Face Palm

My friends often asked me about Running Tech. I work in the Running Industry, I know a lot about different stuff, so it makes sense. I don’t mind answering questions because I want everyone on the planet to love running or walking or cycling or something that keeps them active and happy. You don’t have to obviously, its just been my experience that the body and mind work best together in tandem.

Friends have an easier time asking me questions than a tech professional.

I get a lot of comments from friends like…. I have blisters on my toes and my toenails fall off – but I love my shoes!

Alice-facepalm

or I get a really a bad chaffing problem but I love my shorts!

images-5

Really? I don’t know about you but when my body tells me I am in pain, I feel the need to stop. Pain receptors are natures way of telling you something is wrong. The Hubs wore a size 10 shoe and always complained about how his feet hurt. I made him get measured up…the man is a size 11.5. He squeezed into a size 10 because some time in his high school past he was a size 10 and thats that.

Double-face-palm

I am training for my BIG Adventure this summer – you can read more about it here. With that is finding Bottoms that are comfy to run in. I bought a special skirt/short combo from Sparkle Skirts. Everyone RAVED about how amazing and awesome they are. So I had a Green Sparkly Feather placed on the shirt for my Dumbo experience….because I want to fly like Dumbo! I also lean towards the philosophy of NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY. So I took my skirt out for a test run.

To be fair, I have super sensitive skin. I feel seams and tags and usually break out in rashes if fabric is washed in a soap thats not Edmonton Tourist Approved.

I chaffed so bad in this skirt that I thought I was bleeding. The band bruised my leg and I chaffed where the seam was. I was talking to my friend who said….Glide it up! Wait…what?

I don’t use glide. Why? If something hurts I stop using it.

I should have prescribed to this method with Boys – they hurt me….stop going back for more. But with clothes….WHY WOULD I EVER WEAR THIS AGAIN? Especially when I have capris that feel good right now. I will wear those instead. I just thought wearing a fun skirt would be…well fun!

Thats fine…my hair will have a fun Sweaty Band. And I am in search of a new Running Shirt that will feel awesome too. I discovered Nordstrom’s carries Nike for girls will that extra cush because some of us are built for comfort and cuddles. Running is something we do to stay heart healthy! BUT THEN… Nordstrom’s Canada does not ship Nike Plus to Canada. WTF Nordstroms!  Nike Canada does not have an on-line store for me to shop at… just stores for me to choose from that carry their product but those stores do not carry plus size. WTF NIKE!

13993579

I guess that means I get to wear what I always wear. Regular yoga pant – does not fit the same as a running tight. I may shop in California when I am there but then I only have a few days to test it out.

Meanwhile… John Stewart has had quite the month too… I feel your pain man.

facepalm_30

Manly Chips #FindYourStrong

Today at coffee time, I busted out a bag of chips that has been in my desk since the first week I started my new position. They were a gift from my new boss because of an upcoming event…more on the event later.

FullSizeRender-2

Yes that is the Silence next to the chips…but this doesn’t surprise you with my love of geek.  But look at the bag!

Guinness Thick Cut Chips!

First off – Guinness!

Secondly – Chips!

Thirdly- They tasted Manly.

Not the Irish Spring Manly “and I like it too” but like Gravy and dirt. Manly stuff. I shared it around the office and everyone agreed “Manly” was the proper adjective. Not to objectify, but it changed our persona when we ate them. We felt  – well – manly in a cartoon fashion. We all agreed it needed cheese then it would be poutine chips. That would be a win!

But the real reason I was given Manly chips was because I earned a spot on Team Canada for the Race to Kinvara!

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 11.01.33 PM

It sounds more impressive than it is. Wait…its still impressive. And I have finally stopped crying about enough to tell the beginning.

I work in the Running industry. I know a lot about shoes. Saucony held a contest and I earned top spot for my company.

First off, you may not be able to tell, but I am super competitive. I like winning. I think that is why I run. I suck at winning when running. Last place is where I reside. Being last teaches me things that don’t feel comfortable but I learn more from that than if I was good at winning.

So winning this contest is incredibly complicated.

It means I get a Spot on Team Canada and I get to participate in a relay that will have my team run from Dublin to Kinvara in 3 days. Saucony asked my 5k time. I said 50 minutes because I stop for Sheep and Pubs. But the reality is that will be me running my heart out.

That makes me cry a bit.

I want to be fast, and I am faster than yesterday. But it is still painful to be last. Especially since Team Canada has Fast Runners. People who work in the running industry tend to be established runners who are fast. They look the part. They are fast and svelte. I am neither. So the fat girl in me is terrified. When I go for a run, a guy I work with says “Enjoy your walk” – WOW … I am defiant right back and tell him I may not be as fast as him, but I still run. I play a tough game but that makes me die inside.

Its like high school all over again. Watching everyone be good at something and me still trying to find that something I excel at.

But the flip side is, I am the only one for my company who out in out earned the spot. Others had their name drawn for a chance to go. I knew I got to go because of my placement. I was first.

I’m #1! I’m #1!

But I was kinda hoping I wouldn’t get to go. You  see, I started a new position and taking time off is complicated because of timing. But the powers that be graciously let me go because I earned it.

I need to remember that. No matter what anyone says to me about how slow I am … I EARNED IT.

I will also be about 100 years older than everyone too, that complicates things. But Dammit, I EARNED IT.

So here is the stuff I am super excited about:

  1. I am going to Ireland!
  2. I get a Team Canada Jersey. TEAM CANADA my childhood dream fulfilled! Sure its not the Olympics but I am on a RUNNING TEAM!
  3. I get to eat in Kilkenny Castle
  4. I get to visit the Guinness Factory
  5. I get to see Dublin
  6. I get to see Kinvara
  7. I get to run part of a 200km relay in Ireland.
  8. I get to go with my pal, he won a spot too!
  9. I get to visit Ireland.

I leave in 22 days.

My plane tickets came today. I cried a bit.

I suppose it is because of where I have come from. I changed my life, found my passion, turned it into my job, and became good at it.

Boom, Irony in its purest form.

I am good at what I do because I make connections with people just like me. People who want to run, so they take it one step at a time. People who want to be more than what they are. People who can tell I get them, because I am them.

Ironic because I am not good at the running part. But I am consistent. AND I have run. 8 half marathons in 3 years plus countless other distances.

Next Stop: The Race to Kinvara, luckily I have found my strong. Thank you Saucony for this amazing oppourtunity.

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 11.01.12 PM

The Mystery Box

My friend came to stay for a visit and brought a box as a gift. A simple wood box with dovetail corners, a 6″ square cube  with the lid glued shut.

With the lid glued shut there are two options. Pry it open, or leave it shut.

This gift came to me as part of a deeper meaning. It all stems from this video:

The premise of the box is The Unseen Mystery.

I spent some quality time with the box this morning. Holding it, flipping it around and wondering if something was put in the box or was it just glued shut while being empty.

Part of me wants to rip the thing open and see for myself. Chances are it is empty. But there are a myriad of items that could fit into it. I wouldn’t put it past my friend to put something in it. All of the possibilities would be just things. The meaning of objects becomes less powerful once it becomes a thing. 

Once I gave a my bestie a Grape Soda Bottle Cap Pin. It had nothing to do with the pin itself and everything to do with the meaning behind the pin. It was about taking risks, seizing the moment and trying new things. Risks were hard for both of us, but it was something we both were willing to try. So with pins in hand, we set out to try new things and report back on our experiences. So far, this has been a very successful adventure. New risks happen weekly. Some are terrifying and some are fun, but knowing we have the support of “YOU CAN DO IT!” behind us, it makes the leap of faith just that much easier.

7511002529694

This box isn’t quite the same but it has meaning – so its similar.

