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Conference Recap + Weekend Workouts

Hey everyone! I’m writing once again from the Toronto International Airport – kinda crazy to think about how often we’ve been here in the past few weeks! Confused smile Each element of our trip has been great, and this past weekend was no exception. I was absent from the blogging world because I was busy hanging out with some amazing individuals and experiencing Young Adult Cancer Canada(YACC)’s Survivor Conference in Ottawa. Early mornings (usually for me to squeeze my workouts in!) + late nights chatting with people, playing games, or dancing the night away contributed to a very tired Bon this weekend – but as usual, it was all worth it! Here’s a glimpse of our time plus some shots of a few great workouts at the end since I last left you guys in Toronto!

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Another flight, another adventure, more time with my favorite non-poser-seatmate. Open-mouthed smile

The Survivor Conference was quite an experience for many reasons, and we were so glad to be in attendance this year. This was the biggest-ever conference that YACC has put on with 80 survivors and just short of 100 people total including facilitators, YACC staff, and supporters. With such a dramatic increase in numbers of course comes new logistical obstacles and considering the size and the newness of the event we thought YACC did a fabulous job – well done, team! Open-mouthed smile It’s MUCH harder to manage that many people, please that many people, and even create a true sense of community for that many people. That was one of the harder aspects of this year’s conference as it was difficult to get to know others with the full weekend, especially if you’re not an extrovert and don’t know anyone else there. Mikey and I have actually not missed a YACC event since October 2008, and because of that we knew almost everyone there. But I can see how if you came not knowing anyone it would have been a very different, possibly overwhelming experience. Unfortunately, that just comes with the territory of expanding numbers.

The highlights for me included our small group (I was in the all-supporters group) – I really appreciated the chance to hear others’ stories and take in their experiences. The group was mainly men and much larger than usual (way to represent, supporters!) and I loved how most of them didn’t want to come at the beginning of the weekend, had no clue what they’d got themselves into by night one, and by day two were engaging in the conversation and were so fully present with each other. Hearing the men especially open up was a joy to me and I just valued and loved our group so much! Thanks to Fred and Christine, our facilitators, for managing the group so well.

I also loved the Saturday afternoon walk around to the Parliament Buildings and time in the pub afterward. It was great to connect on another level with people and not talk about cancer; you could see people freed up to be themselves and the din in the pub was deafening – a great sign of people connecting!

And although I was disappointed I wasn’t able to get to the level of depth with people I hadn’t met with the numbers as they were this year, I was glad to see old friends – from past retreats, conferences, and Survive & Thrive trips – and to rekindle relationships with one another. What a blessing it is to be so connected!

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Our sailing trip group (hence the pose) in our room for the sneak peek of the upcoming film, “Ebb & Flow: Storytelling for Cancer Survivors” + CANDY for the “show!” It was my doing – I KNEW people had goods to share in their rooms. Winking smile

I took it all in and gained a new – or at least different – perspective this year on the cancer journey and on events and was so glad that Mikey and I were there to be a part of it all. Thanks to all the YACC staff, volunteer facilitators who rock, and people who participated and were vulnerable, honest, and real to let others in and affect change in one another. We love being a part of this community.

Here are a few shots from the last night – we danced the night away after a delicious meal out and fully enjoyed our time together! Unfortunately, all the pics are of moustaches – goooo, Movember! Winking smile

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Laurie & Jen – friends from our first-ever conference in 2008 & kayak trip in 2009!

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Glo-sticks from Colleen – friend from September’s sailing trip & all around awesome woman!

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Without moustaches and with…which do you prefer?! Winking smile

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I got some funny comments from people, like:

[To Mikey]: “Your wife looks disturbingly good with a moustache.” (Josh)

“Is it weird that I would still take you home?” (thanks, Scott) Flirt male

– – – – – – – – – –

I was able to stay on track with my workouts this weekend – helps me feel regular in the midst of so much non-routine! – and although I ate a little more liberally and a little more often, I felt good about my fitness levels. I hadn’t run for since our time in Toronto and the weather was just TOO incredible NOT to run, so I finally got out with one of the keynote speakers, Jen, for a beautiful 7.13 miler before breakfast. It was great to have a running buddy and chat along the Rideau Canal!

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Beautiful views, perfect weather & a good running buddy…not getting this back in Calgary (hello winter weather running conditions!). Winking smile

I also really enjoyed keeping up with my 200 kettlebell swings a day challenge for the month of November mixed in with BodyRock workouts. Zuzana, Freddie, and the new additions Sean and Jess have been rocking the workouts lately and I’ve been loving them! Check out the time on my watch in the workout shot below: 12 min and 20 sec and I was WIPED out! Thumbs up

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…gotta love a workout that’s entitled, “I’m Sexy And I Know ItWinking smile  12 min to feel the burn!

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This workout here – a GREAT one for your abs!

Yesterday, after saying many goodbyes and then laying low in the morning, I finally decided as the sun was setting to squeeze a run in. I’d wanted to do about 8 miles but I forgot that with the time change (how much did you love that extra hour of sleep?!) it would be dark FAST…so I settled for a speedy 4.98 miler along the Rideau Canal again. It was great – felt fun and fast and the temperature was incredibly warm! I started all bundled up:

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and ended up in my tank top, no gloves, headband off my ears:

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…NOT typical of Ottawa – or Canada, for that matter – in mid-November! #score

The views were breathtaking, especially because I never run at night with the sun setting under such historic buildings. The darkening skies sped my pace up naturally (nothing like getting a little adrenaline flowing!) but I brought my phone, wore my RoadID, and told Mikey where I was running and therefore simply loved the night time experience!

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200 KB swings post-night-run…loved it!

It was great to switch it up and run at a very different time of day and I came back feeling exhilarated and glad to have gone outside after a restful day. Speaking of a rest day, check out Lindsay’s Tuesday Trainer today – it’s full of new suggestions for future sessions and questions to get to know some of the regular contributing bloggers!

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Today’s “Good Feeling Workout” left me with a great feeling – ready for the long day of travel that we’re currently part-way through! Add in my 200 KB swings and you have yourself a happy Bon – doesn’t take much to make me smile. Winking smile

So…fill me in on your life! How was your weekend? Any good workouts to share?

And most importantly, Have you ever been to Austin, TX? What should I do?! We don’t have much free time with the Lance Armstrong Young Adult Alliance Conference going on, but I will hopefully be connecting with Lindsay and hopefully her husband James! I’ve also heard about a good ice cream place (forget the name!) and hear that Austin is an incredible, fun, hipster city…I’m stoked for this new visit!

Have a great rest of your Tuesday and I’ll connect with you guys from the good ol’ U S of A!

Live well & be well,

Bonnie

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