Something worth running for

The rain is raining folks.

It’s almost as if I can hear each individual raindrop tap, tap, tapping on my window pane.

And on the roof.

And the balcony.

To paraphrase Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister of the UK – rain truly is, all around.

Last week we were blessed with one last amazing week of summer weather: temperatures in the mid to late twenties, amazing sunrises and phenomenal sunsets, and blue sky for days.

And now?

Yesterday morning we woke up to this:

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Holy exorcist batman.

The eerie weather ended up being an absolutely fabulous pairing to an early morning race.

Two great friends and I ran the Terry Fox Run, a ten kilometer (or five, or two – depending on your pick!) event that takes place every September, in cities all over the world, which raises funds for cancer research.

It also honours the memory of one of the greatest Canadians that has ever lived – Mr. Terry Fox.

From Wikipedia:

In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over $500 million has been raised in his name.

There are a few individuals that make me so proud to be Canadian that I’m just about driven to tears when I think about them, and all that they accomplished during their life.

Terry Fox is one of those people.

So around 8am, I met up with Greg, and Daniela, they grabbed some breakfast Tim Hortons (just in case we weren’t feeling Canadian enough already) and we set off for the starting line.

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Unfortunately the route was not well marked at all, so we all ended up running different distances, and courses, but in the end it didn’t matter at all.

It was fun.

Hands down.

I’ve been running a lot of late – at minimum thirty kilometers a week. It really is one of the only ways that I can properly unwind at the end of a workday, and I’m not exactly sure what I would do if I couldn’t strap on my runners and head out the door the moment I get home.

Running makes me feel alive.

It makes me feel whole.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to just take off and run clear across this massive expanse of a country.

If I could commit myself to something so much bigger than my little life.

I think I could do it.

I think I would do it.

But until that day, I’ll just put one foot in front of the other.

terryfox

A year of ranting and rolling

Can you believe it?

One hundred and eighty-odd posts later and here we are – looking back on a year of blogging.

I started Rant and Roll because I love to write and because I am easily destroyed by issues that either break my heart or force steam out of my ears.

My amazing friend Sherie encouraged me to write down my rants, mostly due to the fact that she would absolutely kill herself laughing any time I was on the warpath, orating and gesticulating widely (like the modern day – severely pissed off – Pericles that I can be.)

And so I did.

At first all of my posts really were rants – calling out injustices, lamenting social ills, and waxing long on my huge beef with institutionalized sexism.

Pfft. If it’s not cutting at least 50 lbs, I can’t even be bothered.

But then, little, by little, my small corner of the internet began to evolve.

Sure, I still wrote about issues near and dear to my heart (I don’t think I could stop even if I tried.)

However, I also started to write about other things – my relationship with the brilliant man whom I share my heart and home; our kitty cat who rules the roost; and my travels both near and far, new and old.

Ms. Nymeria cuddling with Mr. M.

I began sharing pieces of fiction and poems.

My tricky relationship with the fashion industry has been well documented (as have the very good and very bad pieces I’ve stumbled across whilst playing dress-up on my lunch breaks.)

I’ve written about my past struggles with eating disorders and an experience from my youth that has left me scarred, but not broken.

I’ve written about my rocky relationship with hockey and my slow-building courtship with soccer.

CONCACAF action.

In April I was Freshly Pressed and it was pretty much the COOLEST THING EVER.

There were days that I was so tired coming home from work that I cried.

But I also drooled on the metro.

I made pea soup and I cooked breakfast for dinner.

I hiked a mountain in California, and came third in my third ever half-marathon.

Beautiful Haystack Mt.

I was a Tough Mudder.

All that mud covered a crap load of bruises and cuts!

I took on the “I don’t watch TV” crowd.

I laughed a lot.

It has been simply smashing.

So what have I learned from this brilliant experience? What do I take away from three hundred and sixty-five days of blogging?

Well, the first thing is that I am darn proud of my little R&R.

On day one I swore to myself that I would write three times a week, no excuses.

At first it was hard – I wanted each piece to be INTELLIGENT, and THOUGHT PROVOKING.

High brow or die! FIRE AT WILL COMMANDER.

But then I just started to sit back and let it flow. I made sure not to force any one post into being something that it wasn’t – that it couldn’t be.

Looking back, there were some weeks where I wrote four, even five posts – not because I felt like I had to, but because I was inspired, and passionate, and excited, and so so happy to feel my fingers a-tap-tapping, flying across the keyboard, just trying to keep up to the pace of my frantic thoughts that were just spilling out of my head, onto the desk, and all over the floor.

I’ve learned that pictures and media are a good way of adding colour to your blog (no pun intended).

Palm trees at night, a visual delight.

(Or just to drive home the point of how truly bonkers you really are.)

I’ve learned that spam bots will leave comments that leave me breathless from laughter, and that real life people will leave comments that melt my heart into a puddle of mush.

(This is a good thing.)

But it the end, what I first and foremost take away from this crazy year of blogging is the opportunity to make my way through the remarkable WordPress community, read some outstanding blogs, and get to know some truly phenomenal people.

To all of my brilliant and beautiful blog friends, I wouldn’t want to do this without you.

You make me laugh at your fantastic wit.

You make me cry with your profound prose.

You make me fall in love with your children and your pets.

You make me jealous of all your amazing fashion pieces, and your delicate eyes for mixing and patching different patterns and palates.

You make me run faster, and work out harder.

You make me marvel at your art, your photography, your writing.

You make me want to be a better blogger.

You make me want to be better.

So thank you. Thank you all.

Here’s to another year of blogging.

Till next time champs!

So everyone buckle up – here come the terrible twos.