Friday, December 31, 2010

Traveling

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."

Soon I'll be off again on another adventure with Amber.  I have only been out of North America once before, a year ago, on a cruise, with Amber.  Now we are doing it again, to a different part of the Caribbean to see more amazing things and do more cool things.I am excited to go, how could I not be?  To be away and have staff that looks after everything for you, to eat great food, see great shows and have the opportunity to see things that don't even exist here at home.

This traveling is just one more reason to know that my wife is great!  Without her I wold have never gone on the cruise last year, and then obviously not on this one coming up either.  It not that I didn't want to go somewhere, but money was a factor and just the planning of it all.  She took care of all the details all I have to do was agree to go, for that I am thankful because I do not have the ambition to figure out all the little things that need to be done to go on a trip like this.

I can't wait to get going, I have to wait...  but I'd really like to just leave now and be on our way.  The only thing that I won't like is being disconnected from everything for 9 days pretty much, it's good that my phone and Internet will not be a distraction I suppose, but it would also be nice to be able to know what is going on.

I do intend to take like a million pictures, we have a camera that does not eat batteries this time, and we are buying 3 underwater cameras.  Hopefully all our underwater excursions go as planned this time be cause we will be doing some awesome things!

If you ever get the chance to travel, go!  Go with an open mind as well and explore your surroundings and culture.  On our last trip we went to Altun-Ha a Mayan pyramid site,and some American lady said "I don't like learning about all this un-american stuff"  I was floored by that!

Unfortunately I will be unable to tell anyone anything about the trip until I get back...  but when I get back I'll let you all know how it went!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I'm up early

I get up early every Christmas that I can remember.  I've always been the first one up in the house, always.

When I was a kid I would be up at like 4am, I'd tip toe quietly downstairs and snatch my stocking from on top of the TV unit where we hung them and take it back up to my room to examine the booty that I had received.  That was the rule, I could open up my stocking whenever but we had to wait until mom was up to do presents.

The contents of my stocking were similar each year, candy..  jube jubes, willowcrisp, chocolate rosebuds, gum and then typically practical type items...  I don't really recall what those items were as a kid, as a teenager it would be like deodorant and razors and stuff.  But I'd sit in my room, eat some candy, look at the things.  then try to make myself go back to sleep to pass the time until it was actually reasonable to be awake.

It usually worked and I'd wake up at about 7ish.

That was not the end of the wait for the real presents though.  Because my mom had to be "ready".  So we'd all eat breakfast, watch TV (if there was anything on - we only got 3 channels when I was a kid).  It always seemed like an eternity, like mom was just finding things to delay with to make us wait.  Eventually mom would be ready and we' get to the presents.

I'm up now, being mature, and waiting for Amber even to open my stocking.  I realize that the joy of giving is seeing how much people like what you got them, I also realize that the stocking is clearly an invention of parents to delay the wake up time for them and occupy children in the early morning.

When Amber and I have our own children I intend to still be up early (like I have a choice really), my rugrats won't have to wait till I eat breakfast, and brush my teeth to open presents.  We'll get to the good stuff right away!

Everyone should get a 6am wakeup call on Christmas day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I do what I can

A lot of people ask me to do things for them.  Some are trivial, some are important.  Unfortunately I can not do them all.

In general I have a hard time saying no to people, it's in my nature to help out, especially when all I would be giving up to help out is time, need a ride somewhere, especially when I am already out and about I'm usually good for doing that, need a hand with some homework, or notes posted?  I'm usually good for doing that too.  Those things are easy, and I enjoy doing them usually.  The common thing that those things share is that they are in my comfort zone, its easy to give someone a ride somewhere, it's easy to post notes online and such.

In school I decided I would only help those that help themselves.  I think that this decision has not only helped me in brushing off people that want to get somewhere with no effort, but it's also helped the people around me do their own hard work. At karate I will help everyone of course, it is my role there, those who are showing real effort to learn and grow, no matter their level are always going to get that little extra.

In life in general it's much harder.  If I did everything asked of me by everyone I would go insane.  Sometimes I agree to help people just so they stop bugging me, that is usually how I get tied up on the phone doing surveys and crap. I rarely flat out deny anyone, because I'm the type of guy that if I have the time I'll do whatever it is that is being asked of me.  Sometimes I delay a decision and feel crappy about it after, struggling to be okay with what I decided, or put off deciding.

