Hello from Kikkan!
June 4, 2021
Hello Friends! As I’ve been pulling together notes for a book project I’m working on, I’ve begun thinking about how I want to stay connected with you — my fans, supporters, and friends. I’ve been able to do some virtual speaking engagements and connect over video calls, but it really isn’t the same. So as we transition back into this post-covid world, I got inspired to start this newsletter journey to share insights from my life as an athlete, cancer survivor, and mother and update you on my new adventures and pursuits. The theme of life for me coming out of this covid period — and maybe for you too — is we are back. Now let’s get back at it!
With covid border restrictions still in place, Breck and I have been making the most of our corner of British Columbia. We have enjoyed the early spring/summer weather — camping (a 10-minute drive from our house!), spending beach days on nearby lakes (Breck seems undeterred by the chilly water), and hunting for cacti on local hikes. It’s amazing what you can find in your own backyard!
A year ago, I started back at Alaska Pacific University (APU) to finish my Business Administration degree and (pending a final class and senior project) am set to graduate this December! It feels so satisfying to be close to finishing this big goal and I am so grateful for the cheers and encouragement many of you have offered.
Another project that’s been making progress is seeing the inspiring #hellokikkan posts come in through Instagram and knowing that more and more people are wearing the “It’s Going to be OK!” socks to brighten their days (we’ve sold more than 5,000 pairs to date!). Together we’ve raised over $15,000 for cancer charities!
Excited to get back to the athlete grind, I signed up for a few upcoming races. On June 12th, I’m participating in the virtual Alaska Run for Women. Nearly thirty years running, ARW has raised 5.2 million in cash and donated mammograms for the fight against breast cancer. It’s a race I grew up running and which took on personal meaning when I became a breast cancer survivor myself. This year, I have recruited some friends here in BC to run the virtual 5-miler with me next week and have been sharing my “Hibernation to 5-Miler” preparation tips on Facebook with my partner Advanced Oncology Associates.
Celebrating post-run at the 2019 Alaska Run for Women, my first year as a survivor!
Also on the horizon is the Boston Marathon in October and a 78-mile gravel bike called The Last Best Ride in Montana in August. Though they are both pretty ambitious and challenging events, it feels so good to have goals and think about doing races again; it’s something I miss from my time as a professional athlete as these events double to give me purpose and bring to the forefront the social, fun aspects of sport that I’ve always loved.
I want to end this by thanking you (to begin, for sticking with me to the end of this letter), but truly, for supporting me through the personal and athletic ups, downs, and in-betweens; thanks for inspiring me with your stories!
It’s all smiles as I gear up to speak for the American Cancer Society on National Cancer Survivor Day tomorrow (June 6th)… so, until next time, and as the weather warms and we walk this crazy reopening journey, let’s get after it 🙂
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