Facing the choose-your-own-adventure crossroads

I often look at life as a choose-your-own-adventure novel, the kind where the reader faces a series of narrative crossroads, and the choices they make along the way determine the outcome of the story. When I was a kid, maybe nine or 10, I could tear through one of those books in an afternoon; only I never wanted to choose just one path — after hitting the end of one version of the story, I would go back to each turning point in the novel and change my choices, trying to work through every possible ending.

In real life it’s rare to get the chance to revisit those crossroads moments. But this summer I did just that.
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Lose track of time in Nelson, B.C.

“Have you heard of ‘Kootenay Time’?” asks the woman behind the counter of a small artsy boutique on the main street of Nelson, B.C., after learning I’m a first-time visitor to the area.

Kootenay Time, it turns out, is something like “Island Time” in the tropics.

“This place runs on a whole other rhythm,” she says.

Sounds good to me. Considering I’m on an extended escape from my normally hectic schedule, the slower pace is a welcome change.
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The power of “if”

Canmore is full of hard-core athletes — world champions and Olympic hopefuls, ultra-marathoners and Ironman veterans, you name it. Even those who just do sports recreationally seem to go hard most nights of the week.

I was talking recently with my friend Dan Roycroft, who spent 15 years training and competing in cross-country skiing, becoming a four-time national champion and eventually competing in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. He told me about one of his favourite quotes, posted over the entrance to the Wimbledon stadium. It reads: “If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.”
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Recipe: Kale and Avocado Salad

This recipe came from my friend Dave in Nelson, who brought this delicious and hearty salad to a Friday night pizza party at my friends Dan and Megan’s house. (I brought a nice bottle of B.C. wine – also delicious, but slightly less nutritious.) It’s a very simple recipe but the trick is to make it far enough in advance to let the dressing soften up the kale leaves.
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Home is where (and what) you make it

Exactly one month ago, I left Alberta on a flight to Ontario for the holidays — and I’ve been living out of a (rather large) suitcase ever since.

I spent two weeks visiting family and friends before catching a red-eye flight back out West, and stopped in Canmore just long enough to do a load of laundry and re-pack for an extended New Year’s getaway visiting friends in the B.C. interior. This past week, even though I returned to work, I stayed in Nelson to work out of our office there and get a little face-time with some colleagues I rarely see.

As much as I’m feeling ready to go home, unpack and wake up in my own bed for a change, If there’s one thing I’ve discovered in the past month, it’s that “home” can be wherever you chose to make it. Continue reading