As the pandemic tightened up our choices for physical activity more and more of us turned to pulling on our sneakers and walking, running, jogging and hiking as a reliable option. Exercise and fresh air, you couldn’t ask for more. Or could you?
Two young Collingwood women, Alex Smith and Katelyn Blakey, are taking that mode of exercise to the next level. On Friday May 7th the pair, who have been friends since grade 3, plan to walk 100,000 steps and use the effort to raise funds for 2 great causes.
They explained to Just Sayin’ Georgian Bay that their inspiration for the fundraiser came from experiences within their own lives.
“First, we have always thought that walking 100,000 steps in one day would be an amazing accomplishment” says Alex who plans to return to school to pursue a degree in food and nutrition, with a goal of becoming a dietitian.
“So we thought why not combine this idea with raising money for foundations that are really important to us” she continues. “We chose the CMHA because this past year has been really difficult for most people – ourselves included. We have both been directly and indirectly affected by mental health.”
You may have seen Katelyn around town as she runs her sterling silver jewellery business at local farmers’ markets and events. She also sells in a couple of local brick and mortar shops – Vaiya and the Makers’ Outpost and she has an online shop Jump 4 Jewels.
In 2015 Katelyn began suffering from epilepsy. A two and a half year battle led to the removal of a tumour and the epilepsy ceased.
“It was a tough time in my life, but friends and family were there to support me and help me through it” says Katelyn. “I’m thankful every day that it’s behind me.”
So the decision was made to split the funds raised from 100,000 Steps Closer between Epilepsy Canada and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
Their route along the Georgian Trail will take them from Collingwood to Meaford and back again, a journey of about 16 hours. They are currently training by increasing their step count each day as well as doing a few walks that are 25,000-35,000 steps.
On the day of the Walk family members will be meeting them at designated checkpoints every 3 hours or so to refill their water containers and give them snacks.
The women have modestly passed their initial goal of raising $1,000. You can help them crush it by making a contribution through the 100,000 Steps Closer GoFundMe page HERE