Running for the Cure

In May 2010, the Canadian Cancer Society posted these statistics relative to breast cancer in both men and women. That’s right – MEN as well as women, are affected by breast cancer each year. I was not aware that men could develop breast cancer until this week, and I was stunned. The following statistics were posted on the Canadian Cancer Society’s web site:

In 2010:

  • An estimated 23,200 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,300 will die of it.
  • An estimated 180 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 50 will die of it.
  • On average, 445 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every week.
  • On average, 100 Canadian women will die of breast cancer every week.

In Quebec, approximately 6100 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

Today, I achieved one of the goals I had set for 2010 – I participated in CIBC’s Run for the Cure by doing a 5K walk in Montreal. While I haven’t been personally affected by breast cancer, I feel that it’s important to support this cause, particularly since my family has been touched by other forms of cancer (there’s just no run/walk for those!).

It was the perfect day for the run/walk – Mother Nature pulled through with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine (though it was pretty cold – I had frost on my car windows when I left this morning!). The energy felt at the run site was fantastic, with approximately 20,000 men, women, children and dogs showing their support.  Here are some of the photos that I took today.

On the way to the run site – Olympic Stadium:

Photo: RAnnDomized

A few more pics taken on the way to the run site:

Photo: RAnnDomized

Photo: RAnnDomized

Photo: RAnnDomized

Photo: RAnnDomized

Arriving at the run site… Hello!

Photo: RAnnDomized

Photo: RAnnDomized

Photo: RAnnDomized

Opening ceremony:

Photo: RAnnDomized

Even the dogs dressed for the occasion:

Photo: RAnnDomized

My favorite ladies – the tap dancers!

Photo: RAnnDomized

Photo: RAnnDomized

Even the HABs mascot Youpi came to show his support:

Photo: RAnnDomized

Starting the walk – this woman wrote “I am running for a future without breast cancer.”:

Photo: RAnnDomized

Here come the tap ladies!

Photo: RAnnDomized

In French, ‘sympathetic’ is ‘sympathique’ – this fellow got creative and called his team ‘Sein Patique.’ ‘Sein’ means ‘breast’ in French.

Photo: RAnnDomized

I think this is my favorite shot, though it doesn’t appear to be boob-related:

Photo: RAnnDomized

Photo: RAnnDomized

Photo: RAnnDomized

The finish line!

Photo: RAnnDomized

A small glimpse of the 20,000 supporters in Montreal:

Photo: RAnnDomized

The wall of hope (I was surprised – it was pretty small):

Photo: RAnnDomized

It was a great day, and I want to thank everyone who sponsored me this year. According to The Gazette, Montreal alone raised $2.1M this year!

Did any of you participate in a breast cancer run this year?

Please remember…

Top 10s and What-Nots

Oi!

Who turned off my Zen? I’m feeling frazzled at my wavering Zenitude and realize that my inability to practice yoga or do any other fitness activity in the last week has made me totally grumptastic. I suppose it’s to be expected – I’m accustomed to stepping onto my mat every other day and hitting the gym or power walking whenever the urge strikes me. This is how I release stress, not to mention that the more active I am, the more inspired I feel to write. Being unable to do these things has left me feeling rather poopy (are you cringing CB?) – even though I know I need to ‘nurse’ my injuries before getting back to the fitness grind. My poopiness is also compounded by the fact that I feel guilty for not working out.  This is definitely a chick thing. Men never feel guilty about not working out.  I feel like I’ve already complained about this in a previous post… Have I? Oh great – now old age is starting to affect me as well. In any case, now I’m sick. Guess the fitness gods are still conspiring against me.

Right, so rather then complain about sore knees and arms and other assorted body parts, I’ve decided to make a list of my top 10 favorite things to do (for cheap)!

1- Power walking; You can do this on your own, or with a group of friends. One of my favorite places to power walk is on Mount Royal because it’s beautiful and challenging. You may need to drop a few coins into a meter if you drive there, but that will cost you $3-4 at most.

2- Doing a fitness class at one of the four Lululemon locations in Montreal. The best part? These classes are free! You can join one of their run clinics, or pop in for a yoga, Zumba or cross-fit class. Check out your local store’s calendar for details – the class schedules change on a regular basis and vary from store-to-store. This is a great way to get initiated to various forms of fitness. Note that Lululemon has locations in the US, Canada, Australia and China!

3- Practicing yoga at home; If you’re not already practicing, you will need to invest in a yoga mat (you can find these at Winners for about $20-25). I really like Lululemon’s Align Ultra Mat because it has embossed guide lines that help maintain proper alignment. This mat retails for $28 CDN. You might also want to invest in a good yoga DVD if you are new to this and unfamiliar with poses and flows. My personal favorites are led by Rodney Yee or Baron Baptiste. Check them out! Their DVDs are also available at Indigo and Amazon, and in some cases, Winners.

4- Relaxing at home, while listening to good tunes and reading a book. The bottle of wine might run you a few bucks, but is highly recommended 🙂 I’m not a wine connoisseur, but I am particularly fond of Fleur du Cap (South African) and Beringer (Californian).

5- Writing; Obviously, I’ve chosen to blog, but you can keep a journal, or write to your friends… or write a book – that’s next on my list of things to do (after this blog has made me famous of course). You can create a free blog using Blogger or WordPress, though I personally prefer WordPress because it’s more user-friendly.

6- People watching; I love to see how people interact with each other, and my favorite place to do this is on the Plateau. I love to  walk around the neighborhood and see what people are up to; there are a host of coffee houses and shops to check out, and interesting people all around! I would suggest taking the subway, and getting off at the Mont Royal stop because parking is scarce.

