Over a year in to this journey and I cant help but reflect on how this journey has changed my life. The things I thought I would lose, and find during this walk across Canada, have proved to be lessons all in itself. When I started back in November 2012, I was convinced I would walk myself thin. I would walk and walk, and weight would fall off. This did not happen. Although it is true that I have lost some weight, the amount of weight I have lost compared to what I envisioned losing……WAY OFF.
I also thought my diabetes would just slowly disappear. I believed that I would just walk it away. Again, although it is true that I have decreased my insulin an amazing amount, My diabetes has fought me every step of this journey. It has not disappeared, in fact there are days I swear I may never lose this dreaded disease.
Sometimes, when I look back over the last 12 months, It makes me sad. One thing I never gave much thought to, one thing I never imagined I would lose, I’ve lost friends. Before this journey you could find Mike and I going out with our friends, at the local pubs. Weekends of beer, nachos, wings, and wine. Spending time with people we loved, and getting together for good eats and drinks was important to us. But as the journey began, we started having to turn down invites out. Both exhausted from our regular lives and adding 12kms a day was way more commitment than either one of us had dreamed. As the months went on, our commitment to our health became more and more important to us. We no longer wanted to spend our “free” time eating fast food and drinking. We wanted to spend it eating healthy, and resting. The invites slowed down, and now 12 months in, they have stopped.
But what we have found…… its irreplaceable.
I have found time. I never imagined having enough time to add 12kms a day to my already jammed packed life. But I did. I found time. Time to take care of me. Time to reflect, time to work on me. Time to talk about my day. Time away from the Tv.
I found strength. More strength than I had ever believed possible. Strength to push through the rain, and cold, and heat. Strength to push through the pain. Strength to wake each and every morning at 5am and walk with eyes still half closed.
I found purpose. I have always been one of those people who needed a reason to wake up each morning. I need to be needed, need to do good in this world. I need to make a difference.
I found my purpose. Doing this walk for diabetes and my Dad, gave me this purpose. With each and every km walked, I felt like I was making my mark in my little piece of the universe.
I found balance. Having a walking partner is such an extraordinary blessing. However when your walking partner is also your spouse, you need to find a balance. Are we spending too much time together. Are we making sure we aren’t pushing each other too hard. Are we making sure we are pushing each other enough? And even though my husband is also my very best friend, we both had to find a balance that we didn’t ONLY become walking partners. We needed to find a balance in our marriage. Making sure we still we had time together, and making the effort to dress up and have a date night that required more than wearing running shoes and track pants.
Finally, I found Love. I know that may sound all hokey. But its true. I have found someone who has changed their life WITH me. Mike and I have been together since we were in our late teens/early 20’s. We gave up everything we knew, everything that was comfortable and moved across Canada for a better life. We had no friends, just each other. This almost forced us to become best friends Slowly throughout the years we have been in British Columbia we have made new friends, and have created a new and now comfortable life for ourselves. But no matter what we go through, its always been just Mike and Polly.
This team, this unit, this tightly bonded unified couple.
The last 12 months has shown me how much love can help you conquer your fears, How love can pick you up when you are dragging your feet. How love can make an impossible dream of walking across Canada, a reality.
Yes, I really have found love. The love of a lifetime, on my journey of a lifetime
For all that I have lost, and for all that I have found. I am so truly grateful for the last 12 months.
See you at the finish line