06 November 2014

#NaNoWriMo 2014

I'm participating this year guys, but there are zero updates because of this. But I am still around, promise! 


27 August 2014

Hiatus Explained

If there's anything I dislike when stumbling onto a new blog, or following a blog that I think is super awesome, it's having an unexplained hiatus. Before anyone starts pointing a finger, let me first say: I also dislike this of myself.

I dislike this for a number of reasons:

1. I feel like I'm letting myself down. 
I made a commitment to myself earlier this year, a promise, that I would blog regularly. I have broken my promise and all this shame and guilt...

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2. I feel like I'm letting my small readership down.
By having put my commitment out there I feel like I've made a commitment to everyone else. Consequently, I feel like I have broken my promise to everyone else and thus more shame, more guilt...


3. I feel like I won't be taken seriously.
While blogging isn't an income at this point of my life and career, doesn't mean I don't eventually want to take it there. I know I'm not there yet, but one day I want to be, and I know unexpected and unexplained hiatuses do nothing for street cred. 

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4. Makes me second guess myself.
If I can't commit to this, what can I commit to? I mean, this is what I love doing. I love blogging along with writing. I love the projects I embark on with blogging. WHY CAN'T I COMMIT??? What else am I not committing to??? Oh the emotions and insecurities...
 
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Now that I have that bit of melodrama out of the way...

I knew starting a business of my own would be a lot of work. I knew I would have to invest a lot of time and energy, especially in getting a business license, a bank account, a FB page, a website, and most importantly, new clients. In the last two months, I haven't gotten it all established yet either: I've been able to tick things off my to-do list for my business but it's all been out of order. Most importantly though, it's all moving ahead.

I expected starting a business would be a test of my determination and patience. What I didn't expect was this to be a test of my confidence in my abilities as a practitioner, as a student, as a marketer, as a net worker, as an innovator, and to adapt when things don't go as planned. I'm finding myself spending a lot more time on the tasks I would have assigned as a lower priority and so the things I've wanted to do, like blogging, have fallen by the wayside.

GB Nationals is coming up so training has intensified as it's one of the most important domestic, national level competitions. I've applied for my indefinite leave to remain so I am passport-less at the moment and that's causing me all sorts of stress: It's the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing on my mind when I fall asleep. Work at the hospital is filled with a group of people who are cynical and apathetic but have a mortgage to pay so they keep coming back which does nothing for the barely there morale. I started a Sports Massage course and the course work and level of knowledge was a bit overwhelming so I've had to defer the course...

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Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm struggling to balance the needs of my business, my education, my income, my training, time with my husband, time with friends, and time for myself. I'm overwhelmed with life and I'm emotional and the only way I know how to do with life right now is to write it down.

I should probably give myself a break, I'm not a machine after all. I also need to remind myself that the only person judging me for not getting everything done on my to-do list everyday is myself (pretty sure no one else cares). Trying to accomplish everything now is also unrealistic: I have the rest of my life to live and there will always be new opportunities, new people to meet, and new things to try.

It's hard to feel comfortable or settled or happy when so much of my life is up in the air at the moment. Along with reminding myself that I need to give myself a break, that I should stop and smell the roses, crossing items off my to do list will only leave me feeling excited for a fleeting moment. I need to just be happy now and keep on making the most of my situation.


11 July 2014

My Yoga Journey... So Far

When I started back at Taekwondo in 2012 I was surprised at how my body had maintained its flexibility. I could touch my toes in a variations of stretches with relatively little effort. Some stretches I felt, were beyond me no matter how much I practiced. Like the front and side splits, though I had gotten close to the side, or box, splits a few times.

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Until this point yoga had floated in and out of my life. My first introduction of yoga was through lululemon athletica which I hated in the early stages of it's appearance. Girls in Junior and Senior high were wearing them as like jeans and some college girls were trying to pass them off as "smart casual"... OK, maybe now that's possible with the saturation of legging outfits available but back then, in rural Alberta, leggings was not a thing.

Also, yoga was not a thing. The young women I knew were buying lululemon because of how it made their rears look, not because they actually ran or did yoga.

