Sound of Music and our little girl

Ava has been singing since she was a baby- that is how she would wake up in her crib, singing:) We knew that it would be great to expose her to singing with others and receiving professional trg. At age 4 she joined the Calgary Girls Choir and loved singing with others, she had her first experience on stage at the Christmas concert. We moved to Vernon in 2010 and our friends introduced us to Melina Moore and the Mini-Divas:) Voice and Musical Theatre lessons for ages 6-8. Ava was only 5 and couldn’t read her music yet but had some experience with the choir so she was accepted in to the program. Every 6 weeks or so they would get to sing either solo or in duet at a recital in a church. She memorized her songs and her confidence grew as it went along. The Mini-Divas played a small part in the year end production – Pirates of Penzance, at the Power House Theatre. Learning to focus on her music while looking at the audience was fun.

This past fall, there wasn’t the routine recitals because of the Christmas production of the Sound of Music. Ava auditioned for the role of Gretl, and we were very excited for her to have a part in such a wonderful musical. 3 practices/week, late school nights and saturday afternoons. She was getting tired, however she absolutely loved every minute of it. She would refer to everyone in the cast (when off cast) by their stage names, Leisl, Marta, Maria etc. The 3 months of practice ended in 3 shows within 24 hrs at the Performing Arts Centre and a 4th show on New Years at Sparkling Hill Resort.

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Watching her perform on stage (mics attached) in front of hundreds of people was very emotional. I was nervous for her, excited for her and most of all very proud. She held her own up there, knew her lines and held her notes wonderfully. It was very exciting to see all her hard work pay off in the end. The support staff, directors and other actors were a great group of people for Ava to be surrounded by.

Standing ovations were given at the end, the Nuns voices and humour was great, wittiness of Max, the charming children, brave Captain Von Trapp and the voice that moved everyone – Maria (Melina Moore). Her voice really has a life of it’s own and wowed the audience.

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Scene from Sparkling Hill New Years Eve Performance

Scene from Sparkling Hill New Years Eve Performance

Post Show, collecting flowers and signing autographs:)

Post Show, collecting flowers and signing autographs:)

We don’t know how long Ava will have this passion for singing, however I know that for what ever that time will be, we will be encouraging and cheering her on, along the way.

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Good Decisions

Since I signed up for IM Coeur d’Alene in this summer, I told myself I really want to blog and record this year of trg, the good the bad and everything in between. So I started with a blog over my week off in the start of August and then I have been thinking about it every since. So now on the plane back from SLC in Dallas I am going to review some decisions and events related to IM training since then.

I knew that I wanted and new bike for the race so I asked my coach to keep an eye out for anyone he knew selling one and maybe an end of season sale. Not more than 10 days later he texted me saying “I think I found the best deal ever for you”. His step dad was selling his bike- a FELT TT Bike (hip surgery and no longer able to get in aero position-only 400km on the bike and I was in a position to get a 6k bike for 2.5k!). Timing was great-I was in Calgary went to try it out, see if it would fit me and bingo, I bought the bike-big decision🙂

new bike for IM

My new TT bike for IM!

A week later Luke fit me for the bike and I was off for my first ride. I felt a little like trg wheels- riding in aero position was a lot different than my road bike position. Different for my neck-back, shoulders and my soft tissue:) I rode about an hour the first time-just getting used to switching gears, not having brakes right at my finger tips in aero position, getting my water bottle from a really awkward spot etc. What I loved was how light the bike was, the gears switched must faster and efficiently and I could tell with practice this would help me go much faster. I took it for one more ride before the Apple Olympic Tri on Aug 19th. I wasn’t sure (decision time again)  if I should ride the FELT for the race being so new to it and being a bit uncomfortable still with the saddle but since I wasn’t so concerned about my time-I thought it would be good experience.

That brings me to the race day (Apple Olympic Tri)-I have always dreaded the possibility that I might not be able to wear a wet suit for this race (if the water temp is over 22 degrees-no wetsuits allowed-it was 23 deg:(

So I had to decide if I was going to even do the race- I knew I could do it with the wetsuit but non-wetsuit (no help in the buoyancy dept, was scary). I decided I have not much to lose- it would be  a good experience so I got up the next morning drove into Kelowna-totally nervous and got ready for the race. Only plus side was no fighting to get the wet suit on or off before and during the race. Well, I did the swim but it was pathetically slow and I think took more out of me than I thought it would. I was excited to get out onto my new bike-but just didn’t feel as good as I normally due after I have exited the lake (my least fav part of the race). I tried a new bar on the bike ride and don’t think it sat well in my stomach. It was getting really warm- I was drinking possibly too much water-it was getting really hot. It was fun to see my family with posters and cheering on the side line one each loop of the bike.

Smiling for my family cheering me on:)

Patiently waiting for me to come by again on my bike

I got on the run, and normally this is challenging but not dreadful. It was getting super hot by this time – over 30 degrees and I was feeling not good. During the first lap I was wondering how I was going to do another one. I saw warren and said – I have never walked in a race and today I think I am going to possibly walk more than run:(  I did walk a lot on the second one-legs hurt but stomach hurt even more. I made it thru I didn’t quit-big decision– but felt awful.

so not having fun but almost at the finish line.

I really didn’t feel better until about 45min after and I drank a mountain dew ( haven’t had pop in ages-but I was craving sweet and my body loved it). I still haven’t checked my results on that race:( There is always a rainbow after the rain and this is what happened after that race. Laura Medcalf was at the race cheering on her husband and saw Warren and the kids cheering on me-she saw how I wasn’t looking really good and my facebook post after on how I wasn’t pleased with results. At this stage I had only seen Laura at the pool-she works and coaches there and at school-her son Max was in Ava’s grade 1 class. However she has done IM before, multiple triathlons and was doing IMC the following weekend. She sent me one of the most inspirational messages to me via Facebook-regarding that race.

“Great job yesterday! I know it wasn’t exactly the day that you expected. 
Every challenging race, or workout that you don’t really want to finish, that you really have to talk yourself through, over the next 9 months is like putting money in the bank. The reality is that you are not always going to want to swim, ride, or run, but you will do it, because you know that every stroke, or step you take in training will bring you one step closer to your big day. 
When you are out there racing IM, it could be unpredictable, you might get wind, heat, bitter cold, etc… But, you’ll be able to look back on a few really tough workouts or races over the past year, and you’ll remember that you are strong enough to get through it, and you will. 

See you around I’m sure.”
Laura

This message made me smile and get a little emotional. It was another example of the type of people in the triathlon community – great great people. I had been thinking of asking her for private lessons for the fall and this just finalized that decision. I asked if she would be available to coach me 1-1 in the pool. She said yes and we could start in mid september.

The following week we had our summer end conf in Van, on the way back we stopped in Penticton to see some finishers at IMC. So so inspiring, Laura was under 12hrs, Luke was in 9.5 and Sister Madonna Buder set a new record, oldest female (82 yrs old) completed it in 16.5hrs! It was inspiring and a bit scary for me to know I was going to actually be doing this in less than a year.

One week later, we were going camping in Penticton with my bro and I decided it would be a great idea to ride my bike there-It was about 115km-meet warren and the kids. My vision of the ride was into Kelowna, pit stop in KL, then up into West KL, then down and around the lake into Penticton- no problem-ya right:) So the ride to KL was good, into KL was good, pit stop was good at starbucks-green iced tea and snack, but on the way up into West KL-thighs were starting to burn and soft tissue was not so soft-really starting to get hard to sit in aero. It was hot, windy and was taking longer than I thought. The down and around was down but the around was up and up and up. By 90km I called warren and said please come get me-I can’t sit anymore. This was just prior to Summerland. Well I got into Summerland came screaming down the hill and he picked me up at 104km. I sat in the lake-to help my legs and was tired. This is where I was starting to get really concerned about my saddle on my FELT.

A fantastic part of that weekend was Ava completing her second KOS triathlon in Summerland on the Sunday, so proud of her. 50m lake swim, 1.5km bike and 500m run. She had so much fun!

So proud of Ava, her second KOS triathlon.

