Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Meet with a handshake and leave with a hug

Last Saturday was an all day seminar hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa.  Not knowing what to expect I was admittedly shocked to see the number of people dealing with the same situation as I am.  Families arrived.  Groups of children were there along with a parent to find out how they could best deal with their family situation.  Single people were there, like me, dealing with an elderly parent and single people were there to find out how to best deal with an ailing spouse.  The number of heartbreaking stories was staggering.  It made me realise that even though I'm dealing with an awful lot at the moment, my situation is relatively tame compared to other people's scenario's.  I came away from the seminar exhausted, tearful, uplifted, informed, along with new contacts, and even some possible new friends.  We began the meeting with handshakes and left the meeting with hugs.

This is the most vicious of diseases and it can affect anyone.  What I am learning is, the MORE I learn, the more I receive information, support and include others in my life to help me cope, the better off it will hopefully make the final years of my father's life a whole lot easier.

Our weather lately has been exceptional...I can not ever remember such high temperatures in the month of March.  This is truly a freak of nature, but I'm loving it!!  Sunday's run was fantastic as I joined in with a group of ladies that are preparing for the 30k Around the Bay race this coming weekend.  It is a really fun race that takes you through many neighbourhoods, a portion takes you along the shores of Lake Ontario and then into a beautiful subdivision of stellar homes.  You run past and through several cemeteries and then up a huge honking hill and run back towards Copps Coliseum.  You might even run into this guy!

Jen, the Grim Reaper and me

Monday night was my first clinic night in quite a long time.  It is just a 10k clinic but it was really fun to meet some new runner's who are so excited to "do their first 10k".  Sort of made me realise how I was a little jaded in my running career.  I think their energy will give me the lift I need in other portions of my life.  We assembled for the clinic and it is a really large group because most of them are signed up for their first 10k race at the Ottawa Race Weekend.  I'm so use to doing long distances with pace groups and I'm soooo use to doing a slower pace instead of busting out at full speed, that when we were getting ready to start our first 6k group run, I was a little discombobulated that everyone just takes off like mad fiends!  How freaking exciting is that?  Off they go...what a concept!

A few of the more "nervous to do that distance" people sort of hung with me as I explained to them, if you can't hold a conversation because you're out of breathe it means you are running too fast.  I also explained that the further we get into the 6k run, they will see that some people are totally spent and will have to walk the rest of the way.  Well, you know what?...we ran the whole way and could talk and had a great time!  We even passed people!!  They were so excited to find out that they didn't have to bust a gut at the beginning of the clinic...they could work on their cardio, breathing techniques, gain confidence, pass people and when it comes to race day...then they can leave a lung on the pavement.  Some of the new runner's hugged me when they finished their first ever 6k, overall, I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this group!!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,



Wes said...

it's always nice to know that there is a wealth of kinship and knowledge out there in the world, and the fact that we aren't quite as "alone" as we thought we were!

nice work, running with the group! a little knowledge is indeed a powerful thing!

Xenia said...

Hugs to you, L. You make me hate people less. :)

Born To Endure said...

Good for you finding a group to run with!

Caroline said...

thank you for stopping by my blog!
you got a new follower! always happy to find fellow Canadians! My brother lives in Ottawa...I am lost here in California...:)

Groover said...

Love the header. That's such a nice notion. Glad you went to the workshop and learnt more about the illness and how to care for your dad. There is one thing many people forget when caring for a family member and that is to care for themselves, too. Don't make this mistake. :)

Ewa said...

You know, I understand well what you are going through. Sending warm and fuzzy hugs your way.

Dee said...

Fantastic that you went to the workshop. You are not alone and people care, and now you have met some great carers. I ran my first almost 10k this week!! I ran to work (about 5.5k) and then home again. It was tough in a good way and because I knew you could do it I felt I should try. You do good works you don't even know about. Someday I'll run that far without the 8 hour work break in the middle, and I'll be thinking of you.

Lisa said...

It's always comforting to find others in similar situations to ourselves. Sounds like success in both arenas: alzheimer support and 10K running. Stick with both and I expect more light in your life. :-)

Marlene said...

Well it sounds like you will be an asset the the clinic - you have a lot to offer. Good for you putting yourself out there and getting involved!

I'm glad you are reaching out and taking advantage of the resources available for Alzheimer's support. I just can't imagine what it feels like and my heart goes out to you. Lean on your new support system.

Keep smiling, Blog Mamma!

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