Rebound ~ Love and Balance

Preorder link: Rebound

“This is a powerful and marvelously told story. I never saw the first version, so I have no idea what was missing from Claire’s story/experience, but whatever it was, this full-on revision will knock readers’ socks off. Kudos to you for reaching deep and putting it on the page. Very real and moving.”

**This book was previously published. It has been re-edited, re-formatted, and re-released.**

An award-winning choreographer faces her biggest heartbreak when she’s teamed up to coach with her former lover at a gymnastics camp for Olympic hopefuls.

Claire LeMay is at the top of her game—she’s head coach for a top gymnastics facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her gymnasts winning awards for her outstanding choreography. Now her biggest challenge is to coach alongside the man she’s avoided for three years after rejecting his offer of coaching under his command at his club in Ottawa, Ontario.

After sinking every penny of his inheritance into his state-of-the-art gymnastics facility, Justin Black has achieved his dream. But even with hundreds of members and well-trained coaches, when Claire’s presence invades his space, he realizes she’s the one thing that’s missing. Clueless about why she didn’t accept his earlier job offer, he is determined to discover why she turned him down.

Will they be a rebound romance, destined to repeat the same old routine, or can they choreograph a new one?

EXCERPT:

“Nice, eh?” Shelley said. “Want to check out the second floor?”

Tamping down on the rising emotion, Claire nodded and turned, following Shelley up the stairs. At the top, they walked straight into a viewing area equipped with enough chairs to seat an army and a bunch of toys in one corner. A small canteen filled the opposite corner, complete with vending machines.

She stroked her chin thoughtfully and smiled. Justin knew the parents and other family members of gymnasts had a place in the gym, and he wanted them comfortable, albeit from a distance. She’d heard he trained his own coaches and made sure they received coaching certification. If the rumor held true, his club had upwards of a thousand members, from preschool to elite.

Tears pricked her eyes. And he did it all without me.

The murmur of voices drew her attention to the left, and she walked down a small hallway with a boardroom and a door marked Dance Studio off of it. Claire blinked her tears away and swallowed the lump in her throat.

I’ve got to pull it together. She moved toward the boardroom, where the coaches were gathering. Some of the coaches were here to observe, like Shelly, while the rest coached the attending athletes. Since almost everyone knew each other, they took turns shaking hands and giving hugs. Everyone greeted her with hearty hellos, and she turned to greet another coach only to find herself face to face with Justin.

Her heart skipped a beat, and she froze on the spot. With a roomful of eyes on her, she did the only sensible thing she could think of—she hugged him.

His surprise registered in the way his body tensed, but to save face, he brought his arms around her and gave her a manly slap on the back that made her cough. “Good to see you,” he said.

“Likewise,” she murmured. “Shall we begin?”

EXCERPT #2:

Justin leaned up against a wall, arms crossed over his chest, and watched as Claire led the girls in a warm up. Compassion filled his heart for her. She gave a hundred percent effort into everything she did. Anger flickered in his gut. Why hadn’t she given their relationship just as much effort?

He continued to watch as Claire instructed the girls on a series of still exercises designed to work on their posture, poking and prodding them into position. Then she made them perform successions of leaps across the floor.

He gave an imperceptible shake of his head. None of the gymnasts leaping across the length of the floor had half the grace Claire possessed, nor did they have her presence. A mere five feet one inches tall, when she stood with that impeccable posture and spoke in her clear voice, she could be mistaken for a giant. Too bad she hadn’t been given her chance to shine.

Heat flared in his loins as he watched her perform a leap to demonstrate. Jesus. Fuckin’ perfect. Disgusted with his body’s traitorous response to her, he distanced himself by heading upstairs again.

He snagged a bottle of water from the refrigerator in the canteen and, unable to resist, looked down from the upper level window as Claire led the gymnasts through a short choreographed routine to a pop song. He knew they’d add to it each day, and at the end of the week, the girls would perform it for the coaches. Since the girls had come from all over the country, it provided a good way for them to get to know one another while they did something fun.

He chuckled as they tried to copy Claire’s movements. With the patience of a saint, she went over the steps again and again, watching them intently, giving instruction on arm placement and hip movements. Watching her dance had always captivated him, and it did so now. She had the amazing ability to observe a routine and then perform it near-perfectly.

The grace she possessed spilled into other areas of her life, too. He recalled how she’d accepted defeat that day at the Canada Olympic Trials, never shedding a tear, or swearing, or calling the other girls down as some gymnasts did when they lost. She had made a mistake and accepted it stoically.

The dancing stopped, and the lack of movement on the floor brought Justin back to the moment. Claire stared up at him. He nodded and smiled at her. She tucked a non-existent stray lock of hair back behind her ear and grinned shyly in return. Her cheeks flushed, and she bit her lips together.

His heart thudded in his chest. Ah, shit.

He knew right then he hadn’t succeeded one whit in putting behind him what they had shared. In the past, ignoring her had worked, at least somewhat, because he’d known that once the meet was over, they’d both return to their home provinces. Now that they were working alongside each other they’d be expected to field questions and converse with each other, not to mention everyone else. Time to let bygones be bygones.

How the hell do I do that? So much remained unsaid between them, and he didn’t know where to start—anger at her for walking out on him, anger she hadn’t shared his dream. And if he were honest—pissed at himself for letting things get so far off course.

Staring at her now, his heart pounded hard, like a gymnast sprinting down the vault runway. He heaved a sigh. Could he be man enough to call a truce? Would she believe his intentions were sincere? She had no reason to, and he didn’t blame her, but he’d never be able to move on if he didn’t try.

She gave him another half-smile, her blue eyes shining up at him.

He scrubbed a hand over his face and turned away, expelling the air from his lungs.

She’d be here in his personal space for a week. He wouldn’t be able to ignore her this time, and he knew it. So much for not examining my emotions.

Pondering goodwill gestures, he turned and jogged down the stairs to the gym.

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Spirit of Faith

What is your choice in a time of need?

Fear-based blame, anger or greed?

Or do you choose Love and truly believe in

the higher power you hold in your Heart within?

Do you even know which path you choose?

When faced with decisions what is it ego is afraid to lose?

Do you understand the contrast of fear-fuelled action,

and true Heart-centred Spirit attraction?

In those times when all seems lost,

fear-filled action is a greater cost,

to your body, soul, mind, and Heart

for they are all one and not apart,

In any situation, two choices are clear,

Which will you choose – Love or Fear?

Peace is the hope of your every distress,

Hope is the gift for your happiness,

Hope shines a path toward the Light,

Where you’ll find your Faith to hold tight,

Our lives are stories without an end,

Faith travels with us through all twists and bends,

Walking with us through the unknown,

and in our Heart we create our home.

 

~Kellie Kamryn, (c) 2018

 

 

Loving Your Journey

12376234_951037534984032_6449093028108077825_nWhen you become aware of old patterns, and take steps to break those patterns in your life, there are many contrasts to contend with. The pull to follow the old way is strong as you find yourself surrounded by people shouting that there is “only one way” to do something. Then you find others, those who quietly speak about the same things you do, or share mutual interest. They remind me that I’m not really alone, and that perseverance to what I know is true for me is important.

I love working as an author and a voice actor. I love practicing martial arts and gymnastics. I love teaching all of these things to people. As I find myself in a transition, there are days I am terrified at the direction my life is taking. It’s not because I’m unsure of what to do, it’s because I am sure of it, which may be the first time in my life ever. EVER.

People ask: “Why are you terrified?” Well, isn’t the very definition of terrified being absolutely thrilled and scared for your life at the same time, yet you can’t turn back because you’ll never know how it will turn out? And you’ll only be terrified a single time, for once you’ve taken the ride, no matter how many times you choose to go on it, it will never be the same as it was the first time you did. (Okay, don’t quote me on that definition as I’m not Webster’s Dictionary.)

When I talk about what I do, when I teach—no matter if it’s writing, voice acting, or martial arts and gymnastics—I am excited. I can see the way it all fits together in my life. Yet, transitioning to make it all work the way it will work best for me is scary. Why? Because I’ve never done it before, and leaving the old behind in favor of the new, that which absolutely fills my soul with passion is the very definition of terrifying. At least to me.

And yet, I cannot leave it undone. I must follow the path even though it may be long, or winding, or uphill. Perhaps it may snowball downhill sometimes. Or it could be smooth sailing. (Now I’m off the path and into uncharted waters. See? You never know where life will take you.) My point: I do not know. But I want to find out.

And as my best friend told me: “Sometimes you get busy climbing your personal mountain, and feel so alone. Then you break a threshold, and stand at the top, daring to look about. Then you realize how far you’ve come, and all the other mountains there are surrounding you. And you see everyone else climbing their own mountain, and you learn to love your journey along with everyone else’s. In time, you look up and realize you have more of your own mountain to climb. So, you let everyone have their path, and you follow your own.”

(Well, his story went something like that. Let’s not call it a direct quote, but it’s what I took away from it that’s important to me.)

At some point, perhaps we have to stop listening to those shouting from their own mountaintops. They have their own unique perspective, and while some of what someone else says has value, it may be laced with fear, self-doubt, and despair. That is their mountain to climb—not yours. Take those things that trigger your own negative feelings, and use them to shed light on what is weighing you down on your climb. Shiver and shake off that which holds you back from going higher.

Many people have been quoted as saying something like the following, and I give props to whoever said it originally. Here it is with my own spin: Sometimes we fear our own greatness, and what we are capable of doing, so we tell ourselves we cannot do something rather than face the fear that is perpetuating our suspension. Then we let others tell us the same until it is so engrained in us, we believe we actually believe it.

Finding it, letting go of it, is no easy task. Until I can explain the mechanics of that, you’ll just have to believe me. In the meantime, love yourself fiercely and with all your might. Believe in you. Do that which terrifies you, and ask yourself why it does.

Learning to love my own journey, no matter how difficult helps me appreciate not only my own, but others as well. I’ve been terrified before, and yet I did what I knew was the right thing for me. This time is no different, and yet it is a different set of circumstances. And when I look back at where I was, and where I am now, perhaps it’s not so terrifying after all.

But don’t quote me on that.

 

Emergence of Self

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Emergence of Self

Step out of the Shadows and into the Light,

Shine with your Inner Wisdom with all of your might,

Spreading your wings, prepare to take flight;

Deep breath in, and shed the Dark Night,

Only you have the Power to heal your Soul,

Piece by piece until once more you are whole,

A Being of Light let no person cast asunder,

Awaken within and no more shall you slumber,

Rise up to new heights as the Phoenix does fly,

Up from the ashes and believe no more lies,

Inside of yourself you will find only Love,

Truth sets you free and Hope raises you above,

Reproach, berated, and unkind words

Open your eyes and a new Presence to be heard,

Step out of hiding your Self does urge,

Allowing pureness to grow, Love and Light to emerge.

~Kellie Kamryn, copyright December 10, 2015

 

Peaceful Reflection

Sitting outside by the light of the moon,
All is still, quiet, and I know very soon,
As I breathe deep, crisp air fills my lungs,
And the magical journey has just begun;
The Universe without, reflects the divine within,
Such beauty and awe to experience time and again,
All is ever changing, an end is simply the start,
A chance for Love and Peace to reside in my Heart.
Entering into a new dimension,
Free from strife, worry, and tension,
No longer a mere will to survive,
A renewed purpose and space to thrive.
~Kellie Kamryn, 2015
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One Voice

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One Voice

in a sea of millions,

lost

drowning

cut off from their Light,

air squeezed from its lungs,

darkness descends

At first, not aware of what’s happening

it feels bliss to be lost,

anonymous, running free

then

it can no longer breathe

panic ensues

suffering ravages

grasping as the last vestiges of Light are squeezed from its soul….

