Viviann is passionate about experiential journeys and keeping herself fit. Her travels started in 1971 where crossing oceans by sailboat have been a big part of her adventures. She lived for 15 years in Estonia to learn more about her roots. During that time she owned an operated an art gallery which provided a portal to learning more about the spirit of the Estonian people. Today she is a cultural activist and is keen on sharing the traditional values from her Finno-Ugric background with the rest of the world.

Those Difficult Squats Again

Those difficult squats are still a challenge for me. It has been eight months since I started at CrossFit but I’m starting to notice some improvement in flexibility, stamina and strength but depending on any given day, some days I feel on top of my game and other days I feel very frustrated with myself.

The Perfect Squat.

The Perfect Squat.

While doing my warm up exercises this morning, I had to do 3 sets of 10 squats:  my absolute least favourite exercise. I’ve asked more than one coach at our CrossFit centre what it is I have to do to improve. Bottom line: PRACTICE.

Cure #2 for Postpartum Divorce – Find Exclusive Islands

 “Nights and days came and passed

And summer and winter
and the rain.
And it was good to be a little Island.
A part of the world
and a world of its own
All surrounded by the bright blue sea.”

Margaret Wise Brown – The Little Island


A Stiff Lower Lip

Cure #1 for Postpartum Divorce – Part 2 – Find a Boat

I found a boat but I also found myself landlocked and restless.

Self-determination comes with a price tag and it’s not cheap. Thrust back into the precarious world of singlehood I was suddenly sailing solo and without a clear compass course.  Like a true snow bird I packed up and headed south to Florida craving for distance from the dark and freezing New England winters and the melancholy memories that they held. I was anxious to hone in on my new life, whatever that was to be.

A three year stint teaching English to wealthy South American students proved to be almost impossible during the steamy spring and summer seasons in the sub-tropical Florida panhandle.  I was physically knackered and grew increasingly aware of a nagging ache in my gut that refused to go away.  I deduced that I still needed some serious down time to sort out my postpartum divorce blues  and the place to do this was at sea, on a boat.

Cure #1 for Postpartum Divorce – Part 1 – Find a Boat

“Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry, nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances, they provide us with such invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.”

The Dalai Lama

Boats are  metaphors for life. They carry us through fair and foul sailing weather. If we are willing to seek  and reflect they will reveal the answers that dwell deep within ourselves.

Four Cures for Postpartum Divorce:  Solutions That Worked for Me

I Found Myself a Boat

Recovery from a failed marriage or relationship  is an angst-laden experience for most couples. Some of the horrific scenarios in my own marital breakdown could have probably found a place in director Danny DeVito’s dark comedy, The War of the Roses. This “gutty little production” as described by film critic Gene Siskel, illustrates how effectively you can impart pain to your partner when you know exactly what buttons to press. The good news in the film is that the abrupt ending spares the couple from postpartum divorce depression. Most marriages don’t end with this kind of finality.

The “Huli” Brings Out the Best in You

Last week after completing our hour long dragon boat training on Cultus Lake, several of us took the opportunity to practice a “huli” recovery.

In order to be allowed to paddle on the canoes with outriggers called the OC1 (1 man) and OC6 (2 man) this winter, we had to pass the “huli” (capsize) drill”.

Teamwork is needed to right the larger canoe so by preparing for a capsizing we learn what to do to avoid hitting the panic button.

Drying Out at Home after Huli

Drying Out at Home after Huli

What Makes a Great Teacher?

One of my most memorable teachers in high school was my grade ten algebra teacher, Mr. Buckley. Tall, lanky and very English, on the first day of school Mr. Buckley instilled immediate fear in us by merely furrowing his Frida Kahlo eyebrows.

Those Eyebrows Got Our Attention

Those Eyebrows Got Our Attention

So how did this seemingly intimidating individual endear himself to his math students  year in and  year out?

A Good Mentor is Authoritative and Not Authoritarian

Mr. Buckley certainly had his challenge cut out for him. Most of us were jaded survivors of the “New Math” taught in elementary school so we were firmly entrenched in our comfort zone of complacency towards any additional math instruction.

Co-creating Oomf on My Thwart

Yesterday we practiced our power starts for the upcoming dragonboat regatta on May 25 at False Creek, B.C., Canada. Power starts are used at the outset of a race to pick up boat speed quickly. The boat is given that extra “oomf ” where often you see the nose of the boat rise out of the water like a dragon!  Ideally all the paddlers need to be in unison when entering and exiting the paddle as well as moving their bodies forward on the enter and back to an almost upright position on the exit.
Dragonboat Paddling is a State of Mind

Dragonboat Paddling is a State of Mind

The Sacred Places of Hiiumaa Island

August 1924 witnessed the birth of my father, Arnold Napp to a farming family on Hiiumaa Island, Estonia. My father was not destined to cultivate the land as his father and ancestors had done before him. At age 19 he would be forced to seek an escape route and leave behind him his beloved island.
In 1944 Estonia was occupied by the Germans. With five other young men who were also targeted by the occupying Nazi regime for conscription, he fled like so many other freedom-loving Estonians to Sweden in a small sailing-fishing boat.

Hiiumaa Fishing Boats

Hiiumaa Fishing Boats

Just Be Coach-able

For those who don’t know, each WOD (Work Out Daily) has got a name. Today, I did one called F.G.B. (Fight Gone Bad). The idea behind the name came from a fighter called B.J.Penn who gave it this name after he completed the circuit of exercises and found himself flat on his back panting.

“I am finding my base and building around it.” Viviann

When I look at this video of these people half my age pushing themselves I learn a lot. I’m not a casual observer since I have tried to do this myself so I have an idea of what it takes to complete the circuit.

Reebok CrossFit and My “Blue” Leather Shoes

Three months’ ago I pulled out my tired Reebok aerobic shoes I’d worn in the 1980s when I was a Jane Fonda “workout-a-holic” in a women’s club in Salem, Massachusetts. At the time these no-nonsense, leather shoes, topped off with knit leggings that Fonda brought into the gym, turned the beefed up ballet look into a national trend.

My Jane  Fonda Era Aerobic Shoes

My Jane
Fonda Era Aerobic Shoes