Shoppers Drug Mart LOVE. YOU. Blog: Rina Varley

In August 2012, a few months before my 47th birthday, I was finally given a label for something that has made me feel different my whole life. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which means negative thoughts and beliefs loop constantly in my brain, and can even prevent me from doing things I really want to do. I’ve had periods of my life where I can’t manage well, can’t work, or even get out of bed. During these struggles, my behaviour has been viewed as unprofessional, weak, or even self-indulgent…by ME! But thanks to the help of my family and friends, […]

Andrew’s Training Blog: Until the Sun Rises

I’ve come to realize, over the years, that learning acceptance is the first step to living a life beyond mental illness and addiction. Sadly, I have yet to fully accept that living with serious mental health concerns means facing certain limitations. I expect a lot of myself, and I have big ambitions. So, it’s difficult to accept that the future I once imagined myself living may never become a reality. Recently, I’ve been reflecting on my search for acceptance. I suppose learning to accept hardship is like learning to ride a bike. It’s a gradual and, at times, exacting process […]

Andrew’s Training Blog: The Unruly Mess I’ve Made

“It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well.” –Jackson Pollock I relapsed. It was inevitable. Having stretched myself too thin, the stress of a growing workload pushed me over the edge. So, I sank into a depression. There I was, just a few days into my training and already curled up on the couch in a state of complete despair. I’ve gone for a couple rides this week. I ride to distract myself. I need a […]

Andrew’s Training Blog: Ten Thousand Hours

They say you have to put in ten thousand hours of practice to master a skill. I don’t have ten thousand hours, so I’m going to put in thirty hours. Thirty hours to master riding a bike. When I was told the idea for this blog involved training to ride twenty kilometers in this year’s Ride Don’t Hide, I was hesitant. I haven’t ridden a bike since the age of ten (twenty years ago). Initially, I wanted to ride the beginner’s route, however, having mulled it over, I’m now determined to leave my blood, sweat and tears on that twenty […]

Shoppers Drug Mart LOVE YOU Blog: Pharmacist shares her perspective on mental health

Photo: Leona Acaster with her husband, Brad (left), and colleague, Colleen (right), at the 2013 Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide “Through my professional life, I’m very fortunate to have face-to-face contact with people who are living with mental illness.” Every year, Leona Acaster organizes extravagant fundraisers for Shoppers Drug Mart’s Ride Don’t Hide, a community bike ride hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association to end stigma and raise funds for mental health programs and services. Featuring live bands and silent auctions, Leona’s annual fundraisers typically draw up to 150 attendees. Leona is a Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist. “Through […]

Current Swell gives us the story behind their new song, “Bad News”

For a long time, Scott Stanton felt a pang of worry every time his phone rang. One of his good friends was experiencing a serious substance use issue, and every phone call threatened to bring more bad news. With his friend now in recovery, Stanton has taken it upon himself to speak out on mental illness and substance use. As the lead guitarist of the Victoria-based indie rock band Current Swell, he is drawing on this period as the basis for the band’s new song and music video, “Bad News.” “When I wrote the song […] I was going through […]

Sugoi Performance Apparel Blog: Part Two

Welcome back to the Ride Don’t Hide Training Blog by Sugoi Performance Apparel! By Liz Lyles, SUGOI Performance Apparel Pro Tri Athlete Learn more about Liz at www.lizlyles.com WEEK 2 This week, we are pleased to introduce Liz Lyles, Sugoi Pro Triathlete, who has had a strong 2015 already and is a new blogger for Ride Don’t Hide. With a win at Wildflower Triathlon and placing 2nd at the IRONMAN™ Latin American Championship in Brazil, Liz has a professional training + nutrition regimen that has helped her succeed. In this blog, Liz highlights the importance of warming up and cooling […]

Reflecting on Five Years of Ride Don’t Hide – Michael’s Story

On August 1, 2010, Michael Schratter, a Vancouver teacher who lives with bipolar disorder, began a solo cycling trip around the world. Over the next year and a half, he would cross six continents, 33 countries, and travel a distance of over 40,000 kilometres. His journey, which became known as “Ride Don’t Hide,” raised over $100,000 dollars for the Canadian Mental Health Association while bringing global attention to the stigma surrounding mental illness. Five years later, Shoppers Drug Mart Ride Don’t Hide has become a national movement for mental health. In 2015, over 27 communities will host rides across the […]

Mental Health at Work: Melanie’s Story

Melanie opens up about her lived experience with bipolar disorder, particularly in how mental illness can be perceived at work. In 2014, Melanie, a financial services professional and native Calgarian, rode in the city’s first-ever Ride Don’t Hide event. By participating in the ride, she spoke out on her experience with bipolar disorder — a mood disorder that affects around 2% of the population, and involves episodes of both intense depression and mania. “My experience with my bipolar is that I can go up and down in a day. You never know what to expect, which is really daunting,” she says. […]

Welcome to the 2015 Ride Don’t Hide Training Blog by Sugoi Performance Apparel!

Congratulations on committing to joining hundreds of other Canadians in bringing awareness to mental health.  Many people ride for the enjoyment, competition, and physical challenge, but the real reward comes from knowing that every kilometer you ride and every dollar raised brings us that much closer to breaking the stigma that affects over 6 million Canadians each year. We are thrilled to be able to contribute to this challenge in a small way. Our friends at Ride Don’t Hide approached us to help put together a training blog for their participants; here we are with a program we hope will […]