When the sun rises over the community, for a few short hours, the community awakes. People on skidoo’s zoom across the the frozen bay heading in all sorts of directions. Hunters get out and fix their sleds, preparing for their next trip. Community workers make their way to the small office buildings. Others brew up a fresh pot of tea while bannock bread is warming up in the oven. I head out on my run.
The cold air brings tears to my eyes. The sun beams off of the shimmering snow. I take the path most traveled and run up to the airport. As I approach the airplane takes off. It is a rare sight, there is only one plane every few days. This moment makes me think of the time I have spent here and where I am heading afterwards.
When I first arrived it was a bitter sweet feeling. I had finished an amazing summer traveling throughout the world to compete on the international stage. I performed above and beyond my expectations and was hungry for more. However, during all of that time, everything was very much focused on my own story.
I have often said that it takes a team to create an athlete. My parents taught me that it takes a community to build a person, but it also takes friends and relationships to live life to its fullest.
The moments that I enjoy the most when I have spent time with people and heard their stories. Here, the simple act of living is cherished every day. People work together to make sure that each and everyone is having a good day. While visiting elders and hearing stories from long ago, you can see the warmth of the sun shining in their eyes. The memories of tradition and culture flowing throughout the room, creating a certain happy ambiance. Although it is silent, the joyful spirits bring noise to the room. The laughter that resonates echoes for days.
This year has been incredible, but not because of what I have done, but the people around me. Some have faced uphill battles, others have had experiences of their own, they have shared their love and laughter. In the end we have created a colourful story. My perspective might be different from theirs but it is the living tale that holds the most detail.
There are only two weeks left of my Arctic Adventure, but the story does not end there…
By Geneviève Lalonde
A collection of stories and tales. Reminiscing the past and exploring the future.