As a construction worker, Lucas had confidence. He was talented and experienced. He had more than 20 years of skilled labour work under his belt, gained wherever life took him. He started his trade in Sudbury then moved to Ottawa, then Toronto. Finally he settled in Deep River, Northwest of Petawawa. Even with all that was positive in his career, Lucas wanted to work year-round, and he felt stuck in a seasonal field. He got lucky a couple of years and was kept on during the winter, but most years, when the weather got colder and the snow started to fly, Lucas was facing another lay-off.
When the pandemic hit, Lucas struggled to find any work at all. Construction is not an essential service. 2020 had been rough. Now 2021 was also looking uncertain. Finally, on a cold day in March, with yet another lockdown threatening the spring start for construction, Lucas decided enough was enough.
“I just jumped in my car and started to drive. I love driving. I call it my highway therapy,” Lucas said. “I drove for 15 hours until I couldn’t drive anymore.” Lucas had dreams of going out West, but he wasn’t sure if his little car would make it. After the 15 hours, Lucas needed to sleep, so he pulled in to the Terry Fox Lookout to rest. In the morning, he woke up, looked up at Terry’s statue and felt inspired. It was all about perseverance. Nobody had persevered like Terry Fox. Lucas thought about how he had persevered through years of seasonal work, and this was where it was all going to change.
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