For a while now, years actually, I have face a single question from many many different people. Usually the question would arise at competitions, either at home or abroad. Sometimes I would get it at training camps. I've even been asked it while on vacation. The question?
"When are you moving to Montreal?"
It also came in variations.
"Have you thought about moving to Montreal?" "Why don't you move to Montreal?"
I've even got "So I heard you moved to Montreal a while back"
For the longest time my answers were the same. "No, I'm comfortable in Calgary", "Everything is going well so why change?", "Where did you hear that? Its not true by the way".
But finally, the time has come. Actually it has come and gone.
Once the season finished in March, I decided to put some serious thought into moving. After all, moving across the country is not a decision to be taken lightly. I started to piece together some details, talked to some key people who's opinions I valued a lot. I thought A LOT. Probably too much. But finally after a trip home in April, I made my final decision. I would move to Montreal to join the rest of the National Team for this season.
There were many factors at play that led to my decision. But ultimately what it all boiled down to was that I didn't want to look back on my career as a skater and think, what if I had have had the courage to move to Montreal. Could I have been a better skater? Could I have achieved more or learned new methods? I didn't want to have these question nagging a me forever.
Once the decision was made, the work started. Along with my other Calgary teammates, I attended a pre-season evaluation camp here in Montreal in the last week in April. This gave me the perfect opportunity to search out a place to live and get acquainted with what would be my new neighborhood. Once I got back from Montreal, it was really game on. Packing up my condo, cleaning, recycling, selling and giving stuff away (I still have two desks for sale, leave a comment if you are interested and in the Calgary area!!).
Then on May 16th, I packed my Volkswagen Golf as full as it has ever been, and pointed it east.
(didn't manage to get a Quebec border sign pic because it was pouring rain and I just wanted to get there by that point)
3800km and four days later, I arrived in Montreal. The drive across the country was long. But it was also beautiful and even a bit fun. I don't know if I would be eager to do it again soon, but I will definitely do again in the future, and hopefully take more time to explore along the way. Canada is really big and beautiful.
So thats that. A big change. The six years that I spent in Calgary were awesome. I've met so many neat people and been fortunate to train with great training partners and under a fantastic coaching staff, but it was time for a change. I'll miss Calgary for sure, but I'll be back one day. I've been in Montreal for two weeks now and even though there have been times where I have felt homesick and had doubts, things are going well and I'm looking forward to this season in a way that I haven't for a long time.
The whole team is off to Font-Romeu, France, for a training camp on Saturday so I'll try to get some pics up as well as some news from the Pyrenees!