Mission Accomplished

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What a night

Our dinner yesterday evening raised $1730 dollars and all funds are going to support youth mental illness services at the CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario)

Photo 2015-05-31, 11 38 55 AM


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My 1st motivational talk at a School

Link to article

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Don’t you Dare Quit

Photo 2015-05-03, 11 49 46 AM

Have you planned the date to complete your virtual run?

You can do it anywhere and anytime until May 31st.

Let’s make a difference and support youth mental health!

Register here :

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From Cheetos to Cheetahs

The Cheeto Puff: A bloated fluorescent orange snack that attacks your taste buds with artificially flavoured cheddar tang.


The Cheetah:  A beautiful, sleek and graceful predator that is the fastest land animal on the planet.

Photo 2015-04-18, 12 05 47 PM

I leave for South Africa next month to complete my final race in my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents.  My life 5 years ago was not always about running, fitness and setting big goals. In fact it was a life where I indulged in the consumption of an entire family-sized bag of Cheetos in one sitting on a regular basis. It was a sedentary life where my priority was my job and working extra hard to ensure that I could advance to the next level in my career. My spare time was spent on the couch. I was overweight, asthmatic, smoked and ate very poorly.  Reflecting back to where I have come from and where I am now, I am truly grateful.

On June 22, 2015, I will complete the Big 5 Marathon in South Africa. With the completion of this race my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of running around the world for charity will be completed and I will have raised $50,000 for Team Diabetes, Children’s Hospital, Education in Nicaragua and Youth Mental Health. I’m thrilled to complete my BHAG this year.  The lessons I have learned throughout this journey have been invaluable:

  • Despite running being an individual sport, it takes a team/support system to get me through it all. Never take for granted your friends and family that believe in your cause and your adventure


  • A marathon is hard. The distance seems like it goes on forever, but the feeling of accomplishment you get afterwards is huge and you never forget crossing that finish line.  Tip: If you are a male, always put nip guards on.  I use Band-Aids – easy to use and will save you a lot of future agony.


  • It’s not about racing against other people; you are challenging yourself and your focus should be on completing the distance at your own speed.


  • During the Australian Gold-Coast Marathon I was on my way to attaining a Personal Best when only 4K to the finish line my legs froze. As I started to slowly hobble along and feel sorry for myself, a random woman shouted “You got this!” to me as she ran past.  These 3 simple words were exactly what I needed to get me to continue running those last 4K.  The fact that this stranger saw me struggling and shared some positive energy with me was enough to motivate me to fight the challenge to the end. This is what the running community is all about.  Strangers on the course, whether fellow participants or cheering onlookers, can make a world of difference.


  • Always come back to the intention:  WHY? Ask yourself each time you sign up for your race what is the deep rooted reason you are running. For me, running was always secondary to the cause.  The reason why I run and who I run for is for my Dad who has diabetes, my friends and the kids.  These little heroes affected by illnesses, such as diabetes and cancer teach me every day what it means to live with courage and love.  All these heroes inspire me along the course and give me the strength I need to get by when the finish line seems so far away.


  • No matter the hours of training you put in, you can never anticipate all that will happen on the course. Your training is the base and it will take you through 75% of the course but the other 25% is all in your head.  You have to push through the exhaustion and ignore those voices in your head saying you can’t do it.  Victory is often closer than you think


  • Don’t overlook the power of cliché visual motivational quotes:  Step outside your comfort zone; Do one thing a day that scares you; Embrace your fear of the unknown. It all helps.


For my final continent I am supporting my dear friend Rachael Bell’s campaign called Don’t You Dare Quit (DYDQ) and the funds raised will go to CHEO Youth Mental Health Services. DYDQ resonates with me. The message is simple but powerful. They are carrying words that can help us move forward in our daily challenges and live with persistence and determination.  DYDQ is an integrated theme that has been prevalent in my journey.

How can you help?

Dontyoudarequit_final_copyrighted (1)  medal

Rachael and I have created a virtual 5K “Cheetah” run/walk.  Since it’s virtual, there is no limit in who can participate. You can run or walk 5K to fight the stigma against youth mental illness. Our youth of today are going through major life problems such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks which put them at higher risk for suicidal thoughts. The problem is escalating but together we can make a difference. We hope you can join us during the month of May to support the “Cheetah Chase” and raise awareness as a team & support this very important cause. You also get a “real” finisher medal for participating!

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Kick off 2015 on the right foot by doing good

Over the past 5 years you have supported my journey on running around the world and together we have raised over $40,000 for a variety of causes ranging from diabetes to fighting kid’s cancer.

My next adventure, continent #6 of 7, is scheduled to take place Feb 15-20, 2015.  I will be headed to King George Island in Antarctica to run a 50k ultra-marathon, followed by a 1/2 marathon in Punta Arenas (Patagonia) Chile within a 3 day period.

This time, I’m supporting Schoolbox. An incredible local charity here in Ontario that makes education possible in Nicaragua.


Since 2006 through the vision of Schoolbox and selfless volunteers they have built 60 classrooms, 44 washrooms, 5 playing fields and 27 mini libraries.

In addition, they have created the Supplies 4 Success program.  In Nicaragua many children don’t attend school for lack of the most basic of supplies.  As the poorest country in the America’s, many of its citizens are forced to forgo educational expenses in order to simply survive. Only 51% of children are able to reach Grade 5 in Nicaragua. A notebook and a pencil can literally stand in the way of a child receiving or not receiving a basic education.

As I run in Antarctica & South America, I will be running to support the Supplies 4 Success program.

To raise funds I am hosting on January 17 a fun 5k Polar Dash Run and 2.5K walk.

Click Here to Register!

The registration cost of $20 will provide 2 children with educational packages for a year and includes your race fee, goodies and some hot chocolate post run/walk.

Of course, if you can’t join the run/walk in Ottawa, your support would still be greatly appreciated and you can donate using the link.

Lets start 2015 together in a fun healthy way while at the same time making an impact to support children in Nicaragua!

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#RUN4AC 2014

The clock tower struck at 9:30 and the bells rang loudly while the crowd cheered RUN 4 A CAUSE, RUN 4 A CAUSE!

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

We were blessed by the brilliant summer weather which created a magnificent Run/Walk experience.

THANK YOU for believing in #‎RUN4AC & celebrating the charities you support.

WE made an impact by coming together as a community. A community that demonstrates leadership in supporting causes that affect us all and raises the bar to create awareness & make a difference. I’m blown away with your passion and commitment and your belief in my vision.

The following charities were awarded donations to their causes:

1st Place – Ronald McDonald House ($1000)

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

2nd Place – D.I.F.D ($500)

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

3rd Place – High Jinx ($250)

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

4th Place – GoodGuys Tri ($250)

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

Also a big thank you to the other charities that showed up in their colours and created awareness for such important causes:

We are already starting to plan for next year’s edition of RUN 4 a CAUSE.  I encourage you to reach out to me now if you are part of a charity group or know someone that might be interested in leading a team to share in this special event.  Please email me at:  thrivewithjoe@gmail.com

Thank you so much to Zoomphoto.ca for volunteering to capture this special day on film!

The event photos are available for free at the following link:


Lastly a big thank you to AXIS RMT for providing some free tune ups. Please make sure to use the flyer/coupon you received and check them out. As a RUN4AC participant, they are offering your first 1hour massage with them at only 40$!

2014-09-27 | Run 4 A Cause 2014 Edition

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RUN4AC 2014 – Less than 1 week to go!

With less than one week to go, I am happy to report that registrations are going strong!

I wonder which charity will bring most the participants?  It’s always a tight race & those last few registrations often decide who gets the top spot. Remember, there is no cost to register and the main purpose of the event is to create awareness around the causes you are passionate about. If you are not part of a team, please feel free to join a team on the day of.

2013-09-28 09.04.15

The top four teams who bring the most participants will take home a donation for their charity:

1st place – $1000

2nd place – $500

3rd & 4th place – $250

Here are the maps for the 5k run and 2.5k walk. There will be pacers for the 5k run with the following set finishing times: 25mins, 30mins, 35mins and 35mins +. Feel free to join whatever group you like on the day of.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.43.06 PM


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If you haven’t heard yet, I am happy to announce the following new edition to this year’s event.  Team AXIS RMT will be on site providing complimentary massages for our runners and walkers.


The event will happen RAIN or SHINE, however the long term forecast is looking good  – sunny and 15 degrees.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Parliament Hill on Saturday September 27, 2014 at 9am!

TO REGISTER: http://run4ac2014.eventbrite.ca



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RUN 4 A CAUSE 2014 – Join us!

It’s that time again to join us in the 3rd edition of Run 4 a Cause.  Get a group together and sign up.  We want to see 100’s of people on Parliament Hill cheering, running and walking for their favourite causes. Let’s celebrate and create awareness for the charities in our local community that we support and are passionate about.

Sign up here:  Run4ac2014.eventbrite.ca


The Top 4 Teams that bring the most runners/walkers are eligible for cash donations to their charity : 

1st Place:  $1000

2nd Place: $500

3rd and 4th Place : $250

See you there!


Group Shot

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Feeling Inspired and the “Me too” syndrome

Can you believe the end of 2013 is only around the corner? How would you describe your year?

For me it has been a year of feeling INSPIRED!

If you recall, instead of completing a list of New Year’s resolutions, my friends and I brainstormed a word that we wanted to feel all year long. Without a doubt, for me “INSPIRED” has been abundant and prevalent in 2013. A buffet of warm intentions, karmic energy and contagious enthusiasm was present at the table throughout this year’s races, travel, fitness classes, presentations, conversations and new challenges. The result: feeling driven, motivated, and wanting to do more!

The inspiration was magnified & elevated by those who I decided to surround myself with in these activities. Travelling this week with my family in the Hawaiian islands I learned a powerful word: OHANA, defined by the Hawaiians that we are all part of an extended family. My OHANA are genuine individuals that believe in my passions, push me to step outside my boundaries and champion me to succeed. The more this occurs, the more I am energized to do the same in return and hence creating a magical support system. We all need one and I’m forever GRATEFUL for mine: GGT, Goodlife, Lemons, Team D, family & friends! The phenomenal part of my support system is that it’s growing organically & effortlessly.

Two weeks ago I participated in a peer coaching session that focused on two key themes: effective listening and asking powerful questions. During the session, the facilitator presented examples of what makes a good listener. One of the examples that resonated with me was to resist the “ME TOO” syndrome. Brilliant! How many times have I been in a situation where someone is pouring their heart out to me or sharing a special story and I interrupt with: “I know what you mean, that reminds of a time when I …” or “Me too, so at work today I…” Dismissing the person of holding a unique plan/goal/story, bringing down their emotions to common feelings and turning the attention back to you is something we almost all unconsciously do. Resisting the “ME TOO” syndrome is something that I am constantly trying to apply in my life

Feeling inspired comes not just from accomplishing big goals but also simply listening to that support system that surrounds you. By focusing the discussion around others you can discover many gems that you can take away and feel inspired by.


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