Let’s call her Melissa.
She can’t be under sixty.  Ok, maybe she’s fifty-five only with wrinklier skin.  She’s very fair and has very short, blonde, spiky hair and the sparkliest blue-green eyes.
But her body!  Oh, makes me all jellybean jealous to think about it now. 

It shows like a forty, even thirty, year old woman which is what made me take side glances while I worked my forty-something year old body which, well, looks like a forty-something year old’s body.

I first noticed her doing very slow vertical crunches on a half ball, you know the one which you balance on if you want your core workout to be extra sadista?   She was on that and killing it.  Five seconds up…five seconds down while I did my circuit training of alternate free weights and ab work on the mat.  She made those crunches look easy but, man, I know that stuff is harrrd.  After working out in earnest for four months, I still couldn’t bring myself to a sit from a lying down position to do  crunches!  I still hold on to my thighs and pull up, thank you very much.  (Update: Now I can!  It is Month #5.) 

I was just returning my exercise ball back on the rack when I notice her behind me, waiting to return hers.
“Can I take that one from you?  Mine’s a little too hard and I can’t balance on it.”  she told me with a smile.  Her eyes were even brighter up close, like light was dancing inside them.
I was glad to hand it to her and I may have just found my opening.  I really wanted to ask her about her amazing abs, what magic routine she’s on and maybe get advice on how I can get some of that hard, flat belly.  We got to chatting for about five minutes.  Before I knew it, we were like old friends. I’ve asked her more questions than I intended and she shared so many tips I wanted to write them all down.  There were so many I couldn’t keep track!  By minute twelve, I notice Tim, my trainer.  He is walking towards us and shaking his head and with a mock stern look on his face says,
“Aren’t you ladies supposed to be doing something?”  
Busted.  Laughing, we got back to our individual workouts at our little corner of the our gym.
Here are some of the things I found out and made that 10+ minute break so worth it:
1)  Melissa has ran ten marathons.  She never ran in her younger years but started in 2008 and hasn’t stopped since.  She is actually 59. 
2)  She bought herself an exercise ball around the same time that she started running and sits on it while watching tv.  She has gotten so good at it that she can even sit crossed leg on that thing for long stretches.  Have you ever tried sitting on one of those?  The only time I found good use for a ball was when I was in labour and needed help opening up my cervix.  So my doula/midwife made me sit, stretch and when not in the grips of contraction hell, bounce on it.
3)  Melissa recommended The Running Room for my shin splints issue.  “It could be your shoes.” she said.  I’ve always hated running because it hurt my shins so much, not to mention I’d get stitches, those awful sharp pains in your tummy when running.  I learned it was from improper breathing or lack of it.  
4)  Melissa is on serious meds for a serious condition: Leukaemia
5)  She recommends running and…wait…wha…
Waaa-WHAT?   Say that again!?!?!  Did anyone just mention a seriously debilitating disease?
YES.  The 59 year old woman whose body looks 30, does excruciatingly slow half-ball crunches like it was blowing bubbles and is fit as a perfect fiddle has leukaemia.  She’s had it for eight years now.  Which is what started her on this path.
It’s always something, isn’t it?  Mid-life, when it’s no longer about looks and our ego’s bidding, when it’s about finding real balance and energy, we get to work.  The Work calls and calls sweetly and deeply and intently and unapologetically.

Back to Melissa.

She was so infectious in her passion for fitness and running that, the very next day, I found myself in Walmart buying my very first Bally Total Fitness pro exercise ball with the three pound weights.  In hot pink! 🙂 I’m sitting and doing core exercises on it as I write these words.  Then, as if that wasn’t infection enough,  I found myself in The Running Room over at Highway 40 and Steeles within forty eight hours of us meeting.  I found the right shoes, with the help of Andrea and I’m wearing my very light and comfy Mizunos Wave Nexus 7  and am seriously considering joining a running clinic next month!  For somebody who once swore to never ever run because of shin pain and bouncy boobies (wrong bra, woman!) this is a mini miracle.

More about that in the next coming posts.  Ah.  The power of a passion shared.   
The fuel behind why I keep working….writing…singing.

Sharing is Caring,


Three things I’ve noticed after I created my fan page.

“Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only YOU have.” –Marie Forleo

I just launched the Chiqui Pineda Fan Page last Friday after seesawing and heehawing about it for months.  Try years! :p  This goal is part of my bigger goal.  It’s my: “Please, woman, enough flying under the radar and just soar closer to the sun because you’re ready.  Yes, even if you don’t feel like it!”

These are the three things I’ve learned after I ‘shipped’.

1)  Water seeks its level.

Confirmed.  I was sharing these ideas with Julie, my biz and life coach of 8 years now.  I said to her very Aha-citedly, “As soon as I shipped, I noticed other shippers, brave souls, pro artists coming out of the woodwork and reconnecting with me.  These are old friends, colleagues, dear allies in the biz.  (Hello and a happy shout out to you, precious peeps!  You know who you are.  ;*)  Not that they’ve been hiding from me, oh no, ma’am.  If anything, I was blind to them!  Of course, I was. I was the little tiny hermit crabby crab persona hiding inside my shell so how could I see anything?!?”  Perhaps I wasn’t looking.  Or, OR I refused to look.  The mirror was too much.  Too bright, too uncomfortable, too honest.  Looking in that mirror showed me how far I was from my own personal path, not theirs but mine.  They were walking their path and watching them just reminded me that I wasn’t and that hurt.  Thanks for coming out.  Pat on my back for acknowledging their being there.  I see you.  Let’s play!
2)  Comments are more about the commenter.
I knew this intellectually before.  I know it wholeheartedly now.  And this was one of the reasons I resisted so much.  I was too worried about the…*deep breath*…haters.  And there’s always one or two out of a hundred out there, like it or not.  You may notice how when somebody puts a comment/reaction on your page, especially if it’s a trigger point, a loaded gun, one that makes you go “Oooof!  What’s that all about, friend/family?  Did I miss something?!?”  It is, more often than not, an issue brewing in their own back burner.  It’s not about you.  It’s about them.  I could not believe how many buttons I’ve already pushed in the past 72 hours of me choosing to put my old chicken self to rest and instead fly like an eagle already.  This is a very profound point.  We need to talk about this more to avoid unnecessary suffering and pain on the part of the artist: that’s YOU, my dear!  Comments are about the commenter.  Not you.  Especially, MOST especially, if they’re hateful ones.  And if they are legitimate and constructive criticism from one you respect and they ‘tear down’ your work, remember this: You are not your work.  And repeat to self: I.am.not.my.work.  Got it?  Good!  This way, if some hater/critic/Simon Cowell shoots your work, the work may go down.  Momentarily.  You, YOU stay up.  Maybe ego hurting a bit – we’re human, after all – but up, uppity UP just the same.
3)  Light speed ahead!
I made the commitment, as expected with sweaty palms, last week while my coach witnessed and held sacred space for me.  Julie who knows me all too well, this journey to here and now, to coming up and promoting a fan page that others may do in a heartbeat, this took me a while.  A long while.  A very, stretched out, angst-filled while.  Oh, we can talk about the reasons, logical, justifiable, etcetera, etcetera and oh, we can chika about the drama.  Oh, how we love to do that, especially us who grew up baby-sat by the soaps!  But.  There’s only one valid reason why this is so:  Resistance.  As one of my favourite teachers and writers Steven Pressfield says (paraphrasing):  The more precious a goal/dream/endeavor is to you and your soul’s evolution, the more resistance you are going to have to overcome!  Bada-Bingo!  Bells!  Boing-boing-boing!   
Oooh, let me repeat that one more time just because it’s so yummy juicy truth-y, fruity Truth:
The more precious a goal/dream/endeavor is to you and your soul’s evolution, the more resistance you are going to have to overcome!

And to paraphrase another favorite, Seth Godin: “When you say you’re in resistance, I don’t feel bad for you.  Instead, I feel excited.  This means you are close, very close to a goal that means a lot to you and there is a chance of it actually getting done, if you so choose for it to get done.” 
Right now, I’m in celebration mode.  I choose to relish this place because, like anything and everything else, this won’t last.  One day this will be old.  One day this will be too comfortable and familiar and the lush, juiciness of this experience will wane and then what?  Light speed, SPE-E-EED ahead, woman!  Get back to Work.  Nose to the grindstone and begin again.  Oh, by the way, it’s only been 72 or so hours, like I said.  But the Aha’s and learnings and synapse connections are worth 72 years.  Thank you, heavenly muses.  Thank You, God.

Thank you, fun fan!

I don’t know a whole lot about how a fan page works yet but this much I can tell you now: 
The CP Fan Page, the space will be filled with courageous expression and wholehearted creations, whether they are in form of a song, a written piece or a photo or a simple pie baked from my experimental kitchen and above all, encouragement and non-judgement, just a lot of bells and fireworks and congo drum songs from me, for you to begin your very own journey, too!

Like my coach, Julie does for me every time we meet, I will hold a sacred space for you every time you come and visit.  
Come and JOIN ME and share the love!

As for good old Resistance, it can kiss my brave a** if it wants. 😀

From my heart to yours,