Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

More Olympic Sightseeing

Filed under: Vancouver Winter Games — by at 10:52 pm on Monday, February 15, 2010

Line up waiting to get into Vancouver's LiveCity Olympic site Saturday Darrell and I met up with my aunt and cousin and went to LiveCity Downtown – one of the many ways to experience the Olympics for free! Yes, it was raining, but, being Vancouverites, we were well prepared while waiting in line. At the CentrePlace Manitoba, we learned about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights being built in Winnipeg. I’d love to be there for the opening in 2012!

Downtown Vancouver street free of vehicle trafficWith all of the road closures, the streets are almost eerie! I’ve never seen West Hastings so quiet! The streets, that is; the sidewalks are another story! I kinda like it though. What are the chances it’ll stay this way?

Darrell Hyatt wearing his red maple leaf toqueMy man in a toque! He’s still handsome!

Storefront decorated in red and white bannersI love how most store fronts have got their “Canada” on! We can show our patriotic colours when we choose to!

Sidewalk filled with foot trafficDown in front of Waterfront Station, the sidewalks were like I’ve never seen them: jam packed with people from everywhere! Welcome.

Olympic Rings on Coal HarbourThe Olympic Rings floating on Coal Harbour. So cool when seen at night!

Vancouver 2010 Olympic CauldronDisappointedly, the Olympic Cauldron is behind a chain-linked fence; no doubt for security reasons – for both the visitors and the cauldron. After wandering around the waterfront, I finally got a half decent photo.

Amazing to think that this flame traveled all of the way from Greece and then across Canada, viewed by millions of Canadians during the longest Olympic Torch Relay in history.

Glenda laying on the couch with her kittySunday I enjoyed the Olympics from the comforts of the couch, with my Faith kitty curled up in her spot behind my knees. I had my red jammies on though!

(This party has been a long time coming and I’m going to make the most of it. Please bear with me! Regular posts will resume shortly.)

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Horses and Leather: My Heaven!

Filed under: Vancouver Winter Games — by at 1:20 am on Sunday, February 14, 2010

RCMP Musical RideThursday evening my wonderful husband Darrell surprised me with free tickets to the dress rehearsal of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride here at Holland Park – Surrey’s Olympic Celebration Site!

I have often seen the RCMP Musical Ride on television, but never live. For someone who rode for years many moons ago, this was an exciting opportunity! Wheeling into the tent arena, the distinctive smell of leather and horse instantly hit me, bringing back a flood of memories. I was in heaven!

I shot this video (until my camera card filled), raw and uncaptioned. Please excuse the few headless horsemen!

I will definitely return for a second show and, possibly, a third, if I can get away with it! You are welcome to join me.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Lives Change When Virtual Meet Concrete

Filed under: Blogging — by at 2:09 pm on Thursday, February 11, 2010

In creating a buzz about SOBCon2010 – Business School for Bloggers, conference founders Liz Strauss and Terry Starbucker are holding the “Blog It, Earn It!” Discount. Essentially, “write a blog post about a person (or people) online who has (or have) made a difference in your life” and earn a 25% discount off of the registration fee, plus a chance to win a free ticket and airfare and hotel (up to $1105). Given how outrageously priced the hotel is, writing one blog post could be like winning the lottery!

My challenge is narrowing the list to one person or even a few people online who have made a difference in my life. Most people may not appreciate how much blogging has changed my life; how when I hit “publish” for the first time on June 1, 2005 my life changed forever. Blogging has given me a voice and a way to connect with people from around the world.

In those early days, Andy Wibbels’ “just start and then learn as you go” attitude got me blogging. I learned much from him. Watching and learning from my virtual sister Pam Slim also kept me going as a newbie blogger.

Since then, countless others online have kindly helped me in my blogging career; some teaching me valuable life lessons, like Liz teaching me how to graciously accept the words “You’re such an inspiration.” There’s also Becky McCray and her no-bs approach to business (she is definitely a rising star to watch!); social media chaplain Jon Swanson who gets me thinking deeper; Ricky Buchanan who has made me see accessibility from another position; Law of Attraction coach Suzie Cheel and her encouragement to think BIG; and many, many other. (Man, this feels like the Oscars and I’m forgetting important names! Please don’t feel slighted!)

ProBlogger book autographed by Chris Garrett and Darren RowseHowever, when I sat down to write this post, two names clearly rose to the forefront: Chris Garrett and Darren Rowse, authors of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. After having an employment counsellor tell me blogging was a passing fad, not an income source, I had goose bumps while reading Darren’s and Chris’s stories. They were proof that living off of blogging could be done. They are what I want to be when I become a grown up blogger! Finally here was something I could do to earn an income!

I shared in an earlier post:

With blogging as an income source, it erases all of the barriers I, a person with a physical disability, faced when searching for a job. With blogging, my typing speed and inability to answer phones – requirements for many jobs I applied for – don’t matter. With blogging, I don’t need to deal will transportation or the accessibility (lack thereof) of the workplace. I can work from the comforts of home, on my own schedule, doing what I love to do: writing and connecting with people from around the world. With blogging, technology has finally caught up to me and given me something else I can do, and with stories like Darren’s and Chris’s, I now have a goal to strive for.

