Sunday, March 27, 2011

Course populaire de Lasalle race report

So, today i had a 5km. and, to tell you the truth, i am "meh" about it... and (not going to lie), i was quite hesitant about writing this post. because i know that in the scheme of things, it is no big deal (like the 1st ever grey hair i found yesterday...). and, because i know that a race is a race. and, i love racing. and, i am grateful for racing. and, so when there is one that doesn't go well... well, you should just move on. but, i also know that people are going to ask/wonder.

so, here we go. hopefully this soothes your curiousities.

besides. it is pretty much the only interesting thing going on in my life right now. except for a few nice dinners on friday (made some chicken/tomato/spianch stuffed portobellos with annie on Friday, and then saturday, went to celebrate Vesna's birthday at a restaurant here in town called Khyber Pass on saturday night)... but, what i eat is not really interesting either.

So, back to the race. I got up early (6am, race was at 8:50, but wayyyy out yonder.) I wanted to get there around 8 to have a good warm up, and pick up my bib. BUT i got on the metro, then as i was exiting the station, through the wrong door, i watched my bus drive away. Next one... 30 mins later, at 8:08am. so, i started walking up and down the stairs in the metro station, to get my HR moving a bit. then, i realized i had to pee, *really* badly. Mary tweeted me, telling me i should pee my pants. (classy, right? i told her only in races over an hour and a half, do i pee my pants). so, i asked her "what part of -15 degrees C doesn't translate into american?" I got to the race at about 8:35. ARGH!

anyway, ran from the bus to the bib pickup as my warm up. PEE (yay! sweet relief!) get my stuff, then check my bag, and out to the start with about 7 mins to go. i do some jump squats, and some movements, and high knees and the such. keep my HR around 120. and, off we go. this was the largest 5km that i have raced in a long time. definitely 100's of people.

Mary uses 5km races to calculate our lactate thresholds. see how hard we can really get going... (Just letting you know why we race 5k's, when we are focusing on doing 5+hour races).

now the theme of the day was COLD. COLD weather. COLD wind. eyes watering. muscles taking a while to get going. but, i felt ok... not great, off the bat, but not bad. i was thinking in my head, 4:25km's pacing, for around 22min time.

so, my KM's went like this.
1) 4:31 (HR 167)... ok. not bad. a little slower than planned, but, i could be happy with this.
2) 4:52 (HR 174)... OH! yipes. but, that km felt harder. damn that frigid wind. not nice to run into
3) 4:27 (HR 176) YES! turned the corner no more wind! it might actually even be pushing me a bit. run fast! keep this pace. oups. that is a bit of a stomach cramp. don't let that lady who is wearing a wierd hat and running with awful technique get too far ahead of you.
4) 5:04 (HR 179). yum yeah. right. this is why i am not a short distance runner. it hurts. you can't slow down and find a pace. and DAMN THAT FRIGID WIND! SOOO HARD TO RUN INTO!
5) 4:40 (HR 182). ok girl. dig in. run with your core, quick feet turnover. pick it up more. there is less than 5 mins remaining (Ugh. i can't.) comon' go for it! GO! ARGH!

sigh. SIIIIGH. not terrible. not great. slower than last year. time to go home. i have a headache.

i get home, and i over analyze. i send Mary a email freaking out about how if in april, i run another 1/2 marathon (4th in a row) at 1:46, that i will be PISSED. and how i think my training zones are off. that there is no way that i can improve when she has me training this slow... surely something must be wrong.

and, she replies...

That's exactly why we do these things. I am going to review the data after my shower, but know this: there is never harm in training "too slow". When I cross check I will also cross check with the Qt2 zones, which believe it or not, are slower.

If that made sense.

No worries sister, we are on the right track. More in a minute!

I know that i need to be patient. but. sometimes that is hard. especially when it feels like you are going backwards, even when you should be going forward. and when you are working HARD to go forward. it is frustrating. and, due to this... i have NOT been able to concentrate on school this afternoon. i've just not been happy... and. ravenous as well. meh.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Starting and Finishing the day on a win!

So, yesterday, i found out that the class i normally have on Friday's was not happening. Know what that means? It means that this morning, I was able to wake up to the sunshine coming through my windows, rather than waking up to my alarm. I don't have to be anywhere until 3:30 this afternoon.

