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When Nature Attacks

17 May

For all that I go hiking and for walks and dragon boat I wouldn’t call myself an outdoorsy person. I can handle being outside for various activities as long as nature keeps its distance.

Well, a couple weeks ago I was out walking with a friend around Burnaby Lake and nature attacked! It was brutal, and tragic, and involved the end of a life, and I hope it never happens again.

A small black flying insect suicide bombed in to my eye. My eye! And I don’t mean it came near, I blinked in time, and it bounced off my eye lid, or that it hit just under or over my eye, no no no. I mean it flew right in to my eye ball, made contact, and died. Now granted, it might have died when I rubbed my eye because a bug just flew in to it, but whether it died from the impact or my reflexive action is irrelevant. The end result was a dead bug…in my eye! Ugh.

So. Not. Hygienic.

The plus side to that day, and the walk I did the week later with the same friend at that same lake, is the other wildlife, you know, the ones that aren’t deciding to suicide bomb in to my eyes.

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So sure, the only wildlife I took pictures of were the Canadian Geese but c’mon, did you really want pictures of the slugs on the trails? No, I didn’t think so. And who can resist little floofy baby geese? They are so adorable, especially the ones that are all chilling on the grass in a row. Let’s all just admire the adorable while we can, because soon they will be grown and mean, it is their destiny after all. πŸ˜‰

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Race Day, Port Moody Style

29 Apr

Ok so yes, race day was two days ago but hey, I’ve been busy, and tired, so it took a while to write about it lol

We competed at the Inlet Spring Regatta in Port Moody this past Saturday. It is the second year of the festival, and the second year we have competed in it. Both years have been great!

inlet spring regatta

https://www.inletspringregatta.com/Β  – here’s the Regatta’s website if you want to check it out.

You know those jokes about Canada where people tease about how you can experience all possible weather patterns in one day? That was what Saturday was like.

There was wind, sunshine, more wind, cloud coverage, even more wind, rain, hail, did I mention wind, then sunny…with a side of wind. πŸ˜‰

Each team was supposed to race 4 times but the water conditions became too dangerous and they cancelled the last two races of the day. Doesn’t happen often, so you know it isΒ  bad when!

What I found slightly amusing is that after they declared races 3 and 4 cancelled, did the math to figure out who placed where (based on Races 1 and 2’s results) and the medals were handed out, the wind calmed a bit and the sun came back out. So personally, I think we could’ve kept going, but it was too late at that point. Can you imagine trying to get all the teams to return their medals so they can go race again and hopefully still win them? Not a thing that would go over well lol

For this festival they don’t hand out medals, they hand out woodals, because they make their medals from wood. They are really nice, and unique, oh, and did I mention yet that my team won one? πŸ˜‰

We won Gold in Division B, were ranked 5th for the entire festival, definitely not a bad way to start the race season!

 

port moody 2019 3

My team being goofy πŸ™‚

 

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The day after at work, yes I know I look tired! The filter couldn’t save me this time lol

 

My Last Lazy Monday

27 Feb

When it isn’t training season Mondays are not that bad of a day for me. In my work week Mondays are like most people’s Thursdays, so I’m close to my days off, I’m starting to wind down a bit, I don’t usually mind them. In fact, after work on Mondays I am down right lazy.Β  I may run some errands and then it is home to do laundry, watch Netflix, and at some point go to bed. Such an exciting life! πŸ˜‰

lazy panda

I channel my inner lazy panda, I’m just not as cute πŸ˜‰

But next week training starts back up which means Mondays become a little hellish for me. Not because of training! I’ll be happy to be back on the boat, well, sort of happy lol I do enjoy it, and I’ll be glad to be back at it, but for the first couple months I’ll be wondering what kind of crazy person I am to go out when the weather is crappy and paddle around in the dark and cold for hours. Dragon boaters are a special breed lol πŸ˜‰

Mondays become slightly sucky because they are also the only day I have access to the laundry room where I live. So I start work at 7am, get home in time to have a small bite to eat, change, and go to practice, then I get home from that around 9:45pm, thaw out in the shower for a bit, get something started on the stove, then throw in my first load of laundry.

Oh laundry, how I hate thee. sigh.

It wouldn’t be so bad except that I almost always doze off while waiting for a load to finish, wake up an hour or two later, and then end up staying up until 4am or so finishing up.

It kinda sucks.

Knowing that next week the long Mondays start really brought me a fresh appreciation for just how relaxed this past Monday was. I reveled in it. I actively thought about how I was cozy in sweats and my biggest effort was in remaking my bed after washing the bedding and how great that was and how I should enjoy it because starting next week I’ll be freezing my butt off on a boat and wondering if I’ll get the feeling back in my cold cold fingers before I get home.

I guess my moral of the week is enjoy where you are in life, settle in to that cozy moment, because soon it will be gone and only a hazy memory.

 

I Sometimes Listen

31 Aug

Do you listen to what your body wants? I sometimes do, I’m kinda working on it, some days…

trust my body

I find that I often tell myself I have to do this, or my responsibility is to that, when really, my decisions should be based more on what cues my body is giving me, what it is saying it needs, than what pressures I feel from others or myself to fulfill certain obligations or duties.

That is harder for me to do when the activity is something I usually enjoy, and in general, look forward to.

Like my Friday night workouts.

I work two jobs on Fridays, after job number 2 I head to the gym, usually start my work out around 10pm and depending on what muscle groups I am working end up home around 11:30pm or midnight. Midnight is more because I’m trying some new moves or took extra long stretching, or maybe fit in some extra cardio, generally I aim to be there an hour and a half.

My personal rule is that I go every Friday, the only exceptions being if I race the next day, have picked up an early morning shift the next day, or am sick or injured. Otherwise, rain or shine (or snow!), feeling energized or kinda sleepy, I go. I’ve never regretted going, never regretted a workout, even if some of them are definitely not me at my peak, lol. I figure a workout, any workout, is better than none, and to not go is me giving in to my lazy side, which fyi, my lazy side is loud and demanding and must be reigned in often lol.

Tonight however, even though I had my gym bag with me and was planning on going to the gym after work, I was tired, and kind of didn’t want to. Ok, no “kind of” about it, I really wasn’t feeling the idea of going to the gym. I tried convincing myself that once I was there I’d be fine, even better than fine. I told myself to just go through the motions of getting changed, follow the routine, get in that gym and everything will fall in to place and I’ll have a good workout.

Nothing I said made a dent in the yawning, or the tiredness that I was feeling. Hell, the person who replaced me at work even mentioned I looked really tired.Β There was no good reason for me to be so tired, I slept my normal amount last night, I always work two jobs on Fridays, today was my normal routine, but today it was hitting me harder than usual.

I told myself I would aim for home but when I was passing the gym if I felt like it I’d stop. Then, when walking to my car it was so nice out I thought that if I didn’t stop at the gym the least I could do would be to go for a walk. I like walking at night, and I feel I should take advantage of the warm weather while I can since fall is sneaking up on us and soon I’ll need another layer *rolls eyes*.

Confession time, I did neither. I drove past the gym, got home, hopped in the shower, felt like I could have dozed off in the warm spray, got cozy in my pj’s, and curled up with my book, a cup of tea, and the cat. Aaaaand that is pretty much where I have stayed since I got home.

My body was sending me all these signals that working out, even if it is my normal Friday night routine, was not at all what it wanted to do this evening. Normally I would have ignored it, had a not so great workout where I most likely would have put myself at a higher risk of injury because of being less focused while working out, or I would have just drawn a blank when at the gym for what to do because my brain wasn’t functioning at full capacity, and what is the point in that?

Where is the harm in listening to the signals my body is sending, paying attention when it says it is tired and needs a break, and then giving it that break?

Admittedly, a big part of me feels like I’ve failed in some way, failed because I always work out on a Friday and my not working out tonight wasn’t because of any of my previously mentioned reasons. But…it isn’t a failure to take care of myself. If anything I think I might count it as some sort of personal growth. Imagine that, personal growth! How adult of me lol

can not adult

I think a lot of people stop listening to what their bodies are telling them. We get in to our routines, we go on auto pilot and hit the gym or the hiking trail or the running path or the whatever, not when our bodies are wanting to go but when it fits in our schedule. I get that, I do, not like I can skip out of work half way through my shift to have a workout because that is when my energy peaks. So we make sacrifices, we go after work, or fit it in early morning, or do extra on our days off, and probably, for the most part, that is ok. Our bodies are adaptable, which is a handy perk, but even an adaptable body needs a break every now and then. Needs an early night curled up on a comfy chair resting.

I’m working on feeling comfort in my quiet evening, not guilt for a missed workout. Feeling glad that I could understand what my body was saying it needed, not worry this will be the beginning of a trend of missed workouts. I’m reminding myself the gym will always be there, there will always be another chance to work out, and one night off won’t be the end of my workout plan, or my active-ish lifestyle.

Basically, I’m working on listening to my body, following through to give it what it needs, and accept that is the right choice. Friday night gym session be damned! πŸ˜‰

 

My Best Time – So Far!

19 Aug

I have made a habit of hiking the Coquitlam Crunch one to two times a week for I dunno, a couple months or so? A friend suggested it and I got hooked.

It is described on the city website as a steep urban trail that offers a great workout, which I’d say is fairly accurate. The city website also says it takes 1.5 hours to complete, but they always overestimate for the trails.

The first time my friend and I went we were around the one hour and fifteen minute mark I think…I don’t really count the first attempt at a new trail though because you don’t always know where you are going, and there end up being pauses to figure out are you turning left or right because the trail branches off both ways, reading signs, stuff like that. Second attempt and onward though, those get tracked and turned in to times to beat!…not that I’m competitive with my stats or anything lol

This trail has three road crossings, and depending on if traffic stops or not that can really affect your time, which sucks. There have also been two times where I paused to watch deer, but only on the way down. Pretty much nothing stops me on the way up, I have a mission and am determined to keep moving! The first time we went up I paused to read all the signs, they mostly have blurbs about the area, the wildlife, things like that.

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There is one section with stairs, looks like this…

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Well, actually, I’m sorta lying. Oops! There are two sections of stairs, they are at the same section though, just one set is to the left the other set is to the right. I tend to go up the set to the left and down the set on the right. I find the set on the right easier because there are more flat spots so I save it for my way down when my legs are tired. On the way up I want as many steps crammed in together with fewer flat resting spots as I can get.

Pictures don’t do the Crunch justice. There are power lines the entire length of the trail and in pictures they dominate what you see, but when you are there it is easy to ignore them and just enjoy the view.

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My best time had been one hour and two minutes and I was determined to get it under an hour, even if all I managed was 59:59, I wanted it under an hour!

This past week I went and had no confidence in my ability to beat my best time, I was going to be happy if I managed to hit one hour and four minutes. It was mid-day, the worst time of day for me, I wasn’t as hydrated as normal, there is poor air quality thanks to fires, and my legs hurt from my previous days workout. If I hadn’t been in the area I don’t know that I would have gone to do the Crunch at all that day, but I was in the area, and if I am there I can’t pass up an opportunity to go up, so up I went!

Something about not putting pressure on myself to beat my best time seems to generate results. I only asked my body for the best it could do that day, and was going to be happy with whatever that was, and lo and behold, I got my best time, and it wasn’t 59 minutes!

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56:26!

Do you see that Fit Bit info? I completed the Crunch in 56 minutes and 26 seconds! wOOt! wOOt!

I don’t care if it is rude to celebrate yourself, I am happy with that! πŸ˜€

Yes I know there are people who can do the whole thing in a much shorter span of time, and yay for them, but for me, in this moment, I am excited I completed the Crunch in 56:26. And really, there will always be someone who can do what you are doing better, and that’s fine. I only compete against myself, I only look to beat my time, not the person next to me, as my coach says, race your own race.

So now the time to beat is 56:26…talk about setting myself up for a challenge!

Paddle Boarding, Attempt 1

18 Aug

I do not have great balance, in fact I have pretty sucky balance, but did that stop me from taking my friend up on the offer to try out her paddle board? No, of course not, because where would the fun be if I said no to new things?

So we went paddle boarding. I didn’t fall! Of course, I also didn’t stand, but let’s not get nit picky ok? πŸ˜‰

We each went out a couple times, the first time I stayed within the rope & buoy markers and stayed kneeling low to the board. The fear of tipping over was real I tell ya!

Me

My first attempt.

Kat

My friend Kat looking fierce!

That is my friend, using the paddle board as it is meant to be used. She is much better than I am – granted, it is her paddle board so she should be better at using it than me lol

She is also a great teacher, helping me get on and off, giving tips on how to turn, things like that. Though, she did wait until I was on the water and trying to figure out how to turn before she explained it to me, but hey, thinking you’re going to crash just keeps things interesting, right? πŸ˜‰

Me 2

You can’t tell, because I am a blip in the distance, but that is me, on the paddle board, beyond the buoy and rope divider. There wasn’t much danger since the only other people on the water were either also on paddle boards or were the two people you can see in the canoe in the above picture and they were not moving, just sorta floating along, chatting, having what seemed like a lovely date. Not that I eavesdropped or anything… *whistles innocently*

I didn’t get all the way to standing up but I did raise up so I was, I dunno how to describe it, kneeling, but not as low down as in the first picture of me. So, raised kneeling? If my knees were my feet, I was standing on them, does that make sense? Or just give you a weird mental picture? Probably both lol

Alice Lake BC

I took a panorama picture of the lake to try to give you an idea of how beautiful it was there. Just to the right is a little creek that feeds in to the lake so you had the constant sound of trickling water, and crickets making little cricket noises, and the sounds of paddles gently moving through water. It was tranquil, and soothing, and would be lovely to hang out at for longer periods of time. There are camp grounds near there so I imagine during the day it is louder because of people jumping off the docks, and swimming and all that but right then, at that time of evening, it was chill and relaxing…even if there was the constant worry of me falling in the water lol

Hopefully I get to go again, and if I do, hopefully I take a chance and stand up on the board!

 

0.317

16 Aug

Last weekend my dragon boat team and I competed at the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival. So many things happen at these away races and I always struggle on how to write about them. Do I focus on the races? The food? The general merriment? The travel? Sometimes there is one huge thing that stands out, so it becomes obvious what story I want to tell, other times the entire weekend is fun and I wish I could find a way to talk about everything.

I thought I’d try breaking things down in to categories…maybe that will help?

So, the food!

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This isn’t all the food I ate over the course of the trip, there was dinner on the ferry ride home, and a random banana or slices of toast here and there, but the best food deserved to be photographed and shared.

Pictures of Victoria!

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I took some random, kinda touristy, pictures of Victoria while there. I can’t really tell you all that much about them lol I just took them because I liked how they looked.

General hi-jinks!

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So yeah, I realized I didn’t ask anybody if I could put their pictures on my blog and it is late at night right now so I’m not going to wake them up with texts asking, which means you’re stuck with pictures of me. Sorry!

Last, but definitely not least, is the actual racing!

Each team raced twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday. We had the option to race in something called Guts & Glory but it happens later in the day on Sunday and we wanted to be on as early of a ferry as possible so we opted out. It was nice to qualify though. πŸ™‚

We won Bronze in Division A, or as this festival calls it, Diamond Division!

You may be wondering about the title of this post, 0.317.

0.317 is how far behind we were from the team that won Silver. So we were thiiiiiiis close to winning silver. Which for some people might make the bronze seem less special, or might make winning the Bronze sad, because instead of thinking we Won bronze the thought becomes we Lost silver. I get it, I do! So many races are won and lost by hundredths of a second and when you are on the losing side of that number it can hurt. To know that you were so close and didn’t make it sucks. It doesn’t help that when you tell people you won Bronze they dismiss it, or joke about you not winning silver or gold, or make any number of comments that I guess they think are funny. Weirdos.

It happens when you win silver, people comment about you getting gold next time, things like that. *rolls eyes*

Instead of celebrating the medal we earned, the time we got, it becomes about being apologetic we didn’t do better. To that, I am calling bullshit. That’s right, you heard me.

We have been training for months, since February in case you were curious. We train in cold, in rain, in wind, in polluted waters, in poor air quality, in blistering heat, in hail. We train when we are tired, sick, injured, sad. We have been working our butts off for the better part of a year, and we’ll keep training because it is what we do. We train on the water, we compete in other sports, we go to the gym, hike trails, do all sorts of things to stay strong and keep fit, in part so we can bring a strong and useful version of ourselves to the boat.

All of that counts for something, at least to me it does, and I’m proud of our Bronze medal. We worked hard for that, we earned it! My team accomplished something in Victoria, we came together and showed that we could work as a team and earn some hardware. I am proud of all of them. πŸ™‚

Ok so I didn’t actually get permission from any of them yet to show the team picture so I’m just gonna cross my fingers none of them mind! lol

That in a nutshell is my Victoria weekend. We went. We ate a lot of food. We raced. We won bronze. I bought a hat that is over priced but looks so good on me. None of us got sunburned (that’s mostly a concern for me, the pale one in the group lol). We had a fun time. πŸ˜€

 

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