Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reflections

Is it already January 22nd?  Wowza...2015 is off like a rocket!  

 Flower Ridge, July 2014

Looking back...
2014 was a doozy for me.  I started the year with some health issues that rocked my world and left me with some new perspectives.  I spent the year focused on rebuilding my body and working towards a healthier balance of work, life and training.  It was a tough year for me but it was also a beautiful year...that always seems to be the way. 

The deepest valleys are surrounded by the highest peaks and I experienced some spectacular views from the top as well.  Without spending time in the trenches we would never actually appreciate the magic of clear skies... and I am grateful for every experience that life allows me to take.  Challenges, I believe, are what make life interesting, meaningful and allow us to stretch and grow. 

The highlights of my year were many:)  Feeling strong and inspired again...exploring new landscapes...adventuring solo and with good friends...listening to my body and mind. 

Sun Mountain 50k was an awesome experience with my trail buddy Kim:).  So fun to travel and explore new terrain- sunflowers and rolling hills for miles and miles...

Kusam was a bonus for me- first time returning to this awesome race in 3 years (post ankle fracture) and I managed to take a few more minutes off of my own PR for the course.  Can't complain about that!  

Feeling good, I decided to build on that distance and tackle the Squamish 50mile - all of my athletes were heading over so I figured I should go for it while I had the miles under my belt.  It was a challenge I am grateful for.  I learned to race with my heart- no heart, no happy:). 

MOMAR didn't happen for me this year- falling through a bridge and messing my back caught up with me and it was a no go come race week unfortunately.  I loved following along with all of my friends and athletes as much as I enjoy the race itself so I got my fill;). PS: Have you signed up for the 2015 race yet?  60% sold out!!  Get on it!

Perseverance was a HUGE highlight as I experienced what impact a small community can have when we work together.  For our 10th anniversary this year, we managed to raise $175, 000 as part of a massive fundraising campaign for the CCFS.  Wowza.  Humans can be amazing.

My true highlights were found in the mountains, without race bibs, however.  
 
Although I enjoy racing, my heart is filled up by exploring in the woods, over the peaks and in the valleys... I spent more time in Strathcona Park this summer then I have in my entire life.  I hiked new trails every weekend and finished with a mind bending solo walk about to the highest point on Vancouver Island- the Golden Hinde.  
 
I fell head over heels in love with the mountains again.  And I developed a new appreciation for long solo days in the alpine.  Big mountain space breathes new life, restores energy and boosts my spirit.  So grateful...
Augerpoint...
Elk River...
Flower Ridge...

Spending time in the Chilcotin mountains in September was another dream weekend with amazing friends, unforgettable views and magic in the moments.  Perfect weekend to top last year and I am planning to do it all again this year.

Hawaii...oh Hawaii...you have stolen my heart...in my dreams I live in Hawaii surfing every day of the winter and in the mountains hiking, running and biking every day of the summer...it's good to have dreams and goals:).  One day...

2015...
My mission is to do less...but do it better.  Create space to allow room to grow, nourish and experience this life more fully.  More time exploring, reading, reflecting, playing, laughing and loving:) 

There is one big event I accidentally got into the lottery for... looks like Kim and I are headed to San Fran the first weekend of May...for the Miwok 100k...yikes.  Looking forward to exploring new views, wine country and gaining new perspectives this spring!

The rest of the year is open to adventures as they come...one thing is for sure...I will be in the mountains as many days as possible in the summer...and heading back to Hawaii for as many days as possible come winter:)

What's your vision for 2015?  It IS your life, after all...
Happy Trails,
SS


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Clearing

This is it.  The final hours of 2014.  How do you feel about it?  Just another day?  Or a symbolic moment in time?  Or perhaps both, depending on the time of day��

We humans love rituals and a chance for celebration.  And New Years is no exception.  In our world the New Year marks an end and a beginning... An old life fading and a new one emerging.  

Perspective is a wild superpower.  If nothing else, New Years Eve gives us the gift of honing this skill.  The last day of the year is the perfect time to do some clearing and make space for...?

Look back...what moments stand apart for you?  Not likely getting a new car.  More likely it is the magic that you remember... That night you drove to the beach for sushi and a sunset.  That time you hiked to the top of a mountain with no one but your heart beside you.  That day you laughed until you cried with your sister.  That sweet moment sitting on your surfboard with your legs dangling in the warm sea.  That moment when you reached your goal of...xyz.

But it's not all roses.  There may be something less than magic looking back at you as well.  Life is hard.  There ain't no way of getting around it.  Life can be unfair, unforgiving and brutally hard.  Actually, it is guaranteed to be...at times.  This is life.  I hope that you can look back on these moments for what they were...part of your journey.  

Now is a great time to take a moment and reflect on your year, savour the magic and release the shadows.  Letting go of the "should haves" and "if onlys" is a heavenly feeling.  The space that comes from clearing our hearts is wide open, full of boundless potential and tastes of sweet anticipation...the best has yet to come.  Make space for more magic cuz it's coming your way in 2015����✌️!

Cheers to a healthy and happy New Year filled with adventure!
Sarah

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!


SS

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,
Sarah.

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!

Enjoy:)
Sarah.

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 one...you will actually have to lift a finger and 'click the link' to watch this awesome video.  Go on...you 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!
SS

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.