This past week I was fortunate enough to travel to Whister, BC to attend the 2013 Lululemon Ambassador Summit.  For those of you who may not know what that is, I’ll briefly explain… Lululemon has several ambassadors for each store, and you’ve probably seen a few of them if you’ve been into a Lululemon, as their pictures are on the walls of each respective store.  Those ambassadors are a supporting member of their community through their respective practice, some of us are runners, some are cross fitters and personal trainers, and many are yoga teachers.  The summit is an opportunity for Lululemon to bring a hundred or so of those ambassadors from all over the world so that we can continue to develop ourselves by getting our learn on by day, and rocking out by night.

My intention for this blog post is to show some gratitude for the people who were a part of that journey this week.

Thank you Lululemon 4th Street

First and foremost I’d like to thank the amazing ladies and gents of the Lululemon 4th Street Store in
Calgary.   It’s been almost two years since we’ve had a relationship and I’m incredibly grateful that I can genuinely call all of you my friends.  Some of you I’m actually so close to that when one of us is having a tough time on the hills reps or stairs, all we need to say to each other is #HTFU, and we know the other says it with love and affection.  But genuinely, without your amazing support I wouldn’t have had the opportunity like I did this week.  For anyone who hasn’t been by the 4th St store, be sure to go that way sometime or come to our Run Club Tuesdays at 6 or Saturdays at 9.

The Manifesto

Secondly, I’d like to thank the good folks of Lululemon.  As ambassadors, we get to see a little bit more of the inside of the brand and organization than most and I can wholeheartedly say that it’s an organization that lives up to all the good things it stands for.  The brand stands on being the best through four core pillars; Technical Product, Stores, People, and Community.  As ambassadors, Lululemon provides us with support in our vision and goal setting, they give us support in our sports and practices, and they provide us with great opportunities like the Summit that allows us to connect with one another and hopefully create something greater than the sum of its parts… and of course we get a couple pairs of stretchy pants along the way.  All they ask in return is that we go out into our respective communities and try to do what we set out to do anyways, make the world a bit of a better place.  Big shout out to their Summit team who busted their asses out there this week to make sure we had a great time and everything went perfectly.

Stopping by the Whistler Lulu after our run this week

Next I’d like to say thanks to all of my fellow ambassadors.  This week was a great experience for me
and I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to meet so many of you.  I’m truly inspired and in awe of what some of you have accomplished.  Your stories are amazing; successfully owning and operating your own studios, running your one hundred thousandth mile at the Boston Marathon last week, going into state penitentiaries and juvenile homes to teach yoga to individuals trying to improve their lives, and many stories more.  I felt humbled and grateful to be in your company this week and hope that we can stay in touch for years to come.  And if any of you are ever in Calgary in the summer, I’ll take you for a run, ride, or Stampeding, and if you’re here in the winter, we’re going skiing!  The title of this blog post is “I get by with a little help from my friends”, and I’m happy to say I definitely made a few more this past week.

This is actually me during last year’s “Dad Raf” photoshoot

I’d also like to thank my readers.  Over the past couple of years I’ve seen the readership on this blog slowly climb and its given me the confidence to continue writing and even consider writing my own book.  It’s also thanks to the support I’ve received from my readers that I began mentoring athletes and athletes to be who have decided to take up running or triathlon.  When I wrote my first blog post I wondered what the heck I’d write my next post on, and the post after that, and after that.  That was about 80 posts ago now and somehow I’m still conjuring up things to write and if there was no one reading my posts, I would have given up on it by now.  So thank you.

Of course I also have to thank all of my friends and family that have helped me out along the way over the past few years.  I know that a few of you have had to put up with me falling asleep when we go for drinks, but it’s only because I did something ridiculous like go for a run 14 hours earlier, or rode 160km just before.  I’m so happy to see that a few of you are even taking up the challenge yourselves and have started running, cycling, and racing triathlon.  This year I’ll be coaching a couple of you yelling at you guys from the sidelines at your races, and for that… I’m stoked.

My business partner, my drinking buddy, my best friend, my wife.

Lastly but certainly not least I’d like to thank my wonderful wife Shirley.  Who has supported my passion bordering on obsession with triathlon, cycling, and running.  We live in a 640 sq foot condo where approximately 1/5 of the square footage at any given time has a bike, bike part, or bike or run related piece of clothing laying around.  One need only follow me on Strava to see how much time and money has been syphoned off to run and bike.  She also gets to see me come home with more than my fair share of snazzy new items from Lululemon… I get that that can be difficult. Thank you and I love you.

The last day of the summit was pretty sad as many of us were going our separate ways, but this week has been one that I am incredibly grateful for.  I’m fortunate enough to say that I’ve had so many great experiences over the past couple years, that if I was sad every time they ended, I’d be sad pretty much all the time.  So I leave with that great Dr. Seuss quote, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”.