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LIFE WITH CYNTHIA: Stretching the limits, pushing the bar

Check out the video by columnist Cynthia Breadner, who talks about how connecting with nature brings stability to her mental health and creates personal strength

This past week I popped out for a 45-minute jaunt to get some fresh air and my 10,000 steps. It was lightly raining, misting more like, so I wore my rain jacket and my trusty peaked cap. I set up my phone with the current book I am listening to and put my tracker on my arm. Off I went.

I covered 5.5 km in about 48 minutes, which is a respectable time. I am happy with that for training. This was a solo walk; however, Life with Cynthia often includes friends and family.

Danielle, my daughter, and I have created a personal branding called DanCyn’ Adventures (our website is ), and we create videos and post photos of our excursions. Since 2017 Danielle and I have been growing and stretching our own abilities. We do this for fun and to share with others that stretching the limits, whether you are 63, 37, six or 2.5 years old, anyone can benefit.

Just yesterday, I enjoyed running with two of my grandchildren. This five-kilometre hiking excursion harked me back to when I first started writing. In a previous column, I focused on how my then three-year-old grandson called out, “Run with me, Gramma!” (COLUMN: How the role of a grandparent has changed over the years) and just yesterday I was running with the two boys along the trail.

On March 5, DanCyn’ ran together at the “Chilly Half” and completed 21 km in the cool weather down in Burlington. It was great fun and a good kick-off to the season.

Then on April 29 we covered the two 12.5-km loops, and I stretched my distance to 25 km at the “Pick your Poison” trail race. This was accomplished in 4.5 hours! It was raining and cooler and certainly stretched me that day! This local opportunity challenges a person in many ways! Maybe you would like to register for the 14th Annual in April 2024!

In July, I will be in Haliburton at Limberlost and will attempt three 14 km loops to complete 42 km in one day! The summer will culminate in a second cross-country trail run in September of 50 km in the Haliburton Forest once again!

I booked my flight to Europe in September to complete a solo hike of the Cotswolds Way Walk National Trail from Bath to Chipping Campden in the UK. This trail is 106 miles, and I hope to complete it in five or six days. Danielle, on the other hand, has registered her own four-day solo adventure in the Algonquin Highlands in July, where she will attempt a 75 km solo hike over four days.

This would never have happened to me if I was not willing to stretch my limits. Danielle and I hike together as much as we can, and we both hike solo, finding that being in nature brings stability to our mental health and creates personal strength physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

In today’s world of stress and anxiety, getting back to nature is imperative! Dr. Zachary Bush points out how we have punished ourselves for too long for being kicked out of the garden. In this story, we focus on the point of being kicked out and little on the rest of it, where the divine comes looking for us. It is in nature we can be found.

In this creative and fun video, I wish to share our first hiking and backpacking experience of 2023. We were dropped off late day and hiked seven kilometres so we could camp at a designated camping spot on the Bruce Trail! You can enjoy and watch our experience below. Please be sure to leave us a comment or drop me a note to let me know how you liked it!

Have you stretched your limits lately? You do not need to stretch them as far as we have; however, anything that takes you out of your comfort zone is a win. Enjoy our excursions and set your own goals.

Cynthia Breadner is a teacher, author, grief specialist and bereavement counsellor; a soul care worker and offers specialized care in spiritually integrated therapies. She lives and works in the Bradford, West Gwillimbury area, as a LTC chaplain assisting with end-of-life care for client and family. She is the mother part of the #DanCynAdventures duo and practices fitness, health and wellness. Her book, In Stillness – Short stories from a life well lived is a compilation of her work and available from Nancy’s Nifty Nook and Health Food Store downtown Bradford. She is available remotely by safe and secure video connections, if you have any questions contact her today!

[email protected]

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Cynthia Breadner

About the Author: Cynthia Breadner

Writer Cynthia Breadner is a grief specialist and bereavement counsellor, a soul care worker providing one-on-one support at
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