Back in Training: Week Seven, The Christmas Week

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I’ve worked out a few times leading up to Christmas.  I worked out good and hard too!  On the 23rd I was at the gym getting my sweat on.

Time for the Christmas confessional.  I’ve imbibed a wee bit.  I’ve consumed some beer and wine over the past few days.

On the 24th at noon my boss tossed a couple of growlers up on the table and along with the rest of the staff I raised a pint to toast the season.

For the most part I’ve been quite good with not over indulging in the food area of the holidays as well.  Mind you a pizza recently visited my life as well.  I’ll man-up about this though.  I was simply too damn lazy to cook.

This occurred on the 26th.  I drove a great deal that day you see.

I visited with my sister who lives about a one hour drive away.

And as I left I went about my second task of the day which was to replace my T.V.


I’ve had the current television for close to 15 years.  It is just the third T.V. I’ve owned in my life and still worked just fine, however, with the new technology my unit kept losing the signal.  The technicians, who were are very pleasant and based out of Guatemala did their best to assist.

The problem still persisted.  I pondered on the fact that perhaps my old tube T.V. just couldn’t translate the information adequately. I had been advised that if a technician was sent to my home and the problem was my ‘fault’ then the cost would fall to me.

Odd, yes?  I haven’t touched anything behind my T.V. other than to clean in the last 5 years.  In any case I considered what my response would be if I was informed that my T.V. was too old for the technology.

I decided that perhaps it was time to purchase a new T.V. rather than possibly causing bodily harm to a technician.

I did my homework on the Boxing Day offerings.  Had my budget set out and decided that Visions Electronics had the most lucrative deals.  Next was to find a location that would not be inundated by the masses.  In other words, I had to find a store location that was not attached to a godforsaken mall.

I decided upon the store location on Marine Drive and as I arrived it was as I suspected busy but not unreasonably so.

A young store clerk showed me my options and I asked a series of questions then I told him I would like consider my options and he left me alone. I read the fine print and half hour later waltzed out of the store with a 40″ Hisense LED Smart TV at a cost of $350.00.


Yay!  I had met my objective.

I headed home with my purchase.  I passed the lineup on the Queensborough Bridge.  The outlet mall on Queensborough Landing was just insane as cars were lined up for miles trying to access the stores.

I was really hungry at this point so I dropped the T.V. off then headed out to grab a quick bite.  And as I consumed my meal it occurred to me that I have a ‘Smart’ phone that still confounds me on many fronts.

Now, admittedly, I really only require the basics of talking and texting from my phone.  There are a plethora of apps available to me of this I’m assured, but they hold no appeal to me personally.

They don’t really make phones with just basic functions any longer.  Still there are those moments when I’ll push something I ought not to have and the damn thing won’t do what I want.

Bloody hell!

And it is in these moments that I feel very foolish and not particularly intelligent.

For example shortly after I had purchased this smart technology, I was certain I’d found a ‘lemon’ as it was now frozen.  I went back to London Drugs and expressed my dismay to the clerk.

With a slide of his finger and an apologetic smile on his face the clerk handed the phone back to me.

I had inadvertently locked the phone.

I have this affliction though.  When it comes to directions I glance at them then launch into whatever it is I am trying to accomplish.

Why I have this idea in my head that I should know what I’m doing without the benefit of being guided by the directions that have been so thoughtfully included, well I wish I had an answer to this.

I paid the bill and headed back to my homestead to get this technological wonder up and running.

So let me ask you this.  Having just made the confession I did, do you think I read the directions prior to embarking on this task?

After all I only wanted to plug it in and ensure that it did in fact work.  How difficult could this be?


Welcome to the episodic adventures of ‘The Dumb Blond Meets the Smart TV.’

First I had to unhook the old T.V. and this proved to be a challenge. I needed a wrench to loosen the cable that was screwed in tightly to the back of the set.  Then I pulled the cumbersome beast off onto a sheet I’d placed on the floor so that I could pull it out of the way without scraping up the floor.

Next I removed parts from the box.  The stand seemed to require screws and after a brief search that lasted a nanosecond I was convinced that his puppy snapped together like Lego as I could not find any screws.


(Queue the music…the theme from Pyscho or Jaws will do)

Note to self:  It would have been very beneficial to have read the directions at this point.

They did in fact kinda sorta snap together.

So I crawled in behind the T.V. and began plugging in various coloured cables into various coloured plugins.

The flashlight was directed at the plugins and the batteries were fading fast. The object was so that I could see which colour I was inputing and damned if I could find a yellow plugin for the yellow cable. Briefly I wondered at their various designations.  It was at this point as I poked about the back that the T.V. that it fell forward onto the floor.

I gasped in horror as my mind immediately began trying to make excuses to trade this back to the store with no additional cost to me.  Now just how pathetic is that?

Gingerly I lifted it up and it appeared fine. My smart T.V. had just survived its first test of having me as the owner.  Laying the screen down gently I walked back over to the stuff strewn across my sofa.  There an image glared at me depicting screws going into the holes on the stand.  A few moments later said screws were located.


I now had everything secured and hopefully plugged in correctly.

Several buttons ran down the side of the screen and I noted the power button and with baited breath pushed it.

A red light came on and I felt a small wave of triumph wash over me.  The word ‘HISENSE’ appeared on the screen in a lovely shade of light turquoise.

A tentative sense of relief slipped in.  I’d not broken it!

Now it asked me my language preference and where I lived.  It asked my provider and my password and that is as far as we got. It kept looping back.

Maybe I did damage it I thought in despair.  Would I not be able to watch a show?

I gazed down at the remote and pressed the button that said TV on it.  We had contact, baby!


Brightly coloured people appeared on the screen unusually short and wide much to my delight.  I played with the settings and managed to get them looking fairly normal.

And the manual sat before me taunting me.  Yes, I will read it.  Just not at that moment.

My home once again resembled a war zone. I stared at my kitchen and loathed the idea of cooking.  I had tested my mental acuteness and the idea of cooking just seemed a rather exhausting task, hence, I invited a Pizza into my home.

As I nibbled on the cheesy goodness and watched ‘True Grit” on the Tele, I assured myself that I would go for a run in the morning.

At 7:00 AM I woke to the sound of rain falling outside.

People, I ran in my heart!  Truly I would have but hey, this induction back into running in the dark of morning just can’t begin with a torrential rainfall in the mix.

But yes, it is time to hit the gym and get back to training in earnest.

I had a lovely celebration with my daughter and her boyfriend.  My daughter cooked her first Turkey dinner.  She was insistent from the outset to do all of this on her own with no assistance from moi.

I smiled in pleasure as she swore like a banshee as she tried to extract the food she’d stuffed into her too small apartment oven.  In the end everything was delightfully delicious.


This was a great Christmas.  The last few years I’ve felt the strains of battle.  The continuous fight with depression, issues with my heart and the battle with cancer.  The residue effect has been felt over the last few Christmas seasons but always I’ve been with those that I love dearly and for that I am so blessed!

This Christmas I felt as though we’d come through that darkness and a promise is beckoning.  I just have to stop and read the directions.

I am rebuilding and I’m back on track.

On the morrow I have my reading tasks set out.  Not too sure still why I feel I should know that which I do not.  Perhaps I’m simply human after all.



Back In Training: Week Six: Oh, the Pain!


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As I write this my posterior has seized up and my abs feel like I’ve laughed incredibly hard for the last 24 hours!

I am in pain.

Tamer stepped things up yesterday.  She pushed me a little harder, a little further.

Have I mentioned that I’m in pain?


I told my daughter this in a conversation today and she chuckled and said ‘Good!  Your trainer is doing her job!”

No sympathy, none!  Oye!

I guess I thought that this part of my anatomy was in better shape and of course I’ve had yet another rude awakening.

These new exercises will now be incorporated into the mix as I formulate some new routines for the gym workouts.  The goal right now is to put together four workouts combining the exercises Tamer has given me.  In some cases I will use certain exercises during each workout, for example the T-Rex.  Not too sure why these straps tacked up against the wall are called this but they are great for upper body strengthening.  Perhaps in a week I  will make the attempt at trying to do a pull up from 90 degrees once again.

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I’ve been feeling a little rickety and tired as well.  There have been all kinds of flu bugs making the rounds and I’m not very hospitable when it comes to the flu/cold thing.

Sleep is what the body has been craving and I have obliged it.  Still, I’ll wake after a great night’s sleep and find it hard to stay awake.

I am sitting at my desk these days resembling a bobble head of sorts.  This morning I feel so much better!

And the homestead once again has the appearance of a war zone.  This time with wrapping paper, gifts, cards and ribbon strewn about the place.  In a couple of months time I will be 57 years of age.  I would like to be in the best health of my life and a month into training for the 1/2 Marathon in May 2015.  It is the holiday season and I’ve attended about four social events thus far.  Still have a few more to attend and then the big day itself.

It was a delight to drop off the gifts at BC Children’s Hospital.  This was right after my trainer had worked my behind off!  The pain had not yet settled in.

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Shortly after writing the last sentence, I fell asleep on the sofa. Flash forward and it is now Friday evening at 7:51 PM! And no, I didn’t sleep for the entire week!  🙂

This week has been just crazy.  I’m trying to keep things organized as I morph into the persona of Christmas geek.  Oh yes! I love this time of year.  Chocolates, cookies and cards have been given to all the people I work with.  All the cards have now been mailed.  My homestead once a ware zone now looks like a mad woman tried to wrap the interior of it and all the contents.

