Choosing me

A woman in a white sports tank top and sunglasses, smiling and raising her arms in a celebratory pose under a "Choosing me" finish line arch at an outdoor event.

The past few years have been difficult. Being a mom to young kids, surviving a pandemic, being a healthcare worker, and continuously grieving the loss of a parent and how that has impacted my family. I have often felt lonely, heartbroken, fatigued and overwhelmingly anxious. I am someone who has literally laid awake at night worrying about so many little (and big) things. It got to a point where I could no longer handle the anxiety or sleeplessness and I hated how it was impacting my relationships, especially with my husband and kids.

So in 2023 I decided to choose me. I prioritized myself by focusing on things I could do to address these feelings and intrusive thoughts. The first thing I did was take it easy on the alcohol, I can see now how it directly impacts how I sleep and feel. I started more regular counselling and I did a lot of journaling, to help work through so many things that kept me awake at night (The Sleep Workbook by Renata Alexandre, PhD really helped with journal prompting).

I also took a leap and signed up to learn how to do a triathlon. I like to identify as an active person, but I have to admit, since having my youngest (4 years ago) I pushed physical activity to the back burner. So in the spring of 2023, myself and some amazing ladies in my neighbourhood started with the Just Tri-It program with the Saskatoon Triathlon Club. You didn’t have to be good or experienced at any of the activities, and the volunteers and other participants were all so positive! It was one of the most supportive communities I have ever experienced. And the women I signed up with helped keep me going each day, even if it involved enticing each other with a fun treat after we completed the work out. We all crossed the finish line of the Be Like Bruce Triathlon in June with so many family and friends cheering us on and were we ever proud of ourselves!

Since then I have mostly stuck with a few workouts a week, and I still feel the love and support and encouragement from the women I trained with and this has been so great for my mental health! I am really proud of myself that this year I got to show my young girls that we are allowed to prioritize ourselves, saying yes to the things that fill our buckets and no to the things that no longer serve us.  ~ Katie

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