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Fitness Enthusiasts Raise Money Through Intense Challenge

March started off with an intense weekend of fundraising, as three separate groups of fitness enthusiasts decided to raise money for Soldier On through the demanding David Goggins challenge, named after the retired Navy SEAL who invented it. The challenge involves running for four miles (6.4 km) every four hours in the span of 48 hours for a total of 48 miles (76.8 km).

Soldier On spoke to two of the individuals who partook in the challenge: veteran Jesse Ryan and serving member Lisa Bennett.  

What motivated you to do the challenge, and what kept you going throughout?
Jesse: “I follow David Goggins [on social media] and came across his 4x4x48 Challenge. I thought to myself that it would be a great primer for my participation in future events. Physically, I felt I was prepared but the around-the-clock nature of the event was unknown to me and I knew it would likely be mentally challenging and an extreme challenge overall. It definitely was and I’m glad I did it, but I will not be on the starting line next year. Some events are best as one-and-done!”

thumbnail_20210303_162750-0.jpgLisa: “I decided to do the challenge to push myself to work harder. As a self-identified non-runner, I always avoided running. In fact, I would get anxious every time I had to run in front of other people. Having completed my own personal challenge of running 100 km in January and doubling that distance, I was looking for the next challenge. One of my colleagues from Edmonton called me to take the challenge. I firmly believe we are all stronger, faster, fitter, and better than we know and capable of so much more. This is why I am always looking for something difficult to participate in.”

What drew you to raise funds for Soldier On?
Jesse: “I am a service-disabled veteran and a Soldier On member. I have first-hand experience of the good that Soldier On does for the veteran community. I am always looking to give back to the Canadian Armed Forces community, as it was the launch pad for much of the success I’ve had in life.”

Lisa: “I am an active member of the military with family and friends who also served, so I felt it was important to give back. I know many military members who are too proud to ask for help from outside agencies and feel that Soldier On is a place they feel safe to seek out the support they need. I also appreciate the message that you can be successful regardless of impairment or challenges. In my opinion, Soldier On helps people see their potential and gives them tools to seek out new challenges.”

Tell about your overall experience throughout the challenge.
IMG_2491.JPGJesse: “It was indeed very challenging. The 11 p.m., 3 and 7 a.m. shifts were tough mentally. The shifts quickly reminded me that humans are not nocturnal creatures and so I found it fascinating how dramatically my moral and physical pain would rise and fall with the time of day. Just when I started to feel good, the sun would set and the pain and agony of what was ahead, would return with a vengeance! I had great support throughout via social media and text. I followed the social media hashtag for the 4x4x48 challenge thoroughly and quickly found that I was a part of something much greater than the sum of the parts of my own efforts. The tens of thousands of personal stories and no doubt tens of millions raised really carried me through!”

Lisa: “The challenge was a generally positive experience with many people around the world participating. I was able to connect to many people throughout the challenge through social media. I enjoyed the physical and mental aspect of the challenge. Working with the Soldier On team was amazing, they were all so positive and encouraging. Everything moved quickly and was very seamless to allow for success in fundraising and raising awareness.”

Jesse raised almost $15,000 with the help of his own social media campaign and Lisa raised over $600 on her own.

An additional group of serving members raised over $3,700 for Soldier On. They were: Maj Michael Duong, Capt Rebecca Wheaton-Sparkes, Maj Teesha Wheaton-Sparkes, MWO Ken Reynolds, Lt Stephane Rodrigue, and Capt Shelley Simms. Read about their efforts here.

Each fundraiser exceeded their goals, raising a collective of over $19,000!

Soldier On would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude to everyone involved for their efforts.