day 24

Day 24: Rest day in Regina

It is not too often that I am excited to wake up at 5:45 but today I sure was!  I got ready for my morning with a big smile on my face as I going to have a couple interviews for Ride Away Stigma.  On the way to the first interview I stopped at Tim Horton’s.  I was waiting anxiously in line as I had my bike on the car-rack, without anyone ensuring its safety.  But I completely forgot about that feeling when a gentleman said to me, “Hey you are the girl that is biking across Canada.”  I was shocked and asked him how he knew.  I was wearing a sweater over my Ride Away Stigma shirt and not in my bike outfit.  He said he recognized me from the news when I was interviewed yesterday.  We briefly chatted and he very generously handed me money to support the cause. I thought to myself that today is going to be a good day (not because of the money but the sign of support).


I pulled up to Big Dog 92.7 station for my interview with Gregg.  He also had his cohost Farmer John there.  It was really fun to observe the interaction between the two of them.  We then filmed the interview that was to be aired later that morning.  I stayed to chat with the two of them and take in the whole experience until I needed to leave for the next interview.


As I pulled up to the CTV building, my excitement bubbled over.  I really wanted to see what it looks like when a person is doing the weather.  Not sure why but I was eager to see the behind the scenes of the weather.   Not just the weather area but the whole studio was amazing.  Though, it was extremely hot with all the lights for filming.  It made me a little nervous that I may appear a bit sweaty on TV as I sweat when I’m nervous and then to add the heat too…o boy.


Chris met me before and prepared me for the interview.  Usually before doing any kind of public speaking I still get very nervous and my heart races a bit.  It was strange in both the radio interview and now this one, I did not feel nervous at all.  I was just beaming with excitement that I was going to get my message out to so many people.  Holy cow… I was going to get to be on TV for MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS!! I have always wanted to be able to help people and to do it on a large scale but I never thought my shy self could do that.  As you can imagine this campaign as been such a life changing and growing experience.  I will talk more about that closer to the end of the ride though.


Back to the CTV Morning Live show.  Chris told me we were about to go on air and would have four minutes.  Throughout the interview everything just felt very natural.  At the end I was excited, and relieved that I did not stumble on any of my words and I really did it! I got on TV for Ride Away Stigma. Chris shared with me that they get a lot of people wanting to be on TV for a variety of campaigns – biking, rollerblading, running etc across Canada.  He said it is really hard to choose, as they are all so worthy.  Of course this made me feel proud and excited that I got on the show.  But more importantly it made me feel so great about the country we live in.  There are so many people out there with different causes wanting to make a difference. Unfortunately we primarily hear about the negative stories but there really are a lot of inspiring and motivating stories out there.  I was also really taken by how open he was to chat with me after the show about the variety of mental health issues in our society and how stigma impacts those suffering.  Change starts from just a conversation and throughout this ride I am finding people so willing to have that conversation with me.


Driving away from the CTV station I felt great.  This entire year I have dedicated to the campaign and believe that the hard work is really paying off.  The message and cause is getting out there!


Unfortunately I then had to say goodbye to my step-dad as he was flying home today.  I am very grateful that he was able to come out for the first few weeks and be a part of the team.  He helped out so much in a variety of ways and I will forever be grateful for that.  I also shared with him how special it was to me that he was a part of a life-changing journey that I will always remember and look back upon.  Thankfully though my mom did not fly home and she and I are now the team.  It sure would be challenging without her support and again I am so grateful.


I started heading to my lunch meeting after saying goodbye.  As I walked to the restaurant I thought to myself how lazy I was and wished I wasn’t walking.  After a moment I started laughing realizing what I had just thought.  If anyone had heard me say that comment and knew about the ride they would be very confused.  The walk was only twenty minutes anyways. I was meeting Jason, a Lundbeck associate.  I shared with Jason throughout the lunch how supportive Lundbeck has been.  In every province I have met at least one or more of their associates and have been invited out so that they can learn more about the campaign. It is so wonderful to have their support.


When I got back to the hotel I had to head to the office but unfortunately this time it was not my bike.  I was still working on Ride Away Stigma related events so the desk in the hotel room still seemed awesome.  As the closing ceremony and celebration is only a month away, I realized that I needed to provide all the details online for everyone.  Of course I started procrastinating.  I really don’t like to plan ahead.  Then I noticed, on Instagram, someone writing that they saw my video on CTV Morning Live.  I had no idea it would be up that quickly and began searching for it.  I began watching the interview and did not expect to have the reaction I did.  As I watched it my eyes welled up and I had tears running down my face.  I started thinking back to high school when I was sitting in the hallway, by myself, and trying to find a way to pull myself together so that no one would realize I was struggling so much that day.  This made me think of how far I have come and how proud I am of myself for pushing through that challenging time.  As well how fortunate I am that I have been able to create an opportunity to give back to others so that they do not have to feel as alone as I felt with that mask on every day trying to hide my pain. Even now, writing this, brings tears to my eyes but they really are happy tears.  My cousin sent me a quote today that fits perfectly.  “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot,” by Eleanor Roosevelt.


Garret, the massage therapist and acupuncturist generously offered another appointment to work on my legs to ensure that I felt strong and confident as I head back onto the bike tomorrow.  I really appreciate his time he has given to me.  Not only to do the physical work on my body, but to let me discuss some of my feelings and thoughts I have been having on the bike.  As you can imagine I think a lot on the bike as there is no one else to talk to.  So it was great to be able to process some of that with him and hear his advice.  After the session my right leg was already feeling so much better.


Late at night I was talking with my friend about all the food cravings I get.  More recently just before bed I have been finding I am getting very hungry and craving specific food though it is not always the same.  That night I was craving something sweet so I headed out to Tim Horton’s to get chocolate milk and timbits.  I laughed talking to my friend about how amusing my different cravings are.


Here is the link to the Ride Away Stigma interview on CTV Morning Live: