Tag Archives: travel

Chapter 2016 

“The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do. (Is this fair? Is this the right thing to do?)…. Not to be distracted by their darkness. To run straight for the finish line, unswerving.” -Marcus Aurelius.

I had one of those moments the other day. Those existential crisis moments, laying in my bathtub, mostly submerged- escaping the clanking of my pipes and finding the questions deep in my mind.

I’d just read my tuition bill. For one online course, they wanted $750. It made me ask the hard stuff- like: why didn’t I just take this class in high school? Surely there’s another option… Do I need to pursue this? I’d probably be content without this pursuit, wouldn’t I? And this lead to the deeper questions of: What is my purpose? What am I doing with my life? And, Does any of this really matter?

We all need those moments every once in a while, right?

2016 came to a close and 2017 came in. My past year has been a year full of soul searching and following my gut instinct. 

Someone pointed out to me at one point this year that it seemed like I was running constantly away from home. I didn’t disagree- and for quite a while I definitely viewed it as trying desperately to get away from the familiar pattern here, the inescapables and the constants. Now, as 2016 ended, I have realized that there’s comfort and security in the same olds. The connections that don’t change, but grow with whatever distance or variances put into them. Evolution happens with adaptability, everything is a constant ebb and flow. You can’t control it, so let your soul ride the waves. Yes- I realize I sound like a hippy. 

Everywhere I followed my gut, I found some new revelation, a release and a epiphany and a development. My “second brain” as science now calls it took me first to a new apartment, on my own for the first time, all of 11 blocks from where I had been living. It lead me out of the cocoon I’d kept myself in all winter, and helped me to break free first of the comfort zone I’d gotten stuck in.

Then my gut and I fought a little as I had to go to Calgary for my second national exam, but we came back to an agreement when I flew to Virginia for the remainder of June. Virginia brought me tough conversations (over wine, of course), and new bonds. While basking in the humidity of the south I took my first breath free from the restrictions I was finally starting to see in my home life. I lived with the chronic pain of another and saw life from different eyes- I did yoga on the beach and I visited haunted houses. I searched for a MSc. that fit what I wanted, and then realized I had no idea what I really wanted academically. I hiked, and I visited some of the oldest places in America. I walked for 12hrs around DC and had a staring contest with Lincoln.

Then, I flew home. I came back a little more centered. I came home, feeling like I’d also left home. I came home, feeling like I needed to leave again. 

Shortly after Virginia, after a few hustled weeks of work at home, I few to California, to a conference that was screaming my name. My gut pushed for this, and I listened (my credit card and my gut are not the best of friends…..yet……). I filled my brain with new ideas and inspiration, I walked on the beach, and I did yoga on the coast with my Airbnb host. I took myself on the subway to Hollywood, did a 8hr hike in the desert (without enough electrolytes), stood on top of the Hollywood Sign, got mad heat stroke, wandered around hollywood very sweaty and dehydrated, went to a wax museum and found a ride home with a Winnipeg producer who was on the same bus tour as me (yes, I took a ride from a stranger.. no, I did not get kidnapped or murdered). I flew home full of inspiration, but with more questions sitting on the surface. The linear lifestyle and social constructs I’d been raised were breaking down, the more I listened to my gut instincts, the more choices and textbook philosophies started to not line up. Things took on different perspectives, emotions different light, and relationships different tunes. Everything was both beginning to not make sense, but make perfect sense. And so I came home and waited. I came home feeling like I needed to wait and see what was next, for the first time in a long time, instead of making something happen. I came home with patience. I came home to my exam results- I was officially a certified Athletic Therapist.

Shortly after returning from California I was presented with an opportunity that fit exactly what I was waiting for.

Nepal. Trekking through the Himalayas. Everest.

With 3weeks notice I took off to Nepal. There I found new appreciation for being with what is. It was what many may call an unintended spirit quest. I reached points of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that only opened and broke down barriers in my sub-conscious. I had necessary conversations with parts of my soul in my dreams every night. I delved so deep within that when I came home again I was serene. Tranquil. I had reached a point where this reality didn’t effect me anymore. It didn’t cause stress, nor did it influence my emotions. I had found my centre and it held strong. The mountain reflected what I needed to see and feel within myself. It flushed my whole being and left me raw, renewed. I came home solidified in my own being, and thus lost the need to be influenced by anything other then my own intuition.

The serenity and the tranquility that I found after wandering through the Himalayas, literally breathless, has never really left. Although it’s faded, it is there when I need it and I know exactly how to find it. The day to day ins and outs of being a twenty something, running a couple businesses, and figuring out life and what I want out of it and need to take from this reality are still there. However, the sense of meditative perception has taken over. The small things that can turn into big stressors have ceased to exist. There is, and there isn’t. People come and people go, as do emotions. The ability to sit and observe all these things, without judgement of whatever comes up inside me- that is the biggest lesson taken from 2016. I followed my soul wherever it wandered, and because of that I am so much closer, and comfortable within it.

A few months after Nepal I took a brief trip to Toronto for some meetings and had a spotlight put on a new path. Another mountain, perhaps, to reflect a new lesson to be learned. This new possibility has influenced many decisions made near the end of 2016, and lead to many of these existential moments where I float and let myself sink back to my soul centre. What is this life for, who do I want to be, and how do I want to accomplish that.

Purpose is something a lot of us struggle with. I’ve come to realize that finding your purpose can’t be forced. It’s not a series of actions you can complete to eventually come to a conclusion of “yes, this is what I’m meant to be doing”. It’s more of learning to trust your curiosities and your questions. It’s following your gut when it tells you yes or no or maybe. It’s biding your time and taking opportunities. It’s having patience and insane drive all at once. It’s not something you need to find, it’s something you have to let find you- and then not be afraid to let it take you someplace else. This life, this reality, is not linear- so why try and find a straight line?

The chapter of 2016 was absolutely riveting. As always, I do not know what’s in store for 2017- but I am greatly anticipating writing it!


 
 

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“Sit with the pain; be with the pain” Hindsight Blog: The Descent

I jolted awake at 2am,at  5200masl, and noticed I had drooled blood all over my sweater (lululemon took a beating on this trek). Had my lip split? Was I coughing up blood in my sleep? Did I have a pulmonary edema as a result of altitude sickness?

With no other symptoms, my hypochondriac brain was mildly too tired to overreact and frankly well past caring- I let myself drift back off to the oxygen deprived sleep I’d come from. Living in the alternate reality of the Diamox dreams. What was I going to do about it anyway?

The rest of my group trekked to Kalapathar that day, starting at 4:30am. I was too sick and too tired to bother- knowing that the point of the hike was to see a panoramic sunrise view of the Everest range, and it was dead cloudy anyway. By the time they got back around 9am, I had only been awake for an hour, but seen the Everest range from the bathroom window. My body said no, and my mind followed suit. The stories of hallucination from my trekking mates were entertaining, but I was happy I continued hallucinating within my dreams that morning instead!


After breakfast that day we began our descent. Our head guide was very anxious to get us down to lower altitudes, as every single one of us was starting to suffer- including himself. I only remember pieces of this day, but I do recall this being where I really started feeling extremes of emotion and pain. Also where I began using the “Om Mani Padme Hum” mantra in my head. Compassion for inner and outer struggles, compassion for the journey- “the jewel within the lotus”, the light in the dark, the blessing from the curse. Moving slowly down from over 5000 back to around 4000 was physically challenging in a whole new way. Descending was always difficult in that it’s hard impact on all your joints- but now, after 10 days of trekking, every joint was a little bit louder. And, descending we were- but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any hills to climb. We stopped briefly in Lombouche for lunch (4500), but most of us had lost all appetite. I think I fell asleep at the table for a while. Then we carried on down to a small tea house a few hours down. I am currently calling this place “Yak House” because A) I can’t remember most of this day, B) I misdated my journal and skipped this day, and C) it was where we saw our first yak on the way up.


We spent the night here, and it was here where we experienced the first bathrooms we refused to use (we being Lisa and I), and instead used one of the many surrounding boulders. I believe it was this day that I began listening to music for the first time while trekking. The first day I did this on the descent I couldn’t stop smiling. This was likely a combination of increased oxygen to my brain and a good playlist.

The next morning we carried on towards Tengboche. The hardest part of this day was the incline up to the monastery which was about 30-45min. Again, more oxygen and music kept me pumping all the way up. Before we joined a worship with the resident monks, we had a few hours off in which we got to each lunch and I TOOK MY FIRST SHOWER IN 7 DAYS!!!!!! Finally, I started to feel human again. I also had my first “steak” here- which was basically ground meat in the shape of a steak.. Regardless.. protein and iron.. two things I was definitely craving.


