My latte with JJ

On my way to work, I decided to stop in at Pulp Fiction coffee house to pick up a soy matcha latte. It is my occasional $5 morning treat – as a working mama, rewarding myself with a few quiet minutes and something delicious to help savor the moment.

There were two men ahead of me. One larger man who was ordering a drink, one smaller man who was looking into the display case. Brownies, vegan bars, breakfast sandwiches. I wondered whether they were together. The larger man grabbed his coffee and paid, and they exchanged a few words. Yes, they were together. Do they work together? Are they friends?

As the smaller man looked into the display case, I looked at him. He had a scruffy beard, a slight hunch. I briefly scanned his arms – a few scabs on his elbows, but no immediate signs of other scars. I looked at his feet in sandals. His toe nails didn’t look very well kept and his feet were a little dirty, but not bad. His clothes were a little dirty but he could have just been working construction or landscaping.

He said he would get the cheesecake. “Why not,” he said. The larger man said, “ok.” The barista reached into the display case for some cheesecake. “And a brownie too.” She grabbed the brownie. The two men exchanged a few brief words. The larger man had brought the smaller man in to buy him some food, he was most likely homeless, and he chose cheesecake and a brownie. I thought if this is what he gets to eat, that he really should have gotten something more nutritious.

It was my turn to order my $5 drink, and as I was paying, I knew the smaller man was going to come speak to me. He was still standing there and was looking at me with almost the same curiousity as I had of him, but whereas I had no intention of talking to him, I knew he had a plan. As I’ve done before, I avoided eye contact until I no longer could.

He said hello, I sat down at a table to look at my phone and wait for my drink, but instead, I found him telling me his story. I listened with some curiousity and some hesitation. I knew he would ask me for money at some point. I knew the other people in the cafe would be listening with skepticism, perhaps pity for me or him. I wanted to be kind, I wanted to listen, I wanted to help him, but my past experience taught me to be cautious with men like him. Especially as a woman. Especially dressed in my nice work clothes with my $5 drink and fancy wallet, phone and car keys in hand.

If I engaged him a conversation and showed interest, would he get attached? Would he follow me to my car? Crazy thinking, but would he ask me out on a date and then I’d have to say no, getting out the easy way by showing him my fancy ring and saying I’m married? It has happened before. 

He moved from Toronto in November. He just got accepted into social housing in downtown Kelowna. (Upon reflection, why didn’t I ask where he lived before he got into social housing? Most likely, he was living on the street). He asked me if I knew where that social housing complex was. I said “no, sorry, I actually just moved from Toronto too.”

He smiled excitedly. “No way! What a small world. Where in Toronto did you live?” Cabbagetown, I said, somewhat hoping he lived in the neighbourhoods around there, so that we could relate on some level. (If you know Cabbagetown, you’ll know that there are some very poor neighbourhoods around there. I guess I just assumed he was from a neighbourhood like that.) “Oh wow. Right downtown. I’m a west side boy. ‘Sauga. Brampton. I moved out here to get away from my family and start new. They’ve all abandoned me because of my schizophrenia. No friends or family. Well, actually, I still kind of have 2 friends, but 2 only.”

Schizophrenia. That makes sense. That’s why he’s kind of twitchy.

The barista called him over because his milkshake with whipped cream was ready. She asked if he knew the man that bought him the food. He said no. She said, “well, that was very nice – you better make sure to do something nice for someone else today.” He eagerly told her that he had already helped someone with their flat tire this morning. He said it with a childlike pride and sincerity. For some reason, I had a sense that he was truthful and kind.

He sat back down with me. “I know I’m not supposed to ask this in a restaurant…” There it was. “Do you have any change you could spare? I need to go over to Safeway to get some Vicks.” He carried on to tell me that he was going through the welfare application process again, because it is under provincial jurisdiction.

I felt bad, said “of course” and passed him a $10 bill. “Please spend it on something good.” I wanted to tell him I had a young son and that the money was going to him instead of my son, so that he would feel some guilt if he spent it on drugs or booze, but I didn’t. Thankfully.

He told me he writes poems and that he wants to write things that would create a common platform for all walks of life. I thought, such kind and big ideas for the world. He said that most people with his condition can’t focus their thoughts, and that some people say he has a gift with words because of his condition. He asked if I wanted to hear some. He has it memorized. And he said he’d put it to music for me.

