Shorten The Divide is much more than a 4350km bike ride. It is about starting conversations about mental health.
“Shorten The Divide” is about empowering people, and showing them they have to capability to break this mold. Showing them the power they have to act on their most audacious goals, and achieve whatever it is they desire in life. It is an adventure about taking on challenges that fuel our own desired lifestyle. Not just as a self-fulfilling prophecy, but as a means to achieve something greater than ourselves; True impact. This journey is about showing people that behind every dream, every wish, there is an opportunity to do something that is bigger than ourselves.
Cam MacDougall and Geoff Livingston wanted to challenge themselves in a way that would not only push them harder than ever before, but in a way that would allow them to have an impact and help kids in need and inspire them to excel.
In school, Cam never fit the mold. He always had friends, but shunned authority figures. Once highschool hit, he had had enough. He dropped out of high school in grade ten, and decided to take matters into his own hands, stepping into a life of crime and social rebellion. His life has now totally shifted towards helping others do BIG things for even BIGGER causes. He is a personal trainer, lifestyle coach, impact driven entrepreneur, & adrenaline junky that sets out everyday to make this world a better place.
Born and raised in North Vancouver, Geoff is no stranger to life’s struggles. Since a young age, he has dealt with being overweight, suffered from ADHD, and embodied a demeanor of always putting others ahead of himself. These struggles, however, are what makes Geoff such an amazing human being today. His zest for life, love for others and passion to do good in this world grew from these roots, which are evident in how he lives his life. Now a successful entrepreneur, amazing husband and aspiring philanthropist you see it all coming to fruition.
Sevan is a program support manager at Take a Hike Foundation. She is a big reason why each year, kids that need a hand with support from others they may not get at home on in a regular class room, are able to excel and graduate high school with a fighting chance entering the workforce. Take A Hike is a full-time alternative education program that engages at-risk youth through a unique combination of adventure-based learning, academics, therapy, and community involvement. Take a Hike empowers at-risk youth with the tools to forge their own path and achieve success in school and in their lives.
To hold ourselves accountable to complete our ride, and to be able to have a greater impact on the lives of others that need help, we partnered with the Take A Hike Foundation to raise money and put 10 kids through school next year. The Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation helps enable at-risk youth to positively change their lives. The Foundation is comprised of dedicated volunteer directors, a chief executive officer, a program manager, and a manager of fund development who all make an annual gift – a true testament to their belief in the program.
This project is about raising awareness about mental health and will be targeting as many people as possible. We tend on making a cinematic documentary capturing the beauty of the outdoors with the hopes of drawing people out into the forest. The visuals will speak to film makers, and the story will drive their desire to want to capture and create their own stories after watching Shorten The Divide.
This story is targeted at youth, to teach them that it is alright to struggle and have stresses about life. It will teach them that it is important to be open minded and remember that everyone has their own internal struggles they are dealing with. They are not alone. It is alright to be vulnerable, put yourself out there and ask for help. The right people will be there to help when in times of need.
BC and Alberta are two of the most spectacular places in the world and the epicenter of mountain biking. They are sought after places to ride bikes by people all over the world. It is a major reason why many people live here. With this documentary, we feel we will be able to capture the attention on that community, and hope to inspire that community to get out even more on their bikes each year, and encourage others to do the same. It is amazing what a rainy and soggy trail ride will do for the mind.
We are holding Spin Class events over the summer to encourage people to come out, get their sweat on and raise money for Take A Hike Foundation. Cam and Geoff may or may not be wearing banana suits while they ride to show off their humour and fun they are having with this project.
We are in communication with Grouse Mountain to hold a fundraising day, to get people out on the grind for a hike or two, to challenge themselves physically and mentally on the famous climb. It is an effort we have to get people out for a hike and into the outdoors to remind them how amazing you feel after getting your sweat on.
With the support of GoPro camera's we will be sharing content on our social media channels as well as GoPro's reaching their 13 million followers to help raise awareness for our ride and efforts to raise $100,000 for the Take A Hike Foundation.
We will be attending community events throughout the summer, going on rides, building trails and getting out in the forest with others who are looking to better themselves and make an impact on their community around them. This will spread awareness of our cause through word of mouth around our community.