My TSN turning point, my aha! moment, took place at the Banff Mountain Film Festival this past November.
It was a winter camping trip with Miz Jilly; we booked time in at the Bear Street Tavern with our favourite Big Bird pizza, drank Bailey’s for breakfast, had the 5-miler Winterstart race one night and the film fest awards on the other.
Despite my seven years living in the mountains, I’d never been to the film fest and this was da bomb. The photography, the writing, the films. I loved it all. Epic stories woven before our very eyes. As we sat and watched the award-winning films with sweeping scenery, daring characters and adventures of which dreams are made… it hit me.
Not one of these adventurous souls had an issue with their weight. No one had to say, “Well, I’ll climb that mountain when I drop 50 lbs.” It was a baseline to be fit. To have adventures. To do anything they wanted in the whole world.
When my kids were small and I started gaining weight bit by bit each year, people would always say to me, “Yes, but you’re STRONG.” And it was true – I could carry the boys on my back up mountains and into the backcountry with no problem at all.
“Strong like ox,” my aunt would say.
It certainly wasn’t the case in November when I was watching the films. More just a 15-year flab fest fueled by Tim Horton’s (mmmm Tim Horton’s) and Netflix bingeing. I wanted to be that person again who hiked, explored and adventured without a second thought about weight slowing me down. I wanted to be fit and above all, strong.
And so I made a change. And I’m not going to wait until I’m 130 lbs to do what I love to do in the mountains, or anywhere else.