I will spend the day doing school work in my PJ's, then go buy an aeropress... (The boy i like is saving me from drinking crappy, instant coffee in the morning. That's a reason why i like him. he values the coffee snob in me.) Then, I will head down to the rowing bassin (on my bike... it will be my 1hr recovery ride, there and back) to coach the boys of Selwyn House School. I kinda (and, in kinda, i mean, really) like coaching these kids. It just brings the fun back into rowing. And, it also means that I get to take full control over the program, because the other "coach" knows pretty much nothing at all about rowing. Then, back to mile end for some Yoga and evening with my friend Annie.

Yesterday, I started and ended my day with Wins.

In the morning, I had an OSCE at the ICU. I practiced my assessment skills for about and hour, and then my TA came to do the exam. and, la de da... I cot a 23/25 on my Chest Assessment. And, you want to know what I lost points on?!?! I found it quite funny, because this is the thing i am BEST at in my nursing practice: I lost a point bedside manner. i didn't explain what i was doing to the patient (who... let me just add, was under deep sedation and intubated, and it was the second time i had done the assessment on him...). but yes. i know, i need to explain, even if they are sedated. which i do all the time. i just was flustered from the exam process. the other thing i lost a point on was that there were 2 times where I had forgotten something (i.e. including during my inspection, vocalizing that i would be listening for breathing sounds, and looking for nail clubbing), and went back to them, later in the the assessment. So, i went out of order. But, all that being said... i did good!

at the end of the day, just before i was going to sleep, i got this email from one of my supervisors:

Hey Amelia,

I know Anita is away right now, but I just finished properly reading through your lit review and I just wanted to tell you that I thought you did a wonderful job. I know this has been challenging to work on this project with so little feedback from Malawi and from me and Anita too. You did great (an impressive ref list too!). I just though you should know.

and... that is a really great way to end the day. WIN!

on sunday, I will be racing Courses et Marche Populaires de Lasalle. Last year, i did it, the weather was pretty crappy. But, i am pretty stoked on running a 5km this weekend, because how often do you get to taper for a 5km? NEVER! but, i will tell you when you do... when you have a scheduled recovery week the week before! My running has been going well (despite it feeling like it is going SLOW), but, i am nailing my zones lately in training. So, here's to hoping that the recovery week, combined with the smart training is going to translate into a FAST 5km. My hope is for a 22min race. Last year, it was 23:09. This year will be sunny (but COLD). That pace is for a just about a 4:25 KM. so, we shall see. i think, attainable. my other goal, is to pull my elbows in!!!! (and... not run with a flat foot strike.)

finally, i think you will notice my new little Wibiya toolbar at the bottom of my blog. i found it on my friend's blog, and it is super neat... i know that i say that i don't care how many people read my blog. but, sometimes i am curious. and, i DO like it when people follow what is going on. so, this is just another way to track that... and make it easier for other people to follow along.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weeks like this make me happy. Top 5 neat things...

first off, it is a recovery week. It means: more time for school work. More time to see friends. More time to sleep. More time to focus on good nutrition. All things i like.

secondly, the forecast is amazing. that means lots of outside commuting, and sunshine to wake me up in the morning, and crisp nights. it means extra free energy. its not warm. but it is sunny and dry.

thirdly, lots of things for school are wrapping up. i just had my last family nursing meeting. Tomorrow, I will do a final OSCE for my physical assessment class. I will have my last clinical rotation feedback class. all of this means papers are soon to be due, and presentations are to be had, but, in general, there is an end to this story of the semester.

fourth, i ROCKED master's swimming last night. We had a 1000m warm up, then a pyramid, that included 50/100/200/400/200/100/50 sprint/fast bits, with recovery distances in between. Normally, my "go to" T-Time for 100m is 1:30, fairly consistently. let's just say that the times were close to this: :35/1:17/2:45/5:45/2:49/1:21/:36 all i gotta say is that i am pretty sure that is an improvement. i felt strong, and i felt consistant. YAY! improvement in my swimming?! that is a shocker! but, i also just found out that my Ironman 70.3 Honu race in Hawaii in June is a mass swim start, not a wave start. And, that kinda freaks me out!!!!

fifth, in a "business manner" I have been adding to my blog roll. All of the following people, I know, and I consider friends. but, they are blogging about pretty neat things. I will not say just who they are, because i know at least a few of them may choose to say anonymous.
  • Blogging from Montreal, Skinnypants is talking about her journey with obesity (and current healthy weight loss!), and all the different perspectives that play into this.
  • Blogging from Vancouver, Ruth is blogging about her Journey with Love overcoming an eating disorder, mental illness, spirituality, and the steps she lives on a day to day basis.
  • Blogging from the USA, Just a Dude is blogging about being a gay man in a very conservative cultural setting: the Egyptian Coptic Church.
  • Blogging for, Mary is going to be writing a column about females in the sport of triathlon.
Lastly, I wanted to post a video that made me VERY proud. The every hilarious Rick Mercer recently did a segment on the Rowing Program at my old high school, Brentwood (where I learnt to row, and it brought me amazing places, for which i am eternally grateful...). It is really neat the history of rowing that comes from brentwood. Especially since one of those olympians who got a gold medal in the men's 8+ at the last olympics was in my graduating class. Neat. it is REALLY neat to know people who have made huge steps in their athletic careers. very motivational, since it brings olympic champions to a level outside of a "superstar" persona, to a "regular, dedicated person."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

life of luxury?

