My Cajun Roots run Deep

My Cajun background

I travel quite a bit and it’s inevitable that someone will ask me where I am from. When I say “Louisiana”, it never fails, people always say “but you don’t have an accent”. While it is true that certain areas of Louisiana come with a heavy Cajun accent, the last 2 generations of my immediate family have lived in the Metro New Orleans area, which softened the accent.

However, our family Cajun Roots run deep. My great grandparents (and yes, I do remember them) did not speak English. My Grandparents learned English, but continued speaking the Cajun language with their parents and their children (my generation’s parents). My dad spoke both Cajun and English, but the buck stopped there. After my Grandparents passed on, the language died off in our family. We do have family that still live in the Bayou areas. Cajun is still their primary language but, we, the city family rarely see them. Over the years the language died off and the accent softened up a lot.

Growing up Cajun

I like to think I had the best of both worlds; country girl and city girl. My grandparents had a farm when I was a child, which resulted in spending many weekends and summers on the farm. My father loved the water and always owned a boat. We spent a great deal of time in the water as well:

  • trawling for shrimp
  • fishing for salt water fish (our favorites were Red fish and Trout)

Trawling Trips

Trawling was hard work but I enjoyed everything about it. The first drag was the boring part. Trawling in a small vessel goes at a slow pace and not much to do but anticipate what we were going to yield from the 1st drag; it always set the pace for the rest of the day. If our 1st drag came up with a full net, the excitement would build as we jumped into action. After we pulled the net up we emptied it into the pick box, prepped the net and drag boards and dropped it back into the water. After the 1st catch came in, it created timely work picking the shrimp out, tossing them into the ice chests. Sometimes we would get lucky and catch some soft shelled crabs in the net, which always contributed to the celebration. That meant we would have fried, soft shelled crabs as a result.

When we pulled the boat out of the water, we were calling home from a payphone at the dock, so my mom would know what to expect. If we were coming home with ice chests full of shrimp, she would make some phone calls to everyone on standby to come help us pop heads and package the shrimp for the freezer. It became a big party. There would be music playing, and an outdoor burner and pot to boil some of the catch from the day. We would sit there for hours popping heads, eating and talking about our tales from our day on the water. Time well spent as a family.

Fishing Trips

My favorite activity on the water was the fishing trips. There is something so exciting about seeing that cork go under the water line, pulling that pole up and setting the hook. When you set that hook on a good catch you can feel it. The Adrenalin starts pumping and the fight to real it in ensues. I can recall the excitement and the team work that would happen. My dad was a great coach.

Get the net! Oh, it’s a big one! Coming along the side to keep from losing him. He is running!


Let some drag out so he doesn’t pop the line. Don’t let him get around the back of the boat and wrap the line around the motor. You will lose him. Keep the line tight. Get him closer so I can get the net under him.

My Dad

Growing up Cajun was fun, energetic and a great deal of hard work. Not to mention the sunburns we would suffer with after being on a boat all day. Back in those days you needed a prescription to purchase sunscreen. Things have changed a great deal since I was a child. Some for the good.

There are many charter boat fishing captains in our area if you ever want to experience the excitement of catching a big Red fish or Trout. I have included a personal friend’s link, Fry’n Pan Fishing, for your convenience but you can also search google in the specific areas you want to try.

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#DrewBrees’ Letter to the #WhoDatNation

After last week’s devastating loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Drew Brees wrote this letter to Saints fans.

Drew Brees is Truly an inspiration!

I’ve spent this last week navigating the heartache and disappointment from the game. Some things within our control and some outside our control that caused us to fall short. So much of our motivation is to represent the Who Dat Nation with determination and resiliency. We want to play for you, fight for you, and win for you. You deserve that.
The longer I play I realize that we truly are one heartbeat with our fans. Our success is your success. Our disappointment is your disappointment. We are inspired by one another to accomplish things far greater than what we could ever do on our own.
Everything that has ever happened to this community, we have bonded together, galvanized and leaped forward every time.
The frustration we feel now can be channeled in the same way. Pour that passion and emotion into your families and communities. Inspire others with your focus & determination and positive outlook. This will make us stronger, this will bond us tighter, this will be a source for our success in the future.
There is no place like New Orleans. There is no community like ours. No fans like the Who Dat Nation. I refuse to let this hold us down. I refuse to let this create any negativity or resentment. I embrace the challenge.
So keep your chin up, hold your head high, puff your chest out because WE are the Who Dat Nation and WE will always persevere.

Drew Brees

Catherine Bares


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#Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone at #Travaasa

Trying new adventures is exciting for me.  I look forward to stepping out of my comfort zone and experiencing new adventures, new food, and meeting new people.  I wanted to share an experience that I had during my stay #Travaasa Spa and Resort.

Stand up Paddle Boarding was my choice for the day.  The water in #Lake Travis was beautiful.  The view from the top of the hill at the resort’s infinity pool, enticed and called me to participate in the excursion.

We launched our boards and I started in a kneeling position to paddle into a nearby cove.  Once in the cove, I followed my coach’s instructions on proper feet and body placement on the board, to make the transition from kneeling to standing.  What happened next was a huge surprise to me.  “Fear” set in.  It was then that I realized, I stood up and stepped out of my comfort zone.  Even though I perform and teach a great deal of balance work in my PiYo classes, it was completely different balancing on a board in the water.  I grew up on the water in boats, skiing, fishing, trawling, and swimming so, the fear was a huge and unexpected surprise to me.

I ran all of my Coach’s instructions through my thoughts and worked towards connecting on a physical and cognitive level.  I remembered the body shifts that I would make during a boat ride to adjust to the boat rocking over wakes.  I struggled with the technique but, my Coach walked me through it and encouraged me.  He inspired me to let go of the fear and relax through the motions.  Enjoy the scenery” he said, and “if you feel like you are going to fall, just fall into the water, don’t try to catch yourself.” -I am happy to report that I did not fall.

Once we exited the cove and headed to our destination spot, I was able to work through the challenges and really connect my body to the movements of bending my knees, leaning forward and pulling the paddle board across the water.  The steering was the most challenging part but, once the balance empowered me the steering kicked in.

Along the way I soaked in the scenery.  The water was aquamarine colored, and clear.  I  watched gar fish come up to the surface and dart down when they sensed my presence.   I watched water plants as my board glided over them.  The hillside that we were heading towards grew larger with each stroke moving me towards it.  Curious bystanders were everywhere.  Boats were anchored with their passengers enjoying the cool water with their friends and family, making memories.  Jet skis were zipping around the middle of the lake, tour boats were pulling out of the marina filled with adventurers wanting to enjoy the environment. Screams from a nearby Zip line excursion were exploding, echoing off the hills and traveling across the water.

It occurred to me that on my first trip to #Travaasa, this very lake that we were all enjoying, was completely dried up due to a 5 year drought.  The thought of this beautiful, precious resource completely dried up and gone saddened me.  It reminded me, once again, how delicate life and nature truly are.  So, that day, I lived in the moment, appreciated the experience, felt empowered by my success, enjoyed the company of my fellow adventurers and thanked God for every moment.

Catherine Bares

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#Quote of the Week-Don’t Count the Days

“Don’t Count the Days, Make the Days Count.- Muhammad Ali

Everyday should be counted as a fresh start.  Decide to become more productive.  Tell yourself “it would be easy to do this” and get it done.  All it takes is a start and a next step.

Happy Monday

Catherine Bares

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#Triathlon Season is Upon Us; Are you Ready?



March 24, 2013:  It had been raining for hours and I was afraid the triathlon would be cancelled. Turns out, later that day I was wishing the race had been cancelled.  Even though I had been training for months, I was not ready for what was about to happen.

The rain stopped, we were called to the pool for the start of the race.  When I was climbing out of the pool the excitement was mounting inside of me knowing that my swim was strong and much improved from last year’s efforts.  Upon exiting the building to head towards transition the wind hit my wet body and almost took my breath away.  The temperature had dropped about 20 degrees and the wind picked up.  I fought the head wind during the first half of the ride. I kept thinking that once I reach the turn around the wind would be at my back and I could then settle into the ride.  That part played out and I was able to drop my energy expenditure down drastically and just ride.  Cycling was my strong suit and I did not prepare myself for the mental side of the “what ifs”.  With the wind at my back I did not have a good gauge on my speed.  That was my first mistake.  When I started tapping my breaks to slow down for the turn I knew I was in trouble and I panicked.  That was my second mistake.  I pictured 2 scenarios: hitting the curb and flying over the handle bars or jamming my breaks and going down.  I made a split second decision and went down.  When I came to a stop I can remember laying face down on the ground afraid to move.  A volunteer came up and asked me if I were okay and then asked me if I wanted to sit up.  When I tried to lift my  shoulder to roll over I felt some bones move in my upper back area.  I thought my shoulder blade had shattered.  Turns out that I had a broken collar bone and 7 broken ribs.  While they were loading me up in the ambulance a 2nd person went down in the same spot and busted her head. Although she was bleeding pretty bad, according to eyewitness discussion, I heard her say I’m finishing this race and she took off. From where I sat, that was not a good decision.

It was a long, painful recovery.  I was unable to lay down for 4 months forcing me to sleep in a recliner.  Over the first month or two, every breath I took, no matter how shallow, would cause the broken ribs to pop.  I spent every waking moment managing pain. I had plenty of time to run those moments through my head and I realized that if I hadn’t panicked I could have overshot the turn, slowed down and turned around.  The accident was totally my fault and it could have been completely avoided had I been mentally ready.  Admitting that to myself was a tough pill to swallow.

2 things here:

  1. The volunteers are great and are a necessary part of the events but, that doesn’t mean they know what is best for the injured.  An ambulance should have been called immediately without recommending to sit up or move in any way.  I remember being asked, “what do you want me to do, call an ambulance?”  my reply, “that would be a good idea”.
  2. As athletes, we are so focused on the race that we become unable to see past that, which puts us at greater risks.  I was completely focused on  improving time and finishing strong.

What I learned during my recovery:

  • My husband loves me with all of his heart and soul. He gave up the Lazy boy for 4 months. That’s true love. LOL
  • Life goes on without me
  • How many people I have in my life that I have touched in positive ways and how much they care about me
  • The accidental insurance we invest in with every event is so worth it.
  • Realized the investment in short term disability was a smart investment.
  • How much pain a human can learn to live with

If you are heading into Triathlon season, be prepared mentally and physically. The most important thing you can do is finish safely!

Catherine Bares

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Instagram: @CatherineBares    Facebook: Catherine Bares                Twitter: Beentheredonethatlifecoach

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