Sunday, November 29, 2009

week ahead

can I say, that i am excited for the upcoming week!? and, i don't know why i am still awake?

tomorrow, U2 tickets go on sale. at noon. that equals nerve racking. i hope hope hope i can get a ticket!!!! eeeeee. I so remember this whole thing in senior year, when I bought 6 tickets while sitting in the library with zach and i at computers and refreshing, refreshing, refreshing.

exciting training week ahead... after about a month of doing a lot of "brick laying" and no running, we are starting to mix it up a bit more. some functional strength, and adding in running again. Yay! perhaps, a 5km running race on saturday?! hopefully. we will see how the running goes on the ankle. but, santa shuffle?! here i come! (hopefully).

today I wrote a somewhat strange facebook message to someone. I hope i get a response. cause it would be pretty dang funny.

last week of classes. that means less stress for time related items, and increasing doom of exam period.

phew... tell me again why i am still awake at 10:30pm? it might be my excitement....

Friday, November 27, 2009

end of semester and last clinical day.

so, you know the neat thing about being a student, is the stages of the semester that you go though, and knowing that everyone is right along there beside you.

I have one more week of classes, no more papers, and two final exams on the 9th and 10th. So, it is definitely a feeling of relief. I arrived here in Montreal, with not many expectations, but knowing that I am here to do a program that I firmly believe in. I totally believe that I am 100% in the right place, and that I am doing what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. And, that, is such an amazing feeling.

I am taking on nursing, at a skill level that is a little intimidating. I am in a direct-entry master's program. What that means, is that we are doing nursing at a graduate level, but none of us are already nurses. We come from science backgrounds. Anthropology. Film and photography. psychology. a huge diversity of people from different places and different experiences. and, we all want to be nurses. so, the most common thing amongst us is that none of us know what we are doing when we step into client care.

we have had 3 clinical experiences this fall. one day a week at a convalescent hospital (geriatrics), one visit a week to a healthy older adult, and the task to follow a prenatal class. Today was my last day at the hospital, and I think I made the presumption that I was going to be going in, and it was going to be a semi-quiet day to finish off the semester. well, was I ever wrong.

started off the day with getting a new client, because one of my co-students felt a little overwhelmed with her care last week (patient 1). Then I had a patient that I have been working with for a while (patient 2), and finally, a patient who would be totally new for me (patient 3) I went in the morning to meet each of my clients for the day, and to make a long story short, it was go go go from moment number one.

with patient #1, I had anxiety, diaper changing, and a bathtub that didn't want to plug. I am not going to get totally into it, but all I know is that hopefully diaper changing and wiping peoples... butts!?!?.... gets easier. cause, what do you do in a clinical situation when you feel like you are going to throw up!? that is right... you are thinking exactly right. nope, i didn't throw up on a patient, but definitely gagged. you should've seen my clinical instructor trying to determine with me if it was "abnormally foul" smelling. all i said was "err... well, i don't have much experience in this area, but i know that my experience is that it was very foul smelling..." oh sigh. the next time she had to use the washroom, i definitely did not want to go in. but. i. did.

at the end of the day, though, you put yourself in the clients shoes.
you remember how it must feel like a loss of dignity for someone else to wipe your ass.
you remember how embarassing it must be to not be able to control those actions.

with patient #2, I have been working with him for a while. He is not old, been active, semi-retired, and has recently had his first stroke. He is very independent, pleasant, and very motivated. TOday was a day for him to have his bath, and he was finding that no one was there to help him. So, I asked his nurse in charge, and PAB (nursing assistant) if I could help him. We are taught to ask the client questions that can allow them to feel mastery in their situations, and to consider what the client wants to do... essentially "the client is the expert" in most cases. So, we go in, I ask him what are normal procedures for his bath, and he tells me. We get him ready, and I ask "okay, so, do you need help with bathing? Do you need me to stay?" no. so, i think "okay, well, he says that he feels able to do it himself." I tell him, "okay, here is the call bell, I will be close if you need anything, just let me know." and, i leave. I walk down the hall, to check in on someone else...

