Thursday, June 2, 2016

Alive and kicking

Hey hey hey, what's up dudes? You thought I disappeared without saying goodbye? Not so fast. Truth is, I've hit a really hard patch at the end of last year, which continued into this year to the point that I had to seek professional help. Very thankful for the medical professionals, my family and my friends, I am now back to some kind of normal. I went back on anti-depressant medication and it's probably the best decision that I could have made. I still have the occasional freak out, but at least I don't feel like throwing myself under a bus every month.
Found myself a new passion
Looking at my sad mug in the last post was also making things worse, so I decided to make my blog private for a while. I pretty much hated myself and the situation I was in and the post was rather triggering. I could not bear the thought of more bad news, fighting with my health, my injuries, my willpower. As a matter of fact, at the end of December I completely threw the towel on my triathlon training and went back to Taekwondo. I think it was fate that made me stop in a traffic jam on a route that I never take, just to notice an ITF Taekwondo school, about 15 min from my house. I decided to check it out and I loved it instantly.
First day back in the dojang
I figured that all the leg training and stretching could only do me good. It took a while to feel flexible enough to do leg kicks that felt almost impossible with achy and stiff hips. It's a small school, people are nice there and classes are pretty hard on a regular basis. Exactly the type of challenge that I needed. Last time I did Taekwondo was in 2005 and I thought I would never get back to it. I even gave away most of my uniforms, belts etc. Thankfully I had kept one uniform and my latest belt (blue)  and I could get back into it without much delay. I have been working pretty hard since December, going to classes at least 2-3 times a week. It didn't help that I broke one of my toes in January and it slowed down my progress.
My first competition in 12 years
But since then I re-learned all the patterns and managed to catch up with my belt level to the point that I could attend my first competition in 12 years, just this past Saturday. Thanks to my instructor, who is a perfectionist freak (love him!), I took gold in patterns (technique), beating 2 other ladies of higher belt ranks than me. In sparring I faced an older lady wearing a black stripe (see third place below) and we put on a show, according to the spectators. We tied at first, then had to spar again, and she beat me. Because we were only 3 in sparring, a draw made such that she sparred again, with a yellow stripe, and I was given bronze. No big deal at all, that's how it goes when there aren't many competitors in a category.
Winner winner chicken dinner (and a few bruised ribs)
Since then I have been feeling the effects of a hard fought sparring match and as a matter of fact, I have a few bruised ribs that I'll have checked out this afternoon. Something doesn't feel right. Not only the strongest painkillers don't help at all, but I also feel clicking, popping and rubbing on the side of my ribs when I bend my torso. It should be interesting to know what's going on. But I'm not complaining. Sure it will take a few weeks to heal, but it's the risk of the sport. What do you expect when you are kicked and punched repeatedly. My fault for not defending myself better. I will definitely work on it for the next time.

Now, back to the subject of triathlon and everything that goes with it, I am slowly making progress. I signed up for a few sprint races this summer (Welland, Kingston, the Georgina Women's Triathlon) and will go back to Barrelman for the half iron swim-bike. Nothing too crazy, given that my focus will continue being my Taekwondo classes and getting stronger glutes, hips and core, while also fulfilling my sherpa duties for hubbs, as he's ramping up for Ironman Mt Tremblant. But as I was saying, I did notice that my running has been improving. Not only we run on a regular basis at the beginning of each Taekwondo class, but I also did a few longer runs on my own, and I managed to go all the way to 6km without pain. Now, another thing worth mentioning, is that I went back to my natural running form and I am not forcing myself to land on my forefoot anymore. Maybe that is part of the solution, and only time will tell.

And that's it for the newest news. It will be hard to recap 9 months of hiatus, but as in Riri fashion, will share a few photos to bring you all up to speed.

At the end of the season I put on my cow onesie and rang my cowbell hard and loud for friends at the annual Egg Nog Jog. It was supposed to be my last race of the year, another DNS. I had fun supporting my friends, even if deep down it hurt.

The rest of the month was rather uneventful. I did a lot of couch surfing, procrastinating and giving the finger to my bike and swim classes.
The new year started with a long awaited vacation to Mexico, our first ever to the Carribean and the blue ocean and turtles and colorful fishes. We only had to wait 20 years, but we finally made it!!
Pretty much everything went downhill from there, mental health wise, but eventually I turned things around after going to France and reconnecting with my best friend.
Visiting Claude Monet's gardens
Recently I was able to attend the Muskoka Triathlon Training camp that our club organizes every year and I am proud to report that I managed to complete the Muskoka 70.3 bike loop and some more, plus running, plus swimming, all over the course of 3 magnificent sunny days. All without training. Ha! And I did not destroy my legs. Not until I got them badly bruised at the Taekwondo tournament, but that was to be expected, d'uh.
Said Hi to the lonely bear on the side of Brunel Rd, just like last year
Shared the cottage and adventures with these awesome peeps
Found a pretty bridge, took a picture for my TRS team
First OWS of the year, safety first thanks to DC Rainmaker
I hope this comeback post will settle all rumors concerning my absence. Not that I need TMZ to look into my life, but my three blog readers may enjoy getting back in touch without sending in the paparazzi. It's been a rocky ride, but I'm hanging in there and more important, I try to keep moving. Mens sana in corpore sano. And last but not least, BELIEVE.


  1. YYYAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!! Welcome back!!! <3

  2. I was definitely about to send a search party. Nice job at the competition and glad you are doing better in so many ways!

    1. Thank you Gracie!! Happy to see that you're still here. xoxo

  3. Awesome!Taekwondo. Whodathunkit? Thanks for sharing your mental health story, it looks like you've bounced back and then some. I'm doing Barrelman, swinging a cat at it again.

    1. Well, it's always a bumpy road... been back and forth with this mental struggle for over 10 years now. It's never really gone. I can't want to see how Barrelman goes for you this year! Just don't hurt the cat, mmmmkay?