My son wanted to make a rug for his speed skating coach since she was going to be leaving at the end of the season. He wanted to make something unique that he knew she would like. He found out her favorite anime film- “Princess Mononoke” and made a rug based on the mask the main character wears.
From start to finish, my son did all the work. He drew out the image, used the tufting gun to fill in the colours, and then did all the tedious trimming to finish it off. I guided him along in the process, offering advice, but he did all the work. He took a few weeks to get it done, where as I try and finish in a couple of days. However long the process- the results were impressive.
He gave the rug to his coach last night at the end of season dinner. He was really proud of the rug; his coach was happy and delighted that he had made it for her.
Perhaps my son will make more rugs as time goes on. For now, he’s really happy with what he has made. I’m proud of the hard work he put in to finalize the product.
My wife went to Kamloops a couple weeks ago for our son’s speed skating. Last week we drove to and from Calgary in the same vehicle. Rogue One was filthy! It was time for a hand wash after these journeys through the mountains and snow.
Our son washed the car as a “payment” (read as torture) for driving him to these competitions. A whole lot of “why?” was asked as well as “it’s clean” was also stated during the process. He was not too happy with me telling him that he needed to touch up a few spots. He also didn’t agree to the idea that Armor All on the plastic and windex for the windows was part of the cleaning process. But he did it in the end.
I don’t have the heart to tell him quite yet that he also has to do the interior vacuuming, windows and Armor All. Let’s wait to mention it for tomorrow.
The last day of skating began with a warm up. As Theory hit the ice, the Star Wars theme was being played, followed by Highway to the Danger Zone. It was a great soundtrack to get him pumped!
He skated so well this weekend. All five of his races he achieved personal bests. One race he shaved off 3.5 seconds! His goal was only half a second- it may not seem like much, but that is huge in the growth of speed skating!
Even though he kept beating his own times, he was unable to qualify for next weekend’s competition. However, the coach for Calgary speed skating has invited him to come out this week for practices. This is a great opportunity for our son to get a bit more ice time before we head home. It also helps that he is showing so much growth that other coaches are wanting to get to know him.
As a celebration for all of his accomplishments, we joined some other skaters, parents and the travel coach for some milkshakes. These were the best shakes I have ever had! (Peter’s Drive-In if you are in Alberta) Kind of odd to enjoy a milkshake outdoors in -8°C weather, but it was a fun way to wrap up the competition!
This weekend is a chance for our son to compete in the Long Track Grand Prix Canada Cup. This entire season he has been training harder than ever and showing vast improvement. I’m hoping he comes away with a few more personal best times this weekend.
We made the trek to the Calgary Oval, with a realization that it’s still winter out there! This morning was surprisingly cold as my son and I made our way to the Olympic Oval in Calgary. Go figure that it’s cold when our son does a winter sport on ice…
The inside of the arena is vast and open. The audience can get good views of the start and finish of the races. Along the way, we have the opportunity to watch the big screen as the skaters round the backside.
I’m happy to be here in person for once. There is still a live feed on YouTube that I have shared with family members. With a total of five races over the course of three days, sometimes it’s hard to justify traveling with him. But as a parent, I’m extremely proud and want to be as supportive of all of our children’s endeavors.
Best of luck this weekend Theory! We are rooting for you!
This past weekend our sixteen year old son was in Calgary for The Western Elite Circuit competition. Normally my wife travels with him to the out of town speed skating meets. But this time she “unfortunately” had to go to Disneyland for work and was unable to head to Calgary. I was also working, so we opted to send our son by himself.
He did go with a couple of families from our club- they were kind enough to offer to make sure he got to the meet each day and kept him fed. His coach also attended to support the club- which was excellent as well.
I was able to watch the races remotely via YouTube. As I have done in the past, I watched the races on our television but also screen captured them on my iPhone. Once I trimmed the length of the races, I sent it off to our group chat consisting of Theory, my wife and his coach. That way they could review each race afterwards and discuss them. I think this helps…
Because he came in first for every race this past weekend!
What was really fantastic was the outpouring of support given from his fellow club members and their parents! The congratulation messages kept coming in as the competition ended.
Needless to say, we are very proud of his success. But now I am wondering if my wife is bad luck when she travels with him… Time will tell. For now, our son is beaming from his hard work efforts paying off.
As my wife Lee-Anne enjoyed DisneyLand yesterday, our youngest had flown into Calgary on Thursday for a speed skating competition this weekend.
Theory is taking part in the Western Elite Circuit at the Calgary Olympic Oval. He had four individual races today and dominated every single one in his division. He came in first and also beat his previous times garnering personal bests.
