Saturday, October 31, 2009

a little rowing photo

So, i don't really know if i quite call myself a rower anymore. but, every once and a while these days, I jump in a boat. So, this was at head of the fish regatta last weekend. Lots of fun, in a mixed boat of the four coaches from my team, and 4 of the rowers. 7 seat, how i love sitting in you. donna, how i miss having you sit in front of me...

Club d'aviron Montreal | Mixed Collegiate Eight

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2 hours later...

so, I woke up at 4:45, with the intention of going to le bassin d'aviron, to coach this morning. this, to me, is normal.

remember how I have said that something strange happens to me every day in Montreal. Well, it is 7:30, and I am sitting in a cafe, not at practice. My girls are probably just coming off the water now. first off, I missed my bus, by about 15 seconds* At that point, I though: "hmmmm, so this is how the day is going to go..." so, i speed walk 15 minutes down the hill, to get to the metro. get into the metro on time, and wait for it to start (if I ride it to practice in the morning, I have to get the first one.) We hear the electricity start up, and promptly in about 1 minute, there is an announcement: Le service de metro est introrumpter pour une temps indeterminer. The metro service is down for an undetermined amount of time.

oh crap.
so, I wait. and wait. and wait. 45 minutes- an hour later, i determine that there is no point in going to the basin, and i proceed to walk out of the station, and head in the complete opposite direction, towards the residence of my community client. since it is super early still, I am going to wait for an hour before i go to visit ;) I can't believe I have missed two practices on the week of the Canadian University Rowing Champs. i feel pretty stupid about that.

in other news, I had a physiology exam last night. Wayyyyyy better than the pharmacology exam last week. ANd, I would like to note that the more I think about it, the more I love physiology. Call me a nerd, but I think it is fascinating. And, I am glad that I didn't use any credits to skip this class. in addition, the next section: muscle physiology. and that, my friends, makes me extremely excited. I love muscles. And, i love when they work. and, i love it when people have strong ones. because, as someone who motivates and inspires me once said, "Strong muscles are healthy muscles." and, i couldn't agree more.

finally, yesterday, when walking home, i realized that I am back on the bandwagon. I have been off the bandwagon, I would say, since last June. Probably just after I arrived in florida for my Haiti trip, and started eating insiduous amounts of refined carbs (ughghghgh!), since that was what was on the menu for most of the summer.
"what bandwagon?" might you ask...

the... triathlon bandwagon! Tri is on my mind again these days. despite the fact that the next one I might do is months and months away, I am getting excited about it again. I am google searching races. I am trying to stick better to healthy eating. I am excited about exercising everyday, and having a coach to tell me what to do. I am even back in the gym for strength/functional training (see the paragraph above about strong, healthy muscles!). and, all of that makes me super excited. and, it is kinda neat to think that I have other people who are on that bandwagon with me** and, sometimes it is funny, cause I tell people I have gotten a coach, and they get all excited. "oh! how often do you get to see her? where is she in the city?" ha! how about... never!? how about... well, in New York state. How about... i might get lucky if i see her in june, or some other time over the course of the next year... but, I am okay with that. 'cause inspiration and motivation doesn't have to come with direct contact. I think it comes from both intrinsic and extrinsic factors from a multitude of people and forms.

and, because of that, i am excited.

* yes, my bike is still in the shop. they keep on telling me "we will call you!" and they never do. Not so happy about that. they have had it a week now. let's not talk about it. unless of course, you want to complain about it with me.
** if you are a Train-this athlete/teammate, leave a note in the comments! I will add you to my blog roll.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

day in the life...

just sent this email to a friend of mine.

life is funny...

