It was nearly 20 years ago when I first completed the Grouse Grind in North Vancouver while training for cross country skiing. I remember being in awe of how steep and how challenging it was. It took me until three years ago to get back on the mountain.
Participating in Grind for Kids motivates me because I know that I am participating in something that gives back twice: it increases my own fitness while raising money for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
This type of fundraiser reminds of Jump for Heart – a jump rope event back in elementary school aimed at raising money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Unlike a singular event where you gather pledges to participate on one day, Grind for Kids offers nearly four months of opportunity.
Meeting Jason Chong who completed over 400 Grinds this season and 1,000 in his lifetime, inspired me to finally get on board with Grind for Kids. Thankfully my previous 20 climbs count towards my total goal of a minimum 35.
I founded Lifemoves because I believe that movement is an integral part of life, no matter what your current physical abilities are or what your fitness level is. Giving back to BC’s children is important because it will enable them to enjoy more of life’s movement such as running around in the park, riding a bike or swimming in the ocean.
Supporting this foundation is important to me because it is one way I can thank everyone at children’s hospitals in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
6 months and 4 years old
I was born with a medical condition that made my life very tenuous and my parents were quite concerned about my survival. I had surgery twice as a child, once in Ontario when I was 6 months old and another one in Saskatchewan when I was about 4 years old. All I remember of the second in surgery is the ticklish sensation of having the stitches removed. I also have several good scars to tell the stories with.
As a stubborn 4 year old, I placed my hands in my pockets while going down some icy steps, even though my mother told me not to. There are consequences for such actions, and I hit my head on the stairs. Thankfully the hospital as only a few blocks away.
There were two major times I was in BC Children’s Hospital while in high school. The first was when I ended up on my back, twisted in a snow fence after falling during a cross country ski race in 99 Mile House. After being carted out by snowmobile and ending up on the front page of the local paper, my Dad drove me, sedated and braced in his car, back to Vancouver. I was kept on a minimal diet for three days in case I needed surgery. Thankfully, I didn’t.
This crash happened just before the BC Winter Games in Vernon, which I had qualified for by being first in my zone. I watched the games on TV as all my friends raced on the trails of one of my favourite places to ski. Determined to get back to skiing, I even went up to Hollyburn Lodge on Cypress Mountain by snowmobile while still in a cast.
The second time was when I needed corrective surgery for a deviated septum which was making breathing difficult (it didn’t fully correct). I am not sure how my nosed ended up sideways because I don’t remember breaking it. I woke up to a orange popsicle being handed to me by a nurse, who was also my friend’s mother. Getting the stuffing taken out of my nose was one of the most painful experiences in my life. Thanks Mom for letting me squeeze your hand!
As you see, there are many reasons for me to give back to all those who made a big difference in my life, most likely making it possible for me to continue. My wish is for the kids to have the best care possible and their parents to have outstanding support during their child’s illness.
Please help make a difference on my behalf by donating or pledging for for each climb: