To Everything there is a Season

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal …
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance …
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Like many, this passage has been particularly meaningful to me during various times in my life. On a more serious note, it had incredible meaning when read aloud at my dad’s funeral in 1995, after he lost his short battle with cancer. He was once a strong farmer who got six kids to their many extra-curricular activities while caring for my mom who suffered from mental health issues and cancer. I’ll always remember our family Christmas trip to Florida, his keen interest in my hockey and running (he died exactly at the time of one of my OFSAA races), and the high level of respect shown to him in our farming and church communities. He certainly had his seasons, many of which we enjoyed together.
Like my father lived his life, I’ve always believed in enjoying every stage, or season, of my life.
When I became a dietitian, I was glad to leave the life of a student and start that of a career woman. 
When I became a mom, I knew I wanted to enjoy every part of it, starting with the baby stage (still my favourite, by far) while moving through the seasons with my husband and children. It has been the most amazing journey so far!
Now as a professional (if I can say that) marathoner, I am enjoying the many seasons of training, racing, and now … recovering. As I wrote in October after the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, I had an issue with my hip/bum. Prior to the race, I had some minor pain in the area (ok I’ll say it now, a “pain in the butt”). During the race (at 35 km, around the time I fell off my Canadian record-breaking 2:28:30 pace), I thought I pulled something in my hip. I could not walk without pain upon finishing. I had some bruising for a few days, and some swelling, which has remained since. You can actually see the swelling in the 2013 STWM rack card (cool, eh…me on the rack card, not the swelling). I took 10 complete days off then was able to do some decent training (run, bike, swim) in preparation for a successful 5 km at the Chiba Ekiden race in Japan without any pain. While there, I was assessed by Team Canada therapist, Ron O’Hare . This guy is amazing. He and Coach Rick discussed my situation, and upon our return Ron made a few phone calls and appointments, and we soon had our answers. Thanks to Dr. Richards and Dr. Leung and the speedy MRI and x-ray they ordered, we now know that the chronic hip pain is tendonopathy, which existed prior to the race and is the reason the injury is lingering.  The acute hip pain was a grade one strain of the glute medius, which happened at 35 km, as it could no longer work for the weak tendon when pushed to the limit during the race. Camber and over-use are likely to
blame.Also, when I was a 1 yr old, I broke my right leg so there was some question about whether or not there was a leg discrepancy but the x-ray revealed that this is not so. My left leg is at 60% strength but with some strengthening and rest, it should return to 100%. After discussion with the doctors, I was actually relieved to be told I should not run. I had planned to take December as a down month so this has made it that much easier. Ron, Rick and I will work together to get a plan in place so that I can maintain my fitness and recover completely, in order to be at my finest when I start training for worlds. So, I am enjoying this new season of rest and cross-training. I’m doing about 45-90 minutes/day of biking/swimming/elliptical as well as weights/core/stretching and some brisk walking. I’ve enjoyed staying up a bit later in the evenings, and having more energy during the day to get things done around the house (my husband installed a new central vac system that I have yet to use). We finally put some pictures and mirrors up on the walls (remember, we moved the weekend I returned from Rotterdam after going for the Olympic standard?!), and got the house decorated for Christmas on the weekend. I enjoyed a lovely day in Dundas with my friend, Adrienne (a yearly tradition since interning together in Kingston, 10 years ago) and have been active in the community with the Brantford Tournament of Races Banquet and various school and church Christmas activities, as well as the kids’ usual hockey and school routines. I look forward to doing much more during this off time; hosting my family Christmas, seeing more family and friends, learning more about my NEW iPhone 5 (thank you, Jonathan), Christmas shopping, and scrap-booking.

To everything there is a season. Enjoy this CHRISTmas season with family and friends. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

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