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Running Outside in the Spring: Expectation vs. Reality


running-outside-in-spring running-outside-in-spring

And then you go home and continue to spit out gnats for literally two hours.

Still beats the treadmill.


They’re Magically Delicious

This story is dedicated to my mom, as it is her favourite story about me and she asked me recently why I haven’t told it yet. So heeeeere it is!

When I was just a little kitty, my very favourite cereal in the entire world was Lucky Charms.


So magically delicious. Like every child I of course looooved the marshmallows. Could not get enough. I could eat an entire bowl of just the marshmallows, easily.


Whenever I would eat my bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast I would eat all the boring oat pieces first and then save all the little marshmallows for last. I still do this with my dinner plates: eat the stuff that isn’t my favourite first so then the good things are all saved for last. It’s a good eating method. I recommend it. This way your favourite thing is the very last taste in your mouth.

One day when I was about three or four, my mom bought a giant family-sized box of Lucky Charms. She brought it home from the grocery store and as soon as she took it out of the bag I was all over it.


My mom noticed me admiring the box of deliciousness.


And she decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea to just leave the box lying around, as I’d probably get into it.



But I didn’t WANT them for breakfast tomorrow, I wanted them right NOW.

My mom thought that a good place to “hide” the Lucky Charms would be on top of the refrigerator, because I was just little, and wouldn’t be able to reach it.


But when I want something that badly, I want it, and I WILL get it.

I stared at that box for the rest of the day. And as I was going to sleep that night, all I could think about were the Lucky Charms just sitting on the top of the fridge waiting for me. I had to have them.

So I woke up super early, before my parents, with the plan of acquiring that box of Lucky Charms. And actually I am not even sure how I woke up so early, but it’s possible that I didn’t sleep at all.

But anyway, I woke up super early (it was still dark), crept into the kitchen, and there they were.


In the same spot my mom had left them the night before. Still too high for me to reach.

But I was a resourceful little minx. So I grabbed a chair from the kitchen table, quietly dragged it over to the fridge, and climbed up onto the counter.








The Lucky Charms and I were reunited.

I quickly (but quietly) put the chair back, took the box of Lucky Charms with me into my bedroom and shut the door. I was alone with my conquest. The Lucky Charms were all mine.

I immediately dumped the entire box onto my floor.


And then I sat down next to the mound of Lucky Charms and got to work.

I meticulously separated the marshmallows from the boring oat pieces one by one. It took me ages, but I didn’t give up. I picked out every last colourful piece of marshmallow and set it aside. In the end I had a pile of oat pieces (which I discarded), and a perfect pile of just marshmallows.


Which I then ate. I ate the entire pile of marshmallows.

In the morning my mom woke up a bit later than usual and thought it was weird that I wasn’t up and harassing her yet. It was very unlike me to be so quiet in my room so late. So she came in to check on me.


And this is how she found me.




As my mom tells me the story, and as she tells everyone she tells this story to, she found me eating the very last marshmallow in the box.

I spent the rest of the day alternating between laying around in a sugar coma and magically throwing up the rainbow.

But surprisingly I am not sick of Lucky Charms even now! And I still love those little marshmallows!


The Time I Blew Across the Lake

I have another frozen lake story from my childhood I’d like to share with you. This time, I was with my good friend Melissa (the one who I fought with over Jason Priestley Ken).

(Melissa and I last year)

When I was about 10 or so, Melissa and I were skating on the lake around my house, just like any other day.

It was really windy that day, and in a rare occurrence, all the snow had blown off the lake. The entire lake was frozen, snow-free, and the ice was perfectly smooth and inky black. There was not one bump on it. It was an amazing phenomenon. We could skate anywhere! There was no rink, and no boundaries! Usually there are snowbanks or bumpy ice that you have to watch out for, but not on this day. It was the best skating conditions I had ever seen on the lake (and I have never seen anything like it since).

Since it was so windy, we decided to open our coats like sails to see if the wind would blow us without us having to do any work.

We couldn’t believe how well it worked. The ice was as smooth as glass, and the wind blew us so fast! It was the best time!

We closed our eyes and coasted in the wind. We were racing over the ice.

We sailed in the wind for quite a while, having the time of our lives. Eventually we closed down our sails and turned back to see how far we had come.

