Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The most powerful energy bar or sports drink...





My point of the day...Do things with people and support others along the way.. Find someone who enjoys the same things and have the same goals. As you can see below, it is the best energy drink someone can have.

Whidbey marathon 2009

I will say this... it being my 3rd half-marathon but the first that I've ever run with someone else: IT MADE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE RUNNING WITH YOU GUYS!!!! Even if we weren't talking... knowing that I had this positive spirit and encouragement surrounding me was invaluable. Like the most powerful energy bar or sports drink ever created!!! It felt like a fast two hours (unlike last year at Whidbey when it truly seemed endless).
And while I didn't get under two hours.. I beat my Whidbey time by 6 minutes. And I know the course was tougher because the average finishing time last year was 2:16:18 and this year was 2:30:02.
Also... last year out of females I was 361 of 953 and this year I was 185 out of 884!!! And in overall place I went from 704 out of 1483 and this year I was 417 out of  1304!!!! It wasn't just finishing it... I went from being in the top half to being in the top third!!!!! And I was the chunky kid growing up who couldn't run around the school track without being in last place. When did I become an athlete????
Andrea "Andi" Green


Killimanjaro 2009
To myself, this hike demonstrated that 16 people with different personalities, experience, and ability levels CAN come together as a team to accomplish a common goal. It demonstrated that support, attitude, and communication CAN be instrumental in any team’s success. And lastly, it demonstrated that ordinary people CAN in fact, achieve the EXTRAordinary. 
Curtis Christopherson

Thank you for your empathy and support. The summit night was so much harder than I expected especially trying to summon emotional, physical and mental strength from what I felt was a very empty well. To reach the summit and have such support from you, Matt and the rest of the IF Team was truly appreciated.
Christine Ball

Seattle 1/2 maratthon 2008
Along with all my lessons and mental & physical endurance building, I also learned to appreciate the disability bars they put in public washrooms. As well as the ability to walk and go up and down stairs. More so I gained an appreciation of everyone who supported me in every day and step leading up to Seattle, and were "with me" in your thoughts and communications throughout the experience.
12:11 Isabelle: Enjoy the last few miles and take the time to look back on how far you have come and how much u have grown as a person. Big hug
12:11 Curt: Keep it up bud. Proud of you.
12:21 Mom: Go Ivan Go mama is praying all the time for you
12:29 Thank you, I am inspired!.
12:32 Mom: You are this mother's joy, I'm so proud of you
12:50 Coming up on 25 of 26.2 Slowly everything I have is being put on the table. I have claimed the victory
Ivan V

NYC marathon 2008
-Back to the hotel for a shower and then meet up with my dad. I have an amazing family - my dad and my sister flew in for the event to support me. Having them there was so incredible
-Around mile 10, still in Brooklyn, I run into Kim and Kay - another jolt of energy -
Graham Robins



Oliver 1/2 2008
Probably the best part about the entire experience for me was getting to know you all better on a personal level by spending a lot of quality time training together, going through this learning process as a team and supporting each other.
Kris S.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Obituary


I was sent an Obituary the other day of a good friend that I'd like to share with you all..

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

Knowing when to come in out of the rain
Why the early bird gets the worm
Life isn't always fair
and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing their job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have anabortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; “I Know My Rights” , “I Want It Now”, “Someone Else Is To Blame” and “I'm A Victim”

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Idiom

In 1532, English writer/martyr John Frith first cited the phrase “keep your nose to the grindstone”. This idiom came from the act of knife grinders placing their faces precariously close to the grindstone as they sharpened their blades. Commonly known with a positive connotation; applying yourself conscientiously to your work, “keeping your nose to the grindstone” actually can be quite dangerous.

In “keeping our nose to the grindstone” we actually focus so hard that we lose focus of our surroundings. This distorted view of space and time actually allows us to let more pass us by then it allow us to get things done. Vary rarely does opportunity come in the form of one singular task right in front of our faces, rather it is multidimensional and can come to us from many angles. When our focus is too narrow, we miss out on many of the gifts that surround us simply because we were oblivious to anything other than what is right in front of us.

