7 DAYS

7 Days from now I will run my first Half Marathon Post Heart Attack.

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7 Days from now I will put my training and hard work to the test.

7 Days from now, I will be 100% focused.

7 Days from now I will equipped and prepared.

7 Days from now I will face fear head on.

7 Days from now I will beat my fear.

7 Days from now I will take the first step to more races.

7 Days from now I will encourage others as I run.

7 Days from now I will have fun.

7 Days from now I will dance on the course.

7 Days from now I will feel physical pain.

7 Days from now I will beat that pain.

7 Days from now I will feel joy.

7 days from now I will embrace that joy.

7 days from now I will run, walk, crawl if I have to.

7 days from now I will finish the race, even if it’s in last place.

7 Days from now…..Simply….I WILL.

 

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Dear Universe, Thank You.

 

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Dear Universe,

 Thank you.  On  April 23, 2014 I took a chance and asked you to help me.  I allowed myself to be vulnerable and put something publicly out into the world.

As you know Universe, I was struggling in the area of employment.  I had a 3 month goal in my head.

As you know Universe, you had other plans.  You made me wait, be patient, you had me make a few errors and re asses my worth and what I thought I should be doing vs what I should be open to.

As you know Universe, it took 10 months and a few adventures along the way, even re visiting an old “stomping ground” in July.  Little did I know that would be the start of my turning point.  You knew.

Thank you Universe for being patient with me. 

Thank you Universe for showing me things about myself that helped me regain some confidence.  Confidence in my worth as an employable asset.  As a human being.

Thank you Universe for allowing me to try a few jobs that got my thought process going.  Jobs that didn’t work because I felt constrained.

Thank you Universe for giving me some free time to rest and re charge.  I needed it and I fought it but you made it happen.

Thank you Universe for showing me that asking for help and seeking guidance is absolutely ok and not something to be ashamed of.

Thank you Universe for showing me that the value of my friendships and my ability to stay connected on a human level helping others is karma which can be returned by the right people.

Thank you Universe for testing, challenging and kicking my butt in gear.  I like challenges and you knew that.

Thank you Universe for giving me the strength and ability to realize I can be myself and sell myself in an interview. To just be Mark.

Thank you Universe for making me open to an opportunity that has so far been amazing.

Thank you Universe for presenting me with a job, a place where I finally feel like I fit in and can be utilized through growth and learning that I am finally open to.

Thank you Universe mostly for helping me to see me and putting me on a journey that has just begun. 

Most of all Universe for making me accountable,  thank you for having Faith in me when I was full of self doubt.

In a world where we get beaten down, lose confidence in ourselves, we fail to take a shot when we need it most.  It is scary and you can be judged.  Do it anyway.  The only person you are battling is you.  You are all that matters.  In the end succeed or fail, you gave it a shot.  Don’t give up.  Thank yourself and the Universe when you see the direction in which you may have been blind to before.

 I took it, I made it public.  I made myself accountable to what I asked.  It wasn’t easy but I am here, I am thankful and I have a job I am finally happy with again. 

Thank you Universe for opportunity.

Thank you Universe, I put it out there and you showed me the way.

Sincerely,

Mark.

 

 

 

 

HEART ATTACK STORIES- LISA URBAN DOWLING- WE ALL BLEED RED.

 

 

In the spirit of Heart Month I am sharing stories of fellow Heart Attack Survivors that I have met through The Under 55 Heart Attack Survivors Group on Facebook. Everyone has a story and I hope you will take a read and help us create awareness of the #1 Killer in North America.

 

Today Please meet Lisa Urban Dowling.

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Who are you ?  Name, current age, where are you from ?

I am Lisa Urban Dowling.  I am currently 48.  I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, but have lived in St. Augustine, FL for the past 25 years

How old were you when you experienced your heart attack?

I was 46

Where were you when it happened?  Tell me your story.