That afternoon we joined in on a worship in the monastery. Since it was a Saturday, they did a 2hr long meditation. This was very different from any meditation or worship I’ve experienced. Complete with chanting, horns, drums, and silences (usually ended with startling blares from the numerous horns). During the periods I was able to meditate I transitioned between flashbacks to a conflict I’d had a year or so prior to this, moments of pure calmness, and moments of unsettledness. Flashing back to memories of feeling isolated, alone, scared- but also calm. A conflict that had never really been resolved within myself or the other person within it. Then during periods of the loud music I saw colours.. red, yellow flashes. Warm, but chaotic. It was a very cyclical process, and I can’t say that I came out of it feeling peaceful or settled- rather quite the opposite.

We were now sitting at just over 3200masl, a much nicer altitude then what we’d become accustomed to. That night I dreamt I was being circled and chased by a darkness. It was always watching, always waiting to attack- completely out of my control. I woke up periodically shivering, even though it wasn’t cold.

Over the next few days I would learn that I was not the only one to experience that dream at that monastery.

The next morning I woke up with an anger I hadn’t ever experienced. I couldn’t spend any time in the guest house, and as soon as breakfast had ended I took myself outside to pace. I felt suffocated and a deep need to get away from everyone and the monastery.


As soon as the group started our descent to Namche that day, I had my ear phones in and didn’t talk to anyone for the next 3 hr trek. As much as some parts of this trek are hazy, the pure rage I felt this day is still clear as day. I don’t know where it came from, but I do understand it was something I probably needed to let go of. Since my return home there’s been some interesting revelations and emotional adjustments that I can only explain with the rage I felt on this day, and the calm I felt after letting it out.

We spent a few hours back in Namche, shopping and what not, before continuing our way down to our final tea house on the long trek. It was here I tried some Nepal home brew- which tasted like watered down Kool-Aid and Antifreeze (really, still confused about that). At this point everyone was a strong mix of unbelievably fatigued, but also so excited to be pretty much done. We had a celebration that night, complete with dancing.


The next day, the last trekking day, we returned to Lukla. This was our first day of constant rain, and our “waterproof” gear failed every test. So did the zippers on my backpack a few days prior. So, completely soaked and entirely empty- we landed at the tea house where we started it all. When my football coaches saw the picture of me below- they stated “holy sh** we’ve never seen you look that exhausted before…”. They knew me in University as an AT student. Everest you win!


That night Lisa and I taught the Australian in our group, Noah, how to line dance in a shady “Irish Pub” underneath a “Starbucks” in Lukla. The trekking was done, but the adventure was FAR from over!

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Indian Food for Breakfast

I found myself in the mountains last week on a much needed vacation. I realized how therapeutic the mountains have been to me in the last year. I’ve found myself there twice, first last year around this time in need of an emotional reset.. and now this time around in need of a total recharge.

Both time, I got what I needed.

I haven’t written as much as I used to. Not necessarily because of a lack of inspiration, but mostly because of a decrease in the need to write out my thoughts. I realize now how much this blog has been a kind of therapy for me.. and will continue to be in the coming years.. but also how much the last year has seen me develop other releases and ways of organizing myself.

We left for BC, my significant other and I, both of us quite burnt out- even if we didn’t fully realize it, from our respective falls. For me I’d had a year of preparing for my CATA exams (results still pending), figuring out my next steps, and constantly working on my business and promoting myself. No, it wasn’t 10 courses/term and multiple exams and practicals.. but it is a new territory for me.. this life outside of student life. A week away was exactly what I needed.. and it couldn’t have been better.

We drove through the night and arrived at our destination at a ripe 5am (we aren’t the best at getting up early to leave early).. and had a lovely sleep in to wake up to some gorgeous weather and a mountain view from our rented condo. From there we spent the week rotating between visiting close by hot springs, breweries, hiking, and watching movies on the couch. Rising each morning to a beautiful combination of coffee, local organic eggnog (so good), and a bit of whisky (best combo imaginable). It was amazing to just be able to turn off from the rest of the world, not worry about alarms or wearing a watch, not having any reason to check our phones or emails.. a whole week of just being in the moment and not worrying about the rest of the world. Something the both of us needed!

