Thursday, December 29, 2011

Past Deadline: Ye Olde New Year's Revolutions

Here we are on the brink of 2012 and it’s time to reflect upon the year and pledge some sort of allegiance to revolutionizing life and making lists of promises that may or may not be broken, etc.

As I have reflected in the past, it all depends upon the type of list you make, right?

Last year, after eons of making grand lists that promised everything from the standard eating better and exercising more to the more aggressive saving of the world, I decided to aim for an achievable goal that was, nevertheless challenging. So I pledged to complain less or, at least, to use my inside voice when I do it.

How did I do? (Hahaha.)

This year, I think I might go back to some of the old standards, particularly that exercise one. THAT has definitely been more challenging since August, when ye olde right foot collapsed.

Stupid, stupid foot.

Last year I was quite pleased with my activity level. Although my running “program” had its ups and downs, I was doing it. I completed the Kilt Run (8K) and survived! Even better, because our family has been attempting to make do with one vehicle as Groom-boy commutes to Ottawa, my hoofing it about town resulted in the loss of a few pounds.

All that came to a crashing halt with the foot crisis. Walking became difficult; running is currently impossible. And while foot-related exercise may again be possible someday, I need to consider some alternate way to get the lead out.

It’s funny, a couple of years ago in this space at around this time of season I rambled (Me? Ramble?) about how I thought 2010 was going to be a nasty year because I was turning 40 and, well, you know what that means!

At the time I wasn’t really sure what that meant, but maybe the rumour is true – maybe your body really does start to fall apart once you hit that grand decade.

Within the last several months I have noticed my grey hairs are turning white, too. Yeesh. If I do not persist with my aggressive Hair Maintenance Program™, it looks as if I have pressed my forehead up against something painted white. This might be acceptable in 10 years or so, but I’m not ready yet.

Yes, 2011 brought a few physical changes to be sure.

In fact, that could be an underlying theme for the year – change. The remarkable thing (for me) is that I think I am maybe kinda sorta learning to accept the constancy of change. (That doesn’t mean I have to like it.)

In addition to my stupid foot throwing off my beloved routines, there have been many work-related changes this year, too. Some of these have been a bit unnerving for Type-A girl over here. (I like to eat my supper at a certain time, so don’t dare come to my door and ask to see my furnace, thanks.)

While I understand that change happens and can even translate into exciting new opportunities, sometimes it is just, well, difficult and unwanted.

It’s easy to immediately panic when facing an unwanted change, but that doesn’t help. I can’t tell you how many times I have said to my children or to students in my classes who are facing an unpleasant prospect: “Don’t panic.”

Now that I am firmly ensconced in my 40s I suppose the time has come to do the grown-up thing and practise what I preach. Take a deep breath, make yourself a cup of Calm The Heck Down™ tea (usually containing chamomile) and just deal with it.

So, to recap: Resolution 1: Get more exercise, even if it means not using your feet. Resolution 2: Continue aggressive Hair Management Program™. Resolution 3: Don’t freak out in the face of change (which also applies to white hair). Resolution 4: Save the world.

Had to throw that last one in just to make it interesting. Wish me luck.

(I would like to extend my very best wishes to long-time Perth Courier colleagues/friends who are about to embark on new adventures. All the best as you embrace your own changes. It has been wonderful working with you for all these many years!)

Published in The Perth Courier, Dec. 29/11

Friday, December 23, 2011

Past Deadline: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas 2011

Christmas already? Why, that can only mean it’s time to extend my heartfelt apologies once again to Clement Clark Moore as I embark upon my annual butchering of his beloved classic, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas. After all, what would the holidays be without some wreaking of literary havoc upon poor, hapless poets and readers?

’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house

The children used light sabres in order to joust.

The stockings were buried under debris

And Mama looked a bit like she wanted to flee.

The company would be coming

The turkey soon thawed

And Mama hoped everyone would be truly awed.

“Your house is divine,” Mama hoped they would say,

“It should be on the house tour – book it today!” [That would be the Hoarders house tour, maybe?]

She snapped out of her daydream when she heard such a clatter

And ran to the next room to see what was the matter.

Boychild and Girlchild were standing alarmed

As the Christmas tree toppled – but no one was harmed. [This didn’t really happen – but I often imagine it could when the light sabre fights get going.]

