Tag Archives: take risks

Killing people isn’t cool, but guns sure are

Day 60: ‘fraid o’ guns!

oh. boy.

Day 60 offered me the chance to shoot some guns as I ventured off to Gormley, ON. Target Sports Center is a shooting range that allows us unlicensed wannabe shooters to get all badass and shoot a 9mm (among others)!! Got down there no problem – just thought it was cool that I was going to shoot guns. Upon entrance the wooziness of my nerves set in. Well, no big issue there because nerves pass and I went there to shoot some guns so I told those nerves they better darn well pass, or else!!!

lock up your women and children

Be prepared to run your own show. My new buddy Dave (shooting officer/gunman/the man) told us we could pick whatever gun we wanted…I’ve never even played a video game let alone touched a gun so I wondered how I was supposed to pick one but ended up going with the Glock 17; a semi-automatic pistol like a police officer might use.

guns guns guns

After about a 30 second run through with Dave the gun expert, I was left to shoot my first gun. I stood there, alone in the lane, with one eye shut looking down the barrel to my target. I shut both eyes and BAM! Probably not the best idea to shut both eyes, but who’s to know what to expect when shooting a gun for the first time ever?! Also, be prepared for kickback! I got a bull’s-eye in my first 5 shots, to which Dave, the gunman/my new BFF said, “Don’t want to cross you, you little sniper, you!” I never thought I’d appreciate being called a sniper, but I did. After this first gun I was absolutely buzzed. The adrenaline kicked in, had full blown Parkinson’s hands, and a smile that screamed, holy shit, I just shot a gun!

Next we tried a Smith and Wesson Revolver, whatever that is?! Looked like something straight from an old western film and sounded like nothing short of a great idea to me. The bullets were so cute and little, but turns out that was the best part. The revolver seemed a little bit wimpy to me after shooting the Glock 17, so we upgraded to an M-14 riffle. I now have bruises on my shoulder.

bull's eye

As if that wasn’t enough we ended our expedition off with a Remington 12 gauge shotgun. This bad boy is a “pump-action shotgun” (that my friends, is a direct quote from my good friend Wiki). So this “pump-action shotgun” was a powerful mother effer. I shot twice and that was plenty. One bullet is the equivalent to 9 of those cute little things I told you about for the Smith and Wesson Revolver. Who knew shooting guns would take such a toll on your body?

ready. aim.

Bruises aside, this was some balls-out fun with guns and I’d do it again in a second! Yes, I’m from a small town but I have come to learn shooting guns is no red neck country bumpkin’s activity. This is hardcore in a nasty kind of way. xo mkr

FIRE!

About Target Sports Center:

For $40 and the price of ammunition you too can say you’ve shot real mother effin’ badass guns.

They say no appointments are necessary but planning ahead never hurts. They almost turned me and my friend away because by chance that day a business group had booked a shit ton of lanes… Thank goodness for my sweet smile and power of persuasion or else we would’ve been out a quarter tank of gas and all the way out in Stouffville (middle of nowhere) for nothing!

After the completion of a $400,000 renovation, this place is worthy of being on MTV Cribs… even as a gun range! The facilities are very clean, the staff are all super friendly, and the guns, well, they’re awesome.

Thank you to my friend Matt who came along with me for the adventure and who helped take photos!

*Please note – If anything, shooting a gun will demonstrate just how powerful these things really are. I solemly swear never to make fun of a movie where people shoot guns and hit nothing. It’s harder than it looks!! Guns also kill so use with caution 🙂 xo mkr

truuuueeee

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The Buzzz on Bees

Day 55: Off to a bee farm

There they are, in all their glory!!

Anyone who offers me a glass of wine as soon as I walk through their front door earns a special spot in my heart! Don and Fran have earned such a place. I went to visit their bee farm last weekend and I guess they realized a glass of wine would do nothing but help as I faced my fear of bees. Bees rank pretty high on my list of fears, for the following reasons…

The first day of grade one I was feeling good, playing tag and just loving life in general as any happy healthy six-year-old would. Anyways, that changed the moment I ran through a wasp nest. I was wearing overalls that day. I haven’t looked at a pair of overalls since. There was screaming, there was blood, there were tears, and there was a whole lot of calamine lotion being dabbed on a little six-year-old who stood in the nurse’s office wearing nothing but her knickers. If you don’t think that is a scarring incident, you’re weird!

Fast forward 15 years without any major incidents worth mentioning about bees, and BAM, I’m stung by a bee on a first date. That date was cut short, my hand was swollen for days and there wasn’t a second date! I hate bees.

