Thursday, November 27, 2008

For Jenna --I'm on board baby!!!

Ok Jenna -- Mike laid in bed and timed the 60 seconds rest between my sets -- Day 1 of Week 1:

Set 1: 10
Set 2: 12
Set 3: 7
Set 4: 7
Set 5: 11

Bring on some serious push up action. Hahahahahahahaha!!!

Looks like I'll be heading up to toon town Sunday...I might see you on the way up or the way back. I'll give you a shout tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sweaty, sweaty, sweaty

So, Chuck has prompted me to get my butt in gear and post! I've been busy training and sleeping. :) There are just a few more niggly-piggly things to be done for the store, but everything is out of there and I have no reason ever to set foot in there again!!!

Here's what I've been up to --

Since I've started training again, I've noticed how much more I sweat than last year -- especially on the bike. I mean REALLY sweat. So, I've started this little game, where I see if I can actually wring the sweat out of my sports bra at the end of a workout.

I've come pretty close -- I've been saturated, but I could coax nary a droplet...until last week. I think I crossed the sweat-barrier or something. After my bike, I quickly stripped off my duds and performed my little ritual -- And Lo!!! The sweat wrung out of my top, hit the tub. YAY!!!

Hahahahaha!! See? It doesn't take me much to get excited!! :) :)

Onto to other training news -- Next week, I'm bumping up to 4 swims a week. Which brings me to the push up challenge. Sorry, Jenna, but I haven't been able to squeeze anymore push up workouts into my schedule yet. My poor wee little arms are plain tuckered out from all the swimming I'm doing!! But, I am not going to bail, yet. If I crap out, then I'll concentrate on cheering all of you on instead!!!! :) :)

By the way -- I've been thinking about the blog world lately, and wanted to thank all of you who have commented and blog themselves. I have learned so much from all of you -- so that when the poop has gone down in my life, I've drawn upon your experiences for strength.

I actually just emailed Kelsey about this -- most recently, her example has provided me with immeasurable strength. Instead of sinking into bad feelings, I rallied myself by remembering how hard Kelsey has fought for change and how courageous she has been in dealing with one obstacle after another. All this -- and she didn't even know the influence she had!

I guess what I am trying to say, is that we really do have an impact on the world around us -- even if we don't know it. Just the way we live our lives (and blog about them! Hee-hee!) is like a stone cast into a pond. You never know just who those ripples are going to reach.

Shannon -- Your pure heart and love for animals echoes my feelings and has provided me comfort knowing that there are people out there who feel the same as I do. Your insight into training has actually lifted me up on at least one occasion. When I felt terrible about having a miserable swim in a race, it was your comment that eradicated my self-doubt and put me in the right frame of mind. YOU ARE A ROCK STAR!!!

Keith -- Your wisdom and humour have challenged me to dig deeper within myself and find the goodness instead of concentrating on the bad. Your story of the monk carrying the woman across the river came at a very critical point in my life. You have no idea how much that comment enlightened me -- I truly felt my spirit lift. You have a knack for saying just the right thing at just the right time. If I were to hike up a mountain, I'd expect to find you sitting there (cross-legged and in the zone)-- calm, patient, wise. Thank you for your extrapolation on the floating elephant theory too!!

Jenna -- You recommended a book that is slowly changing my life, and have gently reminded me via comments and emails to not get distracted by fear. You have provided me with so much strength -- the experiences you have gone through with your father, your family, your training, your kids, and even Rolo. I admire your succinct honesty. When I find myself making excuses or copping out of something -- I think of you -- charging ahead and just getting things done.

Susi -- Our friendship has blossomed and I have learned so much from you. You have a quiet simplicity and a no-nonsense way about you that inspires me to challenge my own fears. I remember the last time you were here and I was mildly alarmed about the prospect of me taking my bike apart for transport -- you basically said, "all you have to do is this, this, and this." Suddenly, it wasn't such a big deal anymore. The way you see beauty in the ordinary, the way you have battled your own demons, and your stories of the good hamster/bad hamster dichotomy teach me something every time! YOU ARE A NINJA-WARRIOR-PRINCESS!!

