For many, a new year means new resolutions and exercise is usually at the top of the list.
One Ottawa man has set a 2021 goal of running every day, committing to keeping active while raising awareness and money for a great cause.
Andy Wilson has been an avid runner for the last 14 years. Normally, he would run up to four days a week, some days with his running club.
Wilson says it's one of his favourite ways to keep active, get out and explore. He posts his adventures on Instagram. On Monday, he saw a giant snowman.
Running also provides time for reflection. A couple of years ago, his father Dave Wilson died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 71.
"He was an amazing man," says Wilson. "He would bend over backwards to help someone, whether it's a friend family member or someone in the community."
To honour his father, Wilson hopes to raise $25,000 this year for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The goal is to run 5 km consecutively every day.
Heart disease, stroke, and related conditions are the number one killer globally, and they take a Canadian life every five minutes. Money raised will help accelerate research and treatment.
Anne Guilfoyle, director of community programs with the Heart and Stroke Foundation says 95 per cent of their revenue comes from donations.
"It's no secret that it's a challenging time economically," says Guilfoyle who is grateful for the life-saving support that is critically needed. "Early learning suggests that COVID-19 can damage previously healthy hearts and have a serious impact on our brains."
Wilson has done the math; his plan equals 1,825 km, about 43 marathons. He says some days will be good and other days he will be grunting and groaning through it, but only four days into 2021, he has already raised cash for his cause, which he says has been amazing.
And, as Wilson paces towards the finish line, he hopes to inspire others to get out and be active along the way and find whatever motivates you.