My First Mud Run Report

A few weeks ago I took on the Mudderella course at Whistler with a group of 7 other girlfriends. It was equal parts awesome, overwhelming, inspiring, painful & fun.

This was my first obstacle course and when I committed to participating way back in May I was sure that I would have time to train and be fit and ready on race day.  What I didn’t realize was that I had 3 work projects due right around the same time and I would literally have NO time to train or be ready.

And that’s not how I would recommend taking this on.

A few observations/comments/thoughts:

  1. I was no where near muddy enough at the finish line. When the event name has mud in it you come in with certain expectations…I wanted to be muddy.  What i was instead was wet and cold up to my waist and dry from my waist up.  A very odd combination.
  2. If you are going to do one of these races do it with a group of awesome people (like I did), a group that has your back always and will never let you quit.
  3. Training is probably a good idea. Especially if you are doing a run at a ski hill like I did. That hill damn near killed me.
  4. What hill you ask?  Well just the one that we had to climb on like a 90 degree incline for 3kms straight up. This one:

it just kept going up and up and up. This was the easy stretch.

and trust me when I say this picture does not adequately show the stupidity of said hill.

I wanted to give up on that hill. It seemed to be neverending. I kept thinking “I don’t need to do this. I can just stop and sit down and give up.”

But my girlfriends were having none of it.  A group of them literally pushed and pulled me to the top. They pushed me forward “one flag at a time” and without them I never would have made it there.

Never would have found myself standing at the top of that mountain – 3600 feet up – looking down at where I had come from and marvelling at what my body had  just accomplished.

That was such an amazing moment for me.  Not just because I had made it but because I had seen and felt the power of friendship to such a huge degree it was physically staggering. Women are truly incredible beings.

The entire day was full of accomplishments and laughter and support:

The obstacles along the course were fun for the most part but a little repetitive. I felt like we went through 4-5 of the same one – big piles of mud separated by freezing cold waist deep pool of water – that were just called different names.

I was proud of our group for taking on each obstacle and completing them. We scaled 10ft high walls, crawled on our knees under cargo nets and wire and climbed up ropes.

Just before the finish line I had to face the obstacle I was dreading most – the one where I had to jump off a 10ft high platform onto an inflatable mat.  I have a pretty severe fear of heights and this was the one obstacle I wasn’t sure I could actually do.

When we go there It seemed a hell of a lot higher than when I had watched others do it earlier in the day.  We mounted the platform as a group and I watched a few of my friends make the jump.  I knew the longer I stayed up there the more likely I was to NOT to do it.

And so I made my way to the edge – shaking like a leaf – looked down at the landing spot and leaped. I landed right on my backside (somewhat gracefully I hope), rolled off the mat and looked up at the platform again.

It still looked high but not quite as intimidating as it had before.  The rest of my group jumped and with that we ran as a group to the finish line.  Where we crossed the line together, collected our finisher t-shirts and headbands and went off in search of beer and food. Not necessarily in that order.

Just over 4 hours it took us to complete that course. Most of us were exhausted and sore but we were all feeling pretty damned good about ourselves too.

Would I do it all over again? Maybe not this one again. I don’t think I need to tackle that hill twice in a lifetime.  But I’d love to do a different one, maybe one on a flat surface next time.

Oh…and I’d definitely make sure I did some training next time.


A Night at Cirque

Every year Cirque du Soleil brings a travelling road show to Vancouver. The big tents go up on the East side of downtown – the signature blue and yellow chapiteau signalling the return of something wonderful to the city.

For the first time this year – both of my girls talked about Cirque and asked if we could go. Knowing that we didn’t have the extra funding to buy tickets I told them no…and said maybe when they were older.

And then a miracle happened – one of the sales reps I deal with on a regular basis sent me an invite to attend. But there was a catch…just 2 tickets.

time to pick my favourite child…so tough.

And then miracle number 2 – my colleague offered to give me her two tickets so I didn’t have to actually make that tough choice of who to leave behind. Phew…close call.

I didn’t tell the girls where we were going that day. Their dad had a course so I got to bring my mum with me.

We drove downtown with the girls asking a million questions about where we were going. Hockey game? Concert? Soccer game? The mall? Sushi?

It was KILLING my oldest expeically not to know. And then we took the turn off the bridge and that signature tent loomed before them.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL! they cried out. And with great excitement and enthusiasm we headed into the show.

