Wear Blue and Climb Birthday Bash on Signal Hill

Greetings from the Ides of June,

OK…perhaps dancing on Saturday night wasn’t the smartest move given how sore my leg is today. But it is such a rare event that I feel comfortable enough in a setting to dance that I couldn’t say no. I made my yearly pilgrimage to the Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop to lead a session on Wilderness First Aid and do a climbing presentation on Saturday. I really wanted to clone myself because I was doing the final workshop in my Shambhala Warrior Training program at the same time. I sat meditation all morning then jumped in the car with Marian to share the secrets of staying calm in an emergency with 15 newly minted outdoors women.

After showing them how to construct splints out of outdoor gear, I gobbled down the traditional turkey dinner and got the room laughing with stories from the “Ring of Fire” (the strange exercises I take to practice being outside of my comfort zone). So, it only seemed right to accept Lucy’s invitation to two-step. Once I relaxed enough to let her lead, it was fun to fly about the room in beat to her sister and nephew’s beautiful voices. I can count the number of times I’ve danced in the last decade on one hand.

In keeping with my belief that it’s important to practice being uncomfortable sometimes, I went for it and danced much of the time the music was happening. And yes, my leg is pretty sore but it was worth it as I want to begin the process of life in the ring of fire once again (actually I’m not sure I ever got out of the fire). I’ll be looking for opportunities for new and challenging things to do…I know I want to learn to fight, perhaps ballroom dancing…maybe some belly dancing-now that would be a stretch! Any other ideas out there? Send ’em in and I’ll consider them!

I had a good “stretching” experience this week when I spoke to over 1000 folks at the Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada National Conference on Friday. They were a wonderful audience and I felt like I’d hit really hit my stride! I’d asked a surgeon I play hockey with about how working in an operating room was like climbing a mountain and she gave me some good points that I used in personalizing the presentation. I’ve really felt a new comfort and new abilities in my comedic timing coming along of late and a new passion in my message since I committed to going back to Everest.

I had my nerve conduction tests done today and they confirmed that I do indeed have carpal tunnel in both wrists. So, even though I’ve had less symptoms of late, that’s likely due to not stressing them by ice climbing or pulk pulling. I’ll be researching treatment options as I wait for my appointment with the surgeon again in September. The neurologist today said that my wrists were likely to continue to flare with any heavy exertion and the testing showed that the nerve has been damaged…so I’ll keep you posted.

I’m leaving for Elbrus in two weeks on July 1 (Canada Day). Soon I will begin to migrate climbing equipment into the living room and lay it lovingly into piles. I’ll make lists. Many lists. I’ll begin to transform the inevitable pre-climb nervousness into checking and re-checking gear, probably giving into the incorrect notion that if I can just select the perfect gear nothing bad or uncomfy will befall me. I have one more week of teaching and then I’ll be able to give my Elbrus prep and training my undivided attention. Until then, I sneak moments of planning in here and there.

Before each of my big climbs of late, I’ve made it a tradition to do ten Signal Hill ascents. Signal Hill dominates the St. John’s skyline and has been a focus for much of my training. Climbing from the harbour at Temperance Street to the top nets me a gain of about 450 feet. With cars parked above, we climb up and drive down and climb up and drive down. Etc. Repeat. Etc. Repeat. Until we get to ten. This brings me to Wednesday June 24…one of my favourite days of the year. My birthday!

To celebrate turning 44 on the 24th, I plan to do my ten ascents for Elbrus starting at noon at the bottom of Temperance Street. It will take about five hours and I’m looking for folks to come join me for an ascent or two…or six. In lieu of gifts or cards, I’m asking for folks to wear sky blue that day and to consider making a donation to the Canadian Prostate Cancer Network. Sky Blue is the colour of the awareness ribbon for Prostate Cancer. I was thinking the Blue-Helmeted Super Hero may have to make another climb of Signal Hill (weather dependent-the lycra might cause heat stroke if it is warm!) Please come on out and help celebrate! You can always do a drive by and honk! Let me know if you can help drive a descent or two as well!

Alright…time to get this sent out! Happy Monday. Have a good week!

TA

Here’s how you can support Elbrus: Climbing for my Dad

To donate to the Canadian Prostate Cancer Network,
please click on the following link: http://www.cpcn.org/honour_form.asp

Click the “In Honour” button and please fill out “Elbrus: Climbing for my Dad.” For the acknowledgment card, please use my address (I don’t want to beam out my parent’s address for all to see in cyberspace). I’ll forward all the acknowledgments to my dad.

TA Loeffler
7 Wood Street
St. John’s, NL
A1C 3K8

Thanks in advance of your support of this worthy cause.

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