So, yes bees are now a fear of mine. When I arrived I was scared, but on the verge of being excited so I knew it couldn’t be that bad. Here’s the first thing worth sorting out – the difference between bees and wasps. I came in being afraid of these insects with stingers in general. Fran pointed out that bees are quite nice and she explained the difference between bees and wasps to me. Turns out bees are cute little things, with adorable furry yellow jackets that really have no interest in stinging you. Bees will only sting if they are handled in a rough manner or feel their nest is being threatened. If they sting a mammal or a bird, they will die, so for them, to sting someone or something isn’t exactly at the top of their ‘to do’ list. Wasps on the other hand are evil aggressors who are out to get you! You’ve been warned!!

Wasps have a smooth stinger, easy to insert in and out of the victim. Bees have a barbed outer sheath, like a fish-hook that can tear their insides out and also makes it torture on the victim to remove.

After a glass of red wine, some beautiful shots, and a whole lot of new found information about bees our adventure came to a close and I can now check bees off my list of fears. Wasps are still there because we should all be very afraid of those aggressive slender bastards with tiny waists! Love bees, hate wasps.

Men losing their wings. Seriously.

Here they are. Can you tell how close I am?! I was very explicit in letting them know I am a friend and not in any way shape or form a threat! They understood and I didn’t get stung.

All wrapped up for winter. CANADA is cold.

This is it!! This is where the magic happens!! They’re all wrapped up because winter is coming and they need to keep their nests at 80 degrees Farenheit.

My dad and The Bee Man himself

Don explains the life of bees to my dad (Don on right, Dad on left).

Please look extra hard! Kickin' the males out. Brutal attack. Lazy men.

Please look carefully at this one. It’s cool! When winter comes, the workers (women) kick the men out of their nest because the men are lazy and do nothing but eat their honey and the women have NO NEED for that so they kick them out, fight them, chew off their wings and leave them for dead! Yikes. They mean business!

More bees I suppose.

This is cool too. Those buggers with orange/red stuff on their sides are the bees responsible for bringing pollen back to the nest for protein. Their back legs are flattened to carry the pollen. You can see the two that are carrying pollen.

All facts are from the bee keepers themselves… soooo I hold zero responsibility for the aforementioned.

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Hot Yoga

yoga

It pours down your body, drips over your brow, and detoxifies the body. It’s hot yoga in all its sweaty glory! Hot yoga is a cardiovascular workout that strengthens, tones, and loosens your muscles, while it also calms the mind and reduces stress.

Hot yoga and I have been chumming for just over a year now and it’s a practice unlike any other. It’s a complete cleanse. You literally sweat out toxins of the skin, blood and muscles. Since moving I’ve yet to find a studio and to find a new place is a bit daunting. However, I’ve desperately missed sweating it all out on a regular basis so I finally tried a new studio, Moksha Yoga Milton.

The construction is just barely complete but the building is gorgeous. The studio has an entire wall of floor to ceiling mirrors, stunning dark bamboo floors, and windows that stretch the length of the room overlooking a beautiful, wide open field (please ignore the power lines). Seemed perfectly serene and the perfect place to rekindle my love of hot yoga…

The mood was set, the instructor’s voice was beautiful (the timbre of one’s voice in this setting is of utmost importance), the heat was up, and I fell back into the sweaty love I once held for hot yoga until lady to my left had to be that annoying  know it all we all know and all hate. I know yoga is supposed to be all Zen but I’m about to let loose on this lady!

I’m sure you know the type – rolls her eyes at every pose indicating her prowess of what’s to come, huffs the name of each pose that goes unnamed and wildly signals to let her friend know when she’s out of alignment. I GET IT! You’ve done this before! Now please spare the rest of us! Both your annoyingly self-important ways and your endless index of yoga knowledge are duly noted but most definitely unwanted in the confines that I’m meant to cleanse my body and get all centered in!

I’m quite proud of myself for only losing concentration a few times due to the annoying lady to my left and not slapping her during meditation. Yoga really has taught me to keep a calm mind and approach life with composure.

Although the heat can be overwhelming at times, I promise it won’t kill you! The overwhelming feeling will pass and can actually bring about this amazing energy that you’ve never quite felt before, so embrace it. It can be scary, whether it’s your first time or not. Even a year later, the thought of stepping into a room that is over 100 degrees for 90 minutes is a bit unnerving but the payoff is most definitely worth it. Like most of these challenges, the journey might be hairy but the payoff is always impressive.