“What are you doing?” Mama shrieked and she hollered,

And then Groom-boy came in and the kitty cats follered. [Ha. “Follered” is not a real word, but some people say it that way.]

“It’s her fault!” “It’s his fault!” the arguments started

But Mama just stood there, feeling all broken-hearted.

“The ornaments,” she whispered. “So many are broken.

“Some were real treasures and beautiful tokens.”

The room grew solemn and Groom-boy jumped in

Promising to make things as neat as a pin.

The children were worried. Would Santa still come?

Would they get any presents after what they had done?

Everyone pitched in while Mama went off

To work in the kitchen and, um, started to cough.

When what to her grateful eyes should appear

But the Stress-Free Holiday Fairy™! What cheer!

“You’re late!” Mama cried. “I have been so stressed out

“That I can’t even remember what Christmas is about!

“The cooking, the cleaning, the buying, the wrapping

“It just leaves me feeling as if I should be napping.

“And now the tree’s ruined and the company’s coming

“I’m just not sure how I can keep it all humming!”

The fairy, of course, sprite that she is

Gave a wink and conjured a drink with some fizz.

“Take a deep breath and then take a wee sip,

“And before too long you’ll have plenty of zip!”

The drink was quite yummy and before Mama knew it

She’d sipped and she’d sipped and got all the way through it.

Meanwhile the fairy got quickly to work,

Waving her wand as if she’d gone berserk.

Soon the clutter was gone and the meal prep completed

And best of all was the tree accident was deleted.

“Good as new!” cried the fairy. “Everything will be fine

“And you must remember to enjoy this grand time!”

With a wink and grin and a twinkling eye

She blew Mama a kiss and took to the sky.

Mama peeked in the room and to her delight

Saw the family and kitties basking in the tree’s light.

“Everything good?” she asked with a smile

And knew she’d be thanking her fairy for a while.

Phew. You gotta love that Stress-Free Holiday Fairy™. Have you seen her? I’m still hoping. Anyway, Boychild, Girlchild, Groom-boy and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2012!

Published in The Perth Courier, Dec. 22/11

Past Deadline: Striving To Be the Rare Uncollapsed

You may have heard I have a sore foot. Possibly I have whined and complained somewhat incessantly about it.

Things are muuuuuuch better than they were. In August, I was basically lame. Now, after physiotherapy fixed a raging case of tendonitis and orthotics are teaching my feet how to be normal, there are lots of times when I can walk pain free.

To quickly recap, I developed a weird pain in my right foot in August. This led me to my doctor, then to a physiotherapist who determined I had a rather nasty case of posterior tibialis tendonitis brought about because the long arch was collapsing onto the tendon. It appears I have “severe biomechanical failure” in both feet, although the left one hasn’t gotten as angry as the right one. Yet.

As interesting as this all sounds (stop yawning), a collapsed foot is much more fun to talk about than it is to walk upon. So you can imagine how much fun that must be!

Anyway, physio helped tremendously and the orthotics are starting to make a difference. Still, the progress is slow. Even though it has been suggested that someday I may be able to get back into running, I am starting to have serious doubts.

At a recent event a couple of us were lamenting how much fun we were having (ha) now that we have entered our forties. One woman reported having hot flashes. I chimed in with the fact I now sport orthotics.

“I am starting to think that collapsed feet don’t actually get better,” I said.

A nurse was standing beside me. “No, no they don’t,” she said matter-of-factly.

Possibly a look passed over my face because she added the word “rarely.”

I have avoided checking Dr. Google on this matter because I am not sure I am ready to hear for certain that the jig is up – that my aspirations to be a prima ballerina are kaput and my dream of being a foot model for anything other than a medical journal is done.

Besides, I should put that week into context.

I am not terribly athletic. I continue to be amazed that I took up running at all. It is hard. I am not a glamorous runner. Sometimes it hurts. (Ironically, it usually wasn’t the feet that were sore, but I now know that the feet are connected to, well, everything.)

Anyway, the best thing about running for me is the fact it clears my head and makes me feel happy. All I need is 5K a couple of times a week to accomplish this. I also love running because I can go when my schedule allows it, which can be tricky.

The fact I haven’t run since July 24 – or even had a decent power walk – makes me cranky.

So on the evening of Nov. 27 I went on a super-fast, long-strided, loud-music-playing, orthotics-wearing, heart-pumping, 2.7K walk.

