Recently, my husband and I went on a 3 day weekend getaway to Whistler, British Columbia. For those of you not familiar with Whistler, it’s about a 3 hour scenic drive up the sea to sky highway from Vancouver and was home to the Nordic and alpine ski events for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is one of my favourite places to visit. The timing was perfect because, as I mentioned in my last post, I was feeling pretty burnt out dealing with health issues related to NMO.
On our first day in Whistler, we set off on a 6 km hike. Hiking for me is no mean feat because I have spinal cord damage from NMO and as a result, I have no proprioception. (The ability to know where my body is in space, which affects balance.) The hike was challenging-the path was full of tree roots, loose gravel and rocks, steep climbs up on rock faces and in several spots narrow paths with drop offs-not the sort of thing that someone with balance issues would normally be tackling. When I hike, I have to have my hands free so I can use my arms to balance myself (picture me constantly doing windmill motions with my arms as I walk along) and I need to be looking at my feet and concentrating the entire time to avoid tripping and falling.
The hike was beautiful. We were in the woods the entire way and the views of the Cheakamus River were spectacular. The river was this amazing jade colour and there was a beautiful waterfall which we could see from the trail. That alone was worth the trip.
We also rented a canoe and did some paddling on Alta Lake the next day. It was so peaceful.
It was so good to get away for a few days and remember what it’s like to feel human again. Spending time in the mountains is like balm to my soul. For me, reconnecting with nature is the best medicine.