Photographs, gifts, scissors, tape, gift bags and tags and cards that have been purchased and not used from years past are now strewn across every available surface.

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I was at the gym tonight getting in yet another kick ass workout and opted to step out for a nibble as I must go back to the insanity that awaits me and clean it up.

Most of the Christmas gatherings are now in the bag so to speak.  We are going to go to Bright Nights at Stanley Park on Sunday then I’m off to the bi-annual solstice party!  And I’ve much to be thankful for.

A year ago I wrote on a piece of paper how I wanted to be rid of the cancer, the poor health issues and of the fear.  No more setbacks.  No more tears.  Then I tossed it into the fire and released it.  I had jotted down on a second sheet of paper what I hoped 2014 would bring.

Progress in my growth as a writer and to publish my first book.  A more rewarding position as an accountant.  I wanted to continue to grow as an individual, to give back, to live humbly.  I wanted to continue working toward being a more loving and gentle being and a healthy one at that.

I then tossed that into the fire.

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And I’ve certainly been making progress on all those points.  It is an ongoing thing though.  I know I will never wake up one day and feel that I’ve fulfilled every goal.

For every success or accomplishment, while I can quietly enjoy their purpose, I know that their completion opens up a host of new ideas and challenges to be explored.

What do I want for Christmas?  Just to enjoy the company and love of friends and family.  It really is that simple for me.  If I can make someone smile in delight on Christmas morning that is the ultimate gift.

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And when someone says those three simple words (I Love You) and means them then I know I am truly blessed.

Have a great weekend all and I’ll be back soon bitching and squawking about the terrors of my trainer!

Peace out.



Back In Training: Week Four – Throwing Down the Gauntlet

June 21, 2014 1037 Desire.  Want.  Commitment. Conviction.  Focus.  Determination.  Gratitude. These were the emotions that were pulsating through me as I left the fitness studio today.  I can shower in a moment but first I need to get this down.  Record it.  It’s been a long time since I felt a strength like this.  It feels like years since I could look in the mirror and know that I was truly getting my healthy back.  I experienced this just a half hour ago as I walked back up the hill to my home having completed the Level One Fitness test. I am digging the challenge and rising up to it. van 4 It snowed a little last night and this morning a crisp blue sky greeted me with a brilliant sun that is very deceiving as the temperature is currently about -4 degrees Celsius.  Still, there is something so invigorating about the sting of the cold air on my cheeks.  As I walked down the alley to my building a wash of emotion enveloped me.  I thought back to a Sunday morning back in February of 2013.  I met with my running group and it was about -8 degrees. We ran a 10 KM that morning.  The route took us along W. 4th Avenue to Arbutus Street.  Then up to 16th Avenue and along to Ontario Street.  From that point it was  down to Athletes Village (close to Science World) then along the seawall back to the store.  As I was running down Ontario Street the vision of Vancouver frozen in white in all her splendor lay before me.  I was drenched in sweat and I can’t remember when I felt more alive. And it was in that moment as I tuned into the universal energy that I was so very much a part of that I accepted I could indeed complete a 1/2 Marathon. van 3 The significance of this particular moment is that was the last run I did where I was at my peak.  My energy was fabulous and I felt so strong!  I was building and all the hard work I was putting in was paying off. The following week as we ran the 12 KM my energy began to wane.  The progression of my health slipping from me continued and if you’ve followed this blog you’ll know the reason was cancer.  And the internal battle that ensued I am just now beginning emerge from. Climbing up the steps to my home the tears slipped down my cheeks and I just let myself cry.  Today I felt the same emotions that I did on that winter morning close to two years ago.  I feel so alive right now!  So vital and strong!  I am taking my life back now in everyway. Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day. QueensPark 177 Namaste.

Back in Training: Week Three – Gettin’ Down to Business

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I really kicked it up a notch this week.  The pain is beginning to subside and I no longer feel like I should be in traction after a workout.  Next week I want to incorporate a couple of walk/runs into the mix.

My next session with my trainer I’ll be doing a Level One Fitness Test for my age group.  Our focus this week was taking me through the components of the test then working on core and cardio.  I am quite confident that next week I’ll ace the fitness test.

I have just drawn up a workout schedule for the week ahead and will incorporate all of the fitness test components into the workouts I have at the gym.  This is what it will look like.

