Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Garden is Growing!!

I went to water the good ol' garden today and to pick some delicious lettuce for dinner. Much to my surprise, it's really starting to sprout! It rained here and made everything super lush. I love nature.

The cutest thing was definitely the weencie green pepper. Mmmmmm. It's gonna be gooooood! Am I a weirdo for getting so excited over a baby green pepper? Meh, life is only as exciting as you decide it's gonna be!









Kyle

Monday, July 26, 2010

Secret Friends

I spoke at an event on Saturday night in Olds, Alberta called 4H Club Week. 4H is an incredible organization that supports youth leadership and who's aim is to build stronger communities. Club Week is the time when members of different 4H clubs from around the world (there were Albertans, Canadians, Americans and even two girls from Taiwan and Korea) get together to share ideas, grow and learn.

I was very impressed with the calibre of individuals that were involved in the event. I have never in my life met such a positive, enthusiastic, respectful and polite group of 16-18 year olds. They all had self-confidence, compassion and amazing communication skills. It was really fun for me to chat with the various members and to gain some insight into the weeks happenings.

The week was jam packed full of awesome activities and everyone seemed to have pushed themselves out of their comfort zones quite a bit! Everyone said that by the end of the week they felt like their groups had become families and you could tell that the camaraderie was strong. There was an energy and comfort in the room that was very inviting.

One of the activities that was part of the program was something called "Secret Friends". At the beginning of the week they drew a random name from a "hat" and for the remainder of the week it was their job to get to know that person and to make them feel amazing. Basically random acts of kindness. I loved the idea and when I went up to speak I joked about how I wanted a secret friend too!

My talk went great. The theme was "Beyond the Horizon". I touched on how we sometimes place horizons on ourselves and how we sometimes have horizons placed on us. I talked about how horizons are comfortable because you can see them, but what is beyond the horizon? How can we find the courage and the strength inside of ourselves to push beyond the horizons in ours lives.

One example that I used was how a Canadian had never won a medal at the Olympics in the sport of gymnastics. That was the horizon. No one could see beyond that. But I could. And I believed it was possible. And I committed myself to training like an Olympic Champion. That meant that I needed to be more focused, more dedicated and more detail oriented than anyone before me. And when it happened in 2004, it opened the eyes of the entire Canadian team. It was now possible.

I talked about being a pioneer and doing something historic. What do you want to do that no one has ever done before?

I also talked about another horizon in my life. My "only medals matter" horizon and how I started to create that with in myself, especially after Athens. I started to define myself based on my accomplishments and I started to lose perspective. Training and competition started to become about outcomes and obligation and I wasn't chasing a dream with the same passion and pursuit that I had been before my ultimate dream came true. I talked about how my injury in Stuttgart really woke me up and reminded me that the journey is much more important than the outcome. What's really important is committing to excellence and having the guts to aim for your maximum potential. Because that's where you'll get the most out of yourself. And at the end of the day, if you can look back and know that, regardless of the outcome, you feel like you were at YOUR absolute best, then that's the definition of victory. So aim high and be courageous enough to commit to excellence, every single day.

Inspiring?

I thought so. And I think some of my new friends agreed.

When the event was done and I had met most of the gang - and did a backflip and handstand on the dance floor...oh, and also got the most amazing farewell GIANT group hug ever!!!! 150 people big. That was super special - I walked out to my car and put my medal in it's special velvet bag.

Inside the bag was a note.

It was folded up and on the outside it read:

Love: your secret friends @ club week

Inside it read:

Dear Kyle Shewfelt,

Thank you so much for your speech today. It was an honour to sit with you and I will remember it always. The moment I get back to Lethbridge I am going to brag about this experience to all of my friends. Again, thank you so much. Your speech brought tears to my eyes (Olympics do that to me:))

Thanks for the honour,
Your Secret Friend


Dear Kyle,

You are such an amazing person. We were very honoured to have you speak at our banquet. I hope you had a great time with us. You were very inspirational.

Thank you again,

Your secret friend.


Dear Kyle,

It was an honour to sit by you - your speech was truly inspirational and I am totally star struck. I hope you can take your speaking career to outstanding heights. Thank you!

- Your other secret friend
ps- It gave me chills to hold your medal first.



And that folks, right there, is the reason I do what I do. This is why I LOVE speaking. It makes me happy to know that I have affected others in a positive way and hopefully sparked something inside of them to help them along in their journey.

Thanks to my "secret friends" for taking the time to make me a gift. It meant a lot and had me smiling the whole drive home.

One comment really made me shiver. The, "I hope you can take your speaking career to outstanding heights" one. Wow. That's it. That's where I want to go with this. I want to go to OUTSTANDING heights.

I have never been more ready.


Kyle


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Before and After

BEFORE:


AFTER:


Which do you like more??!!

I think the winner is quite obvious!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to announce...

The Kitchen is complete!

No more mirror backsplash. No more crappy laminate counter tops. No more leaky faucets. No more dark and dingy black appliances. No more Maple shaker cabinets.

Bring on the Pure White Quartz! Bring on the under cabinet lighting! Bring on the high gloss white uppers! Bring on the walnut lowers! Bring on the glass tile backsplash. Bring on the wine boxes and floating shelf! Bring on the stainless steel appliances! Bring on the shine, bring on the bling, bring on the sexy and bring on the awesomeness!

I AM IN LOVE WITH MY NEW KITCHEN!



Kyle




Monday, July 19, 2010

Do these make you have to pee?

When I would get drug tested I would sometimes have the "observer" turn on the faucets so I could feel the urge. It's never easy to whiz when someone is staring at your junk...

Reno update: Faucets are in and plumbing is hooked up. Project
reno is nearly complete!










Oh, and I forgot to post these pics of the tile last week when it came on Thursday.



Can you say SPA?

The list of 'things to do' is slowly dwindling down. I love crossing things off...especially in sharpie!

This is the time in a renovation where it's very important to stay focused and pay attention to the small details. It's very easy to do jobs half assed because everything is now almost livable, but in order to have an AMAZING finished product, I need to continue keeping the standard high.

But, I must admit, I am SO looking forward to the day (soon) when I can just sit back, relax and enjoy my new home without looking around and seeing paint cans, drop cloths, drills, boxes, wrenches and random screws laying around everywhere. And this will be the time when I'm really going to focus in on my professional career and organize/complete all of the awesome projects that are on the verge of becoming real.

Off to wash my hands (I've done it 20 times today, just because I can!),

Kyle

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Playground to Podium Event

It was a cold and rainy day in Calgary, but we pushed through and made the event a HUGE success! More than $20,000 was raised for Kidsport!

It was so fun to spend time with my friends and fellow athletes and to share some laughs with corporate sponsors.

I was teamed with one of my favourite companies, Cenovus. I did some work with them at the 2010 Games and they are an incredible group of people.

Congrats to Agenda Sport Marketing on a very successful event!

Article Courtesy of Metro Calgary


Olympic athletes help KidSport go for gold

KATIE TURNER/FOR METRO CALGARY

Olympic gymnast Kyle Shewfelt shows off his medal to Rory Leach, 10, yesterday.

KATIE TURNER
METRO CALGARY
July 14, 2010 5:37 a.m.
Text size
Many of Canada’s most beloved athletes were joined by some young Calgary fans yesterday during KidSport’s Playground to Podium fundraising event.

Jon Montgomery, Denny Morrison and Maƫlle Ricker were among more than 15 Olympians who came out to show support for the organization at the Bridgeland/Riverside Community Centre.

“I think as athletes, we all recognize just how powerful sport has been for our lives,” said Olympic speed skater Kristina Groves.

Gymnast Kyle Shewfelt said KidSport provides the funds to register for sports for kids who might not otherwise be able to play.

“The reality is there’s a lot of children who could be amazing at sport and could get a lot of joy and learn a lot from it but can’t afford to get involved in it,” he said. “I think it should be accessible to everybody and KidSport is there to help.”

Fan 960 Interview

Fan 960 Interview

Counter tops are IN!

I can't believe this is MY house! I keep going in to the kitchen and bathrooms and gliding my
hands across the counter tops! They are absolutely perfect.

It's amazing how much a counter top can change the look of a room. My place feels like an
entirely different condo.




The tile guy is coming tomorrow to do the backsplash so I will definitely post some pics of that as well!

Yipppppeeeee!

K.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Reno Update - Waiting for Counter Tops

Kitchen



Nook


Kitchen


Cool Cabinet door in Kitchen!



Spare Bath


So now it's time to just sit back and wait. The counter tops are coming on Wednesday, the tile backsplash is going in on Thursday and the appliances are being delivered on Friday. The plumber comes on Monday to hook up the dishwasher, sinks and faucets...and then all we have left is to paint the floors!

Holy crap! It's almost done!


This next week is going to be awesome! And the 'Show off my Reno' party that I am going to have when its complete is going to be even more awesome!

Kyle

10 km's to feeling great!

