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Active Champions

Local champions of physical activity: Setting an active example for everyone

“To be a champion of physical activity is really just about sharing my knowledge with others so they can seek their own journey to wellness.”

Kim White

PHOTO COURTESY: KIM WHITE

Physical activity during childhood can mean different things to a variety of people such as running around the playground, playing sports with friends or wheeling under the sun. Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador native Kim White had her own unique journey to becoming more physically active, which we share in highlighting Kim as a Newfoundland and Labrador local physical activity champion.

“At the age of three, I acquired a mobility disability. So actually, a big part of my story is that I wasn’t very physically active when I was young, except for being mobile with braces and crutches,” Kim explained. Beyond that, I never was really engaged in physical activity through my school or community. It wasn’t really something that people thought I was capable of being a part of.”

Incorporating physical activity into your daily life takes planning and effort. It can sometimes be a real challenge for anyone, but Kim was lucky enough to be surrounded by some great people who supported her journey along the way.

“Sometimes you just need a little bit more support and exploration. For me, I was fortunate to have some people around me to support me in getting out and being more physically active. I leaned on friends to help me get outdoors and enjoy nature in my wheelchair.”

A tumour was discovered on Kim’s spine when she was only three years old, which led to radiation treatment that was successful in removing the tumor. She encountered physical barriers but that did not stop her from enjoying all the awesome benefits of being active.

Kim White

PHOTO COURTESY: KIM WHITE

Now 50 years young, Kim is more active than ever and loving every minute of it: “I am at the stage now where I am into trying anything and everything. If someone says, do you want to try this? Then I try it!” said Kim.

“I’ve been out on the trails doing some hiking and zip-lining. I was even out on the ocean in a kayak. Even though I grew up 20 feet from the ocean, I had never been in a kayak. Beyond the day I gave birth to my daughter, it was the best day of my life to be on the ocean and to really experience it so differently and intimately.”

With physical activity now weaved into her weekly routine, Kim is soaking up all that living an active lifestyle has to offer.

“You sleep better you feel better, it keeps my strength up. It’s important as you age to use it or lose it”, Kim said. “You feel it every time you’re active. You feel tired, but you feel energized and powerful, as well. It’s sometimes hard to put into words but, it’s amazing.”

What’s really amazing is what Kim is doing to spread her positive message. Kim chooses to be a leader and shows people firsthand what being active can do for individuals with diverse abilities and ages.

“I try to lead by example and show people what can be done,” said Kim. “If someone sees me out at the park on my hand cycle and they have a daughter with a disability, and then they want them to try it too, that’s huge.”

Still don’t have the ParticipACTION app? No sweat!

The ParticipACTION app is the active app for everyone. It’s available for download, for free, in the Apple App Store as well as Google Play. Keep track of all your fun summertime activities and earn some sweet prizes while you’re at it!

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