August 29, 2022

We Can Do Scary Things

Have you ever said no to something or someone because you were uncomfortable or afraid and then realized, shoot! Should you have at least given it a try?

Putting yourself out there or tackling something new can be intimidating and sometimes scary! I’m not new to this. Facing your Fears is harder than you think. And for some, it can be paralyzing.

Having said this, I will never jump out of an airplane. E V E R!

My younger son worked as a parks ambassador this summer at Cypress mountain. He’s an outdoor enthusiast who takes visitors out on the trails and explains bear safety 101. My son is very responsible— so when he told me he wanted to hike the Howe Sound Crest Trail on his own for two days. I panicked. Okay, so I didn’t freak out, but I secretly hoped he would somehow forget his crazy plan.

In my defence, my motherly instincts kicked in; I couldn’t avoid it. “What do you mean you’re hiking on your own?” If you’re unfamiliar with this hike, it’s a 29 km expert-rated trail with a cumulative elevation gain: approx 1,830m gain / 2,600m descent in the rugged backcountry.

So, my immediate reaction was, “I could never do that!” But the more I dissected his challenging hike, the more open I became to the idea. My son is very organized (apples and trees?), preparing an itemized packing list (including a satellite phone) and a detailed trip plan. In addition, he showed me an in-depth video of the actual hike. Hmm, not sure if it was helpful, lol.

The point is that processing this information in small bits helped me with MY fears. Honestly, I enjoy a good hike, but sleeping on top of a mountain alone for two days is intimidating. Oh, and let’s not forget the wildlife! I was afraid for him. But, he helped me to understand the terrain, walking me through some rugged areas and how to tackle them. As for the wildlife, he packed bear spray and a knife. Great!

There’s something to be said about facing your fears. It’s a total confidence booster. Even though my son was fine hiking on his own, he returned exhilarated, challenged by his experience and proud of his accomplishment. It was a huge check mark on his box. I, for one, am very proud of him.

After seeing his photos, WOW, what a fantastic trek, it definitely inspires me to hike the Howe Sound Crest Trail myself.


Guess what?!

I completed the first leg of the journey. More hikes and training are required to tackle the entire Howe Sound Crest Trail. Save for another time?

So, yes, we did it! We hiked to the top of St. Marks Summit with my son as our guide. It was a gruelling 11 km, 4.5-hour roundtrip hike. The views are spectacular and worth the effort. We came back tired and sore but with a huge sense of accomplishment.

Our hike was definitely hard, but it wasn’t scary.

Whatever your “scary” is, it shouldn’t stop you from experiencing a new adventure. And that may be as simple as saying yes.

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