Fitness is also a value of the MSMS expedition. People look at me now and assume I must be naturally athletic, that I must have been an athlete or swimmer all my life. In fact, neither of these things are true.
I got cut from my high school basketball team, the only sport I played was curling. When I started my fitness journey 5 years ago, I weighed 260 pounds and could not run 1km continuously. When I began swimming a year and a half ago, I struggled to swim a single 25m pool length.
My mantra is : Believe, Get Moving, Keep Moving, Amaze Yourself. For me, get moving was quite literal. Due to my struggles with severe depression, I experienced a state known as catatonia. I was completely paralyzed, I could not move and could not speak. My brain chemistry made it so that doing these tasks felt totally overwhelming.
To get moving again, I broke it down to the smallest piece I could. I decided to focus on moving my right pinky finger first. Even this took all of my will and effort. Once I could move this finger, I moved onto the next, and the next. I just kept focusing on different body parts until I could move my body again.
If you would have told me 5 years ago when I was paralyzed that I would one day swim 350km around Manitoulin Island, I would not have believed you. On paper, I am definitely not the person to do this. Truth is stranger than fiction. After so much hard work and dedication, I am excited to launch the MSMS expedition with my team this Friday!
Whatever your capabilities, Believe, Get Moving, Keep Moving, and I guarantee, you will Amaze Yourself. (On the left is me and my sister Gabrielle from over 5 years ago, on the right is last summer after my swim across Lake Wanapitei)