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Why being a Newfoundlander and not living there is a hard thing to do

On a humid, overcast and foggy Friday night I threw my line into the ocean. We were situated just off the easterly shores of Newfoundland in a quaint coastal town called Portugal Cove. It was only a matter of minutes before my jigger hit the ocean floor. It felt like forever, but soon with a hypothetical ‘thud’, the courting would begin. I was all too familiar with this lure, that now these unsuspecting cod were about to endure. There was nothing overly fancy about this process - a large weighted three-pronged barrel tied to a line and thrown into the ocean with not a morsel of bait on the end. Still though, the cod would bite, time and time again. So why then, were these bait-less, simplistic hooks so appealing to the cod who frequented these shores? I could identify with these creatures of the sea. I couldn't always rationalize the draw and deep connection I had to the rock – but something my heart could always so deeply comprehend. Over the years my head and heart have battled …
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Boston - A Journey

As I stood there in awe, knee deep in mud, teeth chattering uncontrollably and legs plastered in a paper mache mud, I took in my surroundings. Moments before, we had been ushered off yellow school buses, herded like cattle and directed to wait in large fields until our ‘waves’ were called. Garbage and haggard clothing decorated the ground, people wrapped themselves in garbage bags and lay on the ground huddled close together, trying to find warmth. There were no cell phones to be found, little laughter filled the air and friendly exchanges were few. The freezing temperatures, torrential rains and heavy winds made warmth hard to find and spirits even harder to lift. There was, however, a smell of excitement in the air and an energy that even the strong winds couldn’t tame.
I tried to count the endless hours that I, and the 30,000 others who surrounded me had vested into having the opportunity to stand exactly where we were standing, in that treacherous weather, at that that very moment…

The Mountains or the Ocean

No blinds mask the window that directly face my bed. Every morning when my eyes open to the world, there are no concrete buildings or telephone wires in my view, there are no horns honking or the morning buzz that most cities bring. What my eyes see is something remarkable, something that is hard to describe through words and something that brings with it an indescribably humble feeling of  insignificance that is demanded in their presence. This feeling by the way, seems to never age. Ha Ling is the mountain that greets me each day and if I catch it at just the right moment a glowing hue upon it's alpine edges seems to dance amongst the surrounding mountain tops and the awe of its beauty can literally take your breath away. These are relatively new feelings for me, introduced and embraced only in the latter third of my life. I was born and raised an islander and exposure to structures such as these, or anything remotely close, was non existent. I was however exposed to a resource…

The Lure of the Canmore Trails

In 2016, if you had asked me if I would ever run an ultra-marathon, I likely would have laughed at the notion and dismissed the thought of ever having a desire to put my body through the torture that endurance athletes such as ultra-runners endure. Racing 50 + kilometers up the side of a mountain  never seemed all that appealing to me and I couldn't quite comprehend the idea of people doing this for 'fun'. It is interesting how our seemingly definitive perspectives can be adjusted in such a short period of time. My tune on this subject slowly began to shift as the months of my time in Canmore passed by and as I became more ingrained in the trail running community and the infectiously positive and happy individuals it attracted. After instantaneously falling in love with this type of running, it has been the culture and people that surround it that has made running and racing in the mountains steal my heart.


There is an incredibly contagious, yet inconspicuous lure by the …

Girl Guides or Boy Scouts

Beyond the the leaf, the trunk and the roots there is a soil that helps us emerge as individuals. What happens to us along the path of growth is unique. The conditions of the soil and where we choose to lay our roots makes us special. Even amidst the not so fine growing conditions where I grew up, I was never short on hypothetical nutrients, sunlight and support - the same nutrients, sunlight and support that I have found here in Canmore. 
The biggest fight I ever recall getting into with my mother was when I was ten years old. While at a provincial hockey tournament in a small town nestled in the heart of Newfoundland, called Harbour Grace, she refused to allow me to get my favourite number shaved into the back of my, already very boyish 'skateboard', haircut. I didn't understand why being a girl should be correlated with my hairstyle, but that was a battle which was clear, I wasn't going to win. My mother however, was most accepting and supportive of my atypical lit…

Learning to Fight Again...

She walked calmly into the ring with purposeful steps. And although there was usually a smile on her face in those minutes leading up to the opening bell, there was a fire in her eyes and an unmistakable intensity about her. Those surrounding her knew, her friendly mannerisms and gentle demeanour would soon be tucked away and quickly forgotten. As she stood there, directly diagonal to the opponent, her shoulders and body appeared relaxed but her gazed was filled with intention. She peered downward, three feet ahead of her onto what was often a blood stained canvas, intentionally disconnected from the competition. She knew to never become phased by her competitors appearance as she had learned many moons ago that in a boxing ring it was never wise to judge a book by it's cover. She wasn't from a broken home and there was no apparent enduring struggle that she battled, but even if it appeared from the outside there was nothing she needed to fight for, she was, unmistakably, a f…

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…