My 2022 Goals Revisited: Giving Tuesday
I’m not sure the origin of Giving Tuesday but I do like it, the idea of giving back to communities that give to you. In honour of Giving Tuesday I donated to Girls On the Run – For Every Girl: Girls of all abilities learn to embrace their inner strength and make meaningful connections with others. – but my donation story is not the purpose of today’s entry.
I wanted to share what the running world has given me.
I got into running because my mom was a runner. I’m one of the fortunate ones who had parents that were amazing role models, but because this is all about running, this is more about my mom. My mom was a runner, and I wanted to be able to do all the things my mom could do (and still do!). For those of you who have heard me on podcasts before you’ll know I got into running because I got out the door with my mom to do something she loved and I wanted to love it too (newsflash, I sure do love it!). I also got my mom to run a sub 20-minute 5k when I was ~10 – she said lead the way, so I did! My mom wasn’t just a running role model, she paved the way for me to chase anything as a women. Her career was riddled with glass ceilings and every time she encountered one she smashed through it. All the while raising a family with my dad, who was her number 1 champion and always in her corner, especially when things were challenging at work.
I had other indirect role models too. I think Kate Pace Lindsay was the first professional or elite athlete I looked up to (for another day, I wanted to be a World Cup Alpine Ski Racer, but I’m built like a marathoner!). I would VCR tape all the world cups and rewatch her and the crazy canucks in their yellow downhill suits hurtling down the hill. Then came running. Alex Hutchison was probably the first competitive runner I admired; his dedication and passion for the sport (thanks Hutch!). I started to learn more about the elite women, Deena Kastor in particular. I’ll never forget the day she smiled and said hello to me at the Track Smith pop-up at the 2018 Boston Marathon. Closer to home, Courtney Babcock, Carol Montgomery, Malindi Elmore, Katie Vermeulen.
I hope not just because I’m a runner but also because of all my other facets of life that I’m a role model for others, particularly young women. In this mission of the championships, I hope to inspire others to test their range and challenge themselves in unconventional ways inside and outside of running.
Reflecting back upon the pandemic, a lesson I learned the hard way was community. As an introvert-extrovert I thought I’d ‘win’ the pandemic harnessing my introvert powers. While I do like my alone time, I also crave community. I thrive in a challenge when I’m surrounded by people with similar goals and passions.
I have a group chat called Marathon Gals. It’s a collection of my favourite people to train with (and, yes Britt, eat a white cake with. See Role Models: my mom’s favourite food might be white cake!). We plan workouts, encourage each other when we’re not together, and plan dinners to celebrate our training and racing successes (which usually have white cake for desert).
Everywhere in Toronto I feel community. It really came to light during the TO Waterfront Marathon where it felt like the whole city was cheering for me. I had so much fun out there. I was so inspired by the cheer stations and the love I felt on course. Community gives me so much and I hope I can pay it back one day.