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Discover, Explore, Live…

In September, I completed the amazingly tough Haute Route bike race across the Pyrenees from Barcelona to Biarritz (one of the highest, and toughest cyclosportives in the world across 20 cols, 800km, and 20,000m of climbing).

After the race I took 3 days to go surfing and to get over my chest infection.  Salt water has an amazing healing effect! Then, with girlfriends, enjoyed some excellent pinchos, great conversation, and fun times, at the fantastic Atari Gastroteka in Donostia – San Sebastiàn.

Atari Gastroteka, where we were locked in on our last visit :-P!

Atari Gastroteka, where we were locked in on our last visit :-P!

Returned home to a stunning Autumn in Chamonix, did some running, mountain biking, and yoga.  Attended the Summer Charity Ball organised by the wonderful Neverest Girls who are raising money for Chacun son Everest who do amazing work in Chamonix helping children and women recover from cancer.

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I also managed to pack up my lovely place in Les Nants, and place my European belongings into storage, and put my car into long term car parking this month.

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So for the next months…?

In the middle of that crazy bike ride, I was offered an opportunity to train as a Yin Yoga and Yoga Alliance Teacher Teacher in Costa Rica at the well known Nosara Yoga Institute in October to November.  I have been doing yoga since 1999 and love the counter balance to my triathlon, cycling, running, climbing, mountaineering, skiing, diving and surfing adventures.  I am a great believer in Yin Yoga for recuperating injured athletes and for those who push the limits in work, play and life.

50 hours a week of yoga teacher training over 5 weeks will stretch me :-)!

Costa Rica is also a great place to surf, see amazing wildlife both topside and underwater and maybe even learn a little Spanish.

On top of this, I was invited to go to the Seychelles for week. As I love islands and the marine environment…and easily persuaded to explore new places, it seemed that this trip and some work meetings in the Middle East would fit together nicely.

I have a week of theory on my RYA sailing ‘Day Skipper’ course, to fit in somewhere this month, too.

That sums up my current plans until the end of November.

They say you regret the things you fail to do rather than the things you do…so remember to make the most of your opportunities, have the courage to be who you are, speak and hold to your own truth, love others, and keep your heart full of childlike wonder.

Living life to the fullest, now. Looking for base to call home, in the future…

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Updates will be through my Facebook sites and this blog.

Happy Autumn :).

With love, Kathleen xxxx

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Petit Bus Rouge by Sebastién Montaz – Â voir !

Back from the amazing, incredible, avant-premiere, of ‘Petit bus Rouge’…Shakespeare meets Cirque du Soleil..

The Flying Frenchies, a death defying group of skyliners, basejumpers, climbers and talented individuals form a traveling circus act and push the boundaries of human possibility even further than before…

Mixing Shakespearean style bawdy humour with feats that Cirque du Soleil can only dream of, this new film from Sebastien Montaz will leave you wondering…

petit_bus_rouge

Promise it will astound!

Onladejavu…

after somersaulting off my bike on Friday night…I realized I had time to explore some new dimensions…and to recommence my blog :).

Always inspired by people, who are looking at new ways to recycle, reuse old materials…when Damien (an interior decorator friend) invited me to meet his partner Bob and view their exhibition “Onladejavu” at the Hotel Morgane, Chamonix Mont-Blanc and having only seen photographs of their work I was happy to have the opportunity to see it in person.

The good company, champagne and distraction from my minor injuries also made it a lovely evening.

Creating elegant, simple designs Bob and Damien seem to hide the underlying work, that searching for the pieces across France and America, and creating working light sources from obsolete industrial items must take.

Here are some images I took at the exhibition, to learn more attend the exhibition at the Hotel Morgane, Chamonix Mont-Blanc  or see http://onladejavu.com

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My favourite at the exhibition. Mmmmh…what does that tell you about me…?

Friends and artists - Bob and Damien

Damien and Bob have joined their artistic talents to recycle the obsolete to shed light on the future.

 

 

Bob and Damien transform old lighting from French roundabouts to take on this pleasing, contemporary design.

The Haute Route Film is Released…Enjoy!

Like a challenge…try this:

Anything is possible.

Next year…1/2 Ironman in Hawaii in Jun. and Haute Route Pyrenees riding from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.

Version Français:

Aimez-vous un défi?

Tout c’est possible.

L’année prochain… un demi Ironman à Hawaii en juin et L’haute route Pyrénees à vélo à partir de Méditerranée à L’Atlantique.

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Running in Rainstorms – Dubai

How to get over turbulent weather:

We all have challenging times. When this happens I turn to places which give me positive energy to recover.

I get my energy from sport and saltwater. I am happiest in the ocean, so to get energy levels back up I have been spending as much time in/on/near the saltwater as I can.

I am happy to be doing some sailing, which I have dabbled with in the past. Here’s 10 secs or so of me sailing a J22 in Dubai.

I am spending most mornings beach swimming and running in preparation for some adventures I am planning for next year.

I started running in my undergraduate years at university to clear my mind. For me, it is a kind of meditation. Running, like water, helps me blow off steam and brings positive energy back into my life.

Today, with thunderstorms brewing across the ocean, I chose to do a tourist run along the crescent on the Palm Jumeriah. Here is what the rain looked like over Dubai:

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While I am yet to fully exit my own turbulent weather pattern, I can say there is something fantastic about running for 2 hrs next to the water, getting soaked to the skin and breathing in the joyful smell of the rain, the desert and the ocean all mixed up as one.

A truly exceptional day in Dubai.

in which I am taken aside by Abu Dhabi customs…

Traveling with a Pelican case full of u/w equipment and several large bags can draw attention to a girl…tonight, arriving in Abu Dhabi airport was no exception…

I am pulled aside by customs and directed behind the glass walls…to find my eyes have dilated…and it’s not because of all the tall dark Arab men in their white kandura … or the fact that my Pelican case is about to be searched.

I find myself face to face with 6-7 Peregrine falcons awaiting a ‘Health Check’.

I am asked some questions about the offending Pelican case…full of underwater camera kit. All clear.

I am stumbling over myself and asking can I please, please take a photo of the falcons…the official tells me he has to check with the boss….the boss arrives, flanked by another 6 Emiratis.

Better than take a photo, the boss has decided I am to hold one of the treasured Peregrine’s…palm up he tells me…

What you can’t see in this picture is there is a small crowd gathering…and I won’t be taking any pictures…one guy has my iphone, there is a no. of small camera’s out, someone’s filming…

The Head guy moves us across towards the Abu Dhabi city back drop..and we are in an informal photo shoot…

It’s nice to be back and I am reminded of the warmth, friendly spirit and welcoming generosity of the Emirati people.

They ask me where I come from, I say I am Australian…my passport is sitting a ways over there on their customs desk…

So here we are in Customs, on the border of our cultures, in a busy international airport, and we have all taken a moment… a delicious moment, to laugh and share…and it was the Peregrine’s that brought us here…never underestimate the capacity to understand another person, another group, another organization, another culture…and remember Nature is the perfect place to start….

To the people who welcome me into so many corners of the world – thank-you, I hope you can all travel with open minds, and open hearts and see the wonders around you…in nature and in people no matter how different you might think they are.

Take a shared moment on the frontier.

Autumn…a change in perspective!

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Monday, I released an image of Autumn leaves called ‘Tumbling into Autumn, on my general facebook page. What I failed to release on FB was a few words I wrote; they read:

And Autumn came…
And me; a sunshine girl,
Felt a heart ache for the summer
As the rains began to fall…
Waiting for that quiet blanket of snow to cover all.

Perspectives have a funny way of changing. Playing in the rain tonight, I chose to take a few snaps in the same area, differently.

Looking at the beauty and the colour of these trees while getting slightly damp, then kind of wet…I realised that my ‘heartache’ for summer had gone. The coolest thing is that it has been replaced by sheer joy, and a very novel sense…that I am quite in love with Autumn.

If you have read my last blog, you will know my modus operandi is to escape the rain of Autumn flying off somewhere warm and I have been practicing doing something different by staying.

This evening, there I was standing in the rain, taking photos of a few trees on the side of a road…and I was in heaven!

So before autumn leaves (pun intended)…and the first snow arrives…or whatever ‘weather’ and/or ‘season’ you are experiencing …remember take a peek at things from a different angle!

You might find things have changed…or maybe you have. Mmmh…

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Today will you Dare…? Autumn, Courage & Sunrise.

It is 5am in the morning and I have been up all night attempting to teach myself some edit skills…it is Autumn and everyone is feeling the change from an amazing summer, the air is chilled, we have had snow down to 1800m, the leaves are starting to turn.

I finished 3 reasonably serious physical challenges since June, the Cross, the Haute Route and climbing two of my first 4000m+ peaks in Switzerland. My final goal was an attempt to summit Mont Blanc mid-September – thwarted to some extent by weather (wind, & snow down to unusual levels)…yet in reality the prolonged physicality finally caught up with me around the ridge above the new Gouter Hut.

So Autumn seems to be ruffling a few feathers…the long summer days disappearing in the beautiful deep blue autumn light which is perhaps less than enough to keep people smiling. Quite frankly, a few people are feeling a little out of sorts…which is kind of normal. It is a time of transition and not only of seasons. Global economics and the planet in the midst of an uneasy, and unknown future. The prolonged and heart breaking atrocities in Syria.

One thing I do when these grey days arrive..is to remember that whatever is happening or not…there is always beauty around you, it can be the simple things, in nature, in the eyes of a friend, even in a gesture of the hand, and there are people who genuinely care…I look for beauty wherever I am and whenever I can. Search out the good, and the nourishing.

Remember, also to be courageous! Courage is so very important. The courage to try new things, to speak up, to move, to stay still, to ask for help, to take on new challenges, to let go of things that no longer work.

People have been telling me I am very brave, since I was a child. It is a perception they have about me. Yet, I have fears and sometimes they appear like a wall in front of me….what I do though is always take a deep breath and step, run or jump into the fear…and somehow that step leads me to the pathway of courage. So if there are others out there…wondering about what now? or what’s next?

Take that deep breath and step, run or jump into YOUR own life and YOUR own dreams…something will happen, and there will be people who support you. Look for them. Keep your eyes open and see the beauty.

Recently, I was feeling pretty grizzly in the valley with low cloud and rain, and wandering whether to go walkabout. Was it time to hot foot it on the next aircraft to Dubai or Australia, again? Or what about Crete or Malta for that matter? I do love my travel habit :). Yet, it occurred to me, staying still would be different from my past behaviour & experience. Who knows what I might learn by staying in Chamonix/Switzerland for awhile? No aircraft, exciting destination, or earth shattering adventure. Mmmmmh..???! After another 3 days of rain & cloud I almost jumped on an aircraft to go work from somewhere warmer…then I woke up one morning and saw this:

I hope you like it.

Best Regards,
Kathleen

Live your dreams, Share your story:
Contact: kathleen@kathleenswalling.com

My Personal Diary from The Haute Route 2012

Click below “Haute Route Daily Diary” to READ about the physical, mental and emotional challenges I faced in riding 780km, 19 cols, 21000m of ascent from Geneva to Nice under strict timeframes in the world’s toughest cyclo-sportive:

Haute_Route_Daily_Diary

Hope you like it!

Haute Route…my biggest challenge, yet!

This was by far the greatest physical, emotional and mentally demanding challenge I have taken on yet.

Day 3 was particularly grueling in incredible heat, riding over 2 first class cols of 20k+ each and finishing riding up Alpe d’Huez…I ended up in the medical tent.

However, I did show some strength out there on the road…and I am incredibly happy to be an Official Finisher of the hardest, toughest cyclo-sportive EVER… Here are some images…and I will release a blow by blow Daily Diary as soon as I work out how to upload it for you all to read…

There will also be a documentary to be released for international distribution & there are videos & other information at www.hauteroute.org

I am now preparing to climb Mont Blanc…and today put on the crampons and did the Cosmiques Arete…@ 3842 as a refresher since it’s been a little while…more photos to come after I upload the Haute Route diary.

Happy adventuring people!

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