40 Weeks to 40: Dreaming of the Olympics in Rio

My husband and me at Olympic Stadium.  We were seated in the second row the morning of August 4th, around the 55m mark.  Amazing seats.

My dream since 2012 has been to go to the Olympics in Rio to watch my husband’s cousin – and her husband – compete. I even downloaded Rosetta Stone Portuguese to prepare for our Brazilian journey.

Little did I imagine that our financial position would be as ugly as it currently is following the purchase of my dental practice. Dentists are supposed to make lots of money, right?

Okay, so things didn’t go as planned with my business. It is what is it and I am choosing to take steps to change the practice into what I want it to be. I can live with that. Unfortunately, it may disrupt my dream of visiting Olympic Stadium in Rio and that makes me sad. *sigh*

Right now, we’re saving our Avion points and my husband and I are both working hard to build our businesses and seriously improve our cash flow and debt situation so that we can make Rio happen.

In the meantime and as an active affirmation that I will get to watch the Olympics live, I’m going to tackle learning Portuguese as part of my 40 Weeks to 40 series. My goal is to spend 40 minutes x 40 days on Rosetta Stone by the time I turn 40. That way, I can at least ask someone where the bathroom is when I’m in Brazil. Asking where the facilities are has got to be the most important thing to learn in any language, don’t you think?

The Olympics Are Here

Resolutions for 2014It’s been a good week. I’ve been foam-rolling my left ITB and back everyday, I’ve been working out regularly (weights Monday, stationary bike Wednesday, circuit training with my trainer last night), and my eating has been healthier. I’ve been food journaling and watching my calories, I’ve cut way back on sugar, and I’ve been drinking a lot of tea (herbal and black). I’m keeping a daily gratitude journal, taking Vitamin D, and reading parenting books (all part of my resolutions for the year). At the same time, I don’t feel like I’m taking on too much and have had time to start Season 5 of Breaking Bad.

I’m still feeling sluggish, even with the healthier lifestyle, which is common for me once February hits, but I am starting to feel like I have a little more energy now that the weekend is approaching. Funny how a little thing like a week of eating a balanced diet can affect your energy levels…

The cold around here has been pretty brutal, with daytime highs around -20 (that’s Celcius) and wind chills making it feel so much colder than that. Let’s not talk about nighttime temps. If you want to see my local weather, check out this link. Definitely hibernation weather.

It’s not that the cold bothers me, exactly, because it does get colder than that here with regularity, and I’m not hanging out outside. It’s more the sustained nature of the cold that is driving me crazy, because I sure don’t want to outside, or do anything that involves outdoor parking. Sure, the days are getting longer, and it’s actually light when I go to work at 8:45, but spring is NOT in the air at the moment. (That would be Frostbite).

The one bright light this February is that the Winter Olympics have started. As you may know, I’m a total Olympics junkie. We went to London in 2012 to watch my husband’s cousin compete in heptathlon, and that was an amazing experience, but I think I actually get more excited for the Winter Olympics. That’s probably the Canadian in me coming out. My favourite events to watch are bobsleigh, hockey (I am getting up at 6:30am next Wednesday to watch the Canadian women taken on the U.S. team), and speed skating (especially short track), but basically if it’s on T.V., I’m watching the event.

One of the best things about the Olympics is that I get super motivated to stick to my workouts. Watching world-class athletes demonstrate their strength, speed, agility and skill makes me feel a little bit like a troll for skipping my cardio session.

Also on my radar this week:

52 Simple Strategies to Lose a Pound a Week from Active.com

You’re Too Fat! You’re Too Thin! from swim bike mom

How to Create a Crossover Dutch Braid from Cute Girls Hairstyles

32 Best Homemade Father’s Day Gifts from Tip Junkie

Are you an Olympics lover? What are your favourite events?

All Over the Place

I’m (still) feeling fired up to stick to my goals for 2014 – pretty surprising given that it’s nearing the end of January. I’ve been reading a couple of parenting books, reading a book on rehabbing my plantar fascia and my ITB, keeping a daily gratitude journal, and working on losing the 4lbs I gained over the holidays. I’m also in the process of planning my daughter’s 8th birthday and working on cleaning up around the house (including putting away Christmas decorations), since we’ve been away every weekend but one since before Christmas.