     
 Coming home and back to reality was something we both procrastinated on.. starting the 16hr drive late on our last day, stopping for a night outside of Calgary at a friends, and then re-starting the now 13hr drive late the next day.. then making a extended stop at Costco, we found ourselves driving through SK at 1am, both exhausted, grumpy, and sick of being in the car. So.. on the hunt for a motel we went. After a whole week of no worries, I started to notice now, in this moment of pure exhaustion and annoyance at having to return to real life, how fatigue can effect our ability to make choices about how we want to react to a scenario. After bickering about something around Moosejaw, we both ended up laughing and breaking the mood.. realizing we were choosing to be annoyed and didn’t have to choose that.

We ended up finding a motel in Indian Head, SK.. a town where there really isn’t much. Somehow they were open at 2am when we rolled in and gave us a key to a room. Typical of a small town highway motel, the heat wasn’t turned on in the room and the window was broken and covered with cardboard. When it’s -15 out… even turning the heater on, there wasn’t much hope of this room warming up. So we trundled back to the desk/bar/restaurant and got another room.. this one with a intact window, but no heat again. So turning on the small heater in the room we left for a nightcap at the desk/bar/restaurant to let the room warm. After a long chat with the bartender/owner (one of a family from India), we headed back to the much craved bed. Only to find the heater in the room really not doing much heating.

Not having any better options, imagining we were camping in the late fall, 10 degree weather, we had a few hours of sleep. That morning, we decided to try the Indian restaurant within the motel.. owned and ran by the Indian family. After a lengthly talk with the bartender (the brother) about how they prepared the food, and how it was the best in the greater area.. how could we not? We weren’t disappointed.. and as we sat there eating breakfast, again leaving late on our still 5hr drive home.. I felt a small bit of anxiety creep up over how we still had a long drive, and I was tired, and real life was coming back upon us… then.. mid bit of butter chicken at 9am in the middle of SK in a trucker motel.. I chose to let that anxiety go and enjoy the moment I was in.

That simple act of letting a emotion float across my consciousness, observe it, and let it pass is an ability it took me years to develop. It’s more accessible in some moments then in others, but what I noticed in this particular instance was how much easier it has been becoming for me as of late. A skill I think I’m going to use quite a bit in the coming year. I’m predicting this year to be a year of unpredictables, and am grateful to have begun developing how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now as much as possible.

  
Happy Holidays everyone!

 

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Spectrum

I know I know, reblogging is kind of a lazy way out of this week’s post. My life has taken over my schedule and won’t let go- but I still wanted to get something up for the week. Heart of the Continent is coming up with schooling starting Wednesday and competition starting Thursday so I will make a point of posting through out or at least after that show- the biggest show of the year here in MB!
I picked Spectrum to reblog because reading through it I can both relate to some of what my past-self was experiencing, and can find comfort from some of the stress I’m under currently with what I was feeling back then on the rodeo circuit. The past couple weeks have been full of great things, but also some more stressful, hectic things. I’m keeping up all right, but sometimes I wish I was off travelling again with the cowboys/girls around NZ.
Wish me luck with catching up to myself this week, and enjoy this piece from katmah history!

katmah

 In less then 3 days since making my move North to my family’s place in Whangerei, I’ve gone from grooming for the rich/elite/ whatever show jumping barn, to roping steers and barrel racing at a local rodeo. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum!

The first few days at my new home were pretty quiet. While everyone else was away at work or studying for exams- I stayed in the house, cleaned (yes mom, I cleaned), and baked. As the weekend came, things got a bit more exciting- roping and barrel time! I went with Alison and Diva, her horse, about an hour and a half to Paparoa where the Northland District Team Roping Club was having a club day.

Saturday consisted of practice time for the 5 or 6 of us there. The group joked that I was their new groom- but soon had me practicing heeling with the…

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Turbulent 2012

Similar to previous years, seeing as I don’t make resolutions, here is a list of some of the most memorable moments of the past 12 months (in no particular order)!

