Separation. Loss. Redemption. Love. (Writing prompt: @copyblogger)

I have tucked this writing prompt away for several days stewing over it. The timing of it is nearly impeccable. In three days my divorce will be effective. My divorce, that has been three years in proceeding, five years coming (since separating), and many more in the making. While I have moved forward, there is still always a part of this process hanging in the background darkening the edges of my being. I look forward to celebrating that cloud being lifted. Celebrating with a life partner whose priority has always been to ease (never cause) my pain.


The separation started long before we split up. Emotionally detaching in preparation for the inevitable. When it came time to divide our household, I felt prepared and ready. Or so I thought.


The loss came with an unexpected flip-side of relief. While I grieved the loss of our dreams, of our family unit and all that I had envisioned for us and especially for our children, I was relieved that finally a decision had been made… that the endless trying to make it work, that the unbearable feeling of hopelessness, was over. With those losses have come many, many more gains.


Redemption came with knowledge. Knowledge of that which I really need to be happy. What I learned from my failed my marriage: what I can and cannot compromise on. I learned what is really important to me. I learned what I should have known – before I ever married in the first place.

The redemption came when I found everything that I needed, and recognized it thanks to my past experiences.


Love came at the least expected time. It came while neither of us were looking for it. While both of us were content – separately, with the direction each of our own lives were heading. It came when accepting what we’d found meant moving in an entirely new and unanticipated direction. Love came when we were ready.

Rum Runners Relay 2010 – Leg 5 (or return of the mojo)

For those who do not know, the Rum Runners Relay is a ten stage relay race starting in Halifax, NS, traveling along the South West Shore to Lunenburg, NS, where teams of ten runners (usually) each take turns running a “leg” (or stage). The legs are selected in advance by the team. All of these stages are very scenic and they vary in difficulty as well as distance. I was part of Team 16:  Long story short, due to nagging back pain I switched from my planned second shortest (8km) leg of the race to “the short leg” (3.9km), thanks to a very flexible friend.

I was in no way motivated to run this race, my back pain had prevented me from continuing my training for the last 4 weeks.  In fact I considered dropping out (Ian would have readily and easily run the leg for me in addition to his own). I actually ran because it was our anniversary.

We’ve been celebrating our anniversary at Rum Runners Relay Race every year (except last year, when I spent the day with my sister who was visiting from BC, while I recovered slowly and poorly from an injury).  Technically Ian & met online, and we met in person on the day that we did because Ian was going to run with our relay team and he needed to sign the team waiver.  We went out for supper and a walk along the harbourfront and hit it off.  This year it was kind of special.  The anniversary of the day we met  fell on the day of the race.  I felt I just couldn’t miss it.   I think if we ever do decide to have some sort of a ceremony, it will have to be tied in with the relay.   😀

I was pretty sure I could run the 3.9km leg without much trouble. I was more concerned about how my back would handle all of the time in the car.  At the last minute we decided to take our own car, rather than car pool so that I could leave after my run, if need be.   I felt pretty good in the morning and we managed to get to the race course during my previously scheduled leg and cheer on my good friend.

Leg 4 ends and leg 5 begins at one of my favourite beaches (Queensland). This summer our family had spent several beach days there body surfing.  My run starts along the road following the beach then turns up onto the secondary highway that most of the race course follows.  It then takes a little detour through a beautiful neighborhood, has a few rolling hills, with a relatively steep climb before ending with a sharp turn downhill to the Hubbards public wharf.

The only real negative for me with this switcheroo was that it meant I couldn’t do my customary swim in the Atlantic Ocean at Queensland.  I just couldn’t see getting all cold and covered in salt water before running, and I couldn’t go back and swim after because Ian needed to get to his start (leg 7).  It would have been a great day for a cool fall Atlantic Ocean swim, and one of my team-mates made up for it, by diving in when he finished leg 4.

Prepped and waiting for my start (accompanied by Ian)

Photo credit: Mike M

The run went much better than I’d expected. The lower back pain went away while I ran, but moved to my shoulder and ribs. By the time I finished it had all sort of worked itself out. My only goal was to run just a little faster than my training pace has been. After 4 weeks of not running I wasn’t sure how that would go. As it turned out, it was not a problem. But I was really feeling it when I made the final climb before turning into the downhill finishing chute.

Leg 5 start: Queensland Beach road

Photo credit: Ian M

That downhill was one of my favourite race finishes ever. I’m always afraid to over do it when taking advantage of gravity mid-race, but this was the end and I just let myself go with the pull of gravity! It was so much fun to whip past (at least) 4 runners who’d been ahead of me (perhaps all had passed me at some point). The reaction of the woman who was just meters from the finish line was priceless, she just didn’t see/hear me coming. And the only person I know who witnessed it was Mark, the race announcer. None of my team were able to get to the finish before me because it’s such a short leg and they got caught up in a little detour. I wandered around cooling down and stretching for several minutes before they all arrived. They seemed to still be expecting me to cross the finish line when I found them. 🙂

The rest of the day was your typical Rum Runners fun-filled cheering, eating and air-guitar.

Air Guitar

Photo credit: Ian L

The best part about it, I am feeling motivated, inspired and determined to make a conservative/cautious fitness routine work for me. I got my mojo back!

