Sunday, May 26, 2013

Back at it!

5/19/2013 sun - 3.30 km
5/20/2013 mon - off exhausted
5/21/2013 tue - off sore knees
5/22/2013 wed - off sore knees
5/23/2013 thur - 5.50 km
5/24/2013 fri- 11.70 km
5/25/2013 sat - 17.30 km

Finally starting to get back into the groove after a 2 week rest period due to tender knee issues. Unfortunately, I found myself with a new set of problems yesterday, with a couple of blisters from the new shoes, as well as a nasty stubbed toe on a rock at the bottom of Kent's Pond. Oh well, generally a good weekend!

week 37.8k
month 103.5k
year 750.1 k

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Canadian Transsexual donates to Oklahoma Tornado Relief 5/22/2013

Well, it's no secret that the mid-west states are among the most homophobic and transphobic of them all. Their lack of human rights protection, combined with social attitudes (often influenced by religion) have meant that gay and trans people in the state of Oklahoma are among the most vulnerable in the USA.

When the tornado struck last week, killing several dozen people, many of whom were elementary school children, three thoughts immediately crossed my mind: 1) oh my goodness, people have lost loved ones, been injured and or lost their homes. 2) wow, Oklahoma is among the most transphobic states of them all, and 3) wouldn't it be ironic if a trans person, such as myself, made a small cash donation that would ultimately help some of these folks, transphobic or not.

Those of you who know me, will recognize that I rarely do things quietly. You will also be well aware that I like to parlay multiple issues into single opportunities. So, queue this issue. First of all, I raised eye brows when I decided that it was a good time to remind folks of Oklahoma's terrible record of treating gay and trans people. But then I followed up with a $40 donation to the Red Cross disaster relief fund.

Yes folks, trans people can be among those who are fortunate enough to help others too, it's not just us complaining that we don't have rights or don't have enough money!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Unfortunate McCreath-Sanders on-air incident turns into positive donation for Gender Rights Maryland!

On Sunday night, I called into a sports radio talk show, the RCRW Show, to discuss the pro wrestling event that had just taken place, and I found myself being hung up on by the host, Lee Sanders, because he was under the false impression that he was receiving a prank call. Seems the male-sounding voice of a female caller was enough to spook him.  I was taken aback because I have had a lovely tweeting relationship with Lee, CEO of Enfinity 1 Productions, for the past two years, and understood him to be knowledgeable and respectful towards trans issues and members of the trans community.  But it seems he was caught off guard, as my call was unexpected.

Anyway, the good news is that he apologized to me, both off air and on air, and has offered to make it up with a donation to a trans advocacy organization of my choice.

Ultimately, much good has come out of this ordeal as it can be chalked up as a lessons-learned for everyone. The best part of this for me, was to have the host openly discuss trans issues, and express tolerance and acceptance of trans people, in an environment not known for trans acceptance, the sporting world, and specifically, the pro wrestling world.

In a world that stills seems to have a hard time coming to accept the fact that there is at least one gay man in the National Basketball Association, to have a talk show host of a pro wrestling show express open acceptance towards trans people, and to speak highly of my specifically, is an awesome feather in our cap.

Furthermore, given that this talk show originates from the Washington, DC area, and given the fact that I had been a victim of transphobic attacks by Maryland 'rad feminists', I decided to direct this donation to Gender Rights Maryland Foundation, an organization that has worked hard to combat transphobia, and fight for the inclusion of human rights protection for trans people.

You can view a video of the initial incident, as well as my reaction, here,

and you can view a subsequent video of the host's on-air appology, and my reaction, here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Proof I am Sane! - McCreath rests injury! LOL

5/11/2013 sat - OFF sore knees, exhausted
5/12/2013 sun - OFF sore knees
5/13/2013 mon - OFF rest knees
5/14/2013 tues - OFF rest knees
5/15/2013 wed - 1.50k right knee buckled
5/16/2013 thur - OFF exhausted
5/17/2013 fri - 3.00
5/18/2013 sat - off exhausted
5/19/2013 sun - 3.30
5/20/2013 mon - off exhausted

Well, it's definitely been a rough 10 days for me. But at the very least, I can feel proud to know when I need to take a break. 2 years ago, I ran 3 marathons in 14 days, when i should have run none, and i paid the ultimate price with chronic knee problems that continue to plague me today. I'm sure those runs also played a role in the eventual collapse of my right calcaneofibular ankle ligament. Oh well, 7.8k over 10 days looks funny in the training log, but it is a necessity at this point. I can only hope that I will feel better next week. But this is a good sign that I am starting to figure out my limits, and learn when I have to take a break!

After 14000 km, McCreath ditches Asics for Saucony Oasis!

