#50DayWellnessChallenge: Karen Tomlinson’s report

The #50DayWellnessChallenge was an invitation made by the Winds of Change, to help mark a 50 day countdown to the Wellness Gathering, and invite people to delve into what wellness means for them. With the New Year underway, and the call to wellness always challenging us, we continue to share some of the take-aways and experiences of those who participated. What did it take to inject a big fat dose of wellness into life? Here’s how PSS teacher, Pemberton Canoe Club anchor, library Board member and 2012 Citizen of the Year, Karen Tomlinson, approached it:  

For me, the 50 Day Wellness Challenge was not about picking one specific thing to focus on because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to tackle it on a daily basis. Instead, I decided to focus on doing one thing daily that would be good for my body or my mind (or both). This provided me with a lot of leeway in choices and included everything from going to the gym, to spending time in the garden, to dealing with the clutter in my life.

As well, I took it as an opportunity to tackle all the items left on my to-do list from the summer. I am a teacher, so the summer is when I try to do all the things I never have time to do during the school year. The Wellness Challenge gave me a completion goal date and I stayed focused until the end, finishing off with the painting my office/spare room, on the morning of the Wellness Gathering!


When Lisa Richardson asked, I agreed to participate in the 50 Day Wellness Challenge because I love what she brings to this community – her commitment to the Winds of Change, the Wellness Almanac, and the Village of Pemberton – and thought it would be great to help her out with this project. I’ve actually never met Lisa in person (we only have electronic interactions) but I would love to have coffee and a chat with her one day, as I always find her posts interesting and inspirational.

I posted almost every day, mostly because I thought that was what I had to do, so was disappointed when I did not see Lisa’s chin up regime documented daily (though she made up for it posting a video of her doing chin ups with her small child holding onto her legs!)

I actually liked the daily posting, as it made me think about what I was doing with each day, and what I was going to do during the day to be “well”. Like Polek Rybczynski’s (my new neighbor!) and his photo a day for 365 day photo journal, I think I needed to do and think about wellness on a daily basis to build routine into my practice. It made me get up in the morning and go to the gym. It made me go paddling on One Mile Lake instead on standing on the shore watching the Pemberton Canoe Association kids paddle.

It made me finish my to-do list. I think I only missed a couple of days where work and life prevented me from doing something good for myself; overall, I felt very accomplished by the end of the challenge.


What have a taken away from this? That I work very well when I have goals and deadlines. I’ve always know that. But it was nice to have it reinforced and focused again. It was great because it started me getting back to the gym and I’m still doing that, though not quite as religiously as during the challenge. It definitely increased my physical activity, which I will continue to work on. And I will continue to have to-do lists.














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