While looking at the box, I knew what I wanted to be inside. I don’t need things or trinkets, I like meaningful things. So I would prefer a note to be inside. Something that has a sweeping tale of friendship and possibilities for the future. Places and new adventures that friendship brings.

What I like about the box is not knowing. Something that holds that much potential becomes invaluable. A source of inspiration that becomes endless because there is no beginning and no end.

I have decided not to share what my box looks like because it doesn’t meatier. It is mine, it is a gift and it is meaningful.

It’s very first inspirational job was helping me plan my next adventure.

Stay tuned…

Running 500 Miles for SMA

There is an app out there called Timehop. I am not big on revisiting the past other than for purposes to mark achievement. I often speak to running/walking groups to talk about goal setting and maintaining motivation. I preach the basics of forgiving yourself, be kind to yourself and let the past go. Mistakes happen, move on. Except for measurement. I think TIME  is a marvellous tool for measuring progress. For example, 2010 I couldn’t walk up the stairs without major effort. Getting out of the bathtub was hard for me. As you all know, I started moving more and eating less. I am 117lbs further away from 2010. It amazes me.

I was flipping through TimeHop and came across a photo of my desk piled high in books and papers as I was writing my Capstone.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 11.17.15 AM

This photo made me pause. I suddenly remembered all the steps that got me to this point.

I needed a project to work on for my final project. So I called my pal Joe because he often asks me the kind of questions that inspires me to think out of the box. We began talking about goals and future projects that would be huge or at the very least, take serious time and effort to complete. He disclosed that he would like to ‘one day’ run from the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco to the esplanade in Disneyland Resort. I said, “Lets do it!” So we started planning and this became my Capstone project. Project Planning on an epic scale. I got an A+ but something else happened.

We started a foundation called Do Away with SMA. Part of this adventure was because if you are going to do something big, do it for a great cause. Joe’s family was personally affected by SMA so we decided to make this personal and choose that cause to work for. Why? Because other charities that you hear about are just that…charities that you hear about. They have a name and are doing well and meeting their goals. Apparently, Joe and I are two individuals that who like to go big or go home. Starting from scratch is a big deal for us. So, with the support of our families and friends, here we are. Co-Founders with the help of our friends in the foundation DAWS. All because we thought it might be fun to run 500 miles for charity.

Boom.

Its suddenly a reality.

This August is when it all happens. The way my life has turned really makes me blink with shock and awe. Whose life is this anyways? How did I get to this point? This is definitely not the old me. The new me is a very different person from 10 or even 5 years ago.

I invite you to follow our adventure on our blog at www.doawaywithsma.org. I will post adventures here and we will have a photo gallery on Facebook. Here is a link to our Crowdrise page that is raising money specifically to support this adventure. We hope to secure corporate support and raise money to help us fund this run as well as raise money to for our foundation. The Foundation support is found here .  That Cutie on the page is Claire. Claire has SMA. We met her Aunt through our Running Team and we heard amazing stories and saw adorable photos and suddenly SMA became REAL to the board. It was always real for Joe, his brothers died from SMA Type 1, but Claire is a typical kid living with an Atypical genetic disease. Now it is more important than ever that we raise money to support DAWS. We want to support kids like Claire in making every day tasks easier and to support researchers so they may find a cure. We want SMA to be eradicated. That is why Joe is running 500 miles. For kids like Claire.

10511240_10206913930070028_5036656686458068251_n

Here is what I hope to achieve by doing this grand adventure:

Raise money for our Foundation DAWS so we can help fund research and support parents and children who are living with SMA. 

Support Joe as he runs really far. Between you an me, he gets cranky when he is tired so this may be a challenge for me. See how I make it about me? Because I am awesome like that.

Share all kinds of daily adventures because you can’t run a marathon everyday and have nothing happen.

See the Coast of California. I haven’t been there since I was a kid. It should be a beautiful scenic adventure!

Meet amazing people along the way both on the road and in social media. 

