Written by Eric Frans
It’s almost Spring. For me, this signals one thing: Tough as Her season! Tough as Her is World Relief Canada’s obstacle based fitness challenge that raises awareness and funds to empower women and girls.
As a member of Team Tough as Her, I’m hoping to participate in 6 Tough Mudder events across Canada and the US this year. I know, I know…your single most pressing question is: WHY??
My reason is summed up in one word – Elizabeth. Not quite as clear as you might have hoped eh? Let me explain.
I met Elizabeth and her children at an Internally Displaced Persons camp outside of Juba, the capital of South Sudan. Elizabeth was 26 when I met her.
After her husband was killed, Elizabeth walked for 15 days with her 4 young children (a 17 month old daughter, a 5-year-old daughter and two boys aged 7&8)to escape the fighting in her hometown of Bor, South Sudan. She traveled with her infant strapped to her back, her 5 year old on her shoulders, her two sons walking next to her, and a water jug in her hands.
I don’t know all of what she faced on that long trek or what she and her children will have to overcome to have the bright future they deserve, but I did know instantly that Tough As Her would always be about women like Elizabeth for me.
I know that I will never face obstacles like she does. I will never be the overcomer that she is.
But for me, Tough As Her is not about proving anything. I do these events to raise awareness of what women and girls face EVERYDAY in the developing world. I face these obstacles so that she doesn’t have to.
Yesterday, March 8th, was International Women’s day. It’s a day where thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. The theme for this year is #MakeItHappen. And while we have much to celebrate regarding women’s rights and equality- we still have a long way to go to #make it happen for Elizabeth, and thousands of women like her.
We are just beginning, and we want you to join us! Let’s do more than just talk about what needs to be done. Let’s take the Tough As Her challenge. Let’s raise money for the projects that are going to help Elizabeth provide for her kids for now and the long term.
Yeah, I know the obstacles on a ToughMudder course are nothing compared to the obstacles women and girls face everyday – but they have more in common than you might think!
Commit to #MakeItHappen this year!
We get to decide if we want to face the obstacles for fun. Elizabeth had no choice. She faced them and overcame them so her children would live.
What woman has overcome obstacles to make your life better? Tell me her story. Then honour her by joining us on the course!
ToughAsHer – #ToughWithaPurpose!