This summer, we partnered with Inspire Canada's Chris Cull to help raise awareness about opioid addiction in Canada. According to OrBeOK.ca, 360,000 Canadians are dependent on their opioid medications - and we are pleased to support Chris on his journey to help more Canadian patients find their road to recovery.
IC. What inspired you to cycle across Canada – not once, but twice?
CC: I was inspired to do the second ride because I’ve learned so much in the last few years and met so many people affected by the opioid epidemic that I felt I could use the experience to reach a bigger audience and provide a sense of hope by showing people that you can not only get past your addiction but also go on and do great things with your life!
IC. You are a recovering addict, and you’ve been so open about your journey. What’s the one piece of advice you wish you could give to everyone facing addiction today?
CC: The main piece of advice I give when speaking to people who are facing addiction is to never give up on finding your path to recovery. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. What worked for me may not work for you, but you can’t stop trying to find the path that suits you best.
IC. What’s your favourite thing to eat on the road? Any great tips for keeping your meals healthy when you’re eating out a lot?
CC: My favourite thing to eat on the road is breakfast. I usually start my day with a couple of eggs with brown toast and a bowl of oatmeal with fruit mixed in. To be honest, I think where I lack the most discipline is my eating habits! I do my best to stick to the healthier options, but I love me a good burger from time to time.
IC: We’re so lucky to live in this beautiful country, but we want to know: Are you an East Coast or a West Coast fan?
CC: That's an interesting question. I love both coasts, to be honest. I love the beauty of the Rockies out west, however, I also love the laid-back nature of everyone on the east coast. It’s hard to pick a favourite as they both have such charming features.
IC: How would you describe innoviCares?
CC: InnoviCares is a really great program that I believe is helping many people. In a day and age with economic uncertainty, inflation etc., the card is helping people get the medications they are prescribed, that they otherwise may not be able to afford.
IC. Would you recommend innoviCares to others? Why?
CC: I certainly would recommend it to others. A program that will help you get the medication your doctor has prescribed while saving money in the process is a great initiative in my opinion.
IC. How can other Canadians get involved in your Inspire Canada project?
CC: Well you can follow me on social media: Instagram and Twitter (@inspire_canada), or on Facebook. Otherwise, I would say go out and live the fullest life possible, while treating people the way you want to be treated. I started my project based on Gandhi's quote “Be the change you want to see in the world” and by doing exactly that, you inspire those around you to do the same!
IC: You’re obviously in great shape. What’s your best tip for Canadians who wish to stay active and take care of their health?
CC: I find the key to staying active is just about finding the physical activity that you enjoy doing. If you enjoying what you’re doing, you're going to continue doing - it not because you have, but because you want to.
IC. What are you most looking forward to after you finish your ride in Halifax, NS this August?
CC: I’d say one of the bigger things I’m looking forward to is sleeping in my own bed again on a consistent basis. Beyond that, though, I’m looking forward to continuing my work and trying my best to help as many people as I can. I’m also dabbling with the idea of doing a Los Angeles to New York ride after this trip is done. And I would like to write a book. I guess I'm looking the most forward to seeing where things go for me after my current ride is all said and done. The possibilities seem endless right now.
Chris will be arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 11, 2016.