3 minutes later, bell is ringing, and people are looking at me, yelling. PAB goes crazy on me, nurse is asking me "where are you!?" and someone else is all "why did you leave!?!?" I go in to see what is the problem... he can't figure out how to properly turn the showerhead on. (ummm, i have that problem a lot of times in strange showers!)
but, it turns out, that you are *never* to leave a patient alone in the shower. this makes the incident seem short, and not very interesting, but let me just say that it is really good that I am who i am.
that i don't lash out at others, that i am somewhat passive aggressive (not in a bad way though. I just know how to deal with judging when it is a good time to respond, and when to let it go), and that i am able to take reactions with a grain of salt. Was i in the wrong? well, yes, sort of. i shouldn't of left the patient alone. but, on the other hand, I took the patient for his word, and I didn't know that I am not able to leave them.

so, learning experiences.
all learning experiences. ass wiping. adverting my vomit. being yelled at by 3 different people at once. and "terminating relationships" with patients.

it was a big day.

and now, it is time to bike.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

long day of paper writing!

Sunday was an exceptionally long day of paper writing. I have 3 short papers (about4-6 pages each) to write to finish up my clinical semester. I am trying to get them done early, so that they are not hanging on my neck for the remainder of this week, when I am starting to get ready for finals. I got one done, and was able to get a good handle on the two others. and the two are "reflective journals" so... they aren't so bad.

yup, finals. they are just around the corner! Only 2 more weeks of classes, and that is shocking to me!

this past week has been exceptionally busy, but filled with everywhere from the awful to the wonderful happenings. and, so, I present you with the highlights (holy moley this is a long post!):

late night wanderings:
last thursday night, we had a wonderful rowing dinner. Filled with videos, fancy people (have i mentioned that i love the fact that word for "fancy" in quebecois is "chic." for example: comment chic vas-tu se soir?" translates into: how fancy are you going tonight?" love it.), nice food, and lots of laughs. I was quite chic, with a red/maroon dress, and a pair of black heels that i borrowed from a friend to make me far taller than 6 feet (as if i need to be taller. but, i figure: if you have legs, show them off! but that was a mistake: re
member that ankle!?)

at any rate, i had a rotation at the hospital the next day, so i knew I had to leave early: it starts at 7. so, from where I was, it generally takes 20/30 mins max to get home. What happened next was something that people just have bad dreams about. i hopped on a bus, that just happened to be there when i stepped out of the restaurant, presuming that it was going to go to a local metro station.
It was about 12 o'clock, so, would be okay to catch the metro before it closed. but, before I knew it, we had passed all the local stations, and we were heading *north* and I was too far to get off, and go the opposite direction. Finally, we make it to a metro station, in la la land. (oh, and, have I mentioned that i forgot both my watch, and my phone at home!?!?). so, i walk down into onto the platform and wait. and wait. and wait. 20 minutes later, a worker comes down, and tells the 5 of us on the platform... there are no more trains! oh crap. so, i walk outside, no idea where i am, but with a general idea how to get home. and, it is starting to rain. I hop a few more night busses (this also included the times standing in the rain at remote bus stops, and seeing a cops lights flashing...) and arrive at a different metro station, only slightly closer to home. and, it was at this time, where i think "damn. sigh. i have no desire to wait for another bus that might not get me home again." find a taxi (i thought about this earlier, but there was no taxi to be found)...

and, alas. one drove by. such a relief. I hope in, with just short of 14$ in my pocket. we get home, and it is about 17$ and change. so, no problem. use my card. but... did they have a card machine?! NOPE. ARGH! really!? so, we drive away to go to a atm. but, thankfully, the cabbie was amazing, and then said "you know what, don't worry about it." and turned around and dropped me home. I went to bed at 2:15, and work up at 5:30 for a day at the hospital.

awful. awful. awful. and, you know what... it was one of the scariest moments that i have had in a long time. I can hold my own. I am 6ft tall, and not a small girl. But, there i was, in a place i didn't know, in the middle of the night, with no phone, and wearing a dress with high heels. if i was dressed in jeans, it probably would have felt different. but, i wasn't wearing jeans. and, it was scary. and, i was so relieved when i got home.

but, onto better news...

