“It was kind of surreal,” she said. “It’s hard to put into words.”
Crane is part of a four-member team of chiropractic students from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Ontario who are biking across the country for Unleash Your Potential.
The national health and wellness campaign aims to motivate, inspire and education youth. It’s a student run initiative that tours biannually and all the team members attend the chiropractic college.
Crane, who already has a bachelor of kinesiology degree from Memorial University, is about to start her second year of studies at the school.
Last October teammates Jordan Morin-McCool of Manitoba and Jared Barrieau of Ontario, who had been picked by the 2015 team, visited her class to talk about the tour and how they were looking for two people to apply.
Not a big biker, Crane was still interested in the adventure as she saw it as a way to challenge herself. It also fit in with her interest in health and fitness and connecting with people, especially children.
“I love getting that connection with the young children and teaching then, inspiring them,” said Crane. “Because kids are like little sponges and they suck up everything that you tell them, and if you lead by example they’re going to follow.”
Through the tour the team members talk to youth about taking charge of their own health and well-being. That includes eating breakfast everyday, being active for 60 minutes everyday and making sure they wear a properly fitted helmet when riding their bicycles or scooters.
Crane learned she made the team in November and spent the winter training.
The team left Vancouver on June 4 and ride between 150-160 kilometres a day. Morin-McCool and Barrieau do half the kilometres and she and Mason the other half. When not riding, team members travel in a support vehicle.
While it’s been a physical endeavour, Crane said the challenge of it is really mentally, being on a bike for four hours a day, seven days a week.
“When I feel like I can’t pedal anymore I think about all the people that didn’t think I could do this.”
That she, said gives her the motivation to go on.
As she approached home Sunday, Crane was met with a little added motivation.
Just outside Stephenville her dad, Ian Crane, joined the team. Seeing him after coming so far left her feeling pure joy.
Then near Pinchgut Lake came another surprise when her mom, Anita Elliott, and brother, Jared Crane, joined in.
She said it was overwhelming and amazing to have them with her and know that she had such a big support system riding by her side.
On Monday morning the team connected with some children attending the Town of Massey Drive’s summer program and will leave today for Springdale. They hope to reach St. John’s by Friday.
As for the impact the journey so far has had on her, Crane said it’s opened her eyes to the different parts of Canada and the issues you don’t often see.
“You’re going to see different things and run into different people," she said. "I realize there’s more out there.”