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!

Oye!

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!

Fit 5

Thanks for stopping by.

Peace.

 

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


 

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“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.

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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.

Why?

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.

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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?

Hmmm.

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.

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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.

 

In Rememberance….Postcards from the Past


I’ve taken on a labour of love as of late.  I discovered that I was in possession of several old photographs, some more than a hundred years old of various family members…many of whom sadly I don’t know.  I began scanning them into the computer and then running them through the program Adobe Lightroom to restore them to some degree and this has proved to be very successful!

I also want to be able to put together a package for family members as well.

Then came the curiosity of trying to discover who it was that was in some of these photos.  I accessed a few of the genealogy sites and had some success.  However these site are not always easy to navigate.

Yesterday I attempted to discover some information regarding my Grandfather Pilling’s time in World War l and my father’s time in World War ll.

I have documentation as to one of the regiments my father was in any yet when I entered the information then checked that I was only interested in Canadian records, the result was 97,000 possibilities, many of them from the U.S.

The same issues with my grandfather, though I don’t know what regiment he was in, I do know he was stationed in France during 1916 and 1917.  What I wanted to do yesterday was to put together a commemoration of sorts for both my father and grandfather respectively in remembrance for November 11, 2014.

0. PILLING, Arthur, Army Uniform

Grandfather Arthur Pilling, circa 1916 stationed in France.

I came across four postcards that are now close to 100 years in age.  They were sent by my grandfather to his parents during the war.  Beautifully embroidered with intricate needlepoint with the fabric then glued to card stock that is incredibly strong.

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Postcard No. 1: The intricate detail is just amazing

 

2.

Back of card: CHRISTMAS 1917

 

3.

Postcard No. 2: The detail again is remarkable.

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Back of Card: 16th September 1916 Dear Parents, Just a line to let you know I am quite well. Hope you are alright. I just got a letter this week, will reply tomorrow. I have halfday holiday today. How do you like this? Best love from your son, Arthur

5.

Postcard No. 3: This one is just gorgeous and the detail incredible.

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Back of card: 1917 Dear Mother and Dad, I am sending you these cards wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. From your loving son, Arthur

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Postcard No. 4: Again I am amazed at the detail of these items.

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Back of card: CHRISTMAS 1916 From Arthur to Ma and Pa From France

 

My father was a young man when World War II broke out.  In 1942 he would have been just 17 years of age.  He joined the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers.  From my research this was a volunteer program that was set up to have men familiar with their respective areas patrol them in the event that our shores were invaded by the enemy.

I cannot imagine the fear and paranoia that must have been rampant at this time.

My father also served eight months active duty in the army overseas.

The PCMR disbanded September 30, 1945 at the end of World War II.  Below are the discharge papers of my father who was also a Ranger Captain.

 

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My grandfather was part of a team of men who opened up the first Royal Canadian Legion up in Gibsons Landing, BC.  These were social clubs that were established for Vetrans.  I believe that they were instrumental for the those coming back from the horrors of war to have a place where their experiences were understood.

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My grandfather Arthur Pilling is in the first row, second from the right.

I can’t say the exact date of this photo, though I will go out on a limb and suggest that it was in the 1920’s.  Then in the 1940’s land was donated and larger Royal Canadian Legion was built.

12.

Site of the second RCL. My father Arthur John Pilling can be seen sandwiched between the two drummers. My uncle with the rosey cheeks and winning smile is just to the right of the drummers centered in front of the boys that are kneeling down. My grandmother and grandfather are pictured in the back row to the far right.

I wonder sometimes what both men were like prior to going to war.  I wonder sometimes had they not ventured into warfare how their lives may have differed.  Below is a photo of my father at about eight years of age with my grandfather up in Gibsons, BC.

PILLING, Arthur Sr. & Jr., 1939_

In remembrance to all those who have served and paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we know today, may we never forget.

 

 

A Horse of Course!


 

2.

A beautiful Autumn morning over the Pyke & Buckley’s Ranch

A little over a month ago I attended an informal annual gathering for Windermere Secondary School alumni that Serge Biln has been organizing for the last five years.

I met a couple of women four years my junior who graduated in 1980, Trudi and Jen.  Jen works at a horse ranch located in Langley, BC, about a thirty to forty-five minute drive from my home.

Jen left an open invitation to come out to the ranch to take some photos of the horses.  Yesterday morning I took advantage of the invitation.

I love horses.  For as far back as I can remember I’ve been so completely enamored by them.

As a child laying in bed desperately trying  to block the echoes of my parents fighting from my mind, it was the spirit of the horse that came and took me on wistful adventures during those terrors.

Throughout my life it has been this spirit that has guided and comforted me and urged me to move forward challenging me to be true to myself. Quietly powerful and gently reassuring the spirit and energy of the horse is forever in my heart, in my soul.

Yesterday I once again felt somewhat star struck as I ventured out among these majestic beings.  Always, they take my breath away.

With camera in hand, I stepped out wanting to capture a little of each horse’s individuality.  Of course it was entirely dependent upon them whether they wanted to participate.  I had about eight horses that were curious as to what I was up to and there were a couple that were absolute divas that struck pose after pose and were quite insistent that I capture their ‘good side’.

1.

“Look into my eyes!  You are getting sleepy, sleepy….!

I fell totally in love with this fella.

 

These were taken at Pyke & Buckley’s Performance Horses ranch.

A big thanks to Jen and to Melissa for letting me mingle with the locals.  Enjoy!

While I think I have the majority of the names down pat, there are a few that escape my memory at the moment.

3.

I was asked to keep my distance as this horse is very spirited which I totally respect.

From the photograph above to the ones that follow I found this beautiful and dynamic beauty to be incredibly inquisitive and wonderfully receptive. 

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Heading out to the paddock and then later when I returned for a little one on one he approached, cautiously at first.

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He checked me out then decided he was up for the interview and flashed one of many charming smiles.

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We discussed politics, the weather and then it got really deep as we pondered the meaning of life.

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He was insistent that this was his best side then flashed a rather cavalier smile my way.

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Of course he offered up his come hither look playfully peeking up over the fence.

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Watching me as I took my leave.

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Beside him was this beauty named Luna

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Luna is a little on the shy side but she was very gracious and did let take a couple of shots of her.

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She insisted that this was her best side. Can’t argue with that but she looked good from every angle.

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And like my beauty above, Luna watched me take my leave as well

5.21.

Here is Jen with Sonny.  He is a small quarter horse and just the sweetest little guy.  This is the only horse I shot in the stable as he was not being taken outside at that time. 

I knew that many of the horse might find the flash intimidating so this was the only instance where it was used.

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What a little beauty!

16.

Meet Malaki

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She was quite persistent and demanding that I take her photo and I was more than happy to oblige!

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And I photographed her from every angle

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Yes Malaki, you are beautiful!

27.

Meet Seven

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Seven was a little on the shy side but was accommodating. 

15.

Peeking out rather coquettishly

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Sharing Seven’s paddock was Scooby.

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Scooby is very curious, animated and very friendly.

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Scooby waxed poetic on the beautiful sky above after days of torrential rain.

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Scooby insisted that I get both sides as I was informed that all sides were indeed glorious!  I am in total agreement.

31.

Meet Norm

8.4

Norm is another wonderfully curious creature. 

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Norm shares his paddock with the youngest member.

37.

Meet Rocky, just a year old.

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Jen and Rocky waited patiently as Norm was being positively rambunctious and playful.

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The boys head off to kick up their heels and play.

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These two have a great rapport

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Norm at times seemed very protective of Rocky

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And indeed, how can you not fall in love with this little guy?

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Then we had the little kittens that were romping about the place having a time of it

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What a beautiful Autumn morning!

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And yes, some of the horses didn’t feel up to chatting. 

This cheeky fella just stuck his tongue out at me. 

I couldn’t help laughing and stuck mine out at him too.

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And when it was time to go these two stood watching me walk back to my car.  Every time I turned back, there they were. 

I wanted to run back and hug them both.

But I got in the car and drove off as they stood watching me take my leave. 

Thank you!

 

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.

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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.

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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.

Peace.

 

 

A Thing Called Trust…Scandalous!


October 31, 2014

6.  They're out for blood

 

It is Halloween in these parts and I have just safely made my way back to the homestead despite the streets crawling with ghostly goblins and ghoulish devils. Of course there were the tiny superheroes and dinosaurs traipsing about as well.

The adult variety began to hit the streets as the little ones slipped off to inspect their haul.

Well dressed leopards and debonair tigers walked hand in hand to local pubs and restaurants to celebrate some playful events that were underway. We have a Paddlewheeler boat that offers cruises up and down the Fraser River.

I went for a walk along the boardwalk and saw the boat decked out in webbing with an eerily lit backdrop. Catwoman, a cowgirl and a witch were having a debate of sorts.

I will be donning ghoulish attire tomorrow as I am attending a costume party.

It’s been a busy week at the office and I am convinced that the dot matrix printer they have is indestructible. Those things never seem to quit, do they? I’m looking forward to saying a fond fair well to the thing.

They never agreed with me and so you can understand my reticence at using them and yes, I admit that I am somewhat intimidated by the thing as well.

Make a mistake and there is no stopping them. They grind through paper horrifically sounding much like a buzz saw.

In any case, tomorrow is another day and I will have to summon up the courage to once again attempt to dominate the damn thing or at least get it to play along.

During dinner I listened to the news of the day.

