So here we are.

“So here we are, in our rags, walking down a road we’ve never seen before with the mark of our wild nature glowing through us. It is fair to say that conjunctio is insisting on a revision of the old you. Conjunctio is not something that goes out and gets. It is something that occurs because hard, hard work is being done.” CPE, Women Who Run With Wolves

I wrote last about exhaustion and faith. Of clarity through the fog.

Conjunctio- a theme that appeared in my morning read of Clarissa Pinkola Estes “Women Who Run With Wolves”, is a term coming from the practice of alchemy meaning a higher transformative union of unlike substances. A process of conjunction and pressure of dissimilar elements inhabiting the same space where insight and knowing are made. The part of the book she brings this up in is after the description of the “devil” aspect of our psyche, where a dual nature is symbolized within the psyche. A nature that both badgers us for something and heals us simultaneously. A process where something is lost or transmuted into the combination becoming more.

My dreams a few nights in a row now have been frequented with images of my time in New Zealand. Mostly periods of time spent in contemplation. Which, looking back, was a large theme of the trip (after coming face to face with myself for the first extended period of time distraction free). Long bus rides, long walks, long walks fronting for escapes from a reality I didn’t like. Time to mull over my emotion (at the time, I’m not sure I realized this is what I was doing) and time to prepare myself for the negativity I was keeping myself in during that brief period. Monotonous days made monotonous only due to the fact I was running from the truth I was feeling so strongly within. And, after this period, snapshot style images floating through my subconscious dream-state of even longer times of sitting with my surroundings (internally and externally), digesting, observing.

Through the last couple weeks I’ve been hit with many realizations.

The things I used to describe my ideal life by have become truths of my everyday ventures.

Last weekend I ended a week of clients with a day spent at a sporting event promoting my business while offering services and medical coverage to athletes. This day filled with being thrown right back into the field and having a line of up of sweaty, battle-worn athletes that needed everything I had all day was like reliving the reasons that drew me into this career in the first place. I took a short break away from this event to teach a class under the RideWell heading- where another group of dedicated athletes encompassed the other portion of why I love what I do. Teaching, educating, empowering those who are ready and looking for what I can offer.

After all that I hopped on a plane and flew to a city quickly feeling like a second home, Calgary. Here I spent 3 days enveloped in new professional and personal focuses. From old connections to new, the whole time I spent there I was continually surrounded by the calmness that I described in my last blog. A faith so strong that it’s next to impossible to imagine things not working out or aligning just right.

Indeed, through conversations had while in Calgary- it came to light that things I’d been saying for years, or had in the back of my mind as “eventuals” were seemingly already occurring or about to. Needless to say, it is not hard for me to find and create opportunity out West.

A life lived in many facets has always sat well with me. It’s what I’ve looked towards. Endless opportunity.

Since beginning a slow return to riding myself I’ve noticed a shift back into what I think of as “athlete mind”. Something that can be a trickster for us who work with athletes, but a trait that sets many apart on their journeys nonetheless.

As thing seem to align West, the little irritations or blocks I’ve noticed home in Winnipeg seem to be more.. synchronistic. In that, as I trust and direct my energy towards what feels right, everything else seems to solve itself. The practice I’ve built here is becoming more observably more then just myself. The idea of me creating a self-sustaining (to an extent) opportunity for clients and practitioners to thrive within while I pursue endless other ideas is all of a sudden much more realistic and timely.

RideWell (new venture) is heading West to networking at Spruce Meadows this summer. Integrative is moving into new, open space with a strong team within it. Making it logical for me to let it grow into the vision I’ve set for it, while I create avenues leading away (and back to) the original brand.

The idea of my equestrian focused practice expanding to a larger market all of a sudden is pushed into gear as I put some vested energy into opening the door I shoved my foot into West of MB.

Did I think these motivations and ideas would be brought to light so soon in my career because of a sporadic decision to fly to another province for a date? Absolutely not, but would it be me if there wasn’t a hint of wild adventure along the way?

Energy flows where attention goes, and lately I’ve had to stop and contemplate the strange way my motivation has moved and drawn me towards what I’ve always said I wanted.

Unsurprisingly the theme of my meditation this morning, and the tarot card I drew for myself was a card of contemplation.

