Joy Drop: Can a new book on running inspire me to get out in this mess?

Shireen Ahmed admits she's not a running enthusiast. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Shireen Ahmed admits she's not a running enthusiast. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Friends, as the weekend approaches, I am excited to share some happy news and wonderful happenings with you.

Let's start with some amazingness from the IIHF U18 women's world championships. I just loved when sports cross over and goals or finishes are inspired by other games and techniques.

Fourteen-year-old Slovakian superstar Nela Lopušanová wowed hockey fans with her "Michigan" goal. It's called that in tribute to the University of Michigan's Mike Legg, who scored the first lacrosse-style goal in the 1996 NCAA tournament. Although Slovakia lost 6-1 to Sweden, all anyone is talking about is her phenomenal goal. It's one for the ages! Did I mention that she's 14? The "Michigan" is one of my favourite goals and I was elated to see it done by a teenager.

If you know me, you know that I don't love running. I have many close friends who are runners and they are athletes I love and respect. One of those people is Lauren Fleshman and I was thrilled to get my hands on her first book, Good For A Girl: A Woman Running in a Man's World.

I met Lauren in 2017 at a conference in Oregon. She was so down to earth and I think one of the first things I blurted out was "I hate running." She laughed and we hit it off.

Her book is poignant and funny but also very focused — like Lauren herself. She is a five-time NCAA long-distance running champion and two-time USA professional winner. She is a passionate advocate for women in the running space but has also been a formidable supporter of voting participation for women and is an advisor at Oiselle an apparel company by and for women athletes.

I appreciate the perspective Lauren offers. She delves into often shied-away topics like puberty and menstruation for adolescent athletes with sincerity. Her experience as a runner, as a mom, and as a businesswoman offers us powerful insight into how we can help the communities we belong to and help others and reflect on our own truths. It may just inspire me to go out for a walk.

In a previous Joy Drop, I shared my fascination with mini-food videos. Then I found Scratch by Manal jewellery. I am absolutely obsessed with her account and her fun and wonderfully handcrafted jewellery.

Manal Ali is a GTA-based graphic designer who began making earrings over a year ago. She fell in love with it and now in her free time makes earrings in the shape of exquisitely detailed popular food items. I found her through another friend who really wants the mug of chai drop earrings that I am hoping to receive as a present for my birthday (ahem, kids!).

I purchased a few items from her and they came beautifully packaged and I was thrilled. I reached out to her and asked her about her inspiration. "I love food and I love art, so miniature food earrings felt like an excellent way to combine the two," she told me.

Speaking of chai, it is cold and it is perfect chai weather. My favourite kind of hot drink is Kashmiri chai (aka "Pink Tea"). It is considered a delicacy and to my delight, many chai shops have popped up in my area. I am offering a wonderful recipe from a Pakistani-Canadian blogger named Sarah Mir. I wanted an authentic recipe to share with you all and this is it. I always add extra pistachios! Enjoy!