Living Well – There are a million easy ways of making fitness fun

Wayne Little's monthly column of fitness, competition and motivation.

Hug-A-Bear made the race fun for everyone.

Last fall I was shopping for a Halloween Costume. I didn’t have a clue of what I wanted to be while looking in the Halloween store. Then I saw it, a “one size fits most” TED the bear costume. This is perfect. I can wear it for Halloween, and then I can wear it for running events as well.

I bought a shirt that said in big letters on the front – “Free Hugs Here”. I’ll give a free hug to everyone who wants one from the Bear. Even people that don’t want one.

The bear suit’s first race was the Hypothermic Half, it’s a 21km running event in Kamloops every February. Usually it’s cold, hence the “Hypothermic”. For 2015, it was not cold.

While changing in the parking lot for the event, my wife Juanita says to me, “No one is going to give you a hug.” When we went in to sign in and pick up our bibs, EVERYONE wanted a hug. And from then on, I called the new character “Hug-a-Bear”. People wanted pics with the bear, and people wanted their Free Hugs. It was truly fun. During the event, I hugged random people walking on the River’s trail, homeless people drinking booze in the park, I hugged spectators, racers and volunteers – You name it, they got a hug.

Running for 21km in the suit wasn’t actually too much fun though. Apparently when they made the suit, they didn’t think that someone would be dumb enough to wear it for a 21km run. The mask rubbed most of my nose off until it started bleeding, and I sweat about 10lbs of weight off. I also wore Grizzly bear slippers, which are hardly running shoes, they were hard on my feet.

I wore the suit again for a 5km run during the Boogie the Bridge last month. Giving out hugs as usual, it was so much fun. I ran with my children and it was much more fun doing only 5km this time instead of half a marathon.

Normally I push so hard during the races as I want to get my best time, or place on the podium if possible. Using the bear suit allows me to enjoy the run in a different way. Some kids positively light up when they get a hug from Hug-a-Bear.

It makes me smile and chuckle when I see them. I even smile in all the pictures, then realize I’m wearing a big furry mask, and you can’t see my face.

Wayne Little

Just Posted

Proposed Boston Flats Eco-Depot hits rezoning amendment hurdle

TNRD now considering way forward after third reading of bylaw defeated

Conservative candidate Brad Vis speaks at Ashcroft Tiwn Hall

Puts family first, says Conservatives will work for all Canadians

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

In 1968, an Ashcroft Art Show was an idea whose time had come

Local artists got together to form a club in 1967, and a year later a show was born

Soccer week 2: League play gets underway

Warm-up time is over as the teams get down to work

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Another illegal dump of 200 Dungeness crab discovered in northern B.C.

DFO confident new site related to larger April 2 dump

Northern B.C. high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

Most Read