Fastest Ice In The World

Calgary’s Olympic Oval is the reason we came out here this week. Our son attended a Speed Skating Camp at the Oval. He has his own ambitions and my wife and I want to see him succeed. I’m most impressed by how serious he is wanting to take his training.

Calgary’s Olympic Oval has the world’s fastest ice. Usually our son skates Short Track at our local ice rink and at similar meets in other ice rinks. He decided that he really wanted to get into Long Track Skating, so we got him out to Calgary to try it out. The first four days he wore his Short Track skates and dominated his own abilities.

Sadly, my wife and I ended up buying him his first pair of Long Track boots and blades. I say sadly more for our pocketbook. First these skates cost over $1000 and also the fact that we will be doing more traveling to other Long Track ice rinks in the coming years. There is also a new learning curve for him. But I think it’ll work out.

Our son wants to stand on the podium one day. He has set some lofty goals for himself. If my wife and I can help in any way, then we will. Next month- off to another Long Track for some more practice. In the mean time, lots of workouts and sideline cheering to keep him going.

Skating Never Ends

The Speed Skating season is over. But that doesn’t mean that training is over. On Saturday morning I took my son to meet up with some other members of his Speed Skating club for an hour so that they could get a bit of a workout.

It was a beautiful day, so the kids went out on their in-line skates for some more practice. The four of them enjoyed it tremendously. What I really liked was that it was one of the skaters that wanted to arrange this, not a parent or coach. Speed Skating is a serious endeavor for those involved. The fact that these kids are taking it seriously makes me proud.

I need to get myself more disciplined like these youngsters. Perhaps it’s time for me to put my inline skates back on…

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.

Winter Won’t End

It seems winter isn’t over quite yet. At least here it isn’t. I’m really happy about it as well.

What is funny was our oldest daughter wanted to shovel the driveway after this afternoon’s snowfall. I didn’t want to stop her, so I didn’t. This snow may last only a day or two before thawing into spring. For my family though- this winter will continue for another couple of weeks. We just received some good news.

Our son has earned a spot at the Canada West Speed Skating Championship in Grand Prairie, Alberta in mid-March. He successfully competed in Prince George last weekend to earn this spot. This time, I’ll be taking our son. My wife is thinking she may join me in order to avoid Airport Goodbyes. This is really exciting for us. Our son has worked hard towards this.

So it seems winter will be lasting a bit longer- and I couldn’t be happier.

Airport Goodbyes

Rarely have my wife or I traveled by plane without the other. In fact today is only the third time since we met in the year 2000 that this is occurring. The first time was about fifteen years ago when I had to travel to Toronto for work and be away for two weeks. The second was my wife taking our middle daughter for a cheerleading competition in Los Angeles a few years ago.

This weekend is also for one of our kids- our son. He is competing in a speed skating competition in Northern BC. My wife has chosen to take him this weekend, and if he is successful- I’ll be taking him to the next one in a couple of weeks.

Today was a quick drop off at the airport. I had barely stopped the car and the two of them had jumped out and were on their way. A quick hug for me and that was it. Their short flight had them flying off in a small plane. They even landed before I had a chance to finish driving home and writing this blog.

I wish I had a longer goodbye, but it wasn’t necessary this time around. They’ll be back home by Sunday. But I’ll still miss them. Wishing I could be there to show support to our son. I can’t wait to hear the results of his meet.

Getting Back Up

Cheering for our kids at their speed skating events brings me great pleasure. Today we are spending another Saturday at a Speed Skating competition. This time in Richmond at the 2010 Olympic Oval.

For a building that’s almost a decade old, it’s still in pretty good condition. The risers have remained in the Vancouver Olympic colours scheme. They’ve even left the banners up from the 2010 games offering a visual inspiration for future Olympians.

Our little group from Langley is always cheering each other’s kids as much as possible. But watching the kids can be stressful. As each race last about 45 seconds, it can be the longest 45 seconds in the day. The reason is we don’t want to see the kids fall- because a fall is inevitable at some point during the day. You just hope it’s not one of yours that takes a tumble.

