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The Barefoot Runner

November 07, 2020

The Barefoot Runner

For our third outdoor story journal, we will be showcasing the adventure lifestyle of Joseph Michael Liu. To say the least, Joseph is a very active 39-year-old outdoor enthusiast. He has been featured in tons of outdoor magazines and news websites due to his remarkable outdoor spirit and thirst for adventure. From attempting to run semi-barefoot across the American Continent to working as a photographer, here's a quick peek at the amazing life of Joseph Michael Liu.

Before graduating with an engineering degree in Montreal, Joseph tells us that he started questioning himself and figured he wanted to do something big, unique, and significant that would push him beyond his limits & transcend. After a year of preparation, as soon as Joseph graduated, he decided to run solo and semi-barefoot across the American Continent. In doing so, he also wanted to raise funds for Pathways to Education in Canada and Edible School Yard in the US. Sadly circumstances only allowed him to run almost 3,000 miles across North America and he only made it to the southern border of Mexico. But thanks to this journey, Canadian Running Magazine awarded Joseph with "2014 Male Runner of the Year".

That's one part of the story! After taking on such a daring yet inspiring adventure, Joseph got into photography. He went back to Canada but this time in “Whistler” where he found a job as a photographer. Joseph tells us Whistler was a perfect canvas for his love for photography and adventure. But Joseph wasn't quite ready for what was about to happen next in his life. During work snowboarding as a photographer, Joseph caught an edge and tumbled 130 feet off-piste pin-balling multiple trees. This lead to his femur shattered in 4 pieces, cracked helmet causing a brain concussion and cervical and thoracic spinal injury. But thankfully he was able to fully recover after a year and a half. After going through this difficult phase of his life, Joseph wanted to turn the next chapter and so he moved to the Canadian Rockies to continue his love for exploration and adventure.

Talking about his passion for the great outdoors, Joseph explains to us that he remembers going camping in Mexico every summer since he was 6 years old. Meaning he probably got attached to the idea of traveling and exploring at a very young age. When asked about what excites him the most about going outdoors, Joseph replied back saying exploring and discovering what is beyond the limits is the ultimate reason why he so much loves traveling. Now isn’t that inspiring?

Joseph Michael Liu, "For me exploring and discovering what is beyond the limits is the thing that most excites me about going outdoors.”

The photo that you see above is taken at Devil's Tower. Joseph tells us that he had to drive across Canada for personal reasons. And while doing so he had to go from Whistler to Montreal and back through the USA. During this journey, Joseph really wanted to make sure that he visited incredible places and the Devil's Tower was a place he definitely didn't want to miss out on. Josephs had brought Trekology camping chairs and tables for this particular journey. He even got a little creative and used the Trekology hiking poles to create a roofed porch outside of his tent.

Joseph knew he wanted to go to Panorama Ridge. But at the same time, he hated the idea of going to places and not having a place to sit especially when he is tired. So he decided to take his Trekology chairs to let him relax all while taking in one of the most magnificent views he has ever seen. Panorama Ridge is a 30 km (18.6 miles) hike with 1,563 m (5,128 ft.) elevation gain. So when Joseph got to the top he realized that because the hike was so long and sometimes very steep, nobody dared to bring anything besides snacks, water, and a camera. Joseph, "I mean professional camera gear is already quite heavy. Well, I was the only one bringing chairs, nobody does that, but again, that is me, I do what nobody else does."

Joseph Michael Liu, "We used technically a living room with all Trekology camping chairs and tables. I also got a little creative and used my Trekology hiking poles to create a roofed porch outside of my tent."

We also asked Joseph what's the best thing about going outdoors with a Trekology product. To that question, Joseph answered back saying people look at Trekology and wish they had something like it to enjoy nature better. We now have reached the end of our 3rd Outdoor Series blog post. But before we do that, there's one last thing Joseph wants to share with us. In his own words, Joseph reminds us that thanks to Trekology chairs, he was able to go to the lake almost every day after his surgery and enjoy the sunrise or sunset, which made his recovery better.

Lastly, before you go, please do go and follow Joseph on Instagram @runnintotheendoftheworld.


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