The zone of optimal functioning or “The Zone” is achieved through a narrow/external vision, meaning that the width of our focus must be small and its direction must be outside of ourselves. While at first glance, this supports the notion of “keeping your nose to the grindstone” entering the zone means that we must focus on more than one external object. In focusing on one singular external point we become a one dimensional person in a three dimensional world, missing out on two dimensions of opportunity.

Frustration in action comes in the form of external objects interfering with the work we are trying to perform. This frustration is rooted in our inability to see anything other than the point where the blade meets the grindstone, so anything outside of that becomes distracting. Many times what we first see as distractions are actually opportunities to see something a new way, yet when we instantly label them as a distraction we throw away the chance of possibly learning something new. If we just pull our noses back from the grindstone just a bit we open ourselves to a whole new world that we have been too busy to see before. Within that new world is our chance to transform into something better or more productive.

It is important to remember that what we think is relevant is only relevant because we have not allowed other options to enter our consciousness. In “keeping our nose to the grindstone” minute by minute our relevance is only allowed to be as wide as our too narrow focus. John Frith summed it up best by saying "This Text holdeth their noses so hard to the grindstone, that it clean disfigureth their faces."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

20$ bill


This is not something I wrote but something I read a while ago and wanted to share because at work today, we were lucky enough to sit down with a counselor. We were able to ask all the questions we wanted to help ourselves or others around us. What was great about today as well is that she was the same counselor I went to see when I was at the lowest point in my life. Talking to her made me remember how I felt at that time and I remember reading the 20$ bill story. It helped me realize that I was somebody strong even though I was crumbled. So if you feel like you had a bad day, pick yourself up and remind yourself you are worth so much. 

Here's the story:
A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this."

He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty.

"Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.
"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make or and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. 


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's A Promise Revolution

I want to give you a great book. Free.

Accu-Chek Cyclebetes, the legacy of Team H2V and an event you all know well, is working on delivering on a promise and helping others keep their promise. A promise is important. It is serious. It requires integrity and work. A promise is something you must keep.

As a supporter we are inviting you to take a look at what these people are doing for the world. They have promised a lot and we are proud to be helping them.

Accu-Chek Cyclebetes reclaims the Promise
A Father’s promise to his daughter spawned TeamH2V and raised million dollars for JDRF and netted a Guinness World Record. Team H2V rider Willie Cromack promised to continue the legacy of Team H2V, and with a friend and some seriously committed High School students, founded Cyclebetes.
Promises are sacred, they fuel our dreams.
Promises inspire hope, build trust and unite our spirits.
Watch the video—forward it to your network.

What’s your promise?
Make it. LinkKeep it.
Help others to do the same.

Follow the link below to a quick and fun video and then click through to your complimentary book. It is a great read and the pictures are inspiring too.
See the Video: http://www.cyclebetes.com/info/info.php?pageID=118
Get the eBook: http://www.cyclebetes.com/contact/contact.php?pageID=113

Live to ride.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the 2009 IVMI 10km race report....






You can call this a "fake race report" but it is probably one that meant the most!

Race: First annual IVMI ( The Invitational Victor, Megan and Isabelle 10km race)
registration: free ( but your application must be accepted )
other fees: parking 2$
location: Vancouver Sea Wall, British Colombia
Distance: 10km 
duration: 1 hour and 22minutes
number of participants accepted: 3

This race idea started about 5 months ago when Vic, a customer and friend at Innovative Fitness in White Rock wanted to know if he could finish a 10km run. It was 25 years ago that he ran that distance and did not want to commit to an official race being scared of finishing last or not finishing at all. So... we made one up! This was going to happen on March 21st 2009, Vic's 68th birthday.


Before we knew it, the official day was here. We were excited but a little nervous. The race was starting at 8am so we met up to drive out there together and talk about race strategies. We decided that finishing with a few laughs along the way was going to be our main goal! 

The race is about to start, the sun is shining,we're putting on our "fake race bibs on" and we are ready to go.  5 minutes into the race, other runners on the sea wall started asking us "what is this race", who's the sponsor", "I wish I knew there was a race today", "where's the finish line". This made the kilometers fly by! Every map we saw, we would stop to see our progress and could see this was going to happen! At the age of 68, Vic was going to complete 10km! Near the end, he mentioned to Megan and myself, you girls go take 1st and second place, I will be more than happy to be 3rd!

