Fear is a topic that isn't often publicly discussed in mountain biking. Admitting to feeling it can cause us to feel insecure, uncomfortable, and isolated. It wasn't until the Q&A session at the Crankworx Fox booth last year when Claire Buchar and Katrina Strand fielded a number of question about managing and overcoming fear in mountain biking, that I realized how common of an emotion it is in our sport. It also became clear, the more I spoke to athletes about it, that feeling fear is neither a limiter or predictor of success.Read More
Instead of heading Dad’s advice – as you tend not to do with parents – I got a tattoo of swallow about eight years ago, as a tribute to him, on my left bicep. After he passed I got a second swallow on the same arm. Finally, the other day, while I was sitting on the couch doing nothing in particular, it occurred to me what I would write in a banner if I had one. And so, I made another appointment.Read More
Expectations can be both motivating and devastating. No matter how much we try not to anticipate something, try not to get too excited, or try not to think about what the future holds, we can still find ourselves completely disappointed when our Tinder date spends the night talking about his mom – or in this case when wildfires threaten to cancel your hike.Read More
A few months ago, my friend Corrina from Hawaii got in touch about doing a hike in Banff. She has organized the whole trip and on Saturday I'm driving ten hours to meet her and another friend, Laura, in Canmore. The next day we will start our three day hike of the Skoki Loop!
Below is a look at what I've packed. This is by no means a minimalist hiking list. I've carefully balanced comfort and weight while planning out what I would take.Read More
I have always hesitated to mention PMS in any of my writing because it’s a bit of a polarizing topic. Some doctors don’t believe in it. Men don’t get it. Some women have it, some claim they don’t have it, and well, there isn’t another category there. I land in the category of women who get it – and get it in an exceptionally bad way.Read More
We set out from Nitinat on Saturday for a day hike; thirteen of my cousins and aunties and three dogs in all. My family has been hiking on the West Coast for the last five generations and even though it was previously out of necessity, I can’t help but think that it’s in our blood to explore. My great-great grandparents and great-grandparents traveled by foot along the coast frequently to maintain telegraph and trap lines before they were charged with building the Lifesaving Trail (now known as the West Coast Trail). In more recent generations my Grandma Logan hiked the West Coast Trail with the majority of her children and grandchildren – and even sometimes alone.Read More
Our drive to the trailhead for Brew Lake was a bit like a live action version of the Telltale Heart. Being a Poe fan, you would think that I would have thoroughly enjoyed a game of ‘what’s making the knocking sound in my truck?’ But by the time we got home, we would have pulled apart everything that could possibly have been loose, only to discover that it was the bike rack. . .Read More
Monday wasn’t an auspicious day or an anniversary of any kind – it was just the day I decided that I would complete 40 hikes over the next 16 months. For the last nearly five years I have struggled with my health. I have dealt with depression, exhaustion, and digestive issues that have left me feeling powerless over my body. I have been poked and prodded. I’ve given so much blood that I was starting to know the clinicians by name. I’ve been told that I have everything from Chronic Fatigue to PTSD (with many diagnoses in between). The biggest problem with not having a definitive cause is the resulting lack of a cure. I have tried medications; anti-depressants designed to give me more energy, monthly shots that cost as much as my rent, and so many supplements that I probably could have paid off my student loan. I have seen doctors, specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, naturopaths, massage therapists, Chinese Medicine Doctors, and more. And while they are all incredible people who do incredible things – I still don’t have much in the way of answers. As a result, I decided to make a goal that allowed me to have some control over my physical wellbeing (and as a by-product, my mental wellbeing also).Read More
Helen’s version of love – what sweet hell have we climbed into. This version of love depends heavily on playing pretend, sleeping with married men, putting down other women, working your Kegels while watching sports, avoiding "homosexuals", and rating breeds of tigers. It's so hard to find a Valentine's Day card that encompasses all these things in today's day and age. Clearly, we have been led astray by those pesky feminists (although if it weren't for them we never would have won back crab. . . more on that in just a minute.)Read More
“Should you ever compromise and do something to him, or let him do something to you that makes you feel, well, yucky? No, of course, you shouldn’t.” When I read those two sentences, I thought, ‘Yes! Finally, Helen. Now I see why some people call you a feminist.’ But I should have held my reaction for just a split second longer. “And neither should you ever get menstrual cramps, dark circles under your eyes, hives, sunburned or bitten by mosquitoes. Every sexual encounter should be soul-lifting and exquisite, yes, but sex, like life, my dear, is not perfect, and you, Miss Faintheart, may not always be able to squirm out of a sexual situation just because it’s making you feel a little queasy!”Read More
I recently had the opportunity to help with promoting The Moment - a documentary about the history of freeride. Most of the people I reached out to were thrilled with the idea of the film and with having a showing in their town, but a few of the responses I received back surprised me.Read More
“Sex can be . . . the most sinus-clearing, mind-blowing, intoxicating, illuminating, exhilarating experience in the world, don’t you agree?” Um, I’ll have what she’s having. Hold on to your panties, because useful or not, Helen is going to dish out her special brand of wisdom (the uninformed kind). “Why would one even try to add to the sexual lore we don’t need any more of?” Good question. We already have volumes published on sex, like the Kama Sutra and The Joy of Sex. Having It All will surely sit on the shelf right next to those timeless classics. “Ego! Pure ego. I want you to know my thoughts on this most fascinating of all subjects. I’m not even going to offer hints from other men or women who might know something more than I, because I’m not sure you can mix sex advice. . . No, this sex-sagery is mine.” You should note, right here, right now, that she shares other people’s advice throughout this chapter. I feel as though her editor should have been fired. Who am I kidding, her editor should have been fired chapters ago for allowing Helen to abuse italics as much as she does.Read More
These two chapters on ‘Your Face and Body’ and ‘Clothes’ pack a punch (although the black eyes Helen refers to it in are from her plastic surgery.) Helen starts us off on the topic of beauty by beating us down, but she’s going to build us back up right? Well. . . let’s not get our expectations up.
“It starts early, our getting the idea – possibly because it’s true! – that we aren’t pretty.” Buckle up, by the end of this chapter you’ll feel that same way you used to after watching an episode of America’s Next Top model; confused, sad, and full from binging on chocolate.Read More
After Helen’s last chapter on diet, I expected this one on exercise to be full of unhealthy and near-neurotic advice and anecdotes – and it was, but I was also surprised to find how much I agree with some of the things Helen had to say on the topic. And given that we share similar childhood experiences when it comes to sports and fitness, I even felt a little bond growing between us as I turned the brittle, yellowed pages of ‘Having It All’ (which incidentally I still don’t).Read More
Helen tells us that “It is unthinkable that a woman bent on “having it all” would want to be fat, or even plump.” Helen and I are both 5'4 and according to her, I am 31 pounds overweight. By her definition, I'm not cute or sexy. I disagree. Now prepare yourselves, because this chapter only gets worse - “Do you like fat men? Of course not. . . [and] you ought to be suspicious of men who say they like fat women. Those men want mothers, at least a comfy, cushiony, sofa-pillow girl to sink into and hide out in.” And worse.Read More
“Why, really, should you listen to or do what I say?” It's as though Helen is reading my mind. As a response she tells us about the time that she was visiting Martha’s Vineyard with her husband back in the late 70’s when she “saw a rather pretty girl – twenty-two perhaps,” sun tanning on a dock. “She had a nice body, long legs. . . I studied her – the face isn’t as good as the body, I decided. . . nose a little big, eyes a little small, mouth a bit thin. Nice girl, nothing special.” Helen wondered if this poor disadvantaged girl would have a chance with any of the rich and famous men who frequented Martha’s Vineyard. “She would have a chance as a hanger-on, I decided . . . a little cookieburger that one of these men might take on for an evening.” But Helen knew that if she had her chance to impart her wisdom that this girl could “have her man – a good and “heavy” one . . . as well as a place in the sunshine which will make people listen to her and not reject her because she looks only okay but not great.”Read More
Last spring, I was perusing a selection of books at a thrift store when the word Mouseburger caught my eye on the back cover of Having It All – written Helen Gurley Brown and published in 1983. I wondered what the fuck a Mouseburger was – is it something that Tigers eat or is it a tiny burger that mice eat? Moreover, I was intrigued by what ‘having it all’ meant over thirty years ago and what women were willing to do to get it. The fact that someone had already expelled it from their personal library made me wonder if they had achieved the promise the title made or been horribly lead astray by it. So, I spent the $0.99 – a bargain from the original $4.99 cover price – and took it home.Read More
This past June I had the opportunity to travel to the Yukon to write an article for Freehub Magazine with Claire Buchar, Dylan Sherrard, and Jaime Hill. Videographer, Chris Grunberg, joined us and capture the magical adventure that we had.
Keep an eye out for the full story in the latest issue of Freehub.Read More
Eskapee.com gave me the opportunity to write a follow-up to my personal story - I Wanted to Die - that I wrote last year about depression.
"Two years ago I was trapped inside an emotional vacuum – neck deep, arms pinned relentlessly by my sides – that left me feeling detached from my body and adrift in my own misery. I was both consumed with grief and frantically attempting to outrun it; desperate for joy again in life but guilt-ridden at every brief moment I experienced it. And though I was in a place relatable to so many, my internal world left me feeling hopeless and alone.
Finally acknowledging that I was deeply depressed and having no idea how to get myself out of it, is what saved me. And today my world has less pain and more happiness."
This morning I woke up to CBC news reports about the ongoing rescue efforts in Mexico for this most recent earthquake and the attempts being made to free a young girl who is trapped under the rubble of her school.
It brought back a flood of memories.Read More