Kelly -- You have a big heart and a depth of perception that make me think twice about snap judgments I make. Things that have really stuck with me about you -- your great love for your kids; when one of your kids told you (in a funny way -- I forget the precise words -- but he didn't say 'I can't') he couldn't do something, how you always buy the Timmy's order for whoever is behind you, and how you manage to get your training done even with all the challenges of injury, trepidation, and time constraints. You remind me to be selfless and not selfish.

Darryl - You have a dogged determination and straight forward to approach to life. You are not afraid to call a spade a spade, and never make excuses. You just do it!! Sometimes I get bogged down in thoughts, and it is your example that has helped me turn off the inner static and just go for it.

Chuck -- I can't wait to meet you! Following your journey in learning how to swim has been so inspiring to me. You hit major stumbling blocks, but came back to conquer your fears with an amazing persistance and equally amazing positive attitude. To think of where you were last year swimming, compared to where you are now --- WOW!!!

Cath and Jase -- What can I say? Thank you so much for coming into my life. A cosmic connection, or as Charmaine would say, "A seismic connection." LOL!!! I've never met a couple like you guys. Both of you are so kind, wise, thoughtful, and honest. More than anything else, you guys have motivated me to become a better person -- in my thoughts and actions. You both have illustrated the meaning of true friendship. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!! :) :) :) :)

HUGS TO EVERYONE!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dunzo! Finito! It's Really Over!!!!

I can't believe today was the last day -- 8 years and 8 months of my life have officially come to an end. What's next? I have no idea!

These past few months have been a winding down of sorts for me. I didn't expect to go through so many different emotions -- I honestly thought that relief and excitement would be my primary emotions. However, I've run the emotional gamut -- at least twice. LOL!!!

It hasn't really sunk in yet. There are a few loose ends to tie up - final franchise payment, final WCB stuff, and clean up. My Mom and I are going to go in tomorrow at 11:00am or so and start packing things up. I'm donating everything left over to various charities. By the way, I had a fun time making shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child this year!! Hee-hee! I even had to call our local distributor to get more shoe boxes to fill with toys I had left over! :) :)

It is so strange how life can seem to drag on in the same usual vein until change occurs, and then WHAMMO! Suddenly you are on a different course. I was ready to shut the store down last November, but gave it one last go in an attempt to sell it. So, in one sense I had reconciled myself to the fact that I would not be living and breathing the dollar store industry any longer. But, as the final date drew closer, I started to stress, nag, nit-pick, and panic all at the same time.

For a long time, a big part of my identity has been as a business owner. It doesn't matter that I never saw the dollar store as part of me, everyone else did. And, that is the lens through which people interacted with me. I'm heading into uncharted territory again, and am terrified yet exhilarated at the same time.

Do I have a plan? No.
Do I have the slightest idea what I'm going to do now? No.
Does this scare me? Yes.

Lessons learned, hopefully remembered!

Pulling the sign for the last time...

My Mom acting like a little devil... Hee-hee!!!!

It's weird the stuff I had left over...Things I thought I would sell out of hung around, and things that I thought I would be stuck with sold. Go figure! Tonight, I gave a case of these nifty gender-specific cigarette lighters to a friend of mine. He was quite thrilled --- I know he'll be a hit at the bar tonight...

As you can see, my ordering skills were finely honed after 8 years. Hahahahahahaha!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chugging right along

4 days and counting!!!! November 21 is my last official day of business. All the shelving has been sold -- thanks Jenna for your tip about kijiji. It was through kijiji that I sold all my gondola shelving. A family from Edmonton drove down, disassembled all 81 units and took them away! :) :)

Walking into the store after all the shelving was removed was an odd experience. It was strangely reminiscent of the time when I first opened the store. All 8 years and 8 months ago. The store was completely empty and I was scrambling around assembling shelves, pricing and allocating products, and interviewing potential employees. None of which I had ever done before -- especially in the capacity as an employer. What a journey it's been!

These past few weeks have been a time for reflection -- Realizing the lessons I've learned from owning and operating a business as well as letting it sink in that this chapter of my life is coming to an end. I've been asked by a few people (who don't know me that well) if I am even a little sad. NO WAY!!! You know that expression of a huge weight being lifted from your shoulders? Well, it is bang on. I feel invigorated and excited. Energized and ready.

