It appears in Whistler, as if we have said our goodbye to snow in the valley and hello rain, rain and more rain. That being said, skiing is still enjoyed as the snow continues to grace the higher altitudes and mountains. In the valley, the last week has been about mostly grey skies, thick clouds and rain. For most people, this type of weather and the signs that the winter season is coming to an end can feel depressing and even a bit sad. Whistler’s tiny permanent population of just under 10,000 expands from November to April with the influx of seasonal workers and tourists. It is not uncommon, at the beginning of April, to see an increase of rental accommodations partnered with the constant scene of travelers with big heavy knapsacks heading “home” or to find winter in another part of the world.
Needless to say this type of weather and a quietness that comes over the valley can feel at times sad, lonely and maybe even depressing. It can also make it a bit more difficult to be inspired to run when it is so wet and grey. I find this time of year, I have to find more inspiration and inner spirit to keep running. I usually do not run while listening to music but I recently added a new app to my smart phone and created a play list of uplifting songs to stay motivated. I also recruited a running partner (my brother) to chat, maintain a steady pace and even run a bit faster and out of my comfort zone. I also try to change up my route and incorporate morning, evening and mid work break runs to switch up the routine and to challenge myself with hills and elevation.
On my rainy walk home on Friday from work I looked up to a section of rock that I pass on a regular basis and the small little plaque read “run with spirit.” Above the plaque is a red cedar carving which was crafted by Johnnie Abraham and Jonathan Joe, located at Cheakamus Crossing Neighbourhood in Whistler. This sculpture was created as part of the Whistler’s Public Art Program which was instrumental in bringing new and innovative art pieces to Whistler during the 2010 Games.
The sculpture and plaque caught my attention, on this rainy day, as it fostered the question what does it mean to run with spirit? As these rainy days continue, we have to ask ourselves this question. To me, the word means that there is something in life bigger than ourselves. I run for more than just exercise; it supports my mental health, allows me to spend time with my brother and along the way challenges me to think and be a better person.
Whatever motivates you on these rainy days to wake up and run, I hope after the rewards are a warm hug, a cup of tea and lots of laughter.