Darcy Smith hopes the arena will be full of fitness enthusiasts burning calories.

Fighting a battle with fitness and fun

Two-hour fitness challenge at SEAPARC

Inspiration can come from many sources but for Darcy Smith hers comes from her mother.

When she first heard the words, “it’s not good,” her life changed forever. Her mom, Sue Parker, began fighting a battle she has not yet finished. Last August she was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer and has gone through two surgeries, chemotherapy and is now taking radiation treatment.

“She is fighting it and winning,” said Smith.

Facing her mother’s cancer has become her new reality. Smith said she felt useless at times but the family took their lead by her mom’s example.

“She took it head on, missed no work, walked the dog after chemo, looked after the grandkids and got on her bike when she could. She just had to keep moving. Her inspiration is her seven grandkids, she wants to watch them grow up,” said Darcy of her mother.

With all of this in mind Smith decided she was going to take part in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers in Vancouver in August. She needs to raise $2,000 to participate in the two-day event where walkers cover up to 60 kilometres. Smith will be walking with her sister and her mother will be the cheerleader along the route along with her other sister. She is calling it her Circle of Hope.

“Breast cancer affects us all. We all need to fight it,” she stated.

To raise the entry fee Smith is holding a Fitness Challenge at SEAPARC on Saturday, May 28 from 9 to 11 a.m.

She is looking for people to join others in two hours of cardio, strength training, MIJO Box Fit, NIA-Dance Fusion and conditioning led by SEAPARC fitness leaders.

“I just want to show her she is inspiring us to make a change. This is nothing compared to being in chemo and having poison in your system,” said Smith.

The Fitness Challenge is a fundraiser but it is also a way for SEAPARC to showcase their programs, especially if one is curious about NIA-Dance Fusion or MIJO Box Fit. For those who don’t know, NIA is described as a spirited joyful wellness workout… a fusion of the dance, martial and health arts. MIJO is a dynamic fitness based class that combines punching and kicking drills with cardio and body weight exercises.

Smith says the challenge is not competitive and if someone wanted to come and just tap their foot, they would be more than welcome. The event, she said, was “celebrating all of us, putting a positive spin on it and burning some calories.” It is not meant to intimidate anyone, but rather to have some fun to good music. Everyone is welcome, all ages, all body types, all fitness levels.

Smith is a recreation assistant at SEAPARC and has been a Sooke resident for the past three years. She helps with the program planning and supervises the summer camps. She spent a decade in Victoria working for the YMCA.

“This is where I come to relax,” she said laughing. “We moved to Sooke to be a part of Sooke and to have a backyard for the boys (ages two and four).”

One hundred per cent of the funds raised at the Fitness Challenge will go to the B.C. Cancer Foundation. A minimum donation of $10 is requested. Interested folks can pre-register by calling SEAPARC at 250-642-8000. Registrations will also be taken at the door.

“There’s lots of people excited about it already. We have the whole arena floor and we’re going to have a good time with it… women, men, kids, teens, everybody.”