Friday, September 26, 2008

Ladies and Gentleman, THIS is Women's Curling.

I haven't written anything regarding curling this past little while because I was hoping to have some things sorted out. Without getting into to much detail the situation with my new team is not one that has been controllable. Due to an unforeseen and extremely serious illness we are a man down. Our fearless leader and skip has been called to the aid of her boyfriend and has been MIA for the past two months. Without question that is where she should be right now, and our thoughts and prayers are extended to them both and there families.
It has been difficult and after waiting things out and exhibiting a huge amount of patience, the situation has not been resolved if she will be joining the team or sitting the season out. Again it would not be a surprise if she sat it out, but we also don't want to assume. There's been a lack of communication. We have all made efforts to contact her to discuss things with her, but with not much luck.
The situation is what it is and in trying to move forward to prepare for our season starting next weekend October 3-7 in Selkirk we need to have some sort of idea of what to expect. It's been a long mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting couple of month with being left in what I'd call limbo. Please don't misunderstand me, this situation is extremely serious and without a doubt if it was me, curling would be the last thing I'd be doing. The concern is that there has been no indication as to whether she's in, or out. Not a peep. So in theory the remaining team members look for a plan B. Which is what we did and tried to find a spare who could fill the position at skip. It's absolutely difficult at this time of the season to find the odd player capable of fitting into this position as well as agreeing to rearrange there lives to accommodate our hectic schedule.
There are so many scenarios at this point that I don't foresee this team completing the entire season in tact. I hope I'm wrong and I haven't written the team off at all, but there is just to many underlying issues and not enough compromise. As the newbie on the team I find myself in a situation of tug-o-war. It's unfortunate because potentially the caliber of this team is very strong. It just so happens that because of what has happened it has brought other issues, past issues to the surface with the remaining members of the team. Ladies and Gentleman THIS... is women's curling.
And here begins the first tug on that exposed thread on your favorite sweater, pulled until all you're left with is a pile of wool and the size/washing instruction tag.
I can honestly say that I personally, have had my share of 'drama' playing with women and am steering clear of it from here on out. I have goals I want to achieve as a curler and quite frankly this IS a business. You get on a team that share the same goals and wants to achieve the same things. You practise, you work hard, you dedicate yourself to the team, the sport, and get on with it. That is my opinion and that is what I have to offer.
I do have my own PLAN B so to speak. I have offered up my time to spare for Heather Rankin's team of Calgary Alberta. She has a team member expecting a baby any time now, and requires spares to fill in for 8 of her events this season. I have confirmed with her to play in three and hopefully four events. These are as follows:
Nov 7-10 - Colonial Square Ladies Curling Classic - Saskatoon SK.
*Pending Nov 14-17 - Abbottsford Slam - Abbotsford BC *
Nov 26-Dec 30 - Sobey's Slam - New Glasgow NS
Dec 11-15 - John Shea Insurance Canada Cup Qualifier - Ottawa ON.

This will be an amazing opportunity for me on so many levels. The experience, the exposure and to play with an elite group of women curlers. What an opportunity and something for me to look forward to and enjoy playing with Heather once again.
We'll see what comes of it, and I will continue to update everyone and post pictures.
I do plan to continue to play with the girls here in Winnipeg, however have decided to revise my priorities. All this being said, I'm finally putting myself and what makes me happy first. It's been a long time and I have to thank my sister Jacquelyn (forever my #1 fan) for putting the bug in my ear, and my Dad for his wisdom, Inspiration, Strength and kick in the backside. All my love to you both xxoo

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Summer Fun In Manitoba 2008

Good day everyone. I thought before the snow comes and the leaves have finally fallen off the trees I would give you a quick glimpse into what I did for my summer in my home town and surrounding area.
Little did I know that my home town of Pinawa held such a wonderful and relaxing amusement park like ride without the cost! Imagine! The locals here call it Tube Floating. You borrow or purchase an inner tube or a tube that you pull behind a boat and head down to the Diversion Dam in Pinawa. It is recommended that you get a group of people, two or more, to accompany you when you're doing this. The reason for that is due to the starting location and the finishing location. The distance between the start and finish if you were walking would be about 2km. I think. It doesn't seem that far, but I will explain shortly. One person parks there car at the start (being the Dam) and someone else parks there car at the finish which happens to be by the Pinawa Suspension Bridge also next to the Pinawa Cemetery. Sounds creepy but not in the least.
Once you get yourself organized with your floatation device of choice away you go.
The benefit of having a tube that you pull behind a boat is the fact that it has a bottom in it. That way you can put your flip-flops/car keys and any other snacks/drinks you'd like for the ride. Thank goodness RB wasn't about to turn down an invite to go Tube Floating and was kind enough to carry our load for us. I'm referring to my friend Lyndsey from Ottawa. Lyndsey came out for a visit and attempted her first Tube Floating experience with us. It was my second time, but first time with the Inner-Tubes. They are not very stable and not very comfortable as you'll observe in the following photos I attach. Lyndsey fell in immediately upon the start. It was a good thing she went in first so that I could brace myself for my impending launch. I, however, was successful. You do get a great ab work out with Inner-Tubes though so that is a plus.