Theory is staying with other members of our club since he is only sixteen years old. The club’s coach also flew out and is offering advice and tips all weekend. I’m glad that she is there to coach them. It’s good to have someone there who knows the strengths and weaknesses of the skaters.
I’m really proud of his results and determination to constantly improve. His drive is creating individualized success. after his Sunday competition, he will be immediately flying back home. He has a few more competitions before the end of the season in March and I hope that he continues to improve. Cheering from another province is always difficult. But I do it anyways.
Over the weekend, my son and wife were in Fort St. John for a Long Track Speed Skating meet. Just like Calgary, I was able to watch from afar on YouTube. Ah technology!
Seeing my son grow into a young man is pretty awesome. He has developed some good habits and strengthened his muscles over the past year alone. Watching him skate makes me really proud. That’s because of his focus and determination in doing the best he can while on the ice.
Even though he skates maybe a few times each day, I have enjoyed watching his progress in person as well. Having been to Fort St. John with them in the past, I remember what the rink is like and that the people are always welcoming.
But I do miss them when they are away. I always look forward to when they get home. My wife loves to track me on the Find My iPhone app. Today she wasn’t sure if I’d get to the airport first or they would be waiting. Turns out we arrived pretty much at the same time. I was only about five minutes in the parking lot, but could have easily arrived at the airport pick up location just as they stepped out.
I do hope our son appreciates the time and money we put into these competitions. Actually I know he does. He works hard each time and it shows.
An ongoing gag in our home is teasing one another and joking about names. Every one of our kids have had their names changed into various nicknames or puns.
Random has been called
Darwin has been called
Theory has been called
There are plenty of other names, but these have stuck.
The Roy is probably my favorite. It came about at a speed skating meet when he first started about ten years ago. Someone had misspelled his name on the race sheets. Today I was handed a picture from his speed skating club with the same mistake. This is funny because they don’t know about this nickname.
Theory will always have the alter ego- The Roy. A speed skater extraordinaire who talks about himself in the third person. I find it humorous and hope it sticks for years to come- especially in the Speed Skating community.
Today was a Christmas party at our son’s speed skating club. As always, it was filled with fun, laughter, tons of food and this time gifts and prizes!
The food, as always, was in abundance and delicious. Such a wonderful variety of asian and western food to be shared. My belly was full by the end. Just like the rest of the parents- we plopped down in some chairs and hardly moved until the end.
There was so much commotion that I was surprised we made it through the afternoon. But it was an organized chaos. Lots of mingling of the skater, parents and coaches. Even our middle has become a friend of many of these skaters. They too ended up with a grab bag and a gift in the end.
It was a good afternoon and a great way to unwind after the beginning season of speed skating. We still have more competitions coming up, but a gathering to hang out was well deserved and needed- by both parents and skaters.
As I mentioned the other day, my family and I are volunteering at our club’s first speed skating meet at the new rink. There is plenty of volunteer positions that were available. We had so many volunteers sign up, that a few positions were being shadowed as well. Which is all sorts of amazing.
My position kept me busy all day. After every race I had to give out two buckets of water to the track stewards. This happened about once a minute. I even had to refill my large bucket a few times. I had no idea how busy I would be. I thought I would just be sitting around for most of the meet. I was hoping for just a fun name tag and hanging out for free food.
I actually enjoyed my position rinkside. The kids who we’re volunteering on the ice were my bosses for the day. I took guidance from them about what they would need besides buckets of water. I had a bucket of snow, a fire extinguisher and a trowel at the ready in order to repair any chunks that occurred periodically when a skater fell.
Even though our son wasn’t skating, it was a great experience being a part of the meet. This club is run far different from our previous club. Even though the club was fairly organized ahead of time, we still had a few hurdles to overcome before the races began. But it was in all intents and purposes a great competition.
Tonight was a regular speed skating practice session at Theory’s club in Poco. He went there to skate and work out as usual. But the parents were there to discuss the upcoming Saturday meet.
There was plenty of talk about how to organize the meet. Like where people need to be, when they need to be there, where the coaches need to stand, etc… We also moved our club’s mats from one rink to another. (Mats are used along the outside as padding because the skaters can go pretty fast and if they slip- they need that padding to prevent injury.) The reason we moved them to another rink is because this one has stadium seating for the spectators!
Even though our son isn’t skating at our club’s meet- he is volunteering as a track steward. My wife and our middle are also volunteering in their own ways. But me? I wasn’t going to volunteer originally. But I decided that I needed to be a part of this club and as much as I support my son when he is on the ice- I also need to support him off the ice (as well as the rest of his teammates).
