The Canyon Hike

As part of my pledge to Okangan Elite Athlete‘s #TakeTheActivePledge, I went on an 11km, with a 1.2km vertical distance hike recently. These are some observations.

The feet spring off the marble shaped pebbles as they traverse the path that wanders between the green, lush trees;

Up a step we go;

The seventy steps to the top step-by-step.

Up the one side of a canyon;

Down a side;

In the valley bottom, the feet crunch a twig underneath.

A being deep inside the brain pushes an arm into a pocket;

The push of an iPod button turns on the silence.

Round the bend of the lushest green trees;

Three voices the ears hear.

How the brain knows before the humans know,

Three voices of family who have become friends.

Without a look back, papa moves to the side;

Takes his granddaughter and points to layers of the land.

Up the other canyon side, I go;

Feet slowly rising against gravity;

Pushing the will to finish hard;

As little birds make a mockery of gravity up above.

The lungs push against the feel of a million horses as the eyes can see the green glove;

That is the valley floor.

Only one’s thoughts as the mouth, so tired from society’s words;

Slowly breaks out in smile.

Put then something that does not happen often;

The eyes, the beautiful pure blue eyes, open in smile.

A bench made of the beautiful cedar trees that complete the green canopy;

Rests one person.

Birds chase each other in purposeless play;

A honey bee escapes to pollinate another flower;

Far below in the canyon floor, what few human eyes will ever see, scurry.

Then the old man appears at the crest of the path;

With his friends that are family and his family that are his friends;

He leads his wife and granddaughter to the other bench;

Where they sit and breathe in the accomplishment of climbing a canyon.

The old man, never without a smile in his eyes, sees another human being;

With no words spoken, these two men do not speak the same language;

The old man teaches his young granddaughter something no school or school teacher ever can;

The old man slowly lifts his tired body and reaches out a clenched fist to a stranger;

With no words, the man releases his muscles to reveal something so basic;

A small piece of food – so essential for human life;

A snack for energy to a stranger;

How when in the wilderness there are no strangers, all must be friends.

The stranger takes the basic human necessity from the old man’s hands;

Without any words or more gestures, they need no words;

The old man returns to his bench;

His wife pierces her husband’s eyes;

She thanks him for his kindness to a stranger who do not speak the same verbal language;

And the old man and old woman teach their young granddaughter a life lesson;

Kindness is a language all humans speak;

Caring is a language all humans speak;

One does not need words to change the world.

The water at the canyon bottom may be glacier cold;

But wherever a human, there are hearts of gold.

Please join me as we #TakeTheActivePledge!  And join one3ag’s campaign to recognize that all humans can and are #beadifferencemaker.


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Adam is President and Co-Founder of the social enterprise, one3ag. He is currently helping develop Okanagan Elite Athlete. You can connect with Adam by: Twitter; Email (; Facebook; LinkedIn; Web; In-person. You can connect with one3ag by: Twitter; Email (; Blog; and Facebook. You can connect with Okanagan Elite Athlete by: Twitter; Email (; and Facebook.


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