Ode to AbronxTurtle: The 59th Street Mount Sonofabitchs song, or Not Feeling so Groovy.

Today my friend abronxturtle ran his 12th marathon in a year in an effort to raise money for the Dream Team. A group of runners who raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. He posted this on his facebook page:577801_4993828286128_1137167856_n

22 in. And here’s Mount Sonofabitch. 59th street bridge. – J. Kolinsky

What is remarkable to me is not that fact that he ran well over 314.4 miles this year. It was way more than that this year because he trained, ran half marathons, 5 and 10ks, and did numerous fun runs. I am not amazed that he ran 3 marathons ALONE without help, support, fan cheering or anyone to meet him at the finish line (okay, that’s a lie I am COMPLETELY AMAZED!). What is remarkable to me is he just decided to to this incredible task and so he did it.

Lots of people make New Years Resolutions and peter out around January 2. They lose momentum. Joe didn’t. He kept going. During these past 12 races he lost a tooth, sprained an ankle, ran with the Elvis’, defeated by Hurricane Sandy, ran hills like a roller coaster, bled, was bruised and batter, yet he still did it. He ran all those marathons just like he said he would. He never quit and if anyone had the right to it was him. He kept going because he told his daughter he would and he doesn’t like to let her down.

I have learned a lot from him over the years I have known him. I have learned from his mistakes and his success.

So Joe, now that you have ran 12 marathons in 12 months, what are you going to do? Oh right…going to Walt Disney World to run the Goofy. Congratulations my friend, you deserve a vacation in Walt Disney World, a medal and all the best.

You deserve to feel groovy.

Mindful Running


I crawled into bed last night and my muscles complained. I am starting to feel like I am 100.

I am not 100, I am 45. I cannot remember a time in recent memory (since I started this mo journey Jan,’11) that some muscle wasn’t upset about something I did. Secretly, I really like this feeling. I like when my belly aches from planks or swimming, I like when my legs burn from running. I like how tired I am at night.

At some point this week I reached the half way point of the C25k training program. So yesterday I ran the very first route I did  day one. I am not the person who will run the same route day in and day out. I need to switch it up. I do this for a couple of reason.

  1. Because running the same route is too boring for words. I am not running with music because I like to get out of my head, be mindful of what I am doing and I use it as a meditation. I have spent far too much of my life imagining and daydreaming about something else, this has been a fantastic experience of learning to run and I have not missed one painful, dreadful, wonderful moment. I need variety, different things to look at and new experiences. Apparently new experiences makes you smarter and Lord knows I could benefit from being smarter.
  2. Switching up the camber is a injury preventive strategy. My knee has reached the point where I do not even think about it when I run. I do not need to create a new injury in the process. Even when I run the same route for a week, I will head out in alternate directions for each run. Meaning I run a loop. One day I start on the right and go west, the the next day I run left and go east. I think this has really helped because I cannot avoid hills this way. Sure I want to, but I get to it eventually.

So, I reached the mid-way point of my training. I ran the original path I did on my first day. The first day of the C25k was 45 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes with 5 minutes on either end of walking to warm up and cool down. Between you and me, this was hard. I had the stamina and conditioning from swimming but the muscles were different. I was really concerned about running for 20 minutes because that day was going to happen soonish. I am a goal nazi. I have crazy intense focus when I set a goal. So even when I didn’t feel up to running, I did it anyway. I have set my 5k race goal for the first week of December. I gave myself lots of time because I want to have lots of practice and conditioning for my first 5k race. I want to feel like it isn’t hard. I also knew I needed time just in case my knee complained mightily. So here I am half way.

Yesterday I re-ran my first path. I live on the prairies and in the burbs. I love the big sky. My neighborhood, which is great for my kids, is DULL as dishwater for running enthusiasts. There is a running trail/dogrun/power-line corridor the flows north to south behind the local school. It takes you into the creek and up over the bank to the other burbish neighborhoods. I ran this.

