Last Sunday, Maddi LeBlanc hosted her annual On Board event to raise money for Brain Cancer Research, in memory of Julia, Lynn, Dalton and McKenna.
I read a headline on Global News the other day that nearly 1 in 2 Canadians are expected to get cancer. That’s a staggering stat.
When we are all destined to be affected by this disease, we have a choice on how to act. Maddi’s event is an inspiring action that benefits her community, as well as generates donations to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Being ‘On Board’, was definitely one of the most gruelling physical feats I’ve tackled. I honestly didn’t have a clue going in. Never been on a paddle board, but knew I wanted to participate. Thanks to the positive community of the Surf the Greats Crew, I was able to.
Logging about 4 hours on the water, it gave me a lot of time to think. I thought to myself, ‘This won’t be pretty, but I’m going the distance’.
The funny thing with paddling forward at a snails pace is your love affair with the horizon (I get this distance obsession when running too). Next streetlight, past the bridge, just push up the last hill. You start moving your markers for surrender further and further ahead. Amazingly, when you reach them, there is something new ahead to strive for.
Most days we wake up with a complaint about how we hate our alarm. Zero gratitude for the day we are given. No pride for the body that we have. Yet, health and time are our two most precious resources.
There are people who don’t get a choice.
So when you have a choice, it’s a gift. Train your mental toughness, as much as your physical limits.
Congratulations to Maddi for being an epic example of ‘pay it forward’—let’s paddle!
— Words by Ilsa Gurtins (Greats Girl). Photographs by Lucas Murnaghan.