I was at home, alone, while my 7 year old daughter spent the week with her dad and his girlfriend.  Since it was a holiday weekend (4th of July), I had asked if I could stop by and see her.  They decided that it would not be a good idea.  I let myself get pretty worked up about the situation.  I then decided that I would paint my great room.  While I was painting, I was talking to a friend of mine.  I all of a sudden felt as if an elephant was standing on my chest.  It was very strange and did not really go away.  I took my blood pressure (I have had high blood pressure previously during times of stress) and it was WAY high!  Like 260/150 high.  I decided that it was a faulty reading, and that I needed blood pressure medicine.  It was a Friday, so I found some old med in my medicine chest.  I had another round of pains two nights later (Sunday). I didn’t have a general practitioner, but I called one and was told that they couldn’t see me until Thursday.   I had pains again on Tuesday, but breathed through them and they seemed to lessen.  On Thursday, I went to the new doctor.  She checked me out, did an ekg in office, saw some abnormalities, called a cardiologist to see me the next day, and sent me to have blood work drawn.  That evening she called and said that I showed heart damage and needed to go straight to the hospital.  My ex grabbed my daughter, his girlfriend took me to the hospital, and I called my parents who lived out of state to come.

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The next morning, I had a heart cath with attempt to stent.  My LAD is 100% blocked and could not be removed, but my EF is still at 55 – 58.  I have had a Mayo consult, and they agree that I should be medically managed at this point.  It was something called SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection) – rare, most common in perimenipausal or post partum women.

What were your signs and symptoms?  Did you have any pre existing conditions or family history ?

Not really – some slight hypertension.  I got too worked up, Elephant on chest.

How did this affect your life?  Physically/ Personally? 

I was so tired on the medication, but being a single mom, I really didn’t take much time off.  I did cardiac rehab.  My cholesterol and everything is fine.  I watch what I eat, try to eat Mediterranean and try to stay active.  I also let a lot of things go so that I don’t stress.

What lifestyle changes have you made ?  What are your struggles ?

I am a little less type A.  I also live very in the moment, especially spending time with my daughter.

Stents/ Zipper or Defib ?  What is your situation?

None for now.  Part of my heart is dead – the distal apex.  But dead is dead, so not much that can be done.  Will need defib in future if it gives off faulty signals.

What do you fear now ?

Not being here for my daughter.

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What are three things that are most important in your post heart attack life?

My daughter, spending time with my family, leaving a positive impact on others.

Did you do Cardiac Rehab?  What has been the hardest part of your recovery ?

I did and it was helpful.  The weight gain (caused by menopause or medication)

What are your new dreams ?

I want to work at becoming a life coach so that I can help others more.  (I taught high school and middle school English for 20 years, and now work as a service and sales rep for a great family owned photography company).

What do you wish you could do now that you never tried before but so wish you could?  Eg:  Skydiving.

I want to travel more! Paris, Hawaii…

Who was there for you?

My family.  The friends I told.  My ex and his girlfriend.

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Did you lose many people after ?

Several high school acquaintances have died due to heart attacks since mine.  

Have you had any detractors or people who have been hard on you?

Not really.  I seem so healthy that it is a shock to most.

If you could go back in the past how would you live your life differently?

I wouldn’t!  I have lived a great life and made a difference to many, which is how I measure.

What do you want more of in life ?

Peace, fun, time with my daughter, travel, love.

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What makes you great ?

My positive, upbeat, helpful spirit.

What advice would you give to a healthy person?

Love your kids, spend time with your loved ones.

HEART ATTACK STORIES- RACHEL TURNER- WE ALL BLEED RED.

Today Please meet Rachel Turner .

In the spirit of Heart Month I am sharing stories of fellow Heart Attack Survivors that I have met through The Under 55 Heart Attack Survivors Group on Facebook. Everyone has a story and I hope you will take a read and help us create awareness of the #1 Killer in North America.

 

Who are you ?  Name, current age, where are you from ?

Rachel Turner, 38, Auckland New Zealand

How old were you when you experienced your heart attack?

35 Years Old

 

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Where were you when it happened?  Tell me your story. What were your signs and symptoms?

Started 2pm,  July 20, 2011 with severe reflux and generalised body aches and lethargy (seriously thought I was coming down with flu or such).

