ParticipAction worked its way out to the legislature yesterday to inspire Canadians to get off the couch and into a healthy lifestyle.

This was part of the Inspire the Nation tour, by both ParticipAction and Sun Life Financial, that is gathering stories about fitness efforts around Canada to inspire others.

“We’ve really had the chance to hear some very unique stories. Those stories will definitely inspire other Canadians to get more active as well,” said Melanie Plourde, an organizer and spokesperson for the event.

One of these stories comes from Diane Lawes, who bought an American Eskimo dog primarily for motivation to walk.

“I caught the ads that ParticipAction was running, (and) instantly I thought of my dog,” said Lawes. “So I sat down and wrote a little story about our experience.

“He requires a great deal of exercise. If it wasn’t for the dog, I would not be going out on a daily basis.”

Among the faces at the event was Olympic gold medallist Lorri-Ann Muenzer. She won in the 2004 match sprint finals in Athens.

“When there was a resurgence of (ParticipAction), I was absolutely thrilled and started talking with the president,” she said. “So we really connected together, and started talking and I said if there is anything I can do to help out, please give me a call.”

In high school, Muenzer said, she was not active because of other priorities in her life.

“One day I decided I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t feeling good, and I decided I wanted to race,” she said.

She looked in the Yellow Pages, found a club where she could start training and eventually started racing.

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