Orcas Island

We left Friday Harbour on a ferry and headed to Orcas Island.  We didn’t have confirmation of a place to stay that night.  We had contacted one of the few places that may have some vacancy, so we took a chance.  When we arrived, we drove the peaceful, quiet road, easily sinking into the slow pace of everything and everyone around us.  We found the one small ‘main town’ and a lovely breakfast.  How delightful!! The food was tremendous, the view was spectacular, and who knew what the day held?  After our adventures in escaping from the blazing fires in Oregon (Burning Eyes of Fire) we were definitely ready to turn over a new page on our road trip!

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Ode to Ike – Persistence, Positivity, Patience and Presence

Henry Ford Quote

Whether you THINK you CAN or you CAN’T, either way you are RIGHT!!!

My brother was the one that first brought my attention to this quote.  I use it here because it completely describes my grandfather’s approach to life.

Last Cruise

My dear grandpa, Isaac (Ike) Doerksen, finally found a place of peace a few days ago after 103 years of life on this earth.  I don’t believe that there was any part of his life in which he did NOT believe that if he decided to do something, then he would.  The last week of his life was not easy.  As his ability to eat, drink water, and even get up slipped away, my family and I watched this man who had been such a strong figure in our lives slowly decline.  As his physical being lost it’s strength and became a weak shell of what it used to be, I watched in what was nothing less than total amazement as the strength of mind, soul and spirit emanating from him literally infused the entire room.  He didn’t once complain.  When I told him I loved him, he used what he had left to tell me he loved me too.  He often reached for the loving hand of whoever was sitting with him and gave a healthy squeeze.  He displayed such grace right to the end.  And as he did his entire life, he didn’t give up easily.  He simply lived true perseverance as he always had.

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Inspiration, Creativity and Community at When Words Collide

 

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Aviva Bel’Harold

A little over a year ago, I wandered into the Chapters store in my neighbourhood.  I was immediately drawn to the vibrant energy of a woman standing by a table, which displayed a number of books.  We exchanged smiles, and she asked if she could tell me about her book.  I though ‘ooooh, an author here in the flesh and blood’!! Of course I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about her and her stories.  I walked away with one of her works, ‘Safe’, which I could not put down once I started reading it!

When I shared with her that I had started to venture into the writing world, she was quick to provide advice and support.  She recommended that I attend When Words Collide, a volunteer driven writing conference.  When I looked it up and read all about it, I could not believe that it was actually a very full three days of non stop sessions for the minimal cost of $55!  Well known and experienced authors would be speaking on all sorts of juicy topics.

I thought to myself, ‘oh my, I think I need to go to this’!  I had no idea what I was really getting into. Continue reading “Inspiration, Creativity and Community at When Words Collide”

Weight Training with Mikey V

I love the look on my face in this picture.  It really sums up my entire experience when I weight trained ‘for real’.  This wasn’t something I was planning on getting into, and it isn’t something that I have done over the years.  It just happened.  And it was an amazing experience in body, mind and soul.  Really.

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It all started when I needed a place to shower so that I could ride my bike to work.  I found the gym that was closest to my office building, and walked in to inquire about membership.

An unexpected opportunity presented itself.  There was a package that I could buy that included some personal training sessions.  Something inside tugged at me to sign up.  So I did.  I didn’t think about it again until the winter months presented themselves.  I had been working out on my own during lunch hour, and was quickly getting bored.  I was really keen to stay in shape through the winter months so I could enjoy the short cycling season when it finally came again.

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Mountain Man

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I met Vern in an office environment.  We were both in the same role, sat close together, and had the habit of arriving early.  Thus, we quickly got to know a little about each other.

Vern was immediately a very interesting person to me.  It quickly became apparent that he was a ‘no nonsense’, get the job done, kind of guy.  I soon learned that Vern had some very interesting life passions.  One of them being to summit mountains on a regular basis. When I first learned of this, I was instantly fascinated.

I have had the amazing opportunity to summit a variety of peaks on my bike.  Vern was a man who summited monstrous beasts by climbing with his hands and feet.  Continue reading “Mountain Man”

Powerful, Intelligent and Strong: Stacey

My secret identity is … yes … I am actually an IT geek.  I know that my writing is all about my bike, my adventures, and my journey.  But, before I started cycling and spending time in the mountains, I was a computer scientist.  This is how I met Stacey.  Stacey is the brilliant leader of the security team at one of the companies that I contracted for.  She was one of my key stakeholders on multiple projects, and thus, I quickly got to know her as an IT professional.  Always strategic, mindful, and very professional, she was one stakeholder that I definitely enjoyed working with.

During our time as work colleagues, I got a glimpse into the many sides of Stacey.  The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.  I quickly came to realize that Stacey is quite the endurance athlete.  I barely had time to train for one sport.  I didn’t know how she balanced a full time professional career, training for three sports, and a family!!!  Yes, it did appear to me that Stacey was some sort of superwoman who did it all.  Yet, when I asked her if she would have time for a coffee as I was wanting to learn more about how she kept her immune system strong, she didn’t hesitate to say yes.

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Fast and Gracious: Mel the Running Rabbit

{Welcome back my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  Today’s post is about one the fastest, most dedicated athletes I know.  And, everyone loves her because she exudes positivity, encouragement and support.  If you missed Strength and Spirit, My Warrior Friend be sure to check it out!!!}

The other day, as I finished one of my regular, moderate runs, I glanced at my running watch to see that I had accomplished about 5 km in about 34 minutes.  Not bad, fairly consistent – I was happy with that.  As I uploaded my data, I browsed around on Facebook, and came across Melissa’s results for the 10 km race she had just finished that morning.  She had reached her goal, a personal best, and a time of 39:10 for 10 km!!!  Wow, I thought.  How does she do that?

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Melissa full of winning attitude

I am constantly thinking how does she do that when it comes to Melissa.  It just seems that she is always accomplishing another amazing win!  She has been most known for her running.  She has been competing at many distances for a long time.  Since I have met her, she has continuously expanded her horizons.  She took on the road racing world with a bang.  With only two seasons under her belt, she has already moved up a category and has multiple podium finishes.  She has taken on cross country skiing with zest, and recently entered the world of cross biking.  The whole time, she is chasing down and challenging her equally speedy husband, Reinier, who is clearly the passion of her life.  During a recent foot injury when she could not bike or run, she focused on swimming – something that she knew nothing about.  She simply looks at something, and does it. Continue reading “Fast and Gracious: Mel the Running Rabbit”