 I  went to work 3-11pm shift at a local accident and medical.   I had joked with my husband that if a pateint came in with these symptoms and was 10+ years older we would do ECG and refer them to hospital.    But yeah, I thpught,  nah,  I must be over reacting.   At work few people commented I looked a bit unwell, said I felt like getting flu. Discussed with senior nurse on duty but agreed ecg was probably over reacting. Walking to get dinner that night from subway felt like legs made of lead and short of breath just  walking 50 m each way on flat. Finished shift went home. Next morning woke feeling even worse, dizzy when standing, nauseous, had vomiting and diarrhoea. At home alone with 2 year old son, husband at work and when phoned not able to come home. Rang few friends & neighbours but no one free and given hard time for wanting someone to drive me to drs or hospital for bag IV fluids. (Have birth defect in kidney so get dehydrated really quickly with d& v which i thought it was). Syptoms at this point, dizzy, reflux, d/v. Father in law agreed to come and pick up my son but not take me to hospital or dr.

Rang ambulance embarassed as not able to drive self safely just to get a bag of iv fluids. Ambulance and father in law arrived, had crawled out to lounge with son as he was too short to reach the handle on the door and open it. He was so cute he just sat by mummy until help came. I joked with ambulance staff as they were concerned about tracing of my heart, but in past due to kidney ecgs when i was dehydrated showed weird rythms. So i thought everyone overreacting. Got to hospital (lights no sirens) at 9am. Taken into cubicle, nurse took one look at me laying on stretcher and went  ah no we are going around to resus ( at this point i’m thinking oh come on just give me a bag of fluids and send me home to bed). Sat up and they said okay cut clothes of, me no way they were my nice pj’s, so took them off thinking overreacting. TOP cardiac specilaist/ medical director of the whole hospital walks in. I knew him from my post grad nursing placement 13 years previously, so said hi Dr Hart (Seriously his name). Floored by his next comment, ” forget chest xray lets get her to angio” in my mind, ” f me it is a heart attack, bugger” still not freaked out. 2 hours later came out of angiography having had a stent put in main anterior left ascending artery, 100% blockage at spot called the widow maker.  Saw husband by the trolley as I am wheeled up to the coronary  ward, said to him “suppose this means no more babies” ” ah yes” his only reply.

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Did you have any pre existing conditions or family history ?

Birth defect left kidney (benign), fluctuating hypertension thought to be due to kidney. Most family live to their 80s with some heart disease in late 70’s. Since my ha both parents have been found to have developed high cholesterol. My cholesterol was 5.4 at time of heart attack (NZ normal is <5). Had chest pain a few times previously and had seen my cardiologist and even had had an exercise test negative.

 

Did this affect your life? / ?

Yes but not really, hubby and I are really roll with the stuff life throws at you people, if you can’t prevent it accept it and get on with life. Kept in hospital for 5 days as staff were concerned we weren’t taking it seriously (we were but why cry over something no one saw coming). My cardiologist was in the angio room that day and didn’t realize it was me until when my husband rang him that night. He just thought there were 2 people with my name and age in Auckland.

Physically for a year had to watch energy levels, couldn’t walk up steep drives, hanging washing up was hard as everytime lifted arms above head all the blood drained out of them and i would start puffing. etc. Now I have resumed my normal activities and life I don’t do marathons but can jog if the need arises and walk neighbors puppy 20 mins twice a week. Work 2 partime nursing jobs 32 hours per week, have an energetic 5 year old, am on school commitee. 

 Personally We have decided not to have a second child purely due to fact IF I ran into heart issues we would have to immediately terminate and that in our mind is no way to enter a pregnancy. We have a wonderful little man and to us it is selfish to risk him having to grow up with no mummy or one with serious heart issues. 

What lifestyle changes have you made ? 18 months ago changed job from 24 hour per week at a & E to working in community as a Parkinson’s community educator( Parkinson’s nurse in USA). We had worked out my angina triggers- poor sleep improved with son getting older and having his tonsils out. Working with certain people who increase my stress levels exponentially- changed job. Avoid certain people when not feeling at best (MIL), Low iron levels.

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 What are your struggles ?

 Pacing myself and not taking on too much (I hate to disappoint people)

Stents/ Zipper or Defib ?   What is your situation?

Stent x1 ejf 35%, Had 2nd angio at 6 months all clear stent good. HAd echo at 3 months back to normal EJF 55-65%, repeated at 3year mark normal and small patch of hypoplasticity visable on all echos, on some meds and 5 year recall to cardiologist and echo.

What do you fear now ?

Repeat MI

What are three things that are most important in your post heart attack life?

Son, husband, living my life to fullest.

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Did you do Cardiac Rehab?  What has been the hardest part of your recovery ?

