Comfortable? Absolutely not

“You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone.” -Percy Cerutty

For the first time since  starting running several years ago, I took a running sabbatical in the fall which lasted more or less until February, the longest break in 5 years.  Unfortunately the demands of trying to keep up with a full-time job, Reilly’s sleep issues, regular family demands plus the additional demand of getting the house ready gave me no choice.  It was the only option and although its absence definitely made the heart grow fonder for it, I took a hit not only physically but also mentally. It truly provided me with an important and necessary therapeutic release and I didn’t realize how much until it was no longer part of my regular routine.

What got me back in the game was the decision to co-instruct a 10k clinic with a good friend of mine. We signed up as co-instructors about a week before the clinic was to start and were told that it was a very small group, 3 people to be exact.  Whenever I tell people how big our group is the theme song for the Wonder Pets starts to play in my head (thank goodness only silently or else I think I would have scared off this small group so far and possibly my partner in crime):

We’re not too big 
And we’re not too tough 
But when we work together 
We’ve got the right stuff

As part of the running clinic we have a goal race and for our group it is the Toronto Yonge 10k race on April 21st, 3 weeks away.  To make a long story short, the Toronto 10k race was born as a result of some parting of the ways with the lead sponsor of the former Sporting Life 10k race.  So now in Toronto, less than a month a part you have the Toronto Yonge Street Race and the Sporting Life 10k race using the exact same route. I have done numerous 10k events beyond this particular one but I thought it would be interesting to pull the results from prior Sporting Life events I participated in order to set an appropriate goal for this year’s event.  Here they are:

2012 Chip Time 53:03

2011 Chip Time 48:29

2010 Chip Time 52:00

2008 Chip Time 47:53 (1 year after London was born)

2007 Chip Time 57:41 (few weeks after London was born)

2006 Chip Time 57:51 (1 year after Reilly was born)

I am all over the map and seem to have been in my prime before I started into my marathon days (have done 4  so far) and in 3 weeks I will be far from PB (personal best) territory.  I really shouldn’t expect anything different given that I have just started back but my EGO is stepping forward with unrealistic expectations.

Although I wear a Garmin for almost every run and quickly review the results immediately post-run, I no longer document the details of the run to aid with training but maybe that is what I need to start doing. They often say that if you want to change your behavior one of the best ways to do it is to track it.  Here it goes… here are some details on this past week’s training. Let’s just say that I am not comfortable with where I am at and most of my runs to date have NOT felt effortless. In some ways this is a good thing as it means I am challenging myself but to know where I have been before and where I am at now is a little hard to swallow.

Saturday,  March 30th – 12k average pace 6:21/km

1k – 6:02/km; 2k – 6:18/km; 3k – 5:58/km; 4k – 6:33/km; 5k – 6:31/km; 6k – 6:01/km; 7k – 6:50/km 8k -6:44/km; 9k -6:06/km; 10k – 6:27/km; 11k -6:39/km; 12k – 5:55/km.

The Heart Rate monitor was definitely off for my average was 102 bpm which is completely inaccurate.

Friday, March 29th – 5k average pace 6:01/km

1k – 6:06/km; 2k – 6:16/km; 3k – 5:57/km; 4k – 6:09/km; 5k – 5:39/km

Heart Rate bpm average 148 bpm.

Tuesday, March 26th – 8k average pace unknown

Total Weekly Mileage: 25 km

So 3 weeks to Race Day – April 21st, not a lot of time but I need to make the best of it for future training goals.  This is what I would like to accomplish by end of day April 21st:

1) Weigh 4 pounds lighter

2) April 7th weekly mileage: 30km; April 14th weekly mileage: 30km; April 21st: 20km

3) Run a sub 58 minute 10k (oooh this hurts to write this time but you got start somewhere, right?)



Part I – The Yoga/Running Story

At my yoga prime, I was teaching 5 classes a week while working full-time in a corporate job and although I had the best of both worlds – great pay cheque from my corporate world I got my fulfillment through yoga.  Back then I didn’t have the girls yet but was heading into a marriage and of course the inevitability of children shortly after as we were approaching 30 and thought it would be a good time to start but I start to digress.

When I was teaching yoga I was absolutely in my element and looked forward to each class.  Mike always said that when I returned from teaching one of my classes  or coming back from a yoga class for myself, I had this yoga bliss about me.  As a result he supported all my crazy early morning risings and moonlighting with this second job and hobby. When I was teaching yoga I honestly believe I got more from my students then I gave them, even though they always professed the latter. It was truly a time in my life where I felt in harmony and alignment.

During this time, I contemplated several times turning my yoga passion into a full-time vocation by either opening a studio or teaching yoga full-time but the fear of the unknown held me back every time and figured I could have the best of both worlds with this arrangement.   Then came Miss Reilly and although I maintained teaching yoga for some time, although a reduced schedule, the demands of a little one with emerging issues and the eventual pregnancy of London led me to give up teaching and even doing my own practice.  At the time it was the best decision given everything that was going on and I simply tucked this chapter of my life into a neat little package and put on the shelf to gather dust.  Not knowing when or if I would revisit it.

