I try to walk 5k every day, but I miss a day here and there. Today it was happening no matter what…because it was too important to miss.
I usually walk late at night, but today I walked this morning, because I was walking in memory of a lost friend.
Maybe you’ve seen the reports of the tragic drowning last Friday evening of Dan Jorgensen, at Sturgeon Falls at Nutimik Lake. Dan was a member of our Gimli skydiving crew. But far more important than that, he was a beloved father and grandfather, and a community leader in Kenora. You can read about his contribution to his home city HERE. The Winnipeg Free Press also detailed his courageous service.
You usually don’t get all of the details from the news reports. In this case, the news reports didn’t say that Dan was an experienced kayaker with ocean kayaking experience; he was skilled and experienced enough to take on Sturgeon Falls, but this time, something went horribly wrong.
He also took long-distance motorcycle roadtrips.
Loved winter ice climbing.
And of course, skydiving with us at Gimli and other dropzones across the continent.
Dan’s secret mission, as he jokingly called it, was to depart on May 8 (as he did) and kayak the Winnipeg River to Lake Winnipeg, then across the lake to land on the beach at Gimli this afternoon. From there, he was going to walk the final 5k from the beach to Gimli Airport where we were all going to skydive together; all of this to celebrate his 60th birthday today.
Instead…today, Dan’s friends and family are walking, running, kayaking or any other method of mobility, 5k in Dan’s honour. The idea is, we’re doing that final 5k that Dan didn’t get to do. We’re walking Dan home. That’s why my 5k walk this morning was so meaningful.
In fact, if you’re out at Gimli, you might see a group of his friends making the walk, beginning at the shore at 6:30p.
Anyone can do it anywhere in the world, in any way, so what we’re asking on Dan’s behalf, is that if you’re going to walk, run, cycle with the kids (or whatever) tonight or anytime this weekend anyway, do it in honour of a good family man lost, and a community leader who really knew how to live life. The man was amazing, and a model and inspiration for me personally.
One of Dan’s favourite charities was Habitat For Humanity – Kenora. Please consider a donation in Dan’s memory. We’ve created a Facebook event with the details.
Happy birthday, Dan.