One breath, one stroke at a time

The Olympics are a ride. An emotional and physical roller coaster. But we wouldn’t have it any other way would we?

I’m very excited to watch my anchor, my rock, my husband Malcolm and the CDN Men’s 8+ carpe diem tomorrow. His mantra: One breath, one stroke at a time. It’s going to happen. I feel it with every cell in my body, and every fibre of my being.  The Heavyweights are definitely going to “GIVE YOUR EVERYTHING”!

This afternoon I watched TV, and took in all of the other sports. I know this is kind of a silly statement, but THE OLYMPICS ARE AWESOME. To see a young girl clean and jerk 131 kg, to watch the Canadian Women’s gymnastics team qualify for the team finals for the first time EVER, to see the swimmers, the divers, the badminton, table tennis, the list goes on and on….  It’s incredible.

I apologise for not writing sooner – I was finessing my internet/phone situation.  I hope to be updating more.

Highlights so far:
– listening to the Four Tenors sing O’Canada and Hallelujah
– using my media pass to get in… pretty much everywhere #score 😉
– cheering my heart out for the incredible rowing team (One stroke, one breath!)
– watching the Women’s gymnastics team make history (ok it was on tv but still…)
– walking every where
and I know this is just the beginning.

Finally, this is perhaps redundant but I love my husband. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, being so close to someone and not being able to ‘BE’ with them must make it grow even more!  Well if love can be the fuel, I know that man will have a full tank!

From Malcolm and myself thank you one and all for your support. It truly does mean so much!!! And now to bed, we have a big day tomorrow 😉

Your glimpse into the Games

Hello friends & family 🙂

I’ve been asked quite a lot to list when the ‘key events’ for the Howards will be on the ‘teley’.  I’m not sure how accurate this information is, as it’s just what they have written on the website, but it will likely give you a place to start!

The TV Schedule is below. You can always check World Rowing for more information. They might have the live feed as well… I also believe that they will be streaming live from CTV!

Heats: Saturday July 28th
CTV: 4am
OLN: 6am

Reps (if necessary): Monday July 30th
CTV: 4am

Finals: Wednesday August 1st
CTV: 5:40am

Rhythmic Gymnastics:

Qualifiers Day 1: Thursday August 9th
CTV: 7am
TSN: 7:45am

Qualifiers Day 2: Friday August 10th
Sportsnet: 11:30am

Individual Finals: Saturday August 11th
TSN: 8:30 am

Group Finals: Sunday August 12th
Sportsnet: 12:30pm

And of course you can always check the blog, as I will be doing my best to keep you in the loop! If you have questions, comments, or requests (no guarantees though) please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Feel free to comment or email me:


Rhythmics on top of the world!


As an athlete and an artist, it’s wonderful to see my passions unite.  This sculpture was created by Eleanor Candozo.  If you’re arriving to Heathrow Terminal 5, you’ll see the tribute she has made to Welsch gymnast Frankie Jones!

Speaking of departing I must return to packing – my least favourite activity 😉

Looking forward …looking back

Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months, and years they spent preparing for it.  The victorious performance itself is merely a demonstration of their champion character. ~ T. Allan Armstrong

It is a very natural occurrence that at important events in our lives, we often feel retrospective.  As I think of, dream about, and have mini-“EB” (aka emotional basket-case, or as I like to call it Emashional bosket-case) moments I cannot help but remember the road that brought me to this point.  I’m talking about it like this journey has really been mine – when in reality, I have been a happy helper (tag along) as Malcolm climbs this next mountain.  But, wow the view from the top!  It’s hard not to imagine what’s on the other side… and I frequently have to stop myself from thinking of all of the new adventures that await us Post-O. I sometimes picture what my husband will be like when he’s not the zombie version of himself due to constant all out training. How will I be able to adapt to making normal size meals? How will he adapt to having to clean the bathroom on occasion?

I think I must be pretty good at living in the present moment because I feel like the Games have snuck up on me.  I really cannot believe they are almost here.  And the thing is living in that present moment is going to be the key – for all of us.

To drink in this incredible experience. To not to fret about what is coming, but focus only on the here and now.  To not to try to control or manipulate things but stay open to what opportunities come about.  And first and foremost to stay grounded in the fact that what we are is what we are. For the athletes everything that brought them to this point. Each step they took to climb this mountain has carved them into the person they are. Who knows what will happen in London. Big challenges create big moments.  And to not let the past define us, nor determine our future.  There will be many who will rise even higher… but the thing I always think about is as incredible as those moments are, as brilliant as those accomplishments, they don’t actually change someone.  (well we hope not).

My wonderful husband pre-O will be the same post-O, though perhaps a little more chipper Thursday through Saturday 😉  When I was at the Olympic training centre in Colorado Springs one year I found some motivational papers… written is one of my favourite all time quotes:

A true champion is a champion in life, not just in sport.

He is my champion. My anchor.
CTV produced a little profile on him…

AND, then to end on a bit of lighter note, here’s something to make you laugh. One of my favourite videos is this one of a young girl and her daily affirmations.  Well I made my own version for the rowers.  Hope you enjoy!