So, this is a bit of a topic that i have wanted to write about for a bit of a time, but, i got to thinking about it a bit more this weekend, which kinda prompts a new post....

but, before we start that. this week is a sweet sweet recovery week. Today, in fact i have NO workout scheduled. Shocking. First day in a LONG time that i have not exercised. and, i am SO ready for the recovery week. My long workouts this weekend were hard. and, i felt my body having a challenging time with them. But, alas. i know that come the summer, I am going to appreciate the work that has been put in now. My coach, Mary, at train-this, knows what she is doing. and i like to believe that what she is doing is going to make me faster.
so, this past weeks numbers:
Swim: 2hrs 4800m
Bike: 6hrs 15 min
run: 4hr 32 min
strength+yoga: 1hr30
total: 14hr 17 min

SO, let's start off with why i was thinking about this particular subject. I did not have a all together "productive" weekend, in terms of getting stuff done. Though, I did do a lot of stuff. After handing the methods section of my research proposal in, i just felt exceptionally burnt out with school work. So, I think it has been good that i didn't look at any of my homework all weekend. gave "time off." so that now, on monday, i can be productive.

but, i did, both yesterday and today, have a "pre-departure weekend" with all the other Mcgill nursing students (both graduate and undergraduate) that will be spending time abroad in the coming months. It is REALLY exciting, and it is really neat to have weekends like this, where you actually start thinking about it more. For perhaps the first time so far, the fact that i am going to Malawi became more of a "lived reality" than an academic research project. and i like that. a lot. my heart is so passionate about working and serving the people of africa. and, i am starting to realize that in 6 months... i will be "home" again. (ok. ok. so, i know malawi is not the same as anywhere else i have ever gone in Africa. but, i know that my heart will be attached to that continent again...)

I was recently re-acquainted with someone that I know from my days at Pioneer Ranch Camp, in Rocky Mountain House, alberta. Now, the thing about everyone that i worked with at camp, is that there has got to have a common personality theme.... possibly one that seeks adventure, loves the adrenaline that comes with new experience and being silly, gains energy from the people around them. a lot of the people i met there have traveled to the far places of the earth, dedicated time to serving others, and taken time to expose themselves to new, and unknown experience.
circa 2006... packing up rain jackets for jr high girls to go on a out trip...

which, makes working at camp AMAZING. it also makes working at camp very transitional, with a whole bunch of people who move and shift and change often. This acquaintance (Jenna), who is now doing an IVCF internship here in Montreal, and I starting talking about what "adventure" looks like. And, I am not going to lie, i have thought about this A LOT in the last 2 years or so, and realize that i have held one view in my mind about what adventure looks like, for a long time. but, that view is not necessarily true.

i mean, when you do a google image search for adventure, you see roller coasters, and skydiving, and rafting and tropical places and photographers and mountains. definitely all things that i love. things i love a lot...

but... what is the difference between living a life of adventure, and living a life of luxury? We live in world, where wealth is exceptionally mal-distributed. I will not spout statistics at you.... but, you can check them out, if you want. it is not very hard to find... if you want to find it.

i come from a background of privilege... no, my family is not rich... but, i have been given opportunities that MANY MANY people never have the chance to. i mean, i was given the amazing opportunity to go to a private boarding school, Brentwood College School, on a sea-front campus. i had people pay me to go to college, because of my athletic accomplishments. my parents have both been employed fairly steadily for most of my/their lives. we had dogs. and cats. and chances to participate in sports. we had nothing extreme. but we had.

and, i would bet that 99% of the people who read this blog also have.
and... that is ok. because that is what our culture is.
and.. i tend to think, that it is just how we handle what we have.

so, in my life, I have been thinking about how to re-define adventure. because, sometimes, adventure looks like a life of luxury. a life that 99% of the people on this earth cannot even imagine having. people cannot just get up and quit their jobs, and spend money and go to far away lands. they can't just spend 100$ on a day of diving. or 250$ for a 5 hour race (if going very fast...). those are things we get in luxury.

and, yes. they are things that are very nice, and often character building, and many times are aimed at benefiting other people as well.

but, i guess... the question in my mind has really been "what does adventure look like? and, how can i still have adventure, while being cognizant of those around me?"

i think having a re-definition of adventure would serve my life well.