What’s the worst that could happen?? Improve your health. Feel rejuvenated. Become more flexible. The benefits really are invaluable

About hot yoga:

–         The room is heated to about 100 degree Fahrenheit
–         It may take you a few classes to truly acclimatize
–         Do not eat before classes
–         Come early to classes
–         Bring a yoga mat, beach sized towel & a smaller towel to wipe yourself down
–         Make sure you have plenty of water!!!
–         Be prepared to sweat like never before

Enjoy the sweat out of it!! xo mkr

Now quick, go face a fear! If nothing else, this 100 day cahllenge has made me much more vocal. Every time I want to give a stranger a compliment or confront someone, I do. There’s no more hesitation, instead just a lot more action. I’m sure some people think I’m a big weirdo but at the same time, I don’t really care and maybe I am just a big weirdo. For instance, today at hot yoga I told the gorgeous woman in front of me what beautiful posture she had and how much she helped my practise and form. Yes, perhaps she thinks I’m a creeper trying to hit on her but I know that’s not the case and maybe, just maybe I made her day.

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Life is overwhelming

Hi Team!

Day 52 and I can’t lie… this challenge has become quite difficult. Life, ya know. It gets in the way! I can honestly say that I made it 49 days without missing a single day of doing something the scares me and then WHAMO, the big half way point comes and I effed the dog hard. NOTHING. I’ll make up for the missed day 50 for sure, but let me tell ya, this ain’t as easy as I thought it would be!

I’ll more than make up for missing day 50. I mean I’m off to the gun range next week and I’m visiting a bee farm on Sunday! Life is overwhelming. Plain and simple.

Things to do this weekend:

– De-clutter my life to de-clutter my brain!
– Catch up on all the jobs that have had to take the backseat to a little thing I call life.
– Change my room around, it’s making me depressed and no one wants to be depressed!

Still on my quest for excitement… just falling a little behind. xo mkr

Sidenote: Don’t you love Halloween?? It gives everyone an entire month to let their evil shine through. Allows the neighbours to be all dark without having to worry about being judged! I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!

halloween is awesome!

Now go face a fear; do something that scares you!

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Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland

CLUB BLOOOOOOOOD

my camera phone is the shit... check that quality!

Happy Birthday Cailin! Day 48: In search of dead zombies to stir up some fear. If that fails, there’s always Drop Zone.

WHAT THE SHIT??? I missed a few haunted houses!! As soon as you enter Wonderland, you enter the darkest depths of hell… Well, not really, but they sure tried hard. Dry ice, red lights and zombies with some unreal makeup sure make you feel like you’ve just entered the gates of hell. There are 11 haunted houses this year and we managed to hit 6 of them. I really thought I did better than that.

Asylum was first on the list and they got me. My favourite part was by far the zombie who chased me and my sister out the exit to which my sister thought yelling, “Get back in your hole!!” was the right thing to do. Zombie dude yelled right back, “Get back in your hole!!” to which I then yelled, “Up Yours!!”

First off, I have never ever used that expression in my life. HONESTLY, I haven’t! Secondly, who says that??? And thirdly, why would I ever think yelling at some guy who wears a ton of make up and works at Wonderland deserves me yelling at him. Guess it was the adrenaline! At least that’s what I’m blaming it on. Highlights also included some crazy bloody chick that stood over her blood filled sink and stared into a mirror while she shook uncontrollably… CREEEEPY.

We then went to Corn Stalkers, Miner’s Revenge, Midsummer Night’s Scream, Blood Shed, and then Club Blood! Best part of Club Blood was the Thriller inspired MJ who greeted us at the door which led to a pill poppin’ techno beat blastin’ laser light RAAAAAAGE! Those are some crazy ass zombie bitches that can seriously shake an ass! The scariest part was an overweight vampire woman who wore far too little clothing for her “sexy dance”… Just saying!

TIPS FOR BEING SCARED/MAKING IT THROUGH HAUNTED HOUSES:

– If you wanna piss your pants in fear you best be going up front in your group. Zombies only have so many places they can jump out at you to scare your group.
– Zombies smell fear. If you’re scared, you can guarantee those bastards will follow you all the way through the maze.
– Stare those dead things down. They can’t touch you so they mostly just get right up in your face and cock their heads at you as they stare. You stand your ground and stare back! Seems they don’t know what to do with that.
– Stand up tall! I think it’s a rule or something that Wonderland only hires the kids that aren’t tall enough to ride the rollercoasters… all these monsters are midgets!!! Maybe people think that’s scarier than life size people?!
– DO NOT PUNCH/KICK/FIGHT the zombies in self defence. You’ll get kicked out so fast you don’t even have a chance to scream “Up Yours!”
– When all else fails and zombie bitch won’t leave you alone, stop, put both hands in their face and yell, “You’re fucked!” It’s like the safe word or something. Works every time!

Wonderland is opened until the 1st of November. Halloween Haunt and rides are there for your enjoyment. Beware of the Behemoth; that thing ate me alive, crushed my ovaries, took my voice, and spit me out a changed person. You’ve been warned. xo mkr

some crazy large rollercoaster action!

Now go face a fear; do something that scares you!

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Wedding Photography

Day 47: Wedding Photography for Karen & Dave

Saturday October 17th 2009

THIS WAS STRESSFUL! It was my first wedding doing photography all on my own and the results are lovely, however I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous before. It was my best friend’s mother’s wedding so stakes were high. I never want to let anyone down, especially family friends so this was a big deal for me!! A tequila shot probably would’ve done me some good (to calm my nerves) but I kept it professional and didn’t have a drink until dinner (keep in mind I was both photographer and guest that day so a drink with dinner was completely respectable).

Here’s a sneak peek…

Karen & Dave

Having someone depend solely on me for wedding photos just about made me throw up I was so nervous. Don’t worry K & D, I didn’t throw up, I didn’t drink any tequila, and the photos are lookin’ good!! Congrats! Now go start living happily ever after, wouldja?!

Now go face a fear; do something that scares you!

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Windows of opportunity

windowsofopportunity

Manhattan

Day 44 seems like the perfect day to pause. For 44 days straight, I have consistently been looking for an opportunity to face fears of mine. Nearly at the half way point, I seem to be running dry and am desperate to hear what scares you, what makes you cringe, what makes you anxious, what you’d rather avoid at all costs!

One thing this challenge has done is bring me out of my shell… For instance, today I walked by an idling car at the entrance of the local mall. Now although I love the earth dearly, even call myself green[1] I would never dream of calling someone out on their idling car[2]. Well there it was again, my moment of fear. I looked around to see whose car this was because let’s be real, who the fuck leaves their car alone these days while it’s running?! I spot the culprits – two old hags smoking out front of the mall.

“Is that your car?” I said just loud enough that the women took notice.

Looking a bit startled, they did take notice and after looking back from me to themselves a few times they put it together that my looking at them and saying something, did in fact mean I was addressing them.

‘Ya,’ one yells back at me with a puff of smoke.

I pretty much want to throw up all over them right now, much like they’re doing to the earth by leaving their car running while they smoke their cigarettes.

“You should probably turn your car off.”

Right about now I really am shitting my pants thinking good god, why did I open my mouth?! The women look at one another, I’m sure thinking, is this bitch serious?

‘Whadda mean I should turn off my car?” the one says as she throws her cigarette down and gets up off her bench.

Well at this point I’m actually trying not to laugh as it looks like she’s about to ‘get up in ma’ face’ but I managed to pull it together to respond.

“Well, your car really doesn’t need to be on while you’re sitting there,” I said with a smirk and a glance towards the car and then back to them.

Well, bitch lady who threw down the cigarette and I was sure wanted to throw down with me nearly smoked me on the way by to turn off her car. I don’t give a what, I mean lady turned off her car. Did something that scares me today? CHECK!

Would’ve been hilarious if this lady really did want to throw it down over some little girl telling her to turn her car off while she smokes. This entry probably would’ve been a lot cooler if she did! Clearly I’m coming out of my shell, one confrontation at a time.

So, I’m putting it to you: What scares you? What is it that puts you outside your comfort zone, stirs something inside you that screams don’t do it, when really it might be a window of opportunity for you to face a fear?!? Give it to me – no judgments, just a simple burst of gratitude will come your way.

Now go face a fear; do something that scares you! 


[1] Sorry that I’m not doing better David Suzuki… but today was my attempt.

[2] I do call my family out.

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Ever changing fears

Before I began this crazy challenge of mine I came up with a list of fears. On this list was eating dinner at a restaurant all by my lonesome. Here we are at day 43 and I feel like a fraud…

I went into the restaurant because I was hungry, not because I was on some quest to fulfill today’s requirement of doing something that scares me. It hit me once I sat down that I was eating all alone. ‘Is this a good thing?’ I asked myself as I realized I didn’t even think twice about eating alone; a feat that I was sure would scare me before this challenge was instigated.

Of course I got the odd glance, well, a lot of creepy men staring at me (there really is something about going anywhere on your own as a 22 year old female). So, while noticing some of the creepy stares I suppose there was a moment of uneasiness, but it passed so quickly I really can’t even reflect on it. Best part of the entire meal was that it offered me some much needed alone time and after my meal it offered me some time to finish reading my book over a cup of chai late.

Found out I wasn’t quite eating alone. On the way out my waiter sparked up a conversation about Mitch Albom, the author of the book I was reading. A little taken off guard at first, I realized that you’re never quite as lonely as you might think. He shared the meal with me from a distance and was perceptive enough to pick up on the author I was reading and shared what he knows of Albom. His kindness was appreciated (especially because he waited until after I paid to mention the book I was reading… as a server you become weary of other servers’ “niceties” and kindness after the bill can almost guarantee that it’s genuine).

Another “fear” chalked up to time well spent and time enjoyed! Bon Appétit!

Now go face a fear; do something that scares you!

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Give a guy some money, honey!

I’m one who would rather blend into my surroundings, prefers to be behind the camera, and most definitely prefers as little confrontation as possible (unless you’re seriously out of line, then you can guarantee I’ll call you on your shit). Preferring the background has finally come ’round to kick me in the ass.

In a busy city it seems perfectly normal to keep to yourself and go about your business without a second thought for whomever you may pass along the way. Being a country girl at heart who has come to love the city, I find it hard to direct my moral compass and find the perfect balance. On the shuttle from Grand Central to 42nd Bryant Park there was a homeless man singing his story. I heard his every word, made eye contact with this man and he affected me. I wanted to give this man money. I don’t believe there should ever be a moment of panic or even a moment of self questioning when a homeless person asks you for money when you can afford to give it. I know it’s simpler to give than to regret it and then be plagued with guilt for some time after.

So, if these are my sentiments towards the whole thing, why on earth was it so hard for me to give this man money on the shuttle? It’s because I was terribly aware of all the people on that shuttle that purposely looked down and purposely chose not to give. I was worried about what these people would think of me if I stood up to give this man who was less fortunate than me some money. I was worried about rocking the boat and I was worried about drawing attention to myself. I was scared. There it was. My daily moment presented itself and there I was left to make the decision.

I gave this man money, but what was it that made me so anxious about the whole thing? Who cares what other people think? Will this feeling pass if I push through those uncomfortable moments enough? Will the fear subside every time I take action? It seems like those moments of inactivity allows for fear to creep in. Perhaps I should quit thinking so damn much and start doing whatever it might be that I’m passionate about. The more reserved I am, the more fearful I become so I’m going to start kicking inactivity’s ass and throw that right out the window!

Now go face a fear; do something that scares you!

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Grab life by the horns… I really thought I was

Fresh from what was a truly an outstanding two weeks in New York. That city is all they say it is and gets better with every visit! The entire trip was quite the intimidating undertaking. You see, I’m in this state of flux; the one that comes after you’ve received your degree, the one that comes when you’re paying off student loans, and the one that comes when you’re living back with your parents that you now call “roomies”…  God I miss student life. I’m past the stage of “trying to find myself” and now find myself at the point of “trying to find what I want to do with my life”.

So what does that mean?! It means I dabble in anything and everything, seem to spread myself thin, and travel any chance I get. Have I found that one thing? Have I found what life is calling me to do? Mmm, let’s just get real for a moment. The world is not calling us to do one single thing. I mean that’s a perfectly nice idea, a very nice one indeed, but by no means is it something people should be holding their breath for! So, I really don’t know what I’m waiting for. I catch myself in moments referring to when things begin, or when I’m living the life I want, but what is it that I’m currently living?? Some kind of in between, not really real, state of flux kind of life that currently doesn’t count?? Is that what this is? Not to worry, I haven’t completely lost it. I suppose I’m just trying to find a bit of stability in the very fragmented situation I find myself in.

I haven’t found the simple answer to what it is I do as of late… Seems people want a simple answer and unfortunately I don’t have one and even more unfortunately no one cares for more than a simple answer. This makes me a bit anxious, but why?

Why do I give a shit about what others think and why do we equate our worth with what it is we do for a living? I’m trying to shake this and happily continue with the many jobs I hold but find it increasingly difficult with every person that isn’t patient enough to listen to my various goings-on that have no simple explanation. It’s a bit daunting to even admit it. 

Embarking on month two of doing things that scare me has been an interesting start. NY provided me moments of self-doubt, moments of self-examination (scary in itself), and most importantly these autonomous moments that were solidified with countless hours of self-reflection and chats with my aunt, so all in all it was most definitely a trip worth while and a trip that has made me very excited for what day 40 of 100 will bring.

Promise to share these specific moments just as soon as I find the right words to describe my embarrassing moments and the humility I gained while facing my fears in NYC.

Now go face a fear; do something that scares you!

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