Happy Canada Day, everyone!

10 years ago today on July 1, 2006 I ran my very first 10K, which was the HBC Canada Day run.

Though I played hockey and soccer in my youth, those sports are quick bursts of energy instead of the steady state running. The thought of running more than 5 minutes made me cringe.

In 2006 I grabbed my iPod Mini, made a playlist and started running.  When I ran, I was completely dialed-in and focused.

I became hooked on running – I got the “runners high” as they call it. I had no problem going for long runs early morning or late nights, rainy days or hot days. The itch was there and I needed to get my fix.

During the HBC run, I made friends with people who also shared the same passion for running as myself. We formed a running group and would meet weekly to run. We also enjoyed nice meals after our runs.

10k’s turned into 10 Miles, then grew to Half Marathons which finally led to running full marathons. I have done countless 10K’s, 3 half marathons and 4 full marathons.

I didn’t go from not running-to-running 42.2K in 1 day.  Everything is gradual. We have ups and downs and we take each day as it comes. We celebrate the small achievements and learn from our mistakes.

Running showed me that if I put my mind to something and practiced, I would be able to achieve it.

In 2007 when I was getting a marine medical check up done (I needed this to go back to work on the cruise ship) my EKG came back abnormal.

There was a spike in my resting heart rate, which wasn’t normal. It turns out that I was diagnosed with Wolfe Parkinson White Syndrome (WPW). This is a rapid heartbeat and can cause heart palpitations.  Only 0.3%-0. 6% of the population has this.

After seeing my cardiologist, he advised to stop doing long runs because it puts a strain on my heart and can cause problems.

I am very lucky that I have no symptoms of this condition. However, I do have to monitor my heart rate and watch the exercises that I do.

Needless to say, I have stopped running for long durations, though I still do my cardio everyday.

Heart health is very important, remember that.

The lesson from this blog is that we all started from somewhere. As babies, we don’t start running first, we learn to crawl, then walk and finally run

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Have a great Canada Day!