Word Prompt: Fatigue | Story Prompt: from the book “The Almost Wife” by Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Write It Out: Instruction Video

“As I looked at those images, the realization slapped me upside the head. I hadn’t reached the level of success I had aimed for because I had never raced for myself. I had been drawn into running, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing and kayaking by my father, who loved these outdoor sports as much as he loved hunting and fishing. But while I had inherited his natural athletic ability, I just didn’t have the competitive drive necessary to take running to the next level, to become a national or world-class athlete, and it showed. It was my mother who had pushed me to strive, to win, as she had enjoyed the status she gained through my modest success. Now that she was dead, I had no reason to continue. But if I stopped racing competitively, what else would I do? Who would I be then? Who was I without her?

I wouldn’t, couldn’t, stop training. I knew that much. It was all I’d done since I was a kid. What else would I do with my days? Now, as I was doing this morning, I ran or cycled my Toronto routes alone or pushed Evie ahead of me in a stroller. When Aaron or Olive was able to take Evie for a few hours, I swam laps at the pool or weight-trained. I had to train. I needed to train.

Because if I stopped — if I stopped running — the past had a way of hunting me down.”


I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely feeling a fatigue these days. Fatigue of the “news”. Fatigue of the pandemic. Fatigue of politics. Fatigue of the price of gas and all implications related to that, including climate change and capitalism. But the good part of all that is when I’m forced to slow down in one way or another, things can become just a little more clear.

I don’t need to watch and listen to the news all day long, I can select how to ‘consume’ news from trusted sources. I can focus on what is happening in the pandemic in my community right now, and mitigate my risk accordingly. I can write to my town councilor, MP, MPP, and voice my opinion as a taxpayer on any number of issues. I can choose to drive or bike (sometimes). I can reduce my consumption. I can grow a garden. I can choose to be kind.

I can create my own present, and leave behind a past that I can grow from, and not worry about escaping from.

Thoughts? Feel free to share them here.

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