Well, I have officially given up on Asics 2100 series shoes. After running  14000 km on Asics 2120 and 2130 series shoes, I learned the hard way that 2140 and beyond contained a modified inner sole that causes blisters to anyone with wide feet. I also had the same problem with their new GT-2000 shoe.

After 4 months on an old 2007 model of K-Swiss tennis court shoes, to provide extra stability to my torn ankle ligament, I discovered Saucony by chance, in a bargain bin at Winners the other day. Turns out that I really like this shoe so far and will look forward to giving it a go. due to injury, I have not had a long run on these shoes yet, but so far, the short runs have felt great.   Even more exciting, seems one of my cats approve of these shoes too! hehe.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Commercialization of Anti Homophobia Day - Ethical? 5/16/2013

Ok, as I look around my facebook and twitter feed, I see several events being created, for which you must buy a ticket to attend - all supposedly to 'celebrate' international day of anti- homophobia.  Not really sure that this is the right type of day to be raising money folks.  This should be a day to do education and awarenss work so we can overcome homophobia. anyone else agree with me that we all should perhaps stick to the core focus of the issue?

Complacent Electorate in Canada? The Duffy Scandal 5/16/2013

What was meant to be a snarky joke, ended up getting posted on 6 o'clock news, due to it's originality. While many keen political junkies are all over the story of Senator Mike Duffy's $90000 gift received from the Prime Ministers' Office head, due to a financial audit finding, I suspect that the majority of Canadians are not keenly interested in matters of this nature. I state this based on the historic fact that 50% of voters do not vote at all.  Anyway, I hope my little comment serves as a wake up call that we all do need to pay attention to what our elected and appointed political officials are doing, and hold them accountable!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Poking fun at my old team! Go Leafs Go! LOL

Just having a little fun at the expense of the team I grew up idolizing in the 1980s, when they were the worst team in the NHL! Nice to see Toronto finally back in the playoffs, after a lengthy absence!  Game 7 tonight vs Boston should be a good one! For the record though, I have considered the Pittsburgh Penguins my favourite team since they drafted Sidney Crosby, back in 2004.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Running Update - May 12, 2013

5/1/2013 wed 2.00 km
5/2/2013 thu 1.80
5/3/2013 fri 2.00
5/4/2013 sat 7.60
5/5/2013 sun 10.50
5/6/2013 mon 3.30 - sore ACL after run
5/7/2013 tue 9.00
5/8/2013 wed 5.00
5/9/2013 thur 13.00 - hurt both knee tendons
5/10/2013 fri 7.00 - both knees sore
5/11/2013 sat OFF - sore knees
5/12/2013 sun OFF - sore knees

nothing too spectacular to report, other than the good news that the suspected torn ACL only appeared to be temporarily inflamed. Running on worn-out shoes appears to have cost me some tendon and potential bone injuries to both knees though, so i have been taking it easy this weekend. I have officially given up hope on running a Boston Marathon qualifying time by September, but still hope to run a marathon in the fall and give it my best.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

LGBT people are everywhere, yes in sports too! EVERY sport!

For the record, I'm a lesbian
I have a transsexual medical history. 
And yes, I am an amateur athlete. 
Yes there are LGBT athletes, in EVERY sport! 
emphasis on EVERY!!!! 
Never forget that folks!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Richie Furay - a Rock N Roll Hall of Famer & Transphobe?

On  May 9, 1944, Paul Richard Furay was born in the small town of Yellow Springs, Ohio. determined to make the music business, Richie, as he would come to be known as, moved to New York City to become a folk singer. However, shortly after arrival, he realized that folks music was dying and the buzz was all about what a group called the Byrds were doing by electrifying folk. So Richie headed out to southern California, with fellow-folk-singer Stephen Stills.

One day during a traffic jam, Richie and Stephen stumbled upon a peculiar individual driving a hearse who appeared to be having car trouble. This turned out to be three young aspiring Canadian musicians. One of whom was Neil Young.  A friendship was formed and a band called Buffalo Springfield shortly there after.

Unfortunately, egos clashed and Buffalo Springfield dissolved in 1968, after just three albums; but not before Texan record producer Jim Messina and Colorado steel guitar player Norman "Rusty" Young, had gotten involved with the band.

Turns out the demise of Buffalo Springfield was not the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning. Neil and Stephen would join forces with outgoing Byrd David Crosby and songwriter Graham Nash, to launch what to this day, has been a successful rock supergroup, collectively known as CSNY!

