The season for change

It’s been far too long, so long I felt the need to say something profound when I finally broke the ice and resurfaced. Then I realised we could all be waiting a long time for that, and simply put pen to paper.

Fall is such a tumultuous season. I struggled through it last year so I know what to expect. But it’s a constant rollercoaster for me, magnified in part by the dramatic change in weather and reduction of daylight. I’ve already had my fair share of ups and downs, been completely overwhelmed by life and the world and what I should be doing, and then just fallen back into the ‘ah well let’s just see what happens’ kind of mentality.

Camping on the Broken Group Islands, Vancouver Island, October 2016

Since the Yukon River Quest life has continued at a fairly hectic pace. I’ve hiked trails, paddled, surfed, SUP’d, spent time with my folks, and presented about my race. I uploaded all my videos from the YRQ 2016 so you can now watch the unedited clips (if you were left wanting more), read my gear and food lists, and see the list of tasks I set for poor Morgan at the halfway point in Carmacks. I was hoping to review all my food and gear, as not all were effective or the best choices, but I’m at least sharing my opinions with another prospective paddler for next year, and so the baton of knowledge is being passed on.

Morgan and I hiking the Howe Sound Crest Trail, August 2016
At the top of Quarry Rock, Deep Cove, with my aunt (far left), mum and dad, September 2016
Presenting on the Yukon River Quest alongside Jason Bennett at Deep Cove Outdoors, September 2016

Part of this month has been spent at job interviews wearing knee-length pencil skirts and ironed blouses, and the other at my current job Googling images for made up words like ‘Fug’, and learning how to tie bowlines between customer service. Working in retail has provided me with some of the most candid workplace scenarios I’ll ever experience, while introducing me to some of the most eclectic and wholesome people I’ll ever meet. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my vacation from the ‘real world’; from responsibility, corporate clothing, office cubicles and adults. I teleported 10 years back in life to experience an alternate version to the one I lived in fast paced international events, and I’ve come to realise I’m looking for something in between.

So this is where I’m at, contemplating all the the who (am I?), what (am I doing?), why (am I doing it?) where (am I going?), when (should I go?) and how (will I get there?) kind of questions we love to ask ourselves. The first two are easy to answer, but the other four take a little more thought.

I feel as if fall is the season for change, so although I’m not sure of the exact direction I’m heading right now, I’m just gonna ride the wave and see where it takes me.

Sunset over Mackenzie Beach, Tofino, October 2016

21 thoughts on “The season for change”

  1. So wonderful to hear an update not how you’re doing! Life post trail is very peculiar. Really struggled this past year with a depression unlike anything I’ve felt before. I finally feel like I’m coming out of the fog and although I’m not sure what’s next I’m really trying to plan trips to look forward to and get moving. Getting my gear ready for next summer and feeling a little spark in my soul again. You’re such an inspiration Muk, so thankful for this update and for you as a person!

    1. Oh Woooner it’s so good to hear from you and that you’re on the way out of a dark patch. Post trail life is a mad rollercoaster. Lack of purpose, nostalgia, the debilitating desire to be back on trail, the endless search for meaning and the deep empty cavern that was once filled by a community of like-minded hikers. I totally understand. Some rush back to trails, others battle through. Be comforted in the knowledge that your soul and being are so much richer for the experience and that you will begin to see magic in the space and things around you. As Otter would say, “Life is a hike,” so enjoy every step.

  2. Look forward to your posts, hope you find your happy medium Well done on all your achievements, lovely to see you with your family, Ros

  3. Again, I am so glad to hear from you, Suzanne….been (as usual) thinking about you again….I see that you are really questioning again about you and your adventure through life….I send love and understanding….I think it is quite lovely that you continue asking questions about your journey…..Love hearing from you, your good friend from Northern California….Barbie

    1. Thanks Barbie, it’s always so comforting to receive your love and wisdom. I hope life has been kind to you these last few months and that your journey continues to be filled with adventure. Muk 🙂

  4. Oh, shucks, I just left a reply…..not sure you got it….hmmmmm….hope so….had good words for you…..always sending love and encouragement …..from you to me….Barbie

  5. Enjoy the journey because the destination will take care of itself. (Wish I could remember the source of that quote). It does appear a change is in the wind so figure the direction and paddle with it !

  6. Those of us who check our mail boxes (a little too often) like children who stand looking down the road, eagerly awaiting the Postman to bring an expected package, got our reward today.

    At least that’s how this recent post feels to this Muk Muk “Groupie” !

    So glad to hear of your continued excursions since the Quest. Each one sounds like you are “living the dream”. I wonder how many woman would trade their pencil skirts and ironed blouses for just a taste of your average month.

    And to spend time with your family, in such a beautiful part of the world….well, it doesn’t get much better than that now does it ?

    I count myself blessed at age 55, to have come to this point in life where I am comfortable with most of my What Why and Where’s. Still I understand the questions laying on your heart. If your track record holds any hints to your choices, you will endeavor to succeed and make the best of any world you set yourself in. At least for a time.

    So, if it is to be a pencil skirt and ironed blouse, you wear it proud Lady !

    As always, I look forward to checking out your newly posted videos and such.

    Thanks for all the hours of work and dedication you give us by keeping up this blog. We all love your writing and appreciate you sharing your time and yourself with us.

    Till next time
    From Alaska
    Lyndella Sings

    Oh yea, Fall and coming of darkness …this time of year is always such a challenge for some of us. Specially if you spend much time outdoors. The transition period between now and full blown winter can play some heavy tricks on a person.

    Hang in there. Maybe tackle something new. You must have a “To Do Someday” Wish List. Something to help occupy your mind that is enjoyable and rewarding.

    This Fall I am joining as an Ambassador, in their quest to help bring a personalized voice to those who speak only through an electronic defice. I heard about it on a Ted Talk. Got hooked right away. Check it out if you get a chance.

    Smile often

    1. Ah Lyndella, I enjoy receiving your beautifully scripted responses just as much as you enjoy my posts. Wow! Where to start? Firstly your association with sounds absolutely fascinating. I’d love to hear more and will have to check out the website and hunt for that TED Talk. Incredible! Secondly I’m always comforted by the fact that you understand my fear of the early darkness creeping in and how that affects ones mood. I feel ready though, like a knight in armour poised for battle. This year I’m ready! Thank you for your patience and your continued support. The note you sent me me last month is still resonating!

  7. Good to hear from you again! Wow what is next? I finally did what I wanted to do for 10 years and at 61, I still think ” what next?”. So enjoy the process and remember life is worth more when you see the big picture.

    1. Thanks for your wonderful perspective Linda. You’re so absolutely right! Quite often when we discover what we want it only gives us a taste of what’s out there. Asking ‘what’s next?’ is part of what it means to be alive! I’m so glad you did what you wanted to do. I’m keen to hear more, and your thoughts on what’s next! 🙂

  8. Hi there Muk Muk,
    I left a reply a couple days ago…not seing mine or any other replies. What’s wrong with this picture ? Everything OK ?


    1. Hello again! For some reason WordPress didn’t alert me to these comments until today. It was a beautifully humbling experience to send my thoughts into the grand online abyss to be greeted by silence and feel absolutely okay. Thanks WordPress. It made my discovery today that much sweeter!

  9. Great to catch up with how you’re doing! I still remember fondly meeting you and Bad Seed on the PCT at White Pass (gave you short ride to the gas station). Have loved checking up on your adventures from time to time. Looks like you are living the life! 🙂

    1. No way oh my goodness!!! I’ll never forget arriving at the pass and finding you guys there! I’m so grateful that you’re still following and that you left me this note. What a great surprise! I had no idea and often wonder about the people that were so incredibly generous to me throughout my PCT experience. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to thank you again. Those random acts of kindness are what stand out when I reflect so fondly on that journey!

  10. I’m sitting here reading your blog( so inspiring) and thought what next, when I heard I was going to be a great grandma! I then felt old and with an inch off my height very old. Then I remembered climbing Mount Whitney and thought with a will of heart anything is possible. Can’t wait to hear the “next” for you. I decided to buff up and ride some long hills on my bike. I want to be strong for my great grandbabies.

    1. That’s so wonderful to hear and congratulations on becoming a great grandma while continuing to live out your dreams! It’s so easy to ignore that voice that wills us into action by allowing life to get in the way. It’s only when we follow it into the unknown and out of our comfort zone, that we discover what we’re truly capable of! 🙂

  11. It’s always wonderful to read your blogs and hear what you are up. You have an amazing attitude towards life and I wish you all the very best with whatever direction it takes you.

    1. Bless you Keen Hiker!! For continuing to read and comment and share your delightfully supportive words with me. I wish you the very same, and hope that you’re paving the way in the direction you wish to be heading!

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