I’m feeling a little bit all over the place, but I’m pretty sure that I like it that way or else I would start narrowing my focus. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve had on my mind lately:

45 Easy Ways to Lose One Pound A Week

Wall decor for my daughter’s birthday party, from Pinterest (not sure what the original source is). I’m going to do it in aqua, pink, and gold.

Sochi 2014 is coming up, so I’ve been checking out info on the Canadian team and coverage of the Games.

A Free-Range Kids post about a woman who was scolded for baking cookies (you have to read the article for it to make sense)

Have you come across anything great lately?

 

 

Reverb 12: Day 17

Kat at Tenaciously Yours has posted information about “a prompt-a-day series for the month of December that is meant to give us all the chance to reflect on 2012 and the opportunity to write down our hopes and dreams for the coming year.” Her post and the details are here.  I have fallen behind in Reverb 12 posts, but am going to attempt to catch up…

Surprise: The most surprising thing that happened this year was…

that my husband reconsidered and agreed to go to the Olympics to watch his cousin Brianne compete.  Once we got that ball rolling, the next surprise was that his uncle and aunt (Brianne’s grandparents) had to back out of going due to a health issue and we snagged their amazing tickets, putting us basically trackside for a few events, including the men’s 100m prelims.

As an Olympic junkie – I’m a bit of a sucker for idealism – the experience was exciting and emotional and unforgettable. I teared up and started hyperventilating as we walked into our first Olympic venue to watch beach volleyball. When we walked into Olympic Stadium for the first time, I was nearly vibrating and totally teared up again. When they counted down to the start of the track and field events our first day at that venue, I had trouble choking back the sobs because I was so overwhelmed to be AT.THE.OLYMPICS.

When I think back to that week we spent in early August, I feel as though it was a dream and can’t believe we were ACTUALLY THERE. Counting down to Rio 2016!

My husband and me at Olympic Stadium.  We were seated in the second row the morning of August 4th, around the 55m mark.  Amazing seats.

My husband and me at Olympic Stadium. We were seated in the second row the morning of August 4th, around the 55m mark. Amazing seats.

Derailment, and Pictures from London 2012

Wow, things went off the rails at work this week.  Spectacularly.  I wasn’t supposed to be seeing patients this week (I’m focusing on administrative stuff), but then the dentist who works for me called in sick Tuesday and Wednesday, went home sick Thursday afternoon, and took Friday morning off short notice.  Had a few other issues with him as well and ended up addressing my concerns with him Thursday.  On Friday morning he gave me notice, and we agreed to waive the 60 day notice period, so, assuming he signs the document my lawyer has drafted, he’ll be done Tuesday.  Definitely not according to The Plan.

My dental assistant also gave notice.  She’s trained as a dental hygienist, which pays more, and got a full-time job doing that.  Good for her, but not so good for me.  Trying to hire someone for next week.  We’ll see how that goes.

Decided I have to upgrade my practice management software, install digital radiography (x-rays), and install a panoramic x-ray machine.  Let’s just say my budget has changed significantly.

As you can imagine, my free time got highjacked as the week progressed.  I got a few workouts in earlier this week, but that’s it.  I have an appointment with a personal trainer/tri coach this week coming up though, as well as with a registered dietitian (although I’ll probably have to reschedule due to the stuff that’ll be going down at my office on Tuesday, with it being the other dentist’s last day).

Stressed? Check. Having trouble sleeping through the night? Check. Actually finding the whole experience challenging? Check.  Feeling empowered by taking care of business? Check. Even with what’s been going on, I’m still not even remotely as stressed as in my 3rd and 4th years of dental school, so I’m feeling pretty good about my ability to get through this stuff.

Enough of the work talk.  Here are a few pictures from the Olympics. Enjoy!

Usain Bolt at the starting blocks for the 100m prelims August 4th

Bolt around 55m mark. He won his heat, of course, and made it look easy.

Oscar Pistorius in the prelims

In the lead is Brianne Theisen, my husband’s cousin. She won her heat for the 800 and came in 3rd overall for that event.

My husband and me at Olympic Stadium. We were seated in the second row the morning of August 4th, around the 55m mark. Amazing seats.

All of the athletes competing in heptathlon take part in the victory lap. Jessica Ennis, who won the gold medal, is out front.