1 hour and 22 minutes after the start we crossed the "finish line" Celebrated with High Fives and an official hand shake to congratulate the 3rd place finisher! 

Awards:

3rd place: a tie and a free entry to the 2010 race
2nd and 1st: free starbucks coffee with a banana loaf.

We are so proud of Vic for not letting the fact that he was scared stop him. He made it happen for himself. It was a fantastic day that will be in my all time race highlights for sure. Thank you Vic for letting us be a part of your day.

Here is Vic's race report: 

Happily Environment Canada got it wrong.  There was no snow.  There was instead a clear blue sky and cold crisp air.
 
Cecilia Bartola's rendition of a number Mozart songs set the tone for car journey to Vancouver and the starting line in Stanley Park.  I have the sense that neither of my traveling companions (Meagan and Isabelle) were particularly familiar with that genre of music but both were much too polite to object.  The classical theme continued therefore unabated reaching an appropriate climax in Ode To Joy from Beethoven's 9th Symphony just as we turned off Georgia Street into Stanley Park.
 
We had no difficulty parking . Indeed there was only one other car to be seen.  This was bitter sweet in that it made parking very simple but on the other hand it was not indicative of the crowds I had been told to expect by my promoters and coaches.
 
Nonetheless we set off at 8am sharp.  Isabelle bolted for the first bend like an F1 driver on race day. Meagan was on her tail and I was a strong but somewhat distant third. Along the way many (going in the opposite direction) asked who the sponsor was.  Isabelle pointed to me without breaking stride.
 
I struggled at first and found myself perambulating past Prospect Point but I seemed to gain momentum as we proceeded to the extent that I was able to swish nimbly past Siwash Rock about the mid-point of the journey.  Conspicuous by their absence were the adoring fans handing out much needed water which does not speak well the skills of the organizing committee!  Nonetheless we pressed on and felt so strong near the end that we passed on the shortcut to our starting point and instead took the longer finish around Lost Lagoon. 
 
At exactly 9.22 am we reached the parking lot now jammed full, to the the immense disappointments I am sure of the many fans who has eventually turned out to see the this modern version of the Ministry of Silly Walks. 
 
We wound up the adventure by returning to Starbucks within earshot of Innovative for a much needed seat and a latte.
For a finely tuned athlete 10km in 82 minutes is not much to crow about but for me it was utterly exhilarating.  I am truly indebted to Isabelle and Meagan for their wonderful company and the encouragement and patience they provided before, during and after the fact.  Next Saturday it is Tsawwassen on the bike.  And in my sight is a half marathon before the end of 2009.
 
Thanks to all at Innovative.
 
Vic Arneil, 10km finisher




Monday, March 23, 2009

The Subconscious Mind


Awareness precedes action and it is no secret that positive awareness will bring about positive actions. When we think we can’t – we won’t and when we think we can – we will. Successful people whether athlete, artist, mother, father, employee or businessman are all aware of the positive affects mental visualization can bring to enhance their individual lives. Successful people see themselves as being successful and really believing that they are. The thoughts we allow to enter our mind have influence over what happens to us and ultimately determine how great we become. Positive thinking brings great attitudes and although it is a great start to achieving personal excellence, it is also just scratching the surface. How then can we better use positive thinking to better our lives?

Have you ever heard someone tell you not to fall asleep with the TV on or be mindful of the music you choose to listen to before going to bed? Or perhaps while having to be creative and unable to get the right flow of ideas you dozed off only to awake a few moments later with new brilliant concepts? Both scenarios involve the subconscious mind, going from a conscious state to entering a subconscious realm of thinking where what we absorb and think can become real. Exploring how our subconscious mind works is a necessary step to realizing our goals and is paramount in the development winning mentalities. To use our subconscious mind to help us become healthier, stronger, more creative or wealthier we must first understand how the brain works. There are 4 levels of consciousness our brain goes through.

Beta - Is demonstrated by brainwave frequencies of 13 to 60 pulses per second in the Hertz scale. This brain activity is when we are consciously alert and is what we are most accustomed too. Beta is our conscious mind and is used on a daily basis when we carry out cognitive functions such as making decisions, putting forward arguments or driving a car.

