Saturday, 30 July 2011

Muscles Remember

Ten weeks of inactivity = MUFFIN TOPS!
Ten weeks later I’m back on my roady!
As I rolled out of the marina I saw a few of my neighbours.
“Back on the bike hey,” he said.
I admitted I was scared getting back on.
Surprisingly the legs felt strong. Given the pelvic injury (see post) the core is still working it’s way back. Shoulder is going to take some time.
I cut myself some slack and set out for an hour. Passed my fave Saturday morning cycling gang. Arm in the air I was so proud.
“First roady!” I proclaimed as they rolled by.
The first raise of the heart rate up the seaside slopes. I felt the old familiar taste of salt. I was in heaven.
All along I kept saying to myself how grateful I am to have my health. How grateful I am to be able to ride. How grateful I am for where I live.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise upon my return to the bike shop for a social was seeing my son. He being the one I called first when I went down. I remember it like it was yesterday.
“Kyle, I went down really hard on my bike, you need to come and get my bike NOW!”
So I had him snap me a new picture. The lb’s are up. But the spirit is back.
And thank goodness.
The muscles remember!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Public Pet Pooh Poohs

Had a Doberman once. Wasn’t my choice for a pet. The x-husband’s.
The dog was pretty good at getting into things. Cheeky too. Knew when to piss you off.
Certain things couldn’t be left on the floor in the early years. Shoes. Anything chewable.
Caught him one day in my son’s room. We went for a chase. I was in the middle of undressing from work. Shoes and nylons at that point.
I scrambled to catch him with the teddy. Cornered I thought. But the sliding wood floors caught me instead.
As I went down he skirted on. Into the bedroom.
While I reclaimed my dignity and continued the chase I caught him. Bedside. Nylons in mouth.
As my two arms perched for the strangle - he swallowed.
If looks could kill.
Should I tell my husband? Maybe he’ll puke it up I thought.
The following day - nothing.
A few days later I set out with the baby jogger. Son in seat. Dog on leash. We’re cruising Victoria’s seawall – Dallas Road.
All of a sudden we come to a screeching halt. Prince – the “dog” had to go.
Out came the nylons. Well not quite.
Like a farmer helping a cow with the birth of a calf. Regrettably I was forced to assist.
I have to say. Not the most gracious of public pet pooh poohs.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Count on Hope

Dwelling on the past doesn’t do much good. 
Living in the now is best. 
Realizing certain situations is rational. Sure.
But abandoning despair, isn’t always beneficial.
So goes the story. What I heard today anyway.
It turns out that should you find yourself in a certain situation where you’re up against a rock and a hard place and you need to go to specific government services for some help.
Don’t count on haste.
In the meantime. Lean on those you love.
Count on hope.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Getting Hired

Haven’t had a full-time, long term job since 2009. Been doing what I can here and there. Snippets of contracts and manual labour.
Uganda Wishes.
Been loving the evenings though when I can sit down and do what I really enjoy. 
Writing this blog. 
Whatever comes to mind. Something I heard, saw or did that inspired me to tangle words together. In turn, with the purpose to inspire you in some way.
Can’t imagine a better way to live then by doing what you love.
Like to know how I can make a living at it.
The question has come up often enough. I’ve even asked MISS604.
Turns out most blogs direct traffic to a web site. The source of the income. Whether it be services or books.
Dreaming out loud. Maybe I can publish a book like Seth Godin in an inspirational way that will garner me more readers. Bite the bullet and do the Google AdSense and see what comes…
Maybe set up an e-commerce side to my web site (the domain name is there) and put my poetry and photographs together and sell them.
I often receive favourable feedback from readers. Mostly through Facebook and Twitter.
Today I updated my LinkedIn profile. The scattered past. Full of this and that.
Thought of a song my dad used to sing out loud.
“What’s it all about, Alfie?”
Getting hired.
What is it all about?

