Digby’s free for all gym and fitness spa

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
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Published on February 10, 2012

Stopping to admire the stark contrast of the rugged rock and scrub spruce against a fantastic frozen stream.

Published on February 10, 2012

The Fundy shore is a riot of textures and shapes

Published on February 10, 2012

A frozen waterfall falls into a gully on the Fundy shore near Broad Cove.

Published on February 10, 2012

A curtain of ice drapes itself over the rocks on the Fundy shore.

Published on February 10, 2012

Digby mayor Ben Cleveland visited the memorial to the crew of the SS Princess Louise recently.

Published on February 10, 2012

Detail from the SS Princess Louise Monument on the shore near House Cliff Cove.

Published on February 10, 2012

Ben Cleveland waves from the foot of the massive cliffs at the east end of House Cliff Cove.

Published on February 10, 2012

Ben Cleveland climbs on the Lego block cliffs at the east end of House Cliff Cove just west of the SS Princess Louise monument.

Published on February 10, 2012

Ice decorates the cliffs of House Cliff Cove near Broad Cove on Digby Neck.

Published on February 10, 2012

Ben Cleveland walks below the towering basalt formations at the eastern end House Cliff Cove.

Published on February 10, 2012

A splash of colour of the beach of House Cliff Cove.

As Simple as That -- a column by Jonathan Riley

Digby has the best gym in the world. It's free, always open, never crowded, has equipment to challenge beginners and experts alike and we all can have a lifelong membership if we want it.

I'm taking about the basalt ledge that runs along the Fundy shore.

Moving is good for you and there's lots of space and surfaces out there to inspire movement.

You don't have to go far or take great risks. Even a short stroll on that convoluted landscape can require some gentle little moves-stepping, reaching, stretching, bending, twisting, crawling.

If some of these things scare you, you can slowly get used to them again, just wandering around the Point Prim lighthouse for example, or on the flat rocks of Culloden.

Maybe the first day, your goal is just to make it to the first park bench. Then relax and enjoy the waves there. Don't be afraid of the cold or the wind. Dress for it and stay only long enough for the sea air to get your blood flowing a little faster.

My favourite thing about the shore is how easy it is make little goals for yourself-today I'd like to make it to the funny rock there and then come back. Or keep going.

Eventually you can work up to hopping, jumping, skipping, and scrambling. Plus there are great hills out there to really challenge the legs, awesome rock faces to work the arms.

I have to admit I've been slack lately. And so my latest excursion, just a quick hike to see the SS Princess Louise Memorial, was not only a hike but also a great workout. Two days later I can still feel the tough climbs in my quadriceps, I can feel the deep rocky gullies in my shoulders.

There is also a peace out there-away from manmade structures and noise, immersed in nature, surrounded by the nothingness of the ocean on one side and solid cliff on the other.

The shore hides an unending supply of surprises: frozen waterfalls, an elegant jumble of boulders, a cliff of Lego blocks, tough old scrub spruce defying rocky soil and salt spray.

The rugged beauty out there, the massive rock formations, the steady relentless waves are great for putting our daily troubles in perspective.

The shore is good for everything that ails you.

It is the kind of place Europeans or even Upper Canadians pay big bucks to visit.

And it is ours anytime we want it.



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Recent comments

  • Anna-Marie MacKenzie Kelly
    February 14, 2012 - 19:26

    You nailed it! The Fundy Shore is the best place to relax while getting a great workout in the salt air. Have you visited Tommy's Beach in Little River? That's our little haven. Anna-Marie