I couldn’t be more thrilled to launch my Open Spaces website, and to write my first blog. My hope is that this blog will allow me to connect with kids, adults and families in the community. I decided that my first blog post would be a little bit about me. Here’s why:
I am a mental health clinician at a community-based agency in Guelph, Ontario. One of the most fulfilling parts of my role is co-facilitating an emotional regulation group for caregivers of children involved with our children’s mental health services. Last fall, I was chatting with group participants as we waited for group to start, and I mentioned an upcoming girls’ weekend away and how excited I was to spend time with my friends. One of the participants who I had worked with for a number of years said that she really enjoyed hearing about my plans for the weekend. She noted that I knew so much about her life and her kids’ lives, but she knew very little about mine. This comment reinforced the bravery it takes to share the most vulnerable, and often most painful, parts of your life with a therapist as well as what a privilege it is for me to hear and hold the stories of the people I work with. With that in mind, here are a few things you may find interesting (or not) about me:
I started riding when I was eight years old. I learned early on that, just like us, horses have their own unique personalities and I loved getting to know the horses at the barn. Since that time, my connection to horses has given me rich meaningful experiences – such as riding for Great Britain in the 1999 Pan Am Endurance Championships. Preparing for this 100 mile event meant logging thousands of training miles with one of the most determined, kind-hearted, gentle horses I have ever had the privilege to know. We got to know each other very well over the course of those miles and my memories of our training rides together bring me deep sense of peace and contentment.
Riding is a partnership, running is a solitary sport. I love to run. It grounds me, calms me and makes me feel strong. I completed my first half marathon in March 2014, and I loved it. Since then, I’ve completed several half marathons, as well as a full marathon in May 2015. Last summer I completed my first triathlon, and not my last. One of my favourite things about racing is the supportive and enthusiastic atmosphere created by runners and spectators alike.
I read a lot. My favourite books are A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Tolz and anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
I love to camp and some of my favourite childhood memories are of camping trips with my family. Now I camp with my husband; our favourite places to camp are MacGregor Point and Awenda Provincial Parks. We also love beach days at Long Point Provincial Park – playing Frisbee in the water, swimming and barbequing.
So that’s a little bit about me! Thanks for taking the time to read my first blog. I hope you stop by again.