COVID prompts Maple Ridge family to take on 100 hikes

Each day, the Robbins clan – including three young kids – heads out for a walk on a local trail

A love of the outdoors, and a desire to keep her three young children active during the COVID shut downs sparked a challenge that is propelling one Maple Ridge family towards better fitness and a true appreciation of nature.

With so many events cancelled and rec facilities shuttered due to the coronavirus, like so many moms during spring break, MaryAnna Robbins had to get creative in finding ways to occupy her kids.

The result, she decided to take the on a few hikes through local trails.

As the shut downs spread and the duration of the shelter at home efforts expanded, the numbers of family hikes grew – with one each day.

Soon the Robbins reached 20. Then 40. Now… the goal is 100.

“In the early hike days, my five-year-old son said let’s do 100. I thought, ‘oh that might be too many.’ But here we are at [62 as of Thursday, May 14] and we are going for it,” MaryAnna shared.

The hikes are not a big stretch, physically, for Mom. She’s been a competitive runner since she was a young girl.

“The daily hikes have still improved my health, as it allows me to breathe the fresh air improving my overall wellbeing. Just a few minutes in the outdoors can do that,” she said.

But she’s truly impressed with the resilience and stamina of her two older boys Oaklan, age five, and Corenth, three, plus her two-year-old daughter age Nyanna. They’re completing the hikes unassisted, and while most are about an hour and a half long, some have gone as long as three hours (when Dad joins them for weekend outings) and have involved climbing to elevations of 300 metres.

“Our children challenge us because they have positive energy and don’t want to stop. We are so proud of them as they are completing hikes that a lot of children could not do let alone adults,” Mom said, emphasizing that 300m is no easy feat for three young children.

“They are doing amazingly. I honestly cannot believe how well they have done. They look forward to doing it each day and do not see it as a chore or a problem. They have all been very active since they could move and we are seeing their dexterity, endurance, balance, and strength continue to improve each week,” she added, noting the kids love the outdoors, rain or shine, and have been excited to hike.

“Generally speaking yes, it usually happens every morning,” Mom said, noting they do a lot of different hikes in and around Maple Ridge and Mission – admittedly some are repeated.

“A lot of [the hikes] we have just stumbled upon or heard about from friends. Some days we drive and just pull over when we see a hike,” she explained. “It has actually pushed me to step out and find new ones, harder ones, and the off the beaten path hikes.”

A self-proclaimed planner at heart, Robbins said this challenge has pushed her out of that comfort zone a bit.

“Strangely, we have not fully planned all of this out. It depends on weather, how we feel, and I let the children choose their hikes,too, so that they have some choice in completing this goal. It allows them to have a say in where we are going to go,” she said.

Her only stipulation, they must keep to allowed trails.

The family are united in saying the “coolest” hike they’ve tackled, so far at least, has been along a trail near the Bear Mountain Loop in Mission.

Asked if they’re expected to extend the number of hikes beyond their current 100 goal, Robbins said she wasn’t sure “yet.” Depending on lifting of COVID restrictions, they’re actually hoping to spend some serious time at the beach this summer.

“But hiking will still be apart of our weekly activity,” Mom insisted.

“Our family loves the outdoors, but goals like this for our family help teach our children that daily physical activity is an important part of life, health, and wellness,” she added.

”We have seen the results in our children in that they sleep well, eat well and are generally happy by being outdoors and active. It teaches them mental toughness, setting goals and achieving them, perseverance and determination and that even when things get tough we won’t give up (ie. Inclement weather doesn’t stop us). We strongly believe that if you teach your children healthy habits from a young age, it will most likely stick with them for the rest of their life. These aren’t just goals we are setting and achieving together, they are teaching opportunities for a healthy way of life.”

.

• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusHikingmaple ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Maple Ridge’s Kanaka Creek park expands

Metro Vancouver adds almost four hectares to the 450-hectare regional park

Body of Maple Ridge man recovered near Harrison Lake

21-year-old last seen on May 16 when he fell into Silver Creek

LETTER: Petition author angered by Pitt Meadows mayor

One opponent of the North Lougheed redevelopment calls Bill Dingwall’s reaction ‘dismissive’

Maple Ridge playgrounds set to reopen June 1

Health and safety protocols remain in place

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Chilliwack teachers, assistants concerned with lack of PPE guidelines ahead of school reopening

As schools get ready to open, many worry measures won’t be enough to protect students from COVID-19

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read