I’ve been away almost every weekend this summer, doing all the summer things — riding my bike in PEI and from Toronto to Montreal, hanging out at my sister’s off-grid cottage in Quebec, doing the Triadventure, and last weekend, canoe-camping with some friends in Algonquin.
I haven’t actually done a back country paddling trip for a number of years, and I wasn’t fully in the mode at first of remembering all of the things that had to be done. And I was super nervous about the paddling. I was in a boat with my friend’s 72 year old mother, who is very game and strong but who had never camped before last year. I’m not remotely skilled at sterning — I’ve never been able to really internalize how to be in the back of the boat with any finesse, because most of the people I’ve paddled with have wanted my steady paddling power in the front.
But I did it, and I had a lesson in sterning and got way better at it (Bev and I were an amazing team by the last day), and I carried a 17 ft, 62 lb boat by myself across 6 portages.
Sam blogged about the trip also: https://fitisafeministissue.com/2016/08/31/whats-strength-good-for/
It’s been a big summer for Feats of Strength for me — paddling, riding 160 km in one day and 605 in 6, persevering through a painful 14 km run in the triadventure, just sticking with things that call on my stamina and the strength I’ve been trying to build for two decades. Physically and mentally. This weekend, I loved that we were a group of women, including someone old enough to be my mom and Susan’s 15 year old daughter (and 7 year old female lab). It’s elemental, this kind of female presence in the woods, stretching ourselves and pushing ourselves past comfort.
I have a super busy fall coming up, and the notable feats of strength will take a back seat. At least, until a major Asian adventure in December. But there’s something deeply grounding about having this summer of effort and strength behind me as I tackle complex work that I need to bring my best, most mindful self to.