Volunteering, staying fit and enjoying greater energy are part of a positive cycle of change that David Eng, a sales rep with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty in Coquitlam, B.C., started a dozen years ago. When many men his age are taking heart medication or getting winded from climbing the stairs, Eng is climbing the Grouse Grind (12 times so far this year), swimming, biking and volunteering at numerous athletic and fundraising events.
Recently he volunteered as the lead cyclist for the fastest woman at the Subaru Vancouver Triathlon). He cheered on the athlete while ensuring that she had a safe, open route to run.
“I work long hours, often showing homes in the evening. If I start my day with some exercise like going to the gym or swimming, then I have energy to take me through to late night. Otherwise I might conk out,” Eng says.
“I strategically choose athletic events to volunteer at and choose physically demanding roles. Volunteering can be another way to achieve our exercise goals. As an example, in September, I will be volunteering at the Shoes.Com Grouse Grind Mountain Run and Alzheimer’s Society MKGG Grouse Grind Climb. Currently, I am training on the Grouse Grind to ensure that I know the trail well under various weather conditions.”
As a volunteer, Eng also rubs shoulders with some interesting people. At a bike race, he says, “I met the mayor, city councillors and the fire chief – people I would likely otherwise never come in contact with. I’ve volunteered a couple of times with a criminal prosecutor; we laughed about never wanting to meet in her workplace!”
This year, he has also served as a bike tour leader on the MS Society Fraser Valley Grape Escape, which raised $160,000. He volunteered as a support cyclist for the Ride Don’t Hide event, which raised $233,000 for the Canadian Mental Health Association.