Life is about balance. For me, that means juggling my life at home with work and fitness. Sometimes, that is easy; others, it is a struggle. This year, finding balance has been one of the biggest challenges ever.
At the end of January, all fitness activities came to a halt when I broke my jaw. It was a running accident, a freak accident at the end of January. I was heading out to meet my club at a local recreation centre when, on a poorly lit road, my toe caught hold of a chunk of ice, sending me flying. My chin hit the pavement and I broke my jaw – in four places – and had not choice but to take time off work and all fitness activities.
A few weeks later and while I was still off work, doctors discovered a large mass of cancer on my dad’s brain. He had been living with cancer for years and had undergone a variety of treatments, the most recent being radium injections in the fall. My brothers and I had hoped that this would destroy the cancer cells but, instead, the disease became more aggressive. At the beginning of April, I took another leave from work as we buried my father.
The beginning of 2015 had brought me a physical and an emotional challenge. I was grateful for my job teaching at a school close to home. I was able to return to work both times, forget about the things that were going on in my life away from school and focus on the kids in my classes and the runners that I coach. This only lasted for a few weeks, though.
At the end of May, my brother called me to tell me that my mother went in her sleep. She had Alzheimer’s/Dementia and we expected that we would say good-bye to her sometime before 2016. That day came earlier than we thought; seven weeks after our dad died, we said good-bye to our mother.
Many people believe that things come in three’s. Myth, old wives’ tale, fact or fiction, I don’t know how much value I have in that. But I do know that the stresses that I faced during the first part of the year – my broken jaw, the uncertainty of my parents’ health and their deaths – are gone. For that reason, I dubbed July 1st as the start of a new year, 2015B. It is a fresh start, a new beginning, a time for me to set some goals and go after them.