lethbridge dragon boat festival

This race wasn't our finest performance, but I think you'll agree that it's not exactly a poor performance either. My team in Wahine Kei Waka (lane 2). We photo finished in 4th place. That means it was so close between 3rd and 4th place that the winner was determined by photo. No medal for Wahine. This race was in Lethbridge Alberta a few weekends ago. This past weekend, we raced in Leduc Alberta. We raced seven times over Saturday and Sunday and one of those races was a 2-kilometer race. (I 'bout died.) So, what do you think? Read more →

slowly getting fitter

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." ~~ Mother Teresa Another snippet of wisdom from Mother Teresa: When asked how many people she had helped on the streets of Calcutta she guessed 30,000. She deflected the reporter's praise with, "I could never have carried the 30,000th if I hadn't carried the first." Another common phrase: Don't despise small beginnings. I've said before that my mantra has become "Baby steps, baby steps." (Anyone who has seen What About Bob gets the picture of a paranoid, obsessive compulsive man chanting "Baby steps. Baby steps." I love that movie.) Three years ago I was a sedentary person. I hated that about myself. I wanted to be like the women I saw who were active. I envied the women I'd pass who were jogging. (I have enormous respect for the women who jog with their babies in... Read more →

2008 reflections

"Every day that you do the right thing is one day closer to the results you want." Jeff on My Super Charged Life I love this time of year. I love reflecting on the past year and the new year. I love assessing personal progress and ascertaining weaknesses, (as if those aren't easy to see). In 2007 I discovered that growth is made by taking baby steps -- that every step in the right direction is indeed a step in the right direction. This was a revelation to me. I thought to be successful I had to be totally successful. I never saw moving in the right direction as valuable if I didn't fully reach the goal. That's all changed. If I've made progress I'm happy. The more progress the happier. But even a little progress is enough to be thankful. Here were my goals for 2008 and my progress:... Read more →

thanksgiving 11 - 13

I’m in the third week of boot camp, counting the days till it’s over and till I can be just a regular girl going to a regular gym at a regular time of day. This 5:00 a.m. business is really hard. I’m quite tired these days. God is good to me and I have many many things that I’m thankful for and that give me joy day in and day out. 11. I’m very thankful for my job. I couldn’t have found a better job had I tried. The hours are superb for me, the location is superb, my office is superb, what I do is ok. Sometimes I think my employer can’t justify my position and fear the position will be terminated. I hope not but I don’t take it for granted. 12. Boot camp is almost over -- I count the mornings every day. Hang on till next... Read more →

boot camp, round 2

This morning at 5:00 I started month 2 of physical-fitness boot camp. Although I'm the only one in this class that's a second-timer, I'm still the most overweight and out-of-shape. Sigh. (I get the distinct impression boot camp is not a favored past time for fat folks). My friend Elaine is boot camping with me this month. Right off the bat this morning she pulled something in her leg and from that moment on she was the class grunter. I was happy to surrender the title. Someone said, I think it was Anais Nin, that we see the world as we are, not as the world is. As I was driving home this morning I thought about my first day of boot camp last month. It was so hard for me; I thought I might die -- literally. It was hard this morning too, but not once did I think... Read more →

lessons from boot camp

I am extremely happy to report that I finished a month-long boot camp this morning. My last exercise was carrying a 20 pound bag of sand while I ran and then pulling a truck tire from one end of the field and back. As I briefly recuperated afterward, several congratulated me on finishing the month. Everyone knew it had been hard for me. I was the sound effects for the group. "Uuuugghhh," was my common anguished cry. This morning my mates told me they couldn't believe I came back for the second day. "I knew on that first day I'd never see you again," one said. Well I surprised them and never missed a day. They said I had grit. There is more than the finishing boot camp thing that I'm proud of. It's big to me that I never missed a day. Every morning was a spiritual exercise to... Read more →

boot camp

Friday I finished my first week of boot camp. It was hard. I am much much worse than the other women. They are younger, thinner, and fitter. Being the worst is a humbling position to be in -- definitely not my preferred spot in the food chain. I'm always last to finish every exercise. My teammates can't stop their drill until I've completed mine. No one is ever allowed down time, everyone is constantly working. We had a drill on Friday where we ran to the first pylon then back to the starting line, did ten push ups then ran to the second pylon, ran back to the starting line, did ten push ups, then ran back to the third pylon. . . Since I was last and everyone was far ahead of me, they had to keep doing push ups as I dragged up the rear. It's humiliating enough... Read more →

boot camp day 2

It only hurts when I breathe. If I lie like a corpse everything feels fine. I've been reading 1 Peter and meditating on 5:12, "The grace of God is with you no matter what happens." This morning as I ran around the field at 5:30, thinking I might be leaving this world at any moment to receive my eternal reward, I kept chanting this verse (in my head of course, God knows I hadn't the breath to really speak it). Maybe I'm about to die, but the grace of God is with me no matter what happens. The grace of God carried me through. It was harder today. We doubled the running time and we did all the same exercises as Monday, except we added three more sets of each and got to hold weights as we did them. You should check out a boot camp. Fun, fun, fun. Read more →

about boot camp

Let me tell you about Boot Camp. First let me say I have marbles for brains. The words "boot camp" conjure up ideas of pain, yelling, exhaustion, and other equally charming words. (Insert, "Valerie, what were you thinking?") There is this torturous boot camp called Soldiers of Fitness (SOF). I wanted to do it because I thought that would really be impressive. I have a very, very fit girlfriend who was training for a marathon in the river valley. As she trained, Soldiers of Fitness ran past her and they were carrying logs. Refreshing, totally refreshing. I guess it was my pride talking that made me want to do SOF. After all, how often do you see people running in the river valley carrying logs. I thought being able to do this would prove that I was fit and people would oohh and awhh and say, "That Valerie, is she... Read more →

woman rachael

My little Rachael is a woman now. She and I are going out to the Cheesecake Cafe in a while in celebration of womanhood. She's so excited. Womanhood, cheesecake, a little bit of shopping, what's not to love about this new season? She's a gem. When we talk about names and what they mean, Rachael hears that she is worthy of being worked for for 14 years just like Rachel in the Bible. We talk about Laban's deceit, poor ugly Leah, Jacob's sad predicament. But the bottom line for Jacob was that Rachel was worth working for her deceitful, lying, conniving father for 14 years. My Rachael will be just as worthy. I'm about to call Gordon and ask him to bring home something for supper. Since Rachael and I are eating out, the mood to cook for the other three just hasn't materialized. I'm thinking of pulling old grandmother... Read more →

lifestyle change update

I just had my third visit with my nutritionist since I started my lifestyle change. I've lost six pounds since December 9. Doesn't sound too terribly impressive, does it? It's not much, (especially since my goal is a bajillion pounds), but I do feel lighter -- those six pounds have made a difference. I did very well on my lifestyle change this week, yet I only lost one pound. At first I was disappointed, but now I'm reminding myself that one pound a week equals 52 pounds in a year. I could live with that. I'm a few pounds shy of feeling confident enough to pose nude for a photo shoot, but I'm figuring with my continued success, I'll be ready for that in the spring of 2009. Read more →

eating habits and spiritual growth

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. - John Piper. Romans 12:2 "Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think." This is my prayer in my "lifestyle change" pursuit. I'm asking God to transform me into a new person by changing the way I think with respect to food and physical activity. I have an ongoing conviction, that generally speaking, I squash and repress trying desperately to ignore. Despite my grand efforts, it still pricks me. It's overeating and being overweight. Overeating and being overweight reveals a great deal about me. 1) I don't believe (or at least I don't live like I believe) that Jesus is enough. When I'm lonely, bored, depressed, or anxious, I don't go to God for comfort and peace. I go to food. 2) I'm not all that "green" after all. All my... Read more →

lifestyle change

(Me in my less fluffy days, 1982) Well something good is cooking. Hummm. Poor analogy, at least in this context. I'm going to lose weight. Yes, simple as that, I've started a "lifestyle change." Diets are so out of style. Lifestyle change is where it's happening. I've been on a waiting list to get into a program called Weight Wise. My first appointment was last Friday and it was amazing. I left full of hope and inspiration. The good vibes are still there. My appointment was 1 1/2 hours long and I met with an RN and a dietitian. They were very helpful. Now I keep going back, they'll talk sweet to me, and presto, I'm thin. Seriously, I was so encouraged and I've not been encouraged in this department in years. The first thing I had to do is buy a pedometer to measure my activity. I'm supposed to... Read more →