Archives March 2021

February Update

Three Months Down

We have only one month left on our contract and time is starting to fly. Here is my penultimate update from Sun Peaks before we move on to our next adventure.
Since arriving in this ski resort we have been blessed with the amazing opportunity to explore the four beautiful mountains which surround the village. During the past month in particular, we have discovered lots of hidden gems that you probably wouldn’t see if you only came for a week.

The picture above is taken from a treehouse located a 5 minute hike off track. You take the first left off of the East Village Ski-Way and up to an opening in the trees where this platform stands. It could easily hold 10 people and there is something which I am pretty sure is a barbecue covered in snow a few metres down the hill. I assume that this area is used a lot more in the summer when Sun Peaks turns into a mountain bike resort after the snow is all gone.

The views are stunning and you can see all four mountains in one view. This includes Orient Mountain on which it sits. To the right foreground is Sundance. Just behind Sundance (which looks like the same mountain) is Mt Tod. The left is Mt Morrissey and I have no idea what the mountain in the far distance is but it’s not part of this resort.More of a platform than a treehouse. 1 bed with a view, bills not included.Recently, I have been going deeper into the back country with Masaru. His 20 years of snowboarding experience and infectious personality make it easy to follow him down some of the hardest runs. Since he gave Shelley one half a day lesson, she has been turning very well and is smashing up the blues with a lot of enthusiasm. I get to go out a lot more than her because of work schedules and I have now completed my first double black diamond.

The first hike to the run was about 20 mins up from the top of the crystal chairlift. Clare, Paul, Alyssa and myself had not been to this side of the mountain before and had no idea what to expect. Our tour guide Masaru led us up the hill. Even though it is in the -10s, when you are wearing lots of layers and carrying a snowboard it gets very hot and sweaty. 

We got to the first black run called Skunk. It was a tree run with a lot of untouched snow and it took less than 10 seconds to whizz down which made the hike up feel like it was even longer. We traversed and hiked a little bit further before we made it to the double black diamond – Offset. It was like a chute, very steep but delightfully deep snow so falling down was never a problem. Paul sat in front of me near the bottom of Offset.Snowboarding 3-4 times per week has been an amazing way to spend a pandemic. I always count my lucky stars for being here and have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure it isn’t a dream. Work has also been great, learning a new trade and getting free food on shift makes the evenings very enjoyable.

Lots of people have asked me “is there even a lockdown in Canada?!” because of what I’ve been reporting. It sounds like most of the country is either in lockdown or at the bare minimum a rule of six for social gatherings like the UK was towards the end of last summer. Most other ski resorts in the country have had huge outbreaks of COVID and lots of businesses have had to shut but Sun Peaks seems to be holding strong with only 5 known cases which have all been contained.

I am very hopeful that the rest of the world gets the pandemic under control very soon. I’d love to be able to share some of these experiences with my friends and family and I don’t want to feel like I am having a great time while the rest of the world isn’t.

Life would be very different for us if we didn’t drop everything to come here in November but it is definitely one of the best decisions we’ve made. And what is even better, next month we’re going on a road trip around BC.

New Year Challenge Results

And that’s a wrap!

The most recent instalment of the Nomad Trainer 6 week Challenge has come to an end and I would like to take some time to celebrate how amazingly well the competitors did.
Back in December I started advertising for the 3rd round of home workout challenges I have been running since the first lockdown. The first few had yielded some excellent results but I really wanted to make this one the best yet so that people could shake off the demons of 2020 and make some positive lifestyle changes for the new year.

The challenge has been run in the past through a Facebook group where I would add everyone who signed up in and I posted the Workout Of the Day (WOD) for the following day which they would aim to complete and would post a selfie or a video in the comments of that post to prove they did it. The workouts are scalable with beginner, intermediate and nutter levels so that people can choose how hard to push themselves.

This time was no different, except I spent a lot more time planning, programming and filming all of the WOD videos before hand which I put into a PDF which could be used as a guide. This meant I was also able to include people who do not use Facebook. I still posted the vids on the group so people could interact and share in the accountability aspect of the program.

Many people who have done my challenges have told me that seeing other people doing the workouts motivates them to do it themselves, more so than a regular personal program. This is what I find to be the most important ingredient for success because more activity on the group tends to correlate with better results.

The challengers were also provided with tailored nutrition guides including the calculated calories and macronutrient portions I believed suited them best. They were encouraged to ask questions and share ideas in our Facebook group chat.

Working remotely in Canada, I was not sure how well it would work being 8 hours behind. However, the team really showed initiative and put the effort in to ask and answer each others questions, motivate each other and also enjoy a bit of banter. 

This amazing group of people have mostly never even met each other, but the fortnightly zoom catch up calls were a great way to reinforce motivation and build team spirit. Everyone had the same goal of improved health and fitness and all of them wanted each other to succeed.

6 weeks on since the challenge began, it has finally come to an end. I am very grateful to the members who have given me consent to share their fantastic results.
Katy and Liz lost 4kg and 5kg respectively. Liz is the lightest she has been since giving birth!Daniela, who came 3rd last time around, climbed above the reigning champ Victoria into 2nd place.But the winner is… Samantha! She put everything into this challenge and was an incredibly motivating and inspirational character. Well done for doing every single WOD and only dropping 3 points!Congratulations guys!
It was such a pleasure coaching this amazing group. I miss waking up to people pushing themselves and sweating at my dispense already, even though it has only just finished. These guys really put the effort in and should be very pleased with the way they have started the New Year.

Another honourable mention is for Tom, who lost 4kg and plans to continue doing the WODs by pulling one out of a hat each day, good luck matey!

My next one won’t be starting until May as I am finishing my contract at the ski resort at the end of March so I need to be prepared for that. I will be aiming to make the next challenge the biggest and best one yet so please send me a message if you are interested.

January Update

Hello friends,
It’s been a little while since my last blog. To be honest, I was put off writing because I know how bad the pandemic is hitting the UK and other parts of the world at the moment and I didn’t want to come across as insensitive by sharing about my adventures. My goal is just to let people know what I have been getting up to and if you don’t like it feel free to unsubscribe at the bottom of the email. I won’t be offended if you do do as I know getting lots of emails can be tedious.

Snowboarding
I am smashing up the blue (intermediate) runs and have done nearly all of the ones in this resort now. I’ve also done about 4 blacks, 1 of which was called Spin Cycle which was horribly steep, thin and mogully (bumpy) and it was like going through a washing machine. I have done a few small jumps gaining about 1/16th of a seconds worth of air time, I will share a video next time I do a good one. We have a new friend called Masaru who has 21 years snowboarding experience and he has been teaching us some new tricks. The other day he took me back country skiing and he did a front flip off a rock drop which was absolutely sick.
Kitchen
For the first 6 weeks I had only been doing dishwashing and the cold station, but recently I have been given a few shifts doing vegetables on the quieter nights. I much prefer this as it is real cooking and on these days I am in charge of preparing the vegetables and starches to go with the mains, as well as cooking them to order including dishes like: mushroom risotto, seafood tagliatelle, gnocchi to go with chicken and fingerling potatoes to go with the salmon. The mash potato we use as a side for the steaks is about 90% butter and cream and it is delicious.

Exercise
Apart from snowboarding I have been regularly training at the local gym and I have hired a PT to coach me on olympic lifting. This is something I have wanted to learn for a while in order to improve my strength, power and to learn a new skill. My coach is a professional skier with over 10 years experience as a coach and I am learning a lot from her style of teaching. I train with her once per week and I have 2 other sessions to do on my own. I think it would be a good experience for any coach to have a coach themselves and it is enlightening to be the client rather than the PT this time. 

Mindfulness
Shelley and I have been doing an online breath-work meditation course by Michael Bijker. It is about 10-20 mins each morning after our daily stretches, utilising different breathing exercises which build into a full meditation practice and we are finding it really enlightening, you can check it out here. We have also been going on walks and listening to audiobooks, currently Jay Shetty’s ‘Think Like a Monk‘, which is about a guy who went to live in an Ashram to become a monk and how he has translated his learnings into a modern western lifestyle.

6 Week Challenge
The current team are nearly 4 weeks down on the current Nomad Trainer January 6 week challenge and they are absolutely smashing it. It has been a great to coach the group remotely and I love to see how my clients back in the UK are getting on with their daily workouts and nutrition tasks. I am so pleased to see they are all getting on so well and asking questions, motivating and having banter with each other on our group chat before I have even woken up – and most of them have never even met each other. I have been asked already by some of them when the next one is starting and this one hasn’t even finished yet. I think these guys are going to get the best results yet and I can’t wait to share what they have achieved in a few weeks time.

Future Plans
We are trying to work out where to go from here as our contract for the ski season runs out on 31st March. Our first choice would be to go west and live and work on Vancouver Island which is highly regarded as the best place in Canada. A few surf towns called Tofino and Ucluelet are grabbing our attentions and they seem to be where the majority of people from here plan to go. However, because of its popularity, accommodation and jobs are hard to come by in these places. Another idea would be to head south and work at a vineyard in Kelowna, Penticton or Naramata. Alternatively, we could go east and go and work at another lodge close to Emerald Lake and Lake Louise. We haven’t considered going north as we fancy some warmer weather after leaving here. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and please do get in contact if you have any questions or would like to share with me what you are up to. I try my best to reply to everyone who sends me a message and it would be great to catch up!

Healthy regards,


Matt