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PTSD Recovery Expedition Day 10 – If You Build It, They Will Come

So what do you do when your 2 km up the side of a mountain with no lakes, rivers, taps or garden hoses to just fill  your empty water tank now that you’ve run out of water ?

This is yet another part of why I love being out in the wilderness so much. Every second if not minute you are constantly in thought, thinking and deciding on your next step weather it be up, down, or even sideways, with each decision you make could cost you your life.

Here is a place, that you can’t just google the answer, or get directions as to which way anything is or how far it is, nor find the easiest path ( or any path for that matter ). This is all up to you and your wingman to put your thinking cap on as to which way to go, how your going to get there, what to bring in case of, and how will we find our way back safely, do you bring lunch, first aid gear, rain jacket, what about your S.O.S., and if we are climbing up to a avalanche it’s certainly going to be a colder elevation, what about a headlamp, sure its only 8 am with another 12 hours of sunlight but , “a – n – y – t – h – i – n – g”, can and will happen if your not prepared so you ( we ) must really think it all out as a team.

We made sure this week to have rationed our water supply so that we have just enough for coffee,

and oats this morning

We could easily ( well not so easily ) just hike 2km back to basecamp and fill up our tank and bladders, but that’s far more civilized than what we came here for in the first place.

We decided that we would pack up our empty tank and bladders and hike a few km up to where the last avalanche came down a few weeks ago hoping it would be melting enough to get the freshest, coldest, most natural source of water anywhere on earth. Im sure this is the same way they did it a 1000 years ago.

The key is, take your time, weigh out all your options and put one foot in front of the other and just go. Making sure you stop and smell the roses or, ( whatever wild flowers you may come across ) and enjoy each and every step, sound, thought, and be sure to explore your inner most curiosity within all of natures hidden secrets that ( has burned ) or blooms around you, all that has been untouched or even seen since the beginning of time.

Speaking of thought, without any distractions from my plastic master today, I had all the time in the world to just sit back and write like I used to back in 2014/15.

I grabbed a pen, opened my book and my first thoughts were, “who’s going to read this, why do they want to read this and who in this world even cares what I have to say ?

These sorts of thoughts are exhausting and certainly calls for a good lay down and oops maybe even a nap.

While the ants curiously tickled my legs, and i’m sure trying their best to lug me off to their nest, and the mosquito’s fought there way through my thick merino wool socks to guzzle my blood I enjoyed allowing my mind to be free and go all the way back to thinking how it is I even got here, why am I here, and try and fathom just how far have we come since we set out on this dream many years ago.

What brought me the biggest, warmest smile with the greatest appreciation and gratitude was dozing off with the images of all the beautiful, kind hearted people we have met along the way that without there support, belief, compassion and genuine interest in helping us achieve our goals I would not have this freedom today to just lay back , breathe and experience this very moment in time.

I wanted to do something positive.

I fantasized, and thought that what would be really cool would be to watch the ending of this movie and see this guy who’s endured all these impossibilities, all these bullshit events in his life, and here it is now, he’s running a camp for other emergency service providers who are struggling with post-traumatic stress.

For other people who don’t have a penny to their name.  Who’ve lost their families, lost their lives, got disconnected from their soul, their spirituality, lost their careers, who’ve dragged their knuckles through the shit, who’ve attempted suicide.

Wow, can you imagine this acreage with people getting their lives back, building cabins, hunting, fishing, canoeing, exploring the mountains, gold panning, swimming, meditating by waterfalls, eating healthy, getting their life back, and going back to whatever department they came from whatever community they came from and saying how they got their lives back at this camp.  Can you imagine such a thing?

I stood up and said, “Damn right.  I’m going to do whatever it takes.  Nothing is going to stop me now.  I’m going to get this camp started.”  And you know what?  I’m going to call it Camp My Way.  Because this is my way.  I did this my way.  I came up here against all odds and got my life back my way.  I took my time walking out of the house.  I took the small steps to get to that tire.  Nobody said you have to flip this tire one kilometre today.  I had to flip that tire once or twice and come back and rest, then go back out on my terms and do it again.

