steal a quote from John Lennon and say "when I grow up I want to be happy."
14. Random fact about you?
I'm afraid of owls.
15. Best moment you've had at a race or practice?
The best moment I had at a meet was when all of my aunts came to my competition and brought their drums and they drummed and sang Aboriginal songs while I was racing in a 300m.
16. Biggest achievement as a track athlete?
I met an amazing athlete named Thomson! Not to show off but I hadn't lost a race until I met him at the end of my first season and he beat me in the 100m and 200m sprint and at our final race of the 300m sprint and I beat him by 1000ths of a second! I pushed myself so hard to beat this amazing athlete and it wasn't the biggest award or achievement but I feel myself that it was my most valued victory.
17. Any favourite quotes?
"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do."-Voltaire.
It helps me make decisions when I don't know what's right.
18. What is your favourite colour? ( just felt like throwing in a random question... :) haha)
My favourite colour is blue but I don't like wearing blue. I feel it is the nicest colour to see on its own though. I can't imagine the sky or ocean ever permanently changing to any other colour like purple or pink.
Thank you Daniel, and good luck with your competition season this year. :)! I'm sure this has inspired many people to live a healthy lifestyle and do what they love. You're proof that hard work really does pay off. Thank you so much for being my first athlete in the spotlight!
I've mentioned this product several times on my blog, and a lot of you have expressed interest in it. I definitely want you to know what you're buying, so especially since you heard of it from me, I feel like a review is needed. I don't want you to buy it, then have it be something you didn't expect!
It's becoming a big trend for shampoo companies to create products that are paraben-free, but parabens aren't the only harmful ingredients in these products. Although it's a great step, these products claiming to be so much healthier for your hair still have some questionable ingredients. This product contains no harmful ingredients, at least in my opinion and as far as I know.
So those are all of my pros and cons for this product! I've really enjoyed it so far, and I use it as shampoo, body wash, and shaving soap. When I get out of the shower, I moisturize with coconut oil, and my skin is left feeling soft. Please consider this review though if you're thinking of purchasing it, I don't want you to expect something that it's not. But in my opinion, it's wonderful! If you're wanting to purchase it, you can find it at Nature's Fare Market for about $8 I believe.
Anyways, I hope your day is fantastic :)
Hi everyone! I'm sorry for not posting in awhile. Honestly, I've been on and off sick for the past week and a half and I haven't been inspired to write anything. I haven't been healthy, so healthy has been hard to write about. But I hope the break's been good to you all! Hopefully no one else is sick like me :) I didn't do a February favourites last month, but since it was requested, here are my March favourites! I'm going to try to do one for each month :)!
1. Pearl Harvest Couscous
This stuff is delicious! It's Israeli couscous, so it tastes different than the traditional kind. Also, it has red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa mixed in. It tastes great by itself or with other vegetables or beans added. It's amazing, I highly suggest you try it!
2. Gossip Girl
My family just got Netflix last week, and it's definitely been my saviour while I've been bed-ridden. I may or may not have already finished the first season... Any other Gossip Girl fans out there?
3. Alaffia African Black Soap
I've already raved about this in previous posts, so I won't say much. I'm still loving it and how versatile it is!
4. Homemade Sorbet
This too, has been mentioned before. It's better tasting and better for you than ice cream! Well, in my opinion :). All you need is fruit!
I never realized Winners had such great workout wear! After hearing from my dance teacher and friends, I decided to check it out, and I'm glad that I did. If you love bright pants and tops, it's a great place to go, and it's not pricey.
6. Coconut Oil
I've been loving coconut oil for a long time when it comes to baking, but more recently I've been loving it as a cleanser and moisturizer. It helps clear breakouts because of it's antibacterial and antifungal properties while hydrating the skin as well. To use it, you can leave a small amount on for a couple of minutes and then wipe it off with a washcloth. I actually just leave if on overnight, but the oily feeling might feel gross to some people. Although my skin still has its issues, this has been helping it a lot.
7. Weight training
Weight training is so good for you! I finally got another pass, and throughout some of February and March I made it a routine to go twice a week. I know three times is recommended, but it's all I could fit in. Unfortunately I haven't been this week or last week due to being sick, but when I did go I loved it, and I definitely noticed a difference when I played volleyball. I hope to get back on track soon once my cold disappears.
8. Not caring about others' opinions
"The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you." This quote couldn't be more true. I believe it goes with not caring what other people think of you, as long as you're doing what is best for you and being yourself. I think with teenagers, this is true when it comes to relationships, romantic and non-romantic. Why waste your time being upset over someone not liking you? You're fabulous! And you deserve to have someone like you as much as you like them. If you're a good person and you know your goals are taking you to a good place, then you know that people who don't appreciate your fabulous-ness simply aren't worth your time. You can't do anything to change their opinions, and why should you? You know that you're amazing, and that's all that really matters because you are going to go places you'll never have imagined. All because you worked hard for it, you were audacious, and you didn't care what other people thought about you. If someone doesn't like you, they are one person. Why should that effect you? If you know who you are and what you want, it doesn't have to effect you at all. :) Please remember that you rock. Don't let others bring you down!
Gossip Girl. Jk just Haylie
Have a lovely day<3 Enjoy the rest of the break :)
I've been sick these past couple of days, but I'm definitely starting to feel much better!
