Winter Walking

Learning outcome: Show perseverance and commitment in my activities.

Goal: To go on walks at least once a week from now to the end of March.

Before

Lately, schoolwork and IB have been taking over my life. That is part of the reason why I am so happy about starting this activity: talking walks along the sea at least once a week. I have always loved walking, as it is an activity that truly relaxes me and gives me a break from my busy IB life. In addition, it is very likely I will have good company during my walks, as my mother will probably want to come with me at least a few times. This is great, as it will allow me to spend more time with her and talk.

While I am excited about this new activity, I am also afraid it will be deterred by factors that are not under my control, such as bad weather. This would be a real shame, but I am ready to face this issue: whenever I am unable to go walking due to bad weather, I will postpone it to another day when the weather is more suitable for walking. If worst comes to worst, I will just walk some extra distance the next time I go walking.

I am very motivated to begin this new activity!

During #1

The first 4 weeks of this activity have been very rewarding for me. Every week,  I walked at least 3km, which I am very happy about – it’s been a while since I walked such a long distance uninterrupted! At first, it was challenging to find the time and energy to go on these walks. However, by week 3, I was hooked! Now, I can hardly envision my weekly plans without leaving a space for my walks. I feel proud of myself for this, as it tends to be hard for me to make exercise a part of my routine. I hope things will continue to go well regarding this activity!

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

During #2

This month, it was slightly more difficult to keep up with this experience. We were very busy at school, as we were finishing courses and submitting our written tasks to the IB website. Hence, I did not have as much time as I would have liked to go out and walk. I did manage to do so every week, but some of the walks had to be shorter as a result. Next month should be more relaxed, so I am hoping I will be able to finish this experience off with a bang then!

Week 5:

Week 6:

Week 7:

Week 8:

During #3

This month of March has been insane! I have spent my days organizing my school’s final IB Visual Arts exhibition and, as such, I have barely had time for my CAS experiences. However, I have somehow been able to keep up my weekly walking sessions. I am very happy about this and, while I  have not walked as much as I would have wanted to, I am still glad I managed to do some exercise during these stressful times. If I could repeat this month all over again, I would certainly try to walk for longer distances, but I am proud of what I have achieved nonetheless, especially given the circumstances.

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

After

I am very happy to have taken part in this CAS experience. It was very hard to keep up with it, but I have been able to do so and, for that, I am proud. I think this experience has truly helped me to achieve my Learning Outcome: “Show perseverance and commitment in my activities.” By achieving my goal of going on walks at least once a week, I have been able to remain active during these past difficult months, something I am very thankful for. If I could do anything differently, I would have loved to go on longer walks more times each week. While this was impossible to do, I am happy with what I have achieved, and I may keep up with my weekly walks even after my CAS experience is over.

 

 

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Pilates: During #3

While this activity is very rewarding and relaxing, it has been hard for me to keep up with it during these last few months, especially December. This is because IAs, exams, university applications, and unexpected illnesses have been preventing me from taking part in this activity as much as I would have liked to. I have to say I feel a little disappointed in myself for not being able to organise my time better, but to fix that I have decided to work hard in this activity next term, after the winter holidays are over. I know I can do this because I did so very well last year, especially during the months of April and May, which were some of the busiest for me in terms of schoolwork. And it was very fun too! Therefore, I have faith in myself and my abilities, and I will make sure to get back on track with this activity as soon as I am able to.

Kayaking Trip

Learning Outcome: Undertake new challenges.

Goal: To kayak from a small beach near the hotel I’m staying at to Cap Roig.

Before

Recently, my uncle decided he wanted to own a kayak, so he went and bought one this summer! This came as a pleasant surprise for the whole family. As soon as I told him I had gone canoeing with my class once before (an activity I loved), he immediately suggested we should take a trip together. We are at a summer resort near the village of L’Ampollá, in Catalonia, and waters nearby are perfect for kayaking!

We have agreed to have our trip the day after tomorrow. We will go leave our hotel at about 11 AM and return by lunch time, at about 2 PM approximately. Our trip will take off from a small beach near our hotel, and we will end it in a nearby, larger beach, Cap Roig.

I am very excited about this activity! The only inconvenience I can picture for us is bad weather, but even that is unlikely: weather in Catalonia tends to be very good during the summer!

All in all, I am very excited to be able to go kayaking again. I can’t wait!

During

The trip was amazing!

The day started out a little dull, as the weather was not as good as we had hoped for. However, despite a little wind that would constantly push us towards the shore later on, conditions were not that bad. My uncle and I set out from out hotel at about 11 AM as planned, and it took us little time to set up the kayak and be on our way. It was interesting to help out my uncle in getting ready for our trip – I had never done anything like this before!

kayak 3
Me rowing.

There are lot of parts about this trip that I remember fondly, such as my uncle’s jokes, our surprise at the strength of the wind working against us, and the beautiful scenery that surrounded us in our journey.

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My uncle and I during out kayaking trip.

