Turn right for the “easy road”, straight ahead for “struggle and bliss”

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Hey There,

Florida has quickly become a fuzzy memory as I have immersed myself back in my old training regime, with a few additions. Circus training, parkour and stunt fighting have continued and I have added kickboxing and indoor climbing to the mix. Really, I just wanted an excuse to browse the isles of MEC and Sport Chek and the only way I could justify that was to take up a new activity that required gear. Yay new gear!

There’s no other way to say this but “sh!t is getting real”. Not soon after 2015 was rung in did my first challenge of the year slap me in the face. Money has begun to get tighter, the distance from my friends and family is wearing thinner and the 3-week break from the Vancouver scene has erased the feeling of momentum I had towards breaking into the stunt world. That is when the sick and twisted opponent of fate comes knocking on your door to offer you an “easy way out”.

A job opportunity involving the same position I gave up in Calgary to pursue this insane dream of mine gets thrown in my lap. Steady hours, salary, benefits, security, responsibility… all of the things we are “supposed” to yearn for. To gravitate towards. I’m not going to lie, I was very tempted. It took a wine-infused conversation with a friend, who lit up with excitement at the thought of me settling down into a normal, reliable, restrictive routine, to realize that is the last thing that I want to do right now. I’m in this for the long haul folks. Poor, silver screen chasing, gypsy until I make it. Test passed, friendship over. Back to business.

Upon that moment of clarity I hopped into my car, Kobe, for a quick 4-day roadtrip to Calgary and back. Officially moving one step closer to being a Vancouverite, I started the process of selling my condo in cowtown. The drive to and from was fraught with the typical seasonal dangers: 2 hour highway closures for avalanche control, delays due to tipped over transport trucks, being forced to relieve oneself on the side of the road under the spotlights of 10+ trucks, digging yourself out of a snow bank that you swerve into will winding a slushy bend in the road, dirt caked headlights that cause a maximum night visibility of 10m so you have to tailgate the car in front of you so you can stay on the road. You know, the usual sort of stuff. Thankfully, a very good friend of mine lives in Penticton which broke up the drive nicely and provided a healthy dose “cup half full” conversation while we caught each other up on our goings on.

When I finally made it to Calgary, I met with the bank, packed up all of my things into nicely labeled boxes, donated 7 bags of purged belongings to the local Goodwill, brought in a cleaning crew and caught up with some of my favourite people for tea, beers and leftover ice cream cake. All of that in 36 hours. The only truly frustrating part was the hidden financial surprise that awaited me at the bank. Two words and one huge learning experience: Mortgage Penalties. And a crap tonne of them. I should’ve known better than to expect a bank to let you out of a mortgage before they collected all of their interest payments. They offered to waive the penalties if I bought a place in Vancouver within 90 days. I’m not sure if they said that to me as a joke or because they haven’t seen the housing market in Vancouver. There are DINKs (double income no kids) who still cannot afford to buy a house in Van, not sure how they expected me to purchase anything more than a walk-in closet for that amount. So mortgage penalties it is.

A prestigious line of work...as the backside of a horse

A prestigious line of work…as the backside of a horse

I made it back Vancouver, after an almost perfectly productive trip, in time for two days of circus rehearsal before our gig up on the top of Whistler. Have you ever spent an evening as a horses a$$? Because I now have. My performance role was inside this metal, horse skeleton that has moveable parts. I was in charge of the hind legs and the tail. Not as glamorous as working the head but you have to work your way up the performers pecking order. It was actually quite entertaining to watch all of the increasingly drunk people interact with the equestrian puppet. We got all of the leftover catered food we could pack into our bags and a mountain day pass. I no longer have an excuse for not attempting to ski again. That should be an interesting post.

