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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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BJ McHugh: Mother’s Day Marathoner

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Betty Jean McHugh

While working out at a local weight room, I had the privilege of getting to know Betty Jean McHugh, the world’s fastest 83-year old long-distance runner.  Interviewed on TV and newspaper, she has been called the flying granny.  Jack Taunton, Chief Medical Officer for the Vancouver Winter Olympics, called her one of the most remarkable senior runners we have seen.  Betty Jean is so positive and energetic that she inspires the rest of us to not give up on our health goals.  Recently I met her at the Parkgate Village right next to the Bean Around the World coffee shop.  She told me of her tri-generational plans to run in the December 2012 Hawaiian Marathon, along with her son Brent and her grandchild.

After reading her book My Road to Rome, I knew that I needed to celebrate BJ’s achievements as a Mother’s Day marathoner.  One of her great lifetime highlights which she talked about extensively throughout her book was an all-expense-paid trip to run in the Rome 2009 Marathon.  There are now five million North American women running, compared to less than one million in the 1980s.  Women, many of whom are mothers, now outnumber men at running events.  BJ has run in 14 marathons and over 300 road races.  Running four times a week at 5:45am, BJ has broken a dozen Canadian and world records.  She started running at age 55, a time when many others were hanging up their running shoes.  While BJ has been injured many times over the years, she never gave up, saying that she ‘was not going to accept the ravages of time without a fight.’  Running has become for her as much part of her life as ‘brushing her teeth’.

BJ’s determination is an inspiration to watch. She not only runs and works out at the gym, but also has been an avid North Shore skier since the early 1950s.  BJ even climbs the Grouse Grind with her grandchild.  Such athletic involvement helped condition her to become a leading octogenarian runner.  She acknowledges that there are thousands of times when she felt like not bothering. “Excuses are easy; commitment is hard”, says BJ.  But she just keeps putting one foot in front of the other and goes for it regardless.  Every marathon, says BJ, is a journey into the unknown.  You train and train and train again, and think that you are ready. But you never really know how your body is going to fare over 42 kilometres of running.

One thing that keeps her going are her running partners to whom she is committed. “How can I sleep through an early-morning downpour”, says BJ, “when I know that my friends will be waiting for me at our meeting place in ten minutes?”  Running, says BJ, has given her friendships that are powerful and lasting.  Through her running with her partners, they experience ‘the elation of reaching the top of a hill, the pain when (they) increase the distance on a training run, the slogging through rain and dancing through a sunlit forest.’

In BJ’s book, she talks about being raised in the poverty of the Great Depression in Stanwood Ontario.  The local church was the centre of the community.  BJ comments that ‘as a child she liked everything about church but the Sunday service…The minister droned on about subjects I never understood, and I had to sit in the pew with my hands folded politely.’

Once while running in a Vancouver marathon, she became more and more concerned about finishing well: ‘I feared hitting the dreaded ‘wall’, that point at which the body has used up all its reserves.’  Finishing well is a challenge for all of us, whether in a marathon, in our business, or in our family.  It  is about ultimately facing the question: will my life have made a difference?  BJ is an example of someone who is finishing well, whose life is making a difference.  She has chosen to give her best into what she believes in and is passionate about.  BJ is leaving a legacy that other younger people will be able to tap into.

One of my mentors, Paul, said that he fought the good fight, he finished the race, he kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). Even though Paul was tragically killed, he finished well.  Paul also recognized that physical exercise was of real value, but he pointed us to the even greater significance of spiritual exercise (1 Timothy 4:8).  Part of finishing well is a commitment to being healthy in body, mind and spirit.  If we neglect any of those three, we are the poorer for it.  Life is a marathon. Life is about discipline.  Life is about finishing well.  My Mother’s Day prayer for those reading this article is that BJ McHugh’s example will inspire all of us to discipline ourselves in body, mind and spirit so that we may truly finish well.

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca 


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2 Cups of Hot Apple Cider at House of James Abbotsford

Last night we had so much fun at House of James Abbotsford. If you have never been there, you will want to drop in. In an age when many Christian and mainstream bookstores are closing, House of James has morphed into a fresh entity, involving a coffeehouse, extensive music department, excellent food, and friendly relaxed atmosphere where you can just hang out while picking up a new book.

Some of people’s most favorite coffee shops would be Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Bean around the World. The coffee is only half of the appeal. The other half is the atmosphere, the relaxed welcoming place to just be, the sense of community and connectedness that people are longing for. House of James Abbotsford is tapping into the holistic model. It is more than a bookstore, more than a coffeehouse, more than a music store. It is a place to be, to be yourself, to meet God.

Lando Klassen birthed House of James as a coffeehouse in 1973 during the Jesus Movement. All the essential DNA were there when it got off the ground: coffee, music, books, fellowship. Over the years,  House of James has morphed into a cutting-edge expression of the future of Christian bookstores.  Last night we did not just do a classic booksigning; we did a music concert with food and conversation and laughter.  Each of the 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider author had an opportunity to share from their portion of the book and from their life story. Dr Paul Beckingham and Bill Bonikowsky were hilarious and very insightful.   Fittingly I even drank a delicious 2nd cup of Hot Apple Cider before the evening was over.  My wife Janice and I shared from our chapter in 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider about our thirty-four years of marriage, and the principles that we have learned about life and love.

Dr Paul Beckingham is a military chaplain and former theological professor at Carey Theological College. He has been featured in both the first and second Cup of Hot Apple Cider books. Paul’s award-winning book Walking Towards Hope tells the story of how he recovered from brain injury while serving as a missionary in Kenya. Dr JI Packer comments: “My guess is that you have never read anything like this narrative before. My amazement is that it exists at all. My plea is: Don’t miss it! I covet for you what it gave to me.”  Dr Eugene Peterson, author of ‘The Message’ translation says that “Paul Beckingham’s Walking Towards Hope is a compelling and rigorously honest account of unimaginable suffering forged detail-by-excruciating-detail in Kenya and Vancouver into a whole and holy life. The magnificence of the story itself is matched by the magnificen ce of the writing, language, unblemished by cliches, luminous as an icon.”

Bill Bonikowsky, a long-term Alpha Canada staff member and former YFC leader, told an unforgettable story of a neighbour’s cat that became trapped in his floorboards during a bathroom renovation. Bill is such a gracious, humble, and encouraging person. It is a privilege to be featured in a book with him, especially one with an initial print run of 45,000 copies.

We were very pleased to have, at the booksigning, Steve Almond, the publisher of the new Christian ‘Light’ magazine,  which has filled a huge hole left by the closing of BC Christian news. Steve is passionate about doing a new thing, something that will help impact the local Christian community in Greater Vancouver/Vancouver Island.

I would recommend that you contact House of James online to purchase ‘A 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider’ by clicking on ‘2nd Cup’.

Alternately you can dial into Amazon  either in the USA or Canada and order a copy.  It is a remarkably well-produced books with many stories that will inspire you and often leave you in grateful tears.

Dr Paul Beckingham speaking at the 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider book-signing

Bill Bonikowsky, author, speaking at the 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider book-signing

Lando Klassen, House of James bookstore owner, speaks at the 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider book-signing evening

Ed and Janice Hird speaking about their marriage chapter in 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider

Tim Bonikowsky playing at the 2nd Cup of Hot Apple Cider booksigning

Dr Paul Beckingham is well worth listening to, a remarkable survivor and thriver.

Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

-award-winning author  of the book ‘Battle for the Soul of Canada’

for better for worse

-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.


-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca