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Archive for March, 2010

So I was thinking today… as usually precedes my blogging ūüôā ¬†I was thinking of what stops action. ¬†What stagnates people and what, as my friends and I say, causes us to “jammer”.

There’s a sentence that keeps popping up in my mind… it goes something like this:

I like/want to ______________ (fill in the blank) BUT __________________

It’s the sentence of death of an idea. ¬†The sentence of overthinking. ¬†The sentence of inaction.

Whatever reason ¬†follows BUT is meant to justify why we can’t have, do or experience what we want. ¬†It’s a glorified excuse for continuing to do what we have been doing, and, like it or not, the consequence is that in life we get the same results we have always gotten. ¬†How can I say that? ¬†It’s the notion of “That which we do one thing, we do everything”. ¬†So if we live one part of our life in the land of BUT, there is no doubt that we are doing this in other parts as well. ¬†Because we made it acceptable…

Let’s go with the most common BUT sentence I’ve heard- it’s come up for me as people often want training advice…

“I want to work out and get into shape BUT …

  • I don’t have the time
  • I don’t know what to do
  • I can’t afford it
  • I have too much to lose
  • I don’t believe in restricting my diet
  • I’m so tired after work
  • I’m injured

So what if I was to tell you that you don’t need to pay anyone if you can’t afford it, you don’t have to completely change your diet, you only need 20 minutes a day and you can work out at home if you want, your injury will get better, and I will help you figure out what to do. ¬†Problem solved? ¬†Nope. ¬†I can’t tell you how many people I have said this to, but they would rather hold onto their BUTs than find their solution.

And what about this one:

“He’s so great, I like him so much BUT…

  • he’s not _________ enough
  • he lives too far
  • he’s too old, too young, too experienced, too inexperienced
  • I don’t know how I feel about him

You get the point ūüėČ

So what am I saying – that the BUTs should be ignored? ¬†That we shouldn’t notice these things as potential issues and problems? ¬†That’s definitely not what I’m saying. ¬†I mean, in the case of a relationship you are choosing to be in, you have to be aware of all of the good and bad points in order to make a great decision for yourself. ¬†What I am saying is that perhaps we need to omit the word “BUT” and replace it with “AND”.

AND is a word that doesn’t limit. ¬†If I say “I want to work out and get into shape AND….” ¬†it has to follow with an action. ¬†It’s not that some of the BUTs are not considered in that action, but it’s no longer an excuse to continue to live the exact same way, complaining about the exact same things!

So I’m going to share my excuse and my new possibility.

OLD exuse: ¬†I want to be completely healthy by June BUT¬†I don’t know who to train with, physio and trainers are expensive, I don’t know if it’s worth it since I am missing the first half of my season, I feel like I don’t have control over healing.

NEW possibility: ¬†I want to be completely healthy by June AND I’m going to be creative to find a way to invest in myself so that I can kick ass on the world tour and AVP.

And this isn’t just semantics. ¬†I think that the importance of language can never be overstated… thought precedes words, which precede action. ¬† ¬†So every word that has come out of our mouths, has been a thought and, at the end of the day, will inevitably become an action. ¬†If we focus on the reasons something is hard, or impossible, then there is no doubt we will continue to experience it in this light. ¬†If we focus how to make it happen, and are clear about what we want, we’ll make it happen – we will prioritize it and find a way because damn it, we are powerful!!

It’s like Sir Mix-A-Lot – he didn’t say “I like big butts BUT it’s hard to find a girl who’s little in the middle but she’s got much back…”. ¬†He just stated what he wanted. ¬†And I’m pretty sure that since he wrote that song, he’s had the opportunity to see the biggest butts the world has to offer!

And for those of you who are in the amazingly interesting, challenging and hilarious dating world – without negating the values that you need a potential partner to have, what about trying these statements on, even just as an experiment, and see where life takes you:

“He’s so great AND…

  • now we are going to figure out how to visit, skype, text, call each other enough to keep this relationship going
  • I’m going to stay open to dating someone older/younger/more or less experienced and see what it’s like! Maybe it’s just what I need.
  • I’m going to talk to him about how it’s really not cute when he wears black pants with white socks ūüėČ ¬†(and if you are reading this and realize you do this… yes, women feel this way across the board!)

