July, 2012

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Actually Off in Calgary for July

Monday, July 16th, 2012

We all know how the conversation goes when teachers talk about Summers and time off.

Not well.

Well…  maybe it [doesn’t] help[s] that this is my first July actually off in Calgary since I was a Calgary newcomer in ’05.  Maybe that’s why the city feels strangely familiar and unfamiliar.  Sure, I’ve experienced Stampede (in a variety of ways actually) and sure I’ve experienced good weather here, but definitely feel like I have more to discover here than discovered.

A bit of a timeline here:

  • ’05.  I’d been in Calgary on a Spring contract as a new teacher.  I didn’t feel super poor then but looking back…..I was super poor.  Wealth though, isn’t just a bank account, is it?  I was sharing a house with many others.  I was also working.  At Stampede.  July would see me Superhosting, super important wedding, and me learning the four quadrants of this city.
  • ’06.  I’d take to Montreal for nearly all of July.  I’d spend the Spring finding funding and once it was found, I was there.   I’d been twice by now and would discover my city here and my city there.  I’d take on French and the wooden roller coaster, Le Monstre.  Little did I know I was planting the seeds for two Australia adventures in the years to come.
  • ’07.  This’d be my closest summer to having one off and otherwise unspoken for.  My family and I, though, would seize the opportunity to head over to Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal (ah, the YUL trend).  The trip was an amazing one.  I’d discover two more wooden roller coasters, this time at Canada’s Wonderland and Canada’s most spread-out and least efficient zoo.  Feeling an absence of French I’d discover the Alliance Francaise and take a week long immersion in Calgary.  Then head to Montreal afterwards.
  • ’08.  Summer in Montreal.  Take two.  Again, most of July in fact. This summer would be an incredible one; while the summer felt epic, I’d have no idea just how lasting the friendships (Lee!) and acquaintances and learnings would be. Gladly, I’d have an S.O. come over to Montreal, too.
  • ’09.  The one that would change me professionally and cognitively.  I’d move to Lethbridge and take on the beginnings of my M.Ed.  I was offered an amazing place to stay and would learn to speak Mac OS for the first real time in my life.  I began with some doubt and some hard work and pressed through.  (…and yes, Montreal afterwards for an excursion that would later lead to tons of frustration).
  • ’10.  If ’09 was a bit of culture shock ’10 would have me in Lethbridge reading more than I ever had before (and text more difficult than anything I’d ever encountered).  As my summer semester ended, I was booking Montreal more last-minute than I’d ever had before (during lectures no less).  That summer ended up being my last one in Montreal; it didn’t disappoint though.  At all.  I was in INCREDIBLE company with some great dancing and bixi-ing; perfect reconnecting.
  • ’11.  After two summers in Lethbridge this one I decided to bring some calm to, and I did.  I worked hard in the Spring to take a class so I’d only have to take one (a breeze!) in afternoons.  I’d spend my mornings running with a trainer, my afternoons listening to presentations, and the rest loving life (and .99 tacos).  This summer would break a six year trend of Montrealing and would have me Vancouvering.  While in Vancouver I’d be crossing the bridge on Granville mentioning that I was keen for ringing in 2012 down under.

…and now ’12.  Stampede twice.  A great Stampede and Grand Stand Show (and Chucks final).  An outdoor pool.  And yoga.  And pancakes.  Running that’s ramping up a bit but probably less than it should before 20-some k.m. in September (I’m now doing a confident 4, 5, or 6 without much reluctance or aftermath).  An obstacle course this weekend.  …and a much needed time to rest, relax, and reflect on adventures and undertakings and investments to come.  Europe and a wedding increasingly on the not-so-distant horizon.

So summer ’12 is the 8th post-career.  Each of the previous 7 turning points, filled with lots.  Being here and not studying hasn’t made this one any less substantial but admittedly less stressful.

Will be interesting to see where the rest (in both senses!) takes me.

I’m making my own triathlon series.

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

…and it’s mostly because I don’t have a bike here in Calgary, despite always intending to bring mine here from the ‘rents.

It’s also because I have a yoga pass, a desire to be tanned (despite a more-than-fair understanding of science), and some cardio to do before the Banff Half.

Today’s series:  wake up after having no sleep in the heat, get a McBreakfast Bagel on a whim (starting a few points in the hole), catch some sleep, head to my favourite outdoor pool and do 3 X 500m (not quite the amazing swim from Friday but better than my typical 1k lately, head to Jari Love’s Ripped 1000 (ooooohhhhh man, forgot what this sucker was like, good thing I ran into a friend so I had a supportive bench neighbour), then some restorative yoga (ah-mazing and much needed).  The flaw with today’s series was that I paid to go into two places with pools just so I could get some sun.  Oh well.

Tomorrow I’m going to do things a bit differently: morning hatha yoga, outdoor pool swim, some weights/cardio at Talisman.  I wish I could incorporate a bit of a run to the pool (it’s 2.5km which is kind of ideal, really) but running with a yoga mat complicates things.

Yes, I know I don’t have to triple-take-things on each day like this.  But so far it’s been enjoyable and filling the day with some sun time and some air-conditioned time and some r-and-r time has been quite welcome.

Plus no one else has the days off.  And Stampede and Europe await.


Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Pancakes under a blue sky.  Long overdue hellos and Happy Stampedes.

A patio and some new summer wardrobe additions while the credit card takes a hit.

Yoga practice and an anticlimactic tornado watch in the hometown.

…historically, I haven’t been in this city for much of summer but I have to say it leaves little to complain about.  Stampede excitement starting take hold.  A patio for catching some sun, or some reading, or some iPad time.  Running trails to maybe start thinking of that half-marathon.  …and right between two outdoor pools with one tried out already and the other ready to be explored.  🙂