Yes I did Cardiac Rehab.  The hardest part is the fact people don’t believe I had a full proper heart attack OR think i am broken somehow and unable to make own decisions rationally.

What are your new dreams ?

Grandchildren, retiring and travelling with husband in 20-30 years.

What do you wish you could do now that you never tried before but so wish you could?  Eg:  Skydiving. 

 Nothing,  I hate heights, cold water and roller coasters.

Who was there for you? 

My husband and son.

Did you lose many people after ?

No,  everyone soon realized I was still me and not fragile.

 What is the funniest thing someone has said or asked about your heart attack?

Nothing was said that was funny.

Have you had any detractors or people who have been hard on you? 

 A lot of people did not believe that i had actually had a heart attack or they thought i was over exaggerating the severity of it. Boss at a&e called me into a disciplinary meeting one year after my ha as i had had too much time off sick with my ha. (I was back at work part time 8 weeks after heart attack and back to normal 24 hours per week by 4 months, she had been a senior nurse until promoted @ 6 months after my heart attack).

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If you could go back in the past how would you live your life differently?

 Drink more, party more, not be afraid of life.

What do you want more of in life ?

 Time with my husband and son and not have to work so much

Is this the hardest thing you have ever experienced ? 

 Yes and no,  yes as it held me back for a year and everyone fussed over me, and no not the most painful- prior to this had had 13 kidney stones and since have put lower back out that hurt more, and went thru 2 periods of abuse in late teens.

What makes you great ? 

 Sense of humor, desire to help others, my husband and son, without them I  would just be mediocre.

What advice would you give to a healthy person?

 Don’t smoke, have healthy weight, live life to the most. 

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Rachel Turner

Stories of Survival Breast Cancer Edition.

Stories of Survival Breast Cancer Edition,

 On September 17, 2014 I had  the privilege of being the Photographer for The Canadian Breast Cancer Survivors Luncheon and Parade.

It was bittersweet really, as I lost a friend three years ago to this terrible disease.  A friend I only knew briefly but made such an impact.  Currently I have another friend surviving and thriving in the face of breast cancer.  It is such a terrible disease, I did this for them to help in raising awareness.

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It was an experience like no other.  So many smiling faces, embraces and genuine happiness.

I was unsure how the day would really go.  I was there to do a job, a volunteer job.  My job was to photograph the event, the survivors and get candid shots.

It became more than just a volunteer job that day.  It became a day of connection, seeing the stories in people’s eyes and hearing them come from their mouths.  These ladies were so proud to be survivors and happy to do what they could to share their experiences with those around them.  Sharing with those who understood and have been there. 

These women captivated me from the start of pretty much every conversation or maybe it was their genuine smile or the slight flirting they did with this photographer.  Captivated by them, their stories, their pride.

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I met an 83 year old woman who was a 43 year survivor who shared that this was the first year her husband would not be there to see her come down the escalator.  Sadly he passed away in the past year.  She spoke of how hard the battle had been, the fear of being told she had cancer. She said it was all worth growing through because of the relationships she has made over the years of attending these events.

Then there was a woman who was in her mid 50’s.  Twice a survivor.  She told me of the toll it took on her husband and her.  Their relationship struggled, after the first battle with Cancer.  Now, because this is a public blog, I won’t share the exact struggle as it is her story to share with whom she wishes, not mine.  I am honored she shared with me.  Anyway, once diagnosis 2 came around with battle #2 they worked together and their relationship became stronger.  She even said “ I may not be as young as I once was but I am still a looker .”  She has had a double mastectomy and a reconstruct and was now a 12 year survivor. This made me smile, she smiled.  It was great to see her confidence.

Pink and Purple hair, not just dyed for that day but always dyed that way.  A 77 year old woman who says she does it so she does stand out, so she can tell people why.  I was drawn first to that beautiful hair then her eyes as they lit up as I complimented her style. 20 year Survivor full of life and youthful even in her 70’s.  I took a few photos of her to ensure I captured her eyes along with that wild hair.

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I spoke with a few 20 plus tear survivors who have attended all 11 years of the Luncheon and Parade.  They told me of being there for others who are new to their battle with Breast Cancerand having a kinship with others who have been there…..because they understand each other.  It really is a sister hood.  These women  hang out throughout the year and for those who don’t they love seeing everyone each year at this event.

