John's Story

We never know for certain how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have.

I guess John Lennon was right when he said that, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Discovering that one of my sons faced a life-threatening illness for which there is no cure – I faced the toughest decision of my life.

I chose to leave behind the security of my job and the comfort of home to set out on an incredible 3300-kilometre journey pushing my son Jesse across Ontario in his wheelchair, in a fundraiser that quickly became known across Canada as, Jesse’s Journey.

But that was just the beginning of the story.

Three years later I was still working on keeping my promise to my son, to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

And so, at the age of 52, I set out on the daunting task to walk across Canada. I spent 286 days in a row on the road walking 33 kilometres a day. In those ten months my journey spanned six times zones as I walked more than 8300 kilometres. I was driven by inner strength and sheer determination.

There were huge challenges every day. And yet I can tell you is that if I faced the same choice today, I would make the same decision – because quitting was never an option.

So here is the question. Do you want to leave a legacy, or do you want to live a legacy? And here’s a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If your alive – it isn’t.

To bring value to you and your team, I share with audiences the lessons I learned during those difficult days on the road. I have been honoured to share our story of perseverance with thousands of people.

The audiences I speak to are made up of people just like you. They are people who have been inspired and moved to a higher level of commitment based on the insights they have gained from my journey. In their role as leaders, they have been able to add a huge measure of determination to all that they do.

My family emigrated from Scotland to Canada when I was two years old and now, I live in London, Ontario. My first career spanned 30-years in radio and television in London and with CBC Radio and Television in Vancouver. My second career, the one I hadn’t planned on, began to unfold in 1995 when I went from being a news reporter to a newsmaker.

Along life’s road, my son Jesse and I have received several honours, such as the Order of Ontario, the Government of Canada’s Meritorious Service medal, a Guinness Book World Record and an opportunity to meet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

But real leadership isn’t about awards. It’s about doing what’s right. And it’s about keeping your promise. Let’s work together to help you and your team go the distance in reaching your goals!

John's Running Shoes
One of the six pairs of running shoes John wore out in walking across Canada. This pair, marked # 1, is the pair he started with on day number one in Newfoundland and he put on again for the final day British Columbia.