A Hike like no other!
Some of you know the 2022 version of Florence, always ready to help you find the best clothes to go exploring. If I have such a passion for helping and encouraging you, it is because I am proof on two legs that with the right equipment and a little patience, anyone can find their place in the great world of outdoors!
To give you a picture of me, I have never been the most athletic person… I remember when I was younger that my only sporting activities (and the term is BIG!) were downhill skiing in the winter (I don't don't hide that my favorite moment was hot chocolate at the end of the day!) and swimming in the summer.
The click was made in a pandemic. Like many, I started simply by walking in my neighborhood. I walked a good 30 minutes a day. Unfortunately, my feet started to hurt a lot after a few weeks… My husband had the solution! He suggested that I go get a good pair of hiking boots. I won't hide from you that I laughed in his face! In my head, at that time, it was the kind of equipment that was not for me and my little walks in Villeray. For me a normal pair of shoes was enough while Mr. didn't let go and continued to talk to me about it.
After several months and with the intention of proving to him that it was not going to change anything for me, I folded. I went shopping for hiking boots backwards. I'll spare you the detail of how hard it was to find, almost as hard as convincing me to shop in the first place. The result was mind-blowing! Thanks to my man, I finally felt good in a pair of boots! And much better than in any shoes.
The following months, I continued to "take" my walks in my neighborhood and without the pain in my feet! That's when I caught myself enjoying the activity for real! And this, until winter came back when I thought I had to put my boots away and take them out only in the spring. This time again, my “personal cheerleader” didn't wait for my agreement before getting to work and a few weeks later, I had new insulated boots and suitable clothing. Nothing too special, just a shell in which I could put a down jacket and a pair of merino wool suits. For the first time in my life, I had clothes adapted to my shapes and which kept me warm.
I will always remember my first “real” hike! We had decided to go hiking in Parc national d'Oka. I didn't say a word about the trip. I was terrified. I was never going to be able to climb the Calvaire d'Oka! I really wanted to turn around and go home! “I'm pocket! ”I said to myself. “Everyone is going to judge me” I repeated to myself. Once again, I had forgotten who supported me in my right corner. Arrived on the spot, he said to me: “I discovered that there are paths which leave from the beach where one can do only a few kilometers and there does not seem to be too many uneven ones. I want you to have fun on your first ''real'' hike!” Being told that triggered something in me. For the first time, I felt validated in my definition of the outdoors. For the first time, I felt taken into account in the activity! We did not expect more from me that I have fun moving.
This first time was for me the beginning of a long love affair with hiking! It changed, at home, the vision I had of the outdoors. Suddenly, the outdoors could be as simple and enjoyable as the walks I took in my neighborhood. It was mostly about being outdoors, in good company and having fun.
See you next time, for the rest of my outdoor adventures.
Text written by Florence from Sportive Plus Laval.
Thank you Florence, enjoy your hikes in comfort.