Alpha - Brainwave frequencies ranging from 8 to 13 pulses per second. This is when we enter sub consciousness brain activity. This is when we are in a state of physical and mental relaxation and appears when in wakefulness where there is a relaxed and effortless alertness for example, light meditation or daydreaming.

Theta - Brainwave frequencies ranging from 4 to 7 pulses per second. This is an even greater state of sub consciousness that is considered borderline dreaming and associated with extra-sensory perception (ESP).

Delta - Brainwave frequencies ranging from 0.1 to 4 pulses per second. This is when we are unconsciousness, in deep sleep or dreaming.

To use our subconscious mind we now see that we have to be at rest allowing our brain activity to slow down to alpha and theta states. This is difficult because we spend most of our time in a beta state of awareness and only consciously consider (while going about our daily lives) how to develop winning mentalities. Positive thinking should not be limited to just when we are in a conscious state. In order to achieve greater success, it is necessary to move beyond this and practice creative visualization and autosuggestion while in the alpha or theta state hence training your subconscious to believe you can, you will and you are.

Our subconscious works by taking instruction from our conscious mind without any questioning. Such instructions go through a process of repetition and affirmations. These are then realized as actions after such instructions are transmitted over to the conscious mind. Without such instructions brought forward over to the subconscious, no action would be taken and the subconscious would, as a result remain dormant. Unlike the conscious mind, the subconscious has no ability to discern truth from falsity, as well as the reality from the imaginary. Given such, it is important to surround our subconscious minds with positive affirmations that will change our thought patterns, emotional state, limiting beliefs and attitudes for better ones. Negative affirmations would often be manifested as negative results as the subconscious mind transmits the undesired results over to the conscious mind, which then takes action, resulting in the undesirable effect being manifested in reality.

Hypnosis is successful because it implants positive affirmations into your subconscious that are then reflected by conscious thought and action in our daily lives. Without having to seek a professional for hypnosis each day we can develop a higher level of positive thinking on our own with a bit of discipline. Make effort each day to place positive affirmations into your lives while in the subconscious state. If you are not taking time to mediate or relax during the work day then practice while in bed before sleep and upon waking. Positive affirmations are best absorbed just before we fall asleep and as soon as you wake, still lying in bed. Over time you will be able to surround yourself with thoughts, words and actions that are positive in nature.

When choosing positive affirmations use ones that are not too long, that have only positive words describing what you really want and make sure they are in the present tense. The subconscious mind is a powerful tool that can affect us in many ways, be it good or bad. So next time while falling asleep, turn the TV off, choose relaxing music if any at all repeat your positive affirmations to yourself. Doing so will guarantee you happiness, allow you to achieve more out of your life and be successful in your own game.

Some examples of Positive Affirmations:
- I have a lot of energy.
- I am wealthy.
- I study and comprehend fast.
- My mind is calm.
- I radiate love and happiness.
- I have the perfect job for me.
- I am strong and fit.
- I am living in the house of my dreams.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shadow

Psychologist Carl Jung describes Shadow as everything in our unconscious mind that is repressed, underdeveloped, and denied. Along with anima and animus, as well as persona, Shadow is one of the three most recognizable archetypes. Unlike external shadows that are brought out by light, Shadow is mostly hidden and shows itself in the form of projection. This projection is brought out when we turn a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. Essentially we become disgusted by the actions of another because we sense those same qualities repressed in ourselves.

Two things are important to know about Shadow; 1) everyone has Shadow, and 2) confronting Shadow is essential in creating self awareness.

Accepting Shadow is important because in acceptance we allow ourselves to progress beyond what we are limited by and redefine who we potentially can be. Once we allow ourselves to accept we can then confront. In confrontation we begin to learn about ourselves which in turn allows us project upon ourselves and stop projecting on the mirrors of other people. Self awareness comes when we understand where our perceived weaknesses come form and learn to deal with them internally. In doing this we can take the energy we waste on others and apply it towards our own self healing and evolution.

Shadow contains the faces we are afraid to show not only the outside world, but ourselves as well. We can try to hide them as much as we want, but ultimately they will appear because they are a part of our unconscious being. In repression of these faces we deny ourselves the ability to become authentic and whole, we deny who we really are, therefore losing touch with potential and giving in to our greatest weaknesses.