Athlete Inspired

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Florida and 5:30pm dinners

This is how one should properly line up their golf shots (or tell which way the wind is blowing)

This is how one should properly line up their golf shots (or tell which way the wind is blowing)

Hey There,
A week in FLorida is a great way to relax in the warmth of the Gulf sun. Running in 28 degree weather, rounds of golf in January and dinners on patios. Experiences that my Canadian friends might not be able to currently enjoy. I consider myself very fortunate to have such a place to escape to. Thanks Dad and Moma (a new, more endearing term for step-mother I’m trying out. Can be short for ‘more mother’, very bad french mashup attempt of ‘ma mere’ or ‘museum of modern art…take your pick). And being the only child (of their four) there at the time, it was quite relaxing.
My dad and I got to run together (an activity he has done every other day since he was 18) and receive political and economic insights over beer (I was mostly there for the beer). As for my Moma, we went stand up paddle boarding with one of her girlfriends after getting pedicures. Serious fun to hang out with these two ladies. They had me in stitches as they paddled across a large body of water and frolicked along a white sand beach (yes, we actually frolicked).
My aunt, my Moma (the birthday girl) and myself

My aunt, my Moma (the birthday girl) and myself

The hardest part of my whole trip was eating at 5:30pm almost every night. I guess snow-birding in one of the largest retirement cities in the US could only lead to a cycle of early evening dining. I had no choice but go to bed by 9:30pm to avoid cooking a second dinner. Back in Vancouver, I typically do not start my second round of daily training until 9:30pm so it was quite the scheduling dichotomy. That being said, I havent slept that well in months so maybe there is some rhyme or reason to the early to bed, early to rise strategy?
I packed up all of my things on my last evening as we had to leave the villa at 4:45am to get to the airport in time for my flight. I like to think that I’ve got my packing ritual down to a solid and thorough process, As my dad pulls into the Departures area and asks me if I’ve got everything a wave of horror washes over me. I can picture my drivers licence, credit card and all of my cash in the pocket of the beach bag I borrowed from Moma, which is a 45 minute drive from the airport. I quickly go through all of the possible solutions to this problem: I check my carry-on bag for an extra card that doesn’t exist, I rummage around for enough American cash to purchase a bus ticket to my car to no avail and I ask my dad for his wallet which he left back at the villa. I had my passport so I knew I could get on the plane and in those few short panicked moments I resigned to the fact that I will be hitch hiking from the Seattle airport to my car (parked on a residential block, 40mins away). As my father’s worry began to register, and my idiocy became apparent, I remember my Christmas money from grandma that was still stashed in it’s envelope with my books.  Grandma to the rescue! I managed to find a kiosk at the airport and exchanged (or what felt more like squandered, as the rate was undesirable and the transaction fee was a quarter of the exchange) my cash to cover the bus and possibly lunch and a bit of gas if my car required it to get back to Canada.
Travelling continues to be an adventure, always a little more dramatic then it needs to be.
AthleteInspired

Goals (and not the hockey or soccer kind)

Coloured smoke grenades to ring in the new year

Coloured smoke grenades to ring in the new year

Hey there,
Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. I rang in the new year with a cold. That didn’t stop me from setting off fireworks and coloured smoke grenades in s field.  Just a typical day in Winnipeg, MB (one of the 7 cities I visited in the 13 days I was travelling).
Sitting on yet another plane, bound for sunny Florida I am pondering my goals for this year. I am a little intense when it comes to goal setting every year. I recap last year’s goals (see how many of them I made, how close I came and try to determine what factors possibly inhibited my ticking off a checkmark beside a certain goal) before I breakout my large square piece of paper that will hold this years goals. I break my goals down to 5 categories: social, work, financial, physical, personal and each category usually holds between 2-6 goals. All of them are quantifiable, all of them could be completed within a year and only some of them are either ridiculously attainable or ridiculously far fetched. Told you I don’t mess around.
The years I tick off more than half of my goals I consider to be a good solid year. Recent years that made the cut are definitely 2014, 2013, 2011 and 2008. All of these years were centered around big life decisions that resulted in big rewards. As for 2012, 2010 and 2009, I have put them in the “year of growth” category. Don’ t ask. Unless you want to and then I’ll tell you.
This year my goals will focus on my continued pursuit towards a career in stunts. Those goals will encompass almost all of my 5 categories. I always have the goal of travelling to a new country every year. Last year was Norway, this year who knows. In addition, I want to devote more time to a company I co-founded called AthleteConnect.
A very wise and fit friend of mine refuses to make new years resolutions. He has a multitude of good reasons for this, though I don’t necessarily agree. But something he recently Tweeted made an impact on me. He said “this year get moving, get active, make revolutions (on your bike), not resolutions”. I like it. Don’t make grand proclamations or promises of weight loss, healthier eating, etc. Just get active!
You never know until the year has wrapped up but I have a very good feeling about 2015. Either way I will be getting in many a revolution (and not the Che Guevara kind).
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Athlete Inspired

Call backs and Christmas tours

Hey There,

I go my first call back! In the auditioning world it’s like making the finals at a track and field meet. With less than a days notice I had to research the part, make a small video of myself and get interviewed by 3 people at the same time. You get one shot to show them you have what they want. It’s a little bit of guess work, a little bit skill and a lot of luck.

Shortly after my second audition and before I began my whirlwind Christmas tour I finished up my latest parkour progression training video. I have already noticed an improvement in some of my movements and how much more comfortable I am with heights and connecting certain skills. January’s video will probably include much more conditioning as I embrace the origins of parkour in 2015.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_3aWgC7a0s 

Now for my logistical masterpiece which was my whirlwind Christmas tour. Let me premise this paragraph with the fact that I really enjoyed seeing all of my favourite people but man, I banked some serious miles. In a mere 14 days, I managed to fly, train and drive to Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, London, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Vancouver before I fly to Florida for a week. Yes, I covered that many cities in that amount of time and yes, my body completely crashed from the travel induced stress. I am typing this while swaddled in a quilt my aunt made for me, with a scarf wrapped around my neck, popping DayQuil, sipping specialty tea and running through a box of tissues a day. Good times.

My sister and I at the Ottawa train station

My sister and I at the Ottawa train station

Christmas came and went pretty quickly, with all of it’s usual joys, familial duties, social pressures, over eating, traditional fun and thoughtful gifts. My trip highlights include falling down the escalator at the Ottawa train station (I really want to get the security footage that captured my one suitcase sliding into me, knocking my feet and other bags down the moving escalator and my jumping for the hand rails an instant before almost rolling headfirst down the finals steps. The porters who carried my bags out to the train car were very compassionate and did not laugh at me too heartedly), running in a tank top and toque Christmas eve (it was 8 degree celcius) and setting off coloured smoke grenades in a wintery field before new years.

Christmas running attire...

Christmas running attire…

Never a dull moment and always an adventure. As I sit here and nurse my low immune system, I will set my goals for 2015. Stay tuned and happy new year!

AthleteInspired

Team Tryforce is born!

Hey There

OK so the motivational fire is still burning from my trip to LA. The day I landed back in Vancouver I was reunited with my TryForce Team mates. These ladies are some of the most talented traceuses in North America. Not to mention that they are an absolute blast to hang around. We rendezvoused in Vancouver to film our first video project. We share a common goal of increasing female parkour content in order to educate and inspire other people (women in particular) to try parkour.

Our reunion began with a parkour competition, which is always fun for me. Not that I’m a competitive person at all (insert extremely sarcastic tone and eye roll here). Thankfully, parkour is an activity where competitions do not bring out the neurotic side of me that other sports like gymnastics, wrestling, track & field did.

This competition was held indoors and included 3 events: a skills portion, a speed course and a freestyle event. To be honest, I was hesitant about competing in front of my peers because then I would have to face the reality of where my injuries, and training are at. I worked in the morning and at the last minute, I decided to suck it up and approach the competition as a well attended, intense practice.

There were so many ladies who came out to compete as well. Incredible energy! Everyone was cheering on everyone else, it was impossible not to enjoy participating. I ended up 2nd place in the speed course and I won the freestyle competition which was very cool. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am really glad I went and it was a great start to a weekend with my Team.

Over the next 4 days we went around various locations in Vancouver and through as many lines and tricks together as the limited sunshine would allow us to film. Our bodies ached and stress levels were a little high as we had to get a lot done in such a small amount of time. On the last night we went to the local community centre for some hot tub time. The video will be edited through January and one of the girls on our team designed the opening and the logo. All of this female parkour talk and time has reignited my desire to spread my varkour movement across Canada and beyond.

Stay tuned.

Athlete Inspired