It felt sooooo good.

Even though I iced my foot as soon as I came home, I paid for it, as I knew I would. I don’t regret it, though. Besides, it was a new and different kind of pain, which was intriguing (when you are obsessed with your foot).

I was still paying for it when I had the conversation with my nurse friend.

I bounced back from that discouragement after chatting with my lovely physiotherapist a week later. I admitted to her that I had probably pushed the boundaries a bit with my mentally-therapeutic-but- pedalianly-abusive power walk.

She was undaunted, however, and has encouraged me to start a walking program – but to ease into it. (Duh.) I am also working harder on my exercises. These include such exciting things as standing on tiptoes while squeezing a small ball between my feet, as well as toe push-ups, which are harder than they might sound.

Most importantly, I am going to try to be more patient. My orthotics guy told me it could take several months before the bad days diminish. I am only about halfway into “several.”

With patience and a lot more toe push-ups, maybe I will be lucky enough to be one of the “rarelys.”

Published in The Perth Courier, Dec. 15/11

Past Deadline: Girl Guides Excepted

I am working on a new sign for my front door.

See, lately everyone and their dog is coming to my door around suppertime and asking to see things related to my basement. (Except for the Pop Tart girls I wrote about a few weeks ago, who were more interested in my toaster.)

I am beginning to think a team of undercover agents is conspiring to recover buried treasure in my basement. It’s a very old house, and part of the basement is quite…um…rustic, which is what happened when pioneers met bedrock. I suspect the soil is too thin for a buried treasure, though.

Nevertheless, these people keep trying. They show up under various company names and pretend to care about my health and how much I am paying for things. They want to check my furnace or my water heater or my vents or my pipes or for carbon monoxide. They want to see my gas bill or hydro bill. They all have very nice name tags and vests or shirts and badges and clipboards. They look very officious.

Sometimes they also look bored. When I open the door and give them the old stink eye because usually I am making supper, it’s a bit like looking in the mirror – they give their spiel and I say “Nothankyougoodbye” and I think we all know we are getting really tired of this routine.

Of course they look professional and officious, as stated above, while I show up at the door with crazy hair and bags under my eyes and boisterous kids in the background – so that whole “looking in the mirror” thing probably only applies to how we feel, not how we look.

I’m sure I have mentioned before about how I actually got sucked into one of those fixed-rate energy deals one time. It was quite a few years ago and it was the first time one of them had shown up at my door. He was really good – he had a polished routine and it was in the midst of a big media blitz about an energy crisis and I nodded and listened and signed.

He hadn’t been gone more than two minutes before my gut kicked me hard in the…uh…gut and said, “You moron. You shouldn’t have done that.”

I called Groom-boy and my dad and everyone said, “You moron. You shouldn’t have done that.” They used different words, though. We extracted ourselves from the contract within hours of me signing it.

Needless to say, I am now suspicious to the point I won’t even entertain the spiel beyond one sentence. I go for the pre-emptive strike. If I am unhappy with the furnace or water heater or vents or pipes or carbon monoxide detectors or energy bills, I would rather go looking for a solution than do business at the door.

Except when it comes to Girl Guide cookies, of course.

For the rest, it is seriously getting to the point that whenever the front doorbell rings, I hesitate to answer it because someone is usually trying to sell me something. And if they are not trying to sell me something, they are preaching religious gloom and doom.

Does this happen in the country or is it a town phenomenon? More importantly, if I moved to the country, would I still be able to get Girl Guide cookies?

So now I have to decide what sign to put on the door.

Those little “No Soliciting” plaques are quite attractive and make the point, but are largely ignored, I think.

How about: “If you want to see my furnace, water heater, vents, pipes, carbon monoxide detectors or energy bills, forget it. Go away.” Too wordy?

We could try: “If you are here regarding anything to do with my basement or energy bills, go away.” Or a slight variation: “My basement appliances and their associated bills are not available for viewing.”

Or: “The answer is ‘no,’ so don’t bother ringing the bell. (Girl Guides excepted).”

Maybe I should just put a picture of me with my crazy hair and stink eye above the doorbell. That could be a better deterrent than a mean guard dog.

Published in The Perth Courier, Dec. 8/11

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Past Deadline: You Will Eat These Meatballs...

