Athlete of the Day
Tony Smith from British Columbia
People in this group inspire me and I draw on inspiration from all walks of life. I’ve read some pretty cool stories from our Facebook group, and I love hearing the words, “I did it!”
Did you walk, jog or run this challenge?
I only tracked my running KMs because I set up my training stats to follow my runs. It’s funny; the one thing I learned through this journey is, runners don’t like the word “jog.” If you run, you’re a runner, no matter your pace! You become a part of a large worldwide group of people who enjoys the sport.
How did you start running and why?
About eight years ago, I lost my sister to lung cancer, and I had a really hard time dealing with it. I felt stuck in a very dark place, and I had a very tough time coming out of it.
I always loved the outdoors, so I decided to start running and hiking more. The more I ran and hiked, the better I felt. A lady at work asked if I would join her in running a half marathon. I did that half marathon, and set out on another goal to get to the New York Marathon. In 2018, I ran it, and it was everything I’d imagined it to be! Last year, I ran in Chicago. This year, I was training for the London Marathon, but COVID hit, and it was cancelled.
How often do you walk and run?
I run almost every day, at various distances and paces.
What was your greatest obstacle while aiming to reach 1000KM?
Runners get injuries and this year was no different for me. I pulled a hamstring, but I am working my KMs back up to my average distance.
How do you stay motivated and find the time to walk and run?
I use support groups like this one! I also read the following statement when I began my running journey, and it has always stuck with me….
I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can’t run and think of what they would give to have this simple gift I sometimes take for granted. I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me.
What advice would you give someone to stay focused on reaching 1000KM in 2020?
Celebrate those small successes and have a support group like this one. You will get discouraged, injured and disappointed in yourself, but be kind to yourself! There is only one of you. You’ll get back out there and feel great with every small step you take.