In the meantime, a woman at the counter was waiting for her drink and saw mine come up. I guess she saw me, sitting sideways in my chair like I wanted to escape. I didn’t mean to sit like this, but when I noticed it, I didn’t move. She asked if the drink was mine, passed it over, and I said “thank you” and took a sip. He started his song.

The words flowed beautifully. They rhymed very well. They had a dark undertone as he spoke about the devil, condemnation, the day of judgment; but he also spoke about God and heaven. I didn’t fully understand what he was saying – whether it was dark and disturbing or beautiful and hopeful. But perhaps it was brilliant. Historically, haven’t some of the worlds’ most talented people been schizophrenic?

He lifted up his milkshake with whipped cream and gave me a respectful “cheers” against my soy matcha. He said “did you like it?” I said, “yes, you have a way with words. You should keep it up.” “Really?” Yes, I said as I was putting a lid on my cup, with some hesitation and confusion. I really was impressed by his poem, but what was I supposed to say? I felt other peoples’ eyes on me and at the same time, I felt embarrassment that I was not fully honest or open with him. I was saying what I thought I should say with the least commitment possible. 

He continued to tell me about his condition, how he had ADHD when he was younger, and how he believed that ADD and ADHD were the precursors to many mental illnesses. He said the mind is the least understood body part in medicine, and that we have a long way to go when it comes to understanding mental illness.

I was still standing from putting the lid on my cup and he stood up to meet me. He asked me my name. Norma-Jean. He said his name was JJ. I thought to myself (but didn’t say anything), “hey, I go by NJ. Another similarity!” Instead, I said thank you, told him to keep up with the writing and please take care. I walked away and looked back to see if he was still there, but he was gone.

I sat down in my car feeling distraught, embarrassed that I didn’t treat him with more kindness. I know that these thoughts are what create the ugliness in our society when it comes to mental illness and homelessness. I know that I want to help, and immediately started thinking of reaching out to the non-profits that work in this space, like CMHA and StreetToHome. But I also knew that I wanted to reflect and write this all down.

I don’t know what I would do differently next time. Would I try to listen and have an honest conversation? Would I give him money? Would I carry around Tim Hortons or Safeway gift cards in case he asked for money? That way I knew he would spend it on something useful (or so I would assume). Would I ask him if he did drugs? Would I ask him about housing, food, family, social support, mental health support?

This man left an impression on me. I’m not proud of my reactions. I quickly judged him, even though I don’t want to treat people like this and I have tried to share this experience as honestly as possible. I wish I didn’t make these snap judgments and believe the only way I can stop them is to call out these ugly thoughts. I recognize these thoughts are only reflections of judgments on myself, and that I would rather try to empathize and understand where other people are coming from, no matter their housing situation, financial position, or mental health.

Others may have had similar thoughts about this man – maybe they would have ignored him, maybe they would have spoken to him briefly as I did, or maybe they would have treated him with the utmost compassion. I know what I’d like to say I would do next time, but know that I have a lot of personal work to do before I get there.

Either way, I hope I will see a book of brilliant, world-changing poems published by JJ one day. I also hope he enjoyed his milkshake and cheesecake, his occasional morning treat.

This post also follows some articles and videos I’ve come across recently – some highly disturbing, others enlightening. I believe they are all worth a look.

1. Remarkable young woman and her autism: Carly Fleischmann blogs about her journey with autism

2. CBC news article on disgusting letter to parents of an autistic son: Letter asking to ‘euthanize’ boy with autism not hate crime

3. New legislation driven by Rehtaeh Parsons’ suicide: New Brunswick considers new cyberbullying legislation

4. Convocation speech on kindness: George Saunders’ advice to graduates 

It’s been a while

I’m not sure if anyone still subscribes to my blog. If you do, hello.

I began this blog when I was doing a ton of soul-searching. I was fresh out of school. I was trying to find my place, my career, my love. I was living in Vancouver, where there is a culture that stimulates soul searching. I was living with friends and family, but no where that I would call a home of my own.

An update on the last few years…

Moving every 6 months. From Vancouver to Calgary to Toronto to Kelowna, soon to Kamloops, and with plenty of flights for work and personal pleasure in between.

Changing jobs. From self-employed/teacher/consultant, to one of the most ambitious and highly regarded consulting firms, to maternity leave, to a dream job at a winery, to who-knows-where next.