Canadian heptathletes Brianne Theisen and Jessica Zelinka

Will and Kate at Olympic Stadium the evening of August 4, 2012

Waiting for the women’s marathon runners to go by. Positioned on Westminster Bridge, about a block and a half from our hotel.

Americans Kara Goucher (red uniform, red cap) and Shalane Flanagan (red uniform, black cap) running by around the 6:30 mark.

Just a Quick Update: Spent Today at Olympic Park!

It’s currently 11pm here and we just got back to the hotel from Olympic Park.  I’ve been up since 6am, since we had to head to the Athletics events fairly early this morning and weren’t sure how long it would take.  We have some amazing pictures that I want to share, but I have to shower and get to bed since we have to be back at Olympic Park tomorrow morning, so that will have to wait.

My husband’s cousin Brianne competed in heptathlon today, with two events in the morning session and two in the evening session.  As of right now, she’s sitting in 15th.  Another Canadian, Jessica Zelinka, is currently in 3rd place, which is also very exciting.

The morning session begins again at 10am, so I must be off to bed so that I can enjoy the full day.  I should be able to get some pictures up sometime Sunday, as we don’t currently have tickets for any events and only have plans to catch part of the women’s marathon.

Here’s one picture, though, until I can get some more uploaded…

Inside Olympic Stadium

Living the Dream: Our First Day at London 2012

Today has been incredible.  I’m really tired but thought I’d better get a few things down before I forget details.

It’s currently about 11pm in London and we’ve been here for about 12 hours.  We arrived at Heathrow a little late, around 11am, but made it through Customs fairly quickly and had only a short wait for our luggage.  We found our tour operator and driver and were taken to our hotel, the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge.  My husband and I tried to figure out how to connect to wifi on our cells phones to avoid those oh-so-nasty roaming charges – we’ll see when we get our next bill if we figured it out.

There was a little confusion upon check-in, but once that was sorted out, we dropped our bags as our room wasn’t ready and managed to score some tickets to beach volleyball in the afternoon.  By that point, it was around 1pm, we hadn’t had lunch yet, and we had to figure out how to get to beach volleyball.

After gawking at Big Ben from our hotel hallway – we’re right across Westminster Bridge from Big Ben, and we’re just a 5 minute walk from the London Eye – we headed downstairs, grabbed some caffeinated drinks and sandwiches from the cafe in the hotel, had to track down our checked bags so we could grab an umbrella and jackets, got directions from the concierge desk, and headed out the door shortly before 2pm.  The beach volleyball venue was a short walk away, but since we had to stop for multiple photo ops and navigate the fairly heavy foot traffic, it took a little longer than we thought it would.  However, we made it through security and headed in before 2:30pm.  As we headed to our seats, we realized that we had forgotten to advise VISA that we would be out of the country, so we stopped by the VISA customer service desk, where they lent us a phone so that we could call and make sure our credit cards weren’t cut off.

Russia vs. Switzerland

Brazil. Holy fit athletes!

US Team

The venue

We were in our seats shortly after 2:30pm and the game between Russia and Switzerland (women) had started.  Russia ended up winning, and then we watched Brazil defeat the Czech Republic (still women’s beach volleyball).  The next game was between the American men and Latvia, which the U.S. won.

We had a happy hour meet-and-greet event to get to, so we left before the last match and walked back across Westminster Bridge.  We stumbled across a Starbucks and connected to the wifi network there and were able to Facetime our kids.

After, we headed to a pub for some beer and tapas and just relaxed for awhile before we headed over to Canada House.  The people we’re traveling with thought we’d be able to get access as (extended) family members, and indeed we did.  Talk about an exciting experience!  Canada House is located in Trafalgar Square and provides support services to the friends and families of Canadian athletes.  We grabbed some Molson Canadians and sat down to watch some Olympics coverage.  The place was packed and the crowd very loudly cheered on Brent Hayden as he won the bronze medal in the men’s 200m freestyle.  Super cool to be at Canada House while that was going on.  As we walked out, my husband got his picture taken with judoka Sergio Pessoa, which was pretty cool.

Big Ben

Olympic Clock in Trafalgar Square

Canada House!!!

Sergio Pessoa on the left

Once we walked back to the hotel, we were able to get into our room and headed to the gym for a quick workout.  We’re all cleaned up now and headed to bed.  Looking forward to a big London guided tour tomorrow morning!