Columnist Wayne Little (right) was one of many active locals who took part in Skip’s Run this year. The Ashcroft event is held every June by the Ashcroft & District Lions in memory of “Skip” Stuart

Living Well – Staying motivated requires staying challenged

Wayne Little's monthly column on staying motivated to keep fit.

My co-workers and family are constantly asking me how I stay motivated to keep fit. I always have the same answer – I always have a specific race or goal in mind. This is the thing that drives me to get out of bed at 4:30am to ride to work, or to drive for two hours to go for a swim.

I know if I don’t do the workouts, I won’t have an acceptable time in the next race I’m planning on doing. I also sign up for online “challenges”. I take a look at what the challenge is and usually say, “Hmmm, that one sounds pretty tough, I’ll do that one.”

What I truly enjoy though is signing up for local races. I’m talking about ones in our area, like Skip’s Run, Dirty Feet Trail races, Grasslands bike races. These are all very low key fun races to do that are all close by and inexpensive to travel to. You get to see old friends and meet new ones too, and all the people there are just like you – they are doing something they enjoy doing to stay fit. These races are somewhat small, not like the Sun Run in Vancouver with almost 50,000 people.

When a local event is small, they need a lot of support from the community, as they aren’t making the big money like the big races are. They need support that comes from three sources – Volunteers, Participants and Sponsors. Without all three of these things, among some others, the event simply can’t happen.

It’s no different than our kids’ soccer or hockey. You need volunteer coaches, kids to play soccer, and sponsors to provide the jerseys.

If I don’t participate in an event, I at least try to make it out to stand on a corner with a stop sign in hand directing traffic, or to help clean up a course post race.

As a race director and part organizer for three separate events (Ashcroft Hellclimb, Ashcroft Kids’ Tri, and the Pavilion Tri), I’m aware of the amount of work that is required to make these events to happen.  I want people to be in these events this year, and next year as well. These are the things that keep us going and keep us fit.

Next weekend is the annual Pavilion Triathlon at Pavilion Lake. If you haven’t signed up already, contact me, I can find you doing a job you’ll enjoy volunteering for. Heck, you never know, you might get inspired to sign up for the Pavilion Tri yourself next year!?

Wayne Little

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