If it is a goal of ours to create greater self awareness, we must start from the inside and work our way outwards towards the actions of others. Much like physical combat, the more we know about others weaknesses the better prepared we are to win. In self awareness, the more we know about our own insecurities the better prepared we are to overcome them and not project them on to those we surround ourselves with.

Self awareness is a step towards empowerment and as long as we project outwards we are being controlled and manipulated. We can look to others and become disgusted by their actions, but must understand that until we can resolve that disgust within ourselves we will never find awareness, power, or peace internally.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yes you can... Sahara experience 2009



Our Heroes...

Congratulations Theo and Kathy – you two are truly an inspiration! You should be proud of yourselves for accomplishing something of this scale and still managing to bring such a positive attitude to the experience. Kathy congrats on your spirit award as well!

After hearing great stories of this tremendous adventure in the Sahara from our IF team mates we decided to make the journey to Tunisia in search of our own desert experience. In attendance for this year’s edition would be Kitsilano IF customers Theo Sanidas and Kathy Wade, along with Kits coaches Cory MacDonald and Mark Coates. This year’s course had been completely changed so it promised to be our own unique experience.

If you are going to make this journey we recommend taking some time either before or after the event to explore Rome – it is a city riddled with culture, history, and great food. This is a must do if you have never been before. Rome is a whole other story so let’s stay focused on task.

The flight from Rome to Djerba in Tunisia was chartered specifically for the event organizers and participants. We spent the first night at a small resort hotel in Djerba – nothing fancy but you instantly realized that you were truly in a different world.

The next morning we were traveling 280 km by bus to Douz – the gateway of the Sahara – this is where our adventure would begin. We stopped at the half way point in Matmata. Here Adriano Zittoway and his staff held the opening ceremonies and welcomed everyone with some traditional mint tea. The excitement was building! Then it was back on the bus to Douz to check into our hotel for the night. The closer we got the more the landscape began to resemble our preconceptions of what the Sahara would look like – it was really happening.


One of our main goals going into this was to put the true spirit of IF on the map globally. We had planned to lead group warm ups and offer stretches to others in the camp to bring something positive to the event from our organization. We were going to work hard to meet, to run, and to interact with other participants so they would never forget what IF is all about it. It worked!


The hotel in Douz had a bit of a compound feel but it was a four star resort. Most of the afternoon was spent soaking up the sun around the pool and checking in to pick up our race packages and swag. A word of warning – you will need an extra suitcase to bring back all of the gear you get! The night was topped off dining on some local specialties and taking in some traditional Tunisian dancers. Kathy was in high spirits and got right in there with the belly dancers! 

Day 1 – 22 km, Douz to Camp Bir El Kacem

Temperature: 28 degrees Celsius

Sand Coverage: 80 %, the first 7 km was all dunes

Goals:

1. Take it easy – the slower we went the earlier we could start the marathon tomorrow.

2. Talk to as many people as possible on the course and have as much fun a we could. We certainly did not take ourselves too seriously.

3. A one hour stretch for each other and all of our new friends after the event to spread the IF spirit!

Highlights:

1. Leading a dynamic warm up for all of the English speaking racers – the Italians did not know what to think of us.

2. Walking up the hill to the inflatable Blue start line – you still could not see the desert from here and the excitement was mounting.

3. Feeling incredibly small as we moved into the vast expanse of the Sahara at the start.

The energy in the air as Queen’s “We Will Rock You” was pumped out at full volume as we rolled off the line.

4. The feeling of running in the soft sand dunes of the Sahara for the first time – nothing here can ever prepare you for this.

5. Talking to everyone in the course despite the communication barriers with Italian language – gestures and shear excitement go along way!

6. Cory doing cartwheels in the sand.

7. The cameraman at the water station asking Cory, Theo and I why we weren’t out of breath – our answer – we were having too much fun. Yes it is all on camera, watch for the video.

