Monthly Archives: January 2009

Doing Stuff Outdoors-79



Our feature story today is about Holly’s Half Marathon. It’s an inspiring interview with a busy mother of five who decided to lose weight, get into shape and walk in a Half Marathon in Florida. It’s about changing your life for the better. This is part one of the interview recorded before Holly went in the event. Below is my story about Holly, reprinted from the local newspaper.

When I met up with Holly Johnson she had already been walking on the treadmill for over two hours. She had covered just over seven miles. This day she wanted to put in three and a half hours, non-stop on the treadmill. It’s the time she has to make when she tackles her first half marathon at Disney World in January.
Holly spends much time these days walking and working out in the gym at the Human Performance Centre in Grand Bay-Westfield. Until the cold and the snow arrived she was putting in the miles walking around the new running track beside the arena. She’s a woman on a mission and nothing is going to stop her from reaching her goal.
“You have a choice.” Says Johnson, “You can get healthy or you can get sick and that’s the way I was headed and I love my kids and my husband too much to let that happen.”
Holly has had an issue with weight all of her life but it wasn’t until the birth of her twins a year ago that she decided to really do something about it. She says it sounds corny but she realized she might not be around for her family if she continued the way she was going. Johnson says diabetes and heart disease runs in her family and she knew she was at the point where something had to be done. “I could keep going on eating the way I was and not moving or I could start living,” she says. “This is like a rebirth.”
Johnson began her rebirth by going to Weight Watchers with a friend. She’s stuck to it and has lost over a hundred pounds. The exercise didn’t become part of her routine until about six months ago. She says she was 37 years old and had never exercised before in her life. An email from the Canadian Diabetes Association informing her about the event in Florida persuaded her to become part of Team Diabetes. She got to work raising the $4,500 required for the event and whipping herself into shape to complete the 13 mile course. With the added exercise of walking the track and treadmill and working out in the gym, Holly figures she’s about a 150 pounds lighter than her peak weight. She says she feels a lot better and the change has affected not only her life but that of her entire family.
“It used to be the kids would ask are we going to MacDonalds?” says Johnson, “ Now it’s are you going to the gym?”  Holly says her five year old son says they shrink her when she goes to her Weight Watchers meetings.  She says losing weight, being active and getting healthier is the best thing she’s ever done personally and it’s great for the entire family. Johnson says they talk about eating healthy food and now check the ingredients of the food they eat.
She says it’s the little things that really make a difference. Just the other day she was in a fitness store trying on some new clothes and running shoes and she says she’s never had the confidence to do that before. She says people who don’t have weight issues take it for granted that you can go into a fitting room and try on anything. Holly says this has been like a rebirth for her.
“Life’s too short,” she says. “You only have one body so take care of it and I sure didn’t do that for 36 years.”

We’ll have part two of our conversation with Holly on a future episode of DSO. Also on the show today we have more of your comments and emails about favorite outdoor adventures and some podsafe music from Great Big Sea. Contact us by email at


1 Comment

Filed under Adventure, Exercise, Fitness, Losing Weight, Outdoors, Walking

Doing Stuff Outdoors-78



In this edition we meet outdoor adventurer, expedition leader and author Maria Coffey. She’s written eleven books published in six different countries and her articles have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Sea Kayaker Magazine, Action Asia and Outdoors Illustrated. Maria and her husband Dag Goering operate ‘Hidden Places‘, a “boutique” adventure travel company offering high quality guided expeditions in some of the world’s most inspiring places. Maria’s latest book looks at what compels extreme adventurers to push the boundaries of human ability and what they discover when they do. In ‘Explorers of the Infinite’, Maria interviews mountaineers, snowboarders, kayakers, surfers, base-jumpers and other extreme athletes.  They reveal some extraordinary spiritual transformations and paranormal experiences. Shortly after this interview was recorded Maria was also interviewed by Oprah Winfrey.

Also on the show a podsafe song from Alison Crowe and an email about a powder day on the slopes from our buddy Warren in Alberta. Send Gary an email about your best outdoor adventure. It doesn’t have to be extreme, just a fun day skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, climbing, kayaking…. whatever. What kind of stuff do you do in the outdoors? We want you on the show. Email Gary at

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventure, British Columbia, Extreme Athletes, Mountain Climbing, Outdoor Adventure Book, Outdoors, Skiing, Spiritual

Doing Stuff Outdoors-77



Happy New Year and welcome to the first Doing Stuff Outdoors of 2009. On today’s show we take you along as Gary joins a pair of avid birders for the annual Christmas Bird Count. This started over a hundred years ago when a small group of conservationists decided to count the birds instead of shooting them during the regular holiday hunt. Today thousands of volunteer birders armed with binoculars and checklists go out on a certain day during the Christmas period to record all the birds they see. Gary goes outdoors with Richard Blacquiere and Harvey McLeod as they count the birds.

We also have a nice comment from Podcast Bob and podsafe music from Kensington Prairie. Next time on DSO, a feature interview with author Maria Coffey about her latest book ‘Explorers of the Infinite’.

Send your comments, ideas and suggestions to

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventure, Bird Watching, Christmas Bird Count, Outdoors