Happy Anniversary Sweety! 😀

Dedicated supporter & My fitness/training plan

I am so fortunate to have tremendous support when it comes to bettering my life, in almost any way. If I want to become more learned, he’s behind me. If I need to follow a crazy strict sleep schedule to combat insomnia, he’s behind me. If I want to make more time for my children, he’s behind me. If I want to spend more time with family or friends, he’s behind me. Lately, his support has been focused on helping me get into a regular daily morning exercise routine. So much that he thought he’d rally the troops, by asking my mom for a favour… for her to push my butt out the door on Thursday while I’m at their place… little did he know, it’s a scheduled rest day. 😉

Tomorrow after work I’m heading to my parents (some other big supporters) where my children have been visiting since Sunday. I haven’t seen my girlies, except for a three hour visit on Sunday afternoon. In three weeks (less two days). I miss them, so I’m taking the first chance I’ve got to get to them. I’ll stay overnight and have a nice relaxing visit with mom & dad, then return to the big city (& home) on Thursday morning.

Part of my planning involved the consideration of my fitness routine. And I’ll admit I wasn’t at all disappointed that it would work out that Thursday is a rest day. Of course, I haven’t fully briefed himself on my plan, as it is a work in progress. Since I am prone to fibromyalgia flare-ups, and often overdo it (what seems reasonable for everyone else, often feels fine in the moment, but is a killer for me in the immediate aftermath) I want to be extra careful. I also have a nagging ankle injury that will never entirely be back to normal.

So, I started off a couple of weeks ago with a plan to run 30 minutes (my limit from my physio/osteopath) every morning before work (and the same time every day that I’m not working – to establish a sustainable routine), I didn’t want to give myself an easy out (but in the back of mind mind I was thinking 1-2 rest days/week would be reasonable). However, I don’t want to allow myself to just skip a workout because I found an excuse not to go.

After a few days, my ankle started hurting – so the plan was altered to include rest days when my body tells me I need them. Then I decided to try substituting some cross training once in a while to help prevent the problem while still maintaining the routine. What seems to be working for my body right now, is no more than 2 days in a row of running. And one rest day/week to rest & repair longer than the 24 hrs. It’s all experimental, so I’ve been working through most of this in my head.

The current “training plan”: run 2 days, ride 1, run 2 days, rest 1, run 2 days, ride 1, run 2 days, rest 1, etc. Most weeks I will workout 6 out of 7 days, occasionally the cycle will allow 2 rest days in a week – which allows for a cut-back week.

I know eventually I will need to change things up a bit to make it interesting, but for now the current challenge is to establish the consistent routine of early morning workouts. Since 30 mins seems to be a reasonable limit for me, I thought rather than attempt to increase the length of time I would gradually increase the intensity, as my fitness level improves. When I’m ready to attempt long runs again, I will have a good solid base of weekly mileage to start with.

I won’t run if it hurts me, but I have a plan now that I am going to stick with.

To get back to himself. I am so thankful that he’s thinking about me and that he’s got my back. Hopefully we’re both on the same page of the training plan again. 🙂

Life imitating art?

From Drop Box

After a recent blast from the past, I am happy that my outlook doesn’t mirror Megan’s today. 🙂

Life can change in a single moment. Sometimes it takes a long time to see the results.

When I moved my girlies and I “back home” to Nova Scotia, I envisioned my new life as a single mom to be long, arduous, and worth every hardship. I knew that I didn’t want my girls growing up believing that marriage was an institution they had to accept in whatever form it takes. I want them to know that happiness in life is essential. It may not be a steady flow, but in the big picture being happy should be something that one strives for and hopefully achieves overall.

For me that meant leaving a marriage, in which we’d experienced a great deal of heartache. Granted there were many happy times and two wonderful girls that resulted. However, in the grand scheme of things we were not meant to be – not without each sacrificing parts of ourselves that were inherent in our being. I wanted my girls to know that life is more than getting by, even if it means doing so without a life partner at your side.

So I began the grief process. Grieving a dream that wasn’t to be. Shifting my vision in life to the new reality of there not being a whole nuclear family growing old together.

I have wonderful friends who made life so much easier during the initial transition of our new life. And I sought companionship with no desire for partnership at the time.

One thing my marriage taught me, is what is really important to me. I learned what I am not willing to accept. And I know now what I must have in a life partner, if I am going to have one at all. I know I need respect, first & foremost; that I need to see eye to eye with my partner on most (if not all) of the really important things that I value; that I can trust & rely on him; and that we will live our lives in a genuine way, never deceiving ourselves or one another about our thoughts, values or intentions (even when it might not be what the other wants to hear). When I recognized those things in this crazy adventurer that treated me with the respect I deserved and demanded, the timing was irrelevant. I didn’t want to pass the opportunity by.

And so a new life evolved soon after leaving the past behind. This life is never picture-perfect, but it is one in which it is safe to be real – however ugly (or beautiful) that picture might be sometimes.

The journey hasn’t been perfect – at times it’s downright scary. But it is a journey we choose to take with respect. Respect for each of the people involved, respect for the choices we make and for the gravity (& brevity) of life by times, and respect for how quickly things can change.

Everyday we make a conscious choice to continue the journey and hopefully enrich our lives in the process.

This is what I want my children to grow up knowing: That life is far to valuable to waste. That happiness is imperative. And that respect is non-negotiable.