Thursday, July 15, 2010

New location, new opportunity

First I wanted to extend a large congrats on all the great training and performances we’ve read about on this blog. For those of you who don’t know me I’m Dan, currently residing in the big smoke (GTA). In this post I wanted to share what sparked my interest in orienteering, some thoughts on relocation, and a training camp that I recently attended.

When I was a child I used get so much enjoyment out of going for nature walks with my father. We would walk through the forest and talk about how to best walk quietly to be able to see wildlife and what the best materials for making survival shelters are. We would make sure to not cross any of the paved paths in the park and it wasn’t until I started orienteering did the thrill of exploring new natural areas return to me. I find it very enriching to be able to run through the forest in many areas that the general public are totally unaware of. I get that same feeling that I did so many years ago every time I get out into the woods and have had to pleasure to share that with others.

In the past month I’ve moved from Hamilton to Toronto for work and I’ve spent quite I bit of time thinking about the effects of relocation on training and motivation. I’ve found that relocation (if not for training purposes) can be very difficult on an athlete in terms of generating self-motivation to get out the door and finding new training partners and training venues. I found it quite difficult to self-motivate at the begining but I’ve found that getting into a routine really helps. Regaining consistency should be a primary focus of those of you who are planning on moving and don’t despair. You’ll be mentally tougher if you have to fend on your own for a bit and will only enjoy the company of training mates even more when you find some.

In mid-June the Toronto Orienteering Club put on a great series of training sessions to showcase the diversity of training possibilities in the city. Each training session highlighted an important aspect of orienteering: using your attackpoint, taking proper compass bearings, reading ahead, and running! Suffice it to say that to sharpen all these skills required a lot of work and overall the weekend was a huge success. My favourite sessions were the sprint exercises on the Toronto islands. For those who know me know that I enjoy fast paced running and the sprint training did not disappoint. It was a blast meeting a number of fellow HPP members and see a part of the city in a whole new light. Now that I’m living in the city I plan on taking advantage of what Toronto has to offer. I highly recommend the Toronto Island sprint maps and will see you next in Ottawa for the COCs.

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