I did it at first because it was asphalt, and that is better than concrete for my joints. If I am honest, it is also because there is no traffic and no one could see me. The first day I ran/walked less than a kilometer. I didn’t quite make it to pass the walkway to Kitlitz park. The first couple of weeks I didn’t get very far. Even the 5 minute warm up wasn’t that far from my house. I never quite made it into the park and had to start running on the road when my beeper went off.

Yesterday I did the same route. This time my warm up got me into the park and near the bottom of the incline to join the main path. I ran south for 5 minutes walked one then ran 8 minutes. I more than tripled my distance for the “out” portion. The sun was hot for September and I was running at 5:00pm heat peak. Keep in mind this is EDMONTON so the air was cool-ish but the sun was intense. I loved the long shadows that provided shade. This time of day tons of women were out. This struck me because in the morning I only see men run. Never any women. Apparently us girls are too busy getting families ready to start the day and wait until after work to run or walk the pooches. I also was keenly aware of the smell of fall. The leaves are turning and there is a distinct smell that goes with that. I had a friend who thought it smelled of gym socks, but rotting leaves is a warm musty smell that I love. I saw berries on the path and a middle aged dude sitting in the shade talking on the phone. I assumed it was a secret clandestined phone call. I had long passed my original turn around point and forgot to take note of it, but soon I was reaching the crest of the hill that would lead me down into the creek. At the top of the crest, I remembered the gravel turn off that I used to get extra miles in when I was training for the half marathon when I walked. I then looked to my left and saw the flood waters had subsided from the spring when I came through here and had to walk through 4 inches of water and soaked my shoes. The downhill portion was laid out in front of me and I checked my timer, I was only 2 minutes into my 8 minute run. WOW! I knew I was getting faster. The midway point of the hill brought me to the crosswalk. I scanned the road ready to pause my timer in case I had to wait for traffic. No such luck. I had to keep running because the road was free from traffic. I ran across the sidewalk and onto the cross walk. I was immediately struck by the resistance of the concrete. I didn’t suspect I would notice it, but it was noticeably harder.

Once I crossed the road, I was trying to decided should I turn right and follow the creek or just run over the bridge at the bottom of the path. The hill was getting steeper and i knew I would have to run back up. Just before I reached the point where I would need to decide, my running app voice said “half way”. I replied out loud, “OKAY!” and I pulled a U-ie on the path and started to make my way up the steep hill. A gal who was running behind me, one of those gazelles with a beautiful stride (ONE DAY THAT WILL BE ME!) smiles and said “GREAT JOB!” Thanks running gazelle! I looked at my timer and it was 3:55 into my 8 minute run. So up I climbed and scanned the road once again for traffic. This hill nonsense is stupid and I felt the burn of my calves and my heels and ankles swore at me a bit. Too bad so sad and I kept climbing. I was counting out power-lines and figured the 3rd set should be about right for stopping. I set my sights on the third set and then changed my focus once again. I was thinking about that cute pup who didn’t listen and wanted to keep playing. I looked at the blue sky and thought about how beautiful it is in the fall but not as beautiful as a winter sky. Then I was checking out the berries on the bushes and thought there wasn’t very many. Maybe it will be a mild winter! WOHOO! I then realized I was running past the third tower of my count off. WOW! I am faster! I checked my phone and I has another 42 seconds to go. So I ran.

By the time the beep went off and running app voice said “Walk”, I was nearly at the point of my very first turnaround on my very first day. I walked the 2 minutes and then was told to run again. I had 5 minutes left. I ran all the way to the walkway the would lead me home. I needed a 5 minute cool down still. I walked along my street home. By the time I reached my front porch running app voice said “workout complete”. Never had I gone this far or completed so close to home. I was pretty proud and happy. I stopped on my porch to stretch out. The running stretches I have read about and remember from my basketball days are good for a start, but I always finish up with some yoga poses. Those feel heavenly.