I wanted to eat?  I had to go hunt, I had to go fishing. I wanted to keep warm? I had go go chop the firewood.  How warm, how much heat did I want?  Well that depended on how hard I was willing to work to go get the wood, with no excuses.  I did it my way.

So for Camp My Way, when our campers come up here, I wanted to make sure they had the time.  Time to heal in a safe place, without the dollar and without the laws and rules, and time to do it their way.  To implement whatever tools that they can implement into their daily routine to manage their stresses, their depression, their suicidal thoughts, their addictions.

How the “F” am I gonna do this, though?  I don’t have the internet, I don’t have a single penny, I’m rolling, my eyes, I’m walking through the forest, I’m shaking my head… ah man.  All I knew was that my heart thumped at the thought.  I had to make this happen, regardless if I had nothing. I had to do this. I was going to do this.

First things first, I needed to get back to the internet, and I needed to get back to Whistler.  It was going to be tough because A I didn’t have gas money and the tires on my Jeep were so bald that if a raindrop touched them, they were gonna pop.

Step one: I needed tires just to get from my cabin to Whistler, just to get to use the internet and start sharing with people my dream, my goal.

I asked a buddy of mine Andrew up here in Seton Portage what tire company was in Lillooet there.  I wanted to talk to the general manager and tell him about my goals and my dreams, about this camp, and see if he’d help me.  He said, “yeah, I’ve got my good friend Rob Jones, he’s the GM of Kal Tire in Lillooet.”

“Nice man, you got his number?

He wrote it out on a little piece of paper, I still have it—it’s right here.  I’m gonna frame that little piece of paper one day.

I go down to the pub where there’s a little bit of a Wi Fi connection.  It takes about 27 minutes for your email just to open, but I emailed Mr. Jones saying, “Hi Rob Jones, You don’t know me, my name is Terrence Joseph Kosikar.  I got your name and number from a friend of mine Andrew up here in Seton Portage.  I need to speak with you, would you have lunch with me next week?

I went back down to the pub 2 3 days later, and there was an email back.  “Sure Terrence, how about Tuesday, 12 noon?”

“Yes sir,” I wrote back.  “Actually, I can’t even drive to see you, can you please pick me up at the train station?”

Sure enough, 2-3 days later, I go to meet Mr. Rob Jones and sat down at the Totem Pole restaurant to have lunch.  I shook hands with him, we ate, and I told him my story.

For about 45 minutes, I told him my dreams, my goals, things that I had endured in life, and where I am today and where I want to go. He asked, “How can I help?”

I said,  “Mr. Jones all I need from you sir, is a new set of tires, just so I can get over these forest service roads to get to Whistler to do the work that I need to do to make this camp a success.”

He looked at me with a sad face and he said,  “Well, I love what you’re going to do. I love your idea. I love your goals and dreams.”  He looked at my notebook there with about seven thousand pages of ideas for the camp and how I wanted to make it all happen. “I’m sorry I can’t help you, but the corporate office is going to need something a little more tangible to go on.”

I gritted my teeth for a second.  “But Rob, I can’t get tangible without tires.

I promise, I swear one day I will put Kal Tire’s name on every single thing we ever do.

I’ll wear your T-shirts every single day and I’ll always tell the story about how Kal Tire gave me my first chance. This camp’s going to run. Nothing’s going to stop me.

He said, “I wish I could help you, man.”

“Mr. Jones, thank you for your time. I appreciate it brother, and I totally understand.”

I walked out of the Totem Pole after lunch with my head held high.  Because that was not going to stop me.   I got on the train and I remember glaring out that window at Seton Lake the whole way back thinking,  I still got air in the tires. I’ll get to Whistler and I’m going to make this happen. One day Kal Tire will help us,  One day they’ll support us. One day!” I understood where Mr. Jones was coming from.

I got back to the cabin, and the next day, I said, “I’m out of here.” I jumped in my Jeep and I headed over the High line Road.

Not even 12 kilometres down that road… Ftttssss, Ftttssss, Ftttsss.

I stopped on the hole. I looked up and said, “F*CK!  You have got to be eff’in kidding me.?”

I knew I’d get a flat. Damn it, I jump out and looked at the truck. I got my tire patching kit out of the back, got a plug, and put it in the poker.  I slowly moved off the hole so I didn’t let all the air out and jumped out to put the plug in and saw that it wasn’t a hole but a four-inch rip.

I actually stood back and cussed and screamed at the universe for trying to stop me.

Mind you, now that I look back it was just the first test to see to how bad I wanted this.

This was a road where you don’t see people for days, but not even 10 minutes later a truck came by and sure enough he was a potato farmer from Pemberton who had a jack and the right tools to help me take that tire off and put on my 1/2 assed spare.

I hope one day he reads this book. Brother, I don’t remember your name but you saved my ass that day.

I got to Whistler with nothing. But I was starting off towards my goals and my dreams.

I went to go see a guy named Davin Moore, a coordinator at Whistler Community Services who helps at-risk youth.  I told him about my goals and dreams, and the first thing he said was, “Do you know how much money some of these Whistler families would pay to send kids up to this camp you’re talking about?”

“Yeah, but it’s not about the money for me, brother. I’m not looking for kids to come up to help. What I’m looking for is signing authority at the ReUse It centre so I can go in and get some used backpacks, tents, sleeping pads, rain gear, tarps, and rope.

“Terrance, no problem.”

I went over to the food bank and I gathered up some vegetables and eggs and a little bit of Kraft dinner.  I had a little bit of food.  I couldn’t cook it, but I had a little bit of food.

Every single day, I talked to every single person that came into my path. I’d tell them about my goals and ask them for their email addresses to

keep them posted. I still have a bag of every single business card and piece of paper and gum wrapper with phone numbers and e-mail addresses that I got in that three and a half week period. Over eight hundred and seventy little pieces of paper. That’s how much I was networking.  That’s how bad I wanted it.

Networking 2015
over 800 new connections 2015

Every night I would sit outside the Blends coffee shop poaching the internet sending emails to all the people that I met that day. “Hey thank you for your time today. I appreciate you believing in my dream and look forward to keeping you in touch. I’ll let you know when it all pans out.

It was so cold in those days.  My hands were frozen and I didn’t even I didn’t even know how to send e-mails.  I couldn’t even attach a picture to an email. I remember one day I had to go to the washroom and I walked over to the Summit Lodge. I walked through the lobby to the bathroom and stood in there thinking, sure is nice and warm in here. My head turned immediately and went looking for a receptacle where I could plug my computer in. Damn right, there was  one sitting right there.

I went back to my truck, grabbed my computer, and snuck back in.  I plugged my computer and I was a little bit sketchy and paranoid because it was two o’clock in the morning, imagine if you were walking in there and seeing me sitting on the bathroom floor beside the urinals sending emails. Who does that?

Well, I tell you who does that. I did – I had no choice.

I did this night after night and I noticed after a couple of nights that when I’d walk into the lobby hoping the front desk wasn’t going to ask me what I was doing, there was actually nobody there. I would go outside for a smoke and come back in, and there was nobody there. And sitting in the lobby with the lights a little bit dim and the music playing softly, what I saw was my new office.  A big comfy couch beside a roaring fire, with beautiful shag carpet. So I rolled the dice and I brought my computer out into the lobby.

I sat beside the toasty fire looking outside at the snow every single morning until the first person came off the elevator. I maybe slept an hour and a half in my Jeep. Every morning, somebody would come off that elevator and I’d pack up my computer, put my boots back on, and go out to park my Jeep in one of the day lots to sleep. My back would be so sore and I’d get up because I had work to do. Every single day for about two and a half weeks.

I got to get some sleep. I’d slept maybe 13 hours in two weeks. I was starting to look a little rough, and my eyes were burning. I looked like a mess, dirty, with long nails. It was time to roll the dice again.

