Day 1 – 28.8 km (total – 28km)
It was a windy morning in St. John’s, but a beautiful blue sky hugged the horizon of the North Atlantic as I looked out from Signal Hill. Today simply has been overwhelming… so many emotions and yet a busy day that kept my mind somewhat distracted from the big picture, which was probably a good thing! I said a few words on Signal Hill (which I’ll post soon), and then ran to down to the Terry Fox memorial for a brief word there. I was too young to fully remember his run, but I have certainly read enough and seen enough to appreciate why he is such an important Canadian. And while no one will duplicate what he did for this country, I think we can all try to emulate what he did, and the spirit with which he did it.
While at this monument, NTV called and wanted an interview, so I met them a few hundred metres down the road in the harbour. A quick interview was proceeded by dipping my foot in the Atlantic (a little tradition with folks who have crossed Canada in some capacity), and began running. It was just over a half marathon to get to the school I was going to and I have no doubt that 98% of that run was uphill! But I was smiling ear to ear and loving every moment.
One of the teachers had written a song for the run and the whole school sang it to me… then all 600 students and teachers and myself took part in the “Cha Cha slide”
I arrived at Holy Family School in Paradise and the next couple of hours were a whirlwind. Reporters were there quickly to get the story… we went on a 20 minute walk with students around the neighbourhood with a police escort to promote getting outside… I had a chance to talk with students and they were amazing! So many questions and so easy to converse with… and of course they wanted to race me! We headed back into the gymnasium and I gave a brief chat to the school, which was followed by a speech that one of the grade 6 students, Emily had written. It was wonderful. She gave me a copy and so I will post that on the website soon. One of the teachers had written a song for the run and the whole school sang it to me… then all 600 students and teachers and myself took part in the “Cha Cha slide”… an upbeat dance routine to music that is used to promote being active!
After the time at Holy Family, I ran 8 more kilometres while Sarah went to get a generator and battery for the RV. We’ve been having issues with heat and we continue to have issues as I write this. And the 70 or so pictures that Sarah took on my camera somehow disappeared. So there continue to be frustrations with technology and the logistics of this project. But the next several days will allow us to get into a routine and figure things out.
I was just speaking with a friend and sharing that I wanted to post so much about this experience today to share with others. But there is a real sense that today was between me and those students… and no matter how much I post on facebook or the website, no one but the people who were in Paradise today will be able to capture the full effect of what was shared. For that I am thankful!
(We will keep you updated with as much as possible and try our best to share this experience… and although it won’t capture the full effect, we are going to share pictures, videos and links to media… so keep your eyes open for a little bit on facebook or our new website at www.takemeoutside.ca. It is currently a work in progress but will be the main source to keep in the loop about this project!)