I looked ahead to my next running plan on my app and saw it was run 8 walk 1 run 10. That is for Sunday’s long run. It’s not really a long run. Last year my Sundays were filled with walks that were about 14-18kms, so this doesn’t seem like a big deal in terms of distance. But muscle endurance is a different thing. I then thought about my plan for running my first half marathon. It might sound odd that I have a plan for a half when I haven’t even run a 5km yet, but I am a planner. I plan to run 10 and 1s. Run 10 minutes walk 1 minute. I also told myself that there is no shame in walking if I have to.

My plan this year will get me to become a comfortable runner for a 10km. I will then become comfortable at running a regular 10k. Then the distance training will begin. It’s hard not to get ahead of myself. But I can clearly see the 1/2 marathon medal being place around my neck. I will earn it because I will have ran it in less time than I walked the original one.

I can’t WAIT! Roll on Sunday, I need to feel what a 10 minute run feels like because it is all part of my plan.

 

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Question: How far is a marathon anyways? Answer: Not 3km

I had one of those moments today when I looked a the person and thought to myself “How come you aren’t dead? Surely your stupid actions and words should have killed you by now.” Then because I wanted to know how he survived so long, I said out loud, “What is your Super Power?”

Apparently dumb luck. Lots of people have this super power.

By now you are thinking – what the hell are you talking about Tourist?

I was standing by the photocopier (a school equivalent to a water cooler) and asked a fellow teacher (male) what his plans were for the weekend. I know it’s only TUESDAY, but seriously people – teachers are BONE TIRED and cannot wait to sleep for a week because YOUR children exhaust me are awesome.

Anyway Teacher Guy began to tell me his plans for the weekend.

TG- I am running a marathon his weekend!

Me- Wow congratulations! Training is brutal and so time consuming, I really admire marathon runners! So tell me, how many miles did you average a week? Where are you running? Did you fund raise?

TG- Naw, it’s not a big deal. I didn’t train. I am just going out there and giving it a shot.

Me- HOLY CRAP MAN, no training? You are a rock star!

TG- Naw…it’s only 3km.

Me- …..Picture a thought bubble (dude you have just insulted an entire culture of people and highlighted your stupidity)

Silence for several minutes while he stood there thinking he was a rock star.

Me – Dude, tell me what you think a marathon is.

TG- a fun run.

Me- It can be, but usually people can barely breathe by the end and their body hurts so much it isn’t very fun after a while.

TG- it’s only 3k!

Me- 3K is a fun run. A Marathon is 42k.

He looked at me like I was kidding him. Then I said,

Me- I am indignant on behalf of every person who has ever run MARATHON – the entire 42KILOMETER race. Those people deserve medals. I can appreciate 3k being a challenge, it is an amazing goal to be a short or long distant runner. But to say a marathon is just a 3k fun run is insulting!

TG- Whatever…. same thing.

Me- Not the same thing. I challenge you to run the ING in August. ALL 42 Freaking Kilometers and then tell me it’s the same.

TG – Not a problem. I’ll do it.

Me- And I will be there with a body bag to collect you.

TG – Challenge accepted.

TG is also a Maple Leaf fan, doesn’t that say it all? WOW! I was reading a blog entry today from my favorite marathoner. The Bronx Turtle had a similar conversation with on a telephone conference today. Read it, it is hilarious. He felt embarrassed that people think he is nuts. Well for starters, The Bronx Turtle is running a marathon a month, A MONTH PEOPLE! that is 12 marathons this year for WDW Radio’s Dream Team Project.  He is raising funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation. And he felt embarrassed? WHAT? I think it is amazing what he is doing. Especially the part where there is NO SCHEDULED marathon for June around his home in New York City – let’s all cry him a river. Poor guy lives in Manhattan with Central Park as his back yard….boo hooo… (Jeeze Tourist, jealous much?) So Turtle is going to run around Manhattan, by himself, with no support for water or energy junk, to help himself achieve this amazing feat of a marathon a month, 42 kilometers ON foot with no one cheering him on, handing him water, or placing a medal around his neck. All to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation. He isn’t the first person I know to do this. Another Goal Setter (that is her name) did this July 5th last year.

