That Little Spark

The year was 2013….

July to be exact.  On a family vacation.  In Jasper.  Mother Nature’s outdoor adventure park.

I’ve had issues with emotional eating and my weight for most of my adult life.  It had held me back in many areas but somehow that burger always meant more than having the body shape and ability I wanted.

Until this trip.

In 1994 I was a kayak instructor.  LOVE kayaking. On this family vacation in July my hips barely fit into the kayak.  Ugh.  How embarrassing.  And the “kid” pushing me off the shore looked like he might have a heart attack pushing my kayak in.  I felt awkward, embarrassed, and a little sad.  My love of kayaking was slipping away if I got much bigger.  My mind began to shift.  What do I really want out of life?  A burger that adds to my sadness or an experience that brings me joy?  JOY.  I want more JOY!  Something has to change.


Skip ahead to the next day.  We had never done the Jasper Tram before and wanted to give it a try.  I thought easy peasy – probably similar to Banff Gondola.

Boy was I wrong!

I read that it takes the average “fit” person 30-45 mins to reach the summit from the Tram landing.  It took me about 1.5 hours to reach the summit.

Typically I would have just puttered around the boardwalk and took some pics.  From the boardwalk it does look easy to get to the summit.  As I started the climb I could feel my heart start to pump, the air was getting thinner, sweat was forming.

I.  was.  doing.  it!


I’d hike the steep incline for a few minutes then sit and rest on a rock until I caught my breath then hike some more. I struggled with the fact that I felt like I was holding the boys up so I urged them to go ahead at their own pace so I could achieve this guilt free and on my own terms.  Every so often they would look back and wave.  Likely, checking to see that I was still alive!

I admit I was feeling my unfit 40 year old body.  I felt like a little old lady having to stop every so often but it was what I needed to do in order to achieve the goal.  Baby steps.  One foot in front of the other.  And look where it got me!


The MOST beautiful sight I ever did see.  360 degrees of awesome mountain views.  My reward.  I didn’t just hike the summit that day.  I hiked past it.  Until the land wouldn’t let us go any further.  I felt AWESOME, amazing, and accomplished.  I want more of those feelings!

It was on this day that a little spark, deep inside me, started the fire in my soul.  The fire to find that adventurous, nature loving, and spirited girl that’s still in there behind the years of struggle, the fat, the comfort food and the self limiting beliefs.

The wind whispered to me “come out and play.”  I did and The Universe opened up in magical big ways.  But I’ll save that story for another day.







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10 Comments on "That Little Spark"

  1. Andrea Phare says:

    This is such a beautiful story. I am inspired by the strength of your amazing spirit. Watch out world, Melsha’s making things happen!

  2. Aly Pain says:

    Goose bumps and leaky eyes. I love your story and that the spark within you had never gone out. I am so grateful that spark met with the fuel of opportunity that day and propelled you on this journey. You rock!

  3. sue says:

    so proud of you!

  4. Lori says:

    It’s so good to hear your reasons why. Not to try to look like a girl in a magazine, but to really live your life the way you want to. I really like that. <3

  5. Briana says:

    Beautiful Article Melsha. I’m so happy for you on this journey. You make me want to better myself so I can experience more joy in my life.

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