Archives for posts with tag: climbing

I’ve discovered more Superpowers!

I was going for a walkabout at work the other day – I tend to do that regularly, it shakes out my muscles, gets my blood flowing, lets me re-connect with people, gives my eyes a break, lets me hear the latest news etc – and all I could think was how much I wanted a piece of cake.

I wandered over to where my trivia friend sits, we didn’t have time to play on that day so thought I would say “hey!” and another colleague walked by and said “Hey, if you want cake there is some at my desk.”

Whats that you say?

“Cake” you say?

“At my desk” you say?

Cake, yeah!

Needless to say, my conversation with my trivia partner ended abruptly when I turned to follow the person with the cake at her desk.

And there it was.

A home-made, beautiful chocolate cake.

It was tall and light and fluffy. It didn’t have icing in the centre and it had this nice, gooey kind of icing on top.

She put it on plate for me and everything!

It was like…the cake found me! The cake came to me, I didn’t have to go for it. I didn’t tell anyone that I was wanting cake, I was just minding my own business and suddenly!

Cake!

Kinda like…manna from heaven…only cake from colleague.

As I returned to my desk with my found cake another colleague whose desk I have to go by commented “You didn’t have cake when you left! You’ve been gone for like 5 minutes – how and where did you find cake?!”

I guess some people just have awesome super powers.

My other work-related superpower seems to be an odd connection I have with one of the people on one of my teams. It seems no matter where she is in the building, we find or see each other in about 10 seconds. For no reason! She isn’t looking for me, I’m not looking for her, the office space is big enough to be able to avoid each other and there are enough routes to take to avoid certain areas. We always see each other or walk right to each other. Very, very weird.

Incredibly bad climbing day. There seems to be someone new setting up the routes – we tried a few routes that are within our ability and they were incredibly difficult. We were completely disappointed.

After climbing, I went out to give support to my colleagues participating in the corporate baseball day. It was very nice – everyone seemed quite happy to see me and that I came out.

When I got home, it was all school-work, all the time. And laundry. Good day, much accomplished…too bad about climbing.

On the whole, I consider myself to be a tough chick.

I mean, I rock climb. For fun, no one makes me climb. I fight against gravity to get to the top of every Saturday morning, when most people are getting coffee and nursing hangovers from Friday night. I bump, I bruise, I scrap. I bash my knees, tear my nails and split my skin.

And I’m afraid of heights and do it anyway! That is what makes me tough.

Only.

Then.

Something like happened the other day at work comes along and suddenly, I’m not all that tough. I lose most of my appetite, my sleep schedule is in disarray and I can’t pull myself out of that moment.

I’m.

Well.

I’m bothered by what happened.

And I’m bothered that someone needed to tell me to take some time to deal with things. As if I’m someone who couldn’t pull things together. As if I’m someone who needed some space and time to deal with something so upsetting.

I’m.

I’m irritated that it happened, that problem behaviour wasn’t addressed sooner and the result was this great big…mess. This horrible thing that happened all over a meeting.

The weather is unsettled. There are these sounds in the air that sound like…warm-ups to thunder. I don’t even know if that is like a thing or what, but that is what it sounds like. I hear it not so much in my ears, but in my body. Like the sky is growling.

I’m.

Well, I’ll just say it, shall I?

I’m sensitive.

It’s mortifying and doesn’t fit with the mental image I have of myself, it doesn’t make the list of things I like about myself.

I don’t want to be known as “sensitive”.

It somehow implies that I’m fragile or delicate or…weak.

And I’m not.

I’m bendy and springy. I deal with problems and problematic people, I have a reputation of loving those who are troublesome and difficult. I take trouble and spring back into form. I tackle challenges and try to right wrongs.

I’m sensitive.

I’m bothered and upset by wrongs and violence. I am harmed when people I care about are harmed or threatened. I dislike people yelling and shouting and confrontation.

I take a while to process upsetting events and happenings.

I like quiet and when people get along and when people negotiate and communicate diplomatically.

So, yeah, ok. I’m sensitive.

And yeah, I guess I needed a couple of days away to deal with things.

 

 

 

How cool is my climbing partner? She booked a 3-week trip to Everest Base Camp.

Everest Base Camp.

For those who don’t know, this is extremely impressive for those into climbing. The words are usually “Just Everest Base Camp”, but it is still a huge deal, ok?

I’m so happy for her.

And afraid, ‘cuz, yeah, people even die on the way there. “Just Base Camp”.

She pushed us hard and I make it through, even if I kinda want to kill someone after.

Brunch is excellent and I start making my way over to my next friend, I have plans!

Transit fails when I’m halfway there, so up to street level and figure out my next move.

Make a call, “I’m going to be late – transit fail!”, and get absolution.

I find 2 random strangers, both women, and we make a plan to split and share. We are all going different places, and we want to get there.

The next cab comes along and I “bex it up” and it stops right in front of me. We wait until the current fare has her stuff together and another woman comes over and asks “Are you guys taking this cab?” I say we are and tell her the plan and offer the last spot.

We get a lot of dirty looks.

We explain to the cabbie who isn’t impressed and offers another deal that it is a complete rip off. I accept for us. I’m in a hurry here and obviously the leader, if they don’t like it, they can get out of the cab, my friend is waiting.

I get to where I’m going exactly 3 minutes late, which amazes my friend “late indeed, bex, late indeed…”

Make use of her shower, change, slap on new make-up. We are running late for what I want to do.

I hurry.

Then I have to wait for my friend to put her make-up on.

Well.

I don’t know about this – we had plans, shouldn’t she be like, ready to go? I’m an impatient jerk. I hate waiting.

We finally get over to the Design Exchange and spend too much time looking at the free exhibit which is a bunch of tutus.

We go over to purchase our tickets and are told we aren’t going to have time to see the whole exhibit, so we head straight to dinner instead.

My companion hates the place I suggest.

Unfortunately, I love it.

The menu offers some unique takes on traditional Italian items, I love my drink and our waiter suggests a great sparkling wine for me to have with dinner.

The waiter.

The waiter, my friend informs me, the waiter is.

Flirting with me.

What?

Really?

No, I mean, what, really?

I try to triple confirm and my friend is getting pissed.

I’m not great at figuring out when someone is flirting with me, I admit.

Ok, I’m actually totally dumb and clueless about when someone is flirting with me.

I mean, seriously, flirting is just a way of being nice. I’m nice pretty much all the time – I smile, I laugh, I make jokes, I say the things that I’m thinking. Somehow people think that is flirting.

In my book, it isn’t.

Perhaps I am doing it wrong?

We get the bill and it is time to leave.

Over to TIFF and get our tickets for “First Position” – review in just a moment.

After the movie, it is back to her place to pick up my stuff, then home for me and then…well, more about that to come…

I am so out of climbing shape.

And I know, I know, I climb twice a week, but this past Saturday we finally got outside, on a Women’s Climbing Day and man, I am so out of climbing shape! The large muscles hurt!

Dude!

But what an awesome day – climbing with women, we formed a subculture within a subculture! How awesome is that? I don’t even know what you call that…a sub-subculture? But when it is climbing, shouldn’t you call it like…an acroculture? A sub-acroculture?

I don’t know.

What a day!

I got exactly one climb in, before freaking out and having issues with the chalk and yeah, so what, it was 3 times longer than a usual route indoors, still, pathetic.

But, I got outside. I shut up. I climbed.

So, yeah, looks like it is shaping up to be an awesome climbing summer…

So being a climber, someone who climbs, and being afraid of heights often presents some interesting problems.

There is this one wall at our climbing gym, it has 3 climbing routes on it and, like all the walls, the routes change-up on a regular, yet unpredictable basis. But this wall slants towards you, so as you climb you have this feeling of falling and, if you fall, the rope will swing you out over the mats. I hate the swing.

We had been working on this one route, a 5.10- and a couple of sessions ago, I made it the furthest I’ve ever made it up and I promised myself and my climbing partner – next time I tried that route I would get up and not be so focused on the “Oh noes, I’m gonna fall and swing!” and more focused on the “I’m getting up this route!”

We climbed tonight and…

The route changed.

No longer a 5.10-. Which totally sucks, I was going to make up, even it killed all my other attempts.

But.

But!

It is now a 5.9!

