Tuesday, 10 September 2013

First marathon in over ten years!!

Just over 10 years ago I did the Vancouver Marathon with my Mum, Sharon.  I kinda tricked her into registering for it...well, actually I told an outright lie.
Sharon always talked about doing a marathon...one day. "One day when I have more time...or when I'm retired...(My Mum is 67 and she is still not retired)".  Well, I figured, why wait? Who knows what turns life will take. What if you don't ever get more time?
So I lied.
I made a certificate on the computer entitling her to one entry into the marathon in May, 2002. I am pretty sure when she opened the envelope on Christmas morning I told her I had already entered her and I. She was quietly shocked, and told me she needed to 'process it'.  Well, a number of weeks later, after having an executive meeting with her local running buddies, she agreed to take part in the marathon. Only then did I have the guts to tell her I hadn't really registered her and I...yet.
That day in May 2002, was such a great day.  She had put the time into training and I was really excited to be out on the streets of Vancouver with my Mum.
Our plan was pretty simple, run 10 minutes, walk 1.  We stuck to the plan until the final 2k.  We had no real time goal, just wanting to finish upright and smiling and able to walk the next day but when I looked at my watch at the 40k marker I realised we were very close to coming in under 5 hours.  Not that it's a big deal, but a 4:59 is just that much better than a 5:01.  So I said to her, "Mum, if we pick it up just a bit and don't stop to walk we can make sub 5...." Without any hesitation she said, "let's do it, I'll try my best."
We made that sub 5 hours by just a few minutes, and I know she doesn't regret digging deep.

That marathon was my last marathon, until this past August when I ran the City to Surf here in Perth, Western Australia.  I hadn't really planned on doing it.  Obviously marathons aren't really my thing.  They hurt way too much. But, there were a few friends doing it and I figured why not? So I registered about a month in advance, with minimal buyers remorse I might add.
I have a couple key ladies to thank for helping get through my one token long run.  Shirley and Claire dragged my butt around the lake for 30k one morning. It was a lovely day in the suburbs of Perth, but I made the mistake of wearing brand new runners. Awesome!  Smart move Kara. So for the next two weeks I couldn't really do much running at all.
Sometimes I feel like I'm living the groundhog day scenario.  I register for an event, plan to actually prep and train for it, don't train for it, freak out a week prior to the race, and then just suck it up and figure it out.
This was no different.  I planned on just getting through the day. Toss ego to the wind and just enjoy being here in Perth.

Race morning was quiet and uneventful, I felt peaceful and relaxed.  The event starts in the city (duh) and cruises along the river for the first half, passing the start line at 21k.  It then heads into Kings Park and meanders through small little communities finishing off at City Beach, just a few kilometers from my house.
The runners were escorted from a large conference room at the convention center to the start line just before 6am.  It was a small bunch, about 2000 marathoners (there is also a half marathon, 12k run, and 4 k run and walk, totalling 40+ thousand runners).  We felt tiny drops of rain as we waited for the race to start.  Just past 6 am the count down began, the horn blast and then speakers blasting ACDC, Highway to Hell... It was so cool.  I remember smiling as I started to run. I was in Australia, running a marathon, hearing a song I had played over and over on so many long runs during my Ultraman training.

The first half felt really good. I remember thinking just once, maybe I'll just tap out at the half way mark.  Ha ha ha, not going to happen. My Garmin read 1:55 at 21k. I was happy with that, but I knew the next half was quite hilly, so I was just hoping to keep up the pace for a bit longer.
Well, that didn't last that much longer. I started to feel a bit whiny and pouty around 25k.  The calculations are what killed me.  If I run this speed for this long I'll be in at this time. But if I run this kilometer and not the next one then that'll make me finish at this time.  Math sucks. At any time really, but especially when exercising. I repeated over and over, focus on the process, not the outcome.

