The 2015 Wounded Warrior Run

31 01 2015

fallen soldier

The 2015 *Wounded Warriors Run media launch was held today in the Showroom of major sponsor Saunders Subaru. When I  arrived I expected to see a small gathering of people and some local media, gathering information on this years run. Was I ever wrong. The bright and shiny latest and greatest Subaru’s had been replaced by an army field ambulance and another military vehicle. Members of the Langford Legion were dressed in uniform, standing at attention and forming a pathway for this year’s runners to run through when they were introduced. Saanich South MLA Lana Popham ,many members of the military community dressed in camouflage, sponsors, several media outlets, event co coordinators and members of the general public joined the Saunders family in kick starting this important campaign.

What really grabbed my attention was a painting on display. It was created by Sparky of Urge Tattoo’s and depicts a soldier carrying an injured soldier over his shoulder. You can clearly see that the soldier being carried is injured but it is the invisible injury the rescuing soldier is suffering that the The Wounded Warriors Run is all about.

The Emcee 100.3- Q 100’s Cliff LesQuesne reminded us that while everyone is running away from a crime, disaster or trying to escape the fighting in Iraq it is our police officers, first responders and soldiers that are heading directly into the danger. Years ago it was believed that it was a sign of weakness to be impacted by the experiences you had , the tragedies witnessed and the images that remained vividly in your head. You were not encouraged to speak out and people would suffer from Post –Traumatic Stress Disorder in silence. A gentleman that I met at the event shared with me that his brother had suffered from PSTD, did not seek help and as a result drank himself to death. The Goal of the Wounded Warriors run is to draw attention to PSTD and create an environment where it okay to talk about it so we do not have to deal with a tragedy caused by an untreated case of PSTD.

Serious Coffee’s 24 café’s on the island are sponsoring this event and Jeanette Humphries who is charge of events for Serious Coffee spoke about the importance of being pro active with PSTD so that no one has to fall through the gap anymore.You can donate to this event and the Wounded Warrior Fund at the Serious Coffee in your neighborhood,

Chris Linford the National Ambassador for the Wounded Warriors shared with the crowd that he has had PSTD for 20 years and as a result of seeking support for his invisible injury through programs run through the Canadian Health Services and C.O.P.E which involves the spouse of the person suffering from PSTD that he is a survivor and his relationship with his wife is intact. Last years run caused a spark in the community but this years run is creating a blazing fire.

Starting on Sunday February 15th Six Runners will run a relay the length of Vancouver Island. They will cover 100 km per day starting in Port Hardy and finish in Colwood at Saunders Subaru on February 20th. Please give generously to the runners as they collect donations on their way down the island. It is important that we as a community help take care of the people that every single day put their lives on the line to take care of us.

You can donate online at http://www.woundedwarriors .ca

*Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that helps Canadian Armed Forces members – be they regular force or reservists – who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada.

Through a wide range of programs and services, we help find solutions where gaps have left our veterans and their families in need. Currently, our primary focus is on mental health and, particularly, the staggering impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, perpetrated by Operational Stress Injuries.

Overall, however, our mandate is to help any Veteran in need as they transition to civilian life.

If you are feeling like a new or even your first tattoo contact Urge Tattoo’s to find out more information about their tattoo fundraiser on Sunday February the 8th where you can get yourself a tattoo for a minimum $60 suggested donation. Participants will also be on location that day so please go down and say hello.

Let’s Talk

28 01 2015

A very important message

Kristy Wolfe Photography

20         The number of days that have passed since my dad, a 58 year old cardiologist, went missing.

17          The number of days that have passed since my dad’s car was found.

16          The number of days that have passed since my dad was found.

10          The number of days that have passed since we celebrated my dad’s life.

0122-003 Dad’s favourite view from the deck of our house on Cowichan Lake.

Tomorrow, January 28th, is Bell’s annual Let’s Talk Day. You’ve probably seen or heard some of the commercials that have been running recently. The one that really hit home has two guys at work talking about another colleague who has anxiety. Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Below is an excerpt from the speech I gave at my dad’s memorial. I’m…

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The End of a Friendship

18 01 2015

I have come to a point in my life where I have decided to clean house on unhealthy relationships. I have ended several since I left my husband almost four years ago but many of those were people who took sides after they had promised that they wouldn’t. People have good intentions I think but in the end people do choose.

Today I have decided to end my longest running friendship. We all have one. It is usually someone we met as a child that we have stayed in touch with over the years. You may grow apart but once in awhile you reconnect and it feels it always has and it is comforting. Or that is how it is supposed to be. This friendship is not that way. It is always a constant battle. Whenever I would get excited about a change I decided to make in my life this so called friend would always point out all of the negative reasons why the change isn’t good for me. Always negative thoughts. The worst-case scenario always spills out until the reasons why not to do something have drowned all of the why to’s. They are constantly holding me back from exploring new challenges of options for me to progress in my life and career.

