Thursday, September 5, 2013

You Inspire Me

Nothing beats the feeling of being inspired. You feel unflappable, determined, ten feet above ground and little to nothing can get in your way. Feeling inspired usually happens when something or someone makes you glow from the inside out. A smile crosses your face, your eyes shine a little brighter and everything seems positively possible. The Ironman journey can only be described as inspiring. 

Training for and racing Ironman Canada in Whistler, BC on August 25th was an opportunity I do not take lightly and an experience that surpassed expectations.  With every waking day I had a twinkle in my eye and skip in my step thanks to the motley crew of special people who inspire me to live a life I love. Sounds trite and cliché, but bear with me. I feel compelled [and inspired] to share a little something about the characters that, in their own special way, lifted my spirits and made my 21st Ironman something exquisite.

Stephy's Wheels are turning. Cheating the wind.
Stephy Corker – a true soul sister bundled full of bigger, better, brighter and abundant goals. Bella Corker is the real deal setting the world on fire one second at a time. From dropping #truthbombs to thrashing through the impossible, physically and mentally, this gal owns the “it” factor. Watch out cuz she is only just beginning and let me tell you, when she and I are together, it is far Mo’ Bettah. Laughing isn’t the same without her, dreaming isn’t as much fun unless we have deadlines and planning how to conquer the world one sweaty goal at a time feels darn possible only in her company. Oh, and you must see her video. Says it all [well almost]. [Honorable mention to her biggest fans – Dave Frey & Matt Corker. They were on temporary loan at some points during the race #grateful. Travis MacKenzie for being a warrior no matter what was thrown across his path #teamtravrocks].

Coach Jasper gives the encouragement. #b78leader
Jasper Blake – a coach, a friend, a mentor, a crackerjack, a dad, a husband [to Jude], a seriously talented athlete and very possibly one of my favorite people on planet earth. Jazzy Blake, you go noticed. You have impact.  You are changing people’s lives with every waking day. Do you realize the awesomeness you bring to so so many people? Do you realize how people admire you, adore you, respect you and want to learn more from you? Every time this guy shares his knowledge and wisdom in sport and encourages excellence from others, the floodgates of possibility open. Mr. Blake, continue being awesome, as only you know how to do.


Deanna and Terri #cheerleaders
Big hug from Ella Wigmore
Deanna Wigmore – a gal with astounding zest for adventure and an insatiable appetite for new experiences.  A sweet hot mom with a skip in her step, ready for the next wild ride whilst welcoming others in to her world to support, encourage and ultimately write about with a creative, articulate spin that makes you laugh, nod, cry and yearn for more. Genuinely interested, curious and totally engaged in life, Ms. Reagan has spunk. Her world is her oyster yet she lives for others. So rare is it to find people like Deanna. Thanks for the cheers. Thanks for sharing your precious time so generously for my goals. You simply rock.  [Honorable mention to our mutual friend and Deanna’s Ironman co-cheerleader, Terri Green. This chick has enthusiasm for athletic pursuits like nobody I have ever met. May I watch her cross the Ironman finish line some day and bust a gut cheering for her.  Also to their daughters: Ella, Eve, Grace, Seren for meeting me at the finish line and saying they too want to be triathletes]. 

Ruthie Shugarman – a gal I met when we were closer to 25 than 45. A gal I would never swap no matter what the offer. Hearts aren’t made this big anymore. Admiration for this superwoman is indefinable.  From friendship and laughter to family and celebration, Ruthie lives with fullness. The wheels of love, home, family, health, style, career and adventure are rolling at an easy steady pace in her life.  Most [okay, all] look to Ruthie for the “how to do it” manual, especially me.  She is courageous beyond measure and she does what she does because she wants to not because she has to.  Her honesty to herself and generosity to others has serious momentum.  Please pause in her company to absorb and digest her impact on not just you but the community around her. Incredible gal she is, incredible. [Honorable mention to her father, Dr Peter Cooperberg, whose lifestyle I seek to mimic when I retire.  Bike, golf or ski depending on the weather. And her brother, Michael Cooperberg, who defines “mountain man meets kite surfer” with a kind soul and generous spirit.  #2013bestsummerever].
Ruthie and Coop writing #29! Missed it every time (Snap!)