I had an extra incentive to finish the marathon. On August 16th, Christopher Lane, an Australian young man living in the US, was shot dead, in the back, while out for  a jog. I don't really watch TV, but I saw the news headline on a patient's TV while I was at work.  Reading about the story in the newspaper rocked me.  Christopher was just out for a run on a Friday night.  How many times have I done that? How many times have you?

I thought about Christopher, his family, girlfriend, the 3 young men that shot and killed him.  I thought about my kids, their future, life, death, and everything in between.  Four hours is a significant amount of time to think, your head goes to so many places.... That last kilometer was very emotional for me.  I had just talked to my Mum on the phone. Yes, I ran with my mobile, and called my Mum while running. I was missing her badly and needed to hear her voice.   

I thought about where I'm at personally as a woman, recently separated, the future very much unknown.  I thought about just being there in the moment, being here, in Perth, this amazing city, in an amazing country.
All that it's given me and my family, and how I am forever grateful.

The City to Surf marathon was a very wonderful event for me.  As I crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 12 minutes I was happy.  Happy to be finished, happy to be upright, breathing, alive, loved and healthy.
Wherever you are, in life or geography, never underestimate what a long distance run can do for the heart and soul.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Still alive and kicking....

I've thought about writing, honest I have.... But it's been a bit of a challenge.
The months that have passed since the "24 Hour Bike Race that wasn't" have been some of the hardest months of my life. 
And it seems absolutely crazy that I am actually about to blog about 'this', but it's life and life is messy, harsh and just what it is.
I'm here in Australia, still, living out the one year teacher exchange with my family. But the term 'family' has sadly taken on a new meaning. I have since separated from my husband of almost 15 years. 

I know it seems so off to even talk about it on blog, forum....the Internet. But it's just hard to write a blog about life, family, training and racing and not mention it.  
It's reality.
It's just what it is.
So we are here, in Perth, getting through it all the best way we can.

I didn't do much, fitness wise, following Delirium. My bike still has no pedals on it (embarrassed to say, since unpacking it from Ironman Melbourne), my bathing suit has been hung up about three times post swim in the last 2 months.... But my runners. Well, they are getting a little use.

The running has just sort of happened. It hasn't been pretty. But it's been this vital life line. 
When no one's around and my three kids are far away, the runners, the ocean path, the trails up in the hills...they are there. 

I've managed to sneak in a few longer runs on the weekend. And that's what the basis of this blog is about, the long weekend runs...

I've gotta be honest, I've only done a few, and I am grateful for each of them.  
They have all been a bit different, but the foundation has been the same each run. 
Early morning, cool, crisp air, good people, beautiful scenery, and happiness in my heart. 
Running through the hills of Perth has been so good for my soul. The land is just incredible. I'm often in disbelief that I'm even here, in Australia, yet alone that I'm trail running. 
The parks are gorgeous, almost jungle meets desert like. Roos standing off to the side spectating as you scoot by. I'm always in awe of the Roos, seeing them will never grow old to me.

There are no big plans to race.... No deadlines, or plans to follow.
I'm trying to just tread water day-to-day.  I'm learning to love running. Because I can, because it's like a gift to me.
It's not easy being here, doing what we do, going thru the separation. In fact, it is really really bad. 
That is my truth.
But running. It's helping me in some strange way. So very much. And for that, I am grateful. 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A little story about Ben....

Before I tell you about Ben, it'd be best if you got your head in the right space.

So clear your mind....
You're wandering along a green belt towards this little lake off in the distance.
Perhaps listening to some chilled out Australian music, cloudy sky, an intense sporting event about to take place....
And you see this moment happen before you....

A gorgeous Momma and her little boy just wandering up your way..... and Snap goes the camera....

As they approach, I ask, "Excuse me, can I take a photo of your little boy? He's so cute!"

Oh, ya, sure, he loves getting his picture taken and he loves the ladies, is a full on flirt...Ben....This lady wants to take your picture....

Ben looks at me, drops his bike, and then falls to the ground. Snap goes the camera.

Ummmmm..... "Hi Ben, my names Kara, I sure like your blue bike...."

