Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Going from left brain to right.

How open to learning are you? Do you take time each day to allow for space and time? To sit back and feel grounded, to connect with your inner self?

"In an age where our attentions are stretched to the limit and then some...." How often I've heard those type of sentences state we're short on time and pulled in a million directions to get things done. It's easy to be in a state of panic each day if you let your attention be pulled. And realistically, how can it not? It takes a conscious effort and choice to stop, pause and really reflect why we're here. What our purpose is and how we're living each day to honor those choices.

I admit, even earlier this morning I was in a whirlwind of panic. Building a new business from the ground up is overwhelming, scary and exhilarating. I have my moments when I wonder why I'm doing this. Why did I choose this path? It's hard and I have to put in a lot of intention and effort to make it happen. It would be easy to go back to a regular paying job with a steady paycheck. One where I clock in and wait for my time to pass so I can get back to the things I love. Wait a minute, I think I'm onto something....

Clock in and wait for time to pass so I can get back to the things I love.

How is that honoring living in the now?

Even when I was working at the Market, my head and heart wasn't there. I knew I was compromising what I was put on this planet to do. To help others. To inspire them to live the life of their dreams. And if I'm going to talk, I better do the walk. Living in the now is a choice.

My last Market shift was just before Christmas. I'm all in now. I'm putting in the time, bringing my true authentic self to the table every day. And I wake up with an enormous smile on my face and joy in my heart, knowing what I'm doing is making a difference. That I'm aligning my life with my passion and know deep down that you can achieve anything you put your mind and heart to.

Today I was reminded that sometimes though, even the entrepreneur needs some inspiration. Sometimes you need to tap back into that right creative brain space that gets buried when you're left brain is trying to make things work. Or rather, forcing them to work. The moment I stood back, took pause and connected with my inner purpose - peace washed over me. That's it! That's why I'm doing this! To make the world a better place and connecting community through conversation.

So if you find yourself in a whirlwind of left brain activity, stop. Go to your favorite spot in your mind and feel the connection to the Universe. Know that you're doing your best and that you are connected in so many ways. Shed yourself of judgement and comparison, bring your true self and everything is going to be amazing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On the horizon

I've been home a solid week now and was just starting to get used to the idea of being home for about a month before traveling again. Since October, I've made 4 trips to LA, one to Calgary, one to Seattle, one to Indiana, and back to Chula Vista. Honestly, it feels like I haven't been home more than a week at a time before heading off again. Such is the life of an aspiring coach and para-cycling pilot!

It's nice to sleep in my own bed, especially next to my baby. His travels have taken him to Scotland, Mexico, LA, back to Mexico next week and then Belarus for Worlds.

And guess what came into my inbox today? An invitation back to Chula Vista to do some more piloting for another stoker. Yay! Hello, National Team pipeline.

And in the meantime, I'm working with some fellow coaches to get a new and exciting project off the ground. Stay tuned for the details... but it's going to be BIG!

It's thrilling to combine passion and work together to make a living.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Passionate Work

Flying home over the Rocky Mountains while the sunsets put an enormous smile on my face. This is home now. These purple mountains covered in white snow. Looking down from 30,000 feet they seem small, but have so much unexplored detail. Places I want to play. Places I want to make more time for in my life. My smile is part appreciation, part bliss.

I did it. I finished the core curriculum from the Coaches Training Institute. Over 104 hours spent in a LA hotel conference room spread over 4 months and it's finally done. Hot damn, I'm done traveling for work! At least for a little while.

So many things have opened up. Conversations started, realizations gathered, snapshots in time framed. I must have been beaming. For the next thing I know, a gentleman sits down in the empty seat next to me boarding a flight to Phoenix to start his new work position. And I ask, "do you like your work?"

"It's alright I suppose. There are things I like and things I don't."

"Are you passionate about your work?"


"If you could be working with your passion, what would that look like?"

"Whoa, that's a deep question for an airport. I haven't ever allowed myself to think of it that way. I suppose if I had to think about it, I've always been interested in Saturday Night Live. And I could picture myself writing comedy skits for them. What about you? If you could work your passion, what would it be? Wait, I know. You like asking random strangers what their passionate work looks like."

(It didn't strike me at first his humorous stab at writing a skit. I chuckle now.)

"I'm actually living it. I live my passion everyday."

"What is it that you do?"

A big smile spreads. I answer him honestly. And for once in my life, don't wish it any different. "I write, I cycle, I coach, I public speak, I am an entrepreneur, and I love having an impact in the world."