Stayed by my side every second post race - big thanks
Dina Altayeb – from Saudi Arabia with part time residence in Vancouver, Dubai and elsewhere, Dina is a multiple Ironman finisher breaking all the boundaries of Arab women in sport and self expression. She is doing what most women from her country can and will never do. Her dream, that will someday be realized, is to race in Kona at the World Ironman Championships. Her passion for life, triathlon, family & friends is colorful and true. Her smile speaks a thousand words and her drive sets her direction. May we all follow in her footsteps and breakthrough impossible boundaries, conquer unimaginable fears and carry on with style, discipline and diligence. Watch out Hawaii, Dina will be there.

BB getting 1st award!
Britni Bakk – a long time training partner and special friend, Britni softly and confidently knows her way. We are mutual cheerleaders. Her success is my success. Her feats are my celebration. She cares for those in need, opens her door to the wild and believes in a better today [and acts on it too]. An amazing creature she is, returning to her sacred place, Kona, for her umpteenth Ironman World Championship race this October after finishing 1st in her age division at Ironman Canada [an achievement that is all too familiar to her].  It only takes a millisecond to realize Britni is a bright light in this world, especially mine.

Sarah. Enough Said.
Sarah Strother – brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous are words that only begin to describe this kid.  Maybe it is her quiet confidence or her clarity with who she is at the core, this gal has class, poise and an admirable demeanor.  With nothing to prove and nothing to hide, it kinda seems like she has figured it all out.  Its rare to meet a Sarah…in fact…I have yet to meet another one and am quite okay with knowing just this one.

Vivian Thom.
Vivian Thom – with a passion for wholesome living and feeding our souls, Viv generously breaks bread with anyone lucky enough to walk into her day, never mind her life. It’s a no wonder she is constantly surrounded by close friends yearning for time in her vivacious presence. Turning a passion into an expertise, Vivian’s pursuit of wellness through nutrition is rippling through community building into a tidal wave. She is someone I never get enough time with yet feel forever bonded over mutual respect and our precious memories.  When Viv shares her fruitful knowledge, I listen, since someday I too may glisten, smile and beam like she does so naturally.   
Wholesome goodness coming up!

Sharon, Jamie and friends surrounding them.
Jamie & Sharon Armstrong – West Vancouver’s power couple in every sense of the meaning. Stunningly successful shining stars that lift other peoples spirits every single day by simply being in their company. They both let their own light shine while unconsciously giving other people permission to do the same. Spending time with this dynamic duo feels like a rare treat that only leaves you wanting to have more of what they have – infectious vibrancy and impactful presence. May J and S be forever in my life and may we have the ride of our lives. 

Steve in Kona. Birthplace of Ironman.

Steve Marshall – an inexplicable connection with this guy.  Hugely accomplished and talented athlete making perfection stand at attention. He overcomes injury and physical limitations to pursue his passion of staying fit, fast and thriving in sport [and beyond]. With equally overachieving family members and an extremely demanding career, this guy makes it all happen, on his time, in his own way and with unmatched determination.  With precision and accuracy, he turns his vision in to reality. He does it with heart.  He does it because he loves it. He does it because he can. I watch, I admire, I learn.

Online race recon the night before!

John Legg & Mike Edwards – both finished Ironman Canada on minimal training [Mike tried his wetsuit on the day before the race], a hangover and nothing to prove other than to get to the tape in under 17 hours. Mission accomplished with time to spare. Proud to know you both for reasons other than being Ironmen. Your achievements are icing on the cake. Here’s to your 2014 IM Canada Training Program. 

Dad & Harrison Fletcher. Carries us all!
My Dad – through thick and thin, this man gets up every day and goes at it. He shows up where you need him. He shows up when you need him. He says just as much as he needs to and only to whom he needs to. He does it because his world depends on him and he will not let them down. He is a rare breed of which I take away the drive, commitment, perseverance, determination, focus and vision for a better tomorrow.  His sacrifices go noticed by everyone yet he goes under recognized by most.  He provides so others can thrive.  May the universe look after him as much as he has looked after others. A feat even the universe will find a challenge. Thank you for the hard wires.

On August 25th, I had 10 hours to contemplate this living list of remarkable beings. It was a fabulous way to pass the day and finish 4th female professional.

Christine (aka: Fletchy)

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Whistler Quest

Three years ago I turned on my heel and walked away from Ironman. I swore off this distance for good. I was done with the long bike rides that consumed an entire day and tired of being tired.  The fun was seemingly lost and so was my motivation for going long.  Having had success and gratification at the Half Ironman distance, I went on to embrace the 2km swim, 90km bike and 21km run with a vengeance.  I was clearly not alone in this motive since half ironman races were popping up all over the globe attracting top notch pro’s and amateurs alike.  It seems athletes could reckon with this distance while balancing other responsibilities in life.  My personal transition went something like this:  cut back training hours, ramp up intensity and enjoy lunch by noon.  That summarized my past three years in triathlon.

Thanks to having more time, especially on weekends, I also re-embraced my love for winter sports. Whistler, a world-class downhill and cross-country ski resort, was my weekend oasis.  It is nothing less than a magical wonderland of white fluff and glorious mountains streaming with people looking to explore over 8000 acres of terrain.  And when the snow melts and winter turns to spring and then summer, skiers turn to cycling, hiking, golfing, mountain biking, and now the very trendy SUP on any of the four lakes surrounding Whistler. Again, a place I consider an oasis that draws me in (and millions of others) any time of year.

So what happens when Whistler and triathlon intersect? All I can surmise is that the Universe must have had a master plan when the town of Penticton lost the hosting contract for Ironman Canada after 30 some odd years to the home of the 2010 Olympic Games on the same year I  turned 40. It must have sensed I had outgrown the intensity and speed required for the half distance and should return to my Ironman roots of slowing down and going longer.  When the World Triathlon Corporate made the official announcement that Whistler would now be the host venue for Ironman Canada, my blackberry lit up like a Christmas Tree. “Are you registered?” “Would you go back to Ironman?” “You must do Ironman…its in Whistler!” Before long, five of my closest friends and training partners were signed up and nudged me to reconsider my “never again” disclaimer.

So here I sit, a mere 3 weeks out from Ironman Canada (happening in Whistler, BC – August 25th), with countless hours of purposeful preparation under my belt as guided by the wealth of experience and knowledge from Coach Jasper Blake and in the company of the remarkable Steph Corker, invincible Britni Bakk, stalwart John Legg, resilient Travis MacKenzie, off the couch Mike Edwards, brave Andrew Russell, stellar Gillian Moody, vicarious Steve Marshall, methodical Jamie Armstrong, awesome Jasper Blake and mountain man Michael Cooperberg (to name only a small few). So so many more friends and supporters have been along for this journey, each contributing with unforgettable impact and meaning.

all you gotta do it look down to be reminded about being awesome

When committing to another Ironman there was uncertainty, nerves and apprehension but thankfully overshadowed by excitement, thrill, curiosity and motivation to explore my potential and discipline at approaching this distance again in a place I consider an Oasis with special athletes to log miles and share a mutual journey. Plato had it right when he said: "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." Imagine how much you learn about others in 6-7 hours of play?
these guys know how to have fun and get it done


The other day an athlete asked, “how do you maintain your motivation?” I contemplated my reply and how motivated I have been since committing to Whistler’s Ironman Canada.

It went something like this:
“The quest for motivation is a unique and personal experience especially when our lives are already full. The quest involves decision making, prioritizing, and listening carefully to the signals and messages pouring out of our body and mind. I truly believe the quest will bear a high degree of motivation if one is rested, nourished, realistic, supported, inclusive, purposeful and authentic. Consistent motivation takes a special level of oscillating energy that very few people have perfected. It is a delicate balance of offload (aka: resting & recovering) and reload (aka: challenge & exert energy) to equal optimum motivation and performance.

Surely everyone has their own formula for staying on top of their motivation. Personally, I inject small doses of lighthearted humor to keep smiles shining on faces coupled with a focused and intentional workout. I truly believe every workout needs a purpose to feed our goal-driven nature. Blend fun with focus and you have a winning formula.

Solo sessions should be limited to a select few balanced with partnered adventures spewing with tons of accolades and encouragement.  Regardless of going at it solo or with others, athletes need to be rested, nourished, realistic, supported, inclusive, purposeful and authentic in order to stay motivated.

One’s quest should also be grounded in the reasons for doing what one is doing.  Sometimes a simple reminder of The Why is all it takes. My list is long and thorough and poses as a quick jolt of motivation.

Any quest has forks in the road and options to contemplate. When in doubt, press the restart button and save for another day. Rest and perspective breeds clarity and serenity. Low motivation often comes from fatigue and overdoing life. If clear on the goal and the why, the path will be paved and always lead you in the right direction.

