The Joy of Doing Something That Once Seemed Impossible

Doing Something That Seemed Impossible: Backpacking the Sunshine Coast Trail
Photo by Tristan Pineda.

Last weekend I went backpacking along the Sunshine Coast Trail, a beautiful hut-to-hut trail along the coast of BC. It was a short jaunt of three days and two nights (just a 25km section of the 180km trail), and it was also a pretty big deal.

In the past, I wouldn't have even considered doing something like this. I had zero gear, zero know-how, and thought all hiking was a painful uphill slog. I didn't think I could do it and therefore I had no interest in trying. Why would I want to do a torturous Stairmaster in the woods, after all?

Then I started dating an outdoorsy person and slowly realized that I am actually capable of doing some of this stuff. We went for hikes, and eventually, overnight trips into the wilderness. It turned out I actually enjoyed walking around in the woods! Even with 30 pounds of stuff strapped to my back!

I slowly acquired gear. I also slowly acquired confidence in my ability to slog through the woods, in large part due to my trusty guide. My outdoorsy partner knew the best trails, he knew how to research trip reports and how to navigate. He could name the mountains as we drove past them and describe what was cool about each of them. I could follow him into the woods and we would be okay.

Then that relationship ended.

Suddenly, I didn't have a guide anymore. If I wanted to go into the woods, I had to actually make the plans, do the research, and know where I was going. All on my own! I wanted to keep going on outdoor adventures, but once again it seemed like it might be too hard.

That's why this was a big deal - I went with a friend, and for both of us, it was our first time actually planning and executing a backpacking trip without an expert "buddy" taking us along for the ride.

And now it's done! We did it! We planned it! We prepped it! We hiked it! We survived! And we had FUN!!!

It feels really good to do something that used to seem wildly impossible. I encourage everyone to try it once in a while - ideally with a physical activity that has a concrete sense of completion. One where you can finish, look back, and say, "I can't believe I did that!"

Hiking the Sunshine Coast Trail without a guide - doing something I never thought I would be capable of.
Jocelyn Pond on the Sunshine Coast Trail.

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