Superwoman comes to mind when I think of Emily McCullum. No, she’s not a marathoner or an Ironwoman, and doesn’t leap buildings in a single bound. Emily is so much stronger than all of that as her healthy approach to life exceeds muscular strength. As many of you know, Emily took her 19 year old son Ben to climb Kilimanjaro in January. For most mortals it would have been enough to travel half way around the world to climb the highest mountain in Africa, train hard to accomplish this, and share this athletic adventure with her son. On top of all this challenge and goodness, the mother son team raised money for the Women’s Centre for Social Justice. The epic-ness of this adventure makes my heart swell: travel, fitness, mother-son bonding, all while raising funds for an amazing cause. It is the pinnacle of what I believe is the essence of health.
It is so much more rewarding to expand our hopes and dreams of wellness beyond the singular focus of bench pressing a certain weight, or beating last year’s running PR or to look good in your new jeans. Don’t get me wrong, I have used all of the aforementioned goals as motivational tools for physical achievement. But as the years march on, I am less enamoured with this approach. Of course these are all fine stand-alone goals but they are skin deep and will likely not stick for a lifetime of wellness. Wrapping our motivation around planning adventures, exploring our world, celebrating our family, friends all while practicing compassion will anchor our wellness in a way that sticks. For a lifetime. Emily, you are my super hero.