Tag Archives: sport

A Hall of Fame Journey…

My dad is being inducted into the Alberta Golf Hall of Fame tomorrow night.  Parents often tell their children how proud they are of them, but statements of pride and admiration don’t flow from child to parent as commonly.  AB golf hall of fame

This is one of those times.

I’m so proud of him.  And not even for the Hall of Fame induction per se, but for the passion that he’s followed his entire life.

I grew up with golf playing a major role in my life.  Until I was ten years old, we lived in the tiny village of Hughenden, Alberta, with a population of a couple hundred people.  The golf course of my early childhood had sand greens, and at weekend tournaments I would earn spending money raking the sand as each group played through.  We owned a two-seater golf cart, and I vividly remember learning to drive it when I could barely reach the pedals.  I remember Sunday pancake breakfasts at the clubhouse, disturbing red ant hills in the treed area behind the number one tee box, building elaborate wooden forts alongside the forested roadway entrance, and walking the course in the Spring as crocuses peeked up and signaled the end of the harsh prairie Winter.  At seven years old, we memorialized our poodle, Sugar, with a pile of rocks that lies deep within the forest off the number three fairway.  I can still imagine that clearing in the trees and see my mother’s tears.  Am I painting you a picture?  Can you feel the golfbag on your back, the crunchy grass beneath your spikes, the crisp Alberta sunshine on your face?

After our move to Sundre, at age ten, my love of the game waned.  Moreso, I suspect, due to adolescent moodiness rather than any feelings for the golf itself.  Nevertheless, golf remained a constant.  We played as a family nearly every Sunday afternoon, even as my teenaged petulance grew.  Now, with the benefit of hindsight and maturity, I can see that these afternoons were never about the golf for my parents, but rather a chance to spend some time together.  My brother grabbed this opportunity and ran with it, eventually earning a golf scholarship to a D1 school in the States, and lots of international travel and competition.  I went the other way, rebelling against a sport steeped in rules and tradition; my perfectionism, impatience, and stubbornness do not serve me well on a golf course, and these days, I limit my golf to the driving range and tee boxes only.

But I’m flying in for the event tomorrow; just me, no kids, and 24 hours in Alberta at my dad’s side.  I’m going to squeeze in a run on my beloved Snake Hill, snuggle with my baby niece, and enjoy an evening celebrating my dad’s passion.  Because really, “there is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~Nelson Mandela

 

Les Swelin golf hall of fame

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The lessons of sport

This was a sporty weekend for me, just how I like ’em.  We picked up my daughter’s soccer team picture, my son had a touch football game, I went to the most exciting Jays game I’ve ever been to, and I ran a half marathon.  Well, actually I ran half of a half marathon.

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Months ago, when a May 29th half marathon seemed like a good carrot to chase through the Winter, myself and a couple of girlfriends registered for this women’s only event.  It took place in Sunnybrook Park, the scene of many, many training runs during my Chiropractic College days ten years ago.  It would be a run down memory lane I thought, and a great chance to build up my mileage again after a two-year distance racing hiatus.

I ran Burlington’s Chilly half marathon in early March, under-trained and suffering for 21.1km.  Sunday’s race was to be my redemption; a flat course, more training mileage under my belt, and a small field of runners to help me push the pace and run a race I was proud of.  To have a great trio of supportive friends on the race course with me and a post-race brunch to look forward to was the icing on my proverbial running cake.  Alas, Mother Nature had other plans for us.  With a Spring that’s been abnormally cold and wet, the weather had dramatically shifted to record-breaking heat and humidity.  Not only were we not acclimatized to the heat (I ran my last long run two weeks prior wearing a toque and gloves!), but with the humidity factored in, conditions were dangerous.

The race organizers sent out a warning email the day prior, alerting us that the half marathon distance could be shortened, in what was to be a raceday decision.  If I’m being honest, I was discouraged and annoyed, feeling like my pre-dawn Sunday long runsIMG_3568 and plodding through mid-week mileage with my favourite running buddy were all for naught.  IMG_3458Nevertheless, I carb-loaded at the Jays game, packing a bag full of baked sweet potatoes, Lara bars, and ice water, much to the amusement of my friend Jen.  Yes, I actually did that.  Yes, I’m crazy.

We arrived race morning to find out that the race had in fact been downgraded to 12km (although my friend’s GPS trackers said it ended up being closer to 13km), and organizers encouraged us to treat it as a “fun run” instead of a race.  They were even foregoing age group prizes to discourage racing under such extreme conditions.  It was the right call, despite the day prior’s disappointment factor.  The heat quickly became oppressive and I ran far slower and felt far worse than my perceived exertion would dictate.

Sport teaches us many lessons, and this weekend it taught me adaptability.  And perseverance.  And determination.  And tenacity.  And friendship.  And fun.

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It was a good weekend.

I love school.  I love sharp pencils and blank notebooks just waiting to be written on.  I used to love the promise of September, of a new school year with new projects and new challenges.  I have eight years of post-secondary education under my belt, and I would happily go back for more if I thought my busy life could juggle it.  But that’s not in the cards for me in the foreseeable future, so for now, continuing education seminars are the “school” that meets that need.

RCCSSI attended one such seminar this past weekend.  It was the Royal College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences annual conference.  Quite the title, no?  I’ve been to this conference before, and I love it every year.  This year’s theme was “Train Smarter,” and we listened to wonderful presenters like Mark Rippetoe, Christian Thibaudeau, and Dr. Andreo Spina talk about training, performance, and movement.  Two days of bliss, where I could sit with my sharpened pencil and my new notebook and soak up new ways of thinking and new forms of inspiration

But you know what was the best part?  You guessed it, it was the people.  It was being called “Ash” and saying “remember when?”, seeing classmates I haven’t seen in years and spending time with like-minded colleagues.  It was a sense of belonging in a very male-dominated field and a shared interest in all things sport and athlete and treatment and research.  I love my job and my patients and my hands-on practice, and it is events like these that keep me motivated to continually improve, to learn more, to question more, to master more, to progress more.

It was a good weekend.

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