So with this newfound power to create and express ourselves, ridding our lives of excuses and reasons “not to”, ¬†let’s not embrace our BUTs but instead focus on embracing the right kind of BUTT ¬†and once we accomplish our goals go ahead and¬†“Shake ya ass / But watch ya self / Shake ya ass / Show me what you workin‚Äô with!”. ¬†It’s a lot more fun, don’t you think?

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 If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go with others. 

I like to walk alone.¬† I don’t know what it is but I think it comes from my mom’s side.¬† It’s common knowledge to all of the in-laws that marry into the family that a Priestner walks fast and furiously in whatever direction they think is the right way, losing whoever can’t keep up and often going in the opposite direction that they intend!¬† My dad just loves to follow my mom, as she confidently strides to her “destination”, only to tell her, 5 minutes later when she turns around that the car is the other way.¬† “Well why didn’t you tell me?!!”.¬† He laughs, and since he almost knows her better than she¬† knows herself, says “You didn’t ask”.¬†

In so many ways, I am my mother ūüôā¬† Aren’t we all?!¬† I am also known for the same thing.¬† I just go.¬† I just walk in whatever direction I think is right, only turning around to ask for directions, help and validation once I realize I’m in some abandoned parking lot and the sun is going down.¬† The last resort!

Here’s why it works out for me… I’m super lucky.¬† I have friends and family that stick around – like a favorite pet, they go and do their own thing, but always know where I am.¬† Check around the corner… “yep, she’s safe”, then frolick on their own walk until just enough distance that they need to check once more.¬† And though I love them greatly for this, how many miles have I wasted walking in the wrong direction when I just could have asked a local where “L street” is?

Rather than just assuming I know the path, what about getting more information and making a decision from that point rather than the trial and error of a GPS-less existence.¬†¬† You know, I LOVE the quote at the top of this blog.¬† It’s just so true.¬† Alone, things get done quickly because… well… nobody is there to stop you.¬† And though there is a rush with that, and things move quickly at the beginning, there is a cap to what we can do alone.¬† I think that the Olympics here in Vancouver were a testament to that.¬† Together we are stronger.¬† Together we can make a miracle happen.¬† IF we choose to work together, anything is possible.¬† Yes, the route may be slower, but the road has no end- we can keep building and building because of the amount of tools and resources that a group of people have, rather than the few that one individual might rely on.

For me, I know that my tools include work ethic, vision, positivity.¬† But to simply deal with everything that comes my way with these tools is shortsighted… for example, I trust everyone, blindly.¬† Now trust is a great thing, but if I allowed somebody analytical, who has an understanding of what I want to do into the equation, perhaps they could give me some really important information that would save me from trusting the wrong source… at the end of the day, I could make my own choice but at least I have more to go on then my own personal strengths.¬† Believe it or not, I hadn’t asked my parents, who wrote Own the Podium- 2010 about training suggestions.¬† Crazy right?¬† My mission is to seek information from those that possess it and why not start close to home ūüôā

Anyways, as I go I learn and this past year I have learnt SO much.¬† Right now I’m deciding what to do to be my best as I heal from this injury and I want to build my toolbox as much as I can.¬† I would love, from my many friends who share this blog with me, advise and insight about what they suggest with training, financing my training/competition, nutrition, and mental training, so please feel free to send me ideas!¬† Until then, I’ll hopefully find out where I parked my F-ing car!!!

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really? a translucent head?

So are there really plenty of fish out there?¬† I mean, really? People say that “there are plenty of fish in the sea” all the time! There’s even a dating site called Plenty of Fish – casually referred to as POF, and the fact that there is lingo such as “I’m Poffing”,¬† and “he’s a Poffer” demonstrates that it’s pretty common to look for these supposed fish online.

