Adventure Woman – Sylvie Roy


I would like to introduce you to the amazing Sylvie, she moved to Western Canada 17 years ago where she slowly fell in love with the Rocky Mountains. Sylvie is also an academic in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Her first degree was in Kinesiology, then she took a degree in Education and she taught in school. Eventually becoming an expert in second language teaching and learning and sociolinguistics. Growing up in rural Quebec, running and cross-country skiing is where her love of fitness started, she spent her first 5 years in Calgary focusing on her career. In the last 10 years she has learned a variety of mountain sports.

Sylvie can be found on the mountain bike trails or climbing with her son or friends, running through Bowmont Park, swimming with her daughter, preparing for an Xterra triathlon. Sylvie’s favourite mountain sport is mountain biking, when biking she can tune out all the daily stresses of work and in life. As Sylvie was approaching her 50th birthday, she set herself a huge goal of qualifying for Xterra Worlds, she managed to qualify and enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. Prior to this goal Sylvie participated in triathlon in Sprint, Olympic, half-Ironman and Ironman distances before switching to Xterra. When training for specific goals she can spend 6-10 hours a week training, swim-bike-run and now climbing and touring ski! Her weekends are often filled with big mountain days for training.

In the last couple of years Sylvie has started spending more time in the mountains, snowshoeing, skiing, climbing. Snowshoeing was an activity that she started doing with her triathlon coach and teammates for some cross-training in the winter season. In the last year she took up rock climbing to spend more time with her son. She plans to take more rock-climbing courses in the fall to further her skills, a lead climbing course. She finds climbing relaxing being part of a nice community. Despite having a fear of heights, something she is hoping to overcome, to help her not freeze in difficult situations such when she is on the top of a steep mountain. Sylvie has also taken her skiing skills up a notch, by taking a Avalanche Safety Training and heading into the back-country with friends. Her love of the mountains took her to the Alps in 2017, with friends to do the Haute Traverse, 7 days ski mountaineering from Chamonix, France to Zermatt, Switzerland.

With work that requires travel, and lots of writing and research, Sylvie finds her training and mountain sport time is her social time as well. When travelling for work she finds a way to get out for a run or hitting the local mountain bike trails. Endurance sports are teaching Sylvie the discipline and taking rests are the key to longevity in these sports for older athletes. As the next few years unfolds she has her sights set on a 7-day mountain bike race with a friend on a team, the Trans-Rockies. We look forward to catching up with Sylvie after this event to see how it goes for her.

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