I suspect this will be one of those life changing moments that teaches you about yourself and your friends. Joe’s Road Crew has 3 of us on board for support, food and fights   companionship. The off road support has many more….who may get calls from me as I will need to talk to people who don’t live in the car with me.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 7.24.01 PM

 

There are 2 ways to support.

1. You can donate directly to 500 Miles for SMA. When your donation reaches different levels, there are gifts that coincide with the donation level.

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 9.19.48 PM

 

2. You can donate DIRECTLY to the Foundation. We have lofty goals for finding a cure and supporting families and their children. That gets expensive. The great news is, Do Away with SMA is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. That means I copy the legalese here for your reading pleasure:

The Do Away with SMA Foundation is a public charity and is tax exempt under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations made to the foundation may be deducted from your federaly taxable income to the extent permited by law. You should contact a tax professional to determine whether and to what extent donations are deductable under your particular circumstance.

 

This August is SMA Awarness Month. I invite you to come and cheer Joe on along the route. Here are our projected dates and places.

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 12.01.30 AM

 

I will be posting our location with video and photos and stories of our adventure. We hope you will join us.

We simply want to help as many people as we can, and play a part in defeating this disease. When I run, I always remember the faces of my younger brothers. ~Joseph R Kolinksy

Look for us here:

DAWSfacebook-logoinstagram-logo-vector-image10563174_1069997636362126_3316911294968633912_n11119531_842698832491196_2374805040860945477_oLOGO: Twitter. twitter logo-1024x1002.jpgCrowdrise_logo_151x48-1

 

Fire!

A year ago, my parents sold everything and decided they would spend my inheritance and travel the world. We track their travels an a page called Postcards from Everywhere. Its been fine. They have a home base set up at my sisters new Dynasty/Dallas Epic Soap Opera type home. The sister lives 1.5km away from me. WAY farther than before which was 1.5 blocks. They are super happy. We refer to my parents as ‘foreign workers’ who live in the basement suite and make the dinners and tend the garden when they are in town. Soon they will be back on the road living in Kent, England for the summer.

I have become accustomed to not calling or texting my mom because she doesn’t answer her phone anyways, so I text Sister who then gets mom to call me. Its like I have become the centre of attention again. Its awesome. AND the best part is Sister gets the help calls…not me. So I win!

I didn’t expect to feel so lost yesterday… I’ll explain.

Saturday morning at 4:00 AM MST, my parents old home burned down. It was gutted. Nothing is salvageable. It was a couple of blocks away from me. My parents lived there for 15 years. It wasn’t my childhood home, but it was the home of my kid’s grandparents. The home they would go to after school for milkshakes and cookies. They home we hung out at for Christmas and Summer BBQs. The home where my puppy like to visit because Grandpa gives great ear rubs.

I received a text from my neighbour saying, “Please tell me your parents no longer live in that house a few blocks away”

Nope…Wait…Why?

We had heard on the news that a house near the park burned to the ground. I had thought, “I hope no one was hurt” but because it didn’t effect me, I was fine.

I felt the need to go and drive by. We drove past the house and I was stunned. I told the Hubs to stop because I had to get out. I stood in front of the house and told the Firefighter that my parents used to live here. I was in shock. I couldn’t process what I was feeling. I wandered around outside the temporary fence investigators put up, covered my mouth and just stared.

11391236_10153403633876337_5046115240367515100_n

It was surreal.

I swear I saw ghosts of Christmas Past wandering around through the rubble. I saw my kids run through the house and their giant cousins chasing them. I saw my parents sitting on the front porch. I saw my niece and Chatter Box sitting in the kitchen window decorating cookies.

11393192_10153403633636337_4251859771996744707_n

I didn’t know how to process what I was feeling. It was final now for me. It was no longer my parents home.

I went to my Sister’s home and shared the news and photos. Sister was stunned like me. My mom seemed okay…. it wasn’t her’s any more. Dad said he didn’t know how to feel.

But still…

I posted the photos on Facebook. I received a lot of lovely comments from everyone. But really…it was just a building that my family had no claim to anymore. Why was I sad?

Then my mom wrote something that snapped me out of my dazed and confused feeling,

“Actually I was relieved when I saw it burned. The new owners never looked after the yard so I can only image what the inside looked like. For some odd reason it feels better having it destroyed than abused.”

There you have it. None of us would drive by it because it was upsetting to see how those people looked after it. Sure it was their home, but they did not have the same values as us. No pride in their home. Thats fine, it was theirs to do with as they please. We just didn’t want to see. So we traveled a different way.

I have come to realize that I am melancholy for a different reason. My children are no longer small. Everyone is growing up with girl friends and boy friends and careers and life plans. I don’t want to hold onto them as little beings. I love that they have become amazing adults and have made great choices for their future. I love that they are so independent and our family moves together through the future independently, yet come together to celebrate success and support each other is time of stress and sadness.

My family is safe and sound. That other family needs to rebuild. They will somehow figure it out. We all do in the end.

And then this happened….

runningc2c5 years ago I was sitting in the car with my friend Simone and she was telling me how much she loves running. It released her from her stresses. I replied with…. I don’t understand how running feels good AT ALL. You are crazy, it makes no sense to me.

My dad always ran and my family was always saying “you are addicted to running, this is terrible, you need to stop, its bad for you.”

My dad didn’t stop. He kept running. He basically did what he always does. he replied with a “yeah yeah yeah” and did what he wants. Why? Because my dad is a grown up. He gets to choose his own hobbies, his own passions and his downtime spent freely from obligations.

Go Dad, you rock!

I met a runner who runs marathons…get this…FOR FUN. Seriously? Do you know how far that is? Dude, 42.2 km is FREAKING FAR! I didn’t give him the proper respect. I was all….big deal, so you run. So do lots of people. But the more I listened and understood, the more the Kool-Aid tasted better. I drank enough Kool-Aid that I wanted to give running a try.

Boom, 5 years later I am a bonafide Runner.

I have a Pie Run tomorrow. I get to go for a run and they will give me PIE at the finish line. Seriously….who doesn’t like Pie? I’ll run for pie.

I told my pal about the Run for Pie – the same guy who runs marathons for fun. He said “Pie? That has to be one of the best foods available a race course! But there was one time I had a sub, there was these people….”

We exchanged race stories.

Then we thought, this might be a fun podcast.

So he pressed the record button on one of our conversations.

Suddenly, not only am I a runner, but I am a podcast host who talks about running.

Weird how life takes you down paths so unexpected.

You can find my podcast Running Coast 2 Coast here:

If you like it, please leave a review. If you hate it, please leave a review with WHY. Whys are important for growth.

We are 3 podcasts published and have lots ready to roll out. Even if no one listens, we are having fun. AND I get to talk about running, my next favourite thing to running.

Doing stuff I like and having fun. Can’t get better that that.

Dad’s are smart. Well, mine is. Thanks Dad.

Me and Dadeo at the finish
Me and Dadeo at the finish

Ghosts of Days Past

When I was a kid, my dad was an Education student at the University of Alberta. We often went to meet him after class or walk around Campus while he dropped of papers or popped into the library. It has always been a favourite haunt of mine. When I attended my classes here, I would often eat my meals on the quad or lean up against a tree and just take in my surroundings. I often would plan and set goals for my future and imagine where I might be 10 or 20 years from that point.

Not one of those goals ever came true.

Yet, thinking about how the place made me feel as a kid and then as an adult, not much has changed.

I work on the outer rim of campus. I try to go for a run through there to renew my juice every now and then. As soon as I do, I am instantly transport to being a kid and running around Convocation Hall or the Turtle with my little brother. Mom and Dad would stroll at a leisurely pace as Mike and I raced around and climbed rocks or stone stairs for fun.

This week I had the opportunity to go for a run with my Captain. I had not brought Cap to the fairy ground of my youth, so I figured it was a great day to do so.