8. The big grin on Theo’s face when we were done day one!

9. Watching the sun set over the dunes on our first night in the Berber tents – we felt like real desert nomads.

10. The amount and quality of food provided was staggering – we all gained weight!


Day 2 – 42 km, Camp Bir El Kacem to Camp Bir El Grijma

Kathy and Kenwin - the two bravest women of the desert

Temperature: 30 plus degrees Celsius

Sand Coverage: 90 percent thanks to last weeks wind storms

Goals:

1. Spend some time with both Kathy and Theo, as well as with some of our new friends.

2. Keep pushing our friendly energetic attitudes by talking to and encouraging everyone on the course

Highlights:

1. Watching some of the Italians trying some of the warm up exercises we were leading. Yesterday they had laughed at us!

2. Getting to spend time with both Theo and Kathy, as well as some of new friends on the course – the staggered start was great for this.

3. 21 to 30 km – as Cory put it the “worst 9 km of his life” cramps and suffering in the dunes and peak midday heat.

4. The oranges at 30 km - they definitely recharged our batteries for the finish.

5. The size of the dunes for the last 10 km – it seemed like it was all uphill and it was like running on the moon.

6. Learning that an Italian km is about 5 km in reality.

7. Not being able to see the camp or the finish line during the last 2 km – it was hidden in a depression on the plateau.

8. Being proud of our team’s 5 to 6 hour finishes on what Adriano called one of the hardest marathon courses in the history of the event.

9. The magnum sized bottles of champagne that came out at dinner to celebrate the completion of the hardest stage of the race – everyone was in good spirits.

 Theo toughing it out at km 27 of the marathon day

Day 3 – 18 km, Camp Bir El Grijma to Camp Bibane

Temperatures: High 30s to low 40 s, and 50 degrees by 2pm!

Sand Coverage: 80%

Goals:

1. Get through this stage without the aches and pains from the marathon stopping us

2. Try to stay positive and upbeat with everyone – there were a lot of long faces with pain from the day before.

Highlights:

1. More and more people getting involved in the group warm ups every day.

2. The knee pain for the first 10 km was intense, and Theo was struggling with a hip flexor issue. Toughest day mentally by far

3. The first 10 km seemed to be all up hill – thank god for Advil liquid gels!

4. Recovering after the water station and being able to pick up the pace to a running speed.

5. Again we ran with a few other people we met, and we really tried to keep everyone running when they started to break down and walk with pain and fatigue.

6. Hammering the downhill sand dune finish like we had found fresh legs.

7. Running back out on course to bring in all of our friends as they made it to the finish line.

8. Claudio telling us not to run barefoot in the area because there were a lot of scorpions – we did not believe it until he should us one. Shoes were quickly back on our feet.

9. Temperatures hitting 50 degrees Celsius in our tent in the middle of the afternoon. The only way to cool down was to hit the shower and sit in the breeze. Some of the crazy euros were actually tanning in these temps!

10. Being humble enough to wander into the desert to find a place to go in an area with no cover – the squatting was hard enough on the legs!

11. How appreciative everyone was for the one hour stretch sessions Cory and I provided around the camp

 The finish line for Day 3 - it was smoking hot!

Day 4, 23 km, Camp Bibane to Ksar Ghilane

Temperature: 30 degrees

Sand: 75%

Winds: Insane!

Goals:

1. Run with a few different members of our group – everyone was moving at different paces.

2. Savor the moment – it had been an unbelievable week.

3. Remember to take photos!

Highlights;

1. The white light from the full moon on the sand dunes had many of us thinking it was daylight at 3 am. Headlamps were not necessary for washroom breaks, and there seemed to be more than necessary for everyone this night.

2. This was the coldest night by far despite the 50 degree Celsius temperatures we saw in our tent in the afternoon – thermal underwear and toques were necessary to stay warm.

3. Waking up in the morning was like watching village of the damned – almost every runner was walking with that familiar IT band pain limp trying to get to the breakfast tent. However, everyone was still smiling and Allesandro was still singing “Aiesha” everywhere he went

4.The vicious cross winds that plagued the first 18 km of this stage. You had to cover he mouth and the nose to avoid inhaling the sand – it was like being sandblasted. Race tactics were critical. We bridged many gaps by using peleton and echelon drafting techniques to conserve energy.

5. The sense of community and spirit was strong today – we spent time running with many of our new Italian friends. We pushed others to keep running when they were reduced to walking, we took turns pulling other fatigued runners in draft lines, we spoke to everyone we encountered despite the language barriers.

