When I envisioned snowshoeing 8 years ago it looked a lot different then it does today for me. I pictured people snowshoeing across a lake or field with these big awkward things on their feet and it didn’t look comfortable or natural. Then I met Tracy Garneau. She invited me on an adventure that would change my life. A “simple” not so simple 27ish km snowshoe up to the meadow below Pyramid Mountain just outside of Jasper. It was the toughest and coldest thing I had ever done. That day I learned about the screaming barfies!! There are many adventures I only remember select details about…..but that day it is still all as if it was yesterday!!
Snowshoeing can be whatever level of difficult you want it to be but the one constant I find is the fact that it is a slower moving sport at any difficulty that brings my brain to a pace that I can appreciate all that is around me. As a trail runner I get focused on the destination, moving faster, and not as much everything in between. Living a busy go-go life I crave that slow down in the brain in yet I still want to push my body.
Getting out and doing more snowshoe adventures has also made me appreciate places I see in the summer in a different way. It’s magical what snow can do to the land, trees, and the water. And when you get the opportunity to make first tracks “ There is just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special” One of my favorite things is punching powder where no one else has been.
Snowshoeing has become such an important part of what my mind, body and soul needs that I get butterflies in my stomach when I see the snow fall. I know that whenever I put on my snowshoes I will work hard but my mind will free and embrace where and who I am with like nothing else I do.
“Don’t wait for the stars to align. Reach up and rearrange them the way you want…..create your own constellation.” ~ Pharrell Williams
When I look back 2-3 years at where I was in life and my career it looked a lot different on so many levels. I was in a place where I was looking for an escape….from my job and where I was in my life. I was contemplating the move to the mountains but I also recognized that was just changing geography. The changes I had to make had to come from within. My perception on my job and my life needed to change. I keep trying to think of the pivotal moment when it happened and can’t quite put my finger on it but I do believe it came with the creation of Wild Women Adventures with one of my besties Tracy Garneau. It shifted my focus on escaping to embracing. From the moment she suggested this collaboration to our first women’s weekend retreat was a span of just over a month. I felt I was doing something that created an impact on women’s lives and their perceptions on their lives. It empowered them to discover they could climb these mountains and do these things they once deemed out of reach. This inspired me to get more excited about my life again. I love my job in fitness and got re-engaged to it again loving my role as an instructor and personal trainer on a different level. I work at a place that allows me the freedom to be creative and build new ways to get people excited about being active. Wild Women Adventures inspired me to want to explore more the world of Interpretive Guiding. Education is preservation and I want to teach people the history of some of our beautiful natural areas from our Edmonton River Valley to the mountain Provincial/National Parks. So many more opportunities have come from this burst in re-engagement to my life that has me wanting to drive forward and do more. Next up…….a corporate wellness program where I will show people that “disconnect to reconnect” through exercise and nature helps us lead a more productive life inside the office and out.
Maybe you are in the place I was 2-3 years ago in your job and life…..what could you do to shift your perception to find more balance to be happier? We can’t necessarily change our jobs or take the path I did but taking those moments to “disconnect to reconnect” in whatever way rejuvenates you is so important and the positive impact it can have can be a huge shift in the life balance you may be seeking. Discover what ignites and inspires you…..we are here to more than just exist!