The EX & Sitting

Today begins my shiftwork at the CNE  (The Canadian National Exhibition). Several weeks ago, Skydive Toronto approached us to see if we (slaDE and myself) wanted to work during the 18 days of the Ex. With slaDE going back to work with Rebar, I felt that it was vitally important for me to also add to our financial coffers while we’re stationary …. what a brilliant fun opportunity! Eighteen days however? Let’s see what’s available on the STI schedule first. I am uncertain as to how I’ll do standing for such long periods with being so used to sitting on my butt all day when at the computer. This opportunity will be a nice and much-needed change for me, getting me outside, meeting people, having fun. I’ve forgotten what it means to be social :). Because I’m a bit concerned lately regarding long periods of sitting and standing, I felt it was important to do some proper research on ways to improve my circulation (ideally I’d buy myself a standing desk). There have been many studies showing that sitting for hours can actually shave years off one’s life. Egads!!!

This tip from the Livestrong website appears to be quite valuable:

If you must stand or sit in one position for long periods, set a timer on your watch to remind you to move around every 30 minutes to assist circulation. When sitting, elevate your legs, if possible, and avoid crossing them at any time.

Personally, I use an application on my Mac called ‘Unwind‘. Unwind encourages me to take regular breaks from working at my laptop, utilizing a simple countdown timer which then launches my computer in to an automatic screensaver with gorgeous photographs and succulent sweet music. Personally I set the clock for usually 45-60 minutes, specifying a 5-10 minute break time. This really seems to work well for me (if I remember to activate it, that is).

Momentum and Mind Mapping

We literally live 10 feet away from our neighbours … our Airstream is parked in their Oshawa Ontario driveway (courtesy shared parking). But with all of us having busy lifestyles, Dawn spoke about never seeing us, regardless of the fact that we are pretty much ‘roommates’ per se. So in order to play ‘catchup’, we had dinner together. What a truly lovely way to spend a gorgeous summer’s evening. Dinner with friends as the warm sultry air wafts in through open patio doors.

It’s been a really interesting few weeks of working on our newly designed yogaFLIGHT website and blog. Coming up with entirely new content (a rough business plan of sorts I guess you could say) has been a challenging experience. Top that with trying to accelerate our social networking presence with yogaFLIGHT and rV There Yet (both on Facebook and Twitter, with appearances on LinkedIn and Google + in the works), and I am pooped!

I find myself stumbling through the days with a bit of chaotic splash and splendour, no concrete plan written on paper, going from instinct and ideas, excited at the cre8tive process as it evolves. As Annie Lennox would say, “at a certain point you can’t really tell whether you have created the momentum or it’s creating you.” Not the best strategy going in to this with no siteplan (aka a graphic representation) or mind map, I admit, but at least its momentum. I’ve been dragging my feet on this project for way too long. I’d say that I am 75% close to our relaunch … just have to put together a gallery and clean up the coding and stuff. I am so very happy that hubby sat down with me and spent a few hours going over the content with a fine-tooth comb! I really look forward to everybody’s input when it’s finally online :).

Enthusiasm is the energy and force that builds literal momentum of the human soul and mind.
~Bryant H. McGil

One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.
~ Michael Korda

So how do you make a mind map?

This article from Anthony Landale from the Illumine Training website lays it out really well. Why paraphrase him when he has it down pat? Go check him out … Thanks Anthony!

  1. Take a blank piece of A4 paper and turn it on its side.
  2. Start in the centre and draw an image that represents the topic you are working on.
  3. The main themes around the central image are like chapter headings.
  4. Draw thick lines which connect the themes to the main image and print one word associated with each of your themes in CAPITALS next to the line.
  5. Start to add another level of thought, using thinner lines, linked to each theme.
  6. These are your associated thoughts. Attach words or images.

Add your personal touch. Make your map artistic, colourful and imaginative. Add humour, exaggeration or absurdity wherever you can. Your brain will delight in getting enjoyment from this process.

Mind mapping is a technique that is proven to help learning, aid memory and is efficient in recording and storing information. Again let us consider note taking as an example. Typically note taking is a laborious process with an output which, let’s face it, is typically forgotten quickly if it is read at all. Why is this so? Because a page of text has almost no variety, no distinguishing features; nothing stands out and the brain goes to sleep.

Tandem a-gO-gO

slaDE has happily found a dropzone to work at for the summer. His goal, first and foremost, teach people how to fly, and secondly, earn some money throwing drogues. Layman speak: taking people for a tandem skydive. With the Sigma Tandem System that Skydive Toronto uses, slaDE must maintain a certain currency since his previous jump, all within a set time period set by Strong Parachute System.

A. If any currently rated Tandem Instructor has not made a Tandem jump in the preceding 90 days, he must make one Tandem jump with an experienced jumper acting as a student before taking a student student. The experienced jumper/ student must first be briefed on how to respond to Tandem emergencies.

That’s where I fit in! For slaDE to become recurrent, it was time for me to make another tandem jump with him. I’ve been a passenger on about 20 different occasions, as an experienced jumper, filling the ‘student’ role for either a learning tandem master or for means of recurrency. Let me tell you, it never becomes fully easy and comfortable, that relinquishing of control. You see, I have over 1400 skydives, and on all solo jumps, I have pulled my parachute each and every time, saving my own life. However, with tandems, that’s another story. More often than not, there have been ‘chicken handles’ for me to access in case I needed to perform any of the deployment or emergency functions. However, in the previous 2 times that I have jumped with slaDE, there were no such handles, apart from the main tandem canopy deployment ‘golf ball’. Gulp! 🙂 Although nervous and out of my comfort zone, I’m good with that option and choice. I have complete trust in slaDE and his abilities to land us safely on the ground.

Today was no different … the skies were a startling clear blue colour and the temperatures were invitingly warm. With the opportunity to skydive from the Cessna 182, I felt right at home, enjoying the ride to altitude as we circled a 4 square mile area around the urban airport. Our dive out of the airplane was poised and perfect. The canopy ride, stealthy (I love the Icarus canopy!) and the landing, perfection. Another jump lived, loved and shared with my husband. What a beautiful day!