Wednesday, 16 October 2013 14:57

Cross-Canada Canoe Odyssey teaches perseverance

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I would like you to meet Nathalie Brunet. She is courageous and she has the determination to test herself against a range of challenges. Her story and her accomplishments are inspiring.


In 2011, Nathalie and a team of five paddlers canoed across Canada. They started in Vancouver and ended 171 days later in Saint John, New Brunswick. The team broke the previous cross-Canada record by 12 days.
“I thought this would be a great way to see Canada,” explained Nathalie. The 28-year-old engineer said she also wanted to experience being in a team and she hoped to learn more about herself and learn how to handle a challenge.  
When asked how the six-month, 8,000-kilometre trek impacted her, Nathalie answered now she feels like she can do anything.
“It gave me the confidence to take on any situation.”
The confidence she gained carried to other aspects of her life. 
When asked about sharing her wisdom for taking on challenges, Nathalie’s advice is to think it through and plan it carefully so it goes well. 
Nathalie said the Cross Canada Canoe Odyssey went well because of the team’s careful planning, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t difficulties.
In B.C., Lake Revelstoke’s large, submerged trees made navigating tricky while the strong Manitoba winds on Lake Winnipegosis provoked large, unruly waves.
The journey began April 17, 2011 in Vancouver with a 150-km paddle upstream on the Fraser River followed by a hard series of bicycling, paddling and portaging intervals until they crossed the Rocky Mountains.
They arrived in the upper reaches of the North Saskatchewan River on which they paddled for 1,850 kms across Alberta then Saskatchewan and into Manitoba where they descended Lake Winnipegosis and Lake Manitoba before arriving in Winnipeg in early July.
From Winnipeg, the crew headed towards Lake of the Woods and then reached Lake Superior at the height of summer. From there, the team crossed Lake Huron and canoed the French, Mattawa and Ottawa Rivers. As fall arrived, they plied the St. Lawrence before portaging into the St. John River basin.
The grand adventure ended in the harbour of St. John, NB, Oct. 4.
When asked why a person should challenge oneself, Nathalie answered, “You have more to gain by doing it than by not doing it.” That’s so true.
Canoe Odyssey won the Royal Canadian Geographic Society’s Expedition of the Year.
To learn more about the Canoe Odyssey, visit the website at: http://cancanoeodyssey.sportisite.com.
(Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. He is the first person to undertake that journey. He enjoys outdoor sports such as camping, hunting, fly fishing and canoeing. For more information about his speaking engagements, please call 306-661-8975 or visit his website www.canoetoneworleans.com.)

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Dominique Liboiron

Dominique Liboiron is a speaker, author, teacher, journalist and photographer. To raise awareness about heart disease and to honour the life of one of its victims, Liboiron canoed from Saskatchewan to New Orleans. He is the first person to undertake that journey. He enjoys outdoor sports such as camping, hunting, fly fishing and canoeing.