When she started doing ParticipACTION 150 Play List activities at the beginning of 2017, Sheila Wells had no idea she would eventually complete the list.
“I didn’t have the intent to do them all,” she said. “It just sort of built, and when you get close, you can’t not finish.”
Wells, a former high school and elementary school phys-ed teacher from Prince Rupert completed 150 tasks listed in celebration of Canada’s 150th year. The list was created by over 450,000 votes from people across the country, and is made up of physical activities that are uniquely Canadian. Individuals from across the country were challenged to see how many activities they could complete in 2017, and Wells was recognized as someone who completed them all.
“It was a great experience involving other people,” she said. “And letting them know about these activities was great.”
Wells began her ParticipACTION journey on Jan, 20, when she played table tennis at a friend’s party.
“I saw them playing and thought, ‘Hey, that’s on the list,’” she said.
Wells says she didn’t do another activity until midway through February, but soon started to tick one item at a time off her list. She realized that to complete all 150 tasks, she would have to do 12-13 of them per month.
“I just started and was thinking, ‘What can I do today?’” she said.
Wells said she started to spread the tasks out, and tried to accomplish them even when she was travelling, doing some in places like Toronto and Hawaii. She lists boxing, rock climbing, fencing and Punjabi dance as some of her favourite activities, while hanging on to monkey bars was the most challenging as she doesn’t have the arm strength she use to have.
Wells documented her journey on Twitter, and the ParticipACTION organizers found her and included her in a press release on Dec. 1.
While her year-long journey is over, Wells said she would certainly consider redoing some of the activities, some for the love and others for the challenge. She said she was afraid of heights before rock climbing and now she has the confidence in herself to tackle it again. She also said doing all the activities gave her an appreciation of how people invented simple ways to have fun.
“It gave you an idea of when years ago when there wasn’t a lot of technology around, people just invented games and had fun doing it,” she said.