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PTSD Recovery Glacier Expedition Day 18 – Adapt and Overcome – Change of Plans

It’s sure been a long few days, 1 full day just to pack horse all of our gear down the mountain, 1 full 400km 15 hr day just to drive to town get supplies ( boots weren’t in ) and back, 1 full day just to charge batteries, scan through the emails and I humbly admit that I broke rule #1 .. social media .

I relapsed right back onto Facebook.

But just once, it was just for a minute, it was only a peek, I had to and couldn’t stop myself it was like as if this huge leather leash came flying outta my computer, wrapped itself around my throat and dragged me in kicking and screaming hahaha.

Just kidding, I obeyed my plastic master and logged in willingly.

With my head held low, while my hands and nerves were shaking I opened the lap top just to check in with Dylan Van Rooyen, Surrey Firefighter and treasurer of The Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society and let him know we have successfully completed the first of the 4 legs of our expedition and see how well the raffle is going.

Before I continue, perhaps this is a good time to write how I really feel today.

The amount of work that went into the planning these Tire’d of the Stigma International events was absolutely staggaring.

I love more than to script our own destiny.

In order to help promote that one day event I thought it would be a great idea to also host our annual 30 day tire flip up Brandywine mountain to the glacier in memory of Nodar Kumaritashvilli.

2016, we hosted Breaking the Chains BC 37 kms in 30 days.

2017, we flipped our tire up Blackcomb Mountain with petition in hand to make an amendment to the workers compensation act

Whistler, BC; Feb. 12, 2017: It’s Not Weak To Speak is a Campaign intended to destigmatize Post-Traumatic Stress and bring Public awareness to Bill M203 2016 Worker’s Compensation Amendment Act. The bill amends the Worker’s Compensation Act in order to provide support and care for British Columbia’s First Responders. Kickoff Event – Ceremonial Meditation at Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre followed by Awareness Parade from Whistler Olympic Plaza (Nodar Kumaritashvili Memorial) to Base of Whistler Mountain. Photo: Joern Rohde/www.joernrohde.com

2018 we flipped our tire 24 kms in 24 hrs around Stanley park and then up Brandywine glacier for a day and wrapped it up a 5 day flip up 7th heaven on Blackcomb Mountain.

Whistler, BC; Feb. 16, 2018: Final day of tire flipping from the base of Seventh Heaven on Blackcomb Mountain, up Cloud Nine to the top of the run. It’s Not Weak To Speak is a Campaign intended to destigmatize Post-Traumatic Stress and bring Public awareness to Bill M203 2016 Worker’s Compensation Amendment Act. The bill amends the Worker’s Compensation Act in order to provide support and care for British Columbia’s First Responders. Photo: Joern Rohde/www.joernrohde.com

2019 – we were stopped in our tracks at the Jack Poole Plaza due to not having a permit.

For 2020, we busted ass, got our permits for the “Tire’d of the Stigma” event in Jack Poole Plaza , accompanied by every emergency service department, 6 countries, our provincial government, Georgian Ambassador and Georgian community , then to ice the cake I thought it would be fun to step it up a notch and allow each team and the world to experience our Camp My Way Wilderness program, while adding a tire flip up the Brandywine Glacier – 6 teams – 4 members per team over 30 days.

The logistics and mathematical equation’s behind all of this is mind boggling and if I were to share my notes and thought process during the entire 9 months of hard work – you’d more than likely have me committed to a padded room.

Your welcome to see for yourself just the opening ceremonies and parade into the plaza here .
Schematic Pages Feb 27

I’ll keep this short and to the point.

The one single main contributing factor behind the motivation to it all, was the fact that Dylan and Aaron were standing strong in our corner this year.

Please don’t get me wrong here, there are also 57 more of our friends and good people beside us for this , but what kept me most motivated is having Dylan and Aaron’s word that they would be at our Tire’d of the Stigma event. When Firefighters give there word, be sure not even hurricane Andrew would prevent them from showing up.

2 in 2 out !

These past 5 years, many people have said they would be at our events, but 9 times out of 10, usually within the week before, it the same old “my dog ate my homework” tune.

Im really not trying to sound ungrateful , I know with my lack of proper words I am unable to express on a keyboard the point i’m trying to make here.

To be straight up blunt, having Dylan and Aaron give their word to me is as solid as it gets and I trusted and believed that no matter what happens in this world, those 2 of many would be there rain or shine and that was enough for me to put in the extra hard work in making the 30 day Glacier Expedition a success.

I don’t feel that I need to talk about just how absolutely devastating it was and is to us all when this stay at home order was put in place back in March. ( ish )  and just how many events we had planned leading up to ..  and then boom , within a blink of an eye, everything kiboshed.

The toughest part for me when the lock down order was put in place was that Nasir, the owner of Surrey Honda had donated a brand new Honda CRV 2020 to The Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society, and Dylan and their members decided that 50 % of the raffle proceeds would be donated to Camp My Way.

How do I even begin to write about why this is so unbelievable ?

