Monday, December 1, 2014

I Challenge YOU.

Why wait until January to improve your health?   Let's do something crazy...

This December I Challenge you to improve your health BEFORE  the New Year!  Join the ELM MY December Challenge and share your health vision with the world!  This is a free online, community challenge designed to motivate and support you to become MORE fit and healthier on January 1st than you are on December 1st!

You pick the challenge and set the goals each week and we all support each other along the way.   Let’s do this together!

Are you in? What is YOUR December Challenge going to be?  I am working on mine right now...come on over and play!


Friday, November 28, 2014

Winter's Gift

Winter's Gift

The short, damp days of fall and winter drive most Islanders into their slippers and under the covers until next years spring shoots appear. Although I have learned to love playing outdoors, during all of the seasons, I can most definitely relate to the pull of 'hibernation mode' that takes hold this time of year. I used to feel an actual sense of dread when the days began to shrink and the crickets came out to sing. Instead of enjoying the beauty, I would let dark thoughts of another cold, grey winter gather in my heart and my head. What a waste of two beautiful seasons! I have come to realize that seasons are neither good nor bad, but simply 'are'. And when you live in the most beautiful place on earth, it really doesn't matter what mother nature throws at you on any given day. You can find beauty in all of it. Rain on your face. The wind in your hair. Puddles under your boots. A golden maple leaf. A snowflake on your nose. A dark storm rolling in. When we open our hearts and eyes, we see that each season brings it's own unique gifts.

This morning, I was handed (free of charge) one of natures most precious gifts. A magical, Comox Valley sunrise. Morning people will agree, the sunrise is far superior to the sunset. The sunrise is fresh, new, full of promise and endless potential. The sunrise launches a brand new day where anything and everything is possible! I have seen thousands of spectacular sunrises and yet, I know, I will never tire of another. When a ribbon of tangerine sky catches your eye, time stands still and I, for one, will always stop to watch the show.

There is only one way to top a sunrise. Any guesses? The topper is reached by going on a 'sunrise adventure'. Wait, non-morning people, please stay with me here. If you cannot imagine getting to a window in time to catch a sunrise, then it may be hard to envision yourself getting up early enough to actually adventure out into one.

But this is where the story comes together. The shorter days of fall and winter mean that you can still sleep in under those warm covers AND get out to enjoy the sunrise. A sunrise run, ride, hike or paddle in the Valley cannot be beat. There are very few logistics to sort out beforehand. Get a buddy and get a good light. There are, however, endless opportunities to watch the show in our beautiful backyard. Kayak into the Courtenay estuary. Bike to Point Holmes. Climb the stairs at Goose Spit. Stand up paddle to the middle of Comox Lake. Snowshoe up the face of the old Forbidden Ski hill. Or my favourite, ride, run or hike up to the bluffs in the hills high above Cumberland.

This morning, we ran for our sunrise. The Valley was in a cloak of thick, damp fog. We met up in the darkness of Cumberland, whispered our hello's, switched on our lights and made our way into the woods. We didn't know where we were headed, but we knew we wanted a sunrise. And so we ran up. Up the steep and rooty single track. Up the rocky drops. Up to the mossy bluffs, high above. Up, up up we ran until we broke through the fog that had settled on the Valley floor. And there it was, just waiting for us. Up on the bluffs, the grey fog ceiling became a magical pillow floor. The sunrise arrived, pierced through the darkness and painted a dramatic watercolour show across the sky. It grew slowly but steadily and I swear that time really did stand still.

Words cannot explain the feelings of gratitude, peace and wonder that come with a well earned sunrise. Nothing else matters in that moment. Nothing but the trail under your feet, the fire in the sky and the friend at your side. There is something special about earning that show. The only way to explain it, is for you to experience if for yourself.

Get up, get out and go do it. A supernatural sunrise in the Comox Valley is one experience you won't regret setting your alarm a little earlier for. I promise.

Happy Trails,

Friday, November 21, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest!

Howwwwdy!  It's Friday Folks can I get a yeehaw?!

I'm back with a few fantastic videos that will most definitely inspire you on your quest for health, adventure and pure vida!  The final video is a a 30 minute film that is more than worth your time and I promise you it will leave you inspired (if not ready to sign up for a 100 miles lol;). 

Like what you see?  Please 'share', 'like' and comment!


Catching Kayla -ESPN.  
I am literally wiping tears off my face as I write this so be warned!  This is a remarkable little video and a very powerful reminder that our bodies are a gift, not a given.  Don't waste a day...
So sorry but the video will not embed...technical difficulties on this will actually have to lift a finger and 'click the link' to watch this awesome video.  Go can do it...I'm cheering for you...

Your Land - The North Face.  
Thanks to the Adventure Blog for sharing this one.  Folky but a goody.  Some awesome shots of some of our favourite outdoor adventures.  Pardon the US of A version of what I always thought was a Canadian tune lol;)

Western Time: A Western States 100 Story.  Now for the main event... Do you wonder what 100 miles looks like?  This awesome short film captures the energy, emotion and environment at the longest running 100mile race- the Western States 100.  Follow Sally McCrae on her personal journey.  Whether you plan to walk 1 mile or run 100miles this weekend this really is a great film for the whole family on a Friday night! Sit back...and enjoy!  Im going to watch it again:)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Recipe: Dodge Balls

Have you tried the Hornby Island Energy Balls yet?  Sure you have;) AKA Hornby Hippy Balls. They are now found in a bar shape and lovely package fit to compete with the biggest bars on the market.  Huray for Hornby!  I love grabbing these for road trips and having them in my backpack for breakfasts on overnight camping trips.  They are loaded with energy and made with all natural ingredients...right in our backyard!

