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TIRE’d of the Stigma Expedition Day 23 – Tire Mountain Team Testimonial: Graham Swanston

Written by: Graham Swanston


I can’t say I knew what I was signing up for when I agreed to this adventure in February when Oscar sat us down and asked how we felt about flipping a tire up a mountain.

Since then, I’ve flipped a tire more times than I can count, nearly frozen on a mountain, escaped the stress of a pandemic in nature and learned more through these struggles than I dreamed of.

Terrance asked me to have a why in mind before we started, and initially I went into it to raise awareness for a cause I find inspirational and an opportunity that couldn’t be turned down.

I haven’t come close to the trauma experienced by some, but life leaves its scars on us all as in the unique challenges that come with living.

We are lucky enough to live in a country where brave men and women come to our aid when we face the worse moments life can throw at us, sharing in the trauma to help others.

For me, it was the least I could do to get uncomfortable and push myself to raise awareness and funds to help first responders receive the support and care they deserve.

Our time on the mountain showed me how important the ideas behind Camp My Way are.

On our first night after setting up basecamp, sitting around the fire and talking; I could feel the stress of the daily grind leaving me.

The next day, of learning skills to survive on mountains, exercise routines to help deal with stress, and flipping a big-ass tire up a mountain only furthered my feelings of well being, aside from how tired and sore they left me.

The real test was that evening and the morning of our third day.

The clouds had moved in, bringing a snowstorm and cold temperatures that made getting out of the warmth of the tent a battle in the morning.

Cold, tired and wet, there was still our goal and a tire that wasn’t going to flip itself.

Unlike our previous days, I wasn’t feeling the excitement in my frozen state; only after putting aside the situation and remembering why we were there and the daily struggle that people go through that was worse than were I was, break out of the slump and face the snow, wind and tire once again.

Flipping until we reached a point that risked turning the tire into the fastest sled on the mountain, we decided to play it safe and return to Terrance’s cabin to avoid even more snow.

It was an incredible experience, made all the better by getting to know Terrance and Jill, each in their own right unstoppable, and together seem to be a force of nature.

I’ll be following their journey and supporting their cause, and hopefully joining them again in the future to flip onto a summit next time.

 

The Camp My Way team (Jillian Brown & Terrance Kosikar & Guests) Raising awareness to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and sharing the tools to recovery. Flipping a 400lb tire while shackled in 60lbs of chain from lake to mountain summit in the backcountry of British Columbia. Photo: Jillian A. Brown Photography – www.jillianabrownphotography.com

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