Shortly after that, Yoga routines cropped up in various health and fitness magazines and the marketing for mental and physical health began. I don't contradict the value of health, but the way I remember it the marketing was to exaggerate the weight loss benefit of yoga (we now know it's diet AND exercise are essential for weight loss and health) or the zen-like state someone could achieve from the 3 times a week practice of the sun salutation.

I went to a couple of yoga classes in Canada, mostly because the classes were included in the various gyms  I had a membership with. A lot of it I could describe as "meh". The "teachers" didn't really seem to know what they were doing and I felt like I was flopping my body around into awkward positions while trying to "maintain calm" which was described in a very flowery speech.


Then I was introduced to Yoga videos available at the library originally, which included a lot of Rodney Yee, produced by GAIAM. The shift to finding direct to YouTube fitness and yoga routines was natural and I've stumbled onto people like Tara Stiles and Kino MacGregor.




I soon learned how yoga could be a work out and a good stretching session and the gurus seemed genuine, not just people who jumped on a trendy bandwagon to add some extra coin to their business. And while I did the routines on my own my flexibility never seemed to make any gains. My hamstrings never got worse, but they never "opened" or "lengthened" like the yoga-sphere claimed they should have.

Back to 2012 when I started Taekwondo again, I felt like something was missing: I had some really good days and really bad days, my worst being when I had mildly torn both my hamstrings at the junction. Training was hell for those few months as they healed and re-tore in cycles (the weather didn't help).

Fall 2012 I ended up doing a search for yoga instructors and studios. While there were a fair few to choose from I ended up going for a private teacher, Natalie Coleman, that held Saturday morning classes. I thought I knew about yoga and stretching, but I really knew eff all. The level of yoga instruction that was available to me was on a whole different level to what I imagined: her knowledge of yoga, of anatomy, of movement was probably better than a lot of health care professionals I've encountered. My body was so sore for the next week, having never stretched like before in my life.


To be fair, I've only been able to do this since 2014.
Source: Natalie's Twitter
But I was hooked! I went again the following week, and the next. But then there was an interruption for the week after that and the week after that. While I tried to continue to stretch on my own and practice the Ashtanga Primary Series, it wasn't the same: I was just too new at the practice to continue without attending a class regularly, so I had to make a goal, to attend at least 15 classes, approximately once a week. And it worked!

Colin
Source: Natalie's Instagram
Over time I encouraged my coach, Colin, to attend the classes as well and now I've got him hooked on coming once a week. Colin has also brought in Natalie for the Army ITF Taekwondo team for their week long training training camps which I think took a number of people by surprise, but in a really good way. One person came up to me a few months later and told me he does a few stretches in his room now for his back. The other day at the GTI National Open, Scotty told me it was a nice change from the hard training they had all week long which lead them to under performing on their competition days in the past. Except for last year where a much higher number of Army players placed in the Interservices. That made me feel really happy, to know that while not everyone is aspiring to be the ultimate yogi (myself included), that a lot of people during that session could appreciate the benefits of proper stretching. 

That girl in the purple t-shirt? That's Joy. I also have introduced her to Yoga.
Source: Natalie's Instagram

Last week Clifford (yes, first it was Taekwondo I wrangled him into, now yoga) and I were having a conversation with Natalie shortly before practice about how Clifford's flexibility has improved noticeably in the last several months, along with being more aware of some muscle groups he had a habit of tensing. I also mentioned that I've noticed that I am able to get into some stretches deeper, though the depth isn't as noticeable because I was reasonably flexible already. Natalie pointed out that I'm able to stretch safer, and that's a valid point: Just because you've been taught to stretch a certain way for years doesn't make it good: remember the bouncy stretches? Yeah, we know they're bad now.


All in all, I believe the world needs more yoga. Not to "Ohm" throughout the day or because it's a trendy weight loss option, but for the real benefits that apply to daily living. Anecdotally, Clifford and I both feel more relaxed following a session and tend to have more restful sleeps in addition to re-aligning our bodies.

Have you ever tried yoga? Did you get anything out of it? If you're a regular practitioner, what keeps you practicing?

01 July 2014

Canada Day in the UK

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Yes! It's Canada Day!

And... I'm not celebrating.

With moving to another country, sadly your own country's national day is not a "bank holiday". Even if it is part of the common wealth. The Canada Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square that Clifford and I attended last year have also been scrapped.