Hands reach out,

eager faces nod encouragement

Unconditional Love overwhelms, and it struggles to break free

yet the hands hold fast, welcoming

calmness pervades…

Loves chases away the darkness, fills the void

Blind, it slowly climbs through the murk,

unused now to being Heard,

gravelly tones emerge as it surfaces

For one Voice in a sea of millions is too many to be lost

(c)Kellie Kamryn, 2014

The Art of Imperfection

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Once upon a time, I was a competitive gymnast…

These days my inner gymnast is disguised as a mom of four, author, narrator, and all round good person. I can still perform cartwheels, handstands, round offs, flips on trampoline, and the splits, which make the guys at the training gym groan. (Mostly because I think they have to learn something they find difficult that I learned a long time ago. Or perhaps they’re thinking that whoever the man sleeping in my bed is—he’s a lucky bastard. And really, most nights it’s my youngest son whom has woken from a nightmare, so no hanky panky there. But I digress…)

During a conversation with a friend, I told him that I wasn’t interested in achieving physical perfection. He said I balked at the very idea because of the experiences I had as a gymnast. And you know what? He was right.

While I never developed an eating disorder as some of my comrades did, I had experiences that shaped the way I negatively saw my body, and exercise in general. When I was thirteen, a coach told me and my parents that I needed to grow my hair long and get contact lenses so I would look “pretty” and this would help boost my career as a gymnast. Notice how none of this had anything to do with my physical abilities or gymnastic talent. I received the message that in order to be successful, I had to be beautiful, and clearly, according to others, I did not measure up. I judged myself by the standards of others, and found myself lacking.

At the age of thirteen – well see picture above.  In the span of a year, I transformed myself by growing my hair long, and getting rid of the glasses. And it worked. Suddenly, I had all sorts of validation from friends, to fellow gymnasts, coaches, and boys at school. I was beautiful, therefore, I would be successful. Right?

Fast forward a few years to when my career ended. I didn’t make the Olympic team as most thought I might, even though I worked hard. Plagued with injuries, I wondered if I’d even aspired to that.  So many wanted me to “make it”, I lost sight of what I wanted. At that point, I felt I’d let down everyone in my life who had tried to make that dream a reality. Talk about carrying guilt.

In university, most of my gymnast friends became fitness competitors, and some girls joined our ranks because they wanted to be like the “beautiful gymnastics girls.” I kind of feel sorry for the image we portrayed, as if by being “one of us” you were automatically cool. An image is just that—a fantasy we portray to the world because our inner world doesn’t measure up. And that’s how I felt for many years.

Upon graduation, you’d think that with my physical education and kinesiology background, and my overachieving ways, I would once again strive to be the epitome of physical perfection. The fact now I have cover models and fitness industry professionals for friends, perhaps I should strive to achieve the outward appearance of physical fitness I feel modern society is obsessed with. To be honest, I used to. After the birth of my first and second children, I did manage to get back to a good weight for me. I worked out hard and ate right. When I found out I was pregnant with our third, while elated at the news, a part of me was upset that I would have to go through this all again, only to achieve my goal weight afterward. Talk about pressure, guilt, and anxiety all rolled into what should have been a beautiful experience. (This is covered in another article.)

After being diagnosed with post-partum depression at the same time as being told I was pregnant with my fourth child, I decided to give up the quest for physical perfection. After a life time of seeking validation outside of myself, I chose to go inward and love myself exactly the way I was.

After the birth of my son, I stopped exercising as if I was exorcising the Devil himself from my body. I chose to start loving every inch of me just the way it was, even though according to my doctor, I was thirty pounds overweight. I carried that weight for a reason. I was insecure, I wanted people to love me, I was anxious, and most importantly—I didn’t love myself.

Over time and with emotional healing, I learned to love me—every stretch-marked inch, both lopsided small breasts, my great calves and muscular shoulders, my soft belly my youngest calls my “squishy”, the roll of skin left over from the C-section, the near-sightedness of my green-hazel eyes, my smile, cute feet, jiggly thighs, curvy hips, and flat butt.

This isn’t to say I didn’t exercise at all. Over the past few years, instead of being obsessed with physical perfection, I learned to listen to myself. I found exercises that were gentle yet effective, I took up martial arts, I stretch every day, and I cut out all sugar from my diet for a few months. I learned that I didn’t have to kill myself through exercise to be healthy, and that physical perfection doesn’t mean you’re healthy in mind, body or spirit. And if loving myself means that I eat better, exercise more, and I happen to achieve what the outside world deems as a “nice body”, then so be it. A “perfect body” isn’t something I’m striving for. Being healthy is.

Once I stopped seeking validation for myself from other people, I learned to love ME. In fact, I like that my body is not “perfect”. From time to time, I put on a bit of weight, but this is usually at a time in my life when I’m feeling insecure or anxious about something. I know that with time, and when I go inside to discover the source of my insecurity, the weight will drop when I no longer need my “squishy armor” of protection.

Earlier this year, I was asked to “play up the pretty” in order to sell my books. I had mixed feelings on this because I want readers to read my material because they like it, not because of the way I look. I realize that a “package” sells a product, which is obvious from companies who mass market products from supplements, exercise equipment, teeth whitening agents, to romance books. Sexy to me is a state of mind, not necessarily what I−or anyone else−look like on the outside. Sexy is an attitude. While I choose to post nice pictures of myself for covers and social media, I also portray the real “me” as much as possible in my articles, and through what I post in public forums.

I told this story to my oldest daughter who is now sixteen. I want her to love herself for who she is, not for what others think she does or doesn’t look like. I want the world to love her as she is, and that will only happen if she loves herself first. Society in general likes to tell us that if only we did this, or used that, we too could be successful and loved and beautiful! And I’m here to tell you that you already are. Every inch of you. But don’t take my word for it—discover it for yourself, and reach what I call a healthy state of imperfection.

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White Knight

One day she stared into the mirror and said,

“There’s a hole in me I want someone to fill.

I am lonely and don’t want to be alone.

I want someone to give me everything I need!

I want to be rescued!”

As the echo of her cry died down,

the face in the mirror stared back at her for a moment;

a pregnant pause,

and then —

“I will be your white knight,

I will rescue you and we can ride off into the sunset.”

Skeptical, her brow furrowed, taken aback at the offer

so easily proffered.

The reflection continued,

“I promise to love you when no one else does,

I will fill the holes and cracks in your soul,

and teach you that being alone

doesn’t mean you ever have to be lonely.

What do you say?”

A blink, tears fall

a slow nod of her head to show her acceptance…

The face in the mirror smiled,

reached out a hand,

then placed it over her heart.

“Then let’s begin.”

(c)Kellie Kamryn, 2014

Pieces

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Old patterns and emotions shatter

scattered pieces

reflect back fragments of self

no order

chaos

confusion

darkness envelopes…

Dawn’s rays bounce off the glass

a new puzzle emerges

solvable

I sift through the wreckage

creating new structure

a masterpiece in the making

What exists because of you?

One of my readers/friend in my Facebook Divas and Dudes group said this: “Love your Facebook page. Insightful people, posts and comments. It must be cool to see something that exists because of you.”

 
It brought tears to my eyes and I had to stop and think about it. Some times we go through life, not realizing how we affect people or wondering if anyone notices us at all. So, I began to think about what other things in life exist because of ME:

 
1. My children – okay, I didn’t create them alone, but they came from my womb and it’s kinda cool. Plus, I get to nurture them and help navigate them through life – an awesome responsibility, but the key word is “awesome”.

 
2. My books – whether it’s the ones I’ve written, narrated, or narrated for someone else – I created those. They didn’t exist prior to a couple of years ago, and helping other authors make a new product because of a talent I possess is wicked awesome.

 
3. My friendships – I can’t say “my friends” because they existed without me, but our friendship exists because of effort put into it by both of us, and that is also awesome.
4. My facebook group where I interact with my readers and friends. It’s an awesome and supportive place where we talk about a lot of things and have fun. If you want to join, the link is above.

 
5. My Love for – well everything. If I didn’t nurture the love in my heart, I wouldn’t be able to share it with my family, friends, readers, and the world in general. My Love is unique, it exists because of me, and I love sharing it.

 

How about you? What exists in this world because of you?