A little speed to get ya going…

The Nikon D7000 is also a great video camera – in fact, one of the best in it’s class, and as the Nikon website boasts:

Breathtaking Full 1080p HD Movies with Full Time Autofocus and external stereo microphone jack to record cinematic-quality movies up to 20 minutes all enhanced by NIKKOR interchangeable lens quality and versatility.

This is just a quick little sampling of what the D7000 can do while in video mode. I used Videopad to edit it quickly from 4 or 5 clips. For a free video editor, Videopad works great.

Tour de White Rock Criterion from Kerry O. on Vimeo.

Tour de White Rock Criterion Snips for the big screen

Tour de White Rock Criterion Snips for the little screen

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Tour de White Rock Criterion

It was a stellar day for the Tour de White Rock Criterion on July 13, 2013. Not a cloud in the sky, a balmy 26 degrees with a refreshing breeze off the ocean.

The Crit started at Roper and Johnston, circled down around 5 corners, up Fir Street, and back to Johnston. A one-kilometre course, set to 60 laps for the men and 30 for the women.

It was full of high speeds, elite athletes and unbelievable scenery.

After shooting the Giro di Burnaby with my iPhone, I amped up my coverage a bit, snapping over 600 pics in a 2 hour period; this time on my Nikon D7000 (18mm to 105 mm).

The D7000 is a mid-range consumer camera that has proved to be the RIGHT choice for me. It is light. It is responsive. It fits in my hand beautifully, and the dials are all easy to adjust with the camera body against my cheek. It took me over 2 years to decide on which camera I was going to buy and I think that I made the right choice for my ever wandering creative eye.

Tour de White Rock Crit

***leave a comment or email me if you would like any of these photos.

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Twilight Traffic

1751e04267188c6.jpgI was lucky enough to take in some of the brilliant cycling displayed by world class athletes during the Giro di Burnaby on July 11, 2013.

All of the photos in the following gallery were shot by my ever-loved and ever-precious iPhone 4S. From the raw iPhone photos, they were then imported into Adobe Lightroom in order to work a little post production magic. Albeit, still on a rather rapid up-shooting learning curve.

For an 8 Megapixel camera, which is continually being transported around the globe, usually in my back pocket, it may actually make the case that the best camera to own is the one in your hand. < smile :) >

Twilight Traffic - Giro di Burnaby, July 11, 2013

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Posing in Prahna and beyond…

alma_-_pranaAh, Prahna: The breath of life. The ancient Sanskrit expression of meditation leading to self-actualization and beyond.

For most athletes, breathing is something that we take for granted and is not paid much attention to while we are developing our abilities in other areas of expertise, yet, it is so crucial to every move our muscles make, every move our body explores, every three-point jumper, every penalty shot, every final volley of an hour long match. It is a critical part of developing into a well-rounded athlete but more importantly, it is a critical part of developing, period.

In the ancient Yogi world, the breath came first, then the Asanas (poses) but for most of us who attend Yoga on a regular basis, the poses come first, and soon, we feel our breath move us in and out of the poses, as we struggle at times, breath catching occasionally as we slink just another inch forward, upward, downward, our muscles intuitively elongating into each pose that our journey offers.

Lately, almost 9 years into my own Yoga journey, I have been closing my eyes for almost the entire Yoga practice (except when teaching of course!). Balancing poses prove a special case for this endeavor, but almost all other poses can now be accomplished without sight, flowing from one to the next with ease.

An interesting phenomenon occurs when sight is removed from the Yoga practice, since all that is left is how your body feels as you relish each elongated breath in and out of your body, ears in tune with each cue uttered. Exhaling into the postures, inhaling as you relinquish the pose, repeated over and over throughout an entire practice.

Thoughts float in and out of one’s mind, and I find myself searching for my Ujjayi breath – one step up on regular long breaths, by further constricting the throat aperture on the exhale; a gentle sea shell sound escaping the nostrils. This breathing technique works to completely focus one’s mind on ONLY this breath. This here. This now. There is nothing else that matters. The mind is relaxed, completely, the body is flowing beautifully, and the spirit cannot help but be lifted to the greatest of heights.

