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On your mark, get set.... (Strava CRs, dirtbags and super humans)

There were over twenty people out that evening, standing at attention at the base of a mile long winding hill with an impressive gradient.  The running group I tagged along with on this Thursday evening seemed a little more serious, a tad more focused and not quite as social as the Tuesday Canmore Trail Culture (CTC) group I had been out with the previous week. This group referred to themselves as 'dirtbags' which, hindsight being 20/20, could have possibly served as some clue as to what the evening had in store.

When it was communicated that the workout entailed five sets of this beast of a climb at a 80 percent effort I nearly choked on the tasteless gum I'd been chewing for the past hour. I scanned the group for reactions but no one appeared to be phased by the announcement. I then quickly did the math in my head and with a puzzled look on my face I questioned my addition and multiplication skills. Had I heard that right, were we about to embark on 16 k's of hill in…
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It's the people..(thank you for the smiles)

As we grow older it's easy to become set in our ways. Most of us want a comfortable environment with familiar people and we think that we don't really need any new friends because we have friends, and partners and familiarity - and this is safe. It's much less work to not meet and welcome others into our lives and hearts and to use blinders to stay focused on the things directly in front us. Finding meaningful connections and building new relationships can be tough, so when it's made easier for you, you have to surmise that it's something about the place and it's people that makes it that way.

One of my most favourite things about Newfoundland is it's culture of openness, acceptance, friendliness and warmth amongst it's inhabitants (and if you've been to Newfoundland you know I'm not referring to the balmy temperatures).  It is a place where strangers become friends (just because you are sitting next to them in a pub), where smiles and belly lau…

Letting your guard down... (week one)

Vulnerability. It is an emotion we have all tried to numb, have attempted to avoid and chosen to ignore. It is really not a feeling that many look to embrace or seek out to experience. It's often associated with discomfort and uneasiness. I have however, come to understand that it is when you find the courage to leave yourself open, let your guard down, lean into the discomfort and experience fear, that this is the time and this is the space that the best of love, beauty and greatness can emerge.

I ever so slowly shifted my hand downwards and hesitantly turned off the ignition and could feel the beat of my heart gradually quicken. I guess it wasn't necessarily a big deal that I was about to go out on a group run. I had been on tons of those and in my experience running communities are always welcoming and friendly. This time however felt different. It wasn't just a run, it was the start of a new beginning, it was the opportunity to meet new people, it was a chance to creat…

Welcome to My Mountain Home (where it began..)

Everyone seems to have their own unique story as to how they ended up in this magical, picturesque and quaint mountain town nestled in the great Canadian Rockies. Each and every one of them unique and fascinating in their own special way. The 'how' is the million dollar question that locals are curious of newcomers and that visitors marvel in envy over. For most, it seems, was a calculated endeavour that took years of careful planning to piece together but for some it was a simple stumble. Many running away from life and many, running to begin life.

This place I speak of is like nowhere I've ever experienced. Sure, it's a town with the same regular services as most, the same municipal structure as others and with stop signs and traffic lights, schools and churches. But if you peel just one layer off this small mountain towns' onion like surface and you come to experience what this place really represents and what this place really stands for it's something trul…