That's all it takes. 
Ben is up, telling me something in half Australian-half English...birds, trees, bikes, bees...I don't know, but it was important.

"Thanks Ben, for letting me take your picture. I really like that bike."

In an afterthought, Ben looks back at his trusty steed....

Grabs it by the bars, jumps on and starts to cruise....

Ben..... you know the rules, says his momma, no helmet.... no bike....

Ahhhh, Ben, the 24 hour bike race... that wasn't... was made a whole bunch better because of you.

Much Love

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

An Ironman Melbourne fish story.....

We've all heard those fish stories that start and end with: my rod took a massive hit...the line almost snapped....I had to battle to bring it to the boat, and it was so big I could barely lift it!!!

I kinda feel like the swim at Ironman Melbourne 2013 will always have that tone... I can try and explain it, but it just won't ever seem like enough. But before I go into detail about the race, I will tell you a bit about the lead up. 

Getting ready for my departure was fairly standard. 
I was pretty unprepared and was going about this in a bare bones kinda way. Bike: check. Helmet: check. Shoes: check. Goggles and gear: yep. Ok, anything else I need I'll get there...or else I just don't need it. I had no nutrition plan, no real agenda, no expectations.  I entered on a whim, and kinda spent the last three months training as such.  Arriving and getting settled in the city was really fun. I was in a great spot just off Fitzroy Street in the St. Kilda area. Very close to the race expo and the actual finish.

The three days leading up to the race were pretty low key.  I ate at a few great little spots, with the Banff restaurant being my favourite. I 'sussed' out Acland Street with my trusty camera on attention. I met new friends and enjoyed many yummy extra hot, skinny flat whites while people watching.  

Melbourne is gorgeous. Yes, the weather seems to have a personality disorder, but even that seems charming now... It's the perfect mix of city, grit and gloss, and sea exposed beauty. Don't tell Perth, but I've got a mad crush on Melbourne.

Race morning was fairly typical. My belly was a bit upset and my arms felt a little jello like. Feelings I've felt many times before, however, this time my tummy was unusually temperamental.  Hmmmm... 

Arriving in Frankston, which is about 40k from my hotel, I noticed the wind immediately. Well, I thought, maybe it's not as bad near the water. 
Hahahaha...ahhhh, my ignorance never seems to surprise me.
 Getting in the que for the dunny's I could hear the announcer talking about the swim. It's been changed. Oh. Ok. Delayed by 30 minutes, now two loops of 1.9k. Alright. No big deal. People were chattering about it. You could feel the nerves buzzing. I didn't pay much attention. I still hadn't seen the water.Another change was announced. 
Later swim start, it's now a 8:25 start. And only a 1.9k swim, out and back. Oh. Ok. No big deal. 
I could hear coach Kev saying, it's all in the process, not the outcome. Stay away from the chatter, don't over think it. I had my phone with me, so I called my Mom. I knew she'd be losing it if she heard all the panic about the wind and water conditions. Then I called home. It was only 4:30am, so I got the answering machine. I'm pretty sure I said something like this: Hi guys, I just want you to know the swim's been changed, conditions are bad, and it's windy (voice chokes here) and I'm terrified, I love you". I hung up quick knowing I was about to start crying. I wasn't really scared, just feeling more alone than anything.

With about 20 minutes to start time I finally decided to get down to the beach. 

We had to walk around the Sophia restaurant, along the path, down to the beach.  Just as I was about to hit the beach the wind just pounded against me. It was like a physical feeling. The waves were pounding the shore, which was littered with wetsuit clad bodies and red caps...and worried faces. 

The zodiacs were trying to secure the buoys and no one knew what was going on.In a complete fluke I bumped into Reggie and Mark along the shore and it made me feel a bit better. Irish by birth, but living in Dubai, this was their first Ironman and I was in awe of their determination to get in and swim. When the gun went off I stayed veryyyyy far to the left and veryyyy far behind. It took me a bit to walk out and start swimming. The waves were relentless. 

I thought of my kids immediately. I thought of the countless hours they've spent in those exact waves...purposely being knocked down and sloshed around. I thought about "Livin' like Larry"... In fact I may have verbally said, I'm f#%kin' livin like Larry right about now!!I just kept moving forward, keeping the pier in my sight when I could, because there was no point in looking out, the waves were too big. At one point, about 500M out we started getting smashed by swimmers coming back in. Going out the buoys should be on you left and then going back they again should be on your left. But the whole thing was such a gong show, the swimmers coming back were on the wrong side. Only once did I stop just to see where I was going (I'm shocked that I had such great lines, I did surprisingly well with sighting). When I stopped, all I could hear was an Irishman yelling the F word over and over, it was so funny! I made it to the last buoy and I gave a little yell, I was so happy and so proud of myself. On the way back I thought of all those that I knew cheated and skipped out before the last buoy. I thought, you poor buggers. The next time you need to dig deep, or your scared, or unsure if you can do it, you won't have this to draw on. You'll have to remind yourself that you couldn't hack it and that you cheated.  But I let it go completely and was elated to be going back to shore.
Once I saw the pier again I felt amazing. I was tired, yes, but I was so excited to be almost finished. I ended up wayyyy down the beach and had to run along the sand. I wasn't alone, there were dozens of athletes strewn down the beach all making their way back to the pier.  I remember feeling the sand beneath my feet and thinking, wooooow, my legs feel like lead.  Right from my toes to my hip flexors...they felt soooo cooked.  I think I just worked so hard that they were fried! I've never felt that in a swim before.

a little sample of the chaos

I pulled off my own wetsuit (there were no wetsuit strippers), grabbed my bag and went into the tent. The volunteer dumped my bag. Helmet, shoes, glasses. "Wow, you pack light," she says. You have no idea, I reply.Out onto the bike, I think ok, just like Aaron told me, this is my bread and butter. I love the bike. Wellllll, I like the bike when I'm going 29-31k/hr..... I don't like it so much at 23-25k/hr.... Reality soon set in that it was going to be a tougher bike than once expected. First, there were no kilometre markings, they had all blown away. Second, I had no computer. And third, it was lonely. The bike course itself is pretty cool. It's the toll highway in Melbourne, basically two loops of 90k. If you look at the profile it gradually builds into a climb and then comes down the other side. My first 45k took about 1:45, a solid 15 minutes slower than I expected. Shit. Ok.It's ok. It'll turn around. Focus on the process.The next 45 was 1:20. Ok. So a 3:05 split. Well, with this wind I can handle that. I'll try and work really hard on the last quarter. 
The next 45k was like the first and then on the way back into Frankston the wind turned and it became a dogfight for the last 30k. I started to get low, at one point feeling so flat I was unsure of what I was doing. At the aid station they had run out of Gatorade. Serious?Ok. Regroup. Feeling low usually means you need fuel. I had a few Eload tabs so I popped about 4 and drank some water. I swear to you, about 15 minutes later I was signing and smiling. I couldn't believe how my mood shifted. 

"I threw your shit into a bag and pushed it down the stairs, I crashed my car into the bridge... I don't care, I love it, I don't care, I love it, I love it...." Yep, I was singing. Out loud. 

When I finally got into T2 it was like a graveyard! No spectators! Everyone had vanished. 
Holy crap, am I that slow? 6:30 bike isn't anywhere near fast, but still, it felt like I was the last person out there.I quickly got on my runners and visor and was on my way. I tried to hold 6 minute K's for as long as I could. It only lasted about 10k, then it got a bit slower and slower....by kilometre 28 I was starting to fade. My tummy had turned and I was hitting the dunny at every aid station. I couldn't hold much down and was now in this dark place. Ok. Regroup. Keep moving forward. Think about why you're here. Look around you. Feel the love.

I just kept repeating those things over and over. I thought about Aaron asking me at Ultraman if I was "hurt or injured".... I tried to stop the self deprecating thoughts.... I tried to not put myself down because I had chosen to walk. 