Right from Day 1 Reilly was a fussy baby that had terrible sleep patterns. Although we have tons of memories and pictures of her looking like a smiley pleasant baby that was the furthest thing from our reality. Reilly’s temperament was so bad that Mike’s mom would come over 2-3x a week for a couple of hours just so I could get out of the house for some peace and the easiest activity to do at the spur of the moment was run.  I was still teaching a couple of classes a week at this time but this is when more or less my own personal practice went to the way side as it was impossible to do any yoga in the house and so I kept putting one foot in front of the other out on the pavement.  At first it was just to get out of the house and lose the baby weight and then it took over my life but in some ways it saved my life in helping me deal with some very trying times while trying to sort out the world of Rett Syndrome.

Vibrational Dissonance

Our house has been on the market for 7 weeks now with very little action.  Unknowingly and on the recommendation of our agent we listed the house originally at a price that ended up being too high but we quickly adjusted and then adjusted again.   Our house is now listed $35,000 CDN  lower than the original list price (we relisted last week to start the Days on Market (DOM) counter again) and I just phoned our agent to drop it another $15k as our last kick at the can.  The market is doing quite well in our community and most homes that are priced correctly are selling within a couple of weeks if not sooner

In my mind (and my husband’s), I don’t think the price has been the real issue but rather some unique features that exist within our home and the marketing that has been done so far.   First off we have a 4 bedroom/2 story home that is about 2100/2200 square feet plus a developed basement.  We bought the house 5 years ago and have put a lot of upgrades into it but we bought the home because it had a seamlessly integrated elevator that was built into the home that goes to every floor. It is perfect if you have any mobility issues and we have also used it for groceries, laundry and moving stuff between floors.  We also have a few door frames that have been widened to accommodate the width of an adult wheelchair and a complete wheelchair accessible bathroom – roll in shower. The good thing about all of these extra features it that they are blended so nicely that nothing screams disability.  Unfortunately the market that truly appreciates these features haven’t really come forward.

Although our house is listed as accessible on the MLS ad, I believe that most people don’t do this type of search for really how many homes have an elevator out there? I know no other is our community. So most people who have mobility issues would be looking at a 1 story, most likely Bungalow and not a 2-story. I am not sure how you get around this but we are at our wits end for we honestly didn’t think we would have this trouble selling the house.

It brings me to the concept that we attract into our experience those things with which we are in vibrational resonance. So the lack of closure on the house – does that mean we are in dissonance with the whole selling of the house?  We have been mentally committed to moving to Calgary for months now and have been doing everything one could imagine doing towards this end goal. Sometimes I have started to question whether I am unconsciously sabotaging this goal in a way I don’t know about or we wonder if maybe the Universe has another plan for us and is saying ‘I haven’t brought a buyer because you guys really should stay where you are’. It is very confusing.

Bob Doyle mentions in his book Follow your Passion, Find your Power that not everything about the Law of Attraction is based in the consciousness, in other words, it does not necessarily mean that consciously we are preventing a sale from happening and that there is some complex vibrational frequency at work that is causing the lack of action on the house.  Since I am not the most patient person I wish the Universe could give us a much clearer message on which way the wind blows on this huge life decision we were trying to make. If we are supposed to stay put there is no question we will embrace where we are at and make the best of it but it is hard to continue to plant roots and plan for the future somewhere else.  Help Universe?

Another Perspective on how to be Happy!

The-Secret-Letters-of-the-Monk-Who-Sold-His-FerrariI have just finished reading Robin Sharma’s book The Secret Letters of the Monk who sold his Ferrari and for some reason it reminds me greatly of the Celestine Prophecy book I read when I was a teenager, about 20 years ago. Gulp, how did that much time pass already, feels like yesterday. Anyways, like the Celestine Prophecy at least from my recollection, the book narrates a story around a main character that goes on a spiritual journey and uncovers some really powerful life messages.  In Sharma’s book, the story is about a man, Jonathan Landry, who is making a lot of money and continuing to climb up the corporate ladder but despite an exterior skin of perceived success his world around him is crumbling. He is separated from his wife, continually disappointing his son, and fails as a friend.  With the love of his wife, mother and distant relative he is put on a round the world journey that takes him to spectacular places but more importantly meets incredible people that each give him a valuable message.

The Secret Letters of the Monk who sold his Ferrari is a very easy and quick read and the valuable messages (Secret Letters)  disclosed throughout the story are often criticized by some as nothing new.  I found the simplicity actually to be very refreshing and although the messages  has some common threads to other messages out there there is no question that everyone should still able to benefit from all the messages.   I think most people would be hard pressed to say they are a master of all these life lessons so I have to disagree that a message can be too simple.

