Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dreaming, Believing, Challenging, Doing

Yesterday evening I attended a Women's night at my church and one of the classes was with a young woman, wife & mother who dared to believe that she could finish an Ironman Triathlon. In short between having her two children she & her husband trained and participated (swim, ride run?) in small triathlons. Then her husband did the St. George Triathlon and she thought she'd like to do an Ironman. So they trained for 6 months and did one in Mexico (it was the only one with  space left). The swim went well, even with the jellyfish stinging, the ride was smooth (no hills) and then the run. It started off ok but soon her body started to rebel. Oh, she started her first lap of the run when her husband was starting his second so they weren't together for the race, each did their own pace. Anyways, at one point she realized she needed more salt pills (I'll spare the intestinal issues she was having except she was very grateful for all the Port-A-Potties lining the route) and stopped at where her parents were cheering her on. Her father went to find some salt pills and while she was lamenting about her poor performance in this leg, her mother reminded her that she had 5 hours to finish (the race was stopped at midnight, no matter where you are, you are pulled) and that she could walk and still finish in time. She had only thought about running (Lesson 6a). She ended up walking the rest of the race. But she finished an Ironman Triathlon (Lesson 8). It was about 3 hours longer than she thought she could do it, but she did finish. In her presentation she listed the lessons she learned and since I'm just starting to train for a 200km bike ride (the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer) in June I've gained inspiration and have created a poster for myself.

That's me as the background...I had just completed half of the longest ride I'd ever done. EVER. We (hubby & I) only did a portion of the Trans-Canada Trail, the Banff Legacy Trail between Banff National Park's East Gate and Valleyview Picnic Area...where this photo was taken (after a rest).  It was about 27km one way, so I rode about 54km in a morning. It took us about 1.5 hours to get there and 1/2hr. to return. Obviously it was downhill on the way back! 

Now that was back in early August and I'd been riding for a couple of months rather regularly, so I decide my first big ride of this upcoming season that a 200km ride is doable! (It is because it is over two days).  Because I have not gotten gung-ho with my training I have found inspiration from Kim and will post this so I can see it. 

She only had 8 lessons-the 6a I added. "Trust the process" is the big one for me. To cross-train and keep remembering that every little bit of movement gets me fitter and increases my endurance. I'm not worried about the sitting (I'm getting a new seat) or the strength (I've always been relatively strong) but the breathing. I've developed a lung issue and need to use an inhaler now. But I believe I can do it so onward and upward with the training!

The really neat thing about the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer is that we get cycling jerseys! Shallow but I do love free (it's not really, I have to raise $2,500 so I can ride) clothing. And a real cycling one...maybe I should add that to the poster "you get a real cycling jersey!" as another incentive!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let Children Have Some Preschool Fun!

I receive a newsletter from Dan Hodgins via email and this month he was talking about the heart and soul of a preschool. Take a look: (

It got me thinking about an incident at a preschool I was at where I was told that it was ok for the children to take things from one 'centre' to another as long as it wasn't being dumped. Well, one day I was letting some boys 'dump' a bunch of toys on the carpet because they were creating a "garbage dump" which evolved into a recycling depot. They had the trucks full of blocks, cars and whatnot and unloaded them beside me. I was enjoying it...they were actively engaged with each other and the work. But then clean-up time came and the teachers were very grumpy about the "mess" they made. I made it a game by having them sort (like at a recycling plant) and store the goods in the appropriate bin (I may've even used "appropriate").
Isn't that sad? I think all 4 of the boys were involved along with a couple of girls who joined in for the sorting. Ok, so maybe 80% of the toys they have were in the pile, but gosh, they were having fun!
I appreciate that it took time to clean it up but considering the all times the kids are just stand around waiting doing nothing....(I'll let you finish that sentence).

He has a list and I'm sure I've only seen "children choosing to play by themselves" without being told/encouraged to include someone else, consistently at the preschools I've been too. I've seen (and heard!) children crying there, but usually it is a meltdown from being told to do something or not to do something.

I don't expect a free-for-all...but more flexibility in letting children be children! It would do many children some good to be expected to think for themselves as I've met too many that are stumped when they're asked to use their imagination.