Back to it...
Sometime back in early August I sat down outside Samurai Sushi in Squamish after a long, rather bushwachky, run up onto Goat Ridge. It was a hot evening and I ordered a beer to sip on as I waited for my order.
I had been by myself in the mountains above town without seeing anyone for over 6-hours and now I was sitting overlooking a parking lot in a shopping strip-mall, a strange contrast from the wild space I was immersed in only an hour earlier. I sat there contemplating life's funny juxtapositions, while enjoying the feeling of being depleted from a longish day out, anticipating the food that would be coming shortly and basking in the final rays of sun beaming down over the Tantalus Range in front of me; when suddenly a man walked up to me and said in a Kiwi accent: "Excuse me, but are you Adam Campbell by any chance?" I don't get recognized often, but it does happen on occasion, usually on trails, or in mountain towns in Canada. It is always a surprise.
"I am" I answered.
"I'm sorry to bother you at dinner, but I wanted to say that I'm a writer and I subscribe to your blog. I really enjoy your writing and I hope you'll keep at it" he said. This took me aback slightly and I blushed
"Thank you", I answered meekly, slightly embarassed, but also flattered.
We kept talking and he told me that his name was Jason and that he was a writer/editor based on Vancouver Island (this is a link to his website). We had a nice chat and he left. A few weeks later he sent me a follow up message on Instagram, nudging me once again to get writing. Once again I was flattered. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude for the nudge. That conversation really made me think about the role and importance of writing in my life. So Jason, if you read this, thank you for the not so subtle push.
It really means a lot to me to have people like Jason go out of their way to offer a kind word of support, especially in areas like writing that I struggle with confidence in. It's another reminder that being kind and offering words of support can go a long way! He very easily could have kept to himself, not wanting to bother me, but he didn't.
The spark and desire to write has to be internal, but sometimes an outside nudge can help us refocus, which happened here. So to Jason, my mom, my therapist John Coleman, Cassie Smith and more recently, Mario Fraioli, as well as anyone else who has said something kind, or constructive, about my writing, thank you for encouraging me to revive this site. Your words of support and encouragement mean a lot.
I get a great deal of satisfaction and therapeutic benefit from writing, but it is also a very easy area to neglect because it does take work and I have a tendency to make my writing quite personal, which comes with its own burden. I also have a tendency to always want to put out something "great", which is an entirely subjective measure and one that far too often I use as an excuse to not write anything. As John reminded a few months back the question I should ask myself is not "Is this good writing?" The question is "What is this writing good for?" Sometimes it’s good for processing, sometimes it's good for sharing thoughts and sometimes it's good for the garbage and that's totally okay!
Workout of the week:
Last week I had to reach down to the third row in my cupboard, a clear sign that fall is upon us. The third row is where I keep my sweaters. With fall season here, I like to think back to my x-country running days, some of my most memorable and hard workouts. I always had a tendency to race my workouts in September, which is likely why I never had great success in November, but damn was it fun to smash it out. This was a classic session to start to get the body ready for harder workouts:
15 min easy run warm up, 8*45 second uphill stride with a jog back down, 6*20 second flat stride, easy jog back, 15 min cool down
Adjust the number of reps based on current fitness.
Don't be like teenage me and fade, rather build through the workout. Think about your posture, keep your hips forward, with shoulders down and back, driving well with your arms to set the tempo for your feet, but keep your hands relaxed. Picture yourself holding eggs in your hands and you don't want to crush them.
Quote of the week:
From that famous TV philosopher Homer Simpson: "Here's to Alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems" - also, "Beer, now there's a temporary solution." I actually overheard someone using the first quote while at a coffee shop and it made me laugh. I was thinking how easily we could replace beer and alcohol with money to arrive at the same sentiment.
“Go to powerful places & bring something back with you to share with others.” Aaron Nelson-Moody or “Splash” of the Squamish First Nation shared these words with a group of Arc'teryx staff and employees as part of the Climbing Academy a few weeks back. Aaron is his English name, his Squamish Nation name is Tawx’sin Yexwulla, which translates as “Splashing Eagle”, most people shorten that to “Splash” & that’s how he introduced himself to us.
Splash spoke eloquently about the importance of the connection between people, community and natural places.I really liked his thoughts on the privilege we have of travelling to places and having experiences that move us. We are fortunate as adventure based athletes to experience spaces that few visit - he reminded us how big of a gift that is. He reminded us of the responsibility we have for respecting those spaces. He also encouraged us to bring some of their magic back with us to share with others. Something I hope I can do bits of with this site. Thanks for reading!