So do¬†I think there are plenty of fish out there? The answer is yes and no.¬† YES I believe that there are a lot of single guys out there, just like there are fish in the ocean.¬† There¬†is also a lot of weird shit in the sea.¬† There are random things that only come out from under the rock to kill and eat, there are the fish with those massive eyeballs, and the ones that have transparent heads.¬† I mean, yeah, it’s interesting but do I want to bring it home and look at it everyday?¬† Probably not.¬†¬† And so, like fish in the sea, there are many men, but I don’t have any desire to catch them all.

So my friend Jenna had a blind date today.¬† I’m going to liken him to an eel.¬†¬†Kind of slimy and like eel sushi, would only be good with a whole lot of sauce on top. He described himself as funny, intellectual and successful on POF¬†and if this is the standard, then the pool is definitely smaller than I thought.¬†¬† I think that at the end of the day it’s hard to change what you are attracted to, and she is attracted to clown fish – guys that make her laugh, kind of flashy, cool looking, but sometimes lacking a serious side.¬† I personally think she should go for a goldfish-¬†I know it seems a little simple and maybe a little lacklustre, but goldfish are super social, come in many colours and in my opinion, they are resilient¬†and strong (mine survived living in an m&m infested bowl¬†that my roommates in university used to have candy tossing competitions in!).¬†

I think that many girls go for siamese¬†fighting fish.¬† They are¬†total chamelions.¬† They are beautiful, powerful, actually quite social fish.¬† They come in any colour you want!¬† BUT there is one very important thing that comes out over time… they cannot be in the vicinity of any other male.¬† Yep, this is a big thing that at first comes out as protectiveness and chivalry¬†but in time the truth¬†comes out, and though¬†we try to ignore it they become so territorial they will fight to the death – maybe even the death of the relationship.¬† And the truth?¬† Well, they are best in a small bowl on their own, going in circles and circles admiring themselves until they even attack their own image…

But really, all jokes aside, I can only speak from experience and while almost every one of my girlfriends is single right now, I’m not sure that the issue is the amount of fish.¬† In fact, I’ve met a whole lot of awesome people and so it’s probably which ones we are paying attention to and how often we actually get our line out and go fishing.¬†

And I think we should help each other out.¬† I mean, if one of us has caught a throw-away (such as Jenna’s recent Poffer), shouldn’t we make sure to let the other fishers know that they may want to move on to another area… or maybe give up fly fishing for ice fishing?¬† Cause I hear there are a lot of options up North!¬†

I’ve gone ahead to work on setting¬†Jenna up with another blind date, but the difference is that I can vouch for him.¬† There is definitely a much higher chance of catching the right one if the pond has been pre-screened, however I have to make sure I keep in mind that she does prefer a clown fish over a goldfish, and maybe she can send a goldfish my way ūüôā¬† Until then, we’ll play for the experience and hopefully won’t have to cover them up with too much Teriyaki sauce ūüôā

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I have this thing… this belief.¬† And I’m trying to get rid of it.¬† I have this belief that good things are hard to get.¬† As in, the harder I work, the tougher the journey, the more it’s worth it.¬† This includes going through injuries, drama with dating, struggling with money, and feeling like I have to do it all on my own.¬† I wonder where this came from and why I keep honouring this belief when there could be an easier way?

Now I know that there is some truth in that work creates momentum, which creates results, but for some reason I always seem to take the road less travelled and the one that is a whole lot bumpier.¬† Even the way I decided to play volleyball over a few other sports is an example of this.¬† I remember like it was yesterday- ¬†I was in the middle of¬† club practice in grade 11 and after I hit a ball, the coach called me over.¬† He told me that I would never make it in volleyball because I was too small.¬† His words stung and I can tell you that at that moment I decided one thing… that no matter what it took, I would prove him wrong.¬† And I have.¬† But at what cost and was it really worth it just to have him admit that he was wrong?¬† It truly was anticlimatic¬†when he walked up to me in my 3rd year at UBC and congratulated me.¬† That moment that I had fantasized about for 4 years felt so different than I expected, and I think that for the most part the reason was because it was no longer about him or that moment… it was about proving to myself that I could do it, which is an addictive feeling.

