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!


  1. Very true and insightful about "quickies..." We want it all and we want it now -- or better yet, yesterday. Then it is always onward, onward.

    Hilarious that you popped up in between some guy's legs -- promise to forward me all the dirty things Jenna is going to send you in a private email about that incident. Hahahahahahaha!!

    Very exciting that you climbed the wall on your second try!! Hahahahah -- That's my Susi!!

    I admit, I am in the "Kill the gerbil" camp. LOL!!!

  2. way to go cuz, I am so proud of you for all your workouts and you accomplishments in your life. keep up the good work, and I think the gerbil is just Kevin thinking about you and making you go faster lol, hope you have a great day and many more great accomplishments,

    Love Lolajane

  3. I'm in the kill the gerbil camp too. He's a troublemaker.

    It is super that you are overcoming your fears, and got to the top of the wall.

  4. a quickie can be good but it has to be followed up by the long and slow and thoughtfull.

  5. Well, as someone who has succumbed to the quickie updates on FB rather than taking the time to read the whole story in Blogworld, I was glad to stop by and get the full story here. I enjoyed every word! I have the gerbil too, totally get it. Funny about the swimming, yikes. And who just gets into a pool like that unannounced? sheesh. Also, I commend you for not falling into the training trap by mixing things up even when you still have a race in front of you. That takes confidence and flexibility; both attributes of a great athlete. You are ready, my friend!