When I feel that I, or someone has been wronged and decide to speak up about it or stick up from someone my friend tells me to keep my mouth shut and who am I to think that what I have to say would make a difference. Who is going to take you seriously??

It is the friend who when we are at a restaurant tells me not to tell the waiter that I have received the wrong drink or that the chef prepared my steak well done instead of rare because I will embarrass them. So I drink my beverage and eat my meal even though it is not what I want to keep my friend from feeling uncomfortable.

I am sure you have been out driving in a car with someone on a sunny day, windows rolled down and a song comes on the radio that not only you love but you know all the words. You open your mouth and start to sing at the top of your lungs. I love that! I love to sing but when I am in public with my good old pal I am quickly cut off. “ OMG be quiet”! “ I am pretty sure you have the words wrong”, or “don’t, people will look at us”!

I write many blog entries that are never posted. Several times I have written about topics that really mean a lot to me so my thoughts easily spill out onto the page. I find myself so excited about an idea or an opinion that I write for hours and ignore everything going on around me until it is finished. I feel like I could win an award for my brilliant entry and can’t wait to log into my blog to post it. Then something stops me and I have it read over by my friend. My hopes of an award are dashed when I hear the critique. “No one cares about this topic”. “People don’t want to read about this!” “I think this might be a run on sentence” or I am not sure this is the proper use of this word” I still save the entry on my laptop in case I decide to re read it again one day but it will never be read as an entry on my blog.

I am tired of clothes shopping with this person. You are supposed to have fun when you shop with a friend. It is okay and common practice to tell your shopping partner that a particular item they have tried on is not the best choice of cut or that the colour isn’t the best for their skin tone. No one is offended by those helpful comments. But to be constantly told things like “ wow you certainly cant pull off that outfit with your lack of height” or “you would really have to hit the gym a lot if you ever have a hope of making that sit the way it should on your body”. It is bad enough that they are constantly telling me that I need to lose a few pounds here or get back doing my regular exercise routine because they have noticed it hard to see my abs lately or that my butt looks squishy. I just love the comment “ you probably shouldn’t weigh yourself today I am pretty sure you are up a pound or two”. “ If I were you I’d eat lightly today or not at all and weigh yourself tomorrow”.

When I do exercise I push my self as hard as I can that day or during a particular exercise. A couple of weeks ago I was out going up a set of stairs (almost 300 stairs) that I climb up and down to work on both my muscle tone and cardio. It was my first time back in a several months and I could not do as many as I had done previously when I had been partaking in this activity five days a week. Instead of being proud that I was making an effort to get back into shape and where I wanted to be I was made to feel that I had failed because I should have pushed myself harder and not given up when I did. “Why did you stop when I did”?? “Why didn’t you push that little bit harder”? “You probably could have done one more set if you had actually tried”. That is so infuriating!! I was trying. I honestly could not make my legs climb one more stair. I was doing my absolute best but once again it was not good enough.

We all have those days where we have been running from one activity to another, doing errands, working, dropping off the kids and picking them up at school and you arrive home to realize that you have forgotten to take out something for dinner. You don’t have time to defrost anything or prepare a fabulous meal before you have to run out the door to practice so you cut up some raw vegetables, open a can of soup and make a few grilled cheese sandwiches. The kids are happy. They have been fed. It was something they liked and everyone who needed to be out the door was out on time. This does happen to me from time to time and at first I am thrilled that it all worked out. Then I make a mistake and hear….. “ that isn’t a well balanced meal”. Do you know how much sodium is in canned soup”? “ I though you were going gluten free”? All of a sudden I feel like social services are going to be at my door and that the Mothers Day card that I had received the year before where my kids had written that I was the best mom ever was a total lie and I should return it to them.

I am single and from time to time I am asked out on a date. I think about it and if it is someone I would like to get to know I consider saying yes. Every girl tells their friend if they were asked out on a date. Your friend usually wants to hear every detail about the potential date and is excited for you. They want to help you choose an outfit and talk about how to do your make up and hair so you make that perfect impression. Not my friend. No way, all I hear is “Really”? “ He asked you out” Does he know you have two kids and that you are really busy”? “Do you think he thinks you have money because of who your ex husband is”? “You are so picky”. “What if you order a burger and ask for it without vegetables will he think you are weird for not liking and raw fruit of vegetables”? After all this I say no and miss out on what may have been a great opportunity for at least a new friendship.

For all these reasons I have decided that this friend has to be removed off of my friends list and replaced with someone more positive. Someone who will say, you look great today or I am proud of you for running those stairs. Good job, way to go, keep it up. It will be hard because this friend has been my closest friend since the day I was born. It is hard to get rid of someone who has always been there but I have to because I am soooooo sick of the negative “ME”. I am my own worst best friend because I am constantly holding myself back and putting negative thoughts into my head. No one is holding me back from anything but myself and it ends today. Watch out world, I will be speaking my mind, taking chances with my business, praising my self for jobs well done and making sure my steak is always served to me rare!!