I had one more 2.5hr ride and after the bruising I knew I needed a new saddle. So I got a new one and have had 2 rides since, one 2.5hrs and it is way better. So I am hoping for the best.

I started my private swim lessons 3 weeks ago and have had 6 sessions so far, BEST DECISION in regards to my fear of this swim that I have ever made. It has been so great to get immediate feedback and work on specific areas to me. I am feeling so much more confident and excited about the swimming practices to come. I was dreading the pool-felt like I was drowning and when she told me it’s not so much fitness as it is technique-I just felt this was a big piece of the puzzle for me in this journey.

I can say that I am now 100% engrossed in IM, what you focus on expands and I am seeing it everywhere. I am showing the videos in meetings, reading about latest posts and just getting super into it all. I am feeling stronger and am growing in many ways as I create time to get trg in, see my family and grow my business.

Bought this hat over 10 yrs ago while cheering on Teri and Adlai at IMC. In the back of my mind, I said one day I will do this race.

Ironman Couer d’Alene 2013-I signed up – Let the Adventure Begin:)

So this wasn’t at all how I envisioned signing up for my first IM. I was asked by a colleague about doing a triathlon in Couer d’Alene next year-2013, so I checked it out and it was only a 6.5hr drive from our place and I could of sworn I saw on the web a 70.3 option. So I thought- that will definitely be a challenge for me, I have only done an Olympic distance and the swim in that one was hard enough-so I knew 70.3 would be tough for me.  I just had a friend do a 70.3 and I was very inspired. So I agree and say, ya we will go, Warren and I. Then I go to sign up and realize there isn’t a 70.3 option at all-I can’t find it anywhere. I email Wes and say, “ya know I only intended on doing the half and IM Canada is only like an hour from my place-that was the one I thought I would do-and it wasn’t going to be for a long time from now. I also said, now I know what you are going to say , suck it up, do it anyway” Keep in mind he has done an IM already and multiple 70.3’s.  Sure enough he replied with every other person that was doing it and some that were more out of tri-shape than me, as well as two words, RESULTS OR REASONS. I analyzed it for 3 days, should I, should I not, should I, should I not???

I get home and tell Warren I can’t stop thinking about it. Do I want to do it  because everyone else is, am I wanting to do it because I don’t want to face the other guys and say no I wasn’t ready for that yet- I chickened out, or am I doing it because it’s on my dreams list, from the day I saw Teri and Adlai do it, and I have thought about doing it someday. The pride and accomplishment I see on people’s faces when they finish IM, or when I talk to them and they say I have done an IM (how they light up). Is it because of who I know I need to become in order to train, grow my business, be a great mom to my kids and wife to my husband, sacrifice in the short term for a bigger long term goal, get good at swimming and enjoy my life at the same time in the next 12 months? What a great way to bring in the 40th year of my life, doing an IM (shut the front door!) :).

I met a very inspiring woman in the pool about a month ago (people come into your life for a reason at the right time). Kara Dickson- we were in the change room and she saw my race cap, and asked if I do triathlon. I said well.. I have done a few and only one olympic distance. I looked at her cap and it said Ironman-I said you do ironman:) She said ya, I think she said she has done 7 and is now trg for the Ultraman, a 3 day epic triathlon, way longer than an IM:

Day One:
10K (6.2miles) swim across Skaha Lake in Penticton.
144.8 K (90 mile) bike ride
(total time allotted for finish: 12 Hours)

Day Two:
275.4 K (171.4 mile) bike ride (gulp…..)
(total time allotted for finish: 12 Hours)

Day Three:
84.3 K (52.4 mile) run…….
(total time allotted for finish: 12 Hours)
So I was like WOW, then I asked if she had kids-she said yes 3 and she was not yet 40, I think 38. She is a maternity Nurse as well-now this is someone who inspires me, not only does she compete at IM distance but she has a family and a FT job.  She said to me, “don’t analyze it, just do it. You can do IM”. She got me thinking. Then I was working in Starbucks the next day and guess who comes in-Kara. She comes over we chat and she says to me, if you want to keep in touch here is a great way, my blog. My ultra-efficient Ultraman Journey, http://www.ultramanmom.blogspot.ca/ and of course Facebook. So I added her on FB and have been reading her blog ever since. Very inspiring human being she is.  So needless to say, on the 3 days of analyzing should I do the IM, I was thinking a lot about what she said, don’t analyze it, just do it. Then Warren and I talked about it, he said I should do it, I said I don’t know, I said I wonder if Luke (my coach with balancepointracing) thinks I can do it.  So I walk out of the room and who does Warren call- Luke:) He  asks him what he thought, could I do it? Luke said, well….with her travel schedule and family commitments it would be challenging. Then he asked me, was my goal to do my best and hit my potential or just to do it? I said it was to do it-he said, yes you can do it. Even with my horrendous swimming ability? he said ya we have time to work on that. So with that and Warren’s support (as this is not just my journey-it’s me and my family’s sacrifice, adventure and journey), I signed Up! June 24th, 2013.
I immediately called Teri and told her and asked for her advice and opinion. She was excited for me.
Then on a call with my life/business coach and dear friend Jon Vroman, he said to me something that really stood out and resonated with me (something that was said to him once), “I am jealous of the person you will become in the results of making this big decision in your life. The minute you commit to the decision, is the second your life is no longer the same” That really is the reason I am doing this. I know when I want to lead others, I need to lead through action. I will need to be better at all parts of my life to pursue this. When I want to show my kids that when you put your mind to something and work hard at it, anything is possible. Also to show my kids how we all support each other on the journey to achieving our dreams, to becoming the best version of ourselves. I know that proximity is power and by getting around the people in the triathlon community, I am surrounding myself with positive, healthy, fit and inspiring people. I want more of that in my life. I work with a lot of inspiring people with Vector (absolutely love what I do and the opportunity I am given) but this is a different and will only help me grow. It will really have me living my favourite quote – “Be the change you wish to see in the world” or at least doing my best to do that.
I am going to take all the advice I give people I work with in regards to setting goals. Get a coach learn from the best-get a plan and someone to hold you accountable (check), stick it around you everywhere, in your car, on your desk, in the bathroom (need to do that), post your reasons-know your WHY, make it really good-good enough to keep you going when it get’s tough, enlist support from the right people (check-husband, friends, coach, boss, kids),  visualize how I will feel and look coming across that finish line, then start working the plan. I’m excited and scared, very scared:) Just like the quote says, We only grow when we are challenged, that’s where the Magic Happens:)
 This is living life in the front row, let the Journey begin!

The Power of saying NO

Some may think it’s more difficult to say yes to everything but after having a conversation with a good friend of mine and doing some reflection over the last few months, I disagree. I think it’s way more challenging to say NO to most things that come your way than to say yes. Saying yes is easy, some “yes” people want to please those around them, some may want to be “in the know” of what’s happening so they say yes, some feel bad for not saying yes, some really really want to take part in all that life has to offer and for some it’s all of the above.

Something that I have been struggling with for quite awhile is deciding what to say yes and what to say no to. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying one of his strengths and thus apples, “wasn’t all the things they did, but it was all the things they didn’t do.”  

It’s easier just to say yes, however at what cost? Are you really staying true to you and your priorities and goals. Do you feel more satisfied with taking on more or by doing less and doing those fewer things with more presence and engagement? I think there will always be times in our lives when we need to take on a few more things and be involved in a few more groups/events. However, when we are aligned with what is important to us and what gives us the most energy and stay true to that, we live a much more enjoyable life. Our days feel just as full as they would if we were involved in everything. I think it holds true for who we talk to and who we choose not to (of talk less to). I have heard many times, we become what we read and who we talk to. 

I am grateful for all the opportunities I have been given and the wonderful network of people I have come to be associated with (and get excited about growing that network). I also feel that building the “NO” muscle is just as important to our long term happiness. It feels good to stick to what important to you, not necessarily in the short term, but definitely in the long term:)

How to Break Through

The Breakthrough Issue of YES Magazine - Winter 2012

We were given a subscription “YES” magazine and it is has some wonderful stories on how much difference one person that is committed can make in the world.
The first issue of 2012 is titled,“The Breakthrough”. Many of the comments made by various individuals really resonated with me. I feel they align with how I feel about people being the change, not just talking about the change they wish to see in the world.

