I have spent the past 45 years in the forests of the West Coast of BC, hiking, running, riding and hunting.
My well being and inspiration comes from the forest, where I have spent much of my life and still do.
I grew up on the West Coast of BC, as a veteran bike messenger of a dozen years riding the busy streets of Vancouver. Back then, days off were spent riding the North Shore mountains (you can find me in early videos created by my long time pal, Todd Fiander, who was the first to film mountain biking videos. His first series was “North Shore Extreme” and later, I am also featured in “The Emergence” by Cove Productions in 2003). The “free ride” movement inspired me to fulfill the demand for “bike and body armour”. I operated as owner & designer of Core Rat Angie Wear (aka Angie Ho) for a dozen years thereafter, thus the creation of the “trend” of free ride protective wear, which has presently grown into “mainstream” mountain biking attire.
With the progression of extreme free ride mountain biking, naturally came trials motorcycle riding when I moved northward from Vancouver to Squamish along the Sea to Sky Highway. For me, trials riding is mountain biking times a hundred, riding super steep terrain, both up and down, yet still flowing with the natural landscape. I spent many years riding the renowned “Britannia or Goat Ridge” mountains and countless hours in my own backyard of Crumpit Woods in Valleycliffe as well as in the Garibaldi Highlands, both in Squamish BC…land of granite free ride!
After 20 years or so, I re located once more, this time leaving the coast for drier climate further north over Duffy Lake Road into the desert micro climate of the Southern Chilcotins, where the terrain is vast.
Here my motto riding has transformed into long distance back country riding; and so the Original Fuel Holster was spawned.
Living in such immense country, where the space and quite stillness of the land lends one the opportunity for a restful mind has allowed my artistic side to rise once more in the creation of Wood Nymph Designs.
I have since retired the Wood Nymph designs name, though still make the products under Ponderosa Country Life.
You can buy my natural skin products at our local Lillooet Farmers markets & craft fairs.
In my earlier years between 30-40 years old, I was what one might call “an adrenaline junkie”. I mountain biked at an extreme level 6 days a week and even took on whitewater kayaking in my late 40’s, and helped to run the “Squamish Whitewater Paddling Club” for quite a few years.
I have paddled and hiked in the Grand Canyon; hiked in the Arches National Park and Yosemite National Park, passing by some of the world’s famous climbing monuments, such as “El Capitan” and “The Half Dome”. I ended my whitewater adventures with a solo winter paddling trip to Isla Espirito in Mexico, where at the end of my trip I left the threatened island of high winds and 20 foot waves, to paddle across a 10 mile section of exposed ocean in the dark for the safety of the mainland. (Click here to view my solo paddling story).
My main activity though, has always been mountain biking, an off shoot from my bike couriering days in the downtown core of Vancouver. I did well in one of the renowned Squamish “Test of Metal” mountain biking race, a 68 km. race over the most technical terrain in North America as well as the “Mountain Bike Time trial”, an introduction to “free ride” which traditionally was help the day after the cross-country race in Crumpit Woods, Valleycliff.
I placed 1st, 3rd and top 10 overall in my category for the few years when I competed. And later became a certified coach and personal trainer.
Training for me, meant a strict vegan diet, absolutely no junk and serious year round training which included weight training, snow running, indoor spinning, endurance and interval training. And all the while also being a single mom!
I was thrown for a loop when I entered pre menopause which turned my life upside down. My mental drive went into the ditch and fitness quickly followed; extreme lack of energy and drop of self esteem took over. Luckily this period of my life only lasted a couple of years and I was able to recover rather quickly with the help of changing a few major things in my life.
As my body changed, I realized that I could no longer be a vegan, needing red meat to boost my low iron count. I also believe that becoming “gluten free” helped end my “pre-menopausal” symptoms. As well, I sought the help of a Master herbalist who at that time resided in the Squamish Valley. Sarah Orlowski was able to custom make tinctures and teas to help re balance my hormones. She also introduced me to Qi Gong.
During this time, I began to research foods with high beneficial health properties. You will find ongoing posts about those foods within this blog.
Now at 58 years old I have begun the first few steps toward regaining my fitness, striving for the best that I can be!
I am passionate about healthy living, where healthy eating, daily exercise and a balanced mind has become a necessity in my life.
In this blog, I hope to be the inspiration to a healthy, active body and peaceful mind.