Give it a try and see how it works for you.

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Waiting to Exhale…

IMG_5763It wasn’t that long ago when a rather petite princess of a girl asked me if I wanted to FLY for the first time. If you have read any of my posts since then, a mere 10 months ago, you will know that I met that challenge with great trepidation. As though I had been asked to relax into myself for the very first time. As though all the tightness in my little ol ball of nerves could be released in one fell swoop. As though I might finally get to the place where my hands could rest upright on my knees in Sukhasana, in order to receive energy, instead of continually being palm down, grinding hard into my knees, looking ever so dutifully for a bit of grounding. Looking for tranquility. Searching the depths of my being for any, and all (which wasn’t much) relaxation. Trying to find the relaxation, and in that, knowing that the strength would follow.

Somehow throughout my life I had been hard-wired to press. To push. To persevere. And while many times these traits work for one’s strengths, the Yang can also cause a polarization of the Yin, rendering it useless. Acro Yoga, and of course, my general Yoga practice, has allowed me to delve into my Yin and resurrect it, learning ever so slowly how to bring my practice off the mat and enact calming techniques that are tested and true.

Four Step is an Acro Yoga flow that has always been a bit challenging for me, because one needs to go slow and methodical and to relax into each pose in order to best flow through the routine. It is the only flow where I have wiped out twice – both times landing on my head. Both times becoming a bit more fearful of ever doing that move again.

I think THAT has been the biggest lesson. Getting back on the horse. It’s been challenging. It’s been rewarding. It’s been HIGH energy and somehow through that high energy place, there have been tiny pieces of ‘ohm’ that I have managed somehow to work into my every day breath. Ah…..exhale. Always a work in progress. And always willing to do the work.

4 Step Raw from Kerry O. on Vimeo.

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The 365 Day Handstand Challenge

IMG_5601 I decided to put pen to paper in the documentation of my Handstand Challenge. I have been playing around with headstands and handstands for about 8 months now as part of both my Yoga and my Acro Yoga practice. While I have made progress in my handstands, I have not made the speedy progress which I would like to see.

When a news feed on the 365 Handstand Challenge flew by my screen, I decided that this was what I needed in order to really see some progress.

Today is Day 356, and in those last 9 days, I have definitely made decent progress simply by doing some handstands every day. Usually for about 5 minutes.

Einstein once quoted, ‘There is no greater force in the world than compound interest.’ While this may be very true, there is a very substantial force in each one of us, called ‘muscle memory’. It is simply in the repeating; taking the body through routines over and over that the body is able to adapt to that which it is being asked.

Dan Millman (The Way of the Peaceful Warrior) talked of this a great deal. He used the word, “Satori”, meaning that there was no thinking required. The body just innately knew what to do. It is the fluidity of a third baseman throwing to first, the quick block of a high karate chop, or just throwing your hands into the sand, and letting your feet float toward the clouds. There simply is no thought required. That is the beauty of the human body. Anyone can do it. With each day of practice, the muscle memory becomes stronger and stronger. At least…that is my hope.

Handstands Day 357 from Kerry O. on Vimeo.

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I have discovered something so beautiful
In just being
Just living
Just ebbing
Just flowing
So easy to wrap my arms around myself
Nourishing my soul with an empty mind
A warm heart
And the laughter of the warm sun
trickling down


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You are the Love

IMG_3950Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day dedicated to the patron saint of love. The 4 billion dollar industry that has spurred us on in passion, compassion and lust. This year was a different kind of Valentine’s Day for me.

I adopted an idea of ‘self love’ only. I worked hard on a project that I was passionate on. I went to Yoga. I closed my eyes through the entire practice. I was love. I became love. I lived love. I was so INTO me that I uterrly did not know anyone else was in the room. After the class, the instructor said to me, ‘wow, I have never seen you so calm during practice.’ She was right. For that 60 minutes there was ONLY this breath right here, right now. I embraced ME in all that I was worth.

