A passion for running has helped Evelyn, a Healthy Horizons Destination Marathon participant, increase her energy and confidence levels, embrace a healthier lifestyle and turn her life around.
The education director assistant from Wunnumin Lake, Ontario, is one of 29 runners from northern Canada who participated in the Healthy Horizons Destination Marathon in Barbados in December. She even clocked the best time among all 2017 Healthy Horizons marathon participants.
But looking back to 14 years ago, Evelyn remembers being in a completely different state of mind.
“I had depression, I was overweight and I was sick. My health was out of control,” she recalls. As fears of larger health problems began to emerge, she knew something had to change.
“I didn’t know what was happening with my body. I began to think about my health. I didn’t want diabetes,” Evelyn says.
Determined to improve her health, Evelyn began an exercise routine. Running caused intense pain in her knees, so she started by walking short distances every day. With limited access to training facilities in her community, she ran outdoors – where she faced challenges of snow, extreme cold, and wildlife.
(Photo: Evelyn training with her dog T-bone)
Evelyn brushed off these hardships, continued her exercise routines and soon began to see the fruits of her labor, as the number on the scale dropped. Within a few years, she was running 10 kilometers a day and participating in endurance races throughout Canada and the United States. The Healthy Horizons run in Barbados marked her 10th full marathon event.
For Evelyn, the benefits extend well beyond weight loss. She now lives a life free of drugs and alcohol, and has more energy and confidence.
Evelyn is thrilled to be associated with a foundation like Healthy Horizons. While it has helped her with her own motivation and training, it is also gives her an outlet to encourage and inspire others.
“I plan to invite my community members to run with Healthy Horizons,” says Evelyn, “It’s never too late to change your life to a healthy lifestyle.”