Wednesday, 21 October 2009


“Things and conditions can give you pleasure but they cannot give you joy—joy arises from within.” –Eckhart Tolle

I have fallen victim to the quickie. The quick update via Facebook or text. For some, the quickie includes Twitter. How do we fall into the trap of the quick update? How did I fall into the trap of the quick update?

I think one reason for it is that I find my life full. Not necessarily full of the good things that life has to offer or that bring me joy. Rather, things that I feel I should or have to do. Then there are the things that I really want to do, such as writing, that I have to squeeze into all of the other stuff.

The end result, the quickie update. Thing is, there are stories behind those quick updates. Stories that I love to write and share. So today I shall try and expand on some of the quick updates that I have been leaving here and there...

"I swam 10400 m in three days..."

Okay, I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I was super stoked by this. I attempted to become a swimmer in the summer of 2005. At the end of my first 25 m I was gasping for air and hanging limply off the diving board begging not to have to do that again. Last year I noticed that I was more comfortable in the water. Not necessarily faster, but I wasn't gasping as much as before.

Now? Now is a different story. Now I honour my Piscean sign by being a true fish. I love swimming and I have been loving my workouts. This is quite the feat considering I have been wishing the whole Ironman thing done since about May! When my coach asked me to add in a 4000 m swim to help me prepare for the open water, no wetsuit swim, I'll be doing in Cozumel, I wasn't sure I could do it.

I dug deep though and thanks to my pals at the pool, who unknowningly provided support just by being there, I got it done. I swam 3000 m on Thursday, 4000 m on Friday, then 3400 m on Saturday. Yes, my back is still feeling it.

Of course a funny thing happened at the pool during one of those swims. I was deep into one of my sets, head looking down at the bottom of the pool, paddles fastened securely when I got to the pool end. I slapped my paddle down on the pool edge and came up for air, only to find my head was very close to being positioned between a fellow swimmers knees. I assume he just got into the pool and was sitting innocently enough with his feet dangling, but somehow I missed all this! I was thankful for two things....a) my head wasn't lodged between his knees (how would one explain that?) and 2) that when I slapped the paddle down it was on the pool edge and not the fellows...

"Has so much Tiger Balm on her quads to try and ease the agony that her eyes are now weepy...will the pain just please go away?!"

On Thanksgiving Monday a friend and I hiked up Lady MacDonald mountain in Canmore. I've done that hike once before and knew there were two sections that send my heart racing and make my legs turn to jello. And that's when there is no snow.

The first part of the hike was pretty easy, albeit a bit steep in parts. I find it amusing that even though I work out the way I do, I spend the first 1/2 hour gasping for air on a hike. After a while though my lungs get used to what I'm doing and I continue to march on.

It was wonderful hiking through the snow. When we weren't talking I took the time to listen to the squeaking noise our boots made in the snow. As I walked by exposed rocks I'd caress them with my hands and give thanks to their presence. With the pine trees I would pull a section towards me and take a deep breath of their fresh smell.

The reason I love being in nature is because of the wonderful connection or interbeing one can have with it, if one is open to that experience. Of course there is also the feeling of being alive when you have to tap into one of your fears, such as trying to climb up, or down an exposed section in slippery snow, knowing that it will be quite the slide down if you lose your grip. Gulp.

Although during the climb my legs felt fine, I spent the next few days after slathered in Tiger Balm and stretching like the madwoman I am. I swear my quads haven't hurt that bad even after Ironman! I think part of the reason was the steep grade of the hike and coming down in the snow. It was slippery in sections and my muscles were engaged in the hopes that I didn't fall.

I'm happy to report I am once again able to walk up and down the stairs like a normal human, rather than having to heave myself up them or go down on my derriere! Oh, and I didn't slack on my workouts after either. That has got to add some points for the next race?!

"Is going to the climbing wall today! Hopefully I will be able to let go when I get to the top..."

I'm not ashamed to admit it...I've been pretty unmotivated at times during this years training. I've been going at it since January and as I have the personality of one who likes to mix things up a be swimming, biking and running that long is really pushing it for me.

Therefore, I recently decided to mix things up a bit! One of the things I did was the hike up the mountain. The next was to give climbing a go again. I tried indoor climbing about two years ago. I took the lesson, got all the gear and went exactly twice. It wasn't due to lack of enthusiasm, but just a difficulty in finding time with training and matching friends shedules.