holidays: my mum surprized me earlier this week with random phone calls back and forth about our time share that happens every two years
for a week, in southern BC. She said "if i booked it, will you come!?" i said "if you pay for my plane ticket, of course." she said "well, would you like to go to somewhere hot?!" I said... "of course!!!!" she said "okay, let's try to plan. where would you like?" that ended up being a bit of a condundrum, with most places already being booked full. but, after a day of back and forth calls with the time share exchange company... we are going to the bahamas! WOOOT! so, from Feb 20th-Feb 27th, I will be staying here, i will be scuba-ing (they have reef sharks there! awesome! running on an island, and open water swimming (well... they have reef sharks there. yipes!) and, of course, spending time with my mama. you know, never in my life have we *Ever* had a hot holiday.

job possibilities:
this only happened yesterday, but, I had a meeting with a prof who teaches Exercise Pathophysiology at McGill. I had applied to TA her class, and she loved my CV: that i have a background in exphys and rehab, and that i am in nursing now. she loves that i looked at muscle histology ('cause some of her students are doing that!!!), and she commended me on my athletic accomplishments. and, i knew I was in a good place when I saw that she had an Ironman lanyard for her keys!? so... i asked... and no, not her, but one of her best friends. cool. she is at least a tri spectathlete! so, very very good possibilities to be have a job in an area that I love (i would be responsible for the exercise testing component, and also teaching 2 or 3 classes.... such a great experience!)

as mentioned previously. my best friend Christina is married. To Dave. Here is her facebook profile pic. they "eloped" to Key West. but don't worry, it wasn't a secret that they were eloping.

this past weekend, i spent friday evening, and most of satruday at a "meditative and contemplative prayer retreat." and, despite being a bit hesitant about it, it was wonderful. Most of the time was spent in solitude (like, long times!) on saturday, 3 times we would be quiet, and just sit, pray, meditate, and contemplate for anywhere from 1.5-2 1/4 hours. it was amazing. and, what i needed. and, i like that. to sit, and to escape. the retreat was held in this beautiful "villa maria" architecture catholic church in the eastern part of the city. so, a perfect place to "contemplate." and, you know, there were definitely tears at some points. we got to contemplate... ourself: then god: then our mission. there was definitely times of self examination, and times of talking sternly with God, and times of worship.

and, that is not always easy. but, always necessary.

yesterday, I had a *hard* day of training. Hopped on the bike, and HR soared. and, was exceptionally unmotivated to go swimming. Found my legs cramping up a bit, and all of that. it was so strange, and I had no idea why it was happening. I wondered if it was an overflow of getting 3 hours sleep on thursday night. or if it was cause i ate lunch in too close of a proximity of my ride. or what.

the weather has been really nice here recently, and that allowed me to go and ride my bike outside on saturday. And, you know... i suppose that a benefit of riding inside all the time is that you really appreciate those days when you are outside. I don't think that there is anything that compares to feeling the wind, and the glide of a bike under you.

some of my girls with rowing have been on a "We want to be lightweights" kick. which, is not bad. they are not far off, and they have the ability to lean up. But, it is funny, because they ask me a lot about nutrition. Something that is constantly on my mind, and something that I am constantly learning about. but, it also got me thinking about something else, something that I read about recently in rowersworld:

when athletes are sedentary.

you might ask, what do you mean?!?!

what i mean, is this: the athlete, who, during the time that they are training work fairly hard. but, as soon as they go home, they eat a *huge* meal, or allow themselves to think "mmm, since I am an athlete, and working out ..... hrs a day, I can eat whatever I want." and
"mmmm, since I am an athlete, and working out ..... hrs a day, I can sit around and be lazy for the rest of the day. I can lounge while watching tv or on the computer, and i can take the elevator, and sit around all day and drive to the gym."

I think this is absolutely true. i think that as athletes, we definitely to use time between workouts to recover, and not overtrain. but, any time that we sit for long periods of time, and don't move, our bodies hate it. There are so many studies out there which show things about increased bed rest leading to increased muscle atrophy, or how movement decreases muscle soreness, and the such. And, maybe it is a key as to why some people can be more successful with weight loss than other people... but, that might just be mho.

what do you think!?

yikes! did i mention that i have papers to write!?!?!?