I do what I can.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Injuries

You may not know it to look at me, but I have be injured so many times over my 31 years that it's amazing that I still am in working order.


The spots marked in red are sites of severe injuries, some of which were just downright nasty..  others come with a pretty good story.  I have of course had many of these injuries nag at me for a long time the most notable of which is my shoulder.

The shoulder injury
Back in 2006 I believe it was we were doing throws at Karate, and after some hip throws and such we moved on to sacrifice throws which look something like this:
Now, this might look pretty scary, and if you are unsure of what to do it would be, I however had no trouble with this until I began to tell my partner what a great job they were doing mid-flight.  And since my brain was thinking about words, it forgot to think about what had to happen to have me land safely on the floor.  So instead of doing a nice roll or break-fall, I came straight down on my shoulder.  The sound I heard was horrific!  I'm not sure if anyone else could hear it but it was sort of a wet crunching type sound.  Lovely it was, made all the better in that I had to spring up and pretend it didn't happen so as to not scar the kid I was working with for life.

The Knee
Each of my knees has been hurt, more than once.  But the best one was of course the sledding incident.  Growing up outside of Buckhorn we lived in the woods with a bit of a hill on one side of our house.  Part way down the driveway there was a bit of a natural path between the trees and this was an excellent spot to take the GT down the hill.
I was about 13 or 14 at the time I believe and a friend an I were out sledding that day. At this point I was a bit too big for the GT and my knees stuck out on either side.  I was hurtling down the hill when the front ski, the one that steers, lost contact with the snow.  Being unable to steer on a wooded hill is not the best thing that can happen, especially when your knees stick out.  My right knee caught a tree, turning all my forward momentum into a spinning motion.  I exploded off the sled, screaming in agony.  I'm sure I swore, and I'm sure that this was the only time I didn't get any trouble for it.  My knee swelled up to twice the size, full of blood.  I spent time on crutches, my doctor drew black blood (because it wasn't getting any oxygen) from the knee.  I was told to stay off it and rest...  I played hockey the next weekend.

The Nose
Anyone who knows me at karate knows that I've had my face kicked a couple of times, but that's not the good one.
We were building our first house, I was 7 I think and to pass the time and stay out of my dad's way I was riding my bike on our little turn around street.  I was weaving my bike back and fourth at a pretty good clip I assume, because when I hit the rock everything went pear-shaped. My bike stopped moving forward, I did not.  The front wheel and the attached handlebars work fantastically as a fulcrum, and I hit the ground face first.  I cupped my hands over my mouth and nose and ran up to the house and did what any kid does went they hurt themselves, I found my mom.  "What happened?!" she asked.  In reply I removed my hands from my face, a full two handfuls of blood spilling to the ground!  "I fell".  There was a trip to the hospital after that and I had huge black eyes for days.

I think that's enough for now...  More to come.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Let the break begin

Today is the first day off after the most stressful semester I have had at school so far since my return to academics.  I think I did pretty well all things considered.  I did have a few distractions from school this fall like getting married, earning my black belt, taking on extra work in tutoring at Fleming and the additional outside of class time work that the toddler program demanded.

I'm glad the semester is over, but I'm really happy that my main group of friends grew to include a new person this fall and that we all did really well, especially on the big 'real world' type of assignments.  I'm a bit sad that we won't all be together again next semester.  I'll miss coming to school and seeing everyone all week.  I'll miss the teachers too.  I think some folks create an 'us vs them' mentality when it comes to their teachers and look for as many faults as possible.  Don't get me wrong we had one teacher whose methods I could not stand at all!!  But by the end she was not so bad really.  I hope the folks in my class have host educators that they can get along with easily for their block placements.  Somehow I can envision a few of the girls not getting along just for the sake of creating drama, some people always have the mentality that life is out to get them.

I have so much nothing I want to do over the break, get out my guitar again and learn something new, I've been able to borrow my cousin's snowboarding stuff and I hope to try it out a few times, play some hockey, go to the gym and work, karate and of course to cap off my break is the cruise that Amber and I are going on.  I'm so excited for that! Eight days cruising around the eastern Caribbean and five places to visit, it should be fantastic!

I hope all my ECE ladies enjoy their break as much as I do!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do something difficult!

I LOVE getting a new program at the gym.  I love it because Jodi seems to delight in making my life at the gym difficult.  When you have a trainer that pushes you to do something so exhausting, but has the confidence in you that you can do it, it's fantastic!

As I have explained to people before I only meet with my trainer when it's time to get a new program, so I've only met with her about 16 times since June.  Today I think was my best day at the gym in weeks, while my last program was not "easy" it was getting boring. 

Today I left feeling like I had accomplished something, I was drenched in sweat and remarking that Jodi must be insane to treat me this way - which means she's doing her job well.

There is a great satisfaction that can be taken from doing something that you find hard to do.  If everything was easy, or if all you did was easy things, how satisfied with you life would you really be?  I know that I'd be pretty disappointed if everything came easy!

Do something you find difficult, accomplish the task and find out how fantastic you feel afterward!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Time

I had a discussion with my wife the other night about time.  Where my time goes and hers as well. It has sparked me to recall a few other conversations I've had with people over the last 8 months or so about my time an how much of it they think I must have.

I don't have any more hours in a day than anyone else, but I make my own time for things.  Over the spring and summer that time was made for the gym and karate.  Through the summer I worked full time plus a part time job, I attended events with my wife (then fiancĂ©e) and friends.  I was at karate all my usual hours, I made time for the gym.

In the fall I started back up at school again, due to being on second career I cannot make over a certain amount of money each week, but I work at 2 jobs, have loads of homework, do lots of housework, attend karate, practiced on my own time and was at the gym. I also added in hockey Saturday nights and really getting in the swing of helping to plan a wedding.

Now the wedding is done, but homework the last two weeks has been crushing all while doing the same things mentioned above.

So do I have oodles of free time?  No.  But I make time to do things that I enjoy.  And I have suggested to people that they do the same, Amber was one of those people last night, and other times.

If you don’t make the time to do things that you enjoy, those things will always get pushed out of the way.  I make time to go to karate and to go to the gym and play hockey.  I make it by really working on my (home)work and other things that need to get done at other times so that it's done to my standards and is not in the way of me doing the things that I enjoy.

Find something you like to do. Write it on your schedule in pen, plan the extra work you need to do around it. There are going to be difficult choices about what you'll have to give up to fit things in, but  you have to make time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It feels good

So this past week I had a hard time getting to the gym.  Due to the demands of homework late in the week and feeling like crap early in the week I ended up almost taking a week off.  I think I felt worse about missing going to the gym than I did when I felt sick.

This past Saturday I still felt awful, headachy and all that but I forced myself to go to the gym after work (and before hockey).  I did my shortest planned day which is back and biceps so I was only there for about 40 minutes.  After that 40 minutes was the best I had felt all week.

I played hockey that night as well (1G, 2A) and felt much better than last week when I played while I had a cold.  I have, of course if you know me well enough, kept track of all the games I've played and points I have scored.  I'm very incredibly excited that if I keep on track this year I will have my most points ever in a season with this team, which really given that I am actually in shape should not be all that surprising really, but it's still awesome none-the-less.

I then was at the gym Sunday morning and did my hardest day, legs.  At the end I was exhausted, having played hockey less than 12 hours earlier probably didn't help much, but I felt great.  I think it's a bit strange that working my body till my muscles scream in the end makes me feel great.  I highly recommend it!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Adversity

How do you deal with adversity?

As I have mentioned earlier I had to figure out a few things on my trip to losing 80 pounds and all that.  The other day this week it was put to the test in a whole different way.  There I was all set to have pretty much everything I had to get done for school done in one day.  The main part of 2 assignments worth 30% or more each were going to be done except for the documentation pretty much.  Then one center told us the wrong time and another turned me away due to allergy concerns.

Was I frustrated? Sure I was..  Really frustrated!  Being able to deal with adversity doesn't mean you are immune to the emotions you have.  I took a while to vent, let out my concerns to people and organize myself and put things in perspective.  Back up plans were made, some right on the spot an some with collaboration with others.

Part 1 of dealing with the 'disaster' that was Wednesday afternoon happened yesterday and it went great, Part 2 is this morning, I'm sure it will go just as well.

When life seems to hold you down, it's a test, how will you deal with it?  Crumble? Or regroup, form a plan and get things done!