mypostcardsfromhome


I am a Tough Mudder – now with video!

For those who don’t know . . . Tough Mudder events are “hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.”  Check it out here: http://toughmudder.com/

And I did it!

Yes, 12 miles and 22 obstacles later, I crossed the finish line in Whistler, BC and am keen to go again!

If you know anything about my last year, I quit my VP sales job to stay home with my two boys and gave up running at the same time.  I started going to ballet again in January and have done 2 fitness events this year without any training (a Duathlon and a 10km trail run).  I didn’t train because I signed up the night before and wanted to “see if I can do it.”  Signing up for Tough Mudder was another challenge to my self.  Could I do it?  Would I be able to finish?  It was also an attempt to conquer my claustrophobic fears and tackle the panic I experience when I have to swim any real distance.

So my long-time friend and I signed up.  We had good intentions to train, but life got in the way.  Knowing I needed to, I sporadically practiced doing the monkey bars at my son’s school and was feeling pretty good that I was the only mommy who could do them (try it – they’re hard!).  My team-mate didn’t train either.  He had sinus surgery 3 weeks before the event and was not allowed to do any heavy-lifting or cardio.  We were both pretty nervous going into the event.

Luckily for us, the stars were aligned – our assigned start time was 8:30am, the weather was cooperative and we managed to get ourselves to the event site on time (along with 15,000 other Mudders-to-be).  Despite being in the mountains, it wasn’t too cold and it didn’t rain!  Bag check, snack, souvenir shopping, bathroom break and it was time to start, but to get to the Start line . . . we had to climb our first wall!

Once inside the starting gates, I soon realized that this was unlike any sporting event I had ever participated in; no longer was it me against other runners or even me against the clock.  Suddenly, the teams and groups of people became our allies and we were in it together.

Of all the obstacles, the ones I was most afraid of turned out to be tolerable!  I swam through slushy, muddy, ice water, forced myself to crawl through several (sometimes dark) tunnels, waded knee-deep in mud, crawled on my belly and hauled myself over walls.  I even survived the electric shocks.  The only obstacle that kicked my butt was the monkey bars which I knew was going to be tough.  At twice the distance I practiced and on an incline to the mid-point then a decline to the end; the monkey bars were the last real obstacle before running through the electric shocks.  After what seemed like an eternity trying to decide which hand to begin with, I started across.  About one-third of the way, my hand slipped and I lost momentum, but regained my grip only to slip off at the top – yes, I made it to the middle and then fell, splashing into the water below.

With the mud rinsed from my clothes, I caught my breath, joined my teammate and dodged electrical wires to cross the finish line where I received my coveted orange Tough Mudder headband and a complimentary beer.

Sure, I’d do it again; I might even train next time.

************************

I recently made a video for a class I was taking and thought I’d share it here; please don’t judge my first attempt at video-editing!

Now are you motivated to try it?



Half full or half empty?

The age-old question of the glass being half full or half empty is sometimes used as an indicator of your views on life.  Are you an optimist?  A pessimist?

fish

Or perhaps you don’t care either way and are just happy to have the glass.

the glass

Since I became a mom, I found another glass metaphor – the one that measures my energy level.  I remember talking to a friend about parenting young kids and how demanding they are with constant questions, needs, and wants.  She replied ” your kids will drain you all day long; they suck the life out of you, so you have to make sure that you start each day with a full glass” (no, not of wine).  And then she forwarded me a link to a blog post about nurturing yourself while nurturing your child.

After reading this article I realized that, at times, I was too impatient with my kids and frustrated by the lack of time for myself.  I chose to leave my career in finance to stay home full-time with my kids, but I wasn’t the mom I wanted to be.  So this year, as I approach 40, I have made an effort to put myself back on the never-ending to-do list.  I decided that I needed to take some time every day to do something that is just for me.  Something that makes me happy.

I exercise.  I make a cup of tea (and try to drink it before it gets cold).  I treat myself to a great pedicure.  I read.  I savour a square of sea salt Lindt dark chocolate.

If I had more time,  I would sew, paint, make jewelry, garden, but until my youngest is in school all day, I will keep pinning great ideas on my Pinterest boards for future reference; even this makes me happy!

What do you do to fill your cup?

the glass



“9 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier”

I came across this article on the subject of Happiness and thought it worth sharing:

http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/9-daily-habits-that-will-make-you-happier.html?nav=pop

How many of these do you already do?

How many can you work into your daily routine with all of the competing demands in your life?

Happiness is

My personal favorite is “9. End each day with gratitude.”  How do you know if you’re happy unless you acknowledge all that you have already?  Every night I write in my calendar, 3 things that I’m grateful for and I find myself more grateful, more satisfied, and in the moment than I used to be.

But there is always room for improvement.

happiness-jpg-jpeg



It’s about time!

I’m a little behind on posting and have been getting some attitude about it.  Truth be told, I have 16 drafts started and a few that are almost ready to publish, but I’ve been busy.  I could name all sorts of reasons, but let’s just call it “life”. Time to get back on track.

My 39th birthday was in October; yes, it’s been four months, but a busy four months they were. This year, after my annual birthday resolutions were made,

Vision Board "39"

I also made a vision board to keep me focussed, but, I didn’t post my goals for all to see. If you’re new to my birthday resolutions, check out last year’s post: Happy Birthday To Me.

2013 Birthday Resolutions

To Do: a road bike event

To Have: a regular date night with my husband

To Be: clutter free

To Give: my undivided attention

To Learn:  how to use my digital camera settings

Happily, I can report that I’ve taken steps to help me achieve these goals.  We have interviewed new babysitters to watch the kids so my husband and I can  exercise and socialize together plus we have both registered for the 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer in June. You can make a donation here: http://www.conquercancer.ca/site/TR/Events/Vancouver2013?px=3156646&pg=personal&fr_id=1441.