Workout Schedule for Week Four

  1. Crunches w/ medicine ball – 40 x 2
  2. Step-ups w/ medicine ball (on aerobic stepper) – 15 on each leg leading = 30 x 2 sets
  3. Up and Over’s touching down (on aerobic stepper) – 20 x 2
  4. Leg lifts – 20 x 2
  5. Seal Jacks – 20 x 2
  6. Mountain Climbers – 30 x 2
  7. Side Steps – 30 seconds w/ squat at end x 2
  8. Triceps Push-ups – 15 x 2
  9. Skipping – 30 seconds x 2
  10. Plank – 45 seconds x 2
  11. Bridge – hold for 1 minute x 2
  12. Overhead Towel squat – 30 x 2
  13. 45 degree Suspension Row – 10 x 2
  14. Push-ups from knees – 10 x 2
  15. Kettle bell swing – 8 lb. 40 x 2
  16. Back extensions – 20 x 2
  • Continue w/ 20 minutes on Bike
  • Continue w/ 15 minutes on Elliptical
  • Three upper body machines (Optional)
  • Three lower body machines. (Optional)

18.  Two walk/runs over my 5 km route (45 min – 50 min)

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Each gym workout will take 1 1/2 hours in length.  I start with 35 minutes of cardio on the stationary bike then jump on the elliptical.

My diet has improved exponentially as well.  I only ate out once and that was a pit stop at Subway on Monday evening as I ran late at the engineer’s office and didn’t get home until 8:30 PM.  I had nothing prepared so I opted to just pick up a sub sandwich.

The last two Saturday evenings I’ve cooked at home.  Again, not something I’m used to doing.

Funny the habits we get into.  Back in 2005 when my daughter was taking her graphic design program I took on a couple of other jobs to help her out.  Also I didn’t want her to have worry about working as it is often stressful enough just trying to get through your studies.

One of the part-time gigs was at a diner in Vancouver.  For close to five years I worked 20 hours a week there.  Friday’s I left my day job at 5:00 PM and started at 6:00 PM  to 10 PM. Every Saturday was from 2 PM to 10 PM and Sundays from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Consequently Saturdays found me coming home and getting cleaned up then heading up Commercial Drive for  a nibble at Wazubees (no longer there), Havana (now very pricey), a little Greek place (no longer there), or a number of other restaurants.  Because I was working so often I neglected meal planning in a big way.

My organizational skills were still somewhat challenged back then.

What I’ve discovered to be key in managing a busy schedule is to actually plan out your week meals and activities.

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When I left the restaurant back in 2010 I purchased my current home.  The last four and half years have been a whirlwind!

Because I was working so much for those five years my social life was pretty much non-existent as well.

Fridays became synonymous for heading down to the Heritage Grill, the Brooklyn, Hops, the Terminal or a host of other places that are within walking distance for a pint and nibble followed by a writing marathon. I would wander home at 1:00 AM once I’d finished whatever it was I was working on.

Saturdays saw me turning into a social butterfly of sorts.

Sundays were for domestic duties of cleaning, laundry and picking up groceries.

Still I wasn’t planning my meals all that well throughout the week.  My daughter was still living with me so we took turns cooking and for a time it worked.

I was committed to good health and had found the love of running once again.  Emotional issues that I’d long neglected came to fore and finally I had the strength to work through them.  And just as I felt that I’d laid that beast to rest then came the challenges of heart disease and cancer.

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A little over a month ago I finally accepted that physically I was right back at square one.  This body had gone through punishing treatment and I tried to convince myself otherwise.  I would head out with my running group on Tuesday evenings and the following couple of days my hips and lower back would be in total agony.

The strong core I had once possessed had effectively been destroyed by treatment.  With this admission a depression had set in….and as I am wont to do when this occurs I cried in many, many beer as I nibbled on pizza.

Yes, I was contributing to my own demise once again!


I’m not one to wallow in self-pity, however, and in fact I have little tolerance for myself when I get like this.

And three weeks into training my core strength is returning.  The exercises Tamer has provided are excellent for core as well as whole body.  The workout above has many of the core exercises I’ve been working on .  Yesterday she had me take on the ropes.  These two ropes are about 15 feet in length.  Not to sure of their weight but you hold them in a squat position and can either wobble them back and forth (fabulous for the triceps) or up and down.

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She is pushing me and watching my form.  I am learning so much.  Here I thought myself so knowledgeable about fitness previously and well, in the last three weeks I’ve tackled several exercises that I’ve never done before.

If you are curious about any of the above exercise listed above please let me know.

On Friday evening I decided I really needed to replace the blender that had broken down a couple of months ago.  Heading out I found the Nutri Ninja which is what I wanted at a great price.  Later today I’m going to head out and load up on kale, spinach, and host of other goodies!  The veggie and fruit shakes are back, baby!  Yum!

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Thanks for stopping by.



Back In Training: Week Two…The Agony and the Ecstasy!



“Give me eight more!” Tamer grinned delightfully at me and I did.

The one dreaded exercise that I knew would come came yesterday.  The Burpee!

Still after fourteen days I am down 2 lbs. and have lost 2 inches off my waist, 1 inch off my hips, thighs and arms.