Last night I went to a local climbing wall with a friend. I am hoping that the more climbing I do the less I will be afraid of heights. Plus, climbing makes you feel like a kid again!

I was happy to pass the belay test as it had been a while, and then we started climbing. Well, not at the same time of course. I went first. I made it about two thirds up the wall and asked to be let down. I was shaking pretty badly and my hands were all sweaty. I forgot to open my chalk bag so figured instead of doing it while hanging on desperately for dear life, that I'd just descend and get sorted on terra firma. I then took some deep breaths to try and relax.

I'm not sure what happened after that, but the next attempt at climbing I went straight to the top with no problem! I even managed to let go of the wall almost right away so I could be lowered!! The times before it took my friend Karin about 5 minutes to talk me into letting go of the wall so she could lower me. So that was a big step for me. It likely helped that I had been doing self talk about it all day long in preparation!

I had a blast trying different walls in the climbing gym and I look forward to the next time I go as I will actually try to follow a set path. Last night I just used all the rocks to get to the top. Oh! And I was very happy that when my climbing partner fell I had him totally secure on the line. Needless to say, he was also happy that this rookie was on the ball too!

Who knows, maybe one day I'll actually try climbing outside?! Thing there are any 6' rock walls around? I think I could handle that height...

"Is very pleased with how hard she pushed the pedals on her bike where is my Tiger Balm?! Burning Legs = Blowing the Cobwebs From Mind"

I have a wee gerbil that lives inside my brain. Sometimes he hops onto the treadmill in there and runs like he's on fire. Many of my friends tell me I need to 'kill' the gerbil. I can't do it though. My gerbil is my alarm bell. He lets me know when I'm not being in the present and when I need to chill out.

Sometimes though he's very hard to stop. Lately I've had a lot on my mind and have been a bit frustrated by things. I was chatting with my friend Lance and grumbling about things when he said 'Go ride your bike!' I had a bike workout for today, and was going to get to it later, but realized he was right. Work could wait (one of the perks of being your own boss and working from home).

So I got all my gear on and trudged down to the dungeon. My schedule had a one hour ride, but because Cozumel is coming up, we've extended my Wednesday rides, so I settled in to push for two hours.

Sometimes it's good to be frustrated on the bike. This was one of those times. I was kicking some serious butt during my 'fast' intervals and could feel the burn through my quads, hammies and butt. It felt amazing. I can't believe I was able to hold that pace (in 10 minute intervals) for the full two hours, but I did it.

I was glad I did too because the gerbil got a bit pooped from the whole thing and decided to go back to his corner and take a pull of the old hookah pipe. I still have a lot on the mind, of course. Things don't just go away, but I feel much better able to deal with it now that I've burnt off a little steam.

Oh, and yes, the Tiger Balm was out again. I spent the afternoon/evening working at my desk with eyes that were weeping from the fumes coming off my legs. It was good for keeping me alert though!

So those are some of the background stories from the little texts I send out to friends and my Facebook blurbs.

I really do think that in today's world we've lost something with all the technology we have now. Personally, I love reading other people's stories. I am interested in what is happening in peoples lives, and not just the by-lines. That said, I know tomorrow I'll be back at trying to think of something short and witty to put up on my Facebook. Sigh...

Thank you to everyone who takes the time to write the long version out and for sharing a part of themselves.

Peace out my friends!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Survey...

My buddy Julie tagged me for this survey...I've been putting it off, but have finally decided to fill it out as it's super short and my posts are super long. As my time has been quite full lately, I figured I'd better get something on my blog so why not do a short survey.

The goal is to answer with only one here it goes!

1. Where is your cell phone? Table
2. Your hair? Blonde
3. Your mother? Awesome
4. Your father? Brilliant
5. Your favourite food? Sushi
6. Your dream last night? Sad
7. Your favourite drink? JD
8. Your dream/goal? Peace
9. What room are you in? Livingroom
10. Your hobby? Life
11. Your fear? Emptiness
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Island
13. Where were you last night? Canmore
14. Something you aren't? Tall
15. Muffins? No
16. Wish list item? Love
17. Where did you grow up? Everywhere
18. Last thing you did? Blink
19. What are you wearing? Fleece
20. Your TV? There
21. Your pets? Dead
22. Your friends? Loving
23. Your life? Fabulous
24. Your mood? Accepting
25. Missing someone? Yes
26. Vehicle? Subaru
27. Something you're not wearing? Socks
28. Your favourite store? MEC
29. Your favourite color? Purple
30. When was the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday
32. Your best friend? Loved
33. One place that I go over and over? Mountains
34. One person who emails me regularly? Work
35. Favourite place to eat? Anywhere

Exciting stuff eh? I'm supposed to tag 6 other people...but I think I'll just let those that read this decide if they'd like to participate.

