As you know by now, I love to set challenges for myself. Whether it’s reading through the Bible in a year or walking the Tely 10, I find myself driven to do more and better if I’ve set some kind of arbitrary goal and a timeline in which it must be met. Some of them — like spending a year reading poetry or being an extra on Republic of Doyle — don’t work out. Others do. I try not to beat myself up if I don’t meet my goals but I do like to have them.
One of the best books I’ve read this spring is Wild, Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I liked it because at heart I’m just the kind of person to do what she did — set myself some impossible goal like hiking the entire width of the US on a challenging trail without proper training and preparation. Fortunately, I live a life that doesn’t allow me to do stupid things like that because I have a job and a family, so the initial burst of inspiration that made me say, “I should do something like that!” when I read the book quickly simmered down to, “What could I do that would be a fun and interesting challenge without completely dominating my life and possibly killing me?”
I settled on something very modest indeed — this spring and summer, I want to walk all 125 km of the Grand Concourse walking trails in and around St. John’s. Not all at once, of course. But in the course of the walking and hiking I do over the next few months, I want to make an effort to cover all the trails.
I’ve probably walked about 2/3 of these trails at one time or another (the 125 km includes some urban city-street walks as well as walking trails) but I think it will be a fun challenge to try to cover them all in a few months, and it will probably get me to some places I wouldn’t have gone otherwise. It’s a beautiful network of trails that our city is lucky to have, and I want to appreciate more of the natural as well as the urban environment around me so I think this will be a good way to do it. Also, I’ll post some updates and pictures here from various walks. I have a big map of the trail in my bedroom with highlighters so I can mark off trails walked, because that’s just the kind of personality I am and that motivates me!
Today the kids and Max and I got out to enjoy this ridiculously mild, sunny and pretty day — very sp****like for April (won’t jinx it by actually typing the S-word). We did a couple of loops round a very short trail we’ve often done before — Kenny’s Pond in the east end of St. John’s. There’s a little playground there where the playground equipment is specially geared to toddlers and preschoolers, and it used to be a favourite summer hangout of ours when the kids were little. How quickly it’s become a place they’ve outgrown! It’s also where the mini-golf course is located which my folks once drove past with Emma in the car (when she was 5 or 6) and Emma pointed at it and said, “My whole family golfs there.”
So, twice around Kenny’s Pond today … I’ll keep you posted on how the Grand Concourse Challenge goes!