The best view may be at the top, but the climb is what makes that view so amazing…

I’m leaving Vancouver but for such a short trip, I grew immensely in 36 hours.

First, the main reason for coming out here – to present my thesis research. I met an amazing group of educators and researchers. I received immensely useful feedback to my research that I can apply to my thesis writing. I felt welcomed and respected in the educational research community I never dreamed I’d ever belong or have a voice worth hearing. I overcame the fear to allow my voice to be heard, and through my voice I was able to share the voices of those in my research – both my participants and even the hundreds of students I’ve taught the last several years who all have inspired me to pursue this. The voices I also had the opportunity to hear during the conference I will take back into how I research, how I teach, and how I live. I am forever grateful to the community of inspiring leaders in education that I met this weekend.

Second, the climb on Grouse Grind Trail yesterday up Grouse Grind Mountain. I’ll never forget the views at the top, but most importantly, it was the climb that I’ll value the most. I enjoyed every gruelling moment of it. Each step took so much effort. I climbed 792 metres yesterday, and to compare this – when I ran 3-4 hills at Wascana Trails last weekend, it only totalled an elevation of 80 metres. This was a daunting challenge especially since I had to squeeze it in after my conference and before an early morning to get to airport.

After over a year of my life on pause, I’m feeling ready to take on new challenges – I have a goal to finish my thesis so I can defend it in the Fall 2019 term.

This fall, I also have my post surgery comeback race at Beaver Flat 50 – the Damn Hard 20k. I’ll continue to train with Conviction Fitness with the online kettlebell club and a weekly SGX workout with my main goal to reach a healthy goal weight and to just be physically active and healthy. I know the training program provided by our coach has immensely helped my rehab and recovery since surgery. I am progressed beyond even what my surgeon expected and it had to do with the time, compassion, and attention my coach put into my recovery. Many messages were sent to me of encouragement, and I sent many questions and was always given answers that helped me along this way. My training with this program also is what prepared me to be able to climb the mountain yesterday.

After my climb yesterday, I felt like my post surgery idea of switching from OCR racing to trail racing and mountain adventures is the right choice for me – when I’m in the mountains and on the trails, I feel at home even when it’s hard work. Perhaps in time with more research into hip labral tears and OCR racing, and a more confident confirmation that I can do OCR risk free, I may return to OCR world. I will always hold the OCR and Spartan community in my journey as I will always cheer on my amazing teammates and friends. I hope once I am completed my Masters of Education, and have more financial stability, I can plan my mountain adventures around volunteering for Spartan races to keep myself in that amazing atmosphere that the people bring to it.

I’ve climbed a literal mountain yesterday. I climbed a metaphorical mountain this whole past year. I may always still have soreness and some minor muscle and joint issues due to this injury and the osteoarthritis that it caused. But it is now manageable and I can still live fully with it. I was given a gift to restart my life again and I will take full advantage of every moment, every mountain, every step, every setback, every comeback yet to still come in my journey.

 

Grouse Mountain

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