Monday, 25 July 2011

Allocated Space

It seems what you need takes room. Space.
What if a Tsunami warning was struck? What would you leave your home with?
Certainly not the chandelier.
What you can carry. Maybe in a bag. Water. Maybe food?
Pictures perhaps.
Years ago I heard a funny statement. I’d not been long aboard my ketch. At the time I was helping out in a marine supply store. A fellow got on the conversation of holidays.
At that time I confessed it was sailing.
The chat ended with a laugh.
“You know what they say,” he said. “Sailboat, powerboat, RV, than rest home.”
Thought about that today when helping out dear Uncle Len. The fact that he is moving. To share space with his daughter, for the much needed assistance with the daily duties. 
He's having to leave his home.
To downsize.
In his case, from his RV to my cousin's fifth wheel. Previous to that though, he was on a power boat. He might a skipped the sailboat part.
Today, parting with some things was easy. Others, not so much. To be savoured at some other time. So into a box to storage.
We managed a pick-up truck load to the Thrift store.
More boxes to the fifth wheel.
All the while I mulled. The importance of allocated space.
Do we really need everything that we have?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Self-Directed Chaos

When does it end?
The course can change.
Revert to darkness.
Yielded by science.
Activated by the Universe.
Encased in what is.
Tempted by fate.
Life lingers on.
Sallow in the distance.
The mind. The soul.
Ponders reflection.
I ask.
What now?

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Yoga and You

Cob House Building on Cortes Island (this wall was straw!)
Did my first yoga class since I can’t remember when yesterday morning. It felt great!
I was careful. Allowing my body to guide my ability.
Throughout I kept asking myself,
“Why don’t you do this everyday?”
Years ago I cycled over to Cortes Island to learn how to build a Cob house. Mud and straw and lots of stomping.
I’ll leave it at that.
The teacher offered to share her daily practice.
Something she did EVERY morning before breakfast.
Even before coffee. A habit like brushing your teeth. Except it takes a little longer.
Bravely, I joined in. It was a routine of movements. Mostly yoga. Once done you felt so alive. So awake. So balanced.
The memories strolled through my mind today. I was so grateful to of been able to do a yoga class yesterday (see Broken Wings). Lovely Laura, our dear family friend greeted me as I went in. This was a class I’d never done.
“Lots of breathing,” she said assuredly.
I was ready.
In the past yoga has awakened dark emotions in me. Resulting in tears.
This class brought me healing.
We were asked to focus on one word. Mine was peace.
In concluding the class the teacher sang a mantra. Later, I was to discover it was a healing song.
Feels like I’ve rekindled the yoga and me. How about you?
I’m wondering if you’ve done a yoga class recently?

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Unraveled Stories

Nana C. is 93.
So she’s been told. The birth certificate doesn’t exist.
“Suppose’n you didn’t know how old you were? How old do you think you are?”
She’s passed me that line a few times over the years. Makes you think.
The other night it’s her and I for a meal. We’re onto discussing more then the weather. Somehow we got onto the old age topic. I reiterate dear Uncle Len’s comments.
“Old age is the s****,” he claims.
I look at Nana. Eyes lit up. Smooth skin for wrinkles. Graying on top. Dressed her best. Hands crimped with arthritis.
“What do you think of old age?” I ask.
“I want to enjoy my old age,” she replies.
So I ask her how she does that.
Turns out it’s the reading she savours. Along with still being able to cook up a good wholesome meal. Her exercises. Before she goes to bed and when she wakes up in the morning.
She lives alone.
Deeper into conversations she tells the stories. The great memories dear to her. Stories of my mother. Mirrored by today’s visit of her great grand-children. My brother’s girls.
I learn her real name. It’s not Nellie as everyone knows her.
Then she rattles off the Yugoslavian names for her five siblings. I should have had out the tape recorder. I’d never remember them!
Later in the kitchen I clean up. She admits everything needs to be at shoulder level now. No more reaching.
Then we collaborate on the baking in the kitchen when I was young.
More great memories.
For me, unraveled stories.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Physiotherapy vs Osteopathy

