Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy February 17th!

Funny, what? It's pretty damn hard to feel celebratory about any day in February - let alone one as grey and cold as this one. Winter feels interminable and even knowing spring is right around the corner doesn't seem to help much. I'm doing my best to remain positive but recent events, coupled with bad weather, have made that difficult.

The last time I posted, Husband and I were dealing with news that his mom had been diagnosed with cancer again. This time, we're coming to terms with the fact that a cardiac condition for which he was successfully treated a few years ago has returned. It's not immediately life-threatening and can be easily managed until he has a minor surgical procedure to fix the problem more permanently but nevertheless it's a bit tough dealing with another challenge at this dark and dreary time of year. It also took much of the fun out of Valentine's Day since we spent most of the day in the ER waiting for docs to confirm what the trouble was and prescribe a course of treatment.

On the other hand, I have to admit there was something vaguely poetic about spending Valentine's Day dealing with a cardiac issue and there's nothing like a life-threatening condition to remind you of how much you love someone. Though Husband and I were disappointed we weren't able to enjoy the wine and art event for which we had tickets that evening, we were grateful to be able to snuggle up together at home watching the season finale of Republic of Doyle instead.

For the next while, the pace of life will slow a bit as we await Husband's surgery but we're doing our best to see the lull as a positive thing - an opportunity to refocus on what's important, tackle the paperwork that's been building up in our home office, spend time with friends and get more rest. With luck, it will only be a matter of weeks until he's able to return to a more normal level of activity.

In other news, my running is going - not well, but badly either. Over the past month, I've trained consistently but not intensely - simply aiming to maintain a reasonable base so that I can launch into more serious training in preparation for the Cabot Trail Relay when the weather improves. I'll need to tackle many more hills if I'm to be of any real use to my team come race weekend.

Speaking of which, plans for the return of the Smokey Mountain Daredevils to CTR are still on track. We've now assembled a full 17 person team, sent off the second half of our registration fee, and had our first team potluck. Given the talented, positive and diverse runners who make up the team, I'm confident we'll have another fun weekend on the trail.

I haven't mentioned the Olympics yet - mostly because I haven't been watching all that much. I was discouraged from doing so by the corruption and discrimination surrounding the Games and am determined to reward neither the IOC nor the sponsors by spending as much time in front of my computer as I did four years ago. That said, I am, like most Canadians, extremely proud of the athletes, coaches and officials who are representing us. Whatever the final medal count, they have my gratitude and respect for so ably demonstrating good sportsmanship, generosity, respect for diversity, humility and grace under pressure.

In summary, there's a lot going on in my life just now that may prevent me from posting regularly but, whatever the next few months hold, I know running will help get me through. As I ran along the waterfront yesterday afternoon, buffeted by freezing rain and gusty 60 to 80 km/hr winds, I found myself smiling. Smiling because Husband was feeling better. Smiling because I was healthy and fit enough to tackle another long run. And smiling because I knew that, however unpleasant, the run was helping me build the strength, confidence and resilience I'll need to get through whatever rough patches lie ahead.

In closing, a few quotations to inspire:
“Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible.” - Shakespeare
"Life will test you but remember this, when you walk up a mountain your legs get stronger." - Unknown
“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” - Dean Karnazes 
"I look at struggle as an opportunity to grow. True struggle happens when you can sense what is not working for you and you're willing to take the appropriate action to correct the situation. Those who accomplish change are willing to engage the struggle.” - Danny Dreyer
Happy running and writing, friends.