Supporting and loving

emotionality

Shared with me by Meaghan / words by Lora Mathis

 

I’ve been quiet here on the blog because I have been extremely saddened by the massacre in Orlando. I have new things I want to write about – my first extended ride on my road bike since my accident last year, trying out canoeing and stand up paddleboarding – but I’m not feeling up to it yet.

I’m overwhelmed by the layers of hatred and injustice surrounding this tragedy. The failure to address intersectionality – that the victims were primarily Latinx and LGBTQIA. The media shifting the narrative into Islamaphobia. The racism. How we aren’t talking about how toxic masculinity leads to violence. Wondering how survivors will access the care and support they need. The desperate need for gun control.

So what can I do?

First, listen, and check in with loved ones who are hurting. Remind them that I am here, and that I care. Understand that people need different things.

Love. I can love. Fight as hard as I can against the hopelessness. Believe in the good, in the power of love, in the potential for change.

And then, speak up. Demonstrate support. Engage. Discuss. Learn. My friends, particularly my friend Meaghan, have guided me in invaluable ways. Honour the emotional labour of those who educate you.

Finally, I decided to do some volunteer work. I’m getting involved in Pride events in my community. I’ll be volunteering at one of the performance spaces, and I have asked to volunteer at the Pride and Remembrance Run.

[On the subject of Pride, I thought this article about straight ally interaction and involvement with Pride events was very important.]

Many cities have Pride run/walk events to benefit community LGBTQIA groups. It is an easy way for runners to show support visibly through showing up, and financially through race registrations and donation fundraising.

You can support my friend Mandy’s fundraising efforts for Toronto’s Pride and Remembrance Run.

The 2016 Pride and Remembrance Run beneficiaries are:

ACT ’s Positive Youth Outreach Program (PYO )
ACT’s Positive Youth Outreach Program supports young people between the ages 16–29 who are living with or at increased risk for HIV. PYO supports participants in obtaining a happier, healthier life where they are engaged and active in their communities.

The 519’s “Not Alone…” Program
The 519’s “Not Alone – A Collective Response to Sexual Violence Within LGBTQ Communities” program will build trauma-informed services through a series of targeted support interventions for LGBTQ survivors of sexual violence.

Rainbow Railroad

Rainbow Railroad’s ongoing efforts provide financial assistance, information and other resources to enable at risk LGBT individuals to travel to safer countries where they can seek asylum. Proceeds from the year’s Run will directly help five asylum seekers find freedom from persecution.

Pride and Remembrance Foundation
The Pride and Remembrance Foundation is the charitable foundation responsible for the distribution of funds raised by the annual Pride and Remembrance Run. The Foundation’s mandate is to provide financial support to registered charities that benefit the LGBT community. The Foundation accepts applications for financial assistance from registered charities throughout the year.

 

Sending love and strength to you all.

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Blitzing, Running, Tidying, Dancing

The past week has been full and fun! Here are some highlights…

My office had a half day on Friday for the long weekend, so I took advantage of the afternoon to do some of my favourite self-care activities: Body Blitz with a massage, and some new nail art.

Body Blitz is a gorgeous spa with a therapeutic waters circuit. The circuit includes a warm Dead Sea salt pool, a eucalyptus steam room, an infrared sauna, a hot Epsom salt pool, and quick dips in a cold plunge pool in between. My favourites are the steam room and the cold plunge pool. It feels so good to sit and sweat, take a quick rinse off shower, then brace yourself for the cold rush. The circuit is relaxing, and my skin always feels so nice afterward. After the waters, I had a delicious hour-long massage, with focus on my legs. I’m know I’m very privileged to have massage therapy covered by my health insurance – something I am grateful for.

Lately I’ve gotten into nail art. I love it as a fun, temporary way to decorate myself. Every time I look down at my hands I get a surge of joy. My nail technician is also the sweetest woman. On Friday morning, Tim asked me what I had in mind for my nail art this time. I told him I wanted to do something bold and geometric. “What, like a really confident triangle?” Side-eye ensued.

Bold and geometric!

Bold and geometric! And yes, some confident triangles.

 

On Saturday, I tried a new running crew! I’m usually more of a lone wolf runner, unless I’m running with Steph, Mandy, and Kevin. I saw the event on Facebook, advertised as Running with Art Critics. The group would run to three galleries, and at each one a runner-critic would speak about the exhibition. There were about 7 of us – not nearly as mighty as Steph’s Run TO Beer group! – but we all expressed how this was the perfect marriage of our interests. The organizer, who is an editor of a great Canadian art criticism magazine, said he was inspired to create the event as a result of his need to see a lot of shows. As a runner, he figured the fastest way to get there was to run! For me, it was great because art openings are usually in the evening, there’s a strong association with wine, and they’re usually too crowded to see the art. Being able to go during the daytime and get some running in was a huge draw for me. The exhibitions were all great, and I likely wouldn’t have gone without the impetus from the group. I really hope they’ll do it again. After the run, I treated myself to an affogato.

The heavenly marriage of espresso and ice cream.

The heavenly combination of espresso and ice cream.

Saturday night was date night. Tim and I walked over to Ruby Watcho for a delicious dinner. Everything was tasty, but my favourite was dessert – a deconstructed s’more with cherries.

Twilight selfie... literally.

Twilight selfie… but we’re not vampires.

 

Sunday and Monday were devoted to my tidying project. I read Marie Kondo’s two books and finally decided to use the KonMari method for some spring cleaning. The main principles are:

  • Tidy all at once. Commit to going through the whole process, which can take several months. (Eek!)
  • Envision your ideal living space.
  • Tidy by category, not room – so all of your clothes and accessories, then your books, then papers, etc.
  • Discard first – pare things down, and then think about storage
  • Touch everything, and consider whether it sparks joy for you. This is the part that I think gets a lot of criticism. Some things are necessary, and while they may not give you a thrill, they can make you feel appreciation for serving their purpose, like a vacuum cleaner. That can be a keeper.

“I tried that Japanese decluttering trend where you hold each thing you own, and throw it out if it doesn’t give you joy. I threw out all my vegetables and the electric bill.”- Mindy Kaling

Trusting the process.

Trusting the process.

So far I’ve completed my clothes and books, and am working my way through papers. I was able to give away some of my books to friends, and my tulle underlay skirt for a friend’s wedding dress. It makes me so happy that these things are getting new life, and could potentially bring joy to someone else. I’m also really motivated by the vision of my ideal space, where I’m surrounded by things I love. (And again, I want to acknowledge the privilege I have of being in a position to declutter things.)

For something completely different -on most weekends, I try to stroll through Riverdale Farm to check on my lambs and kids. They’re getting so big!

How are you even real?!

How are you even real?!

Here's looking at you, kid.

Here’s looking at you, kid.

 

On Wednesday I did my last hard workout before the race on Sunday – 2km warmup, 4km at 5:30, 2km cooldown. Woof. I really haven’t done much speedwork at all over the past month, but I know I need to do it – especially since I’m running my first 10km race in a few weeks!

In the evening I did another dance class. This one was led by Tamina from The Girls Club, her entertainment company. The class was broken down into a warm up, some follow-the-leader style introduction to dancehall moves (so many body rolls!), a short workout, and then doing some choreography to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” Tamina created a friendly, safe space to be ourselves and encourage each other. At one point we took turns on a catwalk, each pausing a moment to pose and shine. It was a little silly, but undeniably fun. And the “Sorry” crawling? #SorryNotSorry.

IMG_2071

Amanda, me, and Tamina!

 

On tap for tonight and tomorrow – a last little shakeout run, and coming up with a race plan. Getting pretty excited – first race in a year and a half!