Thursday, 30 April 2009
But instead, I saw that someone...Amy...tagged me in a fun little trivia game, so instead I'm going to do that just for shites and giggles!!
So here we go! (Oh, sidenote, it's a wee bit long so you may want to grab a bevvie...wait my posts are always long. Meh, never mind...)
The rules are:
1. Fill it out
2. Change one question with one of your own
3. Add an additional question
4. Tag 3 other people to do the same
1. What are your current obsessions?
Learning three gathas from my Buddhist retreat AND figuring out how one goes about creating a community garden.
2. Which item from your closet are you wearing most often?
My Lulu lemon pants - only own one pair of the suckers as they are rather $$$.
3. Last thing you bought for myself?
Purhased at the same time (I knew I shouldn't have gone in the bike store!) a clear rain coat for riding and some SheBeest yoga pants.
4. What’s for dinner?
Nothing so far - stomach is rebelling against what, I know not! So I think I may pass...
5. Say something to the person who tagged you:
Amy, I feel as if I've gotten to know you through your blog, but I am sure that's only scratching the surface of a truly wonderful person. Your musings and writings make me smile, and I'm grateful for your support and kind words of late. I hope you discover what it is that's causing the IT problems and I'm excited to know how the breathing exercises worked for you! Oh, and it would be very cool if one day the 'Canadian Gang' could meet the 'Colorado Gang'!
6. What is one item you could not live without?
7. Vacation spots you must visit before you die?
Spain, Fiji, Argentina, Southern France, Norway, Thailand to start.
8. What is your most immediate short term goal:
To do 10 minutes of meditation tonight.
9. What are you reading right now?
The questions that I'm supposed to answer. Oh, you mean other than that? Uhm, 'The Wise Heart' by Jack Kornfield, and 'Zen Keys' by Thich Nhat Hanh. Just finished 'Dharma Punx' by Noah Levin which was BRILLIANT! (Can you sense a theme here??)
10. What is the last movie you saw and enjoyed?
'Gran Torino' with Clint Eastwood. I still love him and would totally marry him even though hie is a much older gentleman.
11. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Bridge Mixture. Why don't they sell it in the US I might add?? Do you know I raced an entire Ironman thinking 'Oh ya baby, once you finish this race you can have as much BM as you want!!! But no. I was DENIED! Had to wait till we crossed the border back into Canada. Then I ate so much I wanted to chunder. Hmm, maybe it's not so much my guilty pleasure after all?? Uh, how about Jack Daniels then?
12. What’s your favorite smell?
Vanilla perfume by the Body Shop. Oh, and let's not forget Brut 33 and Old Spice. Ya, I'm old school, what of it??
13. Whats something you look forward to?
I always look forward to seeing my parental unit, which I'm going to do in a week. Long term, I am looking forward to my two Ironman races this year, and going on a 7 day meditation retreat.
14. Favorite Quote?
So so many to choose from. Hmm... "You can strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourslef, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thign that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt
15. What is your dream job?
Photojournalist for National Geographic.
16. Whats one thing you can't go a day with out doing?
17. What do you have an addiction to?
Sushi. Seriously I will eat until I have a belly like Buddha's. What is up with that??
18. Do you like to dress up in costumes?
I love costumes! I wish more people had costume party's. Life would be more fun. Good thing I have one to go to next month!
19. How many pairs of shoes (not just running) do you have??
Less than my mother who is Canada's version of Imelda Marcos. Long live Converse sneakers and Doc Martens!!
20. Tell us one random thing about you.
I love headbanging to punk rock - takes me back to the good ol' days when I had a mohawk.
21. Why did you start your blog?
Because I wrote a story about my first half Ironman and a friend thought it was good and suggested I start writing a blog. So I did. Then I got to meet this wonderful amazing group of people who also blog. You gotta love how the world works!!!
Tag three more - YOU'RE IT!
Peace out my wonderful bloggers!
Tuesday, 28 April 2009
Sunday, 26 April 2009
The Cringemeister was my baby, my buddy, my confident, my supplier of unconditional love - well unless I went on vacation, then he'd only retrun my supply of unconditional love after a few hours of sulking. He is one of the men in my life, aside from my Pop and Jack Daniels, that has stuck it out the longest. I love him so much and miss him dearly. I swear he was a reincarnated human as he leaned toward some human tendancies - the good ones. I have many many stories I can share about him, he was such a character. Take for instance the photo below...an example of his attempt to catch some rays. The fact that I was in a downward dog was of no concern to him. He was so beautiful...
In attempt to get some healing, I attended a Buddhist retreat this weekend, put on by my sangha. I had thought about going before losing Tigger, then after she passed I signed up. I felt the pull to go and knew I'd find some solace. Then I lost Mr. Cringely and knew more than ever I HAD to go. On Thursday night I drove out to the retreat in tears praying that I would heal. To be honest, I'm tired of having red eyes and crusty boogers from crying so much.
The retreat was held in Canmore and from the 'meditation hall' we had a gorgeous view of the Three Sisters (shown below). I could think of no better place to be...
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
As we ran we savoured the warm sun and the scenery. I was even wearing shorts! I'm sure I blinded some small children and LOD's (little ol' dears) along the way with my luminescent pale white legs, but it was nice to be in shorts again.
Esther ,was also a friend of Tigger's, so we started talking about how we were both trying to get through the loss. Esther mentioned that the park where we, and Tiggers other friends, wanted to put a bench in her memory wasn't going to be ready for a few years. There was an article about that in the local paper. Huh. What should we do instead, if anything?
I'm not sure where the idea for the words that were to come out of my mouth originated...but I have an inkling. Out of the blue I said to Esther 'What about building a community garden in her memory?' There was silence for a moment. Then Esther told me she loved the idea!
As we made our way home we brainstored ideas for the garden and what we would have to think about. I can honestly say it was the first time since before Tigger's cancer started to win, that my heart felt light. Esther was even doing a little Tigger leap as she ran because she was so excited - I, of course, joined in with the leaping.
We have many ideas and have already gotten word out to some of Tiggers friends to see who would be interested. So far there are five of us that are willing to take on this task. I really have no idea how to go about building a community garden, but I know it will get done. The how's will work themselves out eventually.
Tigger had an amazing garden with a variety of beautiful flowers. Her sunflowers were at least 6 feet tall! I imagine the community garden as one that parents can bring their kids and help them plant flowers or veggies and watch them grow. It will be a place where those that are less fortunate than us can also grow food to help feed their families. We are going to start small and work with some of the local community groups. I think Tigger would approve.
Now...as for how this idea was created... I belive that a seed was planted by some of the comments, ideas and stories left on my blog. I also believe that the seed grew because of the love, caring and concern that was expressed. A collective conscious of sorts. How brilliant is THAT?!
I feel like perhaps I have finally started the healing process, rather than continually fighting the tears. The weight that has been pressing on my chest and making it hard to breath has lifted a little. I now have a project that will not only honour my incredible friend, but will also give me a way to channel my grief. I'm sure I'll have more teary days ahead, but perhas they will be lessened.
Thank you all so much for the incredible gift you have given me and my friends. That sentance seems too simple, but belive me my heart is bursting for you all right now as I write it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Peace out my wonderful, glorious, brilliant friends!
Sunday, 19 April 2009
It's been 18 days since my friend Tiggers passing and I still have moments where I feel as bad as I did when I got the news. Today is one of those days when I am having several of those moments. Just when I think I'm dealing with her loss, blammo, I just want to sit and sob. So I do.
Is this natural? How much can one person mourn? I don't want to cry when I think of her. That's not what she was all about. She was full of life, love and laughter. I almost feel guilty for feeling so bad - but still, that's not enough to stop the crying and the heavy heart.
The times when I'm not feeling bad I wonder if I'm forgetting her. Or I think that maybe I'm not allowing my feelings to surface and that I'm not dealing with this. It's rather confusing.
I am still training of course. Training = sanity. Which is rather amusing considering I'm training for a race that most would deem totally insane.
I love running outside because I like to think Tigger is viewing the scenery through my eyes. Last Fridays morning run was like that. It was about 6:15 am when I went out - such a peaceful time. The birds were chirping their morning greetings as I ran by. The run was only 40 minutes but it provided much needed peace.
The world is coming alive after it's winter hibernation and it's so beautiful. I love being able to hear the water in the creek rushing past me now that the ice has melted. And let's not forget the smell of dirt now that the ground is thawing. Who knew dirt could smell so good?
I truly hope Tigger can still feel these things through me. I know she loved this time of year, especially with all the wee cows being born.
Today I was seriously thinking of passing on my bike workout. I just feel so blah. Plus, it's hard to train when you can't breath for the crying. Then I thought of Tigger. She wouldn't let my melancholy be an excuse not to work out. I don't have the energy to get my bike road ready today, so even though it's nice out I'm going to head down to the dungeon.
Perhaps I can peddle the sadness out of my body. It's worth a shot at least.
Peace out my lovely friends.
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Monday, 13 April 2009
So there I found myself, in my dungeon, with just me, my bike, and my thoughts. Well, that and my mom as she called me when I was just starting up so I could to chat as I warmed into the workout. I had to hang up when the sweat started making it difficult to hold onto the phone.
The first bit of my workout wasn't too bad... Kind of typical. However, the last 2.5 hours were a mental toughness game.
It happened it was just one of those days were I couldn't for the life of me get comfy on the bike. An achy pain started up in my right glute and wasn't painful enough for me to think something was seriously wrong so I had to get off the bike, but it was just enough to annoy the freaking crap out of me. If I sat up straight the pain in my arse eased, but my low back hurt. My thoughts....'Oh for Pete's sake!'. Or something more explicit than that.
I promise. I tried many many times to get into a Buddha mindset. I focussed on my breathing. I focussed on my cadence. I snacked on a fruit bar. I looked at Tiggers photo and begged for strength. Alas, there was to be no relief from the achy breaky arse.
I HAD to stay on the bike though. I knew I did. If I want to be a Lance wannabe then I was just going to have to HTFU. So I did.
Thankfully, I had two motivating factors to help me. One was that the focus on my race has changed and I know that I'm doing this for more than just me. Two was the fact that my mother mentioned she hid some chocolate in my house last time she visited. Mmmmm. Chocolate.
I had found and devoured the first bit of chocolate that she hid and that I accidently found. Chocolate does not last in this house...I have no willpower when it comes to chocolate and I make no excuses. Needless to say I clung to the thought of celebrating my sticking out the entire ride with chocolate.
I'm happy to report that I did ride for the length of time, even though I wanted to get off the bike at the 2:00, 2:20, 2:26, 2:40, 3:05, 3:12, and 3:17 marks. Oh, and I do have to confess that I turned on the wee tv I have there on. Gasp! Normally I ride sans music and tv (I don't have cable anyways) as I like to try to do the Buddha mind thing. This normally works and I find it peaceful and meditative. Yesterdays ride was not peaceful though so it required a distraction and the wee tv was going to be it! It would have been nice if there were some good shows on the two channels I can see through the 'snow'....oh well.
I must have been working hard enough, even though I was struggling, because I was making my cadence target and my heart rate target. Also, there was a small pool of sweat under my bike. My 'I wanna be Faris' headband was full up with sweat and started dripping like chinese water torture on my front tire at about the 2 hour mark. This meant that every five minutes I had to wipe my forefinger over the bandana like a windscreen wiper and squeegee the sweat out, else go insane from the drip drip drip that went along with the ache ache ache of my buttock. Even for me I found that amount of sweat a bit gross. Serioulsy, who sweats that much?!