So what's a Canadian living outside of London to do? The thoughts of a BBQ or pancake supper did cross my mind but the indulgence doesn't fall in line with my "cheat day". I went to the gym sporting one of my black Canada Olympic shirts and following a post-workout shower have put on a red and white Canada shirt while listening to Danko Jones and Our Lady Peace. It's about as patriotic as I can be at the moment.

I'm not unhappy at this moment living in the UK: I feel like I'm finally finding my feet after all. But deep down, I'm still Canadian: I still look at the world with Canadian eyes, hold Canadian values, and there are still moments in my life where it's painfully obvious that I'm not from the UK. Some days it can feel quite lonely, being the only Canadian in my most prevalent circles, and I still get a little home sick.

Today is one of those days. For British people it's just another day of the week (a Tuesday no less) and for me it's Canada Day, but a Canada Day with no pancakes, all day champagne brunches, BBQ's, beer, all day concerts, sandflies, fireworks and fellow Canadians (family and friends). It's anticlimactic and makes me wonder if I'm not losing my Canadian-ness because I didn't make more of an effort.

But that's nonsense.

I am Canadian and you can't take the country out of the girl.

27 June 2014

Book Review: Kaleidoscope World


 "Kaleidoscope World" is by Croatian author Tomica Scavina. I received a copy from the author herself as an ebook for free. It's her only book that has been translated to English and when I read the description of the book of a troubled woman in search of her past and some stability I was intrigued.

The first fifty pages were a bit hard to get into as the plot dragged considerably and the author kept flipping back and forth between the protagonist's, Dahlia's, past and present. The flow of the writing didn't feel quite right and I wonder if something wasn't lost in translation as the dialogue was really rough of English speaking people, the dialogue of the Spanish people speaking English was too fluent, and the syntax and structure of the sentences felt awkward.

There were other aspects of Dahlia's journey that were presented by the author that I wasn't keen on either: there was a lot of telling and not enough showing. I felt that too often Dahlia's therapist spelled things out and supplied all the answers at convenient moments in Dahlia's thought process. From my understanding a therapist is supposed to guide a patient to self-actualization, not put ALL the pieces together for a patient.

When the pseudo-science of out of body experiences, other dimensions, discussions of reality, secret societies, and breaking the fourth wall started happening I couldn't take the novel seriously anymore. To me, it over shadowed the real plot of Dahlia remembering her childhood and growing as a person.

Overall I just really struggled to connect with the protagonist. Perhaps the potential of this being a great story was overshadowed by the translation but I can't say I would recommend it to anyone.

26 June 2014

Throwback Thursday

I've never participated in #throwbackthursday before. The throwbacks I see are usually from only a year ago, at most two, which seems sort of pointless. Every once in a while someone will post a picture of them as a child, which makes me go "Awww! how cute!".

Sort of.

As much as I enjoy seeing old(er) pictures of people I know, to see the changes and transformations that they've gone through, see what they got up to as younger versions of themselves (particularly what they were wearing), I hate when people want to see what I looked like or know what I was like when I was younger.

I'm toying with idea of #throwbackthursday because on Saturday was my second anniversary of living in the UK. I wrote my "Knowledge of Life and Living in the UK" (or something like that) exam on Tuesday as part of my application for a settlement visa. And it's been 10 years to the week since I graduated from high school.

A long time ago, I saw a media clip of pivotal events and major innovations during human history that drastically changed and improved people's lives. In this clip the gaps between innovations became closer and closer together, and at the risk of sounding old, I can say that a lot has changed in the last 10 years. MSN Messenger, MySpace, ICQ, LiveJournal replaced by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WordPress not necessarily in my lifetime but just in the last 10 years.

Other things have changed quite a bit in the last 10 years, including people's attitudes towards body image and health. I was in high school on the cusp of change, when the concept of accepting different body types was sort of surfacing in the media. But that meant that I grew up with a lot more concepts of body shame versus body acceptance in some of my most formative years. Not that I'm going to lay a sob story out today, but it's hard to change your way of thinking.

I'm bringing this up because my trainer asked me to write a testimonial for her and her business (which I'm excited to write) she also asked if I had any pictures of myself from before I started training, any bikini pictures preferably to show the change more obviously.

