I was recently in Valemount at a health fair put on by the community, which was funded by a Healthy Communities grant.
Every move counts
For a small village community of about 1,200 or so, Valemount is punching well above its weight by walking the world. I believe they want to clock about 50,000km. This community is really engaged in increasing wellness by active living and this is a beautiful place on the planet in which to do so.
At the Poker walk, we had a small crowd take off and start the trail of five stations. I was on station number five and the sun was shining down on me gently. I had been starved of this sun from a long winter but I did my healthy living bit by wearing a hat to protect my aging and balding head from its rays.
I met some lovely people there who are really engaged in the well-being of their community and under the tent, a stone’s throw away, there is much laughing and comedy.
On the trail of Bigfoot
These things are, in my opinion, great measures of health. Life is serious but we can have fun with it nonetheless. Speaking of which, Bigfoot was reportedly seen in many areas of the walk and locals are calling to have him registered as a highly protected species. Reportedly, Bigfoot was photographed in 1957 and is Valemount’s equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster. I am sure its presence made some of the locals break the record for the round trip on the trail.
Keeping healthy is very important and these folks are showing me that it can be a lot of fun as well. There is a real community effort and it feels good to be here among them. My gut tells me that building a healthy community has to begin with social gatherings of this nature that aim to invigorate and support each individual to be the best they can be. It feels as if Valemount is doing this really well.
For more information on what Valemount is doing, visit their Facebook group page.
For more information on building healthy communities, visit the community health information portal.
About Jim Coyle
Jim is a tobacco reduction coordinator with the men’s health program, and has a background in psychiatry and care of the elderly. In former times, Jim was director of care at Simon Fraser Lodge and clinical coordinator at the Brain Injury Group. He came to Canada from Glasgow, Scotland 20 years ago and, when not at work, Jim plays in the band Out of Alba and spends time with his family.