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.




For the Love of…

dream 4I dreamed of a joy so great,

The world could see me now,

Just as I am,

I was not afraid to say ‘This is me.’

I loved who I had become and who I realized I had always been.

Too many years were spent hiding,

Behind a wall of doubt,

Dreasms1Too many tears were shed,

Absorbing the cruel barbs that were thrown out in judgement.

And I allowed those words into my fragile heart,

Let them settle, fester and burn.

Forgiveness whispered softly to let love in,

That moment of reckoning when you look in the mirror,

And see your own reflection, your own truth,

I opened the flood gates then,

dreams 2The universe poured forth an abundance of love and washed the stains of past judgements away,

And in truth, it was not the words of others that had done the most damage,

But rather my own.

The head a harsh taskmaster on a bruised ego,

The heart opened saying ‘Let go.’

And for love I did.

Now joy is mine, no more a dream,

As I surrender to the light.

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In Traing (Day 83)….Just Breathe!

Lions Gate BridgeI did it!  The legs are coming back!  I am feeling so strong right now too.  I rose a little after 6:00 AM this morning and prepared for my run.

As planned I parked my car at English Bay then took a cab to the starting point.  I had wanted to start running around 7:00 AM but it was about 7:50 AM by the time I began.  I was just hoping the legs would feel pretty good and they did.

The emotions that ran through me today were just amazing.  My daughter turns 30 years old tomorrow and I reflected on what has transpired over the span of these last 30 years since I entered into my role as a mother.  It has been one hell of a ride!  Many lessons have been learned along the way.  Some were easier than others.

And as I ran today I completed my longest run to date.  I am stoked.  The emotions that passed through me… the doubt and the resolve and persistence to keep going.  And somewhere in that mix was the belief and wonder that I can still do this.

I thought of where I started with my daughter almost 30 years to the day.  It wasn’t a planned pregnancy and I was on my own.  The fear and the guilt weighed heavy on me.  Was I being selfish?

So many mixed emotions because in truth, I had no clue just what the hell I was doing. One Tree Island

She slept in a laundry basket for the first three weeks of her life as I scrounged around pulling together the basics.  Those nights when I would stare down at this beautiful life that was gifted to me.

Somehow I knew I had to make this work for her.  Somehow I had to correct the dysfunction that revolved around me.  I had been a cloud of ineptitude, a fractured being whose emotional state seemed to be in a constant state of flux.

I begged for love.  Watched it pass me by time and again, but then I didn’t really understand love at all.  I was confused by it.  Afraid of it.  At times I felt its power and then shrank back overwhelmed and unable to open myself completely to its beauty.

And now here I am, blossoming. The heart is opening fully and expanding.Seawall

Sometimes I wonder what it was I feared but when you are told throughout your formative years that you are just not worth it, well, it can do a number on you.

And now I accept that I have done some amazing things in this life!  I have come so far and I have so much more before me.  With each step I took, at times the burden seemed to be too much.   And I would dig a little deeper.  I had to.

And today was no different.  As the legs at times felt like lead weights, I pushed through it.  And when I finished I felt like I could fly.  Along with feeling stronger and having the best run in the last three weeks my confidence soared reassuring me that I will be able to do this.  It may not look the way I initially thought, but isn’t that joy of any journey?

It is a spectacular day outside and I  have a few errands still to do.  Enjoy your day and thank you for stopping by.  Many blessings to all of you!

English Bay




I opened my eyes and thought is was pretty light outside for 5:00 AM.  The Sun must have gotten up even earlier I smiled to myself…then I rolled over and looked at my alarm.  6:04 AM.  That is what it read.  I jumped from my bed…’how can this be?’  It would appear I did not set my alarm last night before going to bed.  Now the funny thing is I am usually quite manic about this.  I will set it, wonder if I set it, then set it again.  So I would imagine somewhere in my head last night I was convinced that I did in fact set the silly thing.

The other option is that I did set it and at some point during the night I turned it off.

That’s okay…I can hit the gym after work today.

We ran trails last night down at Spanish Banks…my God, was it ever glorious!  The only thing I don’t like is that we have to warm up on a big hill….but once I get my heart rate up and convince my body that running up the side of a mountain (I am exaggerating) is good for it…then I settled into this fabulous canter through the woods.  I just love how it smells as well.  The earthy scent, the perfume from the trees and bushes.  Absolute heaven!

I am very fortunate in that I have been chosen to participate in Rick Hansen’s 25th Anniversary Relay commemorating his achievements over the past quarter century.  For those of you not familiar with Rick Hansen, he was injured in an automobile accident when he was a teenager and confined to a wheelchair.  Inspired by Terry Fox, whom I am certain most have heard of and is another hero of mine, Rick decided in 1986 to wheel around the world in his wheelchair to raise awareness and funding for spinal cord research.  The trek was called ‘The Man In Motion” tour  and he traveled some 40,000 km over the course of a year around the world.  The song ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ was written for Rick as well.

When Rick Hansen left there was a small gathering at Oakridge Mall which is located at Cambie and 41st in the City.  Like Terry Fox before him, I made it a point to tune into the newshour to see how he was faring.  As Rick continued on his trek, the crowds he was drawing were bigger and bigger.  By the time he hit the East coast of Canada the momentum really began to explode and when Rick made his way back into Vancouver (I am tearing up bit now at the memory of it) the streets were lined ten fold to welcome him home.

He is also one of the most humble and gracious individuals ever to step into the spotlight to promote his cause.  During the 2010 Olympics I was at the opening ceremony for the Para0lympics.  Rick was a big part of that and homage was paid to Terry Fox as well, someone Rick really looked up to and admired.  These two fine individuals were definitely cut from the same cloth.  Despite their afflictions they both chose to challenge themselves and the world around them.  They both rose to the occasion and surpassed it.

So I feel blessed that I was chosen to be a part of this extraordinary celebration.  I am only running 250 metres, but that’s okay.  Even if it was one step…I would still want to participate and honour this cause and the giant of a man who initiated it.

I was thinking how we project ourselves to world.  I am able bodied, I always have been and yet, for many years I was ‘disabled’ in how I presented myself to the world.  Because of the emotional fractures in my life and how they had left me a in state where I really just could not cope…this affected my physical body in a big way as well.

I have had so many people touch my life in a positive way, particularly in this past year.  And I realize that my heart is made up of the mosaic of love that has been afforded to me from all the good people I have met in my lifetime.

What do I want to project now?

I want project acceptance, love, tolerance, peace, friendship…and the list could go on.

So as I am running my 250 metres this Friday, that is what I hope to be putting out to the world around me.

Enjoy your day everyone and thanks for checking in.