After spending $30 at the food counter on 2 warm-ish pretzels and some popcorn (ouch!) we took our seats and thoroughly enjoyed the next few hours of entertainment.

All of the souvenirs were way too expensive…kind of like the food…but we tried on some masks just to check the size…

And then it was into the main stage area…

What a great show. We all loved it. So grateful to generous sales reps and amazing colleagues.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

As Christmas draws nearer…my house begins to transform into a wonderful glowing tribute to the season…



I love Christmas traditions and I started one last year that I know we will continue for years to come.  All of the wonderful women in my family – my mum, aunts, cousin and sister in law – come together to watch my favourite holiday movie: Love, Actually.

We all bring something to eat and drink and pretty much spend the entire evening chatting and laughing and generally enjoying each other’s company.

this year was no different:

What a perfect way to really kick off the holiday season. Merry Christmas!

One on One Time: Sushi & Baseball

Tonight I got to spend some quality one-on-one time with my oldest daughter.

I love one-on-one time. And I know that as she gets older it’s going to become more and more important to set this kind of quality time aside.

Last year we went to a couple of Vancouver Canadians baseball games and at each one M expressed an interest in attending one without her little sister…the queen of distractions.

And so that’s what we did – with a little sushi and conversation to start us of.

We talked her excitement and fear about starting grade 4 and getting letter grades. We talked about boys and ear piercing. And we talked about her feelings about our family…and the separation.

That was tough. Because she was looking for reassurance from me. Confirmation that now that Daddy was home it meant he would never leave again.

And I had to do the dance. Because I don’t want to lie but I also don’t want her to live in fear or worry. it’s a fine line to navigate because she’s a smart kid.

Real talk over it was time to watch some baseball…

and to eat:

It was a beautiful night for a ballgame.

And I had a great time with my beautiful first born.

I can’t sleep…I’m too inspired!

It’s 12:25 in the morning. I should be in bed. But I can’t sleep. My brain is buzzing…my mind is racing…I am full of thoughts and ideas and…since I can’t do anything with them right now…I’m blogging instead.

Tonight I had the great pleasure of hearing a truly amazing woman speak on a very important topic – body image. As someone that has never had a very positive body image and also as a mother of two young daughters it was a topic that is always top of mind.

But Taryn Brumfitt truly blew my mind tonight and made me shift the way I think about myself completely. She opened my eyes and inspired me. She was funny and real and down to earth and her talk was poignant and touching.

I could try to sum up what she talked about in my own words but she says is best here:

The first minute of video could have been me. I have stood in front of the mirror so many times and said those exact words to myself.  And so have so many other woman I’m sure. It’s such a sad reflection on our society that so many woman think so poorly of themselves solely because of body image.

I am happy to report that Taryn reached her Kickstarter goal and has started production on her documentary “Embrace”. I can ‘t wait to watch it.

And in the meantime I will continue to work on changing my “one word” to something positive in the hopes that my girls will follow my example. I hope they never stand in front of the mirror and hate what they see.

It’s an unrealistic expectation…but that doesn’t mean I can’t work as hard as I can to make it a reality.

Thanks for the inspiration Taryn!

Oh…and my evening was a lot more enjoyable with the company of these two lovely ladies:

What Happens in Vegas…

…gets put on my blog!

As promised…I’m getting back to regular programming (as much as possible) and my first order of business is celebrating some of the great moments that August and September had to offer.

By far the most exciting, entertaining and exhausting was a trip to Vegas to celebrate dual birthdays.

My cousin and I share a birthday (along with my niece but since she’s only 4 she didn’t come with us) and to celebrate a significant milestone for her (my lips are sealed) we thought a trip to Vegas was in order.

I have been to Vegas twice before but had never really DONE Vegas. The first time I wasn’t 21 yet (and kept getting escorted off the casino floor to the movie theatre) and the second time was for work and we stayed off, off, off the strip.

So to say I was excited would have been a major understatement. Except – of course – by the time our trip actaully came along I wasn’t really feeling it.  I knew the time away would do me good and the thought of being drunk for 4 days and not having to think was pretty appealing. But I was defintienly not in a woo-hoo Vegas frame of mind.

Still – despite my hesitations and occassional breakdowns – there were some amazingly wonderful moments.  And some even more amazing SHOES!