However, the best part of it all was when my uncle and I reached Cap Roig… and we decided we didn’t want to stop there! Because we did not want the fun to stop, we decided that we would continue until we reached the first beach in the village of L’Ampollá! We had considered doing this when planning our trip, but we had assumed that we would be to tired by the time we reached Cap Roig to continue. Well, turns out we were stronger than we thought!

kayak 2
My uncle and I after reaching L’Ampollá.

So, although we did alternate a bit in taking breaks from paddling to rest for a while or take pictures, we made it to L’Ampollá without much trouble at all! Once there, we just had to dismantle the kayak and we were all set.

kayak 1
My uncle and I dismantling the kayak.

Luckily, my mother came to pick us up shortly thereafter, which is a good thing because it was almost lunch time!

After

This activity was very fun to take part in. It was definitely a new challenge for me, as I had never set out to kayak out in the sea with only my uncle by my side! However, it was a great experience that taught me that I am stronger than I think I am, and that I should aim for the stars when setting new goals for myself!

If I had to change anything from how this activity turned out, I would say that I better weather would have been nice. I would also aim to take less breaks during our trip.

All in all, this activity was incredibly fun and rewarding, and I would absolutely be willing to take more trips like this in the future!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Walking

Learning Outcome: Show perseverance and commitment in my activities.

Goal: Keep fit during the summer by taking walks regularly.

Before

Next week, I will start my daily 30 to 50 minute walks. These walks will take place between my home and a sports centre nearby, where I will be taking my sister to her tennis classes. Hence, this is a great opportunity for me to exercise while also being a helpful older sister.

The trip from my house to the sport centre can take anywhere between 30 to 50 minutes depending on my walking speed. In order to maintain a good pace, I will aim to arrive at my destination in about 30 minutes every day. This will ensure that I have walked at a brisk pace, burning more calories in the process. It will also ensure that my sister will not be late for her tennis classes!

The only setback I can imagine is bad weather, such as rain. Because the route I take mostly lacks spaces in which to take shelter, it will not be the best option to take on rainy days. Therefore, I might have to take the bus when it rains instead, as that at least leaves me with about a 10 minute walk from the stop to my destination.

All in all, I am excited to take part in this activity!

During #1

I have been having a lot of fun this first week of walking. It was hard to get started during the first few days, but I soon got used to my new routine, and now I can’t imagine starting the day without a walk. I really enjoy them because they allow me to wake up and start the day with some healthy exercise!

Sadly, my sister and I were forced to take the bus on one occasion due to bad weather conditions. Still, everything else is going just as planned. We have been arriving on time to nearly all of my sister’s tennis classes (the one exception being the day we took the bus due to the bus’s schedule) and our average arrival time is of about 40 minutes.

Can’t wait to keep going with this activity!

During #2

Our second week of walking has truly flown by! Everything is going just as planned and I am still enjoying the morning walks. My sister and I get to chat a lot while walking, which I think has actually improved our relationship! Our average walking time is of about 40 minutes. I am looking forward to next week!

During #3

This week, things started out rough, with temperatures on Monday and Tuesday reaching 35 ºC! Needless to say, walking for 40 minutes under these conditions was quite exhausting (although my sister and I surprisingly made some of our best times these past few days, arriving at the sport centre in 30 minutes flat!) I hope the weather will be a bit more forgiving during the next few days!

After

Luckily, the weather was much more bearable during the last few days of our walking routine. In the end, our average walking time was of about 40 minutes, which is quite close to my initial, yet quite ambitious, goal of 30 minutes per day. Still, I managed to walk almost every single week day with only very few exceptions due to bad weather. For this reason, I think I have accomplished my learning outcome “Show perseverance and commitment in my activities”.

In general, taking these walks felt very rewarding, and I think they definitely helped me keep healthy during the summer. I know this because, as the days went on, this morning exercise became easier and easier to undertake. This has led me to conclude that my endurance has gotten better, meaning these walking sessions have truly improved my health! In addition to this, the time I spent with my sister was also incredibly fun and helped strengthen our relationship. We were joking as we walked the whole time!

If I could change anything, I think I would only improve the speed of my walking, really trying to reach the 30 minute mark I had previously set. Still, I am very proud of my walking experience, and I wouldn’t mind repeating it next summer!

 Audio proof for this activity can be found by clicking here.

Surfing

Goal: Undertaken new challenges.

This Monday May 16th, I went surfing along with my whole class. It was the first time I ever surfed, and I was very nervous about it, as I tend to be very clumsy when it comes to sporting activities. However, I was also excited for this new activity, as it was sure to be a fun-filled experience to share with my classmates.

As for the activity itself, I am afraid I completely failed at it! I did not catch a single wave, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t try. In fact, I came close to standing up on my surfing board once, but was too slow to stand up on it, managing to only get on my knees. I ended up completely exhausted, but it was still fun to try out this brand new activity, especially when in the company of my whole class (most of whom were not much better at surfing than me!).

All in all, I had a lot of fun while surfing for the first time, but I don’t know if it is an activity I would want to invest time in to learn.

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My class (I am the third from the left, with the red surf board).

