Travel For Skating

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.

A Man and His Bucket

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.

Can Am Long Track Day 1

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.

Go Theory!

Gone Again

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.

Our son took a picture of our home from the plane.

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!

WEC

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.

Always Dreaming Big For Our Kids

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.

Go Speed Skaters! Go Team Canada! Go Theory!

Long Track at BC Winter Games 2020

Fort St. John hasn’t hosted the BC Winter Games in 36 years. The town has been excited to share with the province its amazing hospitality. We are pleased to be a part of it.

For the first time ever, the BC Winter Games will have Long Track Speed Skating. This is exciting for our kids as they get to compete in both Short Track and Long Track this weekend. Fort St. John built the long track ice rink in 2010.

Friday was filled with Short Track racing. Zone 3 (the zone our kids are representing) have been holding their own. Our son had two personal best times already. Thus showing that sometimes these bigger competitions can push the limits of their skillsets.

We are here for two more days of events. And of course, we’d love our son to bring home some hardware (read as medals!) If you wish to watch the games on YouTube, Subscribe to the FSJ Speed Skating YouTube channel (and click the bell) in order to be notified when we start the live video just before skating starts. The channel can be found at: YouTube Our son is the one wearing the number 53 on a light blue helmet.

So scream at your screen to cheer him on for us! I’m already going hoarse from all of my cheers.

Oh Dear, Red Deer

Over the weekend, my wife took our son to Red Deer, Alberta for a Long Track Speed Skating meet. This was significant for our son in many ways.

  1. He was in the top four of his age range of the skaters for British Columbia.
  2. This was his first National competition in Long Track Skating and he skated for Team BC.
  3. This was his first ever outdoor competition.
  4. This is only his second long track competition ever. His first was just a couple weeks ago.

Because of all of those factors, our son placed 17th out of 17 kids in his age range. As a parent wanting to encourage him further- what do you say?

First you tell him that you’re proud of how much effort he’s put in. And you remind him that he is still top 17 Nationally in his age range for Canada. You also point out that he has no where to go but up. Having only competed twice at long track, I know it feels discouraging to him to place last. One day he can make it to the podium.

I’m looking forward to seeing him in action at BC Winter Games next week. He will be doing his third ever set of Long Track races as well as Short Track. Hopefully he isn’t dissuaded from doing his best. I’m just as proud to see him out there putting in effort as I am seeing him win.

I don’t know if I’ll ever see him skate in Red Deer in the future. But I hope he took away from the competition some learning points. Like dress warmly!

BC Cup Prince George

On Saturday we spent the day in Prince George at The BC Cup… Part One… That’s because there is a BC Cup 2 next month in the Lower Mainland. We could’ve just gone to one of them- but they add the points between both… basically whoever gets the most points goes on to “Provincals”. So to guarantee a chance it’s best to go to both competitions.

Le sigh.

Arriving at our destination, it was obvious that I was unable to escape my work. We were at the rink connected to the CN Centre. But I wasn’t here to think about work- it was all about our son. So we focused on that.

He worked hard all day- stretching and exercising between races. Our regular coach wasn’t able to be there, but a lovely lady named Nicole and a fellow named Adam were willing to give some advice and call out tips to our son during the races. Theory took to the coaches really well and it helped tremendously.

Throughout the races, Theory did his best. At one point he was in fourth place and the three boys in front of him fell at different times and our son took this opportunity and earned first place. This pushed our son for his next race as it put him in a higher level. That next race- he earned a personal best.

Our son raced in five races. Each race lasting 45 seconds to 3 minutes or so. Not very long all things considered. On the other hand, our daughter Darwin volunteered her time as a “Track Steward” for the entire day. She had to make sure the markers were in place, holes in the ice were repaired, and the corners were smooth for every left turn. She enjoyed being on the sidelines silently cheering on her friends and her brother. It was a full time job.

In the end, we still won’t know if our son made it into “Provincials” but it looks like he’s in the top 8 of his division so far. He was up and down all day with the scoring. And if some of the boys from up north don’t go down to Richmond- it may help our son’s odds.

Competitions like this are stressful. I just want our son to feel that his hard work is paying off. It was a good feeling to hear people in the audience who I don’t know- cheer his name. I felt so much fatherly pride. That’s something worthwhile as our son does something he loves.

2019/2020 Skating Journey

I’m really proud of our son- he successfully qualified on Sunday to be in the BC Winter Games this upcoming February. The end results were really close for him. He was in a three way tie for second place and in the end barely beat out one of his competitors to earn his second place spot. The judges used the times of the 1500m race to decide. Luckily for our son- he’s quite good at those long distance races. My wife was texting me status updates about each and every race. It was a nail biter for our family. But at least that stress is over.

He was so happy he didn’t care that his last name was misspelled.