  • Meeting the people I met overseas. Especially all the distant relatives. To be made to feel at home in a country that is so far away from home was something truly awesome. I am very lucky to have had that experience, and those people surrounding me during part of a pretty rough year made some impossible situations very possible. 
  • The last few weeks of travel in NZ. Working for a grand prix rider, glacier hikes, bus trips, amazing scenery, living on trail mix and instant noodles, being broke, sitting along the coast and listening to the waves crash to the shore, scenic train rides, busing through, unbelievable landscapes, and everything else. Pictures don’t do it justice, and no words can describe it. This post has more detail on some of what I did those last few weeks.

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  • Flying into Vancouver, and then Winnipeg. After what seemed like ages away, the sight of the Rocky Mountains covered in snow and looking glorious brought an unexplainable feeling, and was the best thing I’d seen yet. There is no better feeling than coming home after being away. If even where you were became like a home away from home. All those things I experienced, good and bad, were solidified as my plane landed in Vancouver. A journey was concluded, and another begun. I came home both the same, and completely changed. DSCN0373
  • Choosing a career path, and making relevant goals. I battled with myself long and hard over what I wanted to do with my life. Pretty much exactly a year ago I decided that athletic therapy was where I wanted to be, and set some goals for myself. It was definitely the right choice, and accomplishing the goals I’ve set has been unbelievably challenging and terrifying- but also fantastic. It’s nice to know that I’m doing something with my life that is always going to present me with a new challenge to keep me motivated.
  • MHJA’s Fall Harvest Show. I believe this was in last years list too. Coming up to this year’s show, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. After a surgery in mid-July on my tailbone- I wasn’t able to ride up until 6 days before the competition (approx 6 weeks off for both me and my horse). Challenge accepted. I definitely pushed my recovery a little far- but I rode everyday for those 6 days and against the advice of pretty much everyone went to Fall Harvest. I’m sure we only survived that weekend on pure adrenaline (sooo out of shape). It was at that show, same as last year, that the difference in my riding ability really was shown. Mike broke his gruff exterior more than once at this show, saying “we might make a rider out of you one day”. A huge compliment!
  • Similar to the above, the Hunter Derby class at Fall Harvest 2012 (Check out this post for more!)
    . This was the first year doing a derby was realistic for me, and I got the okay from my coaches to enter. I wish I had a video of it! But any rider reading this will understand- it was one of those courses that presented so many new challenges and tests for both horse and rider and somehow, by some luck, we got around it and were rewarded the greatest feeling of teamwork and accomplishment. Best way to end off our short season!

    Not from Fall Harvest, but from Beach Party 2012.

    Not from Fall Harvest, but from Beach Party 2012.

  • Getting to know the people I ride and compete with better. I realize this is more than one moment in time, but over the past year I’ve really gotten a chance to spend more time with my coaches, Mike and Charlene, as well as other riders who train with them. It makes the sport so much more fun to be surrounded by people like this! I’ve learned a lot just by being around them, and they’ve helped me to gain confidence in myself and as a result ride that much better.
  • Kin-3201 Biomechanics. From day one this course terrified me, as well fascinated me! The study of biology and the forces acting upon it. Anatomy and physics combined. Being someone who never really excelled in physics- this was a challenge. But I found the math part of things much easier to understand when it was put into a athletic/movement perspective. I liked this course way more than I thought I would. And the final project, which was one of the hardest academic things I’ve done so far, was so cool! My post Critical Instant has more detail on the project and what I did my research on. I learned so much from this course, and loved the challenges it presented!_DSC0315 _DSC0317

 

2012 was a challenging year for me. I saw some pretty unbelievable things, on both ends of the spectrum. I experienced some of the worst physical pain, and emotional turmoil I ever have- but also had some great accomplishments and good times. I am positive 2013 will present new challenges, tough times, and good times to rival what 2012 threw at me. After facing what I’ve faced the past 12 months, I don’t know what else could be better preparation for whatever 2013 has in store. Here’s to the New Year, and may it be what it will be!

 

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Getting back into it

 

The past few weeks have been full of long days, and stress. Which must mean I’m starting to get back to normal! The start of this school year is marking a whole new path for me. I have to say, it’s quite difficult getting back into a regular schedule after A) spending half a year travelling, and B) having a year where it was hard to plan anything due to health issues. Not to mention the schedule I planned myself is insane by any  normal standard. After a month of being in school, I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable with my classes, even the ones I was pretty nervous about to begin with. I shouldn’t speak too soon though, as midterms are fast approaching, and that is sure to change my attitude. The nice thing about my course load right now is that 4/5 of them all relate in some way to one another. Which means that if I’m studying biomechanics, I’m also in a way studying for Fitness and Conditioning, and if I study Nutrition, it relates to concepts we are also covering in FC, and Anatomy and Physiology comes into play in all those other courses as well. My Data Analysis is the odd one out, covering a lot of math. Yuck. It’s really been an adjustment for me going full steam into this year. Even without the added stress of the numerous health issues and whatever else, I came back from NZ a very different person- with some of the same old goals and some new ones.

I’ve come back to school this fall with a completely new mindset then I had my first year of uni. Being away from everything for a year kind of made me realize what I really want. I guess you could say it woke me up. I’m being challenged in all the right ways now, and even though something intimidates me almost everyday- I see that as a good thing, similar to how some horse trainers will say “give your horse at least one heart attack a day”. Or, as Lyle Myers would say (a select few have heard this line a few too many times from the man himself) “it’s character building”. I read a quote the other day that said, “if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough”, and quite agree with it. Some of the best experiences I’ve had, once terrified me. All of the best lessons I’ve learned, were from something that was either nerve wracking, or unexpected- or both. The thing most intimidating me right now is my research project for biomechanics. This is 30% of my grade, and consists of videoing a specific movement and doing a comparative analysis (I’ve chosen between an “unskilled” subject and a “skilled” subject) on said movement, presenting the findings in class, and writing a 15 page research paper discussing those findings. I’m terrified, but kind of excited too. I’ve chosen to use posting trot as my movement, a little more complex then recommended but my prof has given me permission to go ahead with it if I can work out all the details. If anybody reading this has even done a movement analysis on the rider during posting trot and has ideas on how to set up a scale measurement system for the video and manage to stay at a right angle to the horse/rider combo during filming- please let me know! These are the details I need to iron out. Since my prof, and most other people, don’t have a background in the horse world- I’m kind of on my own with this stuff. But everybody seems to think it could be a really interesting project, myself included, if I can work it all out, and I have until November 19 to do so, but that really isn’t that far away! Again if anybody has suggestions for me, please let me know!

I believe my last post was right before I had my foot x-rayed for possible fractures. I did have the x-ray (after waiting at Pan-Am for 6 hours, I even got there at 7am!) , and it was clear, but was sent for a bone scan to test for stress fractures as weight bearing is still crappy. Pan Am also put me in a lovely, lovely boot/walking cast/thing. Which I’ve been wearing for the past two weeks. Definitely took some getting used to. But, at least I can walk mostly pain free- until I take the boot off anyway! I go back to Pan Am early next week to get the results of the scan, and find out how much longer I’m stuck in the boot. I’ve added yoga into my routine twice a week, and I’m loving it! I miss riding though. I’m only getting in about 1 ride a week, on weekends, with my schedule right now. Thankfully, the wonderful Laura Clark is still hacking Willard for me while the weather is still nice. He has been quite out of sorts, and jumpy, lately- not sure if it’s the weather changes, or because he’s being worked less- but he’s not the easiest ride right now. It’s at least nice to know he is in good hands while I can’t be there.

Well, my biomech lab is calling- time to go figure out how to measure joint movements so I can somehow make this project work, and then onto some probability and stats homework. Gross! Wish me luck!

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Just in time

I’ve broken my record for length between posts, I think. Which must mean my life is finally getting back on track (insanely busy)!

It’s been just over a month now since “the surgery”, and I’m finally almost back to normal. I’m done dressing changes, and although there is still some healing needing to be done- I’m pretty much able to forget about it and just let it happen. Which is good, because that means I can ride! Yesterday was my first real ride back since surgery, and I haven’t been that happy in a long time! Willard has been moved to McMullans for the week as we’re planning on going to Fall Harvest this weekend. Yes, a show right after a month off- an excellent plan, isn’t it? Any other year I might not have felt comfortable doing this, but this year I have complete faith in my horse and our ability that this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. And here is where I need to say a HUGE thank you to my friend and fellow rider Laura Clark, who rides at Bluebear and also hails from Carman. She has been coming and hacking Willard for me over the past month and after riding him tonight in the ring I was so happy to find he was moving beautifully and so willing to do lateral work. Like I never got off! I knew he would be in good  hands with her. So, Laura if you read this, thank you thank you thank you!  It’s great to know my horse is in relative condition even when I’ve been unable to ride for a while.

