Colin Harris of Take Me Outside is running across Canada. He's visiting kids in classrooms and sharing his get outside, get active and reconnect with nature message.
I spoke with Colin, a long time outdoor educator, shortly after he met with students in Gander, Newfoundland and asked what motivated him to run across the country.
Colin says, "When I was growing up, social networking happened outside. But today's youth are spending more than 50 hours a week in front of screens...playing video games, surfing the net, texting and watching TV. This sedentary lifestyle is leading to...a general decrease in health."
Colin remembers when playing outside was just what kids did. "We played baseball in the field across the street in the summer and built snowforts in the winter." Some of Colin's favourite childhood memories are of riding around the neighbourhood with his friends on bikes.
His first major purchase was a sweet BMX he saved his own money to buy. Colin took that bike for all kinds of great rides beside the creeks of Winnipeg with his friends.
Colin's message is one our family lives by because we all love to play outside. In the summer we go canoe tripping as a family and in the winter we like to ski in to cabins and yurts for sleepovers with our friends. These deep wilderness adventures are very special. There's nothing like falling asleep outside and waking up in the woods.
My dear friend Joanne often says, "The way you spend your days is the way you live your life." So when we Wilkers and Heffernans and Heffernan-Wilkers are not heading out on epic camping trips--because sometimes we work and go to school--our bikes take us to the urban wilderness for daily adventures.
It's a 10 minute bike ride from our house to the Ottawa River and rocks and beach and trees and water. It's an hour ride to Mud Lake where the kids can hike in the woods and feed chickadees. And if we're looking for sticks or mud or rocks we can usually find those gifts from nature in the grass or the snow on the way to school.
Where do you go to play outside?
Wishing you all the best on your cross-Canada Take Me Outside Tour, Colin. We'll be following your progress on your blog and looking forward to meeting you when you run through Ottawa in April.