Imagery wise, seven pentacles (symbol of material possessions, career, etc) aligned in a diagonal row- with symmetrical lines forming square points at each circled pentacle. An orderly, curious image- all at once.

The last few years I’ve seen myself move away from a intrinsically hyper-motivated athlete mind to a “go with the flow, let go, recovery” state. Partially due to injury and illness, and shifts in focus. It’s nonetheless been a beneficial state.. and now, things are moving back to operating for high performance (this doesn’t exclude periods of the above recovery minded state). The win being whatever the f I want it to be in the short and long term.

It often takes a minute of stepping back, counting the things lining up and the possibilities behind each, taking in the larger perspective to really note what is more valuable: wandering along or a intentional direction.

When I look back on the last two years I see a intentional direction with a unintentional lack of long view purpose.

In the last 6months I’ve seen that purpose align and clarify.

In the last 3months I’ve become confident in that purpose and noticed other doors open.

Behind each door is more reflection, more contemplation, more energy to direct.

As I observe that process I am noting that I’ve only begun to tap into my potential, and the potential of my ideas. I am so much more then what I am right now, and I have already proven that in looking behind at the chapters I’ve written.

The fascinating thing about creating a business (or two+) out of your dreams and ideas is that it is a tangible measure of your personal development and commitment to your purpose.

Every step forward comes with the acknowledgement of a reflection shining back at me from some other aspect of my life. A person, a memory, a emotion I can’t quite place, a connection or disconnection that’s stuck with me. More then ever I’m aware of inconspicuous guides surrounding me. Often in the form of fellow humans entering (and exiting) my life as if right on cue.

This is all a reminder of staying focused, but not too focused on it all. Often the most subtle, only seen in the peripheral (or hindsight) are the things with the strongest meaning.

“The psyche of woman must constantly sow, train, and harvest new energy in order to replace what has been worn out.. there is constant living, constant death dealing, constant replacement of ideas, images, energies…” -CPE, Women Who Run With Wolves

A period of contemplation, indeed. The soil is fertilized and ready for spring, now which seeds to plant and how to nurture the growth?


People often say, don’t linger on the past- focus on the future. I have always been one to lean towards the philosophy of learning from what’s behind you- and letting those lessons help you get through what’s ahead of you. There is something to be said for both trains of thought. Letting the past further complicate you’re future is not very constructive. Lingering in the past is only okay if you are being proactive about it.


Quite a few times this week, through a variety of different conversations, I’ve ended up telling stories (lengthly ones) about experiences I had while overseas in NZ. For anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis, you’re probably sick and tired of reading my reflections on those experiences.. so.. sorry? Suck it up?

If you’ve travelled before- you’ll know the feeling of reliving certain experiences.. having flashbacks if you will.. of moments from wherever you were. When I first got home it happened to me all the time. Vivid recollections of the smallest random memories. Everyday, no matter what I was doing, I’d end up reliving a different part of NZ. Over time of course it’s happened less frequently, but it still happens now and again. Today, for example, it was running at 5:30am down the road outside of Clevedon- watching the sunrise and the morning mist lift. A quiet moment alone with an astounding landscape surrounding me before starting work at LC. How and why my subconscious chooses what I’m going to be reliving and when is unknown to me.


It used to be and sometimes still is a very bittersweet thing for me. For quite a while I was pretty caught up in the negatives of some of the experiences I had. To this day if I hear the ringtone I had as my alarm while I was working at LC, I will feel physically ill. It took me a long time to get to a point where I stopped lingering on the fact that it wasn’t the “perfect” trip- but rather the perfect opportunity for me to figure a lot of stuff out. Pre-trip, I was excited for the experiences I planned (lol at planning experiences, like that ever works)- to find out who I was away from everything I knew.. during I was I was somewhat bitter but mostly just still lost. In all reality, I ended up accomplishing exactly what I wanted through those 6 months away, “finding out who I was away from everything I knew”. Indirectly, by utilizing plan B, C, D, through Z- I got a solid grasp on who I am. Even if it took me a few “recovery” months to figure that out.
“…the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.”