I feel sorry for them. Part of the fun of doing these races is bragging rights. Bragging rights need a medal. When you run that far on your own, no one gives you a medal. I have decided to take matters into my own hands. These people deserve to be recognized for there amazing actions and as a preschool teacher, I have the ability to do something about it. What you may ask? I am making them each a Macaroni Necklace Medal. The need to hang something on their wall when THAT GUY comes over and says “so what…no big deal”

The other part of this story that I find so amazing is fundraising for Make-A-Wish Foundation. Without thinking too hard (it is June people and my brain is fried) I can recall 4 children who were recipients of a precious wish.

One little girl I know received a hot tub and gazebo attached to her home. She needed water therapy to keep her limbs active. She is unable to stand on her own, so the water gives her a freedom from her chair.

Another little girl’s wish was to go to Walt Disney World. She needed supports in the form of oxygen and limited time in the parks because it would be so exhausting. But what little kid doesn’t want to be a princess for a day or 3? The Village down there had Oxygen hook ups in her room and Disney sent princess’ and mice over to the village where they wouldn’t have to fight crowds, just to spend time with her. Disney knows how to throw a party and 7 years later, she still lights up when she talks about it.

I had a student in my class one year who had cancer. He wanted to meet his hero Gizmo Williams, a CFL Edmonton Eskimo. Gizmo made it there 4 days before he died. They spent the day together and my little friend wore Gizmo’s jersey everyday. They buried him in it.

I know another little boy who was just granted a wish. He will get to go to Disneyland this summer to have his dream come true.

Make-A-Wish seems frivolous to some people, these people think the money could be better spent finding cures, or research. The bottom line is research wasn’t going to help my little friend who died. He was able to spend his last living days with a hero. His mom was granted happiness to see her little boy happy with stars in his eyes. What parent doesn’t want that for their child? I know I do.

I am heading over to the WDW Radio Dream Team Project and making a donation in support of The Bronx Turtle – his real name for the donation form? Joe Kolinsky – marathon man.

I think you should follow Joe because he is funny, does stupid things, and a great writer. I think you should support his cause and tell him he isn’t running for nothing.

Click here to have more information on the Dream Team Project

Click here to make a donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation to support Joe Kolinsky

 

 

Running Swag is Where it’s At!

Speedy Gonzales
Image via Wikipedia

I don’t speak Spanish, I am afraid of mice, BUT I might be related to Speedy Gonzales. I wish…

Last May I started training for the Edmonton Intact Marathon in August 2011. I completed that goal with less than stellar results, but I COMPLETED it. I started training for the Calgary Scotia Bank Marathon May 27th, 2012 because I have something to build on. My pace last May was roughly 14min/km. ZOINKS! Today was my 2 week of training. I started at 10min/km which thrilled me. I could look at how far I have come. Today it was 8.66min/km. Unreal, that isn’t even running. I thought I had slowed my pace because I wasn’t even puffing.

How did I do this? Well I shall tell you me secret….

I bought running swag

Shocking, I know! It has nothing to do with being hydrated, or eating right or getting enough sleep because I am doing NONE of that! In fact, that makes me laugh!  HA! <——–  see? Well, maybe I am unconsciously and maybe it has become habit now. Maybe now I realize food is fuel not therapy, but I am not paying much attention to that. I owe all my success to Running Swag.

Let me tell you how it came about so YOU can have success too!