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A scandal is brewing. A CBC personality, Jian Ghomeshi was fired a week ago. Apparently it has something to do with his sexual preferences, sexual play, etc., and the roughness of it?  Seems he gets off on choking and smacking women in the face.

In any case, Ghomeshi filed a $50 million dollar law suit against the CBC for the firing and wants his job back.  He also posted a 1,000 word defensive on his Facebook page. Hmmm.

He went on his Facebook page and stated that all his sexual encounters were consensual, and so on, and so on.

Jian states that he has been exploring BDSM. And that’s cool. I’ve no problem with that. Whatever two people (or three, or four, or…) choose to do is totally up to them, as long as it’s consensual.

Well, here we are five days later and nine women have come forward to claim they were subjected to demeaning and violent behavior that was not consensual. Some of these events occurred as far back as ten years.

Yet none of them filed charges.

Now personally I don’t fully understand the dominate and submissive relationship but in all fairness I will not judge anyone based on what rocks their world. And who am I to say what should or should not occur intimately between two consenting adults?

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I am currently writing my second book, a fiction, that is in fact exploring these very issues. I am actually quite curious about how we arrive at our sexual preferences. It is the ultimate human mystery, is it not?  I guess what intrigues me the most is the wide spectrum of avenues that encompass the sexual experience.

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We are all looking for the ulitmate Big-O. How we achieve this sexual peak is as varied as the mythological component of what it should in fact be.

Orgasms vary as much as our sexual appetites and they are never the same.   Sometimes they are amazingly intense and then they can be slow and subtle in their release.

Back in the 1990’s during a year long depression that engulfed me, I read over 200 romance novels. In truth, I don’t know why as I am not all that fond of romance novels.  In the course of that year, however, I gained a knowledge of this writing formula and began to recognize the pattern very clearly and came to understand why some stories didn’t work and why others were quite enjoyable.

Still what drove me a little nuts were the ‘love’ scenes.

Every fucking virgin in those books was impaled by the man she really hated but secretly wanted and had orgasms that were incredibly explosive. Oh, they saw stars and understood the secret to life in that moment and were inexplicitly tied forever to this man and he was in kind tied to her.

Did they live happily ever after? Well, first you have to ask your self does that indeed exist?

In my world, not bloody likely.

But we can debate that. To me happiness is a state of mind that comes in varying degrees. I do know that if you’ve experienced sadness and pain, you’ll appreciate happiness that much more. In fact, you’ll hold it so close to you that at times you’ll want to covet it.

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Happiness is and always has been what we all seek, yes?

And like everything in this life how that looks to each of us varies incredibly so.

So if you like your sex rough, enjoy the sting of a spanking then good on you.

More extreme?  That’s fine too.

In the interviews I’ve conducted in order to develop characters that are honest in their sexuality, what I’ve found is that the most important aspect in these relationships is trust.

Verbally what a dominant and submissive agree upon is really sacred between them. In fact, it is the key to their relationship.

If you stand back and take a general look at all relationships they are or should be based upon this principle.  It is key.

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Sometimes though when it goes sideways, we want so much for things to snap back to that beautiful beginning, that enticing moment that briefly had us believing that this was the real deal.  In fact we may well have hungered for it.  As a result we consequently stick our heads proverbially in the sand refusing to see that what began to blossom has now been lost.

Perhaps some of these women thought they’d like to explore this side of their sexuality.  It has that taboo to it.  It’s mysterious and to some degree, incredibly provocative.

We hear things and develop a curiosity. There is that wonder if we are in fact missing out on making the Big-O even better.  If we’re not experiencing these dynamic orgasms several times during our sexual play then surely we are missing something, aren’t we?

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Cosmopolitan magazine has been recycling the same information in their articles for years on how to pleasure a man and have the ultimate orgasm.

During my youth I read these articles and tried desperately to build the mystery of sexual prowess based upon such initiatives.

Sex education really didn’t exist in my youth and sadly many of us along with the younger generation are still very much  ill informed.

What I have come to understand is that through the intimate exploration of yourself will you begin to divine the truth of your own sexuality.

As my daughter began to move through the pains of adolescence to that of a young woman, copies of Cosmo began to litter the kitchen table. I would peruse the pages and yes, much of what I’d read at her age was still contained within the confines of the magazine though the words had been tossed about to make the ideas seem new and fresh.

Sadly, I found the deal for women even more challenging.

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The standard to be sexually desirable had risen to exacting standards.

What was happening to us?

And as the chains of sexual preferences began to loosen and we began to accept and even ponder more extreme sexual behaviours, many of us thought to explore this realm.

I can recall dating a fellow a few times in Edmonton. I was about 21 years old at the time. I didn’t have a clue about the dominant / submissive thing as this was still very much in the closet and personally, I’d never heard of such things.

