Winter Cabin-ing

Due to my injury this winter, I haven’t had a chance to participate in all the ‘fun’ winter activities in the Yukon. (Fun is very subjective because how much fun can one reaaaaallly have in -30?) The long Easter week-end was the first time I really got out and enjoyed the beauty of the North.

Travel: Manuel, myself and our friends Shelly and Gil rented a cabin through Cabin Fever Adventures for the weekend.Image

We parked about 35 minutes out of town and hiked in 6.3km to an AWESOME cabin in the woods. It was seriously so perfect! Like a secret gem we had discovered.

The walk into the cabin was fun… for me.Image

Poor Manuel, had to carry our sled in and the first 2km were straight up-hill and on really un-even terrian. The sled kept tipping over and I was supposed to be watching to warn him but uhh, the scenery was really pretty and I am very easily distracted. It was a miracle we didn’t break up on the way out.

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The cabin was secluded on a lake that’s stocked with Arctic Char. The family who runs Cabin Fever Adventures used to live out there so it was fully stocked with everything you would ever need. I loved rubbing this in Manuel’s face because he insisted on bringing our own camping supplies and therefore he had to lug an even heavier sled.

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Our strenuous weekend activities included ice fishing, snow shoeing and practicing our sling shot aim. (Discovered I have none, shocking.)

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Plus, melting snow for water. You have this huge pot of snow and it melts to about 1 cup. Worst! We had to re-fill like every 5 minutes.

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Eat: We ate delicious food all weekend, lots of bacon!

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One of the highlights was an Italian meatball recipe that Manuel found from watching Best Recipes Ever.

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Run: I tried snow shoe running for >100m. It’s really hard especially with a drink in hand.

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All in all, a very fun and successful weekend away from the ‘city’ and my back felt great the whole time. I think this will become an Easter tradition.

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PS: I know it’s spring in most places but it’s winter in the Yukon until at least May.

San Jose Hospital: Part 2

Wow, it takes a long time for me to recap something that happened 3 months ago.

Continuing on…

So, how I broke my back was pretty un-climatic but my story doesn’t end there. The guys from Edmonton who rescued me, thought I was just having muscle spasms because when they touched my back i didn’t feel any extra pain. I have had muscle spasms before and I know they are painful (but not like this) but I just went with it. When the EMS arrived, they felt up and down my spine and didn’t think it was broken either. I don’t think anyone knew how much pain I was in.  Since the EMS didn’t think it was broken, they were not that gentle putting me on the spinal board!

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My sister and I rode together to the hospital. She was really helpful and took pictures. Memories!! Thanks sissy.

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At the hospital, I was placed in a room (duh) with another man who had the grossest story. He had ulcers inside his body  and they had burst and he started bleeding out of everything!! He also owned a really nice restaurant and knew our good friend, George Clooney and Ange and had been Princess Diane’s private chef. So that made up for the gross story he told us. Even when in pain, I love me some celebrity gossip. Another thing he told us, was that this was the best hospital in Mexico… umm foreshadowing… I think that was a lie.

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Anyway, I get wheeled away and into the x-ray room where they have to move me onto the x-ray table. I think there were only 3 people working that day, one being an 80 pound girl. That was a struggle. They would go away, come back, lift an arm, take an x-ray and leave. Finally, the x-ray technician (I think) came back and told me not to worry. My back wasn’t broken. Yay! I was very relieved. They wheeled me back into the room with my main man, Princess Diane’s Chef (who was having a freak-out because he needed to use his computer, probably to email George). The doctor came in and told me that I was just having muscle spasms and I would be back on the beach tomorrow. (!!!???) He put me on an IV of muscle relaxant and pain killers. The IV drip was SO slow, I was there for 6+ hours.  During this time, my poor cousin  her new husband came rushing to the hospital because Paige had called the hotel trying to find someone to tell. Not the best way to spend the day after your wedding, love you guys! My parents eventually came  (they had snorkelled in Cabos) and hung out with me while I watched the IV drip, so slowly. I wanted them to jack that thing up!

Eventually it was time to go, I knew when I sat up (with a lot of help) that this wasn’t  just a muscle spasm… (This story is so not suspenseful at all.)

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How I Broke My Back In Mexico: Part 1

They say that everyone has one moment in their lives that changes them forever and they are never the same. (That sounds super dramatic but that’s what ‘they’ say. PS: No idea who ‘they’ is.) So far in my life, I think the moment by back hit the sand on the beaches of Los Cabos was my moment. Here is my story for anyone who cares or wonders why I had so many friends telling me to get better on Facebook. (You guys are the best!)

I was with my family in Mexico for my beautiful cousin’s wedding. Luckily, the wedding was earlier in the week and I got to enjoy the majority of the celebration before I hurt myself.

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We stayed at Dreams Los Cabos and weren’t allowed to swim on the beach in front of our hotel. I went to an information session about the resort and a worker mentioned that it was just recommended that we don’t swim but if we were strong swimmers we would probably be fine. Me, being the ex-swimmer that I am totally commented that I could swim there, ha. Famous last words. I didn’t end up swimming at our resort but I’m sure if someone had suggested it, I would have.

