The Adventures of the Great Hike(r)

Dana Meise on the Westend Recreation Way in Wi...
Dana Meise on the Westend Recreation Way in Windsor, Ontario across the Fleming Channel from Detroit, Michigan. (Photo credit: Trans Canada Trail / Le sentier Transcanadien)

I am following the adventures of Dana Meise, a Canadian hiker who is walking across Canada using the Trans Canada Trail 23000 km of trail that will take him to 3 oceans and across the country. He is doing it over an 8 year period…solo.

Trans-Canada-Trail

Today he posted on his facebook page about someone being very upset with a post of his and demanding he remove it.

Wha wha what???

What is the matter with people?

This is the kind of journey I find so inspirational. He will come away for this knowing himself better, appreciating the country he is fortunate enough to call home and meeting some of the most amazing individuals on the planet. He posted a long letter about this person demanding he remove the post and clearly he is upset. This is one of the problems of traveling independently – you have no one to debrief with.

30km_Bike_Trek_on_the_Trans_Canada_Trail

Here is the thing,  he is ALWAYS polite and and has an attitude of gratitude. So why do people have this need to hate?

I have no idea what runs through the minds of people and quite frankly, I am GLAD.

I have contacted The Great Hike dude Dana Meise, I hope to meet up with him as he wanders into Edmonton. I asked if I could interview him and he was happy to oblige! Meanwhile, head over the The Great Hike on facebook, and check out this amazing journey – perhaps follow him and donate to his cause The Prince George Brain Injured Group Society. Show him not everyone is a self serving narcissistic and that the world is full of people wishing him well.

It’s worth it just for the cross country photography. I have never been to have the places he has walk trough – Hello Newfoundland!

Mile_Zero_KM_-_Trans_Canada_Trail

Keep Moving Forward Dana!

Wild about Fear

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Wild by Cheryl Strayed (Photo credit: bubbletea1)

June has been a bust when it comes to reading. I finished/completed/happydancedover the completion of my 3rd year, saw the A that was posted and breathed a sigh of relief! I am not quite finished because the project I was working on still needs to be forwarded to the powers at be at my office. I could say – whatever I have my mark – but I am not that person. Sooooooo my reading for fun mission has taken a back seat. I also needed time to digest the last book I read. Have you ever read a book and loved it so much you actually missed the characters? That was me this week. I took quotes and excerpts from the book and let them roll around my thoughts for a while. What excited me about this book is the fact that what the author achieved is no less great than my Edmonton Tourist Journey. We have both come to the same place in our lives where this is now my reality,

Perhaps by now I’d come far enough that I had the guts to be afraid. – Cheryl Strayed

I suspect I was too naive to be afraid when I started this whole process. Chin was up and I defiantly kept moving forward. I kept goal setting and achieving and moving along. Then suddenly I hit a wall. I was no longer fearless. I started looking at things differently. People in my life who would ignite a bomb and that would leave me with what I thought I needed to do, strike or douse the fire. When actually, all I needed was to stand still and feel the fear. Fear isn’t something that needs to be conquered. It needs to be faced. When people strike out, having that inner calm to face it, absorb it, take the parts that I need and learn from it is growth. Climbing over the fear ( which is an important step in the process) is no longer needed to get past it. Evolved is the word I like to use.

Things I use to fear:

  1. People thinking I’m stupid.  I am not but now it doesn’t bother me if you think I am. I use to engage in conflict to prove I am not less than smart. I am secure and comfortable enough in my own skin. People can judge all they wish too and I could care less. I will educate if you are misinformed, but that is not the same as raging. forcing an opinion on someone is not sharing ideas. I have no use for that type of bully in my life. So I no longer fear people thinking I am stupid. I am smart enough to not engage nor bait the trolls.
  2. Sweat. Sweat meant hot, stinky smelly and hard breathing. It meant lungs hurting and muscles crying. Now it means hard work, feeling great, focus and clarity. Working out has changed my life. I can no longer envision a world without it. Setting large fitness goals is scary but the single most satisfying challenge I have ever faced.
  3. Fail. I use to be afraid of trying something new and failing. I realize failing means something different to me than it use to. If I set a goal and cannot reach it, that just means it wasn’t the right goal, I need to think of a different path to get to that goal or learn about why I couldn’t reach that goal. To fail means to be educated.

It is good to fear things. Standing in the middle of your fear and taking the strength from it rather than taking the anxiety is the key. I love fear in a way I never thought possible. I stand in front of it, I look it in the eye and respect it. I have no doubt I will learn from it. It still makes me shake but I no longer run from it, I run with it. I am about to do the scariest thing in my life so far.

Perhaps by now I’d come far enough that I had the guts to be afraid. – Cheryl Strayed

I have come far enough to have the guts to be afraid.

Canada’s West Coast Trail

A panorama of the Tsusiat Falls campground on ...
Image via Wikipedia

I had a chat today with people who hiked the West Coast Trail. That is something I always wanted to do. In Canada’s National Parks, there is often an evening “show” brought to you by the Park Ranger. One year, I think it was when I was camping at Tofino on Vancouver Island, the presentation was on the West Coast Trail. It was stunning. I was in no physical shape to do it then. Am I now? Hmmmm

The information guide to the WCT is here. It says the hike is only for Intermediate to Advanced hikers. Well, that is not me. BUT! I did do some river guiding, leading groups in a canoe. I have extensive camping experience, and even know how to keep food from bears (which there is a LOT of on the trail). I am an expert at camp food cooking. I know all about keeping stuff dry ESPECIALLY your sleeping bag. All this knowledge is still in my head. As for the fitness part…

The trail is 77km along the Pacific Rim. The farthest west you can get in Canada with out going to Japan. It takes about 6-8 days to complete the trail. That is an average of 10k per day AND carrying a back pack. Walking 10k around town or in Edmonton’s river valley is a piece of cake for me now, so distance is not a problem. Carrying a pack is, but that is easily taken care of by training. Chances are it will be pouring rain most of the time. I prefer that to heat. If I keep up my training I would be able to easily hike 10-12k per day for a week. I am walking 44k this week alone. That is at a faster pace than I would hiking. 5k in the morning, 5k in the afternoon is totally doable for me. That isn’t even including all the swimming I am doing I swim about 4 hours a week with a distance of 8-10k. Endurance wise, I think I can do it. Weight wise, I want to be lighter, a LOT lighter. At the very least I would be 52lbs lighter (assuming I am losing 1 lb a week over the next year). It gives me lots to think about.

They only allow so many hikers a year on the trail. If it didn’t work out next year then I could EASILY do it the following year. 46 years old and Hiking the West Coast Trail. That would be cool.

I think I found my next long term goal. Now I need to make a list of all the little goals I need to get me there.