I have taken up a new activity and it's something that I never would have thought in a million years that I would enjoy.

Are you ready for this??

It's R.U.N.N.I.N.G.

It's funny because as a gymnast, the longest distance that I ever ran was 24.65 meters - and that was full speed ahead down the vault runway. In fact, 3 running steps was ingrained into my brain since I was 6 years old (for those of you who don't know, 3 running steps is what guys are supposed to take into their tumbling passes).

So, to my surprise, I have become a little bit addicted to the activity of running.

I don't remember how I started to run. I think it was something that I thought I was "supposed" to do to work out like a normal person and feel like I was staying in shape. But running has become so much more than just a fitness regime to me. It has literally been a sanity saver.

One of my life requirements is to move my body. I don't think I really realized how important this was to me until I retired from gym and I wasn't training for 6 hours a day. In fact, I used to be able to lie on the couch all night after second training and not feel an ounce of guilt because I knew I had earned it! Haha. But now, I no longer live a life of flipping, twisting, swinging, tumbling and iron-crossing. I am now sitting in front of a computer, I am having meetings, I am standing in front of audiences, I am in front of the camera ect. None of these things are all that physically exerting. In fact, I feel like I am getting a pancake ass half of the time because I spend so much time sitting on it.

Anyway, one thing became very clear to me: my thoughts are not clear and concise and I turn into a real A-hole when I haven't taken some time for me to simply move my body. It's amazing the difference it makes in my mood and my overall sense of accomplishment in a day. Running helps to ease my mind, it helps to clear my thoughts, it helps me to sort things out, it helps me feel consistency, it helps me feel improvement...just like yoga, I have never returned from a run and felt like it was a waste of time.

But one thing I realized about running is that I can't just do it for the sake of doing it. I want to do it well. I need a challenge and I need a goal. I need something that I can work towards or I will make every excuse in the book to get out of it! It's embarrassing to admit, but sometimes I make deals with myself - I think we all do it - and I try to convince myself that tomorrow will be a better day to take action. Boo! In fact, it was the same way in training. If I didn't know what I was working towards then I felt lost and my purpose was blurry, but as soon as I found a meaningful goal then I could turn it on and make every day count.



So, knowing that I needed something to "run" towards, I decided to sign up for my first 10K race in May and it was the Mother's Day Race here in Calgary. This was a really big step for me.

I absolutely loved the race! I ran it in 49:01. My goal was to beat an hour so I felt pretty awesome. But what I loved the most was the feeling I got afterwards when I knew that I had set a goal and accomplished it. It gave me momentum. It gave me purpose. It affected my confidence and it started to trickle into my daily life.

I also noticed the competitor coming out from inside of me. I was setting people as targets through-out the race and I would set little goals to run past them. When I did then it was on to the next. I felt a sense of determination that I haven't felt since I was standing in the corner of the floor ready to compete in Beijing. I felt like I was pushing myself far out of my comfort zone and I felt like I was connecting with the "athlete" version of me. It felt good. And it wasn't like I passed the people and tried to trip them; I would pass them and give them a big smile, a thumbs up and a mouthed "keep going, you're doing awesome"!

So my first race led to my second which happened this past weekend. It was the Stampede Road Race. I had a goal to beat my time from May.


Well, guess what folks. I did it! 46:45! YES!



I also convinced Kristin to run her very first 5 Km race. Her goal was to run the whole time without stopping and guess what?! She accomplished that too!

It was a pretty productive and powerful way to start off a Stampede Sunday. Most people would be hung over as hell, but we were out there kicking our goal's asses. Not too shabby!


So, I have come to the conclusion that running more than 25 meters is a good thing for me. In fact, it's a great thing that I am really enjoying!

Now, if only I had booked a massage for the day after....

Kyle




Thursday, July 08, 2010

Sprouting

I promised a garden update, so here it is!

Our beans, peas, cucumbers, green onions and carrots have started to poke through. In fact, they really came up over the past couple of days!

I know that this might seem super boring to post updates on something as simple as a garden, but I am really trying to use this project as a gauge for my personal progress as well.










As this garden grows I am reminded that even though things might not feel like they are changing instantaneously, they are still indeed changing. I think the trick is this: sometimes you need to take a little break away from the action to actually notice the difference.

Kyle

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Presenting Barrett Manjak!

Check out this amazing video of my nephew, Barrett Manjak! He is my former coach Kelly Manjak's son and he LOVES gymnastics!