Friday, March 18, 2011

some photos...

by the boy i like, from his weekend in montreal. I am sure that they will continue to be updated. You can see his flickr page HERE

brunch at Le Vieux Velo

Drooling over Aragon 18s at Cycles Gervais
Montreal Skyline at Night

things i love and things i hate.

This morning, I handed in my methods section of my research proposal. with that handed in, i only have 9 things left between me and the end of the semester (HA!). sighhhhh but, i love getting things done, and handing them in. After this post, back to work, since all weekend long i will be in a "pre departure workshop" with all the other students going to overseas locations in the fall. during my off times, i will be doing my long ride, and long run.

and since, i am pretty much posting on a weekly basis, here are some MANY not-so-random thoughts...

today, reading the paper about Japan, I almost started crying. The earth is shifting, and moving, and reminding us of it's power, and how we are but small things in a HUGE picture. but, i do wish that when the earth reminds us of this (like the volcano in iceland, or earthquake in new zealand, or the volcano currently in indonesia, or haiti, or floods in pakistan) it wouldn't have to be with such devestation.

so, i discovered something today while thinking about lunch. as ironic as it may seem, i LOATHE making salads. I love salads, though. I love the things that are in them, i love eating them, and i love what they look like. the problem stands between me and making them. they take a really long time to make. i just don't like chopping things up (so, forget the whole "chop your veggies on sunday so you can just reach in and grab them" thing...)! why couldn't all things be created in bite-size pieces?

my "lenten vows" have been going well, for the most part. I have found the "turning off the computer at 9:30" the hardest. not going to lie. i don't. but, i only keep it on after 9:30 to (a) do school work, and (b) talk to the boy i like. and, more often than not, he ends up reading me my "psalm of the night." which, i love. other things, like no dairy is going well... though it sneaks in there when least expected (Like in soups! or when i am so accustomed to chocolate milk post workout... oops! forgot!).

on my run the other day, i ran buy a shop which had this fun shoulder bag in the window. and it clicked to me how much i love bags. not purses... bags. i love practical backpacks, and LOVE over the shoulder/courier bags. i have owned many in my life (one of my favs being a "hippie-ish corduroy and hemp bag), and often wish i had more...but, they gotta be practical, and unique.

talking about things i like, today, walking back from my swim, i stopped into a small boutique close to here that I always walk buy, and oogle at the clothing in the window, knowing that it would be WAY to expensive for my (very) limited budget. but, i had time, i was strolling, so, i peaked in. and, yes, sure enough, Body Bag by Jude had beautiful clothing. but, FAR too expensive for a student. so, i was just looking, and was instantly drawn to this stunning strapless, in white, with a "map" design on it. price: 318$. sighhhh. the girl working there, then said "oh, all of these racks are on sale, and that rack in the back has 'descripencies,' so they are on 60% off..." sure enough. same dress. in black. in large. i try it on. and, i don't even get stuck in it (if you remember my last dress trying on extravaganza...) so, what is 318$-60%+tax? it is about 140$. less than a price of running shoes. so, here it is. and, here am i. i love being an athlete, and being girly.

which reminds me. i hate this time of year, because i am sooo broke. i know that i shouldn't be buying dresses and running shoes when i am this broke. but, i am quite good with my money, in general. those things are allowed. but, i am sure thankful that I will be graduating in spring of 2012, because Quebec gov't announced yesterday that tuition is going to increase by about 325$ a year over the next 5 years. students will definently be feeling that. though, they did also increase the amount of grants that will be offered. i also hate this time of year because despite the snow melting, it ends up revealing all the things that people did not discard in garbage cans all winter long. and, also it reveals all the dog poop that people did not pick up.

though, i love this time of year because running feels like this (thanks Donna!).

last night, i was in discussion with the boy i like about time management. sometimes he really wonders how i am able to be doing a Master's of Nursing, and also have the time to fit in ___ hrs of training each week. And, honestly, i have no idea, sometimes. but, it shed light on the fact that maybe i am more of a type A personality than i think better at time management than i think. or, i am just a hermit and do nothing but school and training. i'm not in awe of what i do each week. many times it feels like too much. but, a quote from modern family might be accurate: Phil: She has to run everyday or she goes crazy, she's like a Border Collie. (Claire: Did you just compare me to a dog?)