6. Hammering the long climb up the dunes to the castle thinking we were done only to find out we had just reached the last check point, and we had fired our legs in the process.

7. The support and camaraderie was most moving at the finish. Other participants that had finished before us were running back out into the dunes to push runners to the finish line as the trail wound into the desert oasis of Ksar Ghilane. We did the same – running out to cheer others on and run in with all of the new friends we met. That last 5 km of dunes was disheartening – they were the largest and softest we had encountered the entire event. It was truly a tough finish.

8. At the end of the day nobody cared where they finished – the accomplishment was respected and recognized by everyone. The top finishers were at the line congratulating everyone coming in.

9. When the last two participants – Kenwin and our own Cathy Wade came in they received a standing ovation – almost of all the participants were there to support such a huge accomplishment. It was truly a sense of greater good – something that you just do not get at most events.

Yes You Can….

This is an incredibly well organized desert trekking/running adventure. If you have ever romanced the idea of exploring the Sahara this is a safe and enjoyable way to realize that dream. It is not limited to the elite athlete – all you need is a sense of adventure and a willingness to prepare yourself physically. The memories of the experience and the people you meet will last a lifetime…. 

Thank you Mark Coats for sharing your experience. If you would like to see more pictures, go visit

marks'blog

Sahara 100km website


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

W, AIG, A 'Bad Day' and The Law of Attraction

Every dog has their day.
Unfortunately, when a pit bull has their day it is a lot more damaging than when a poodle has theirs. Case(s) in point;

W
So, the great George W. Bush came to speak yesterday in Calgary in his first speech since leaving the oval office. While the man was passionate in his speech, he maintained that he was (in his mind) right about Iraq, the war on terror, and protecting America and democracy. The war on oil was of course conveniently skipped, as was any accountability whatsoever when it comes to the collapse of the American economy (and how that was such a critical domino in the collapse of the world markets). I watched an interview with one of the people who paid $400 a plate to watch him- and she was "excited to hear one of the world's greatest leaders speak".
Are you kidding me???
...we continue...

AIG
So the bailout has begun, and the greed that drove a world economic event - is still thriving. AIG took it's share of taxpayer money, and paid 73 executives over $1 million each in bonuses; 11 of whom no longer even work for the company. 1 such bonus was over $6 million.
Great job W, this is the economic playground you've allowed to exist for 8 years and left for Obama to clean up.

Both of the above are examples of pit bulls left unchecked who could bite whoever they wanted and (as yet) received no comeuppance. BUT - the law of attraction does not sleep, and below we read what may be in store for others (as W and AIG above) who lead, steal, act, or live without regard for their peers, society, or Earth.

A Bad Day
Daniel Tschetter, a truck driver from nearby Cochrane, AB, is waiting to hear his sentence and what his day of reckoning will be. Dec 7th, he was speeding a 40,000lb cement truck along one of western Canada's busiest highways when he slammed into a car stopped at a red light killing all 5 of it's inhabitants. He claims he was having a bad day, having lost his wallet 2 days earlier, and experiencing issues with some of his truck gauges. He also had alcohol on his breath which he waived off claiming he mistook a vodka bottle he kept in his truck cab to offer to customers for a bottle of water. He also threw this bottle into the cement mixer before authorities arrived 'in his panic'.

The fact is, you can't drink, speed, drive like a maniac, kill 5 people, and get away with it. And Daniel Tschetter won't.

You can't plead your case on the world stage, ask for and get $85 billion in bailout money, and then bonus your fatcats millions without the world raising in uproar.

And you can't avoid the awesome responsibility of leading one of the all-time world powers without taking personal accountability and leading with ethics and true transparency.

The law of attraction is all around us- and it is waiting to reward people who, in the face of this much chaos and lost souls, work their tails off, live with integrity, and swim upstream.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

7 questions


I was having a conversation a while back and I asked the person "what are you passionate about?" They simply answered . " I don't know". For me, knowing that this person is not experiencing what it feels like to be passionate about something bothered me. I have the chance to wake up in the morning and be passionate about what I do. People should not go through life without having that feeling in the morning. I wanted to find out if that person was the only one not passionate about something?

