Lately I haven’t been able to decide which is more challenging: filming and shooting photos or racing enduros. I used to think that racing was the hardest thing a person could do on a bike – with all those hard-out efforts and long days – but now I’m not so sure. This spring has been a heavy mix of both and I often sit back and weigh the points against one another.
Since I got back to a level of health, I can barely remember a week before yesterday, let alone last month. This is probably a good thing and something I should really appreciate – being super busy doing cool stuff is lucky. I went against doctor’s orders and jumped into a race in late-May in Squamish for the little Gryphon Enduro. I knew I probably had no business really opening it up to race pace on my Roubion, but classic FOMO got the best of me and I signed up with the intent of just having a good day out there. I was certainly not back up to speed, but I was ok with 3rd place under the circumstances and I had a great time racing with great people. It was simple – I showed up, I tried hard and it had an end in sight. One point for racing being easier than media work.
Same thing went for the BC Enduro Series I raced in Penticton, BC a few weeks later. It was hot as hell out there. It was a pretty pedally course by my standards (let’s be honest – this is something I’ll have to work on for my entire life I’m sure) and it required relatively big days to practice the stages before the race. The level of effort needed to get through the day didn’t compare to an EWS race at all, but I still worked hard. I was happy to walk away with a win here (especially because I didn’t expect it at all) and I did the 5 hour drive back to Whistler that night pretty damn beat. Totally worth it. Even still, the simplicity of the overall experience gives one more point for racing over the challenges of media work.
Racing had to come to a bit of a pause after Penticton, however. I was invited to produce a video for the Dirt Diaries at Crankworx Whistler back in the spring. Riders selected (there are 6 of us) have been given 2 months to find a filmer and a team. We’re each tasked with coming up with a concept that tells a story in under 6 minutes that the contest’s all-star panel of judges will like the most. I’ve been working on the logistics of my team’s schedule for filming and around Jasper Wesselman’s (my filmer) commitments for the summer. After the first week of Jasper’s visit to Whistler, I started to realize that life as a “lifestyle” or film athlete is probably a lot harder than racing. So many emails, many long, slow days on the trails and a lot of thinking and talking are what make up putting a video together – I basically am finding a balance between training for future races and wearing the hats of a film producer and athlete. Not that I’m complaining – this is such rad opportunity! I can’t wait to have my story shown at Crankworx at Olympic Plaza and I think Jasper is gonna crush it behind the camera. He already has been. If you can get to Crankworx Whistler this year, come check us out on Tuesday, August 11.
In the scheduling window I have between Jasper’s visits to Whistler for the Dirt Diaries, I’ve been out shooting stills with the incredible Adrian Marcoux. I spent a couple of huge days with Juliana Ambassador Mary Dishman and wordsmith Seb Kemp in the BC backcountry earlier this week and we’re off to Colorado to keep working away in the next days. This project is going to be really, really cool and I’m so honored to be working with such a great group of people. We’ve already had some crazy adventures and I’m sure there are more to come. Racing actually might be tied with media work on this one – both are equally as fun and hard for their own reasons.
Wish me luck out there, you guys! While Anka and Kelli take on the world at the next EWS races, I’ll be tucked away in a forest somewhere with a film or photo genius, dreaming of snacks and naptime.