July 31, 2020
How did you adapt your training to deal with the postponement of the Olympic Games, the cancelling of competitions and training facilities being shut down?
My coach (Al) and I adapted training by taking a couple weeks to embrace that everything described above was no longer a part of the 2020 plan. Emotionally and physically I needed time to let go of the future races I had taken for granted in order to make room for the reality there would be no competitive outdoor season— including the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Al was very patient and understanding during my processing phase and we both reached a point where we shifted away from what-if scenarios and back to focusing on what I could do now. Daily decisions and workouts were made largely on our conversations of: “Today I can…” and a heavy focus on “Today I have…” rather than the “Today I have-not’s.” Dec. 1, 2020 races are allowed to resume so we shifted gears to put our full effort towards the revised Tokyo2020ne.
The great thing as a runner is I don’t require a lot of equipment that can’t be improvised. Plus the endless gravel trails I have to run on mean I had a lot of socially-distant room to get my workouts in with the opportunity to explore the city and area. There were a lot of wind resistant and hill training sessions this spring with some humid sessions now that I am back on the track!
How have you dealt with the emotional effects and stress associated with those changes?
Insert the Regina Farmers’ Market (RFM) online store. I consider myself a creative and needed an outlet to innovate. After spending the last four years training for this 2020 year, it was very helpful to have an online store to build that I could channel my excess energy into while I figured out what this year would look like athletically. In three weeks our RFM team innovated an operational online store for the first time. Although I wasn’t racing, I found comfort working in a team environment, pushing my own limits (technology and website developing), and ultimately giving back to the community that welcomed me home so warmly.
With this in mind, I did realize I was investing a lot of time into the RFM online store. Having mental performance check-ins with Game Plan Advisor Lisa Hoffart of Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan was a great routine to make sure I was taking care of myself, and validating any emotional reactions I was having among the perpetual state of change. I feel really lucky to have a strong network of people I am surrounded by; phone calls with my best friends were also really healthy to hear how their lives were changing as well. Finally walks, my dog has been very happy with the amount of time I’ve been spending at home and she always makes a situation better! She definitely provided some pet therapy!
You work with the Regina Farmers’ Market (first as a Marketing Coordinator and now as the Operations Manager), what drew you to working with the organization?
When I made the decision to move after four years of training and helping innovate the Athletics Canada West Hub (national training centre) in Victoria, one of the key advantages was the return to the support of my home network. There is an under-appreciated value of Saskatchewan people that I couldn’t wait to tap into.
When I first accepted a position with the Regina Farmers’ Market I knew I was on track to be involved with an organization where I would enjoy my work and immerse myself directly into the local community. Both staff, vendors, and customers have been amazing to be a part of my daily interactions. I didn’t realize how much I would gain from this experience, as I have experienced tremendous growth as a person. My responsibilities quickly grew into the new role as Operations Manager, and so has my growth in confidence to lead fearlessly. I have learned the lesson on the difference between wanting to be respected rather than liked and it has been incredibly self-empowering in my ability to lead both at work and at the track.
Due to COVID-19, the RFM was shut down and the spring season was cancelled. Or at least it would’ve been had you and your colleagues not created an online version of the market, complete with contactless pick up and home delivery. What were the driving factors for you in creating that system?
Yes, the RFM would have been cancelled until we were provisionally allowed to reconvene in Phase 2 of the Saskatchewan Economic Re-open plan in May.
Despite my athletic plans being cancelled, and all the other crazy unplanned events of 2020, I reached a point where I realized among all of the chaos, I was okay. I had a roof over my head, it was spring so I could still run/train outside, I was surrounded by family, and I had work I could do from home. Life was actually pretty good.
With this in mind, I knew many people in my community were not in the same situation. After being so warmly welcomed into the RFM community the least I could do to reciprocate their kindness was to innovate a way for them to continue their livelihood. I’m only as good as the people around me and my RFM team of colleagues are rock stars so it was a no-brainer to work together to safely connect our community with locally produced food. My Saskatchewan community has supported me so much over the years, it’s been my pleasure having the opportunity to contribute to an organization where my efforts have emitted such a positive and large ripple effect.
When you’re done training and working for the day (or for the week), what are the things you do to relax?
Making time to relax and recover is so important. Daily I make sure to have down time, but ultimately Sundays are my reset, rest, and “Nature Day.” It’s a day to remove myself from the bustle of city life, head out on an adventure into nature for a mentally-relaxed day. Whether that’s going for a hike, naps on the beach, bonfires at the lake, or driving out to watch the sunset, my nature-time always sets me up for a great next day.
During the week I relax by spending quality time with friends and family, naps, watching Animal Planet (so relaxing to watch and David Attenborough’s voice almost always puts me to sleep) and scheduling time at the Float Tank where I receive chiropractic treatment at Smith & Best.