This is 10

Today Si turns 10!

10 trips around the sun for this ball of fire. She brought energy in to our world the minute she was born and she hasn’t taken a pause since. Yes- sometimes this energy can be difficult to parent, but I would never change her for anything. She has taught me so much in the way of motherhood, patience, compassion and self-acceptance. She is one strong-willed girl and I genuinely hope this is a trait she holds on to.

She has been faced with challenges that I wish as her mom I could solve and take away: but through the struggles, living and lessons, she continues to persevere: building, strengthening, learning.

I have a feeling that the next 10 years will be filled with a different level of learning as we enter the tween/teen years. I am excited for her future, and scared shitless at the same time. I wish I could freeze time now, to get all those life lessons in before her little self becomes too impressionable, too caught up, too…. But here I pause and pray and hope that as we go through this life as parents that we are doing the best we possibly can to ensure we teach our kids morals, values, strength, compassion and most of all so much love. Love that we have for them, that they have for others- and most of all, that they reserve the most love for themselves.

Sienna,

On your 10th birthday and always, I wish you all the love the world has to give you. I wish for you to stay true to you and never let anyone or anything get in your way of your own happiness. Stay strong my girl. But not so strong that you close your world to emotion, too feeling. This world has a funny way of teaching us lessons: sometimes they hurt, sometimes they don’t seem fair, sometimes they are the best thing ever. Through every ounce of them you are learning, you are growing…just try and look for the lessons. Eventually they shine through.

I know this year will get better for you. I know that you are doing everything you can to get through the lows to build higher highs. You will soar. I know you will. You have the ability to not let up when you want something- and because of this, I know you will be extraordinary.

Thank you for teaching me about what persistence looks like. Thank you for teaching me about confidence- in your words, in your actions, in yourself. Thank you for teaching me what it is to love- unconditionally. Thank you for teaching me how to be a better mom to you.

I am here for you always. No matter what. Please don’t ever forget that.

Happy Birthday my sweet girl.

~6 months old~

All my Love,

Mom

One Day at a Time

You know those years: The ones that keep on handing you cards that test you. To test how you’ll adapt, how you’ll ‘roll with the punches.’ That’s the year we have been dealt. 2019 has given us many opportunities to sink: Many opportunities to say fuck it: Many opportunities to give up hope. But instead of succumbing to the negatives, we are trying to find the light. We are building strength and learning lessons along the way. We are at the point where only laughing at said cards seems appropriate; and with this reaction we know that we are going to be alright.

Over the past months, our motto has quickly adapted to, one day at a time. We have been living for the day, not making futures as we were unable to know what tomorrow looked like. This is a glimpse into the reality of mental illness. It is all-encompassing. Not only does it grab hold of the one fighting through, it grabs hold of all those around, fighting for the same cause in a different form. No one can truly understand each other’s positions, which makes it all the more difficult, sad, frustrating. But as we have moved through our year, one day at a time, life gives us hopes and the ability to begin dreaming of the future and setting goals to get us there. Some days are more difficult than others, but forward progress is in the daily steps.

So here we are, dealing with another card dealt… and yet, after the past few months, this one doesn’t seem nearly as big as it would have in the past. I’ll call that … Growth.

When life seems too big, never be too proud to ask for help. We can’t all go it alone. And when life deals you a card, as tough as it can be, look for the lesson…it may just alter your perspective.

Signs of September

Kids are back to school. Wait, what! Did I really write that. Where did summer go. Am I really ready for the routines and the early mornings, and alllll the driving!? Either way- it’s here.

We have had a year of many years; and our year is far from over, but hopefully heading in the right direction. It is amazing to me that even through a summer of less adventure than normal, the time still ticks by at the same rate. It still flew.

Last night we sat down with the kids and started something new: We asked them what their intentions were for this school year; In sport and school, what are they looking to achieve and how that would look to them. We plan to check in on these part way through the year and then at the end in June. I have recently begun journaling my daily gratitudes as well as setting goals for the next decade. I realized that this isn’t something just for me. This is something that will, I believe, open our kids eyes to a world that they haven’t yet begun. To future planning, to follow through, to seeing how, when you actually want something bad enough, there is a way to keep working towards it.

It definitely enlightened me. All too often we look at our kids through the light that they portray when frustrated, tired or not getting their way. Amazing how in those moments they are no longer 7, 9 or 11…and they are instantly 2 again. And yet, when you sit with them, when you really talk with them, spend time with them, the insights that they offer are blow you off your own seat level!

A few intention highlights they spoke of were: to make new friends, to make a certain team despite current setbacks with the need and desire to try harder, to worry less and find calm more… They had to choose something that had a tangible end although the process to get there intangible, and elicits behaviour change along the way.