i am amazed how much my readership stats have dropped since i am not on facebook. it kinda makes me sad. but, it makes me happy that i am not wasting time on FB. though, i am wasting time on twitter, and you can follow my tweets HERE. you can also follow Mary, my coach at train-this. and others of our team... like alexa or coachkelly or turbo curbeau or deb or greg or mark.

and i have SOOOOO much more that i could keep on writing on. but, instead, i am going to take a nap. then do some school work, a bike ride, and hopefully some more school work. but, i am going to nap, 'cause it is friday afternoon. and, to get through this weekend, i have to be well rested. but, not only that, but it is the end of my second 3 week strength block, and these days, my body does not seem as if it can get through a day without a nap

Monday, March 14, 2011

it finally feels like spring's a coming!

I am super duper tired. no matter what, it seems as if i can't get enough sleep each night. but, thus is life. so, just sayin that this post is prolly going to be short...

training is crazy these days...

i am in the last week of my second strength/tempo block of the winter. And, one of the things about these weeks, is that running is loaded to the front end of the week. on sunday, i have a long run. on monday, an hour endurance. on tuesday, a 45 min tempo effort, doing mile repeats. and, i don't know about you, but, many times, i thin that running is the necessary evil attached to the end of two beautiful activities. i am not a runner. but, something has clicked in the last few weeks. all of a sudden, i have learnt to run in my zones. this has been a LONG time coming. I remember many many post-workout comments of "are you sure that you want me running in HR zones that low? i can bike in them... but, running, my HR can't stay below 150..."

now, i feel like i am moving like a snail. but, i am in those damn zones. and, you know what? running is becoming more enjoyable. it doesn't feel like i kill myself every time. gasp. what a shocker, right? but, really. acutally being able to run in my zones (endurance=120-136, tempo 137-142) and not go super hard makes me incredibly happy. i feel successful when i am able too.

anyway, yesterday, on my long run, i did it in the evening. and, i thought within the first 10minutes, "oh god. i am going to overheat." and today, i thought "hmmmm, 5:30pm, and i am running in the sun." after a week and a half of horrendous weather, and terrible conditions in the streets, it is warm, it is sunny, and it is dry. though, i have also realized i have a desperate need for new running shoes... these runs are making me far to sore than normal. but... YAY! this means that spring is a comin'!!!!

school is crazy these days...
this week alone, i have 2 presentations, and one methods section of my research proposal due. Between now and April 15th (not including the above), i will have a research proposal, a final nursing theory paper, a final family nursing intervention paper, a group concept map, a therapeutic letter to my community nursing family, a ICU patient write up, a presentation on my ICU physical assessments, a clinical log book of my ICU assessments, a physical assessment exam. so, to say the least, it NEVER ends. RIDICULOUS i say. ridiculous.

i have no social life. i do school. i train. i eat. i sleep. that is all. ridiculous.

the weekend was crazy...
the boy i like came to visit from thursday to sunday. and, it was LOVELY. i can't wait to see how his photos from the weekend turn out. for i couldn't find my camera charger, until literally within 30minutes of him walking out the door.

but, we did things like LOTS of walking. and eating yummy food. and talking about how great the decemberists are. and watching movies. and seeing butterflies at the botanical gardens. and going to the top of the mountain to look at the city at night. and having waffle brunch with leanna and charles at their new place. and taking photos of the two of us in tacky, colourful aviator sun glasses. and going to church. and kissing. yup, we kissed and acted like stupid high schoolers. but. you know. we never see each other. we are allowed to make people gag with how cute we are.

last weeks training numbers. if you care.
Swim: 2hr
Bike: 5hr 45 min
Run: 4hr 10min
Strength: 1.5 hrs
total: 13.5 hr

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

a little lenten lovely...

yep. it is mardi gras. And, I *did* eat pancakes. not for dinner, but, for breakfast. Though, they were pancakes made with a banana, two eggs, almond flour and flax seed. So, not real pancakes. but no, i did not drink myself into a stupor, or flash my breasts at anyone for beads. Though... i DO believe that at least one point in my life i need to make it down to NOLA to do that. or celebrate Carnival...

