Saturday, February 28, 2015

I am in the midst of a Leadership class as part of my degree.  Last night, I had to complete an
assignment.  Here was the first question.

Assignment 2: Building Trust, Leveraging Diversity, and Strengthening Others
February 27, 2015

Part A: Building, Maintaining, and Regaining Trust

How do I inspire trust? (16 marks)
Let me briefly tell the story of who I am. I am a 35 year old mother of two young girls, who juggles a part time paramedic (and acting supervisor) career, a sole proprietor holistic nutrition consulting business, a university student schedule, and an ultra trail running training/racing schedule.  How do I do it?  With the right support system, and impeccable time management, I am able to do all of the above exceptionally well.  What I take away from all of experience is what I truly value the most: inspiration and trust.  I’ve been told that I inspire others.  I am sincere and have established the trust of friends, family, patients, co-workers, clients, and fellow athletes/competitors.  What’s my secret?  I take the time with each and every person that I can.  I listen and thus gain their confidence and trust.  I am honest and express my views through one-on-one talk, group talk, seminars and social media.  I work with sound ethics, integrity and am consistent with my words and actions.  I lead by example and follow up with my commitments.  
(I have this letter from a friend that I keep to remind me of the person I am:

Words cannot describe what an inspirational individual you are for me.  You are the most beautifully determined girl and I feel truly blessed to be your friend.  You give unconditionally, selflessly and whole heartily. What you do for those around you defines your true character.  Your personal determination and mental fortitude will take you anywhere you can dream, if you first believe.” )

I really like this class cause it forces me to take moments and look internally. I really do like the person I have  'grown up' to be :)  I am so fortunate to have such wonderful friends, family and extended family. #feelinggrateful

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sometimes you just have to schedule in a 'staycation'!

My good friend, Kat Tupling, turned 30 in December so what's the best thing 2 athletes can do?? That's right: a staycation!  It was a great combination of exercise/training and relaxing.  We didn't need to go far to get what were needed.  45 minutes west of us had the perfect playground.

So we packed up Kat's car and hit the road.  Collingwood, here we come!

So how many things can we fit in 28 hours? The answer is lots!

Afternoon of Day #1

We started with a 4 hour snowshoe hike at Castle Glen and Pretty River Provincial Park. 

The hike started in some cold temperatures,  but at least the sun was kind of out.  As we went along however, the wind picked up, and the forecast of 'blowing snow' became a reality.  The last hour was FRIGID!  We covered up and trudged along....still having fun.

Evening of Day #1

After the hike, we got hot drinks, food, and checked in our hotel room at Cranberry Resort.  As we drove to Scandinave Spa, we couldn't believe that the sky opened up to expose this beautiful sunset.

Time to relax and enjoy the baths, sauna, steam room and massage!  Ahhhhh! Just lovely. 

...  ended the day with some delicious sushi and the movie Wild.

Morning of Day #2

After a great night and a much needed sleep in till 9am ( I have kids. 9 am is like sleeping till noon lol), we took part in a relaxing stretch in a local yoga studio.  Namaste!

The fun continued with a latte, and a drive to Horeshoe Valley for 90 min of skate skiing.  The hills and valleys of the resort was the perfect ending to my 28 hrs of 'sans children'.

 Hugs, kisses and a nice cuddle upon my return.   Home, sweet home!  Even the dogs missed me :) Thank you Kat.  Happy Belated birthday!  "30, flirty and fabulous"  ;P

(family picture is not from today)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
I can't wait to start racing hills and mountains.

How about you? 

use discount code "GoldenDays"  for 5% off

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The weather in Barrie, Ontario has been quite cold!  To be more specific, it was -38C with the windchill today.  Eyelashes, eyebrows and peach fuzz were frozen.   With 4 layers of clothing on, my friend, Kat Tupling and I hit the trails for some hill repeats.   

