February 1, 2023

February Book of the Month – Good for a Girl: A Woman Running in a Man’s World

Lauren Fleshman is an elite runner that has represented USA on the world stage. Her memoir, “Good For A Girl: A Woman Running In A Man’s World”, is a must read for anyone that is, knows, or supports a female in athletics. Lauren’s vulnerability and honesty in recounting her experiences in sport makes you feel as if you are getting an intimate view into her life, both as an athlete, and of the complicated relationship with her father, which was an integral part of her development as a runner.

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December 7, 2022

Jason Wood

I’m Jason and I’m in recovery from orthorexia. I’ll stop there.

That’s usually about as far as I get into a conversation with someone before they ask what orthorexia is. Either that or they’re shocked that a guy can develop an eating disorder. I can’t blame them. I felt the same confusion when I came to terms with my diagnosis of an eating disorder, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

You may be thinking, what’s wrong with that?

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December 7, 2022

December Book of the Month – Starving for Survival: One Man’s Journey With Orthorexia

In the discourse surrounding eating disorders, the two that are most often discussed are anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa. However, orthorexia can be equally as damaging and disabling to one’s life. In the era of social media and food Instagram pages, there seems to be value attached to “eating clean” and choosing “good” foods over “bad” foods (there is no such thing!). Yes, it’s important to be mindful of what we put in our body, but the path towards healthy eating can lead to a dangerous obsession that has serious health consequences, both mental and physical.

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November 17, 2022

November Book of the Month – Until It Hurts

This book does a great dive into the world of youth athletics, and the increasing pressures placed on children in sport. It specifically looks into the role that parents play, and explores the fine line between encouraging children to reach their potential, or living vicariously through their children’s accomplishments.   The book gives compelling yet disturbing accounts of children who were pushed by their parents and/or coaches to compete through serious injuries, and how these experiences had lifelong psychological effects.

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October 2, 2022

October Book of the Month – Five Little Indians

This book opened our eyes to one of the most heartbreaking parts of Canadian history. The Five Little Indians by Michelle Good is a true tear-jerker as it walks you through the interweaving and connected stories of  Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie during and after their life in residential school. It does not save the reader from the reality these children faced, this book shows how every child who stepped through residential school doors was robbed of a typical childhood experience often romanticized in North-American culture. 

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September 19, 2022

September Book of the Month – Win at All Costs: Inside Nike Running and Its Culture of Deception

We couldn’t put this book down once we started reading it. When it comes to running shoes and running gear, Nike has been a go-to for many runners, from beginner to elite. This book does a deep-dive into the recent controversy surrounding Nike and the training groups they support. The details and facts are unsettling, and one thing becomes clear – although there have been no overt illegal practices, Nike seems to have a pattern of supporting practices that fall into a grey area of riding the fine line between cutting edge and unethical.

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July 8, 2022

July Book of the Month: How She Did It – Stories, Advice, and Secrets to Success from 50 Legendary Distance Runners

This engaging book is a compilation of stories from 50 of the best female distance runners in history. The athletes share what they have learned from their years in the sport with regards to training, nutrition, mental health, and much more.

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April 7, 2022

April Book of the Month: Read This to Get Smarter: About Race, Class, Gender, Disability & More

This book by Blair Imani is a must-read for anyone wanting to gain a solid, foundational knowledge of important societal topics including identity, relationships, class, disability, race, and racism, as well as sexuality and gender. br/>
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March 8, 2022

Malindi Elmore

“You are the runner, right?” people sometimes ask me when I first meet them. I always answer along the lines of “yes, I love to run”, but prefer to avoid the restrictive term “runner”. I see running as something I do – something I have done most of my life with great joy. But I don’t see myself as simply a “runner”. Running is something I love to do, something I am good at and something that has provided me a life rich in travel, personal growth and relationships. Running has also provided me an education, financial means and public recognition. It’s easy to identify as a runner when it is a major part of your life and livelihood, and when it’s how many people define you. But I don’t see it that way at all. I am more than that, and I work hard to keep my identity as a person separate from my identity of what I do.

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February 28, 2022

March Book of the Month: The Body Keeps the Score

This book is a groundbreaking masterpiece that sheds light on how trauma reshapes the brain, compromising sufferers’ ability to experience life in the same way that others do. It details how neural pathways are affected in such a way that trauma sufferers cannot experience pleasure, engage with others, or exhibit self-control or trust in the same way as someone who has not experienced pervasive trauma. The book also describes in detail the diagnosis of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), which usually arises from a pervasive pattern of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse during childhood.

