Tag: depression

Fitness Swellness: RBC Race for Kids Toronto, September 17, 2016

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I was asked several months ago if I’d be interested in coming on board as an ambassador for the RBC Race for Kids, and while there are many worthy causes and I would love to be able to pitch in as much as I can, that’s not always possible, but in this case, the cause is one I personally find very important (I’ve heard too many stories of kids suffering from mental health issues, and who’ve had a tough time finding help) so I didn’t hesitate to join as a media ambassador.

I’ve never run the race before, but I like that there are three not too intimidating distances (5, 7 or 15k) — and the 5k is super approachable as it’s open to those with strollers, dogs and walkers. The race takes place on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at Mel Lastman Square.

As for the cause? Well, the race has raised more than $5.1 million for youth mental health over the past three years. Over two million youth in Canada suffer from mental illness yet only one in five get the help they need.

Unlike most other races, this one has no race registration fee, however when you register you do make a personal commitment to raise money (a minimum of $100) for the cause. I have not yet started fundraising, so if you’d like to sponsor me, please feel free to click on over your support, even if it’s just a few bucks. I’m happy to support a race in which donations go to the Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook. The Project is a non-profit service that helps families of young people 13-26 living in the GTA suffering from mental health issues or addiction navigate the  complex health system to find the resources that can help them.

I decided to run the 15k (I’ll use it as a training run, in case I end up doing a fall half-marathon) and I’ll be wearing gear from race sponsor New Balance (like this outfit I have on here from their fall collection). I’ve roped in a few friends to run as well, and I think it’ll be a fun one, so I hope to see you there! Please note that registration closes tonight (at 11:59 p.m. September 8, 2016).

Learn more about the RBC Race for Kids here.

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Leave a Comment September 8, 2016

Fitness Swellness: Introducing my Run for Women teammates

Simone, Anya and me

When Shoppers Drug Mart asked me to take part in the Run for Women, they asked me to round up two friends to also join me. You know the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? Well, think of this as the sisterhood of the traveling running shoes (except we each have our own shoes…or how else would we all race at the same time, haha!)

At the Running Room with our new Brooks Running shoes for the Run for Women

I asked two amazing girls, Anya Georgijevic and Simone Olivero, to join me and they said yes! We met up at the Running Room several weeks ago and had our gait analyzed and got set up with Brooks Running shoes for the race. You should never try anything new on race day so we needed to get our shoes in advance to make sure they’re comfortable. While we’ve been training separately (busy schedules and living in different hoods makes it hard to get together to train), we’re excited to race together this Sunday, May 31st in Oakville. Have you registered yet? Online registration closes on May 26th so don’t miss out!

Anya, me and Simone

Since you know a bit about my running history and why this race is important to me, I wanted to share a bit about my awesome teammates, too:

I’ve known Anya Georgijevic (that’s her on the left in the grey sweatshirt) for about three years now through the industry (and we first met in real life over dinner in Vancouver when I was out west to run the Vancouver Marathon in 2013). She’s since moved to Toronto (yay for me!)  and we now regularly hang out and go for dinner or drinks and work out together weekly at the Nike Training Club classes and we’ve also traveled together (last fall, in Chicago, she was the best support, helping keep me calm as I prepared to run the Chicago marathon). Anya’s a freelance writer (you may know her work from Flare, the Globe and Mail and Nuvo Magazine, to name just a few), and she also keeps her loyal readers up to date on fashion and beauty on her site anyageorgijevic.com.

What’s your running history?

I’m not a serious runner. I ran a Seattle 1/2 Marathon in 2012 as an excuse to travel. I prefer doing charity runs. My favourites so far have been the Vancouver Salmon 14k Run and Granville Island 10k Turkey Trot.

The race is for women’s mental health, does that hold any personal meaning for you?

Most of the women in my family have been diagnosed with a mental illness, including myself. It’s a cause that’s very close to my heart and I’m grateful for the variety of treatments offered to my generation.

Do you have any specific goals for the Run for Women race on May 31st?

To finish and stay positive.

How has running improved your well being?

Running helped me quit a decade-long smoking habit. No other exercise keeps your lungs and heart in check like running does.

Now, Simone Olivero (she’s on the right in the black hoodie) and I met at a beauty event in Toronto, but we also go to Nike Training Club classes together on Thursday mornings (the same one Anya and I go to!). She, too, is a freelance writer, and you may know her byline from publications such as Toronto Life, Glow, the Toronto Star and many online publications as well.

What’s your running “history”?

I started running out of the blue six years ago with my first race being the Island Girl 10k on Toronto Island–I heard they were giving out free makeup! A couple months later, I ran a half-marathon with very little training, which was a humbling experience. I spent the next year preparing for my next half with slightly better results, but then a surgery in 2011 gave me an excuse to pack away my shoes for a couple years.

I have always trained for my races alone but this November I decided to change things up and started running with the Parkdale Roadrunners twice a week. I also run with the Nike Running Club, which means I spend a lot of time decked out in running gear.

The race is for women’s mental health, does that hold any personal meaning for you?

I’ve lived a block away from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) for almost 15 years and have witnessed too many times the stigma surrounding mental health. Mental illness affects more people than we realize and yet many of us are still afraid to talk about it. I hope races like this will help promote continued education and awareness.

Any particular goals for this Run for Women race on the 31st?

I think there’s always a desire to beat your last race time but I honestly just want to have fun running alongside you and Anya. I’ve also never run in Oakville so I’m excited to explore. Hopefully it’s a nice and sunny day :)

How has running improved your well being?

Physically, I can’t believe how much running has transformed my body. My legs are leaner, I feel stronger and every so often I can spot abs in the mirror! But mostly I run for the adrenaline rush. Even when it was -30 this winter and the last thing I wanted to do was lace up, I found myself getting hooked on the incredible feeling of accomplishment I got afterwards. It also helped being in really good company—shout out to the PDRR ladies!

And there you have it, my two awesome teammates for the Oakville Run for Women 10k (follow them on Instagram (@anyageo and @simoneolivero) as we ramp up for the race this Sunday! We can’t wait for the 31st—see you there! Oh, you haven’t registered yet? Hurry, registration closes Tuesday, May 26th!

Leave a Comment May 25, 2015

Travel Swellness: Back to Basics with Ford Canada

With Sasha as we hit the road with Ford Canada to Muskoka

It’s not often that I wished I owned a car, but a night away up north with Ford Canada made me wish I did.

Back in December, I headed up to the Sherwood Inn with Ford Canada with a small group, which included my friends Sasha and Kimberly (so I knew I’d be laughing up a storm no matter what, we always have fun together). Given it was still early in the season, I wasn’t quite drained by the brutal winter weather we had this year, but heading out of town to some fresh air and white snow always provides such a mental boost. Toronto gets so grey and dreary in the winter. Being up north with friends to hike and learn about nature provided a much needed mental refresh to my usual daily grind in the city.

at the beautiful Sherwood Inn

We learned about different trees and how to chop firewood (which I wanted to try, it looks like quite the workout — but I think they were afraid we’d hurt ourselves…), how to change a flat tire (I could maybe fumble my way through it if I had to now!), and I had a lesson in driving a stick shift. The first time I tried to learn, it was a nightmare and ended in many, many, many tears. Loads of tears. So I approached this lesson stressed out to the max. I stalled the car a few times, but at least there were no tears. We also got to try the Active Park Assist (which I love — parallel parking also stresses me out, so I’m more than happy to have the car handle it!).

I'm a parallel parking pro (when I'm using Active Park Assist!)

Along with a lesson from a survivalist (tip: carry some steel wool when hiking, it can help you start a fire), and some delicious s’mores by the campfire, a quick winter getaway getting back to basics is something I consider a must. It’ll help alleviate some of the blues Toronto winters can cause.

Leave a Comment March 25, 2015

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