Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Colour and Nature

Was glad for the snow this morning and the opportunity to walk to school.
True, riding a bike can offer you a lot of the same perspectives. However, in this evening's case - I had a lot more time to savour each step, even stopping to admire nature's colours.


Sunday, 26 February 2012

How to De-Funk


Given it’s never happened to me before, I honestly didn’t know what to do.
Time wore on. Complacency set in. Soon I was skipping school. Faced with my dilemma I declared whole-heatedly to a dear pal (via text – shame on me), “I’m in a funk.”
Not long ago I heard a great remedy for loneliness or grief is to hold hands with it. Invite said emotion in for tea (so to speak).
Hang out.
So. I did that. Alone. I funked.
A day passed. No un-funking came about.
So. We hung out some more.
In bed, at my table. Over some coffee. Away from everything and everybody.
Texts came in asking how I was.
“I am in a funk,” again I would declare.
Time trickled on. My mind told my body, “This will pass.”
Yet again, me and the Funk, well we continued to hang out. It wasn’t like a pity-party. More like a wallowing in self, um, self – another word for pity...?
Two days pass and I take Funk and I out for tea. To the real world.
We go shopping for clothes. Always a spirit lifter if you can find something you like.
No luck.
So I invited Funk to the Art Gallery with me and some Hip Hop.
We had fun. I could feel myself starting to get a little better.
Today a friend calls. I again announce, “I’ve been in a funk.”
Something then twigged inside of me.
It’s time to change this story.
Tonight I told Funk to stay home. I invited myself out to a friend’s to cook dinner and watch the Oscars.
When I got home, to my delight - Funk was gone.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Paused

The purpose feels broken.
No dance left in the fire.
Sparks all gone.
Dreams seem to have faded.
Somewhere there is promise.
Golden hopes.
Around the bend?
Perhaps.
There is no where to hide.
The sun speaks.
 Another day.
Time to press play.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Identity Speaks

It’s who you hang out with that makes your identity.
Or is it?
Certainly to a point.
Suppose you decide next month to change your scope. Immerse yourself into an entirely different crowd.
Would your identity change?
Different surroundings. New faces. An alteration in emotions.
Perhaps you would be different.
What is the essence of who you are? Where does it come from?
Does it start with where you are born? Your family, how you are raised. Schooling. Achievements. Entertainment.
We humans evolve.
This morning I heard on the radio how motivation can improve if you change your scene. Like, who you hang out with.
Sure, a change of scene can do a lot.
Think holidays. Beaches. Turquoise blue ocean. White sandy beaches.
But does this mean we’ve stereotyped ourselves by who we hang out with?
How we define our culture is what is around us.
Who we hang with and what we do.
Is who we are.
How our identity speaks.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Work Out Time

Missed my Monday morning Bikram Yoga class this week. 
Which was bad.
I’d booked five hours in the saddle over the past weekend.
My plan is to practice Monday's and Friday's. Monday's to free up the tightness, Friday's to prepare for the rides.
I’m currently training for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer (cycling 160km a day times two).
Sometimes time can be our enemy.
Same with sleep. We need it. But getting it, is another matter.
Today I got a long run in. First time in a while. 
It was pouring rain. I could of chosen not to go, but instead I geared up and headed out.
Not thinking of anything other then, “At least I’m doing it!” I struggled on.
Running has always been in my life. I love it.
But past injuries like a nagging Achilles injury and snapped Soleus slowed me down.
My goal some day is to run a half marathon. 
I’m at my mum’s this weekend (hence no riding) so my route is one I did when I was twenty pounds lighter (sad, but true - really).
Festering in the wind and the rain, I carefully chose my steps in the grass along the waterfront. All the while saying to myself, “I’m so grateful I can run.”
There comes a point when you haven’t been doing something for a while when your body quickly reminds you of your age.
I felt it.
Then I chuckled to myself. Consistency with running hasn’t been key as of late.
Once the week before. This would be my second time this week.
In the damp I kept telling myself. “I am getting there.”
Then I started to see Robins in the trees. Five of them in one. Spring soon. 
A healthy distraction.
The first hill came. I shortened my stride and stepped in as best I could. Slow.
Get home injury free - the goal.
Then came the time when it felt like I was getting past my comfort zone. To my delight the sky opened up. Not for more rain. For the endorphin rush.
That’s what it’s all about!
Why we get addicted to running, or any other sport for that matter.
Once you’re edging past your comfort zone a whole new set of emotions floods in. And as long as the body is following the mind. You’re OK.
Work out time.
The best.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Jump Don’t Fall

Skipped out on an exercise routine lately?
Do something. Anything.
Sounds easy.
It is.
Just get off the couch.
But first things first.
Sign up for a run, ride or adventure race. Then, know that you’ve just taken your first baby step on your way to something great!
It was another enjoyable evening at FEAT (Fascinating Expedition Adventure Talks) last week. Nine different athletic and adventuresome souls stood up, one at a time before us.
“We fear to fail,” I heard.
How true is that. And if we don’t try how will we ever know?
This was the first thread that started my head spinning.
Shawn Leclair, founding partner of everyone’s adventure race in Port Moody - the Suburban Rush shed some wild wisdom.
This woman likes a challenge!
We heard her story of her Test of Metal. The tailgater that never gave up. The one who beat everyone else that was still on the couch…
Shredding the impossible Ryan Leech drew us some lines. My second thread for the evening.
“The power of sport for a conscious evolution,” is what I penned.
Think about that.
What we do, we share, we spread. Infecting all who know us.
Don’t just do it for yourself. Do it for everyone else.
Get off the couch.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Wheel Power


Cycling in Vancouver is a challenge.
I’m used to fairly well paved roads. Shoulders without gravel.
It was just after 8am. Vancouver was still asleep.
The goal. A three-hour minimum training ride. Easy rolling. I figured Richmond.
It was great beating the Starbucks brunch traffic on SE Marine Drive. A few dog walkers. The odd trail runner.
Bliss.
Till the packs started piling up on my tail.
No warning. ZOOM!
Whoopee I thought. Miss that pace line pooper pack ride. So I jumped on. Quickly realizing leaving the scratched clear lensed Ryders glasses at home was a bad idea.
Rocked it till the gravel spray started spewing then I called it.
Fenders or not, crap gets flung.
You've got to be on. Tiny potholes abound.
There was an A and a B. I watched where they went since this was my first ride of this route.
The next group I came up on were clearly inexperienced pack riders. No warnings, stopping suddenly.
I waited till I saw an opening of traffic and railed it past them.
Only to get cooked booking it up a hill. Thankfully to a red light.
Then they turned right. Drat. I was taking the wrong route.
We got hung up again but not until my way home
I discovered Iona Beach on Sea Island. Pretty cool.
Packs and packs of movers out there.
Only one person said hi.
Remember my brother saying that about runners. Nobody smiles. They’re clearly suffering, or not.
In most cases I realized after, when you’re in a pack you’ve got to pay attention to the wheel in front of you and most importantly, to the ruts in the road. Especially in Vancouver.
To keep it going.
Wheel power.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Creative Rush


Lots of talk in our day to day strides of ensuring you do something for yourself. Reminders.
To feed your soul with joy. Take care of yourself.
It’s super easy.
Get creative!
Really.
Whenever I get my creative juice cranked up, there’s no matter of time. It’s cardinal bliss.
The heart sings.
Stuff your face with chocolate all you want. Won’t do the same thing.
Pull out the pencil or a pen or some paints. Find a blank piece of paper. Close your eyes and let your hand land. That’s where you start.
Go on. Give it a go.
Creative rush guaranteed! 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Being a "Liveaboard" RANT

Am at my wits end. 
I moved to Vancouver to go to school Sept. 1, 2011. I've lived on my boat for going on nine years now, so of course I moved my home from West Bay Marine Village in Victoria, to where I could find temporary "liveaboard" moorage - Bowen Island. Which didn't last long given the four hour commute and the amount of homework with school (not to mention the cost). 
So then to False Creek for the False Creek shuffle.
After October 1st you're allowed 21 days out of 40. So I did what I was told. Spent 19 at the Fisherman's Wharf at an atrocious rate for power and per footage.
When I inquired about "Temporary Winter" moorage (I know there are wait lists everywhere) I was told yes, at about one quarter of the price. Then I was asked do I "liveaboard" to which I respectfully and truthfully replied "Yes." I was then told "NO." Only Grandfather claused liveaboards and Fishermen are allowed to live on their boats. I wrote a letter to the Board of Directors again asking for temporary liveaboard moorage for the winter - I was told no because there was no infrastructure for the sewage (there are pump out stations) and because of Municipal Bylaws, BUT the Fisherman ARE allowed to live on their boats.
Ironically months after I left the slip stayed empty.
I was super lucky to find "temporary" moorage (not official "liveaboard" moorage) for the winter only after enduring the WORST storms ever on the hook out in False Creek. 
I was there November 10th for the crazy storm. My boat was heeled right over. Thankfully my anchor stayed.
I couldn't get off my boat one day to go to my part-time job because of another storm. Another day I couldn't get back on my boat until 9pm. After I row to shore I have to lock my dinghy and my oars. To ensure peace of mind that they will be there when I return. 
My bike stays locked on land. Unfortunately on one rainy morning I was to discover my seat and stem stolen (it's a 20 year-old bike). Go figure.
I digress. Meanwhile, there is available moorage, but NOT because I'm a "liveaboard."
I recently applied to the Spruce Harbour Marina to get on their 10-12 year wait list. I pay $150 and then $50 each year. Then if I make it to the top I pay $50,000 to get into the Co-op. Ten years later.
Here I am, a woman who takes care of her boat. I raised my son on my boat. The dog and cat are now gone. I buy the high priced insurance so I have the $2M liability - I live on an old wood boat so I expect it's a higher rate then most ($1,200 per year). My boat is well maintained. I am a good citizen. Yet today, I'm treated like an outcast.
I have a post office box address. Was told when I applied for a Leisure Access Card to the City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation that I was not eligible because I didn't have a residential address. 
They considered me homeless.
My boat is for sale. I'm tired of doing this dance. But of course, it's not easy selling a 1967 Classic wood sailboat. So here I sit.
The water at the dock I am at temporarily has been off for a week. I have power thankfully. The person who I sublet off told me he's afraid to ask on my behalf in case they kick me out. I only fill up every three weeks.
After March 31 I guess I'm back out there doing the False Creek Shuffle - even though I see on Craig's List available moorage... but oh, NOT FOR ME! I'm a liveaboard.
Sad, but true.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Culture of Colour

Created in Illustrator.
It's been a really busy week at school. For the time and effort I've put in I have been most pleased with my results.
Of particular interest to me was what I came up with for my Colour and Concept class.
The objective of the assignment was to listen to different genres of music and create some colour palettes as a result.
This portrait of colour popped into my head whilst listening to a subtle country interlude.
More variations in my palettes evolved depending on the genre. You can see the assignment here. 
When I sat back to look at them all each struck a different emotional chord.
There's culture to colour. All around us it creates a mood and vibe.
Without it, how would we feel?