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Joey Payeur - Goalline Stand

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Limits are only what you make them

I started the Step Forward campaign with the idea that making it to the million-step mark would be a fairly lofty goal.

Well, as the numbers down below show, that goal was not only attainable, but surpassable.

We spend much of our lives setting goals for ourselves.

Whether they are professional, personal, financial or otherwise, human nature dictates that we not only focus on the present, but set milestones to aim for down the road.

Cancer answers hard to come by

Next month sees the focus of my Step Forward fundraiser transition to the Riverside Health Foundation - Chemotherapy Unit.

Summarizing the impact cancer has on our world in 500 words would be like trying to review the entire Marvel Universe movie collection in a couple of paragraphs.

Cancer has such a universal reach that it's practically unfathomable to any of us.

If I issued you a challenge to find one person whose life has not been touched by cancer in some way, it might make for its own Mission:Impossible screenplay.

A cruise through the shoes

They say you should never judge another person until you have walked a mile in their shoes.

Take that idea and multiply it by 584 and you have a rough idea of the distance I'm traveling during the course of Step Forward.

Getting through this three-month odyssey wouldn't be possible if I didn't start planning from the ground up and what I have hitting the ground stride after stride.

When journeying a long way by foot, having the right footwear is crucial.

Age is just a number

So, this is 49.

Honestly, it doesn't look a whole bunch different from 48.

I finished one trip around the sun and started another one on Monday.

There were plenty of kind words and wishes from many I know both in person and online.

There were awesome gifts aplenty, way more than a fellow like me ever deserves.

One of those gifts came from a complete stranger - and the cool part is he doesn't even know he gave it to me.

Now, before you get all up in arms, no - I did not steal some unsuspecting person's wallet.

Getting older, trying to get wiser

Birthdays are a source of fear and trepidation for many, a sign they are one step closer to the end of the line.

I prefer a much different perspective every time July 13 rolls around. The way I look at it, it’s a reason for me to celebrate when that date comes up on the calendar because, for all the dumb things and bad choices I have made in my life, the bottom line is I am quite fortunate to still be shuffling through this old world at all as I near the brink of turning 49.

A new month, a new cause

To say that the first month or so of the Step Forward campaign has exceeded my expectations would be a massive understatement.

People both near and far have made it known that they are good-hearted folks who want to lend a hand to those less fortunate.

The result has been exactly $1,500 raised so far for the United Native Friendship Centre Food Bank.

I honestly would have been happy with any amount raised to help feed those in our area who rely on the food bank to make sure they and their loved ones have enough to eat on a daily basis.

It’s all a numbers game

I’ve got your number - several of them, in fact.

In recognition of the provincial government rolling out a brand-new math curriculum yesterday, this occasional teacher and current daily walker decided to sift through the numbers of this mission I am on with Step Forward and pass along the most interesting ones.

I’m a big stats guy at heart - just ask anyone I grew up with who grew sick and tired of me quoting Wayne Gretzky’s season-by-season point totals.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here is a numerical journey through Step Forward:

The people I pass by

If you happened to be one of those folks who sees this ball cap-wearing, headphones-rocking character out on the walking path by the river in Fort Frances, here’s some advance notification for you.

I will in all likelihood try and catch your eye. It’s not to make you uncomfortable - actually, it’s the extreme opposite.

I was raised by my parents to be kind to all those I encounter, whether it’s at my place of education, my worksite or just everyday life.

The strength to inspire

Inspiration can come from many sources.

If you’re blessed enough, you can be related to one.

My sister, Kim, went from one extreme to the other with her health journey, using nothing but sheer determination to turn her life around.

The number of times she tried to quit smoking in the time I knew her almost equaled the number of times she bailed me out of a jam - which is to say, plenty.

Finally, just like I had my revelation on Christmas Eve last year, Kim hit that point in her life where enough was enough.

Weekly update

Sometimes, fate dictates that before you take one - or a million - steps forward, you have to take a step back.

So was the case last Thursday, two days before taking my first official strides in my Step Forward campaign.

Somehow, I was clumsy enough to knock a good-sized soap dispenser off the wall on my shower and right onto the top of my left foot, leaving a small puncture and a large-sized amount of pain.