Pilates: During #2

Unfortunately, I was not able to keep up this activity very well during the months of December and January. This was partially due to the holiday season that came between them, but mostly because I was taking care of a lot of other activities outside of school. Most notably, I was taking many French classes and working to prepare for the French B2 exam, which was extremely hard and time-consuming for me. However, I am pleased to announce that, ever since I completed my exams on the week of February 8th, I have not missed a day of the activity, and I am starting to enjoy it more and more!

At first, it was hard to get back into the rhythm of going to these classes, and the exercises proved to be a little harder than usual because of my lack of practice. However, this past week everything has started to become much easier for me, and I think I’m already in better shape than what I was in before.

Lately, we have been focusing on balance and waist exercises in class. To train our balancing skills, we have been trying out different poses taken from yoga, such as the tree pose. We have also been standing up on small surfaces, such as balls and cylinders, and trying to maintain our balance there. Meanwhile, the waist exercises consisted on leg rotations and stretching. Furthermore, I have also noticed that I’ve been getting significantly better and some of the exercises that seemed more difficult to me before, such as the dog pose.

All in all, I am very happy to be back on track with this activity, and I am eager to improve my abilities more and more in the weeks to come.

Pilates: During #1

It has been about a month since I started going to pilates classes, and I am just beginning to appreciate its benefits! I am getting better at the breathing exercises every day, and it is becoming easier for me to stand up straight. My legs and arms also feel more muscular, and I even noticed that I seem to have lost a little weight as compared to when I started (although that is not my main goal, and I don’t really care whether I lose weight or not)!

In general, everything went as I expected. The classes are quite relaxing and the people who attend are always very nice towards me, as I am usually the youngest one there! If anything, some classes have proven to be a bit more challenging than what I expected. This is because, sometimes, we are made to practise exercises that involve poses taken from yoga. These require a lot of balance and a heightened awareness of your body weight, which I still lack. Therefore, the poses I manage to strike are… far from perfect!

Aside from this, I have not encountered more problems in terms of the classes and the exercises we must perform. I am  very happy with this activity, and hope everything will go fine next month as well!

Canoeing

Learning Outcomes:

  • Undertaken new challenges.

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The canoeing activity organised by my school last Friday was very fun! At first, I thought I would not enjoy it that much, as I do not generally like sports. However, I ended up having a great time.

The activity was divided in two parts. The first thing we did after getting changed was have a short lesson on the different types of canoes and kayaks that exist. We were told what each of them were made of and what they were used for. After that, we finally got to try out canoeing ourselves. We spent two hours in the water, playing games and racing each other, until it was time to return to school.

With this activity, I learned that I should be more confident in my abilities and try new things more often, as they can prove to be fun and enjoyable!

Pilates: Before

Learning Outcomes:

  • Undertaken new challenges.
  • Shown perseverance and commitment in their activities.

Goal: To go to at least four pilates classes per month.

I am incredibly excited about starting this activity. I have been in dire need of an Activity for CAS, and I think I have finally found one that I can enjoy. Pilates is an activity that’s not too physically exhausting, focusing instead on building muscles and one’s inner balance by using breathing and stretching exercises. It is known for being a very relaxing activity that is very beneficial for the back, but that also tones the whole body, especially the pelvic region and the abdomen.

I think this activity is going to be very relaxing for me. Also, because of its focus on breathing exercises, it will also be incredibly useful for my singing lessons, as breathing is exceptionally important when signing. I expect to build up my muscles and work on my balance in each class. Pilates is also a discipline which is supposed to make one very aware of their own body. Therefore, I will probably gain a heightened perception of how I move, which will be beneficial for me. I have been told by many that I should pay more attention to the movements I make, as I can be quite clumsy, so maybe this activity will help me with that!

I imagine it will not be hard for me to start off the activity, as it will be a novelty. However, the challenge will come when I get tired of it, yet I have to keep on going to classes every week. As I am not a huge fan of sports or physical activity, it may be hard for me to be disciplined and attend classes every week. Another problem that I expect to confront is that everyone that goes to pilates will probably be older than me. Therefore, making friends could be rather difficult, and that may make me feel lonely at times. Still, I think the latter problem will be much less serious than the first.
Let’s hope my first class goes well!

Hike: After

I have met my personal goal, as I both managed to stay active during the weekend and I got to learn more about both birds and other aspects of the fauna and flora of the Basque Country, such as what almond-bearing trees look like and the different habitats birds like. This was all extremely enriching and interesting for me, as it helped me learn about the environment in which I live in.

If I could do anything differently, I would probably make sure to arrive a bit sooner to the hike in order to get the full experience. I would also make sure to wear better shoes and perhaps a cap in order to shield myself from the sun.

I have learnt that birds hide when it is hot, that vultures use warm air currents to stay up in the air and not use up energy, and that the vulture population is aging steadily because of our better management of waste products, which they used to use for food. This last point made me reflect about how humans affect nature with nearly everything we do.

Finally, I am pleased to say that I have met my learning outcomes for this activity: increasing my awareness of my strengths and areas for growth and undertaken new challenges. I have realized that, although my resistance is quite good, I should still practice avoiding distractions, as those are usually the cause of my slipping on rocks. I have also undertaken new challenges because I went hiking in a completely new place where I did not know what to expect of the trail.