Loss and meaning

This post has been brewing for a month since one of my clients lost a friend ski racing.

Death is not something we connect to ski racing usually, horrible falls and bad injuries certainly but not death.

Since the beginning of the season two ski racers have died.

It’s a horrible statement to make.

David Poisson, a member of the French ski racing team died in Nakiska in early season training in November when he caught an edge, crashed through safety netting and hit a tree. He was 35 years old.

In early December, my client was racing a downhill in the Nor-Am Cup in Lake Louise when I got texts about a teammate being involved in a bad crash.

17 year old Max Burkhart went off course into safety netting and was airlifted to hospital. He later died of his injuries.

Somehow death is not something I ever thought I’d have to deal with in my practice. I remember taking a moment and praying before calling my client. Asking for guidance to say the right words that would give her some measure of comfort. All I could do was listen and be there for her.

She was heart broken and wanted to go home.

Max’s death hit me hard. I’m still not sure why.

I attract the clients I work with for a reason. Her parents wanted her to stick it out for the rest of the race series and be with her teammates. To get back on the horse. It’s probably what my parents would have wanted too.

My client just wanted to go home so I stood by her and advocated for her.

Someone I did my graduate studies with said it was great I got to be the person I needed for my clients when I was their age.

It was a big realization for me.

I’m grateful for the relationships I have with my clients. I grow because of them. I know they learn from me as well.

I’m glad I was able to support my client through a really tough time no kid should have to go through.

Rest in peace Max. My heart goes out to his family, friends and the ski community who knew and loved him. I hope they find peace.



An acquaintance of mine has died. I met her through an online business group organized by my business coach. She was my age.

Her death has shocked me. She leaves a family and young children behind. A life taken too soon. My heart goes out to all who loved her. I wish I had met her.

Her death is a reminder. A reminder for me to live.

I don’t feel I do a very good job at living. I’m trapped in fear and not doing what I love full time unfortunately. What’s worse is I’m not sure how to change that fact.

So I sit here thinking of her. She apparently left a sparkle wherever she went. I’m sure she’s sparkling brightly in another realm. I wish her and her family peace.




Life is all about moments isn’t it?

Like most, I grew up fortunate in a lot of ways and lacking in others.

I was raised in the Gatineau hills with access to a lake and a ski hill. I became a fish and someone who flies down hills at speeds most people drive. It was an idyllic life on the surface, complete with a golden retriever named Blondie.

We all have stories don’t we? Every single one of us. How do yours define you?

This blog has evolved over time. From a place where I regaled friends and readers with my funny dating adventures to a blog about a relationship I was in for six years to a more professional platform where I speak of my passion for sports psychology and helping amateur athletes succeed.

The posts are all stories. Stories of my life. I’ve shared the ones I wanted to share and kept to myself the ones I don’t.

I do positive psychology for a reason. The tools I teach are what I most need to learn. In sharing them with others, facilitating their growth and seeing their success I get to give back. I get to help young athletes succeed not just in sport but in life.

I’m all about moments. No one has ever been able to hold on to a single one.

In life there are no do overs, no rewinds and no playbacks.

All we have is this moment, and the next if we’re lucky.

What do you want to do with your moments?

I’ve spent far too much time hiding. Hiding from my greatness, from the gifts I have, thinking I wasn’t good enough. A fraud for teaching these tools when I sometimes felt like I couldn’t take another step in my own life.

It took the sudden and unexpected death of a best friend to remind me that life is for living. What was I waiting for? I was done being afraid and doing everything else but my calling. Thank you James for your celestial kick in the ass.

It’s been almost five years since he left this plane. Since then I’ve helped many kids get greater joy out of doing what they love in sport and in life. It is my raison d’être. The reason I was put on this earth.

From now on my promise and commitment to myself is that there will be no more hiding. My light will be shining bright.

I have an accountability partner, who happens to also be a cherished friend. Together we are committed to making our businesses grow. To keeping ourselves in this space where good things happen because we will work our asses off to make them happen and the Universe will deliver tenfold.

I’m looking forward to what the future brings, moment by moment. Are you?

One less heartbeat

Two weeks ago I said goodbye to my companion of 13 years, my beloved sweet cat Minou.

My heart hasn’t been the same since. I’ve never known a pain like this, it’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before. The ache is still there.

My house feels lonely and empty without him. Life won’t ever be the same.

Minou was the best thing that ever happened to me. He taught me how to care and love for a being. He gave me unconditional love in return. He was a constant in my life when so many things weren’t.

He was a rescue. I always say we rescued each other.

He was a beautiful grey manx with green eyes.

Up until the very end he was a fighter.

He was in and out of the vet’s office a few times since the fall. His kidneys were failing. He lost a lot of weight and deteriorated rapidly in the end, losing his mobility.

It was sad to see him this way, a shadow of his former self.

I rushed him to emergency on the day before I was to put him to sleep. He was trembling and crying out in pain. It was heart breaking.

