ParticipACTION floods me with me with a warm and happy feeling. The first year I participated it was a mandatory part of PE class in Grade 5 at David Lloyd George Elementary School and received a Gold Patch for my efforts. Although the ”gold” was pretty decent, it fired a competitive impulse. I wanted the coveted “Award of Excellence.” The sit ups and the flexed arm hang were my biggest challenges. For the next two years, I did get the Award of Excellence. Not because the standard got easier so it could be achieved by all, but because I learned that I needed to practice. I would “hang around” at the school playground on the bars. My claim to fame was my ability to “out hang” any challenger on the bars. Including the boys. I did sit ups while listening to my baby blue transistor radio because yes, I was “that cool”. I got better at swinging up into trees and climbing the ropes during gym class. These were things that mattered to me. I was motivated to participate, and I was motivated to achieve. A competitive impulse in girls was generally frowned upon in the 70’s but this was an exception. Obviously, the achievement mattered to me because I still have the patch!
The takeaway from my ParticipACTION experience as a kid was that physical challenges required perseverance. It required putting yourself out there when you aren’t quite sure that you could reach your goal. Not an easy thing to do. Trying means you really care. Failure is an option and a disappointment.
The Terry Fox Run was my first 10 K Run. “My First Triathlon” at Cultus Lake speaks for itself. I was scared to do both. I wasn’t sure I could do it. In the midst of both of them, success was redefined. There were strangers cheering me on. They didn’t care about the standard I achieved. They were out there cheering me on for putting myself out there and trying. And it left me free to focus on my goal rather than losing face. I was proud of myself for trying. I was proud of myself for pushing through.
In the midst of the triathlon named “My First Triathalon” at Cultus Lake, one of the participants was cheering me and said, “Wow, you’re doing really well for your first triathalon.”
I appreciated the sentiment but knew I had no intention of doing another one. My goal had been to do one so that I knew that I could. I wouldn’t let my husband and kids come to cheer me on because I wanted to finish it for myself, not because I didn’t want to disappoint them. At the end of the race, we were all given a medal to wear around our neck. En route home, I stopped to take my Grandma’s for lunch because that was what I did when I was close to Abbotsford where she lived. After lunch she promptly called the family to report I had won a gold medal at a triathlon. My cousin, Don, who regularly did triathlons, called me from Alberta to congratulate me.
“Don, it was a mini triathlon for people who had never done one. Everyone got a medal. For participating,” I explained.
His response, “Carrie, you finished a triathlon. The medal that they gave you is gold. That is all anyone in our family needs to know. I’m proud of you, cuz.”
What my cousin Don understood was that the medal was far less important than the push to do something really hard. And both of us had done that. Point taken.
Participaction is very much about supporting people in becoming more physically fit and pushing themselves to get out there. There is comradery in the process. Wild About Vancouver has been fortunate to receive support from ParticipACTION. We are happy to be part of the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge sponsored by Saputo and the Government of Canada.
|Follow @ParticipACTION and load the ParticipACTION APP to set personal fitness goals and get in shape.From June 1-30, all the activity you track on the ParticipACTION app could help your community get crowned Canada’s Most Active and win $100,000! Plus, by tracking activity on the app on your own or with your team, you have a chance to win more great prizes:Individual prizes: 25 individuals will each win a $50 Best Buy e-gift card.Team prizes: Three teams will win a $250 Sport Chek e-gift card for each team member.Learn more here and for additional tips and tricks on how to get moving (for example, did you know you have free access to a fitness tracker?), check this out.The challenge is proudly supported by the Government of Canada and Saputo.|
Our Wild About Vancouver Team will be logging the time for Tidal WAV 2022 activities. You are encouraged to keep the momentum going on your personal account to help Vancouver win the recognition and $100,000.00 for being Canada’s MOST active! Points are calculated according to your postal code so don’t worry, your points will all count for the community where you live. Good luck.
Remember to tag us @WildAboutVan #getOUTdoors #getINvolved