I thought to myself how awesome it would be just to have a room upstairs.  Just to have a bed to sleep in for like six hours and just have a nice shower brush my teeth, shave, and look a little more presentable. Wow how cool would that be? I wanted to talk to the GM of this hotel and see if they’d give me a room. One day a week that’s all I needed. One day a week just to just to catch up on sleep and have a nice shower. So I asked to speak to the GM.

A marketing lady came up front. I told her the same story about the work I was trying to do that I gave Rob Jones, and she said, “you know what, I like your idea.  Why don’t you email the GM and give us your vision statement.”

I said, “no problem.” But you know, I didn’t know what a vision statement is.

OK, so they want to know my vision …whew. Two and a half days it took me to write that email.  You think I talk a lot? You should read my emails.  It was probably about 87 pages long. It was the whole story. The before, the during, where I am now. Where we were going to be and how we were going to do it. How many people we were going to help around the world.

I got an e-mail back from the GM a few hours later.

It said, “Please do not return to our establishment.”

My heart was broken,  I was just crushed.

It wasn’t going to stop me.

Later that night, this man walked up to me and said, “Hey ‘scuse me.” I turned around.

He says, “Hey can I buy you dinner?”

“Yes sir, actually you can!”

We went over to a five-star restaurant, Elements, right beside the Summit Lodge there. He had heard I wanted to start a camp for first responders with post-traumatic stress, and I gave him the same story that you’ve just read.

We got to talking, and after about an hour, he said, “Well listen. I’m the general manager of the Summit Lodge and I want to check you in tonight. I’m going to give you a king size executive suite for three nights per week for as long as you need it until you get your camp started.”

I don’t have the words to describe that feeling of relief. Excitement, joy– my life just changed. Somebody believed in me.

I couldn’t get up quick enough. He went over to the front desk and gave me my keys. I got in the elevator, went upstairs, and opened up the door. This is where the harps kick in.

Because this is where everything changed. This is where my tank was full of gas– premium. I had a king-size executive suite!  I had a kitchen, I had a king-size bed with the fluffiest down-filled pillows. There were big-screen TVs with nice soft music playing.

I felt like the president. I dropped my bag, I put my computer on the table and I did a triple back flip layout quarter turn with two tucks BOOM onto the bed.

I lay there for about six seconds and I jumped back up. I had work to do.

I went out to the balcony just to make sure it was real. I looked out and sure enough, there was a huge outdoor heated pool and hot tub just steaming away. This was real buddy! I plugged in my computer and was so stoked that I wanted to write my friend Tom to say what just happened. I logged in, the internet opened up, and bam! there’s an e-mail right there from Rob Jones at Kal Tire.

Hey Terrance. Rob here. I’ve been thinking a lot about what you want to do with your camp. I believe in you, and I believe you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do. So I would like you to go to our website and pick out whatever kind of tires you want and whatever kind of rims you want too and I’m going to take care of the bill out of my own pocket.

6 Months later and 37 more absolutely mind bogglingly amazing stories like those of Rob and Tony’s, with not a single penny earned nor a single penny spent, teamed up with well over 40 volunteers we were able to successfully run Phase 1 of Camp My Way Wilderness Program.

After all of this hard work day in and day out I didn’t realize it at the time, but by being consciously connected to the physical and intentional mindset of selflessly wanting to help other people who may struggle, suffer or have contemplated ending their lives is the key to our recovery, sobriety and most importantly the entire healing process.

What we get out of our recovery , is everything we put into it.
nything is possible !

DONATE TODAY TO WIN TIRES FOR GOOD from Kal Tire click here now to help support 2 Police Officers attend our next camp on June 24- July 23 2021


Thank you for your time, and support.

Your Friend, Our Voice
Terrance J. Kosikar

By the most adventurous nature photographer, our wingman, and dearest of friend’s Ms. Jillian A Brown.

Proudly Partnered with The Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society / Surrey Honda Mental Health Initiatives Program
Proudly Partnered with The Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society / Surrey Honda Mental Health Initiatives Program

Sponsored by our good Friends at:
Nesters Food Market
Escape Route
Kal Tire


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