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February 18, 2022

Emma Bulawka

Hi! My name is Emma Bulawka. I am currently 18 years old and a Canadian national level elite athlete in the sport of figure skating. I reside with my family in beautiful Kelowna where I have lived and trained for the past seven years.

Let’s go back to the beginning and where it all started...

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January 20, 2022

January Book of the Month: Mom Genes

And now for something completely different: Mom Genes is a fascinating look at the most recent research on the biological and psychological changes that happen as woman evolves into motherhood. So often researchers focus on fetal and childhood development without considering the massive changes that happen to the woman carrying the child as her body prepares for this new exciting, but challenging, journey.

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December 27, 2021

The problem with “I am a….”

All of us have heard it. Most of us do it. Some don’t understand it (and I’m jealous of you!). What am I talking about? The “I am a” syndrome. When we define ourselves by what we do, rather than who we are. Lately I’ve been trying to understand where this comes from; that is, the sense that we must accomplish something impressive to be “worthy” of love, recognition, or contentment. For most of my life I’ve identified as an athlete; first, a figure skater, and then as a runner. For the majority of my adult life I’ve also identified as a physician. Others also seem to identify me that way. “There’s the runner! There’s the doctor! There’s the doctor-runner!” And, you know what? I actually LIKED that. It made me feel accomplished. It made me feel worthy, it made me feel like a success. Over the past couple of years, and even more so recently, I have begun to see just how problematic that was.

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November 11, 2021

This Is How It Always Is

This character-driven novel follows the Walsh-Adams family as they navigate the highs and lows of life, raising a family, and doing what is right for their child with gender dysphoria. While the story delves into the charming and unique characters of parents, Penn and Rosie, and all five children, it particularly focuses on the youngest child. Vibrant and sweet, when Claude is asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he wholeheartedly states he would like to be a girl.

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October 31, 2021

Rachel Cliff

Goal Grief: Recovering from an Intangible loss

It’s funny how as you get older you realize that the strangest lessons can stick with you: when I was in grade 10 my teacher taught us about goal setting, and had us write long- (where you’d like to be in a year or so), medium- (a mid-length goal to check-in on your journey’s progress) and short- (immediate goal, in the next few days or weeks) goals. A critical piece of advice we were given was that if you achieve all your goals, you are setting them too easy, and if you fail to achieve any, then you might be setting them out of reach. At that point I was just starting into distance running and was completely captivated by it.

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October 16, 2021

The Clockmaker’s Daughter

The Clockmaker’s Daughter is so much more than your typical ghost story. Told by the perspective of multiple characters over several generations it primarily features the stories of two main female protagonists: Albertine “Birdie” Bell, a young woman who tragically loses her life in 19th century England and appears as a ghost throughout the book, and Elodie Winslow a young archivist in 2017 London who starts to uncover the mysterious story behind Birdie’s death.

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October 9, 2021

Tamara Jewett

My name is Tamara Jewett. I started my athletic career as a middle-distance track runner (1500m to 5km) expecting to compete at an elite level until somewhere around age 26 and then focus on a career in law. Almost a decade of severe athletic injuries, culminating in 18 months unable to run at all, derailed my goals for track. But, at age 31, my athletic career is on a roll again, and I am succeeding at the highest levels of pro long-course triathlon (focused on Ironman 70.3s).

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September 12, 2021

Kacee Carter

My name is Sam Cruickshank, and I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Miss Kacee Carter on behalf of Winning Within. Kacee is a 14-year-old gymnast from Kelowna who already shows inspiring dedication to her sport. Kacee was a natural and answered the questions with precise and meaningful responses (much better responses than I would have come up with on the spot at her age). Below you will find our delightful discussion!

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September 1, 2021

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce embarks us on an emotional journey when she introduces us to the likeable, yet fallible character Harold Fry. His spontaneous pilgrimage to find Queenie, his dying friend, becomes more of a journey to find himself, and to make sense of his relationship with his wife, and son. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll find yourself relating to Harold’s humanistic qualities. Joyce has an uncanny ability to make us see ourselves through Harold, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing your own soul searching when reading this book. Highly recommended read if you are yearning for a great fiction book!

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August 24, 2021

Rachel Garrett

Hi, my name is Rachel. I’m currently 24 years old, but it started when I was young. “It” is in reference to my perfectionist tendencies. I started to have high expectations for myself in all aspects of my life in high school and was starting to come to think that others held these expectations of me as well. I was a high achieving academic and athlete in my youth, and the external praise I received encouraged me to keep going. I’ve always played at the top level of sport. I played at the highest level club available for soccer in high school. I competed in the USport league for cross country in university. I’ve never received a B in school. I have been a straight A student since elementary school, and that continued into my university degree. I wanted to be the best, always. I never thought that would have been a negative thing.

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