Barry completed The Ottawa Mission’s LifeHouse addiction treatment program four years ago. During his time with us, he decided to focus not only on his recovery, but also on rebuilding his health. So Barry began participating in The Mission’s weekly Run/Walk Program which provides men staying at the shelter with the opportunity to take part in outdoor exercise with the support of a volunteer coach.
Barry took the program to a whole new level and in 2011, his first year as a runner, he completed a half marathon! This past spring, Barry provided us with an update on his running activities, and we’d like to share this with you.
“I recently participated in Ottawa Race Weekend and completed my second full marathon! What’s more, I set a new personal best, 4 hours and 7 minutes, beating last year’s time by 7 minutes! I’ve come a long way since I first started to run four years ago during my time at The Ottawa Mission.
The Mission supported me through a very difficult time and helped me discover running, which has taught me many of life’s hard learned lessons, like patience, endurance, goal-setting, acceptance and self-love. It has allowed me to spend time with myself and take care of my body by exercising and being mindful of what I eat. I also exercise my mind by meditating while running and being in the moment.
Every time I stop by The Mission I see familiar faces, warm smiles, and people who don’t judge me because of my past, and I’m hoping I can help give back some of what was freely given to me.”
Barry used this marathon, and last year’s as well, to raise funds for The Ottawa Mission for which we are so grateful. It’s wonderful to see a young man not only achieve his sobriety goals, but improve his life in ways that he never dreamed were possible.