Have a physiology exam tomorrow night. sigh. so much work these days! but, i *love* physiology, so, that is okay. I am just worried that they will ask tricky questions....

rolled my ankle on a root last night on a evening run through the park. it was dark. ouch! and, i thought "oh, it will be fine." today, icing and elevation last night.....swolllllen!

made a decision about my first 70.3 in the spring... MOOSEMAN! in new hampshire, in early june. Yay! so excited!
when I was walking to school yesterday, I saw a man fall on his face. ironic thing was that it was about 50 meters in front of the door of a hospital. but, blood gushed *everywhere* and i was able to practice my "firstaid/nursing" skills :)

and, i think my contacts are in the wrong eyes this morning... ugh.

ha ha, that is about it! just a day in the life of amo!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

in saratoga...

for a regatta this weekend, coaching.
and it is raining.
a lot.
it sucks.
had to deal with an almost hypothermic girl this morning.
bad weather is not what i miss about rowing, and i am sooooo glad that I do not have to be on the water right now.

.... Despite the fact that is was sooooooooo wet today, (pretty much i stopped caring if i were walking in shin deep puddles with DC shoes on) we had a great day~ one of my girls one a medal in a single, and there were a couple of other strong performances and top 3 finishes! wooo!

at the end of the day, I was able to take off for a little 30 minute run. And, it was amazing. so beautiful! Saratoga Springs is so beautiful! the fall colours on the road that I ran down were incredible, and breath taking. And, it stopped raining. And, i could *smell* and *see* and *feel* and *hear* the fall. and, i remembered why i think the fall is my favourite season.

good day today... good day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the day just kept on getting stranger...

so, i woke up this morning, with the intention that I was going to ride my bike to rowing practice. It was a bit damp outside, but, okay. I can deal with that. but, I was still hesitant, since I have not been riding it as of late. but, today was the day that I was going to drop it off a shop. So, here we go... got on my bike, and left. cruised down the hill.

and, the weird thing about it is that i ride my bike to practice every morning.* nothing new, here. but, i was riding, and then i crossed the bridge, and then i looked up. there i was, in the middle of who-knows-where. same path that i take everyday. and, all of a sudden, I was lost. It took me a good 7 minutes to figure out what was happening, and where i was going.

i mean. comon'. who gets lost on a bike ride that they take every day?!?! [apparently: i. do.]

got to the boat house, and realized that i didn't bring any "regular clothes" for the day. only warm "morning practice" clothes, and lycra "go to the gym" clothes. yes folks, i love lycra. i also realized i forgot my cell phone.

lost in the morning. forgot clothes. wet feet from biking.

then, things were fairly normal. went to breakfast with the rowing team. (you get 1/2 price at that resto, before 9am! woo!) then dropped my bike off at "Cycle Pop". we shall see how that turns out. then, walked to school, and had pharmacology class. yup, i was wearing tight-ish fleece MEC pants, a puffy down jacket, and DC shoes. it was quite hilarious, i might say. it pretty much looked like i was ready to run up a snowy mountain (more on that later!). Then, lunch with my mum's close friend. (Most normal part of the day!).

then, off to the gym. Apparently, the athletic fees that we pay don't include the "fitness centre" at the athletic complex. sure, you can use the track, the pool, etc. but, nope. no fitness centre. anyway, i go, pay my 35$ for the semester (which is 15$ more expensive then the undergrads pay!), and attempt to find my way to the weight room.... can you say sketchy?! because i sure can. the trip to the room included a long hallway, stairs which seemed to lead to nowhere, and no windows. it started to downpour while in there, and when i exited to make my way to go visit my "community client." hopped on the bus, and then proceeded to fall asleep.

somehow, between the time of getting on the bus, getting off, and trying to make my way into the metro, i lost my bus ticket. ugh. so, go to add some more rides onto my card, and the machines "debit, and then refund" my purchase 3 times. really!?!?! finally get on the metro, then transfer to the last bus to get to the residential home. bus rear-ends the car in front.

yup. for real. i get off (at the same stop that i *always* get off at) and turn left. Not a problem, if i am meant to turn left... but, i am meant to turn right. Didn't realise it until 4 blocks in. so... semi lost. second time in a day...