Peace out my friends!

Sunday, 4 October 2009


"Friendship is the only cure for hatred, the only guarantee of peace." ~ Buddha

The past two weekends have been all about friendship - making new friends, reconnecting with old friends, and building on existing friendships. I can't help but be grateful for all the friends I have - hopefully they realize how much they mean to me!

Last weekend I spent joining the local search and rescue team, which resulted in meeting a new friend, going for a ride with Esther and Joz, hanging with Karin and having a 'girls night' that included her adorable 18 month old daughter, and then spending a day of mindfulness with my Buddha buddies. This weekend continued with the friendship theme and I spent time with Leslie and Rob celebrating his birthday, going to a 'pre-Thanksgiving dinner' where there was an amazing group of people and wonderful hosts Karin and Tony, and today was spent in the mountains with Leslie and Di.

Now the best part of having friends is getting to share stories with them. Especially silly stories! So here's my silly story of the week...

Perhaps you all recall the issue with my swimsuit - how the liner is looking like Freddie Kruger got to it? Well, I've still been wearing it. I know, I know, I should have gotten a new one, but the shell is just fine so I'm thinking 'really is it necessary?' Well my swim on Thursday made me realize, yes Suse, it is necessary to get a new suit.

It all started early in the morning as I gathered up all my stuff for the pool. I went to step into said swimsuit and 'RIIIIIIPPP', my foot caught in one of the many holes in the liner and the liner tore in half.

Hmmm, I thought as I stared at the limp, lifeless liner. As the only other suit I own is in the laundry, I proceeded to do what any normal person would do, I got the snips out and just cut that ol' liner right out. Afterall, I was pretty sure the material of the suit was thick enough that no one would see any 'stuff'. I did; however, leave a wee bit of material in the undercarriage portion of the suit just in case...

So I get to the pool and jump in eager to swim my set. Not long after my suit got nice and saturated I remembered the other problem that I have with it every time I swim, but seem to forget every time after I swim - the straps appear to have stretched. Either that or I've shrunk. Which is a possibility.

The problem with this is that the 'girls' always seem to feel like they have more room to roam and float about. Not a huge issue when it's just us gals in the pool, but on days like today when there is a young man patrolling the pool side, well, then we have a bit of a problem. I do not want to be responsbile for his anatomy lessons!

Of course I was pretty sure that nothing was floating out into the open, but I'd stop every once in a while to look down and see what was going on. This, of course, was impossible with my goggles on so I'd take them off, do a quick non-chalant peek downward, then adjust to make sure and carry on with my swim. Not to mention it was tricky to try and pull the material over when one is wearing paddles.

Sometimes I'd reef on the straps and pull the material down my back in hopes that it would stay there. Funny how water just readjusts everything right back to the way it was. This issue occupied me for the majority of the swim, until the little old man entered into the scene. You know, I'd been wondering where he's been. I hadn't seen him in a while.

For those that don't know, the little old man is very tiny, very skinny gentleman with a slight hunchback. His claim to fame is that his preferred swimwear choice are very brief swimtrunks that are flesh coloured.

Trust me, the first time I got a glimpse of this I almost ingested all the water in the pool thinking I was looking at old man junk! This time, as I got to the end of my lane, I stopped and smiled at him in welcome. Perhaps I had some flesh showing myself because he never smiled back. Ah well. He still seems adorably sweet.

The last few laps of the workout consisted of me trying to concentrate on my swim, tugging at my suit with my paddles and trying not to swallow water whenever I'd get to the end of the pool and see what looked to be a skinny old man bare botttom looking at me. Seriously - why flesh coloured trunks?? Oh well, at least the flesh trunks and the thought of accidently seeing 'junk' kept my mind off my own swimsuit issues for a while.

Needless to say I made the oh so long trip into the city the next day and picked myself up a very nice looking purple suit that fits perfectly. Even took it out for a test drive on Saturday morning and I'm happy to report there was no incident involving me flashing my tata's. The girls were securely confined the entire 3400 m.

All that said, I still think I can get some mileage out of the old suit. Okay, so there's no liner, but maybe if I just sew the straps so they are tighter, maybe then things would stay put??

Peace out my beloved friends!