We spoke to Steve Boryszczuk, a Discover Adventure participant that caught our eye for all the right reasons. Steve has now completed six challenges with us, and is due to complete his seventh. Other than being an adrenaline-seeking adventurer, we wondered what had inspired him to embark on six of our challenges over the years. When we heard his inspiring and poignant story that led him to take on these worldly experiences, we just had to share it with our fellow adventurers.
We'll pass the reigns over to Steve to tell his touching account of adventure.
"Years ago, my wife Michelle, and I had talked about doing treks once our two sons had grown up. We had decided on six challenges to complete before we got too old. The chosen challenges were the Great Wall of China, Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Hadrian's Wall, Yorkshire Three Peaks, Trek Costa Rica and Trek Bhutan.
Sadly, Michelle passed away before we were able to complete these challenges, so I decided to complete them in her memory. I left a brass plaque in each place with a piece of Michelle's hair, to say she had been there with me.
While Michelle loved walking, neither of us had ever done anything like this before. So, completing a trek of this scale was a new concept for me. I prepared for the challenges by walking everywhere and even sold my car so I had no other option but to walk even further."
That's very courageous, Steve. Did you have any concerns as the challenges got ever closer?
"I didn't really have any fears ahead of the challenges because my focus was completing them in Michelle's memory, no matter what. There were definite hard points throughout the treks. The altitude was tough and at times, I was so tired I felt like giving in. But I thought 'no, Michelle is with me and I have to do this for her, and her memory'. And this kept me going."
What has been your favourite moments from your adventures?
"The Great Wall of China is my favourite trek of all of the challenges I have completed so far, it was a truly amazing experience. Something that made this one even more special is that this was the trek that Michelle had wanted to do more than any.
However, all of the treks have had stand out moments and have helped me in one way or another. When I trekked Bhutan, we met with monks at the Tiger's Nest Monastery that perches on the mountain side. They carried out a ten minute chant in the Monastery High, organised by the DA leader, Greg, and I left my plaque in Michelle's memory. It was a very emotional moment not just for me, but everyone on the trek and one that I will always remember and treasure."
Learning from the adventure
Such precious memories made along the way. What else have you taken from your challenges or learnt along the way?
"I have learnt so much from the challenges. From how to best train for each trek to the knowledge I gained from the local guides and DA leaders about the countries I've explored. But if there is one thing I had to chose from my learning, it is to live for today, as tomorrow isn't promised. Life is too short to put off doing what you want to do.
I've made good friends from my many challenges, as my fellow trekkers were so kind when I felt sad and the DA leaders supported me enormously throughout each of the challenges. It really helped me to get to the end and complete my six challenge goal. I feel by doing the treks that Michelle wanted to do herself, and meeting the amazing people I have along the way, it has helped me to try and come to terms with the death of my wife. All the while, raising money for the Alzheimer's cause."
A truly amazing way of finding positivity in the most darkest of places, and paying respect to Michelle. And you're due another adventure in the near future!
"Yes, I have signed up to the 'Trek Angkor Wat' challenge with my new partner, Karen, in November this year. Once you have experienced one adventure, you get the bug. This trek is just for me, and I'm sure I will love every minute of it."
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Steve. We're so happy we have been able to be a part of your journey and can't wait for you to join us again.
TIME TO LIVE THE ADVENTURE
Inspired to take an adventure of your own? Check out our challenges and make your ultimate bucket list experience a reality. Like Steve so aptly says, 'life is too short to put off doing what you want to do'.