so, cue religiosity (even though, i definitely like to say that i am "spiritual", rather than religious. but, here it is. deal with it. i believe in God. and, I also have to admit. i do have some religious tendencies as well. for instance. i am a sucker for traditions)

but, yes. Mardi Gras means that tomorrow starts lent. and, if you don't know what lent is, technically, it is the 40 days before Easter (minus the sundays). it is 40 days, because that is supposedly how long Christ spent in the desert at the beginning of his ministry. but, 40 days is also one of the fall back lengths of time in the bible. for instance, we see noah spending 40 days on the arc. we see jonah gave 40 days to a big bad city. moses spent 40 days on mount sinai having a ridiculous encounter with god. you get the point. 40 days. what that means... in real life, it translates into... a long time. seriously. that is all it is supposed to mean... jesus spent a long time in the desert. noah spent a long time in the arc, and moses spent a long time on the mountain.

but, back to Jesus. he pretty much did this crazy fast, and that is why early christians god this CRAZY (there it is again...c.r.a.z.y) idea that as humans, we should do this as well. perhaps it is because many times, God calls us to be like him. so, some people a long time ago decided that christians (especially the liturgical ones like me) should do a fast over Lent. it is definitely strange. or, even, kinda masochistic...!?!?!

Ever since I was a child (a few years missed here and there), i have given something up. Normally, it has been caffeine and chocolate. This year, i want to do a little different. 4 things. each challenging in their own way.

1: because it is a waste of my time, and frankly, lame... FIRING FACEBOOK. done. i'll miss scramble with the boy i like, though.
2: because i want to sleep more, and with better quality, UNPLUGGING UTILITIES (ok. not every utility. just my computer) at 9:30 each night.
3: because i tend to never read the bible, i will REDISCOVER READING a psalm before i go to sleep each night.
4: because i want to see how it makes me feel (yup, i am kinda copying Kelly) DENYING DAIRY (except for whey protein, and non-fat greek yogurt). and, honestly, in the last week, i have been eating a few more pastries again. those are definitely gone for lent.

so, big goals. the arguement against lent being self-gratifying-self-inflicting-denial and pain is that in our fast, we are to grow closer to God. And, to tell you the truth, I have been learning a lot in my life lately. and, maybe it is just that i am learning. i am experiencing. i am thinking. i am feeling. but, maybe... God is working a little somethin' somethin' in my life these days. who knows what is going on.

but, i do, honestly, hope that this lenten fast can not only make me feel better physically, but, also allow myself to grow closer to the one who knows the true being of my soul.

and, ps. all of this is going to happen after i drink the milk that is left in my fridge, and finish the cereal (cause, really... cereal is kinda like a pastry) which is on my shelf. ;)

Monday, March 7, 2011

when crazy comes to town...

so, yesterday was NOT as it was expected to be. I guess, the weekend was not as it expected to be. yesterday, after I posted my post, i ran out the door (Late, as always on a sunday morn) to head to church. Walked around the corner, saw a man peeing in a corner. fan-fricken-tastic. is *this* how the day is going to go?

it got better.

got to church, and had a good start to the service. We have recently had a influx of people who are closer to my age, which is great. Considering, at my church, we have all of about 15 people who regularly attend. and, there is about 2 who are my age. anyway, i disgress. i often go to churches which are not your "run of the mill" church. so, this one fits well in my life. i find it also very "new testament." but, we also are a church which is kinda "on the fringe." on the fringe, meaning, well, we often have crazy people come into the service. and, when I say crazy, i mean crazy... like, often being treated for mental illnesses... or homeless, or just plain odd ducks. and, that's ok. because it just makes it colourful. it makes it a little bit more like what church is supposed to be like... it doesn't matter who you are, or what you do, or what is going on in your life.... you should feel that you can come in.
and... disclaimer.
i don't use "crazy" as derogatory.
i just use crazy, because sometimes, it is the most accurate thing.
because you and i and everyone around us...
we are all crazy that "Crazy person on the bus" at one time or another.
just think about it.
you can think of the last time you were the crazy one.

but, every once and a while, crazy brings mass disruption. and, since, yesterday, crazy was definitely going to be bringing disruption, i could tell that people were going to be a bit more on edge. so, long-story-short, i turned around, said to the gentleman "Hi, i can see that you have a few things taht are bothering you. would you like to go with me to the other room, and tell me about some of the things that are going on?" and, yes. did he ever... the next hour and a half included a full on psych-nursing intervention, complete with calls to his social worker, and a phone conversation with his mother. All to end with him not being completely happy (since i wasn't going to provide him with 50$) and telling me: "Well, i just want you to know that if i beat somebody up today, its on you!!!!" gee. awesome. i'll remember that when i am going to sleep tonight (um... not really)

ohhhhh, gotta love it when crazy comes to town. but, i will tell you the truth. I LOVE it, when i get to do this. when (no matter what the result) you get to intervene in a situation in that other people don't want to get involved with. I love working with people... especially people in which society turns away when they speak. in which, sadly preconceptions (again, sadly, are more often than not, true) get the first look, and the person who actually exists behind those preconceptions gets the second look. and, i am not going to lie. there is something about psych nursing in particular, which, in my mind, exactly frames what nurses do. asking the questions, listening to what a person is saying, and pouring light into (often) dark situations. and, here is the thing... we *all* have a bit of crazy in us. (i mean. really. some people might consider exercising racing for 5+hours straight, nevertheless a doing a fricken ironman, is crazy. yet. i know a whole lot of people who fit into that category).

