bronze & gold was looking for some male perspective and knew we had the perfect guy to kick things off! Slater is Mad's not-so-little brother: a product of chick flicks and life in the hockey rink. Pouring out his heart and soul in the name of the blog was a pretty sweet way to pay his sister back for all those busted lips and time she spent suited up in the net while he took shots. He embodies bronze & gold every single day: insightful, spiritual, a lover of a good reclining chair and intriguing TV show, and most importantly, life's simplicities. (Yes ladies, he's single).
For those who don’t know me I am the younger brother of the Bronze (debatable attempt to make her red hair sound cooler). I’m just kidding, I know with all the comments I have made over the years, my kids will be exiting the womb flaming red. Anyhow...
I’m not really sure what to talk about here, there seems to be past entries about style.. My closet consists of about 30 plaid button up shirts, a couple game day suits, and 3 pairs of jeans. Needless to say, style is off the topic list. The obvious thing for me to write about would be hockey but I don't want to bore the Bronze and Gold crowd with hockey woes (Teal was/is actually sick at hockey... Madison..... Not so much). That brings me to the last topic I could possibly write about and I swear my sister didn’t make me write this, I actually think about it a lot and think that it’s one of the most important things to find/have in your life.. Love.
By no means am I an expert on the topic, if you want that maybe a Cosmo read would be more appropriate, but perhaps I can give a different perspective as the 'King of hopelessness'.
The boys will give it to me about this, but as my family and close friends know, Serendipity (with Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack) would have to be in my top 5 all time movies. A must watch if you haven’t seen. I have 'You Cant Fight Fate' tattooed on my arm largely because of this flick. I am a sucker for all things that come from a pre ordained plan by a higher power. But has that hurt my love life? A lot.
People might be shaking their heads.. A pretty goodlooking (if I do say so) fella, who plays hockey for a living.. C’mon now. Yeah I meet plenty of good looking ladies, a lot of whom guys would for sure think are good catches but what if I’m looking for more? I’m looking for my Sarah. My girl to take to the Waldorf Astoria and tell her to get in the elevator and pick a floor, any floor, and if we meet on that same floor number we are meant to be together (Serendipity reference, sorry guys).
There was a time when I thought I had found that. I know I'm only 21 now, but this girl was everything I had been looking for. We met in the Sault Ste Marie airport which makes me laugh as I write this. Anyways, it was only a glance followed by a 'shady' Facebook add, and boom goes the dynamite. Ultimately it did not work out, but I still think of her every day, and maybe fate will bring us back together at some point. I guess that’s where my Hopelessness should turn into Hopefulness.
Mad and I have been blessed with two loving parents who have showed us what true love looks like. Just this past Christmas they renewed their vows in front of family and friends at our annual Christmas party. That, in the end, is all I am looking for. Will it come in the form of a magical movie scene or will it come in the smallest airport in North America? For now all I can do is have Faith that my 'Sarah' is somewhere out there looking for her other black glove (Just watch the movie already).
Today marks the end of my fourth week in Australia. In some ways, it feels as though I've been gone forever but at the same time it's hard to believe that I've already been here for so long. My time in Aus has been nothing short of amazing. I'll let the pictures below do the talking and won't go into too many details but here's a quick update on what I've been up to! Anthony and I spent my first 10 days travelling around Sydney and Byron Bay. We then headed back to Melbourne, my home base for my time in Aus. I did some intense sightseeing my first few days- I toured the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne Cricket Ground, the State Library, and a few different beaches. I was also able to do a bit of exploring in the downtown area, known as the CBD, but still have lots to see! After about a week in Melbourne, I moved to a little bayside suburb just outside of the city where I'll be working as an Au Pair! My first couple weeks with the kids have been busy but so much fun. Some other highlights include going to a cricket game, a 7 hour road trip along the Great Ocean Road, and some big pub nights to experience some Australian culture ;) I can't wait to see what next month has in store- I'll be starting it off watching the tennis at the Australian Open on Friday night!
Lots of love,
This week I did something fun. I went out on a limb (or I guess you could say a pole) and tried something new. This week I went to a pole fitness class, what you’d recognize as pole dancing (no, not stripping). I went toute seule and braved the potential (okay, guaranteed) awkwardness all in the name of personal triumph. The studio was offering free introductory classes and I just couldn’t pass it up! You know me, always in it for a good story to tell, at the very least.
To set things straight: it’s not what you’re picturing. I’m not talking about showing up to a dingy strip club and auditioning for a spot on their roster. I didn’t wind up on stage doing my best Magic Mike on a wild night out after a couple too many tequila. When my friend was scheduled to work at the time we were signed up to go, a very nervous but very determined Mad showed up to a studio in the basement of a brand new student living complex and was surprised at the super cool, industrial-chic interior. Opening the door to the pole studio there were mirrors around the perimeter and about 15 poles standing tall, sparkling in all their glory.
The workout started simple, lunges and leg lifts using the pole for support. Then, with the pole in the crutch of the knee, leaning to the side for side crunches. Then it came time for the good stuff… the things the pros make look so easy when in fact, they’re white knuckle, hold-on-for-dear-life situations.
We were taught how to grip, one hand high to hold on and one across the body to hold yourself away from pole. This was the foundation for pole spins, coming up on your inside foot tippy toes and letting the body twirl around the pole whilst trying to maintain some level of grace. The simplest move in this introductory class proved to be super tough… tough on the shoulders, really hard on the ball of your foot, and #tough in the sexy department. Coming around the pole to hook your heel and do a little flick of the hair sounds a whole lot hotter than I could have ever made it look. Same goes for sliding down the pole with your back to it. While it's meant to be sexy and enticing, I kept getting stuck half way and crashing down to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Thankfully I was nowhere near ready for any upside down moves that, in my mind, ran the very real risk of squuueeeeaaaakkkkking down the metal pole.
I’m so glad I stuck with it and decided to go to the class solo. In a self-deprecating tale of my awkwardness and general lack of sex appeal, I hope you feel inspired to put yourself out there and try something that makes you nervous or that you’d be inclined to shy away from. As my family would tell you, I’m all about trying new things and experiencing all there is to experience (and dragging them along with me). As an added bonus to this mentality, fitness for me this year is open-ended… I will combine regular yoga practice with a random selection of fun new activities, as best I can. On a student, 20-something budget, free trials are the perfect opportunity to try all things new! Pole fitness was a strong start and truth be told, an underestimated workout that takes incredible strength. Huge kudos goes to the people who have mastered its art.
Sometimes the new year isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and I’m here to tell you that that’s okay. That maybe the fresh start is that whole idea in and of itself. Let me explain:
New Year’s Eve has long been an occasion for which many people get their hopes up. If you’re like me you’ve always pictured big lavish parties with sequins and glitter and glam. And if you’re like me, the closest you’ve gotten to that is an overdressed experience at the Chesterville Legion with drinks in plastic cups, and a dance floor covered in beer that you inevitably wiped out on. Sequins, sure. Glam, not a bit.
After trying to live out the magic last year at Niagara Falls with ET Canada, and freezing our tushes off in -30 degree weather, Joey and I decided that Chinese food and watching the ball drop on TV was much more our speed and comfort for our second new year together. But when midnight struck and the inspirational quotes were plastered all over Instagram I couldn’t help but feel stressed over my lack of clarity for the year ahead. Teal’s 2016 was already off to a hell of a start in Australia and I found my new year’s resolution sounding like “trust in God’s path for me”, “be happy with all my blessings”, yada yada yada. Poor Joey was the one to console me as I tearfully and dramatically confessed that I hated birthdays and New Years and any other time stamp where major declarations are to be made with glee. (In reality, I’m one of the more hopeful people on the planet so whether these moments of doubt were brought on by raging hormones or my impending sickness remain to be seen.)
The next day, January 2nd, 2016. My entire family is now in Toronto along with members of our extended hockey family to watch my brother play. It’s a special weekend as he is rarely, if ever, on the Canadian side of the border and everyone made the 4 hour trip to stay in a hotel and join in on the hockey-weekend routine. I blame my downer attitude about the New Year and the way I ignored my body’s cries for rest throughout the Christmas break for the bad karma that was a deathly sore throat when I woke up. This time I knew that a Halls and a tea wasn’t curing anything. No sir, my achey breaky heart and achey breaky bones were locked in for a good dose of strep.
A couple Tylenol had me through the day alright but come time for supper, my fever was spiking. Chills, burning up, chills, burning up, some terrible combination of the two, vomiting, laying on the cold marble floor of Mom and Dad’s 37th floor fancy hotel room. I was a goner. Completely ruined Kare and Bri’s sleep and relaxing train trip weekend away. By 7am Sunday morning we were jammed into my Malibu and bound for Manotick, leaving the family and hockey fam to watch the second game. I was a mess in the back seat - struggling to swallow, catch my breath, and keep a good temperature.
