Once again, it has been quite some time since I last posted. No real excuses – except for a busy life and a new schedule where there isn’t that “natural downtime” of the commute to and from work on the train to pause and reflect on my days.
Let’s rectify that today with a few contributions – including this one (catching up on all that’s been happening) and a race report from yesterday’s IM70.3 in Mont Tremblant.
Where to begin, but the beginning…. It’s been about 2 weeks since my last post… and in that I explained that I was once again looking for work — for the second time in a year. I have put a lot of time and energy into that effort. And have made some good progress. I have a couple hot “irons in the fire” – representing the different paths my career could take…
First, I have been courting a technology company in California for some consulting work. This could represent the return for me to my roots in consulting. I had started down this path in the fall, registering a business entity, and getting a GST / HST number from the federal government.
I have now added to that a business bank account with my local banking establishment, setting up a website and the beginnings of the paperwork required in order to do work in the US. Let me assure you, despite my ramblings here on the AGD site, I am a smart individual. And despite my relative intelligence, navigating the arcane and oft confusing paperwork from the IRS and US Social Security department related to working in the USA as a Canadian vendor is not something for the faint of heart.
Despite the paperwork difficulties, I have a proposal into the company for review. I hope to hear back shortly with a positive nod towards getting this consulting engagement off the ground. It will be challenging and fun. And hopefully will bring me out to California for a quick trip to do some work face-to-face with the clients… I look forward to having the opportunity… and to seeing just how far I can take th consulting concept… as I always did enjoy the project-based work style.
The second opportunity I have been courting is a role with a US-based fitness company. I won’t name them (to protect the innocent!) but I will say that the role is something completely foreign and new to me … and while it represents a bit of a step back for me from a career perspective, it also represents a whole new beginning. As strange as it sounds, I have applied for an “entry-level” sales gig … 100% commission-based pay.. and I am not even sure what benefits exist. Clearly I need to explore this a bit more… but I would say with some confidence that it is likely I will get an offer…. If so, I could be in the US for training as early as a few weeks from now.
And a third, which really represents a continuation of the path that I am on now is through a friend and colleague from RIM who has moved onto a new technology organization in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Apparently they are seeking a Product Marketing Manager – and I should expect to hear back from them to see whether I might be interested in applying for the role. I know a bunch of folks at the company – could step into the role in a heart beat (if it were offered to me) and do the job with my eyes closed. There’s comfort in that. Less risk. Less fuss. So this is the “easy road”…
We’ll see what comes of all the possibilities. And when or if I end up with the need to make some choices between them, what my thinking is at that point in time. Certainly each has its risks and rewards.
OK… So aside from the “looking for work” activities of the last few weeks… what else have I been up to? Well… sick again is top of my list. Yes… just as I seemed to be kicking my first cold in months, a second hit. Not quite as bad as the first…. but still quite aggravating as it meant taking more time off from the training program to try to get healthy — and this time really making sure I got healthy and quickly, as it was in the days leading up to my race.
As with the last time, it wasn’t anything terribly serious — just congestion, sneezing and a tickle in the throat. Nonetheless… rest, Echinacea and goldenseal and vitamin C to the rescue. And while I didn’t sound particularly healthy in the last few days before my race… at least I didn’t feel too badly and I could go into the race with some confidence that I wasn’t going to die simply from the condition my body was in going in race morning.
And finally, probably the most important part of the last couple of weeks was my need to prep for the race and the trip to the Adirondacks that will follow (this week) with my son Ian, his cousin Jesse, and friend Ryan. Yes… me and 3 10-11 year olds for 9 days - between the trip to Mont Tremblant and the backpacking time on the trail. I am, in fact, a masochist.
So what did prep involve? Well, organizing all the equipment required for a couple very different trips – bicycle, wetsuit, nutrition, shoes, clothes etc. for the race. And clothes for the time around the race spent in Tremblant and at my Aunt’ and Uncle’s place in the Laurentians… and backpack, tent, sleeping bag, food and food barrel, hiking boots, clothes, etc for the hiking and mountain climbing that will follow the race.
Perhaps it goes without saying… the car was packed from floor to ceiling (and beyond since my bike was on the roof!) with gear for the trip(s). But even so… I can’t say enough times how pleasant the drive was – 8 hours in a car with 3 kids and they were as good as angels. Listening to stories and music on their personal iPod(s) with earphones that they could split and share… chatting amongst themselves… and snacking on their own fruit and snacks as and when they desired. It was waaaaaay better than I expected.
And once we arrived into the Laurentians… well, things just got better. The boys immediately grabbed their bathing suits and ran own to the lake for a swim…. and when swimming finally bored them… well, fishing gear was found and provided a few more hours of entertainment. In fact, the only thing that finally brought them up from lakeside was dinner, and eventually bed.
We woke the next morning having been attacked (me mildly, the kids a little worse!) by mosquitoes as we had slept out in the gazebo. It was quite comfy, and frankly fun to be out there… but the boys were tired from all the fun the previous evening, and an inevitably late night staying up and whispering before finally falling asleep. Nonetheless, they were in good humour and after a leisurely morning breakfasting, and playing (for them) and swimming across the lake, going for a 10 km run with my Uncle (who is, I might add 73 and a great role model for anyone who wonders “can I continue to do this kind of stuff as I age”!) and riding my bike (for me)… we finally got onto the road for the final hour or so driving to Mont Tremblant.
When we arrived into Mont Tremblant, we got busy quickly…. we unloaded the gear into the condo we’d rented for the weekend, went into the resort village and got me registered for the race – picking up my race kit and a few “last-minute” supplies I needed (including a new spare tube as I’d flatted for the first time in FOREVER on my ride Friday morning). We also stopped by a grocery store to pick up supplies for the weekend — including some salmon to supplement the bony white fish the boys had caught, gutted and filleted Thursday evening while fishing.
As the afternoon wore on, we settled back into the condo and relaxed for the night. Including for me some much-needed and highly anticipated time to myself on the condo patio, overlooking the mountains as the sunset drinking coffee (and only coffee!) before a couple more athletes from Guelph arrived who were staying with us on a training weekend (they are doing the full Ironman Mont Tremblant race in August).
Saturday was much of the same… splitting our time between being poolside at the condo and going into the village for race-related activities (the mandatory athlete briefing, etc.)…. But it would not have been nearly a complete afternoon without a nice Beavertail snack… as can be seen, they were much appreciated by all! (I only expected 1/3 of each beavertail as a “tax”… I thought that was reasonably good!)
Well… I guess I should leave the story there… as I need to save something for the race report!