I rode for about an hour and a half yesterday, and an hour today- I just couldn’t bring myself to get off. Even though my body has gotten a little too used to the easy life. I’ve been slowly trying to add things to my schedule, like work outs and now riding, plus work- and soon school again. 2 months ago it was easy to do all of those things in one day and still have energy at the end of the day. Now, it’s a little more challenging. I’m still trying to find the energy I used to have. I’m sure it will come back, I’m not really giving it a choice. Hopefully over the next couple weeks, as my schedule starts to pick up again I will feel back to normal. School is only a couple weeks away!!! I can’t believe how excited I am! Before I started this post I had my nose stuck in one of my texts already. Wonder how long this will last? Haha

My class schedule is pretty full. Actually, it is completely full. I have 10 courses, my 5 for the fall are: Nutrition, Biomechanics, Data Analysis, Anatomy and Physiology, and Scientific Principles of Fitness and Conditioning. Following those, with my AP running all year, are: Intro Kinesiology, Research Methods, Prevention and Care of Injuries, and Psych in Sport and Life. It’s definitely going to be a challenging year, to say the least. To add onto my school schedule, I plan on riding and working as well. Although fall has some of my tougher courses, I think it will be the easier term, schedule wise as most days all my classes are in the afternoons- so I’ll have most mornings and evenings free to work and ride and study. The winter term things get a little crazier with courses spanning from late morning to evening classes plus a Saturday class- which means I’ll be in school 6 days a week. Unfortunately this was the only way I could schedule things so I got into all my classes and labs, so it will have to do! The past week or so has been a flurry of me organizing text books, gym memberships, locker rentals, and everything in between. Thankfully most of that is done now and I can focus on Fall Harvest, and then finish moving things to the city and settle in there. As much as I’ve been pretty stressed lately, it’s all for the right reasons and I’m very excited to face the challenges that come up this year in school. I proved to myself in Anatomy this spring that I can get decent grades if I work hard at it, so I hope I can continue proving that to myself in the future. That B was definitely not easy for me, but it was such an accomplishment when I got it! I still stop and wonder sometimes why I chose this path. What is someone who has always drifted towards arts and never did well in sciences doing in a Bachelor of Science degree in one of the most challenging specialities?! At the same time, I can’t see myself doing anything else. And the more I talk to other people in the profession, the more I fall in love with it.

That’s all I’ve got for now, I’m exhausted! Here are a couple pictures from my ride on Sunday- and I hope I write again soon! There will definitely be a Fall Harvest update!

MS River Rouge cruise!

Roomies!

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Quality Control

Ever had those days where the universe seems determined to bring you down, no matter what you do? Emotional roller coster, you could call it. I’ve had a few of those lately, and it’s all I can do usually to remind myself of all I have to be grateful for in my life. It’s been a amusement park of a year for me, so far, and if I remember correctly last fall I was going through an equally rough time in my first couple months over seas and really could not see how any part of it was going to get better soon. But it did. By the time I got back to Canada six months later I had experienced so many ups and downs and turnarounds that I was able to hit the ground running almost as soon as I got off the plane. Since then I’ve been going full speed ahead. Lately I’ve been forced to slow down again and one might say I’m not handling it well. Which when I think about it, is not something that should bother me as much as it does. This time I’m spending in recovery is really not going to have that much long term effects on my life after its over. In a few months time I doubt I’ll even think about it much. I probably won’t even have a hugely visible scar. I guess the worst part about this recovery time is that I have too much time to ponder about this, that, and the other things. My friend, who coincidentally just returned from her own NZ adventure, expressed having the same problem of having too much thinking time while she is home a lot of the day and still searching for employment since her return. This can be good, or it can be bad. Right now it’s the latter, through no fault but my own. I get easily frustrated when it comes to my body. And lately, it’s given me plenty of opportunities to become more frustrated. I never really wanted this surgery, however minor. But, it was the best option- I think.  I knew recovery was going to be hard for me, but somehow I underestimated how hard. Past that, I’m still struggling with hip, back, and shoulder problems that seem to linger no matter what I do to remedy them. Right now, they are worse then usual- because  my regular stretching and exercises are impossible due to recovery. If you have read my posts over the past year you’ll know that this has also been similar to a theme park ride, one second these injuries are getting better and we’ve found something that helps long term- and then it’s all flipped again. It’s easy to see how if one thinks about stuff like this for too long, it would lead to frustration and a less then ideal mind set.

