Most young women wouldn’t celebrate their 23rd birthday with a 5,000-kilometre trip across Canada – on a bicycle, that is.
But Jourdyne Mason is.
As part of UnLeash Your Potential, the 2012 J.L. Crowe graduate is cycling from Vancouver to St. John’s for the student-run initiative and bicycle tour, to raise health awareness and make a positive impact on the lives of children across the country.
“We seek to motivate, inspire and educate Canadian youth,” Mason told the Trail Times. “Along the way we will be stopping at schools and summer camps to promote living active and healthy lives to Canada’s youth.”
Notably, Mason has already completed a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary and now she’s on course to graduate in three years as a chiropractor from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto.
“During our first week at CMCC Jared and Jordan (two members of the team) came to our class to recruit two new members from our class of 2020,” Mason explained. “When they first presented this opportunity I thought it was an amazing way to see the country, and on top of that, I would be able to share my passion of living healthy with Canada’s youth.”
The team is currently travelling from Toronto to the tour’s starting point in Vancouver, but they are making a special stopover in Trail on May 31.
Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson initially contacted the Trail Times about Mason’s ambitious summer tour – after all, the group of four chiropractic students just finished writing year-end exams, and after a summer of biking, they have to be back in the classroom by September.
Gattafoni Robinson is encouraging the community to drop by Trail Ferraro Foods at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday (May 31) to give Mason a big Trail send off.
“I’m so excited to stop in Trail and see my friends and family along the way,” Mason shared. “Even if it is just for the night.”
Even though she is already so accomplished, Mason is still a daughter at heart.
“It works out perfectly because my birthday is June 1,” she exclaimed. “So my mom is getting us a cake!”
Mason and her three team mates, third year CMCC students Jared Barrieau, Jordan McCool Morin, and second year student Kalynn Crane, have been preparing for the bike trek for months.
“To train for this summer I cycled, I cycled all the time,” she said. “Before we purchased our bikes I cycled on the stationary bike at our school and started training in October with some interval training twice a week, and then began to cycle more as the summer got closer.”
By mid April the group was training four days a week doing 40 to 70 kilometre (km) rides.
“Our longest training ride was 100 km,” Mason said. “Each day we cycle approximately 75 km each and travel 150 km for distance … two of us will be cycling at a time while the other two are in the van as a safety vehicle, running errands up ahead, or possibly setting up for a presentation or at a campsite.”
For more information and to donate to the cause, visit unleashyours.ca.
Although she is so far from her home base of Trail, Mason says she enjoys attending college in the Ontario metropolis.
“It is a hard and demanding program, but it is so rewarding,” she said. “There have definitely been some hard moments where the stress gets to you … but you just need to take a moment and talk to your friends and family and think about the future.”