I looked around a lot. Once I was on the coastline I really soaked it in. The setting is incredible. The volunteers were amazing! And I really was loving it. I remember thanking one older man for volunteering, his reply was "it's our pleasure dear..." So awesome!I remember this one sharp, steep, short hill from the sea wall to the road....at the top this volunteer says "how great was that hill?" I looked at her and rolled my eyes, "it sucked ass!" "Well, we haven't heard that one yet," she says laughing. 

I remember the harmonica playing crossing guard. The lady with the massive boom box pounding out Niki Manaj. And all the signs made for LEON! Leon, you rock. Leon loves his bike more than his wife. Leon is a champ.I don't know who this Leon is, but he is loved. 

Seeing Mark, from Dubai, cruise past me at about 30 k was very cool. I have no idea how I knew it was him, but I called out his name. He turns around and stops, and we give each other a hug, he grabs my hand and kisses it....I tell him how proud I am of him, that he's killing it....and he's off. That was a highlight for me. Just a really cool moment I'll always remember. 

I thought about my brother, Scot. His birthday is March 24th, which was race day in Melbourne. I thought about watching him do his first Ironman 16years ago, and how, unknowingly, that day mapped out my love for the sport. I made a decision right then as I was running along the street in Melbourne that I want to do a race with him.I've decided he needs a little incentive to get back into the Ironman lifestyle. So I'm thinking I'll give him a choice of venue....Texas, Wisconsin, Florida.... My treat. Just him and I. 2014.

The second to last aid station was the best. Music, kids, dancing. I really took it in. Danced my way through it, high fived everyone, laughed and sang.....and the last km was the best. Giant Bikes had a massive crew out there cheering and I soaked it up.  I sang the Justice Crew song "this is the best, this is the best night, this is the best....this is the best night...."I thought about Penticton and it's amazing people and the 6 other times I've ran that last kilometre...I thought about all the times in training when I've YouTubed Ironman finishes and you see that last bit...I reminded myself that this is what I love.  I love to push, I love the personal suffering.... The unknown.... The amazingness of it all.... I heard every cheer, I relished every high five and congratulations, and I thought about all my friends and family and how lucky I was to be finishing yet another Ironman. As I turned right on the red carpet I felt no pain. No pain. Just pure joy. And this feeling of love.  As the crowd yells and bangs the fencing, you raise your arms to the sky. Pump pump. And they love it. You love it. How can you not....?And that is it.... Another day, another experience, another memory.It was awesome.Thank you Melbourne, you were a fantastic host!
Much love


Monday, 18 March 2013

Ahhhhh, here comes number 7....

I gave it a few minutes.
Tried to think of a witty title for this post.
I figure if it takes more than a few minutes it becomes less witty and more forced.

I am not about to force anything. Especially number 7.
Do the math....
6 x 3.8 k swim = 22.8K
6 x 180k bike = 1080K
6 x 42k run = 252K
Six Ironman triathlons totalling about 1354.8K.... and 80 odd hours in change.

My body knows what to do... that is for sure.
I can close my eyes right now and take myself to next Sunday morning 5:07am as I try and eat a banana, some coffee and maybe a bit of jam on toast.  I can feel the itty bitty tremble in my fingers as I zip up my hoodie.  The extra big grin doesn't fool me on the inside.  But even with all those feelings I still know exactly what it takes.
A plaque from King's Park, Perth, WA
It takes will.  And determination.  Fire in the belly.  Never quit attitude (never. ever. quit).  It takes knowing your strengths and telling your weaknesses they can piss off.  It takes a measured dose of humility and resolve.
I have been here. And I keep choosing to come back, time and time again.
With 15 years in the sport, my seventh Ironman will take me to an average of one race every two years....Or....if we really want to be accurate, it really only totals 5 years "off" doing Ironman, as I factor each kid birthed to be a least one IM....
OK, getting off track.
What I'm really trying to get at is this.  There is NOTHING easy about this weekend coming up.  Every single course, day and event is hard. Hilly, flat, raining, windy, boiling heat.  The day is long and hard. If it was easy it'd be called..... well, you've all seen that sign on the side of the road on race day.

