Is summer mania something that you experience?
Items picked up
Cigarette butts – well over 200 (Saki and myself picked up over 100 each)
Plastic stickers from fruit – over 150 (I picked up at least 100)
Bags of dog poo – 12 or more
Broken bottles and glass pieces – over 100 (I picked up at least 40)
Pieces of wrappers from granola bars, etc – over 100 (I picked up at least 50)
Eye patch for sleeping
Smartphone plastic casing
Plastic bottles – 2 or more (I picked up two)
Kleenex – many (didn’t count)
Circular knobs from Croc sandals – 10 or more (I picked up ten of these)
It was so wonderful to have 12 people join me in cleaning up Tunnel Mtn! When I got to the Tunnel Mtn Road area on the way up the first lap I saw an elk eating. I had tears. To me it was so meaningful and fitting to see an elk eating in the area where others and I would be cleaning up. Of the many reasons to do a cleanup, one big one is to make the area more pristine for wildlife. I took a video which is above in this post. When I met the first volunteer Michelle coming up the trail after I was finishing my first lap, she already had a full grocery-sized plastic bag of garbage. She collected that on the way to the trailhead. Near the bottom of the trail at the end of my first lap I saw an elk eating again. Pretty sure it was the same one as before. Again I had some strange liquid substance coming out of my eyes, and I shot another video (Part 2 above). When I started going up the trail for my second lap I saw Michelle below the Tunnel Mtn Road parking area deep in the trees picking up garbage. Coming down from my second lap I met Marife, Rogelio and Albert. They saw the Facebook event post. They were all wearing gloves and big smiles! A little further down the trail my buddy Joe and his friend Lianne were there with plastic bags in hand. They both joked about whether to pose WITH the plastic bag in hand for the picture (I took a photo of everyone who participated). While talking to them, Jean-Francois came up to us at a fast pace. He had driven in from Canmore to join us in cleaning up the trail! As the four of us were talking, Saki met us. He was keen and there despite only having two hours sleep and going to a wedding shortly after. After finishing my second lap I was at the trailhead doing a Facebook event update post and Eric met me. He was keen to help and we started cleaning together and hiking up (for my third lap). While Eric and I were cleaning and hiking, we were joined by Jess, Kim, Kiki and Kim’s dog Earthy. They were all happy to help as well 🙂
My highlights, thoughts and lessons
It meant so much to me that friends of mine, friends of friends and new friends came to join me! When I did the event posting I was optimistic that a few people would join me. That being said I had no expectations and was very pleasantly surprised that 12 people did come out with relatively short notice! I’m truly grateful to those 12 people for taking time out of their day to help cleanup Tunnel Mtn. They were all so energetic and excited to clean up garbage! One of the volunteers was even picking up logs and checking for garbage under them. Everyone had a smile on their face and a bag in their hand. Wonderfully supportive, energetic, caring and kind people.
Just do it
I had the idea to do an organized cleanup of Tunnel Mtn trail on Friday June 1 while hiking Sulphur Mountain. That day I was hiking Sulphur twice on my own doing a training hike for 6 Peaks Lake Louise, an upcoming bipolar disorder awareness and fundraising hike that friends and I are doing on September 12. After coming down from the hike I went into a local clothing store where I know a few of the managers. I asked a friend who was managing at the store that day if they would be willing to share about the cleanup and she instantly said yes! I told her that it would be a Facebook event through my business Facebook page and she said no worries. Next I went home and created the Facebook event, shared it with a few Bow Valley event Facebook groups, invited a few people directly through messages, asked some business owners in town who I know to share it, and then went and talked to some more store managers around town. In the span of 2 hours the event was brought to life and publicly visible with people joining!
As I mentioned above, once I posted the event I truly had no idea how many people would be joining me. I told myself that whoever is meant to be there will be there. And that the number of people doesn’t matter. What does matter is that whoever does come is there willingly and doing so because they love nature…and are there since they’d love to help make the trail even more beautiful. When I went around and talked to different businesses in town, and also messaged various business owners, they were all very happy to hear about the event. Some told me that they would share/post about the event. I realized that most managers and business owners have a lot on their plates. Even though they said they would share/post about the event it might not happen. I accepted that it was a possibility the event would not be shared by them especially with short notice. And that’s okay!
After the event I realized that most businesses did not share about the event. As I just wrote above I figured that might happen. And you know what? I accepted that and was not angry about it. Bottom line is it was very short notice and this was the first time that I had done an organized cleanup in Banff. I’m setting the intention that with more notice for the next cleanup, those and other businesses will post and share about the event!