My role this Saturday is “Water Bucket”. Super glamorous I know. My wife finds it very humorous. I wanted to be called “Water Boy” but alas- “Water Bucket” is my official title. I promise to be the best Water Bucketer around! Now it is mostly because I am excited about the food that the volunteers are getting. And it’s not donuts and pizza this time around. I have heard the menu! Not gonna lie- there’s a bit of selfish reasoning behind my volunteering.
In all seriousness- there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that many kids don’t see. They are there to skate and do their best. And the parents in the crowd are there to cheer them on. Hosting a skating meet has a lot of background activity that keeps everything flowing. Even my job as a water bucket helps to keep the ice slick. Which is kind of a big deal.
If is wasn’t for my role- those kids could wipe out pretty gnarly. No one wants that. Good thing I’m the water bucket!
As always, I love to write about my kids. Specifically when they are working hard to accomplish something important to them. This weekend my son is in Calgary (again) for a Long Track competition. Today, he was on his own at the rink because I’m still at home and my wife was working remotely from their Airbnb.
All day long I had the Calgary Olympic Oval YouTube live feed playing. I was able to watch him skate on our big screen. Due to a slight delay to my phone- I was able to screen grab his races without missing the starts.
I sent the results, along with the videos- to my son, my wife, and his current coach. In the group text, there was great feedback and discussion about the races. His coach is also here and not in Calgary. However, there is a BC coach who has taken on the roll to assist skaters from our province in person.
I have heard from numerous sources that our son is “very coachable”. He listens to the advice and goes out and works hard to get better. As always, I’m really impressed by him. He got a personal best on one race and took a strong lead on another.
There is two more days of these races ahead and I am looking forward to seeing him in action all weekend.
My wife and son have left for Calgary this weekend. Theory will be skating all three days at the Calgary Olympic Oval. This is one of the few times that he gets to put on his long track skates. Unfortunately there aren’t any rinks nearby that allow for him to practice. So his ice time is limited on those style of skates.
This time around, my wife decided to fly with him instead of the road trip. I don’t blame her since driving through the Rockies in summer is far different than driving in inclement weather. On the fun side of things- my son took a picture of our home from the plane as they passed over. That’s really neat.
I’m relieved that they made it safely to their destination. I was kind of spying on them with the “Find My iPhone” app. In the new year, we are sending him off on his own to fly to a competition. I will 100% be spying on his progress when that time comes!
I’m the meantime, I will be watching his skating from the live feed on YouTube. I think he will get some personal bests since his training on short track speed skating has been intense for the past few months. I wish him the best of luck!
The past few days have been rather difficult. Mentally and emotionally very challenging for me. Some of it is from work. Some from family. But the majority of my hardship is coming from within.
At the beginning of October I decided I needed an escape that wasn’t harmful to my well being. So I began to watch bad “B” Horror films. So far I am ten days and ten films in. Each day I am astonished at the ridiculousness of the plots and the idea that somehow these films were financially backed.
These films have brought me a few giggles. I am also able to really let myself be taken in by the ideals of movie magic and special effects. My wife is astonished that I discovered Tubi and how many films of this caliber is out there. She chose tonight’s film- “Attack of the Killer Donuts”. Spectacular in all aspects and well worth shutting off your brain.
Each of the films I have watched are shorter than most major motion pictures nowadays. Long enough to make it longer than a tv series, but short enough to keep me alert. With all of these bombs, it is taking me away from my life. A well deserved mental break from the challenges I face.
I just have to keep telling myself: Hang in there. It gets worse…. And so do the movies.
Our son was at WEC- Western Elite Circuit. Not being able to be in person at our son’s speed skating competition hasn’t stopped me from cheering him on. I have been kept up to date with his progress through various social media.
As I mentioned, I was watching him repeatedly on YouTube yesterday. It was nice to be able to view his races virtually. His club has also been active on Signal- sharing valuable information. As well as various Facebook posts.
Seeing our son on his skates makes me proud. His skill sets are improving and even his new coach is happy with the progress she has seen in only a few months. He will get much further over the next couple of years with the new training and all the competitions. It’s nice that Covid restrictions have been lifted and allowing for more racing. That has definitely helped in his progression.
From previous Covid protocols, the live feed has allowed me to watch from afar. So that has been beneficial for me. I have enjoyed the feeds over the past few times he has gone out of town. I will continue to watch whenever I can’t be there in person.
Today I just did stuff for me. Sort of. I started my day early by cleaning the bathroom and mopping the floors. I took a break to watch my son skate via a live feed from Calgary.
