Monday, July 5, 2010

Squashed Dreams

Hi All,

So I've been told by a few people now, that I should update on my status as I apparently have just "dropped off the face of the earth" according to our website. The reason for that being that obviously I am no longer paddling across Canada, therefore I am no longer a part of Kristina and Angela's Cross Canada Paddling Journey.

10 days. We had developed a schedule, tasted all of our food and tweaked our recipes. We'd developed roles within our two member team, and swapped both bow and stern multiple times. We covered 600km and had unlimited conversation. And it all ended so quickly.

I experienced a back injury earlier this winter that had me off skis and doing modified work at my job of Ski Patrol for six weeks. During which time I was seeing a chiropractor and physio working through a lot of rehab exercises. Our goal was continually on getting me fit and ready for this enourmous trip. I worked hard, and felt great. I even rafted through the month of May experiencing no issues. Therefore I had no reason to believe that going out on this canoe trip would give me any reason to doubt myself.

About 7 days in I started to feel stiff and sore, but continued to work on my stretches and exercises. I chalked it up to continuous days out on the water! We were paddling up to 10 hours a day, which is quite a bit to be sitting in a canoe. One morning, I felt good and decided to roll the canoe over by myself, not something I would uncommonly do. However, that morning, I felt something tweak in my back. Brushing it off as minor, I stretched out and climbed into the bow of the canoe. The pain only got worse as the day went on. I experienced the pain I felt originally upon injurying myself the first time. Lightning bolts of pain shot down my back with every paddle stroke, among other symptoms.

The hardest part about sitting in that canoe for 10 hours that day, was not the unbearable headwind that slowed us to 15km in 4 hours or the shooting pains. Nope, the hardest part was thinking about how to tell Kristina that I felt my trip may have just ended.

It was vaugly discussed, taking some rest days and seeing how I felt, but knowing my back and my past injury I knew that this was going to take more than a few days. Needless to say I felt like a failure, everything I had just planned for over 6 months just ended. I was devestated. It was really hard to watch Kristina make alternate plans, scrambling to find someone else to replace me while I waited for Jay to pick me up just north of Vermillion. I struggled with the concept that she was able to keep going and I was not.

The hardest part was when Jay and I dropped Kristina back off at the water. There were so many emotions involved. We could tell she was nervous, as she should be. She just took on an oversized canoe for just one person. But the hardest part was standing there as she paddled away.

However, I am now in Jasper, with an appointment for physio to re-open and re-evaluate my situation. I'm driving for rafting trips until I feel better enough and am giving the go ahead to possibly guide again. I am re-focusing. Trying not to dwell on what has happened, when I do, I get pretty upset. I'm still devestated about the events that played out.

At the moment I'm trying to figure out the good that can come from this situation. I need to focus on healing my back so that I can work again this winter and carry on with my plans for going back to school. I hope Kristina does well on her own, I'm not going to lie, I was pretty concerned about her even discussing the option to carry on by herself.

Anyway, I've gone on enough. I have not fallen off the face of the planet. But I am no longer apart of this journey, so I am refocusing my energy elsewhere. I do check spot everynow and then to check where she is. But the blog updates at this point are too much for me to handle. So good luck to Kristina and take care.


1 comment:

  1. Hey Angela,
    I can feel your anguish on this unfortunate turn of events. I am sure it has been very hard for you to process all of this. It's not easy to rationalize this type of situation. These are things you just have to accept, and then move forward without regrets. You cannot change the past, but one day you will be able to look back and realize how much you gained from it.
    I honour your courage to have taken on this trek, and hope that you will grow stronger both in spirit and in body.
    big hugs from Montreal, Irene