When I first thought about swimming in Haida Gwaii, I wanted to be the first person to complete a marathon swim – a distance of 10 kilometres. I carefully planned three potential routes. After spending a close to a week there however, my goal changed. It changed for two reasons.
The first reason was the around the idea of being the first. When you visit a place where the ancestors, in this case Haida, are known to have been in the territory for 12,000 to 15,000 years, you quickly realize that it is highly unlikely you will be the first to do anything. There is a high probability that someone did it a long time ago and it was not recorded or claimed in the way modern day athletes like to record and claim things.
The second reason, which ultimately became the deciding factor for both swims, was one of legacy. As an athlete with a disability (Multiple Sclerosis) I wanted my legacy to be one of firsts and world records. This however changed in Haida Gwaii. What I would like to be remembered for is the impact I have on those around me. I want to make the lives of others a little brighter, particularly when it comes to the lives of people with disabilities.