I will never forget this day in January when Scotty came charging
across the beach calling, "Mum, Mum!! Come see what I found, it's Ironman....here
in Busselton...come see!!!" He was so excited....those are the moments I draw on....
I am so excited to be writing a blog with absolutely no whining, complaining, excuse making or inaccurate predictions.  I am ready. Now. Today. For a day full of whatever comes.  For a nervous belly, sweaty palms, tight calves, high fives, tears, and sweat...lots of sweat.

I can't wait to tell you all about my special week in Melbourne. I am so lucky and so thrilled to be a part of this.
And if I know you're tracking me on race day I might just push a litttttle bit harder...

Much Love

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Kara's Training Plan: How not to train for an event. Sign up now....

A few key things one should never ever do just 3 months prior to taking part in an Ironman event:

1. Quit their job... 
1.a. this means you have very little incentive to do much of anything.
Yep, there are 5 suitcases, 2 hockey bags, 6 sticks, and two
triathlon bike boxes in there....bye bye winter...
1.b. especially because you have no money to do anything with.

2. Pack up 75% of your entire home and then get it all ready for a different family to live in.
2.a. this means you leave 90% of all training things in boxes downstairs (of old house in Canada), like your Nathan hydration pack, runners, sunglasses, goggles.
2.b. pull many muscles while lifting and sorting things in the house.

3. Move your entire family of five across the world. To another country. Where it is 40 degrees.
3.a. this means a total of 22 hours of in-flight time and a few days (give or take) of complete exhaustion.

4. Take an entire 6 weeks of vacation in this same stated country, exploring, eating and sleeping your way through life (utterly blissful, yet not so much on your cardiovascular system or waistline).
4.a. this means you come to the realisation that Tim Tams are not a food group and peanut butter must be rationed (they only have itty bitty jars of peanut butter here...a crime, I know).

Off to the land of Oz....
5. Start kids in new schools, new dance academies, hockey clubs, soccer clubs, and footy clubs...while still trying to maintain your eventing ritual of boogie boarding and surfing as the sun sets on the horizon.
5.a. this means buying uniforms, bucket hats and squeaky new black shoes...much to the dismay of the tortured children.
5.b. and trying to curb the 10pm bedtime they have been pushing for the past month.

6. Start a completely new job at the same time as your husband (just for dramatics: in stated new country;)
6.a. this means learning the lay of the land in (at a minimum) 12 different hospitals (insert laughter here!).
6.b. while only having one vehicle.... (insert belly laugh here.... very large belly laugh).
6.c. and learning the lingo...when I heard the word Caesar I figured they were talking about the drink, not the surgery....(ie. C-Section or Section in Canada....oh dear....)

I'm almost done....how are you feeling....prepped? Ready? Uber fit and ready to race? Ya, I kinda figured....

7. Come to the understanding that this race is all part of the plan.... the whole take it as it comes, fly by the seat of your pants, you only live once, you may as well get the most outta life, plan.  It's the only way for me.  I know many of my dear, tender, type AAA friends wouldn't last a day in my little world, and that's not a knock on their abilities, it's the truth.  I can barely do it.  Why would I expect anyone else to?
7.a. Here's why: It's freaking awesome! That's why.  I love this stuff.  The challenge of honestly not knowing if I'm gonna pull it off.....I love that.  
Playing in the outdoor pool...it's 50 Meters...but I can only
make it about 40...then I doggy paddle... :)
Here's it is on the D-Low.... I'm swimming twice a week if I'm lucky.  Swear.  The bike is maybe another two times a week.  I'm trying a bit harder to put the time in on the bike.... It's not fun winging a 180K bike....and then running a marathon.  Not fun at all....
The run is what's killing me.  I have nothing.  I'm at a solid 7K...Yep. You read that right. At 7K the hamstring kicks in and threatens to strike.  By that point my mind is wandering...I have no water (Nathan pack is underneath winter sweaters at home in the basement), no fuel and it's 28 degrees at 7:30pm....

