How to create fitness opportunities anywhere, anytime

Vacation doesn't need to mean a break from exercise.

Part of our annual boat retreat in Desolation Sound entails finding just the right anchorages along the way. My captain has this fully under control, checking tides, winds, depths, stern line ties, etc.  It’s always perfect. And better yet is when said anchorage has a large, flat, oyster-free perch that I can scratch out a few asanas. 

I adore our trips, but I need to move daily to feel on my game: running, walking, swimming, stretching, yoga, or dancing. Anything works. With solid sleeps and the oh-so-delicious afternoon nap, any combination of exercise works its recharging bliss and my holiday is complete.

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To be clear, I am also the exercise keener that enjoys ice cream, a good glass (or two) of pinot blanc, excellent cheese and other morsels that can interfere if the fitness plan is not kept in hand. This is especially true when on holiday, when treats are enjoyed more frequently. If there’s crème brûlée on the menu, there better be somewhere for me to burn it off because one cannot in good conscience decline this dessert magic.   

Anchorages don’t always include a yoga rock, and running is out of the question in most areas of Desolation Sound. The very thing that makes it beautiful also means that, unless you are travelling by water, there is no where to go. Everywhere you look the fjords shoot straight up from the ocean to the impossibly blue sky that at night transforms into a sea of stars.  When there is a road, it’s a desolate logging road dotted with hair-filled wolf scat, as I discovered on my first and last run on such a road. It took me five minutes to realize it was a really dumb idea and I turned around.  Swimming opportunities are boundless, dreamily warm and generally current-free. I have also been known to dance hard to Sting on the stern of our boat, all while enjoying the fjords.

Another favourite holiday exercise plan that staves off the effects of crème brûlée and ensures my happiness, is the ever popular run-to-the-next-marina game, which works beautifully, especially in the Gulf Islands.  After consulting charts and maps, I stuff my phone and some money in my pocket, grab a bottle of water and Captain Cam drops me on shore. I guesstimate how long it will take me, add 15 minutes (because, hey, I’m on holiday) and run/walk along a beautiful country road to our designated pick-up spot, where I climb back on board, spent and happy. The one ideal spot to do this point-to-point route in Desolation Sound is taking the trail at the head of Von Donop Inlet on Cortes Island. It’s a beautiful, easy 5 km route through a forest trail and down a country road to end up at the Squirrel Cove store and marina while Cam scoots down Lewis Channel to meet me on the dock.

Building in the fitness where and when I can, and creating fitness opportunities, is part of the adventure and beauty of a great holiday. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

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