Two years ago today I started this blog. Two years ago (earlier this month) I did my first international races: a 10k and a Half-Marathon in Disneyland. Two years ago I was beginning my training for the first marathon that I would be doing.
What have my other major racing accomplishments been since May 30th, 2017?
- Three Marathons (two in Victoria, one in Banff)
- A 5k, 10k and Half-Marathon in Disneyland for the Avengers Race Weekend
- A 5k and Half-Marathon at Fisherman’s Cove in Nova Scotia for the Maritime Race Weekend
- A 10k at Loch Ness in Scotland
Just this past Sunday I did my first race of 2019. It also happens to be the first race I have done since October 2018. It was the Oak Bay Half-Marathon in Victoria. It was gorgeous and sunny and the views were beautiful. It changed my belief that it isn’t always raining when I decide to run on the island. It was a great race, and I definitely need a new pair of shoes. The pair I wore was ones that went on my tour last fall and deserve the right to retire.
What about speaking about epilepsy?
- Epilepsy Awareness Day at Disneyland Resort in 2017 and 2018
- Article in Canadian Running Magazine in fall 2018
- Two running clinics in Victoria in 2019
- British Columbia Epilepsy Society Expo and AGM 2019
- Video contribution for Seize Your Adventure UK in 2019
What do I have coming up? I am registered for a marathon in two-ish weeks. Sometime this week I will be recording a podcast for Seize Your Adventure UK (I will let you know when it’s posted). I have a new pair of sneakers that I am currently wearing and trying to break in. I have started eyeing up the different races this year (and into early next year) and trying to decide which I want to register for. I have plans to travel, to run, to speak. I have opened myself to new possibilities. Much later this year I plan to get the bib numbers from last years’ Victoria Marathon and this upcoming Banff Marathon tattooed onto my feet, to match the numbers that are already tattooed there from previous marathons.
What would I consider my greatest accomplishment, particularly in the last two years? While I am very proud of having started and completed three marathons, that’s actually not it (and hopefully that upcoming fourth). I would consider the best step I took to be starting to speak about my epilepsy. Acknowledging my condition. Recognizing that there are benefits for me to respect this part of myself, and potentially benefits to others to discuss what their experiences have been like. I have met so many amazing new people as a result of it. I have (hopefully) helped some people understand it more or given them a new perspective. I don’t just mean speaking about it in public presentations. I mean having conversations about it.
Epilepsy was something I tried to hide for eighteen years. I tried to hide part of who I am from the world, including from myself. I was afraid of stigma and judgement. I am not exempt from those fears now or from the truth that those things still exist or from the reality that I am exposed to them. I am not immune to them. The difference is that I have realized that my medical circumstances are a facet of who I am. The life choices I have made may not have been the result of epilepsy, but it has always been a consideration.
I am not afraid of who I am.
I can list my accomplishments, and that list can continue to grow, but I don’t have to prove myself to anyone.
Shake the ground with every step.