Overcoming challenges and fears


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/09/2022 (273 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I have written about my old friends from St. Vital a few times over the years but today I have a story to share about a new friend, Ryan Anderson.

I met Ryan at my Toastmasters Club. He is a fun-loving, outgoing guy who joined Toastmasters because he wanted to work on his public speaking skills. As he started to deliver speeches at the club and to tell us stories about his life’s journey, it was obvious that Ryan had lived some unique experiences that most of us could only imagine.

He described himself as an ultra-Endurance and adventure racer. Running a marathon was not enough of a challenge for Ryan. He participated in triathlons, which include swimming, biking, and running long distances. But that was not enough, so he progressed to ultra-marathons, cycling across Canada, and recently cycled for five weeks across 12 countries in Europe.

<p>Ryan Anderson celebrates after recently cycling from Istanbul, Turkey to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.</p>

Ryan Anderson celebrates after recently cycling from Istanbul, Turkey to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Ryan has participated in an event in Toronto where the participants ran up the steps of the CN Tower. I have taken the elevator to the CN tower observation deck, but climbing those stairs never really crossed my mind. Ryan climbed the stairs five times in the allotted time frame.

He has also run the Arrowhead 135-mile winter race in Minnesota three times. On his last attempt, he was determined to complete the race and by sheer willpower pushed himself to the finish line after 60 consecutive hours of running. His story of running past what he thought were visions of wolves that turned out to be actual wolves in the middle of the night is an image I will never forget.

One other memorable ultra-marathon was called… wait for it… the Canadian Death Race — and he voluntarily entered! It was no surprise to learn that Ryan was one of those chosen to carry the Olympic torch when it came through Winnipeg on its way to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

Ryan also has a successful career as a broker for Castle Mortgage Group. And he started his own life and performance coaching business so he could help others succeed in their lives by sharing his knowledge of pushing mental and physical limits and finding the strength within.

His last speech at Toastmasters was about overcoming hesitations and fears in order to help you succeed. It was one of the best speeches I have heard. Ryan talked about his apprehension when he landed in Istanbul, Turkey and started pedalling to Spain. He did not speak the language, was not sure where he would sleep after the first night and was not positive his body or his bike could hold up for the length of his mountainous journey. But he faced those fears and lived an adventure of a life-time.

On all his adventures, Ryan raises money for worthwhile charities. He is a talented and inspirational Winnipegger. We would all do well to maintain a positive outlook and an active life like Ryan does.

John Hindle

John Hindle
Community Correspondent — St. Vital

John Hindle is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at john@johnhindle.com

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