7- Photography; If I remembered to bring my camera with me every time I left the house, I would have a lot more photos for the blog! In any case, all you need is a camera and you’re all set. You just never know when you’ll come face-to-face with Adam Clayton (sadly, I do know, and I missed that opportunity – but that is a whole other story). All I’ll say is never judge a man by his blue suede shoes!

8- Sitting on my balcony; I love to enjoy a cup of coffee while sitting on my balcony, especially first thing in the morning. Nothing beats the sound of the wind and trees and birds chirping away. The pervert next door pretty much ruined that for me this summer, and it looks like I won’t be enjoying any cool evenings on the balcony either because he’s still perving around. Must find a new #8.

9- Moksha; OK, technically this is not free, but in the grand scheme of things, the $14 I spend per class is nothing in comparison with how amazing I feel afterward. I love Moksha!

10- Running for the Cure; This might not actually count because a) it’s not something I can do on a regularly basis, and b) I paid the registration fee in order to participate in this year’s run. In my defense, I could have waived the registration fee by committing to raising $150, but little did I know that I would end up raising more then this thanks to a few good friends (and my aunt).

The run is coming up in just a few days, and I’m very excited! I’m hoping that our Indian Summer will decide to present itself just in time for the run – will I luck out? We shall see… if you haven’t sponsored me yet and would like to, please check out my Twitter page for the link. All donations help regardless of the amount, and you can sponsor me even if you reside outside of Canada.

What are some of your favorite things to do? And more importantly, are any of you running for the cure this year?

Think Pink!

A

Ay-Oh, Let’s Go! To the Fall!

I hate to break it to you but summer is officially over. According to my calendar, it officially ended yesterday. Snap. And here I was, hopeful that summer would extend itself well into October, so that myself and 170,000 of my closest friends could Run for the Cure in fabulous weather (Have you sponsored me yet? If not, get moving!). I suppose there’s still hope – Montreal typically enjoys a second summer known as Indian Summer; this usually means that we are blessed with a final week or two of very hot, sunny weather. This of course takes place after we have reluctantly exchanged our Summer clothes for Fall clothes, and traded in our flip flops for shoes. Of course, with the strange global warming phenomenon that’s been happening, who knows if Indian Summer will present itself this year. I sure hope so – I’m defiantly still wearing flip flops despite the cooler weather.

While I love Summer, I also have a deep appreciation for Fall. The air changes from hot and muggy to cool and crisp, which means more outdoor power walks for me. During summer, I usually forgo power walking outdoors due to the heat and humidity, so this usually means walking indoors on a treadmill. Bo-ring! But in the Fall… well there is nothing I love more then hearing the crunch of leaves under my feet as I walk down tree-lined streets. Truth be told, every Fall, when I walk past neatly piled stacks of leaves, all I want to do is throw myself in them and roll around like I did when I was a kid. There is something about the smell of leaves that is so incredibly refreshing, so earthy. It is as though the earth is in the beginning stages of replenishing itself for the upcoming Winter months. Oh. My. God. Did I just say ‘Winter?’ Moving right along…

I also love to see the leaves change from green to golden yellow, then to orange, and finally to red. This is particularly beautiful to see as you are driving up North, where the tree population is quite vast in the more mountainous regions. As luck would have it, my folks live in the great big North, so the changing of the leaves is something I get to enjoy every year. My folks have quite a bit of terrain and many, many trees – if it were up to me, I would rake all of their leaves into one big pile, and leave it there. Then I would take a running leap off my new ‘yoga deck’ and land right in the middle of it! I don’t think dad will approve of this.

I think if I could narrow the seasons down to just two, I’d stick with Summer and Fall or Summer and Spring. While I’m quite accustomed to Canadian winters, I can certainly live without the crazy-ass temperature drops that I’m subjected to for 3 months out of the year.

What’s your favorite season and why? And more importantly, do you still like to roll around in a pile of crunchy leaves? 😉

If You Really Knew Me…

This summer, MTV aired If You Really Knew Me, an American reality show that focused on high-school students from various cliques. The goal was to break down the various stereotypes and barriers that exist amongst high-school kids, so that they can develop a better understanding of each other. I thought this was a great idea, and so did my fellow SITS girl Mrs. O, who recently took this concept to another level by bravely sharing some things about herself that even her closest friends and family don’t know. Today’s blog inspiration is thanks to Mrs. O!

If you really knew me, you would know:

That I don’t hold grudges, but if what you’ve said or done is of major significance, I will blacklist you and be done with it.

That even though I don’t need to worry about my weight, I have a complex about it that dates back many years and I hate to be belittled about it.

That it bothers me that some people can’t be bothered to read my blog, because if they knew me, they would know that writing is my passion. Their lack of support upsets me and speaks volumes.

That my stress levels used to be exorbitantly high – like, Empire State Building high! You would recognize that I’ve worked hard to let go of that stress because it was causing physical damage to my body and what a struggle it’s been to let go.

That I’ve been practicing yoga for four years and that I’m thinking about becoming a Moksha instructor.

That I’ve been questioning many of my relationships because I feel like I invest more then what I actually get back.

That I don’t do one-way relationships and then at some point each year I ‘recycle’ ‘friends.’

That I can replicate the call of the Bedouin perfectly and that I do this completely out of the blue, much to the dismay of my friends/ family, who are usually within close proximity.

That I’m a huge U2 fan and I’ve had a crush on Adam Clayton since 1987. No, for real – post-afro made him totally hot!

That once I decided to buy my condo, I had a moment of complete panic and called my father in tears, begging him to get me out of it.

That I’m afraid of dying by drowning.

That I love J-horror.

That I don’t believe in soul mates.

That I’ve always wanted to participate in Run for the Cure, and that I’m doing it this year (YAY!).

Mostly, if you really knew me, you would know that I rock, because I do!

What would I know about you?