"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.
“The best part of living an active life is the way I feel. I love feeling strong, confident and capable. And I think that physical activity can do that for a lot of people.”
"I run because I can. Because when I do, there's always the chance to be extraordinary. A chance to start unknown and to finish unforgettable. A chance to overcome all obstacles, to fight through pain and suffering to test your emotional limits and boundaries, to experiment with the potential of the human body and discover just how far you can push yourself. And a chance to feel like a completely different person, a person who inspires others, and who they strive to be."
"I am the most excited of the realization of just how fit I actually am! I am 50 and the most internally peaceful and hopeful I have ever been. But I am also the most physically fit too. I have only been running since February 2014 and almost immediately was throwing down 5-10 miles. I share with runners who are amazed at what I am doing. I am not fast, but I seem to be strong and good at endurance. I try not to brag, but I find myself going on with excitement to anyone who will listen. Fit feels so good!"
"I couldn't have been a happy person had I not had horses consistently throughout my life...if I hadn't had horses, to force me to get out of the house and take care of them, I wouldn't have the strength I have today."
"Running has been my faith, my crutch, my drug of choice, and besides my lovely wife, my best friend. It has opened many doors in my life of 59 years. It clears my mind, makes me feel good, provides a ‘good’ pain, running has challenged and rewarded me so much. I truly believe my running has affected my family in a positive way. It gives me great joy to see our children and grandchildren running- that’s remains my biggest reward and satisfaction- watching the grandchildren continue the ‘Family Tradition.’"
"Running helped me lose another 30 pounds [after an initial 60 pounds] but more importantly it helped me find myself. I have become a stronger more confident person, I believe I had both attributes before running, it just helped to bring them out even more."
"Why? The [CARE] trial schedule helped me to get out of the house and not be stuck in bed all day, to share the ups and downs of treatment with the wonderful ladies working out beside me at each visit, and to reap the benefits of a regular exercise routine, helping me to feel better than I would have if I hadn’t worked out during treatment. I’m convinced that moving my body during chemo helped get the chemicals through my system faster. Plus, in the end I left the trial with supportive, motivating friends, a routine that I could do at home and the addition of 5000 grams of muscle mass. We really did kick butt!"
“I needed to showcase my elite running to the people of the Arctic to teach the youth what it’s like for me to run. Maybe spark some kids to do running, running marathons. Or maybe I can inspire a youth with addiction to come to his breakthrough moment"
"I am a survivor of multiple incidents of abuse. As a small child both home and school were dangerous places for me. Edmonton's river valley became a place of sanctuary, peacefulness and safety for me. I walked the trails as a kid and young adult. Then (insult to injury) I was shot in the back of the head while walking in the river valley one autumn afternoon-a random incident of stranger violence. Back in the "olden days" there was no knowledge of PTSD [post-tramatic stress disorder] and its longterm effects-dissociation from one's own self, severe anxiety, insomnia and social isolation are just a few and so I lived for a long time in a kind of void. About a year after being shot I realized I had not been outside other than walking to my car. I began slowly--by jogging around and around the schoolyard in front of my house. I had never run before--I wasn't an athlete by any means. But, I just had to move. Then, I got a dog and, with a bit of company, I began to run the river valley trails I missed and loved. I just couldn't have them taken away from me. Over the years I ran longer and longer distances gradually reclaiming the entire valley as a place of peace for myself. And, when my son became old enough, he became my willing jogging companion. Moving was a lifesaver, and I mean this most sincerely--those of us who live with PTSD know it's darker side, the compulsion towards isolation, self-harming and suicide. I would run, when I felt those urges. I now realize that this was an instinctual coping strategy that kept me connected to my physical body--present and helped me feel safe in the world, something that is challenging for me. I have also, in my adult years, taken up yoga, and sought the help of a personal trainer (as well a a good therapist). Feeling strong in my body helps me to be present--to not dissociate when my out of whack stress response is triggered. It helps me to feel safe, and it helps me to deal positively with a challenging condition--to make some darn good lemonade.