"Wow. You don't hear that every day. I better catch my flight."

Poor guy, never stood a chance. He just witnessed my boldness unleashed after a weekend of transformation and witnessing others changing. It's oozing out of my pores.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Pilot Program

I am her eyes and she is my stoker. Both reliant on one another, both committed to overcoming obstacles both on and off the bike. Both aligned toward one goal and one goal only: going as fast as humanly possible on a tandem bike.
On our own, we are accomplished both on and off the bike. She's the first legally blind person to complete the Iditarod, a 1,049+ mile race across Alaska. She's been on the para-cycling team for the past couple of years, showing massive potential that she has what it takes to earn to compete at the international level. She lives in Bend, Oregon completely off the grid and tends to over 100 dogs at her families dog mushing company. Her regular pilot couldn't make the camp, so I got to substitute in.

My story began as a pioneer in the first women's boxing world championship, having tragedy strike when I lost my husband to a rock climbing accident in 2008, and then reinventing myself in wonderful Colorado and loving once again. I moved to Colorado Springs in August 2011 and have embraced the high altitude, dry climate and athlete lifestyle. I love new challenges.

I think it's safe to say we're both driven and we both enjoy bucking the status quo. We both believe the only thing that can limit you is not dreaming big enough.
I first met Rachael in a small dorm room at the Chula Vista, California this past week at the Olympic Training Center. I had so many questions for her (how did she complete the Iditarod? What's the severity of her blindness? What was it like growing up?) and immediately liked her. She openly answered my barrage of questions and I answered hers. It's a good thing we got along as we were paired up on a tandem with over 20 hours of training for the week for the Para-Cycling National Team Camp. Right from the start we had to establish a baseline level of trust and synchronicity. Our combined weight of bodies and equipment easily topped 320 pounds and the surrounding hills of the training center are large. There's only one way we could conquer any defiance of gravity: team work.

As it turns out, it's not individual accomplishments or power to weight ratio that set a tandem team apart from the other. Sure it helps that both people have a level of fitness, excellent balance and strong core. But what really sets a tandem team apart is as simple as the combined effort. The synching of power, communication and sheer grit. In order to get the most out of each other, we both had to be 100% committed. And I had to learn how to communicate clearly, concisely and accurately.
"We're almost to the top." Such an ambiguous statement does nothing for how much more power she needs to contribute to get to the top of a hill. It says nothing about the length or duration of the effort.
The first full day on the bike I sounded like a head cheer leader. In retrospect, I'm not sure who I was saying it for. "Push harder. Champions are made a day at a time. Come one Rachael, dig! Rio is coming fast. Let's GO! Come on!" Eventually she commented back, "Coming!!!" I finally figured out I needed to shut up. It's nothing personal. And as it turns out, the quieter I was, the more synched up we became. I could hear her breathing, I could tune into my intuitive sense more. When I asked for "more" she gave me more.
At first I was trying to force things. I was trying to will us up hills and my inner cheerer bubbled out. By the end of the week after getting a cold and feeling the effects of fatigue, I stopped wasting any energy than was absolutely necessary. "Bump," to which she'd raise her rump off the saddle. "More," to which she'd supply more power. "Up," meant stand up and sprint. That's it. We started pulling away from the group. We won 2 out of 3 sprints. We found our combined climbing legs. Hot damn, we were synched!
We climbed the Honey Stinger time trial course the last day of camp, besting our previous time with fresh legs and a serious headwind. I pushed Rachael to her limit as she could barely walk when we got to the top. And she puked. Last one, best one.
That night we were pretty excited and sad to conclude the camp. We both gained a lot - not only fitness and the realization that less is more, but also a friendship. I look forward to seeing her again in the future. And even if we don't get to pair up on a tandem bike again this year, I look forward to racing next to her with another stoker.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Being with Gold

Sometimes you strike gold in the place you least expect it.

We had a rest day today. Lots of lounging, lots of stories, lots of laughter and at time, close to tears. I had the honor of spending the afternoon with two new friends, Rachael and Kara. Both amazing women, both blind. We shared our stories and our truths - the ones that come after learning life lessons. Each one shared with me their blindness. Each one patient as I asked questions. They were both open to my inquiry and taught me about their beautiful unique lives.

After a warm meal, surrounded by Olympians and Paralympians, we shared more stories. Enticed by a piano playing in the background, the three of us women were drawn to the music. And it was there, as we listened to an Olympic rower fumble with the keys and feel his way into the sounds of the piano that I saw it. That glimmer of gold. Those moments you cherish in your heart.