Needless to say, I finished my ride, did my arse exercises and hopped upstairs like the Easter Bunny himself. One thing was on my mind - CHOCOLATE! I went to where mom said she hid it...but there was nothing. Mumble, grumble. I called mom. I think I let her say hullo before I said, 'Okay, so I'm on the bike for 3.5 hours and the biggest thing getting me through is the fact that if I do this ride I can reward myself with chocolate. BUT THERE IS NO CHOCOLATE!!!' I hear her say 'Hmmm....did you look up? Cause I know you and your Granny never look up cause your short and so I likely hid it up on the shelf...'
I looked up. And down. Left. Then Right. I moved things off the shelf. On the shelf. Alas, no chocolate. Words can not describe my disappointment. That's ok though. Later on I went to Canmore to visit my buddy Trudy. We went for a wonderful walk around the river and afterwards I had some yummy hot chocolate. My chocolate craving had been fulfilled.
I still haven't found the other chocolate though so another call into the Parental Unit will be forthcoming...
My name is Susi, and I'm a chocoholic...
Peace out my wonderful friends!
Thursday, 9 April 2009
The past week has been what one would call an 'emotional rollercoaster'. It was to be expected and will continue for an unknown length of time, I'm sure. I have never been in the situation of losing such a close friend so wasn't quite sure how I was going to deal with the loss. I decided that I would just go with it. Cry when I needed to cry, smile when I felt I could smile, and talk to Tigger a lot. I know she can hear me wherever she is, so I've been rambling on to her a ton. I'm sure she is thinking 'holy hannah, even where I am she STILL rambles on!'
As with triathlon, no matter what happens in life one must continue with foreward movement. So that's what I've been doing - moving forward even when I felt like I just wanted to stand still and be sad.
I got a good ride on the bike (albeit I was in the trainer) for 3 hours last Sunday. I have mine and Tiggers finish line photo up beside my bike so I could ask her for strength now and then. I felt really strong on the bike for the most part, but the last hour was a bit tough. I got through it with flying colours though!
All the work I've been getting done on my hip seems to be helping. I have gotten a couple half hour runs in and an hour run. I still feel like the hip is a bit unstable, but it doesn't hurt as much. There may still be hope that I'll do the Policeman's Half Marathon at the end of the month!! I'm going to keep a good eye on my hip and make a decision closer to the date.
As for swimming, holy hannah the posture stuff I've been doing seems to have paid off! Granted I haven't actually timed myself, but I feel like I'm realling pulling through the water now. I love it! It's happening right from the start of my swim too, I haven't had to build up to it. Of course I'm still being watched like a hawk by the lifeguard... Perhaps she has an aversion to really nice people who happen to have tattoos and swims with a Jolly Roger on their swim cap??? My punch card only has ONE punch left in it....oh oooooooh. This time I will be sure to get another card BEFORE it expires.
I've been doing the physio, accupuncture thing for my broken arse and legs. As they have been helping I figured I'd go back to getting massage. There is a massage therapist, Pat, in town who is brilliant with a capital B. For some reason I hadn't been in a couple of years, but decided he was the man for the job.
Let's just say that he found every line of pain there was in my glutes and quads. Ow, ow, ow. My main focus was to keep breathing. At one point Pat said, in his always soothing voice, 'Just breath Susi'. Riiiiight. It feels as though you are slicing a knife thorugh my legs, but I'll just keep breathing here... I gotta say though, as soon as he was done I could tell things were more loose. I have a feeling I can now run faster and jump tall buildings in a single bound!
So that's been my week. Tigger is always on my mind. She gives me strength. I am slowly healing, as we all are. In August, I will race Ironman Canada in her honour. I knew I was going to do this even before she passed away. I bought a wee Tigger stuffie and will carry it with me for the entire race. Not that I need to carry Tigger because I know she is going to be with me every stroke, pedal and step. I will remember how she talked to EVERYONE on the course and kept them going. I will remember her infectious 1000 watt smile and how she would tell me 'You just gotta do it!' It's going to be an amazing race - I promise you that.