He was passing as I arrived at the animal hospital. I was told he had but a few moments left. So I held him in my arms crying and saying goodbye.

He shocked everyone by coming back to life. I like to think Minou felt he hadn’t given his mom a proper goodbye. I held him in my arms for hours before I made the decision to let him go.

A friend came to keep me company. I regaled her with stories of Minou’s adventures while he sat purring contentedly in my lap.

I guess he wasn’t ready to go because the vet had to change his catheter and then administer twice the dose of the injection to stop his heart. Again an unusual occurrence.

By then all of us were crying. I was telling Minou it was ok to let go and that I’d be ok. Even though my heart was breaking and the last thing I wanted was to let him go.

He passed peacefully in my arms. The love of my life.

The weeks since have been difficult. There’s been a lot of sorrow.

I miss Minou terribly and wish I could have had more time with him.

I imagine him up there creating havoc, chasing squirrels and lying in the sunshine, happy and healthy.

Thank you Minou for being such a good friend. You’ve left your paw prints all over my heart.


I lost a best friend 2 years ago, this post is in his honor.

James I want you to know I spent the day you died doing what I love.  I worked in the morning on my burgeoning business and had a great afternoon running in the woods.  I also went back to painting in studio that night after a year long hiatus.

My partner gave me an idea to remember you by.  I think I’m going to plant a tree.  I know you’d like that, we spent lots of time together surrounded by them and the peace they brought.  We now have a home and I can do this to honor your memory.

I miss you.  I talk to you on my walks sometimes.  I cry, share and inevitably smile. You had that effect on me and still do.  I know you’d want me to be happy and to remember to play. 

I try and remember to play.  It’s easy with an eight year old.  My partner and I are doing a better job of playing too.  Date nights, laughing and playing with his daughter.  Life is good.

I want you to know I carry your spirit wherever I go. I know you’re looking out for me and laughing at me up there.  I need to do a better job of laughing at myself.

Thank you my friend for your love, the lessons you taught me and the impact you still have on my life.

You may be gone but most definitely not forgotten.

I love you.



It’s been almost a year since my best friend James died suddenly.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him.  A year ago I wrote a post in his honor. To commemorate his passing I’m going to write another today.

I miss him a lot. I miss the way he made me feel, his laugh and hugs.  I miss how he always managed to bring out Natalie light somehow.

Last night I was flooded with memories of our time together. Like the time we went camping and a storm hit overnight knocking down trees yet we managed to stay cozy and dry because James rigged a system of tarps. Like the many times we went out dancing. Or the time we went for a walk and came upon a nudist.

So many great memories of us playing crazy eights or having dinner together.  James was like family, there was an ease to him that instantly made me comfortable in his presence.

I miss him so much sometimes it hurts but I can imagine him causing havoc in heaven where I’m sure everyone knows his name. 

I know he’s with me, looking out for me. I talk to him a lot. Yet after a year there’s still a huge void in my life where he used to be.

Rest in peace James.  My world was a better place because you were in it.

So long my friend

This is the hardest post I have yet to write.  This is my dedication to a man I loved dearly, who was my friend through thick and thin and whose spirit so richly deserves to be honored. 

I have to summon the courage to go to your funeral in a few hours and say goodbye.  I’m afraid to see your body because that means you’re really gone.  I don’t want to see your body because it does not represent your spirit.  Maybe I need to see you for closure, as a part of the grieving process.  I get all that and yet I can’t believe you’re really gone. 

A light has gone out.  You were the most happy go lucky person I’ve ever met.  You led a simple life.  You taught me to live life fully and even in your death you remind me of this most precious lesson.  You loved being who you were.  You learnt a long time ago that you didn’t have to be what others wanted you to be.  You always made me laugh and smile; life was made just a little bit easier with you.   

I can’t believe you’re gone.  Your heart stopped and you died alone; you were still so young.  Were you afraid?  Did you feel pain?  Did you suffer?  I will never have answers to these questions.  I hope you knew you were loved.  You touched the lives of so many people James: your customers, my family and most of all, mine.

I’m never again going to be able to walk into the store and get a hug from you, shoot the breeze and smile.  I’m not going to be able to pick up the phone, talk to you and hear you laugh or have you plow our conversation into the ditch.  Nor will I experience the smiles, wisdom and care your texts so aptly evoked.

I am going to miss you my dearest friend.  We were best friends, we may not have spent as much time together in the past few years but I knew you were always there.  At least I thought I did.  I miss you more than words can say James.  I loved you with all my heart.  You were a good man with a kind heart.  I never saw you sad or angry.  You were the eternal salesman, always on.  You were a private man, a strong man and I guess that’s what drew me to you.

James your light may have gone out on this plane but I know it shines even brighter wherever you are.  Rest in peace my friend, your life was fully lived.  I know you wouldn’t want today to be a pity party you’d want it to be the party to end all parties.  I intend to honor and celebrate you today.  I will remember the lessons you taught me, think fondly of our happy times and know you are with me today and always.

So long my friend, till we meet again.  I love you.