Not only did we learn of what their expectations of self are, we also asked them what they were grateful for this summer. In despite of all that has been happening in our house, they were still able to make memories, laugh, love and have gratitude.  Keats Camp, Cultus Lake, some beach time to soak in the sunshine and ocean; Sometimes its the times that amount to the bigger moments- something I have to remind myself of and was thankful to be reminded of, that even to kids grandeur isn’t always better…

girls beach

Life sometimes reminds you that you aren’t always in the drivers seat. It needs to slam on the brakes to allow you to take a pause and look at who your are and what you have. From these past 6 months, I am grateful for the family that I have: For the man that has stood by me for the past 20 years and who I will continue to always stand by. I am grateful for the three amazing humans we have created, for the love I have for them and for what they teach me everyday about themselves, about life, about myself. I am grateful for our house that we have built into a home. A safe place for us all to feel content. And I am so grateful for the pool we put in last year…. This summer it was WELL USED.

So School Year 2019/2020…. bring it. We are ready. Arms wide open to embrace what you have for us. To let us learn, grow, love…. and maybe just laugh a little more than the past few months.

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Living in Fast-forward

Well, that was a long pause…like a few years. But anyways, lets move along. I am back to this space, excited to document, to write, to communicate, to share- to remember.

Life. Life has been full-er than the usual the past 5 months. But those past 5 months are what have landed me here again, seeking for more of me amidst partnership and parenthood. I have lots to share, teach and learn from what I have experienced over the past months; but those stories will slowly unfold as I become more present in this place. More present within myself.

School is back in session in two weeks, which means we only have 2 weeks of summer left! Our summer has been a little lacklustre this year, but I am determined to send it out on a high before our schedules become madness again and I put the Uber decal back on the window…only problem: we live in BC where there is no Uber, my kids don’t tip me, and my car would never pass the clean test after the bomb that my kids unleash on it daily.

In all honesty, life has been hard for a while. But it is the hard that makes us rally together, find strength, determination and passion and move to higher ground. I am ready for the challenges ahead. I am ready to be more present in my own life: To be the best wife I can be: To be an extraordinary mom.

So here I am. I am back.

IRONMAN CANADA. WHISTLER. JULY 30, 2017.

Wow. What a day.

They tell you it’s going to be hard: that there will be highs and there will be lows. I don’t think you truly grasp those highs and lows until you actually experience it for yourself.

Last year, July 24th 2016, I decided it was time to get back into the world of Triathlon and I competed in my 3rd 70.3 distance Ironman, in Whistler. It was a high. I loved the course, the day, the emotions…so why not revel in that high and sign up for my first full in Whistler the following year…so that’s what I did.

Commence training. 

I began picking away at some form of a training plan in September, and joined efforts with Dylan Gleeson (coach, former pro, cousins husband…and after this year a Whistler- WINNER OF IMC 2017) for a coaching plan. I picked my way through the year of training, ramping the mileage and hours starting in the spring. Minimal injuries left me feeling strong and well trained come race week.

Race week came with a wave of emotions; mainly the realization that I wasn’t THAT nervous. This emotion came with its own set of anxieties how could I not be nervous?! Naive bliss is what I am calling it. I have put in the hours. I have put in the time. Now all I can hope is that my body and mind can pull this out for me. Not knowing entirely what to expect leaves a sense of calm… it was out of my control.

Nerves really hit race morning. On the shuttle bus passing the lake that in a few short hours I was going to be lapping- twice. The sudden fear arose inside – can I do this? I continued to echo myself, yes I can. I AM doing this.

Sorted in transition, wetsuit on, I made my way to the swim coral.

I am an okay swimmer. My mantra for the swim here was slow and steady. Find a pace that I don’t peak my heart rate and I can do comfortably without panic. I seeded myself in the 70-80 minute heat.

Walking into the water I saw a familiar face, Auntie Jan. A few smiles, a camera pose 😉 and a familiar face was all I needed to take this thing- and do it!

1:12:26- nailed it. 2.4 miles: I felt great: Did not panic once: Was ready to get onto the bike.

On my way through transition I saw my dad and Ange who commented on being proud of my strong swim. Que some tears. I grabbed my bike- and just post mount line I saw my family. Ryan and the kids were standing there perfectly placed; just as I was about to embark on my 112-mile bike journey…I needed that! I heard a lot of voices yelling my name- THANK YOU as I was beyond fortunate with the amazing support crew I had out there. My mind was in a foggy blur of emotions, all I knew was I had to get from A to B!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am doing this. This was my mantra. I was told a few times over that for Ironman day it is important to find a mantra that works. This one may sound corny as hell- but it worked. I brought this out in many high and low points of the race. It reminded me not only that I can- but that I currently AM.

I am doing this. I said it right out on to the bike. And this time, it brought tears. Not often enough do we say we are proud of ourselves. This is not one of them. I was and am so frickin proud of myself. Tears crept in and out all day. At my high times of amazement and low points where I would come across family cheering me on. Emotions were high.

The bike was great. I had never biked a full 112 miles- my goal was to get around a 6:30hour… while not completely knowing if this was possible. My butt was sore about an hour into the ride- oh god….just a few more hours to go! The weather was perfect to start the bike. From transition through to the end of the Callaghan climb- there was no wind and the sun was starting to shine through. The wind really began to ramp up on the turn around of the Pemberton Meadows. This is where I had to make a conscious effort to keep cadence up, as I had to pedal harder into the wind: And then, the climbs back to Whistler. The wind was in and out: not too bad and then gusts. But my mantra kept me moving forward. Even as I could feel my legs begin to die a slow death on the return- I was doing this. Gut rot was in and out on the bike. My saving grace was the Zantac I put into my bike box. I had to pop all 3 over the course of the bike. But if staved off the severe cramping and bloat and allowed me to still fuel.

The last 4 miles as I came back in to town as Green Lake appeared in the distance, I knew I had done the bike, and that I captured my goal- 6:33:02 on the bike.

Now the realization that I had a marathon to go was setting in and my mind wanted to overtake with negatives.  How was I going to do this?

I made my way through transition, out of the tent and on to the run. Started the first 100 meters with all the familiar faces. Everyone cheering- an emotional boost that turned in to a bout of strength. Passing Ryan and Kai, I got a big hug, and I was on my way to Lost Lake. I kept telling myself to keep running: One foot in front of the other: I can do this. I ran (slowly) for the first couple of miles- hiked a few hills and then the gut rot was back…and this time was accompanied by a strong sense of vomit. I stopped fueling. I couldn’t get anything in. New mantra set in: run, walk, and toilet.

My low mindset quickly began overtaking my positive thoughts. I knew I had to fuel somehow but didn’t think I could, nor felt like it. I started grabbing sips of Pepsi and taking licks of the salt stick I had decided to throw in the day before (thank god!). But still no energy and a failing mind. I came back through town to start out on my second lap. Passing the family and friend cheer squad- I was now walking and the mind was winning. My dad walked beside me for 100 meters or so asking what I needed, what was wrong. Nothing logical was entering my mind at this point- only that, I am going to finish this thing even if I walk to the finish.

Around the lake I found the girls cheering. Jodi, Cath and Carly were on bikes and cheering me on. Cath came at the right moment. All logic needed to be told to me in simple form. What are you fueling? I’m not I can’t. She told me to just start taking some Gatorade. Every aid station just get some in. The voice of reason was all I needed. And over the course of a few aid stations the sugar and electrolytes kicked in. This was the low of all low points. I didn’t want to be left alone. I was in fear of puking, in fear of passing out. In fear of… I don’t even know! They would ride ahead and wait. I’d see them again and then they’d do the same. And then I saw Ryan. He had ridden up to meet me and he began doing the cat and mouse game with me. This was what kept me mentally strong. Knowing I had support near me. And finally, the Gatorade kicked in, the adrenaline that I WAS DOING THIS kicked in and just like that- I was down to around 16km to go. I made a race friend on the Green Lake stretch. We were both not feeling it. I made a few along the course, but it wasn’t till Melissa that I was in enough of a positive mindset to know that we could finish this. We got through the last together. Talking, taking our minds off of the pain of the current game, choosing the next point to run to until we could walk again. She was just what I needed to finish this race stronger; and she said I was the same for her. (5:46:06 run time- not the imagined time, but I did it).

The first thing I said when I crossed that finish line… “I am never doing that again.” My cousin and I both said that an Ironman may be comparable to childbirth… I guess there is one more thing similar in them both; that with time, your mind invites that “never again” back in- and it becomes a possibility… for a potential in a long distant future.

My favorite picture of the race is the one below. It is the final stretch of the run. I had done it. But the reason this picture is my fav is because it depicts exactly what this race was all about- all the people. My family, my friends- all the incredible support. They were all there with me the entire time. Triathlon, they say, is a single sport. I beg to differ. The support, strength and encouragement you need from start to finish of this sport- from training to finish line-is nothing short of a group effort. This picture captures the entirety of it all. 

THANK YOU. I am so thankful, grateful; fortunate for the village I have in my life.

 

The run wasn’t really the one I hoped for but this day taught me a lot about myself.

When you want something badly enough you get after it.

When your body says I can’t your mind shows you it CAN.

You are stronger than you think you are.

I finally made the red carpet.

I AM AN IRONMAN.

IMC Whistler 2017

13:40:53