Early today, I had what you can describe as a “difficult start” to a long morning. I completed about nine kilometres into my daily bike ride when I made a stop along the way. Upon my return, I see my back tire is completely flat.

What to do?

Options: I can call a taxi company to bring a van big enough to fit my bike. I can chain up my bike and send for Über. I can contemplate my options while I have a large Coke Zero at McDonalds. Don’t you just Love dollar drink days of summer?!

I take a look at my Fitbit, which was dead yesterday, to find out that I’ve fallen behind many of my friends this week. How could this be? Then I realize it’s because I’ve been riding my bike a lot and the Fitbit doesn’t count steps when riding.

Back to my dilemma. What do I do?

Well, why don’t I just chain up my bike and walk home. Nine-and-a-half km later, I can start my work day. What started as a difficult start, ended up being an accomplishment and a fantastic start to this hump day. Over 18 kilometres of exercise. Miigwetch, Gzhemnidoo.


While I’m walking, I have a lot of time to reflect on… well, walking. Two people who have motivated me come to mind.

darrellbMy good friend, Darrell Boissonneau of Kitigan Zibi (Garden River). He’s always giving me encouragement over the years, in my career, as a traditional man, as well as to stay active. Darrell is a regular fixture along Old Highway 17 walking his many miles. In the years that I’ve known him, he’s traded his cowboy boots for running shoes. He’s traded the double-cheeseburger for a single mooseburger. Small changes for a good life.  Miigwetch, Darrell.

josephine_waterwalkOur number one door woman, Lodge Grandmother and Chief Midewaanikwe, Beedaasige. Josephine Mandamin has been walking the highways and byways of Turtle Island for many years through the Mother Earth Water Walk. It’s been a pleasure to carry the staff alongside of her through many of these journeys. But here’s what I’m always amazed by. I can walk alongside Josephine, but I could not keep up with her! I count ten kilometres as an accomplishment. Beedaasige would regularly double or triple that, day-after-day. Especially during those early water walks. I recall during the Lake Superior walk, and some of the other Great Lakes walks – she would not only carry the copper vessel of water, but also carry the staff. She would go through many pairs of shoes. All the while honouring the water, and walking for the Spirit of the water.  Miigwetch, Josephine for everything that you do.

I remember walking with Josephine one time and someone yelling at us to “get a job”.  We laughed it off, figuring “no, we’re working hard enough”.

To share, or not to share?

Social Media is a strange animal. I seems very self-absorbed, egotistical, narcissistic. Selfies. Status updates about yourself. Et cetera.

I feel kind of funny “sharing” my daily walk statistics. Or my bike statistics. So I don’t do it too often.

But I do realize, from your comments and messages, that it is motivating people. I guess that is a righteous purpose of social media. It’s not just putting up the dishevelled selfie of sweatiness.

If you’re interested check out Healthy, Active Natives on Facebook for many pics, updates and success stories of other skins who are working hard to be healthy, active and happy people. Nishin!