The first step
What is left to do no longer takes priority, what matters most are the steps along the way, the company we share and the trail awaiting our discovery. This will be the first step of many to follow. At 11:11am, May 28, 2019 we made a toast - no peanut butter and jam (haha), just a simple "Thank you" to Mark, Rose and Robert (mom & dad) for taking their time to come be apart of my life long dream. Along with a dedication to my dear sister Lindsay and Terry Fox for their inspiration and 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 I had confidence in this great friend and support crew by my side for the following 8 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 new strength we may have never known is we never tried. 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 greatest privileges a person can receive. Lindsay was not so fortunate, and her life is a constant reminder for me to seize the day, say yes to experiences and do my best to make a positive impact in the lives of others. With endless unknowns, I set the 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) at 11:11am and a lightness was underfoot. All the preparation and planning leading to this moment had arrived, all we had to do now is run. This elation was met with a paraglider taking flight at Clover Point, KM 0 as we started our strides. What a remarkable sign, having taken paragliding courses in Colombia, flying is a pastime I truly enjoy, and brings with it a memory of Lindsay. Her and I shared a dream to ride a hot air balloon around the world. Her appearance at our starting line could have not been more perfect - not there in person but 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 pops about our 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 play 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 refuel energy and rest the body. This trip however will be fueled on things other than caffeine, the simple act of running kept our bodies and minds engaged all day, not 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 where we were spending the night, we decided to carry on. Feeling alive and well on our way, we reached our final destination: 32 KM of running and 3 1/2 hours en route, satisfied with our accomplishment.
Campsite #13 is where mom greeted us with hi 5's and snacks to take down to the river and soak our legs in the icy cold water. We shared our dreams of future plans for BnB's in Bella Coola and a 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 a lush moss-covered canopy overhead.
Day 1 was a victory.