Tea of choice: Vancouver’s Steam Tea House.
What we cover: “I took the road less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” —Robert Frost
Today’s guest is Stacey Shand. If there is a woman more easy to have a Girl Crush on that Stacey Shand, I have yet to meet her.
Stacey is an ultra-extreme endurance athlete and adventurer. She is affectionately known as ‘Racey Stacey’, and she has been keeping a promise she made to herself from her hospital bed following a near tragic auto accident a number of years ago. When she was faced with the realities of what could have been, she vowed never to take her physical abilities – her physical and mental strength – whatever that might look like, for granted again. She went from being virtually inactive and even skipping gym class… to giving her first 5 km a try at the age of 25… to the woman she is today – someone who has done approximately 100 marathons, and a woman intent on completing what are known as the toughest races on the planet. I’m not just talking about Ironman, I’m talking about Ultraman and Marathon de Sables and Badwater.
One of the things she and I talk about is the idea of “the road not taken” – a concept popularized by the poet Robert Frost. So for this episode, I dug out my copy – a copy I have cherished since the mid-1980s when the dad of my best friend Erin – his name was Gordon Simons – was dying and he knew I wanted to be a writer and he shared that his favourite writer was Robert Frost, and he gave me two of his collections. The following year, this poem was read at his funeral. I have it here – so if it’s been a while since you’ve really considered the words and the message, here it is:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Unrelated, but exciting for me: Many of you know I’ve been plant-based for 18 years. Chad, who’s an endurance athlete, has been for about a decade, and I’ve talked about Vega a lot in the past on this show, because I often have a Vega One Smoothie in my hand while I’m recording. Vega is a certified vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, nutrient-dense line of clean, plant-based nutrition products. From protein powders and snack bars to hydration during workouts, our kitchen shelves are perpetually stocked with Vega. And Season 2 is brought to you in part by Vega – which brings me no end of happiness. I legitimately am such a Vega freak, I can’t even tell you. I even lugged my jug of Vega with me across the continent to the British Virgin Islands for the week I spent on Necker Island with Richard Branson, and made shakes for the gang each morning while I was there. That’s how much I love Vega – it didn’t matter that incredible meals were included on each day of my week there – I wanted my Vega shake for breakfast.
My relationship with Vega is such that, if you want to give it a try or if you’re like me and you already have a regular Vega routine, you can save yourself a trip to the store when you order it here – it’s a way for you to have amazing plant-based nutrition delivered right to your door for free (because they offer free shipping on orders of $100 or more) … but it’s also a way to support Tea with a Titan because Vega offers me a percentage of the sales generated from my site. That’s full disclosure — and I thank you in advance.
How you can learn more: