Monthly Archives: February 2011

My sister…..

…is on the road to health too!  Follow her blog.





When your body needs rest, do you let it?  I have a definite problem.  I usually just go, go, go…then crash out.  It’s not the best method, I have to tell you.  I should know better by now….

2011 has been an interesting ride so far.  I feel like I haven’t stopped since the calendar changed over and here we are at the end of another month.  I’m attempting some new things this year and trying to stay sane while doing it.  It’s not always easy.  New things on the go:

1.  Beginning Olympic Weighlifting

2.  Studying to become a Ref is Olympic Weightlifting

3.  Being a virtual assistant to a screenwriter in Montreal

4.  Writing for a friend’s sports blog

5.  Starting The Writers’ Room Ottawa

….and keeping up with most of my other projects and work.  I love it all, but sometimes…..I’m tired.  Going to try to take a wee bit of time this weekend for me….

Take some time to enjoy peace.  It will give you the strength to get through the rest of the hectic times.

All is not lost….

After a slightly less than stellar week….I hit two new personal records tonight at the gym.  I did 5 (one set of 3 & one of 2) Sumo deadlifts at 133lbs.  The last time I was able to hit that was before Christmas for one set of 1.  That’s an increase of 500%  🙂  I just set my mind to it.  My legs felt good, my back felt good.  Then up, up and away!

I was also able to do 10 double-unders (with a little hop in between, mind you), a skip jump where the rope rotates twice for every jump you do.  I’ll have to work on eliminating that jump as I didn’t even realize I did it.

All in all…..a good night.  Back to Olympic Lifting tomorrow morning.  I over did it a bit this week, so my arms are pooped.

On another front, my friend Isabelle Després is training for the London 2012 Olympics.  She’s going to be starting a conversation about sport.  I put my name in the hat to be a guest blogger….stay tuned – should be out by the end of next week.





The mystery of “money”….

A bit out of line from my regular posts….but here goes….I’m convinced that if you’re single and live within your means (i.e. without using or carrying debt on credit cards every month), you simply don’t have much money left over for luxuries and fun things, like trips, etc.  I can’t even imagine if I had kids and sports and other things like that to pay for….I also have to save to pay my Quebec taxes every year…which is a chunk of change.

I don’t spend much on anything except for the gym and food (much like someone else would spend money on expensive clothes, going out, etc.).  So please, if someone else has a magic formula for money, let me know what it is, because something isn’t adding up in my world.

The art of being humble….

Out trainer said today that Olympic Lifting, really training for this sport and putting in all the technical “work” to make your lifts better, can be humbling…..I looked up the word humble to get a good idea of what it meant before I tore into this blog entry….it can be used as an adjective or a verb.

I’m not fond of this definition: Thinking lowly of one’s self (adjective); or this one: To make humble or lowly in mind; to abase the pride or arrogance of; to reduce the self-sufficiency of; to make meek and submissive (noun).  Neither definition is how I take the word in the general sense.

Despite the definitions, I understand where he was coming from.  Knowing your weaknesses, or your limitations, makes you a stronger person.  To me, being humble means that you assume nothing.  The world owes you nothing, people owe you nothing, the weights owe you nothing….you have to show up and do the work, treat people with civility, and lift the weights with the best of your ability, without wanting any reward.  If a reward comes, then so be it.  To me, this is strength.  You don’t need the reassurance of the world, or people, or of material things to make you a whole person.  You are a whole person because you know your edges, and that’s where life happens.

Lifting weights for this class these past six weeks or so has been a tough challenge for me.  I approach everything to do with strength training with a sense of humbleness….i.e. this could be really good for me, or this could be where the train let’s me off.  I never know which one it’s going to be, I just keep hoping that it’s not my stop yet.  I progress very slowly because I know my limitations acutely – I am humbled by them.  I’ve been living with them longer than I haven’t and my funny little back is like a friend and an enemy all at the same time.  I want to be stronger, and to be able to do things more quickly, but my back forces me to slow down.  So, where I might be able to think and write faster than my fingers can keep up, when I’m in the gym, my back requires that I take things slowly.  That’s a gift.

I never expected to be able to do any of this – what I’m doing now.  I knew I could get stronger, but I have to always be careful of my back.  We did lots of work today, and tonight my back is tight and sore.  Not in a bad way, but it’s noticeable more than usual.  A good night’s sleep should cure it.  My arms are also very tired, since I started lifting heavier weights and pulling up weights in a different range of motion that I’m also not accustomed to.