Richie and Jimmy invited Rusty and his drummer friend George to form a band called Pogo, later changed to Poco, after hiring bass player Randy Meisner.  Their debut record "Pickin' Up The Pieces" would serve as the ultimate blueprint for what country music was going to become. Even with Messina leaving to form a duo with Kenny Loggins, and Meisner quitting to join Rick Nelson, did not damper the hopes and dreams of Poco. Paul Cotton and Timothy Schmit were brought in and by 1973, while Richie was often considered the leader of the group, and the one who wrote and sang lead vocals on more than half the tunes, the others had made a strong name for themselves too, hence, the making of what appeared to be a super group heading for stardom!

Unfortunately, someone else saw and loved this blueprint so much, they went out and created a 2.0 version, collectively know as the Eagles. As the Eagles made hit record after hit record, Poco got left in their wake, and by 1975, Richie had decided it was time to change things up, so he quit Poco to form what he hoped would be a 3.0 version supergroup, with former Byrd Chris Hillman and Eagles songwriter John David Souther.  SHF as they were collectively called, issued two albums but were met with minimal interest from fans or critics, so they disbanded.

While in the SHF band, Richie had been exposed to Christianity, something he initially resisted but eventually came to embrace. This lead him to taking his life in a new direction - one where religious faith became the backbone of his life.  Interestingly, this also opened the door for him to dabble in a music genre known as Christian Rock.

Richie would  go on to become a Pastor of a Church in his new home in Boulder, Colorado, where he still lives and practices today. Richie continued to make new music, including both religious and secular albums from 1982 - present day, with his most-recent release being in 2007.  In 1997, Richie was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, along with his Buffalo Springfield colleagues.

He also took advantage of the opportunity to reunite with other band members for the occasional guest appearance during their concerts. One of these reunions was dubbed the reunion of all Poco reunions, as Richie joined Richie, Paul, George, and new bass player Jack Sundrud from Great Plains fame, for a live show that would be recorded for a DVD, on May 20, 2004.

Having discovered Poco's music in 2003 and completely fallen in love with it, I was determined to make the drive from Toronto down to Nashville to attend this event in person. While there, not only did I get to see a great show, but I got to meet and have extensive chats with all band members, as well as several "Poconut" fans who had driven from all over North America to be at the show.

I would go on to attend more than 40 Poco or solo members' concerts, over the next 4 years and made many friendships that are still strong today.

One person in particular from this time in my life who I developed really good rapport with, was in fact, Richie!

Now the "but wait, there's more" part of the story.......

Yes, one of the first people I came out to when I realized I was transgender, was Richie. While I knew he had this religious faith, I was under the understanding that his brand of Christianity preached acceptance and love. But sadly, the communication with Richie broke down almost immediately.  It's not like we were close friends or anything like that, but he was someone up to that point, who I had immense respect for.

Getting snubbed by Richie was emotionally upsetting, and because of this, I believe I went more than 3 years without listening to any Poco songs for which he sang the lead vocals on.  Richie and I have had no communication for 6 years. He didn't even respond to the email I sent him when I sought his advice and guidance on how I could make this transition as smoothly as possible for all my friends in the music business.

Some might question why I would write all of this now, 6 years later. Well, perhaps I write this now as a reminder that as far as we have come in this continent towards accepting diversity, there's still a heck of a lot more work to be done.  Richie, if you ever actually see this blog post, the door is always open for you to reach back to the hand that continues to be outstretched and unshaken for all these years.

Ultimately, the good news is that I no longer resent Richie for this. I've learned to forgive, and  I now listen to his music on a regular basis and love it as much as I always have.  Richie turns 69 this week. A gentle reminder that life is precious and we should to resolve outstanding conflicts.

So Richie, with this, I send you happy birthday wishes, on behalf of all of your fans who happen to come from a minority group!

Depicted is me, pre-Jennifer, with Richie, May 20, 2004, at the Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

McCreath injures ACL!

Perhaps one of the interesting benefits of being a marathon runner, is the necessity to gain a better understanding of our body. One specific body part you come to study closely, is the knee.  Bones, tendons, ligaments, meniscus, etc. Oh my, so much going on inside the knee. Learning what does what, has been important. This specifically becomes important when suffering minor injuries.

Yesterday, I suffered the unfortunate need to revisit this chart, and subsequent websites, to attempt to pinpoint yet another running injury. Sunday afternoon, I took an awkward step on my, infamously injured right ankle. This forced a twisted and somewhat unstable/unplanned landing on the left leg, which put some stress and twists on the knee.  Unplanned twists or trauma are usually cause for injury. In this case, it appears that my ACL, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament was asked to stretch a little more than it is used to.

So yes folks, I have a torn ACL - albeit a very minor tear, in my left leg.  There could also be meniscus damage too.  Amazingly, it appears this is something I can self-diagnose and self-treat. Perhaps the benefits of already having ligament and tendon injuries, is that I have gained a strong understanding of the physio rehab protocol.  So, at this point, I am planning to try to manage this on my own.  But if things don't improve over the next week, I will definitely seek out a doctor who can hopefully get me access to an MRI (something I have been trying to get for my ankle, unsuccessfully, for the past 19 months).

Ultimately, this means that there will be no running for me, for an indefinite period of time - and this really sucks, given how much momentum I have managed to stir up over the past nine weeks, as I have finally re-entered marathon-training mode, after an 18 month down time, due to the right ankle ligament.

Oh well, I suppose this is what I need to expect, as a 39 year old, over-weight runner.  You can learn more about my injury by watching my latest vlog here.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Last Marlboros Game @ Maple Leaf Gardens 1989

This is me on the left in the blue shirt and mullet, age 15, sitting front row beside the penalty box as future Pittsburgh Penguin goon, Mark Major is about to enter the box for tripping, as part of the visiting Kingston Raiders, during the last regular season OHL game at MLG for the 63 year tenant, the Toronto Marlboros. I missed very few games that year and always sat in the rail seat right beside the penalty box, where over the year, I spent many moments sitting beside future NHLers Rob Cimetta, Mike Craig, Drake Berehowsky, Dale Craigwell, Mark Major, Mike Ricci, Andrew Cassels, Chris Govedaris, and of course, Tie Domi! Ah, the fun memories!

My reaction to women media invading mens sports locker rooms 5/2/2013

Well, I know the topic has come up from time to time. Should females be allowed in male locker rooms if their purpose is to conduct sports journalism with professional athletes right after games and matches concluded?

The concept of cross-sex dressing room and washroom access is one that I am all too familiar with, as a member of the transgender/transsexual community. Ultimately, I think people are motivated simply by the fear of the unknown - hence the term phobia, which means irrational fear of the unknown. Here's a comment I added to CBC's national news weblink of the latest story:

"As a transgender woman who has had to put up with crap about not being welcomed or accepted in womens' spaces, it's ironically nice to see the shoe on the other foot. You rarely hear stories about men being uncomfortable with women invading their men-only space. Ultimately, I think there needs to be a compromise. All people deserve to have changing room space that respects their need for dignity and privacy. At the same time, it is important that media - all media - has access to pro sports athletes for comments after games are played. Perhaps it's time to partition dressing rooms so that certain spots are off limits to all media, and certain parts are on limits, to all media."

MUN Anthropology Student conducts Review of a Transwoman! 5/1/2013

Anthropology is the "science of humanity". Social Anthropology specifically studies how contemporary human beings behave in social groups. Last fall, I was approached by a local University student who expressed an interest in undertaking an in-depth study that involved observing me in my regular every day life setting, as well as interacting with me one on one in both an informal social environment, and in a formal sit-down interview.

Student, Megan Bateman, as she explains in the introduction of her paper, also has an interest in looking at the strange relationships of diverse groups that get lumped together by the masses, perhaps incorrectly. She specifically wanted to take a look at whether or not transwomen were accepted or ostracized by feminist movements and gay/lesbian movements.

I won't go too much more into detail, as Megan has quite happily expressed excitement and gratitude to have me publish her entire report, unedited, for you all to see, here on my blog. While I did take issue with the use of the controversial term "lifestyle", Megan reassured me his was not a stereotypical use of the term often erroneously applied to gay/lesbian individuals, but intended to use in as part of societal expectations surrounding expected masculine and feminine lifestyles typically implied to man and women, respectively.

Overall, I think Megan did a great job explaining how and why I have perhaps been misunderstood, and in some cases, ostracized and even hated, by members of the gay/lesbian community, for reasons that appear to be beyond my control. Furthermore, I think Megan has done an excellent job demonstrating that I have matured significantly through the transition process, and now simply life my life as any other woman.

Being a subject or guinea pig for student work, can often be scary and intimidating, as one often has no full control over the output and final product. In this case, I trusted Megan to do a good job at not only submitting a paper that would earn her a good grade, but that would produce a report that would hopefully introduce a behind-the-scenes look at who Jennifer McCreath really is, and specifically, demonstrate that I may not be as scary or as nasty as the local gay/lesbian grapevine may have made me out to be.

The Report, along with photos and entire interview transcript, can be viewed here.

I highly encourage you to real it from cover to cover, as quite frankly, I consider it a master peace and I am eternally grateful to Megan for writing such an awesome report, and I thank her for her interest in playing a role in delivering some more of the much-needed trans education and advocacy work that often gets overlooked or forgotten by the majority of LGBT projects that tend to focus exclusively on the LGB issues.