Fight November stress


So you’re as swamped with essays as the U.S. of A. is with debt? Your impending midterm has you cringing like a woman in labour? I don’t care. I’m not here for you to vent to. My shoulder is not for crying on. My voice is for motivating, and my message is: “Buck up.”

Wallowing is not the solution. Calling your mother is not the solution. Tea and hot yoga and listening to music in the dark are not the solutions. Don’t distract yourself with your facial hair experiments. November’s got you up against the ropes, and November doesn’t give a shit. You want to de-stress like a champ? Work out, UVic-crunch-time style.

Bench press everything. If you already know that your textbooks are heavy, then you should already have taken initiative and made your reading material into muscle-building dead-weights. You are at university. Be innovative. Textbooks are as good for the pecs as they are for the brain. For best results, start with course packs and work your way up to steady reps of Biology textbooks. To focus on balance and even out your muscle exertion, up the ante by heaping your MacBook Pro on top of your bio book (you will not want to let that fall). Repeat until exhausted.

Wrangle a deer. Yes, UFC is on the rise. But no one’s telling you that you have to grapple a sweaty, shaven-headed man to experience the exhilaration of self-defence exercise. (Though if you do want to, email me at: There are a shit-ton of fawns, does and bucks in Saanichton. Use them. Spar them. Get them in headlocks. Dodge the hooves. Don’t get gored by the antlers. Ask for consent first.

Run Ring Road — on the road, and going the wrong way. You’ve seen fools do this before in their cars. What were they thinking? They were thinking. They were thinking of paving the way for you and new, innovative exercise. You want your routine to be experiential. You want to engage your warrior gene, your fight-or-flight instinct, your animal within. Running amidst cars and mopeds and buses and cyclists is not only your escape into the wild and the savannah herd of the pavement; it’s also your chance to improve your agility, your ability to dodge and your footwork. It will strengthen parts of your body that have become lazy. It will build muscle memory — terrified memories. For extra difficulty, emotional challenge and better return to the animal: run in the rain.

But don’t even put one weak quad outside of your door if you haven’t prepped. Eat right. Scuba divers don’t get in the water without air in their tanks. Hikers don’t take to the trail without trail mix. You are not going to do a single UVic-crunch-time style workout unless you’ve eaten. Nourish the body. Eat lots of proteins. Consume all the good fats. Yes, fats. Fat with an “s.” Anything that’s on the food pyramid and is plural is good (there’s no such thing as “dairies” on the food pyramid, so take note). Down your shakes, your smoothies, your powders and get out there. Save the tea for later.