More Speed Skating Ice Time!

The Langley Blades Speed Skating Club has been able to secure a couple of hours every Sunday at a sports complex that just opened. The complex is so new that they don’t even have the concession area rented out. I’m glad that our little club jumped at an opportunity to get more ice time- this will be beneficial to all of our skaters as well as future skaters.

The new location is just a twenty minute drive from the Langley Sportsplex where we skate twice a week and have our competition meets. It may seem odd that our club has some new time at North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex, but we have skaters who live in Surrey. This is a great opportunity for them to be closer to home and maybe garner more speed skaters to join.

This new ice looks pristine and will be a great opportunity for the skaters to get more practices in. Speed Skating always seems like an afterthought at these places. Hockey and Figure Skating always comes first. We are lucky to get the time slots we do and when new times come available, the skating clubs push to try and secure a couple of hours.

Personally, our family does a lot of traveling around to make the most of the opportunities to speed skate. Every week our son skates 4-5 days for a couple of hours each time. It’s not just in Langley mind you. We also travel to Maple Ridge and Abbotsford in order to get some training. Some of the skaters at those clubs come out to Langley as well. It’s quite the little community of skaters all sharing in the knowledge and expertise of the sport.

Now that we have a Surrey location- maybe there will be a new club created. But in the meantime, they shall carry the Blades name for the foreseeable future.

For more information about our club, visit Langley Blades or find them on Facebook. We’d love to see more up and comers join in the sport.

The Parents Who Volunteer

Fort St. John is a small community with a large Speed Skating Oval. While here, our kids got to experience a true sense of a tight knit community supporting their dreams.

The parents of almost every skater has volunteered their time in many aspects. From photography to lap counting to place judging and every background position possible. Setting up these meets and camps just to promote the kids and their goals.

The statue out front of the Pomeroy Sports Centre shows a father tying up his kid’s skates. This is the perfect representation of how sports bring forth a sense of family and camaraderie. I’ve tied my fair share of ice skates for many kids already. It’s a sense of encouragement that can mean so much out there.

I also love to hear the cheering going on for every child out there on the ice. The parents, coaches and other skaters cheer one another on. I’ve mentioned this before, but I still delight from the enthusiastic energy produced.

It makes all the difference in the world to many of these kids.

Baseball

I’m not exactly the biggest Sports guy around. But last night my wife took me to my first ever baseball game. I enjoyed the experience. Here are my highlights:

It was pride day at the field, so there was a ton of amazing and fun people around. Lots of love to be shared, that’s for sure.

I did the typical baseball thing as well. I enjoyed a hotdog with mustard and an ice cold beer. (I’m glad it was paid for, because sporting events and food is far too expensive.) Watching the game at dusk really added to the enjoyment. As the sun set- the field lit up creating a beautiful glow.

I got to met one of the costumed mascots and took an obligatory selfie with him. As for the game itself, I couldn’t tell you who won in the end- I cheered for both teams as the night went on.

My wife and I both liked the fact that it seemed pretty retro and old timey at the field. With a kid in the back of the field swapping numbers the old fashioned way. He seemed really happy in his job since he had the best seat in the house.

Would I attend another baseball game? Sure. Maybe with some bigger names teams from the MLB. It was definitely a lot of fun.

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.

Behind The Successes

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.

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.

No Bowl

Not having cable tv means not seeing shows as they are aired. I’m okay with that. I didn’t like being forced to watch shows as they were being broadcast. Even worse was setting the VCR (back in the 80’s) or a PVR to record your shows only to have set it incorrectly or have others spoil the results.

It’s been years since we had cable tv. We do enjoy watching shows as a family, don’t get me wrong. Netflix and Amazon Prime have become a staple for our viewing enjoyment. We even stream shows directly from the websites as well. It’s a bit more of a freedom and cost savings in our minds.

But days like today, where a major sports event is happening, is a bit more of a challenge. I’m not a big watcher of sports as it is. So it doesn’t matter much. We used to have people over to enjoy the events because I like to make food and host a good party.

Cutting the cable was a move we wanted to make. It has been great. We enjoy our freedoms from the boob tube. It’s not for everyone that’s for sure. But it worked for us. Now off to see what team everyone on social media is rooting for!

Go Sports Team!

More Skating

It was an early start with two of my kids today. We were out the door at 6:15am in order to attend a Speed Skating meet that began at 07:00am. At least there was no traffic on the roads as I tried to find the arena. It didn’t help that it was under construction with no signs and limited parking.

We arrived at a time where cars were behind me as we all tried to find a parking spot. I got lucky and parked close to the entry under a sign that said “3 Hour Parking” and in smaller print “Mon-Fri”. I think people tend to not read very well. Their loss, my gain.

I got the kids into their change room and procured a sweet spot in the stands. Where I promptly unpacked some blankets and took over my little nook that would remain home for the next 8 hours. Painful wooden bleachers which has caused me some lower back pain. Oh the suffering!

The races went great. Theory destroyed the time on his 1500m. Which was great! Then the coach had him skate an extra 1500m which tired him out right before lunch. I supported the coach in that decision. Muwahahaha.

Between races, my daughter and I played on our Nintendo 3DS’s. It was a great bonding time for us. My son constantly went to stretch and exercise (also known as goof off) with his friends. But when it came time to race, they took it seriously.

It was a great race day with no falling or injuries. Some average times for the balance of the races for our kids. But a good learning experience to figure out what they need to focus on next time.

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.