So things were getting hot and heavy by the third date or so. A lot of kissing and heavy petting began to take place. We directed it into his bedroom.

The room was dark as we fell onto the bed.  He stopped then and rose to turn on the light.  The red glow of the bulb caused a shiver to run up my spine as I took in my surroundings.

Rubber sheets adorned the bed and one wall painted a dark brown was adorned with whips, cuffs, ropes, etc.

He asked if I’d like to explore this. I was rather horrified and offered up a flat out ‘No’ and I collected my belongings to take my leave. I didn’t have a predilection for this.

He was gracious and at no time did he try to force anything on me.

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The idea of someone hurting me for pleasure was not something I understood, nor did I want to explore these merits.

Now I come back to this Jian Ghomeshi thing.  Nine women have come out, not to the police, but through social media claiming abuse.

The police have launched an investigation asking these women to provide them with information.  No charges have been laid at this time.

And I’m pissed off.

Jian, get it together. If you have a preference…lay it out. Make it clear what floats your boat.  Is what you’re into really sexual exploration or are you just a sick fuck that likes to hurt and scare the shit out of women?

To the women, yes, I know he is a celebrity and he’s attractive. If you were curious about this experience and it went sideways then guess what?  You are like so many of us.

Then there is the shame factor. You know, I get it. I’ve put myself into positions that were frightening and hate to admit my gullability.

What I am trying to say is that we make mistakes. We find ourselves in the midst of something that was not anticipated and we don’t know how to respond.

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I must ask Jian this question.   You claim to be  ’50 Shades’ but much softer.

For the record in my opinion, ’50 Shades’ is a badly written romance, nothing more.

If this really is your preference then you really need to conduct yourself accordingly and show some respect for your partners.  And for the record, it’s not just about your pleasure.  As stated, if you get off on smacking women around, then you might well have a sadistic side to you that borders onto sociopathic behaviours and has nothing to do with sexual preference.

Those individuals that I’ve come to know who involve themselves in these activities are highly intelligent and loving.  They hold themselves to a very high standard

What I’m pissed off about is that Jian Ghomeshi  seemingly thinks he can have his way in every instance…and I’m pissed off that one of these women didn’t come forward sooner.

It strikes a bad cord with me. Are we, as women, still just fucking victims?

Is this when we feel empowered when some schmuck is spiraling downward? Do we now feel vindicated?

That Jian left so many women with this feeling of remorse and shame over their encounter speaks only to our disconnect and shows that we are no further ahead than we were 25, 35 or 50 years ago.

And for any woman or man for that matter, that finds themselves in a sexual encounter of sorts that becomes abusive and that they did not consent to, then leave and go to your nearest medical facility to be checked over and then file charges.

You just may save someone’s life.

 

**NOTE:  I’ve taken several of the images for this piece from the internet.  I Googled ‘images sexuality’ and was amazed by the number of book covers I found there.  It also struck me on how much of a mystery our sexuality still it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Search Of….


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I took this in New Westminster in Queen’s Park

In a week I’ll be heading  back into training again and I will continue to share my journey with you.  It is my hope that I can improve my physical well being enough so that I will feel confident in training for the 1/2 Marathon that will take place in May 2015.  The 1/2 Marathon running clinic will begin in January.  I’ve got to shake off these shackles that smack of defeat.  I’m a hell of a lot tougher,  stronger and resilient than the ravages of cancer treatment.

I’ve been in an oddly reflective mood as of late. After discovering that one of my bosses’ is in fact my fourth cousin and I’ve been considering this thing we call family.

Family ties became damaged then non-existent at an early age for me. When I was a little girl I believe we interacted with family members on a regular basis.

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Cousin Mike & me at age 4

The violence in our home, however, and the acerbic attitude that my father often displayed resulted in a string of damaged relationships that unfortunately he never tried to mend.  The trickle down effect was that my sisters and I were estranged from extended family as well.

By the age of fourteen I had very little contact outside my immediate family.

I got into this thing of sending out Christmas cards, however. That became my way of letting extended family know that I was still on this planet and that I still thought of them and wished them well.

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Our dog Trixie, sister Norma & Me

I may not have seen you for twenty some odd years, but guaranteed you’d receive that seasonal greeting from me.

I’ve carried on with this tradition of mine for some 35 years or so.

I get that our family has known many tragedies. It’s tough to bond with people when they are in crisis. I know this all too well as the majority of my youth was spent in this mindset.

Hell, I didn’t even like spending time with me…

And how the fractures and traumas that occur within a family affect each of us can vary quite dramatically as well.

I pulled out all these photos that I’ve never really taken a particularly good look at. My dad’s girlfriend had inherited his estate, whatever that was, and upon her death her son Mike showed up and dumped broken bowling trophies, a moth eaten blanket my grandmother had made and grocery bags filled with old photographs that were in very bad shape along with my father’s ashes on my kitchen table.

