Written by Ashley Dier | Academy Of Lions Media Team | Toronto   

Photos : Patrick Leung  Illustration: Smolik 

As I was sitting on the benches watching everyone throw down at Lions League Seven, Freya (who btw is an incredible MC) said something that stuck with me. One of the athletes was attempting to clean a weight that was completely unknown to him. He was struggling, Freya noticed and yelled into the mic, "You gotta believe it."

So much of achieving is believing. Sure there's skill and ability, hell maybe even a bit of luck, but if you don't believe off the jump that you CAN, you're selling yourself short. Think back to your childhood - spending time at the playground on the monkey bars. Swinging from bar to bar was the best, then you got the idea to skip every other bar. You committed, gave it a big swing, let go of the bar, and skipped that damn bar. Success! There was no doubt, no fear - fear didn't really exists as a child - just determination and a belief that you could do it. Somewhere later in life fear entered into the picture (at least for some of us) and clouded our ability to believe that we can - I'm 100% percent guilty of this.

It's now been a few weeks since Lions League but Freya's message of, "you gotta believe it" has stuck with me and has popped into my head many times since. On Thursday, Moe Bsat ran 100 Lion Loops to raise awareness on the issues surrounding mental health. Moe hoped that by running 100kms, a physically and mentally gruelling task, he could help spark conversation on the role that physical health plays in our entire mental health story. Moe believed he could do it. Everyone believed Moe could do it. There was no fear.

Over the course of the 100kms everyone and anyone was invited to join Moe for as many laps as they liked. For 15 hours Moe ran. Kilometre after kilometer, he believed -  ticks on the wall marked each laps completion. I ran lap 54 and was immediately impressed by his positive attitude, he was still smiling. For anyone unsure of how far 54kms is, for perspective a marathon (viewed by many as an incredible feat in both physical and mental endurance is 42.195kms), Moe's current distance being already well beyond marathon distance. Now, anyone that knows Moe knows of his positive attitude - even when he's nervous, he's happy. We ran, I talked...the entire time...sorry Moe, he ticked off another lap and I left. His vibes left me buzzing - infectious positive energy and happiness. How was it possible that someone could be 54km's deep and still so happy?

When I joined back up with the run crew at 7:30, Moe was 14 laps away from his goal (86km for those counting). By this point he was mentally and physically exhausted, as anyone would be at the point, but he kept on running. His finish was emotional and filled with hugs, high fives and maybe even a few tears. Within minutes, Moe was back to his happy, smiling self; it was a beautiful thing to witness. 

Believe in yourself folks. Be it here at the gym, in your career, anywhere and everywhere. The power of belief is a wonderful thing, it's infectious...just ask everyone in the room at Lions League, and everyone who witnessed Moe run 100km.

Congratulations Moe!!