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Climbing mountains

Monday, 16 September 2013. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Climbing mountains

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A photo of me at the top of Corner Mountain (Prairie Bluff) courtesy of Pat Moskaluk

Climbing mountains

By Shannon Robin

The past few weeks have been a time for reflection as I’ve looked back on two years of publishing Shootin’ the Breeze. Next week’s issue will be the first in our third year – it’s amazing how time flies when you love what you do!

Last Saturday I participated in the Corner Mountain Climb for Huntington Disease. The whole of that day, from the challenges to the exhilaration, helped tie together many things I’ve been reflecting on.

Every story I tell and each new adventure becomes part of who I am. I’m fortunate to meet the most amazing people on this journey with the Breeze, and each leaves a lasting impression.

Cas Freeman and her caregivers (Team Cas) are a prime example of determination and spirit. This was exemplified as about 200 people gathered to trek to the mountain summit. It was an amazing atmosphere of love and hope which had an impact on everyone who took part, I’m sure.

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Team Cas

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The view of our destination was intimidating – the ascent was about 700 metres. But apprehension gave way to curiosity about what it would feel like to stand at the top.

I’ve never been the athletic sort, and two years of too many hours a day behind a desk have contributed to me being in the worst shape of my life. But I’ve never been afraid of a challenge, and climbing a mountain seemed like a perfect thing to tackle. In the end, the blazing sun turned out to be more difficult for me than the climb itself.

As I walked, I compared the challenge of the trek to the trepidation of starting a new business. I knew each would be tough, but I am determined. My husband calls it stubbornness. Whatever it is, this drive carries me forward. The heat challenged me on the mountain, just as bumps big and small have appeared on the road in the past two years. Then and now I plug on, one step at a time.

With pleasure, I walked with several different people up the slope. Some I knew, while others were strangers. I took good karma away from each of them, and also enjoyed the time I walked alone.

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I had waited for Cas to leave, so started out near the end of the pack. I dawdled along the way, taking pictures of the amazing views and stopping to catch my breath. I was distressed when I realized that by getting so far behind the horses, I would miss Cas’s arrival at the top.

It’s the same feeling I get when I wish I could be many places at once and realize I can’t do it all.

I was grateful when Cas's mom, Janet Main, gave me a short lift in an effort to get a photo of Cas arriving, even though I didn’t get there quite in time. Choosing to accept a hand up isn’t an easy thing for me in any aspect of life, but I’m learning to accept with grace and gratitude when it’s offered.

At that point I could have stopped, and part of me wanted nothing more than to sit and rest. It wasn’t the mountain peak, but it was as far as some would go. Although it was a steep climb ahead, I knew I would regret not reaching the top.

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I walked this last stretch with Pat Moskaluk, who was no stranger to Corner Mountain. She made the steep climb seem easy, and others offered us kind words of encouragement as they made their way down from the peak.

I’ve been fortunate to have strong support behind me in the Breeze endeavour as well. It comes from my family, my staff and our loyal readers. This sustains the journey I’ve chosen on days when things are difficult.

I’m so glad I pushed through to the top – the view was amazing, as was the adrenaline rush!

Pat pulled out her cellphone. “I’m at the top of a mountain,” she said, and I could tell this was no surprise to her daughter at the other end.

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I’m proud of myself and of everyone who took the challenge and came together for the Freeman family and for Huntington’s. It was truly a day of jubilation on many levels.

The Breeze is all about celebrating positive people and sharing stories from our corner of the province. There are views as glorious as what you see from a mountaintop along with pride and inspiration as strong as what I felt Saturday afternoon, among the stories we tell every week.

Cas didn’t choose to take the Huntington’s journey, but she moves forward each day and offers lessons to those around her. The obstacles I face on my chosen journey pale in comparison.

Thanks for your support and for choosing to join me in the adventures of Shootin’ the Breeze.

 

From people like Cas, I take my inspiration!

 

 

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Photo by Pat Moskaluk

 

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Photo by Pat Moskaluk

 

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Photo by Pat Moskaluk

 

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At the end of a wonderful day the sun sets over Corner Mountain.

 

 

From the Sept. 4/13 print edition of Shootin’ the Breeze.
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