As I promised you, this is the first of the weekly postings as I look back at the walk across Canada that began 20 years ago today. So here we go!
This is it. Day number one in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
After seven months of training, today the distance really starts to mean something.
Looking out at the Atlantic Ocean from the little harbour at Quidi Vidi, (pronounced Kiddy Viddy) just outside St. John’s, I was thinking to myself ‘You know, it’s closer to Ireland than it is to Vancouver.’ What am I doing here? I’m not an athlete. I’m just an ordinary dad.
Ahead of me there is more than 8,000 kilometres of highway linking Canada’s east and west coasts. I thought the job would take 275 days – but that was just a ‘best guess.’
We had done everything we could think of to put the machinery in place to make sure this project would be a success. The home team in London was ready to go and the permanent road team and the first wave of volunteer drivers were being housed in bed-and-breakfast accommodations scattered throughout downtown St. John’s.
After dipping the toes of my running shoes in the Atlantic Ocean, I moved on to City Hall in St. John’s for the formal kickoff. There were some speeches and we took some pictures in front of the Mile “0” marker.
That’s where my long-time friend Peter Garland, a native Newfoundlander, was doing his morning show which was being broadcast live to back home in London, Ontario.
When I looked out at the Atlantic Ocean, I asked myself three things. Is this journey personally meaningful to me? Is it challenging enough? And, while I know I’m committed to this project, what happens if I don’t make it because Canada is a very big place.
When the answer to those questions came up as three green lights in my mind, I knew I was ready to go.
Is there a project in your life that you have wanted to tackle for some time? Whether it’s a little project or a really big project, what’s holding you back?
Is that project on the drawing board, and, if it isn’t – should it be?
Stay tuned. The journey continues…