Building a family. From single and searching, to the love of my life, to our beautiful baby boy (the second love of my life), to a wedding celebration with our favourite 100 people, to our first home purchase.

And so much more.

It’s incredible how different a life can look in just three years.

I am tempted to say that my worldview has changed since I started this blog. It has certainly evolved, maybe even matured. But since I haven’t been writing much and expressing these thoughts externally (just with my own thoughts and journals), I am curious to see for myself how these views have evolved.

I’ve made a loose pledge to myself to write more. No themes (yet). Just writing. In an ideal world, it would be every day, however, I’ll be thrilled if it’s once a week. My family comes first before anything now, and I simply no longer feel guilt if I miss a post here and there because of that.

And with that, I’m off to a beautiful sunny Saturday in Kelowna, for farmer’s markets and bike shopping. Enjoy your day and see you around here soon.


Radio is so not dead.

I have a beautiful obsession with radio shows. I don’t own a car, I don’t have a set workplace, and I usually hit the snooze button on my alarm clock within 0.7 sec, which all means that my intake of “real” radio is very minimal. However, thanks to that wonderful World Wide Web, I don’t need “real” radio because I subscribe to some very convenient and terrific podcasts. And because you are all my favourite readers, I thought I would share some of my radio gems.


Radiolab is by far my favourite program. Ever. (Other than TED, of course.) Hosted and produced by the uber-talented Jad Abumrad and co-hosted by NPR Science Correspondent, Robert Krulwich, Radiolab is the place where “big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow.” I usually describe the show as science through story-telling, but it’s also about music, human experience, philosophy, exploration, possibility. Insightful. Educational. Awesome. Some of my favourite shows to get you started are Limits, The New Normal?, and In C.

The Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean

The best way to describe the Vinyl Cafe is Oh-So-Canadian. Stuart Mclean‘s Christmas stories about Dave and Morley have been a part of my tradition for the last few years, but his hour-long, independently-produced shows have certainly become a regular listen. The shows feature essays submitted by listeners, fictional stories, and performances by new Canadian talent. Half of his shows are produced in the studio, half on the road in front of live audiences, and many are, as Wikipedia says perfectly, “frequently humorous… and wistfully nostaslgic.” A great Sunday morning, pancake-making listen.

The Moth & This American Life

The Moth began in 1997 in a small New York apartment with friends sharing stories, and the show has definitely maintained this feeling of familiarity and festivity. The Moth has featured a whole range of storytellers, whether it be a Mormon virgin, a former pickpocket, a nobel laureate, a fireman or, one of our favourite storytellers, Malcolm Gladwell. This American Life, on the other hand, is a wonderfully produced show by the fascinating Ira Glass, featuring stories around a weekly theme like testosterone, prom, politics or the fear of sleep. These are both new shows for me, so I personally can’t provide a very in-depth review, but I’ve also had some very strong recommendations from some high-quality friends; hence, my recommendation. The best places to start are the favourites page for This American Life and the podcast feed for The Moth.

All of these shows are so well-produced and provide either superb educational value or just great entertainment (or even edu-tainment?!). Download them to your iPod/iPhone/iPad for the ride to work, or do like me and take a listen while you get ready in the morning. Either way, please do enjoy!

Pecha Kucha & My Night Sans Shoes

Last night, I went to Pecha Kucha Vancouver #10, the infamous 20×20 event, and it was some kind of awesome, but also slightly disturbing (for two completely reasons – thank god!).


Besides the gawking at the architecture of Bing Thom and Gair Williamson (check out the before/after pics of the Keefer – wowza!), howling at the antics of the one and only Uncle Weed, and amazement at the pics of the smokin’ 67-year old Martha Sturdy as she built her cross-country horse trail with her chainsaw, rubber boots and tractor, the special moment of the night and the one who stole the stage for moi was a member of the fab Corker crew.

Miss Steph Corker Irwin is the Founder of Bliss for NoMoSolo and the Recruiting Manager at lululemon and she’s a bundle full of energy and gratitude. Although most of our encounters have been far too brief, I’ve had the pleasure to get know Miss Steph Corker Irwin mainly through her Twitter and blog, and I highly recommend checking her out if you ever need a daily dose of bliss and some kick-in-the-butt inspiration.

