WLFM

When I attended the ROAM conference in Kelowna last year I did what I often do at conferences (Besides stay up way too late talking) — I got up early in order to go to the optional fitness session. There were only three of us besides our leader Dai and his wife Christie, but it was a great HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session, as well as a run to and from the outdoor space where we worked out. I loved the energy and enthusiasm from Dai and Christie and we became fast friends.

Christie and Dai!

I’ve had the opportunity to connect with them a few more times at conferences and even got to meet them for breakfast this past winter when they were visiting in my neck of the woods. Shortly after, I was fortunate enough to receive a (Signed!) copy of Dai’s long-awaited book The Whole Life Fitness Manifesto.

It’s a great read, full of common sense, practical tips, workouts, nutrition advice, and so much more. You should totally buy it. (I get absolutely no kickback for that, I just really enjoyed reading it and I tend to prefer fiction over non-fiction books. I rarely finish non-fiction books…but I finished this one.)

This fabulous book aside, if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, I suggest that you join the Whole Life Fitness Manifesto (WLFM) “tribe”.  Dai sends out daily emails outlining 15-minute workouts, as well as other helpful points and links to help with your overall health. There is also the Whole Life Fitness Manifesto group on Facebook. It’s a bunch of people like me and you who want to encourage each other in their daily quest to lead active and healthy lives.

Why am I writing about this now, instead of when I received the book so many months ago? It’s because I never committed to doing the daily workouts for each of the four-week sessions that Dai organizes. Between running and skiing and the fitness classes I attend, there simply wasn’t time to squeeze those extra daily workouts in. I have a family and work and I do like to sleep sometimes.

The fitness classes I love did not fit into my summer work schedule, and so I decided to commit to the WLFM, in addition to my running and hiking routines. I’m only two days in am loving it already. My muscles are feeling it, and I love the support and encouragement of the FB community. It’s never too late to join, so if you’re looking for a short-but-effective workout, I highly recommend you sign up and join us. It’s fun. I promise.

(I’m going to check out a spin class in the next week or two. I’m not going to be able to afterward, am I?)

Mountain high, valley low

I don’t know a lot about lunar cycles, but I do know that every once in awhile a full moon is called a Super Moon. Today is the summer equinox, a full moon, AND a Monday. Does that make it a Super Monday? Because I feel the polar opposite of super today.

June is hard. It’s always hard, and everyone I know feels it. We look at each other, whisper June like Seinfeld saying Newman, and nod in solidarity. What doesn’t kill you doesn’t always make you stronger, but it does allow you to bond with your fellow sufferers.

Unlike our American friends to the south who posted last day of school photos sometime in early May, our kids are still in school until June 29th here in our school district. JUNE 29TH. There are also baseball playoffs (Nathan and Emily) and eighth-grade graduation events (Graham) and two jobs (Me) and a hundred other things that I could share but you probably don’t have time to read about them. Because June.

I will share this, though, because it is my reality.

Well, that escalated quickly
It also still makes me laugh.

Nine days until the kids are on summer holidays, packing school lunches are a distant memory, and I switch to a three-day work week at the office. Take that, June.

*I read that the moon today is called a Strawberry Moon, and that it last happened 67 years ago. It’s even rarer than a blue moon and is supposed to look prettier than the regular moon. I’ll have to take the Internet’s word for it, though, because it’s cloudy outside.

June.

This past weekend was ActionFest here in Summerland. It’s a big weekend for many, whether you’re an active person or not. As long time readers know, I help organize a “marathon” at the elementary school my kids attend/attended. (The boys are in middle school and it’s Emily’s LAST YEAR in elementary school. See also: I am an old lady.)

Last Friday was the fifth! annual! GHES marathon! The other elementary school in town did their first marathon this year and bussed up to join us for our final race day. 600 kids, a sea of red shirts, and smiles everywhere you looked.

Run!

The final laps happened in three stages: The Kindys and first graders, grade two and three kids, and then the grade four and fives. Kids line the track and the finish chute and it’s just SO MUCH FUN.

The chute
You get a high five! You get a high five! You get a high five!

After everyone is done, the principal takes me up on the roof and I take a shot of the entire group.

GHES marathon 2016

GHES marathon 2016(That’s only the kids from our school as the other school had to catch their bus back in time for lunch.)

Marathon day is my favorite.

Me and my bad self

The Saturday of ActionFest involves 5.4k and 10K runs, as well as a triathlon. I raced the 10K for the past five years, the last two of them with Nathan, but I opted to do the 5.4K this year. I’m still running three days a week, and run 10K often, but get so anxious about racing and trying to beat my personal best. Matthew wanted to run the 10k, so I signed the kids and I up for the 5.4K

The Dykstras go running

It was 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees Fahrenheit. The funny part is that we paid to be in these runs. Matthew, aka He Who Does Not Run, ran the 10K in 54 minutes. I run all of the time and my fastest 10K time is 57 minutes. That is so not fair.

The triathlon part of ActionFest can be done on your own, or as a part of a team. The kids’ cousin Daniel wanted to be a part of a team and do the biking part. Nathan was already planning on racing the 5.4 K, and Emily was persuaded to do the swimming portion as she was in Orca this year, so Team Dykstra was created. We told the kids to just have fun, as it was about being a part of a team and not about winning.

Emily was very nervous before she swam — fear of the unknown and all that jazz. Once she was in the water she was a machine and gave it her all. Family and friends were there cheering her on with each pass and when it was all over, she was beaming from ear.  She says that she can’t wait to do it again next year.

Team Dykstra! Silver medalists!

Added bonus: Team Dykstra won silver in their age group.

It was a fantastic weekend, as it always is. Everyone you see is smiling and cheering each other on and being outside and active and it really is the best community to live in.

(Sunday morning saw me waking up exhausted and with my right eye swollen shut from a bug bite, which was the opposite of fantastic, but a little meltdown now and then is good for the soul.)

Into The Woods

The past few weeks have been busier than my normal ‘windmilling-through-life” everyday experience. I attended ROAM and will write about that soon, because I have finally had time to proces it and want to share what I took away from it. I was then away for another reason that is not my story to tell, even though it impacts me. I was gone from home for six days straight and came home exhausted, but had to dive back into life and work and kids and I would have lost my ever-loving mind had we not made plans to head to the cabin for a part of the long weekend.

I still had to work while there (I always have to work — it’s what I do), but when my work was done I was able to join my family outside. It was cooler than normal and there was even snow (!) mixed in with the rain on Sunday night, but we donned our hoodies and jackets and made the most of it.

On Sunday, we walked on our usual snow shoe route behind our cabin. It’s amazing how different it looks while being equally as beautiful as when it is all covered in snow.

Hikers

There’s a cabin in the woods not far from our place that was built by (and is maintained by) someone connected to the mountain. It’s there for anyone to use if they need shelter or fire or somewhere to just eat their lunch.

Cabin in the woods

The inside, with Graham the poser in the background.

Inside the cabin

We didn’t spend all of our time hiking, of course. We played board games and watched movies and built a campfire out front so that we could make s’mores.

S'mores!

True confession: I don’t care much for s’mores. I ate the chocolate and snuck the graham crackers and marshmallows to Diesel. I hope we can still be friends.

There’s something about being outside that is cleansing and healing and when you throw in some mountain air, it’s perfection. Every time we get to the cabin, I feel my shoulders relax and my entire body exhales. I get the chance to remove myself from the mundane tasks of the everyday, which gives me the time to pause and to think and to see things with greater clarity. I always come back rested and relaxed, but also energized and with a renewed focus. It feels good to go, and it feels good to be back.

 

Blossoms

It’s that time of year that us accountants who work in public practice affectionately refer to as Tax Season. (By “affectionately”, I mean “matter-of-factly.”)

This isn’t my first Tax Season, and will not be my last, but this one has kicked my tail. I’m working weekends (Just Saturdays), but not the long days I’ve worked in Tax Seasons of yore. I just feel tired, even though I’m sleeping 7-8 hours a night, eating well, running three days a week and keeping up with boot camp. Life with a teenager and two preteens is busy, yes, but life has been busy since I had those three kids in under four years. I’m more tired than usual for this time of year.

Last Friday I dropped by my Naturopath’s office to buy some iron, as I tend to be low on iron and have only taken it when I was pregnant. The last time I was pregnant was…ten years ago. (TEN YEARS AGO. #old) My iron stores have probably flatlined. I am also getting older. (#stating the obvious) My doctor concurred that taking iron is a good idea and then asked me how heavy my flow is. (Nothing like a male doctor who is also your friend asking you about your menstrual flow. Neat.)

Saturday morning, I woke up and my eyes were so swollen that I looked as though I had cried myself to sleep. (I had not.) I trudged my way through work, and then came home and crawled into bed for a quick nap. I woke up ninety minutes later. I was a little groggy, but my eyes looked more like their regular shape and size. I napped again on Sunday and once the fog wore off, I felt awake for the first time in weeks. Just in time for Monday to rear its ugly head.

Ten more days until the Canadian tax filing deadline, folks, and then I will nap like I have never napped before. I will feel awake again, for at least a full day. (The 30th is on a Saturday this year, so you actually have until Monday, May 2nd, to file, but please don’t tell our clients, okay? We’ve made the 30th our finish line and it’s in plain sight.)

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