At lunch, I went to meet a couple of buddies for beer at a new brewery in Langley. It opened only a month ago, so it was still fairly new and not too busy. During our beers, we took a break and watched another of Theory’s races on YouTube.
By three o’clock I was back home and caught Theory’s final race of the day. This was followed by some “me time” floating in the pool. I didn’t turn on the heat, so it was a float on the cool water as I enjoyed the sun and a couple more beers.
After such a busy few days off, I needed the afternoon to myself. I’m glad I met with my buddies for a break. Too bad they had other plans for the afternoon- otherwise we’d have gotten into more than a couple drinks. So much for the idea of Sober October. There’s always next year.
Normally my wife attends the speed skating practices on Saturday and Sunday morning. I offered to show up today and let her sleep in. Partly because she had a long work week. But also because the parent who does first aid is off sick this week, so I volunteered to be rink side just in case.
It was a beautiful morning as the sun rose up. The kids arrived thirty minutes early to do a warm up outside prior to entering the arena for skating. Even before the coach got there, they all knew that they should do a few laps around the facility to get their muscles activated.
Standing rink side, I enjoyed how smooth the kids were on the ice. Each of them had good form and listened to the coach’s advice as they lapped around. Today’s practice wasn’t about speed, but rather technique. It works the kids towards muscle memory for when competitions come around.
Being supportive of our kids for these last twelve years has made a difference in the commitment level that they are putting in. Theory is getting stronger and we are hoping he starts to get into bigger competitions as he gets older. Our other two have taken away the ability to coach future skaters and our middle child continues doing it every Sunday.
So a big high five to all the parents out there that make the sacrifices to be up early and pushing their kids at various sports! I see you. Keep it up.
Theory’s newest speed skating club is very active. They push the skaters harder than I have seen. So far it seems the skaters are up for the challenge and not complaining. The group still has ice time at an older rink, so they are utilizing it.
Every Tuesday that I am working night shift means I will be dropping our son off at Planet Ice. This was the club’s original home ice. If I’m working day shift- I’ll likely be picking him up on the way home. It is probably one of the coldest rinks I have stepped foot into. This is good for the skaters. But chilly for the parents and spectators.
At least the group is getting some intense workouts. It is much needed for every skater. I can’t wait to see the results over this next season.
Saturday was the last day I had off for my vacation. I had the house to myself for the last few days of vacation. So I enjoyed my solitude.
My wife had taken Theory to a speed skating competition in Calgary for the weekend. Darwin tagged along as well. I was lucky enough to have watched his races via a live stream from The Olympic Oval.
Being that I was home meant I had to take of the garden. We have had a good amount of vegetables coming in. Mostly peppers and tomatoes. Our mixed apple tree is bearing a ton of fruit as well. I can’t wait to make an apple pie from the green ones!
The end of my day (and vacation) I watched the sun as it set. The sun beams shone over the land as the clouds lay up in the sky. A flock of geese flew past at one point making a flight path southward. Summer is almost over- unfortunately my summer vacation has come to an end.
Yesterday was the last leg of our journey to return home from Disneyland. We woke up and had breakfast by 7am as we were all eager to get under way. Home was only a short 5 hour journey if traffic was good. Otherwise it could take about 6 1/2 hours. We needed to get through Tacoma and Seattle.
Of course, the teenagers were out cold AGAIN almost instantly. Yup, I kept taking pictures of this. My wife and I talked and listened to music up front and enjoyed the peace and quiet coming from the back.
I mentioned about having road nuggies the previous day. This time my son wanted to bring “racon” aka “road bacon”. He grabbed a to-go coffee cup and filled it packed tight with bacon from the hotel breakfast. A couple hours after leaving and our car smelled like the heavenly aroma of bacon.
The journey only took us a little over 5 hours to complete. Once we got home, our oldest was in the process of tidying up. They had opted to staycation at our home and look after the pets and house while we were out of town. They even made my wife and I a painting and left it in our bedroom for us.
Being home is a great feeling. I was surprised that it was far hotter than Disneyland. But I got to work quickly and had the pool cleaned and open for us to relax in after our two day drive home. I love the memories that we have made over the years doing these road trips. Maybe more will happen, but I have a feeling this may have been our last one for quite some time.
Next summer I do not plan on going anywhere as our home is pretty gosh darn awesome. For now, I’ll enjoy the next few days alone as my wife is taking our two youngest on yet another road trip to Calgary for a few day. Practically feels as though she is living in her car. But this sacrifice she is doing is for our son’s speed skating. He has a competition this weekend and it was imperative that he attends.