Friday, November 20, 2009

quite the story...

(i know, on saturday, i said i was going to post on sunday. it is now monday. blame it on papers.)

so, my best friend is now married. She is no longer "christina L." She is now Christina S. and, i don't know if her new last name has quite the same ring to it. but, it is her new last name! yay!

so, i have a story that involves me and a dress and high heels and getting only 3 hours sleep last night before my day long "stage" at the hospital today.

yup, i know.
you are curious now.
wait for tomorrow.

Meanwhile, please enjoy the following video that I have put together for the rowing team that I coach!

Monday, November 16, 2009

week number two

so, today will start the second week of no running in my workout plans. ugh. just as i was getting into it! and, it is funny, 'cause when you drop one out of the 3 out of training~ it just seems so monotonous! I was talking to a friend last night, who is an RMT that specializes in swelling, inflammation, and lymphatic drainage. and, we were laughing 'cause i told her the whole ankle story, and declared "ugh, stupid ankle." to which she responded: "yes, im sure. it's the ankle that is stupid."

gee, thanks Rach. ;)

but, taking these weeks off will allow it to heal better. and, so will those anti-inflam's that i am on. I am actually starting to be able to see the shape of my ankle bones again! I know that cankles are cool (if queen elizabeth has them, why can't I have them!?) but, its nice to know that my single cankle is disappearing. the thing about rest... well, it just generally is good for allowing the body to heal. hopefully I will still be able to do a 5km santa shuffle on Dec 5th...

Yesterday, after my bike in the evening, i wrote the following: I don't know why one workout seems so much easier then the next, day to day. Yesterday, 1hr bike: seemed like forever, and I couldn't wait to get off.. HRs seemed high, and sweating like i just jumped out of a pool soaking wet.

today: FANTASTIC. was not bored (maybe it was the "planet earth" video playing on my computer (nothing like a cheeta chasing down prey to motivate you...) or what, but i felt like i could go forever, and the HRs were low... 148, 152, 152, 148, 154, 151. (ps... have i mentioned that it is really hard to get acccurate carotid pulses while you are sitting on a bike? i find like my ability to count goes down the drain! can't wait to get the HRM back... my shop in vancouver is going to be taking care of it.)

but, really... what *is* it that makes day to day workouts sometimes feel so different!?

on saturday, I was talking to my mum about the races I want to do this year. I am thinking two 1/2 iron distances. Do i want specifically labeled "i-dot" races? i don't know. There *is* some odd appeal to them, but, i can't quite identify what they are. as of right now, I am thinking mooseman, and muskoka. I just need enough money on my creditcard to be able to register ;)

this week looks like it is going to be less busy than last week. I am starting off on a good foot, with a productive weekend that just past. end of term writing assignments are starting to pile up, but, that's okay. cause, I still have time. And, the end of this week has things to look forward to: end of year celebration/recognition dinner for rowing, and a contemplative 1 day conference at YWAM montreal.

Friday, November 13, 2009

it's fridayyyyyy!

so, sometimes I like to think that I am not a morning person. sometimes i tell myself, and many other people, that I am a night owl.

it is 5:24, and I have clinical today. But, I woke up early to do some school work. and, normally I wake up early to go coach a rowing team. Or, I wake up early to go exercise. I just can't seem to do things with as much focus in the evenings. maybe it is serotonin levels.

maybe, it is because I like the mornings. I like that only a certain end of the population bell curve is awake. there is something calming about it.

I am feeling a bit behind with work right now. So, a weekend of school work is planned. also time to start studying for finals.

Every day, I get a quote in my email from outward bound. Today's was an aristotle quote. ANd, it is one that was graffiti'd on the bridge in Morgantown, and so we would row by it every day. I *love* it~ words to go by:

we are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.

so, here is from me to you in the mornings: Enjoy your day!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

sore ankles and birthdays

well, sore ankle. just one.