Not a bad start at all.

My trainer has been focusing on some really intense exercises so today my posterior feels extremely tight.

I am getting back into the flow, back into the groove.

I am again pursuing the idea of enjoying optimum health on every level.

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It has been an extraordinarily busy week.  Lately they’ve all been rather crazy.  What I’m finding is that my ability to organize my time effectively is returning in a big way.

I’ve been thinking about some of the challenges over the last year.  Chemotherapy does a number on you, not just physically but with your memory.  I was in a fog.  I’ve spoken about this before but for those who’ve never gone through Cancer treatment, and I pray you never do, let me assure you that this was one of the most frightening aspects to treatment.

When you can’t recall what you were doing a few minutes ago, when everything that is around you is registering then fading into an abyss of thoughts and ideas that just can’t be retained for any length of time, let me assure it will scare the hell out of you.

And I worked throughout this ordeal.


I am still trying to undo some of things I did with the accounting posts at the engineer’s office.  I’ve almost got everything corrected.  At the time trying to piece together the things that I’ve been doing for well over a decade, the things that I could do typically without much thought were extremely challenging.

I had developed a strange logic back then.  I was forgetting GST payments, I was reconciling bank statements by changing certain posts to match what I thought was the correct version of the money trail.


Because I couldn’t recall quite how to do it and I was absolutely terrified to tell anyone this.  And the biggest fear was that I wouldn’t recover from this, that the sharp mind I’ve always enjoyed would be lost to me.


I wrote a lot during this period, particularly on this forum.  It was a way to release.

At times it’s odd for me to read some of the passages back.  Even while I was in it, a part of me refused to accept what was happening to my physical body.

I was chatting with a friend last night who was going through breast cancer treatment last year as well.  As she so eloquently stated, ‘Cancer is one big mind-fuck!”

Indeed it is.

And as I’ve stated before, the Cancer Agency has a tendency to treat patients like mindless cattle.  Much of the information that I gained to assist with certain side effects was not offered by the Cancer Agency but rather discovered by my own research.

A few of the doctors didn’t like how inquisitive I was.  I do want to say right off that I am grateful for the health care that I have at my disposal.

What I realized, however, is that cancer is a business and big one at that.

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Last week on the news a piece was done on a woman who had a rare cancer and the medication that she was taking cost $3,000.00 per month!

She refused to let her husband sell their house to pay for the medications and opted to go off treatment and subsequently died.

To me this is criminal.

Then, rather hypocritically, a family decided to listen to their young daughter’s request and stopped chemotherapy.  The hospital is now taking the family to court insisting that they are not looking out for their child’s best interest.

When you think of the millions of dollars that is raised for cancer on an annual basis, why is a portion of those funds not set aside to assist those who cannot afford the cost of treatment?  Why are the drugs not free?

Considering how much is given to charity annually, and it is an exorbitant amount, should the payback not be free medications?

Perhaps this is a question that should be raised.  Oh, I have know doubt the huge pharmaceutical companies who received the majority of these funds for ‘research’ will throw up the smoke and mirrors about the cost of said research.

But surely then with all the funds we’ve provided to them have we not paid our dues?


On the upside I am officially wigless!  Yup.  I went for my first haircut in well over a year.  I had it shaped and styled and I like it.


This is a photo of me taken during the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay.

It was a very humbling experience.

Of course this morning when I attempted to do my own hair…well,  let’s just say I need to practice up.

I want my health back. I want all the things I was beginning to enjoy back and I’ll have it.

Peace out.


Back In Training: Week One

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It is pushing 11:00 PM on this Friday evening.  It’s been a very busy week, a very wet and determined one.  On November 1st, 2014 I began working with a personal trainer.  I had met with her a couple of weeks back and expressed the issues I was having at regaining my health namely rebuilding my core.

Interesting how this all played out as I went through treatment. I tried so hard to believe I was in complete control of what was happening to me physically.  I tried to minimize and downplay the damage that was resulting.

For several months during and after treatment I kept trying to continue with my workouts and the run clinic.  And in my head  I attempted to do so at my previous level of training thinking that I’d be just fine.

Fatigue set in, then the agonizing spiral downward physically began.

I accepted that I needed to let my body heal so I rolled back the physical demands I was making.

And then I just stopped.


Earlier this year it all came crashing down and I found myself in a depression.  The realty of the situation and the fears I’d denied came to the fore. The feelings of defeat were overwhelming.  Nothing was going accordingly.

I found myself falling into the familiar loop of coming home from work on a Friday evening and having a pity party consisting of beer and pizza.

Consumption of such items are not conducive to good health.

In any case I’ve been having a few chats with myself as of late.  I’ve spent a lifetime feeling that everything I’ve wanted has just been an arms length, that I’m not quite there.

