Day 86/87 – 80.3 km (total – 2008 km)
The last couple of days have been significant for me for a few reasons. First, I crossed the border into Quebec yesterday, which felt great! And this afternoon, I ran past the 2000 kilometre mark since starting this journey almost 3 months ago. And to remind me of that start in Newfoundland, it snowed today! But while running the last couple of days, my mind has primarily been on Terry Fox, who started his journey 31 years ago yesterday, in St. John’s, NL.
It’s a little difficult to share some of those thoughts. I have no interest in drawing comparisons between what he did and what I’m doing. But I will say that on that first day, dipping my foot in the Atlantic, I think I felt that sense of excitement he would have felt yesterday decades ago. That sense of purpose. That passion. He also experienced lousy weather and cramped living quarters like we have. And long days on the road, where nothing exciting really happens. For me personally, there is comfort in knowing that. Comfort in knowing that one of my heroes had good days and bad days, but was driven by an ultimate goal beyond that of just running across the country.
No one will ever duplicate what Terry Fox did. But I think he would be okay with us emulating what he did and the spirit with which he did it. We all have convictions – things we are passionate about that drive us to evoke change. And those convictions can be played out everywhere. I think about many of my friends who are educators who have those convictions and live them out daily with their students. I think about people who work for non-profits and the drive they have. This extends beyond the scope of getting youth outside. There are so many issues that face our world – our community. And regardless of what that issue is, I think Terry Fox inspired a lot of us to persevere. To remember that change doesn’t happen overnight – sometimes even years or decades. But with your convictions, you continue to take one step at a time. To realize there will be moments of feeling like progress is being made with those issues, and other moments where the uphill battle seems endless. His convictions surrounded cancer and cancer research. But I think his legacy and inspiration for this country extends beyond that. For me, it’s about taking that first step to live out your convictions. And then taking another. And another.