The Paper-Shredder.

Hi.  It’s been a minute.

My last blog post was written in late October 2019, just over six months ago, after more than seven years of weekly or bi-weekly posts.  The truth is, I just ran out of ideas.  My posts became harder to write, harder to come up with, harder to find the time for.  I started my website as a way for you to get to know who I am;  a landing spot of sorts, for you to find me, wherever my physical practice location may be.  But as time went on and life got busier, the joy that my writing brought me was not outweighed by its place on my to-do list.

NYC marathon finish

The 2019 NYC marathon finish line; I’m in the neon yellow shirt.

My last post, 948km to NYC, was written five days prior to my once-in-a-lifetime run at the New York City Marathon.  That run could not have gone better, and my dreams were realized; I qualified for both the Chicago marathon (as of this writing, still currently scheduled for October 2020) and the Boston marathon, set for April 2021.  And then life got busy.  My level of busy had been building for years; as I increased my work hours, as my practice grew, as my kids got older, as my responsibilities increased.  And the blog posts that used to free-flow from me, the stories that used to pop into my head and unravel their words to me many days before my deadlines, simply dried up.  I couldn’t find the time to honour my thoughts, to write out my dreams, to delve into my creativity.  I was on the road to burnout, and even though I could see it, feel it, and identify it, even as I was in the eye of the storm, I felt powerless to stop it.  So I stopped writing instead.

Then Covid happened.

And my world stopped.

You see, I’m a busy-body.  I love to be constantly in motion, I thrive on multi-tasking, I have a hard time with rest and downtime and lack of structure.  Brene Brown calls it “over-functioning,” and explains that rather than feel vulnerable, over-functioners go into action mode.  Um, my hand is up.  That’s me.

The first few weeks were tough.  There were a lot of tears, a lot of disbelief, a lot of fear about closing the clinic, financial anxiety, wondering how I would cope, how we could rebuild.  So I did what I know how to do: I kept busy.  And yet the quiet times slowly crept in.  The sleep-ins became later, the reading on the couch became more frequent, the puzzling with a podcast became more regular.  Big lessons have unfolded over the last two months, and I’ve found the time to listen.  To slow down.  To introspect.  To think.  And yes, to write.

The most recent lesson I learned happened last night.

You see, in the frenzied early-Covid-cleanout of our basement storage room, I came across a box of old clinic financial forms, dated 2008-2010.  For the past many weeks, I have been working my way through shredding these documents, a little bit each night, as my husband reads Harry Potter bedtime stories to the kids.  Last night I came to the end of the box, and in a nudge from the Universe, the final month I pulled from the bin was labelled “January 2009.”

Let me explain: in January 2009, I was nine months pregnant with my first child.  My brand-new clinic was eleven months old.  My stress level was high, my bank account was low, and I wondered how I’d ever get through the obstacles ahead of me.  Looking back, eleven years later, I remember the stress.  I remember the overwhelming emotions.   It was perhaps the most challenging year of my life.

But it brings me strange comfort to look back on this snapshot of 2009 and put it through the paper-shredder.  I got over those hurdles, I made it to the other side, when it felt like the other side was really far away.  And so I trust that, as my resiliency is being tested, my coping skills are being pushed, and my obstacles seem staggering, I will look back, and I will put 2020 in the shredder.

And you will too.

Keep your head up, and your shredder close.






948km to NYC

I’m five days out from the NYC Marathon.  As you can imagine, it’s on my mind a lot right now.  My friend Michaela and I began tossing around the idea of running New York a few years ago, and after a couple of failed attempts (Then the Wheels Came Off) at meeting the qualification standard (the only way to guarantee that we would both be accepted into the race on the same year), I met the standard in Mississauga in May 2018.

This dream has been a long time coming.

Here’s what my physical journey has looked like since my training “officially” kicked off on June 20th, more than four months ago:

  • 948km running
  • 77 runs
  • 13 one-on-one Pilates classes
  • 11 hot yoga classes
  • 10 Crossfit classes

I feel ready.  I don’t feel the “fear” that I often feel about an upcoming race.  I’m not scared of the challenge, I’m not afraid of the pain, I’m not worried about the event.  I AM EXCITED.  I am looking forward to soaking it all in and experiencing the famous roar of the 1 million spectators that line the route, the energy of Brooklyn, the deafening silence of the Queensboro Bridge, and the 5.5km of rolling hills in Central Park to finish.

If you want to follow along on Sunday morning, download the NYC Marathon app (iPhone or Android) and search “Ashley Worobec” in the athlete tracking section.  If you allow push notifications, it will alert you at checkpoints along the course as I progress through 42.2km of NYC streets.  My start time is 9:40am.

And above all, THANK YOU for your support thus far.  It takes a village, and you’ve all been a part of my village.

marathon app logo

Chasing Dreams and What-Ifs

henry ford quote

Let’s talk about lofty goals, shall we?  I always love having a big, broad goal put out there in front of me to chase.  I’m a stay-busy type, a dream-chaser, a go-getter, a keep-reaching-for-more sort of person.

Some might call it ambition, some might call it being anxious or restless, I just call it being me, and it’s what I’ve always done.  As I get older, I’m able to find words for it and better able to find strategies to harness it, and today it takes the form of big bristol boards plastered on my bathroom walls and notebooks tucked into my purse.

Lately, I’ve been searching for some more carrots to chase, and if you follow me online, you’ll know that I’m currently in peak training mode for the New York City marathon, coming up on November 3rd. nyc marathon logo

Facebook: Dr. Ashley Worobec

Instagram: @ashburlington

Marathon training on Instagram: @thisismymarathonlife

I’ve been running with a great Oakville-based group for the past couple of years, and in them I’ve found other people who don’t think it’s crazy to get up before 5am to run, who also plan their weekends around their workouts, and who enjoy the well-earned fatigue that training brings.  I’ve found my tribe and suddenly my crazy seems normal.  When I joined them in November 2017, my goal was to run a half-marathon fast enough to qualify me for New York.  I’d failed to meet the qualification standard twice on my own (once in spectacular fashion: “Then the Wheels Came Off“), and only six months after I began training with them, I qualified with my Mississauga half marathon result.

But I still identified myself as “only” a half-marathoner.  I’d see their marathon training schedules, thankful for my shorter distances, and while I admired them from afar, I was content to plug away in my 10k/21k domain.  But then June 2019 rolled around, and my own New York marathon training officially began.  You see, NYC is a once-in-a-lifetime race for me, and I plan to run stride for stride with my dear friend Michaela.  We aren’t chasing the clock, we’re just two working moms who love to run and want to prove to ourselves that we can do this.  Somewhere along the way though, I’ve started to love the long stuff again.  I’ve started to embrace the big mileage, the early bedtimes, the huge appetite.  I’ve started to anticipate Sundays and watch NYC promo videos, I’m following marathoners on social media, and I’m researching race entries.  Just this morning, I looked up my age group’s Boston qualifying time (BQ) (spoiler alert: it’s 3:40).  WHO AM I? boston marathon logo

So while I search for my next goal, thoughts of a BQ ruminate in my brain…..

Big dreams.  Big goals.  Just how I like it.