  1. First of all, I run walk on an indoor track. 9 laps=1km no I don’t get dizzy but I do go into a hypnotic trance. I has spending all my time and energy counting stupid laps.  Today I bought a Tally Counter. It isn’t as awesome as it sounds because it is ginormous. But it works and that is enough for me! I tested it out on 3km today. I forgot to click it twice and remembered when I got to the window rather than the start/finish line of the oval. That’s okay, it’s not like it was for a timed lap or anything, it is just keeping track of how many times I pass around.
  2. Did you know that running socks are special? I didn’t either until I started with this shenanigans. They are designed to reduce wick moisture away to prevent blisters. As well as other stuff that i don’t care about. I don’t want blisters OR burning feet…. that isn’t fun because that is ALL you can think about. Well, I had these fabulous CoolMax socks from the RunningRoom. There was a Left sock and a Right sock – I kid you not. Who knew? The why of it has something to do with the arch support padding yadadadad… I wasn’t listening when they told me. I just didn’t want blisters. Those socks from last year (all 3 pairs) now are only good for pedicures (yes there are holes in the toes). So I pulled out the socks I got in my swag bag from the marathon. I ran crawled for Kids Sport and these were a thank you from that organization. Well, let me tell you something. THESE SOCKS KICK ASPHAULT! I need to find more and pronto! So I lied, I can speak un poco de español. Yes there is a Left and a Right but this is to show off the ugliness of the Black, Yellow and White to it’s full potential…. I know, I know…you are jealous, I can tell.
  3. I don’t wear shorts….you’re welcome. But walking in jeans is just not okay. I was working out in my yoga pants but those just weren’t cutting it. I was in Winners one day noticing I could shop in regular ladies wear – I KNOW! YAY ME! I found a pair of Nike DriFit pants that fit. Again… I KNOW! I TOO AM EXCITED! I now am thinking about getting capris of the Dri-Fit nature and wearing girl shirts. My tech shirts are mens and it just doesn’t fit right in the girl area…. I am sure once I get these items I will be moving EVEN FASTER!
  4. The other bit of swag I now use is a glass water bottle. Yes it is heavy, but at the track I don’t have to carry it. I hate the taste of plastic water and I am eco concious…or try to be. I am trying to make my body use to the fact that I can go at least 3km without water. THEN drink. Why? I don’t want to carry a a water belt for the race. We shall see. I have heard horror stories about water stations running out of water…that’s not good. OR worse – cups. I will think about it. Calgary is rated one of the top 12 races in North America (of course when you are in the top 12, you are likely 12th).
  5. I have a broken window on my iphone. The screen isn’t cracked but there is a largish piece missing out of the top right hand corner. I use it to listen to music which makes me fast! In the olden days (last year) I used the girl cleavage to hold the phone…if youve got ’em use ’em! The sweat moisture will kill the phone, so I bought an armband. I am SURE this is the reason for my fastness.

There is my swag list that promises lightening speed! Here is my want list so I can break some course records.

  1. I currently have super ugly hot pink and black Nike air. I love them. Sadly they are over loved and only have a few more miles left on them. I am happy to announce this years style is not hot pink! it is purple…hmmm not much better, but it is better. I know for a FACT new shoes help me walk faster. It is like having springs on your feet.
  2. I want a Nike+ Fuelband…. I don’t really know all the stuff it does but it is a gadget and I am all about gadgets! Besides, it might make me FASTER!
  3. iPhone 4GS I have a 3G no S There are NO LONGER RUNNING APPS THAT WORK with this old phone. I have do things the old fashion way…look at the clock.
  4. A headband.   HA! <————– see I laughed again. There is no way I would wear a head band. Although at camp I often sported a bandana on my head due to bed-head and bad hair. However, now that I have flair and panache HA! <————- again I laugh… I think I should sport an Axl Rose-esq head band – NOT Mike Reno type if you are wondering.

I am pretty sure these items will make me SUPER FAST. Yes it will…quit arguing with me.

I Love My Black Shoes, I Love My Black Shoes…

Do you know the story of Pete the Cat? The cat who loved his white shoes? This is a favorite story for my kiddies at school. The song easily gets stuck in your head.