Oddly enough it looks like I'm not even on an Inner-Tube in this picture, but I am. The picture ended turning out 'funny' so to speak.
On to golfing! I always thought of myself as the 'Happy Gilmore' of golf. I never had any great experiences with it and could only last about 9 holes at the most. I am delighted to say that I've been out golfing four times (which is HUGE) this summer, twice with my folks, once in the Pinawa closing scramble with a team that was STACKED (again I was unaware of this at the time), and this past weekend in a fundraiser for Terry Fox. We had a great time and I got some great pictures of all involved. My parents, George, Cam, Devon and myself. It was best ball thank god, but regardless a fun time and great weather for it.

So, from three of the four times I went out golfing I ended up with some prizes. Imagine! Golf is much more enjoyable when you win prizes. lol. So I won myself a putter, and a whole heck of a lot of golf balls, as well a towel for my non-existence bag and clubs. I'll be scouting for some clubs this fall and see what I can come up with. Would love a pink bag, however whatever gets my attention will be just fine. My birthday is coming up as my mom reminded me, so who knows I may end up with some golf shoes and clubs. My mom, being a golfing expert with her hole in one last year, believe this is something I should continue to pursue on the off season.
I think I might actually like it!
This is a brief indication of how my first summer back in Manitoba has turned out. I've been spending an enormous amount of time with my Mom and Dad, sister Jacquelyn and nieces as well as my other two sisters. It has been great and I wouldn't change anything at all. We've created many more memories and stories to reminisce about for the future and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Let the games begin....

And it begins. I never thought I'd start a blog, but thought I'd give it a go. Now for the readers please note that I am not in anyway a grammar teacher or English major. That being said, please be kind.
For those who know me, they know me to be a very active person. I love sports and work hard at taking care of myself and staying in shape. My passion and love is the game of curling. I had some success when I was in Jr's and skipped a team to the Manitoba Pepsi Jr's way back in 1988 I believe. That was an experience to say the least. I'd been a fearless leader up until that point in time. I did however 'SNAP' so to speak in my confidence at skip when with my last rock I was attempting a freeze against four opposition stones. Things were looking good until my sweeper confessed to burning my rock. This is when the wheels fell off for me. I struggled in later years with my confidence at skip and all due to a burnt rock. Strange really, but young minds tend to be affected differently to certain situations.
Curling took a back seat when I moved to Ottawa to go to college, but upon starting my first job in Montreal and with the persistence of my older sister Jacquelyn I got back into curling while I lived there. I played all positions except skip and enjoyed it all, built my confidence up and became the competitor I used to be while finding my passion for it once more.

Since then I have skipped my own team back in Ottawa and really built my confidence up as well as my growth as an individual and team mate.
I made a difficult decision in moving back to Manitoba December 15, 2007. This was something I never thought in a million years I would do, yet hear I am. I am back in my home town now after a brief career in Winnipeg, and have adapted to the ways of small town life once again. Quite easily to be honest. I've reconnected on many different levels with my parents and am loving each and every day I've had the opportunity to spend with them. They have become my best friends and my inspiration. There is not a day that goes by that I do not consult them for input and deliberate on obstacles and challenges that lie ahead of me.
I will be starting my curling season here in MB with a team based in Winnipeg. A competitive team that I have had the pleasure to meet and greet and get to know. I like what I see and I like our potential for greatness. Our season is to start in October and I'm very much looking forward to getting on the ice and going full throttle.
This is basically a very brief description of what has gone on in my life since leaving Manitoba in '93 and my return.
It is going to be a very busy season in any case and I will have much more to post and share. Until then...Live each day to the fullest, Dance like know one is watching, and when life hands you lemons ask for tequila and salt. :)