My first Hike (with Mike 2.0)
So to give you a bit of background on me. I am from England, I have been living in Canada since June 2017. Before moving here I had never hiked before in my life. I have always been up & down in my weight due to mental health etc. When I tell you I have 0 stamina, I have ZERO stamina. Around 6 months after moving here I found a real love for the mountains, the outdoors, exploring & xyz (how could you not?! It’s mind blowing how beautiful this country is). This is when I came across Michaels Instagram.... the beautiful pictures of the mountains, him tackling death defying hikes across ridges... I said to myself that I will do that at one point while on my 2 years in Canada. This might be a similar thought of yours but worried if you could do it.
His first group hike came up on Instagram and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to partake. Unfortunately due to work commitments I couldn’t make it. After seeing all the pictures I was kicking myself that I didn’t make it. Then sooner than I thought, Hike With mike 2.0 was advertised and nothing was getting in my way to be able to be there. This involved me quitting my job because my (nice word jazmine: “not very nice) boss wouldn’t let me take any time off. Quitting my job & going on that hike was the best decision of not only my time in Canada but my life.
I started the hike with everyone at the start point & after 45 minutes of incline it was no surprise to anyone there that I was struggling. There I am gasping for breath, sipping water as if I was deserted in the Sahara dessert. at this point I thought to myself multiple times I’m not going to make it, maybe I’ll turn back, maybe I’ll go home work on my fitness and come next time. Then I realized what if there isn’t a next time? What if too much time passes and other commitments come around and I can’t make the next hike? Before I know it I’ll be back in England with dodgy pubs & having boring conversation with strange people with 1 full of set of teeth between a village of people... everyone was ahead and I was at the back, Michael ran back to me to see if I was ok (most supportive, friendly guy I have ever met) I told him there, two hours from the summit that I was going to make it to the top, I might lose everyone and be the last to the top but I’ll make it to the top. I took more breaks, I sat and hiked, then rested again & repeat. It was then more of a challenge to myself. It was never a race to the top and when I adjusted to that mindset I went at my own pace and yes I was the last to the top, I made it there when everyone had had their lunches and were returning back to camp.
The surprise and support from everyone when they saw me thinking that I had turned back ages ago filled me with so much emotion I couldn’t contain it. Tears consumed me and i honestly do not believe I will ever feel that sense of happiness, achievement or feel that proud until I have a child. I can only imagine that’s what it feels like to hold your new born. I have no children but that’s just the kind of emotion that I had.
From being someone who was so consumed with sadness, depression & being bedbound for the best part of a year before moving to Canada to climbing my very first summit. Its truly indescribable happiness. Since then I have hiked 2 more summits SOLO & I have been counting down the days to hike with mike 3.0. I have always said if you ever have the chance to hike with mike. It’s the best decision you will ever make. I have made friends for life via Hike With mike 2.0 and I cannot wait to make more memories and I hope I’m still in Canada for Hike With mike 4.0 before I leave for my road trip to hike around America solo. If it wasn’t for Michael and for Hike With mike community I would not be feeling the way I do about life right now, I would not have planned a whole 3 month road trip around must see hiking trails as I never would have thought I could do it. Now I’ve done it I know I can do anything. To sum up hike with mike, as a beginner & I’m sure I speak for the experienced hikers of the community to... its simply life changing.
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