Shoulder Season

It’s shoulder season. And back season. Triceps and glutes. Yes, it’s that time of year when Fernie-ites stuff their garages with sporting gear and head indoors to get their sweat on. Because, for a brief window in our parade of annual outdoor pursuits, there’s nothing to do. The ski hill is closed and the flood gates are open. There’s gravel on the road and water gushing down the trails. The river is a muddy death-trap. Mother Nature’s way of saying – chill. Netflix. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the premiere of Game of Thrones coincided with the chairlift creaking to a halt. It’s time to relax, right?

Wrong. Relaxing is not exactly one of our strengths. For many of us, the ambition to be active is what brought us here. What drove us to give up our former lives and make the big move to Fernie. All the sporting bounty that Fernie has to offer was too tempting not to bite on. We obsessed about becoming a part of this vibrant community, where the 20cm rule is a real thing. We dreamed of raising our kids to want the same. So now we’re here and it’s better than we thought. Including shoulder season, characterized by a slight weather hiccup during the spring and fall when we all have a perfectly good excuse to take it easy. To finally answer the question – what did you get up to yesterday? - with a blunt and resounding, nothing. Nada. Zip.

So, how’s that working out for you? Right. Same here. The guilt of lethargy makes me itchy. With no Lululemon in current rotation, the drawer that holds my workout wear is jammed so full it won’t close. So, I’m off to the gym. Same as you. It’s in our blood. Biking season is just around the corner. Hiking. The Wasa Tri and Tears and Gears and maybe even Ironman. We can’t slip now. Besides, our athletic ADD only lets us get comfortable in a sitting position after we’ve spent some significant time in the red that day. When our muscles are cramping from overexertion and the dehydration can only be quenched with a frothy cold beverage. Or two.

Luckily, Fernie has several fantastic options when it comes to indoor workout facilities. Evolution Fitness and CrossFit Fernie will deliver the burn you’re craving. Essential Yoga provides an epic sweat session. If you think yoga is lolling around on a mat, go try one of Francesca’s ass-kicking flow classes. You’ll have a whole new respect for the yogis of the world. They’re tough as nails. For me, it’s SOAR Studios. Vanessa Avery-Willems had a vision for a fitness mecca that celebrates “life, movement, community.” Fitness with intention. Not necessarily to improve your reflection in the mirror, but rather, to become a better
version of yourself. Completely. It was a dream that became an expanding reality, now including an extensive variety of classes, apparel, and weekend workshops that leave you inspired and renewed. I love it.

Studies have shown that working out with others results in better fitness and encourages perseverance until a goal is reached. It’s also a hell of a lot of fun. As a person who works from home in front of a non-responsive laptop, I’ve begun to crave this dynamic environment on a quiet Monday. When I walk into Krista Hanson’s Smartfit class, I know what’s waiting for me. Cheers and smiles and warm greetings.
Chatter about what’s new and what hurts and who drank what. We laugh. Then she cranks up the music and we get to work. An athletic collective with a multitude of reasons for being in that same space for
that same hour. But it doesn’t matter what your personal goal is. That’s yours. What matters is that this sweaty little community cares that you reach it. They’ll wonder where you are when you don’t show up. You know this, so you make every effort to be there. It’s an accountability I don’t find when I click into my cross-country skis and glide off into the forest. And as much as I adore that solitude and time for reflection, nobody’s there to high five me when I click them off. Happy shoulder season. It’s gonna be epic.