I wish upon a star tonight

London came home from school yesterday with a terrible stomach ache and it came and went all evening.  As I tucked her in for the night, I gently rubbed her tummy and made up a little rhyme about the tummy ache disappearing in the night, never to return again.

She then said, “you know how you go to bed later when the stars are out?”

I said “yes” not knowing where this was going.

She said “could you make a wish on a star tonight for my stomach ache to go away?”

I said I would.


Running alone with my thoughts for 14k – eek!

This past weekend I was  to run 14k and you would think given that I have run 4 marathons, over 15 half marathons, and countless other races in the last several years that 14k should be a walk in the park for me.   But the idea of running 14k was daunting.   The reason is that I had to run it alone as my weekend training partner is out of town for 10 days.   Eek!

It is interesting for in other circumstances I really enjoy having ‘alone’ time but when it comes to running I need to be part of a larger collective than just me, myself and I.  Having said this I have no issues running a race alone.  Given that I am signed up for two races, 5 and 6 weeks out, a 10k race and 19.1 km relay leg, I couldn’t wimp out and had to get this training run in.  Initially I planned to run on Saturday only to be faced with snowy rain all day that made visibility atrocious. I then vowed to run Sunday afternoon regardless of whether as that was going to be the only time slot left for the weekend.  Thankfully the weather turned around and it was even warm enough for shorts.  Off I went, determined to get it done.

Results….Garmin Distance: 14 km

Breaks: 15 and 1’s (Every 15 minutes would take 1 minute walking break)

Pace Results:  6:06/km, 5:03/km (can’t be right), 7:08, 5:51/km, 6:01/km, 6:16/km, 6:04/km, 6:20/km, 6:06/km, 6:40/km, 6:16/km, 6:27/km, 6:56/km, 5:45/km

In the end I did it!!!! I kept to my intended walk break schedule and finished the last k strong.  There is no question that I would have had an even better experience running with my friends but this solo experience made me accept that going forward I need to practice running alone at least once a week for a few different reasons. One, to build up the confidence that when all of my running comrades are away I can still maintain my practice schedule without fretting unnecessarily. Second, to use it as an opportunity to do some different types of drills, such as focusing to establish more consistent pacing.


Thanks for the Memories!


Dear Winter,

We shared some good times together in the last few months, here in Calgary.  You allowed us to go skating countless times, London enjoyed playing outdoor hockey because of you, and we even had the chance to go cross country skiing, downhill skiing and sledding.  Not to mention the picturesque backdrops you provided us during my runs and walks along the Glenmore Reservoir; which allowed us to capture these photos. Although I was fully committed to this relationship these past few months, I think we now need to see different seasons. Really it is not you but me.  Maybe we can get together again next November if you are free and pick up where we left off.

All the best,







Moving Forward



“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ –  Joseph Campbell.

I just came across this quote and it is a very timely reminder, especially since I just crafted the following as part of a presentation I delivered on Saturday:

When our daughter was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome at 3 years of age, I can’t count how many well-meaning friends and family members sent us the Welcome to Holland poem by Emily Perl Kingsley as a way to help us deal with the new world that faced us.

How many of you might have read it?

In this poem, Emily likens the eager anticipation of having a child to the exciting anticipation of an upcoming trip to Italy and she likens the discovery that your child has a disability to unexpectedly landing in Holland, instead of Italy. She implies that Holland is simply a different destination –an equally pleasant destination, with its own interesting sites and activities for you to appreciate and enjoy.

I don’t know about you, but when I first read this poem “I laughed and then cried, finally screaming — “Holland, I only wish. My plane landed in Detroit.

When your situation more accurately resembles the dark side of Detroit – the crime, corruption and decline –  it can be very difficult to appreciate that Detroit might actually have some bright spots.  It is very easy and even understandable to get stuck or trapped in the unfairness and hardship of what this life might mean for you and your family– the sacrifices, the compromises, and the injustices that are involved.

Although in my mind Emily’s analogy trivializes the true experience many of us face when our child has special needs, it is in our best interests to look past this and recognize that  the real value in her message is in helping us see that we need to move forward and try to make the best of our situation no matter where we might have landed.

We are 9 years into this journey and I think I am finally at the point where I can really move forward, and leave what our lives should have been and could have been behind us. It is almost like shaking off the final bits of resistance that our clinging to our clothes but these little pieces carry so much weight.  I don’t think I will be able to explain completely why I feel that today marks a real divide between the past and the future, but it does and it actually feels great.

In letting go, it doesn’t mean I am not allowed to grieve or become frustrated with our situation but the difference will come from current issues and challenges rather than having deep roots to what should have been.




I am envious of these Smartass Kids’ answers

funny-test-answers-smartass-kids-7 (1)

I came across an article posting some funny student answers this morning through a Facebook connection.  It had me laughing out loud at the incredibly funny, creative, ingenious, and even bold answers that kids wrote on tests, assignments and work exercises.  It also stirred something else within me… envy.  Yup, I know not a normal response.

I am envious for numerous reasons and here they are in no particular order:

  • Instead of leaving a question blank when a student didn’t know the answer they put something down, albeit, sometimes a smart ass response. Even so any response to me suggests spunk.   Although I did well in school I was never a good test taker and if a question truly stumped me I would leave the space blank – a previous all or nothing thinker.
  • Some of the responses definitely indicate the student had a great sense of humour (or I hoping that was the case on some of the responses as opposed to a belief that what they were writing was truly correct).  I will go with the former belief. Anyone who knows me can attest I missed getting the sense of humour gene and I know when I was younger I would be appalled to hear a fellow student take such liberties. Now as I am nearing 40, a little wiser, I wish I laughed more and didn’t take school so serious back then.
  • The innocence and willing to speak out on an issue demonstrated with some of the answers  (i.e. petting instead of hitting the dog)
  • The creativity demonstrated by how the student interpreted the question. I am sure some students innocently took a literal interpretation of some of the questions and others took advantage of the loop hole that was created by how the question was posed.  I am more envious of those that took advantage of the question wording and manipulated it to create a response.  To me it shows confidence, wit, and also a reminder for teachers and parents to not take life so seriously on issues that really don’t matter.

To see more funny answers, go here.