going home, i was hailed on. and it was cold. and, it was windy. and, i didn't like it. then the bus fogged up so much that i thought that i was going to be in bus crash #2 of the day. so bad that the driver was saying "merde." it's a swear word ;)

i decided to call defeat, and go home, instead of arriving late for a "mcgill global health" talk/meeting. sigh.
but, i am now safe at home, and quite liked some of the big snowflakes that were falling when i got off the bus, and ready to have a weekend of coaching in Saratoga, New York. after a "nursings explorations" coference tomorrow. not mandatory.***

* please see the cutout newspaper article about my rowing team!**
**But, don't bother if you don't speak french.

***however, you know how it goes in a master's degree.
everything that is not mandatory is (in reality) mandatory.

new bike shops...

so, I finally have been able to bring my bike to a shop. sigh. so excited to get it worked on, and to not be afraid to ride it, with fear of hurting it....

but, it is also a little scary to bring it to a shop that i know nothing about, except for the fact that online, it seems pretty good. but, i left feeling like I was going to feel slightly violated once I get the invoice. sigh. We'll see.

today includes: going to gym, going and visiting a client in the community, and eating yummy meals with my rowing team, and my mum's close friend. sounds pretty good to me.

so much going on in life right now, that i will follow up with a big long post in a day or two. Heading down to Saratoga, NY, this weekend, to go to a regatta.... Ahhhh, Fall in New York state. Beautiful....

i suppose. as long as it is not freezing. and raining.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

doing great on undergrad exams...

so, I would like to preface this by reminding you that this is my second M.Sc. Indeed, apparently, I cannot stop going to school. apparently, I like the anxiety, and possibly the challenge or the stress.

on the other hand, maybe i like to learn. learning is fun. despite the fact, that more often than not....
[learning. is. hard.]
[both in life. and. school]

so, on that note, i write to say that I have just completed my second mid-term exam. well, really my first *big* one. and, it was pharmacology. if you don't know what that is. well, don't bother learning it. it is really not important. but, it is a science, in the biological realm. it is hard. it has a lot of information, and apparently, a big class.

i haven't been in a big class for years. and, it has also been years that I have had to write an exam like that. so, with a weekend of anti-social behaviour, lots of caffiene, and a little word to the one upstairs, I went in knowing I had done all I could.

and, i came out thinking "Really!?!? reallllly?! i never knew that true and false questions could be formatted like that! " unbelieveable. it was hard. hard enough that i had flashbacks of my most recent MCAT writing. but, it didn't quite make me want to cry like the mcat, so, in reality, i don't really know how I did. I guess we will see.

sigh. I am just glad it is over.
the other thing,
is that i don't want to "just pass." I want to.
than *well*.
I want
to do

maybe next time?!?

Monday, October 19, 2009

trying to figure it out....

pharmacology. mid-term exam. tomorrow night. lots of info. ugh.

blog settings. can't really read title, on top of new heading photo. wish i knew how to make the "description" lower. can anyone tell me how?

Friday, October 16, 2009

oldies, but goodies!

not sure if i expected photos like this to surface any time soon! ha ha! awesome. these are from my summer in Cameroon, with Teen Missions, in 2001. So, I had just graduated High School, i broke my arm falling off a roof, fell in love, was called to full time service in africa, and had an all round amazing summer. here are some funny photos!

our eating circle

hanging out with the local kids (love the glasses!)

Debrief in Switzerland!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

macca on IM hawaii

so, robbed this off of simon whitfield's blog.

also, excited to say that my friend kristen melberg has just joined the same Tri team that I joined last week~ so, that means:
me, donna, kristen, and Coach Mary (the four of us with fleur de lys necklaces!!!) who raced in NOLA are going to be training together.... well, together meaning: via the internet....
here are Kirsten and i, post IMNOLA 70.3

and our spectathletes!

and, in other great news:
yesterday was a day of surprizes and answered.prayers.
got a package containing a beautiful gift from a friend in the mail.
got a letter from BC student aid with my new loan agreement in it, meaning that i can get that fricken thing processed!

sigh. yesterday was a good chapter in my story. well, maybe a mini addendum!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


not much to say, just some photos from the recent past:

Prince Edward Island Fishing village. Sept 2009

Fall colours in the laurentians.

fall sitting in the laurentians. Not so much a lake, as a swamp. but, still pretty. McGill Outdoor Club "new members" weekend.