The Moonlight Sonata tickled our ears. We could have stayed there all night. It was nice to just sit. To absorb it into our senses. To just be.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Jump Start the Life of Your Dreams in 2013!

Do you find yourself questioning the meaning life? Why you were put on this planet? What your life purpose and how you're trying to figure out how to align the many things in your life to it?
You are not alone. I think we all face this at one time or another. Or maybe many times in our life for that matter. Possibly many times in one day!
Do you find yourself staying awake at night, pondering what's out there? What's in store? What's my beating heart beating for?
Or maybe you know your life purpose. You know you were put on this planet to get your heart rate up, to raise those kids, to be a fantastic lover, friend and mentor. But you're having a hard time balancing it all. It's hard to strike that perfect balance between all of the things that pull at us in life.
You are not alone.
I am here to help. To help you discover your life purpose, to explore who you are as a unique, resourceful and amazing individual. To hold your hand and be a witness. To hold space and coach you through difficult times, celebrate the good times and enhance your overall experience
Together we will explore what makes you tick and align you with a crew of support. We will do inner work that is deep and rich and rewarding beyond measure. I will equip you with tools to apply happiness and a fresh perspective toward whatever challenges may arise in your life. The choice is yours for the making.
Ready to go for it? Wonderful! My rates are $100 a month for two 45 minute phone calls at a mutually agreed upon time. Need a sample to see if coaching is right for you? I provide free 1/2 hour sessions.
If you or someone you know would like to see the many benefits of life coaching, please contact me today.
Happy 2013!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Tandem Piloting 101

The lessons, and there have been many, of tandem piloting:

1. It's a team effort. One person cannot do it alone. I am the eyes of our bike and my stoker is 100% reliant upon my ability to put us in the right position to succeed. Our sum weight is over 320 pounds. Bike, gear, girls. That's a lot to love. Together, we spin up hills, putting in equal amounts of effort and blood sweat and tears. The reward: descents. Thank God what goes up, must come down.

2. It's a team effort. We must be in synch. I am learning to do everything with my stoker: meals, sleep, recovery, down time, off the bike time. Texting our honeys from afar. We do everything, together.

3. It's a team effort. We're learning one each others habits, our quirks, what makes us tick and what doesn't. Thank goodness my stoker is kind, patient and sweet. We compliment one another well, especially off the bike, which translates to on the bike effort. We're both learning from each other. For me, I'm taking in her I want to kill bitches! on the bike attitude. Sometimes you need more grrrrrr in your life to fuel that competitive fire.

4. It's a team effort. We have an uphill time trial in less than an hour. I just checked and our bike has a 39x28. For those who don't know cycling lingo, that's a mighty small gear for a 7 mile climb with a 5% average gradient. There will be suffering. There will be sweat. There will be tears. There will be sweet success when we get to the top. And we'll get to do it, together.

5. You have to be all in. There's no partial participation. You're either all in this, or your not. I'm in. (Ask me that question again after the hill, please.)

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A Cycling Post!

Oh no she didn't!

Yep, it's true. While doing some expansive personal exploration, I've still managed to ride my bike. Take that back, I've been training.

And today's post is brought to you courtesy of the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.

Yep - that's me!

I'm here participating at the para-cycling national team camp. I'm piloting a tandem bicycle with a blind female athlete and getting some piloting experience this week. Of course my long term goal is Rio in 2016, but this is a small step in the right direction! We're targeting 24+ hours on the bike this week... thank goodness for an endless buffet.

Yeah, yeah. I know. I've been keeping this one on the down low. I've been intrigued ever since I first learned of the para program and the want for more female pilots. This past October while watching track nationals from the stands, I approached Craig Griffin and expressed my sincere interest in getting involved. One thing lead to another and well, here I am in Chula Vista. One small step toward my big goal of Rio 2016.

Friday, January 04, 2013


Take my hand and I'll lead you,
   lead you to another place.

A place where you can shed your layers.
   Layers of material things, fears and assumptions.

A place where the sun warms your soul.
    And it's there, there in that place, that you see your beautiful magnificence.

You are beautiful.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


Ryan's death created a sense of resolution urgency. All of the things I wanted to do, all of the things I wanted to be and my ability to focus on the grand picture, came to the forefront. A massive light went off. One filled with clarity and wisdom. One that cut right through the bothersome small things in life and boom! Made me realize that we've got this one life and only a short amount of time to live it to the fullest. Why waste a breath of energy on something that isn't aligned with happiness, laughter and fulfillment?

Bickering, complaining, bitching. Blah, blah, BLAH! I suddenly had zero tolerance for any petty problems.

I would walk out during conversations. I'd check out when someone started to rant. Often I would go into an immediate trance. Someone's lips might be moving and sound coming from their mouth, but I was in a parallel universe. I often pictured myself in the North Cascades, climbing solo one of the Liberty Bell spires. At the top, I'd soak in the sun and the alpine views. I'd just be. It always calmed me down. And sometimes Ryan would join me there.

I remember asking him questions without really saying anything. His presence provided affirmation that I was on the right path. That my internal wisdom would carry me through. That I was discovering something more about myself that not many people get the opportunity to do. I absolutely trusted myself there.

My resolve to live a life full of adventure, rich with experience and no regrets became my mantra. I wrote down places to travel. Places that Ryan and I wanted to share together and places that I wanted to go on my own. A daring woman was burning inside of me, ready to take risks I had oppressed. Ready to live the life of my dreams. Not what someone else thinks I should do or be - my dreams, my life.

Ryan and I talked years ago about moving some where new. Somewhere with more sun, mountains and outdoor adventures. I wrote about moving on multiple occasions: Tahoe, Colorado, Northern California. Yet it never manifested. I suppose we weren't ready. After he passed, I found myself longing to relocate. To start fresh. To begin a new adventure and really get in touch with who I am.

It's not that I didn't identify with Seattle or the Pacific Northwest for that matter. I dearly love my family and friends. But long ago, I oppressed the burning desire to live in a sunny climate. And now with my new found clarity and resolve, I was ready to make the move. To take the leap into Lovers Lane.

At the top of my list: Colorado. A state full of sun, mountains, snow and no rain. A place where I could learn to further love myself. And in turn, enable me to open up and fully love Benjamin. Luck would have it Benjamin lived in Colorado Springs and fate would have it that five years prior I put a Garden of the Gods poster in a dream box with full intention of living there. It's funny how things work out.

But moving to a sunny state, a long way from family and friends was risky. I didn't have a job lined up. Just a girl with big dreams, a mending heart and so open for new experiences and love, that I knew it was bound to work. Thankfully I had the wisdom that to be happy, truly happy, I had to follow my heart. That when Ryan died and some time had passed, I needed to move on, in my own way. My drive, my passion, my livelihood died in Seattle. And although I tried to keep it alive, to rekindle some flame back into living there, I knew change was certain.

My internal voice whispered gently at first. Too much change all at once, especially during the year of firsts, might have set me further back. Or worse, it would paralyze me. I still had my moments though. Moments of panic, waves of grief and sadness. When I resurfaced from the storm, the clarity and wisdom remained. That and I experienced another breaking point.

Sticking with Resolutions

I believe in resolutions. I think they add great value to our lives. It's a chance to take a stand. A chance to make change in your life. A chance to address something you've been meaning to do but for some reason or another never got around to it.

I find it pretty stinking amazing that as humans we can change things about ourselves. That we can do inner work to bring out our true beings. Or we can work on our outer appearances and health. We possess the ability to be ourselves. Our true, unique and beautiful selves.

In keeping with resolutions, I'm resolving to get my book out. I know, I know. I've said that before. But I'm ready to do what's necessary to get it up and published. I read a book titled, "The Happiness Project" in which a woman decided to bring more happiness in her life by addressing major themes in her life each month. January: Boost Energy. February: Remember Love. March: Aim Higher. April: Lighten Up. May: Be Serious About Play. June: Make Time for Friends. etc. I liked her creative approach so I decided to apply her Happiness Project to my book project.

And in keeping with all good resolutions (or at least increasing the chances of them actually manifesting), I'm sharing them with you.

January: Resolutions.
February: Love.
March: Expiration Dates and Birthdays.
April: My drive and impact in the world.
May: Appreciation.
June: Remembrance and wanting to quit - everything.
July: Renewed enthusiasm and spirit.
August: Focusing on Goals and being opened up.
September: The Accident.
October: A Year of Firsts.
November: Giving Thanks and Recognizing Gifts.
December: Healing in Colorado over the holidays.

Here's to being that small 12% who actually make their New Year's Resolutions stick. Oh, and I think I'm going to find myself a writing coach. Why not?!