I tucked everything away, including the ashes. I’d deal with it all in good time.

Nine years later and here I am peeking through these images and I think I appreciate them more now than I would have back when they first came into my possession.

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From left:  Gr. Grandfather James Pilling, John, little Arthur (my grandfather), Annie, Emma (Gr. Grandmother), Walter & Ellen

There was a framed image that had been haunting me. Today I discovered it was the Pilling family. In it, my great grandfather, great grandmother, my grandfather and his siblings. The photo was taken circa 1905-07 or thereabouts.

The Pilling clan dates back to the 1,700’s in the Yorkshire vicinity of England. I do know that we came over during the Battle of Hastings in 1066 from Normandy.

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Gr. Grandmother, Emma Pilling (Burrows)

As I researched these people, a part of me became incredibly curious about them. What were they like? What moved them?

My great grandfather was a carpenter. The photo of the family is so very proper. The oldest boy, John, died at 25. Another son, Albert, who was born in 1886 died the same year.

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Gr. Grandfather, James Pilling

There were tragedies just as today there still are, but then you have those moments when you just rise above it all. I found myself wondering about each individual and if they were happy. Had they been given the opportunity to garner an education? Were they pursuing their hearts desire?

Then I ventured off looking at my mother’s side of the family. I had thought my grandfather’s name was Andrew. It wasn’t. It was Andres Carl Erikson.

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My mother, Sylvia Pilling (Erikson)

Born in Iceland in 1888, he also was in World War l as was my Grandpa Pilling. On his paper work for entry into the War, they asked what his trade was. He wrote that he was musician.

My mother spoke fondly of how well he played the violin. There was a twenty plus age gap between my Grandma and Grandpa Erikson. He died just before my birth.

There was something very poignant about listing his ‘trade or calling’ as a musician.

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I took this in when I was in NY in 2011

There is not much information on this side of the family. My grandmother was Gudrun Jonasson. This was shortened to Runa. To her grandchildren she bore the Icelandic title of Uma (grandma).

She was a sweet and good woman.

The memories that I do have of my grandparents is often in shadow. Fleeting glimpses of our time together peek out at me.

I can recall making cinnamon rolls with my Grandma Pilling. She told me I would be a great cook because I didn’t rush.

I remember going to the horse races with my Grandma Erikson. She bet $2 on every horse and was so excited when she won. She was also a huge fan of $1.49 on Tuesday at Woodward’s Department store which no longer exists.

It is these little pockets of endearment that I hold so jealously close to my heart as there is a little bit of me in them.

My Grandfather Pilling took us out fishing on his boat from time to time. Once a squall was coming and he sent us below decks. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick. The roiling waves turned my stomach into mush

At times he seems so strict, then he’d give you wink.

There were at times so many underlying messages filtering through. They were shaping me, directing who I would become.  Yet, sadly, I didn’t really know these people. Not really.

My time with them was surface time. Not a lot of depth. This was also true of the relationship I had with my parents.

When mom passed I sat with the reverend who would be officiating at her memorial. He asked me several simple questions  about her. Things that I should have known. Her favorite song, favorite colour, how my parent’s met, what her career desires were, etc., etc., etc.  In truth I didn’t know.

This woman who had birthed me was in many ways a stranger as was the man responsible for the other half of my DNA.

And with this awareness and admission came a very deep sadness.

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I took this just a few months back in August down at English Bay in Vancouver

Today as I stared at the people in the photographs it occurred that I should have known the connection. Were family stories told and embellished over the course of time?

The young boy whose arms are crossed defiantly across his chest was my grandfather…should I not have seen a bit of myself in his persona?

And I think that had I been told about them, had their stories passed along, had I felt that bond to these people a little more intimately that maybe, just maybe the search for self would have been a little easier.

Then again, that’s an awfully bold statement to put on those who’ve come before. Perhaps the honesty in this life is to really just appreciate who you are at any given time in your life and to accept and challenge to yourself to be the best person possible.

I know who I am now and I thank those who came before me.

In the human condition we can only offer our own experiences, yet what of the hopes and  dreams transferred to me through the code of genetics  and DNA and memory.

You are living your life influenced by those you’ve never known to satisfy what was unattainable to them.

Provocative thought.

And on that note I’ll say good-night.

 

 

 

 

In Twenty-Four Hours


 

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I could begin by telling you it was a dark and stormy night. I wouldn’t be lying as clichéd as it sounds.

And for the record, most nights are dark at some point, though not necessarily stormy.

I had gone for a run with my running clinic. It’s been tough lately, but over the last few weeks a new resolve has begun to emerge.

I will be working with a personal trainer effective November 1, 2014. I am going back into training mode.

