Ebbs & Flows (Physical and mental ups & downs)

Hey There,

I had all but posted a long entry about my previous week of grief, anti-commitment fuelled anxiety and less than productive training when a flash of introspection hit me. I realized that I was getting caught up in what was merely a small ebb that will soon be followed by a much more enjoyable flow. It was interesting how my body manifested my emotional state. My fears and grief coming out in aches, pains and constant fatigue. A phenomena I witnessed my mother experience for many years.

It was the 10-year anniversary of my mother’s passing last week and it affected me much more severely than I had expected. I typically try and do something spontaneous and fun to honor her memory. She was the kind of lady who would buy rollerblades for all of us on her 40th birthday or do front flips on our backyard trampoline. She would set out picnic lunches on our covered front porch during roaring Ontario thunderstorms and spend hours building sandcastles with us at the beach during our summer holidays. She was the victim of many illnesses and now supports my unconventional passions and pursuits through non-physical forms (insert personal belief system in the after-life here).

Freedom to pursue your passion...*sigh

Freedom to pursue your passion…*sigh

Last week someone special in my life inspired me while explaining how they managed their trials and tribulations through optimism, resilience and physical activity. What a combination! After considering these wise words (and a few glasses of very delicious Scotch) I soon realized how good I have got it. I am living my dream, pursuing my passion and growing as a person. A cramped room with a Murphy bed instead of a spacious condo, home cooking and cheap beer instead of unlimited ‘’night’s out on an endless tab” and a greater distance from my support system (you know who you are) is a small price to pay.

The long and the short of this post is that, why waste time and energy focusing on the bumps in the road when the trip is so much fun and the destination is well worth it. After one enlightening conversation and a brief trip back to Calgary for a few catch-up sessions with my most-favourite people (so much good food and beer), my mindset went back to optimism, resilience and my levels of physical activity returned. Funny how that works. This one is for you mum.


Special skills gig and amped up training


Hey There,

Such wonderful news. I got my first SAE (special skills) job on a movie set last week. Now before you go getting too excited. My “special skill” was holding a video camera (yup, holding a heavy piece of technology is considered a special skill) and I didn’t even end up having to hold one. The money was so much better than normal “background” work so I am not complaining in the least. Just another little step closer to my first stunt gig.

I celebrated this awesome week with a glorious 24 hours up in Whistler with a friend that I will call Cool Dude (cause that’s what he is). Fondue, smores, night strolls in the rain (glass of wine in hand) one day, a short hike through a lush, green trail around ancient cedar trees (around 1000 years old) and a solid session at the Scandinavian spa the next day. Seriously though, this spa was like nothing I had ever been to before. In addition to a eucalyptus steam room, cedar sauna, outdoor hot tubs and cold plunge pools, the entire compound is cell phone free and silent. After a few hours there, I came out a completely relaxed and refreshed person. I don’t know if it was the spa or the company but I was so calm by Sunday evening that I had great difficulty training at the gymnastics club.

This week was all about getting back into my training regime and connecting with industry people. I have been in Vancouver for just over 4 months and I feel like I’m on the right track but I could be doing more. The next few things on my to-do list are:

  • book a photographer for new headshots
  • organize a photo shoot for my action shots (stunt portfolio)
  • pick music for my next circus routine
  • find an apartment to move into January 1st (my current accomodations are wonderful but I am in need of a little more space than a Murphy bed and a 1m wide closet)
New move on the aerial straps -  solid combination of strength and flexibility

New move on the aerial straps – solid combination of strength and flexibility

This week, my training totaled:

Monday – 3.0 hours of circus (silks routine)

Tuesday – 2.5 hours of circus (straps / hand balancing)

Wednesday – 3.0 hours circus (aerial hoop / silks), 2.0 hours parkour (rails / dive rolls)

Thursday – 1.5 hours circus (bar conditioning / aerial silks), 2.5 hours of acro (mini-trampoline tricks)

Friday – 2.5 hours of parkour (height training, kongs, filming)

Saturday – 9.0 hours of coaching

Sunday – 2.0 hours of stunt fighting (samurai & kali sticks), 2.0 hours of gymnastics / tumbling

Above I attached my monthly parkour progress video. My Team Tryforce training partner had the idea to track our training during the winter months and I like the idea of holding myself accountable to regular training. Speaking of which…gotta go train.



That’s a wrap…to wedding season


That’s my buddy Matt. Good friends since Grade 10 math class

Hey There,

So I survived my last wedding of the season. I have been everything from a bridesmaid, to a ceremonial leader to a general attendee. I have enjoyed all the weddings this year but this one was a great one to end on. No stress, super organized, great people, packed dance floor and an open bar. Need I say more.

Another quick trip back to Ontario to witness my very good friend from high school marry one of the coolest chicks ever. I am very fortunate to be friends with both the bride and the groom so when it came time to decide what side of the wedding party to stand with, it came down to one simple fact. The bride-to-be is a talented fashion designer and was making all of her bridesmaids’  dresses. The desire to break with tradition and rock a suit and tie with the other groomsmen was quickly trumped by the potential for a one of a kind fashion design. It has proved to be the only bridesmaid dress that I will truly wear again.

The bride and her 3 original designs

The bride and her 3 original designs

I made my social rounds as best I could before the big day. Squeezing in some quality time the fam, lunches with aunts, tea with former cross country coaches, and some serious hang time with my sister and my soon-to-be nephew. But when it was game time, I was ready. I was focused. Manicures and pedicures, rehearsal dinners with a ton of people whom I have never met before, early morning hair appointments, last minute ceremony details, and fancy make-up (which I could never replicate even after giving it 10,000 hours).

One of the most enjoyable parts of this wedding was the photoshoot. This photographer was hilarious and let us be ridiculous. It didn’t seem to matter much that the snow had begun to fall for the first time. We posed and reposed. I even got to strategically climb a tree for one of the group photos. The next most entertaining moment was my wedding party partner’s attempt at a dirty dancing lift during our reception walk-in. Let’s just say that I thought I made an excellent Patrick Swayze.

I returned to Vancouver exhausted but so very happy for two of my favourite people. I am ready to get back into intensive training until the Christmas break. Gotta rest up for the 2015 wedding season.

Athlete Inspired