RCTO_Logo12_cmyk_horiz_print

To get more comfortable with my road bike, I am planning to do another Duathlon in March.  And to work toward being clutter free I am following a “declutter calendar” for the year which I stumbled upon  (http://www.mysimplerlife.com/decluttercalendar.htm).

To give undivided attention is aimed at having more “quality” time with each of my kids and my husband as well as cutting back on multi-tasking.  Focus, focus, focus!  Which brings me to my camera; I haven’t yet made a formal plan here, but am confident I’ll get this one done, too!

Now, to check my 40 Before 40 list to see what other goals I can achieve this year!

Have any tips or advice you want to share?



Not only on Thanksgiving . . .

 

Since I started my gratitude journal last year, I have been more thankful.  More appreciative of the little things.  The smell of my sons’ hair when they come in from playing outside.  The lingering embrace at the end of a quick hug from my husband.  A perfect cup of tea.  A relaxing foot massage.  The simplicity of everyday routines.

But today is Thanksgiving (in Canada) AND my 39th birthday . . . I have much to be thankful for:

  • a husband who does more than most
  • two boys who inspire me to be better and do better
  • true friends who remember my birthday (without the help of Facebook)
  • old friends who are still there despite the passage of time
  • new friends that have come to me through my children
  • a family that has supported me whether they agreed with my decisions or not
  • grandparents that are still around to teach their great-grandchildren the joys of baking and the many uses of a magnifying glass
  • being able to stay home with my boys until I decide what to do next
As Edith Piaf croons and I prepare a traditional turkey dinner for my loved ones, I am savouring a glass of wine while my boys watch a movie and my husband takes a well-deserved nap.  Life is good.
Now to commit to my resolutions for 39 . . . to do, to have, to be, to give, to learn. . .

 



I am a Tough Mudder

For those who don’t know . . . Tough Mudder events are “hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.”  Check it out here: http://toughmudder.com/

And I did it!

Yes, 12 miles and 22 obstacles later, I crossed the finish line in Whistler, BC and am keen to go again!

If you know anything about my last year, I quit my VP sales job to stay home with my two boys and gave up running at the same time.  I started going to ballet again in January and have done 2 fitness events this year without any training (a Duathlon and a 10km trail run).  I didn’t train because I signed up the night before and wanted to “see if I can do it.”  Signing up for Tough Mudder was another challenge to my self.  Could I do it?  Would I be able to finish?  It was also an attempt to conquer my claustrophobic fears and tackle the panic I experience when I have to swim any real distance.

So my long-time friend and I signed up.  We had good intentions to train, but life got in the way.  Knowing I needed to, I sporadically practiced doing the monkey bars at my son’s school and was feeling pretty good that I was the only mommy who could do them (try it – they’re hard!).  My team-mate didn’t train either.  He had sinus surgery 3 weeks before the event and was not allowed to do any heavy-lifting or cardio.  We were both pretty nervous going into the event.

Luckily for us, the stars were aligned – our assigned start time was 8:30am, the weather was cooperative and we managed to get ourselves to the event site on time (along with 15,000 other Mudders-to-be).  Despite being in the mountains, it wasn’t too cold and it didn’t rain!  Bag check, snack, souvenir shopping, bathroom break and it was time to start, but to get to the Start line . . . we had to climb our first wall!

Once inside the starting gates, I soon realized that this was unlike any sporting event I had ever participated in; no longer was it me against other runners or even me against the clock.  Suddenly, the teams and groups of people became our allies and we were in it together.

Of all the obstacles, the ones I was most afraid of turned out to be tolerable!  I swam through slushy, muddy, ice water, forced myself to crawl through several (sometimes dark) tunnels, waded knee-deep in mud, crawled on my belly and hauled myself over walls.  I even survived the electric shocks.  The only obstacle that kicked my butt was the monkey bars which I knew was going to be tough.  At twice the distance I practiced and on an incline to the mid-point then a decline to the end; the monkey bars were the last real obstacle before running through the electric shocks.  After what seemed like an eternity trying to decide which hand to begin with, I started across.  About one-third of the way, my hand slipped and I lost momentum, but regained my grip only to slip off at the top – yes, I made it to the middle and then fell, splashing into the water below.

With the mud rinsed from my clothes, I caught my breath, joined my teammate and dodged electrical wires to cross the finish line where I received my coveted orange Tough Mudder headband and a complimentary beer.

Sure, I’d do it again; I might even train next time.

Interested??



“An attitude of gratitude brings opportunities.”

My thought for today as quoted from my Yogi tea bag.  I love it!

As part of my Happiness Project, I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal, but I’ve fallen behind.  So today, I am picking up the pen again.  It’s great to be reminded of how lucky I am and to keep things in perspective when I’m facing a challenge!

It really is the little things.  A hug from my boys, tea made by my husband, ballet class . . .some days I have so many moments that I want to remember, I don’t even get to write them all down.  But I do spend the day trying to be mindful and appreciative.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I’m cheerful and perky all day – my kids still don’t listen to me when I ask them to stop bugging each other, there are still terrible drivers everywhere and petty annoyances, but focussing on the best of the day seems to make it easier to forget the rest.

Yesterday . . . my dishwasher.  I am lucky to be able to turn it on when I go out and come home to clean dishes – allowing me to spend time with my family instead!

Today . . .  I’m grateful for a much-needed morning shower and clean hair!

And you??




%d bloggers like this: