I started this blog as a medium to track my fitness progress. I had a phenomenal year and accomplished and exceeded many of my goals in 2013. It was the first year in which I actually set some fitness goals for myself; mainly because I wanted to come back strong from my ankle injury. I fractured my ankle in October 2012, two weeks before I was due to run my first half marathon. This major setback left me in crutches and suspended from any physical activity for three months. This was an extremely difficult time for me because if you know me, you would know that I am always active and doing something. To sit at home and not be able to walk anywhere was very hard for me, let alone boring too.
I wish I have an inspiring weight loss or physical transformation story to share with you, but I do not. I have been an active girl since I was very young. My love began on the track. I was a competitive short distance track runner and hurdler. I participated in all organized sports throughout school and Gym Class was my favourite. I was on various sports teams and once graduated with an Athlete of the Year Award. My commitment ranged from competitive sports teams to school intramural lunch time leisure. My schedule was constantly busy and once a sport or team ended, another one would start. Not only did I play sports, I enjoyed watching it as well. When I was in Grade 10, I co-coached a Grade 9 Girls Volleyball team.
When I was 14, a hurdle accident ended my track career. Once I was fully recovered, I went back to playing sports but my speed was no longer there. I took a break from all sports and physical activities when I entered University (Academics first!). 🙂 I had received an Entrance Scholarship and wanted to maintain my grades. It was hard enough to juggle being a full-time student and working two part-time jobs that I had no time for extra-curricular activities.
Fast forward to eight years later (boy, that was a long break). In 2011, I decided to register in my first race: the Canada Running Series ZooRun 5k; one month before the race date. This was a challenge for me because I was never a long distance runner. Needless to say, my first 5k consisted of plenty walk breaks and improper training (I walked up the last hill on the course).
Side track: I participated in the Oasis ZooRun in 2012 but did the 10k instead and can proudly say I did not take any walk breaks and RAN UP THAT HILL! I think I passed over a dozen runners on that hill alone.
Back on track: I had a lot of fun running that first 5k that I decided to register for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 5k the following month. It wasn’t until at this race that I felt inspired and knew I wanted to continue running. I had never participated nor attended a race with so many people before. To say I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere was an understatement. I met and chatted with a few half marathoners and full marathoners. One runner I met in particular was a man in his late 40’s (my prediction). I can not remember his name nor his finishing time but I do remember him telling me that his family from Niagara Falls, Ontario was with him the entire race. His wife, mother, father and two kids met him at various km points throughout the 42.2k run to cheer him on. Wow! What a loving and supportive family. He started running later on in his life and wanted to set a good example for his kids. Hearing his life story really motivated and inspired me. At that moment, I knew I wanted to come back the following year, in October 2012, to run my first half marathon. I had fallen in love with running, racing and the inspiring running community.
In June of 2012 I registered in my first obstacle race, the Spartan Race in Toronto (actually about 1.5 hrs outside of Toronto). It was love at first race. I had found my passion. The Spartan Race was a 5k race with at least 15 obstacles and involved running, jumping, climbing and crawling. The mud freaked me out a bit at first, not something I was used to growing up a City Girl. I ran with 10 of my friends and by the end of the race, we had such an amazing time that the majority of us decided to register for the Warrior Dash, a similar race, one month later. I loved the aspect of running through the trails as well as doing obstacles which required a great amount of upper body strength, something I lacked and wanted to improve on. This was my first introduction to trail running and I fell in love with it. I enjoyed running on the softer surfaces, the challenges of the hills and trials and the beautiful scenic routes that came with a trail race. Add in the obstacles and you’ve got yourself an awesome workout routine that is never the same with different trails and obstacles to oversome. This was my entry into the world of obstacle course racing (OCR) and my life has never been the same.
So I mentioned in the beginning that in October 2012, I fractured my ankle two weeks before I was to run my first half marathon. I fractured it from falling off the monkey bars at an obstacle race. You can pretty much imagine the look on the doctors and nurses faces when I went to the ER that day and had to explain to them what happened. One doctor even said to me “Aren’t you a little too old to be playing on the monkey bars?” Lol. I guess it was one of those ‘I’m sorry it happened to you, but it’s still funny’ kinda moment.
To describe my lifestyle now, it would be: Runner, Athlete, Obstacle Course Racer, CrossFitter, Fitness Lover, Gym Rat, Yogi (although not quite proficient and still working on my inversions), Biker, Snowboarder, Adrenaline Junkie, Sports Fan, Foodie, Traveller, Volunteer, Philanthropist, and Bucket List Checker. I think that about sums up my life. I love to live a healthy and active lifestyle and I hope that by doing so, I am able to inspire others to do the same. I hope I can inspire and motivate people through my goals and training and show that with a little determination, dedication and a lot of HEART; we can overcome our fears, obstacles and injuries.