Watch our Launch Video here of the Avon Trail Thru-Run!
Darkness wakes us, the Envisions team that gathered here. We stand together at a rock I’d missed in the winter snow weeks before. Jeff, Sally, Susan, Steve, Steph, Steven, Karen, Bernard, and likely more I couldn’t see. Some had come to run all 111km of the Avon Trail from St. Mary's to Conestgo. Some came to share in a leg of the journey. Others we would find throughout the day I’m certain. By the river we stood. A community newly formed for a purpose, the beginning of this little dream we have to change the world.
The town sleeps as we begin. Perhaps they miss our passing. This makes me grin, for I miss their passing all the time under the sun. Perhaps that’s slightly fair. Crossing the water I breathe in that scent, that fresh spring catch. You know the one? A mix of defrosting worms and the promise of knee high mud for the day? Bless this trail, bless these feet. Let them carry us through, or if not at least the message of our quest.
Other’abled Athletes are not often seen at all, let alone seen attempting thru-runs at the ripe hour of stupid o’clock. Our support team is amazing, guide runners, support runners, company runners, crew, shuttle and those who just stop in for a smile at the side of a road. They all give the story wings. The Avon Trail, tucked away and mostly still a slumber, offered the ground to tread, but the story moves through us all. The purpose of this non-profit, Envisions Project, is to create a space to dialogue about disability and sport, to empower the other’abled to reach beyond a comfort zone and accomplish a big scary goal or two.
Up a few small climbs, through muddy rutted fields, across creeks aplenty, boardwalks, sidewalks, roadside, and into the forest our team shuffled. Our pace varied greatly throughout the day. The original goal was to accomplish the entire 111km in under 20hours. The varying abilities of our runners each leg changed our pace as the day crept forward. Disability can be like that sometimes, offering different skills in different situations as time and circumstance change. Any life can be like that sometimes. Any runner would tell you, everything can change on race day. Any other’abled person could tell you the struggle of safety crossing a road to buy groceries or pick up the mail can change on a traffic whim, on a weather whim, on an equipment failure, or on garbage day. Relentlessly the team trudged forward, through a night and into the next morning. If nothing else demonstrating that we all carry on.
To watch the earth wake up, both seasonally and again the second morning, is a gift. How often do you stand alone in the middle of a not yet planted field and stare up at an orange moon? How many times have you become the arrow on the compass under so many stars? Have you ever looked fear in the face and screamed into the wind “What, that’s it? That’s your best counter attack?” Forward movement one slow step at a time, our team climbed that last hill in Conestgo some 28.5 hours later.
Envisions welcomes the chance to stand tall and share with the world. We pull together like minded people, adventurers, to join the team and accomplish a ‘project’. Together we dismantle this notion of the “other” and turn it upside down. Together we support each other, we guide each other, we keep each other going. We reach towards a big scary goal. Together we challenge mainstream and inch in a place for dialogue and example of disability and sport.
Envisions would like to thank all the team members that came out and participated in our Avon Trail Thru-Run. We would also like to thank the Avon Trail for helping to enable our passage and spread our story.
If you have a Project idea, let us know! We would love to hear from you. Envisions is a not for profit charitable organization that sets out to help 'other'abled athletes to achieve their goals. Through connections and networking we empower athletes to accomplish the Big Scary Goals we all have. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.envisionsproject.com
If you’d like to get involved in a Project or just find our more please visit our website www.envisionsproject.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Cheers to your many adventures!