I want to get healthy, I want to get conditioned. Come January 2015 if I feel I am prepared I will enter into training for the ½ Marathon in May 2015.  No more excuses. No more feelings of defeat.

The other night I dreamt I was running through Queen’s Park. It was still dark out and I was greeting the trees, the air, the moon, the earth…and I felt so light, so alive…

Then I woke.

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It was a dream of what I used to do a little over a year ago. I realized in that moment how much I want that simple pleasure back. The tears stung my eyes as I curled up into my pillows.

I’ve got several goals that I want to bring to fruition over the next little while and the only way I know how to do this is to buckle down and get ‘er done!

In any case, let’s get back to this dark and stormy night of mine.

I had puttered about the place when I got home. I made dinner and cleaned up.

Then I worked on some old photographs, scanning them into my computer and giving them new life to share with family and friends.

A few ideas popped into my head regarding stories for future books. I’ve several on the go now. I think I have a story to be told in every genre at this point.

I was happily tired when I slipped between the sheets.

Nirvana claimed me swiftly and I fell into a deep and restful slumber.

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I like to keep my bedroom window open just a bit to keep fresh air circulating year round. Else wise I find it can get just a little too stuffy.

There is something very comforting about curling up in my blankets with the cool of the room surrounding me. The exhaustion of the day found me melting into my bed as each muscle tensed then relaxed gratefully.

I was a good two hours or so into this night’s sleep when something drifted softly over, caressing my face.

I was being summoned back into the waking world.

A strange howl now filtered into my ears as I was drawn from the realm of sleep. The sensations of my faced being stroked caused alarm.

It was a rude awakening at this point. Disorientated, my eyes popped open. I was in a defensive and combative mood as I rose from the sleep state.

Above me a white billowy thing hung in the air. It was massive, big man!

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From somewhere a scream erupted. It was from me as my brain now began feverishly to put together these events and respond accordingly.

The howling that had assaulted my ears upon waking began to dissipate and with it the white billowy omnipresence that, for a nanosecond, held me captive in all my vulnerability.

Awake, well kinda sorta,  with this heart of mine pounding like a jackhammer doing triple time I followed the visage of the white billowy thing.

It had drifted off toward my bedroom window.  A moment later my laughter filled the room as I curled up to one of my pillows.

The white billowing menace had been the sheer curtain that adorns my window.

I decided to get up and calm myself and watch the storm play out for a bit.  I must admit I love a stormy night.

Trees were being punished ruthlessly as the wind factor fluctuated between 85 – 100 km per/hour.

Sounds of things being knocked over or tossed about added a certain credence to the power of this thing.

And the rain, well it would come down in sheets then nothing.

I suppose the wind was just raking the storm clouds across at such a rapid pace and squeezing every cloud dry in its wake.

I smiled as I thought of how fresh the air would be in the morning and with that I returned to bed.

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Wednesday I muscled through work as a host of issues seemingly tried to impede my progress. I was indeed grateful for the day’s end.  I had gone for my nine month check*up regarding the cancer thing.  Everything looks great and they extended the period to four months before the next one.  I can dig it.

I had waited patiently for an hour after my appointment time before I was in fact ushered in.  Now I headed off to the third floor to offer up some blood for their ongoing research.  I had agreed to do this way back when, thinking that if I could help in some small way then perhaps it’s worth it.

I don’t know that I’ll continue with this, however, as the blood lab at the Cancer Agency sucks.  Not once in the year and half that I’ve been dealing with them have they been able to draw blood without butchering a few veins.

I have deep veins that are also known rollers.

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I always pass this information along to the whomever is burdened with the task of extracting blood from me.  Every other lab I’ve ever dealt with never has an issue and have always managed quite easily with this knowledge to do the job swiftly and professionally.

Not the Cancer Agency.

I graciously informed the young woman as she wrapped the rubber band around my arm to do so tightly and I made a fist.  The vein rose immediately.  Did she get the needle?  No.

She started to flick it with her finger then press down on it.

“It’s ready.”  I informed her pleasantly.

She gave me a dubious look then continued to flick her finger and press down.

I had that sense of dread now as the vein was sinking fast.  Still she got the needle ready, inserted it and started to dig around.  I was pumping my fist furiously trying to bring it back hoping it would pop again but I knew this was to no avail.  The vein had collapsed as it often does yet she continued to try and find it.

I closed my eyes and sighed.

Sheepishly the technician removed the needle and covered the area with a cotton swab and taped it down.  She apologized and said that she would get her superior to perform the task.

Then she disappeared calling “Ruby…oh, Ruby. “

Ruby was apparently very busy.  I would have to wait.