Like halfway across the lake. We couldn’t believe how well our makeshift sails worked, we had been blown several kilometres from where we came from. My house was a speck in the distance.

We immediately panicked and tried to skate back…

But we couldn’t. The wind was too strong, and it continued to blow us in the opposite direction!

It was now starting to get dark, and we were starting to worry.

There was a house in the distance in the direction we had originally been blowing in, so we decided to continue to let the wind push us towards it.

We finally arrived, and walked up to the door in our skates and rang the doorbell. An elderly man answered.

Luckily, the man was very nice and let us come in, and we called my dad to drive over and pick us up. While we waited, the man’s wife gave us hot chocolate and cookies! It was great.

And that, my friends, is the story of how I blew across the lake.


Familiar Grocery Store vs. Unfamiliar Grocery Store

I have said it before, and I will say it a million times more, I cannot stand grocery shopping in an unfamiliar supermarket.

I know my grocery store intimately. I know where everything is, I usually go there knowing what I’m looking for, and I have a hot route planned out. I may defer from my hot route from time to time to pick up extra things that I need, but I still know where things are, and I still know where I’m going.

My grocery store is familiar to me, and I am attached to it.

Here is what happens when I go shopping in my regular grocery store:

That is honestly close to my exact store layout, and my exact hot route. In and out, and I am a happy camper.

Here is what happens when I go to an unfamiliar grocery store:

I don’t know WhereTF anything is. Even if it’s a similar layout, I will spend hours looking for something ridiculous like salsa. I get out of there a hot and sweaty, annoyed and irritated mess.

Is it too much to ask for all grocery stores to be consistent? Honestly.


The Fence

If you have read my About page, you may have noticed that I love the game Manhunt.

Manhunt is basically like a game of outdoor hide-and-go-seek/tag, and it is seriously awesome. I would still play it today if I could find people to play it with me. I don’t know the proper rules, but when we were growing up we played outside in the dark, and you had to hide until the person who was “It” found you. Once you were found, you had to run to Home Free before they caught you.

If they tagged you before you got to Home Free, you were It. If the person who was It didn’t tag anyone, they had to be It for another round (and possibly forever). Being It sucked. Everyone avoided and taunted you. I dreaded being It.


To decide who was first It, we all put our feet in a circle and did the whole eenie meenie miny mo thing, and then added: “My mother and your mother were hanging out the clothes, My mother punched your mother right in the nose. What colour was the blood? RED! R-E-D spells Red.” And then person belonging to the foot you landed on was out. This was repeated until there was only one foot left in the circle, and that person was It. It was very elaborate and we did not mess around.

My house was the perfect place to play manhunt. I had a pretty big property, surrounded by the forest, lake, a park (it only had two swings and a teeter-totter but it was very foresty with lots of hiding places), and my neighbours’ property.

Home Free was a picnic table in my front yard.

One night we were playing manhunt, and I was hiding with my bestie Lisa.  It was absolutely pitch black. We had been hiding in the park next to my house, but were caught, and were running away from my neighbour Ivan, who was It. Everyone else had already made it to Home Free. We were Ivan’s last chance of escaping being It again.

We had managed to get away from him and were lying low across the street at the back of my house on the lake side. Our only goal was to make it to Home Free. I was terrified of being caught and becoming It. If I ended up being It, I could see myself not being able to catch anyone and staying It for the rest of the night and everyone harassing me. It was a horrifying prospect. It was the last thing I wanted to be.

We knew Ivan was still on my property to the left, and we knew he was after us, but he didn’t know where we were yet because it was so dark.

It was a tricky situation. If we just started running towards Home Free, Ivan would see us and probably head us off and catch us. We had to lure him towards us first before we started running.

We instantly made a plan.

We would make Ivan run towards us, and as he was running diagonally for us, we would run straight for my house, go around the side, and book it to Home Free.

It would take Ivan a few seconds to change direction, and since we would have a head start, I was confident we would make it.

I was already picturing our sweet victory dance on the picnic table.


We put our plan into action.


I heard Ivan start to run, so I waited a few seconds and then yelled to Lisa “RUN!!!!!!!”

She took off, and I quickly followed. I could hear Ivan chasing after us and let me just say, I have never ran so fast in my entire life. We were on a mission. We were BOOKING IT.


About 20 seconds into our run I heard a humoungous CRASH in front of me. Lisa had run into something. I couldn’t see her, but there was a hose for the eaves trough on my property around where I thought we were. I figured Lisa hit that and tripped. I made an instant decision – look out for number one and keep running.

I didn’t want to hit the hose myself, so I prepared myself for it. I started running even faster so that I could just effortlessly leap over it (and Lisa, if need be).

And here is how that went in my head:


I remember reaching my sprinting potential, and thinking to myself “I have never run this fast in my life! I feel so free and wild running in the wind!” My legs felt as if they were flying over the grass!

Just as I thought this, something stopped me dead. There was an old decorative (I use that term loosely) wooden fence that surrounded my yard, that served absolutely no purpose, and in our rush to get away from Ivan I had completely forgotten about it.


The crash I heard wasn’t from Lisa hitting the hose, it was from Lisa hitting the fence. Just as I broke into a full-out sprint, I crashed into it, and it hit me at thigh-level. I did a complete flip over it.


Lisa had also hit the fence at thigh-level and did a full flip over it. I landed directly on top of her.

The fence was totally broken. Lisa must have cracked it when she hit it, and I completely did it in when I hit it right after.

And Ivan saw his opportunity and seized it. I opened my eyes and saw his grinning face above us.

happy or hungry


The Party and the Rowboat

I have mentioned a few times before that I grew up in the middle of nowhere (too many times? Sorry, it’s important to the story…and most of my stories). It was a small community, and many of my neighbours were only around in the summer, as I lived on a lake and it was very popular for cottagers.

Growing up, my favourite times in my neighbourhood were long weekends. All the cottagers were up, so I always had my friends over and we always had new people to hang out with (read: boys).

On one August long weekend when I was 17, I had my friend Dawn over for the weekend and we were bored! In a rare occurrence, none of the regular cottagers were up, and we were just sitting around my house with nothing to do.

It was a beautiful evening, so we decided to go for a walk by the lake to see if we could see anyone out having fun.


(Just a note, my house had the best stars, and I miss them so much.)

As we were walking, we started to hear a commotion coming from across the lake. We could hear music, and people yelling. It sounded like a PARTY!


Jackpot. A party was exactly what we were looking for.


And here is how we envisioned the party:


We wanted to go to that party. We had to get to that party. It became our mission.

We started walking along the lake towards the direction of the party. Along the way, we found a boat launch. We went out onto the dock to get a better feel for exactly where the party action was going down.


We still couldn’t really see anything, but we were in kind of a bay, and the party sounded like it was coming from almost directly on the other side of it.

So how could we get there…

If we took the road, or even walked along the lake, it would take us at least an hour. If only we could somehow go directly across the bay. Obviously we couldn’t swim there, and we didn’t have a boat…

We turned around, dejected, thinking it was just too far to walk.


And then we saw it.

An old, beat up rowboat. It was just sitting by the edge of the lake.


It was a miracle! We figured we could just borrow the rowboat, row to the party, which was just a quick jaunt across the bay, check it out for a bit, and safely row back and return the rowboat before anyone even realized it was missing. Problem solved!

We were already picturing ourselves making a grand entrance at the party in our rowboat.


It was going to be awesome.

We got into the clunky little beast, and started rowing in the direction of the party. All went well for the first few minutes (as it often does, if you think of the stupid tree pulley, and the subway door), and we had a great time rowing our little boat.


But then…


We started to notice a significant amount of water accumulating in the bottom of the boat.


We continued to row, hoping it was just a tiny, slow leak…but the boat continued to fill steadily with water. Our rowing became more frantic.


The boat continued to fill with water to the point that we were concerned about whether or not we would make it to the party at all. It was a real possibility that the boat might sink and leave us stranded in the middle of the bay.

We had nothing to bail the water out with, so we tried using our hands, but to no avail.

We continued to row like madmen, and eventually we made it to the dock of the party. By this time our boat was almost completely under water.


The scene was not unfolding as we had planned, and it was not the arrival we had been anticipating, but we were fully prepared to roll with the punches and play the damsels in distress role.

We got out of the rowboat and clambered onto the dock. The boat sank to the bottom of the lake.

And we were greeted by the party attendees, who were very friendly. But not as we had pictured…

Feeling dejected, we walked home.

But we didn’t leave empty handed, my friends. We left with a story!

The End.