As you look into their eyes as they tell their stories you can see joy of survival but still a little hurt as they recall the first diagnosis, the chemo, mastectomies, reconstructs, loss of relationships but gaining of new ones.  Realizing who your friends are by going through all of this and making new life long friends.

I was told of the Rowing Club who recently won the championship.  IN 17 years of the club they have fortunately ( or unfortunately? )  Only had 12 ladies pass from this disease.

The ladies flirted with me, touched my bum and even told the stories of being older but now having the breasts of a 20 year old.  I took over 800 photos and my friend Steve took another 600, we captured the emotion, the excitement, the speakers, the staff and the onlookers.

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The funniest story of the day was during the draw for door prizes.  One prize was for a bag that had lingerie in it.  Well……

Out comes the Lingerie, the thongs and immediately laughter engulfs the whole room as these women put the underwear on their head, flung a thong at Steve and even offered me a private showing later ( which of course was a joke….or maybe not haha.  )

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I could go on and on with stories from today but a blog post does not really allow for that, so , I will conclude with this.

Cancer in any form is scary.  Most diseases are scary.  Sadly many will leave this earth as we still try to find cures and treatments.  If you are a survivor you have a choice.  You can just sit back and do nothing or you can create awareness and encourage others who are going through the battle.  You can get involved by volunteering and offering your talents to whatever cause you are passionate about.  It is not always about donating money.

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OK, one more thing. 

Whether you are a survivor or had struggle of any kind or not, just listen.  Listen to those who have been through some struggle.  Even if their story does not inspire you, the sparkle in their eye from being able to share to anyone who will listen will warm your heart.  Listen for them. Listen for your heart.

Mini

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HAPPY 37 TH BIRTHDAY TO ME !

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August 19, 2014 I celebrated my 37th Birthday. It was an amazing time shared with some friends.  It is also the first birthday I have actually celebrated in 7 years.

I could share many reasons why I haven’t celebrated but let’s focus this year on why I did.

August 19, 2013.  8 days post heart attack.  I had been released from the hospital the day before.  Happy Birthday to me right ?  I lived, so umm maybe I should be doing something because I almost did not make it to my 37th.  Sadly, no.  You see, my Heart Attack was still a secret to most people.  Very few people knew at this point what happened and if you look back to my posts in February you will see that is when I came out and told the world.

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Friends did the usual Facebook “Happy Birthday”, I got some texts and phone calls.  I had people invite me out for a drink.  I replied to a few people, half heartedly, I declined the invites because I did not want anyone to know what was going on.  It was so hard not to tell people what I was feeling and thinking.  Part of me wanted to celebrate my life but I knew my reality that day.

I slept a lot as I was still battling fatigue.  I walked my 20 minutes as instructed.  I read a little and basically stayed in my protective cocoon.  It kinda sucked really.

Truth.  I felt very alone.  I felt like I may have not even been worth people’s time even if I was healthy that day.  It was like I was in a dark room with one light shining down, four walls with no escape.  I was trapped in my own loneliness.  The only escape was the hard way out and that would have meant telling people why I was staying home and not returning their phone calls.  I couldn’t.  I did not understand a lot of what happened and I was still trying to make sense of it all.

Please don’t get me wrong here, I was thankful I was alive but the reality that I may have never seen another birthday was quite striking and the fact that the Heart Attack happened so close to my birthday only made it worse.

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In 12 months, I realized that I really am not alone, that I am worth celebrating.  Life in itself is worth celebrating.  It doesn’t matter how crappy other birthdays were or how others made past birthdays miserable.  What does matter is that even if we don’t have an elaborate birthday party, that we take the time to celebrate the past year and the year of life that we will now enter in hopes that we make it to the next one and many more after that.

August 19, 2014.  I celebrated with friends, had a few wobbly pops ( yes, 3 is the # I remember putting me into umm “tipsy mode.”  I did a failed muff dive shot, I laughed, I goofed around, I had fun.  It was nice to hear Happy Birthday sang out of tune from my friends.  It was fun having a wide mix of friends sharing their stories about the silly and crazy things I have done.  It seems everyone had a great “ Mini” story.  Each of those stories no matter how embarrassing made people laugh, made me laugh and that my friends is exactly what I needed last night.

If you wish to view the failed Muff Dive Video, it is on my They Call Me Mini Face book page. They Call Me Mini

BIRTHDAY MUFF DIVE FAIL VIDEO

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Thank you to everyone who came out and making my night fun and a little crazy.  I am looking forward to next year.  I only get better with age from here.

Mini.

Behind the Lens. My Eyes See

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Behind the Lens is where I love to be, I wish not to be the star.

 

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I see the beauty in a woman’s eyes, her smile. 

see the smirk when a man looks at his girl with love and admiration, happiness. 

I see the hearts of two people in love.

 

 

 

I see the pain of those secretly suffering, afraid of the world. 

I see the story behind the smile.

I see excitement at success.

 

I see the love of a family and friends.

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I see connection of those around me.

 


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I see desire of one to be happy.

I see pain in our world, loss.

I see the imperfections that really are perfect in their own way.

I see a beauty in others that they may not see.

I see hope.

 

I see the innocence of a child’s way, unbridled joy and excitement. LEEMER

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I see a parents love for their child.

 

 

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I see the love shared between two people.

 

 

 

 

I see God’s great creations in their true nature and look on in amazement.

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I see the uniqueness of architecture

 

 

I see a world beyond what the news tells us.

 

I see the real you.

I see my dreams.

I see the secrets you hold, the secrets I hold.

I see you for who you are, which may be better than you perceive of yourself.

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I see the strength inside people.

I see the beauty in every moment. Little moments.

 

 

These things I see,  brings me joy.

 So I stay

Behind the lens.

Dear Universe, I am just putting this out there….

In the months since my Heart Attack I have been consumed with making my life more than it is, more enlightened, more enriched and purely enjoyable.

Now, for the most part so much has gone right.  I have accomplished in some situations, more than I could have imagined.

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You see Universe, I come to you to address and put forth one area of my life that I have struggled with for quite some time. 

Yes, two parts of my life are not what I’d wish.  My absent love life and my career, however  today I wish to focus on the other and put faith in the world that combined with my own determination and skills will be accomplished and enrich my life. 

You see Universe, I have a job.  I have a job that I am not happy with. In fact as you are aware my career has been on a downhill slope since about 2009.  Some of it my own doing some of it were circumstances out of my control.

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Since my return to work I have been more than just unsatisfied and unfulfilled.  I have been frustrated I have dreaded even walking into the building.  I have felt things that I just cannot ignore.  I am tired of being somewhere that lacks any real people focus.  Both Client and Employee.

 

 

 I realize that I am better than I give myself credit for.

 

You see Universe, I desire more.  I have tried numerous ways to find new work.  I have tried to just embrace what I have so that I am not miserable everyday in hopes that will help in my job search.

You see Universe, I am never one to give up.  The job search is no different but in my job I am almost there for more reasons than can be explained in one letter.

You see Universe, I have tried everything but this.  I have yet to ask you for your help.  Your help to show me how to align my life that will welcome a career that I will enjoy even on the tough days.  A job where I feel like I am doing something more than just lining the pockets of the executives and owners.  A job where I feel valued as an asset.  A job where I can utilize the best of me and have desire to do my best to line those pockets while making a difference in my life as well as those I am surrounded by. A job that I am proud to announce that I do and not shudder at the thought of being asked “ What do you do ?” A job where I can grow and stay for a long time.

 

You see Universe, whether I work for a big corporation or a small non profit, I just want to be utilized and taught and trained.  I am now opening my eyes, my heart to whatever may come and because I am who I am……My goal is within 3 months.

So, Universe, teach me and direct me and bring what I am trying to sow into my life in the direction of  my awareness while I continue to grow in every part of my life outside of my career.

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I have faith in myself.

I have faith in you, Universe

We can be a great team.

Let’s do this.

 

Mini

 

Story Time- The Ctrain Girl

Sometimes I have the funniest things happen and they can be so random and funny……I shared this story on my personal Facebook page in January of this year.

Here in Calgary, I work downtown.  I must take the Ctrain ( light rail transit) into work and home.  There are so many things that can happen in a 12 min ride and sometimes it happens to me.

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The Story…..

It was shortly after 4:00 pm, I was on my way home and slid my small frame into a very packed and squished Ctrain.  So packed that you were rubbing various body parts onto others.

The Ctrain stopped quickly and in front of me was cute young lady.  As it stopped our positions essentially placed me right up against her, her body pressed into mine and into the side of the train.

This could be awkward right ?

I looked at her and smiled as we were inches from each others faces and said         ” Normally when I am this close to a woman, I have at least bought her dinner.”  Her reply without pause was ” That wouldn’t be such a bad idea.”  ( insert metal YES here !)

Umm… what ?  I was trying to make the situation light then she makes that comment and the second she was done, my brain went to mush.

We chatted a bit, laughed about the situation then came my stop.  As I left I said ” Nice to meet you and did something NO MAN should ever do……

I gave her a High 5 and walked away.

This, my friends may explain why I can’t get a date.

My friends had a heyday on facebook with comments.  I am glad I can be a source of laughter for others. Some said, maybe I should have asked for her # or that this could be one of those “connections lost”.  Some suggested I go on Craigslist to try and find this girl.

Well…..Going on Craigslist was not needed.  Tomorrow I will share part two.

Lesson here: NEVER HIGH 5 A CUTE WOMAN !

Mini

Dodgeball- My True Love Story.

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7 years ago I entered into a sport, a child’s game really.  Little did I know from the moment I picked up my first Dodgeball that my life would forever become more enriched,  more playful and yes have more bruises, bumps and injuries than ever !  It has all been worth it.  What I also did not realize is how close and important my team mates would become  in my life.

Its started with my first team – Dishin It Out !  which has evolved over time to The Incrediballs, The Dodge Brawlers, Dodge of the Dead, Jolly Dodgers, Jolly Dodgers 2.0, Not you, Fat Jesus and many different team names for tournaments.

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Over the years I have tried to become a better player.  I am not the strongest arm on my team by far, nor the best catcher, I am a pretty good dodger I think. Dodgeball does actually take some skill and there are some pretty good athletes playing….umm not me.  I have had the privilege to watch many of my team mates grow and get better over the years.  We have won divisions together, lost together had a lot of fun along the way.

Every week, twice a week and through tournaments I put myself through a little punishment.  I have lost count of the various injuries I have had over the years.  Arguably, if you ask my team I am by far one of the most injury prone and clumsy players out there.  Ask my team mates they will be sure to tell you a “Mini”  Story, there are numerous. !    So why do I keep going back for the punishment

My friends.   Old and new.  Some of who are like an extended family to me.  I love these people and would do pretty much anything for them.  As the years have gone by and I have become more entrenched in the Dodgeball community making countless friends I have become hooked on the social aspect of my sport.  Are there times we get annoyed with each other.  Of course !  We are friends throwing rubber balls at each other, there are bound to be disagreements.  But in the end we still forgive and move on…usually over ice cream or a beer.

It is this community of players who have supported me in two charitable tournaments which would not have been successful without those amazing people helping to raising almost $5000.00 to date for the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Next year brings my third annual tournament and I want to make the experience even better to show my appreciation for my Dodgeballin friends.  We are all great at supporting each other in our endeavors.

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Dodgeball has saved my own sanity a few times .  In tough years when my personal life was in shambles the 2 hour a week of game time became my escape.  It was the one place for an hour at a time I could cast my own worries, fears and cares aside and just be free, if even for a brief moment. It was a chance for me to be with people who I care about and hopefully cared about me, having fun.  There were definitely odd moments during these times –( Remember the Percocet incident Brawlers ) but these nights helped me so much to not fall into a hole that could have been tough to come out of.  Over time I got better and the game was no longer an escape but a place I went because I truly loved playing and i loved the people who I played with

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So why share all of this?  I LOVE DODGEBALL !!!    I have had to take the most recent season off from playing and I have missed playing immensely.  I have missed seeing my team mates and many others that I use to see on a regular basis.  I have spent time watching my team and photographing them, but it is not the same as being out there on the courts with them.  This season off has truly shown me how important this game is in my life, how important my friends are and how much I love all that Dodgeball encompasses.  Ya it’s just a game, but many of these experiences and people are forever.

To my team mates directly.  Thank you for all these amazing years and experiences.  Thank you for supporting me as your friend in highs and lows.  Thank you for being so much fun, a little crazy and the most amazing people one can surround themselves with.  I love you guys and look forward to my return to playing with you all in 2014.

It’s not just a game, it is has become so much more.

 

Mini

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