Running for a cause: Tyler


For Tyler Graftaas, running isn’t just about fitness. Rather, he lets the running culture and the self-discipline gained through training as inspiration for his work and his goals for the future.

“I want to be a dad who runs, a husband who runs, a pastor who runs. Those are my three main identities, and that is what I want to be identified by,” says Tyler. “At my funeral, I wouldn’t want someone to say ‘Tyler was a really great guy but he was training all the time.’”

He enjoys the camaraderie and fun of racing, but had a particularly impactful first running experience about 20 years ago. “I ran the Red Deer half-marathon and it was incredible. Complete strangers cheer for you, call out your name and your number with encouragement. There are so many stories of people stopping to help each other along the way. In our church community, can we do as a run does and call people by name and cheer them on?”

Tyler is on a campaign to understand whole health, and his inquiry into what it takes to be truly healthy. So this year, Graftaas will run for Accessible Housing through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. He’s hoping to raise money for good, while working towards his goal of running the Boston Marathon in 2018. As a bonus, the training he commits to helps him physically and mentally.

“It feels good to be in shape, to run with kids, to help people move. It feels great!” He also adds that he expects the mental skills he is acquiring through his high-intensity, no-equipment training will transfer to running.

Graftaas has learned a lot of other lessons through running, like consistency and tenacity. “The things we practice are the things we get good at.” says Graftaas, “And I have learned to ask ‘Is it worth my time to try that?’ instead of ‘I could never do that.’”

Join Tyler and the rest of the Accessible Housing team as they run to raise $40,000 on May 31, 2015.