Well.

I don't have any bikini pictures.

I went through 10 years of pictures and not one picture of myself in a bikini. Hardly a picture of me at all, never mind me at my heaviest. Selfies just weren't a thing and there was enough body shame going around that "plus size" people just didn't wear bikinis. On the one hand I'm sad that there's no evidence of the progress I've made but on the other hand I'm glad that Facebook wasn't around to ingrain my former self into people's memories. It's nice to have moved to a place where people have never seen me at +90kg or with such horrible low self-esteem as I did 10 years ago.

I don't know if my high school is putting on a 10 year high school reunion, and I know some people get really excited for that sort of thing, but I'm quite relieved I'm not in a position to go to a reunion. I'm happy to leave my 18 year old self where she is because my 28 year old self is so not just "so much cooler" but she is more inspiring, more motivated, more friendly, and more comfortable in her own skin. I wouldn't trade the last 10 years for what I've gained.

OK, maybe one or two years.

So here's to the only #throwbackthursday I'll like ever participate in:





23 June 2014

Spitfire vs Army Charity Cup

Two big and important things happened on Friday June 20. First, I participated and supported a charity event and secondly, during that charity event I registered as a bone marrow donor. This a culmination of a few events: several months ago Rob, a member of Spitfire TKD, was diagnosed with Leukemia. It was shortly after he was given the go ahead to start his basic training for the Army.

I've had to face people with cancer before but this was the first time I've had to face it outside of work, outside of a hospital, and outside of me being a nurse. I like to think of myself as a compassionate person so after being a nurse to the terminal cancer patients in Stettler and seeing Rob come to training following his chemo was no less emotional. The story of a 40-something year old woman, wife, and mother to a 13 and 18 year old dying one week after diagnosis is no more or less tragic than that of a 19 year old being diagnosed because both lives are changed and everybody around them is affected.

I bring up the 40-something old woman alongside Rob because they are similar. I don't remember anything about this woman, except her story, her positivity, and her gratitude: She knew she was dying but she was so grateful to have had the chance to get married and have children and work and learn and just do the things she has done. I had left the hospital room close to tears.

When I first heard of Rob's diagnosis I couldn't remember what he looked like and in all honesty, I didn't really know who Rob was. I tended to only attend Friday night sparring classes of Spitfire and not everybody could or wanted to make it to those (I get it, when you're 18 you spend your Friday night's vastly different). But I've come to know Rob just a little over the last few months and his perseverance and determination not to let leukemia stop him from enjoying life is astounding. Not only does he show up for training, but he hardly takes a break, and I've never heard him say anything negative when I've spoken to him.

Rob
(c) Kenga Photography
And Rob? That day it was hot and humid during training and you got frustrated you were taking a lot of breaks and couldn't keep up? Just know we were pushing ourselves because your presence invalidated any excuse we had.


Rob & Mark
(c) Kenga Photography

Our Spitfire TKD instructor/coach Mark has been the driving force behind setting up the Spitfire vs Army Charity Cup. Between him and Colin, the British Army ITF coach, ten matches were lined up for the night for people to watch as they bought raffle tickets, baked goods, and registered with the Anthony Nolan Trust, a charity that helps register bone marrow donors in the UK. Rob needs a bone marrow transplant and three matches have been found on mainland Europe but with the event the register has been expanded by over 50 people, myself included. Maybe we can find a donor a bit closer to home.

Oh yeah, we also raised 1300 pounds that night towards an iPad library for the Royal Surrey Cancer Ward.



This isn't the first time I've participated in a charity event. The first time was three years ago in Medicine Hat where Clifford, my brother Daniel, Mirando, and I raised money for a 5k Kidney Run. Clifford was so fast around the course that they didn't believe he ran around the whole track (he is actually that fast). The second charity event Clifford and I were part of was when we hosted a Movember Party complete with a raffle and raised $300.

But this is the first time I've participated in a charity that really meant something to me, where I felt part of a team, like an adopted family, and where I felt so disappointed that I couldn't do more.

