Editorial: An apology to kindness

Trent Ernst, Editor


As I was walking back from the Winter Carnival events down at the golf course (BTW, I don’t know if you can call it a winter carnival when its +7 outside; just sayin’), no fewer than half a dozen people slowed down to ask me if I needed a ride.

“Just out foh my constitutional, guv,” I would reply in my best faux-Cockney.

This has been happening fairly frequently lately as kindhearted individuals see me out walking and think that something is wrong. Maybe my car is broken down. Maybe the bank repossessed it. What other reason is there to be out walking in the middle of winter? And it makes me feel bad to shoo them on their way, but as always, I’m out here by choice.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I like walking. And, in the light of my earlier editorial about health, it is something that is even more important for me now.

I talked a lot about diet last time, but exercise is the flip side of that coin. And while I won’t be running the Emperor’s Challenge any time soon (don’t get me wrong; I really want to. I can’t, because I have to stand up on top of the mountain to take photos), I do like getting out and walking. Even if it is just to work and back.

Walking to work and back gets me about halfway to the10,000 steps you’re supposed to take in a day, though that’s a bit of a myth. Rather, the idea is to aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. Walking to work takes about ten minutes at a good pace, so walking to work and back five days a week gets me to about 100 minutes of exercise, which is well over halfway there.

Of course, walking the last few weeks has been … well, lets be kind and call it treacherous. A little bit of rain and a lot of melting turned the roads into ice rinks.

And yes, I do mean roads. The sidewalks were unwalkable for at least a week or two before that. It’s not that they aren’t plowed, but as the snow starts to melt, it runs down onto the sidewalks. Yes, the roads are bad, but the sidewalks are worse.

It’s enough to make one think that spring is right around the corner. Which its not. This is, after all, Tumbler Ridge, where the average temperature doesn’t get above zero until mid-March. Even in April, temperatures have been known to drop to -28.

Warm weather like this just gets people’s hopes up. Indeed, by the time this paper hits the stands (I’m actually writing this last Thursday, so I don’t know what the weather is actually like today), chances are it has already got colder.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about warm temperatures, just a little too warm. I have to navigate puddles, ice, and the exposed detritus of half a winter’s worth of people not cleaning up after themselves. If it were to stay in the 0 to -10 range, that would be perfect.

Recently, I had to drive out to the vet clinic to pick Frodo up some medicine, and as I was backing up, the vehicle started sliding sideways down the hill. It wasn’t a big hill, but vehicles are hard to control when they’re moving laterally.

Which brings us back to walking, and the fact that, even though it was -30 a couple weeks ago and even though it is icy out there this week and next week it could be raining flaming toads, I will still continue to refuse rides from kind-hearted people and continue to walk.

Typically. But don’t stop asking, because there’s always a chance my car did break down and I do need a lift.

Note from last issue: The cutline on the cover photo was supposed to say representatives from the Province, et al, pose with Pattern Energy CEO Michael Garland. Sorry about the omission.