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  • Joy SpearChief-Morris

The Weekend Update

Hello there! I know I have been a little MIA the last few months. I have been catching up with friends, attending weddings (shout out to Mrs. and Mr. Ehrhardt!), learning about my new role on AthletesCAN, settling in, and getting reacquainted with this thing called running. However, seeing that I am now settling into a new routine and well back into training, I thought I would give a little update as to what I have been up to lately.

Base Training:

I am now about 2 months back into base season after taking 3 months off and so far I haven't died *high five*! After a nice physical (and mental) break from the track, it has been nice to be back in the style of training I was used to before. A lot of this base season has really been about coming back to the basics. I have no need to rush into competition season for this coming year (my goal being to peak for July and August), so I have really been working at building up my fitness, creating a good base for speed development, and nailing down some hurdle technique. I have also gone back to basics in the weight room and have put a lot of focus on my physio routine. This has been super important to me for this base season as I have been extremely prone the last few seasons to back injuries (both chronic and severe), particularly in the weight room.

So far my body has really adjusted well coming back into training. Overall, I have felt pretty strong, leading bigger workouts with the Western team and even surprising myself. I think I owe a lot of that to not being a complete couch potato over the summer (like I usually do) and actually starting the season with better general fitness than usual. But, I think a lot of it also has to do with just coming back to what is familiar and comfortable. I know the style of workouts I am getting into and I know what my body is capable of handling. Just being more comfortable in my environment my body feels like it has been in a better position to work better.

I am enjoying being able to build on a longer base season this year and really focus on building strength, technique, and speed, but it has also been an adjustment from this past year. I am fitter than I normally feel at this time of year, and while it's still super early in the year, I am a little unsure of where I stand from a speed and strength standpoint. Last season has left me without a lot of benchmarks, and with a kick to my confidence, which does cause me stress if I allow myself to dwell into them. However, I am not allowing myself to dwell on this past year. I have lots of time to adjust and get to the condition I know I can be in when the time comes, so right now I am just focusing on and enjoying the present moment.

Hill practices are better with friends

Settling In:

Outside of track, the last few months have really been about getting myself physically, and mentally settled back to living in London. It was a bit of a rocky start moving back, the rental market was a lot tougher to crack in September...and October, than I initially anticipated. Moving cross country and back over the last year, I ended up selling off, or giving away, a lot of my stuff, first so I could move myself by car, and this last time to fly home. This time around, I ended up shipping majority of my belongings and then lived out of two suitcases (then three after a month at home) while I kept everything else in storage with family ties. After basically "couch" hopping for about two months (I am extremely thankful to my kind and understanding hosts), and practicing a lot of patience (with only a few tears), things started to fall into place and I am really happy with where I am right now. I moved into my own apartment at the beginning of November; the first place I have ever had all to myself! Although I will say I learned the virtues of minimalism, I was very happy to regain full access to all my clothes, and have my own bed! I got down on all the decorating, and have definitely nestled myself into my new home. It's a place I feel I have been missing for some time now. I can't tell you how great it feels to come home to a place that is just mine and be able to relax completely.

I also got myself a new (to me) set of wheels...after several tries. Check out my new baby! Now accepting name recommendations:

Showing off my new baby: the chevy

What's in the Works:

A huge part of me coming back to London was about re-finding, and pursuing other passions in my life to give myself fulfillment outside of track. For me, I definitely wanted to be able to find some of this in work. I am an unfunded athlete and so I have to work several hours to support myself and my training. I am also a person who is more successful in all aspects of my life when I am busy doing things that I am excited about. I want the work I do to be enjoyable, but also be something I can feel passionate about. A lot of people questioned me about my "pickiness" in looking for work, but I knew what I was looking for. And mind you, I was still looking for anything that could help get me by in the meantime, which I wasn't always the most successful. I worked a few odd jobs and hours over the last few months to keep myself afloat, and I had family help as well, until finally I found the right fit. Two weeks ago I started a new position in Indigenous Services at Western University! The job is enough part-time hours to support myself, and I can still train in the capacity I need to, working around my training schedule. I feel extremely fortunate, and also super exciting to be able to work in such a positive space and work on projects that excite me!

A few of these projects and some other things I have in the works I am looking forward sharing with all of of you over the next few months. For now, you will have to stay tuned. Have a great weekend everyone!

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