I’d had to go and plug the parking meter once already and now I sat hoping that  I still had some time left on the hour that I’d added.  Dark thoughts entered my mind as I considered the possibility of a traffic ticket.  It wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve been in this position and there are a number of traffic tickets that I simply refuse to pay.  I really believe that parking should be free for patients.

In any case Ruby sent another technician in to do the job.

The woman smiled confidently at me. “Having problems are we?”

Curious comment.

“No.  I’m not having any problems, thanks.” I smiled back.

She gave me a curious look in return and I once again explained the issue with my veins.

She wrapped the rubber band around my left arm now as the right one was done and the bruising had already begun to spread beneath the cotton swab.

I fisted up and the technician told me I shouldn’t do this then tried to loosen my fingers.  That good ‘ol sinking feeling returned as I explained that this was the best way to get the vein to pop.

She looked at me stonily and I got thinking about the meter that was ticking.

I released my fist and she began to whack my arm with two fingers and press down.  Oye!

I watched rather detached now as she slapped the crux of my arm trying to get the vein to show itself.  Then her eyes drifted down to the vein that runs prominently up the forearm.

I didn’t even have time to object.  The needle was out and in within a heartbeat.  This was not a good place and I am certain she knew this.  The blood flow was slow so I began to pump my fist to increase it.

Our eyes met then and whatever she’d been about to say was swallowed.

I wanted to punch Ruby in that moment and I don’t even know who the hell Ruby is.  Frustration washed over me in a way I don’t like.  The bruising was already beginning and it took a couple of minutes of pumping my fist before the three vials of blood were collected.  Removing the needle she placed a cotton swab on the entry point and my thumb replaced her finger.   A black bruise at least one inch in diameter had already formed.

She was contrite.

So I do believe I’ve held up my end of the bargain with regards to the research.  If they want to continue with it then they’ll have to allow me to go to the blood lab of my choice as I’m done with that one.

Fortunately no parking tickets were littering my car so I drove back to work with the radio cranked singing out of key.  The frustration now released and gone.

A torrential rainfall greeted the drive home.  I had packed up to hit the gym after work and as I snaked along the highway at a leisurely pace the exhaustion of the day began to settle in.  News of the young soldier who was gunned down at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa filtered in over the radio.  Like the majority of Canadians I felt a deep sadness settle upon me.

I came home and let the sofa envelope me as a I fell into a light sleep.

A half hour later I got up and made dinner and watched the news of the days events.

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This photo was taken a few minutes before Corporal Cirillo was gunned down.

 

A gunman with ties to some radical ‘religion’, ,and I use the term loosely, had killed Cpl. Cirillo then waltzed over to the Parliament to shoot up the place.

Why?

And you know, being chosen to stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a huge honour for those selected.  The guns they carry don’t have bullets in them.  They stand for those who’ve fallen in combat.

Whatever entity the gunman felt he was serving and that will embrace him in the afterlife won’t be a fair and just one, of this, I’m certain.

A young man, a soldier, father, son, brother, friend, lover had his life stolen

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And as I crawled into bed all I could wonder was why?

Twenty-four hours had passed and now I lay mourning a young man I’d never met who was everything to so many, whose energy was fabulous.

Rest in peace Cpl. Cirillo.

 

Truth and Wimsy


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Jayne and I sat in a lovely restaurant on Friday evening enjoying our meal.

We can easily agree to disagree and I love the debates we engage in.

She doesn’t always share my point of view and often challenges it.

This is one of the things I love about her.

She challenges me to look deeper and think actually how I in fact deduce and entertain my reasoning.

I love debates, I love the thought process and I love to be challenged in some manner as it only assists in my growth. While I may well have some very strong opinions I am always open to new ideas and concepts.

Do you want to save the world from itself?

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I watch the news and see all that ails and plagues this planet of ours. And while I realize the news program being viewed has been designed to entertain to some degree, that they’ve taken a host of stories and then decided how they are going to be delivered, as it is a business after all.

I recall watching Walter Cronkite deliver the news in my youth. You could see news people in the background of the newsroom at their desks, smoking cigarettes and moving about gathering information as it came in. Camera shots moved in a little closer to isolate the ‘background’ disturbances.

There was a certain trust back in those days that the news being delivered was based on fact.

The age of flower power was then ushered in. Young people were rising up questioning all the propaganda that had been fed to them. Furthermore, they weren’t buying it.

Many of us thought there was a better way. The utopian dream was born.

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No more fighting, no wars, no more power struggles and we would all live equally and in harmony with one another. For a brief moment I think I believed it was possible.

This news of a new initiative to remove the insidious actions that mankind had been doling out since the beginning of our time on this planet blinded me for a moment.

It wouldn’t be that easy. You cannot erase eons of conditioning just like that.

If you are raised to believe in a certain ideology it is very hard to challenge it, let alone change it.

I had spent a lifetime wanting to feel completely comfortable in my own skin.

