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Disaster, incomprehensible – my internet is out. And my cable TV as well, just like that, this morning. After a day of twitching uncontrollably, I am using my neighbours Jean-Marc and Richard’s wifi, catching up. OMG! No Net! How will she survive? Rogers is coming tomorrow late afternoon and until then, I’m scrounging.

Wanted to tell you more about the Festival, about the Short Film Fest on Friday night which was brilliant and which I’ll describe another time, and mostly about this morning, the mini-marathon (an annual two kilometre fundraiser for the Cabbagetown Youth Centre) through the neighbourhood that I have done almost every year since it began. Once I was a contendah. Now a speedy, competitive and admirable Frenchwoman wins every year in my category, Senior Women.

This year, I am in worse shape than ever. I have gained weight – two kilos packed around my middle, forcing me to have a garage sale to sell all the fitted clothes I will never wear again. I’ve been so busy, little time to work out, and even in Carol’s class at the Y, I feel like the slowest person there, lumbering around at the end.

So today, all I wanted on the gorgeous morning was to get through it. It hurts, it always hurts to run faster than I usually do, even though I run so slowly, and to run in that focussed and public a way. Just get through it, I said to myself. So I did – I breathed, relaxed and enjoyed it, thinking, You’re here, old girl, you’re alive and your legs are moving, that’s a victory in itself. It hurt. But I forced the edges of my lips into a smile, or something resembling one, I hope.
At the very end, running down Parliament Street, I saw the snazzy new FINISH sign – the race even has a CLOCK now, like a real race – and got a burst of energy, passed the woman beside me and headed for it. At the last minute, just as I was about to go over the finish line – wham, there she was, speeding just ahead of me. Well, I thought, I’ve done it, I didn’t stop and walk, made it to the end, brava. And I went home.
Later ran into friends on the street – You won! they said. Third place! Later I saw a list of the finish times, and the Other Senior Woman finished one second ahead of me, coming in second. My French friend finished first, a minute before us. And my friend Gina, entering the senior category for the first time, was fourth. A prize will be coming my way. Last time, a few years ago, it was a gift certificate toward dry cleaning. And most welcome too.
The Festival continued madly today, wonderfully, the same crush on Parliament, bands, food, stuff to buy. I did buy today – a $5 fan for my son, a $20 planter for my deck. Anna’s friends who were helping sell my stuff came back and tried again; for two days work, we ended up with about $120 each. Not worth it! I will never do this again, I vow! Please remind me, next year at this time. Because I did get rid of a lot of stuff, and what I didn’t sell is hanging on the fence outside my house. 
Teaching starts tomorrow and my internet is down. But it’s the most beautiful day and I was third. God that feels good. Too bad I’ll have so little left to dry-clean.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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