"I am a survivor of multiple incidents of abuse. As a small child both home and school were dangerous places for me. Edmonton's river valley became a place of sanctuary, peacefulness and safety for me. I walked the trails as a kid and young adult. Then (insult to injury) I was shot in the back of the head while walking in the river valley one autumn afternoon-a random incident of stranger violence. Back in the "olden days" there was no knowledge of PTSD [post-tramatic stress disorder] and its longterm effects-dissociation from one's own self, severe anxiety, insomnia and social isolation are just a few and so I lived for a long time in a kind of void. About a year after being shot I realized I had not been outside other than walking to my car. I began slowly--by jogging around and around the schoolyard in front of my house. I had never run before--I wasn't an athlete by any means. But, I just had to move. Then, I got a dog and, with a bit of company, I began to run the river valley trails I missed and loved. I just couldn't have them taken away from me. Over the years I ran longer and longer distances gradually reclaiming the entire valley as a place of peace for myself. And, when my son became old enough, he became my willing jogging companion. Moving was a lifesaver, and I mean this most sincerely--those of us who live with PTSD know it's darker side, the compulsion towards isolation, self-harming and suicide. I would run, when I felt those urges. I now realize that this was an instinctual coping strategy that kept me connected to my physical body--present and helped me feel safe in the world, something that is challenging for me. I have also, in my adult years, taken up yoga, and sought the help of a personal trainer (as well a a good therapist). Feeling strong in my body helps me to be present--to not dissociate when my out of whack stress response is triggered. It helps me to feel safe, and it helps me to deal positively with a challenging condition--to make some darn good lemonade.
"We are all about getting people to move. There is not better reason WHY than raising money for kids...particularly sick kids. No one ever wants to hear of a child in distress. Why I Move is making our small contribution today to minimize the pain of sick kids tomorrow."
Join us tonight for Spin for Sleepers in support of