Surround yourself With Amazing Women (And Steal Their Superpowers!)
Once upon a time, about 25 years ago, on a little ski hill in Southern Ontario, I met a girl who would become my best friend. We were two little tomboys who met on the opening day of ski camp at a little hill called Mansfield. Who knew that all these years later Melody would be my go to for crazy shenanigans and adventures, be the person I call when I have good news or bad news, and be the person to call when I need to giggle. I always know I can count on Mel for the craziest snow shoe adventure, awesome road ride (where she can chase down a car and have a conversation with the driver at 50km/h), and to share a beer with since I cannot drink a whole one on my own!
As we have grown up we have learned a lot together. I have learned to surround myself with inspiring, intelligent, and brave women.
I have learned to share my strengths with these amazing women, and strengthen my weaknesses by working with these women!
My mother, Dr. Patricia Houston, is the toughest woman I know. At 5 foot nothing, with beautiful blue eyes and blonde hair, you would have no idea what you are up against; there is nothing she won’t try and conquer. She will out wit you, out smart you, and probably out ski you. And once upon a time she would have out run you!
Over the years I have watched my mother through her career; she has taken names and kicked ass! And I couldn’t be more proud of her. She has taught me how important it is to work hard that for the things that are most important to you. She has dedicated herself to her job and her family and has excelled at both. She gave me the gift of running and brought me to my first 5k race when I was only 10 years old. She has shown me how to love reading and we share many great books these days. And she and I have so much fun ripping around on the ski hill together; just commit to the turn! Right, Mom?
My Little Sister
If you had said lets build a boxing ring when we were kids we probably would have agreed to it. We fought not just like girls would fight, with words, but we got into physical brawls at times. Tara, you made me tough as nails. I NEVER wanted to be wrong around you, slower, weaker… I was the bigger sister after all!
You taught me resilience. You taught me to never give up. You teach me to push boundaries. Always ask for something you want, the worst someone might say is no.
My Mom’s Best Friend
Dr. Catherine Zahn, CEO of CAMH. I have watched her and my mom over the years. They have this awesome friendship where they share the good times and the not so good times. And they are the two brightest people I’ve ever met, so when they are in a room together you always learn something new.
G.Tweeds aka #TeamGollian
I met Gillian later but she has become quite the rock in my life. Gillian and I spend countless hours running together, and there is a fair bit of eating too! Gillian brought me back to competitive running; she is a large part of the reason I am chasing this dream again.
Gillian is definitely one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. She values kindness in a way I admire and respect, putting others first, including strangers, having incredible patience, and always seeing the good in people.
LP, Vaylen Petrella
Vaybawls is my ski and snow shoe buddy, and was before my ultimate Frisbee bud. She has gone on to become one awesome Ultimate player and I am super proud of all she has accomplished. Vay and I have grew up knowing each other but it wasn’t until I started coaching at Alpine Ski Club that her and her family became a huge part of my life. Vay always makes me laugh, always. She and I giggle until we tear up. And then the giggles start again.
This year was (I think) the first time I wasn’t on a ski hill for my birthday. The 27th is a land mark day in Ontario with camps opening up for our short season. As I pursue new goals and dreams I switched up my routine and headed down to Florida. I had an awesome workout with two new friends, who inspire, motivate, and ground me everyday; Stafford Sisters thank you so much for such an awesome day to mark the end of my 33rd year!
To all my girlfriends out there. I am going to keep stealing your super powers and I hope you keep stealing mine! Thank you for all you give me everyday. Thank you for always chasing the things that are important to you. And thank you for supporting me while I chase some crazy dreams. Love you all. xo.