OK, so why am I doing it?
Well, picture it!  MELBOURNE people!!! In Australia!!!! Staring out at St. Kilda's Bay...with 1600 other freaky triathletes.  Why not???
...that is all.


Friday, 30 November 2012

Beholden to Wendy and Sally.....

I get this text:

What's your email? I'd like to email you guys a neat article from 1957 when my aunt was trying to play hockey with boys....

This is from my friend Deb.  Deb's Mum, Vicki,  just passed away not long ago.  It was sudden and very sad, and has created a hole that will never be filled. Deb and her family are going through special family mementos and have come across this article.

Vicki on her BC Farm...
I met Deb's Mum once or twice at the BMX track, but I didn't get the chance to really meet her.  Since her passing I've learnt that Vicki was born in Connecticut, U.S.A. and grew up in Belleville, Ontario.  And at the young age of only 18, while flying with the Prince Edward Flying Club in Picton, Ontario, she became the youngest commercial flight instructor in North America.  I've learnt that Vicki was one of those women that could help a Female cow birth her calf.  Vicki had a gentle, loving way with animals. She could cook a hearty farmhouse meal and she could ride a horse bareback.  On these damp and chilly Fall days Vicki's quiet, serene farm is missing her.  Her animals are missing her.  
Learning this after the fact made me realise how little I know about so many incredible women.  It also made me understand why Deb is such an amazing woman.  I've always thought highly of Deb.  She's kind, slow to judge (if ever at all) and reserved.  Yet, along with these subdued qualities there's this underlying pulse that tells me she is so much stronger than she realises.
When I read about her Mum, it all clicked.  She had the most amazing women to look up to.
Then Deb sent me the article about her Aunt and the message was clear.  Deb comes from some seriously incredible female genetics.

The article Deb sent me was dated October 31st, 1957.

While talking to Joe Primeau and Bob Goldham last Thursday evening after the minor "hockey night", held at the Pine Room, this scribe was abruptly interrupted by two cute eleven-year-old girls who, both talking together, informed me they had a complaint against a recent ruling made by the minor hockey executive.  The ruling in question was one which bans girls from participating in minor hockey.

Now these two young lasses, Wendy Fairbairn and Sally Folland, in no uncertain terms voiced their opinions on the ruling and topped it off with the question, "Are the men and boys of Oakville men or mice.... we think they are mice because they are scared to let girls play in their hockey leagues."

Well fellows...both girls have played in the league before.  Wendy, according to all statistics was a star centre, while her partner roamed on her left side.

Well girls, I guess you have found another "mouse" as this columnist is in complete agreement with the ousting of girls from the minor hockey organisations.  Why? Well now, let's see.... when a girl is playing hockey she only does so until she realises it's not the most feminine sport in the world.  Then she quits and probably becomes an ardent spectator.  The point is that while she is playing some future star is sitting it out on the bench when he should be out on the ice.  And then when it comes down to the fine things, what young lad wants to earn a reputation. or go around boasting about the jarring body check he threw into the cute young chick playing centre for the other side? No girls, this is a man's game.  I hear the figure skating club, which started last Sunday, has room for a few more girls.

I read this aloud to Makena and Aaron while they quietly smirked as I dramatically let my mouth drop at the end! "Can you believe that this was what women had to deal with?"

Aaron: (looking at me as if to say: reeeallly, have you been living under a rock?) Kara, they are still dealing with it.  This is still how many people think.

Makena: I'd do the same thing Mom.  I'd be standing right beside Wendy and Sally demanding to be heard.

Me: Really, Mak? You would?

Makena: (looks at me like I've just asked her to clean the toilet, like whhhhy me?) Mom, do you really think I'm gonna let someone tell me I can't do something just because I'm female? Come on....and plus, I'd suck at figure skating!

That's all I needed to hear....Thank you Wendy and Sally....