I’m going to let the pictures tell the story (with occassional comments where explanations might be necessary:

Day 1 – Airport Selfies, Mandalay Bay, Walk Around, Roller Coaster:

we still think its very funny when we sneak a selfie…but we’re probably the only ones.

me and my sisters.

hard to travel with the two most photogenic women on the planet!
“squash your…um…wingtip.”
waiting for our shuttle…haven’t melted yet.
view from our room – hello cabanas.
first drinks of the trip…cheers!
no vegas trip is complete without blow up instruments…am i right?
J: “is this an ATM?” Guess she didn’t see the sign…

5 minutes later… Me: “Where are the shops?!” Guess I should have looked up…

their shops had the BEST stuff! I keep doing duck face…I blame it on the booze.
my bloody smurf smoothie with a shot of whipped cream vodka. Vegas rocks!

on our way to ride the roller coaster at the New York New York.
this way to sore necks, bruised legs and migraines. We too old to ride…


Okay…when you go to Vegas (especially in August!) you must, I repeat MUST, rent a cabana. Yes they are pricey. Yes, they are relatively small. But oh my god they are also awesome!

There could have been no better way for us to spend our birthday.

our home for the day. Lucky number 8…
view from inside the cabana.

birthday breakfast. What? it had fruit in it!
our room was up there somewhere
love these girls…
happiness is a pool cabana, endless drinks and trashy magazines.
After a day at the pool we got all glammed out for a night out.
hey look…no duck face!
my super amazing brand new shoes. so comfy!
my mission for the night…no problem!
Hanging out on the rooftop terrace at Caesars. No biggie.
aren’t they lovely?
i think this meant we were allowed to be there.

happy birthday to us!

Day 3 – Outlet shopping (hello shoes!), Party Bus & Taxi Mayhem:

We hit the outlets hard on this day. And there are no photos to prove it because we were too busy shopping! I had the most success snagging two skirts, 3 pairs of shoes and a dress. And I tried Dunkin Donuts coffee for the first time. It was okay…

Heading back to the hotel after our shopping trip…obligatory Las Vegas sign picture.

rockin’ my brand new skirt and heels for this night.

the strip…

party bus meeting place – the Paris hotel
rooftop dance clubs are the bomb.
our “look up” view. 🙂


C started out happy to get on the bus…
but not so much when on the bus. And yes…that is a stripper pole in the background.

After hitting the second stop on the Vegas Night Bus Tour we decided we were too old for the party bus and hopped into a taxi. It was 1:24am and we wanted In & Out Burgers. Sadly our cabbie informed us that they closed at 1:30. Blasted luck.

We settled for asking him to take us through the McDonald’s drive thru where our $15 cab ride turned into a $40 cab ride after we sat in the drive thru for 20 minutes. We were in there for so long we took some selfies.

looking pretty good for the end of  the night…even if I do say so myself.

C got out of the car, went into the restaurant to yell about how damn slow they were, came back out and took this awesome picture.

Look at how happy our cabbie is. 🙂

When we finally got back to the hotel with our bags of greasy food and milkshakes I discovered this:

29 packages of ketchup. And no one ordered fries. Well done Vegas McDonald’s…golf clap just for you.

Day 4 – Pool, packing and public pratfalls:

Our last day in Vegas. It was hot…close to 40 degrees…so options were limited.  We spent the morning at the pool but it really just wasn’t the same without the cabana. And actually the pool wasn’t even cool…it was lukewarm.  So we gave up on that and reluctantly packed and checked out. Now what to do?

We stowed our bags and headed out to walk the strip.  Because – you know – it was the middle of the day and swelteringly hot.

I finally got to see the Bellagio fountains in fountain. So awesome. Sadly…just before I got to see this awesome sight I made a complete fool of myself. Fell flat on my ass in middle of the sidewalk in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard. No good reason for the fall. Just clumsy.

Never helps when you are travelling with a girl who loves the slapstick so much that instead of helping me up she just pointed and laughed. Yup…I’m awesome.

Anywho…after that it was time to get to the airport and head home. We took another selfie in the cab – because that’s how we roll.

And then had an hour to kill at the gate so we decided to be sad about going home…

One last selfie. Coming home.

Thanks Vegas. You kicked my ass (in a good way) and helped me (almost) forget all my troubles for a wonderful 4 days.

Next time…I’m skippin’ the Roller Coaster and the Party Bus. And we will make it to In n’ Out Burger in time.

Next time…

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,’script’,’//’,’ga’); ga(‘create’, ‘UA-44761130-1’, ‘’); ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);