Monday, June 16, 2014

going the extra mile

One of my favourite family activities is to go for a family walk: on the trails, to the dog park or just around the cottage.  Not only does it give us the opportunity to get some exercise while enjoying our natural surroundings and breathe the fresh air, we’re not running from place to place…slowing down enough to connect with the kids.  Our walks gives us time with no pressure or restrictions, so we can talk to each other about anything, both big and small. Whether we’re observing how the seasons change around us, or confiding our big aspirations of making the world a better place, with our own dreams and visions.

According to a national opinion poll, conducted by the SickKids Foundation, 73% of Canadians believe that children’s lifestyles are not as healthy today as compared to their own youth.

I’m probably part of that statistic. As it becomes more and more difficult to compete with digital distractions, sometimes I find as parents, we have to go that extra mile to find opportunities that allow us to just be with each other…time to talk, observe and participate in something healthy together, both physically and mentally.

Last September, our family participated in a unique fundraising event that encouraged all ages to participate in (what is normally reserved for adults) a family type “walk-a-thon”. The Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk to benefit SickKids was an amazing opportunity to take part in a family adventure that not only fed our body…but also fed our soul.

Looking back at that day, not only did my husband and I show a good example of challenging ourselves physically to participate in the full 20km walk (which was not mandatory…you can choose to do 5 or 10kms or complete the whole 20km route), the kids learned that it helps our spirit by helping others…by supporting SickKids and helping improve the health of children nationwide. Knowing we were helping others gave them the determination to keep walking to reach the finish line.

Although we were part of a team of families who worked together to raise money for this cause, we felt like were a part of a larger family consisting of thousands of walkers who were united for a common goal. Everyone cheered each other on, especially during that last final stretch of the route.  Cars that drove by honked in support. There were perfectly thought-out, family friendly stops along the route: fun-filled “campsites” that either entertained the kids with games and activities (where they earned badges for each activity they participated in), or provided a reprieve (for the adults)…a little break to nourish with food, drink or rest.

$1.3 million dollars was raised.  After crossing the finish line, not only did the kids feel accomplished achieving their own physical fitness goals (completing the 20km walk), they also felt rewarded, knowing that their contributions really made a difference.

My kids learned that although the journey may sometimes be long and difficult, nothing beats that great feeling when you stay determined to reach your goals, because you will get to your destination if you keep moving forward…and go that extra mile.

This September 27, 2014, join The Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk to benefit SickKids.  Register at as an individual participant or as part of a team and all your fundraising efforts will go to support The Hospital for Sick Children.

Twitter: @WalkforSickKids
Hashtag: #WalkforSickKids

{Disclaimer} This post was brought to you by The SickKids Foundation, however the opinions and images are my own. For more information please visit

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