My city, saying goodbye to a friend and rolling out my lats, oh my!

Wow, what an emotional last 2 days it has been here in Ottawa. I was not directly impacted by the events that unfolded in and around Parliament Hill, but half my friends and family work downtown – we’re a government city. My father works 2 blocks from the War Memorial where the young soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, was shot from behind while guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. My neighbour’s office faces Parliament Hill and she watched, in horror, as chaos erupted. My cousin works in a building a block from the Hill and while she doesn’t face Parliament, this was the view from her office that day.

That is NOT the Canada that I know. Nor is it one that I want to know. The stories of heroism that come out following events like this are touching, but our innocence has been shaken. The ease with which tourists came and went from Parliament Hill (both M and Brad experienced this during their visits) and the ease with which ceremonies taking place outdoors with dignitaries will be no more. More security will be in place, more barriers, more distrust. And that just really sucks.

Yesterday, I took the morning off, but ended up staying the whole day, for the funeral of my friend and teammate Stephen who passed away last week after a 10 month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 59 years old. When people are that young when they die, their funerals have a different tone. And while at times I was very tearful (seeing my “tough” male teammates cry was heart wrenching), the family managed, through their own tears, to truly celebrate the life of Stephen. A life where he put family first (giving up promotions at work that would have taken time away from his 2 kids and wife), he explored the world around him and was always trying to learn, and he was one of the most loyal friends you could have. One of the people who spoke was his very best friend, since the age of 9, Tobias, and as we filed out of the chapel, I turned back to look one last time and saw Tobias, all alone, sitting in a pew, staring at the front where Stephen’s urn had been placed. It just about broke my heart. 


What was really striking was the presence of Stephen’s field hockey family. I have known Stephen for 8-10 years, but there were guys there, like Tobias, who had been with Stephen the day he picked up his first hockey stick and others who had played with him in high school, university and club teams. Even his high school coach was there. After the funeral service, we all headed to a local pub and I was able to spend the afternoon (drinking beer and) hearing great tales of their younger years where they traveled the world playing hockey. And in every story, Stephen was the same: a loyal friend and teammate – the one you always knew you could count on. I know that I don’t even know yet just how much I will miss him.

Despite the clear morning yesterday…

…It had been raining all week and I just couldn’t bring myself to go and run around a muddy track!! So that meant doing my 8 x 400m workout on 1 minute recovery on the ratmill!! 


So, looking at my handy chart, I decided my 400m repeats were going to be done in 1 minute 30 seconds which translates into 6 minute miles. Gross. After the first one I really wasn’t sure I could do it, but I stuck to it and I did it!!! I was SUPER proud of myself.

Last night I went to my “torture class” and we worked on chest and shoulders area – when she told us that’s what we were doing, I immediately got butterflies in my stomach. I remembered from last fall when I did this class, that these stretches were THE WORST. Good for me, but make me want to throw up at the same time. LOL! 

The one I’ll share today is one I can barely do it is so uncomfortable – and I need to make sure I start doing it regularly to loosen it up. This one is for the lats (Latissimus Dorsi).


And this video shows what to do…trust me. I’m trying hard not to grimace and trying to remember to breathe. I am SO tight there it’s incredible.


Remember to keep your bottom elbow on the floor the whole time and to open up your chest, keeping your top elbow wide as you twist. *shuddering at memory*

And then there’s Abby. As if there wasn’t enough chaos already, when I came back from class last night I found this. 

I cannot even tell you what number couch pillow this is that she has destroyed in her 5 short years on this planet. I was LIVID. And I REFUSED to speak to her or acknowledge her. She knew she was in BIG trouble because she waited until I was in bed to even try to come onto her my bed.  So I started videoing her and her process…

Step 1: Assessing how weak I was to her big brown eyes



Step 2: “I’ll do what I want”


For all you bleeding hearts out there, trust me, the minute I turned off my camera I pulled her in close and gave her a cuddle. This dog has complete control over me. And she knows it.

Tonight is the second last Redblacks game of the season and it’ll be a little different for me than usual. My neighbour, Allan, asked me to go with him to the game – he has season tickets as well. So I’m going with Allan and my dad is bringing his good friend, Bruce. I’m super excited to go with Allan…except that because he’s an RCMP officer and apparently our Prime Minister goes to all games (I didn’t know that!) and is still insisting on going tonight, Allan might be pulled on duty in some capacity and won’t be able to go…soooo, I took Allan’s tickets last night and if he can’t go, he said I can use his tickets and bring a friend! So, if he can’t, who wants to go with me!?

Happy Friday!!

One thought on “My city, saying goodbye to a friend and rolling out my lats, oh my!

  1. Pingback: A hockey celebration for Stephen and Abby’s lack of shame. | 50statecanuck

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