That is what was going through my head today when I went and purchased my new shoes. No they aren’t Christian Louboutin. No they aren’t Prada. They are new running shoes and are the UGLIEST running shoes I have ever owned to date. Let me explain about my need for new shoes…

Last week I was doing hill repeats. Those suck by the way, 100m hill x 7. The only thing nice about it was the view of the creek. Living on the prairies, hills are a little hard to come by without driving to the river valley. So off I go to the sad little creek which is about 1km away. Then I walk up and down and up and down and up and down…well you get the idea. Almost at the end of my hill session, my knee was giving me serious grief. This was the knee I wrecked in Europe and tore the MCL. It still isn’t 100%, and after last weeks hills, I thought I was a goner for the rest of the season. I hobbled home and took an ice bath, also not as fun as it sounds. You would be surprised at the difference it makes to your muscles though! 3 days later, I was scheduled for my 16k. My furthest walk to date without stopping to ride a roller coaster or get a character autograph.

After about 9k into my walk, my knee started screaming at me. It was saying things like “You big dumb stupid ass head! Why are you doing this to me?” I stopped and rested for a bit. Then pressed on. By the time I had reached 12k, I stopped to do yoga stretches on someones lawn. My body was killing me because I was over compensating for my knee. Not a good idea. My Yoga instructor told me once that I should try and walk with out a limp. It is better over all for my body, however, my knee disagreed. In that moment, it was all I could do not to hail a cab, or call my mommy. The stretching helped me make it to 16k and into my Gran’s house where I was met with water!!! Thanks Gran!

Meanwhile, I had asked various runners their opinion on shoes. I think it was my shoes fault. I made the mistake of buying the shoes I always get because once 6 years ago, I was told that style was what I needed for my stance.  My feet never really liked those shoes. I have had them 2 months and walked 200km in them. Technically they should be good for another 200km but there are a couple of factors in play here. 1> I am heavier than the average runner. By heavier I mean a LOT heavier. We are talking Clydesdale on steroids. Naturally I would wear out my shoes quicker.  2> I never was properly fitted for my shoes. I am stronger now than I was when I was originally fitted for my shoes. That might play a factor when it comes to pronating. Besides, I have holes in my shoes already from yoga toe when I walk…I blame YOU Trophi Girl!

Today I walked into the specialty running store and was specially fitted. Turns out I no loner pronate and now only need a neutral shoe! So the muscles are a factor! As soon as I put on the first shoe I knew my old shoes were wrong. 6 pairs later and the right shoe for me was the ugliest shoe on the shelf. Black and Pink. Ffffffffffff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!KKKK

Black is fine, pink is fine, together it feels like something Pinky Tuscadero might wear. Once again, I bow to comfort. It is the only way I am going to finish this race. I am registered now so there is no backing out. I am too cheap to even consider it! Going for comfort is the only way.

I am going to test them out tonight. My knee isn’t ready for another 16km, I will test it out with an easy 8-10k. That makes me laugh. Who would ever think I would consider 8-10k easy? I do now! 4 sizes smaller and new ugly shoes keeps the mo going.

Sing it with me! “I love my black shoes, I love my black shoes, I love my black shoes…”

 

I Promised Mess I Wouldn’t Cry

Today I stood curbside at Floden Park to cheer on runners for the Canadian Derby Marathon in Edmonton. All I can say is, unbelievable!

In 2001, I sat curbside to watch the marathon for the World Track and Field Games in Edmonton. That was surreal. My kids were small, and I brought noise makers and face tattoos and fun things to play with that would support the athletes as they ran by.We were very excited! Suddenly, we could see the elite runners  in the distance! Then…. zooooooooooom… they ran past us at light speed. We saw them run by for maybe 45 seconds. HUGELY anticlimactic! But today was different. We stood curbside at the wall. From my understanding, the wall is where the runner reaches complete fatigue.

Wikipedia explains is like this:

Carbohydrates that a person eats are converted by the liver and muscles into glycogen for storage. Glycogen burns quickly to provide quick energy. Runners can store about 8 MJ or 2,000 kcal worth of glycogen in their bodies, enough for about 30 km/18–20 miles of running. Many runners report that running becomes noticeably more difficult at that point. When glycogen runs low, the body must then burn stored fat for energy, which does not burn as readily. When this happens, the runner will experience dramatic fatigue and is said to “hit the wall“.

We cheered and yelled! You could see the looks of determination on some faces and appreciation on others. Some runners thanked us as said they really appreciated our support and that it made a difference. We arrived after the elite runners had finished the race ( Brendan Lunty of Camrose, AB 2:33:17). We figured it was the middle of the pack and the back of the packers who needed our support the most. I saw people who could barely walk keep moving, people older than my father keep moving, (not that you are old DAD!) and people who just thought they would give it a “go” keep moving. What drives someone to run/walk or crawl 42km?

My dad is amazing. Everyday he runs 10km because:

A) he likes to

B) it keeps him fit

C) it feels good.

What the?!?!?! It feels good? My mom, is a walker/cycler. She will walk everywhere for HOURS because:

A) she likes to

B) it keeps her fit

C) it feels good.

I hear that a lot.  It feels so good.  I have NEVER experienced athletic euphoria. I use to cycle great long distances. I like the feeling of speed and wind in my face. But that was pretty much it. I takes major drive and commitment to be an athlete.

Drive and Commitment. I don’t think I have those. My sister does. Well, maybe it is more ambition then drive, or maybe you need one to achieve the other.

I am a huge hockey fan. During the 80’s the Edmonton Oiler’s were THE TEAM TO BEAT. The league even made a new rule to help the other teams try to beat the Edmonton Oiler’s. Together they won 5 Stanley Cups. A Dynasty to be reckoned with. There was a core group on that team that really had drive and commitment.  Others came and went. Mark Messier really lead team in spite of all you Wayne fans, it was always Messier’s leadership on and off the ice that led the team. This was evident when Wayne left, cried because he would never see another team so amazing in his career, and Mark led the team to yet another cup.  The man had a focus that you could see in his eyes. He willed the impossible to happen. I suspect, Mark Messier believed that you wanted something bad enough, you made it happen. Anything less was inadequate. I can just imagine what it was like to be Steve Smith. He scored on his own net during the playoffs and the Oil lost. Mess likely didn’t say a thing. Just let Smith wallow in it for the rest of the very long summer. He brought his “A” game the next season. I am sure Mess had a lot to do with that.

How do I get that kind of drive? I want that kind of focus. I want to see the brass ring and not just reach for it but grab on to it and hold it in my hands. I want to know what that feels like. I chose what I do for a living because it was easy. It is something I am good at and it comes easy to me. I was too afraid to reach for what I wanted so I chose the easy path. Thursday I register for University. This is not the easy path. The easy one is to stay in a position where I can assert myself and do more, but I am not able to move forward. I am held back by the constraints of my education even though I know I am capable of so much more. It frustrates me that I am capable of doing what is required of others, yet unable to step into that role. I refuse to be held back any longer. When I spoke to my adviser in regards to my class load, she suggested I start with one class. It will have 4 major projects, and 60 hours or so of class work/studying etc. My first thought was “I can handle a full class load easily!” But then I thought, well – hmm, It has been years since I have done this, I still need to be a parent and help out with homework etc ( although this angers me a woman, maybe a great topic for another blog) plus, my family still needs me to bring in a paycheck so I will need to continue my full-time job. Contrary to popular opinion, I am not independently wealthy! I still want to volunteer on the Parent Advisory Council at my children’s school. Then there is family stuff!! Wow, I am tired just looking at this.  But I am digging deep. If Messier could guarantee a win for the Rangers so they could go on to win the Cup, then I can do this. Who are we kidding, my goal is harder than Messier’s. He just had to win a game.

I guess I do have drive and focus.

Here we go, the next travel stop on my journey as a tourist and I promised Mess I wouldn’t cry.