Turns out, according to a recent survey, about 75% of the population do not know what their true passion is. Clearly, almost everyone seems not to be doing what they were meant to do. This is an eye-opener because doing what we really love is absolutely necessary if we want to be fully happy. Perhaps this is why there is so much unhappiness around us, people just aren’t doing what they are here on Earth for. I wanted to share the article by Frederic Premji who asks 7 questions to help us find our passion.

Article:

Finding your true passion isn’t as simple as it may seem. For some, yes it does come naturally, but most of the time, you have to ask yourself some questions to pinpoint exactly what you were born to do. Here are my 7 questions that can guide you to finding your ultimate passion:

What puts a smile on your face? Is there a particular event, a particular topic that makes your whole face just lighten up? Whatever it is that makes you smile, and makes you happy whenever you encounter it, this is a sign of something you are passionate about. I truly believe that happiness and passion walk hand in hand. Both require each other. So following what makes you truly happy is a wonderful way to figuring out what you were put on Earth for. Think about something that you do or that perhaps you used to do that brings total peace to you when you do it. Peace is happiness, and happiness is passion.

What do you find easy? Usually, what we find easy for us to do, will be related to what we are passionate about. It’s very hard to hate something that is very easy for us! For example, let’s say you are naturally good at playing the piano, you will find the activity easy, and this ease makes it much more fun for you. Fun leads to happiness and happiness is synonymous with passion. So assess everything that you do, whatever it is that you find really easy and fun, this may very well be your passion. And don’t think that anything is off limits or silly. Some people have taken their passion for skateboarding, drawing, or collecting to full fledged careers. Remember this, you can make a career out of anything you are passionate about.

What sparks your creativity? Think about something in your life where you seem to always expand its horizon, always coming up with new, fun, and exciting ideas relating to that subject. Whatever makes you creative, is probably something that you are very passionate about.

What would you do for free? In this society, we are ruled by the almighty dollar. That’s the way the system works, and that’s the game we have to play. The problem is, this leads many people to seek making money first, instead of what makes them happy. We read countless number of stories about stock brokers and doctors for example, leaving their high paying positions to follow what they really love. There is a reason for that. I truly believe that if you follow what you are passionate about without thinking about if it will make you rich or not, you will end up being successful. Doing what you have a passion for brings out your best, and this leads to greatness. Greatness breezes to success. Do you think that the most successful people in the world got to where they are because they wanted to get rich? Absolutely not, they did what they were so passionate about, and their immense success was just a byproduct of their dedication. So think about something that you would just love to do, even if you were not getting paid. Think about something that you look forward to do, something that you wish you could do all the time.

What do you like to talk about? The topics of conversation we have can definitely tell what we are interested in, and this is a good way to find out what we really enjoy in life. Most of the time, we aren’t totally aware of this. This is why, a very good way to figure this out properly, is to ask your friends. Ask them what they believe you like to talk about the most. Ask them what topic makes your eyes brighten up, and changes your entire behavior. Some of their answers might surprise you. Some of these things weren’t that clear to you, but your friends can see the reaction on your face that you can’t see yourself. Try it out, it’s a very insightful exercise, and one that can direct you closer to figuring out your passion.

What makes you unafraid of failure? When we do what we are passionate about, we have total confidence in our abilities. This makes us not worry about failing, because in our mind, how can we fail when we do what we love? Doing what you love is a success in and of itself, so failure is like an impossibility. Think of something that you just do or want to do, no matter what. Something that you do not have second thoughts about. Think about something that you feel you must do and that failure is not even a concern of yours, because the mere act of doing it is like the journey and the destination all wrapped up in one. This may very well be your true passion.

What would you regret not having tried? We all have these dreams, and somehow, life pushes us in another direction, and next thing we know, we are far from those dreams we used to have. If you were at the end of your life, what would you regret not having pursued? What would you have liked to do, that you didn’t get a chance to? Think about what that might be. Whatever it is that you may experience regret now or later on for not having tried, this is a good chance to be your true passion. There is nothing worse than arriving at the end of the journey and having regret. This is why finding your passion, and following it is so important. Live your life so that you do not have regrets.

7 questions by Frederic Premji