#Ywalk was worth my while!

#Ywalk was worth my while! - blog post image
16 Aug 2017
Up to and including the morning of, I was excited, yet nervous about walking from the Port Carling area all the way to Bracebridge.  I had done it last year from Milford Bay and had been surprised about how much I enjoyed it (even though it was 37 degrees with no shade).  The reason I was nervous this year was because I had put on a few pounds and did not have the same spring in my step as I had last year, so to speak.

Off I went to meet Beth and Karen (both experienced hikers) and figured what the heck - I could always call someone to get me back home if indeed something went wrong (i.e. monster blisters, sunstroke, etc...).  Luckily for me, it was amazing!  The weather was much better than last year, 24 degrees with very little humidity, and we had some cloud cover which made a big difference.

What about it was so amazing you ask?  Well I will start with the most obvious,  Muskoka is a beautiful place to walk through!  I know this in theory,  I drive this particular road daily but sometimes miss all the beauty on my way through.  Waterfalls, butterflies, lakes and ponds - not to mention all of the people!  We received lots of honks and waves on our journey.  

The next part was the conversation.  Beth has organized this walk in order to support the work of the YWCA Muskoka and the programs offered to women and girls.  This year the walk focused on the ones that support mental health and well-being.  I'm sure most of us, if not all of us, know a woman or young woman who is experiencing some kind of mental health challenge.  During the walk some of our conversation circled around the question of whether the amount of mental health challenges we are seeing in young women has increased or is it that we know more today and there is less stigma in talking about it?  We definitely decided that there are more challenges facing our youth today, some of it having to do with social media and being "on" 24/7 and feeling the need to fit in and be present for all things that are happening.  That is a ton of pressure, plus you have to look really good doing it!  There is no way anyone can sustain that kind of pressure.  Somewhere, somehow there has to be balance.

We discussed some of the ways of supporting a healthy diet of mental health and here are a few things we came up with;  getting a proper diagnoses for mental health concerns, medication when needed, supporting that diagnosis with mindfulness, exercise, healthy eating, social connection AND putting down that damn phone!  I admit it's even hard for us so called knowledgeable adults so I can't imagine what the modern young person is dealing with and knowing when to say okay, good night phone (used to be good night moon!).

So all in all I would say that walking through Muskoka with inspirational women like Beth and Karen is a very worthwhile thing to do and I applaud and cheer Beth on as she is walking, not just for one day, but for nine (insert wow emoji here!), and has been walking with some wonderful people along the way.  

And.... I only got one HUGE blister!

Jiana Cutting
(future trail walker)

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