My Favourite Moments of 2017

When you look back at 2017 what are your favourite moments? I had a few this year that I have bottled up in my heart and I carry around with me. These are moments I use when my brain tries to go to a dark place, when it tries to steal the light in my head and my heart. These are the moments I use to inspire myself to set more up for 2018 and beyond.

UW Preview – I opened up my indoor season fairly early last year in Seattle. I chose to compete in Seattle because it is where the Oiselle offices are located. Trust me there is nothing better than running a race with people around who believe in what you can do. Staying near O headquarters with Feather and Co. I had an awesome weekend frolicking around the Green Lake area. I get why the store and offices are there, beautiful scenery, great running, and some really awesome people.

 

NACAC XC Champs – There is nothing quite like a Florida vacation in the middle of a cold winter on the east coast. Ok, and winning a race like this was kind of fun too! NACAC XC Champs were held in Boca Raton, FL, essentially where Trump and his cronies come and hang out on weekends during the winter. Never have I heard so many private jets landing; it was almost one every 90s starting around 4pm the Friday of the race weekend. To top off the performance I got to spend a night in Fort Lauderdale with friends I grew up skiing with overlooking the ocean from their apartment.

 

World XC Champs World XC was only four weeks after NACAC Champs, just on the opposite side of the globe! World XC was held in Africa for the first time in a very long time, at the Independence Grounds in Kampala, Uganda. I had never been to Africa before so I was really excited for this adventure. My club teammate and I boarded the plane in Toronto like a deer in headlights; we had no idea what we were in for. A stomach bug, a race, and a painting later I was back on a plane just a short five days after landing. Sure it was not the world championships I was hoping for, but bad races happen, unfortunately, it was on a big stage.

 

Prefontaine – I spent my spring on the west coast chasing track times. From California up to Oregon and back to California again. At the Oxy MDC Invitational I surprised myself and ran a strong  15000 and was invited to run the development section of the 1500m at the Prefontaine Diamond League. It was incredible to run in Steve Prefontaine’s track home; the stadium and the fans are like nothing else in North America. It was also where I met, and really spent some time with, Eleanor Fulton of High Performance West. Not only is this chick a great runner, but she really is just an amazing woman. This trip it opened the door to a new club, a new set of training partners, and a host of new opportunities.

 

Maccabi Games – I am proud of my Jewish roots. It was an honour to represent Maccabi Canada
once again in Israel. I really enjoyed seeing more of the country this time; staying both in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Visiting Masada, the Dead Sea, a Bedouin tent, the Old Port City in Tel Aviv. Winning the overall Female Athlete of the games again was really special, but to see the Tank Museum and War Memorials in Latrun made it all the more special. Israel is an outstandingly beautiful place with kind people, great food and drink, amazing culture and history. Oh, and meeting Rebecca Mehra (now another HPW teammate!) was an incredible adventure too; I am so thankful to have this young woman in my life too!

 

Summer at the Cottage – In the fall of 2015 Rol tore down his family cottage and we started building a new one. The design and finishings really were the brainchild of Rol, he knew exactly what he wanted to build and I was happy to support him however I could. The cottage is finished, it’s a beautiful Malibu style beach house at the south end of Georgian Bay. At first I was not a fan; I do not really like sand in my toes but the people and the surroundings have grown on me. I spent seven weeks there this summer; recovering, training, just soaking up life and taking it all in. This place has become an important part of my life and holds a special place in my heart. I cannot wait to get back up there this year for more time with friends and family.

My Dad’s Leadership Award – My dad is a very important person in my life. He has been by my side when other people would have given up on me, he gave me a lot of rope to play with and even let me hang myself with a few times when I was younger. The most important lesson my dad has taught me is leadership. I am not the only one who believes he is an amazing leader. This fall my dad was honoured with the Leo N Stevens award for Leadership at the Sunnybrook Sciences Centre. My dad has stepped down as Chief of Surgery at the Holland Campus but his legacy will thrive there for a long time to come.

Running for Varsity – I started my Varsity career at the University of Toronto in the fall of 2000.  I was one of two rookies on the team and all of the other women were in graduate school. It was not

your normal varsity experience but it was one that I thoroughly enjoyed; I ran with some women that I would forever be inspired by and look up to. Seventeen years later I have finished out my Varsity cross-country career back where I started. In 2003 I was captain of the team but I could not run; I had bilateral stress fractures in my shins. That fall the team won the CIAU championships (now USports), while my heart swelled with love and admiration for them I always felt a little left out not being out on the course running with the team. Then November 12th happened. Now I am the runner in graduate school running alongside the undergraduates. I hope that I leave them inspired when I am finished running with the U of T Varsity Program.

Last Holiday Season at Fifeshire – In May my parents sold their home, what people would commonly call their childhood home. While Jewish we have celebrated the holidays for as long as I can remember. We call it Seasonal Bush Day, a non-denominational gift giving and feasting day! My mom did a great job this year. We ended up with this massive tree; a fourteen-foot douglas fir that was so minimally decorated so we could celebrate the beauty of the tree. We had several meals and great family time at Oasis South. It may have been the last holiday season at the house but the memories for the house will forever be with us.

Every year we have our ups and our downs, our highlights and our lowlights. It’s amazing when you look back the lessons you learn, the love you have for the memories and people who cross your path. I’m so excited for 2018, for the new adventures, the new people I might meet, and the opportunities that await me.

Happy New Year!