Friday, May 3, 2013

Engage Life's Magic

 In March, 2011, one of my early blog submissions was Live a Life That article about my mother who used whatever spare time she had to assist/help others live a happier life. After my father passed away, she devoted her life's  ambition...through her nearby church and neighbourhood.  For her, this was “her magic” to work with...and “engage it” she did!  It was a few years later before I realized that she was regarded “as a saint” through her endeavours and accomplishments.  My mother was a model of the following philosophy, not only to me...also to her wide range of friends:

Everyday you get to paint the canvas of your own life.  (Oprah Winfrey)

Several years ago, I shopped for a Mountain Bike at Neworld Cycle  (Plains Road E. in Burlington).  Staff was somewhat busy; as I waited for service, there was a young lady talking about a specialized racing bike (she was a person of interest...did I know her?  Had I met her before? Did I recognize her from a news photo?).  Yes...she was Clara Hughes!  The salesman later told me that she was here to train for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta...and 7 years it was!  WOW!  She daily trained on the rolling hilly roads in our neighbourhood. Sydenham Hill in Dundas was her daily challenge...her nemesis to conquer!  What a Pleasure to meet her that warm Spring afternoon!

Clara Hughes...A Canadian Icon!

This past weekend, April 26 to 28, she was in town
for speaking engagement and special recognition.

Chatting with Hamilton Spectator's Steve Milton, she said, “I'd do 10 repeats up that Sydenham Hill and then just creep and crawl my way back home, I'd be so exhausted.” Her training coach stated, “Neither sleet nor snow nor rain nor hail kept Clara off this hill!”  All local athletes will acknowledge that “with hard work and perseverance, success will follow.”  A cyclist from the Hamilton Hammerheads stated, “She has inspired us and made us proud through her athletic achievements and just as importantly through her work with Right to Play and Take a Hike...also her efforts to end the stigma associated with depression.”

Olympian Clara Hughes is the only person
to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter Olympics
(7 in total...Speed Skating and Cycling) 

I've learned that making a living is not the same as making a life.
(Maya Angelou)

She was at Mohawk College's full house to give an inspirational talk, about her emotional experiences in the Olympics and sport and how she learned to“give back” and to “find the true meaning in her life.”

(Newspaper Headline)

She told about a race in Australia she didn't win. “It was a race, in which I gave everything.” She repeatedly spoke about the importance of “giving your best ~ and giving back to the community.”  Now 40 years of age, she spoke of a “dark place of depression in 1996” and how she gradually “found balance” in her life.  Her final trip to the Olympics in London, England last summer in which she finished in 5th place in her last cycling race with a broken back said, “It  was not about winning a medal.  It was about one last time, showing any kid who was watching, what is possible if  you are willing to try.

"Clara's Climb"

On Sunday, a plaque was unveiled commemorating Clara's determined efforts to conquer her “nemesis” on this Sydenham Hill!  Hundreds gathered at “the outlook” for this celebration. Thrilled with eleven young cyclists  accompanying her, she biked a portion of the “Climb”…encouraging them to “go beyond pursuing excellence in sports or whatever you take on tomake a difference in the world.”
                               In 2014, she plans to cycle 12,000 kilometres across Canada ~
                                                            her project ~  Mental Health!

It's never too late to be what you might have been.
Live Life, so you die with No Regrets!

The only point in Living is to be Needed,
to be an Inspiration, to be the Power of Something.

Prince Philip Presented With Highest Honour

In Toronto recently, Prince Philip was awarded the highest level  of the Order of Canada shortly after arriving in Canada for a brief royal visit. At a downtown reception, Governor General David Johnson presented the Duke of Edinburgh with the insignias of Companion of the Order of Canada and Commander of the Order of Military Merit. Philip who has been the regiment's honourary colonel-in-chief since 1953 is seen as one of the officers. Secretary to the Governor General commented  that Philip “has long embodied dignity, loyalty and service to others, and has helped advance the personal achievement of young Canadians through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.”  “Through his many visits to Canada, both on his own and with Her Majesty the Queen, he has shown his lasting concern for our country and for Canadians.”

On Saturday, April 27, Prince Philip will present a new regimental colour to the Third Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment on the grounds of Queen's Park.

From the Universe:

I still don’t get why people are so surprised that the turtle beat the rabbit in the long run.  Consistent effort no matter how small ~ sparks magic! It fills sails, butters bread…turns tides…instills faith…summons friends…improves health…burns calories…creates abundance…yields clarity…builds courage…spins planets…and rewrites destiny ~ no matter, how small!

Words of Wisdom

If you call into the forest,
that is how the echo will come back to you
 (Swiss Proverb...given me by Rita Germann)

Merle Baird-Kerr...crafted April 2013
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