HOW TO BREAK THROUGH

“It’s precisely the people who are considered the least ‘likely’ leaders who end up inspiring others the most. Everyday people and everyday acts of courage eventually change everything.”
Ai-jen Poo-Organizing Labor – With Love

 

“Hope is the most important thing that people need to regain. I just want to be one example of someone who overcame hardships—one source of hope. That’s all we need to start seeing possibilities for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.”
Henry Red Cloud – Solar Warrior

“Throughout history, social change—abolition,
suffrage, civil rights, and worker rights—has
depended on the work of millions of people. We are
called today to build another such movement for a
just society—and each and every person can make a
unique and powerful contribution.”
Deepak Bhargava – A Voice for the Grassroots Inside the Beltway

“Go out and take action regardless of how
perfect your initial project will be … go into action,
because we as a society have got to the point
where we like to sit around and plan things and do
feasibility studies and lock them away in a closet.
Now is the era for going into action.”
Will Allen – Growing Justice in Food Deserts

“Most people want to see immediate results from our work. At the Institute, we like to joke with each other: ‘If you’re working on something you can finish in your lifetime, you’re not asking the right questions.'”
Wes Jackson – The Seeds of a Perennial Revolution

 

“Believe that the world can change, and commit to your part of the solution. Look at the world with clear eyes, but remain hopeful, and celebrate! When you feel challenged, reach out and reach in.”
May Boeve – Friendship to Carry us Through Crisis

 

“I believe in the 3/4-baked philosophy. People chase perfection—trying to ‘fully bake’ their ideas before they share them with the world. Too many people end up never sharing their ideas, songs, dreams, novels, and inventions. The 3/4-baked philosophy is about finding that right time to share your work—letting the community fully bake it. The more you do this, the more you put yourself out there, the more success you have.”
Jason F. McLennan – Bringing Buildings to Life

“In practice, there is no grand chasm to cross. Just do the small act of kindness for the person in front of you, right now. Small acts may or may not change the world, but they definitely change you. And when you look at the world with fresh eyes, it’s a whole new realm of possibilities.”
Nipun Mehta – An Economy to Feed Your Soul

“I kept showing up because something about the work fed my soul …
Everyone can show up for something. And who knows where it will lead?”
Alison Smith – Elections Money Can’t Buy

 

“Have big dreams but focus only on what you can control: your own thoughts, words and actions. This was Gandhi’s way … in the words of Buddhist poet Gary Snyder,
our job is to move the world a millionth of an inch.”
Eboo Patel – Crossing the Divide..With Faith

“Never think you can’t do something, without even trying it first”
Lucas Benitez – Dignity in the Fields

 

 

“My light doesn’t shine bigger than anybody else’s. Kindle the light in other people, so we shine together. The light from all of us will transform the darkness of ignorance and greed in our world into compassion and joy.”
Lily Yeh

 

“We must be convinced that the power of ideas is greater than that of the Pentagon and political parties. We must embrace the conviction that each one of us has the power within us to create the world anew.
Grace Boggs – 96 years of New Ideas

Insight from pro-triathlete-Melanie McQuaid

Comments below taken from Tri Canada Magazine-Jan/Feb Issue, Melanie talks about her collapse just before the finish line at the 2011 Xterra Worlds in Maui

Excellence is a continual journey up a staircase where there is no top step. Every time you think you are getting closer to the top, you are presented with a new, and better, potential self. Sometimes you can’t even see what you could become until you take another step. Who you are today is nothing compared to who you could become tomorrow. You just have to keep focused on looking to find that potential. You will only find your maximum potential when you stop trying to improve.
 
When I prepare for races, I am only concerned with preparing myself. I don’t look at the competition. I look to how I can be at my absolute best. When I get to the finish line the tank should be empty.That way you are exposing your true potential.
 