My climbing partner made it up, easy as can be, she made it look easy. She came down and said “bex, you can do it. don’t think about the slant, don’t think about falling, just go.”

I went.

I totally did it!

First time I’ve ever completed a route on the slanted wall!

I’m so happy. And proud of both my climbing partner and of me!

It is a great falling, to try and try and fail again and again. And then, one day, probably a Tuesday – you succeed.

And you realize – that wasn’t so bad after all…

After 5 climbs this morning – 2 x 5.9 + 1 x 5.8 + 2 x 5.10- – it was lunch and then a random quest.

This week, I’m making cupcakes.

Only.

Well, they are all in honour of Lupercalia, so I’m “theme-ing” them. All designed to keep werewolves away, you know what I mean.

The first flavour is lemon-lavender. Which, is one of my very fav flavour combos. Only, to do it safely, you have use culinary lavender, which is cultivated without pesticides. Weeds aren’t the only things that pesticides kill or make sick.

Only trouble is, culinary lavender is hard to find, if you don’t live near a lavender farm.

I don’t live near a lavender farm.

So…

The next flavour is a Mayan chocolate – this one is a tribute to Soma’s Mayan hot chocolate mix. I love chocolate, but pair chocolate with spice – orange peel, ginger, cinnamon, chipotle peppers…well, it takes it to a whole new level. Depth and height and a complexity of taste

The final flavour is champagne with rose icing. But, earlier today, I was trying to figure out what the rose-flavour would be…I was thinking rose water…which is too sweet, but will probably be ok.

Ok, so first stop is Soma, the King Street West Location. The location is beautiful, calm and serene. The goodies are all neatly organized in pretty packages and looks like there are some new sizes. I pick up the large size of the Mayan Hot Chocolate mix and a pack of the ‘lady’s kisses’ cookies, ‘cuz…yum. Ok?

After I pay, I linger and chat and ogle the truffles.

Mental note to self: return soon and get some of those balsamic vinegar truffles…

Cross the street and take a look-see for culinary lavender in this shop that from the outside, seems to be all about fresh and herbs.

Nope, not here.

Onto transit, get off at the last stop and, instead of getting another streetcar, I walk.

This is stupid mistake. It is cold outside and this walk is a lot longer in the cold.

I make it to a super grocery store and figure on a look-see and, nope. Not here either.

Back out into the cold and –

Suddenly, there I am.

The boy behind the counter greets me with a cheery “that is a big hood!”

My coat really has a big hood. It is very warm.

I agree and explain my quest to the boy.

He helps me out. After many loud expressions about how he didn’t know lavender could be eaten.

I describe the cupcake flavour – lemon-lavender – and then talk about garlic-lemon-lavender roast chicken. He remarks that his mum loves lavender, so I tell him he should try cooking something for her.

Then I tell him about the Mayan Chocolate flavour and show him the package.

Just before we ring it up – it hits me.

I’m in this totally cool store and they have all sots of things, so why not get rosewater while I’m here.

We run around the store looking for it.

No luck.

No rosewater.

But –

The boy finds dried roses.

me: can we eat these?

the boy: people use them to make tea.

me: that means we can eat them.

I explain the remaining flavour and somehow, we end up trading movie recommendations.

Suddenly –

the boy: why are you cool?

me: why?

the boy: I mean, how are you so cool?

This is a question I cannot answer. I just am.

And with this weather, I’m not cool, I’m cold.

Make it to the train station, on the train and off to the grocery store to get the raw materials for making the “cake’ parts of the cupcakes. And without a list, I’m forgetful and neglect a few things.

At home, I clean, prep for making a mess, you know.

Do the floors, do the dishes and then make up some icing.

I’ve never worked much with dried flowers before, but I figure, why not give them a bit of liquid first, then make the icing, that way the flavour with have a change to disperse a bit and be more even.

Both work and are now stored in the fridge.

Dinner is late and a strange affair. But, yum.

Then excellent phone call with a dear friend who I’ve been woefully out of touch with recently.

Great conversation.

Some kind of excellent Saturday.

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday.

I look forward to all week and when you are here and I am in the moment, your perfection blows away all my expectations.

