Saturday, February 23, 2008

Maui

My trip to Maui was phenomenal!

Maui= Paradise

Really, it does. I decided that I need to go at least once every couple of years, if not every year (rumor is that I might host the same trip again next year!). I love the attitude, the relaxed environment, the weather....It's a place where you can really come back to your 'normal' life feeling completely refreshed and energized.

The group of 40 guests that I was hosting were all incredible individuals, which made the trip even that much more enjoyable. They were all my kind of people. Easy going, great conversationalists and everyone knew how to relax and have a good time.

The week started out on Tuesday morning with a brunch/lunch cooking class taught by Canada's best chef from 2006, Makoto Ono. An amazing guy as well by the way (he's also in the process of opening a restaurant in Beijing called "Makoto". I better get VIP man!) ! It was an opportunity for everyone to meet each other and to get into the Maui mode..aka: 'fun, not a care in the world, where's my beer/rum beverage mode"!
(me, Kim, Makoto and Pete...the fantastic four!)

During the week we had lots of planned activities (all coordinated by Gold Medal Plates' amazing fundraising coordinator and great friend of mine, Kim Dal Bianco), such as a snorkel/whale watching tour (apparently I get sea sick, which is a horrible feeling!), watching the sun rise on top of the Haleakala volcano (one of the most inspiring scenes in the world), zip lining (what a fun adventure! Kind of like swinging on the highbar) and a fantastic day chilling at the beach (I even got a bit of a tan, whoo hoo!).












We also had a GIANT party on Friday night and I somehow became the bartender...I don't know who assumed that I can mix a mad drink, but they assumed right! The highlight for me, in terms of the experience of hosting a group of guests, was this bash on Friday. Everyone was laughing, sharing stories and being a little crazy, but we were in Maui and we were taking full advantage of the opportunity! I love it when a group of total strangers can come together and create an energetic atmosphere...the coolest part about this experience was that everyone here was brought together by Canadian sport.

All of the guests that were present had a tremendous respect and appreciation for Canada's amateur athletes. I don't know if the guests realize this, I hope they do, but while we were having an incredible experience in Maui, the proceeds from the Gold Medal Plates events ($900,000+ by the way!) are going towards helping Canadian athletes achieve podium success in 2008, 2010 and beyond. Every time I felt even a little bit guilty about missing training for a week, I just remembered that I was actually helping all of my teammates out by being there!

I've got to be honest, I was a little misbehaved a few times, but I stuck to my previous stated goals and did something physical every day! I went for jogs, did pilates in my condo, handstands on the beach...I even curled 10 lb watermelons. Now that's creative dedication folks.

I am a little bit of a freak sometimes and I worry that I am going to lose everything if I take a week off. I try not to worry, but when you are used to training 6 days a week and having this routine, you can't help it when you feel a little lazy.

Actually, here's a story: When I was a kid, I stayed in Calgary with my Grandma over Christmas while my parents and brother went to visit my dad's family in Manitoba (Hi Shewfelt family!). I didn't go with them because I couldn't fathom missing training, especially over Christmas break when competition season was quickly approaching. I don't regret this decision at all, but sometimes I look back and wonder if I would have really been THAT far behind if I had gone away.
Now that I am older, wiser and more experienced, I am learning that a week off can actually be a really great thing. I am NOT going to lose everything in one week. In fact, sometimes a week off is perfect to recover, regroup and let loose a little before getting strict with yourself.

Since becoming an adult athlete, I have always worked in cycles. Sometimes I have a hard time being ultra focused. I wish that I could be that athlete who is 100% all about their sport and training all the time. I'm not. I like beer. I like staying out late. I like having time with my non-gymnastic friends. I like not taking my vitamins and not putting chalk on my hands! But when it comes time, usually a few months before a big competition, I get tunnel vision. Single minded focus. I sleep right, eat right, make detailed plans, take all of my vitamins, ice right after practice, say no to Friday night get togethers...I make gymnastics my main priority.

I believe that I am able to do this because I don't drive myself crazy by doing it all the time.

Burnout=Bad
Overall, Maui was exactly what I needed, just a little escape from the daily grind of this comeback. I desperately wanted to compete at Worlds, do well and then take a sweet vacation. That didn't happen because I kind of broke my legs. haha. I was instantly faced with a new challenge, the hardest one of my life, and I have had no break basically since last winter. I guess you could argue that sitting on my arse for a month was kind of a break, but it wasn't a mental break at all. It was all consuming and exhausting. Maui gave me a week of mind rest. This rest has made me feel so AWESOME! AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME. I have gained a lot of clarity. I feel balanced, happy, optimistic, hungry (not for food! for progress!) and focused. My batteries have been charged to full power! Watch out.

I went in to training on Wednesday morning and did my weight program with my strength trainer, Mac Read. It was a good day because it gave me some piece of mind and confirmation that Maui was much needed. After taking a week off, I did even more weighted chin ups in my sets (4 sets of maximum with a 30 lb weight vest with 1 minute rest in between each set...it burns...a lot!) than I had done before I left. My squats improved, my range of motion increased. I didn't lose anything at all...in fact, I think I actually gained something!

Bring on the challenges! Hawaii has given me a tremendous amount of strength!


Kyle

4 comments:

Valentin Uzunov said...

Great to read that you have had the rest you needed/wanted/deserved. Pictures seems awesome..looks like a really cool place to go.
Nice melons by the way... haha..

Valentin

darci-lyn said...

Just needed to comment on your missed time with your awesome cousins in 'toba. We all missed you at those gatherings, but we were also extremely proud of your dedication to your goals too!
There should be no regrets... Trev would've just teased you to tears anyways...
Still proud of you...

David Adlard said...

Kyle,

Loved the Maui story! Lisa and I went there for our 5th anniversary in August, and it changed our life... we decided then that we were too young to become "old"... to become observers, instead of doers.

On the first day, after sitting through the "indoctrination" of the various activities of the timeshare, we decided to make it an adventure vacation, and set our lives on a different path.

We did a 3 day Open Ocean scuba certification, ocean kayaking, rappelled down a 100 foot waterfall, tried surfing (Lisa was good, I spent a lot of time upside down with a board over my head) and ran and exercised daily.

When we got back, we had Rick Mc. down for a couple of weeks, and while he was here, we decided to become "Adventure Racers," and since then, I have lost 30 pounds, am as healthy as I have been in 20 years, and feel great about myself and life.

Maui was amazing, but one of the coolest things we found was something called the "Maui Rules," which we though you'd enjoy:

1) Never judge a day by the weather
2) The best things in life aren't things
3) Tell the truth - there's less to remember
4) Speak softly and wear a loud shirt
5) He who dies with the most toys still dies
6) Age is relative - when you're over the hill, you pick up speed
7)Beauty is internal-looks mean nothing
8) No rain, no rainbows
9) (and our favorite!): There are two ways to be rich: make more, or desire less.

Basically put, simplify life, be loving, be thankful, and live to do good for someone everyday, especially a stranger who needs it.

COngratulations on your recovery, and good luck! We are SO looking forward to finally getting you down to Coeur d Alene some day!

Best in everything,

Lisa and Dave Adlard

Marilynn said...

Hi Kyle -

We've got some great photos, great paintings...but most of all, great memories of hanging out with you and Makoto in Maui.

Thanks for the Memories...
Keep in Touch,
Marilynn and Jim
Calgary