Spain: Into the Unknown
How does one know their full potential if they don’t embrace the unknown? Spain was exactly that – the unknown.
On September 26th, a group of six IF participants – coaches Mary Darvill and Wade Dickinson, and Innovative Fitness West Vancouver members Kelly and Dave LaVallie, Moira Fong, and Kelly Ockeloen, embarked on a seven day trail running adventure through the gorgeous coastal region of Costa Brava. Little did they know the journey would not only exceed expectations on every level, but also instill a new sense of accomplishment they never dreamed imaginable.
No two days of running were the same; each encompassed a new set of challenges, terrains, and breathtaking views completely different from the previous day. From medieval villages, historic monasteries and rural Spanish towns in ancient Girona city, to technical trails, cliffs, castles and fishing villages along the gorgeous Mediterranean coastline, this group of individuals took on whatever challenge was thrown at them.
Some mornings the group would wake up in castle, or perhaps in a lavish hotel right on the beach, while others were spent at an ancient, 1000 year old farmhouse (not your average farmhouse!). The Catalan cuisine, complete with tapas, fresh seafood paella, and sangria, was some of the best that anyone had ever experienced. It was not uncommon for the group to stop at a remote beachside cafe, mid trail run, to refuel for the next stage of the day, and perhaps enjoy a cold cervesa. Most of these quaint restaurants/bars were only accessible via trail, which is just one of the many reasons why this trip was so remarkable and unlike anything that anyone had ever experienced before.
Leading up to the trip, there was a mixture of emotions, from sheer excitement to doubt. One member regrettably rolled her ankle prior to the trip, and was uncertain she would even be able to complete one day of running, let alone average 20 km per day, through extremely technical trails. Needless to say, after running 85 km in 4 days, Moira Fong was blown away at what she had just accomplished, ankle brace and all!
Kelly and Dave LaVallie both set new personal bests, and ran over 100km’s in 6 consecutive days. What an incredible challenge to overcome as a couple! These two are now eager to take on their next challenge together, and are eternally grateful for the unique experience they shared in Spain.
Kelly Ockeloen was absolutely ecstatic and all smiles after her 4 day trek, and could hardly believe that she almost didn’t sign up in the first place, due to kids and a conflicting work schedule. Kelly has taken her running to the next level, set a new personal best for herself, and is confident she will be able to run a marathon this upcoming year!
Coaches Mary and Wade completed 135 km’s in 7 consecutive days, ending their journey in the steep slopes of the Pyrenees mountain range, with views of France in the distance.
Everybody on this trip can agree that it was indeed a life changing experience, and unlike anything they had ever dreamed of doing. Wade and Mary are already in the process of planning their next IF adventure!
“Going to Spain with our trainers from Innovative Fitness was a life-changing experience. Sounds dramatic and profound. Absolutely true. It was an amazing way to see Spain. I savoured each new town, new sight, new meal so much more because we had worked so hard to get there. Physically, I accomplished more than I thought possible and returned home with more ambitious goals. Mentally and emotionally, I returned home with a stronger sense of adventure. Sign me up for the next trip!” – Kelly LaVallie
Personal Training Coach
Innovative Fitness West Vancouver
p. 604 913 3488