Presented in partnership with Sporting Life

Are you sporty?
How about athletic?

Those questions can mean a lot of things to a lot of people here in Calgary, a city where arguably, even in bad times, people stick around for because of the proximity to the mountains, which are ripe for adventure on any given day. It’s true, a lot of people live here because it’s a great city to be active in. And while I enjoy fresh air as much as the next person, I’m not sure I would describe myself as the type of people who needs to propel myself off a mountain on a regular basis, more just take pretty photos of them and ski down one every now and then.

So given that Calgary is such an active city, it’s actually surprising that it took Sporting Life so long to open it’s first store in Western Canada. Calgary is a prime location for the store’s mix of fashion and athletic wear and now that it’s open at SouthCentre mall, I think Calgarians will soon be flocking to it. Sporting Life already has plans to open a second retail location in Calgary at Market Mall.


The store actually comes with a personal shopping experience, which is to say that if you’re too busy to wander the aisles trying to think of what might look good, or you have children crawling all over you, or you can’t even fathom looking nice unless someone picks your clothes out for you (hint=me), there’s a Sporting Life personal shopper who can gather all you need and give you a chance to try on clothes without any extra pressure.

I was a bit nervous walking into Sporting Life. When I think of words to describe myself, I don’t often think of the word sport. Unless you’re thinking of it in terms of “Oh, he’s a good sport.” In which I often am. But a giant 44,000 square foot store full of range of premium sporting brands, well that doesn’t seem like it would be for me.

So as we made our way around, I was chatting with the staff of Sporting Life, who asked me to describe my typical day. Sure I spend a lot of time on the computer, which unsurprisingly doesn’t need any special kind of wardrobe besides a onesie. But then I talked about how I like going biking every day, but not getting sweaty. And how on Mondays I play dodgeball, but I don’t really have any good “gym clothes”. And whenever possible, I like to go skiing and hiking, but I never really know what to wear when the weather conditions change so quickly. No word of a lie, it wasn’t until that very moment that I realized that I actually am sorta sporty now. Maybe as sporty as the Spice Girl. Calgary has turned me into a sporty guy. Neat.

It had never occurred to me until we were walking around the store picking out clothes that would not only make some of my favourite activities easier (and less sweaty), but that I could look good while I was doing it. If I had to describe Sporting Life, it’s something like a cross between Sportchek and Nordstrom. And the best thing about the personal shopping experience is that it allowed me to experiment a bit. I’m not fashion-forward, if anything, I’m fashion-backward. Given the chance to dress up, I love it, but I rarely trust myself to do it.

So to be able to describe what I like, but that I’m willing to experiment a bit and then have someone find clothes that fit my style, budget and comfort-levels was a rare treat, that’s for sure.

The store features a ton of great name brands that you’re likely familiar with like The North Face, Nike, Adidas, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, and some Canadian-exclusives like Descente All Terrain, Bogner, Aksovaara, Frauenschuh, Black Yak, Post Card and State of Elevenate.

But I also found a great new Canadian company that I’m really excited about it. They are a Toronto-based and are called Peace Collective. A stylish-brand that donates $4 from every purchase to Breakfast for Learning. I love my “Home is Canada” shirt, especially these days.


In the ever changing landscape of Calgary, The Sporting Life is a welcome arrival. I’m a kind of person that wants my clothes to do as many things as possible. I don’t want to buy a shirt that I can only wear once a year, I want my clothes to basically be transformers, allowing me to find the perfect mix of stylish and useful. There’s a ton of great finds at The Sporting Life. I’m excited to see discover this new side of me. Guys, I’m an athlete. Who knew?

Mike Morrison