TRURO, N.S. – Meeting Spencer MacGillivary is truly “uplifting.” For a seven-year-old, this lad from Onslow Mountain certainly can express himself.
Following Walk With The Doc Saturday morning at the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre, Spencer explains his participation.
“My grandmother Nana (Rosemary MacGillivary) tries to walk every Saturday morning; I go with her and take part. I really look forward to walking with these nice people, I try to walk around as many times as I can. Nana likes to try to get in 6,000 steps. I spend a lot of time with Nana, when we walk as part of the program Walk With The Doc – I have a lot of fun; it’s also very good exercise.”
Realizing I might be talking to a future prime minister, the Grade 3 student at North River Elementary School explained he has a number of interests.
“I play in the Truro and Area Minor Hockey Association, this is my fifth season. I started in hockey when I was three. My favourite NHL team is Montreal Canadiens. I played lacrosse last year for the first time; I’m also involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters. I have a “big couple” who take me places; we do lots of things together. I also enjoy swimming, I’ve been taking swimming lessons.”
Spencer’s mother, Jessica MacGillivary, takes part in the walking program occasionally. A single parent, Jessica is a personal care worker and studies nursing at Nova Scotia Community College.
“I’m glad Spencer walks with Mum. It’s very encouraging for Mum to have Spencer along. They very often spend part of the day together; they’ll run errands and they enjoy lunch together at home.”
For Sheila Raymond, you might say her participation in Walk With The Doc was an accident.
“I walked alone on the track at the RECC on a regular basis, I walked pretty well every day,” said Raymond, 58, of Bible Hill. “It was during the summer I observed this group of walkers circling the track. It was a spur of the moment thing, I just decided to join in. I soon found out about the medical aspect and that valuable information was shared by medical professionals before each walk. Now, I wouldn’t miss the Saturday morning walking program for any thing.”
Wanting to promote the program for many who may not be aware, Raymond explained the routine.
“All you have to do is show up on Saturday mornings for 8:30 to 9:30 at the RECC; there is no paper work and no charge. You will meet new people and you will soon look forward to spending time with the Saturday morning group. It’s an uplifting program and once a month we have a nutritionally prepared meal together; the walk and the meal really go together.”
Raymond went on to explain that through a partnership with Atlantic Superstore, a chef and a dietitian join the group following the walk and a meal is prepared for all participants.
“There are so many things that are unique about this program; imagine, if we have a medical question while walking, we just ask one of the doctors. Another thing, these doctors and medical people involved, they’re all fit and in good condition; it’s kind of an inspiration for all participants to do more in regards to exercise.”
Raymond said she is ready to go to the next fitness level.
“I’ve been mixing jogging in with the walking – I also walk the stairs here at the RECC; this builds up strength and is good for the heart. I find it nice to be able to walk a fair distance and run without getting out of breath.”
A very active person, Raymond is involved in crafts, she is active with The People’s Church and she is a regular blood donor with the Canadian Blood Services. Besides running her own residential cleaning business, Sheila helps her husband Raymond with his business, Marshall’s Flooring. The outward appearance is good but Sheila has a medical issue – high-cholesterol – which she wants to keep in check.
George Deal, 87, of Truro Heights, who worked for more than 20 years for Gilliam Optical, applauded the walking program introduced in 2016 by Dr. Stephen Ellis and Raj Makkar, manager of ambulatory care at Colchester East Hants Health Centre.
“Bernice and I really enjoy it – this is really good what these doctors started. Many people will benefit from it for years to come. As long as we can, Bernice and I want to keep walking.”
Lyle Carter’s column appears every second Tuesday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 902-673-2857.