John's Story

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

Musician John Lennon was right when he said that “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Life has a way of throwing us curve balls we aren’t expecting. That’s when you realize that it’s not what happens to you that matters. What really matters is how you react to what’s happened.

After learning 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 did what I felt I had to do. I refocused and set out to make a difference.

I chose to leave behind the security of my job and the comfort of home and to set out on an incredibly challenging 3300-kilometre journey.

We became a father and son team as I began pushing my son Jesse across Ontario in his wheelchair, in a research fundraiser that quickly became known across Canada as, Jesse’s Journey.

But that was just the beginning of the story.

Three years later, after completing our journey across Ontario, I was still working on keeping my promise to my son, to do everything I can to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

And so, at the age of 52, I was ready to take the next steps in my fund-raising quest. I set out to walk across Canada, the second biggest country in the world!

I spent 286 days on the road walking 33 kilometres a day. In those ten months my journey spanned six times zones as I walked almost eight-and-a-half thousand kilometres from the Atlantic shore in Newfoundland to the Pacific shore in British Columbia, Canada.

Along the way there were huge challenges every day and I found myself driven by inner strength and sheer determination.

And 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.

My goal these days is to sweep you up virtually and take you on that roller coaster 286-day ride, and have you live that journey and see how it changes you!

We’ll share the toughest, the most mentally challenging, and yes, even the funniest days on road together. You’ll learn what grit and perseverance are all about.

The audiences I speak to virtually are made up of people just like you. They are people who have been inspired and moved to a higher level of commitment because they want to be leaders and the kind of people who make a difference.

My family emigrated from Scotland to Canada when I was two years old. I live in London, Ontario and 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, including the Order of Ontario, 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.

I’d like to help you and your team go the distance in scaling the heights I know you are capable of reaching!

Let’s see what we can do together.

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.