Keep your community close, do not become an island, share your energy carefully and stay in the moment. The motivation quest is a beautiful thing.”

This quote by Dr Jack Kruse (Living an Optimal Life) resonated with me when considering goal setting and community:

“Do you know how to pass it on and encourage others? Do you understand how to delegate value to others? The fastest way into the promised land of life is to release the gifts in the people around you today and allow them to be the beacons of light to lead you to your goals. It is hard building a pyramid alone. We need others to succeed and to get their best we must delegate our wisdom and value into them in any way we can. When you share insight and wisdom with those you value, you might enjoy where their insight could lead you. Today, and each day from here, try to keep your doors open to others ideas; we may never know where we might find help to entrust and delegate a task or responsibility to another person. Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, but by the obstacles, which we have overcome."

You will be energized and pumped to tackle each workout when your heart is full. My heart was the most full it had ever been when somehow my friends planned a surprise 40th birthday party for me sandwiched between a ten hour training weekend. This gesture and the effort behind it elevated everything inside and made exercise endorphins feel like a sleep pill. To those who know who you are…biggest hug and gratitude possible.

Sarah (Hostess), Julie, Deanna, Stephy, Ruthie, me (top to bottom)

40th Birthday Cake

Get rest. Be real. Stay close. Bring others along. Make it a journey. Come join the Whistler Quest.


Friday, June 7, 2013

The Why

A few weeks ago I had lunch with a friend, Shira McDermott, at Heirloom, a vegetarian cafe favourite amongst the locals. I had initiated our get-together since following her extraordinary blog In Pursuit of More (Living with Just A Little Less) with intent and curiosity.  Shira works a full time job for JJ Bean as well as mothers two amazing girls and is married to Tim McDermott, a member of the clan now riding in the Dolomites for 8 days. Lets just say, Shira lives a full life. But maybe more full of abundance instead of full of insanity? 

 What is In Pursuit Of More?

"The blog about living with (just a little) less. By going without, we can gain - by giving to those who have less. Want to make a change in your eating habits for the better? Imagine how you can turn that into something positive for those who would otherwise go hungry. Go without so others don't have to. That's living with (just a little) less."

My interest in Shira's recipes (so delish), her authentic approach to simplicity, how she opts for quality over quantity and her willingness to share freely and openly with others struck a precious cord in me and I wanted to explore this further.  Much of what Shira writes about parallels how I feel about my own goals in sports and triathlon whilst juggling other important responsibilities such as my career and friendships. How does one dial in on quality, prioritize and live with passion while turning down the volume just a little?  My question to Shira was not only HOW she does it but WHY she does it?
Of late I have been noticing that my meal time and food preparation (and food quality) were suffering. In a haste, I opt to shop when convenient (spend more at something close and quick), select mediocre produce, prepare dull, quick and tasteless meals while finishing up work at my laptop without even enjoying the oversteamed broccoli.  In Pursuit of More showcases (with glorious photographs!!) locally grown produce prepared simply and delectably for even the lamest of chefs out there.  Reading her past blogs and recipe posts (and fantastic quotes mixed in) caused me to pause and reconsider not only my food prep but also the rhythm of my life, training and relationships.

Clearly passion and a sense of fulfillment fuels Shira every time she posts another recipe or leads another cooking class for her spun-off charity Not So Fast. And so authentic is her passion that her efforts do not feel like a chore. Rather it feels purposeful. The glimmer in her eye says it all. That's her WHY 

And so, thanks to Shira, I am attempting to live with a little less but gain a little more.  I find myself testing new recipes (although repeating the ones I love), shopping for local, quality and wholesomeness (even using cream in my JJ Bean coffee!) and spending more time doing what I love a little more and less time doing what I don't.  

Shira has figured out her Why. What about your Why? Why do we do what we do? More personally, why do I do triathlon with such intent and focus? Why do I yearn to step on the start line with nerves rattling and all the logistics to get there? Why do I train hard every week and seemingly suffer with intensity and often fatigue? Why do I lap up every scientific article about fueling, heart rate, wattage and aerodynamic gear? 

Many of these questions slapped me harder when my soul mate Steph Corker got a lil' injury during a run workout.  Steph and I are almost like sisters now. We have carbon copy race goals, rent a place in Whistler together (The Coop Cabin), train together when we can, share our secrets with each other, drive the same cars, eat the same food, and can't wait for a kick set in swimming so we can chat, giggle and drive Coach Kelly mad ("If you girls would just stop talking..."). In fact we finish each others sentences. Her win is my win and vis versa.  This lil' mishap took her out of racing the Oliver Half Ironman. A race we planned on travelling to and doing together. And she is also sidelined for Mont Tremblant 70.3 on June 23rd. Ditto on the travel plans. We are both optimistically gutted. It doesn't matter what her injury is, it's gonna heal and she is soon to be back on the horse. What matters is The Why? Why does she keep going? Why do I keep going?  Why do we all keep going? 

As I drove solo to Oliver for the race, I begun to answer these questions for myself (cuz without Steph, it just wasn't gonna be as much fun!). I wanted to be clear with my self why I was hauling all my gear, driving 5 hours, staying in a crappy motel and sacrificing time with friends. Sound like a pity party unfolding? In fact the reverse...

Once clarity struck, here is what was uncovered:
  • The Line. I live and thrive on putting myself on the line to see what there is to give.  In the case of racing, that line is a start line. In the case of life, that line is when every day begins.
  • The Tipping Point. Training purposefully and racing forces me to balance on the edge and challenges me to do it. This tipping point, as I see it, is energizing and exciting. Who doesn't love excitement?
  • The Education. I learn, boy do I learn, about other people, integrity, values, self respect, respect for others and camaraderie. Sometimes I fail to live up to my own standards of character with a sense of healthy competitiveness and sometimes I surpass them. Either way, I learn.With every training session and race, a sense of gratification, completion and fulfillment sets in. Good or bad, this is fact and for the moment, its working for me. Maybe someday, I'll turn to knitting, gardening, yoga or nothing for the same experience.
  • The People. Maybe I should have started with this one but the people I meet from all over the world and from one street away fill me with more motivation than anything. I look forward to group training sessions for the exchange and interconnectedness. I look forward to bringing out the best of each other because we are together. When we are all spent, tired or low on glycogen, our true character comes out. If lucky enough to carry those people home (and vis versa) you are forever bonded. Bike-bonding is the best. #teamwork
  • The Energy. I got energy to burn. Yup, since I was a kid, I couldn't sit still. Sport is a channel for all of it and more...
  • The Potential. I believe that we all have excessive amounts of untapped potential. How close can we get to our potential? How much is mental vs. physical vs. nutritional vs. genetical?  I dunno but am damn curious to keep tapping on the door.

My Why Words: Challenge, Improvement, Toughness, Execution, Success, Control, Effort, Rhythmical, Discipline, Commitment, Passion.


The Why is different for everyone. Knowing your Why is important for many reasons but mainly to ensure you are training and racing (or whatever it is you choose to do with your precious time) from your heart and can articulate your reasons to your own self. No one else needs an explanation.

I raced in honor of Steph last Sunday and won.  Even sweeter was the victory thanks to my Why clarity and knowing this win was as much hers as it was mine.

For inspiration, I invite you to visit In Pursuit of More and Steph's Dreams With A Deadline.

I would love to hear about your Why.





Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fabulous Forces

"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man."
Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

 I love this quote. Sure, it has mythological connotations mixed with mystical powers, trials and tribulations, great gifts for achieving the goal (aka: boons) resulting in the discovery of important self-knowledge.  But it also rings true in our everyday lives of the 21st century. We wake up to face mostly unknowns (try as you might to control your every minute) and use our critical thinking to overcome, persevere and break through to a better place and become a wiser person. For all these experiences, we become individuals of depth, curiosity, patience, and respect...we become HERO'S every day.

This heroic introduction leads me to...nowhere really...except how I have decided, after a long hiatus of writing, to "take stock" of my fabulous forces and mysterious adventures since the fall. By writing them here, its my way of capturing the memories and reflecting on the many quality experiences that happen over a short period of time.  Not surprisingly, most of my mysterious adventures are the result of someone(s) special doing nifty things that opened a door for me to take part. And usually those someone(s) are my hero's, they keep up with themselves, share in the social media community, write about the nuances of life and capture the essence of exploring something new every single day.

Let's make this brief and let's make it fun. And most importantly, let's make sure you are inspired to take stock of your mysterious adventures thanks to fabulous forces.

Whirlwind Finale

Wrapped up the race season in a whirlwind with Hurricane Sandy blowing through Florida over the Rev 3 Venice Ironman weekend. Swim became a run. It went: Run, Bike, Run. Amazing race experience with the Rev 3 crew.  Unlike the New York Marathoners, at least we got to run. #nocomplaining

Learning the Slopes

Blew right into a new role with my company, Sunice (Fletcher Leisure Group) as the VP of Sales for USA, Sunice Ski Apparel.  Ill prepared and overwhelming but full of newness and challenge. Walked the walk and learned as fast as I could about selling ski apparel to ski shops from the east to west coast of North America. Humungous help from the Sunice team, namely Derek Faith and Grace Maurer.

Mont Tremblant

Merry Ho-Ho'd at Mont Tremblant. Second favourite place to Whistler. We were a house full of kids and adults ridden with the flu blended in with tons of love, laughter and the X-Box. Highlight was snowshoeing up the mountain with Louis Ludwig on Boxing Day.  Gifted my brother a stationary windtrainer for his dust covered road bike. I wonder if he'll ever use it?

Be Awesome

Joined Jasper Blake and his stellar coaching company, B78 Coaching [Be Awesome], as a coach for aspiring and veteran endurance athletes. B78 emphasizess the fun factor mixed in with a whole lot of excellence, integrity, commitment, consistency without compulsion and of course, awesomeness.


Montreal YUL Snow Storm

Attempted to fly out of Montreal on December 27th, 2012 however Mother Nature had other plans. A massive snow storm struck the city causing havoc to traffic, flights, and millions of holiday plans. Spent 10 hours aboard a plane waiting, hoping and praying for the plane to take-off so I could meet Steph Corker at the pool at 6:30 a.m. the next morning. Instead, the flight was cancelled and I had the pleasure of meeting Stuart Wild. A Montrealer, now Whistler resident currently working as a helicopter in Afghanistan for the US Army when not kite surfing in Mexico. One of a kind and unforgettable individual.


Kicked off 2013 on the skate ski trails of the Whistler Olympic Park. Linked up with a few jack rabbits soon coined my "regulars" as we all prepared for the Payak Loppet on February 23rd. Completed a 30km Loppet in February followed by a 50km Loppet in March. Wow, 50km is a long way on skate skis. Now I know. Maybe never again.


Thanks to my new role with Sunice, I was able to experience skiing in Utah at Solitude Resort with the crew at Powder Magazine. The editors wore our duds as we got to know each other on the chairlifts and at Après.  Sunice will be featured in the Powder Magazine Gear Guide, October 2013! Yoohoo. Oddly, hardly any of them have skied at Whistler. Must change that.

Apple TV Neophyte...converted

Weekended at Whistler all through January, February and most of March. Sadly without my partner in crime, Roslyn Boniface, since she broke her ankle on January 1st while carving turns down Bear Paw run. Dang! That sucked.  Recovery strategy included an investment in Apple TV. With my guidance, she pounded through Downton Abbey, Damages and Homeland. Not to mention the books she devoured and a revolving door of visitors and caretakers. Ros is back in action full throttle.

C'est Le Weekend part of my life. Downhill skiing with a solid crew of entertaining mashers after dropping off their kids at ski school. The days usually wrapped at 1p.m. at top of either mountain with a lengthy lunch and maybe a glass of wine.  The alternate day was spent skate skiing through Norwegian Woods, Madeley Lake and the Olympic Connection trails. Every glide, pole and offset was bliss. Best part of the ski is the Cafe Mocha and banana bread to refuel.
Madness at Method winter training haven for the bike. Three, maybe four, times a week, I pedaled my way into some form of bike fitness under the remarkable guise of Jamie Armstrong. Jamie is a cyclist extraordinaire. When lucky, we'd be side by side along with 20 some uber committed, fit and first rate riders busting out 60 minute sessions. 

Side note: Ironically, Jamie tried to participate in the New York Marathon but Hurricane Sandy changed the plan. Jamie witnessed the wreckage.  He then went on to run the Boston Marathon this April. Thankfully he finished in 2:59 and was clear of the bombing site. Yet, he now carries a first hand experience with devastation and heartbreak following such brutal and senseless acts of cruelty. The Method community  was at a standstill awaiting news from Jamie following the explosions. Tremendous relief to learn Jamie and others we knew were okay. Heartfelt condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy.


Method is one of my committed supporters as professional triathlete. Dizzy Cycles, Specialized, Broadway and Burrard Chiropractic, B78, Polar, Smith Optics and Flora and Udo's Oil are also on board to help me be my best self as a athlete. Connecting with this team of groovy companies is a must and something I always wish I did more of. I have recently added a few more supporters to my team which I will formally announce in a short while.

Soulful Steph

March was a fun month. Yeah, real fun. Hopped on a plane to join Steph Corker in Santa Monica for the LA Marathon. 26.2 miles, point to point, from Dodgers Stadium to Santa Monica pier. She rocked out a sweet run and got to celebrate with all her Lululemon peeps. I jumped in for a few miles to cheer her on  (even drank some fluid from the aid stations which I still feel guilty about).  We did it all - Lemonade, Abbot Kinney Street, Gratitude Cafe, Soul Cycle (this deserves its own blog), outdoor swimming, beach runs, retail therapy and incredible memories.

Safe Touring

In the final days of March came a backcountry skiing adventure with Deanna Wigmore and Brent Lokash. Brent was our fearless guide on a less than ideal backcountry ski day. Low visibility, high winds, cool temps and two inexperienced touring chicks made for a high stress day. With unwavering confidence, Brent navigated us over mountains, across ridges and down powder runs like a pro. Started at 9a.m. and finished at 4p.m. #againagain

Zero Ceiling

Once safe from the backcountry, Brent invited a few go-getters to join him in raising the profile of a very cool organization called Zero Ceiling: an adventure-based learning program that empowers at-risk youth and young adults to develop life skills and achieve personal growth.  First fundraising event: May 25th at Scandinave Spa in Whistler. #bethere


April 13th finally arrived. The day RuthieShugarman has been waiting for almost as much as all her friends and loved ones. Her daughter, Talia, was celebrating her Bat Mitzvah. Guess where? Whistler. It was #betterbiggerthanawedding. (Watch this!)

In words: Adventure Rabbi from Colorado led service at Squamish Cultural Centre (in Whistler) serving grilled cheese sandwiches and butternut squash soup as appies, family a go-go, friends aplenty, love over-boiling. Talia was poised, articulate and so grown up when reading and singing. She was #outstandingfora12yearold! Food-a-licious, slide show of Talia's life (wow!), dancing to best band and play list ever, memento photo opportunities, dessert table was sugar & chocolate art. Most heart-stopping was Ruthie and Talia #gorgeouselegantelated. And by the way, I am converting.

Not quite these guys but pretty close
Guys-only Dolomite Training Group

Its official. I am just one of the guys when it comes to cycling. Thanks to an annual cycling trip to Europe organized for 12 well heeled 40-something guys (mostly husband's of my girlfriends), I have tons of training partners for long bike rides.  They are all fit, all committed and almost all have shaved their legs.  When we head out for a 4hour ride, I hang on. I dig deep to stay in the pack. And, when they drop me, they wait, likely because I am a girl.

Girls-only Half Marathon Training Group

Those biker dudes all have incredibly driven, beautiful and talented wives and they too are fit, fast and fabulous. Half a dozen of us have committed to the Whistler Half Marathon on June 1st. They have instilled their trust in me to bring them to the start line with considerable run fitness and endurance.  Training weekend coming up in May! Can't wait.


Swimming. Swimming. Well, for the past few months, I have a renewed relationship with swim practice. That is 5:30 a.m. three mornings a week plus 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. Since Kelly Taitinger has started coaching our Masters Club, I have been working harder and smarter in the pool than ever. Sweat in the pool? Always. Getting stronger? Absolutely. (Kelly's Bio)

Super Human Games

Start line
Finish line

As summer nears so do key dates with start and finish lines and a pack of other super human athletes standing on the same start line gunning for the same finish line. Whilst our fabulous forces and mysterious adventures are all a little different, our quest for self improvement and discovery is not unique.

Here is a tentative, but fairly firm, list of all the mysterious adventures I have completed and have lined up:
February 11 - Vancouver Half Marathon - Done with Steph Corker with PB for her!
February 23 - Whistler Olympic Park Skate Ski Loppet (30km) - Done and 5th!
March 10 - Snowqualmie Skate Ski Loppet (50km) - Done and won!
May 4 - Ironman St George 70.3, Utah
June 1st, Whistler Half Marathon
June 8 - Ironman Boise 70.3, Idaho
June 23 - Ironman Mont Tremblant 70.3, Quebec
July 15 - Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3, Washington
August 25 - Ironman Canada, Whistler
Life is good. Life is a mysterious adventure with fabulous forces. Be The Hero.