Get-outta-the-way May.

2014 is the year of the Horse... which means a time of 'unremitting effort to improve oneself'.

This is Mom and Sky, my neighbour's dog.
I have been living in Toronto for a month now.  I don't fit in but I don't care.  My home has candles and red wine and sweaty gym clothes and a desk that takes up half the apartment and that's as homey as it's going to get.  I'm here for a reason.  I'm here to train like an animal at York University and network like a neanderthal.. I'm going to hunt and gather my way to Team Larisa's second season of extremely fast ski racing.  Some sponsors are coming back on board and some were committed to the one season and now have other places they've committed their money.  Either way, last season changed my life and I'm excited to show you how Team Larisa blossoms in the next few months.  It's not necessarily comparable to a blossom that sits beautifully in someone's garden with dew on its petals.  It's more like a blossom that someone created with a photosynthesis science fair project that took weeks and weeks to prepare and grow.

Dave MacDonald (in a 'tie coat') and me at Mentor Mornings
This morning I went to a meeting called Mentor Mornings and the content was successful CEOs speaking about the value of corporate culture.  It was a very stimulating session.  I was blown away at the amount of concepts we could relate on.  As they discussed their hundred million dollar companies, how they had "big, crazy, hairy goals" and maintained "happiness at the company", I thought about how big, crazy and hairy some of my goals must've seemed to some.  I thought about how important it was for me to be in such a free, flexible and fun work environment and how successful that became for me.  I'm well aware of the tall order that is my circumstances.  For some reason, people feel the need to remind me of the challenges I face.  However, a key point I took from today was to 'lead by example'.  I am an advocate of following your dreams and being brave.  How do I continue to promote such a feat if I can't even say the same for myself?

Me in Sochi

Me just being badass
It's get-outta-the-way-May and it's up to us to put carrots in front of our noses.  We may not ask for life to corner us but when it does, we often see what we're really made of.. or more importantly, what's worth what.  That's a tough, but necessary, question to answer every once in a while.  In this picture, I clearly knew what I wanted.. I wanted the training wheels tactfully cropped from the base of the photo so as to appear that I was just that good.

I feel grateful that I'm in a place I can continue to work hard alongside my passion.  I haven't always been so lucky.  There are grind days and grand days and I will continue to try and keep my head and trust myself.  That's what Mr. Kipling advises and I've been staring at his poem on my desk for 5 years.

What will you do with your get-outta-the-way May?