I’ve been a mom for almost a decade now – longer if you count the time Child No. 1 was in the womb.

I know that’s nothing compared to others. Once you’re a mom, you’re always a mom, even when your own kids are old. You’ll always worry about them. I always come back to the friend of my mom who told me – about a decade ago – that I would never sleep well again because I would always be waiting for a phone call or wondering what they were doing in a far-off city or whatever.

Sigh. I can see how that might happen.

This isn’t a column about worry or sleep, though. My (belaboured) point is that with nearly 10 years in the bag I should really know better by now.

I should know there is absolutely no point in thinking that new recipe you are trying is going to be beloved by all the short people, even if it is little tiny meatballs in a sweet tomato sauce. They like hamburgers. They like ketchup. They’ll love these, right?

You can guess where this is going.

It had been a busy day for domestic activity. I always have a feeling of accomplishment when I get the house cleaned up because a) it is a small house that is very quickly overtaken by clutter and cat hair and b) I did not pass the entrance exam for Martha Stewart’s Basic Housekeeping 101.

Recent floor work in our sun porch meant the contents of said area had been moved into our dining room. Last week we finally got everything shuffled back out to the sun porch and I was feeling quite pleased about things looking somewhat presentable again.

So on that day I was busy trying to keep up appearances, while navigating the usual mounds of laundry and heaps of dishes.

Meanwhile, Boychild had friends over, and to avoid the continuation of a very vocal boys-against-girl war, I extracted Girlchild from the melee and we made cookies.

Even with all that I had time to construct the new meatball concoction. It would be so great!

The recipe made tonnes and, because I was absolutely convinced this would become a Beloved and Cherished Family Recipe™, I was happy with the volume since that would mean I could freeze leftovers and be a step ahead with a homemade meal at some future rushed time.

As it baked in the oven it smelled as good as I expected. The kids peered in and voiced their approval. All seemed destined for success.

Until they sat down and took the first bite.

“No offence, Mom, but I don’t like this,” said Girlchild. She thought the sauce, which was sparse on her plate, tasted too much like barbecue sauce. Until now I didn’t realize that would be a problem, as usually barbecue sauce is on the “safe” list.

Even though I billed them as being “little hamburgers in sweet ketchup” (because it’s all about the marketing, you know), Boychild, my ketchup liker, didn’t like. This is the same child who said just the other day: “Oh man! We’re out of broccoli!” And he loves mushrooms. I kid you not.

At least Groom-boy liked it. He even had seconds. My make-ahead meals went to grandparents.

I couldn’t help but be annoyed and disappointed because, of course, after all the preparation there was much whining about the meal and oh the hunger and so on.

Groom-boy commenced a rant about Fatness and Diabetes and Scurvy and the Scourge of Eating Too Much Pasta. “What DO you people like?” he asked. I disappeared into my office to write an inspired column. I really like pasta, but it didn’t really seem like the right time to defend it.

It is somewhat of a personal mission for me to continue to try new recipes in the faint hope they can be added to the repertoire. Perhaps in future I will a) remember to lower my expectations and b) remind myself that my mother told me, after I left for university, that she was so sick of corn she would probably never eat it again.

I look forward to exercising my palate in about another decade….

Published in The Perth Courier, Dec. 1/11

Past Deadline: No Dust for Christmas

In a month it will be Christmas.

For so many reasons I won’t be ready. As usual. This year, in addition to just falling behind in general, it appears likely I will also be hopelessly lost when it comes to knowing the Latest Trends in Christmas Gifts™.

One night last week Groom-boy went to great pains to explain to me he would be later getting home because a certain store was having a door-crasher special or whatever that would get us a sweet deal on a thingy that Girlchild was wanting if he showed up at precisely a certain time.

“A what?” I asked dimly.

He repeated the name of the thingy, which I won’t repeat here because a) she can read now and b) I can’t remember it anyway.

“Oh yeah,” I said distractedly. “And what is that again?”

He explained what the thingy does, which then rang vague bells as something she wants.

A few days after the secret caper, Groom-boy said something to me about the toy. I looked at him blankly before the hamster in that part of my brain finally kicked in and the creaky wheels began to grind into life.

Oh, the details to remember.