I decided it was time I tried to create my own homemade version of these tasty snacks so that I could have them whenever I want them, invent my own flavours and save a few dollars in the process;).  I'm bringing back 'Dodge Balls' - because I spend nearly all of my non-work hours in Cumberland, I figured I might as well name my balls after Dodge City.  Give them a try and let me know what you think!  

Dodge Balls
4 cups oats
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup water
dash of salt
*1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

  • Combine dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until they break down to a fine texture.  Remove and place in a large bowl.
  • Combine wet ingredients in a pot on the stove and heat gently until you can combine them well.  
  • Mix wet into dry and combine well.
  • Roll into balls.  I make mine about 2 inches in diameter- like the Hornby Balls!
  • Melt chocolate over a water bath (get a pot of water simmering and melt chocolate in a bowl resting on top).  Drizzle over the balls or dip balls into chocolate.
  • Store in the freezer...enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest! Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
I hope you are having fun and getting your ghouls and goblins on tonight!  Here are some Halloween inspired videos for you on this spooooooooky Friday night!  Have fun out there!

Liam Murphy: After Dark c/o MTB4her  Biking Tricks after dark...

 This is Downhill by Martin Gruja.   Unicycle vs Truck?  Terrifying to say the least! How the heck does he do that??  Thanks to the Adventure Blog for sharing!

The Ginger Runner: Running Trails at Night. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Perseverance 2014 Race Report

The 10th annual Perseverance Trail Run was a huge success with 350 racers, 70 volunteers, countless sponsors and supporters coming together this past weekend to raise funds once again for the Cumberland Community Forest Society. For this special 10th anniversary run, an anonymous donor will be matching 100% of the proceeds raised for the CCFS. The race was followed with a special After Party for the Forest including a massive silent auction and raffle. The total raised from this exciting 10 year celebration will be announced very soon. The CCFS is a local society working to purchase and protect forest lands in the Cumberland area.

The conditions could not have been better for a fall trail race with above seasonal temperatures, blue sky and endless puddles underfoot. Racers came from all over Vancouver Island and as far as Victoria and Port Alberni to tackle the 10K and 3K courses in Cumberland.

The competition on the 10k course was fierce with nearly 250 racers toeing the start line.

Top overall results in the 10k mountain run:
Derek Vinge 50:09
onathan Gendron 50:14
Shelby Drope 52:05

Britt Hason 1:04:10
Sophie Demers 1:05:08
Ivana Bisaro 1:05:24

Nearly 100 racers, young and old, tackled the 3k cross-country run through the Cumberland Community Forest trails.

Top overall results for the 3k cross-country run were as follows:
Gabriel Gledhill 12:38
Stephen Lamon 14:20
Alexander Swift 16:52

Naomi Swift 16:08
Laura Wyatt 17:10
Vivianne Lemay 17:43

The Perseverance Trail Run is run entirely by volunteers and head up by co-race directors Lene Curts (Extreme Runners) and Sarah Seads (Equilibrium Lifestyle Management /ELM) along with Arran Arthur, John Wall and Terry Lewis. It takes a village to put on this event and a huge thank you goes out to nearly 70 enthusiastic volunteers who donated their time and energy before, during and after this years race. Awesome volunteers tackled everything from registration, racer food, finish line, set up, course flagging, course marshaling, course sweeping, take down and more to make the day a success for the racers and the CCFS. A special thank you goes to the Comox Valley Search and Rescue and St. John Ambulance teams who spent the day watching over each and every racer on the course.

This years race once again brought out great costumes and prizes were donated by the Cumberland Village Bakery for the top outfits of the day. With close to 40 draw prizes donated from generous local business' many racers left with big smiles at the end of the day. A very big thank you to this years prize sponsors: Brooks, Riding Fool Hostel, Seeds Market, Mosaic Vision, Active Comox Valley, Comox Valley Acupuncture, Ascent Physiotherapy, Inner Pursuit Fitness, My Tech Guys, Jim Smiley of Remax, Riders Pizza, Wandering Moose Cafe, Valhalla Pure, Hi Tech Printing, Extreme Runners and ELM.

The following community sponsors generously supported the race and helped to make this years event a great success once again: Thrifty Foods, Tim Hortons, ABC Printing, Hi Tech, nrichmedia, Odlum Brown, Mosaic Vision, Comox Valley Record, 97.3 the Eagle, West Jet, SURE copies, Long & Mquade and Whitecaps Coffee. Landowners including the Village of Cumberland & Recreation, CCFS, Timberwest and Comox Timber.

A complete list of results as well as race day photos have been posted at .

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Videos: Weekend Film Fest!

Happy Weekend!  
I hope you got out to play in the puddles today like I did:).  The trails are beautiful right now...tacky singletrack and the biggest range of colours we get to see all year.  Get out and enjoy it!  You're not made of sugar...sorry...hate to be the one to break it to you, sugarcube;)

Onward with the weekend!

en Morgen pa Stranda   from Ryan Harris.  I stumbled upon this film today and it is lovely.  A short film that portrays the great beauty of a simple mountain run on a regular morning in Norway.  Enjoy!
en Morgen på Stranda from Ryan Harris on Vimeo.

Huayhuash from Joey Schusler.  The bike adventure of a lifetime.  Awesome.  Thanks to National Geographic for sharing this one.
Huayhuash from Joey Schusler on Vimeo.

And one for the bikers...and dog lovers!  Watch Casey Brown and Poppy the Dog rip it up! Thanks to the Adventure Blog!