"All the people of Jasper, they raised a ton of money for me in order to provide with something like a sit-ski, and I wouldn’t be out here riding at Marmot if it wasn’t for that generosity of the community and that love that they’ve showed me from day one. Getting to the summit of Marmot, it’s kind of is my way to give back. It’s like ‘Hey guys, I’ve worked hard, everybody supported me and here I am, standing on the summit of our mountain again’. I feel like every step I make has been literally hundreds, it not thousands of hours of physio and it’s going to mean something.
People - we love each other. When people get hurt, the human spirit is resilient. If I every felt alone on this planet, I will never feel it again because of what’s happened with this accident and the way that everybody’s reached out to help me.”
- Ryan T.
Jasper, Alberta Canada
“More than anything. I love being surrounded by water. Fully immersed in that relentless, translucent, beautiful element. I feel at home. I’m alive there. It gives me a sense of freedom - the freedom of not feeling disabled or limited. I used to say that swimming was my escape, but that’s not accurate. Swimming forced me to deal with the things I wanted to escape. It helped me work through a lot of feelings and frustrations, because I had hours under water just to swim laps and think. I had the freedom to be alone with myself, completely unlimited by my circumstances or my body while doing what I loved. I think that’s why I took to swimming with such ease. All my life I have had to fight to catch up with people. But not in the water. That’s the one place where everyone else is trying to keep up with me!”
"The darker days were far less frequent than before. I rediscovered myself. I was more confident, more in love with myself and others, more at peace. I made some changes in my workouts and my diet, and now, six years later, I realize that the only competition I needed to be up against was with myself. But my body is beautiful just as it is, even if I don't see a lot of women looking like me in the magazines or online. I am still a badass.
"I get to hang out with friends, and be outside, and it smells great by the cows!"
"Exercise has always presented a challenge for me. However, since being diagnosed as pre diabetic and having treatment for early breast cancer last year has changed my attitude. This spring my sacro iliac joints gave me a lot of pain. My chiropractor advised me to walk just 15 minutes a day. I tried it and it was doable for me. Gradually I got up to about half hour. But then I fell, twice. So I got my poles out.
"I’ve been running long distances for twenty years. Like many runners, I am drawn by the quiet, peaceful and rejuvenating aspects of the sport. I am a non-religious person; running is my spirituality. One of my regular routes in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., is a 13 kilometre out-and-back run with the turnaround point at the top of a local ski hill. It’s my go-to run when I need to clear my head, think through a difficult problem or just try and make peace with the world."
“We start at 5.30am, and I’m walking in the door at 6.35am ready to start the day. I prefer the morning, and I find that if I don’t train I get grumpy and irritable. Besides, my wife says I’m a better person when I exercise.”
"Each time I climbed, I learned how to move past my fear and problem-solve my way through difficult situations. I later became a Zumba instructor, started two fitness blogs, and became a personal trainer, all of which would not have happened if I had continued to walk in fear and hid in my comfort zone."
“I work on a variety of machines, that mostly work upper and lower body with weights. I feel strong and I definitely feel like I am able to walk and get around better and more confidently. I just feel better overall. I’m really enjoying the class.”
"Running lets me clear my head. In moments where my depression would get the best of me, I found myself starting to turn to running instead of withdrawing from my social life and habits. It was on a run one day where I decided to tell my boyfriend everything, talk to my parents, and gather a support group around me. At the time I wasn't suicidal but I wonder what would have happened. It's incredible now that friends and family describe me as a 'woman who is making her life an incredible adventure."