Serious illness has a way of sharpening people's focus and altering their perspective. Seventy-six-year-old, Sister of Saint Ann Lucy Dumont took her focus to new heights when she was "given back the gift of life."
Hobbled by a muscular disease, Lucy barely managed to move about with a walker.
With grit and determination, however, the sweet-faced, but indomitable Sister courageously worked out on a treadmill until she made her way to full mobility, step by step. Last year, at the Royal Victoria Marathon, she walked 21 km.
In training, Lucy steeled herself to walk first a block, then two, before turning back home. She gradually expanded her walks, going further and further afield. Soon she headed out for lengthy walks. She admits that, at times, she went further than intended and faced the challenge of an extra-long homeward trek. When warm weather arrived, she left home before 8 a.m. as brisk exertion later in the day left her sweaty and exhausted. But still she went.
Lucy likes to use Nordic walking poles on her walks because she says they take some pressure off hip and knee joints, and "straightened her out." She relinquished them for the Half-Marathon, however, fearful of tripping other participants.
Before the race, she solicited pledges to raise money for special mattresses needed at Mount St. Mary's Hospital. Helping others is a major facet of Sister Lucy's character and the spunky senior raised $4,300 when she completed her 21 km walk with a time of three hours and 45 minutes.
Inspired by Lucy, Mandy Parker, Executive Director of Mount St. Mary Foundation and a novice marathon competitor, decided to accompany her good friend. Lucy and Mandy kept an even pace together, enjoying the experience.
Sister Lucy is not one to balk at a challenge. Early on, she felt drawn to become a nun, and right after high school graduation, followed her chosen path. She mentioned how the lives of Sisters have changed following the Second Vatican Council ("Vatican Two") in l965. For Lucy, it was a good change.
"We're allowed to become the women we are rather than working out of the old structures," she says.
Lucy stresses her intention to live until she dies, to become "a juicy crone." "And if I can help others along the way, that's all to the good."
And help others she does. Before the marathon, she got sponsors and walked l0km for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
While she may enjoy a chat over tea, Lucy's no homebody. She prefers to lace up her good walking shoes for a fast trek on the Galloping Goose trail. And her heartfelt gratitude for her own health recovery has often been put into motion for the benefit of others.
"For each person, it's important to be who you are and do what you can. Things happen in life the important thing is what you do with them."
Lucy recounts once lamenting to a friend: "What I can do is only a little thing."
Replied her friend, "There is no such thing as 'a little thing.'"
"I'd never have attempted the Half Marathon, if it weren't for Lucy," exclaims Mandy Parker.
A good example of how Lucy affects others and her influence for the greater good.