Sunday, October 26, 2014

Torn and troubled

If you are Canadian, this has been big week in Media.  Perhaps a HUGE week in media.

First, we had the tragic events in the Capital.  Where a man, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, armed with a shot gun that held a maximum of 8 rounds, ran to the war memorial & gunned down an unarmed solider.  He then proceeded to walk into the parliament building, towards the conservative and NDP caucus meetings.  He was then shot down by Sargent-at-Arms, who emptied his semi-automatic side arm, into the chest of the man.

Second, late last week, we have had (argueably) the most beloved radio-host in Canada, fired from the national broadcasting corporation, CBC.  He was fired, apparently, because of his fetishes and sexual acts.  As you know, there are reports that at least 3 women state that it was non-consensual acts of violence and domination.

Let me be clear:

  1. I do not condone acts of violence.  Not towards individuals, groups, or nations.  I grieve with our nation over the violence that has occurred this week in our Nation's capital.  
  2. I agree that the private sexual acts of men and women, are not for employers (or anyone other than the people engaged in said behaviours) to be privvy to.  That is, however, as long as someone is not being hurt or abused.

But... i am torn. Both of these things hurt my heart. Both of these stories are incredibly troubling to me.

I am torn about the fact that Micheal Z-B does not seem mentally well: its difficult for me to know that he lived in the very shelter that I do outreach nursing too. I have said many times, "one does not become homeless because they have everything going for them in life." One who is mentally well does not end up sleeping in homeless shelters.  "Everything is awesome" generally doesn't apply to the homeless.  There is more going on there.  This man tried to rob a McDonalds with a pointy stick... comon', now.  It is obvious that there was more going on in this man's life than the attack on Parliament.

I am torn that Micheal Z-B was gunned down in a repetitive and violent manner. The manner in which he died appears to be quite drastic and over-the-top.  Yes, I understand that he was in parliament, had a loaded shotgun, and was close to our MP's and PM.  He was shot more than a dozen times. To me, that is scary.

I am worried that Stephen Harper will use this as an excuse to back war & pry into the privacy of Canadians: there is no evidence to show that Micheal Z-B was a "terrorist" (in the way that the world defines it today).

I am troubled because violence against women exists.  The Toronto Star had to even say that the women who are alleging these acts are "Educated and employed," as an argument for their legitimacy.  If women are not educated and employed, does that make it OK to have sexual violence directed at them? I think not.   It is NOT OK to endorse that myth.

I am torn about the fact that I love Jian as a radio-host.  I find him compelling, engaging & excellent in his role. I am torn about the way the CBC has handled this, because I don't believe that one should be fired for consensual-sexual acts. I want to believe Jian, because the public image that he gives is a pretty good one.  It's troubling, because Jian did do something wrong if he used that strong public persona to dominate choices in sexual relationships.

I am troubled, because I know the stats about violence against women in middle-eastern and south asian cultures. If this unveils that truth further, it sucks.  It sucks that there is the possibility that a well-loved Canadian-radio-media star may fit into that stat.  It sucks for Persian-Canadians that want to fight that statistic.
It is time, my friends, to stand up for those who cannot help themselves.  

It is time to stand beside the mentally ill and those who struggle with addiction, when they are asking for help. 

It is time to stand against violence.  Violence against strangers who do not deserve it, like the two soldiers who passed away this week.  Violence against women, both the educated and the uneducated. Yes, it is even time to stand up against violence towards criminals. 

Lord, have mercy upon us.  
Forgive us all that is past, that we may ever here-after serve and please thee, in newness of life. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Getting back on the bandwagon with the Juice Truck cleanse

Boy, has it already been 6 weeks since I have raced in Mt Tremblant?!  It sure has folks.  It has quickly becoming time to focus on next season.  I'm saying it now, 2015 is going to be big year for me, and it starts now. And, I am excited!!! SO EXCITED!  I think that I can do big things if i become obsessed enough.

(sorry, I kinda think it's true... sometimes its not about natural ability, but the amount of obsession that you put into a sport.)

We all know that it is tough to get back on the bandwagon at the end of off season.  Especially when next year seems so.far.away. Ironman Whistler is less than 10 months a year, and I need to learn how to run a sub 4 hour marathon. I don't know about you, but, that can be challenging. I needed something to be a "clear start." Something that would provide the discipline and structure that is easy to follow, and not easy to back out of.  Something that I can look back on and say "that is when my season started."  One week into exercising again, I decided to do a juice cleanse.  A three day juice cleanse.  It was in my brain, and it wouldn't leave... if I wanted it to or not.

Now, let's be clear... I do have a hard time with a concept of "cleansing." I am a nurse.  I have a good understanding that we have kidneys and a liver and a colon and sweating and snot to clear out our systems of toxins. I get that. I also get that when vegetables are put into juice form, some of the benefits of vegetables are taken away.

But I needed something to be clear. A clear start for my year ahead.

I started my cleanse the morning after thanksgiving dinner.  I was game.  I was ready.  I thought that the branding that Juice Truck has on the juices was cleaver and cute. and I had would. be.

The first half day was OK. Sure, it was strange not to have food in my stomach, or coffee in my cup. the afternoon was also ok.  Energy was not awesome, and I had a lingering headache, but, I was planning on going running that night.  Then... I went home for the evening, lay down for a 20 min nap.  The dog barked and BAM... a splitting headache that caused me to be in the fetal position in my bed, crying, and even a small vomit. it was awful.  I carried on. I slept for 12 hours.

The second day was... normal-ish. I went for a swim in the AM, drank the juices, and went to work. in the afternoon, I was worried about another awful headache.  there was a twinge, but I was able to fight it off. I sat down with Sean in the evening and had some food... for thought.  We chatted about this whole thing, and agreed that there could be a different manner of being just as disciplined.  For instance, a no-sugar, no-caffeine, no-grains, no-dairy, no-alcohol diet for a week would pretty much do the same thing.  Its about being clean.  Very Clean. Before sleeping, I had a nice cup of herbal tea. I didn't feel awesome, but, I didn't feel terrible going to sleep. I also think I ate an apple at some point in the afternoon.

The third day, today, was MUCH better.  I enjoyed the juices more than day two, I have not had a headache, and I had a pretty great workout this AM with Keighty.  My stomach was sure sloshy during some of the exercises, and I couldn't make it all the way through the hour.  However, it felt good to sweat.  Work was fine (a little stressful), and I loved the change in the flavours of the juices today.  I have felt good today; a few times of hunger, quite alert, and the day flew by.  I had a salad for dinner with my juice, and now I am sipping my last "sleep tonic." I have a tounge that feels like it had licked a lot of pineapple~ a little raw.

So: what do I think?

I'm glad I have tried this.  I think it has opened a window that I (or sean) have ever really had a serious conversation/thought about.  My nutrition.  Its not that I eat poorly... frankly, I have a pretty solid diet.  However: my diet is more of not eating things that are "bad for me" and not so much "eating what is best for me."  Despite thinking I know a good amount about nutrition, I realise I know so little.  The biggest blaring question: WHY oh WHY did I have such an splitting headache?

The second question: how do I optimize what I am eating to be able to optimize my athletics?  Is it possible to maintain a diet that helps me sleep better, and be more alert when I need to be, and be strong when I need to be?  How do I optimize my food, in order to help myself reach my goals?

Will I do a juice cleanse again?  I'm not so sure.  However, I'm glad I did it.  I'm also ready for clean eating, and to kick into gear.  Thats for sure. I think that there is a good chance that this cleanse has helped me get to that point faster than I would've alone.

Thanks, Juice Truck!