A bit of “me time” is on the agenda the next couple of days as my vacation time winds down. I’m sure I’ll be able to keep busy. Or at least catch up on some naps like the teens did.
This past week, my wife and son were in Calgary for a speed skating camp. Today was a competition for the skaters.
My wife shared with me a live feed of the event on YouTube posted by the Calgary Oval. I watched our son competing from the comfort of our living room. seeing his name on the television brings me a sense of pride and joy.
But watching him skate brings me more joy. He is passionate about his skating and is always pushing to improve his skills.
In his two races- he got new personal bests. He even shaved ten seconds off one of the heats. I’m really impressed and I hope he continues on the path to success in speed skating. The trips out of province are a good chance for him to get better and meet with other skaters.
But I can’t wait for them to come home. I miss the family when they are away.
Our family has been a big part of Langley Blades Speed Skating since 2010. My wife has done a lot of volunteering, I have done my part whenever possible. Our two oldest became assistant coaches over the last few years as well.
However, as the next season in September approaches, many changes are coming. Our two oldest won’t be coaching since post secondary has taken priority in their lives. As well, our son will be leaving to go to another club. At the next club- he will have an opportunity to expand his abilities. He has already begun Spring Training and is enjoying the challenge.
As a thank you to my family, the Langley Blades presented us with a plaque and an award for our dedication to Speed Skating. My wife received it on Friday night at the AGM. Lee-Anne described the evening meeting as a bittersweet event. It was kind of the club to recognize the hard work and volunteering our family did over the last 12 years.
We will continue to see the skaters and parents at various meets and competitions. Perhaps we will be called upon to assist with their meets. Who knows, our two oldest may be able to find the time to coach as required. It’s tough to move on from a sports club sometimes. The growth for our son will only come if he learns from other coaches. And the growth of our previous club will come as they bring on new skaters.
Thank you Langley Blades for the years of training and fun. And a big thank you for the acknowledgment of our dedication to the club.
If you are local and want to keep your children active – try Speed Skating at Langley Blades.
Today I was able to watch my son in Quebec at the 2022 Canadian Youth Long Track Championships. My wife sent me the link this morning. She also gave me a few minutes warning right before he hit the ice.
Viewing the races on YouTube in real time made me happy. I felt like I was supportive even though I wasn’t physically there. I also watched his final two races of the day on our big screen tv. That was cool!
Watching on my phone, I also did a “Screen Grab” recording. Once the races were done, I cropped the length of them to be just of his race. This way I can send it off to him to review. He will probably show his new coach as well in order to get some feedback to get better.
Tomorrow is another day of racing for him. I suspect that he is tired after todays events. Long track speed skating is not his strongest yet, but he really enjoys it. Now to get him some training in places like Calgary and Fort St. John.
For my family and friends who wish to watch the feed tomorrow, here is the link: YouTube Live Feed
Our son is still actively training even though the regular speed skating practice season is over. Now he is onto Spring Session with his future club. And they push hard.
He is enjoying it. He’s looking fit. He’s strengthening his muscles, and getting a chance to meet other athletes with similar goals. Our last club was great and the family was there since 2010. But because our son wanted to continue with competitions- he needed to move to a club that really pushes the skaters.
Last weekend our son also went to participate in a special training at a University campus. This was put on by RBC to allow up and coming athletes from various sports to showcase their skills. It was mainly for sports that aren’t as mainstream as some. So no hockey or baseball were being represented. Once the evaluations are completed from the one day event, those kids selected will be given a grant to help pay for their dreams to compete.
I do hope the best outcome for him with that brief moment to showcase his strengths. But since it is Canada wide, he knows that he can’t be disappointed if it just doesn’t happen for him. However, we are still making sure that he practices and trains as much as possible in order to keep his muscles strong. There are a few summer programs and still a couple competitions that he will attend prior to autumn.
Training and a regimented schedule will help to keep him focused. I know he wants it bad enough, so my wife and I will help him on his journey as best we can. Mostly my wife mind you. She is really devoted in seeing what competitions are coming up and his times at each event. Being a supportive parent is the best thing we can do for him.
Do you train for something you enjoy? Let me know!
As my last day comes to an end, I think I had a relatively great staycation. A quick look back at the last ten days showed how busy it was. As well as how productive it ended up being.
We did a bunch of gardening, went to a speed skating meet last weekend, had a night on the town for my birthday, and built a gazebo as a family. We built some Lego, and our oldest came to visit and we all had a delightful time. There really isn’t much more I could ask for.
All in all it was a great birthday week. I’m glad I spent it with my family.