anyway. dealing with crazy or not, it is exhausting. and, it is hard. i am not even a nurse yet, and i realize how challenging and rewarding and grounding this profession is. and how those many men and women who choose this profession give up portions of themselves every single day. and, that, to me, is amazing. and, to me, that i why i feel so priviledged to say that one day i will be able to do this "officially."

but, after that somewhat interesting situation, i went out for coffee with my lovely Leanna, and went home for my dreaded long run on a treadmill. Got home to get my workout gear... and whamo. NO KEYS! how the F did i forget my keys. siggggghhhhhh. and, no roommates are home, or near. so. after 2hrs of wondering around the neighbourhood in a pissy mood, i finally get a hold of my roommate. who is at the gym. so, i walk my butt over to her gym, get the keys, and go to the Y. and, i pounded that shit out, and put all of the day's agnst into that run.

so, today is a new week.

it included a 45 min recovery bike (yikes! i am sore....) a strength session (normally this comes later in the week, but, the boy i like is coming to visit on thursday, so i am trying to get as much done early in the week as possible), and an hour endurance run (on the treadmill again. ugh.) it also included a family nursing meeting (wow! lives are complex, even if we think they are not!!!) and an advising session post-meeting, on how i am going to intervene with this family, and "terminate" my therapeutic relationship. and, to add to it all, i was EXHAUSTED after my run/lift. and RAVENOUS. so. i drank chocolate milk, and ate a jewish pastry (ooops... but, it's almost lent. and, it was in the workout window). but, then, i was *still* ravenous. so, i did something that i have not done in a VERY long time (i don't buy it, because i feel like if i have cereal in my house, i get fat, because i love cereal, and i would eat it ALL the time)... i bought a bag of cereal. (but... mary... it is delicious and nutricious nature's path organic heritage whole grains!) and, man, i am going to be thrilled to eat that up during my workout windows.

and, after two jammed packed days... well...i thought that a 375 mL bottle of a merlot/syrah blend would be well appreciated. and, it is. it is.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

i have 11 songs with "ain't" in the title.

This weather is LAME! yesterday, it downpoured all day long, and was melting snow. Today, it has changed to snow, and it accumulating like crazy. and, you want my bet... that walking outside will be hazardous, because there is probably a large sheet of ice underneath this nice blanket of snow. deadly. and, i have no desire to do a long (1.5hrs) run on the treadmills at the Y. Esp. since you are only supposed to run on them for 30 minutes at a time.

spring, please come soon.

so, I have been a bit moody this week. I think that it started off with my concept map presentation early this week, in which I felt I did awful. I sent a follow up email about it, which did make me feel better about it. just because i felt like I was able to voice some of my thoughts. so, hopefully i won't fail. But, my guess, is that I will get about 60%. Which, in my program is a fail. and, i hate that.

On thursday night, I also had a 3hr long conversation with the boy that i like. and, to tell you the truth, we talked about LOTS of different things. from the good, the bad, and the indifferent. and, those conversations are good. they are needed. but, they aren't always easy. because the biggest thing about them is that you are constantly reminded how much relationship challenges us. whether it be friendships, or family, or teammates, or partners, or roommates, or... anyone. relationships are needed. but, they are also challenging. we learn a lot about ourselves though them, as we are learning about the other person. I guess the biggest thing these days (and, you may interpret this wrong, but, I don't care ;) ) that i am learning is how much selfishness can interfere with servanthood.

ok, i am going to stop there, because sometimes, things are meant to be kept off the blog. but, think about it for a minute.

last night, i got to connect with someone who i haven't seen for about 5 years. Someone from my days at IVCF Pioneer Camps. it was wonderful, and, I am excited to be able to hang out with her again, as she will be in Montreal for the rest of the spring, completing her IVCF internship.

today, I am at the end of the 1st week of my 2 strength training block. These blocks are 3 weeks long. The first one was tough. This one is tougher. hours are up. Challenging workouts are up. there are all out efforts. there are mile repeats. there are more strength sessions per week. there are long bikes longer than i have ever gone before. And, not going to lie. but, my body is a bit sore today. and, i still have that run to do. but, here are the numbers:
swim: 2hrs, 5900m
bike: 5.5hrs
run: 3hrs
strength: 2hrs weight, 1 hour yoga.

finally, i put into my itunes "ain't" as a search term, since Brett Dennan's "Ain't no reason" is one of my top played songs in my library. here is what came up. who knew that there would be so many!!! Here is the Ain't no better playlist...

