Sunday, September 20, 2015

Big White ARM

I love the group shot we got at my friend Nicole's stagette a few weeks ago, she posted it to her Facebook page.

 I didn't realize right away how considerate this made my dear friend, until I saw the original. 

HOLY MAN! Do you see that giant white whale in the bottom left corner? It took me a minute to realize that it was attached to my person. It's bigger than most of her friends HEADS! I'm going to have to start paying property taxes on that damn thing! I considered that maybe I'm trying to smush it against my body to get in closer. Like maybe how ones thighs look the worst all flattened out while you sit on the toilet. Maybe. But then there's this picture...

See that wee stick? Same arm people!!

First time Grouse Ground

had it on my list this summer to do the Grouse Grind, so when Sarah suggested we do it today, the last day of summer, how could I say no? Even though we had to get up at the crack of dawn to get it in before my shift started. Just a little back story, a couple years back my roommate and manager at the time did the Grind within a month of each other, and despite their accounts being somewhat similar, I'll admit I thought they were exaggerating. Not that either of them are whimps, I did the Spartan Race with my manager, but it all sounded pretty extreme for a hike. 

I was expecting more of an epic entrance. There was this gate, a huge bright sign, and oh, we started. Did we ever. 

I was so happy to see this marker, you don't even know. Everyone says the first quarter is the hardest. I don't know about that in retrospect, it all felt pretty uphill. Can you tell how soaked I am? It poured. Absolutely drenched. But something else positive to come out of my experience doing the Ride, extreme wind and rain didn't even slow me down. Bring it on Mother Nature. 

And she did. The flash version of this shot is worse, I can assure you. I thought the stairs were the worst part, until I'd get to a spot I was sure the trail had ended. Then someone would pass me,which dozens did, and start climbing up the rock face beside me on all fours. 

This is obviously not my picture, there aren't mini waterfalls coming down, and whats that yellow hue? Sunshine? I stole this picture from Facebook. It captures the "all fours" experience though. 

The pain you see in this shot is real. I didn't even want to take this picture, but Sarah insisted since we'd already taken the other two. Kinda glad she did. This is where my shoes soaked completely through, which is impressive on it's own. Go Merrell. But it was quite sloshey after that. 

Never has a picture captured a feeling so well. Thank goodness that's over. 

Typical. But I had to. Glad to see my butt is in this shot, I couldn't feel it at all by that point. One would probably assume based on probability that it's still there, but confirmation is comforting. 

Another picture that's not mine, but its important to get a feel for what I'm talking about when I tell you about our gondola back down. Because of the wind, they had to leave the huge window in the front open, where Sarah and I were such geniuses to choose to be, despite being some of the first people on. "Oh look, the windows open so all the cold and rain is coming in, bet they'll close that.." No, they did not. And they went nice and slow to maximize drenchiness.   

Which lead to this. Including the "FIGHTER" headband that supports cancer, which I bought at the top. And a hot shower. But I had a great time! Next opportunity you have, do the Grind if you haven't yet. Maybe check the weather report before you go...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tattooed men

For the most part, I'd have to agree with this. It doesn't make any logical sense, but a guy with a sleeve tattoo is more likely to catch my attention. That being said, a few things deter me. Big coloured flowers, skulls and other scary things. I've said it before, but I saw a guy with a chuckie tattoo on his arm, it was scary to look at it. But in the dark, if I rolled over in bed and came face to face with it, no thank you!! 

This might sound a little strange, but when the shading cuts off weirdly. If you have a big meiral on your arm, and the shading cuts off in a line mid bicep, I think that looks strange. I think it looks better when the tattoos seem to blend into the body, like big Celtic tattoos. 

It's also kinda fun when you don't know where they are, and you go on a scavenger hunt for them. "How many do you have? Hmmm...and I only see 3..." I bet that's more fun for guys, we're less predictable I'd say. Except for me of course. Three, all on my feet. Sexy on tatooed gents. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Ride

Remember that awful storm we had a couple weekends ago that knocked out a lot of people’s power, that most people didn’t want to drive in? I was riding my bike in that! During the Ride to Conquer Cancer on Aug 29th and 30th, 2086 of us conquered torrential rain, 80-100km winds, and a 10km re-route that included extra hills. We slept in barns, and showered in trailers. I pushed myself to a whole new limit I didn’t know existed. 

They actually had to stop the ride after only 73km the first day due to the weather and safety concerns. A huge shout out to the organizers and volunteers for getting all of us and our bikes from the lunch stop to camp on such short notice. The tents we were supposed to sleep in were blowing over buildings, can you believe it? 

The second day I was pretty done after only 20-30kms, I looked at Cindy and said, "Yea, I don't honestly know if I'm going to make it.." but somehow we did another 100kms, and crossed the finish line to our awaiting family. I put myself to bed at 7:30pm that Sunday evening. Even now, almost two weeks later I still don't feel completely caught up on my sleep. 

Since I had, “Doing it for Dad” written on my jacket, quite a number of people have told me that dad would be proud of me, I hope that’s true. I had donations coming through online before I slept Friday, and as we were getting to the start line Saturday. Altogether I raised $4856.86 and rode my bike just over 200kms. I can’t possibly express the level of gratitude I feel to all my donors, my family, the event organizers, volunteers, fellow riders, and especially my cousin Cindy. My seemingly fearless leader, she encouraged me, lead by example, strong willed and determined. It was a small miracle that I crossed the finish line at all, but also an honour to do it beside you.