It was February 14th. It was the day to celebrate the Heart Chakra. To find love, compassion, kindness, but for what? Maybe only for the sole purpose to give to yourself. Yes, I gave it to myself. It was fabulous. So, for all those peeps out there, that are wanting THAT very real Valentine thing, that always seem to elude us, go deep, go inside yourself. AND know that YOU are the BEST LOVE of all!

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The Healing Heart

The Heart Chakra, Anahata: The fourth of seven Chakras, located right smack dab in the middle of the body and responsible for integrating the matter and the spirit in our lives. Those ancient Sanskrit people must have known a thing or two back in the fourth Century BCE for people are still finding wisdom in their tales foretold.

Legend goes that the Heart Chakra is responsible for integrating the 3 Chakras underneath it (Root, Sacral and Solar Plexus), with the 3 Chakras above it (Throat, Third Eye and Crown). It is a conciliator; a place where our male energy can meet with our female energy and become one. The earth meets the heaven for a little celestial celebration.

The analogy of love is not lost on it either and the Heart Chakra will be at its optimum when the giving and receiving of love, forgiveness, and tenderness is in balance. It is the only Chakra to have lateral components and it is fitting that those arms go with the giving and receiving of love. Playing alongside love, in perfect harmony, is the touch of the human experience and the interplay of that touch is a central tenet of Anahata.

The spiritual components of Yoga have always been a bit of a leap for me, just as believing in any standardized set of ‘beliefs’ have been. I am skeptical by nature and Yoga is missing a lot of the scientific method for sure, however some of the teachings, some of the ways of being, just resonate with me. They make sense, the way that eating whole foods and exercising makes sense. I don’t need to read the research to fully understand that the ancient so-called myths of balancing the Heart Chakra make my body, my mind, and my life, healthier.

The journey toward this healing began when I read an article on the Heart Chakra. It had an element of airy-fairy-ness (yes, that is a word) to it, yet I couldn’t help but think that parts of it made sense. It said in order to honor your Heart Chakra and to assist in restoring and nurturing it, there were 8 things that may help:
1. Be Green
2. See Green
3. Think Green
4. Be Love
5. Give Love
6. Gratitude
7. Practice Yoga
8. Forgive

Every single one of these made me pause and reflect a bit, but the “Be Love”, really made me stop and think. Digging deeper into what was actually meant by number four on the list, the article went on to say, that the ‘Be Love’ piece was actually loving yourself and not accepting depletion of one’s self in exchange for some sort of perceived greater good. Not being a martyr. Not looking for validation outside of that own self-love. Wow, the ‘aha’ moment, when you realize that the love that you have been consciously surrounding yourself with – and in – all these years may have been being blocked. By. Me.

I thought about one of my favourite quotes, from Eat, Pray, Love:

“If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with …” (insert activity, thing or person here)
~ Elizabeth Gilbert

This is such a powerful quote for me and one that resonates to the very core of my being. It seems to provide evidence that my “Be Love” piece was highly charged with others’ energy and not so adequately filled with my own. These are hard words to say out loud. Like the main character in Eat, Pray, Love, I was becoming frenetic with other people’s energy, leaving me sapped and longing for more. “I am the planet’s most affectionate life-form (something like a cross between a golden retriever and a barnacle)” (Gilbert) and in recent years I have showered that affection on many people in my life, even when they were less than receptive to it.

Who knew that this journey, into the painfully quiet abyss, toying with loneliness and despair at times, would actually form the catalyst for the giving and receiving of love, in nurturing and sustaining amounts? That my seemingly overflowing heart, full of gratitude and love to all of the wonderful people in my life would get stronger and more grounded by a slow and methodical withdrawal into myself?

Thus the lightness in the dark and the darkness in the light, and now, my Heart Chakra is illuminated (and as always, a work-in-progress) continually dancing between the great comfort in being surrounded with my friends, alongside the growing comfort of being totally enveloped by myself. Who better to spend time with, right?

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Run with Me (and Google)


Ah, the first run of 2013. I have never considered myself a runner, although I have always ran. Life is funny that way.

This year, or maybe, actually TODAY, DARE to un-categorize yourself, let go of all the baggage that is slowing you down….and just DO IT. No excuses. Just you and your dreams. Get going. Come run with me.

Happy 2013!

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