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.






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.



The Dragon Bracelet

I’m going to tell you a story that’s going to warm your heart.  Ready?  Buckle up friends, this one is going to make you smile:

On Saturday morning, our neighbours had a garage sale.  They were setting up as my sleepy-eyed children wandered out of their bedrooms and down the stairs.  My kids know that I often say yes to garage sale bargains, and I agreed to give them $5 each to spend at the sale.  My husband was away for the weekend, and as I puttered about the kitchen making breakfast, my kids happily scoured the treasures next door, decked out in pyjamas and bedhead.

They came home with a large several-trips-needed-to-carry karaoke machine and a framed picture of two zebras.  Impressed by the eclectic nature of their choices and the massive neighbour discount given to them, the karaoke machine went into the basement for hours of loud, uninterrupted fun, and the zebra picture went onto my daughter’s bedroom wall.  But, as with many impromptu purchases and the lessons needed to be learned about money, they began to tell me about all of the other cool stuff they’d seen.

“Mom, can we just have $5 more, and then we can get this, and this, and this!”

I explained that if they wanted anything more, they would have to buy it with their own money, and the discussion soon turned to a silver bracelet that they’d both seen.  My daughter wanted it because it reminded her of a dragon tail, and my son wanted it because it reminded him of Harry Potter and wizards.  The arguing began and I told them that if they wanted to purchase this special bracelet, they would first have to figure out how to share it fairly, minus the sibling squabbles.

They were mulling this idea over as we climbed into the truck and backed out of our driveway…… and as we glanced back at the garage sale, we saw the seven-year-old girl who lives on the other side of us walking up to the table to purchase, you guessed it, the coveted bracelet.  My daughter cried; she had envisioned taking her 50 cents back to the sale and purchasing the dragon tail bracelet to wear forever and always.  There’s a lot of absolutes when you’re seven.  But here’s where the story will warm your heart:

We went to Burlington Sports & Spine Clinic for the morning (when I’m solo-parenting, my kids sometimes spend time with Netflix in the clinic’s massage room) and returned to find a gift on our front step, addressed to my daughter.

IMG_2165“To Casey,” the card read, “I saw you looking at this bracelet and I wanted to get it for you.  I hope you like it.  From, K.”

I think I’ll end the story right here.  What else is there to say?  Three days later, and I’m still marvelling at the kindness and thoughtfulness of that moment.  I hope that it brings some joy to you too.