Well, that’s going to be a whole different blog post when we hopefully reach the top of Mission Mountain next month.

The point i’m trying to make here is the challenge we now faced. Here is it the first time in the history of Camp My Way has such a donation been made possible.

Just how many people from the Surrey Community we could help with those kinds of funds is a endless and yet very exiting thought.

For 5 very long years we have been buried in the trenches, while trying to help as many people as possible and now this opportunity comes along and just our luck, the entire world shuts down.

So what do you do ?

What do you do when your 200 kms away from humans, and even if we were in the city, humans are no longer even allowed to come close to each other – this social, physical distancing thing is in my opinion another book in itself for a different time.

My thoughts  / opinions, and understanding on this are not going to be understood for at least 2 decades, nor is it my business to put them in writing at this moment in time anyhow.

I’ll tell ya what ya do , ya set out on your expedition regardless of anything else that’s going on in the world.

I have a very clear understanding of how humans feel right now. Its the same feeling I have endured over and over many times in my 40 plus years.

The number 1 tool we can use today is the same tool we use everyday.

Follow the routine and use the same formula I have used everyday since we found this tire 5 years ago cause nothing will ever change in the world and it’s tough times like this that we have prepared for.

As I wrote yesterday, today is just another day at the office and no Sire Bob is it going to be easy but neither is anything we have done these past years to get us right where we are today.

Where was I ?

Oh yeah right, the toughest part for me with these new change of plans is how on earth are we supposed to sell raffle tickets when we are unable to talk to humans face to face ?

No laughing together, sharing stories, tears and dreams. How are people supposed to get excited to want to help when their only experience with who we are , why we are and where we are going is all done through a keyboard and a picture on Facebook of all things ?

I tell ya straight up, as confident as I was about being able to set out on our expedition and flip this tire over 7000 ft up 2 mountains , I have a bit of doubt in my mind.

It all seems a bit surreal to even try and fathom how on earth we are going to inspire, or motivate people from a piece of plastic is beyond me.

We have tried now for many years and well.. I just feel as though our posts on social media is merely just a quick thought into someones mind, and then poof , after a week or even months of hard ass work to get that post up, edited, etc — its judged, and convicted within 0.003 seconds while the human just clicks right by it onto the next and the next and the next .

Makes me a bit sad ( very ) to see how we have all become so very disconnected from ourselves, our families, our children, and our communities.

While Jill and I were on our way back to Base Camp, we thought to ourselves we are really going to need to make sure that our final leg of the expedition is kick ass and goes off without a hitch.

So, we decided what we should do is head over to Mission Mountain and check out the conditions and see just how deep the snow is, check the safety of the roads, avalanche paths, and consider all the dangers and weight out our options, evacuation routes and most importantly find a few places where we can set up our Base Camps.

This task in itself is not a easy one, considering all of the variables that mother nature will through at you while being just below and above tree line over 7000 ft up a mountain this time of year.

As bad as we wanted to just get on with our expedition and set up out base camp down on the lake and enjoy the warm toasty comforts of flat ground and being out on the lake everyday, it was more important to make sure we were very prepared for when Surrey Firefighters, VSSL, and the Tire Mountain team comes up next month.

I am so grateful we made this wise decision.

Upon driving up mission mountain to the same elevation we left off at Goat  mountain we were stopped in our tracks by massive snow drifts across the road at a much lower elevation that we expected.

Like . 5 kms lower .

If the snow load was this low, there is no possible way this much snow would melt in the next few weeks in time for us to prepare to summit or even get the tire near where we wanted to start.

Upon walking knee deep through some of the snow drifts we soon realized that we had to cancel the next 2 legs of our lake side expedition and get our asses over here instead and get this dam tire moving.

I feel we have a lot on the line here, our Camps reputation and ability to conquer what we set out to do with no excuses while in hopes to demonstrate what we are capable of achieving under any circumstance, and now the toughest part.

Being completely off grid with no way to make daily updates to our social media, edit pics and vids to which we had hoped would encourage people to support the Mental Health Initiatives raffle.

This is now a huge , massive change is plans, elevation and our over all game plan.

Jill and I looked up at the peak we needed to summit from a few kms back to where we were going to now have to begin from.

Straight up off the hip we just smiled at each other and looked forward to the challenge and most importantly we looked forward to being this high up into the mountains.

The views aren’t so bad from up here and while the entire world is locked down, nothing here has or will ever change since the beginning of time.

If only we could slow it all down to the same pace to which nature lives, thrives, dies and grows.

Thank you for taking the time from your day today to read , and follow our journey.

We really look forward to learning more about ourselves each day and continuing to share our experience with you .

Thank you Surrey Honda and The Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society for keeping us motivated and never giving up on us.

Together, we will do our best to try and help make a difference in our world.

Jill . you sure have captured some very historical moments in time, sure wish I was here in 300 years to see the look on that species faces when they come across these.

Your Friend, Our Voice
Terrance J. Kosikar


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