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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Running 5K - The Colour Me Rad Edition

My curiosity with running began when Aneez decided to run a marathon.  While he was training, he would email us from England with updates on his progress.  I could tell that the experience was changing the way he thought about his life, his family, his capabilities and his body.  My interest grew upon hearing about runner's high, meditative running and the thrill the clarity that comes when you are your own competition.   Even after hearing about chaffing nipples and runner's diarrhea...I remained...intrigued.

Aneez after running a half marathon.

Marianne loves to run.  She talks about all the great charity races she supports on her blog and I love that her passion for fitness has turned into doing good for others.  Her whole heart is filled with caring and generosity.  I am lucky to know her goodness and to be loved by her.  Reading about her running adventures has been an inspiration.  Simply put, Marianne made running seem like fun.
Marianne fulfills a dream of running through Central Park.

Mama-to-be Meghan is inspiring simply because she is a high school teacher.  HIGH FIVE for teachers everywhere! She further impresses me with her love for exercise.  She constantly challenges herself physically whether it be a themed race or a new gruop fitness class and she has a blast while doing so.  I love following along while she offers tips on music, clothing and inspiration for her fitness journey.  For me, Meghan makes running seem possible.
Meghan before the Hot Chocolate Run in Chicago.

So...I ran my first 5K today with Naaz!  We had a blast with the folks from Color Me Rad.  (Although they spell colour incorrectly, they definintely spell FUN with all the right letters!)  The concept of the run is pure happiness, vibrancy and community.  You begin squeaky clean and optimistic in your whitest whites.  And if you've been a good fui, you get a cute video message from your nephew (that ends in a polite burp.) 

Along the way you get covered in bright powders and soaked with coloured water.  The result is a series of rainbow coloured runners crossing the finish line.  At the end of the race, you burst your own colour pack in celebration!

Clean, dry and ready to run.

Rain soaked, sweaty and smiling 5K later!

So proud of Naaz! It was so motivating to check in with each other and swap stories.

Living rainbow!

Taking a breather before going in the washer.

This running thing is definitely still in my system.  I loved the solitude of running on my own.  Choosing to commit to something new was a challenge during a time where I was travelling frequently and lacked routine.  At the same time, I loved how easy it was to run wherever I was and I was able to train in Toronto, Minneapolis and Nashville.  My mind resisted before every outing but once I got in the groove and started running, I commited and finished.  Running with Earvin was obviously fun and checking in with Naaz after each training session kept me accountable and motivated.

I have a feeling, I'll go for a run tomorrow - just for fun!

Thank you Aneez, Marianne and Meghan for your inspiration.  I kept you in my mind and heart while training and it made all the difference.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sibling Rivalry

I heart my brother Karim. 

He lives up to the sterotype of pain-in-my-arse-older-brother and graciously accepts my pain-in-the-arse baby sister antics.  And that is why we love each other just so.  When I was in high school, I had the pleasure of working I worked as a Camp Counselor with Karim leading us as the Camp Director.  I wish I knew what the word nepotism meant back then. I could have leveraged so much more... 

An old camp sweatshirt celebrating our 10th anniversary!

Last summer, my bestie and I hosted a camp staff reunion, one of the counselors (also my summer-camp-romance-turned-boyfriend-who-dumped-me-two-days-before-my-senior-prom-and-I-never-let-him-forget-it-especially-when-other-people-are-around-but-I-am-not-bitter-I-promise) pulled out his collection of camp newsletters.  All week long, campers would work on the newsletter and everyone would get to take home their very own copy of Ma'arifa Moments at the end of the week.

Camp Staff in 1996.

Camp Staff Reunion in 2012.

As we poured over old photos and old newsletters, I stumbled upon this excellent piece of investigative journalism on the dynamics between an older brother and a younger sister in a workplace setting.  It appeared in the form of two interviews.  You many not be able to read this scan of Ma'arifa Moments and so I've transcribed the interviews for you below with all their grammatical and spelling errors included:


Q.  Why did you decide to become a director of Camp Ma'arifa?
A.  I decided to be a camp director because I like to organise things and I really believe that I can do a good job.

Q.  What was the reason that you chose this site?
A.  We chose this site for several reasons.  Since we could not get last year's site we needed to find a location that would suit our needs.  As a camper here at this site in 1988, I had a lot of good times and enjoyed this site very much.

Q.  How does it feel to have your sister as one of the counsellors?
A.  Faisa is a great counsellor with a lot of experience working with kids.  She enjoys camping very much.

Q.  Do you have a girlfriend?
A.  Yes, her name is Minaz.

Q.  Do you want to be a director or a counsellor next year?
A.  Due to work I probably won't be able to do this in the near future.

Q.  How do you feel about your sister Faiza having a tatoo?
A.  I don't think children should get a tatoo.

Here are some interesting facts about Karim that he wanted to share with Ma'arifa Moments:
- favourite lotion is Lubriderm
- favourite shampoo is Pert Plus
- favourite Mexican food is tacos

Amazing article right?  My brother was such a wise and professional young twenty something.  And that is why I felt terrible when I read my interview. Proceed with reading but don't judge me until the very end...


We recently spoke with Faiza Kanji, kid sister of Director, Karim Kanji, and we got some really interesting dirt on the guy we know as the Ma'arifa co-counsellor.  Here's what the lady had to say:

Q.  How do you feel having karim as a director for this camp?
A.  To tell you the truth, he is not my real brother.  We found him at this old lady's garage sale and my mom felt sorry for him so we took him home.

Q.  Did you get your tatoo before Karim?
A.  Well actually I got my tatoo before Karim knew what a tatoo was.  Seeing as he is jealous of everything I do he had to get one also.  I know you feel sorry for him but so do I.

Q.  Is Minaz really his girlfriend?
A.  She's a friend of my motherwho volunteers in her spare time and helps troubled youth and I guess Karim has a little crush on her and calls her his girlfriend now.  She knows it would hurt his feelings if he knew the truth so she just plays along with it.

Q.  Has Karim ever been mean to you?
A.  Yes he has, but he has so much hair on his head that it is probably interfering with his last few brain cells and he is merely mistaking me for someone else.

Q.  Is Karim a good brother?
A.  Karim is a wonderful brother.  He is kind and lots of fun and sometimes we have really cheesy moments which are kind of fun too.  Excuse me while I wipe the tears off my eyes.

I know.  I was a brat.  And so unprofessional.  However, I stand by the fact that there are certain rights and privileges that accompany the status of baby sister.

I did redeem myself with that last answer...fake tears and all.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Third Time's a Charm at Soup Sisters

Last week, I had the good fortune to be a part of Soup Sisters for the third consecutive year.  Soup Sisters brings community members together to make soup for our neighbours accessing emergency shelter and transitional housing.  Thanks to some of my generous and loving friends we spent the night reconnecting, making hearty soups and having a lot of fun. 

Thank you Liaison College, Chef Tony and his team of students who worked with us throughout the evening.

It's a bestie sandwich!

Ameera, Krista, Alida and Naaz. The lovely ladies who made a Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup.
Anissa, Heather, Chef, Sylvie and Nicole. They made the very yummy Lots-Of-Vegetables Chili.

Teresa, Aliya, Annie and Donna.
My friends from the YMCA whose Hearty Minestrone Soup was terrific!

Valerie, Earvin, Sophia, Minaz and Kirsten made a scrumptious Corn and Sweet Potato Soup.

Munira, Mel, Bey, Shafik (bestie) and Saira.  The Chick Pea Soup chefs!  Their delicious soup was also featured for dinner.

The lovely Mieko starts working on the labels for the various soup containers.

The best part of the evening was celebrating my Love's birthday with these mouthwatering chocolate cupcakes topped with peanut butter icing and salted caramel drizzle.  Thanks so much to Love and Oven for these treats. 

Thankful for friends who are also community.