Peace out my wonderful friends - thank you again for everything.
Thursday, 2 April 2009
I'm really struggling with the idea that you are now gone. Of all the people faced with cancer, I thought for sure you were going to be one of the survivors. In a sense, you were. You kicked it's ass the first time and you showed it that you weren't going to just lay down and die.
I remember when we were standing in line waiting to sign up for our first Ironman, in 2006, you were waiting to find out if the lump in your breast was malignant. When the news came back that it was, you took it like a champ. You figured out what needed to be done and did it.
I still laugh that you wanted to walk around with your shirt off after your masectomy because 'hey, there's nothing there now!' You always knew how to turn any situation into a positive one.
Even after the masectomy, the chemo and the radiation, you were still going to do Ironman. You have no idea how much you rock my world because of the way you fought this thing. NOTHING was going to stop you from reaching your dream.
I love the fact that you and I finished our first Ironman together. I never could have finished that marathon without you. I love that sometimes I would talk and sometimes you would talk whenever we found a bit of energy to do so. We kept each other going. I love that we both wanted to hurt the whiny dude behind us that kept saying how it was pointless to keep going on. He had no idea who he was dealing with did he??
The second time the cancer came around the doctors actually had the nerve to give you an 'end date'. Who the hell did they think they were? Obviously THEY didn't know who they were dealing with. They were dealing with Tigger, the most positive fighter of cancer ever to live.
I was so sure you were going to beat it this time. In a sense you did because you lived two months longer than they said you would. Even as you weakened the past few weeks, I thought, nope, this is a little blip. Things will get better. As the cancer spread I got a little more scared and I started to face up to the fact that maybe this time would be different. I always held out hope that things would be ok though.
I am sure some people would say that things are still ok, even though you have passed on. I've been talking a lot to Leslie and Esther about death and dying. I've been reading a lot of Buddhist books too. Trying to find some solace. I do take solace in the fact that I know you are still with me. Your energy is still here, even if you are no longer in your physical body.
That said, I'm selfish. I want the physical Tigger to be here dammit. I know you are going to be pissed at this, but I can't stop crying. I have this pain radiating in my chest and it's really hard to breath. I just don't want you to be gone.
When I found out the news yesterday, I went to Esthers. All the EE girls gathered there. There were some tears but mainly we shared all our wonderful stories about you. You'll be happy to know that there were way more smiles and laughter than there were tears. You touched our lives in such a positive way. I do hope you know that.
I shared the story of you showing me how to feed the baby cow 'Bear'. It was so funny trying to straddle him and hold the bottle out. I was pretty much riding him as my legs weren't as long as yours so I couldn't quite stand over him. Man that was funny.
Oh, and I loved getting to ride in the combine on the farm. You were so kind in holding in your laughter when I told you I didn't know what a combine was. Hey, I'm from Vancouver, not a farm girl! You know, Tim said you were the best driver he ever had working for him. No matter which way he went with the combine you never missed a bit of grain. It was so awesome that you gave me that experience.
And let us never forget the marshmellow shooters you showed us how to do in Fort Macleod. All of the girls were laughing at that last night. I still can't believe you mixed the Jack Daniels with the Hot Sex in the marshmellow. Holy hannah girl! I think that's what got us in trouble and we decided that after only doing sprint triathlons we could now do a Half Ironman!
There were so many good times and now so many stories to tell. I will never forget them as I will never forget you. I know, I'm a crying snotty mess right now...and you wouldn't like that. I promise to get my shit together though and start smiling a ton as I think of you. Because that's how you always were - smiling with that 1000 watt smile of yours.
I also know you will be with me when I attempt to tackle Ironman Canada this year. I will be racing for you my amazing friend. And I promise to get us in a lot quicker and with less pain than last time!
My thoughts and prayers go out to your hubby Bruce, and your family. Knowing how I feel about your loss, I can only imagine what they are going through.
I love you Tigger. Forever and always you will be my inspiration.