We started at our home base – RunClub and left the car keys in the basket. I led Captain West down 87th Ave.

It was reminded of the Universiad Games when they built the student housing and then past the Timmons Centre for the Arts. None of which was around when I attended my Anthropology classes. I showed Cap the Quad and my favourite spot between the Arts Building and the Business Building. There is a little dry creek bed with a pond at the base. It is surrounded by benches and an eclectic mix of architecture.

IMG_9028 IMG_9029 IMG_9030 IMG_9031

We paused for a moment to take in the surroundings and I remembered running up and down the steps of the Arts building as a kid. Its amazing how memories can just flash back into your brain after decades of not recalling them.

We headed North towards the river and past the Turtle – or rather the Tory Lecture Theatre. I often use this great website to interpret the U of A lingo that evades people who are new or never attended Campus. I was likely 24 before I realized the Turtle was actually the Tory Building.

We stumbled upon the Geoscience Garden, which is a Rock Museum/garden allocated at North Campus.

Captain enjoy this part of the run most.

IMG_9032

There were Geese nesting here which I thought was an odd place for them, so I gave them a wide berth and led Captain far away from where they were perched.

After passing the Faculty Club, I ran through the sciences and saw the Nanotech building for the first time. Strange how I come through here all the time and notice something new.

IMG_9034

We ran over to Assiniboine Hall and checked out the Tulips and Hares.

IMG_9036 IMG_9035

The very next day would see 5″ of snow dump on these pour petals.

I marvelled at the artwork on the sides of Civil Engineering, something I had not remembered seeing before.

IMG_9038 IMG_9037

It was here that Captain watched a fox saunter around the buildings. He didn’t growl or attempt to go chase him, but gave a respectful distance. It always amazes me at the variety of wildlife found on the edge of the river valley.

The last big stop we made was at the back of the Education Building, I remembering coming to some lectures here I was 4 and again when I was 19.

IMG_9039

I reflected on how different my life turned out than what I expected or planned. I am not a teacher, well, I am not a teacher of children. I suppose we are all teachers in some capacity. I am a runner and work in that industry. Never in my wildest dreams or fantasies would I think I would move into that direction.

Me, the girl who used her brain and not her physical being. Now both are so important to my daily routine. Working on the edge of campus makes me long to go back to school. But for now, I am content to just run the paths and visit the ghosts of my past.

On Your Left

I am one of those lucky girls who gets to run with the man of my dreams. He runs at my pace, is cool with me choosing the route and is equally cool with picking the run himself. He never complains about how far we go and never mocks or teases me about how slow I am. He is the perfect partner.

10322838_10153191638511337_7370505178049866898_n

Until today…

Captain runs on the left just like Captain America. Until today…

We began our journey at the top of the 109 street bridge; better know as the High Level Bridge. It is one of my favourite places to run because it is so high above the river with the combination of a slope it feels like flying. Cap, as always, ran on my left. It was early, during the morning rush so the bridge was busy with cars. Cap had never been on this bridge before and the traffic spooked him. He didn’t want to run close to the rail, it seemed too high, and the traffic was just overwhelming. He was doing well, until a big truck rolled on by. It became too much. The Mighty Captain dashed between my legs and somehow tied his leash around both of my knees. In super slow motion we both fell to the ground. I am not sure how, but we both landed on top of each other.

IMG_9002

We laid there in a tangled mess and I asked him, “Cap what are you doing” because I couldn’t get him to move. He wasn’t hurt he was scared. We finally freed our mangled bodies and resumed the run. Only he wouldn’t run. He walked very close to my side until we reached the north bank of the river. It was then he decided to run.

IMG_8990

My dog is afraid of heights. Who knew that was a thing?

