Everything to Gain

Running Diary, Week Eight: Motivation Prompt

In my life outside of this blog I pursue a number of creative endeavours, which requires reading and following of other creative types. It’s something I enjoy and even though I’m not the most artistic person out there, the practice of making and creating something is therapeutic, providing me satisfaction much like this blog does. One of my favourite outlets for inspiration is The Great Discontent – a publication that features independent, entrepreneurial influencers throughout their publication. The subjects featured provide relevant and unique insight, not only as a means of encouragement, but also as inspiration. It’s a great read if you have the chance.

This spring, the Great Discontent issued #The100DayProject, a challenge to do a creative activity (the same one) every day for 100 days. The motive is simple: by participating in this challenge you commit to making yourself better, and while not everything you make will be exactly as you want, it’s the commitment and gradual improvement that is important. Included within the challenge are prompt days where you find other participants through their hashtags on social media and give them gentle words of encouragement. Even though I didn’t participate in this 100-day challenge (it began just as my dad was getting sick), I feel heavily invested and the flourishing community is a beautiful thing to observe.

The reason I bring this up is that as part of my running diary series I would like to introduce my equivalent of “prompt” day which help give meaning to my own running adventure. My prompts will be different because I don’t have that type of community yet (though if you want to send words of encouragement, please feel free!); instead I will seek stories, people, and things that inspire me. Of course not everyone needs to have external motivation for their runs as many people do it for the pure enjoyment, relaxation, and benefits of exercise. However, for me it’s encouraging to know that every step I take is a step towards something bigger than myself.

As those of you who have followed me from the beginning know, the reason I started my running diary was to chronicle my training for the Terry Fox Run on Sunday September 20. I think most people know who Terry Fox was as well as the goal of his ambitious Marathon of Hope – to raise awareness and money for cancer research in Canada – and his legacy has been long lasting. Terry’s motivation was noble and the task was daunting (we live in a very big country, geographically speaking!), which is why he inspired people, ushering awareness for the importance of cancer research.

This week through the Canadian Cancer Society’s social media I learned of another Canadian with a similar mandate of crossing Canada to raise awareness- Ian Bos. Ian lost his father to cancer earlier this year and on May 21, he set out from Nova Scotia with the goal of walking across the country, this time to highlight the need for palliative care. In Ian’s words,“I am walking to honour my father and those who provide a critical service to people in their last stages of life, as the Aberdeen Palliative Care Society in New Glasgow did for my family”. Palliative care is an important issue to me because my dad benefited from this treatment, even though he was diagnosed so late in his illness. I will always wish that more could have been done but the reality is that given the circumstance, the care that he received was the best we could have hoped for and this access should be available to Canadians everywhere. In reading the comments to this story through Canadian Cancer Society’s social media, it’s the stories of poor or inadequate treatment that truly raise the importance and need for palliative care.

In spite of this gross, humid weather I promise to continue training and I’ll be sure to remember Ian and his cause anytime I want to complain.

Canada, beautiful and big in equal measure.
Canada, beautiful and big in equal measure.

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