"My friends started taking me to our local mall on Tuesday mornings for pole walking. It was a challenging, but wonderful experience. I was able to connect with people, who were experiencing the same struggles and successes as I was. When I commented that I was “pretty tippy” and another person said “ We’re all pretty tippy here” I didn’t feel so alone. I had never met other people who had survived a stroke before and it was wonderful to talk to them over coffee, get tips and talk about shared experiences.
The first day of pole walking was really hard. I couldn’t get my poles and my feet to work together. I certainly couldn’t walk & talk!
However, as the Tuesday mornings went by, I was able to go longer distances and soon discovered that I could pole walk while talking. I was improving my both motor skills and endurance, as well as having a social experience with other stoke survivors and my friends."
- Carol A.
Orillia, Ontario Canada
“Since activity is my number one self-care strategy, my life simply isn’t the same without it. Activity not only keeps my mind and body healthy, it also allows me to connect with friends and indulge my competitive side. I have a great group of friends that I train with, who help hold me accountable to training and keep me motivated to continue improving. I also routinely sign up for various races which helps to keep me motivated to get out there every morning.”
"I truly believe that being fit was what helped me get through chemotherapy after I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer in 2014. My body was strong, so that when my system was zapped, I could still function. I didn’t suffer with fatigue once and even taught Bodyattack, a high-energy aerobics class with moves inspired by sport and athletics, during my treatment.
"Sweating, working hard, muscle pain, spasms, bruises, constructive criticism, inner team drama, mistakes, scoring, assisting, losing and winning, is and example of what hockey players put themselves through everyday for their short four month season. Whether it be good times or bad times, we suffer through as a team. Winning streaks or losing streaks, we push through together. For those who play, hockey cannot be considered just another sport. It is an adrenaline rush; an ultimate joy. Trading the experience of the game of hockey can be categorized as unthinkable. You are on a team of best friends, who eventually become your family. I enjoy the late nights, bus trips, plane rides, wet smelly equipment, fast food, hotels and the stupid little things we involve ourselves with between games. I do not play hockey because someone told me too, I play because I love it. I play because I am good at it. I play because it is more than a game to me, it has become my life."
"...in 2009, after settling into a new town, my neighbor asked me the question… “are you a runner?” “Well, I run.” “Good, be ready to go tomorrow morning at 5:30.” I prepped like a race day and had my gear laid out the night before. Tested my headlamp. At 5:30 AM I ate half a banana with peanut butter and a few ounces of coffee. Then I found out that this five-mile loop we ran from our houses was done three times a week.
"I love the game! I love the cardio, too - after a game, I'm exhausted. I feel like the past hour and a half has been worth the activity, and I know I've had a good workout. I love the challenge of the game because anything can happen: You can meet a more difficult opponent, set up a beautiful pass, get an amazing goal, save tough shots, have the stress and excitement of shoot-outs and, most of all, have fun with a bunch of friends."
“If I have a bad day at school it always makes me feel better. Also, we’ve got a really nice group of girls and boys and the coaches are really supportive, too, so I always feel better after being with them. I get a real sense of achievement when I learn new moves or if I’m coaching and I help a younger person learn something. It’s helped a lot with my confidence – I used to be nervous because I thought everyone knew what they were doing and what was happening but now I’m much more confident and happy in myself."
"I love to jump, spin, perform, and compete. I love the feeling when you glide. I love my friends and coach."
“Running with friends is the best. You can chat and just have fun. And it’s really great!”
“I love running cause it will make you stronger.”