• Elliot Cooper

Swap Houses.

Updated: May 23

Here’s an idea to give a boost to your running: arrange with a friend to swap houses for a couple of weeks. Your place of work will be closer or further away, so your commute will be different. But it might encourage you to take advantage of an active commute option that you would have never otherwise used.

More importantly, you’ll be closer to different features in the landscape. Maybe you’re used to running around Yerrabi pond, but your friend lives in Fischer or Chapman, and for a couple of weeks Cooleman Ridge can become part of your regular run. Sure you’ve run there before, but it feels different when it’s right out the door. You’ll find climbs and descents you didn’t know were there, and your sense of the lay of the land will become more precise; more tangible. You’ll explore, and months later you’ll be looking at Google Maps and smiling over a vivid memory of that sketchy goat track down the gully over the back of Mt. Arawang.

Sometimes the view from Cooleman Ridge is spectacular.

Maybe you don’t have such a friend in the Woden valley but you do have a friend in Calwell, right at the foot of Tuggeranong Hill with its nature reserve that spreads out into the Rob Roy Ranges. Or maybe they live in Faddon, nestled in the bowl of the Wanniassa Hills. Or maybe they have a cosy house in Hall. Imagine the glorious trail time you could put in if your local run was the Northern Boundary track, even for a couple of weeks.

And when you return, you will look at your local trails anew. You’ll swap hints with your friend about good places. You’ll probably have taken routes that they had overlooked, and they’ll help you look upon your own local roads and trails with fresh eyes, too. So don’t forget to leave some beers in the fridge to say “thanks”.

Crazy idea? Let me know in the comments.


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