I know this might feel a bit premature, but I swear, spring is in the air—while we’ve been having a really chilly start to the season there are glimmers of spring being on its way. Whether it’s the crocuses breaking through the soil or seeing new birds migrating back on the tree outside my window, this time of year always fills me with new hope and energy, getting me excited for the warmer seasons to come.
Joe Fresh recently invited me to take part in their #FreeYourFresh initiative, which you can see more about in the video above! #FreeYourFresh is all about challenging yourself to do something you’ve always meant to do, or something exciting, something fun, even something that involves you facing a fear (skydiving, anyone?)—while I have a lot of things that are on my bucket list, one thing that I actually put on my vision board at the start of January was to start “bagging more peaks,” dorky lingo for basically upping my hiking game.
Growing up in the mountains of Lynn Valley just across the bridge in North Vancouver from where I live now, I’ve always been a hiker and always felt very at home in the mountains and the forest. When I still lived with my parents, hiking was something I did on the daily—it’s not only unbelievable exercise (not to mention an awesome low-impact option), but it is unbelievably calming and connecting. I always feel like my spirit’s elevated once I wrap up my hike—being in nature is such an essential part of my wellbeing, and while I’m lucky to live next to the ocean now, I do really miss those daily mountain sessions.
My whole family loves hiking for the most part, particularly my little bro and my dad. We’ve been talking about doing the Garibaldi Lake hike in Whistler, which you could do if you in one day if you were a masochist but most people like to camp out overnight there, something which I’ve never done! The longest hike I’ve done is 8 hours so this would challenge me in a lot of unique ways, from the hike duration to carrying gear to camping out in the wild, the latter being something I’m a little nervous of having had some close encounters with bears in the past but that I also really want to do, particularly if I can go with some of my fave people!
Since the hikes are only now just opening up after a really cold and long winter, I decided to take Joe Fresh’s new activewear from their spring line out for a test drive on a shorter but extremely beautiful hike here in Vancouver: Quarry Rock! Quarry Rock is a really popular hike so it’s well worth going earlier in the morning (i.e. aim to be there for 8AM, or better yet go for sunrise), but while it’s a bit busier and not quite as challenging as some of the other hikes on the North Shore, it’s still a solid workout and a good way to warm up your legs for the hikes to come! I find hiking uses very specific muscles, especially your calves and glutes, so it’s hard to replicate in the gym—the only way to get good at it and to build up the muscles you need is to be hitting those inclines, dodging roots and climbing to the top!
Now, very important note—the clothes! Even for a hike or when I’m working out, I like to have pieces that are really cute. It honestly is a huge part of the motivation for me getting out to the gym, up the mountain, on the reformer machine or on the Sea Wall for a run! The first piece I was immediately drawn to was this gorgeous blue zip-up—one of my big goals as far as activewear style is to add in more fun and life via some colour, print or texture so I knew I’d be walking away with this beauty as soon as I spotted it. It’s the perfect layering piece, and I love that it ties in so well colour-wise with other pieces in the spring line like the sports bra I have on underneath.
I’m always looking for supportive tank as I’m very chesty, and Joe Fresh has so many great sports bras and supportive tanks. While a lot of supportive tanks can feel quite binding and uncomfortable, I am obsessed with this white tank with criss-cross back details as it’s a lot more delicate and femme than most tanks that sport shelf bras! It’s supportive enough that I wore it sans sports bra for Pilates the other day! Finally, the piece de resistance: the leggings! As I mentioned, I really want to bring in more print and just generally more fun pieces to my wardrobe, so I love that these not only incorporate that element, but that they’re neutral enough for me to wear with a ton of different colours and even to mix-and-match with other neutral prints! They were also so comfy and I love their high-waist cut—being hourglass, I find this cut is the most flattering for me and goes really well with sports bras, which is often the look I’ll sport in the summer or doing yoga!
Peak summited, views enjoyed and descent done, I changed into these cozy but super chic sweats for a stop at my favourite donut shop Honey’s (a must when you’re in Deep Cove) for my go-to chocolate donut and flat white before soaking in a bit more of this gorgeous sunshine at the beach at the base of the mountain. Side note: could we get any luckier in Vancouver? The mountains, the ocean, the forest—literally everything I need to be happy.
I feel so grateful that we got to kick off the season in such a fun way and feel more inspired than ever to really tackle this goal of mine and to train up for the big one this summer! What about you guys: are there any goals of yours this year that encourage you to challenge yourself, to stretch your limits or just to take part in something really fun that you’ve been putting off in the past? I want to hear about it! Tell me in the comments below and be sure to check out how other people are freeing their fresh over on Instagram with the hashtag #FreeYourFresh!
Thank you to Joe Fresh for partnering with me for this post