Remember how I twisted it two weeks ago!? well, you know how it goes. You don't want to stop. So, you don't. And, then it turns around and bites you in the ass. Finally went to the Doc today at the sports medicine clinic. fortunently, my sprain (most likely) is only a second degree... 1st degree is what people do frequently. 3rd degree is surgical. Apparently, mine is somewhere in the middle of that, leaning towards the 3rd degree, but the Doc didn't seem to be wildly concerned. she just said: stop running! keep biking and swimming!
and guess what!?

my coach already told me that ;)

so, here we are.

Today, is the 14th birthday of one of my most favourite people in this world. I remember this day, 14 years ago, very very vividly. My life was changed with beautiful Makayla came into this world. My brother had his first daughter when I was 12. And, we have been close for a long time, and the only thing that I regret with her is that I cannot see her every
day. So, here are some pictures

*Makayla* if you read this: you are beautiful and so loved and worth more than you can ever feel and you bring joy to everyone around you and life would not be the same without you in it. I hope that this next year presents amazing surprizes around each corner, and more blessings than you can imagine. I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU KNOW!

Here are some pictures from over the years, from most recent, to some older ones...

At Shawnigan Lake Triathlon, May 2009

Caving in Canmore Fall 2008

On a whale watching/Hot spring going boat in Tofino, June 2008

Jericho Beach BBQ, June 2008

Fall 2006, at Dimsum, in Edmonton

mmm... must be before 2005... I still had dreadlocks!
me, my mum, and my neice

Saturday, November 7, 2009

wanderin' free..

wish i could be... part of that world...

so, i have a new look. it is sunshiney, and it has a bike. but, it lost all my web connections, which i am slightly annoyed with. argh! if you know that I read your blog, please make a comment, so I can reconnect with you!

so, it has seemed, that recently, a theme in my life has been one of surrender, freedom, and trust. a friend of mine, that i have not seen in a long time, but holds a special place in my heart reminded me of surrender, and it was definitely not a long way off of a conversation that I had recently with a different friend of mine...
and, i know that in times of transition, those qualities are perhaps the most important things to remember... "make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."

yeah. good advice.

today went *totally* different than planned. I had nothing planned. maybe a coffee. maybe lots of homework to do. but definitely grocery shopping. and, definitely picking up a 5$ mini shelving unit that I found on craigslist. and, bike for an hour. and all of those things happened.
i woke up, caught up on long awaited emails, and eventually headed out to "coffee" at a cafe that I had written down as a place to try. so, bring my computer with plans to do work.

in the heart of little italy, was it a cafe? yes. was there anywhere to sit and do work... no! i walked in, and there were walls of beans, and shelves of coffee makers, and italians standing at a counter drinking espresso, and the smell of heaven. i mean, the smell of fresh ground beans. that was it. i ended up leaving with a free espresso, a new french press, and 1/2 a kilo of a magic blend of beans! HA!

walk my way down the street, with intention of heading to Marche Jean-Talon get distracted by a small Vietnamese resturant. 13$ later, and filled with steamed curry veggies and tofu, i walk again to the market.

i walked in, and... it was like I had just walked into the man of my dreams. my heart fluttered, my breath picked up, and i couldn't find words. I had to phone donna. was it true? does food have the same effect on me as attractive men?!?! shocking! ha! spent the next 2 hours there buying fresh veggies from local farmers, and fruit in baskets, and fish from vendors who think that sustainable fishery lists are lies, and organic local dairy products. sigh... amazing. and, now, some of those things are cooking in my oven, and that is why I am writing, cause when i leave the kitchen with veggies roasting, I often forget about them, and they get too crispy.

but, markets. what an amazing way to spend an afternoon. I spent more money today than expected. esp with the french press. but, it was such a wonderful day. filled with colours, and smells, and interactions with lovely people, and reminders of the beautiful things in life.

and, it is days like this (oh, i also did the other things as well... and, ps, can we just mention that if you are sitting in your room biking, and going nowhere, it passes wayyyyy faster if you have something to watch!? thank you CBC shows online!) that remind me that despite the difficulty of surrender, and the difficulty of trust, we have to sit on the small jewels of life. because those moments are made for you and me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

more east coast adventures...

wooo! I am figuring out how to effectively add things to youtube! yay!

so, if you have 10 minutes, and want a video tour of maine, nova scotia, PEI, and the car we rented, feel free to enjoy the following:

and, can we just talk about how much I am procrastinating right now!?!?

videos are stupid, and triathletes are weird...

first off, I think that I am going to take off my RSS feed to facebook... I have too many people who have access to my profile, and if you want to read my blog, you should read my blog. So, all you facebook followers, cruise on over to my blog at and, then bookmark it, if you are interested.

