A 7,000 km journey in support of Aboriginal youth fitness

Believe in yourself & create opportunities

Kids need to believe in themselves and we need to create opportunities for them to realize their dreams.

A 7000 km north south ride that I planned and trained for 2 years ended on day 3, Monday June 22 when I tumbled off my bike breaking my shoulder and hip. Being a cautious rider, I’ve been fortunate to never have a serious mishap in some 50 years on the bike. I love to ride! 5 days in the hospital was not high on my list for a trip across our beautiful country. 

Kids need to believe they can do anything and we need to provide them with the opportunity to succeed. Hopefully I’m an inspiration on the belief side. In July 1978, I was newly married, had a wonderful family and had just completed my 1st year of law at U of A. Life was good. 4 months later, my dad (a provincial judge), died in a plane crash, my sister in a car crash a year later. I took to running to ease the pain and proudly graduated from law school in 1980.

I also became a decent runner with a 2:49 marathon in 1981 and had dreams of becoming a really good runner. That came to an end a year later when I got hit by a drunk driver. I suffered a dislocated hip, a fractured knee cap and what the surgeon described as the worst facial smash he had ever seen. I still felt blessed to be alive. Though I would never run like I used to, I was determined to get back in shape. So I decided to train for an Ironman (4km swim, 180 km bike, 42 km run) but first I had to learn how to swim. Painful baby steps at first, But I proudly completed the Penticton Ironman 4 years later and finished in the top 25%. The first thing I did following the race was to write a thank you letter to the surgeon who patched me up

Yes, this latest accident is a setback but I am going to turn this into a positive. I’m determined to get out the message on the importance of physical activity for our Aboriginal youth, raise funds for GEN7 and YMCA (2 amazing organizations that share my inclusive philosophy of helping youth) and develop sustainable local sports programs.
If we all come together, we can do it.

Cheers, Don

1 Comment

  1. Brian Kaplansky's Gravatar Brian Kaplansky
    June 27, 2015    

    Don, you are the epitome of perseverance and the power of a positive attitude!
    You are an inspiration to us all…

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