Writer’s Block?

I’ve been very late in posting my daily musings. It seems that I have a bit of “Writer’s Block”. I still manage to produce something, but it’s not of a quality that I am necessarily proud of.

I want to blame the September weather. But it could also be the hazy smoke from the wildfires that is causing grey feelings. It’s not just the look of the outside that is affecting me. But also the air quality. The smoke is making my asthma act up causing me to be tired from a lack of oxygen.

I don’t know if anyone else locally is feeling the same. I’m not usually this “Blah” in September, but there it is. Making me less than motivated to accomplish anything. This too shall pass.

Reset The Week

Okay people- it’s Monday. Time to start a new week. Let’s put those negative feelings behind us and create new goals. We got this. There’s seven days to look forward to this week. Two of them happen to be the weekend as well!

So let’s get us a coffee, check the interwebs for some feel good inspiration and tackle this week. Unless you started your week on Sunday, then you’re already a day ahead. So good on ya! One down and six to go.

Fastest Ice In The World

Calgary’s Olympic Oval is the reason we came out here this week. Our son attended a Speed Skating Camp at the Oval. He has his own ambitions and my wife and I want to see him succeed. I’m most impressed by how serious he is wanting to take his training.

Calgary’s Olympic Oval has the world’s fastest ice. Usually our son skates Short Track at our local ice rink and at similar meets in other ice rinks. He decided that he really wanted to get into Long Track Skating, so we got him out to Calgary to try it out. The first four days he wore his Short Track skates and dominated his own abilities.

Sadly, my wife and I ended up buying him his first pair of Long Track boots and blades. I say sadly more for our pocketbook. First these skates cost over $1000 and also the fact that we will be doing more traveling to other Long Track ice rinks in the coming years. There is also a new learning curve for him. But I think it’ll work out.

Our son wants to stand on the podium one day. He has set some lofty goals for himself. If my wife and I can help in any way, then we will. Next month- off to another Long Track for some more practice. In the mean time, lots of workouts and sideline cheering to keep him going.

Live From Grande Prairie

Today is the day our son Theory competes for Team BC at CAN WEST Speed Skating. He is racing in the T2T 12 Male. T2T=Train to Train- big plans for future Olympians! (At least that’s how I see it.)

Yesterday was a warm up and a chance for the coaches to give some pointers to the team. Over the past few months- these kids were competing against each other to gain a spot for this. Now there will be a few times that they need to work together to achieve a team goal.

We are going to be cheering for the BC Team. If you wish to watch a live stream of the events, the arena is broadcasting it on their Facebook Page. I’ve shared it already with friends and family. So of course I want anyone and everyone to watch it! Check the link below:

Here’s the Facebook link: Canada West Speed Skating Championship

As a father of one of the kids completing- I’m going to be one of “those” parents cheering and screaming loudly. If you choose to watch the live stream- be sure and listen for me calling out to my son- “GO Theory!” You too can scream at your phone or computer to offer support. He will be wearing helmet number 65. I’d love it. And I’m sure our team of skaters will appreciate the love as well! Even messages of encouragement make all the difference.

I’m off to cheer now.

Life Is On The Move

Sometimes life happens rather quickly. You can’t stop it- so you need to roll with it. The crazy feeling that you need to keep up with the world can be overwhelming.

You move so quickly that you get a big rush to go from one thing to another. The next big thing. Sometimes the feeling that you could miss out becomes overwhelming.

What if life throws an opportunity your way but you’re too busy being overwhelmed with the daily aspects to take advantage of it?

Sometimes you just need to stop.

Stop and reflect. Stop and enjoy. Stop rushing through every moment. Stop feeling regret for the choices you make.

If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Never Give Up On Your Goals

On Tuesday I set a goal.  The goal was immediately mocked by my wife and two of our kids. 

Taunts were said of 

“You’ll never make it.”

“It’s too far.”

“You’ll turn around.”

A part of me began to think they were right. Perhaps my goal would be unachievable. I wasn’t about to give up before setting out. And yes, the goal wasn’t metaphorical- it was an actual thing. I wanted to paddle across the lake to a small island. In a cheap inflatable raft. This was totally doable, right? But it was so far away…


Our middle child decided she wanted to go with me. She was the only one who thought we could make it. I was glad to have the company.  Plus if we failed- I’d have someone to fail with (or read that as “blame” if we turned back).


We started off weak. My daughter didn’t have the co-ordation to paddle. She struggled and fought with the water. It took me a lot of explaining to just take it slow and steady while paddling. About a quarter of the way there and it seemed like we had hardly gone anywhere.


At the halfway point was the “make it or break it” decision.  We could feel the burn starting in our arms, but it wasn’t enough to deter our progress. We had been paddling for almost an hour at this point. (Mostly because of the slow start.) We then began a percentage countdown together. 

“Only 40% left to go.”

“I’d say we are at 25% now.”

“Last push for the final 10%. Let’s sprint.”


Finally we arrived. Sore and thrilled to have made it. We got off the inflated boats and climbed up to our victory. It wasn’t crossing the ocean in a kayak with media hubbub, but to us it was HUGE.