Climbing in the am, 6 climbs = 1 x 5.8 (wimpy) + 3 x 5.9 + 2 x 5.10- (finally back at an appropriate difficultly!).

Then, sushi!

And you know, that alone makes for a perfect Saturday, but the fun did not stop there, on no. Me = home and it is all laundry all the time.

Then – bonus champagne and OJ arrives when mum and dad get home and…they have cake! Woooo!

Jump in the shower and do a re-fresh of the hair and the self and I’m off to see some music at a house concert hosted by two excellent friends of my bro. My bro and sis-in-law are out of luck and won’t be there, but me, I have a Saturday night, so may as well use it, right?

I’m carrying my yoga bag which has a folding lawn chair in it and you what? There aren’t many people toting around yoga mat bags at night. Just saying.

So the concert.

What I can say about it?

Tonight I’m seeing Sora.

Who, I will tell you straight up, before last night, no idea who she is. But, you know sometimes there are certain people whose tastes I just trust. Like these friends of my bro, I trust their taste, they are super friendly, super talented people, so I’m just going to go along with it, ok?

Happy I did.

Her voice was…like a bell. Clear tone, resonant and struck me right in my little heart.

As she sings, her music, gets into my bone and muscles and my ligaments unwind and my spine straightens and all that work from climbing that made my fingers and toes so sore? Slowly leaching out into the air around me, dropping into the floor.

I close my eyes and I’m just…swept clean. Swept away.

I’m not sure how to explain the music…there was harp and violin and piano (Frank even played in the second half!), but I close my eyes and I got a bit lost there. I enjoyed getting lost in there. Themes of Greek mythology and love and passion and angst and some different takes and insights into stories.

And she was wearing this beautiful corset.

And she thinks I have awesome hair!

Excellent evening.

Check her out.

Had to leave early ‘cuz it is Pilates and yoga in the am.

Hit the bed hard and sleep takes me quickly.

Up after 7.5 hours, slept for about 7, which is pretty good, the body = exhaustion.

Out the door and I’m at the gym to get in 30min of the treadmill before Pilates. Word to Pilates instructor and explain I’m going to leave class 5min early for the Hot Yoga class (which is still Warm, so happy about that). She is happy for me and encourages me to go when I have to so I make the class. Also, let her know how much I enjoy the class and how, with Hot Yoga, it is really helping me after the ole’ Saturday climb.

She is impressed with me climbing.

Huh.

Great class, she gets right into those muscles under the should blades. I don’t know what they are called, so I call them “Fred” and “George” and they are all loose and feel great.

Hot Yoga is an excellent class as well and after class, get into a conversation with the two yoga guys who are there today.

We talk about our practice, instructors and I talk about climbing.

And you know, they are both blown away that I climb and have all these questions for me. I talk about it, ‘cuz the only thing I like better than climbing is talking about climbing and you know what?

I think I convinced them both to try it! They both said that would check out the gym near where the gym is. So there you go.

After, I’m soooo hungry so it is time –

For a movie!

Yep, treated myself to a late lunch at the movie theatre.

I owe you a review for “Anonymous”.

After movie is home time! And –

Hey!

My bro, sis-in-law and niece are over for a visit.

My niece comes to greet me and she –

Is wearing one my old sweaters! It is huge on her, but she looks terribly cute. This sweater used to be my mum’s and she gave it to me when I fit into it and…my ex shrunk it when he washed it this one time. Broke my heart and I kept the, now-shrunk sweater ‘cuz I loved it so much.

For the record, this is exactly why I instructed my ex never, under any circumstances to ever, ever touch my laundry – I was afraid he would shrink something.

And he did.

Don’t worry, he learned his lesson and never touched my laundry again.

Our guests leave and now there is something yummy cooking for dinner. No idea what, but I’m sooooo looking forward to it.

Ironing for the week is done along with some other things that I found around here that were wrinkled and crying out for me. Gym clothes are on the last spin and you know what?

I’m ready for Monday!

Been having all these perfect days lately.

Friday was all relaxed and loose and the staff meeting was probably one of the most interesting I’ve ever been in – we had a practical session of learning how to run an IV pump.

Which has nothing to do with my job, but all my colleagues needed the training soooo…it was very cool and now I almost know how to use an IV pump.

Which is nothing that I thought I’d ever know.

But very cool.

Then two of my colleagues got new Blackberrys, which means they can do their jobs properly, which is pretty cool too.

Saturday and Sunday were these perfect golden fall days – sunny, red and yellow leaves floating down, warm and beautiful. Totally living up to the hype.

Saturday we climbed at one of our “back-up” gyms and we did ok, not great, 6 climbs = 5 x 5.9 + 1 x 5.8. Which I know isn’t great or anything, but it was good to get out, even if our normal gym was closed for the day.

Best part though, was that I drove to the gym and didn’t get lost! Then I drove to the restaurant and I didn’t get lost then either! Or going home! I didn’t get lost once all day.

After climbing it was surprise guests with yummy food and lovely wine, laundry, then early to bed.

Sunday was 2omin on the treadmill then Pilates, then yoga. Every muscle alive and wonderful – stretched and loopy. Heart pumping and oxygen working through the body.

Wonderful.

Surprise lobster dinner, a treat from my bro and sis-in-law. And the lobster was sweet and juicy. Yum-yum. Lobster in November!

And who knew that there was a lobster place so close?

Knowledge really is power.

Monday was working hard and then meet-up with a dear friend for a wonderful dinner (you know who you are!). Tasty salad, excellent bread, cheesy, tomato-y pasta with a yummy Shiraz followed by a lemony mousse cake.

But really the conversation and company made the night.

Today it was back to working hard and taking breaks with one of my new friends. Lunch too.

And two conversations with office communicator.

The back to the gym for 20min of treadmill and the weight machines.

Wow. Feels great.

Home – surprise dinner. Fish and chips. On a Tuesday! Feels like Friday night to me and the evening just seems soooo…relaxed and long and there is nothing rushed happening here. It is Tuesday evening and my gym laundry load is done, so I’m ready to hit the gym again on Wednesday.

Did I tell you about those people in the office who have hung these huge cut-out snow flakes over their cubicles?

It is pretty wild.

I think the same bunch also have some x-mas-themed chair covers. Very cheeky.

I have to laugh.

I feel like. Well, you know that feeling of being in love? I feel kind of like that, lately. Music is streaming through my little brain and smiles are always on my face.

Today, two people called me “Sunshine”, isn’t that a lovely thing to be called?

Makes me feel..warm and bright.

And a little sparkle-ly. Cheery.

I love perfect days. Just when I think they couldn’t possibly exist, along comes a whole slew of them!

I’m very lucky.

 

Friends, if you have ever wondered if “The Perfect Week-end” exists, I am tell you that is does. I just had a perfect week-end! It was…perfect. Totally perfect.

Friday night, spontaneous drinks after work! The getting “The News”!

Bounced out of bed Saturday am, still buzzing, smiley and ready to take on the day.

Climbing partner hurt her shoulder golfing, so we took it easy. 6 climbs = 4×5.8 + 2×5.9. Fun part was we swung like monkeys up the walls and finished our morning superfast. They weren’t hard climbs, but funfunfun.

Then apres climb brunch at the sushi place that we haven’t visited in a while. Green tea, miso soup and sushi – perfect meal.

My climbing partner dropped me off close to my next destination, with my dear friend who is also my best friend’s GF.

She let me use the shower, the hot water was soooo wonderful, I could have stayed there forever. The muscles released, the breath and heart rate calmed.

The some tea and snacks and then we were out in the world to prepare for our next event – a b-day tea at the neighbours’!

Headed over to Chapters and you know what? They finally, finally have a free loyalty card. I got one. And I got some points to go on it too.

I’m a little unclear about what you can do with the points…but there you go.

Then over to the neighbours’ place for more tea and more to eat. As a “Thanks for inviting me!” snack, I brought some chocolate covered potato chips. Which were…actually pretty good. I don’t think that those two flavours should work, but they do.

Pass the chocolate covered potato chips, please!

Then, the true event for this “Girls’ Night”.

Can you guess what was next on the agenda?

A totally and completely girly activity.

That’s right!

Ghost Walking Tour!

Perfect night – chilly, but not cold, windy but no tornado, cloudy with moonlight breaking through now and then. Good stories too. Creepy. And sad. And some a bit funny.