IMG_8989

We sat for a bit at Ezeo Farone Park so Cap could calm down, but then we were off. We saw a fox and a coyote, neither of which made my rescue dog happy that he couldn’t engage them in battle. He stared at me like I was cruel. We headed north and began running again. Being downtown was a new experience for my pup. He mostly liked the big trees and the soft grassy boulevards. Which is great because I want to move here soon. We turned right and I noticed my Garmin died. So much for tracking my run. Oh well, unplugged is great too. I let Cap lead the way at this point and he headed straight for more parkland, The Alberta Legislature Grounds.

IMG_8991

The trees are just beginning to leaf out and we discovered rabbits, so more running in random patterns all over the park. The cross-country aspect of the run was fun. Lots of down hill grassy slopes. We passed the Totem Pole and my Birthday candle (that’s a long story but it’s always burning on the south side of the legislature if you want to see it.) It was getting to be time to head back to the car, Captain was getting tired and running wasn’t what he wanted to do any more. My pup is getting old, 7 and he is a 75lb sled dog who rather sleep.

IMG_8992 IMG_8993 IMG_8994 IMG_8995

We ran to the park exit and were treated by this sight, which is SUPER EARLY for Edmonton, May Day Blossoms!

IMG_8996

Back over the High Level Bridge, and surprise surprise…Cap would not run. He walked tight next to me not wanting to look over the side at the river, or too close to the traffic. But because we walked, I noticed something I had not seen before. All these love quotes embedded into the sidewalk on the bridge.

IMG_8997 IMG_8998 IMG_8999 IMG_9001

All of these quotes are how I feel about my Cap.

My big ‘fraidy cat.

IMG_8715

Thanks for being the best dog and running partner I have ever had.

Oh I am brave alright…just ask mom #yavin #starwars

When I was 10, Star Wars appeared at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Edmonton. Most Sunday afternoons, my mom would take my brother and I to the movies. We had seen every Disney Flick from AristoCats to Escape to Witch Mountain. Any movie that held zero chance of reality instantly captivated my imagination and I would fantasize about those scenarios.

The Paramount was one of those new-old style theatres. Huge red velvet curtains opened when the movie was about to start, there were 2 entrances, left and right. The box office was a single person sitting in a glass booth outside the theatre. One movie showed at a time. This particular afternoon it was Star Wars A New Hope in bold black letters on the outside marquis.

Mom bought the tickets and then we stood in line for the popcorn and drinks. well, a single drink because we always shared. As I scan my memories for crowds, all I can remember is the theatre being so full, my brother, 8 years old, had to sit on my mom’s lap for the movie. We had to sit too close to the screen and off to the side aisle.

We sat in the dark.

The red velvet drapes opened and this large and strange space ship was flying over our heads. I knew it was real because I could HEAR THE SOUNDS behind me, over head and all around me. This was the first time hearing a movie made such an epic response from the entire audience I was apart of.

It was an unbelievable experience.

All you Star Wars fans know how the story continues, but the ending of the movie was by far the most fun for me.

They got a medal mom, A MEDAL FOR BRAVERY MOM! Did you see it MOM? MOOOOOOOM!!!!! Can we go again? I wan that medal MOM! I am brave, I can jump off the shed and pretend to fly, I can skip school for a week and then march in there like nothing happened with you in tow, I can build a raft and play in the pond even though you said its too dangerous. I am BRAVE ENOUGH for that medal MOM!! MOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!

Medals

As I grew older, I saw the injustice of Chewy not getting the medal because he was a Wookie. Hello? Leia? HE WAS THE CO-PILOT and was a HERO TOO. Blatant discrimination if you ask me. Han asked Leia to give him one in a private ceremony…I call *Cough *cough…

At any rate, the time has finally come for  ME to earn that Yavin Medal for bravery.

I am going to run a 10km on May the Fourth – because that is the best Star Wars holiday EVER. (I will be celebrating it on May the 3rd – my long run day).

This is a virtual race, meaning you can run it anywhere/anytime/anyplace. You get a nifty Yavin bib and the coveted YAVIN MEDAL!  THE YAVIN MEDAL MOM! I FINALLY GET THE YAVIN MEDAL!!! All for $30.

