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so who am I …

by Ali on January 4, 2009

At this moment, in my 39th year (2009)  I am a communications coordinator for a university in London Ontario Canada. I took up running on a whim 5 years ago after returning to Canada from England.

But it’s the stuff that got me here that makes me who I am.

The beginning …

I was born in Northern Ireland in 1970.  After the death of my older sister from meningitis and the ‘troubles’ in Ireland, my parents decided to leave.  My dad took a job in Trinidad.  Life was now filled with mangos, coconut trees and sunshine.  We stayed  for 8 years, then my dad took a job in Canada.  We moved from white sands to 3 feet of snow.

The travel bug …

At the end of highschool I got the travel bug.  I wanted to see the world.  I’m not the type to take a year off and then go to the university.  I knew I couldn’t do that.  So I compromised.  I went to university in Ireland.  The deal I sold my parents on was one year.  One year I would come back to Canada and finish university here.  I fell in love with Ireland and a boy.  I stayed for four years, picked up some biting wit and married the boy.

Then moved to England.

After 4 years, my marriage fell apart, I left and 3 days later I started dating a tennis pro, I moved in on our second date, then he broke my heart with a single phone call 2 years later.

That’s when my world fell apart.  I was suddenly alone.  To be honest I had no idea how to be alone or who I was.  I was no longer someone’s someone.  I was me and I didn’t have the foggiest who that was.

I spent a year drinking copious amount of alcohol, eating chips and smoking Silk Cuts.  I dated, all the wrong ones.  I dated some of the right ones.  I travel all over Europe and Africa.  I dyed my hair, changed my job I still didn’t know who I was.

coming home …

Then in 2001, I got a phone call, my mom had breast cancer, she is now cancer free.  It was like a wake up call.  I moved back to Canada in August 2001.

Then in 2004 I found running. Completely by accident.  A friend wanted to do a charity 5k race in July, she asked me if I would run it with her, it was June.  I say yes, absolutely, one because she was a friend and it was a good cause, but two, 5k that’s not very far and I go to the gym 3 sometimes 4 times a week.  Four weeks before the race I decided to run 5k on the tread mill to see what time I should expect (would I be in position to win).  After 2k I wanted to stop.  By 2.5k I did.  What had I agreed to?

For the next 4 weeks I ran 3 times a week, working my way up to 5k.

Race day came, it was the middle of summer, hot and humid.  I wore cotton everything, didn’t hydrate and ran the first km like it was 100m sprint.  I finished the race, never walking once, although my legs and lungs begged me to.  I crossed the line and swore I would never ever, no matter what the cause, or who asked, I would never run again.

The next morning I woke up and thought, what if I joined a group and trained maybe I could do better?  That day I walked into Runners’ Choice. I started finding myself.

This, this is the journey to where ever I need to go.  Along the way, there are dating dilemmas, stupid blonde moments, running and challenges I feel compiled to attempt.



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