I wonder where he learned those corner parts??? I think Uncle Kyle played a little role in those:) Apparently Barrett watches old videos of me all the time and tries to reenact my moves and corner parts! I love it!

I also know another little terd who used to be obsessed with gymnastics and would try to copy the people who he saw on tv...yup, that would be me!

Awesome work Barrett! Keep pointing those toes and paying attention to your fingers! Those small things will make a huge difference one day.





I'm a very proud Uncle right now,

Kyle

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Pretty Kitchen - Pretty Lady

This is what the kitchen is looking like so far!


The picture is of Kristin last night; making sure everything is perfect. My perfectionism is wearing off on her! Mwahahahahahahaha...that means my evil plan is working!

More updates to come as lots of progress is being made today. I can hear the nail gun popping in the background!

I love shiny pretty things,

Kyle

ps- We have decided to PAINT the existing tile to give it a more of a modern and fresh look...that could be opening a brand new can of worms!


Monday, July 05, 2010

Blinds!



Renovation update...

I got my blinds today! They look so friggin awesome. And yes, that is my patio furniture piled up on my patio in the picture...everything is in chaos at the moment. But it's also at that point where it seems like things are getting closer and closer to COMPLETION! Eeeeeeeeeeeeek! (That was my Robert Pattison induced 13 year old girl scream!)

Cabinet update: they are half way installed. I almost cried when I saw my upper kitchen cabinets. They are high gloss white and almost the sexiest thing I have ever seen. I am in love. Like, actual love.

I almost had a heart attack today when the installer was nail gunning and I was working in my office. I wasn't expecting the loud bang and I jumped 2 feet off my chair! Holy sh*t was it ever loud!

Ah, the fun of living in a renovation, but it's so fun to see it all starting to come together!

Kyle



If you're in Calgary...

If you're in Calgary, check out this event that I, and many of my fellow athletes, will be attending on July 13th!

It's gonna be a good time....




And one of my favourite local bands, The Dudes, is playing too!



I hope to see you there!

Kyle

I had the "Olympic" jitters today

I had a very important opportunity come about this morning. I am not at liberty to discuss what it was exactly, but let's just say that it was an audition for something that I've always thought would be a great fit for me.

I was nervous and I found myself experiencing the "Olympic" jitters. My heart was pitter pattering and I felt the adrenaline pumping in my veins. My hands were sweaty, I had a lump in my throat and my mouth got really dry. It was one of the first times that I felt that 'real' buzz since being a competitor.

You know when you leave an experience and you don't know if you rocked it or if you completely bombed? You start replaying the scene back in your head, wondering if you could or should have done something differently? I don't know how I fared exactly. I think I did pretty good. I hope I did. I think I came off as confident, witty, enthusiastic and genuine. Those were kinda my key words/characteristics that I was trying to evoke.

All I really know for sure is that when I left I just knew that this is something I want. I knew that this was important to me. I cared a lot about this one...and that was a huge boost of confidence. I am moving forward. One step at a time.

I'll keep you updated on how everything progresses...

Kyle

Thursday, July 01, 2010

A true duck tale

This was an email that I got from a good friend. I usually don't read forwards, but this was too fun to pass up!

Enjoy!




Something really cute happened in downtown Edmonton this week. Michael R. is an accounting clerk at the Bank and works there in a second story office. Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and Monday afternoon all of her ten ducklings hatched.

Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching.

Tuesday morning, Michael watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off. Office work came to a standstill as everyone gathered to watch.

The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy newborn trustingly toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn't stand to watch this risky effort nine more times! He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs to the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling, near its mother, was resting in a stupor after the near-fatal fall. Michael stood out of sight under the awning-planter, ready to help.


As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. Safe and sound, he set it down it by its momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from that painful leap

. (The momma must have sensed that Michael was trying to help her babies.)

One by one the babies continued to jump. Each time Michael hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. At the scene the busy downtown sidewalk traffic came to a standstill. Time after time, Michael was able to catch the remaining eight and set them by their approving mother.

At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had two full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs and past pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the River , site of the famed "River Walk." The on looking office secretaries and several Edmonton police officers joined in. An empty copy-paper box was brought to collect the babies.


They carefully corralled them, with the mother's approval, and loaded them in the container. Michael held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the River the mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight, all the way.



As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping in the river and quacking loudly. At the water's edge, Michael tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to the waiting mother after their adventurous ride.


All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacking.


At last, all present and accounted for: "We're all together again. We're here! We're here!"



And here's a family portrait before they head outward to further adventures..




Like all of us in the big times of our life, they never could have made it alone without lots of helping hands.