Oxygen never tasted so good.

I’m on day four of recovery from taking part in the Midnight Sun Fun Run. While I’m no stranger to athletics, this was the first time I ever tried my hand at long distance running.

Touching my toes takes a bit of focus right now and I’m discovering sore muscles I didn’t even know I had.

And I feel great.

Ever since completing my minor in Psychology at University, I’ve had a bit of fascination with the field of Behaviourism, where using a system of reward and punishment can be used to alter how an organism responds to stimulus. It forms the base philosophy for much of how our civilization organizes us into a coherent society. You see it applied in athletics, parenting, schooling, the workplace and the legal system, and just about everywhere in between.

But it can also be turned inward to alter one’s own behaviour. The study’s founder, Brian F. Skinner, notably turned his entire home into what is now called a “Skinner Box”, which is a contained area with objects, images and other things to evoke certain responses.

Our habits have far more control over our lives than we tend to give them credit for, largely because we experience life from moment-to-moment. By the time those moments add up to a week, a month or longer, the choices we made in those moments are at best a memory, but the consequences are still with us.

Coming from a rough and tumble city where you can find fast food, cheap liquor and freshly baked sweets on just about any street corner, I had a pretty large laundry list of habits to get away from when I moved up here. In spite of putting many years and dollars into parkour and calisthenics classes, which involved a great deal of running, jumping and push ups, I was still overweight coming off the plane.

By cutting myself away from so called temptations, I’m starting to fill the void with better habits. It’s a slow process and one valuable lesson I’ve learned on this journey is how important it is to have patience with yourself. Chances are if you have either a full-time job, a family, other major life commitment, or all of the above, you have a lot on your plate already. You can’t change in a day — your muscles, bones and tendons need time to catch up.

So once again I want to thank Inuvik for being here and being such a wonderful place for renewal. The cost to enter the race was just $35, which by my estimation probably was enough to cover the protein bar, Gatorade, medal and staffing requirements for the race. The town goes to great lengths to make recreation affordable and I don’t think it gets enough credit for that.

Case in point, my expectation was to be completely out of breath by the second kilometre, but in the end it was my legs that were giving out on me and not my cardiovascular system. One thing I feel really helped me survive this race was a regular training gathering we have at the school yard dubbed “Inuvik Boot Camp” – started by Mayor Natasha Kulikowski and completely free to attend.

Inuvik is a fantastic place to try new things and rediscover yourself. Don’t let this resource go to waste.

Eric Bowling

A lover of knowledge and adventure, Eric Bowling jumped at the opportunity to write for the Inuvik Drum and to see the world from a totally different vantage point. He has covered just about everything...

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