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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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Golfing Religiously

By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

A very intense business man went to the local doctor suffering from stress.  His GP said to him: “I have a simple solution for stress.  If you don’t golf, start.  If you do golf, stop.”

The late Bishop Chuck Murphy came from Pawley Island, South Carolina, an area which has dozens of world-class golf courses.  So naturally he loved to tell golf stories.  While in Vancouver BC, he gave us one of his favorites: “Moses, Jesus, and an old man are golfing. Moses steps up to the tee and hits the ball. It goes sailing over the fairway and lands in the water trap . Moses parts the water and chips the ball onto the green.

Jesus steps to the tee and hits the ball. It goes sailing over the fairway and lands in the water trap. Jesus walks on the water and chips the ball onto the green.

The old man steps up to the tee and hits the ball.  It goes sailing over the fairway and heads for the water trap, a fish jumps up and grabs the ball in its mouth. As the fish is falling back down into the water, an eagle swoops down and grabs the fish in its claws. The eagle flies off over the green, where a lightning bolt shoots from the sky and barely misses it. Startled, the eagle drops the fish When the fish hits the ground, the ball pops out of its mouth and rolls into the hole for a hole-in-one.

Jesus then turns to the old man and says “Good shot, Dad!”

Our local Seymour/Deep Cove area is a bit of a golf haven, with two golf courses: Seymour Golf & Country Club , Northlands Golf Course and two driving ranges: Takaya Golf Centre and Seymour Creek Golf Centre.

With three active sons in their twenties, I have  had the pleasure of giving them golfing tips.  I have many happy memories of caddying for my father at the UBC Golf Course.  As a teenager, I had a membership at Langara Golf course and used to golf religiously three times a week.  I even golfed in the snow which was quite a feat.  Because my parents had paid for my membership, I remember feeling guilty if I wasn’t golfing enough!

My eldest son, who has worked over seven years at Safeway, wanted to be ready for a Safeway Golf tournament.  After teaching my son everything I knew about golfing, I decided that it was time to go to the Parkgate Library and listen to the pros.  Fortunately the library had dozens of golf books and videos.  There is even a ‘Golf Rules & Etiquette for DUMMIES’ book!  Every book and video had literally hundreds of helpful tips about one’s grip, a proper backswing, a proper stance, getting out of bunkers, and secrets of putting.  From Jack Nicklaus to Arnold Palmer, all of them seemed eager to turn my sons and I into the next golfing superstar.  You may be happy to know that after looking at many videos and books, I have decided not to quit my day-job.  As professional golfers are away on tournaments for well over half the year, my wife would miss me too much.  And then there is that little problem of getting it on the green.

One of the most fascinating golf books that I found at the library was The Way of An Eagle by  Robert Darden and PJ Richardson.  It features the stories of more than forty top golfers who shared the secrets of their success on and off the golf course.  Common to all the golfers was a realization that golfing itself was not enough, that there was more to life, and that life could be discovered through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  All of these golfers had found a greater inner peace and serenity that carried them through the ups and downs of intense tournament life.

As a teenage golfer, no matter how well I did, it didn’t feel good enough.  I struggled with perfectionism and performance-orientation.  But now like the pro golfers in the Way of the Eagle book, I have found that my identity doesn’t come from how well I do.  It comes from God himself who loves me no matter how well or poorly I play.  God has given me an inner peace through Jesus Christ that nothing can steal away from me.  As I help my sons learn how to golf, I pray that they may carry this message of inner peace with them wherever they go.

 

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

-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. 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.

-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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A Tough Call Indeed: Letter to the North Shore News

Letter to the Editor

North Shore News

Dear Editor,

Regarding your June 25th 2010 Editorial “Tough Call’, I would agree that the North Vancouver District Council decision regarding the proposed Seymour Seniors Residence will be a tough call indeed. No matter what they decide, some will be disappointed. It is significant though that speakers at the NVDC Public Hearing supported the Seymour Seniors Residence by a 2-1 ratio.

In your editorial, you commented that “Rev. Ed Hird is correct when he suggests an OCP, unlike the Ten Commandments, is not written in stone. A municipality’s vision for its future evolves as it matures, external and statistical factors affecting planning.” Somehow this 10 Commandment/OCP contrast has struck a chord with many, even being re-quoted in your sister newspaper The Delta Optimist.  As the massive population of North Shore babyboomers begins to hit age 65 as of 2012, something needs to change.  Some at District Council argued that the OCP was an unchangeable covenant. Perhaps it’s time for a New Covenant, a fresh beginning that makes room for our valued Seymour seniors.

In your editorial, you stated that “…the excellent services envisioned by Pacific Arbour might justify breaking existing zoning height in Lynn Valley where there are more seniors and more available services…”.  I fully agree with you that Pacific Arbour offers excellent services and is ‘a respected company’.  The demographics of Seymour/Deep Cove where I have served for 23 years clearly show a significant increase of seniors, tripling since the OCP plan. The Seymour seniors love their Seymour community. They don’t want to be forced to relocate to Lynn Valley.  They need and deserve real options in their own backyard, where they can walk to their own Parkgate seniors centre, to the Parkgate Rec Centre, Shopping Centre, Library and other amenities.

When Mary and Joseph turned up in Bethlehem, they were told to go away. There is no room in the inn for you.  Fortunately one innkeeper made room for them in a manger.  Let’s not kick our seniors out of Seymour. Let’s tell them that there is room at the inn for Seymour seniors, even when their health changes.

As stated by some several very involved citizens, people must come before plans. This is exactly what would occur if the Seymour Seniors Residence was approved by Mayor and Council. A good plan would become a great plan as it allows an much needed amendment. Community leaders see this. Let’s trust that Mayor and Council will reflect this in their upcoming deliberations.

Sincerely,

Rev. Ed Hird

*Note: The District of North Vancouver Council ended up voting unanimously 7-0 in favour of the Cedarsprings Residence which is now nearing completion.

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.