30 Good Things Before 30: #22 – Donation matching for the Canadian Cancer Society

As you probably know, I’m running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October.

As you may also know, I’ve decided to run that marathon to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

30-good-things-before-30The idea is that I can balance out the self-involvement that comes along with marathon training by doing it for a good cause — one that’s affected my family and the families of many I hold dear.

Raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society is a good thing. And from now until Canada Day, it’s twice as good thanks to #22 on my list of 30 Good Things Before 30:


Donation matching for the Canadian Cancer Society

Since I’ve started my fundraising, I get periodic emails updating me on my progress and giving me some tips to help in my efforts. This most recent email, however, held some extra good news!

With almost half of all Canadians developing cancer in their lifetime, the sad reality is that just about everyone has been affected by cancer in some way.

However, uniting in the face of adversity is a big part of who we are as Canadians – we stand up for each other! So in true Canadian spirit, a group of passionate and committed donors has come together to match all donations made before Canada Day.

That means any donations from now until July 1 will have double the impact! That’s twice as much money for research. Twice as much money to provide community-based support for people living with cancer and their families. The potential to save twice as many lives.

With just under four months to go, I am already at 73% of my fundraising goal thanks to the amazing generosity of my family and friends. With my 30th birthday coming up next week, the best gift I could ask for is to get to 100%.

If you’d like to make this happen and have been thinking about sponsoring me, now’s the time! Take advantage of this awesome donation matching opportunity and donate online here.

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Running for Karma

I’m the type to shy away from raising money for charity.

I think it’s because in my youth, I was a total joiner. I signed up for every damn team, club and committee. As such, I was constantly conducting bottle drives or bake sales and terrorizing the neighbourhood door-to-door peddling Girl Guide cookies or pestering for pledges.

I think it traumatized me.

That being said, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about giving back. My husband and I have worked hard and done well for ourselves. We have nutritious food on the table, a sturdy roof over our heads, and good health to pursue the activities we love. We still have a bounty of struggles and uncertainties, but on a global scale we’ve landed pretty firmly in a category of privilege.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about Karma (perhaps a hangover from my 21-Day-Meditation Experience): the idea that what you put out into the world, you get back.

This is an interesting concept as training for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon begins surfacing on my horizon. The thing about marathon training is it requires incredible levels of self-involvement.

Weekends with the family are instantly reduced by half: Sundays are run-days. Half of the day is spent on a long run. The other half? Recovering. (Not to mention, a good chunk of Saturday is focused on nutrition and route-planning.)

Throughout the week, regular household duties (laundry, dishes, cooking, brushing your dog’s teeth) fall by the wayside as interval runs, cross training and hill repeats take over. You are constantly running, planning your next run, or hungry because of all the running.

So wouldn’t it be great if something good came out of this? Something beyond being a faster (hopefully), stronger (maybe) and hungrier (definitely) person?

That’s why I’ve decided to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to support the mission of the Canadian Cancer Society.

I chose this charity because we’ve all been touched by cancer. And if you haven’t? Well, the unfortunate truth is you probably will be. The latest stats say about 2 in 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime. One in 4 will die from the disease.

The money I raise will help fund research that is improving cancer treatments, preventing cancer and saving lives; provide reliable and up-to-date information on cancer, risk reduction and treatment; offer vital community-based support services for people living with cancer and their families; and advocate for healthy public policies.

The Canadian Cancer Society has conveniently set me up with a fundraising page here. I’ve set a goal of $300 and got the ball rolling with a small donation. I hope you’ll consider supporting me as well.

Your reward? Instant good Karma. 🙂

Are you sitting down for this? Let’s hope not…

You know what’s a lot of fun to stumble upon as you’re settling into your office chair for the workday? Multiple news articles proclaiming that’s exactly what’s going to kill you.

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Public health enemy #1?

Are you sitting down for this? Let’s hope not, because if so — according to the latest research — it’s killing you. From the CBC:

Sitting on one’s butt for a major part of the day may be deadly in the long run — even with a regimen of daily exercise, researchers say. In an analysis that pooled data from 41 international studies, Toronto researchers found the amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and death, regardless of regular exercise.

Hear that, folks? It doesn’t matter if you wake up an hour early to squeeze in a quick 3-mile run before your day at the office. The article literally says: “…engaging in 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily exercise does not mean it’s OK to then ‘sit on your rear’ for the rest of the day.”

Seriously?!? Am I the only one who thought that was exactly what it meant?

I mean, I get it. Human bodies aren’t built to sit around all day, hunched over keyboards, staring at glowing screens. There’s bound to be repercussions to that kind of lifestyle, but was I so naive to think my running addiction was balancing the scales?

The article suggests we think beyond exercise and focus on breaking up our sedentary behaviour throughout the day as well: getting up to walk around for a few minutes every half-hour or during commercials.

Which makes sense, I guess. We’ve all heard the old wisdom that we should be getting 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy. Doesn’t seem like much though, right?

Some days, it’s a lot. The Fitbit Flex I received this Christmas was a real eye-opener. On my non-running days, I’m still often several thousand steps shy after a full workday, light housework and a 30-minute dog walk.

So… yeah. Maybe I need to move a little bit more. Running notwithstanding.

For now, I’m going to keep aiming for that 10,000 steps a day mark, kicking and screaming and cursing the researchers who say my running isn’t enough. See how that treats me.

Any other Fitbit users out there? I could use a couple more friends in my Fitbit community. Let me know!