There are only two places on earth that I’ve always dreamed of visiting, but never thought I would. One is Norway. I had a childhood friend whose family was from Norway and she’d tell me amazing stories of home that planted the seeds that dreams are made of. The other place is Canada’s North. I want to see the taiga and the tundra. I want to see caribou run. I want to fish the icy rivers and climb the white-capped mountains. I want to fall asleep in the midnight sun. Last week I found out that I am going to get the chance to do just that. I’m going to the Yukon.
Canoeing on Kluane Lake – photo courtesy of travelyukon.com
This is the first trip since my older son was born almost 12 years ago, that I’m not doing with my family. I am both exhilarated and terrified. It is going to be like nothing I’ve seen before with people whom I’ve never met. I’m going on a 30 day NOLS Outdoor Educator course. Half of our time will be spent on a looong hike (12 days?) and the rest of the time will be running whitewater in canoes. Luckily these aren’t new concepts to me, but we will be learning a whole bag of new skills and how to break them down and teach them to others. What I most hope to gain from this experience is the ability to help others safely navigate the outdoors with confidence.
My ultimate dream is to run the Nahanni river with Fraser and the kids. This is one big step in that direction.
I want to thank my wonderful employers (Mountain Equipment Co-op) who fund this amazing experience for two staff every year. This was my lucky year and I’m going to take full advantage of this unbelievable opportunity.
I haven’t even gone yet, but I’ve already learned this…dream big, do what you love and no matter where you are in life, never stop growing.
A big thank you to MEC for putting on a great event, my brother for running by my side even though he could have left me in his dust, and my boys for being great runners and great sports. This picture was taken at the end of our first 5k run. What a fabulous day!
Well it’s some kind of crazy mess that I’ve gotten us into this time. I’ve signed the kids and myself up for the MEC Toronto 5k Lakeside Loop run. Good grief I don’t know where I come up with these ideas!
Zach and I never run more than two kilometers at a time and we stop often to marvel over the complexity of pinecones and the simplicity of puddles. The idea of us completing twice the run in half the time is laughable. That’s just what we’re going to do though…laugh while we run, not that whole twice the race in half the time thing! Who’s kidding who here, we’ll be running twice the distance in as much time as it takes!
Happy as a running clam
The family is in training for our advanced 60km hike in Pukaskwa National Park next month and we can always do with some improvement to our endurance. I reckon that running every day for the next two weeks will surely serve our training well and I am confident that we’ll be able to complete the 5k, albeit with a mix of running, walking and wheezing.
While the certainty of a last place finish against “real” runners might prove too daunting for some, the boys and I will hold our heads high when we eventually limp over the finish line. The fact that we signed up, trained and put in the effort makes us no less winners than those who will cross before us. Plus I’m going to make all our friends wait at the tape until the bitter end to cheer for us when we do.
Zach got a little tired on the uphill
And good gravy, if we can do it so can you, so we want to see you there! Come and walk, run, limp with us on Saturday April 28th and we promise to make you look good! Come and finish first or come and finish last, but come and have fun, keep us company and maybe do something you never imagined you would. There will be prizes for the fastest three men and women and draws for the rest of us. Sign up ahead of time here for $10 or pay $15 on the day of. It ought to be a nice course as it runs west along the Martin Goodman Trail, then loops back and finishes at Coronation Park. So I’ll see all of you at 10:00am at the starting line right? I’ll be the one with the two kids and the terrified look on my face. Yay running!