Friday, February 26, 2010

Clara Hughes is a True Champion

Today is a day of note for the Take A Hike Youth At Risk Foundation.

This program is very near and dear to me and I am excited to pass on great news that is directly impacting them. Clara Hughes, Canadian Olympic bronze medalist, and the only Olympian in history to medal in both the winter and summer Olympics, announced that she is donating her entire $10,000 bonus from the award to the Foundation!

Take a Hike is an alternative education program that engages at-risk youth through a unique combination of adventure-based learning, academics, counseling, and community involvement ( You can learn more about Clara's decision to contribute in this morning's Vancouver Sun (page A15):

This is an incredible kick off to Take A Hike's upcoming 10 year anniversary celebration and ongoing efforts to ensure the Vancouver-based program continues to thrive and grow well into the future. It is only through the generous donations of individual and corporate donors that they are able to continue offering opportunities to at-risk youth to turn their lives around.

In Clara's own words, she feels that sport saved her life. For many of the youth involved in Take A Hike, the program is literally the only thing that is keeping them off the streets, off drugs, and in school. Graduates have gone on to achieve their goals in ways they never believed would be possible, nor available to them, prior to becoming part of the program.

As the Foundation embarks on their growth strategy to see Take A Hike expand into additional communities beyond Vancouver, I urge you to consider making a donation to this very worthy group in honour of Clara Hughes' incredible achievements as an Canadian Olympian and avid support of the program (

Clara embodies everything about the Olympics that I find truly inspiring. To be frank, all of us with Take A Hike are beside ourselves today with her generosity and the exposure that her contribution has shed on the program.

Thank you, Clara. You are a true champion, in every sense of the word.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Who You Callin' a Puck Bunny?

Today, I was called a "puck bunny." A puck bunny! Yes, perhaps I have come under the influence of the home town Olympic Games...and who can blame me, really? Have you seen what's going on in the streets here? Yes, I could most certainly have the fever.

I even heard today about a new "syndrome" running rampant in the city. They're calling it FOMO...otherwise known as the Fear Of Missing Out syndrome. Let us pause for a moment while that one sinks in. Right...moving on...

FOMO I do not have. I do, however, have growing fatigue from cheering on our Canadian men's hockey team. Olympic spirit...yes, I do believe I have a healthy dose of that. Trust me, no one is more surprised than I am.

My cheerleading days are long (...long...) behind me. I'm usually the one who'd rather stay home than deal with the crowds to watch the game. I'm not interested in following the regular season. I'm certainly not one of those people who (I am sure are very lovely people, by the way) are dressed in hockey regalia from head to toe and have their favourite team's logo dangling from their key chain, or worse, from their rear view mirror, or worse still...oh, I could go on but why? Needless to say, you won't see a team flag hanging from my car window (even if I had a car). Vancouver is a serious hockey town. I am the minority here. I've always been good with that.

So why then am I out with the other thousands cheering on Team Canada? Why is it I find myself waiting in line to get a seat a full 2 hours before the games even start? Why am I now planning my work schedule around the hockey schedule to ensure I don't miss a minute of the action? Why indeed?

Because I seem to be superstitious, that's why.

Allow me to explain. Every game that I have gone to, watched or cheered on with the multitudes, we have won so far. The one and only game I did not go to, did not cheer on, did not follow, we lost. You can see my dilemma...but can you feel my pain people?!

While I may not be a true puck bunny (no, really, I'm ok with that), I sure as hell am not going to be responsible for Canada losing the gold medal!

Go Canada Go!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

5 Years Ago Today

Five years ago today, I was packing and leaving my home and my partner of 12 years. My husband and I were starting our trial separation, bringing to a close our chapter together, and beginning to grieve the life we had once fused together so struggling to try and hold it together. We separated only when it became clear to us both that we were no longer on the same path, no longer heading in the same direction. We were no longer meant to be together.