And while I see the benefit in a strong work ethic and in my fiery response to “you can’t”, it should never be the catalyst for a choice because if I value this over success, then I will constantly be fighting to get up Grouse mountain when I could have been standing on top of Blackcomb¬†(for those who are not Vancouver natives, Blackcomb is significantly higher!)

So when life starts handing me some great things, I question it.¬† I question the ease of the path that’s in front of me, I question the value of what lies at the end of the road, and most importantly, I seem to find ways to create hurdles to overcome (though most of my life I have called these things “unlucky”).¬† So what’s the deal??! And how can I officially “retire” that belief that doesn’t serve me at all and just holds me back?

Right now I feel super lucky.¬† Life feels easy, and the perfect people are coming into my life at the perfect time.¬†¬†¬†Is the right¬†path just simply opening up to me, waiting to be walked on… even rollerbladed on¬†considering how few bumps there are? I think that for the first time in my life, I’m just going to walk the easy road – see what comes up and be open to help and opportunities coming along the way.

So this blog, more than simply being inquisitive, is one of gratitude.  I feel genuinely grateful, especially for the amazing medical team that I have, and that I trust; for my friends, old and new that support me and challenge me Рcalling me out when I need that and always being a listening ear; for my family who remains so close despite hectic work schedules and committments; and lastly, for all of the opportunities that seem to keep coming my way, giving me ways to grow and develop outside of volleyball, and helping me finance my dreams of representing Canada in 2012.   

The truth is, I don’t know why things are so smooth and the universe is giving me what I need, but I’m going to just trust it, believe in it, and give back however I can.¬† Thanks to everyone who plays a part!

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Sometimes I really question whether or not I should share this blog with everyone.¬† Yes, I know it’s out there, it’s public and for that reason it’s fair game, but there have been moments where I realize that my words will precede me and it could very well change how a friend, a family member, or a new boyfriend may see me.¬† I know I get personal and every time I’m about to¬†press “publish” I think twice, and I wonder I’m really ready to put some of my deepest thoughts, insecurities and learnings out for the world to see.¬†

So why do it, right?¬† Though I may realize at a later date that there are more reasons than the one I’m going to give, at this point I feel motivated and inspired to blog because it keeps life real¬†for me.¬† In writing, I’ve found a part of me that has gone undiscovered until now.¬†¬†And though I have a knack for being to talk my way into or out of anything, as the people that know me best¬† can definitely attest to ūüôā¬†¬† by writing it seems to take all the potential bullshit out of the equation.¬† If there was fabrication or any untruths behind my words, I think you would all see through me because I can’t hide behind a smile.¬† So at the end of the day, this blog serves as a way for me to say it like it is – the good, the bad, the beautiful and the seemingly ugly.

When I decide to write it usually comes from a conversation or situation that intrigues me, confuses me, inspires me.¬† For me this happened yesterday and though I have been creatively trying to figure out how to blog about it without getting personal, I’m abandoning ship because I think it would take 2 sentences for you all to realize I was talking around¬†the real¬†subject!

So today I’m going to talk about love ūüôā¬† I know that I need to talk about it because in the past 2 days, 3 people have separately told me that the one thing missing in my life is that I don’t have someone to love.¬† To be honest, I don’t know where the comment in coming from, but obviously I’m putting something out there.¬† I can’t think of a time in the past 10 years when I have been less interested in finding “the one”.¬† I feel SO fulfilled in my work life having had an unbelievable Olympic experience in Vancouver and getting ready to launch a new swimwear line with www.vivvos.com.¬† I am focused and ready to play beach volleyball, my relationships with friends and family are thriving and I don’t know how else to put it but that even though things are far from perfect, I am really happy and I love my life.¬† Every part of it.

And yet their words rang true.

Is that because we are just simply meant to be with another? That it is just natural to share our life and our heart with someone?  Is it an illusion that we can do it on our own, be independent, be free?  Will we always want that connection and will our accomplishments be dulled by the fact that when we turn around to celebrate, we are on our own? 
Or is it just that our society has drilled into us the fairytale of love and a soulmate?

I was called out today by a friend – he spelled out what I have never said aloud.¬† That I believe that when I meet the right person it will be an instant connection and I will just know. The¬†act of choosing to love someone and having that love grow out of friendship was not really an option when it came to The One.¬† This elusive romance was different, special and totally unlike anything I’ve experienced, and for some magical reason, I would just recognize the moment as if every other moment was¬†simply a build up to it.¬† So when a new guy doesn’t bring this to the equation, for me it’s been “on to the next”.¬† And that’s pretty much how my dating life has been.¬† If they don’t have the whole package right away, I never give them a chance to become that package.¬†¬† Don’t get me wrong, I see the holes and the fallacies in this!¬† But it’s hard to change the way I think because at the end of the day, I believe in chemistry and chemisty is elusive and mysterious… it’s a perfect excuse as to why things don’t work out because come on, who can argue with chemistry?¬† ūüėČ

And remember that friend of mine, Stacy?¬† Well, turns out the fairytale is in full effect for her.¬† And it seems crazy, and wonderful and dangerous and perfect.¬† And there’s a piece of me that is still hoping I have a similar story, even¬†if I¬†have the chance to explore something really great with a guy who is really great.¬†

And I guess just one question remains to be answered… what will I do?

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So the Olympics have come and gone.¬† For many people it’s a massive crash after 7 years of planning, organizing and creating.¬† It’s the calm after the storm, and even though everyone is exhausted, there is this energy and life in Vancouver that I’ve never seen before.¬† It’s patriotic, it’s proud, and it’s powerful.¬† It has reminded me of who I am, and who WE are.¬† A nation of excellence, of freedom, of anything is possible.

And so where to go from here?¬† In my opinion, we are only a success if we can bring the spirit of the games into our¬†normal lives.¬† Not that we hold onto the past three weeks, clinging to a reason to feel the way we do, but that we see that the real reason that we were so inspired was that we came together as one to support our athletes.¬† Win or Lose, Rise or Fall, we had their back.¬† We were all one team, whether we were stuck in line waiting for a bus, cheering on our most talented Canadian Olympic team in history, grieving for¬†Georgian luger Nodar¬†Kumaritashvili, or¬†sitting at Canada Hockey Place watching Crosby score the game winner, we were one.¬† And maybe that’s the point.¬† Maybe we finally got it.¬† When we are there for each other (as Canada was for our Olympic team the past 4 years), amazing things happen for everyone.¬† THAT is what the Olympics are about.

And so I’ve learned a few lessons that will definitely make a difference for me as I pursue my own Olympic dream.¬† First of all, I need others.¬† I need to invite people to go on this journey with me – to cheer me on, laugh with me, cry with me, heal me and guide me.¬† And in return, I will give everything I have to this dream and I hope in some small way it will make the world better and will create opportunities for all of the people that I am lucky enough to have in my life.

Secondly, I learned that excellence is a state of mind, and not a result.¬† I think we could all tell when an athlete was going to perform well.¬† They had this energy about them – an unshakable confidence, laser focus, and yet a lightness in their eyes.¬† They could smile, even when the pressure was on.¬† And that’s what I am taking from these unbelievable Canadian athletes.¬†¬†They had¬†humility but it was different than before.¬† Where we were once afraid to be great and somewhat uncomfortable on the top of the podium,¬† we now BELIEVED¬† that we were meant to Own the Podium.¬† And yet we were still “Canadian humble” but our¬†humility¬†was in who¬†we were afterwards- Gracious winners.¬†

So now, bring on the Summer Olympics.  Bring on the sun and sand and bikinis.  Bring on the GOLD.  Ready for the ride of a lifetime?

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