In the winter, when the Humber River and Catfish or Grenadier ponds around the west end of Toronto froze, our family and neighbours enjoyed a pickup game of shinny (see the photo above in 1986 by the Toronto Star Newspaper).
It was tradition.
While the freezing of the ponds and rivers isn’t so sure these days, my Dad loved the Toronto Maple Leafs, too.
He would have been thrilled to see his family and neighbours head indoors to the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens ice rink this year, carrying on the post-Christmas skate.
His love of gathering socially around physical activity was contagious.
Whether it was golf, curling, tennis, squash (they called him “Let Mollenhauer”), skiing, or walking with a hiking group into his 80s, he was a great role model for me.
You could say that I come by my profession in play, quite honestly.
It’s in my DNA!
He didn’t exercise to count steps or track his heart rate (although he would do the odd wall sit to prepare for ski season!).
My Dad was physically active for the love of feeling good and connecting with others.
This is exactly why RED January exists – to give you an excuse to move your way every day, especially with others, for your mental, physical and social well-being.
And let’s be honest, outside of the already fit, 80% of Canadians need to move more (a minimum of 20 minutes a day) to keep healthy.
What’s more, 50% of Canadians regularly feel lonely.
We can change this.
RED doesn’t cost a thing except for the amount of time you’re willing to take, and there are no limits to what type of physical activity you’d like to do.
Strength/resistance training, indoor rock climbing, taichi, yoga, CrossFit, soccer, hockey, swimming or any other activity.
Fun doesn’t care what your age is.
Find something you enjoy on your terms and within your ability and encourage your family, friends and heck, even your coworkers too.
Sign up if you’d like to start your year (in two sleeps) with more energy, fun and joy.
It’s the best 31-day challenge you’ll ever do!
Together, we can all take action to get and stay active and build a healthier and happier Canada.
Play on, and happy New Year!
Your coach and friend,
P.S. I’d love to know how you are REDding! Send me an email at email@example.com and a photo or tag me/follow on Instagram over @redjanuaryca or Linkedin @/janetomstead– with #redjanuary and #whyired