TPW Winter Gathering

TPW Winter Gathering
2018 Black and Medals dinner

Monday, January 14, 2019

Good Intentions

Did you walk in the mall on Saturday? Or did you brave the cold graveyard? Or were you like me, having great intentions but ending up snuggled under a warm blanky and walking in your dreams?

I did get out on Sat., later on, for a walk up to one of my clutch of favourite coffee spots. It’s about 4k each way so I got some distance in, but not with any great speed. :)

I was thinking about my intention to walk and all the other things I needed to squeeze on the weekend. Meeting up with TPW would have been good for me but would have made the day very hectic. I did regret not going. I didn’t beat myself up though! In a world where we often fail to maintain balance, deciding to drop one of our intentions is a sign of increasing wisdom (at least that’s what I’m going to tell myself). It was a much less hectic day for me.

One of the things I regret though is not joining in in the conversations. Now I use the phrase “joining in” knowing that I lean towards the listening side of most conversations :) I listened to Under the Influence this morning and one of the lines was, “Men shop at Sears, Women shop at Bloomingdales”. It was a discussion of differences between how men shop and women shop. While I shop like a regular male, I do tend to find my feminine side takes precedence in conversations. I may not remember much, but I really enjoy the topics that come up at TPW. And I especially like to hear the questions that I should be asking but my male brain doesn’t think to explore. So even if I’m not saying much I’m thoroughly engaged. And that’s what I missed by not walking, along with the general sense of camaraderie. 

I’m smiling though, because there’s always next week!

Monday, January 7, 2019

2019 and counting....

Whether as a result of New Year's resolutions or the mild weather, we had an excellent turnout on Sat. - over 20 walking and 12 at breakfast.

As is our way, we walked and talked in fluid, changing groups - covering an enormous range of topics over the course of the walk and our meal. This is something that always delights and entertains me so I have tried, as I have done in past, to capture just some of the subjects covered. Here goes: does TPW have a policy on how we promote ourselves;  recent good movies seen (thumbs up to Vice and The Favourite);  the sad state of board governance for many non-profits and the need for relevant training; the on-going soap opera down south and whether we would want to take on a senior role in politics when we are 78 (not that we wouldn't do it brilliantly, but would we want to?); the foibles of the entrenched rich; whether or not to make  New Year's resolutions and much more.

It strikes me that women's conversations are rarely depicted as being so rich and varied in popular fiction - more work to be done there.

Wishing us all a happy and healthy 2019 - and remember that a good way to ensure both is to 'walk the distance' with TPW!

And don't forget to put Feb. 9 in your calendar for our winter meeting.  Start time 10ish so you can walk first. Location Diane's.

Monday, December 31, 2018

A Dark and Early TPW Morning...

I always find it the hardest getting up early Saturday mornings in the dark before the sun rises,  knowing it will be wintery cold outside.  This Saturday was definitely no exception but up I got and out the door I went to join the other intrepid souls in the cemetery (the living ones, anyway)  for our TPW morning walk.  It felt chilly, snowflakes were falling and there was a bit of a biting wind that struck our faces; there was no warming sunlight to alleviate the cold on this particularly Saturday, the last one of the year.
And so we come to the end of 2018 and I naturally think of endings and beginnings but also most importantly, of  continuing.  Continuing to walk of course but also continuing to grow and continuing to change.  Endings and beginnings are significant milestones but the commitment to continue is the real test.  Time is a very interesting construct; we break it into meaningful (to us, anyway) segments but it is really much more like a flowing river we are immersed in.  The writer, Jorge Luis Borges wrote:  
“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which  sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”
So ring in 2019 with these parting pearls of wisdom from me:  "Party On!" (my personal favourite), or in the words of that famous rock song:  "Keep on Keepin' On"!  And I'll see you next year, alive and well, in the cemetery.

Monday, December 24, 2018

XL, XXL and Beyond

Nineteen of us gathered for the walk. We munched on Catherine’s delicious short bread cookies before doing our  warm up stretches (led by Diane). The weather was cool and gratefully without rain.

After our walk, sixteen gathered for breakfast . Per usual, our conversations were stimulating. We spoke about meeting at the Resolution Run (Palais Royale 1601 Lake Shore Blvd W, December 30th, 2018  @9 am )  and the idea of ordering race clothing  in XL, XXL sizes. Did you just gasp when reading this part? Let me explain the background to this conversation and the purpose.

For those of you who are new, we gather in January or February to renew our membership and discuss further races. It is during this time that we place clothing we do not want and have acquired at the races onto a table for exchange purposes. What ever is left over is given to charity.  The clothing consist mostly of medium sizes.

There is a member of our community who is associated with people who - because of the side effect of the medication they are required to take  - balloon up into the XL, XXL and beyond clothing size range. They are individuals who would like to race but whose financial situation forces them to spend money mostly on meeting their basic need.  

Over the years I have acquired all sorts of jackets and tops, I simply do not need any more. I have now penned on my 2019 To Do list that all clothing I acquire from 2019 races will be ordered in XL, XXL and beyond (if they have it) sizes and then I will place them on the table for exchange and charity purposes.  

So for 2019 the question is posed :   XL, XXL and beyond anyone ?

Monday, December 17, 2018

Through Someone Else's Eyes

I had the pleasure of introducing a friend to TPW on Saturday morning.  She had been a member of Jean’s Marines as a runner during its last years and was interested to learn that the walking branch had morphed into the Toronto Power Walkers for the past ten years.  Introducing someone to the group is a deep pleasure.  Although I never forget how blessed I am to have this group in my life, seeing it through someone else’s eyes brings the gratitude into greater focus.  I realize anew how much each member adds to my life.  As I walk, I have people who never tire of the stories about my grandchildren (or are too polite to say so), people who entertain me with their travel stories, or their entertaining encounters with others.  I also have people who privilege me by sharing their trials and their ambitions. 
As I write this, I’m listening to my curated Christmas collection.  So many of my favourite carols and holiday songs reflect this sense of gratitude, none better than dear, deeply missed, Freddie Mercury singing:
Oh my love 
We live in troubled days
Oh my friends
We have the strangest ways
All my friends 
On this one day of days
Thank God It’s Christmas.

A reminder to all: February 9, after our walk, we’ll convene at Diane’s for our breakfast and 'quarterly' meeting.  Details coming.