Prior to my caner diagnosis, I had begun to feel as if I finally reached that pinnacle. Things were beginning to settle into place and I’d never felt more at peace with myself as when I embarked on the training for the ½ Marathon.

Then just as quickly has that illusion emerged it was gone.

Cancer will do that to you. The body was now under siege.

And so I began to look deeper.

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I’m not the insecure and naïve girl I was some twenty plus years ago and my views on this world that we live in have changed considerably.

I am more than just the flesh that houses my soul, my spirit. Yet I want that sense of unity with the sum of all my parts.

I look at this world and some of the major issues that we are facing today. Ebola is raging through West Africa and I wonder why we’re not applying the knowledge and remedies we have gained in the Americas with those who are most vulnerable is really beyond me.

The death count seems to double every couple of weeks. The sad thing is the people living there aren’t really aware of what a crisis this has become consequently becoming very vulnerable to infection. And even the removal and disposal of those infected who’ve died must be done quite delicately so as not to infect the living.

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And we watch in animated horror and it doesn’t really affect us, now does it?

Or will it?

One man on a flight to the U.S. had this virus…now two nurses who attended to his care have contracted it. He has since died.

Ebola has made its appearance here in North America. We’re not so complacent any longer. Those tendrils of fear now begin to spread.

I recall a few years back when we had the SARS outbreak. That one came over from Asia.

And the next thing you know the latest fashion trend was the surgical face mask.

Back to the news of the day.

Then of course all the atrocities that are being committed against mankind are reflected as well.

Is the vision that I hold of this world an honest one?

It’s debatable as are most things.

I suppose that’s why I’m exploring the human equation.

I challenge the idea of an ‘eye for an eye’.

Think about this statement. You take one of my eyes out and I’ll take one of yours. It balances out the conflict. We are back on an even playing field, yes?

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Or are we?

We pray that the rights and freedoms we’ve fought so hard for will not be stripped from us, yet governments of the day quietly pass laws stripping them from us as it is no longer ‘cost effective’ to have them in place.

And they’ll commission a study group lead by an ‘independent’ advocate of the government to review the issue…just for good measure and spend just few more precious tax dollars to ensure that all their bases are covered.

When conflict or a threat of some kind occurs close to home we suddenly feel very vulnerable and everyone is suspect. As a nation we don’t like to feel that frailty, as an individual we are horrified and fearful.

I feel incredibly small in comparison to the next layer of life that will be revealed, as it is a moment and it’s fleeting.

I haven’t been guaranteed anything regarding this life and why should I be?

I have this day and it’s mine to live.

We have our truths and much like the interpretation of a painting, a sketch, a poem and so on, truth is just as subjective.

And I’m still striving to find my authentic truth, that place where I am confident that all the energy I exude in a day is being utilized in a manner that will benefit all that surrounds me. That I am connected to this world of ours and those that inhabit it in a manner that is positive and honest.

And that’s all I can do at the moment.

Thanks for stopping and many blessings.

Peace.

 

Move Like….Gumby?


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The thought occurred as I was escalating up the escalator.

“You gotta move like Gumby, move like Gumby…you gotta moooooove like Gumby!

I have been telling myself this quite a bit lately.  “Just move, girl.  Just get up and move.  Walk, dance, do something!”

When did this become so freakin’ hard?

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I’m having to reschedule when I ‘move’ and I definitely need to do it more often.

The new job has found me with my head in the books pretty much the entire day.  Oh, I take bathroom breaks and run up and down the stairs from time to time and feed myself when hunger occurs.

I’m working in an industrial park with a lot of green space around me, however, with only a half hour allotted for lunch I can’t really get a good walk in.

But perhaps a 15 to 20 minute power walk could work.

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I’ve decided to get up a half hour earlier to do a brief workout in my living room.  It’s a start.  I am running with my group again and it has been brutal.

I’ve finally accepted what my body has been trying to tell me for the last six months.  “Slow down and start over.”

I was talking with Deborah who is one of the run leaders tonight about this.  Both she and her husband Peter have had health issues over the years and it’s tough.  You just want to get over with being ‘sick’ and get back to your life.

My head was convinced that I could just pick up where I left off and I think I really wanted to believe just that.  The last six months as I have tried to just push through the damage caused as a result of treatment I have finally conceded that fact.

Yup, it took a little while to sink in.  I don’t always want to see what is glaringly in front of me.

I really wanted to treat the whole cancer debacle as just a minor inconvenience.  I have accepted that it was little more than that.  I have accepted that physically I’ve taken a bit of a beating.  And I’ve accepted that regaining my health is going to be a little painful for a while.

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So it’s back to the beginning.  I want to move like Gumby.  I want to be all twisty bendy without the feeling like the tin man.

And I shall!