Not bad for 36 hours…

In the last… oh, lets say 36 hours, I’ve logged 9.6 miles in a combination of walking and running…

I went for a run on Sunday… I woke up to find it raining and very cool outside and as I had languished in bed and on the sofa in an attempt to get rid of a ripping multiple day headache to no avail, I figured that going for a run in the rain, as suggested on Twitter by Tara was the next remedy to try… I also figured that if it didn’t make me feel better, it wouldn’t make me feel worse so I wasn’t in a position to lose anything by going.

I don’t think I broke any land speed records for my time… I ended up accidentally turning off the timer halfway through… I was ticked that I turned the timer off… and then I realized that altho I like to know my time and I like to improve on it, sometimes being out there, running in a downpour with a ripping headache isn’t about the time, it’s about the effort. 

Yesterday I headed downtown and went for a long walk with a friend.  We took a cab into Stanley Park and then headed out toward the Lion’s Gate Bridge. The plan was originally to walk to the bridge and then turn around and walk back as we were hoping to stay on the shady side. By the time we got to the bridge the sun was going down and altho it was still incredibly hot, we decided to walk on the sunny side for a while… Friend isn’t crazy about being so warm so we were both very surprised that we managed to keep going… We were glad we did because we happened upon the Brahm Tam’s Stanley Park drum circle.  It was kind of cool and we stood and watched for a bit before continuing on…(the video is someone else’s but that was exactly when we were there) and then happened upon the bit of beach that the rock stacker guy does his magic… and then on past the ‘In the Park After Dark’ location where they were showing Dirty Dancing.  I LOVE that movie… we didn’t stop tho… we kept going, stopped for a bottle of water and a snack of a slice of pizza and the icing off the top of a cupcake (It worked out perfectly… I like the icing and he likes the cake…)

We strolled through the residential areas of the West End on the way back to my bus stop and ended up logging a total of 7.1 miles.  It took us about four hours all told between walking, stopping to gawk around and take a pic or two, eating and then wandering back. Next week we’re going to start further back in the park so we go around the entire thing… Should end up adding a couple miles to the total, which is fine by me! 

Besides having just a really nice time, I couldn’t help but think to myself that this was my reward.  All my hard work and sacrifice (hello, running in the rain isn’t as romantic as you think!) thus far has paid off and a 7 mile walk isn’t really all that big of a deal… I mean it’s not a ‘deal’ at all… it’s a nothing… the thoughts going through my head when the idea was proposed to me was ‘what cute top should I wear’ and ‘should I bring a hoodie’.  It wasn’t ‘can I make it’, ‘will I be sweaty or out of breath’ or anything of that nature… All my cognitive effort the entire time was on laughing and telling/listening to stories and being silly.  I acted out a whole portion of the Friends episode where Rachel and Phoebe go running (linked here for you… v funny!) 

As I continue on in my journey for health and wellbeing, both for my mind and my body, I’m enjoying taking more ownership of who I am…

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the excuses that I’ve made for myself in the past… in a probably useless effort to try and convince people around me that I wasn’t a train wreck.  (Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think every overweight person is a train wreck… but my weight issues came from trainwreck worthy things and this is my blog and I’m talking about me.) 

Ownership of who you are means that you don’t make excuses… you’re just who you are, both good and bad.  It’s difficult to explain and I don’t think I’m having an eloquent enough day to try and explain it but it’s a very freeing feeling. 

So, to sum up.  I’ve logged almost 10 intentional exercise miles in 36 hours, walking on the seawall is fun, I like my friend and I own who I am, both good and not so good.  Not bad for 36 hours!

Here’s a pic from about halfway… just to the left out of frame would be Siwash Rock (for those in the know).

Siwash Rock

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What’s that on your arm?

Back in May I got myself on the waiting list for a very talented tattoo artist in Vancouver.  At the beginning of July I had a consultation with him where I described what I was looking for, showed some pictures of inspiration and then left the details in his hands.  It’s difficult to describe something artistic when you’re as incapable of fine arts as I am… I left with an appointment for the beginning of August and a sense of calm.  About a week later I emailed another inspiration photo and a story about why I was getting the tattoo, on the off chance that it would help inform the design. 

Throughout the month of July, while I was waiting ever so impatiently for my appointment time, I was constantly asked by friends and family if I’d seen the design yet… No was my reply.. I’ll see it on the day of the tattoo and I have every confidence that it will be perfect so no, I’m not worried.  Last Sunday I took the bus (and then a cab, because I am stupid) downtown… I was calm as a cucumber (even tho I find the mere idea of cucumbers most repellant!) and very confident and peaceful.  It stood to reason I told myself… part of why I was on my way down there to get this piece of art etched onto me was to celebrate the peace I’d found in the last six months. 

I didn’t know what to expect or what the design would look like… but the literal second that I saw his interpretation of my story, I fell in love… It’s a weird thing to say that it was exactly what I wanted; even though I didn’t know what that was until that very moment… His art closed the chapter on the last seven years of my life and celebrated the opening of my mind and heart that has occurred in the last six months.  I look down at my arm and see a reminder of the overwhelming peace I feel now… it reminds me to be thankful for it and to continue to seek peace and strength.  And, it’s really really pretty! 

