03/22/2017 12:52 EDT | Updated 03/22/2017 12:52 EDT

Walk To Make A Difference

young woman jogging on street

This year marks the 15th anniversary of walking to conquer cancer in this lifetime in support of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. What better way to honour and celebrate the life-changing success than participating in the experience?

The Rexall OneWalk to Conquer Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre announced two additional distance options to the line up! For the first time in OneWalk history, participants will have the opportunity to sign up for a 15, 25, or 40-kilometre route. While the traditional 25-kilometre journey stands out in my mind as a tremendous feat, I am excited to take on the 40-kilometre marathon distance.

This September, I will complete the Rexall OneWalk for the third time. Along the route, I've met people of all athletic abilities. This year, with the various distances to choose from, anyone can experience the inspiring event from start to finish.

For those participants ready to take on a new challenge, I invite you to join me in conquering the valiant 40-kilometre route. Whatever distance you opt for, know that you'll make a significant difference in the lives of Canadians living with cancer. Upon registration, participants choose how their fundraising dollars will be allocated, giving rare forms of cancer the awareness and support for research that could save lives. I've chosen to designate my fundraising dollars toward genitourinary cancers in memory of my late father.

While the Rexall OneWalk is just one day, there is so much that goes into the success of fundraising and training. Leading up to the event, volunteer-lead training walks are held to help participants build their strength and endurance. In addition to preparing for the event on foot, training walks allow participants to interact with one another, sparking new friendships and life-long memories.

During OneWalk, there are often times when participants feel spent, which is also true of every day life. No matter the path we're on, there are steep hills we all must climb, which can test our bodies and minds. Practicing mindfulness is integral to positive mental health. When we focus on the task at hand, we allow ourselves to fully experience the moment.

I love training with my team, Finelli's Tumorators, because they motivate and remind me every single day how our participation is changing lives. Together, we train in increments, beginning with a five-kilometre distance. We master that, and then start to build on it. Eventually, we find ourselves hitting 15, 25 or 40-kilometres, leaving us well prepared for the one-day challenge. Of course, diet and rest are also paramount to success. A car can't run off of fumes; it needs fuel to go the distance!

I practice the art of the daily eight: eight small meals rich in nutrition, protein and vitamins; at least eight glasses of water; and eight hours of sleep. This routine keeps me energized, focused and productive. Focusing on well-being helps my team prepare for the Rexall OneWalk, as well as improve our overall wellness and success.

Join me on September 9 as we rally together to make a difference. No mater how fast or how far you walk, we are changing the world and because of that, I believe we can conquer cancer in our lifetime.

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