Updated: Aug 20, 2021
I have only managed 650 sit-ups, 100 push-ups, ran and skied 40km this week. It will never be enough and I simply can't find the time for more between a full-time job and my son. To embark on an expedition, which I am not claiming to know much about, as my intended journey passing 1300km across the northern British Columbia Rocky Mountains will be my first of such distance and difficulty. Since I met my husband, I have learnt that every day is an expedition. If I want to go kayaking with him, he will pick the windiest days in the worst conditions, unhook a rudder on one side of my kayak, just to see if I can figure out what the issue is as I blow off across a windy lake in frustration paddling hard on one side. The challenge is a necessary test. Will I be able to react accordingly when something goes wrong? How will I adapt if something is irreparable? In no circumstance should I ever depend on him because I will need to be self-reliant, prepared, focused, adaptive. For my husband, a brisk walk around the block or a run down the same path is a waste of time. It's necessary to train long distances on diverse terrain to build up endurance and strength, but also to train the mind for the unexpected.
My husband has travelled to most continents and regularly goes on multi-month wilderness adventures. He has completed a number of great solo expeditions including horse packing across Southern Chile, canoeing from BC to Nunavut, cross-country skiing across the Great Slave Lake, sea kayaking around Tasmania, the Kodiak Archipelago and Canada's high Arctic, dogsledding on the Great Slake Lake East Arm, hiking across Lapland and the Southern Alps.
While I have biked across three countries and travelled extensively, I can't say that I have been woken in my tent by a polar bear ripping it open nor have I skied great distances in Arctic conditions to suffer severe frost bite. I have also never almost been eaten by a shark. Depending on the expedition at hand, it is important to prepare both mentally and physically. Preparation includes months of planning, research and training: gear, sponsors, budget, risk and crisis management plan, waste management plan, ecological footprint, potential barriers, permits, licenses, food drops, rations, possible grazing spots if you are travelling with horses, wilderness first aid, and so on. Beyond the planning of the expedition itself, visioning a purpose and how to share the knowledge gained with others. Film: synopsis, footage, equipment; book: notes, budget, focus......Why you might ask yourself would someone want to travel like this or carry out such a project when there are resorts in the Caribbean, restaurants, running water at home, stoves to cook dinner on, a bed to sleep in?
"...so many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly challenging horizon, for each day, to have a new a different sun." - Christopher McCandless
The spirit of adventure drives us- drives me. I read in this quote: "man's living spirit" to include all of humanity- women as well- mothers too. As a giver of life, I appreciate nature and life from a perspective I only know now as I watch my son grow. It's about adventure, knowledge, advocating for protecting untouched nature and the future of this planet...for my son and the generations to come.
So if you ever see me drifting across a windy lake in what appears to be the wrong direction, know that I am training for the next great adventure to celebrate life, honour the beautiful planet we live on and using my body and mind to their full potential.
Take a second look and I am certain you will find my husband not too far off, watching to see if I can figure out what he took apart this time. ;)
Vincent, Thank you for teaching me all that I need to know and for being such an inspiration!