Running for the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada

Back in 2012, I raised over $6,000 for the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada and ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

That experience of fundraising and running for a reason inspired me and I ran a personal best that day. I didn’t get to raise funds with the team in 2013, but they managed to raise over $80,000 without me.

Fragile X Research Foundation of CanadaIn 11 weeks, I’ll be in Vancouver, BC, to run the BMO Vancouver Marathon. Rather than just running it for fun, I’ve decided to do a little fundraising again this year. Once again, I’m asking for donations to support Fragile X research.

Those who know us already know that our daughter Mackenzie has this inherited genetic disorder that causes learning difficulties, social anxiety, and a number of other physical and mental challenges.

There’s no cure for Fragile X, but there are a few encouraging studies underway to find a treatment. Money donated to the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada goes directly to fund these research programs that are trying to discover a treatment or cure.

Anything you can donate is appreciated!

The last physio session

After 28 months, and about 150 sessions, I finished up with physio today on my elbow. I walked out of Athlete’s Care in Liberty Village without booking my next appointment. That hadn’t happened in forever.

The ceiling at Athlete's Care Liberty Village. I know it well.

The ceiling at Athlete’s Care Liberty Village. I know it well.

It was, as my wife Ginny noted on Twitter, a little bittersweet. Things are not back to normal, and things are also not going to get any better. Over the last few sessions it’s been clear that the physio wasn’t doing anything to make additional progress. The range of motion was always about 125ยบ of flexion coming in each week and extension wasn’t moving either.

In short, it is what it is.

That’s bittersweet because it means accepting what I’ve got now as a result of the accident. But it also means that the period of recovery is over. I’m done with it.

Good therapists are good

Physio James working on my arm.

Physio James working on my arm.

I was lucky to have two great physiotherapists that helped me out. James Braithwaite took on the challenge right after the accident and was there to push me through some pretty dark times. Sometimes it felt like he was dishing out torture, but it was what had to be done to move things along.

I showed up with pretty much a locked elbow and he was able to get things to a point where it was tolerable from day-to-day. I appreciated his advice, skill and his willingness to help with both the physical and mental challenge of recovering from a traumatic injury.

James moved on to his own practice and I moved over to work with Adriana Biernat for the second phase of my recovery. She started by helping me strengthen and prepare for a big followup surgery in March to remove the plates and screws. Coming out of the surgery, it was twice a week for a while to maintain the new range of motion gained under the knife.

Acupuncture works. I've been poked hundreds and hundreds of times now.

Acupuncture works. I’ve been poked hundreds and hundreds of times now.

Over the months and months of treatment, Adriana took the time to understand how my arm reacted to the therapy and she adapted her techniques to extract the greatest range of motion possible. She recognized when we pushed a bit too hard, but she also made sure that we were taking things right up to that line to get the best outcome possible.

What I learned

I learned a lot about myself through the whole process. I learned how to handle pain and how my body reacts to different levels of therapy. I learned that acupuncture works. I’ve become so comfortable with getting those needles placed all over my arms and legs that I’ll continue to do acupuncture for my running therapy when required.

While I won’t be back for my elbow anytime soon (although I’ll probably let Adriana give it a stretch and massage now and then still), I will be there when the stress of marathon training causes those nagging leg issues. I’m a believer in physiotherapy and the role that a good physiotherapist can play in staying healthy and active.


I figured out Rob Ford’s continued popularity.

There’s a wonderful human response mechanism called disgust. It’s what keeps us from eating things that would kill us (amongst other things). It’s built in to each of us. We find some things disgusting.

My friend Adam posted a video of his kid blowing bubbles in a cup of lemonade. It was cute. Then his kid reached in to the cup and pulled out a pizza crust that was in the lemonade and ate it. Disgusting.

I find Rob Ford disgusting. His antics, disregard for others, and his apparent total lack of shame turn my stomach. I also find Miley Cyrus disgusting for pretty much the same reasons.

But just as there are people who view Miley Cyrus as a talented performer, there are people who think Rob Ford is a great person, and a super mayor.

I’m pretty sure those two groups overlap significantly. It’s the only explanation. Just as the kid didn’t see anything wrong with reaching into a cup of lemonade to grab a soggy pizza crust and then stuffing it into his face, there are people who have not yet grown up enough to understand that someone like Rob Ford or Miley Cyrus is disgusting.

Getting older update – the “I wear glasses now” edition

I picked up a pair of prescription glasses today. Part of getting older, they said.

So far I’ve come to the conclusion that these things are going to take some getting used to. The habits associated with 42 years of not wearing glasses will need to be broken. And my brain, which has spent the last few years adapting to vision that has gradually been getting poorer, now has to adapt to some weird progressive lenses that are suddenly changing the way it sees things.

The biggest issue so far is that I have two monitors at work and often use a bit of peripheral vision to look at the second screen. That no longer works as the “sweet spot” with glasses on is much tighter.

On the brighter side, I no longer have to hold my iPhone an arm’s length away to be able to read it clearly. But I do have to remember to look through the lower part of the lens.

According to everything I’ve read, and what the optometrist told me, my brain will adapt and my habits will change in a week or two. We’ll see! (pun intended).

Three Weeks to Banff

Three weeks today we’ll be in Canmore and Banff to start our Christmas in the Rockies adventure.

Over the last few weeks we’ve been loading up on cold-weather gear. New jackets, ski pants, boots, underlayer, fleece, socks, hats and mitts.

We’re pretty much ready, and about ready to be done spending money. I should say investing money since this is good quality gear that will last us a long time and really give us the ability to spend some time outside this winter.

We’ve also been making lists of things to do when we’re there, and planning Christmas day activities.

So far we’re going on a horse-drawn sleigh ride at Lake Louise and then having a buffet Christmas dinner at The Keg in Banff.