At the time, it was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Here I was saying good-bye to my best friend in the world, the only person on God's green earth (quite literally) whom I told everything to, the only person who knew every facet of me, who could anticipate my thoughts, reading them as if they were written across my face. He was the person who, with just one look, was able to communicate everything I needed to hear in that instant, and was always, always able to make me laugh, even under the most tense of circumstances.

He was the person in my life who taught me to be myself by helping me to see who I really was. He loved me for being me, and eventually, having trusted him implicitly, I began to believe he just might be right. To say he was one of the most important people ever to come into my life, doesn't seem to cover just how influential he truly was. And, true to form, we ended our relationship with the same respect, the same admiration, the same love that we entered into it with.

I look back on that chapter of my life with what can only be described as love. I was so fortunate to have had such an amazing relationship so early on in my life. There are many things I fear I may not have made it through had he not always been there with me, by my side, supporting and cheering me on.

While our paths no longer stretch out in the same direction, I will be grateful to him until the end of my days. Having him in my life has made me a much better person (...and a much funnier one, I might add. It's really he who deserves the credit for helping me to develop a sense of humour...that and a few experiences since our parting, but still he deserves the lion share).

I didn't intend for this to be a thank you message to you, Cord, but it seems it has become one. Thank you for your love, for your patience over all our years together, and for introducing me to myself.

In a way, today feels like the end of yet another chapter in my life. Over these past five years, I thought I wanted to be in a relationship again like this one, but along the way it became increasingly clear to me that I wasn't yet open nor was I anywhere near ready. Happily, I am turning now to a new page.

In gratitude,


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dudes, Now What?

I know when I start to get restless that something has to shift. It's not right away, at least not usually. I generally need a few days, sometimes (sadly) a few weeks, to become fully annoyed by my restlessness before I will take action and do something about it. Today I am annoyed by it.

After months without a personal laptop - mine having died a slow and painfully long, drawn out death - I am the proud owner of a new MacBook. My first thought, after bringing it home and setting it up in a matter of 4 minutes or so, was why the hell I didn't I do this sooner? Both why didn't I replace my laptop sooner and, more emphatically, why didn't I buy myself a Mac long before now??? It's crazy making to think of all the time I have wasted. This machine is amazing...but I digress.

So here I am with my very own computer again (technically my MacBook is at home and I am at work but you get the point). You'd think that would ease my restlessness now that I can get back into a regular writing routine...and yet, instead of writing, I have been wasting time trying to change my blog template and, inadvertently I might add, downloading a virus that has apparently been emailing everyone in my professional address book (yes, I was on my work PC...not exactly ideal. Had I been on my MacBook, I wouldn't have had to worry about such a trifle).

So as I am downloading Malware something or other "fix-it" software, which is probably a virus itself (did I mention, Mac's don't have these problems?), I am further frustrated that (a) I now have to waste more time getting rid of this virus and (b) I'm even more disgruntled that I haven't found a solution to the limited range of Blogger templates I have to choose from (I would have been quite happy to take a new template with the virus...I'm a practical girl. I realize I can't have everything). Oh to be a graphic artist...but I'm digressing further.

It's a new year (thank God), my life is in stable condition (welcome news), and I seem to have a lot of time on my hands these days (how refreshing). I could be using that time to focus on some writing and exploration into what I shall do next with my life (...ding!, ding!, ding! Hello to the true source of my restlessness). I figured taking action and putting some cold hard cash down on a computer would be a strong commitment to myself to move forward since looking at this expensive piece of technology every day is going to kill me if I don't do something with it. Sh*t, did I just create a new kind of hell with which to dwell in? And here I thought I was doing so well.

Distractions are in short supply (hence my trying to create them out of thin air). Who cares what my blog looks like (new mantra: doesn't matter what it looks like, doesn't matter what it looks like...) so long as I am saying something of interest on a somewhat consistent basis (zero for two as of late, I'm afraid. My blog feels more like a Seinfeld episode - a whole lot about nothing - but a lot less funny).

New year, new focus, new theme.

It'll make sense soon enough, to both you and me, I hope (fingers are crossed).

Ciao for now,