On this latter point, I was part of an interesting set of interactions last week when I took London skiing for the day.  At lunch we were in between two tables of a large extended family and the one table stopped to pray before they started eating.  I have never seen this done at a ski hill before but why not and it reminded me that it is a good idea to pause and appreciate the food before us – religious or not.  After lunch we crossed paths with this family a couple of times at the base of the hill to get on the chair lift. It was not a busy day and most time we could ski right up to the chair lift without a wait. The couple of times we crossed paths with this family there was a short line and it amazed me that this particular family paid no etiquette to others for both times they did not follow informal ski line etiquette where you let one side in and then the other in a nice orderly fashion. Instead this family ignored all others that should have gone ahead as they forged ahead. Their behavior had no real impact on me but it was just interesting to observe.   It made me shake my head that their lunch time prayers were nothing but hollow formality or they missed the sermon about compassion for others.

There were 9 letters in total speaking to the following messages:

1. The Power of Authenticity

2. Embrace Your Fears

3. Live with Kindness

4. Make Small Daily Progress 

5. To Lead Your Best Life, Do Your Best Work

6. Choose Your Influences Well

7.  Life’s Simplest Pleasures Are Life’s Greatest Joys

8.  The Purpose of Life Is To Love

9.  Stand for Something Bigger than Yourself


Another Parenting Mishap

IMG_3449London has been asking for months to cut her hair short.  She has curls in her hair which I absolutely love but because of how fine her hair is we often put her back in a pony tail often at her request. I try often to put her hair in fancy braids and twists like I do to her sister’s hair but she rarely lets me  indulge. I tried hard to find a photo with her hair down but couldn’t find one in the last 3-4 months. This one is with her partially up at the end of the day.

The reason saying all of this,  is the other morning I said I would indulge her and cut her hair short. London just turned 6 and up until now I have always cut her hair. You probably know where this is going now don’t you?  I asked her repeatedly how short she wanted it and she pointed to just below her ears. I thought that was too short so I intended to cut it a little longer. Now as I mentioned I have cut/trimmed her hair before but I totally misjudged the curl factor and just after I made the initial cut around her head, she instantly  regretted her decision. Now at this point all the saw were the tendrils of hair coming down into her lap and didn’t really see how short her hair was. She panicked though and I couldn’t finish putting in the layers and ensuring both sides were even.

She went to the bathroom and held in the tears, so brave. Her first comment was “at least I don’t look like a boy” and her second comment was “how fast can it grow?” My heart absolutely sank for her because I so know what it is like to have a bad hair cut and I have shed too many tears in the years gone by over numerous disastrous hair cuts at the hands of so called professionals.

I decided that I wasn’t going to touch her hair further and take her to my hair salon after school. So I put a small pony tail at the top of her head with the front part of her hair and kept telling her she looked beautiful.  I offered to drive her to school as opposed to taking the bus as I felt so guilty and she again stoically said no and she pulled down her winter hat even further past her ears, hoping no one would notice.  On the way out she said her tummy ached and I knew that was due to her haircut.

All day my heart ached and my own stomach had a pit in it for the misery I just caused my 6 year old daughter, although I truly thought that although it was much shorter than I  intended to cut, she looked more beautiful.   I had to go to the mall for an errand and contemplated buying her a new shirt, or hair barrettes or even pick up a special treat in attempt to bribe her misery away – indirect shopping therapy – but I resisted (it was hard too)  for  I didn’t want to enable an unhealthy connection to soothe her sadness with something shiny and new or tasty.

When I picked her up from school, I asked with hesitation what people thought of her ‘cool’ hair cut and she said no one noticed and her shoulders slumped even further.  I told her we were going to the hair salon just to clean it up a bit so it will grow a little faster. She asked whether it would be long again by next week and I had to say no for obvious reasons. I tried to reassure her that she looked so beautiful and could pull off any hair cut, short, medium or long hair but if she wanted to grow it out from here I will support her completely.

This morning I was able to take the following two photos using the ipad, she resisted when I pulled out the camera and insisted that I don’t send them to ANYONE.  They aren’t the best quality photos but they give you a glimpse of what I honestly think is now an adorable hair cut on her.  Two days later and she is still very gun shy about the whole hair cut and I can certainly relate so I started to show her beautiful actresses and singers who have had great short hair cuts. She doesn’t know any of them but I assured her that the ones I showed her were talented actresses and musicians and had very strong spirits and characters because of their shorter do.   I think she did sit a little taller after seeing a couple of Pink videos as she is becoming quite the little songstress these days.


photo (4) photo (3)

Kids are funny


London is definitely growing up but yet staying innocent at the same time.   Her latest favourite television show is Glee and I figured well if she is going to watch it, let’s start from the beginning and we can watch it together as there are some older material stuff that comes up.  We just finished episode 6 and I turned and asked  her what does she like about Glee besides the singing?

She said “Finn”

I asked her whether she thought he was cute?

As she replied her eyes got a little dreamy and said “yes”.

Something made her say Quinn and Finn and I said it’s funny how their names rhyme and they are boyfriend and girlfriend.

She promptly said “No, they are brother and sister for in another episode they were sleeping together.”

I paused at this point for I don’t remember them lying innocently in bed as sister and brother but in her mind she did not register the intimate relationship they actually have on the show.  I figured if she wants to believe they are brother and sister for right now I am completely good with that. She has plenty of time to grow up.  I think I will definitely keep watching the show with her and slowly let her grow up.