A few weeks back I got to thinking about how I’ve had to work hard, exceptionally so, to get where I am.  Nothing has come easy.  I’ve made the same mistakes over and over and in a variety of formats.

It’s a talent!  And you know, it’s okay.  Nothing wrong with working hard.

The past few years I didn’t want to be held back any longer and made some major changes in my life and I’ve shared several of those moments with you on this forum.

And now that light is emerging once more and I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame.  I want wholeness, I want completeness, I want to explore and exhaust all my capabilities.

I want to love, I want to give, and want to surrender to the beauty that surrounds me.

I just want to be.

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Experience each moment and live them fully and honestly.

So I will begin again.  Nourish the physical body, nourish the spirit and the soul.

My body is aching at this moment.  And that’s okay.  It’s what I anticipated.  Training will do that to you at times.

I met with Tamer who is my trainer last Saturday.  She had researched the exercises that would be most effective in helping rebuild my core muscles.  The idea was to have a regiment that I could do at home if I couldn’t make it to the gym.

I’ve subsequently been to the gym three times and worked out at home twice.

Week One:

1. Floor Plank – 45 sec. x 2                                                  7.  Side Planks – 10 sec x 2

2. Cardio – Step ups w/ 14 lb ball – 90 sec x 2                8.  Bench Push ups – 20 x 2

3.  Straight Leg Raises – 20 x 2                                         9.  Lunges (static) Up & Downs – 20 x 2

4. Back Extensions – 20 x 2                                             10.  Crunches – 50 x 2 w/ 10 lb. weight

5. Cardio – Seal Jacks – 30 x 2

6. Cardio – Mountain Climber – 30 x 2

This the 30 minute workout.

At the gym I’ve been doing 35 minutes of cardio (20 minutes on the stationary and 15 on the elliptical)

Along with the above I’ve been doing two sets on three leg machines and three arm machines.

After this first week I am feeling tight and achy with that familiar exhaustion washing over me.  I’m taking a brief a break from my running group.  Over the next the month I am going to focus on building up my strength and conditioning.  I’ll start back with the group in December.

It is my hope that come January I’ll be conditioned enough over the next eight weeks that I’ll feel confident enough to sign up for the BMO 1/2 Marathon in May 2015 and begin the fifteen weeks training for that event.

I need to do this again.  I need to do it with a healthy body, not a cancer ridden one.  I need to find that elusive mantle where I am at my optimum health on every level.  I need to release my creativity and move forward with the plans to launch my publishing company and my book.

All of this has been moving along at a snail’s pace.  Seems my life for time had begun to drag.

I don’t want to know my weight at this point.  Too depressing.  I’ve told Tamer not to tell me on my weekly weigh-ins until I ask.  I’m not fighting a number so for now I’ll just exclude it from the mix. She can let me know what I’ve taken off.

In any case, I’m back at it.


Time to wash up and go to bed.  In the morning I will have the extreme pleasure of going out to Pyke’s & Buckley’s Performance Horse Ranch in Langley to take some photographs.

I’m super excited.

Thanks for stopping by.




Pain in the….


happy face

It’s my lunch hour.  Well, sort of.  Unless I physically leave the office then I’ll pick up the phone if it rings, sign for a courier, or direct a client.

I’ve been trying to get my fitness schedule back on track since January.  It started off pretty good…then I tweaked a muscle in my right calf.  Of course being the fool hardy gal that I am, I kept running on it, kept hitting the gym and tossed in my weekly Yoga class for good measure.

I was certain that it would just heal.  At some point in time I recall reading an article that you had to work through these pains.

Perhaps I should have researched what the operative word ‘work’ actually means in this context.

The injury became worse, to the point that I was limping a bit.  I finally clued in that I needed to rest the leg and roll it out.

Three weeks later and I’m once again beginning the slow climb back up the fitness ladder.

And I’m sore.

I went for my first run in three weeks last night.  I felt sluggish and heavy.  Gravity had surely become denser, yes?  I was at the gym this morning for a light workout.  The body has that familiar tightness that comes with the start-up of regular exercise.

Oh, I do know that I have to go through the pains….again.  Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I want to get fit though.  I miss the energy I had just over a year ago.

I’ve put about 35 lbs. on over the course of the cancer treatments and my body core is ridiculously weak.  This is understandable considering it was my mid-section that has taken the brunt of the abuse.

I just remembered I was supposed to have won an Oscar this year as well, was I not?  I do recall writing a blog early last year stating precisely how this was to come about.

Well, there is always next year.  Perhaps Ellen will order Pizza again.  Mind you, on Oscar night I had a ridiculous craving for Chinese take-out and that was my indulgence for the night.

What I have come to learn is that the tightness I am feeling in my musculature these days is likely related to the chemo and radiation treatments.  Apparently the debris and carnage remains in the body for up to a year.

