Fast Eddy has a special gift – he can motivate young people to believe in themselves, to say “no” to bullying, and to keep on moving forward. Kids believe in him, relate to him, and they all listen attentively when he talks.
Fast Eddy has been speaking to students in schools all across Canada since last spring when he left Victoria, B.C., on Mar. 1. to begin his ‘There and Back Run’ across Canada. A one man, 21,585 km ultramarathon running event that he started to raise money for Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer charities in British Columbia.
Edward ‘Fast Eddy’ Dostaler, 27, marked his halfway point of the run on Sept. 28, at Cape Spear, Newfoundland, which is the easternmost point in Canada, and North America. He ran 10,000 km in six months and 28 days, and he is now ready to travel back to Gander, Newfoundland, on Nov. 21, 2015, to start his run back to Victoria.
Fast Eddy was at Barriere Elementary the morning of Nov. 4, his second visit to the school. The first time he visited was last spring as he started his run across the country. Last week the students welcomed him like a member of their family, having followed his struggles, trials and victories via Facebook as he ran across Canada. The students had posters, and good wishes in abundance for Fast Eddy to take on his final lap of the ‘There and Back Run’.
Fast Eddy told the kids that he came home to Kamloops “for a little while to regroup, not to quit, but to get better prepared for the long run back”. This time he will not be pushing a 160 pound cart (nicknamed Aurora) with all of his supplies on the run. This time he will be supported by a car and driver that will be following him. The decision to bring the car along was prompted by the many requests from schools all across Canada for him to visit them.
“I tried to visit as many schools as possible that requested me on the way to Newfoundland,” said Fast Eddy, “But if the school was 30 kms out of my way, I had to run an additional 60 kms off my route pushing Aurora to make the visit. When you realize something isn’t working you have to adapt. With the car I won’t have to turn anyone down.”
Fast Eddy’s presentations are reaching the kids. He not only talks about setting and achieving goals, but has a strong message about bullying that is based on his own unpleasant experiences as a child.
“I was transferred to three different schools because of bullying. My family even moved to another community,” Fast Eddy told the students, “I was by myself. It was like the worst time of my entire life. I still struggle with it today. You have the capability at this age to be really nice to everyone. Hopefully you guys can be kind to one another, because I went through not a very nice time. I also bullied people, and afterwards I felt like crap.”
He also demonstrated how hard it was to keep running on his journey by having some of the students join him in one minute of pushups and running/jumping in place. He then noted that his daily run on the journey is the equivalent of doing 540 minutes of skipping and pushups, which burn 4500 calories a day. He tells the kids, “Every morning you have to get up and face the mental challenge of your day. The brain has to say, “Nope, we’re going to get up and get going”. Don’t quit, just keep on moving.”
Why does Fast Eddy do what he does? “First and foremost it is for my grandmother and a former professor. Secondly, getting the awareness out, I have gone to schools and talked with kids. The look you get when they truly believe in you – that look screams “don’t ever quit because we believe in you”. I want to make a difference within my world. The more people are aware the better… I just never believe I can quit.”
www.FastEddyCanada.com or find him on Facebook