MRSW119lg

The proceeds of the virtual are going to the Do Away With SMA Foundation, a charity that supports research and families in search of a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. You can visit the Charity web site here: DAWS

Now here is the best part:

As a reader of my Edmonton Tourist Chronicles, you get a special coupon code if you want to earn this medal as well (I will let you in on a secret – if you wan the medal just buy it, I am sure you did something brave in your life too. You don’t need to be a runner, just a Star Wars fan/geek!)

Sign up here: Yavin Virtual Race and use the coupon code YEG (its the airport code for Edmonton) to get 10% off!

Here is the art work for the medal – its pretty cool!IMG_7598

Step out of your comfort zone because “Travelling through hyperspace ain’t like dustin’ crops, boy!”.

Things and Stuff

Cluttered-House

I read an article on Facebook today that discussed how Millennials are telling their Boomer parents to keep their crappy stuff as they downsize.

Damn, I needed to say that. I have a giant oak dinning table in my basement.

Apparently, the two very different generation’s values are in different places. The younger generation wants to spend their money on experiences while their parents want stuff.

Me, being a child of a boomer yet old enough to fall on the tail end of boomer-dom, although technically I am a Gen-xer, I fall somewhere in between. I have a lot of toys. I love my lego, my T.A.R.D.I.S, and my Vinylmation. I have Muppets and Doctors. Yet, I would give them all up for a chance to travel on a regular basis.

According to people I know, I travel a ton. I am always going somewhere, while this is true to a degree, I do not travel near the amount I would like to. My parents are in China, and my daughter is in Europe. My plans for the rest of the year are The Rocky Mountains, a road trip down the Pacific Coast, and a fall trip to a Wine and dine Festival in Florida. Not too shabby since I have already been to Florida this year. I am happiest when I am planning to travel or actually traveling.

This leaves me with a problem.

I have a giant house I do not want. I do not want to be saddled with the stuff that surrounds me. Most of it is cast offs from others…somehow I end up with it because no one knows what to do with it. I have a suitcase filled with electric massage things from the 70’s. Why? An uncle moved into a nursing home and somehow my home has his things in it. I have a sectional from the 50’s that was my grandmothers. If I had the money to spare, I would recover it because it is currently gold velvet… not my choice but I would rather fly to New York to than spend the cash on fabric. So I suppose it IS my choice.

We are looking at downsizing.

Sure my kids still live with me and will for a while yet. But does that mean I need to live in the burbs? I hate it here. It is FAR from my playground. I love to run in the river valley and need that sense of urban/nature uniqueness. I do not like the cookie cutter sameness of my neighbourhood.

Why did I choose it?

Good Question.

I think partly because it was expected. My husband is older and has generational values of a boomer. Home in the burbs, 2 cars, and family heirlooms. I agreed because for a long time I didn’t know what I wanted or I went along with the idea because it is what one did.

I picked this house because it was the best compromise. It was not my dream home.

My dream home is a 3 bedroom condo on the 11th floor of a high-rise overlooking Vancouver/New York or some other coastal Urban city. Is that the dream my family shares? Hells no.

So what does one do when you live in a shoe? Good Question.

Does anyone want my Royal Dalton China I never use? Or how about the Scrapbook room full of tools and papers? or how about the bins of toys my children do not want to part with? I have a basketball hoop and an Air Hockey table, then there is the Christmas decorations  that I never want to put up again or the Halloween decorations that people keep giving me. I HATE HALLOWEEN! STOP GIVING ME STUFF!

I kind of want to sell everything, but then I think, I should just give it away. I wish I had a home filled with things I wanted rather than things that I accepted because I didn’t really want anything anyways… or I lacked the cash because Id rather travel.

At any rate, the next time you come to my house and you see something you love. Take it. Everything is up for grabs expect my toys, my art and dog.

2015: The year of the big purge.