Years ago, when watching TV, Girlchild would say “I’m so getting that!” every time a commercial tickled her fancy. It became a big joke around our house. Now things are a little more calculated/negotiated on our kids’ parts, but there are still an awful lot of coveted items.

You know, our grandparents used to be happy about getting oranges for Christmas.

These days it seems as if we are made to feel that if we don’t go into debt for Christmas then we are personally responsible for sending the world economy to the brink.

Our kids – and we – have too much stuff. Getting stuff isn’t even meaningful a lot of the time. Even though, technically, we only have ourselves to blame for that, it’s a hard thing to prevent in a world driven by consumerism.

These are heavy thoughts to be thinking at a time when we are supposed to be infused with the spirit of giving, which so often translates into the spirit of spending. Three cheers for the economy – hip, hip, cha-ching!

Groom-boy said that as he waited to get Girlchild’s thingy, he and the other patrons joked about how they had become “those parents” – the ones who stand in long lines to get their kids the latest most fabulous thingy that only costs a few dollars more at the store down the street and that will probably be gathering dust in a few months anyway.

People, dust is a terrible thing and must be stopped.

Also terrible is this constant desire for stuff brought on by the brainwashing from the Holy Church of Consumerism. Even though they don’t get something every time we go to a store, our kids seem to think they should. They definitely have received things at more frequent and random intervals than I ever did as a child. In those days Christmas and birthdays were the principle toy-getting times.

Teaching our kids they have to earn an allowance to have money to buy things on their own has helped a little, but there is still this “need” for stuff.

I’m set to go all Role Model™ this Christmas. I don’t particularly need or want anything this year, so I think I will encourage gifts to charity instead or maybe giving something from the heart, such as cookies made from scratch or a craft that took some time to create. I’m not sure how long it will take to get the message across – maybe years? But it’s a start.

And this is not an entirely selfless act, anyway. After all, when you accumulate stuff you have to dust it, and that is something at which I do not excel. So less dusting is a fine gift.

I’m not saying some of the latest in thingies won’t be showing up under our tree this year because that would be really hard to process for certain people, but I definitely don’t mind being an example.

Sorry, economy. Not sorry, dust.

Published in The Perth Courier, Nov. 24/11

Monday, December 5, 2011

Past Deadline: To Tolerate Tolorate

Every day I walk by a bulletin board in front of a church that features interesting quotes. The quotes change every couple of weeks or so and are always a good read.

Often they are inspirational or compelling or worth a chuckle – “Be the change you want to see in the world” kind of stuff.

I am really puzzling over the current one, however: “You can never change what you tolorate.”


I cringe every time I pass it because I have great difficulty tolerating spelling errors. Did they spell “tolerate” incorrectly on purpose to prove a point? Do they know writer-types walk by on a regular basis and this is some sort of test? Are they hiding inside watching to see how long it will be before I crack and stick a little Post-It Note on the glass with the word “TOLERATE” scrawled in red pen?

This is just my initial reaction to the sign. You have no idea how much time I have spent contemplating its meaning as I pass by.

Spelling issues aside, I tend to disagree with the statement. I think lots of people change what they tolerate. Usually this comes from the fact they increase their understanding of something they couldn’t tolerate previously.

Maybe, for example, they used to hate people who have purple hair. Once they come to realize that people with purple hair are really no different than anyone else, it can be argued they have increased tolerance.

Sometimes it comes from experience. I like to think, for instance, I re-evaluated my tolerance of pain after having my first kid. People get used to things…and they can tolerate them more.

If you go right back to the definition of “tolerate” (as distinct from the non-existent “tolorate”), it tells you something. It means to “allow the existence, practice or occurrence of; to endure or allow with patience, leniency or understanding; to sustain or endure (pain suffering, etc.); to be capable of continued subjection to (a drug, radiation, etc.) without harm.”

I’m not sure if I should commend myself for not rushing over to the sign with my Post-It Note or not. Is tolerating this spelling error a good thing or is it just showing that I am “sustaining and enduring suffering” because I suspect there may be a philosophical message behind this spelling error?

(Note: to any of my students who may be reading this, my tolerance of spelling errors in submitted assignments is definitely lower than it is in this example.)


Indeed, “tolerate” is an interesting word – and it goes from one extreme to another. In fact, when we “preach tolerance,” what exactly are we saying? Well, obviously, it depends upon the context. I guess in my head I have always seen tolerance as a good thing – something that open-minded people do – but it can also be a bad thing.