What should I be thinking about? I have lots to be thankful for in my life. Parents who support me, wonderful friends, family, and coaches, an amazing horse, overall great health, the opportunity to get an education in a career path I love, and so much else. I’ve had the chance to travel and do things many people my age haven’t. I have so much to look forward to. It’s hard to see through the bad when it’s physically all you can feel. Perspective is what it comes down to. And after the day I had today, I’m realizing I need to check mine. After all, am I really complaining about having time to be lazy and relax during the summer? Who does that?! All that negative stuff in my life is going to be there after I’m recovered. And I’ll be in a much better place to handle it later on, probably. It’s too easy to get stuck in a dark place. I’ve done it too many times already. I don’t often get a chance to slow down with my schedule. I shouldn’t be spending it being grumpy and wishing it was a different way. It’s out of my control, and I can’t change it now. All I can do is make the best of what it is, and remind myself of all the good things.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

 

 

 

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Progress

Again, time is flying. I think I need to clip it’s wings, this is getting out of control.

A LOT has happened in the past few weeks. I’ve been too busy to think, as usual. Cramming my schedule as full as I can, and paying for it. But some things have changed that I hope will make a few things a bit less stressful over the next while.

The biggest news I have is that I’ve changed jobs! Which makes me very happy, because, although Aubin’s was a friendly place to work- it was really effecting my back in ways that did not make me happy- and I’m relearning how touchy my back can be, unfortunately. I’ve been interviewing for a few different positions over the past month or so- all of which would have been good options for me. But then, as life always does, a option came out of the blue that was really too good to pass up. Due to a lucky series of events, I got offered a job at Farm Business Communications- the same company my mom works for- as they needed a position filled ASAP, and knew I was capable of the work (work being video previews/interviews on new and upcoming farm products). These events happened late last week, I accepted the job on Friday, and as of this morning I’ve been in Regina covering Canada’s Farm Progress Show. Talk about jumping right in. I didn’t really do much today, just helped some other FBC staff set up booths around the trade show- tomorrow I’ll start my project. I have about 45 new “innovations” to talk to, take video of, take pictures of over the next two days.

This is something that I feel pretty out of my league in. Not going to lie. Although just bumming around the show today I realized that I am pretty comfortable in this type of situation. It really is just RMWF.. times 10.. on steroids. And the fact that I don’t have a hot clue what half of these products are for will probably be okay, seeing as I’m supposed to put together video explaining them. I won’t have to play dumb, let’s put it that way. No acting necessary. I think my biggest challenge will be keeping the technology on my side. I’ve already realized that the memory cards that came with my video camera don’t work with it, so I’ll be relying on the internal memory, which severely limits my space. So there will be a lot of downloading breaks. Sounds quality will also be a challenge, as the crowds will be spectacular. Another great thing about this new job, I will be able to keep working even during recovery from surgery (July 12th). Something I definitely wouldn’t be doing if I stayed at Aubin’s. Which is a relief. I never thought I’d be grateful for all those times I spent following my mom around at events like this. But I realized today that none of this is new to me- except now I’m the one interviewing and taking notes.. instead of being bored watching Mom do it. And it is SO weird to be at something like this, with my mom’s colleagues, without her here too. I have to say though, even though this is probably the last thing I would have seen myself doing this summer- I’m liking the challenge it brings so far. It’s taking me out of my comfort zones and will help me build new skills that can only help me later on.

I’m here in Regina until Friday, when I fly out bright and early at 6am back to the ‘Peg, getting back just in time to catch my final review class of my Anatomy class and then head to BHP for warm ups at the Summer Smiles Show. Seems like just yesterday I was just starting this course, and now I’m a week away from writing my finals. I was hoping to just be able to focus on studying this week, so I could ease a little stress off the weekend at Summer Smiles and just worry about competing, not cramming- but as my life keeps reminding me this is rarely an option. What fun would it be if things always went to plan right? And this is definitely a acceptable change. I’ve been flash carding myself in almost every possible spare second I have (except for right now, consider this my study break). And if any of you are at the show this weekend and see me sitting around not studying? Smack me, please. Unless I’m riding- then please don’t.

View from my room at U of R, 10th floor.

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