Boo! I say, Boo!

The pain I am feeling then is not the typical aches that come with beginning a workout routine.  And in truth, I did workout throughout the whole cancer thing, albeit on a rather minimal schedule.  Still, it stands to reason that the body wouldn’t be completely out of shape then.

I spoke with a woman at my running group last night.  Angela is a nutritionist at Inspired Health.  The organization works with cancer patients on a more holistic approach.  They offer up nutrition advice, meditation, yoga, etc.

Angela mentioned that I may be feeling extremely tight as my electrolytes may be completely out of whack.  She suggested that I add a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to my water before drinking it.  Also, coconut water is really good for restoring the electrolytes as well.

So I will implement this into my daily routine and let you know if it makes a difference.  I’ve got a few good recipes for drinks designed to flush out the organs and am on the hunt for more.  This, in my mind, will perhaps assist the body in ridding the residue that remains from treatment.

I will carry on.  I’ve been told that the very fact that I’m managing the exercise level that I am at this time is remarkable.  I can’t say if this is true or not.  I don’t have a lot of experience with illness.

I love and appreciate that I can still run, that I can still hit the gym, that I can move.

I was reading a few quotes from writers yesterday.  I thought I would share a few and I’ve come up with one of my own.

Have a fabulous day!

“And what does writing teach us?  First and foremost it reminds us that we are alive and that is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”               

-Ray Bradbury

“Writers see the world differently.  Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric.”

-Buffy Andrews

A good writer can make you see the image that has been painted on the page.  A great writer will make you feel it. 

-Nancy Pilling

Back to Basics

My hair is beginning to sprout new hair.  In a couple of weeks I might well look like a mad scientist.  The blond hairs are really long and the darker hair is simply fuzz.  It will be interesting to see what I end up with.

I kicked it up a notch at the gym today.  My legs are tight from running yesterday, but in a good way.  I am really going to focus on cardio and core.  I can toss in free weights for the upper body and the leg press for the lower body.  I am also putting lunges back into the mix.

I did a few this morning, though it is debatable if they were lunges as I didn’t make it all the way down.  Felt a bit like the Tin Man while doing them.

Still it is back to basics and build from there.

It feels so wintery outside today. The beautiful sunshine is very deceiving.  I pranced out in my short pants and felt the sting of cold on my bare legs.  Still, I warm up fast and there really is something very exhilarating about a crisp Autumn morning.

The other challenge I am throwing down for myself is a specific diet, no wine or beer (can’t do this during radiation anyway) and really healthy choices.  I figure since I am doing NaNoWriMo (unofficially), I will just be dedicated this month to writing and wellness.

I have been a hermit before and I shall do so for the next six weeks.

Also, Christmas is creeping up rather quickly so I will save a few dollars that will later be spent on family and friends.  My daughter and I are looking at going to Vegas for a few days just before Christmas to unwind.

This year has gone by quickly.  Not quite how I anticipated the year to unfold when first it began.  Still, I’ve developed an even deeper love for this life.  I’ve much I want to see, much I want to experience, much I want to achieve.  Best to get to it.

I will make the things happen that I have worked so hard for.  Just going to dive into this life and enjoy it.

I heard a comment at the gym this morning that you have likely all heard.

“You never know when you’re numbers going to up, so make the most of each day.”

I smiled at the notion.  Gonna do just that.

Enjoy!  Peace.




The Tin Man Cometh

I am still somewhat achy these days.  I have been easing back into my workouts since getting into an altercation with the elevator door here at work, and I am feeling much better but still, anyone got an oilcan that they could lend me?  We did our end of clinic 5k run last night which is more like 6.5 k after the warm up and warm down is factored in.  It took a bit of time to warm up simply because it is getting a wee bit chilly out now.  And it was raining, but very gently.  Not the torrential downpours that we have been experiencing.  On run days, all the members of my run group sit in their various offices and work stations, and if it’s raining in biblical proportions, we pray and pray and pray that the rain will let up just a little.  And in the three years I have run with this clinic, I have only experienced heavy rain on about four occasions when I have run with them.

Always remember to say ‘Please.’

So when I started the run last night everything was tight.  At Yoga the night before we had really focused on the hips so I was hopeful that this part of the anatomy would be a little looser. Nah!  And I had done a light workout in the morning hoping that would help.  By the end of the run I had loosened up a bit, so all I can do keep at it.  I am almost finished the blood thinner medication, then I am off of it.  Yay!  I have found recovering just from a bruise in the last year seemed to take an inordinate amount of time.

I am really going to start researching natural remedies.  I don’t like the whole thing with pharmaceutical companies and their products.  Yes sometimes we need to take medication, but let’s face it.  We are so over medicated in our society now that it’s frightening.  And it is dangerous shit!