The Road to London…

Well, it’s almost that time again.
The magical period that rolls around every four (well, technically two) years that captivates almost everyone on the planet.

The Olympic Games…
Since I was a little girl I have been in love with the Olympics.  Initially it was all about wanting to be in them, and dedicating my life to achieving that goal.  Now it is about being caught up in the magic.

The Olympics have a way of distilling life into this incredible little package.  We get to live others dreams first hand; we catch glimpses into their sweat-filled journey to this particular moment in time [that is for the fortunate ones who are actually able to get to this moment – but more on that later], we’re able to imagine the magnificent dedication it takes to get to this level, and take on their goals, their triumphs, and also their defeats as if they were our own.  Sport has this incredible power of enabling fans to take the athletes’ accomplishments personally.  And I honestly mean this in the best way possible!  We rally, we cheer, we cry, we jump and scream and wear the most ridiculous paraphernalia with the belief that our faith can and will affect the outcome.  The swelling of National Pride during the Games is to me, one of the most inspiring and powerful phenomenon.  Regardless of the sport, the gender, the religion, or race – all we want is the best for that athlete… that person.  I love sport so much, because it is how I aim to live my life.

Dream big. Dedicate yourself. Believe. Find support in like-minded people, and support them along the path. Learn. Grow. Fail. Triumph. Share your passion. Repeat! (as often as necessary and as often as possible)

The last week I began to realize that the Olympics are taking over my life. (Oh what a wonderful predicament.)  This is of course with very good explanation.  My incredible husband is, himself, preparing for the Games.  He and his teammates (The Canadian Rowing Men’s 8+) will soon leave for the preparation camp in Europe and then head to England.  Ready, eager, and able to defend their 2008 Gold Medal.

I have much work to do as well.
After years of dreaming, working, and fighting I am finally going to the Olympics.  “Are you competing?” you may ask…  No.  Perhaps it is not the way I initially dreamed, but perhaps this is even sweeter.  You see, since I met and married Malcolm I realized that this role – of being the best supporter is in fact my destiny.

It was actually when Malcolm was competing in the single that I came to this realization.  At that time I felt like I could be of greater assistance (to make up for the crew he didn’t have next to him).  When he moved back into the Eight I think I took it harder than he did.  And then I realized that this is his destiny too.  To help guide his teammates the way he had been mentored in Beijing.

The Howards after the 2011 World Championships in Bled

We always have a role to play.  Sometimes our ego tries to dictate what that role should look like, but if we can be open – we might have the most to give and to gain in where we are in that exact moment.

So I now realize that all of the little things… understanding what he needs before he does, bed at 9pm and up at 6am, cooking enough food for a small army, helping him stretch, doing laundry etc. (oh all the glamorous things you can imagine)  …that is my contribution.  It’s not always easy, especially for someone who is used to centre stage. But knowing that I could have some positive contribution towards his dreams is more gratifying than accomplishing my own.

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded. – Maya Angelou 

Success is not counted by how high you have climbed but by how many people you have brought with you. – Wil Rose

Actually I will have another role to play in London as well.  Through chance or fate or perhaps a bit of both I will be CTV’s analyst for Rhythmic Gymnastics.  So stayed tuned.  Not only will you see me as the Craziest Canuck cheering our Rowers as they go after their dreams, but I will be sharing my insights and passions about the sport that almost took me to Atlanta and Athens… but has brought me to London instead!

The 11 year old version of me 🙂


The Summer of Awesome

July this year means not only one incredible event featuring the top athletes in the world… but TWO!  Kicking things off this week are the 2012 CrossFit Games.  In true CrossFit style,  a day of competition for the individuals was added including a variety of exciting (read: extremely challenging) activities including a “cross-country” triathlon and an obstacle course!  Although my wallet won’t let me be in California, my heart is definitely making it’s way down!  Wishing all competitors strength & courage… but of course BIG love and cheers for the Canadians including the Zone’s Lucas Parker.  Go for it Scoots!!!

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill

Or if this fits better, just keep thinking about what I do during wods (from one of the best movies ever, Finding Nemo!) …So as Dory says JUST KEEP SWIMMING (or biking or running!)

Teenwolf relaxing at the Canada West Regionals this past year

Long overdue…

I’ve wanted to enter the Blogosphere for a while now. I, like most people of this generation, have much to say and think that somehow other people might be interested in what comes out of my mouth (or rather off the keyboard).  Perhaps that’s you? Perhaps you’re my mother and you love all* that I do.  In any case, thanks for stopping by. Hopefully something I write, link to, post, or make magically appear on the screen before you resonates with you in some way. Best case it will inspire you. Great case it will make you think. Worse case it will make you think less of me. I’m aiming for anything but the latter 😉

So, enjoy my musings.
~ eh.

(* Note: my mother will likely say not all but most. I can think of a moment or two she wasn’t very in love with me!)