Ain't no reason, brett dennen
ain't no love, david gray
bitches ain't shit, ben folds five
ain't no sunshine when shes gone, cat stevens
life ain't what it seems, john butler trio
ain't it the life, foo fighters
ain't life sweet, po'girl
say it ain't so, weezer
it don't mean a thing, if it ain't got the swing, duke ellington
Harmonize, nice-n-smooth (from ain't a damn thing changed)
ain't misbehaving, louis armstrong.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

lessons in humility...

So, thanks for the comments on my holiday. It was indeed fun. It was indeed a priviledge to have the time to spend away, in the sun. However, much of my holiday was also spent (a few hours each day) doing school work. I left Montreal on Thursday the 17th (the day after my big exam), to Edmonton, to surprize the boy I like for the weekend. That next monday, I had a literature review due for my Malawi research project.

Today, a day after I got back from the sun, I had a concept map on aboriginal health which was due. You can see it below.

a concept map is pretty much, a visual representation of a research topic. it is a paper, but, with concepts, rather than paragraphs. We do three of them, and this is my second. Visually, it is better than the first. But, the presentation this morning was not great. Honestly, it felt so scattered (Despite having 9pages, single spaced of information), and like i knew nothing about the topics... The topic/senario was addressing suicide in an aboriginal community. the last concept map was addressing a cholera outbreak in a refugee camp in Kenya. really light topics, right?

you can do PhD's on this stuff. and, we are meant to present them in an hour.

i started crying at the end of the presentation, because i felt as if i was just stupid. it did NOT go well. I went for a swim after pulling myself together, and it only kinda helped. i came home, and lay in my bed for 3 hours, divided into a nap (since i got all of 5 hrs sleep last night, doing final touches) and watching grey's anatomy. I have done nothing all day today, except for reflect on this nursing degree.

if there is one thing that is for sure... this degree has been a continual lesson in humility.

everything from having to take undergrad physiology in my qualifying year. to watching as people who should be succeeding, ending up not being able to continue. to not being accepted into the global health stream, then being given a second chance. To failing an exam last fall, and then rewriting and getting a B+ (YUP! WOOOO! not flunking out of school just yet!). to these concept maps.

As a christian, I have learnt about the values of humility, throughout my life. I have felt humbled before God at very poignant times in my life. moments where i have been flat on my face, with my hands stretched out, longing for his grace and mercy and healing. I have learnt how pride can get in the way of so many life situations, and lead to awful actions.

yet, as an individual who does well at things... as an individual who likes to succeed, and put effort into doing many things.... as a person who has been honoured for accomplishments... as a person who has many great things going for her... pride can easily get in the way. hence, the need for learning humility.

the thing about humility, is that it is HARD. and, this degree, is byfar, the hardest out of all 3 degrees that I have done. I know that graduate work is not meant to be a walk in the park. I know that graduate work is meant to challenge, and transform your thinking. And, i know that I am exceptionally thankful for being in the global health stream, and being able to go to Malawi in the fall. but, really. must it include so much feeling of failure, and stupidity? because right now, it seems as if i continually get reminded of how much more I could be doing. it feels as if despite putting huge amounts of time, effort, and sacrifice towards school (its all I do... School and training. I do not do social events, and i go for weeks without seeing my friends, even if i am going to school with them. I have given up coaching rowing... all of this being ok, but, also just wanting to demonstrate the effort i am trying to put in), that i am not doing as well as "i should" be doing.

this degree is teaching me how hard you have to work to be able to do well at something. It is teaching me humility, and showing me what a real challenge is. yes, in many times, I do not like how it makes me feel, but, i know that at the end of this? well, i am going to be a damn good nurse. a nurse that understands ALOT of different concepts, and perceptions, and theoretical based practice. I am going to be a nurse that remembers that it is a HUGE privilege to care for peoples health and wellbeing. I am going to be a nurse who remembers that it takes humility to be able to eventually be lifted up. A nurse that remembers that humility brings wisdom. A nurse that remembers that being humbled and having tears does not mean defeat.

photo from here: