100×100 in the POOL!

It’s been 10 years since I have embarked upon a swim practice like this one. (And just to be clear, in those 10 years I have only gotten lazier and chubbier…though that may very well change!) However! I do believe that you cannot lose that which is divinely yours. So back to the pool, back for some mileage, like the good ol days!

To give credit where credit is due, this was all Shannon Back’s idea. Shannon is a very accomplished IronWomen who has only been swimming for a few years, yet running like a cheetah forever. We started swimming together about 4 months ago at which point she would pull and kick as hard as she could, every practice, every set, every stroke. Her improvement was visibly amazing! After a “test set” of 12×100 she proclaimed that she would like to try 100×100…a week later!

And finish those 100×100 we both did!

There is something magical about swimming – head down – back and forth – to the beat of a clock that brings me great joy. Swimming 10km, broken down into 10 sets of 10, broken down 1 by 1, reminds me that it is not the 10km, but the 100m at a time that matters.
IMC Training 2009…here I come!
You don’t need to see the top of the staircase to take the first step.

My Favorite SHOES of the SNOW Variety!

Last Christmas my Dad gave us gift cards to MEC which we used to purchase my favorite investment ever in that co-op: Atlas RUN Snowshoes! We climbed mountains, hiked trails, jumped off snow mounds and ran races until our ankles were bruised, our feet were frozen and our smiles couldn’t smile any bigger. Oh what GREAT FUN!

Alas, this weekend the ATLAS’ came out of hibernation along with the wool socks and season’s passes to hit the trails.

The start of the decent! If you look closely, I think I am smiling:)
The finish of the decent! Check out the snow mounds in the background.

And our snow dog, Willy! He can’t come snowshoeing – but he loves snowy walks on the trails.

Though our neck of the woods is getting puked on from above, it is kinda hard to not be grateful for the beautiful mountains, awesome trails and snow tires to get you there (with your snowshoes, of course!).

Happy Winter Everyone!

If you could change your life…WOULD YOU?

Would you, Could you, in a boat?
Would you, Could you, in a moat?
Matt Corker WOULD in a boat or in a moat or with a goat..oh stop him you DON’T!

As per pretty much always, this guy has gone and BLOWN my mind, yet again. We are both avid readers of Seth Godin’s blog. This blog entry in particular jumped out at us.

While I sat and thought about it, Matt went and did something about it. He kinda has that reaction to umm, everything in life! In a matter of days, he has created his online application answering to none other than Mr. Godin himself. Please check him out and vote, respond or pass it along to anyone within your cyber-space.  Gooooood Luck B-ro!

This is no small jump…it is a massive leap! He is applying for an opportunity to quit his job and move to New York, in less than a month. He will pay and be paid, nothing. He will work on Seth’s projects and his own projects for 6months and complete the ‘Seth Godin MBA’. He will come back to Vancouver (*I HOPE*) and continue to change the world one person, one classroom, one city, one country at a time.

Vicariously, admirably, totally respectfully…seeing, watching and living life thru William Matthew Corker is a dose of fabulous I’d be empty without. Who fills you up?

The Love of a Mother!

She was the first to lay eyes on you. She knows how to love unconditionally, really! She sees you as the apple of her eye. It is called the incredible special love of a Mother.

I had the brilliant opportunity to head back to Toronto for a “girls only weekend” with my Mom. It was the first time we’ve been able to hang out as adults…just the two of us…for quite some time. No one to blame – life gets busy, I got married, we live on opposite sides of the country…but those are lame excuses. One thing I know for sure is that there is nothing to come between family in this lifetime. So to that point, this was the first and it certainly will not be the last Girls Weekend!

My Mom is a very special lady. She is a wonderful mix of a hip young 20-something with some dashes of a corporate 40 year old. She has endured alot in her life time and her resiliency is beyond words. She has a creative knack like no one I’ve ever met, with an eye for design and creation that could keep Home Depot in business. She treasures memories and really, really appreciates the most simple pleasures in life. She has also done a really good job at creating and maintaining the “Lynda Watkins” brand: a funky, fabulous haircut, always, beautifully manicured nails with soft hands (always moisturized!), a bag with a lil bit of everything in it in case someone needs something..and the list goes on! Above all, she is my mom and she does have that special Mom-love!

In the hustle and bustle and life looking forward, I dare not ever forget where I came from.
Love you Mom!

It’s Beginning to Look ALOT like CHRiSTMAS!

And I just love it!

November 1st marks the start of Christmas with retailers. My all time favorite is the Christmas Starbucks experience – wonderful tunes playing, new delicious beverages (hello gingerbread latte!), red cups that make you feel cozy and new Christmas gifts that are always perfect for a secret Santa – ha! Their new advent calendar this year was atop of my list of wishes. However, my wonderful husband gently reminded me that I don’t really need a chocolate truffle every day for the entire month. Sigh.

December 1st marks the start of Christmas in our house. The tree is up, our stockings are hung (not by the chimney, but still with care!) and Nana’s Christmas goodies are in the freezer (cautiously being rationed!). Our Christmas shopping is just about complete to ensure that we can spend the entire month diddely-boppin’ about wrapping each one with love and a corny message from Santa. December 1st also marks the start of an advent calendar…and while my sneaky man said No to Starbucks, he had secretly ordered me a most wonderful custom made advent calendar from my all time FAVORITE chocolatier, Thomas Haas. It is a wooden Christmas tree with individual compartments for each hand made treat from Thomas. The treats are delicious and the tree will last forever…what a man I have!

The highlight of everyday is behind each red door…

Even Willy is in the Christmas spirit – thinking he is Santa!

So I’ve had a Sbux bevvie, the tree is up, the lights are on, I had indulged in a most delicious choco-treat…thinking it just can’t get any better. SURPRISE! It does! I ran past the most wonderfully lite home this evening…not only did it have lights, it had large inflatable critters, it had flashes and dashes and it even had CHRISTMAS TUNES playing thru speakers. I will drop them a Christmas card with some shortbread on the weekend – they just made my night!

Next up, Apres Ski FUN-DO party on the weekend followed by gingerbread house making.

It is only December 3rd and my Christmas wishes are all coming true….oh what fun! Happy Christmas Everyone.

The YOU Show!

Disclaimer – what has the world come to that we now blog about blogs…it’s true…but I can’t help it! This one landed in my inbox and made me smile. Smiles are worth sharing:)

A friend was telling me about some job interviews she went on. She enjoyed them.
Of course she did, I thought. She was starring in a show, a show about her.
I wrote about this five months ago, but it’s worth boiling it down to the interview or sales call level.
One approach is to be reactive, to sit where you’re supposed to sit, have your resume appear just so, wear what you’re supposed to wear and answer each and every question in the safe and secure way.
The other approach is to put on a show. To be in charge, to lead.
When you go to Las Vegas, Penn and Teller don’t ask you what sort of lights you want, what tricks you want to see and how long the show should be. They put on their show. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. Plenty of other people do. As a result, they win. They get to do their work, their way. And they profit from their confidence.
Some bosses don’t want to hire people who have a vision, a personality and a shtick. That’s okay. You don’t want to work for them anyway.

Thanks Seth!

#6 – Cook more delicious home cooked meals (snacks count too!)

I’m on a weekly muffin-making kick and really enjoy sharing these recipes with you. Hope you enjoy baking ’em!

Preheat oven to 375.

In a small bowl, mix:
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup Milk
1/3 cup plain yogourt (not fat-free) – I used orange yogourt for a lil kick!

In a LARGE bowl, mix:
1 cup ww flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup ground flax seeds (i throw some extra non-ground flax in fro texture too!)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon (& nutmeg is delish!)
1/4 tsp (of each) baking soda and salt

Whisk into milk mixture:
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted (you can substitute some applesauce in here if you’d like)
(1 cap of vanilla is my fav if you fancy.)

Pour wet over dry and mix well (very well!). You can add some nuts (peacans or walnuts) – just make sure they are finely chopped.

