Saturday, 22 March 2014

Rising up to the Liebster Award Challenge

Thank you Michelle of for indulging me with the Liebster Award Challenge! I'm not exactly a new blogger, but I sure haven't been blogging for a long time, so that's kind of like new, right??  ;-)

Here are the details:

The Liebster is an award to help promote new bloggers. The rules are simple:

- Mention the person who nominated you with a link in their blog.
- Answer the questions provided by the person who nominated you.
- Nominate other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
- Create a new set of questions for your nominees to answer.

And here are Michelle's questions for me!

Question 1: What is something you are very proud of? Why?

My tenacity. If my health challenges and my running have taught me anything, is that I've learned to be persistent, tenacious, determined.

I'm proud of my tenacity, bc it's what got me through the worst days of my health challenges, when my kidneys failed and I went to ER for evaluation and emergency dialysis. It got me through complications I had 6 months post-transplant, where there was the very real possibility I would lose that kidney transplant due to those complications.

When I made it through all those health challenges, I realized that, in the end, I could do anything I set my mind to. So I walked 100 km for Kidney March in 2010. Started running in 2011, when I could barely run 400 m, ever. I finally learned how to skate and ski this past winter. Things that I used to be scared to do, I'm no longer afraid to try.

And now I've run my first half marathon. And think about running my first marathon. And dream about running my first ultra. The best part is that, health permitting, I *know* I can do all those things, when I'm ready to go.

Question 2(a): When (and why) did you start running?

After 3 incredible Stampede breakfasts during Stampede week, I realized that I really was not going to be able to lose any more post-baby weight unless I did a little bit more than just walking. So I started joining the Run Club at the Eau Claire Running Room that very week.

Question 2(b): When (and why) did you start blogging?

The very first time I blogged was way back in 2001, with the very cute title of "Ladybug's Garden". Of course it was not a running blog back then, but it was a way for my hubby (then boyfriend/fiance) to keep up on my doings and my thoughts in Calgary while he moved away to work in San Diego. Yep, we were in a long term relationship. Turned out to be only 18 mths but we didn't know that at the time.

The current blog The Mama Runs was created after our good friend Keith bugged me to start up a running blog about a month after I started running in 2011. Haven't looked back since...until I was asked this question tonight. ;-)

Question 3: What does it mean to be a kidney [transplant] recipient? How has that changed your life?

To be a kidney transplant recipient is to have three kidneys.

That's my hubby's favourite line, anyway. To me, it is a new lease on life. While I may rely on drugs for the rest of the days my kidney transplant works (the average is currently 10-15 yrs), at least I'm not relying on a dialysis machine that can only function at a tiny fraction of regular kidney function. It means I have the opportunity to get pregnant and have a baby, which I was very fortunately able to do. It means I had a second chance to try out a lot of things in life that I probably would never have tried, because I was too scared before. But when you've stared death in the face because your kidneys failed and you feel the most horrible feelings in your life ever and you think any time now, you're gonna go into cardiac arrest and then that's it....a lot of things are no longer scary any more, especially post-transplant.

[the other] Question 3: What do you want your daughter to know that you didn't know growing up?

Don't sell yourself short. And especially don't let others talk you into thinking that way.

Question 4: If you could tell yourself 16 year old self something, what would it be?

Be patient, one day, someone will love you for who you are. Just be yourself, your best self.

Question 5: What is something that you are afraid of? Why?

Here's something totally irrational: anything (usually a fly) buzzing near my ear. I know it's probably because of some childhood experience where such a thing happened and freaked me out then...and it freaks me out now.

Question 6: What is your greatest joy in life?

My daughter, hands down. My kidney transplant from my hubby's kidney donation and my wedding day are very close second and third, respectively.

Question 7: What is your greatest challenge in life? 

Frankly, I think it will be trying to live long enough to see and enjoy the company of my grandchildren. Given that I was 38 when my daughter was born, my daughter is likely to have kids late in life, and kidney transplants and good health only last so long, I will consider myself very lucky if I can live long enough and be healthy enough to play with my grandkids.

Question 8: If you were stranded on a desert island with someone, who would it be? How would you occupy your time?

My hubby. Mainly catching up on ALL the sleep I've ever deprived myself of. Also talking with my husband. And...doing my wifely duty. Haha.

Question 9: Where is your favourite place on Earth? Why?

Even though I've only ever been to a very few places in my lifetime, I would say Melbourne, Australia. Definitely a family friendly place with pretty efficient public transportation and a temperate climate. The most magical garden - and we were visiting in the winter, without blooms!!

Question 10: What is something you would like the rest of the world to know? 

Be kind to yourself, and be grateful when you wake up every morning for all that you have.

Question 11: What is something you have never done but would like to try?

Ride a hot air balloon. I'm scared of heights though. But I'm working on it.


  1. A very nice post! The balloon will be fun! We did that. The basket is very secure. You will for sure play with grandkids, medical progress is amazing.

  2. Wow! Wow! Wow! #1, 3 & 7 made me cry but #8 & 11 made me laugh. You are so humble and down-to-earth even after you have been though so much. Those I know who have faced a life-threatening situation have all come out the other side loving and cherishing every second of every day in life so much. Enjoy every moment with your family. I hope you ride in that hot air balloon soon! Thank you for sharing this Sophia. I really appreciate getting to know you better. You are even more dear to me now.