When I came up for the idea for this organized cleanup hike while hiking Sulphur Mountain, I also had ideas for other areas in Banff and Canmore to do organized cleanups. During the Tunnel Mtn cleanup I had various ideas for ways to get potentially both more people and local businesses involved in the next cleanup. Hiking at a slow pace on my own is one of the places where I do my best thinking and come up with many ideas. During the first lap of this cleanup I had many ideas related to future cleanups bubble up. I’m not comfortable sharing them publicly. You will find about them in future cleanups 🙂
Purely optional, I asked cleanup participants to bring a loonie or two to donate to 6 Peaks Lake Louise. It’s a bipolar disorder awareness and fundraising hike that friends and I are doing on Sep 12. The twelve people who came out to the cleanup donated $17. That equates to a loonie or two each!
For a few years I now celebrate my entire birthday week – not only my birthday.
First of all, I’ve had many suicidal thoughts thoughts during my bipolar disorder journey. Especially the first five years from 2000 to 2005.
Secondly, in my 30’s I was someone who didn’t really celebrate my birthday at all. When my Mom or brother would ask “what are you doing for your birthday?” I would normally say “nothing”. Sometimes I’d go out for supper or a drink with my brother or a buddy, however it was very low key.
Another reason that I now celebrate my birthday week is to model this for others going through a hard time…to give them hope. Hope that it is possible to lead a happy, healthy and mentally stable life despite being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
I’m truly grateful and fortunate to have had the support of my brother and friends in celebrating my birthday week!
Here’s a recap of my birthday week:
I met my friend Alanna at the Nordic Centre in Canmore. We went mountain biking on easy trails and biked side by side while talking pretty well the whole time. Her back was sore and this ended up being a blessing. If her back was 100% we would have been taking more technical trails riding single file and not talking near as much. During our time biking we stopped and had snacks at some beautiful viewpoints.
After getting back to Banff I met my friend Amelia and played tennis for a little while. It was great to hit the ball around after not doing so for a couple of years! She hadn’t played in a while either. I used to play a lot in high school and in my early 20’s.
That night I created a tasty and non-traditional healthy meal. It consisted of homemade almond-chocolate non-dairy ice cream, a salad with 100% organic vegetables and a honey/apple cider vinegar dressing, store bought blueberry/maple kombucha, and homemade hemp milk.
I treated myself to a double scoop ice cream cone at Cows here in Banff. The bottom scoop was “Ooey-gooey” which is a chocolate chunk/maple mixed with vanilla ice cream. The top scoop was “PEI strawberry”.
The week before my birthday I had a brainwave to do an organized cleanup of Tunnel Mountain trail here in Banff on Tuesday June 5 during my birthday week. I posted an event on the Scott Inside Out business Facebook page and shared that with different pages and businesses here in the Bow Valley. 12 people joined me! By far the most common thing we picked up was cigarette butts (hundreds). Surprisingly the second most common item were stickers from fruit. Random objects that we picked up included a baby shoe, an eye mask for sleeping, and a large part of a phone case.
On Wednesday evening I did a mountain bike ride with my buddy Joe on my favourite Banff technical trail called Topp Notch. It’s on the back of Tunnel Mountain. We had plenty of opportunities to stop and chat, as well as a few wipeouts. Fortunately nothing serious. It was fun!
Thursday June 7 was my actual birthday. This year it was truly a wonderful day! My day started hiking Moose Meadows trail to the Ink Pots with my friend Annie. I often refer to her as my “2nd Mom”. Neither of us had hiked the Moose Meadows trail and we were fortunate to have the trail to ourselves. After the hike we enjoyed a relaxing spa afternoon at the Fairmont Banff Springs Willow Stream Spa. They graciously extended the local’s rate to Annie (she lives in Calgary). The two of us and six other friends then had supper on the patio at MacLab Bistro at the Banff Centre. I really enjoyed my birthday dinner with Annie, Tyler, Sam, Andrew, Saki, Amelia and Jim. Fantastic conversations and fun! Tyler and Sam bought me a tasty dessert, and a friend (I know who!) kindly paid for my supper during the meal. After supper I went back to the spa for the last 45 minutes and celebrated on my own my first day of being 45.
I treated myself to a fantastic deep tissue massage from Glenn Brual.
I met my brother in Calgary. We then drove to Edmonton and went various places before attending a Team Canada men’s rugby game versus Scotland at Commonwealth Stadium. We talked the whole day about a bunch of things. We got back to Calgary late and I really enjoyed the day!
What do you desire to do when you isolate?
1. Read this excellent blog post written by Julie Fast around this topic: https://www.bphope.com/blog/the-end-o…
2. Give yourself 15-20 minutes and create your own list
3. Share some or all of your list below this video
4. If you’re not comfortable sharing publicly email email@example.com.