The first step
There seems to be a bubble of fear at the starting line where all my fears are swirling inside me - can we make it? Will my body hold up? Is this just a crazy idea? I will discover later that the answer is yes to all of these questions and maybe its this very realization that scares me. How capable we truly are to bring our dreams to life is the one thing that cracks my heart open. What matters most at this time is to not allow the fear to interrupt the steps along the way. In this supportive company we will share the trail, connect with our bodies ability to persevere and enjoy the sheer excitement of self-discovery on the open road. This will be the first step of many. The clock reads 11:11am, May 28, 2019 and we made a toast - not with peanut butter and jam, one of Thanks to my team for taking their time to come be apart of a life long dream. A dedication to my dear sister Lindsay and Terry Fox for their inspiration while exemplifying how to live a beautiful life when faced with adversity. Surely we will have our share along the way, but I'm certain its nothing we can't overcome. With Mark's global experience and light-hearted outlook on life, and my mom and dads ability to take time and show their support on two wheels and four, I had confidence we could overcome whatever unfolded in the following eight days.
Our feet might hurt as we cover large distances, which is a place I have found myself often over the past few years. Pursuing outdoor adventures is a way to overcome challenges, strengthen our confidence and uncover stamina we never knew we had. Hardships in life come in many different packages, and I've been so grateful with good health in this life and know this is one of the highest privileges a person can receive. With good health you can accomplish most things if you work hard towards it. Lindsay was not so fortunate, and her life is a constant reminder for me to seize the day, say yes to experiences and try to make a positive impact in the lives of others. With endless unknowns, I set my worries to the side as the expedition was underway. For those of you who are familiar with this feeling, it is palpable excitement, one that keeps you up at night and spreads a smile from ear to ear. Will we achieve our goal you ask? No doubt about it.
We took our first steps along the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) with a lightness underfoot. All the preparation and planning leading to this moment had arrived, now it was time for the easy part, run. High spirits were met with a paraglider taking flight at Clover Point, marking the first km as we started our strides. What a remarkable sign. Having taken paragliding courses in Colombia a year ago, flying is a pastime I truly enjoy. It brings with it a memory of Lindsay as we shared a dream to ride a hot air balloon around the world. This appearance at our starting line could have not been more perfect - she was not there in person through the seeds she planted in me, these memories brought her front and centre - a form that pulls on heart strings.
It's quite simple this act were doing: left foot, right foot, repeat - but it is having an impact. My mood shifts and mental chatter softens, this is one of the many things I love about long runs. I take a moment to check in with Mark and my dad about the pace - averaging a comfortable 5:15 min/km through the pathway around Victoria's waterfront. This vibrant city boasts sights and sounds, colorful house boats and men in suits playing field bocce over lunch hour. Into the busy trafficked trail echoed by passing cars, the sounds kept my feet moving swiftly as we stride along the Galloping Goose. Archways coated with brilliant paintings under bridges and gardens in full bloom, past a little coffee shop which was tempting, as Backroads has ingrained the value of enhancing guests experience with local treats to boost energy and brighten the spirit. This trip however will be fuelled on things other than caffeine, continuous motion will serve us well. Body, mind and soul would be recharged on the fresh west coast air and there was no sign of stopping until we arrived at camp.
Thetis Lake was just off the path my friend Maia recommended we dip our toes in if needed, however with only 8 km to Goldstream Provincial Park, our final destination, we decided to carry on. With a taste of the finish line we decided to stick to the course. After 32 KM of running and 3 1/2 hours in motion our destination was reached.
Campsite #13 is where mom greeted us with hi 5's and snacks to enjoy down by the river and soak our legs in the icy cold water. We shared dreams of BnB's in Bella Coola and double decker adventure bus. The river was our office space where we stayed curious about what the future may hold for adventurous souls such as ourselves. An hour later we returned feeling refreshed, chilled and ready to fuel up on dinner.
Mark pulled up his compression socks and shared a fun fact - giraffes are born with compression like sock of skin around their lower leg to help them pump the blood back to their brain and keep the muscles from getting sore. What a marvel the animal kingdom is. Its information like this that helps the body stay strong and heal after many miles covered; I've added it to the list of items to invest in.
We strung our hammocks between two Douglas Fir trees and settled in for our first nights sleep, with views of a lush moss-covered canopy overhead.
Day 1 was a victory.