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Summertime lounging: Shockingly sober, this dynamic duo chill in Radium--hammock style!
Kris Kotarski/The Gauntlet

Taking some necessary time off

Maxin and relaxin a must for everyone

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I have to admit it, I talk a big game. The problem is, I tend to back it up. While I am adamant that I am not an alcoholic, I am, for all intents and purposes, a drunk. And that can take it's toll.

Therefore, I am well aware of the need for a break, a time out, a detox if you will. And this doesn't apply solely to those who oft imbibe, but to everyone who goes too long and too hard at anything. You deserve, and require, a break.

Whether it be a day spent in bed reading a book cover to cover, a day at the spa, a long, hot bath, or (my personal favorite) a weekend in Radium.

Coincidentally, after my two-week binge for the good of the people, I stole away to that British Columbia retreat in the valley reminiscent of The Land Before Time to sleep, eat and do little else. Needless to say it worked like a charm.

Allowing the pressures, tensions and toxins of everyday life to work themselves out of your system is an absolute must. It's a great way to refocus yourself, to get ready for a return to the hustle-and-bustle refreshed and ready for action.

For any students not from Western Canada, Radium and the surrounding area is a lot like cottage country in Northern Ontario. Only with mountains, and without Torontonians. Bliss indeed.

Allow me to offer my personal necessary elements for a revitalizing Radium weekend--the best way to get yourself together in style.

First things first. You need to make sure you have the right crew before you head out. If two of you are looking for a chillin' time and the other one wants to get right rowdy, there could be friction. Make sure you're all either on the verge of collapse or on the road to bedlam. There can be no in between.

Next, make a few calls to see who else might be out there. I employ no hyperbole when I say that everyone in Calgary knows someone with a cabin in Radium, Invermere or Windermere. Everyone. I have never seen any facts or figures, but I would put good money on the fact that over 90 per cent of all residents are Calgary based.

The benefits of having cohorts out at the cabin may seem obvious to some, but allow me to rattle off a few. They can be golf partners, they can be partners in crime for nights out (or in), they can be guests/hosts for a classic summer barbecue and most importantly, they can be rides to and fro. Truly invaluable resources.

Once the preparations have been completed, enjoy the trip out. This is the first step to a perfectly chilled out weekend. If you can't sit back and appreciate the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies, you need much more than a Radium road trip. You need a shrink.

If your fitness level and time frame allow it, try to stop off for a hike, stroll or even a picnic somewhere along the two-and-a-half hour drive. There are some beautiful spots on the way out there and it would be a travesty to simply pass them by.

Once you've arrived, the first step is to take off your watch and put it in your pocket. I would say throw it away but you may have to make a tee time or two.

Step two? Grab a good book, a cool beverage and lay out in the sun. It is always sunny in Radium, trust me. When it was rainy and cold in Calgary, it was sunny and humid out there. Like I said, it's like The Land Before Time.

If possible, avoid all electronic devices (save the VCR and the dishwasher) all weekend. Cell phones especially--they are tools of the Devil.

Step three is simple and lasts the rest of the weekend: Do whatever you damn well please. Take note, this is by far the most important step.

Sleep until two in the afternoon, take a nap in the sun three hours after you got out of bed, eat dinner a 11 p.m. Anything you want, that's the whole point.

Coming home will be tough. Very tough. But let's face it, these weekends of incredible leisure aren't free, nor is the gas to get you there or the time spent. The whole endeavor has a significant opportunity cost, but it's more than worth it.

Case in point: I couldn't afford to go to Radium on the August Long Weekend. I didn't have the time or the money. But I found them and, in retrospect, I couldn't have afforded not to go.

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