Myself & Charley messing around before our match.
I was playing for Team Army.
(c) Vero de la Rosa
One of the few snap shots where I look good! Charley won the match 20-11.
We showed everybody what a chick fight looks like.
(c) Vero de la Rosa
Kat Paes coaching me
(c) Vero de la Rosa
Red v Blue! Mark, Ryan, Charley, Myself, Ahmad, and Kat
(c) Kenga Photography
Still friends! Though I'm left with a scratch on my face...
(c) Kenga Photography
Clifford also part of the team!
(c) Vero de la Rosa

To see more photos of the evening check out Kenga Photography's FB Page. Please also check out the FB pages of Ryan Powell, Levi Goodridge, Kat Paes, and Charley Rousell and show some support as they chase their Olympic goals.

17 June 2014

Getting There

Oh em gee, life has been happening. While I was trying to help motivate Britney from The Drunk Runner to start blogging again (who, by the way, did become motivated and inspired to start blogging again), she pointed out that I haven't actually blogged since April of this year.

Well, uhm, whoops.

I keep saying that I will become financially independent through blogging, I'm pretty sure this isn't the way to do it. I'm aware a considerable more amount of consistency is required, however, in my defense, my life hasn't exactly been consistent, steady, or conducive to sitting at my desk and blogging.

Since April
  1. I learned everything I needed to know for my Kukkiwon Dan grading in two weeks.
  2. I had my mom visit and we did a bit of the touristy thing
  3. I had to study for my ITEC & BTEC massage therapy exams
  4. I am in the middle of starting a massage therapy business while halfheartedly remaining on employment register of a local, publicly run hospital. 
  5. I'm trying to get back into a training routine and hitting a lot of stumbling blocks that way. 
  6. I'm trying to get Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR) in the UK which requires me to take a test and then fork over my husband's entire paycheque, my left arm, and possibly my spleen so I can stay in the UK
Mmm... yep. Feeling a lot like that.
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 I feel like I need a vacation. I feel a bit like a brat for saying that, for wanting one, but why? It's not unreasonable to want a break from my routine, from my surroundings, from the work, from the chores for a week. But I'm not in a position to be like, "I'm taking off to Ibiza bitches" although I've been tempted a few times.

Apparently there's sunshine.

Back to blogging, and this blog. I started this blog being inspired by the Day Zero Project and then lost motivation and clearly didn't finish very impressively. I never did make another list of 101 Goals I'd like to accomplish in the next 1001 Days. My reasons were something like it was too long, too broad, I took on too much, etc etc. In actual fact, I wasn't committed. I wasn't committed to the Project, to the goals, or anything besides making money and making up for lost experiences I thought I would forever miss out on.

Not that it did much good since I kept missing out on the things I wanted the most.

But there's been a real shift in my life in this last year, well, since 2014 started, and I'm starting to feel good? ...satisfied? with my life. Regardless of my future plans will take me, I feel like this is where I'm meant to be right now, doing what I'm doing (see above). I don't know where massage therapy or Taekwondo is going to take me in the next couple years, but I'm not really concerned because I'm honestly just having a good time. 

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I thought I'd add to the good time by creating another 101 Goals in 1001 Days, incorporating the lessons I learned from my last attempt: be flexible and open to change, even halfway through the Project. I haven't finished my list yet, but that's OK. I feel like I'm giving myself permission to be flexible and open while still charting my course. 


23 March 2014

How Far We Come

A couple weeks ago I finally got over my writer's block. Helping to identify and verbalize my dissatisfaction with my blog helped tremendously and since then I've been able to make a few changes visually. That still doesn't mean that I've figured it all out, I still look in disdain at my blog.

After coming across a few blog posts about "archive" posts, posts you've written a long time ago or not so long ago, I thought I'd give my archives a gander. I never had any "how-to" or "10 things to make life easier" posts, but I realized had a much firmer list of goals when I started this blog. Reading back over these posts has been a bit of a strange journey too: I never anticipated the nostalgia that would accompany it. Or the groan worthy quality of some blog posts.

I keep trying to reassure myself that I know better now and I have the ability to edit, or even delete, many of these posts.

As I mentioned, a sense of nostalgia has been felt while reading these entries along with a recurring thought of "Wow, things have changed in the last four years." I mean, I knew things had changed in my life, but it didn't strike me exactly HOW much things have changed since I started this blog. The post that had set it off was when I got my first pair of fashion frames.

