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.
Our son began his first job three weeks ago. He is currently a groundskeeper at Surrey Golf Club. Check out my write up about his first week here: 1st Work Week. As I anticipated, he wants to take up golfing now.
He has found about 75-100 golf balls so far at his work. He came home yesterday and wanted to practice his swing. So I did my best to teach him. He hit about 30 or so golf balls and nailed maybe 5 of them comfortably.
My father attempted to teach me how to golf a couple of times throughout my childhood. Unfortunately, he wasn’t patient with me. I think around age 13 he gave up. To be fair, so did I. But I did listen and remember his teachings. I was able to pass the wisdom onto Theory. As much as I wish I could continue to teach my son how to swing a club, if he wants to learn it would be more beneficial for him to take lessons.
Taking from my own past experiences- both in teaching and being taught- learning from a parent isn’t always the best. Expectations can be too high, anxiety kicks in and then finally disobedience to the lesson being taught. Which causes a bit of animosity between parent and child.
I do have a feeling our son will enjoy golf. He is very keen on learning more and loves his job tremendously. The job has been great for him so far. He likes it so much, some days he goes in up to an hour earlier than scheduled. That means being at work at 4am!
Best of luck Theory in becoming a better golfer. Grandpa would’ve been proud.
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
While our youngest is out in Fort St. John for a speed skating competition, Darwin has been actively coaching the home town skaters.
On Friday night, we were in Langley and I watched as Darwin taught the younger of the two groups. Most of it was the basics of speed skating and a lot of drills.
Today is the last day in North Surrey for the season. Our club is in charge of this Sunday skate, so it’s a bunch of Langley skaters who want an extra day of practice. After some basic drills, Darwin plans on making it a bit more fun and games as the last day.
Next year is up in the air if Darwin will coach. Post secondary will take up the majority of their time. This upcoming Friday is the last skate of the year at our club. I know Darwin will be there and hopefully it won’t be emotional for all of them. The kids love Darwin.
Next weekend, Theory has one more competition in Richmond. Darwin has put in a request to be in the coaches box for that one. I think it’s amazing. How Darwin wants to help Theory and any other Langley skaters one last time.
Julian has been a great leader and coach to our kids- and many others- over the years. He has focused on building up the skills that the kids possess without pushing them beyond their capabilities. He has an understanding of what each child can do and has helped to expand their chances at winning in the areas that they would be successful at.
The speed skating coach that my kids have learned from over the years is now training our daughter to be a coach. Yesterday they stood together on the sidelines coaching our local club members.
Julian has been a fantastic coach and friend over the years. His coaching wisdom has been passed on to a few youngsters, such as our daughter. He is an appreciated leader and loved by all of us. We hope for many more years of learning from him and to keep his legacy alive.
Today our 15 year old son is at one of the only Speed Skating competitions that hasn’t been canceled due to Covid. It is hard to have a goal with his practicing and exercising when the competitions get cancelled. I’m hoping for the best results in his races- obviously.
Seeing team Canada’s first medal at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics go to Isabelle Weidemann with a Bronze medal is inspirational today. It’s not just the athlete out there doing their best. It’s the coaches, families and the support group behind the skater that also helps.
Coaching on the sidelines today at my son’s meet is his older sister and two successful Olympic Speed Skaters turned coaches (who also got married)- Julian Green and Eden Donatelli. Darwin has been getting groomed by Julian over the past year or so on how to be a coach. We are lucky to have the medal winning Olympic duo training our kids.
On race day, our son is focused and determined. He is good at the endurance of 1200/1500 meter races. The shorter ones with a quick sprint is not his forte, but he has had a few successes depending on who else he is racing.
In the end, I want to see him succeed. His first race of the day he was holding second place, then overtook his competitor in the last lap and earned first. I am also able to use each loss as a learning point on how to improve next time. I always tell him that no matter what, if he’s giving his all- that’s all we can ask. Some days the times are with him. Hopefully today is a good day working towards those loftier goals.
My family and I have been volunteering at our Speed Skating club since September 2010. As the years have gone on, volunteer work at other events has also happened. As I mentioned yesterday, we had our First Meet of 2021. My wife, myself, and our seventeen year old volunteered for the entire day. Our fifteen year old son competed in the morning, then volunteered for the afternoon.
