Interview with Ian Pottinger


What do you do for a living?
– By trade I am a web developer specializing in database driven content; however, I’ve take leave of programming and am planning a major career shift. In the meantime I have volunteered for various organizations, primarily with the Health Initiative for Men as a receptionist in the Sexual Health Centre and previously as a Support Peer.

Where did you grow up?
– For me, that is a deceptively complex question. Though I was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, my family moved to Toronto when I was only two. Of course, I don’t remember anything of Jamaica and hold no real connection to it. My family moved quite often throughout the Greater Toronto Area, from Mississauga to Oshawa. At 10, we moved to Miami, Florida were I spent my junior and senior high school years. After my graduation we returned to the GTA. I moved to Vancouver in 2005 after falling in love with it over several visits.

How long have you been walking/running?
– I joined the walking group shortly after its formation a little more than a year ago as a liaison between Frontrunners and HIM. My role at that time was to accompany HIM clients interested in Frontrunners’ new walking group on their first visits, helping them fine their way and providing introductions.

Favourite running/walking experience or favourite area to walk/run in Vancouver?
– Each Saturday, I can hardly wait for that moment I walk through the doors of the Wild Garlic. 🙂 Seriously, what really gets me out the door, rain or shine, is the chance to meet and converse with the great people that comprise the Frontrunners family. I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a number of stimulating conversations with both local members and visitors from abroad, so many opportunities to learn and share our vastly different life experiences.

Advice to new walkers/runners.
– Don`t be shy! Find someone, possibly someone else walking/running alone, and introduce yourself. I’ll bet you’ll find your walk/run easier and more enjoyable with the pleasant distraction of talking and listening to someone new.

How did you find out about Frontrunners?
– My introduction to Frontrunners came while I served as a layman on the Fitness Advisory Board at the Health Initiative for Men. Jag Bilkhu came to propose that both HIM and Frontrunners cooperate on building a new walking group. I volunteered to help and thus began my involvement.

How long have you been a member?
– My Frontrunners’ anniversary falls a couple weeks shy of the walking group’s, making me a Frontrunners babe at 1 year and 4 months old. To be honest, it seems much longer, but in a very good way.

What do you like about Frontrunners?
– Vancouver Frontrunners and Walkers has shown me that exercise need not be a headphone-sheltered solitary endeavour nor the competitive test between rivals that I originally envisioned (or feared) groups like it to be. I find Frontrunners a stress free, even stress reducing, reprieve from the building pressures of the week.

Least known fact about yourself?
– I’m oh so humble, an endearing quality that along with a genius IQ sets me above the teeming mass of the rest of humanity. 🙂

Favourite thing to do when you are not working (walking/running).
– Be it over a cup of coffee or a well prepared meal, touring the neighbourhood or driving through the countryside, any activity can be my favourite at that moment as long as there is someone with whom to share the experience. As difficult as it can be sometimes for me to leave the solitude of my apartment, once I am beyond the threshold I’m happy to be out and about, especially when accompanied by good friends.

Walking/running goals or aspirations (long term and/or short term).
– My goal for the summer is to be able to maintain a 5&1 run/walk pace that would allow me to keep in good health. If I can reach 10&1, then all the better. 10&1 would give me the confidence to participate in more of the sponsored races throughout the year. Time will tell how well I do but I remain not only hopeful but determined to become a viable runner.