Waking Up In Canada

Time Out Just To See

To Remember To Run January 14, 2012

Filed under: Run — wakingupincanada @ 10:28 am
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I had a plan. I stayed up with the girls watching Bridesmaids, and drinking yet another bottle of wine, cringing more than laughing. This I thought would earn me a long lie in to prepare me for a long, long day and night ahead.

I awoke early, and instead of lying in darkness, I decided to do it: get up and run. Oddly, I didn’t need much talking to. The devil inside me must have been sleeping of the hangover. The snow was falling as I stepped gingerly over our ice-packed footpath and Banff was waking up, people making their way to work, heads down against the snow. The clouds were on us and all was white. In my luminous yellow jacket, I turned to face Tunnel Mountain and ran.

I was at the top of the hill when I remembered. I know that I love running, but sometimes I know with my mind and not with my heart. The weather is no excuse; on the occasions I venture out, I have no trouble with the ice or the cold or the snow. Yet, my running days have been few and far between.

At the turn around point, I kept going, one foot in front of the other, pulling up by butt, pulling in my stomach and sending my shoulders down my back. I followed the rhythm the snow and patches of ice allowed. I fell and got up and ran on. Falling reminds me that running is a kids game, enjoy it, be playful. I smiled.

I looked around, out through the trees over the valley. I saw the river far below, frozen. The forest went on for miles and miles. The mountain tops were not visible anymore. Running is my reset button. It brings my body and soul in line. It wakes every muscle up and they like it. When I run, I feel more like me that at any other time.

I said a thankyou. For the view, for the run, and for the nudge early this morning to remember to run.


Running Banff October 24, 2011

Filed under: Run,Travel — wakingupincanada @ 9:05 am
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I don’t have a car here. My world is within walking distance. The outer reaches- about 5 miles in each direction I have explored largely through running. I think running is my way of seeing a place, feeling at home in it.

One Monday morning, I got on my trainers and got going. Somehow, here, I am more motivated to run. I’m not sure if it’s the variety of trails from my front door or because I have less ‘stuff’ to fill my time with; the odds and ends that accumulate at home that suck in time and you wonder what you did with your day.

This particular Monday morning, I took the river trail. To my left, was the main road which twisted around the mountain; to my right, the Bow River, with the forest rising up from it on the opposite shore. The Fairmont Hotel stood like a castle on a hill, surrounded by the trees. Spotting the moving specs of white nearby, I realised it was Sulphur Mountain with the Gondola looping up and down it. I’d climbed it only 2 weeks previously in shorts and a t-shirt, and now it stood, capped with snow. Determined to run further than usual, I kept on the road until I stumbled upon a beautiful forest. Wildlife is always on my mind here. I’m not sure if I am overly paranoid, or justly concerned. I wasn’t sure how many people passed through the forest, so I kept my eyes out
for bears. There was probably no need, I have bright red hair, and was wearing a bright yellow running jacket. I’m told they prefer to eat berries. With my heavy panting, I am sure  I would not surprise them. With my eyes darting around the forest, I didn’t notice the tree root until I was flying over it. I felt like I was in slow motion, wondered if I could right myself, the gymnast that I am, and landed on my hands, followed somehow by the rest of me. Sitting in this wonderful forest I wondered on what a speaker once said- that sometimes we fall down for a reason. I couldn’t think of any reasons, got up, tested my ankles and ran on. I came out at my gym and thought, “no way” realising how close I was to home. I turned around and went back in, taking another route.
Looking up, I saw a mountain cliff face, and realised it was the back of Tunnel Mountain which I’d walked last week. Slowly I am getting my bearings.

Coming home, I met 2 deer. Later, I found out that I was on the path the cougar was stalking before he was sedated and moved away. I have seen Homeward Bound- cats can find their way home.

A week later, on another Monday morning, I ran along the other side of the river and through the golf course. It is just as beautiful but less lonesome and I felt safer. The trail passes the Falls, where the mighty roar drowned out my gasping for breath as I ran, jumped, hopped and walked up the steps. Paths here are minded, and on the short, steep slope by the river, steps have been built in with a helpful railing. I ran close to the river, watching its swirls and flow. I felt blessed to see it, to be here.

It seems as if I have flown thousands of miles to a massive country that breathes space and now am living within the confines of the Rocky Mountains. It doesn’t feel confined. I think it is teaching me that it is not about how large a space you occupy, it is how you occupy the space you are in.