Our son went above and beyond in his role. Originally he was going to be on the ice as a Track Steward. That meant he would check the ice after each race, adjust the markers, and assist as needed. Instead, at lunch he was asked if he could coach on the sidelines to a new skater from out of town. That skater came down with his father, but did not have a coach there. Because our children have done assistant coaching and coaching over the last few years, Theory stepped up to help without hesitation.
Because this meet was on our home ice, our son knew where to be to offer encouragement and support to a skater he met just moments prior. Watching my son on the sidelines calling out advice and coaching was one of the proudest moments in parenting that I have had. Theory is a great person and offers plenty of encouragement as it is already.
It feels as though our family has made a name for themselves in the local Speed Skating community. I hope it continues on for years to come. I know I’ll be volunteering still and I know our teenagers are enjoying it as well.
Our children have been junior coaches for only a short time. Yesterday one of the parents who help volunteer at our club, dropped off a small gift for them. Our middle daughter was blown away by the gesture. She shared this on her Instagram:
“It’s little moments, little moments of everyday. Little moments like now, like today. The simple little things that make up a bigger entity. The entity of life. Little moments are everything to me. Little bursts of happiness, of joy. The cheers of teammates as you do a race, the unstoppable smiles of finally reaching your goal. Support and love. My favourite moments are the moments I spend here. I love watching the kids improve. Each moment changing everything. Each practice. Every second counts, every second matters to me. I love the smiles that sneak on their faces and they can’t make disappear, the jokes, the hard work. My favourite moments are the ones I spend here, with them. Helping them in any way that I can. My favourite part is when it all pays off and you can see how they’re proud of themselves and want you to see their achievements. My favourite moments are the moments I spend with you. It makes me happy to see that you feel the same way too, you never have to do this although it’s nice to feel appreciated. But you can’t appreciate me as much as I appreciate you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Keep making these little moments with me every time. I miss you all and can’t wait for next season to see you improve even more!”
I was extremely touched by her words. She definitely takes after her father in promoting positivity. That’s a great quality to have. It’s no wonder she, as well as her brother and sister, have become such great leaders and coaches. I’m really proud of all of them for the hard work they put in every time they are on the ice trying to help others.
Great job gang! And a big thanks to Langley Blades for all the years of skating.
This weekend, as our son competes at his Speed Skating event, I realize there is so much more that builds up his success. This is the same for all athletes. And the same can be for our lives if we so choose.
The families and friends who hang in the crowds and support any way possible. From cheering loudly to hugs and high fives; early mornings and car rides; or traveling to different cities- there is always a group of people pushing and promoting. Words of encouragement go a long way mentally as well.
Then there are the coaches offering words of encouragement and advice. When taken to heart- these coaching moments can be extremely valuable. Coaching is a necessity to the betterment of all involved- be it given and received. A coach beams with pride the same way a player beams back gratitude. There is also a ton that goes on behind the scenes such as making sure equipment is ready and functioning.
Finally- there is the healthy eating. Eating the right fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water and keeping it up daily.
All of these are the basics of becoming the best athlete possible. It’s also a great way to live life. Get out there and be the best.
Just like Joe Esposito sang:
Try to believe Though the going gets rough That you gotta hang tough to make it
History repeats itself Try and you’ll succeed
Never doubt that you’re the one And you can have your dreams!
You’re the best! Around! Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down.
School’s in. Now the after school activities are beginning. Tonight is back to Speed Skating! Yay! Ice rinks!
Our son has returned to begin his seventh year. His older sister has also decided to return after a four year hiatus. She was doing Cheer Leading during this time. But now she wants to get back into competition speed skating.
Our son was like a bullet as he went back on the ice. Faster than ever and not stopping. All of his friends greeted him enthusiastically as they raced around.
Unlike our daughter. Her first few steps were wobbly and a bit fearful. Much like riding a bike, she figured it out and began gaining her confidence. As the skating season continues, I’m excited to watch them both improve.
Our oldest child has also decided to return to the ice. Unlike her brother and sister though, she will be volunteering her time as a junior coach and at the various meets. To graduate high school she needs a certain amount of volunteer hours. This should help her out tremendously.
So we are back to spending our Wednesday & Friday nights at the rink. Plus the occasional weekend. Parenting is a good way to transfer your social life over to your children’s. At least the other parents here are in the same boat.