Fear of failure is a funny thing. It is like a governor on your body that will always prevent it’s top speed. You will never know how fast you could be unless you put it all out there. You might believe you could of really done something but unless you really go for it you don’t know. You have to go out there and show yourself what you are really capable of. Even if it means you fail. Who cares about the lesser expectation that you might of achieved? It was less.
 
My mind is trained to turn my body’s complaints about discomfort off. Racing to unconsciousness basically indicates that I have the ability to use my mind to push my body further than it’s actual limits. I am completely stoked to learn that I have that skill.
You should never underestimate the power of disappointment.

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck”
Dalai Lama

This article spoke to me because I am getting more serious about triathlons, I love her discipline and passion for pursuing her best and all her potential. Great example of mind over matter (or discomfort). What a champion:) http://www.racergirl.com/

Reflecting, Learning, Growing and getting Clarity for 2012

What did I love about 2011?

  • Committed Triathlon training (hired a coach)
  • Failing 1st Sprint Tri and then completing a sprint Tri the following weekend
  • First Olympic distance Triathlon(despite fear of lengthy open water swimming)
  • Kaslo weekend with immediate and extended family (family, sun, campfires)
  • Great Concerts with wonderful people, U2 (Kyle, Warren and Kari), Pearl Jam (2x (Chris then Charltons) and the best of the best Bridge Benefit Concert(Warren and I)
  • Scotland and Ireland
  • Wrap Up Message (inspired from Steve Jobs) in Niagara Falls
  • Ava- grade one, loving French Emersion, continuing to sing
  • Declan-pre-school and loving it, becoming his own person
  • Cycling a lot with Warren
  • Half Marathon with family and friends (Warren, Kari, Brent, Emeka, Sally, Arman, Mateo)
  • 30 day challenge in Sept. (read 30 pages/day and 30 push ups/day)
  • Dad here for Xmas
  • FRF Gala in April
  • Thomas NewZealand FRF Experience
  • Love where I live
  • increasing my knowledge and passion for mind-body connection
  • more raw food in our diet
  • cross country skiing

What did I accomplish?

  • 1 sprint and 1 Olympic Tri
  • 1/2 Marathon
  • increased communication with Warren on where we are going, our relationship and family
  • Sent Kristine to UPW
  • Set up with financial investor (wealth mgmt)
  • Eating better
  • started to blog

What do I want to duplicate?

Disciplined Triathlon Trg, Mommy Daughter Dates, continued awareness of health

What did I hate in 2011 (or challenging)?

  • Arguing about finances
  • Non-sales growth in business, (however growth in relationships)
  • Didn’t get swim lessons
  • a lot of travel with work
  • Nanny situation
  • Comparing myself to others
  • Lack of clarity with priorities
  • Did not hit all my 2011 goals

Lessons learned

  • Not to quit when at first you don’t succeed,mind over matter and belief is many times the solution
  • Exercise, Eating well and time with family and friends is top priority for me to thrive
  • Finances are important to me
  • My Feminine side needs to come out more
  • Reading inspires me
  • coaching and mentorship key to many areas of success
  • Warren loves me a lot
  • Discipline creates lifestyle and satisfaction
  • I work with wonderful people
  • I thrive in giving back

What will 2012 be about for me

  • Find another Tri coach (goal to do Olympic Distance under 2:45)
  • Become a better leader
  • Dream with other leaders in my organization
  • create magic moments for others
  • Grow the people I Influence
  • Run another 1/2 marathon
  • Fundraise in Western Canada at least 30k for Front Row
  • Establish FRF Canada
  • Go to Disneyland with our Family
  • Go to Maui with our family (free due to work)
  • Read 52 Books
  • Family and Business Finances to the next exciting level
  • Get a tri bike
  • See DMB at the Gorge
  • Celebrate my Dads 60th Bday
  • Ocean Kayaking
  • planned time (at least 2hrs/week) with family
  • Dive more into CVI, to coach on it and use it to grow myself and others
  • Utilize Business Mastery
  • Plan each day and week before I live it
  • Tell more people I love them and I am grateful for them in my life