Pretty much nothing I had planned pre-trip worked out. The job, was, to put it mildly, a low point in my life- however I am quite happy it was that. My travelling (that wouldn’t have been possible if the job had worked out), was quite alternative to the regular backpacker “thing”. I like to say that I got to see the “real NZ”, opposed to the “tourist NZ”. Seeing the country by travelling the rodeo circuit with a bunch of crazy cowboys is not something many people can say they’ve done. My travelling fund, which was supposed to have been funded by my original job, instead became funded by me selling my hair. My attempt at seeing more of the “tourist” side of the country started out according to plan (and was pretty sweet as)- but ended with me, without a phone, luckily with relatives (who I am forever grateful to), in excruciating pain for days, passing out, meeting numerous doctors, seeing the inside of a few hospitals (more of the “real NZ”?), and talking a few of those doctors out of surgery, only by promising to go straight to a doctor as soon as I got to Canada, so I could get home on time. Life keeps us humble. Of course, many of these “alternative” plans brought me to some amazing experiences! And I may not want to re-do exactly some of the things I went through, I am grateful for many of the things it brought me to (amazing family/friends, sights, sounds, smells, hairstyles I never thought I could pull off, etc.).

“Whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.”
To nerd this post up a bit, it’s common knowledge that stressing the system is the best way to strengthen it (principle of overload); a structure will strengthen along the lines of resistance. With this in mind- I am so glad all those plans didn’t work out. Because looking back, I got through all of that- thankfully not alone (again, NZ family, my heroes for life)- lived to survive another day- plan more things to be rerouted and flipped upside down. All those days where I was lost, working through some dark stuff, where it was all I could do to get out of bed in the mornings- I still did, I kept making plans, I didn’t give up. Looking behind me now, reliving all those moments (even the unpleasant ones), helps me feel less intimidated by whatever is coming next. And believe me, I do get intimidated. Instead of making me afraid to set big goals, it did the exact opposite. It taught me that it’s okay to be flexible with my goals, my plans, my dreams. Those are lessons that are serving me well in this adventure I am now on working towards my degree and certification, and my ongoing mystery health problems..As well, of course, in my riding and athletic ventures.
“Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”






Turbulent 2012

Similar to previous years, seeing as I don’t make resolutions, here is a list of some of the most memorable moments of the past 12 months (in no particular order)!

  • Meeting the people I met overseas. Especially all the distant relatives. To be made to feel at home in a country that is so far away from home was something truly awesome. I am very lucky to have had that experience, and those people surrounding me during part of a pretty rough year made some impossible situations very possible. 
  • The last few weeks of travel in NZ. Working for a grand prix rider, glacier hikes, bus trips, amazing scenery, living on trail mix and instant noodles, being broke, sitting along the coast and listening to the waves crash to the shore, scenic train rides, busing through, unbelievable landscapes, and everything else. Pictures don’t do it justice, and no words can describe it. This post has more detail on some of what I did those last few weeks.


  • DSCN0074 424069_10150678392938086_534118085_11199312_1027868569_n 424818_10150688053438086_534118085_11230688_898106211_n katsiphonepics-010
  • Flying into Vancouver, and then Winnipeg. After what seemed like ages away, the sight of the Rocky Mountains covered in snow and looking glorious brought an unexplainable feeling, and was the best thing I’d seen yet. There is no better feeling than coming home after being away. If even where you were became like a home away from home. All those things I experienced, good and bad, were solidified as my plane landed in Vancouver. A journey was concluded, and another begun. I came home both the same, and completely changed. DSCN0373
  • Choosing a career path, and making relevant goals. I battled with myself long and hard over what I wanted to do with my life. Pretty much exactly a year ago I decided that athletic therapy was where I wanted to be, and set some goals for myself. It was definitely the right choice, and accomplishing the goals I’ve set has been unbelievably challenging and terrifying- but also fantastic. It’s nice to know that I’m doing something with my life that is always going to present me with a new challenge to keep me motivated.
  • MHJA’s Fall Harvest Show. I believe this was in last years list too. Coming up to this year’s show, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. After a surgery in mid-July on my tailbone- I wasn’t able to ride up until 6 days before the competition (approx 6 weeks off for both me and my horse). Challenge accepted. I definitely pushed my recovery a little far- but I rode everyday for those 6 days and against the advice of pretty much everyone went to Fall Harvest. I’m sure we only survived that weekend on pure adrenaline (sooo out of shape). It was at that show, same as last year, that the difference in my riding ability really was shown. Mike broke his gruff exterior more than once at this show, saying “we might make a rider out of you one day”. A huge compliment!
  • Similar to the above, the Hunter Derby class at Fall Harvest 2012 (Check out this post for more!)
    . This was the first year doing a derby was realistic for me, and I got the okay from my coaches to enter. I wish I had a video of it! But any rider reading this will understand- it was one of those courses that presented so many new challenges and tests for both horse and rider and somehow, by some luck, we got around it and were rewarded the greatest feeling of teamwork and accomplishment. Best way to end off our short season!

