Ready Set Pedal

A charity bike ride has changed my life :)

Archive for the category “Motivation”

Be the BEST you can be! Always!

So I was speaking with someone recently and the topic of cycling came up… specifically how I  look for weekly group rides to  improve my technique, become a stronger & faster cyclist and meet fellow cyclists (of all levels)…. but that it is so challenging as I am a novice cyclist. I find it hard to keep up – so truth be told I need to psyche myself up in order to attend group rides with better riders.  

I was a little disappointed with this person’s opinion that I will never be as strong and fast as the guys (and girls!!) who lead these rides because I’ve started too late in life & I just don’t have the time necessary to dedicate myself to honing this skill.

Please bear in mind that I am in my late 20s!!

What kind of a reaction (be it verbal or non-verbal) would you walk away with after a comment like that? Anger? Defeat? Relief? Embarrassment? Of course, the person didn’t really mean this in a nasty way, it was just a (careless) comment, but still….

I don’t do well with being told that I cannot achieve something/ do something/ be something! Every time it happens, my instant reaction (in my head) is always – JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE!!

If you look around – there are COUNTLESS examples of people who have achieved the impossible, at any age.

One of my favourite all time athletes is the South African sprinter, Oscar Pistorius.

Oscar Pistorius will become the FIRST amputee sprinter to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics after being selected for South Africa. The double amputee, nicknames ‘Blade Runner’ due to his prosthetic carbon fibre limbs will compete in both 400m and the 4x400m relay.

Who knows how many times he heard people telling him he’s never be able to run competitively… and later that he’d never in a million years qualify for the Olympics (rather than just the Paralympics).
But look at him now!
Years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Miles Hilton-Barber when he gave a speech at a seminar I was attending.

Despite being blind for over 25 years, Miles lives passionately and goes after his dreams. He encourages attendees listening to his presentation that “the only limits in our lives are those we accept ourselves”. So powerful.

He’s truly led a remarkable life full of adventures. He’s even set numerous world records in the process. Some of his achievements include:

  • First blind person to do the solo kamikaze skeleton run down the 5G Olympic bob-sleigh track in Lillehammer, Norway.
  • Completing “The Toughest Foot-race on Earth” – 150 miles across the Sahara Desert.
  • Setting the Malaysian Grand Prix lap record for a blind driver in a 230kph Lotus.

The worst thing you can do in life is to give up on yourself, not believe in your capabilities, fail to take care of your mind, body and soul and lead a life full of regrets.  

So perhaps I will never compete in the Tour the France, or even win a bike race locally…. it won’t stop me from trying to keep up with those fast cyclists, or from tackling the craziest of inclines, or from signing up for BIGGER & BOLDER physical challenges than I have even done before.

If you’re reading this and aiming to accomplish the impossible – please share. 🙂 I’d love to hear about your goals, how you’re working on achieving them,and why you signed up for your latest adventure in the first place!  


Taking Chances – Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012 is complete!

I love this image. The line is attributed to Wayne Gretzky  – the famous CAD hockey player who every kid admired in the 80s/ early 90s.

I survived the Ride to Conquer Cancer this past weekend and I am feeling this slight ‘void’ feeling post-event. You know when you achieve a MASSIVE goal and suddenly you are feeling suspended/ in limbo and think NOW WHAT??

The first time I heard about this ride was in 2008 and I remember thinking how badly I wanted to take part in this event – but I couldn’t. I didn’t think I would be able to raise the $2500, since I had just moved to Vancouver and knew no one. I also didn’t think I’d be able to train my body to be fit enough to ride that long of a distance.

Later on I came across people who were doing it – and I always thought of them as these super-cool, super-human, super-achievers…. I WISHED I could be like them and do it too. But it was too scary. I wasn’t ready.

When I FINALLY decided (and shook hands on it) to do the ride with my friend Jason in Fall 2011, I was at the same time seriously doubting whether this was even possible. It was a little terrifying and there were moments throughout the months of training and fundraising when I thought I wouldn’t/ couldn’t/ shouldn’t make it.

But I did. I was part of the amazing group of 3,011 riders who cycled to Seattle in the name of Cancer Research.

I am so happy & proud of myself for doing the RTCC 2012 this year – IT WAS SO WORTH IT!!

After all that adrenaline, endorphins, nerves, relief, pain, exhilaration, fatigue, amazement, etc…. I feel as though I am going through an emotional withdrawal right now! I need to find a new challenge!! hehe

So my take-away thought for anyone reading this is: NEVER DOUBT WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF!

Project Pink Tutu : A tribute for my mom who has Breast Cancer

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom who was recently diagnosed with Breast Cancer….

Keeping tabs on how she’s doing , thinking of HOW exactly I can be of any help to her (and my dad) since I live so far away from home, and searching for a way to SHOW my support.

Since I am cycling to Seattle to raise awareness for Cancer Research on June 16th, I thought it would be AMAZING if I could personalise my bike/ cycling gear for her! And then send her photos of the event.

But what should I do??!  A photo of her attached to my helmet or jacket, or a pink ribbon on my cuff/ chest, or pink ribbons in my pigtails, or sowing the word MOM with red yarn red on my jersey sleeve…. I turned over a lot of different ideas in my head.

I wanted something BIGGER and BETTER and BOLDER – because she deserves it!!

The final result – tres magnifique. I hope my mom likes it!!

So I was super excited when I got home after my Saturday training ride & the idea popped into my head – I could wear a PINK Ballerina style tutu!!! EUREKA!!!

Inspired and energized by my sudden Eureka moment I pounced on my bed & powered up my Macbook to do some quick research.  Primarily I was interested in discovering how much adult tutus cost and where I can find a nearby dance-specific  retailer or online store that can ship product to my door in under a week…

Here’s what I discovered:

ONE: An inspiring & creative initiative by photographer bob Carey – The Tutu Project. Bob’s wife has battled Breast Cancer, so he takes photos of himself wearing a tutu to raise awareness. He’s also published a book of these images – with proceeds going directly towards Breast Cancer organizations including Cancer Care and the  Beth Israel Dept of Integrative Medicine Fund.  The following is my favourite image of his.

TWO: That once again YouTube saves the day! I don’t need to BUY a tutu ….. I can go ahead and MAKE one! It’s super simple!

I watched  this helpful video, took down some notes, stashed an inch tape in my purse, and quickly made my way to Dress Sew on West Hastings Street to buy fabric & ribbon.

There were a lot of different shades of pink tulle – hot pink, dark almost purple pink , pale almost white pink, etc. In the end (thanks to a suggestion from a guy who was buying material for his wizard costume), I settled on a dusty rose pink tulle + a sparkly baby pink organza that I planned to use as an accent throughout the tutu (makes it more magical when you add some sparkle!)…

The method I used is exactly as was described in the video. I measured 25″ for the length of my tutu strips (folded in half that equates to a 12.5″ long tutu) – which is perfect for riding a bike. Not too long (don’t want it to get all snagged on my back wheel) – not too short (so it still looks like a skirt and not a fuzzy belt).

I worked on this till 3am during one of this week’s evenings, and then finalized it the following day … thank heavens for caffeine!

Nothing better than crafts after midnight!!

The reasons why I think a handmade pink tutu is the PERFECT tribute for my mom:

1. Pink – The symbolic colour for Breast Cancer. I like Pink. Pink tutus look pretty. An orange tutu would look nice too BUT A PINK ONE IS JUST PRETTIER! Period!

2. Size & Visibility –  I will definitely be noticable in my tutu. You’d easily miss a small ribbon, or sown-in MOM on my jersey – but you cannot miss my tutu!

3. Handmade – My mom made me a couple of skirts when I was younger. So I am honouring her skill, care and talent with my own creation for her. It’s like we share the same skill/talent – and I think that’ll be nice for her to see.

4. Childhood memories – My mom dreams of me as a kid whenever I feature in her dreams, and when I was little I had a pink ballerina themed room – so it fits the bill.

The sparkly ‘highlights’ – are so pretty 🙂

I am so happy with the result. I CANNOT wait to wear this on the ride PROUDLY showing my mom I am thinking of her – and if it’s not too spoilt from all the rain and mud, I will frame it and hang it in my room as a keepsake.

When I was making it I thought this is even better AND bigger than wearing a pink ribbon because the strips of material folded and tied and half resemble the typical pink ribbon symbol – and I have scores & scores of them. It’s a pink ribbon multiplier effect!


Refining my Twitter Feed

Over the past few months I’ve slowly started to unfollow Twitter handles I no longer find relevant to my lifestyle/ career and have started adding new people/ companies on my ‘following’ list.

I tend to look through my feed when I am on the bus stop, or waiting for an elevator, or waiting for a friend, waiting for my hair colour to process …. basically whenever I am waiting for some reason.

I’d lovc to have more fitness-oriented tweets come my way. I came across this list: 84 Female Fitness Fanatics To Follow On Twitter & 60 Must-Follow Health and Fitness Twitter Accounts for 2012– looking forward to adding a bunch of these ladies & gents to my twitter circle!

If you have any suggestions for who to follow – am all ears!! And of course if you want to follow me I am at @nicolegrima

38 days to go until Ride to Conquer Cancer 2012

It’s time for a new song!!! 🙂

#38 – Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

This is SUCH A GREAT SONG to get you pumped for an event!!

Am so incredibly excited for the ride!

For those who aren’t aware of what on earth the Ride to Conquer Cancer is…

 Please visit my website to learn more & if you’re up to it donate!! 🙂  


39 Days to Go Until RTCC 2012

I’m going to find the coolest songs – 40 of them!! If you have any suggestions let me know!! 🙂

Especially all you lovely friends and family members who have contributed to my donations – YOU GUYS are my champions!!! Thank you for raising money for the Cancer Research!


#39 Scorpions: Moment of Glory

40 days until Ride to Conquer Cancer – Online Check In Time

I have JUST CHECKED IN – and will receive my check in package (with name plate etc) by mail in a few weeks.

I cannot believe how close the ride date is – 40 more days!!

You know what this calls for???

A TOP 40 Songs for RTCC 2012 Fundraising & Charity Cycling Champions….. You know the type of songs that you hum in your head as you think about the start and finish line… the ones that get your heart beat elevated and make you wanna sing at the top of your lungs!!

In no particular order – we’ll start with # 40: The Final Countdown by Europe

Do I assign 80s music to all my life’s adventures and key moments!

You betcha!!! But doesn’t everyone?? Haha

Inspiration – Lance Armstrong about training off the bike!

Isn’t this man the most amazing inspiration ever?

I’m really getting excited about the ride – but also nervous about all the training that is ahead of me!!

These videos of him talking about his training are a GOLD MINE for inspiration, motivation and education!!



Ride to Conquer Cancer 2011 Opening Ceremony

…The pain, the joy, the excitement, the doubt, the strength, the hope….

879 riders and crew members last year – who helped raise $11.1 MILLION dollars for the BC Cancer Foundation!!

How amazing is that??

I CANNOT wait to be at that starting line…. and I am SO THANKFUL to all my donors who have contributed towards my fundraising goal!


Taqtax Qalbek

I’ve been feeling a little demotivated as of late about my training and fundraising.

It’s not that things aren’t progressing – I am training as often as I can and my donations are still pouring in thanks to the seriously amazing friends, coworkers and family I have.

I think my issue is a paralysis I get from not wanting to fail and wanting to do everything PERFECT. I thought I was over that. Clearly not – or at least not in areas that are really new and daring for me – like a 250km bike ride!

As I try to ‘pep talk’ myself into getting back into the game I keep thinking of (and internally chanting) a Maltese phrase “taqtax qalbek” which literally translates to “don’t cut your heart” but actually means “don’t get discouraged”.

I’ve always really liked this phrase. I like it because it has nice Maltese-sounding stems and sounds. The Q and the -AX and the -EK. I liked hearing friends and family tell me this when I was feeling down/worried about something.

I also like it because of how it links the heart to motivation. When you want something, you’re passionate about it and go after it with all your heart. Not part of it. Also – the word “taqtax” mean “YOU don’t cut” which implies that YOU allow yourself to feel demotivated and NO ONE ELSE.

Related to this concept is another saying I like (this time in English) that refers to the heart: “Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways. Where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses.” ~ Arlen Price
I love HEARTS (the shape) and now I also love sayings with the word ‘heart’ in it 🙂

Courtesy: Jason Van Dyk (God's Fingerprints)


And I just love this explanation of courage from: and how it once again ties to the HEART.

The root of the word courage is cor — latin for heart.

Courage originally meant “to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Today, courage is more synonymous with being heroic. Heroics is often about putting our life on the line…. Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line.

In today’s world, that’s pretty extraordinary. 




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