Another week closer to getting the winter tires off, a sure sign of spring! I can feel it in the air. Despite the rainy weather with some hail in these parts around Toronto.
On that note, I started this week’s online notebook entry with hopeful gardening. I’ve been known to have a “black finger” — I’ve killed everything from succulents and orchids to abundant herbs.
But last year, I managed to grow a beautiful basil plant (my 17th attempt) and she is the emerald goddess. We enjoyed fresh pesto (grilled pine nuts please!) and some great desserts — including my all time favorite dessert Catalan chocolate and olive oil cream recipe with strawberry, raspberry and basil salad. I might be in too much of a hurry considering I’m still wearing Manotibah Mukluks in. But the extra hours and flashes of spring left me hopeful and happy.
season requires gardening blog and for the good news from successful farmers — including this dad in England who harvested 1,269 cherry tomatoes from a single stalk. That’s a lot of precious little red gems but Douglas Smith, an IT worker, wants to break more records. He spends many hours a week tending his plants. I love cherry tomatoes. And I appreciate the motivation.
Motivation is what drives people during Ramadan and I thought I could share some information about Muslim athletes who are fasting and how to manage it. Earlier this week we saw a video of Kyrie Irving go viral. He broke his fast during a match.
Different clubs, teams and sports companies recognize Ramadan and advocate for their athletes. I have written about athletes and how they balance worship and athletic competition during this holy month.
This cool venue from Under Armor in the UK shows how teams and athletes can support their Muslim teammates. I like everything.
Layla couldn’t find a plan for the fasting footballer—so she made her own. See how we help athletes like him never back down in https://t.co/EGs3ULvDzv. pic.twitter.com/rvs2mIgCXH
Another thing I love is young athletes with barriers to crashing or swimming. Josh Liendo was the first black Canadian swimmer to earn an international medal when he won two bronze and one gold at the short-course championships in December. The 19-year-old athlete from Markham, Ontario., was part of the Canadian Olympic team in Tokyo who finished fourth in the 4x100m freestyle relay (they only lost a bronze medal) and also the butterfly swim of the 4×100 medley relay.
Of his career with Canadian men’s swimming, Liendo said: “We came. We came and worked on it. And there was momentum.”
The momentum follows the way he intentionally inspires more young black swimmers and attracts new to the sport. For that, he was already a champion.
Speaking of the champions, goalkeeper Steph Labbé, otherwise known as the Minister of Defence, will play his last minutes this Friday in the next stop of the women’s national team. Celebration Tour against Nigeria.
Someone changed Steph Labbe’s Wikipedia page 😂
Position: Minister of National Defense? Can’t deny it#CANWNT @stephlabbe1 pic.twitter.com/I5dRQVpN7D
Labbé has been with the national program for 20 years and wrote deeply touching essays about what this moment meant to him, and what football has given him when he gave his all for the sport. When he announced his retirement in January, he provided a beautiful history of his relationship with the sport. He talks about the pillars of “curiosity and connection” that keep him in the game. He spoke passionately about his teammates and friends.
Sometimes in tears, Labbé talks about self-doubt, mental health struggles as well as the laughter and joy the game brings to him. I can’t help but remember Labbé jumping in and shielding the Canadian net from their Swedish opponents at the Tokyo Olympics with a mischievous grin. He was very proud to be a champion but also proud of himself. This is a great message about self-love, hard work, and connection. If you will excuse me, I will burst into tears in my hijab.
“When the stadium lights dim and you take off your cleats one last time … you yourself are someone you want to be proud of.” ️
Two-time Olympic medalist @stephlabbe1 will play his last minute for < a href="https://twitter.com/CANWNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CANWNT this weekend
WATCH: https://t.co/wIb4kJisFh pic.twitter.com/ZPtT9oY2VL
This is his preparation scroll for his final training session. Happy weekend, friends!
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