Self-portrait, North Point Prince Edward Island

Saturday, October 10, 2009

dream school and cervelos

so, I am sitting in Toronto (well, a suburb of..) at my uncle's place, and will be here for the next few days (it is a long weekend~ thanksgiving!), and i am soooo happy to be away from montreal for the weekend. everything has just been a little overwhelming the last little while, and i am due for a break.

my uncle has been doing triathlon and long distance running for a long time. he is a IM completer, and a current sprint tri affectiano... (is that a word?!) at any rate, we have good talks about and, sitting outside of the room i am staying in is a indoor trainer, and a nice light set of zipps.
His kids, my cousins, are also very athletic, working in bike shops, loving cross country ski racing, and running... i have another cousin on this side of my family (my mom's side) who is a 2:59 marathon runner. so, at any rate... there is at least there are a few of my family members who appreciates my little obsession.

talking about that... new set of running shoes on thursday. it was pretty funny, i went into the store, and was like "i am broke, so, i need the cheapest pair you have, that will get me as far as possible, and comfortable as possible." came out with a pair of sacony's. so, that will do the job for now.

it is now a little later in the day, and, I just got back from a great little bike ride with my uncle, north of the city. It is amazingly beautiful out there, we started riding at about 4pm, so that equals a nice fall afternoon ride. and, since i don't have my bike here, i got to ride one of the ones they have here. it is a little ride called a cervelo. *sigh* *loooonger sigh* i have said many times that when i ride a bike, i feel like i am flying. when i ride a bike like that, i feel like i am flying, but with less effort.... ;) but, let me tell you: this is a big announcement, so listen up. apparently, Don is going to be doing a cross country bike trip next summer. so, he said that in reality, the reason he was bringing me out for a ride was to see fit, and comfort level. 'cause, apparently, if next summer, I want to use it to race on... well, i can! WOOOOOT! yeeehaw! soooooo exciting!

in other exciting news.

i think that i am in dream school. i think school is a dream. how come i have never realized before now that nursing is apparently the area that I was created for. Every time I leave some sort of clinical placement (i am in "3" right now... one at a rehab hospital, one with a older adult at a community residence, and next week, starting at a pre-natal class), i am walking on clouds. nursing hits the care, the science, the relationship, that i have been looking for my whole life in a career. and i love it. it makes me feel like i have found the exact fit.

and, that makes me happy.

so, things are looking up :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

going home at the end of the day...

to those of you who read this via a feed on facebook... it is much more exciting if you just link to my actual blog!

recently, one of my profs declared, "remember that no matter what, no matter how your day is going, you are going home at the end of the day. Your client, most likely, is staying at the hospital."

And, to me, that might be one of the statements that will form my nursing career. remember, that you are going home. last night, I had a good "dang, i want to go home right now" thought when going to bed. and, then i sent a text message to a number of my friends [the ones who believe. in. the. power. of. prayer] to get them to pray for me, just to know that i am supported. yesterday, was a day that was frustrating in my books. a frustrating email, a frustrating meeting, and a day where everything seemed to take longer than planned.

in addition, my running shoes were lost at the regatta on the weekend.
it was raining while i was on the water, and things got picked up. my shoes... well, we are now back in montreal, and i don't know where they are.

you are going home at the end of the day.