I’m not playing a sad tune. The strep was instantly soothed by a dose of Penicillin and my soul was warmed by the continued love and support of Bri and Kare. Bri hates the city yet navigated it perfectly to get us outta there. Kare hates riding in my car but rode uncomfortably the entire way home without peeping a word about her disappointment. She then proceeded to wait on me and make sure I was comfortable, drive me around looking for a walk-in clinic. Absolute rockstars.
After ALL THAT, the point of my story: it’s now January 7th and I’m late heading back to Kingston to assume my duties and responsibilities. I’m still in recovery from the worst bout of strep I have ever had (and me and my elementary school best friend passed it back and forth atleast once a year as kids, so I know my strep). As I laid on the bathroom floor of that 37th floor hotel room, suffering like a doggie, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I’d done to deserve a start to the new year like this. The same thoughts I always get when I’m seriously sick: why me, I don’t have time for this, I’m being such a burden. But as I look back now, with a slightly clearer throat and a wholely clearer mind, I know that my original resolution, trust in God’s path for me, was the right one all along.
Yes, I got very sick at the start of the new year but what it reminded me of was that I moped through the fall feeling sad and sorry for myself for being stuck in Kingston while all my friends had moved onto bigger and better. I failed to truly appreciate the blessing that is the Masters degree I am “stuck” there completing. I failed to take care of myself, body, mind and soul, by eating a healthy diet and staying active. I failed to do all of these things because I was not trusting in the path that I was on and what would come out of it. I was so preoccupied with not having a destination, a world tour or a big showy job to work towards, that I forgot about the right now and the body that will carry me everywhere I need to go. And now, only after seeing the light (okay I’m joking, it was bad but it was just strep throat so it wasn’t THAT bad) am I able to say “Mad, today is January 7, 2016. You have 6 days left on your Penicillin prescription and you are about to kick 2016’s butt by being grateful for the path you are on and taking care of yourself while you’re at it.”
The best thing I did in 2015 was buy a one way ticket to Australia. I have always been very goal-oriented and look forward to writing out my New Years resolutions every January. I immediately fell in love with Lululemon's goal setting guide when Mad introduced it to me a couple of years ago. Lulu's plan has you write out where you see yourself in a year, 5 years, and 10 years with personal, professional, and health goals. When I did this for the first time about a year and a half ago, I realized that a lot of my goals centered around travel and that I wanted the opportunity to live abroad. As a varsity hockey player I missed out on the traditional high school and university semester exchanges and was eager to have my own experience. Writing out my goals in this format made me realize that now was the time to do it and if I wanted to, I had to make it happen on my own. 16 has always been my favourite number and I've always had a feeling 2016 would be a special year for me, I just didn't exactly know how.
I chose Australia for a few different reasons: 1. if i was living abroad I wanted warm weather. 2. I wanted to give myself the best chance of getting a job so I needed an English speaking country. 3. Australia's far and not cheap to get to so I figured it was a place to go for an extended period of time and 4. my LDR with an Aussie boy made my decision a little easier.
Once I decided on where I was going, I knew I just needed to book a ticket to seal the deal and ensure that regardless of the circumstances that may arise, I couldn't chicken out. Like I said earlier, booking my ticket was my highlight of 2015- I'm pretty sure I skipped home from the travel agent. The motivation it gave me to complete my masters thesis was immeasurable. It also made working my multiple jobs throughout the summer and fall so much more enjoyable because I knew what every hours pay was going towards. I won't lie, I questioned multiple times whether I was making the right decision including a tear-filled phone call right before boarding my flight from Vancouver to Sydney. Should I be finding a job in my field instead? Should I be saving this money? Should I be working towards buying my own car or house? The answers to these questions may be yes but from my goal setting I realized I want to look back on my 20s with no regrets and knowing I truly made the most of them. What will I regret more? Not owning a car at 24 or not spending the year working and travelling around Australia and Asia when I had the opportunity to? Everyone is different but for me personally it was an easy decision.
I want to make the most of this year and see and experience everything I possibly can. I've only been here for 5 days but I already know I made the right decision for me. At the end of the day, I'm a firm believer that your 20s are the years to take risks while at the same time setting yourself up for your future. A working holiday in Australia was the ideal reflection of this for me and I'm so excited for my Aussie adventure!
Stay tuned ;)
Lots of love,