Into the Unknown with Absolutely No Chill

Last week marked the final installment of my running diary, which served as a way for me to document the ups and downs of my training for the Terry Fox Run, something I finally realized wasn’t even a race, and the association between the run and this blog’s mandate was clear. Today, we’re at the doorstep of something new, wading into uncharted territory. That’s both scary and exciting but I do hope to make it worth your while. Whatever comes up next might not have the same cohesion, and truthfully I’m not certain what form it will take exactly – a personal perspective, tips and information, interviews with experts, all of the above – who knows? Please though, stay with me.

What I can tell you though is that maintaining an exercise/fitness/wellness section on this website is vital to what I’m trying to achieve because it plays a critical role in keeping you healthy, and isn’t that what we’re here for? I’ve said it before but let’s go over this again: it is estimated that 2 out of every 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime. 2 out of 5 or 40% of Canadians. Let that sink in for a moment. Yes, researchers are making significant strides in cancer research and people are learning how to cope and live with the after effects of cancer but what we can and should do is look to prevent cancer in the first place. Cancer is complicated and there are many things we won’t be able to outrun like our genetics and environmental factors, or sometimes an unfortunate set of circumstances. But let’s not give up. Instead let’s learn to care for ourselves, to take responsibility for our own health and well being, if not for you then for your friends and family, for the people that need you. And what can we do to achieve this? Well, a few things including: limiting our alcohol intake and sun exposure, avoiding/quitting smoking, eating well, and of course exercising.

Cancer prevention aside, exercise is beneficial in so many ways such as helping you stay healthy and in shape thereby reducing the potential for diabetes and heart disease. Exercise also provides stress relief, freeing you physically, mentally, and spiritually. Exercise can also be fun. After giving it a good go, I discovered that I wasn’t able to rekindle my love for running but what I did learn is that I love to work out in group classes. Exercise allows you to try something new, and even if you fail, so what? You tried. (I’m not advocating recklessness or pushing yourself beyond your own limits.) As adults we don’t allow ourselves that much space to fail. We expect that with all our training and experience, we’ll be good or at least passable at the things we take on but failure teaches us. The way I look at it, trying new activities and exercises allows us controlled possibility of failure and that’s fine. Exercise is play. Remember how much we used to love recess? Exercise is fun.

At the look out point on the Track and Tower hiking trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario
At the look out point on the Track and Tower hiking trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario

Our lives are demanding and we can’t all be the perfect poster child of good health – I’m sure not – but let’s try. It’ll be fun. I’ll talk a lot about my yoga, pilates, and barre classes. You’ll roll your eyes and tell me I need to try something else. I will try something else and I’ll be terrible at it (reporting back to you, of course) and we’ll all laugh. There will be failures and there will be triumphs but little by little we’ll be on our way to building healthier lives – together. We can congratulate each other on the things we have achieved, encourage each other to strive for our goals, and support each other when we need support.

I promise you that future posts in this category won’t be so laden with cancer-talk (I told you I have no chill, you were warned), and with that my rant is officially over. 😉

Annette chose this photo because it represents one of the few times where her ball has actually gone in. Most of the times, it hits the backboard, rolls down the hill and into the lake. Not being good at something hasn’t stopped Annette before and it shouldn’t stop you.

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