The thing that bothers me most is that we are led to believe we will drop dead on the spot if we don’t take the medication.  So there is this fear that has been instilled.  That bothers me.  A friend of mine was on so many medications at one point, she could not even keep a glass of water down.  She would be put on one medication and begin to have symptoms then put on another. One afternoon several years ago I was sitting with her, and she was scared and crying.

I asked her to show me her medications.  Fourteen!  Fourteen different meds.  And some of them were pretty heavy-duty, let me tell you.  She was a toxic wasteland because of all this crap.  In some cases the medications were at war with one another.  Just insane I tell you.  She is now down to just a few, and she asks a lot more questions.

Oh I have no doubt that I could get painkiller medication for the discomfort I currently feel.  There have been times in the past couple of weeks when it has crossed my mind, but you know when those thoughts occurred, I would sit and close my eyes for a moment and just breathe.  And breathe really deeply.  I would focus on the area experiencing the pain and breathe into it.  I would relax the body.  And yes, it helps.  It helps a lot.  The other thing is to stretch, to move, to walk.

When I am at work, I often get up and just have a little jaunt around the office.  Sitting at a desk all day is not all that great for the appendages.  I know in a few more weeks I will be feeling just fine.

I am signing up to do the Vancouver BMO 1/2 Marathon next May.  The training will begin in January.  I spoke with my run leader last night and she is going to help me with exercise and diet issues.  I am going to be really diligent with this training.  From this I want to reach optimum health.  I will be doing two races prior to this.  I will do Harry’s 8K again and the Sun Run (10K) again as well.

I must be disciplined with the training.  And as much as I wish that Pizza and Beer were superfoods, I am going to have to bid them adieu for a while.

So be well all of you.  Enjoy your day.


It’s Snowing Cherry Blossoms

I had a really good workout this morning.  Actually got to the gym a little earlier than usual and really kicked it.  I have really been looking deep inside self these days.  I was thinking about my 12 week optimum health plan that I started at the beginning of the year.  I did quite good on it.  Then I came to the end and of course chastised myself for the times I did ‘slip’ up and vowed that I would repeat the cycle and do it right this time.  A funny thing occurred though.  What I realized is that I really had not ‘slipped’ up.  I had merely indulged, quite enjoyably, in foods and drink that I don’t typically ingest on a day to day basis.

And I had not been extreme in my indulgences either.  Yet I,  like so many of us, somehow viewed this as a ‘failure’ on my part.  I viewed it as a weakness.  I know the difference now between emotional eating and just enjoying a good meal.  Emotional eating is symptomatic of deeper issues that need to be addressed.  When we eat emotionally we are usually trying to fill a void in our life.  I know, I used to be that girl who could pack away two pizzas in one sitting.  I didn’t enjoy it, to be honest.  It always left me feeling worse, not better.  Of course the result is weight gain and possible health issues to compound the issues you are already facing.  It can and does become addictive.  I shudder when I think of how I used to eat and how unhappy I was.

It has been a long road back and I have learned so much.  I value and respect the body that houses me more than I ever have before and I am amazed at the resilience of the human form.  I will continue to learn and grow and optimum health is ongoing.  Once I reach a certain level that does not mean I will ‘stop’ being healthy.  I won’t ‘stop’ running, I won’t ‘stop’ eating well, ‘ I won’t ‘stop’ being active…and  I won’t ‘stop’ going out and enjoying meals with friends and delighting not only in the fare but the fabulous company that I am so often blessed with sharing.

So why do we put time limitations on things anyway?   It seems that when we do this we actually set ourselves up for possible disappointment.  If we do not reach the goal we have set for ourselves, do we succumb to failure and return to our old patterns?  Whose to say the goals we set for ourselves are realistic…or not?

I will not enter into another 12 week optimum health plan.

I will enter into optimum health plan for life.  I want to feel my best, I want to look my best, I want share the joy that I feel with everyone.  That is the goal then.  One day at a time.

As I left the gym this morning it was snowing Cherry blossoms.  Beautiful pink blossoms had covered my little car making it look like a little steed dressed in all its finery.  I tossed my bags into the car then walked over to get my coffee.  It had been raining and now the clouds were beginning part and a water colour sky was emerging.

Cleo raised her head as I approached the coffee shop.  Her beautiful brown eyes gazed up at me so serenely.  I knelt down as I always do and gave her a good dose of affection and reminded her just how beautiful she is.

I chatted with Richard a bit while waiting in line then headed back to the car.  I had taken a Cherry blossom off the car on the walk down and now released it into the air.  As I was driving the short distance to my office….it likely appeared that confetti was being thrown off the car with all the blossoms now taking to the air.

One day at a time…each one to its fullest.  I can do that.

Enjoy your day.