Monday, March 19, 2007


Two months ago, I thought it a brilliant idea to sign up for a half-marathon. I'd come off a particularly sluggish couple of weeks, athletically speaking, and my body was in a state of utter lassitude. Watching snowflakes pile on top of slush, on top of dirt, on top of freezing rain, on top of more slush, was not particularly motivating. But for my own health, the inertia had to end. A few clicks of the mouse and $50 later, I was registered for the Mississauga half-marathon on May 13th. It was deceptively easy.

I am definitely NOT a natural runner. I mean I can pull off 5 km with relative ease, but this...this, I will not survive without a bunch of training. Being in extreme pain and agony for 2+ hours, while desperately counting down kilometres and downing powergels is just not my idea of a good time. What else could pull me out of my torpor faster than the thought of having to run 22 or so kilometres without stopping?

Yeah, right.

Training for this thing has been a bitch. Between the crappy weather, my lack of sleep and a million other things I'm trying to accomplish and manifest, running has found itself at the very bottom of the laundry pile. And now the half is less than 2 months away. The slightest layer of panic is starting to creep into my consciousness.

I had to do something to kickstart this whole situation. A shopping trip was definitely in order! So on Saturday, I ended up at the Running Room, buying new shoes, a running jacket, water belt, new sports bra and power gels. After negotiating a 20% discount (actually, I just asked him for it, and he gave it to me - thank god!) - I was out the door and ready to hit the road with all my new gear. I was committed to running 10-12 km, or approximately 1 hour at my runnning speed.

Damn, it was windy and cold on Saturday. It took 2 hours to defrost after all that running, but I am happy and proud to say that I DID IT! and it wasn't even that hard. My motivation's back!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I feel like a giant boulder sitting on the razor's edge of a majestic mountain. I'm teetering back and forth, rocking ever so gently in the mild breeze. There's a feeling of anticipation in the crisp, spring air. Innocent buds struggle to break through the hardness of long-dead branches, signalling the dawning of a new cycle of activity. Birds float lightly atop currents of sky, trilling merrily, bestowing it with the colourful melody of their song.

The air is ripe with potential. So many seeds have been planted, and I am full. The slightest shift sends me flying down the side of the mountain, slowly at first, bruised by rocks, bushes and trees along the way. But momentum gathers and soon I am sailing gleefully into the great unknown, propelled forward by mysterious celestial forces.

It's happening.

Am I ready?

Friday, March 09, 2007


This morning, I opened my email and found this message:

From: Barbara Whitlock
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 05:53:26 -0500
Subject: Your Helium article is featured on today's homepage!

Congratulations Shelley!

If you check out today's homepage at, you'll see your article featured prominently. See yourself in the limelight! Tell family and friends. Announce this in your blog, on your website, or through other internet venues where you hold a presence. Watch the interest and earnings on your article today.

Your hysterical article about your hot yoga class experience shares valuable insights and reflects the highest standards of writing at Helium. Thank you for sharing your time and talents at!

Continue to enjoy your participation in the Helium Community! We look forward to watching for more of your exceptional articles over the years.

All the best,

Barbara Whitlock
Content & Community team

Sometimes it's nice to receive objective, outside validation, especially when you've recently decided to quit your stable, pension and benefit providing government job, for the wild blue yonder of freelance writing and video editing. (yeah, this is all part of the energetic pathways story, which I have yet to finish! I promise I'll get there...there's just so much going on right now!)

Perfect timing too, as I was feeling the slightest pit of fear in my stomach, looking at the calendar yesterday and seeing my quit date coming closer and closer....

If you want to check out the article, it's posted on on the front page, under Exercise.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In Transit

I've been spending far too much cash on cab fares lately. I'm not complaining or anything - far from it! : ) - but leaving the cocoon of warmth created by the embrace of the human furnace lying next to you is beyond torturous. Especially since Toronto is in the midst of a terrible cold snap, the kind that, as my friend Charwina so delicately put it today at lunch, "feels like 2 dogs are biting on your face at the same time."

Today, for the first time in about a week, I stood and waited for public transit. And even though I was late yet again, I had decided it was time for me to nip my growing addiction to the comfort and convenience of taking a taxi to work in the bud. least I thought I had decided.

But here's the interesting part. As I stood waiting impatiently in the freezing cold, I started to monitor my thoughts. And discovered that I hadn't really decided at all. My brain was whipping back and forth, spinning to and fro - doing anything, it seems, but actually making a decision.

My thoughts went something like this:
Is the damn streetcar coming? It's freezing cold. I'm gonna be late for work. Maybe I should just take a cab? Oh, there's one. Should I hail it? No, I've spent too much money on cabs. The streetcar's coming right now. I know it is. But what if it doesn't. Then I'll really be late. Ok, I'll hail the next cab that comes along. No, I shouldn't. Oh, just missed one. That's okay. Cuz the streetcar is coming right now. Well, I hope it is. It's really cold. Maybe I should catch a cab. No, I can't. I'll just be late.....and so on and so forth.

Honestly, the streetcar didn't appear until I realized how chaotic my thoughts were. It was only when I was able to shut down the back and forth in my brain, and focus on ONE outcome, that my desired result manifested. It made me appreciate how challenging it is to really and truly create change in your own life. If being clear about my mode of transit is trying, how am I to be clear about the big things. The things that matter....