2 hour walk through the dark streets of TO, learning about a few things that I didn’t know before and getting a bit of a scare…yes, excellent Girls’ Night.

Call it a night soon after and home in my toasty bed at a reasonable time.

Sunday morning is the perfect day for a mini-road trip and I’m off!

Meet an excellent friend for brunch and we linger over tea and coffee. I’m tea, he is coffee.

After far too long taking up a table we adjourn to spend some time outside playing…mini-golf!

We kill ourselves laughing.

After, the day should be over, but it isn’t. We are good to go…to the movies!

We watch a movie, briefly discuss and then it is time for the day to be over.

Brilliant drive home, a bit rainy, but little traffic and once home I’m all about laundry.

And making phone calls.

Everyone is at home and they numbers all work!

Hello to a friend who is home! Congrats to my friends having a baby! And hey I miss you for my final phone call of the night.

Then.

Ironing.

After, it is a sleepy bex who climbs into bed, totally content with the perfect week-end.

For the record, today was a rather awesome Monday, and yep, even went back to hot yoga and had a better time. I’m still trying to figure out if I’m going to keep at it…hmmm.

Wow, that was some perfect week-end.

Whew!

5 climbs today = 1×5.8 + 2×5.9 + 2×5.10-.

Truth – the climbs were not good, I didn’t have even one good climb. They were messy and ugly and painful, my fingers are still sore, they were shaking after the first climb, which felt like it was all about finger strength, hilarious though, I asked my climbing partner if I could come down – three people, my climbing partner and 2 regulars, answered all together and said “No!”

Meanies.

My climbing partner got one more climb in, but I didn’t have anything left in me, but happy I got out and gave it a try.

I am so very out of shape…

And tired.

This may have something to do with staying out late last night…hmmm.

Yep, you read that right! Another night out for me.

Last night, it was meeting one of my dear friends for dinner and drinks.

We met at this very cool little neighbourhood gastro-pub type place and, oddly, I decided to drink rosé wine. I never drink rosé wine, but last night I felt kind of…pink.

I opted for butternut squash pear soup and for my main, one of the specials, seared scallops on a potato pancake with a pernod cream sauce. Oh. Joy. Bliss.

And you know I properly should have changed my wine to something a little more “matchy”, but whatever.

You know, one of my fav things is to drink, eat and talk brains out with a friend, this friend is someone who I should have been friends with years and years ago, but, due to me being a chicken at that time of my life…umm, I wasn’t actually a bird, I mean I was lacking in courage. I lacked in courage for a while there in my life and it was good to finally find it again…anyway, due to the lack of courage, we were not friends then and all the way through…

But, my friend believes that everything happening for a reason and thinks that us reconnecting is the universe’s way of giving us a second chance to be friends the way we are supposed, the way we should have been years ago.

You know I’m not much for the ole’ “everything happens for a reason” thing, but…sometimes there are some pretty compelling arguments out there. Like this…

So, yes, amazing company and conversation, too much to drink, wonderful food and atmosphere and too late of a night and home in bed too early in the am. Especially when climbing is on the agenda.

Ummm, I don’t actually keep an agenda with climbing marked on it.

Ok. Ok. I do.

It is noted in pen.

All my plans are in pen.

So there.

No after-climbing brunch this week, my climbing partner has plans, so we part ways and I indulge in a snack at the train station ‘cuz I’m going to freak out from hunger if I don’t.

Home and then it is time to clean house and clean laundry.

Vacuum, dust, clean both loos, expand the table, find extra chairs, iron 2 tablecloths ‘cuz the first one was a little too serious, you know what I mean.

Dad cooks up fresh corn and salmon for dinner and wow, just what I needed.

After dinner, listening to some tunes on one of my fav radio stations. Tunes, not much talking tonight. And a bit of jumping around the living room. Hey! It isn’t like I’m stirring dust  – I dusted! Best time to jump is right after you dust…

Not it is an hour before bedtime and you know, I am completely wiped out.

Excellent times, my friends, excellent times…

The only thing that could have made this day better would be if I had the energy to iron my clothes…but my fingers are soooo tired.