I’m likely never going to be an “athlete” in this sport – I know that.  Doesn’t mean that I can’t get better at it, and even push it a little bit, to add it to my repertoire of exercises.  Not everyone who signs up is going to be good at it, or will even continue on….but my will is pretty strong, and I’m stubborn, so keeping up with it, and pushing my edges, will happen until I find something else I like more.  It happened with Lean&Fit, and it will likely happen somewhere down the road for this too.

When you’re through changing, you’re through.

Be humbled by your limitations and in knowing the fact that there will only ever be one of you; that you have been given the cards in your hand for a reason bigger than you will likely ever know; and, life happens at your edges, because if it didn’t, none of us would ever change or grow beyond where we are today.

Retraining the hands and the brain…

Since I started the Sumo-deadlift, I’ve been using the 45lbs (20kgs) bar to load up.  My hands have paid the price with callouses, but that’s okay.  Tonight, I switched over to the women’s Olympic lifting bar.  It’s only 15kgs, has a much smoother knurling, and a smaller diameter.  So, I had to retrain my grip and the weight loaded on the bar to make up for the 5kgs of difference.  I made up a nifty conversion chart for the 45lbs bar and had to redo it tonight… one point I thought I had lifted a heavier weight than I had…next week, next week.

The Art of Making Connections….

This is a repost…from another blog of mine, that I just found….from November 2006.  This was back when I weighed 220 lbs, when I wasn’t getting anywhere with work really, and just after my life changing car accident that woke me up to what the hell was going on.  I had just helped on a film shoot (that proved to go nowhere…) and had started publishing books.  It’s just over 4 years later….and lots has changed for me since then.  I’ve changed who I am, I do things now that I never even dreamed; people have come and gone, I’ve met lots of new friends; and, I’m back to many childhood things I once loved.  I’ve changed my whole life in certain respects…but still continue to make some silly mistakes sometimes….no one’s perfect.

Anyway…here it is….where I was on November 30, 2006.

the art of making connections (pt 1)

there are times in one’s life when you know you’re on the right track.  this is one of those times for me.

from time to time, i will blog ideas simultaneously.  what does this mean?  i may have several thoughts going through my head at any given time, and i try to find the connections between them all to make sense of what is going on around me.  i also have several different blogs about several different things.  the connection factor between all of them is me.  i may not always make sense to everyone.  for you, the reader (if there are going to be any that stumble upon this little part of the internet that i inhabit) i can only hope that sometime i make enough sense for you to read.  enjoy.

the art of making connections (pt 2)

i’m interested in the art of making connections.  that’s what i’m about.  i ask people questions.  i see what is going on with them.  i try to make a connection.  i will share information i have if it can help someone else in some way.

i think this is what is missing from most people’s lives.  why are we stuck behind cubicle walls, always trying to dodge the boss when s/he comes strolling by?  why aren’t we engaged, talking about important subjects and what kind of impact they have on the organizations we work for?  why don’t we take more time together in coffee shops and other common gathering areas as DISCUSS?  why don’t we share important information that could change someone’s life.

i suppose much of this “social networking” phenomenon has moved out of the “brick and mortar” world and into the bits and little electrical impulses that move across wires or through the air.  however, in the end, aren’t we all looking for that “real” connections.  they can be human contact, a place to be accepted as  perfect just the way you are.  they can happen online, and certainly the online space has led us down a path to a compressed world, about one one hundredth the size it was when i was just a kid (not that long ago, relatively).

my cousin said to me a few weeks ago that an average human suffers as much stress in a day today, as the same human 100 years ago would have suffered in an year.  what?   i turned and asked my uncle what the most stressful thing that he had going on in his life when he was growing up and he said, half joking, how to get from the farmhouse out to the drinking hole on a saturday night.  imagine.

i’m sure times were much harder than he jokingly let on (since my father and his family grew up during the depression), but i’m sure it paled in comparison to today’s stressful standards.  much of what we stress over today isn’t even necessary to live a happy little life.  we don’t need to fill gas tanks with over priced oil products to sit in traffic for mulitple hours to get to a job that does not meet the basic needs of someone’s soul, only to turn around in 8 hours and battle traffic again to shuttle children around like cattle, or, if you are childless, to fill our lives with “activities” so that we don’t feel so alone.

we’ve lost the art of connecting.  i’m hoping as i learn, i can share with you, the reader, what it is that makes our lives worth living.