Grateful for a Heck of a Lot

I’m presently sitting in the dooryard of the trailer in Carlton County writing this late blog post. I’ve been thinking all day about what I wanted to say. Actually, I’ve been thinking for the past two days, because I basically forgot to blog yesterday, distracted as I was by everything there is going on here at the Potato Festival on the 100th anniversary of Hartland, New Brunswick (home of the worlds longest covered bridge by the way).

I’ve had a surprisingly active summer, given my lack of training for anything in particular. This is what I was thinking about while walking along the boardwalk in Bouctouche, feeling the sea on my toes. I was thinking about the contrast between “inspiration” and “connection” and how that impacts my activity level.

Some things I do because of “inspiration”. It was watching Sam do the Bike Rally through Facebook that inspired me to sign up for the first year. But I wouldn’t have done it again without her connection and our friends who collected around us to support us. I was inspired by Tracey to run in the Niagra Women’s Half Marathon but it’s only connection to my friends and partner who runs that ever gets me in running shoes again.

This spring and summer I have biked in Quebec, biked in Prince Edward County, biked with my mom (who is almost 75), and canoed a little with my awesome friend and co-blogger Cate. None of these things would be possible without the base level of fitness that I have acquired over these last 15 years and none of it would have been desirable if there weren’t people to enjoy it with me.

It was really yesterday that this whole thought came together. I had been in the car a long time and we went to a museum that has lots of connection to the family history of my  bestie. After the museum, I found myself desperate to move and I knew were were near a beautiful nature area (dunes on the east coast of New Brunswick). I literally *needed* to move.

In the time I spent wandering happily along the boardwalk and then back through the beach with my feet in the ocean, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness that I could walk along that boardwalk and put my feet in the sand. I thought about how I wanted to bike along the shore and maybe next year do a trip from campground to campground along the Acadian Peninsula. I can do it and that is real because of my connection with the others around me who also value movement and strength. We don’t have to be “athletes” or high achieving type A goof balls. We just need to be able to do the things we want to do. Bike around rural Ontario for an afternoon, canoe for a few hours in a little breeze on a small lake, walk along a gorgeous boardwalk. I know not every 50 year old has this privilege.

So thank you community for making this possible.

Me on the boardwalk in Bouctouche New Brunswick. You should go there. Dunes, salt marsh and the sea. Perfect., Also, I’m wearing a purple t-shirt that says “Keep Calm and Pretend it’s On the Lesson Plan”. This is always good advice.
mom and me.jpg
Me and my nearly 75 year old mom midway of our 40k bike ride at a bakery. She has a an ebike and this means we can do stuff together again. I’m in a really weird cat bike shirt. She is smiling broadly.

4 thoughts on “Grateful for a Heck of a Lot

  1. It’s the week to blog about supportive feminist fitness communities, you and Tracy both. Love it. Loved riding with you the other week.

    1. I KNOW. I read Tracy’s after! I know there are other people in the world who read this blog but I’m just happy to have all of us in here being awesome to each other.

  2. Love this post. Especially: “We don’t have to be ‘athletes’ or high achieving type A goof balls. We just need to be able to do the things we want to do.” In between making way-out-there training goals for myself, I’ve been learning and trying to adopt this mentality. Like you, I’ve discovered the need to move, to be outside, as well as the sense of community with family and friends. It’s easy to get lost in all the stats and science (good things!), but at the heart of it is just the joy in movement and community.

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