When conditions are tough like this, I remind myself of the races I will be doing in the upcoming season.  Today, I focused on the stage race I will being doing Sept 18-20 in beautiful Golden, British Columbia.  This 3 day stage race will be my first time doing a multi-day race.  I'm quite excited to take part.  This is how they describe the race:

Day 1 - The Blood

Friday, September 18
Run uphill until you are sure you're sweating blood.  The first day of the 3-day Golden Ultra involves a 5 km uphill challenge.  This one is going to hurt.
1000 m elevation gain.  0 m loss.
0 km pavement, 5 km of dirt. 

Day 2 - The Sweat

Saturday, September 19
You're going to sweat.  "Enjoy" one big and beautiful 55 km loop with fantastic mountain views.  Running from the Town of Golden to the summit of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort... and back again...
2500 m elevation gain... and loss.
5 km of pavement, 45 km of singletrack, 5 km of fire road.

Day 3 - The Tears

Sunday, September 20
Tears of happiness or tears of pain?  This last 20 km of "flat," "flowy," and "fun" single track may be the best of times... or it may be the worst. 
375 m elevation gain.
4 km of natural surface town trail, 16 km of single track.

Now that looks like FUN!!!  Check out their website at

Don't want to do the the whole race? No could put in a relay team or do any of the 3 races.  Visit their website for more details.

Sign up and get a 5% discount by using the "GoldenDays" discount code. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gear that I love!

To be successful, you have to have the proper tools/gear.  Here are some of my favourite things that I use daily/weekly.

Running Skirts

Urban Pink, Mountain Stars, Honeycomb, Cerise, to name a few of the many many patterns runningskirts offer.  Their super light sweat-wicking fabric, with reverse seams and velcro side pockets are beautiful, and practical.  I have been training and racing in running skirts for ~6-7 years now and I can't imagine my life without them.  They are that comfortable!!

UD's Jenny Vest-   Voted TrailRunner's Gear of the Year in 2014

This women specific vest is ergonomically shaped to fit perfectly!  This vest, like all of UD's products, have many great features.  Here are some of my favourite:

  • Bottle pockets fold flat when not in use or accommodates a camera or phone
  • Large storage pockets are located below the bottles for phone, gels, ect.
  • Two sternum straps slide for custom fit
  • Cool Wick Air Mesh wicks away moisture and is soft to the touch, and is lightweight.
  • Side adjustment straps allow for customized fit
  • Easily accommodates a 2 liter reservoir or any bottle
  • Trekking pole loops (2)
  • Reflective accents for easy visibility

  • Volume Capacity: 245 in/ 4L
  • Fluid Capacity: 2 x 10 oz. bottles / 2 x 295 mL (plus optional reservoir)
  • Weight: 9 oz. (11 oz. with bottles) / 255 g (312 g with bottles)

(It was so bright out, I could hardly keep my eyes open for the photo ;) )


No straps, coils or chains! Lightweight! Great on Multiple Terrain and Durable!   These icespikes has given me confidence to train safe in optimal conditions without sacrificing my gait, and pace.   Want to try them out, give me a shout...I'll hook you up.  Don't live in my area, Icespikes offer discount codes often...such as the 'sweetheart deal' below.   

Check out their facebook page for 'Tip of the Month'.

Petzl Nao

With the long winters in Canada, and the long races that I run...a good quality light is essential.  The Nao is everything I want, need and much more!!  My favourite thing is the 'reactive lighting'.  The brightness adapts instantly to my lighting needs.  How cool is that?

The Nao is the brightness light I've ever ran with.  With the max brightness at 575 lumens, I'm sure to see everything on the trail.

Here are other wonderful things on this light:

-Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, with USB connector.
-if can be changed, if necessary, with two AAA batteries. 
-performs great at low temperatures. 
-it's very comfortable
-weather resistant

  • Weight: 187 Gram
  • Beam pattern: wide, mixed
  • Energy: Lithium-Ion 2600 mAh rechargeable battery (included) or 2 AAA/LR03 batteries (not included)
  • Recharge time: 5 Hour

Saturday, January 3, 2015

It is my 10 year anniversary!  

To be more specific, it’s been 10 years since my spinal injury.  I sit here thinking of all that I have accomplished in the last 10 years.  But before all that, I remember vividly being in the back of the ambulance, thinking I was never going to walk again!   

Let me back things up a bit.  Here is the backstory. (Some graphic parts, sorry)

I was a triathlete, looking to have a little fun on a trampoline.  I decided taking trampoline lessons was a great idea!  Having a wonderful time, and getting confident with my skills, I was practicing back flips.  On the count of 3, jumping higher and higher (~10 feet up), I started rotating my flip and for some reason, I didn’t commit.  Under-rotating the turn, I landed on my upper back, with my feet up and over my head.  Crunch!  I knocked the wind out of myself and had immediate numbness in my lower legs.  I knew instantly that something was wrong.  Staying still, the facility phoned 911.  My 2 co-workers came, immobilizing me to the spinal board and drove me to the hospital.  It was surreal being a patient, as I am the one who is suppose to be the paramedic in this situation...Not the patient!  

An overnight stay in the ER, and then admission to the floor, I stayed in the hospital for weeks.  The doctors kept staying:  “you’ll likely be able to walk again!”  I hate that statement.  In my head, I kept telling myself: I WILL WALK AGAIN!  After my discharged, I was sent home on bed rest.  I was bedridden for months.  With an occupational therapist visiting me, I started my recovery.  

Part of my injury was an bladder issue.  Because of the spinal cord damage, my bladder wasn’t receiving messages from my brain.  It is called neurogenic bladder.  I had to retrain my bladder by catheter.  What a nightmare!  To make matters worse, they sent a young male to show me how to catheter myself.  How embarrassing!!  So, that’s what I did.  A few times a day, I would do it, and my boyfriend of only just over a year, brought my pee to the toilet!  Now that’s love.  Needless to say, I married the guy.  

I’m also so grateful for my mom.  She would drive 3 hrs every weekend to give me a bath and wash my hair.  It’s amazing what a mother would do for her children.  Now that I have 2 children myself, I can understand and appreciate this.  There’s no question that I would do the same.  

The recovery continued.  After a number of months, I was able to go out for physio.  This is where I met Lisa Wilson.  With her help, understanding, and determination, I pushed through many painful appointments.  I also made sure I did all my ‘exercises’ at home.   I was so proud when I got the go ahead to start adding walks to ‘exercise plan’.  Those 6 minute walks were humbling and took a lot out of me.   To this day, I still see Lisa for any help I need.  She is a vital part of my injury prevention program.  

As the year went on, my hard work was starting to pay off.  I was able to start modified duties at work after only 11 months.  By the following spring, I was running again.  With the help of good friend and coach, Mike Coughlin,  I even PB’d some distances that summer.  

Now 10 years later, I am a top Canadian Ultra Runner.   I am still working with my amazing coach Mike Coughlin (Discomfort Zone). I am also sponsored by some amazing companies:  Running Skirts, and as of 2015: Ultimate Direction and Icespikes.  I value these partnerships so much.  

My husband, Jeff Warriner, supports me and my goals to no end!  What a guy!  I couldn’t have done all of this without him.  We have 2 beautiful daughters, Jubilee (5) and Maëlle (3).    Jeff, I’m doing a 100 mile race this year!  Could you of pictured that 10 years ago!!  Crazy!  

To all my family and friends along the way, I’m so honoured to be on this journey with you.  I value your friendship so much.  Thank you.  Here’s to the next 10 years!

And to conclude, I want everyone to know, as I am living proof, that big goals can be reached!  All you have to do is believe in yourself, work hard, be consistent (and perhaps add a bit of stubbornness!)   


(I have to add: One of the most fascinating parts of my spinal injury was the nerve regeneration. My feet grow a whole size! Ok, it wasn't easy on the wallet, but still very neat how the body works.)

-- Chantal

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