I consider myself to be pretty athletic.
I try to stay active, whether it be playing soccer or softball or the odd game of squash, but every year at this time I can’t help but feel a little out of shape.
I’m not sure exactly what triggers it.
Perhaps it’s the spandex-clad individual roller-skiing – yes, roller-skiing – down the Alaska Highway in mid-June.
Despite having just endured seven months of winter, much of which provided ample skiing opportunities, a handful of Yukoners can’t seem to get enough of that cardio-rich sport.
Maybe it’s the team of cyclists I pass just beyond the diehard skier.
Like a well-oiled machine, one leads, then the other.
They move elegantly and the smiles on their faces display a look that says, We can do this all afternoon … Whee!
If it’s not the skier and the cyclist, then it must be the two-dozen-or-so runners I drive by or, sometimes, when I get my act together, cycle by every Tuesday evening on my way home to Riverdale.
Like the cyclists – they, too, are smiling, fuelled by the well-earned rush of endorphins.
Then again, it could also be the kayakers I often watch playing in the vibrant rapids near the fish ladder. Ducking in and out of the water, they ride the crest of the wave with ease and, believe me you, it’s no easy feat.
If not for some veteran paddlers, I would still be en route to the Bering Sea following my first attempt at conquering the Yukon River eddies.
And these are just a few examples of the things that sports junkies, who call the Yukon home, do each summer to get their fix … their “endorphin high”, if you will.
There are also “The Klondike Road Relayers, The Kluane Chilkaters, The Yukon River Questers, The Trail River Marathoners, The 24 Hours of Light Mountain Bikers, The Dome Runners and the Midnight Mayo Enthusiasts”.
Phew! … I’m getting tired just thinking about it.
Yes, if there is one thing we Yukoners know how to do well, it is knowing how to embrace our elements.
In winter, we hunker down, which can mean anything from splitting a cord of wood to nestling in to a good book, to rounding up a team of huskies for a two-week trip to Anchorage.
Then, in summer, we dust off the bike shoes and shorts; except, of course, for the “cycling gurus” who go all winter long and soak up the summer.
So, if you are new to town, don’t be alarmed by what seems like an endless stream of canoes atop vehicles.
That is just a typical Yukoner saying, “Good Riddance, Old Man Winter!” and “Hello, Summer!”
And in the process, making me feel just a tad bit lazy.
You know … I think tomorrow I’ll bike to work.