Never knew there was a difference. Only knew physiotherapy.
I’d taken to three treatments four weeks after my accident. Without success.
I cancelled my last appointment. What for?
There were some exercises shown. Some movements made. Followed by debilitating pain in the back.
My virtual physiotherapist was giving me more assistance with standing exercises. By email.
I felt improvement.
However, a visit to a hospital for a family member yielded the greatest results.
I watched as a hospital physiotherapist assisted a patient. I poised the question. At that point I was six weeks in. The pelvis pain wasn’t hidden. The clavicle was healing.
“It’s eight weeks for those types of fractures she said,” then the blow, “Six months till you’re fully recovered.”
Not one, not even my doctor had told me that.
I carried on. With the cane.
The eight weeks came. I lost the cane. But I was walking like a duck.
My mother called.
“I’ve made you an appointment,” she said.
A company called Body Logic. Someone she’d met at the pool. They’re from the UK. They aren’t physiotherapists.
Frustrated with where to turn, I went.
Instead of filling out a form I was sat down with the osteopathic practitioner and asked my medical history. We discussed it. He asked more questions. When it came to my pelvis we talked about my failed childbirth (Cesarean), my periods and the fibroids.
Then the pelvic fractures.
After that the fun part.
“Are you OK with being naked?”
Down to my drawers so to speak.
I was told to sit. The first riot act I got was with my neck. The shape. I was told where the weaknesses were and why. Ultimately the computer habit is helping to do the damage.
Exercises where shown. A graphic illustration on how to swim. On the back – not the front.
Then to my lower back. Fingers in two place bend at the neck and bend over.
So I did.
There was a rash of disgust. But in a nice way. It was easy for him to see where I had a problem.
A twisted pelvis.
“I’ve made people pregnant,” he said.
We laughed.
“Not in that way of course,” he adds.
By the appropriate adjustments.
I was shown exactly what my pelvis was doing along with the resulting pain and why my lower back grief in the morning was there.
Onto my back, the legs were next.
The left leg clearly in muscle muddle. The difference illustrated by a lean with his arm. Comparing the right to the left – apples to oranges.
I’d gone down on my left side.
A good baby lotion and muscle manipulation next with different exercises.
Then off to the side.
More muscle manipulation. Tough tissue pain.
Onto the front.
“This takes two of us now to fix your pelvis.”
It was simple. Painless. Fast.
The two worked together. Me on my front. Left arm down. Face to the right. Legs forward and bent and up.
They lifted and twisted.
Then the release.
It was an almost two hour appointment.
Today, life has been bright. I am walking normal.
No more duck waddle.
There is a remnant of muscle twang. Slight. Normal. To be expected.
I am so back to being me.
So grateful for Body Logic.
So grateful for my mother leading me there.
When it comes to physiotherapy or osteopathy.
I can whole-heartily recommend osteopathy.
It works!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Yo Yo Flab

It’s been eight weeks and one day. (See Broken Wings.)
Been lying around a lot. That’s for sure.
No choice.
Exercise muted.
The inevitable delayed.
Until today.
Put the butt on the scale.
To my dismay.
The pounds are up.
Fourteen for sure.
Doesn’t take long.
For that yo yo flab…

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Beautiful Moments

She pounced when I rolled over. Her soft fur in comfort. Draped across my chest. I didn’t hear the purring.
I ambled up the stairs to the soft hue of morning light draping the fresh lightly lemon coloured walls.
The vista of mountains in front spoke to me.
Be at peace.
I am.
Here in Squamish.
“Did you want to go to the farmer’s market?” Tamsin said.
No question.
The drizzle didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.
I kept thinking to myself. 
I truly love being here.
The puddle spoke to the young child without the gumboots. Settled herself into the middle of it. No one minded.
Then the music started. A teenager singing. Out of nowhere a troup of young musical students rang out some Broadway dance with song.
A gluten free cinnamon bun with a delightful coffee in a completely recyclable top and bottom.
Later a Tarot card reading. My first.
Affirmations. What the Universe is telling me.
I am being guided.
In the now. It’s all right. Accept. The future is beautiful.
I am here.
Back at Tamsin’s in front of me the book, Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach.
Here’s to now.
Here’s to knowing.
Here’s to seeing.
Here’s to recognizing.
In life, there is song.
In life, there are so many.
Beautiful moments.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Rest and Relaxation?