There are a couple of other big competitions coming up. At the end of the month our son is traveling to Prince George to compete for a chance to be in BC Short Track Provincials. In order to be eligible our son would have to attend at least one BC Cup this year- either in Prince George in a couple of weeks or Richmond in Mid-December to earn points. It’s better if he goes to both competitions in order to garner more points for his chance like he did last year. In the end, he will be attending both.

Lastly will be getting into CanWest. He will need to place in a top spot in Provincials or luck out with a wild card spot. Both are possible, but I think he would get a greater joy from earning his place. All of these “Bigger Competitions” are at the start of next year- which is really only a couple of months away. Our son is training on the ice five days a week at numerous facilities in order to achieve his goals.

All of this is only for Short Track Speed Skating. I’m afraid to see what comes next when he wants to do Long Track.

Live From Grande Prairie

Today is the day our son Theory competes for Team BC at CAN WEST Speed Skating. He is racing in the T2T 12 Male. T2T=Train to Train- big plans for future Olympians! (At least that’s how I see it.)

Yesterday was a warm up and a chance for the coaches to give some pointers to the team. Over the past few months- these kids were competing against each other to gain a spot for this. Now there will be a few times that they need to work together to achieve a team goal.

We are going to be cheering for the BC Team. If you wish to watch a live stream of the events, the arena is broadcasting it on their Facebook Page. I’ve shared it already with friends and family. So of course I want anyone and everyone to watch it! Check the link below:

Here’s the Facebook link: Canada West Speed Skating Championship

As a father of one of the kids completing- I’m going to be one of “those” parents cheering and screaming loudly. If you choose to watch the live stream- be sure and listen for me calling out to my son- “GO Theory!” You too can scream at your phone or computer to offer support. He will be wearing helmet number 65. I’d love it. And I’m sure our team of skaters will appreciate the love as well! Even messages of encouragement make all the difference.

I’m off to cheer now.

Putting The “Ice” in Practice

Today is the final practice for my son and his cohorts before we head out to Grande Prairie, Alberta. We are proud parents knowing that Theory has made it this far competitively. As well as the fact that he is eager to do his best.

On Monday, he was so eager that he hit the ice before anyone else and began doing laps. His determination comes through when he hits the competitions. These last couple days he has been taking the advice of the coaches and utilizing their knowledge to better himself.

I can’t wait to see how he does at a bigger competition with more pressure on him. My hope is that next year he keeps up the determination and enthusiasm for Speed Skating.

Reliving a Bit of Tokyo

Saturday night we spent at home playing video games as a family. We played a family favorite- MarioKart!

Playing MarioKart is competitive to say the least in our home. But tonight we raised the stakes a bit. Whoever came in first chose what flavor KitKat the loser had to eat.

I lost the first round and was told to eat the Sake flavored one. My son tied with me for last- so he got to enjoy one as well.

I then lost the second set of matches, but our daughter took pity on me and gave me Apple flavor. Phew.

My streak went from bad to worse. I ended up in dead last for three of the four races in our last match. No pity this time- Wasabi flavor was given to me.

All of the tastes were unique to say the least. But it would’ve been nice to be the one to choose what flavor the loser got. I guess I need more practice at MarioKart.

The Big Speed Skating Competition.

Today is day one of BC Short Track Championships. Our 11 year old son is competing. This is the set of races that he has been working towards all year. This is also his first year representing Langley Blades. His name was even in print. That means a lot to a young man.

This is the big event for kids and teens across our Province. Our son will compete against many of his friends from other clubs. Healthy competition and fun rivalries are abundant this weekend.

With the National Anthem finished being sung, it will soon be time to start the races. Two long days ahead of us. For our son, the other skaters and all of the audience members cheering on family and friends- it’s time to focus, stretch, and get mentally ready. Maybe one day, some of these skaters will represent our country in the Olympics. Encouraging them at a young age is paramount to their development. Time to cheer them on.

Go Skaters!

Go Langley!

Go Theory!

Being Competitive.

Today we traveled out of town for a speed skating meet. We left the comfort of the Lower Mainland and traveled to Kamloops. There’s actually snow on the ground out here and it’s cold! Strange concept for attending a competitive winter sport. Considering we were in t-shirts the other day back home. 


We had to come out to this meet for our children to get faster ice times. Being in a higher elevation, the ice is harder in Kamloops. Back home- the ice is softer. We needed to get a better time for our daughter to try and get her a “Wild Card” entry into BC Winter Games Feb.23-25 2018. Which will also take place here in Kamloops.


Our two kids are of different skill levels, but had to compete in a race together. It’s not always about who is first, but rather their times. But it still caused some nerves in our daughter. With one false start, they needed to have a second start. At the end of the race, the kids were congratulating each other.

All the other kids/teens that attend these meets start to get to know one another over the years. Even though we had the only two skaters from Langley/Lower Mainland at this competition- our kids know many of the other skaters. Lots of hanging out with them off ice as mom and dad fret over whether they are going to beat their previous times.


Later this evening, we will journey back home. Hopefully the roads will be clear enough for us to get home safely. I almost wish I had a zamboni to drive. That’d be fun.