Clearly I'm no author, but someone who simply wanted to make a difference and so I decided to turn something very negative into something more positive. This blog is my attempt to take you on my journey - I promise you it won't be fancy, but it will give you a sense of what I've signed up for with my trek into New Guinea and all of your generous support by both your donations, but your words of encouragement throughout this challenging time for me and my family.
So, let's take a step back........as you know earlier this year my dad passed away from an aggressive form of Brain Cancer, and so rather than let it weigh heavily on my mind and take the passive approach to grieving his loss I decided to do the opposite, and for those who know me that's pretty much my approach to life. I wanted to turn this around while challenging myself and with the help of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (thank you!) I decided to raise money as part of my trek.
Initially my goal was $5,000 but I reached that figure within 24 hours....so I increased the goal to $10,000 but to my surprise I reached that amount in less than a week. So I set my sights on one final goal of $15,000, which I’m glad to say we successfully reached a short while ago.I feel very humbled by your support to me and this worthy cause.
My challenge is to hike the Kokoda track in Papua New Guinea (Nov 7 - 18).Depending on whom you ask, and indeed whether they even know about New Guinea let alone the Kokoda track is often a geography lesson in itself JThe Kokoda Track is arguably one of the most difficult and remote locations on the planet.The walk starts in the village of Kokoda in the New Guinea central highlands – we fly in and land on the grass airstrip constructed during WWII.We then begin our trek south over the Owen Stanley Ranges to the village of Owers Corner some 96km.Unfortunately these 96km aren’t your average, everyday walk in the park; this hike takes us over a series of seemingly unsurmountable and awe inspiring razor back mountains, which with any luck we’ll complete in about 10 days. To give you a sense of the scale - Mount Bellamy is the highest peak at just over 7,000 above sea level, and for those of you who are Canadian - Whistler is just under 2,200 feet. We're talking crazy high!
So I've been training for about 8 weeks and with about a month to go before I leave I decided that mountain training was essential. So this past weekend I flew out to Vancouver and trained solidly on the "Grouse Grind" at Grouse Mountain, and over two days climbed it five times. My fastest time was 1:05 and the slowest was 1:25......not too bad considering that I hadn't been training on mountains until this weekend, especially when you consider I was carrying a 50Ib pack.
These are a couple of photos from my weekend of mountain training on the "Grind". Tomorrow starts the additional phase of training, in addition to my hike training; I'm starting intensive cardio conditioning with a boxing coach starting at 5:30 am three times per week.