Will make 12 generous size muffins if you fill each muffin cup fairly full. Bake for ~20min or until toothpick comes out clean.

Only 153calories – a perfect morning, afternoon, anytime snack! DELiSH!

Unleash the CHiLD within YOU!

We are in a brilliant time right now… Perhaps scary for some, perhaps life-altering in fact or for those who work for an essential service (like those who fight fires) may not feel the ripples much at all. But the fact of the matter is, this brilliant time is called a Recession. DunDunDunDuuun.

Only in times of need or despair can we appreciate the fact that we live in a world of extreme excess and abundance. I think it is a wonderful time, a real blessing in fact, to be able to pare down on the excess and really appreciate the necessities.

Think back to life as a child…

  • When you never spent beyond your means – credit cards were not part of your piggy bank, only small coins saving for a special treat.
  • When every greeting card was a home-made gift of time and love. Hallmark’s words never hold a candle to a “roses are red, violets are blue” poem.
  • When you would let your imagination run wild…and really believed that anything was possible! What happened to that? Oh right, we grew egos and became concerned of how others would view those crazy ideas. whatever.
  • When you spent hours colouring..with crayons…outside of the lines! Enough said. :)
  • When you would day dream about what you would become when you grew up…perhaps a teacher, a baker or a candle-stick maker! (it’s never too late, btw.)
  • When a rainy day never dampened spirits (cause you of course had rain boots!) and a sunny day implied OUTSIDE, all day.
  • When you had afternoon naps followed by milk and cookies…ahhh, what a wonderful life.

While I learn everyday just how much I don’t know, I think in grade 2 I knew all I needed to know…

Live. Life. Simply.


In 9 months a fetus becomes a baby…

In 9 months a student can complete a grade of school or a year of university…

In 9 months a 16 year old can learn how to drive alone…

In 9 months an individual could healthily lose 72 (wow!) pounds…

In 9 months, I will toe the start line of Ironman Canada. My hope is the coming months act as not only as a foundation for a successful race, but for fitness for life. So today I am exceptionally grateful for the gift of time – time to prepare, time to get fit, time to nail my nutrition and time to invest upon the race of a lifetime!

What will you accomplish in the next 9 months?

Family: A priceless blessing!

There is no amount of money, no distance too far, no catastrophic event nor any other human being who can come between the love that is called Family.  (I’ll admit it, Christmas tunes are playing and our tree is anxiously awaiting to spring from the box it has been hiding in for the last 11months. And Christmas time is, after all, the most wonderful time of year…to be grateful for family!)

Some family you cannot chose and frankly put, they don’t necessarily chose you either! Those are the families we marry into. I have been blessed with absolutely wonderful, loving and welcoming in-laws – I’m not sure they realize just how grateful I am.  They are a very special bunch.  
My Father-in-law is able to create anything and everything out of some of the most interesting materials. I admire his resourcefulness and creativity.  He is extremely mechanically inclined and capable of DIY projects that I would otherwise pay heaps to get looked after.  He spent 30 years as a firefighter, which is so foreign to me, I can’t help but respect.  And now, at the young age of 60 has embarked upon Facebook! He’s so hip!
My mother-in-law is everything BUT a stereotypical MiL. She has treated me like one of her own since the first day I met her. She is a gardener extraordinaire(i can learn so much from her!) and a crafty crafter who can knit or quilt anything into a master piece.  She has taught me all I know about Feng Shui and knows how to make a house, a home.  But beyond that, she epitomizes what it means to love family, first and always.  
My fabulous husband is a perfect blend of both of his parents with a few added splashes of his own personal pizzazz!  While they are notorious for worrying, how do you blame them with two firefighters in the family? They are the kindest souls that walk the streets, so of course every stranger wants to stop and talk to them!
While my parents may appear vastly different on the surface, their is beauty in the commonality that lies within shared morals and values that I was taught as a youngster.  The understanding that we must be slow to anger, quick to forgive and love always.  The fact of the matter is that regardless of anything or anyone, family will always be there.  
Everything that it means to be a “Corker Irwin” is a special gift…that I am both grateful and proud to be apart of.