Chris and Darren gave me a career goal that employment programs and counsellors could not. For that, I am appreciative and grateful.

What happens online and virtually definitely impact, change and improve the concrete, real-life world.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Experiencing the Olympic Torch – Take 2

Filed under: Living with a disability,Motivation,Vancouver Winter Games — by at 11:59 am on Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Two firetrucks with ladders up and a Canadian flag hanging between them

After patiently waiting 101 days, Surrey’s turn to celebrate the Olympic Torch Relay finally came to Holland Park on Monday night. Twenty thousand people meant twenty thousands bums. Even though Darrell and I were close to the front, we could see nothing, not even the large screen. Well, nothing except for bums.

People didn’t move to let us through in our wheelchairs. I even tapped a cop on his arm and asked for help, but he brushed me off.

I was very disappointed, having wanted to see the torch live. In the last moment I did stand up to see whatever I could. But I felt guilty because my husband could not stand up; he saw nothing, except bums.

In my eyes, the only redeeming aspect of the evening was gold medalist wrestler Daniel Igali lit the community cauldron. Daniel also attended my alma mater Simon Fraser University; I felt that connection.

Surrey's Central City tower decked with Olympic Games building wrap Not too often in life do we get a second chance, an opportunity for a redo. However, Tuesday morning I had such an opportunity – and I snatched it without second consideration!

The Olympic Torch Relay continued through Surrey, a few blocks from home, on its way to New Westminster. I took my place on the street corner, like millions of other Canadians have during the longest Olympic Torch Relay in history. This time I actually saw the torch!

And even managed to shoot this video on my little Nikon Coolpix:

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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The Paralympics, The Lesser Games

Filed under: Advocacy — by at 6:41 pm on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today efforts are being made to include people with disabilities in the classroom, in the workplace, in the community. So, why in hell is the world’s largest sporting event still segregated into the Olympics and the Paralympics? Are sports stuck in ancient Greek times?

If the Olympics were divided along any other lines – gender, race, religion, economic – there would be an outcry worldwide! Yet, segregation based on ability or disability is acceptable?

Not only are the Games segregated, but the Paralympic Games and athletes do not receive anywhere near the attention as the Olympic Games do. My main mission for last week’s Pre-Olympic Photo Walk was to capture signs that the Paralympics are also coming to town. I found only two!

Paralympic Winter Games 2010 ccountdown clock in downtown Vancouver

First, on the opposite side of the Olympic countdown clock, I was pleased (and somewhat relieved) to see an official clock for the Paralympics. Interestingly, watching people taking photos in front of the Olympic clock, they did not then go to the backside for photos of the Paralympic clock. And, those people coming across the plaza didn’t realize that was Paralympic clock and were confused there were 44 days to go.

Sponsor banner in office window

The second sign I found was a banner in an office tower window that read, in part, “TMX, proud sponsor of the Canadian Paralympic Foundation”.

Those were the only two signs I found that elite athletes, albeit with disabilities, are also coming to Vancouver. How welcomed will they feel?

Watch the Games official sponsors’ TV ads. How many include Paralympians? The current ad by Bell, Premier National Partner and Exclusive Telecommunications Partner for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, does not show any Paralympic events or athletes. Furthermore, the ad says the Games are 17 days. Do the math: February 12th-28th + March 12th-21st is not 17 days!

The Olympics will be broadcasted ad nauseam; the Paralympics? You will likely have to wait until the Late Night News for a 30-second clip of the day’s highlights.

Even February’s issue O magazine has two articles related to the Olympics. What are the chances the Paralympics will receive the same space in March’s issue?

Why have segregated Games? I’m not saying have combined events with both able-bodied and disabled athletes. Although, watching Roberto Luongo and his professional athlete buddies play against the Paralympian sledge hockey team would make for a far more interesting game rather than another NHL-style gold medal game! But, combine the Games, like the how the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, United Kingdom, included a handful of Para-Sports. Granted, there were only ten events in which elite athletes with disabilities could compete, but a step in the right direction was taken. The Parade of Athletes, athlete village and such were inclusive. 

Brian McKeever, a member of Canada’s cross-country ski team who also happens to be legally blind, will be the first-ever athlete to compete in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In an interview, Brian said, in part, “…shows what Paralympians are capable of doing, that they’re training at the same level as able-bodied athletes…” How will his two experiences compare? Will he receive similar sponsorship, media attention and public attention at both Games?

What do we tell our youth with disabilities?

Work hard and try your best, and one day you could go to the Paralympics too! You may not receive the same sponsorships, the TV cameras may not be there, and the spectators may be fewer, but all of that doesn’t really matter. Just do your best, kid, and you’ll go far.

There has to be a better way!

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