It's been such an experience. I could lie and blather on about all the good things that have come from the business, but I'm no liar -- there's been a mass of stress and discomfort that's come out of it too. 9/11 took a huge bite out of my fledgling business, and the forest fire that evacuated our community in 2003 decimated it. It took me a full 2 years to pay off outstanding bills from that horrible summer of 2003. I feel nauseous just remembering it.

And, dollar stores attract the cheapest scum of the earth. I've had people hem and haw at the counter trying to decide if the 3 for $1.00 seeds (that are $1.99 a packet anywhere else) are a good deal. I've had a restaurant owner ask for a deal on 12 candles that sell for 4 for $1.00!!! A discount on three bucks?? My Mom said I should have asked him if I'd get a discount if I ordered dessert after an entree at his restaurant. LOL!!!

I've bit my lip while hearing so many local people tell their kids to save their money, "because we are going to the city," or my personal favourite, "Because we are going to Wal Mart." (Don't even get me started on Wal Mart.) Then I've had these same people demand (not ask, mind you) donations for their club or team. Fat chance.

Ah well -- like the last bit of pus squeezed from the pimple, I'm just getting it all out. LOL!!!

The day after the shelves were removed, I started doing cartwheels in the middle of the store. I've been feeling quite giddy. And today, I cleaned out my office -- it feels so great to throw things out!! :) :) :)

My Mom and I erupt into giggles at the smallest provocation -- man, it's going to be good to be gone!!!! :) :) :) :)

Shall I even talk about training? Heh-heh-heh! I've eased back into training after my nasty cold and am feeling great. It's so weird, the times I've been nailed with a terrible cold I always come back stronger. I've noticed a substantial improvement in my swimming, biking, and running just this last week. My coach told me that the key is to get enough rest so that my body doesn't have to get sick to get the rest to recover. How come the simplest things always make the most sense? :) :)

Let the next chapter begin!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This morning, I had an easy spin for 20 minutes on my bike and then did some core and stretching afterward.

So, there I lay on my yoga mat, with Peanut circling me and rubbing up against various parts of my sweaty body. Swish, Peanut would rub against the back of my neck while I did a sit-up; swish, she is now curled up underneath my legs and leaning against my bum as I am still doing sit ups. You can't imagine the great swaths of orange cat hair I had to swipe off with a towel. NICE. LOL!!!

I'm a little stiff from all the lying around and sleeping I've been doing, so I got out my special red stretchy band. I looped it over the top my left foot, and then lay back on the mat and proceeded to flex my foot while making big and little circles with my leg, and other stretches.

I was really enjoying myself -- I had my iPod on and was feeling great about stretching when all of a sudden... WHAP!!!!

The stretchy band came off my foot and slapped me hard in the middle of my chest. It actually winded me -- I kid you not!! I let out an "OOOMMPH!" and then felt like a total idiot. LOL!!!! I lay there prone, taken out by a red elastic band. Hahahahahahaha!!

I finished with my stretching and then went to have a tub. It was only when I lay back in the bathtub that I noticed the huge raised, red welt that went across the middle of my chest. I started giggling -- I can't believe how much of a dork I am!!!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Still Alive

Still alive -- over the worst part of the cold,. Now I'm coughing up the occasional goo, and snuttin'. Hanging in there!

:) :) :) :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

You Will NEVER Believe This...

Sorry I've been absent from the blogging world -- I'm laying low right now with an annoying head cold. Annoying, because I am barred from working out by my Mikey and by my two buddies in merry England. As Jason would say, "If you keep working out, your heart will stop beating." And yes, he really does have a friend who worked out when he was ill and his heart stopped beating!! Hahahahaha!!

Speaking of my good friends in the UK...have I got a piece of news for all of you!!!

I recently acquired a second-hand Blue Seventy wetsuit. A barely used wetsuit. In fact, the wetsuit has only been worn twice -- once in a race and once in a photoshoot. Any guesses as to whose wetsuit I'll be racing in next year?

Come on guys, think BIG. REALLY BIG!! BIGGER than BIG!!!


I'll HAVE to swim faster next year! LOL!!!!!!

A HUGE thank you and lots of hugs and kisses to my dear friend Cath. Do I ever owe you one!!!! :) :) :) (Oh yeah, and Jase, I didn't forget you!!)

I am so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky; I am so lucky! :) :) :) :)