At the time it sort of marked that I was more or less financially independent from my parents, and if I wanted to spend more money than they had the budget for, I had the freedom to do so. It was also the first time in my life I had the ability to become not only fashion conscious, but a fashion consumer and develop a style. Not surprisingly, looking back over the pictures and the years my style has changed considerably.


I won't bore you with a total recap, but just trust me that in my self-reflection I have become a better and happier person. Two years ago, when I moved to the UK I was unhappy, weighed 68kg, and still had an unhealthy relationship with food. I feel far more settled today, I have my sport, and while I am cutting for a competition my pre-breakfast weight is 62.2kg, I would never have had the confidence to attempt something like this with an unhealthy relationship with food. While I have always been an advocate of going beyond superficial or physical markers to measure progress, sometimes that's all a person has.

Old pair of fashion frames in Oct 2012.
I'm smiling because I got ripped off so badly for airport coffee...

New pair of fashion frames.
Not the best idea to take a selfie following a night shift...

My head is still a block, just a smaller one.

My weight still has to come down to below 61kg by Fri March 28 for the weigh in for the Taekwondo International European Championships. 1.2kg feels like a lot of work at the moment, but when I look back at how far I've come I feel really proud of where I've gotten to.


05 March 2014

Thoughts on Sochi 2014 Pt 2: It's Not Over Until It's Over

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 My absolute favourite moment, as a Canadian and particularly as a woman, was watching the Women's Hockey final between Canada and USA. Up until this point, trying to watch Olympic hockey had been frustrating as the BBC failed to broadcast/cover Canada's matches in favour of other events. It's my opinion that hockey is a tad more exciting than watching tea tray racing or sliding across 10+ km of snow. I digress. My point is that the Canadian Women's hockey team made it to the final and I just really wanted to ask the BBC, "What made you think that this wasn't the team to follow?"

So yes, oh em gee, I was excited when the final FINALLY was broadcasted. And double-you tee eff, what a GAME. If you watched the game, you'd know, if you can watch the game, or at least the highlights online, you can get an idea. The outcome for Team Canada looked dismal for this game, ending their winning streak that went back to the 2002 Olympics. But after 56 minutes and some seconds of running game time Canada finally scored a goal, and with LESS THAN ONE MINUTE of game time Canada TIED the final. AND THEN, Canada scored a goal to win the game in overtime.
 
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Players and spectators alike didn't know what hit them. But this moment is going down in hockey history, not just women's sports history, and exemplary of the motto "Anything can happen."

When I met my Spitfire Taekwondo coach Mark, one of the first lessons I ever got from him was "The game's not over until it's over." Meaning, until that timer has stopped, you're still playing, and you still have a chance to make your mark. If you think you have lost after your opponents scores the first point, then you have, and if you think you've won because you've scored first, then you could be in for a surprise. It's something I've taken on board over the last year but it never hit home until I watched this game.

The following day was the men's Olympic hockey match between USA and Canada, and while it was a semi-final according to the schedule, it may as well have  been a final for all the rivalry that was involved. Canada ended up scoring the first and only goal of the game, but they had to fight to hold tight to that lead. Everybody had in their mind of what the Canada women's hockey team managed to achieve while they were TWO points down, so everybody on that ice was aware that if one hockey team could pull that off, then ANY team could pull off that sort of feat.

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I think it was a testament to the Canadian men as well that they didn't let their win over USA cloud their focus when they played Sweden on the last day of Sochi 2014. Team Canada was confident but knew not to underestimate a team that had also earned its place to be in the final. It's safe to say the Canada Women's hockey team really drove home that it's not over until it's over.

Did you watch the Sochi 2014 Olympics? Any favourite moments?

- - -

Part One - Part Two

03 March 2014

Thoughts on Sochi 2014 Pt 1: Proud to be Canadian

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I know the Olympics has come and gone for over a week now, but there are thoughts that are still resonating with me. Sochi 2014 has been surrounded with a lot of controversy and I get the impression that it's been difficult to say whether it's been a "successful" winter games or not. By the medal table, Canada has done well, coming in third where gold medals are concerned, and fourth where total medals are concerned.

Screen shot of http://www.sochi2014.com/en/medals

Everyone wants to be a winner, and when they're not, critics are the first to raise their voice over the crowd at how a country or a team didn't live up to expectations. I'm pretty sure whatever athlete that participated is already hard on themselves for not having performed as well as they might have hoped, or performed well and still not have placed. It's always easy to forget at what calibre the Olympics are at, so I was a little disappointed when I read an article critisizing Team Canada's outcome at Sochi 2014.

Screen shot of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Winter_Olympics_medal_table

Yes, Canada got 3 more gold medals at Vancouver 2010. Yes, Team Canada got 1 more total medal at Vancouver 2010. And yes, I think we are losing sight of what the Olympics represents. Like I said, everybody wants to be a winner (I'm no exception), but what about how great it is that the participating countries can still get together from around the world? What about all the other moments of sportsmanship, triumph, and national pride that leave us with lasting impressions of how great the Olympics are?

Very early on in the Games a BuzzFeed article came out, 10 Ways Canada Has Already Won the Olympics. My favourite moment was #4 when the article was published, when Canadian Coach Justin Wadsworth gave a spare ski to the Russian competitor. To me, nothing could epitomize sportsmanship more, and again, for the Olympics being a platform to allow people to overlook nationalistic rivalry.

From this side of the pond, whatever was broadcast concerning Team Canada was positive and it made me super proud to be a Canadian living in the UK, never mind wearing my Team Canada t-shirts from Olympics past. Even the BBC reported on my next favourite moment that surrounds the Dufour-Lapointe sisters. Two sisters took first and second in freestyle skiing and sadly the third sister ended up in 12th. You could really feel for the sister that didn't get to the podium but you could also really feel the family support: It's pretty special that a family can train, support, and compete against each other and still be family.

- - -

Part One - Part Two

18 February 2014

We Meet Again

After months and months of avoiding this screen, I'm back sitting in front of it again. I have lots to say but not sure where to start: how do you greet people you haven't spoken to in six months? Merry Christmas?

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 Happy New Year?

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Happy Valentines Day?

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Hello?
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I never forgot about my blog. In fact, I think I thought about it daily. But something happened in August that made blogging, writing, and anything to do using words and creativity cohesively out of my reach. There just seemed to  be a block that sprang up a moment after I thought about blogging or my blog. Every attempt at blogging seriously felt like walking into a glass door I didn't see.

It was so weird and so frustrating that I ended up just giving in to the other priorities in my life: my husband, starting to work, training, starting a massage therapy course, and preparing to open my own part time business. Life still hasn't slowed down but maybe I'm coping better than I did a few months ago? I mean, in all fairness, my life is totally, 100% different than it was this time last year and I sort of forgot how to manage my time and embrace a busy schedule.

I think the other part of my block came from my hate for my blog. Yes. I really started to hate my blog. I hated everything about it: the colours, the layout, the posts, my alias, my image, etc. I guess I started to feel like I was outgrowing what I had constructed. It's a hard pill to swallow since I have spent years writing and posting to this blog. I have spent countless more hours in the last year researching blogging and social media tips and how to make a living from blogging.

And I have ended up hating it all.

I have entertained the idea of erasing as much evidence of The Capillary as possible and starting a whole new blog (and in essence, brand and personality). I've looked to celebrities who reinvent themselves like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry or have changed their names like P. Diddy for ideas. I've also internet stalked internet personalities like The Oatmeal and MeekaKitty who have at some point come out with their names and seen that it hasn't been detrimental (Although, I wasn't really part of their fanbase before the change so I am not aware if there was any negative backlash).

Not that I'm worried about backlash, I never had a fan base for this to be a problem. All things considered, am I really worried if people who have come across this blog before who didn't like it and don't give it a second chance? No. Am I really worried about those who follow this blog don't embrace the change and stop following? I'll be disappointed but my world won't stop. People come and people go and I hope that when new people come across this blog they can see that whatever change I will make is genuinely positive. And I hope that people that have been following me or have stumbled across my blog previously will feel more authenticity from me than before.

I think part of my face lift will require me to go through old blog posts. Firstly, to fix any broken links or images, secondly to delete the posts that aren't doing me any favours, and thirdly, kind of a journey down memory lane to see how far I've come. New content may occur since my life is moving forward after all, but it's going to be a slow process. On the other hand, life's not a race, yes?