Never was one for lying around on a beach. Holidays for me need to incorporate activity. Exercise. Sweat.
Turns out this year I’m doomed.
No chance for holidays.
But when I heard some peeps were heading to Crankworx at Whistler I rang.
I’m in.
What’s better then watching other people? Especially on bikes.
Only been a few years since I hung. It’s always a blast.
First year witnessing Crankworx the live music in the plaza was K’NAAN. Before the spread of “Waving Flag” and the FIFA World Cup. Turns out he’s live again tonight!
Synonymous with gravity shows is the music and the video scene.
I’m stoked to be able to dial in this year.
It’s a spectator sport! Filled with eye candy.
Rest and relaxation?
What’s that?!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Who I Am

Personal branding. It comes up time and time again. Especially when you’re on the look out for the next dream job.
Like me.
This morning I hit up a free one hour Webinar: “Keys to a Successful Job Search” by Get Hired Boot Camp.
Besides the discussion around marketing your potential, not your past (a really good reminder) - I took away the true test.
How to answer the question: Tell me about yourself?
In simple, succinct words – the advice was to answer with a story.
I’ve developed a few stories over the years. Obviously they keep changing.
Here’s my latest draft:

Five out of seven days a week I write a blog based around whatever life dishes out that day.
It may be something I’ve experienced, saw in the news or something someone says. I try to use words and pictures to inspire people.
Years ago I studied photojournalism because I wanted to make a difference in the world. The media I saw as the vehicle.
I started in print (tourism publications and community newspapers) then moved into television, later producing community events.
With the evolution of media gone digital and mostly viral, here’s where I’ve landed.
Today I’m looking to activate a team of trend spotters and change makers to work with me to produce television, film and digital projects to take action for what the world needs today. 
Action takers. Resourceful. Creative. And smart.

When I spat out my story to a pal today, along with a few of my percolating ideas I received great feedback.
Made me feel good. 
Made me realize too.
I do know who I am.
Do you?

Monday, 11 July 2011

Eating for “O”

Thought I was original. Turns out really I’m old, and very common.
When it comes to my blood type that is.
It was through the Canadian Blood Services outreach program at Jumpship in the Inner Harbour that I discovered it.
That I’m O+ that is. For Canadians, the most common blood type amongst us. And did you know... For every one time you donate blood YOU can save up to THREE people's lives?
Turns out there’s been some research into diet and your blood type. What your blood needs. What's good, what's not.
This turned my head.
I’m good for meat!
Bad for dairy.
Happy for walnuts!
Poisoned by wheat.
Death by coffee or black tea.
But good for figs!
So I tried it. I took the challenge.
Walnuts, pumpkins seeds and figs for breakfast – MEDICINE!
Salads and some kind of meat with some nuts for lunch – MEDICINE!
Rice cakes with tahini and jelly for snacks - NEUTRAL.
Buffalo, onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, tumeric, sea salt, kale and broccoli all steamed together for dinner – YUMMY MEDICINE!
Wowzer I have good energy. It’s been just over a week. I had to wean myself off of bad habits, like coffee first thing and eliminate the fruits and produce that I don’t need - such as oranges and potatoes.
Here’s the cool thing. I’m eating healthy. I’m still healing from my accident May 22 with each day getting better and better, but truly - “Eating for O!” is the way to go!
Those muffin tops – they’re shrinking!
I can treat myself to something sweet. Which I do.
There’s neutrals which you can consume.
But here’s the thing. Every time I open my mouth to eat something I have to ask myself: “Is this medicine, neutral or poison?”
Just to be sure.
Happy to say, I’m doing real good “Eating for O!”

Author's note: It's my intention to regularly donate blood. However, I was informed because of my trip to Africa last fall I have to wait one full year before I am eligible to donate because of the threat of Malaria which may or may not be dormant but in my system. 

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Transition Dreams

Dare to believe.
The change is good.
Even though you’ve been stopped for a while.
Reflect. Resolve.
Count the ways.
You know better days.
Tomorrow starts now.
Anticipate the new.
Delay the old.
Contemplate the time.
Awaken the joy.
Remind the sorrow.
Time to go.
Visions once had.
Are fresh today.
Novel temptations.
What you want.
Who you are.
It is real.
Push yourself.
Transition dreams.

Friday, 8 July 2011

A Second Chance

Try as you might. Should you fail, as some version of an old saying goes – you try and try again.
When you fall off a horse what do you do?
Without question, you get back on.
Life can give us second chances. It’s what we do with them that counts.
Ironically on the news tonight I watch as the World News outlines the British Parliaments’ crushing gossip whereby a Communications Director was given a second chance, yet failed in the public’s eye. Or so it’s been broadcast.
The jury isn’t out.
Here at home, I marvel in my dear Uncle Leonard's second chance.
At life.
Today he’s home, but last week he was hospitalized with a questionable prognosis.
So I asked him tonight if he felt like he’d been given a second chance. He said to wait until he’d sat down to discuss it.
Later he reflected on the ward he was in during his hospital stay. Not so much about his physical well-being.
“For the first time in my life,” he said, “I felt my age.”
Today at 87, he’s been gifted.
With a second chance.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

False Friends

They’re there when they want to be.
They’ll say what they want to hear.
They don’t ask about your day.
They tell you their life.
They take what they want.
If they ask how you are.
They don’t listen to the response.
They don’t answer when you need them.
They take what they need.
From you.
They are.
The false friends.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Fat Facts Me Thinks

Lack of exercise.
Thought we could blame it on pop?
Pop has been around a while.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

No Charge

The best things in life are free.
Uncle Len said that today after we wheeled him outside the hospital for a breath of fresh air.
With the summer air and a small basket of breeze strolling through it was sure to be the best part of his day.
I reminisced on my sweet childhood memories of July:
  • Weekend sleepovers at a friend’s farm.
  • Waking up with the birds.
  • Riding bareback on my horse through the corn fields.
  • The beauty in the smell of summer all around.
  • The scent of fresh cut grass.
  • Roses in full bloom.
  • Pancakes with maple syrup.

I also reflected on that great feeling after a long summer bike ride. To sit and savour. The moments of freedom. Feeling good. Feeling alive.
All - no charge.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Earned Patience

The thesaurus uses staying power, persistence and tolerance as synonyms for the word patience.
I’ve been hearing it a lot lately. Especially when it comes to trying to do anything physical.
Six weeks today since the pelvic and clavicle fractures.
Yesterday I managed 50 meters with the shoulder doing the breaststroke. The remaining 600 meters was water walking and on my back sculling. At least I can do something!
Walking is painfully slow still. Although I can do a block now, without sitting down.
Last night I met a woman who had back surgery in April. She was sporting a plastic back like brace. Her 4th and 5th lumbars fused back together with screws. Alleviating years of excruciating nerve pain.
She said to me, “Paint the picture of how you want to look and feel when you’re all healed up.”
As I hobbled away I imagined.
Then chuckled to myself thinking again her final words.
“Remember to be patient.”
Ironically right after I had a text chat with another pal who’d suffered a shoulder injury a year earlier. Now in limbo awaiting surgery. Still with pain and suffering.
Her gift in words to me was the slow down was the best thing that could of happened to her in her life. She’d met the man of her dreams, watched her eldest daughter graduate. 
Nothing was rushed.
I’m humbled by the people I’ve been meeting in my current situation.
And slowly learning to live with that word: patience.

Friday, 1 July 2011

When Time Stops

Yesterday the vacuum broke. It was old.
No vroooommmmm, merely a rancid smell of burning electrical. It’s time was up.
Later in the day I’m out with the dog and I receive a call from my cousin that my dear Uncle Len had collapsed and was in the hospital. This is the type of call that when you receive it, you drop what you are doing.
I was at the dog park so headed straight for the Emergency ward. He was in good spirits. The doctors were taking good care of him.
Then the most unusual thing happened.
I’d plugged the parking meter for three hours. Thinking I’d dwell there while I could and spend the precious time needed to provide him with all the moral support I could.
The doctor came and went. Throwing a humourous comment to the effect of, “You’re an old man, what do you expect?”
Truly, we all chuckled.
Then I went to glance at my watch for the usual time check. Habit.
The screen was completely blank. Clearly the battery had died.
Or was it the moment I was in.
When really, time stops.
When family calls.
Nothing else matters.