The payoff was euphoric. The views made it all worthwhile. For a small little island, we explored every inch of it. Everywhere we looked, it seemed like a different location; as if we had visited numerous islands. My daughter decided to swim around the island back to the boats. I climbed back up and around, glad to have done what was set out to do.


Our goal accomplished, we left the island behind us.  The journey back to our camp went much more quickly. In a little under an hour, we could see my wife and son on the shoreline waiting to greet us with surprise and congratulations.


With my story comes the motivational “After school special” lesson:

Life is full of difficult challenges. Setting your personal goals are exactly that. No one else should deter you from accomplishing these goals. The naysayers will hurt your ego. Some will even love to watch you fail. Screw ’em. Do your damned best. 

Make it to your island. Look back to where you started from. The views may surprise you.

Determination & Motivation

I am determined to post in my blog every day.  No matter what.  Since I hit my one year goal of writing every day, the momentum has begun to slow down.  I’m losing sight of what it is I wanted to accomplish with my blog.  What I wanted to was get better at writing.

I realized last week that determination and motivation sometimes go hand in hand.  Even though it isn’t always necessarily that case.


Last week we had a few days of snow.  This is rather unusual for the Vancouver area and surrounding suburbs.  Our little side street did not get the luxury of being plowed or salted.  This made the snow become rather thick.  Even as vehicles drove down our street, all it did was compact it down making it more slick.  Over night last Wednesday it rained.  It made a slushy mess, but there still remained about a foot of snow.

Now, my neighbor across the street is a nice gentleman in his 80’s.  Every morning at 7:50 he and his wife leave for breakfast.  EVERY SINGLE MORNING.  They’ve done it for years.  YEARS.  I can tell if my children are late getting up for school if I see him backing out of his driveway in the morning.  They meet up with old friends at our local Co-Op restaurant every day.  My wife and I have joined them on occasion (more by accident because we are hungry and didn’t want to make our own breakfast).

Frozen water.

 

On Thursday morning he was backing out of his driveway and got his truck stuck in the middle of the road.  I went out to help him dig it out.  My wife came out as well and was speaking to his wife.  Turns out it was her birthday that day.  They weren’t going to do anything special for her birthday.  They just wanted to head out for breakfast.  After ten or fifteen minutes, we managed to get his truck back into his driveway.  He thanked me.  So my wife and I headed back into our home.  He did not.

Bob got his tractor out.


He was determined to go for breakfast with his wife on her birthday.  Even though it was their daily routine and they could have skipped it for a day, the snow wasn’t going to stop them.  Out came his tractor and he began clearing a path on our street in order to get his truck out.  His determination to go for breakfast was astounding.  Perhaps he was a bit motivated by the fact that it was his wife’s birthday that day.  No need for them to miss seeing their old friends.  

After he cleared a spot in front of his driveway, he cleared the road in front of our home.  My good deed earlier was reciprocated.  My motivation to help him was just a neighborly thing to do.  His motivation to get out of his driveway was to enjoy his regular breakfast routine.

Even though I may not always be motivated to write, I am determined to write each and every day.  Much like the determination my elderly neighbor has to go for breakfast every day.  Some days there a bit more motivation involved.

Motivation 

Earlier today, my wife tweeted:


Every year for the month of May, my wife pauses to take a break from conventions and mass producing hats.  But every June she has trouble getting back into the habits of building up inventory stock and trying to design new products.  She loves what she does, however taking a break causes more harm than good in some ways.  Finding what motivates you to get back at it is the challenge.

Here’s my advice: 

Setting goals helps achieve those feelings of accomplishment.  Start a list of daily achievable goals.  Add on some weekly/monthly goals.  Finally set some yearly goals and five year plans.  It doesn’t have to be monetary goals- it could be a healthier lifestyle goal, traveling, art, music, or in my case- writing.  

All of that advice has been shared hundreds of times.  It’s not an original thought by me in any way.  Sometimes it’s just reading it again that you need to get back at it.  It’s always easier to give up than to get back into a routine.  Push through it.  Get back on that horse.  Make it happen, whatever “it” is.

I set a goal for myself back in mid January to write a daily blog post.  It started off wonderfully as I had numerous ideas and wanted to share them with everyone who would listen (or read in this case).  After about a month or so, I began to struggle.  At one point I was willing to take a “day off” figuring that most people wouldn’t notice, much less care.  If I did this, I’d be cheating mostly myself.  Allowing one day to slip would open the doorway to allowing another day to slip.  Soon my daily goal of writing would turn into a weekly goal, then monthly, then forgotten all together.  


Pushing through the difficulty of what to write was a new goal.  One that surprised me that I needed to make.  I did it.  Yes, some of my blog posts are terrible.  Even writing badly was still writing.  A few gems have come out of my commitment to writing daily.  That’s what helps to keep me going- knowing I can write something worth sharing and that people talk to me about it afterwards.  Not everything I make is worthy of being read let alone shared, but the posts that do get talked about, are the ones I love even more.  It means that people took the time to see a part of my soul that I shared and it somehow enriched their lives.

This is my motivation: Friends and family who care enough to see me succeed.  

Thank you for being there when I needed it.