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On Friday, my sister and I walked down the beach because George Clooney was staying 400m away!! Stalkers in da house.

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After a quick dip with George, we continued on our way to go swimming.

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I am just kidding. We didn’t swim with George. We didn’t even seem him or Stace. Next time, Gerogie Poo. Kiss, kiss.

So, there was a section of the beach about 20 mins away that was safe for swimming. The waves were big but not crazy scary and it was fun to ride them in. I actually hate riding waves all the way to the shore because all the sand gets in your bathing suit and it hurts. I end up finding sand for days! Anyway, we are getting hungry and it was tequila-o-clock so I decided to ride one more wave in. It was huge and I caught the break at the perfect time, I switched over to ride in on my back to prevent sand chafing and flashing my lady bits to the beach and my timing was off. I turned onto my back as the wave was crashing and slammed down onto the sand. I remember feeling a crack and then bouncing into the shore. Little did I know. vertebrae #7= Shattered.

The scariest part was that I couldn’t breathe at all. I was waving one hand, trying to get someone’s attention but I looked like I was coughing up water. I couldn’t move out of cat’s pose. My sister and a couple of guys came to help me since I was still in the surf. I couldn’t straighten my body so the guys had the idea to put me on a boogie board and carry me up to a beach chair.  I remember wishing that I could just pass out because the pain was so strong. I also remember telling my sister that I thought my back was broken but being really happy I could move my legs. I’m so lucky they were there and I could hold my sister’s hand. The EMS came and put me on a spinal board and we headed to the hospital in San Jose. That was the opposite of fun.

Traveling Hippie-ionary

In Thailand, Linds and I spent a lot of time people watching.  Whether we were on the beach, on a boat, on a bus or eating on the street, we were always checking out the scenery.  And by scenery I mean boys. (I’m living in no-man Tongxiang land here people, Thailand was a thrill.)

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Other than hot boys, we saw a lot of hippies. So many that we started giving a hippie dictionary. Next time you travel, try to spot them all. It’s not difficult. The difficult part is getting pictures. Cameras are a social construct devised by the government so they can secretly control everything we see… I mean, we should all just live in the moment, just feel it, breathe it in. Peace, love, happiness.  Who needs things?

OldTime Hippie– The ORGINIAL hippie. Oldish, long hair, leather skin, has had dreads for years.

ShortTerm Hippie– Traveling for 1 month or less—adapt quickly to lifestyle of not showering and wearing hippie clothes.

Modern Hippie– Live the hippie lifestyle but clothes are more modern. Cool tattoos and wash their hair approximately 2 times a week.

Hippie Family– A mixture of the old and modern hippie with the addition of innocent children… usually naked. Attire= thai pants, dreads, cotton shirts. Kids are running loose, laissez-fairz parenting. Hippie families come in droves with other hippie families.

Hipster Hippie- Strategically placed headband with “messy” hair. Trying to look “dirty.” Wears flowy dresses or vintage tees that cost more than my wardrobe to accent tattoos and piercings. Lots of bracelets. You are all the same.

Gypsy Hippie– Runs out of money and begs tourists for help in exchange for all of their possessions or a “joke”.” Seriously, it’s called a credit card. How are you going to get home?!

Hippie Couple– Matching dreads and hippie style. Like to talk to non-hippie couples about their lifestyle and travels. Usually trying to out-pierce, out- tribal tattoo, or out-layer each other. PDA non-existent. Could be mistaken for brother and sister.

Minimalist Hippie– Wears all their belongings and brings one shoulder bag. This bag has lots of pockets to hold trinkets from travel. Often found meditating in the middle of a busy street.

Rave Hippie– Sex, drugs, rock and roll. Party the whole trip. Dance all night and beer for breakfast.  Who needs sleep? Or the beach? Or to see the area you’re visiting?

Meditating Hippie– Will mediate anywhere, including busy street intersections. This type usually own yoga re-treats. No deodorant.

I think that is it… oh yah, some advice. Never call a hippie a tourist.

Where do I begin?

Where do I begin when I have not blogged for 2+ months?

I could begin at the Harbin Winter Ice Festival in January where I acted like a Russians and witnessed some of the biggest and best ice sculptures ever.

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 But then my flight was delayed and I spent 12 hours getting back to Tongxiang and ended up being dropped on the side of the highway to catch a taxi… at 2am.  (Hi Mom and Dad!)

 

 I could begin with the NIGHT BEFORE I left for holiday where I proceeded to lose my purse with my wallet, cell phone, credit card, keys and all my money for traveling.

But it turns out you don’t really need a credit card to travel. And I am really good at breaking into my apartment. Hey! It’s not an Amelia holiday if things go smoothly.

 

I could begin with my 3 week trip to Thailand where Linds and I hit up 5 islands on the South and West coast…

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The best of Thailand included scuba diving, tanning, eating, hiking, a massage a day and beautiful, beautiful places and faces.

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The worst hilarious parts of Thailand included a hair dye job gone very wrong, rain, anytime we had to take a night bus, anytime we had to leave an island, getting lost, fireworks, lady boys, ear wax, sunburns, protests, bugs and bug nets and Black Moon Party. Seriously. I have a whole post reserved for the hippies of Thailand.

But I came home, my tan faded, my dark roots appeared and I had a lot of work to do.

 

I could begin with my return back to running.

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I could begin by telling you that Chinese medicine is amazing, acupuncture cures everything and a deep tissue massage will fix any injury. 

But it turns out the real cure is rest.

 

I could begin by sharing the story of a 10km walk I took with 1000 grade 10 students to the biggest silk factory in the world.

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But students started passing out on the side of the road. It was torture. And silk factories are not exciting.

However, I think the company really understands Canadians.

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I could begin with my experience strawberry picking in China.

IMG_2661 But I ate 5 pounds in 2 days and my stomach still hurts.

 

I could begin by teaching you all how to be English geniuses.

Repeat after me: I. Am. An. English. Genius.

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But I think it’s a cult.

 

What I will begin What I will end with is my experience running the Old Shanghai Half on Sunday. When I say old, I mean I was one of the youngest people by a good 45 years. The run was held by the Nanjing Road Running Club which is the oldest in Shanghai. The race was really, really small and you could choose how many 4.4 loops you wanted to do.  It felt more like a tempo long run than a race and I finished in 1:42. It felt surprisingly good for only running 20km once since Christmas. 

Inspiration= running beside an 80 year old woman carrying an umbrella. If she can still get out there and run, anyone can.

Old Shanghai Run

 

I have a race every weekend in April. It’s running season! Good Luck everyone!!

Where Have I Been?

Some of you may have been wondering. (Actually, if my Facebook notifications are any indication, the only comments I am receiving are those from this pic my sister posted of my dad. )

dadyager Drew Fraser. Party Boy.

That vest might have been the best bar win ever.

Anywhoizzle, my VPN (Virtual Private Network, scandalous!) has not been working. I have not been able to access facebook, blogs, twitter, basically any form of social media that China is scared of.  I have been such a good teacher this week! IBut I am back!

This is what I have been up too:

Trying to stay warm.

This is like my part time job. I am constantly thinking about how I can incorporate more layers into my outfit. The temperature may read –10 but I am chilled to the bone! The Chinese have tons of tricks for staying warm. Electric feet warmers, electric hand warmers, space heaters, butt heaters, stomach patches, fuzzy slipper in-sole thingys. You think of something warm, they are selling it on the street. Oh… except INSULATION. I can see my breath inside my apartment. I pretty much just wear the same thing everyday because getting changed is the worst. I max out at 2 showers a week.

Running Club Championships.

12 running clubs competed in Shanghai a few weeks ago. The race was a relay where 3 girls and 7 boys competed for each team. Everyone ran 6km except for one girl from every team who ran 9km. I ran the 9km leg for my team which was a 3km out and back 3 times.

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I think they may have regretted their decision when they realized I was planning on speed-walking the whole race. And looking really un-happy. Seeing everyone finishing at the 6km mark and having to continue on did not bring out the best in me.

I finished my leg in 38:24. Andrea’s running twin beat me once again. I hate that feeling at the beginning of a race when you know there is someone way faster than you. Not that I ever expect to win, I would just prefer to be naive.

She also totally pulled the ol’ swim team trick of getting out of the water as soon as you were finished a set to look like you have been done forever. Except she started her cool down run in the racing lane as soon as she was finished. I was very jealous as I tried to kick to the finish and watched her slowly jog past.

I felt a little better when she told me she ran a 3:05 marathon and it was really hard to PB in China due to the crowds. I felt really lazy when she told me she ran 20km everyday before work. And she has a child.

Despite my second place finish, our girl’s team came first! The boys came 7th but with our times added up, my club was 2nd overall.

I had no idea what was going on, but jumped up and down and screamed when everyone else did. It was exciting.

so excited

Go Team!

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Beijing.

I headed off to Beijing to visit a friend for NYE.

Last time I was in Beijing, I was watching the man win Olympic gold.

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And being really cultural.

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This time I was eating Cheetos.

IMG_1711 Their delicious-ness is under-rated.

Running.

After the club relay, I kind of lost motivation to run.  After seeing (reading?) Andy and Aly in the blog world I’m ready to get back into it.

On Saturday, I attended a running practice with a coach from another team.

The work-out was supposed to be as follows:

-Sets of 800’s

-3km speed

– 8km LSD

-All around a track!!

I was dreading this work-out big time. Especially because I was hung-over and the practice didn’t start until 2pm. That’s prime hang-over time.  Also, I had never run 8km around a track at one time. I was also the only one complaining which I found odd. People actually like running 20 laps around a track?! I wanted to yell at them that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can run on the road! Once you get past the initial fear, scooters really aren’t that hard to dodge.  No one listened. Probably because they couldn’t understand me.

We ended up not doing the 800’s but did a lot of drills. 2 hours worth. Drill boot-camp. Does pushing against a wall and running on the spot help ones form? Is this a secret drill I have never heard of?  Then ran the 3km (11:43) and 8km which wasn’t too bad once you get past the first 7km…

Aiight. I think that is it. Let’s see if I have officially beaten the system.