If you’ve ever spent time in a mountain town (like Squamish) you will inevitably feel the energy that radiates through the community. You’ll have a pro climber pass you, soloing the multi-pitch you’re on. Or you’ll meet a friend for afternoon coffee and they will confess they just finished a 50 km run – it’s all very normal for somewhere like here.
I’ll hit 8 years of being in Squamish come fall and a lot has changed in my life since making the move. One of the biggest changes is my mindset. I’ve adapted an athlete mentality in all aspects of my life. I base my diet, schedule and vacations around fitness and every day is focused around what activity I will get after. I’ve been training for climbing and skiing since I moved here and have become very serious about it in the last couple years. I wake up, make a protein smoothie, stretch and plan my climb, run or ski according to the conditions outside. I am constantly thinking about improvement and efficiency in the outdoors because of my job. I need to maintain a certain level of fitness to be able to work in the mountains.
Since I am not a professional athlete, I am not supported financially by my sports. Which feels odd when my life revolves around the activities I do. I am also constantly hard on myself when I fail even though there is no pressure to achieve anything. It’s all in my own head. When my followers ask why I train so hard, I always reference having the mind of an athlete but the life of an amateur. All of the motivation I have comes from my own desires and goals. The push isn’t backed by making it to the Olympics or my next free-ski comp, it’s just for my own self discovery and enjoyment.
But…It does get hard sometimes.
Some days, I sit back after falling off a boulder problem a thousand times and say “what’s the point?” why am I going to the gym for 4 hours, eating a lot of plants and focusing so much on these sports? If there is no end goal, what is it all for?
In the end it comes down to how capable I feel in my sports, how I’ve maintained my body to avoid injury and feel strong. The training is for being able to ski further, climb higher and feel my best. I know fitness will always be a huge part of my life even if it’s all for personal gain. Continuing to push my fitness makes me feel confident, it’s given me a stoke on life that I never had before. I don’t worry about being able to keep up because that’s just not an issue any longer.
Personally, I still have a ways to go with my climbing and skiing. I’ve set goals for myself to keep me motivated and excited for projects. I’m a Jill of all trades – master of non. This is the path I’ve chosen and even if it’s just for fun, that’s a good enough reason to keep pushing on.