Day 44 – 7.7 km (total – 919.2 km) NL done!
This morning I was the happiest kid in Canada. I ran the last 7 km to the ferry and felt on top of the world. I’m pretty sure I would have attempted my best Leo imitation on top of that ferry! Oh… that ferry… but of course, there’s more to the story!
Last night, the winds were strong. I’m not sure how to aptly describe the wind. Sarah nor I slept. You know when you ride a roller coaster and aside from the speed at which you’re going, the cart you are traveling in jostles back and forth a lot? We were in that cart last night as the wind shook us violently until the wee hours of the morning. No biggie… I would have run that last 7 km regardless of how tired I was. But as I returned from the Tim Horton’s bathroom this morning, I noticed a flat tire. Wait a second… no… you’re kidding me… not one, but in fact two flat tires! Seriously?! Canadian Tire was across the street… we pumped enough air into one of the tires from a compressor to get the RV up to the CT. The ferry was scheduled to leave somewhere around 12:30 pm, so I got a ride back out to where I had stopped and ran my distance to the ferry. Sarah stayed with the RV and was going to meet me there. Apparently 2 guys changing 2 tires takes longer than 4 hours. Sarah pulled into the terminal as the ferry drifted out. We missed the boat by 7 minutes. Sarah and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I sit here now in the terminal waiting for the next ferry with tears streaming down my face. It’s easy to feel beaten down and defeated sometimes – the last few weeks have been tough amidst endless RV issues, no money, a finicky IT Band and a winter that according to umpteen people we’ve chatted with, is the worst they’ve seen in years! But my dad just sent me an email, telling me of some time he spent this morning with 7 new immigrants. One woman was from Afghanistan who came to Canada after her husband and two brothers were shot and killed by the Taliban. Perspective is important in times like these.
The human spirit is more resilient than we give it credit for. ALL OF US face obstacles every day. They may be different in nature, but in our respective realities, they are no less difficult to overcome. For us, the warmth of individuals we have met throughout this province has softened the harshness of this Newfoundland winter and the obstacles we have faced over the past 6 weeks. This rugged landscape that is shaped by strong winds and the tide is home to some of the most kind and generous people I have ever met.
It’s hard to vocalize out loud that I’m proud. But I am. I’m proud of Sarah and I for what we’ve accomplished over the last 6 weeks. I’m proud of the 2300 students we’ve visited with. I’m proud that students like AJ from our first day and Rachelle (who we won’t meet for another 6 months), are emailing us and engaged in the message we are giving. I’m proud that we’ve received numerous emails saying we’ve inspired this teacher to take their class outside, that parent to take their child tobogganing or this friend to take up running. And more than being proud, I’m thankful. Although this journey has really just begun, there are so many people who are supporting this project and what we’re doing. To them, we say thanks. They are the ones who engage children and youth daily in being outside!
Let the adventure continue!