We can tolerate bullying, but we shouldn’t.

We can tolerate spelling errors, but that leads to a society rife with sloppiness. (Except, of course, in this case, where it is stimulating discussion.)

One of the other reasons I decided to devote a column to this subject was the story that surfaced in Ottawa last week about the singing OC Transpo driver.

For years, a bus driver on a route from downtown to Barrhaven has been belting out tunes as he drives. Well, amid all the kudos over time came a number of complaints, and the OC Transpo managers have asked him to stop.

It reminds me of the part in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when the King of Swamp Castle has to repeatedly tell his son Herbert to stop singing. “Stop that! Stop that! You’re not going into a song while I’m here!”

I can understand if the guy was a really terrible singer, but most accounts seem to indicate the opposite.

It is a sad reflection on our times that people cannot tolerate a singing bus driver.

Sometimes it’s okay to “allow the existence, practice or occurrence” of something you may not necessarily love.

This is why I will “allow patience, leniency and understanding” when it comes to “tolorate.” Nevertheless, I hope the sign changes soon before I lose my mind.

Published in The Perth Courier, Nov. 17/11

Past Deadline: Retraining Wonky Ankles

The good news is I no longer feel compelled to cut off my right foot.

The bad news is I still spend way more time thinking about my feet than I would like.

Back in September, I wrote about how my right ankle had basically given up on me.

It all started with nagging pain in August. Over a period of several weeks, despite rest, ice, tensor bandages and elevation, it grew progressively worse. It burned and twinged and throbbed and felt as if someone were squeezing it with a vice. That was when I was sitting down – standing and walking were much less fun. Even swimming was painful.

My doctor referred me to physiotherapy, which became my happy place. My physiotherapist took my poor, swollen, red-hot appendage and, over a few weeks, got it back on speaking terms with the rest of my body.

“Baby, you were born this way,” she said with a smile, while marveling over the fact I actually ran on those feet. I credit good shoes.

Turns out I had posterior tibialis tendonitis in the right foot, which is a fancy way of saying my tendon was very angry. My arch had collapsed onto said tendon, which is as painful as it sounds. The ligaments were none too pleased about the situation, either.

Inflammation, much? Ice became my best friend.

My physiotherapist explained I have “severe biomechanical failure” in my feet. My ankles tilt in. Things aren’t lined up properly and probably never were. It seems it is a miracle I have not had foot problems before now.

How do we fix these wonky ankles? Custom orthotics!

I am now the proud owner of an expensive set of casts that not only produced inserts for my shoes, but can also be used as weapons or a dandy set of paperweights.

The inserts are now busily retraining my feet. Although I have been told by many that orthotics are just the bestest most awesomest things ever (or as my son would say, “epic!”), I have also been suitably forewarned they take some getting used to.


Basically, orthotics position your feet so they work the way they should, which feels weird when you’ve been walking on them the wonky way for 40 years.

The process makes your feet a whole new kind of tired as you find all sorts of little muscles that may never have been used properly before.

In fact, when my orthotics specialist explained how to ease into the wearing of them, he said I would need double the normal time. I am just that special.

So instead of wearing them for one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon on the first day, then two and two on the second, etc., I had to do each increment over two days.

How could I have lived so long with such crazy feet without knowing it? It makes me wonder what else I don’t know about myself. (I know about the crazy hair, at least.)

After a couple of weeks I am pleased to report that, despite the onerous process, I think I am starting to notice a difference.

My ankle still yells at me sometimes, but it’s not as violently angry. Both feet get tired, but that matches the rest of me.

My orthotics guy said that after a few months I will suddenly realize the bad days are much further and farther between. I look forward to it.

Not only that, but both he and my physiotherapist have suggested I may be able to run again – someday – as long as I don’t rush it. No worries. I am happy that I can sometimes walk without pain now, so I have no plans to hinder progress.

Oh, but I sure miss my head-clearing runs.

Even though I embraced cycling as a means to get around town without having to put weight on my foot, I have had a hard time getting past the “I am going to die” feeling that set in after I flipped off my bike in Grade 12 and landed in the hospital.

I’ll keep working at it, but so far biking doesn’t do much to clear my head – and concussions don’t count.

Published in The Perth Courier, Nov. 10/11