Not so lucky for us. Today, as Darwin was in the lead, she lost her footing. It knocked the wind out of her and she didn’t finish her last two laps. She got off the ice on her own accord, which is always a good sign.

Because she didn’t get up right away- the paramedics were required to check her out. Everything seemed okay and she will be back to race her last two races after lunch.

Getting back up or back on the ice can be emotionally challenging. Getting back out there is the best way to overcome the tumbles and falls. We will be giving some extra cheers for Darwin on the next couple of races.

The road to success has many stumbling blocks. Getting back at it and learning from the mistakes is sometimes a painful lesson to learn.

Where’d The Day Go?

I lost my day today.

It wasn’t like it didn’t happen. On the contrary, lots happened which is why I’ve lost my day. More like lost control of the day.

First was an early morning Speed Skating Meet. It was the first one at our club for the season. So at least it was close by. In between my children’s races I was trying to finish a book- Aramada. So I often got lost in the story while waiting.

On the way home, I had to stop and put in my vote for a Mayor, some township councilors, and some school trustees. This opened up a healthy discussion about politics with my 12 and 14 year olds. They asked who and why I was voting for certain people. As much as I don’t want to create a bias in their future plans- I couldn’t very well not talk about it with them.

At home we had a late lunch and the kids showered up. We had bought a large picnic pork roast, so I carved it into four different meals. A big hunk for tonight’s dinner in the slow cooker. Some got cubed and tossed in the freezer for future use. I sliced a bunch for breakfasts later this week. That left the bone- which will go towards a split pea soup later this autumn.

Now I am waiting to pick up our 16 year old at school. She participated in a 48 hour Zoom Fest. It started Thursday at 5pm and ended today. The students had that time to create a short film. I hope to see the results at some point, but for now- I’m impressed by her commitment to a deadline and her ability to work with others on such a project.

So my day just went quickly and was filled with a lot of life. Maybe I didn’t lose my day after all.

Rather- I lived it.

Late Night/Early Morning

Having a late Friday night isn’t what it once was for me. Especially when I am required to have an early Saturday morning. Drinking and partying isn’t in play that’s for sure. This sacrifice is for our kids.

Friday evenings we spend a couple hours at an ice rink in our town while the kids practice Speed Skating. We get home by 9pm and have dinner. We hope to go to bed by 11pm. Saturday mornings we are up early to head out to a different ice rink that’s at least 45 minutes away from our home just so the kids can get one more hour of “ice time”.

Next weekend is the first competition. A good chance for the kids to see who they are up against this season. We kept our kids active all summer with dry land training, so hopefully their muscles can be better prepared.

If our kids didn’t like doing skating, we would’ve given this up years ago. But they love it. They have a drive and determination I don’t think I ever possessed. Plus, all of their friendships and competitions aren’t “ugly”. In fact at every meet, there is great sportsmanship shown.

They’re pretty good at this Skating thing. Volunteering my time is the least I can do for them. Calling out words of encouragement from the sidelines is my way of showing I care as well.

Olympic Oval Package Unboxing

On Thursday our middle child received a box from the Olympic Oval in Calgary. Well, mom and dad forked over a few hundred dollars and bought the stuff inside- but it was still exciting for her to open it up!

The top of the box was super taped shut with their logo tape on it. So our daughter grabbed a knife and sliced open the box.

Inside was a “Thank You” card from the University Of Calgary and a bunch of air packs protecting their inventory. Our daughter has been planning to go to this university for a while now, I think this makes her a bit more excited about the idea.

Inside the box was a brand new Speed Skating helmet and some skating boots. Now she doesn’t need to borrow our club’s used equipment anymore. This weekend, we will heat up the boots and form them around her ankles to create a better fit.

For my wife and I, these items are an investment into our children. Speed Skating promotes health, activeness and sportsmanship. Promoting these values in our children is important as the grow up. Since our children have been Speed Skating since 2010, I have no issues buying better equipment for them to use. Even when our daughters have taken time off in the past- they always want to come back to skating.

I’m excited for our daughter and her new equipment. I think she will get some good use out of it. Who knows, maybe she will attend the University of Calgary and skate for them while she does studies.