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Athlete of the Day

Gary Gallant from New Brunswick

It’s been a privilege to be a part of the Challenge and really great to see everyone’s progress! Thanks to those of you who have provided the framework for this project. Well done!

Did you walk, jog or run this challenge?

My wife, Barb, told me about the challenge in December 2019 and, since we walk together anyways, I said, “Why not?”

All of my KMs have been walked. I used to be an avid runner, having once qualified for the Boston Marathon at age 42, however, a serious water-skiing accident eleven years ago changed everything. In the mishap, I sustained an 80% tear of my left semi-tendinitis (one of the three tendons which make up the hamstring) thus preventing me from being able to run more than 500 metres at a time. So, I had to embrace walking and hiking as primary outdoor activities.

How often do you walk?

I try to get out twice a day, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. I was thinking this morning, as Barb and I walked along the St. John River watching a beautiful sunrise, that I am blessed to be with her and have the opportunity to enjoy creation.

What was your greatest obstacle while aiming to reach 1000KM?

To be honest my obstacles have been few during the challenge so far. Aside from an infected index toe which set me aside for a couple of weeks back in February, it’s been pretty smooth sailing.

How do you stay motivated and find the time to walk and run?

I have always been a highly self-motivated person when it comes to sports and exercise. I joke that I am my biggest competition! Now retired from being an educator for 33 years, I am fortunate to be able to have the time for doing things differently than when I was working. My daily schedule, however, is still the same as it was before retiring 2 years ago… Up at 5:00 am, an espresso, reading, journaling and then off with my wife for the morning walk – no matter the conditions. As someone once said, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” Amazing what wearing the proper clothing and footwear does for enjoying the elements. I never owned crampons for icy trails until last year… What a game changer they are!

What advice would you give someone to stay focused on reaching 1000KM in 2020?

To quote the eminent thinker Bob Wiley, in the movie What About Bob, “I’m baby-stepping.” It’s all about having attainable, incremental goals that are sustainable. It’s my belief that viewing activities and challenges in this way lead to a scalability factor so that as you progress and succeed, you have a greater capacity for bigger goals and challenges. On the tough days, when you’re tempted to pack it in, use that temptation as grist to remember that it’s on those days that the best results are attained.

My wife Barb has officially reached 1000KM as well! Congratulations Barb!

Great work Gary and Barb and thank you for sharing a part of your story with us! We wish you the best of luck in reaching 2020 goals!

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