This part is where my journey really began. As we got on the ferry, I realized that this is all new to me, and I was anxious. I'd never been on a ferry before, so that was a big first! I was excited and thrilled and filled with anxiety and worry. What if I take a wrong turn and we end up in Nanavut? What if my bike breaks down? Who will come and help? I have connections but we are a long way from those connections, and does CAA tow motorcycles? What if something happens to me, or Ashley? What if we run into a bear?!? Yeah, I know..bears? Oh yeah, bears. I've had nightmares about bears since I was about 4 years old, so this one was an actual fear because we were heading into bear country. *shiver*
Once we were off the ferry, it was a simple matter of following the only highway, the TCH, highway 17. It was so beautiful riding through Manatoulin Island, then heading up north. I've never been this far north, except for when I lived in Sudbury when I was a child. The scenery was stunning, breathtaking, and brought me to tears more than once. But this part of the journey was the hardest part for me. We rode to Sault St. Marie, and then to Wawa through Lake Superior Provincial Park..through the dark, on very twisty mountainous rodes that had me white knuckling all the way. There were a lot of swear words and a lot prayers being sent to any god that was listening.
Ashely is accustomed to riding very twisty roads in Europe, and was having a blast. I hail from the flatlands of Windsor, Ontario, where we have lots of farmer's fields, zero hills and no twisty roads to speak of. And I was leading. So many firsts for me. I've never ridden these kinds of roads, and I don't like leading because I really don't know where I'm going, and I've never ridden this far without my husband. There was so much anxiety and fear. The highway is a two lane highway with some areas for passing, but I was taking curves that weren't flat..these were on hills..with transport trucks coming at me on the left, and 300 foot drops on the right, and I'm pretty sure I forgot to breath on more than one occasion.
Once we got to Wawa, we found a room at a motel (quite thankfully), and then the next day we rode to Thunder Bay and met up with the rest of the ladies taking part in this relay. Some had rode in from BC!
From Thunder Bay we rode back to Wawa, then to Sault St. Marie to Sudbury, and then on to Parry Sound. Again, very twisty mountainous roads, and now with a group of 30-40 women, of whom I only knew 2 - Ashely and Tracey. Tracey is the owner of White Feather Holistic here in Windsor, and is such an inspiration to me, as well as a friend. But again, I was way out of my comfort zone. I was riding with people I don't know, I don't know their abilities or how they ride, and I don't know the roads at all, and I felt so lost. I had no control over anything except my motorcycle, and even then I felt like a beginner. And I was experiencing anxiety and even fear dealing with all of this, as well as the roads.
But here is what I took away from this trip:
There is always fear and anxiety, especially when you are a small business owner. Will I be successful? Will my business thrive? Will I be able to make clients happy? What if it all blows up in my face? What if I fail? And so many daily stresses and worries and fears. I rode this incredible ride, and faced down a lot of fear and anxiety. I was honestly glad whenever we stopped to gas up or eat, just so I could spend a little time getting my shit together. And that's how it applies to my life. I have faced down many fears since starting SculptedYou, and have worked through a lot of daily stress and anxiety. During this trip I worried constantly about how things were going back at the spa, but my awesome assistant took care of my baby like a boss! The anxiety and fear will always be there, but I know I can handle it all. I may need to take a breather every now and then, but I can handle it. I've also learned to reach out when it feels like too much, and talk to other business owners about their fears and anxiety, and how they handled it. I've had another business owner come to me to just unload and vent about fear and anxiety and what to do.
And for all the "what ifs" - what if I fail? What if it doesn't work out? But what if it does? What if everything works out? For the most part it is, and that includes life in general. Going through so many firsts on this journey taught me that I am capable, that I have the abilities to overcome my fears and anxieties, that I can reach out and vent and open up, that success is also a state of mind, that I can handle the curvy roads that life is made up of.
I rode almost 4000km, and learned so much about myself, and learned how to handle my stress and anxiety. I made some very amazing friends who all had stories to share. Amazing stories. I'll be sharing a few of those in future blogs. These women are superheros. And they don't realize how much they helped me, and taught me. I am forever grateful for them, and for doing this. I would have regretted not doing this. So, if there's something you want to do, but "what ifs" are holding you back, and you're facing anxiety and fear, just do it. I'd rather screw up and try again, than always wonder "what if I had succeeded?"
Enjoy the curvy roads, the crazy hills, the bad weather, the good weather, enjoy this journey we call life. Take pictures, remember all that you can, and experience as much as possible. No regrets!