There are the destinations we plan for, and then there are those we happen upon by accident. On June 27, 2018, a special cohort of the Canvas Community started a [virtual] journey to a destination they knew was beyond their reach, but they did it for the unexpected peaks, valleys, and vistas along the way.
The Canvas Community’s very own Community Panda prompted a call to action [Panda #stepsforbeth], and 27 community members immediately responded. As word spread, more and more steppers heeded Panda's call and by journey’s end a diverse mix of 83 Canvas users, Instructure employees, friends, and family members had stepped up for the challenge.
The virtual journey was a 457-mile trek, from Instructure headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah to InstructureCon 2018 at the Keystone Resort in Keystone, Colorado where Beth would make her first triumphant appearance since her stroke in 2017. To accomplish such a trek in the 31 day challenge, an individual would have to walk almost 30,000 steps, or about 15 miles, a day. But, as stated before, this wasn’t about the final destination, it was about the journey.
The journey is the real heart and soul of this story. There were tangible goals (days, miles, steps, rewards), but the greatest outcomes came not from individual success, but from the unified front and forever friendships that formed among the band of acquaintances.
In a world of snark, silliness, and propaganda in our digital lives, participating in #stepsforbeth helped restore and maintain my faith in humanity and gave me an island of tranquility and positivity to visit every day. ~Adam Williams
It was nice to be part of something bigger than me. And it was awesome to see all the support and love for #stepsforbeth ~Alli Foote
I liked how all of a sudden I was connecting with Canvas colleagues about "life" instead of work. ~Kristin Lundstrum
The challenge made me go to the gym and walk every work day. When walking/jogging at the gym I'd remember why I was there, and I'd push through, no matter how grueling it was. ~Kenneth Rogers
[I’m} Amazed and proud of the way the Canvas Community came together to support and help one of our own. Most people didn’t know Beth that well, but it didn’t matter. She was one of “us” and we banded together for the bigger cause. Really showed that we are a family. A big crazy extended family, but a family nonetheless. ~Kona Jones
[I felt] A part of a larger Community, and one that cares! I may have actually helped someone, even if it was just to make her personal journey more comfortable. ~Kelley Meeusen
I like that the community is greater than what we see online everyday and that we are real people that care about each other. ~Ryan Seilhammer
...it's because of you all and THIS that I pushed myself and walked over a mile yesterday! So when I say every step counts, it's you all inspiring ME to get out of this wheelchair. ~Beth Crook
Community, a worthy destination:
Community can be uncomfortable and scary, for it requires a level of humility, vulnerability, and intimacy that many shy away from. Community requires us to put our selfish tendencies aside and care for the needs and aspirations of others. Community requires us to build relationships. Communities vary in size, physical space, and even modality (#stepsforbeth, and the Canvas Community thrive virtually). Communities allow us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves!
Another call to action:
Because #stepsforbeth taught us so much about the importance of the journey and about the joys of community, we'd like to issue a second call to action. This call to action has no metrics or deadline; it is a plea for you to get involved in a community, or dive deeper into one where you’re already involved. Get connected to your fellow humans, and when you do, be sure to return and share the unexpected peaks, valleys, and vistas you found along your journey!
Canvas Community Manager