I have been really frustrated with youtube in the last day and a half~ I have wanted to upload a hilarious video, and i can't. it keeps giving me error messages. I have no idea, and I am not techy like that, so I don't know how to fix it. But, as soon as I do, get ready to laugh.

yesterday, when I was sitting on my bike, i made a funny realization. i have frequently made fun of Triathletes... the gear heads they are, the funny clothes they wear (can we say arm warmers with a sleeveless jersey!?), the ridiculous length races they do, the obscene time of day they wake up at, and, in general: the strange strange habits.

Every since I participated in my first race, back in squamish in july 2008, I have had a hard time calling myself a triathlete. I tend to consider myself a person who does triathlons. is there a difference?! perhaps... but, now i have a 70.3 under my belt, 4 olympic distance tris, and even a coach that I pay. so... maybe i am a triathlete. anyway, as i was sitting on my bike, i realized that i had taken it inside~ that i was sitting on a trainer, in my room, staring at a wall, sweating on my floor, and realizing that i am one of those people that I make fun of.

but, what is life, if you cannot make fun of yourself?!
it is nothing, my friends.
take a look at yourself today, and have a laugh. it's good for you.

master's yesterday at mcgill was amazing. soooo nice to be back in the pool... :D

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

east coast movie!

and, in addition, i am learning to use my new toy...

a little video for you today, from my east coast extravaganza. if you have 53 seconds to waste (and i know all of you do!) watch this! i find it quite hilarious. in fact... sujan and I are hilarious. and, i like to make people laugh. and, i think you. will. laugh. when. watching. this. video.

i am trying to get the longer video up, but for now, this will have to do :)

(ah ha... success....!)

a little bit of everything...

so, here is a post about a little bit of everything.
well, not really. all it is about is my life.
so, if you are interested.....

read on! read on!
ha ha... okay, done with the ridiculousness. (well, okay, am i really *ever* done with the ridiculousness?!?! i think not)

today, i went to get a new battery for my garmin. get the new battery put in, and guess what? it now works less than it did before. *crap* so, guess what is getting sent to garmin international on warranty? guess who doesnt have a HRM for a while... yup, that's me!

remember how i rolled my ankle last week while running in the park? well... let's just say that the swelling hasn't gone down. *crap* can we talk about how much i love ice on my foot. well, i don't. but, ice+foot have been a common theme recently.

i have recently been getting annoyed with having to carry about 10 million bags to school each day. i carry school stuff, work out stuff, lunch stuff, coffee stuff... you get the picture. my backpack is definitely not big enough. but, now it is. cause, you are talking to a girl who got a new one! yeah 140$ bag for 90$! yeah deuter futura 32!

remember how i used to swim? well, tomorrow i am starting with McGill Masters Swimming. i am a little worried, since i haven't been in a pool for months, but, as mary said: just give it a few weeks!

i would like to mention something that has been on my mind lately. i would like to point out how many of my friends are doing "grown up" things. like having babies. and getting married (ahem, christina and dave, erika and jay). and buying houses. and retiring from their first job. and making careers. and, here i am, getting excited about a new backpack that can carry all the stuff that brings me to school and back. i love what i am doing right now, i love that i am here, and the choices that have brought me here and back and around. but, on the occasion, i think about being 26, and knowing that i am an adult. and, sometimes i feel like i am 22, because i am still a student after forever. and, i very much live like a student. but, on many other occasions, i feel like i am "older." that i should be past the student thing. that i should be in the young professional stage. that i should be in many other stages.

but, i'm not. and, i know that is okay. because this is where i am meant to be. but, sometimes, i wish that society would stop telling me that i should be somewhere else...

(argh! ZCM! i am hating your satellite connection right now!)