I came across this video today on triathlon.competitor.com -- Lesley Paterson (reigining Xterra world champion) has an awesome sense of humour -- this video had me cracking up and wanting to join the session! Hahaha!
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
I stared in shocked disbelief as I read that Thunder in the Valley was cancelled for 2012. Why? How? What is going on? I watched the tv news stories on youtube and even signed the petition on facebook, all the while experiencing a turbulent mixture of emotions: anger, sadness and frustration.
For almost 20 years this grassroots event has gained in popularity precisely because of its humble beginnings. Hundreds of volunteer hours. Volunteer firefighters taking courses on fireworks to make the show even better each year. Local businesses donating money to buy “booms,” and let’s not forget the employees all over the community who proudly wear their sweatshirts/t-shirts every Friday to promote the event.
You couldn’t pay for the kind of powerful word-of-mouth advertising this event has. How many times over the years have I read in the local papers that “this year” the council is going to do something about economic development? How many committees and sub-committees have been formed, trade shows and conferences attended, reports written (and sometimes even re-written), resulting in an actual plan? I’ll tell you the answer to that: A big fat diddly-squat.
Thunder in the Valley has achieved what years and years of committee meetings have failed to produce: results. The event generates a powerful mode of advertising that is absolutely free. Radio shows talk about it, tv segments are aired about it – all for free. It is word-of-mouth advertising on steroids. This simple event literally draws tens of thousands of people here for the fireworks show.
Like it or not, the Crowsnest Pass is on showcase that weekend in July. There are people who know where the Crowsnest Pass because of Thunder in the Valley. And this is a very good thing.
Make no mistake, Rum Runner Days and Thunder in the Valley is synonymous in most people’s minds. Take away the fireworks and you are left with the same small town parade/car show/etc (yawn) weekend that you can find duplicated in any number of other rural Alberta towns.
I must be clear that I still do not know the precise reasoning behind the council’s motive to cancel Thunder in the Valley. Only confusing and contradictory statements abound (Fireworks are illegal because there is no bylaw against them? What?) and nebulous excuses (“We’re not at the point where we feel that we could provide safety to the public and volunteers” What does this even mean?)
Where is the leadership? Instead of canceling the event and fobbing off responsibility onto an ever-diminishing group of volunteers, why don’t council members step up and volunteer to help? They are the community’s elected officials after all – who better than them to help a small volunteer group navigate the bureaucratic waters of logistics and rules and regulations? I mean really – what else are they doing?
Another question I have is why now? Why after almost 20 years of success is it suddenly imperative to cancel Thunder in the Valley until some future time when some kind of plan (Who is to make this plan? Who decides it is good enough?) is in place?
Details people, we want details! Is it an emergency evacuation plan that is not up to snuff? Is it to address the seven people who complain about drunk people peeing in their yards? What exactly IS the problem?
I am disheartened by the huge disconnect between the town council and Pass residents – I for one voted for new council members because I believed the hyperbole and rhetoric. I thought council members would fight for this community, not roll over and submit.Look for a way, not a way out.
Monday, March 12, 2012
My training block in Arizona is sadly coming to an end. :( BOO!
As usual, I've had an enormous number of adventures while I've been here (besides the regular ole training stuff).
For your reading pleasure, Tucson, Arizona 2012 in bullet points:
- Went to an Urgent Care Clinic to take care of a brutal chest infection/sinus/bronchitis. We went to a hospital first and we were not there 2 minutes when a woman came running in and slapped the glass (dividing the hospital staff from clients) yelling: "Please help me, I've been shot in my arm!" Holy shit she had been shot in her shoulder and there was blood all over!!!
- The random drunk guy out in the middle of the desert walking on the shoulder we had to cycle around. There was no town in sight, I have no idea how this guy got there or where he was going.
- Incidents like this are the most likely reason behind Tucson being known as "Dirty T."
- Yesterday I cycled for 3 hours with 4 female pros: 2 are Ironman Champions, 2 consistently place in the top 5. I had an episode of giddiness brought about by sheer exhaustion afterwards.
- After this bike ride, I ran 5x1km intervals with Sara -- it was during the 2nd interval when I started counting seconds on my fingers that Sara told me, "I'm worried about your state of mind, you should take off your shirt." It was hot out, and I was still wearing the black long sleeve shirt and tights I rode in. It was hilarious -- as soon as I took it off I felt so much better. LMAO.
- The 3 hour bike ride was an "easy" one for said pros. They commented afterwards, "you were quiet! You weren't that talkative today!" NO SHIT!! LMAO!!!
- After the 3 hour ride, Sara said, "Come with me." Good God, I had to do 30 more minutes of intervals. I had been doing 3 hours of intervals already. LOL.
- I didn't have to mortgage my house when I went to the Urgent Care Clinic -- it only cost $120.
- I got lost running on the trails in the desert. Twice. Eeeep. Rachel was racing a duathlon just outside Phoenix and Sara and I decided to run for 1 hour 20 min before the race started. I got confused and ended up coming out at the beginning of the mountain bike course -- lol. Right before the racers started coming thank God. Ran a bit extra that morning. Hahaha.
- Linsey Corbin knows where the Crowsnest Pass is and knows of the big green mining truck in Sparwood. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just about spit out my dinner. LMAO!
- My Paleo diet went right out the window as my training hours doubled -- and I have been catching the abuse ever since. LOL. I shoveled copious amounts of every kind of food into my mouth.
- Exhaustion is no excuse for missing a session -- This is what Sara told me yesterday: "You look like death warmed up. Oh well, that excuse doesn't fly here." LMAO!
- More headway in swimming!! If I engage my ovaries (I am serious this is exactly what it feels like -- LMAO) I *catch* the water. So this is my new mantra: Engage the ovaries.
- Watching Rachel come in 3rd at the Desert Duathlon. YAY RACHEL!!!
- The grocery store is called Fry's not Fru's. lol -- the "y" is stubby. Heh-heh-heh.
There are many, many other things that went on, but most things are of the "you had to be there" kind of vibe.
Thank you to Sara and Rachel who were so gracious and wonderful and patient with me (especially when we were out cycling in the middle of nowhere and everyone had a cell phone, except me...eeep.). And for their efforts in teaching me how to ride in a pack. (I'm still a chicken, but getting better.)
When I was sick as a dog, Rachel chauffeured me all around Tucson (we were gone for hours) in search of a doctor and then a 24 hour pharmacy (because these things ALWAYS happen on Sunday at 5:00pm.)
Let the season begin!!!
Julie :) xxxxxxoooooooooo
Friday, March 9, 2012
Help out my little community people! Sign the petition: