The end of winter in Calgary is like a mirage in the desert. It slyly offers up the illusion that a lovely spring is about to sprout with a bout of glorious warm days, only to cruelly make it vanish with a hasty plunge of the mercury, just when its arrival seemed imminent. In fact, April is my least favourite month in this town… I’m tired of my skis and eager to row and ride but endlessly thwarted by one snow squall after another instead. Continue reading
One of the best things about retiring from my old job is that it has opened up a wealth of time and freedom to go skiing — a lot. In the first sixteen years that I lived in Calgary, I went skiing about once or twice a year. In the two winters since I quit speed skating, I’ve been close to sixty times. It’s so nice to finally be able to enjoy my backyard – the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
Of course I don’t lament all those years I spent not skiing, as I was happily engaged in my occupation at the time, but now that I can get out there regularly, I appreciate it so much. Continue reading
They say old habits die hard, but these days, as my life and I continue to evolve, I beg to differ. Having been beholden to the endless gritty details of high performance for so many years, one would think that it would be hard to drop the many habits ingrained in me over two decades. Not so. Continue reading
Since his sudden and tragic passing in April, Randy Starkman’s Olympics Blog has faithfully remained in the top left spot of my computer’s web browser favourites page. That it has not been replaced with another, more frequently viewed site is surprising. But given that I went to his site for my Olympic sport news everyday for years, I suppose it could be expected. Just recently the site went blank, a moment that I knew was coming, but it saddened me all the same as I was reminded then that Randy really is gone and I can’t rely on him for my Olympic fix this time around.
Row, row, row your boat
It is rarely disputed that I was rather inept at team sports as a youngster. Whether that was because I simply favoured solo sport over team sport and missed opportunities to develop those skills or because I was naturally well suited for solo sports and thus excelled at them is really a moot point. I don’t like team sports so I’m not good at them and I’m not good at team sports so I don’t like them. Whatever. Give me the choice between going it alone or trying to make it on a team and I will always choose the solo endeavour.
When I first moved to Calgary at eighteen to pursue my Olympic dreams I had little need for a car. I had a bike and a small circle of destinations that made it relatively easy to get around. I was also student-athlete poor and had no money for an extravagant thing like a car. But as I got older and Calgary got bigger my desire to be able to go where I pleased on a moment’s notice grew. The mountains beckoned, as did shopping malls and interesting places to go.