Yesterday I left my home in Whistler BC. After more than 2 years of happy living it was heart-wrenching not least because my boyfriend stays behind but also because it is the place I love to call home.

I have been thinking a lot about what the change-from the glorious mountains back to the English suburbs- will do for my motivation. On the one hand, I think to myself, I’ll have nothing better to do with my time than exercise, but then I realise- in Whistler there really is NOTHING BETTER than to go out training.

Whistler is a playground. Whether you want mile upon mile of paved pedestrian ways through the valley, or the steep and winding singletrack through the forests. Whether your passion is to run or cycle, skate or hike, and winter skiing goes without saying. In the summer there are lakes for wild swimming aplenty. It’s never really a question of whether I can be bothered to go out and train today, but ‘where should I adventure today?’

And then there’s the people. Where there is a playground, there will be people who flock to play in it. And play hard. Tomorrow is Ironman no less and the number of runners I’ve seen out and about this week in their jerseys has been just another source of inspiration to go faster. But even on a quiet old regular week (as if…) the people who live and play in whistler are a community of superhumans; people for whom a bracing morning yoga session on the paddleboard before jogging home to get ready for work, and wrapping up the day with a few hours of biking, is standard course. As much as awareness of these people makes me feel all the more guilty on my lazy days, I still feel inspired by their presence. Being surrounded by hyperfit and never-aging outdoor life-lovers certainly does a thing or two to keep me motivated.

So what now? Back to suburban living in sunny old England. It means a shakeup of my training schedule that’s for sure- without the challenge of difficult technical trail runs at my daily disposal, I’m going to have to incorporate far more of the speedwork that I love to hate. It’s going to be much harder to find unpaved places for my poor cranky knees to run on so there might have to be more ‘indoor cardio’. There are no bike trails on my doorstep so I’m going to have to get used to the road.

It’s certainly going to be quite the change. Fortunately, so much of my love of exercise is in the feeling it gives me inside, and not just the environment I live in, so I think I can make it. And I’m not going to lie: I’ve enjoyed every minute of restrategizing my training plan! The thought of returning to Whistler next year and being able to play even harder for being in the best shape of my life certainly doesn’t do any harm either.


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