Please excuse the somewhat crappy picture… the tattoo also looks somewhat crappy because it was only three days old when this photo was taken and it’s still healing… but you get the idea. (also, it’s sideways… but again… you get the idea…)

Hummingbird

And for those of you in Vancouver/GVRD who are wondering…

Gastown Tattoo Parlour

My artist was Logan Howard.  And he will certainly be doing my next tattoo… which isn’t as long away as one might think 😉

Laugh at Me

So a long time ago I was sitting in a coffee shop giggling with a girlfriend.  Well…. Giggling… not really… full out, hold my sides, don’t care who hears/sees laughing.  The owner of the coffee shop is also a friend of mine and after a while he came over and sat down with us… Did you see those people sitting across from you that just left he asked… Yep.  Well, he said, the guy that was with them came up to me and asked me if I knew you… he’s in the film industry and he said your laugh was awesome and he wished that there was a way to bottle it. 

Of course that made me laugh even more… some out of nervousness and some because when people talk about laughing it makes you laugh… well, me anyway! 

It’s a memory that pops into my head every once in a while and it came screaming back to me this morning.

It’s a beautiful… BEAUTIFUL day here in Vancouver and I was with my same girlfriend waiting in line at Whole Foods to get a coffee.  We were being ridiculous and making eachother laugh, as usual and a bubble of unfiltered laughter burst out of me and caused the guy in the line in front of us to turn around… Sorry I said… thinking that I was being a bit obnoxious so early in the morning.  No, no was his response.  I love your laugh!  (which makes me laugh…).  He smiled at me, this huge, joyful, completely open smile and said that my laugh made him laugh and that it was awesome.  About 20 seconds later a girlfriend of mine came up to me and said she had just been walking out the door but that she’d heard my laugh and had to come and say hi and give me a hug.  That made me laugh even more and I said it was funny that her comment was the 2nd one in about 30 seconds about the sound of my laughter… the guy in front of me, beaming from ear to ear said it wasn’t even 30 seconds… 

The entire encounter was brilliant and fills me to this moment with a bubbly mirth that fills my body and soul with the endorphins of joy.

It also reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend the other day. How just the act of being ourselves can be a gift we don’t even know we are giving to another.  Our trusting nature, a caring touch, a bubble of laughter… our society frowns on the mere act of interacting with a stranger so we almost never have these conversations with another, but it’s likely that while you go about your daily business, you’re touching other people… just as they are touching you… giving you a gift they may not know they’re giving.   Someone told me yesterday that the thing they liked about me was that I was true…I believe the quote was ‘You’re honest about who you are. You are not some crackerjack bullshit flavor of the month.  You are true.’ The experience today with the guy at the coffee shop and the statement from my friend last night just underlines that being true to who I am… something that is very important to me is not a wasted effort.  In this world of fake and social media and doing whatever you want with no consequences, it’s a good reminder that the power in being true is always worth the investment to learn who you are and then live that life.

May Days

I’m darn well exhausted. 

I’m a complete zombie and the only thing keeping the secret of my exhaustion is that my skin care ritual is so fantastic that I haven’t developed a puffy face or bags under my eyes yet.

In the last three weeks I’ve gotten MAYBE 4-5 hours of sleep a night, I’ve been still going to the gym and working out as hard as I can and then working a full day, coming home and keeping a clean house and trying to keep the cat from chewing his way out of the house… all the while spending precious time commuting back into downtown Vancouver in the evenings to hang with a friend.

The exhaustion comes not only from not getting my very much required 8 hours of sleep a night but also from processing a lot of mental and emotional data.  I’ve been in one of those learning phases for a few weeks… Self-discovery is actually a really hard job and can be really tiring… the outcome has been great tho and besides being completely exhausted, I’m very happy!

Many many good things have come out of this last three weeks, one of which was a really meaningful experience in my Faith. I have a whole entry I’m writing about it but until I get it all finished up… you’ll just have to wait.

Last night I went out for dinner after work… I met my friend downtown and we decided that we needed to walk for a while to decompress from the day so we headed out toward English Bay.  We first walked along some pretty busy streets but the sun brought every single person in Vancouver out to downtown so we quickly retreated to the side streets and found ourselves strolling along some very lovely neighborhoods. We finally made it down to the beach (where I neglected to take even one single picture of how beautiful it was) and found ourselves an empty bench to sit on… The heat drove us off the bench eventually and we went to a small hole in the wall Greek restaurant for dinner.  It was SO GOOD! The place was packed and they also do huge take out business so everything was super fresh!  After dinner we decided to walk a ways and when I finally got back to my bus stop and my friend to his office, we’d walked a total of 5miles.  I sincerely wish (for both of us) that had we known we were going to walk that far that we had worn appropriate footwear… neither of us did altho with such good conversation and a relaxed pace it was hardly noticeable how far we went.

I have no dinner plans again until next week so hopefully I can catch up a bit on my sleep and spend a little time decompressing… My plan is to gym tonight after work (and by tonight I mean I’ll be home early today so gym at 3ish) and tomorrow after work (again, since I’ve adopted early work hours to accommodate gym in the am, it actually accommodates gym after work if I don’t make it in the am). I have no projects on the horizon for the weekend except maybe making another skirt or two and buying some face cleanser.

I hope everyone is planning on having a great weekend… I heard it’s supposed to be sunny here again so I might find a patch of grass for a mid day sunshine nap.

darcy May 9

I know it looks like I have huge bags under my eyes but I took this pic under flourescent lights in a bathroom stall so… it’s the lighting…