Yesterday, I discovered that making sorbet is super easy. I was hungry, but needed something soft to eat, so I threw some bananas andfrozen fruit in my blender to see what would happen.
I expected the blade to overheat, but it actually worked out well! It turned out really delicious, and it's a great alternative to icecream. Plus it's quick to make :)
I'm eating this one right now while I lay on the couch! I just used up the rest of our frozen fruit... I made this one with a banana, frozen papaya, and frozen blueberries. The banana makes it creamy and easier on your blender. It tastes soo good! It's fun to experiment, you should definitely try it out!
Hope your day was wonderful:)
Hi friends :)
Sorry it's been awhile, about two weeks since my last post on this! I realize I titled this post "Honey Hair Washing," but I've actually stopped with this particular method of going "no 'poo."
For all of last week, I decided I was going to go without putting anything in my hair. I basically just rinsed it in the shower with water. That week was not a good hair week, but it was definitely necessary for me to do.
As you might have read in my other posts, I wasn't particularly fond of the honey washing because it made my hair really staticy! I've never had a problem with staticy hair until then, so I knew it was the honey that was causing it to do so. However, it could've just been a part of the adjustment period.
So after a week of water-washing, I decided to use my African Black Soap in my hair this past Friday. I love this stuff so much! (Check out my Nature's Fare haul for more details on it) I've only been using it as a body wash until then, but it can be used as shampoo and facewash as well. Also it smells really good so that's a bonus! :) I definitely felt a difference in my hair after using it. I used it on Friday, and since then I've just water washed (five days since then). My hair isn't greasy or staticy at all! I never thought I'd get to this point; I was seriously beginning to doubt this "no 'poo" trend. But I'm happy to say I'm finally past the awful adjustment period! :) I'm so glad that I followed through with this experiment. My hair feels healthy, it makes me happy that I'm past the cycle of stripping my hair of oils only to replace them unnaturally with conditioner. Also, my showers are super short now! I'd say five minutes tops. My plan for now is to continue water-washing most days, and then using my African Black soap 1-2x per week.
To many people, this probably sounds disgusting. I thought so too at first! Before, I would wash my hair at least 4x per week with shampoo and conditioner. Now, the only shower product I'll ever need is my African Black soap since I use it as body wash and shampoo. To be honest, I was super skeptical about going no 'poo, but after 4 weeks, I saw that it really isn't that crazy of a notion. This experiment was inspired by a post on blog.freepeople.com, as well as my purchase of African Black soap.
I've learned so much about natural living this new year so far, and I hope to continue to try new ways to lessen toxins and chemicals in my life.
Hope you all have a spectacular night :) I'm sick right now, so I'll be a potato for a bit until I feel better. I haven't been sick in a really long time, so the fact that I'm sick right before spring break makes me mad. I've definitely over-worked myself these past few weeks and I've been sleeping poorly. So really, I should've expected that my immune system wouldn't be quite so efficient. I'm determined to get better in the next two days, because this is ridiculous. But I have to power through these next couple of days before the break. I need to take care of my body, and definitely sleep more. Things have just been crazy lately.
That was very rambly..but anyways like I said, hope your night is going well! Let me know what you think of going "no 'poo" in the comments! Do you think it's gross, or are you maybe considering trying it? Let me knooow :)
Good morning! :)
Today's challenge is...
Pushups and jumping jacks!
1. Put on your favourite song
2. Do 10 pushups
3. Do 10 jumping jacks
4. Do 9 pushups
5. Do 9 jumping jacks
Continue this pattern until you get to 0! I found this workout a long time ago on either tumblr or pinterest, but I can't find the picture that went with it. :( it's a great way to combine strength and cardio for a quick workout!
Have a great day guys,
Lent begins tomorrow! :) Every year I give up the same thing: junk food. Of course, it's rather broad, so I'm referring back to the list I made on my first blog post:
Chocolate is definitely my biggest weakness, so I'm adding my protein powder in as an exception so I don't go insane. However, Lent is only 40 days, so maybe I can go without any chocolate. Do you think I can do it? Hold me accountable guys, this year I'm going to be more dedicated to this!
Are you particiating in Lent? Comment below what you're giving up! :)
I had the day off school today, so I thought I'd pretend that I'm still a gymnast. :) I love trying new acro and yoga poses, and after seeing @elle_fit's picture on Instagram, this seemed like the perfect challenge! At first, I relied too much on muscle rather than balance, and my back was incurved too much, but after some adjustment I was able to balance.
To get into this pose, first turn your hands so that your fingers are facing you. Tuck your elbows in and place them by your lower abs. (I tucked mine right inside my hip bones). Then, don't focus too much on using your muscles! Just lean forwards until your feet come off of the floor, and try to lift your chest up. To me that was the hardest part! It took me a few tries, and I still have some room to improve. It's really fun though and makes for a cool picture. :) Use your discretion, and if you're feeling confident try it out and let me know!
Enjoy the rest of your day :)
Hello and good morning :)))
Basically my whole mission for fit is to get my gymnast body back. I used to have more muscular strength as a kid while still being lean. So with that said, this is an old conditioning list made by my coaches for us to do everyday of our break! The challenge isn't so "mini" but if you'd like you can pick one section to do as the challenge. Or if you're feeling up for it, you can do the whole thing! :)
Have a spectacular day my friends,