    Not from Fall Harvest, but from Beach Party 2012.

    Not from Fall Harvest, but from Beach Party 2012.

  • Getting to know the people I ride and compete with better. I realize this is more than one moment in time, but over the past year I’ve really gotten a chance to spend more time with my coaches, Mike and Charlene, as well as other riders who train with them. It makes the sport so much more fun to be surrounded by people like this! I’ve learned a lot just by being around them, and they’ve helped me to gain confidence in myself and as a result ride that much better.
  • Kin-3201 Biomechanics. From day one this course terrified me, as well fascinated me! The study of biology and the forces acting upon it. Anatomy and physics combined. Being someone who never really excelled in physics- this was a challenge. But I found the math part of things much easier to understand when it was put into a athletic/movement perspective. I liked this course way more than I thought I would. And the final project, which was one of the hardest academic things I’ve done so far, was so cool! My post Critical Instant has more detail on the project and what I did my research on. I learned so much from this course, and loved the challenges it presented!_DSC0315 _DSC0317


2012 was a challenging year for me. I saw some pretty unbelievable things, on both ends of the spectrum. I experienced some of the worst physical pain, and emotional turmoil I ever have- but also had some great accomplishments and good times. I am positive 2013 will present new challenges, tough times, and good times to rival what 2012 threw at me. After facing what I’ve faced the past 12 months, I don’t know what else could be better preparation for whatever 2013 has in store. Here’s to the New Year, and may it be what it will be!


Doing it My Way

I’m officially a backpacker… without a backpack.

Let’s just skip over all the common sense arguments. When has common sense ever really applied to me or my life, anyway? I’ve done this entire trip the backwards, upside down, and sidways route- so why not finish it that way. My good old mountain equipment co. duffle bag has gotten me this far, I’m not about to ditch it for a easy to carry, fancy shmancy, state of the art backpackers back pack. Sure it might be easier on the shoulders, and the rest of the body. But that’s just not the way I roll.

So, now that we’re past that. Update time! I’m currently in Christchurch. I flew in here on Saturday- and after a lovely meeting with hunky All Black’s star, and Captain Richie McCaw, I was settled in with Lindy Elliot and her family. I love love love meeting all these relatives. I’ve always been a family person, so it’s great to meet the international rellys. Plus, it beats staying in a hostel, or sleeping in a car, or in a tent in the cold by myself. A lot cheaper too. On Sunday Lindy and her husband Ed took me out to Sumner, where we walked along the beach and got to know each other a bit more. Driving there and back we went through a lot of the more heavily damaged areas from the recent (and still occuring) earthquakes. The roads are very bumpy, and cracked. Kind of like Winnipeg roads.. except because of a natural disaster, not lack of repair. It was common to look up and see houses on the sides of the hills and ledges either falling off their perches or half way demolished. It’s all something that’s impossible to even imagine for somebody that comes from a place like MB, where chances are we’ll never experience that level of natural disaster. Floods, snow storms, droughts, and the occasional twister are one thing. The entire land mass you live on shifting, cracking, and changing shape in an uncontrollable manner- that’s something unpercievable to us.

After Sumner, Lindy had a meeting in Christchurch so she dropped me off at the park, where I had been before. I planned on catching up on some reading, or studying (Anatomy.. yaaay), but I was lucky enough to stumble across a play in the park. It was done by a comedy group called the Outwits, who did a humerous recount of Christchurch’s history. Perfect! There was even a musical part, titled “Munted: The Musical” on Christchurch’s most recent history, the earthquakes. Munted, for all you Canadians, is a curse word. Similar to ‘screwed’, ‘destroyed’, ‘f..iretruck’, ‘totally messed up’, etc. While I’m sure many of the jokes in the play went straight past me, I throughly enjoyed this little bit of theatre. The acting was great, and it kept me laughing the whole time. As well as educating me in a very unboring way! Much of it was kiwi humour, so it’s hard for me to describe the jokes and scenarios to you, as you probably won’t know who Richard Till is, or what Countdown is. It was quite interesting for me to be so excited about meeting Richie McCaw, only to have pretty much everyone from home go.. “Who’s he? What are the All Blacks?”. To be honest, I didn’t even know Canada had a rugby team until I came here and witnessed the amazingness that was the Rugby World Cup, I also really knew nothing about Rugby in general.  So, fun fact: Richie McCaw is the captain of the All Blacks, one of the greatest rugby teams to exist, RWC 2011 champs, and an amazing team of stupendous athletes.

On Monday, after going out for breakfast with the family for Ed’s birthday, I was shown around downtown Christchurch (pop-up mall, red zone/ghost town that was the city centre), and then to New Brighton by Lindy’s son, Jonty and his girlfriend. It was a rather grey and chilly day, so after walking down the pier and getting a warm drink we came back and I settled in ready “Eat, Pray, Love”. Today, it’s again grey and drizzly. A great day to read, and blog. Seeing as this is the first time I’ve had an actually computer to use I figured it’d be good to type out a good long post on my happenings. My phone is great, and I can and have been blogging off that (I’m too cheap to replace my laptops charger while I’m here) – but fighting with autocorrect for 1500 words is not something I like to do often! This afternoon I’ll be heading south to Waimate, where I’ll meet the rest of the Elliot family and stay with them for a couple days. I’m quite looking forward to it! On Thursday afternoon I’ll come back up to Christchurch and go to Macleans Island to work at the 3* show jumping show there as a groom for Tessa Williams. New connections, and extra cash-what’s not to love?

What happens after that? Well, I’ve been wondering that too! The front runner in my plans as of the moment is to take the scenic train ride 4 hours from Christchurch to Greymouth, on the west coast. From there I will lug my trusty duffle to a hostel that I’ve found. Rumoured to be the best in the country. Where I’ll stay for a couple nights and explore the area. The famous Pancake rocks are only 40 minutes away and are on my ‘to do’ list. After seeing what I can there, I want to get to Queenstown (obviously I have to see Queenstown, it’s kind of a must do when in NZ), where I don’t want to spend too long actually as it’s said to be very expensive and touristy- neither of which I’m too big on. Nakedbus offers a day trip from Queenstown out to Milford Sounds, with many scenic stops along the way and a cruise around the sounds included. What’s not to love about that? Especially when it’s at an affordable price.

Here’s where my plans get a little bit fuzzy. Going back to Alexandra and visiting once again the lovely Ken and Marie Paulin is most likely next. I debated doing the Rail Trail bike tour, through central Otago. But it’s about 3 or 4 times what my budget is- so not happening. Maybe I continue down the west coast from there, and then back up the other side. Or go straight to Invercargill, explore that area, and then head up the east coast. I definitely have some more research to do on what I want to see and do in my remaining time. If anybody reading this has any suggestions, please let me know!

When am I home, you may wonder? Ah, yes, the questions I’ve gotten a lot lately. Too bad I’m not giving any specific dates, suckers! Because I’m a jerk. And I like surprising people. I have already lined up a job at Aubins Nursery for when I’m home, thank God. I also still fully plan on taking some spring courses (Anatomy, lord help me) to ease up next years schedule. It won’t really ease up anything, but I definitely think taking Anatomy on its own will  help me get the grade I need in it (B or higher). Pretty intimidated by that, because I suck at studying and getting higher then average marks in general. But, me and goals go hand in hand, and once I set one it’s pretty damn hard to get me off the wagon. Hence why I’ve been fitting in some pre-course studying whenever I can over here. Never thought I’d see the day (as I’m sure my parents didn’t either) where I’d be studying.. for fun. Just one way I’ve changed in the past 6 months!