Last night, she rocked the stage (as expected!), speaking straight from that glowing heart of hers of lessons learned and wisdom shared from her year of coming alive. Everyone in that theatre soaked her right up, and heard her message loud and clear. Thank you for being such a genuine and lovely bright light at PK last night Miss Steph. Check her out!


Yup, that’s me. On Granville Street. In bare feet.

No, I haven’t gone the way of a hippy. It was my One Night Without Shoes.

One of my fave social businesses is TOMS Shoes, and their mission is simple: One-for-One. You buy a pair of shoes, and they give a pair to a kid without shoes.

TOMS hosted a global day sans shoes for people to experience a life without shoes first-hand and to help spread awareness of the impact a simple pair of shoes can bring to a child’s life.


Because many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk because…

  • A leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases, and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause.
  • Wearing shoes also prevents feet from getting cuts and sores. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected.
  • Many times children can’t attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don’t have shoes, they don’t go to school. If they don’t receive an education, they don’t have the opportunity to realize their potential.       {Via}

So I decided that I would kick my kicks for the night. I would walk from wherever my car was parked, to the venue, keep the tootsies bare while I was at the event, and then back to my car. I had thought what better place to give it a shot than at an event with 1200 people in downtown Vancouver, right? Well, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be…

First of all, the event was at Vogue Theatre on Granville Street and if you’ve ever walked down Granville, you know that that is probably the last place that you’d EVER want to go walking barefoot. The cement was FREEZING. I was dodging broken glass and tiny puddles of spit (gross, I know).  I don’t even want to think of the types of fluids that have been on that street (ever grosser, I know!), hence why I’m very thankful I didn’t have or get any cuts or scrapes.

Then when I got to the venue, I didn’t have my ticket printed so I had to go wait in the will-call line. Just 10 more minutes that I didn’t want to be spending on Granville Street.

I got my ticket, arrived at the door, and the manager actually wasn’t going to let me in without shoes. After some explaining and convincing (and maybe a little begging and whining too), he allowed me in with the contingency that I wouldn’t go into the bathroom at any time (liability issues) and that I’d be kicked out if an inspector showed up. Then while inside, I welcomed the stares galore, and I was always wondering what was on the floor or whether someone’s heel might find my little toe.

I only walked up and down one block from my car to the venue and then all around the venue, but it was disturbing enough for the night. I couldn’t imagine having those fears or challenges every day… because of shoes!

I wish I could say I had a more positive experience, but it just goes to prove that life without shoes is not at all easy. I do love TOMS shoes and their One for One model though, so please go check them out if you don’t know about them already. The date for next year’s One Day Without Shoes is yet to be set, but I hope you’ll join me in the next barefoot excursion.

Age 10 and Divorced

This past Monday, the world celebrated International Women’s Day, which, according to the website, is “a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.” A loaded celebration, to be sure.

How did I celebrate?

Well, thanks to my beautiful friend, Sarah Jamieson, I was able to attend an event called Half the Sky Live, inspired by the book and movement by the same title and hosted by CARE. I was incredibly inspired by the stories of just pure courage, but also shocked and disturbed by the very personal stories of sex trafficking, forced prostitution, and gender-based violence. I’ll admit, these things weren’t within my limited span of awareness on this day of celebration.

The story that particularly moved me that evening, and that was featured in a vivid documentary by Marisa Tomei and Lisa Leone, was that of Woineshet Zebene Negash. Woineshet is an incredible girl (now a young woman) from Ethiopia, who at the age of 13 was abducted and raped.

As an article by Equality Now explains,

“In some regions of Ethiopia, abduction is an old cultural practice used to take a girl as a wife by force. Typically, the girl is abducted by a group of young men. She is then raped by the man who wants to marry her, who may be someone she knows or a total stranger. The elders from the man’s village then apologize to the family of the girl and ask them to agree to the marriage. The family often consents because a girl who has lost her virginity would be socially unacceptable for marriage to another man. Sometimes the abductor keeps the girl in a hiding place and rapes her until she becomes pregnant, at which time her family feels it has no option but to agree to the marriage.”

“Both abduction and rape are criminal offences under Ethiopian law, but until recently, Articles 558 and 599 of the 1957 Ethiopian Penal Code provided that in the event of subsequent marriage to his victim, the perpetrator is exempt from criminal responsibility for these crimes.”

To Woineshet and her family though, this was unacceptable. She brought her abductor and his accomplices to court, and they were charged to 10 and 8 years respectively to imprisonment. However, just four months later, their appeal was approved and they were released without parole.

Her father and her have since been educating rural communities and fighting to change the laws in Ethiopia; however, to my ignorance and disbelief, this is not a unique case.

Today, I finished the book, “I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced”. If that title didn’t make you gasp, the story certainly will.

Nujood Ali
grew up in Yemen, where as discovered by a study by Husnia al-Kadri, the director of women’s affairs at the University of Sana’a, over half of the women in the country are married before the age of eighteen. Nujood herself was married off at age nine by her father to a man more than three times her age. She never agreed to the marriage and never saw or signed the contract, but she was married to a dowry of 150,000 rials (around $750) and a promise to “not touch [her] before the year after she has her first period.”

In her book, she tells the explicit story of the horrifying months of physical, verbal, and sexual abuse by her husband and in-laws, and let me remind that she was ONLY TEN YEARS OLD!! But in her incredulous bravery, she escapes to a courthouse and becomes the first child bride in Yemen to be granted a divorce. After Nujood’s day in court, two other young girls – Arwa, who was nine, and Rym, twelve – pursued their own battles to be granted a divorce, and won.

I have become so aware of the young girls around me at the cafe and on the bus, taking a guess at their age and quivering every time. Yes, it may be distant, but it is also still real and real today.

And so, with Woineshet and Nujood in mind, International Women’s Day became a much more meaningful day this year. Yes, it was still a celebration in the most gracious appreciation of where I am, of what I am able to do on a daily basis, and of the incredible women that have allowed me to be here. But this year, I have also developed a new appreciation which is not one to celebrate, but rather one to talk about: an appreciation that perhaps I am the one in the unique situation.

(Also, please note that these girl’s stories are much more complex and their lives much more beautiful than what I’ve been able to describe today. I highly recommend both of these books to get the full story!)

Stand up. Stand out. Beyond Pink 2009.

bp09I am giddy and anxious and just absolutely thrilled to say that Beyond Pink 2009 is almost here!

What is Beyond Pink? Well, as the website says:

Beyond Pink is a two-day conference that will host 350 energetic young women from November 13th-15th at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Vancouver, Canada. This unique, high-impact and eco-friendly conference will create a space for young women to engage in intimate workshops, partake in interactive roundtable discussions, engage with industry professionals, build lasting personal connections, and celebrate inspirational women in business. Beyond Pink inspires through action, enriches through connection and empowers through ideation.

I had the absolute pleasure of working with a group of 24 amazing women to launch Beyond Pink last year, and to say the least, it was magical. Within three months, we decided to organize the conference, found a hotel, recruited 20 speakers and 50 tradeshow exhibitors, we raised corporate sponsorship and somehow found 200 ambitious young women to join us at the Sheraton Wall Centre for the weekend.

Serendipity certainly played it’s part in making the event happen, but it was the ambition, talent and sheer awesomeness of the team, delegates, speakers, sponsors and mentors that made the weekend remarkable, and the feedback confirmed this:

“You guys did such a great job! Thank you for everything – this has had such an impact on my personal and professional life. I cannot stress that enough!

“It was one of the most beneficial conferences I have been to. I was able to take something away from every one of the speakers. The OC should be so proud of themselves. AMAZING!”

“There is always one event/activity in the year that stays with me for very long, and leaves behind great experiences. Beyond Pink is definitely that event for me this year! I loved the positivity of the event, the intellect & experiences that all delegates had to share and offer! Further, I loved the small things that the OC thought to integrate i.e. the ‘what I would like to help with’ board, the trade show with some amazing entrepreneurial women, and the keynote speakers (who were incredible!). Thank you!”

“A very unique, one-of-a-kind type of conference tailored towards ambitious young women. It was great meeting wonderful young women with minds alike!”

“I would like to start by saying Thank You! I have never met so many amazing women in the course of 48 hours. I found this experience incredibly eye-opening and learned so much about myself, my goals, my passions and so much more. I was incredibly moved by the speeches from the guest speakers, and I know that what I have learned over the weekend will stay with me forever. I have gained so many valuable tools that I need to do to be a success, not only with my career, but my life. “

Yes, there were a whole lot of exclamation marks (!!!!) and a lot of “amazings. We heard about career changes, incredible personal insights, businesses being launched, new invaluable mentor/mentee relationships – all of which stemmed from a two-day conference. Yeah, I know. Wow. Which is why I’m so giddy and anxious and absolutely thrilled that Beyond Pink 2009 is just around the corner!

Lucky for us, Beyond Pink promises to be even bigger and better this year. The 350 delegates will get to soak up the speakers line-up which includes Patricia Graham (Editor-in-Chief of the Vancouver Sun), Judy Brooks (President & CEO of Blo Blow Dry Bar), Chris Flett (Founder of Ghost CEO), Allison Mack (Actress on Smallville), the Smart Cookies and many more. There will also be the Connect! Women in Business Tradeshow, a celebratory Gala and Silent Auction, an All-Male Panel Session and a Mentorship Lunch. An inspiring and fun-filled weekend indeed.

If you want to register now, you can get your tickets here. Or if you want to learn a bit more and connect with the YWiB gals, you can head to Facebook, Twitter (@msbeyondpink) or the amazing Beyond Pink Website (!!!).

One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” – Helen Keller

We Are Busy Bees


This morning I was sipping on my homemade chai and looking out over my new rainy Vancouver view. I just moved into a tenth floor apartment with floor to ceiling windows looking North, East and South over the city. (And I’ve been in basement suites with no windows for five years now, so I’m allowing myself to be excited and brag a little!)

I just sat there watching the mass of cars driving back and forth over the Burrard and Granville bridges, the continuous flow of people crossing the streets, the constant movement of the city – things you don’t see from the basement… I was fascinated by the buzz.

And then I looked up and to the West, and became completely entranced by the contrast of the city and the mountains. Softened with the gray haze of the September rain, the backdrop just sat there. The mountains, the tankers in the bay, the highrises of downtown, the great trees of Stanley Park – they all just sat there.

It looked so peaceful, so relaxing – people weren’t rushing about trying to get to the next appointment – and I had this sudden urge to forget it all and just go sit on a rock in the forest and do nothing. I thought, how nice would it be to get away from this need to run about, go from project to project, make stuff happen, get more, make more, see more people, do more things, and rather, just sit there and watch the squirrels play and the leaves blow in the wind. (Ha, I know!)

Now, I’ve always been ridiculously impatience. I want a perfect world, I want to see change happen and I want it to happen now, and I’ve come across a lot of friction because of this impatience. Climbing the corporate ladder has never been my schtick and believe me, bureaucracy and I do not jive well!

But now, looking out from my new apartment, I finally get why and my urge to sit in the mountains quickly disappeared….

Over time, the tankers will move, the trees will grow, the tide will come in and out, the mountains will shift. And the same goes for these bureaucracies and ladder climbers – one day they might move – but my rate of movement is completely different than theirs.

If you want to move but feel like you need to put in your “time” so you can earn your ranks, if you’re impatient for change, or you feel like your potential is being ignored, please don’t slow down. Just as there is a stark contrast between the movement of the mountains and the city, there also exists contrast in the rate of movement amongst people and organizations. It’s all a matter of relativity.

We don’t have the lifespan of the mountains, so we don’t have the time to just sit there. We don’t have the time to waste waiting for other people to move or give us that next opportunity. If you are naturally a busy bee, then don’t let anyone slow you down. People say life is short, and how right they are. Realize your potential, dream big dreams, and make no compromises. Keep on moving and be your fabulous busy bee self.

Run for One Planet

I just received this remarkable Facebook message from one of my favourite super-duos: Matt Hill and Stephanie Taitn4312619243_4885

On May 4th, 2008, Steph and Matt began their 369-day journey running one marathon a day around North America (totaling 11,000 miles!) to inspire the rest of us to take action for our One Planet.

I really can’t say enough about Matt and Steph and their incredible journey. They made a commitment to changing the world and in the process, ignited a flame in myself and so many others to take action and change into our own hands. Their ripple is far larger than they could ever imagine and I will ever be thankful to them for their inspiration.

I encourage you to please read their story below. It’s worth at least 430 marathons…


This was how it all came together for those who are reading this for the first time. And for our friends and supporters who’ve been along for the duration, a re-cap of all things running to inspire action for a beautiful Planet that wants to keep on sustaining us for the long haul.

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