Archive for December, 2009

Four or five years ago I was a fan of the Olympic Games and then I watched the controversial preparations unfold in the city I was born in – Vancouver. The numbers, dollars signs and price tags juxtaposed next to a sidewalk memorial for a homeless woman who accidently set herself ablaze as she tried to stay warm last winter, the cardboard sleeping mats that line storefront doorways on my way home and the young girl obviously suffering from mental illness that ran up behind me one day downtown and punched me in the back.

I have increasingly become jaded by an event that leaves the politicians grinning ear to ear and the everyday folk cursing them under our breathes. Over the past few years the Games have become synonymous with traffic jams, wasted money, unavailable tickets, outrageously priced events, the elite class, etc., etc.

And while many of these grudges may ring true, I find I am slowly swinging back to the other side…not so far as to once again become an Olympic supporter, but perhaps a Vancouverite and proud Canadian wanting and hoping to enjoy two weeks of incredible insanity alongside hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.

2010 Olympics - Red Mittens

I find myself wanting a pair of red mittens (to me a symbol of national pride and sportsmanship), scoping out the planned festivities, circling the free events and anticipating that I might just want to book off some vacation time because come February I know that I will much prefer to stand on a street corner chatting with some bloke from Timbuktu dressed in the national colours of Timbuktu than be holed up in my window-less office.

Homelessness, poverty, economic woes, budget cuts, shitty transportation and self-benefiting elite classes will continue to exist either way. And like “they” say, the money has been spent and the Games are coming, so is it really so terrible if I enjoy them?

Cypress Mountain

Of course my tune has changed slightly this week after winning an opportunity through my work to purchase two tickets to the Gold Medal Ladies Snowboard Cross event on Cypress Mountain…but I just won the opportunity to buy them. They weren’t free, and I will be dining on Mr. Noodles and grilled cheese sandwiches until my next pay-day.

So I will trek up the mountain in February, past numerous security checkpoints I am sure, and mutter under my breathe all the way to the top and then I will quickly forget about how much of a pain the Olympic Games are as I drink, cheer and likely lose my voice over some gals in gear that I don’t know and will likely never meet, as they rip down a course made of dollar signs… and I will really and truly classify that very moment as one of the many highlights of my life and for a split second the whole thing will seem just perfect.


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I survived 40 days of yoga and lived to tell the story. Sounds like a cheesy t-shirt slogan. But, to the delight of those around me I powered through and even came home with a smile on my face and a skip in my step following the last class.

I'm done!!

I have to admit, the last few days were a bit ridiculous, squeezing in missed classes on top of the rest, but c’est la vie. And now that I know that I can mentally, emotionally and physically endure yoga every day of the week it will be more difficult to come up with a lame excuse to not continue this new lifestyle. Although, after taking a few days off, I plan to adopt a three/four times per week schedule instead of seven. I figure I should set an achievable goal that I will be happy with, rather than a far-fetched one that might just irritate me.

In the future, if I decide to do something equally as challenging, I intend to find a few buddies to go through it with. I did meet a few people through this process and I started recognizing most of the people in my classes, but it is a bit difficult to make friends with someone when they are all twisted up and focused on a dot on the wall as they hold their balance.

I wish there was more of a 40 Day community with weekly group classes and advice on how to support the lifestyle of a super dedicated yogi – ie. Overuse, injury, nutrition, rest, etc. Maybe this would have contradicted the theme of personal exploration?

In the end, it was well worth the kick in the pants and while I complained a little loudly at times, I enjoyed the process and hope it wasn’t too unbearable for those who were naturally dragged along for the ride.

Yoga and I will soon resume our relationship after a brief hiatus. We just need some space from each other for this thing to work! I am pretty sure it is in the cards though, as my lover and I have just secured a new abode about a block away from the Semperviva City Studio at Broadway and Maple. I think we are meant to be…that yoga and I.

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So the other day my boyfriend joked that my new home is the yoga studio. I didn’t laugh. It’s really not funny. In the last 48 hours I have been to the studio four times. Today is day 38 of 40 days of yoga.

I have done everything in my power to attend a class each day for the 40 Day Yoga Challenge. I have traipsed back and forth in pouring rain in my brand new winter jacket and dragon-printed gumboots, orange yoga mat bag slung over my back. I have sucked up my morning hate-on to attend a handful of early classes, arriving at work glossy and gross (we have a gym with showers, thank god). I have groaned and moaned, rearranged my schedule and asked that no one request my presence until after 7pm during weeknights.

This guy has the right idea!

Despite my diligence, I missed three days. Thankfully Semperviva allows participants in its 40 Day Yoga Challenge to make-up the missed days by tacking them onto other days. Now that the final week has set in, I am pushing myself to make-up those missed classes and hit 40 classes in 40 days. I figure that I am so close I might as well push through and sleep all weekend.

On both Sunday and Monday I did two classes each day. I am pretty sure my grumpy morning vibe and terrible agonizing faces kept the instructor of Monday’s AM class steering clear of my side of the room. By mid-afternoon yesterday I was falling asleep at my desk, chin in my hand, head resting against my computer screen. It was a post-lunch sugar crash combined with a terrible dehydration headache. Two things I was hoping to get better at during this challenge were eating breakfast every morning and drinking the eight or ten glasses of water I should be drinking each day. Evidently I have failed at both.

I walked into the evening class after work and was met by Callie [one of Semperviva’s instructors] and her giant, beaming smile. “You are almost done Jenn!” she grinned.

Up until that moment I had planned on spending the class ‘meditating’ in Savasana (Corpse Pose) – the pose of total relaxation. Maybe it was Callie’s contagious energy before class, or perhaps a bit of my own ego taking over, but I managed to muster up a few more kilojoules of energy and flow through class alongside everyone else.

I spent the rest of the evening drinking glass after glass of water…and even managed to prepare a stew in my crock pot at 11:00pm, to spend the night dreaming sweet dreams of spices and simmering beef. At least I don’t have to cook now for a few nights.

So, with the final three days left, I have one class tonight, one tomorrow and two on Thursday. I need to go prepare my water-drinking, breakfast-eating strategy. Good luck to all those doing the challenge! I am really, really, really looking forward to the Thursday night wrap-up class.


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