All this being said, my travel plans are (as always) subject to (and most likely to) change. Chances are I’ll get lost. Again. Or organize something and then realize later I organized it in the completely illogical, unethical way- shrug- and do it anyway. Whatever happens I’ll have my trusty iPhone (my entire life) in my hand, or pocket- ready to take a picture of every completely upsidedown, sideways, and backwards situation I get myself into. Finally starting to really enjoy NZ the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed. Just took me most of the trip to figure out how. Once again, I went the long way around. Story of my life. But you can meet some amazing people, see some mindblowing things, and have some unforgettable experiences going the long way.

There’s quite a mix of emotions going on at the idea of coming home. As I’m sure every traveller experiences. On one hand, I’m absolutely, and whole heartedly ready to be home and see everyone and get going on all my plans again. Travelling doesn’t really allow you to plan your future. I mean you can think about what you want to do, and make decisions based on those thoughts, of course, but you can’t exactly act on them when you’re in a one person tent somewhere between mountains and the pacific oceans on strange little island.  Also, facebook, emails, and other means of communication with all your closest friends back home is not really always ever the same as actually seeing them. This is where the other hand comes in. It’s going to be so weird having a face to face conversation again with everybody and anybody back home. It’s one thing to see their face on a blurry little screen with voice delays and bad connections- and another to actually be there. It’s also been 6 months. Which isn’t very long in the scheme of things, but it’s long enough for lots of changes to occur. That’s 6 months where I’ve been experiencing things people back home can’t really ever understand because they’ve only got the retyped version, and I’m really not the greatest story teller (hence all the pictures). And vice versa. That’s 6 months where all my friends back home have been changing in their own ways. It’s not that I think that things are going to be all different and awkward and whatever, well, kinda, but it’s just that there’s a big gap in that time where I’ve been growing and changing in my way, and everyone else has been growing and changing in theirs. But I guess that’s really what growing up is. Once you’re out of high school and you go on your own way.. you really learn how to be independant. It’s not something you can truly learn when you’re constantly surrounded by people you’ve always known and somewhere you’ve always been. To be able to know yourself when you’re 10,000 miles away from everything you know? That’s growing up. So it just makes you wonder sometimes what it will be like getting back to everything that you left behind. That got deeper then I meant it to. Anyway, a more light hearted reason why I’m not as excited for coming home; I’ve gotten very used to not having a routine, or a schedule. It’s nice to just be able to up and decide you want to hop on a bus and go see something new. Or just hang out on the beach listening to the waves. Or go hike up the side of a mountain. For obvious reasons (other then the most obvious, there are no mountains OR oceans in MB) I can’t do that when I get home. As much as I am looking forward to getting back into my routine, riding, school, everything- it’s going to take some adjusting. A lot of adjusting. 3 months ago, if I had come home, probably would have been easy. Other then I would have been very disappointed in the trip. But now that I’ve started to really travel, and explore and have some fun like I always meant to, it’s a bit different.

To conclude, I don’t have a backpack, I’m working this weekend, I love my family here there and everywhere, I’m a emotional epiphany about coming home, I have some kick ass plans for the remaining time here, I plan on changing those plans, I’m going to take pictures, I’m going to keep updating this blog (so stay tuned!), and most of you won’t know when I’m coming home until I’m physically at home.

Kia Ora!  


All in a days work.

Flew into Christchurch late last night. The following photos are mostly from my hike around Halswell Quarry Park, and then a few at the bottom from my drive into Auckland yesterday morning! Tomorrow I’m going to test out the public transit system here, and see where I end up. Won’t be anywhere the main city centre, as it’s still in ruins from last years quake. It’s beautiful here though! I managed to find enough for a bus fare in my wallet.. reminded me of searching for change so I could take the bus last year at Uni. Too bad I can’t pull the old “put your hand over the date on the 3 day old transfer ticket and see if the driver notices or cares” trick. That worked a few times for me in Winnipeg.. Only got kicked off once. Anyway. There will be more on my South Island adventures, no doubt. For now- enjoy these shots!

125m above sea level!

Couldn't resist.

Looking towards Christchurch City