I woke up today, knowing that it is a new day, and that it is forecast to be beautiful outside. And it is. Not to much wind, not too many clouds in the sky, beautiful sun. the type of morning that rowers like to be on the water with. the type of morning, where, if you can take your mind off other things, it will bring joy to your heart. so, I will think about today, and not about yesterday, or the day before.

it is thanksgiving this weekend, and I think I am going to try and head out to toronto to spend the weekend with my aunt, uncle and cousin. I love thanksgiving: it brings thoughts of warmth to my mind. And, i love that for the past number of years, i get to celebrate twice. once for canadian thanksgiving, and once for american. the second is kinda a tradition since being in west virginia.

i got an email from my friend this morning that made me break into tears instantly. it was an email that made me realize how much love there is in this world, and how much people will go to the line for you if you need it. to my friend who is accessing this blog via satellite access: words can't express.

i am excited about the future in triathlon. this week, i got myself i coach!!! wooooo! i have a team, i have a coach, and i am getting some goals. and, to me, that is overly exciting. fan-fricken-tastic! and, i even have a former wvu rowing teammate/current extremely close friend who is once again a teammate! yay DLS!

you are going home at the end of the day.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

struggling a bit...

first off, "hello" to all the people linking over from bikesnob. this is me. with (maybe not) my bike. and a mountain...

so, i guess that it has been a while since i have had a fairly decent post. yesterday, was a day that was laced with annoyances, and kinda made me realize that there are so many things right now that are wearing on me.

  • my student loan got screwed up. I am still waiting for the $ which was supposed to arrive in my account on the 1st of september. I have eaten through my savings with moving and "getting started in school" expenses, and I HATE that I have had to ask many people to help me out, especially my parents. I feel like virtually every day is a day that i am thinking "if i spend this 2$ on coffee, what am going to have to cut out later." or, "dang, i have to phone my automatic withdrawals, and tell them that they cannot take it out because it will bounce." I HATE that I am 26, and feel like i have to rely totally on other people. and i hate that money plays such an influence on life stress levels.

  • yesterday, my bike got sick. sick enough that I am scared to ride it, because it will get worse. there is popping and grinding coming from either the bottom bracket, or the hubs. mostly when it is wet (yup, montreal is looking more like vancouver with the amount of rain yesterday). and, i know that a overhaul of that, as well as a general tune up will cost a pretty penny. and, i can't send it to my bike mechanic friend. 'cause he lives in vancouver.

  • i am missing my vancouver people. although i am starting to find some people here, i miss my friends. erika. celine. brian. aud. rachel. erik. aldea. caz. my community. shaz. mineko. marc. my people.

  • i am remembering what "self-directed" learning means. and, how much time/dedication a master's degree takes. there is a whole lot of knowledge that needs to enter this brain, and it feels like there is too much sometimes. that my brain isn't big enough.

  • i am feeling like i have such a lack of control and lack of goals right now. in many aspects. in athletics: i don't know what i am looking towards right now. what am i working on? in nutrition: why the heck is it that despite the fact i feel like i am mostly eating well, and sticking to healthy eating, that i have to struggle with food all the time. so many people find nutrition easy to maintain. i find it hard.

but, i am not going to lie. despite the fact that there are somethings which are wearing on me, there are so many things going great in my life.

i love that two close friends have recently gotten engaged: erika, christina. and, i am very excited for them. i love love.

i am excited about what is going to happen in my life in athletics. i am going to get a coach (yay!) to help me realize, and focus my (non) goals!

i love nursing. i love that this is what i am going to do for the rest of my life. i love that i know that it fits like the proverbial glove.

i love coaching rowing. despite having to make hard decisions, and face hard situations, and every day is a learning curve, it brings me great joy. (i don't like that i still have to figure out how to get paid for it, but, non-the-less, i love giving to the community that i have gotten so much out of.)


Ha ha! so, today, the highlight might be the fact that I just made the second comment post on bikesnob.

this, to me, is hilarious, because i soooooooo don't care. but, it is definitely humourous, because i always tend to think "sigh, those 1st commenters are so lame!" and, now, i am a lame 2nd commenter. ha!