Answering this question for myself has been quite an adventure and has yielded the answer that there is not one static balance, but rather a fluid flow of investing time into what is valuable to me.
Having spent the last two years working on a sustainable re-build, it’s equally scary and exciting to feel like the pieces of family, sport, career, health, community, and finances are starting to fall into place! The biggest lesson in the last two years? Trusting myself.
As the 2022 season begins both in running and at the Regina Farmers’ Market, it feels like a good opportunity and reminder to:
Surround yourself with good people
Be pro-active with your finances, and live within your means
Listen to your body: It’s always honest
Take care of yourself:
set boundaries when necessary
invest in your health and wellness
Eat nourishing, good food + drink
Take ownership of your choices
Celebrate other people’s success
Mindset check: Life is happening for you! (not to you)
Enjoy the little things in life – it’s okay to have fun on the way!
I have never been so grateful to say I am fully vaccinated. *Insert Happy Dance Here!!
April 5: Received Vaccine #1 in Phoenix, AZ
April 26: Received Vaccine #2 in Phoenix, AZ
May 10: Two weeks post-vaccination to become fully effective.
May 13: End of two week quarantine return to Canada (Including x3 negative covid-19 test results)
This is a question I have been hopeful to begin answering since March 2020. Currently as a fully vaccinated individual, the short answer is continued patience and resilient focus.
The real ground-breaking change requires a majority of folks to be vaccinated. So yes, for now I continue to socially distance, wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and stay safe while I wait for a majority to receive full immunizations. The current precautions are done with the relief if I am to catch the virus, my body will be able to tolerate the infection. During my two week quarantine upon return to Canada I had two weeks of alone time to wonder what comes next? First was hope at all of the possibilities. My thoughts concluded the big-picture emergence from covid-19 will be gradual, with most change occurring on an individual basis. The little things: shops will start to open, sport facilities will host games, music will fill concert halls, event invitations will slowly trickle in, I’ll get to snuggle nephews and meet my new niece. Borders may open, travel bans will lift, schools will be able to host students, families can gather, and hopefully a lot more. It is exciting to have so many things to look forward to! Estimating timelines of these are another can of worms that time will tell.
The next upcoming change? Today Athletics Canada announced their approval from provincial and municipal health authorities for the go-ahead to host the 2021 Olympic Trials in Montreal. Plus the 2021 Tokyo Olympics are still a go. Of course both will be heavily modified, likely no spectators but hope for a startline feels like a step in the right direction for what is coming next!
Step One = Get vaccinated (Check!)
Step Two = Run fast, train smart, compete to my full potential. Perform on demand
Like every other athlete, we are trying to make safe plans in an unfamiliar landscape but I believe we are all itching to get back to competing safely + regularly. There are many unsung heroes making an effort to innovate and accomplish “covid-safe” races and if you are among them, I hope you receive this huge thank-you from me! Domestic races are likely on the horizon and after an Arizona rust-buster race, I have a competitive fire patiently waiting to unleash on a start line. With today’s Trials announcement, it looks like:
This morning was my best friends birthday and I was unsettled when I woke up in a lull. After a full week and busy yesterday, all I craved was a lazy Sunday, a steady run, and a phone chat to catch up and share her special day. The day started with an uplifting chat and pleasant start, but I caught myself procrastinating- still hoping in a few hours the wind would go away for my run. Realizing lunch had rolled by I finally accepted I wanted more than my short-term comfortable Sunday. it was time to be brave, go into the 70km/h wind, and remind myself despite everything I was procrastinating, it was all going to be okay.
The sun was shining, the wind still roaring.
I arrived at the empty t(rail) road start-line. My breath was immediately taken away. My lips cracked and my mouth dried out. I started my run, wondering how I was going to get the prescribed work done. Left foot. Right foot. Unrelenting resistance, I was aimed straight into the wind.
After dodging my seventh tumbleweed five minutes in, I asked the wind head on, Why are you so angry?
Clearly not interested in conversation, the wind blasted more sharp air onto my face.
Hmm. I thought to myself, I guess not ready to say..
I carried on running and a few moments later wondered again to the wind,
Why are you so strong?
This time the wind answered,
Because I lead by example.
This answer struck a chord of understanding and I unintentionally let out an audible, ahh. I see.
As I let this answer seep deep into my core the wind continued to test and push my body backward, as if to see if I shared the same resilience, by asking, are you like me?
I let out another audible, I guess we’ll see.
Somehow I accepted my fate and found a slow rhythm in my steps to lead me into a runner’s stream of conscious, wondering, how crazy does this make me? Talking to the wind? Maybe I should finally watch Gone with the Wind? Maybe this is the feeling? Ask and you shall receive? Is this the Kumbaya moment coaches send us to the woods for?
At some point my thoughts were interrupted as I finally arrived at my new workout training grounds: a flat stretch of barren gravel road. I did my drills and workout still into the wind. In case you were wondering, the wind didn’t give up. Neither did I.
The last part of my run I was instructed to run with the wind at my back. After an afternoon of resistance, tumbleweeds, and eating dirt, it felt good to run fast, with the wind no longer testing me, rather carrying me into a smooth turnover I haven’t felt since being away from the track. I could feel the strength of the wind at my back, and the strength of my own legs as they worked together. Although no other people were in sight, I was no longer alone on the gravel road. Instead I felt the strength of the wind, a new comrade, guiding me home. Despite a ridiculous hairstyle and lull of a start, today ended up being a blessing, and a good lesson learned. In my opinion, I had just had an afternoon to fully embrace what it means to run with the wind.