There are some pretty kick-ass people in my boot camp, and I always partner up with them even though I know it’s going to hurt like hell and I might not be able to keep up. Why? Because surrounding yourself with people who are above your skill level makes you push yourself harder. You may not be able to achieve what they do, but it will make you better. And who knows? You may even surprise yourself in the process.
RELATED: 8 Phrases You Will Hear At Boot Camp
No matter what it is you’re doing, if you’re not having fun and don’t love it, there’s really no point. Always take time every few months and self-assess. Is what you’re doing bringing joy into your life? If the answer is yes, then keep on keeping on, my friend. If the answer is no, why the hell are you still doing it?
I'm not talking about adding more fibre to your diet. If you want great results, practice whatever it is you’re trying to improve at on a regular basis. Sporadic efforts will get you sporadic results. End. Of. Story.
I can run for hours at a slow and steady pace, but make me do sprints and within five minutes I want to throw up/pass out. Guess which one will improve my cardio performance the most?
Say yes to opportunities that make you feel uncomfortable. Sure, staying in your comfort zone is cozy like a well-worn sweater, and who doesn't love to feel cozy? But you know what’s not comfortable? Laying on your death bed looking back at your life and wishing you had pushed yourself just a little bit more.
Going outside your comfort zone sucks because it’s UNCOMFORTABLE, but it’s when you’re in this zone you’re going to make the most improvements. It might not be pretty and you may turn into your own Exorcist show, but you will improve.
Yes, there are people with natural ability, whether it’s running, cycling, writing, taking photos, networking, or any of the other kajillion things we can do in this world. What you lack in any sort of natural ability, you will make up for in hard work. So get out there and start working your ass off.
No, really. What are you still doing here?
Winters are busy for me. My hockey-playing son is at the arena twice a week while my speed-skating guy is on the ice three days a week. If you include my own speed skating and on-ice coaching, I spent approximately 12 hours a week at an arena this past winter not including driving to and from the arena, and the amount of time I spend in the changerooms helping my kids get in and out of equipment.
Then the end of March arrives and *record needle across an album* SCREECH… everything comes to a complete halt.
This year, I learned a very important lesson in keeping skills up even when the sport you love isn’t in season. Throughout the fall, winter, and spring, I put off practicing my swimming for triathlons, specifically open-water swims. While I was good-to-go in the pool, I realized the error of my ways when I jumped into the frigid 15-degree water of Lake Ontario and couldn’t adjust to the cold temp.
Lesson learned: It's important to work at your skills all-year-round even if you're not participating in your seasonal sport at the time.
In the meantime, even if your hockey-loving child isn’t on the ice during the dog days of summer, you can still help keep him fit so he’s ready to go when the season begins.
So if summer months have turned your kids' hockey schedule from "got game" to "not game," here are some fun ways to help keep them active.
Work on speed and agility by creating a homemade obstacle course using body exercises and items you have at home.
Need some inspiration?
Simple Obstacle Course No. 1
Items Needed: Skipping rope, cones or chalk to mark out the start and finish of a 100m run
Here's How To Do It:
Simple Obstacle Course No. 2
Items Needed: Chalk
Here's How To Do It:
Grab your sneakers because it’s time to start running. Hockey is based on short periods of intense physical activity. When my youngest gets off the ice from his shift he is drenched in sweat.
A shuttle run course is essentially two cones set up 20m apart. You run back and forth between the cones for a certain amount of time. This drill helps increase endurance and improve speed, while the quick turnarounds at each cone help work on agility. Don’t have cones? Use rocks, sidewalk chalk to draw lines or even use tape for lines. It doesn’t have to be exact. Start off at two minutes and build your way up.
What better way to keep up their skills than playing the game they love. Get the neighbourhood kids (and adults!) together for a good old game of ball hockey. Not only will you be keeping the kids active, you’ll be creating memories.
A strong core is essential for any sport. My kids love being able to beat mom at challenges but a plank challenge is one where I can give them a run for their money. Make sure your kids focus on form—have them keep their butts down and make sure their body is in a straight line.
Never underestimate how simply playing and having fun with your kids will go a long way in keeping them fit until they are back on the ice. Need some more inspiration? Here are ten fun and easy ways to get active with your kids.
A few days ago my husband took my son to the skateboard park. When they got home, my youngest said to me, “When dad and I were coming back from the skate park some guy was texting and driving and almost ran into us.”
Driver distraction is a factor in about 4 million motor vehicle crashes in North America each year.
Driver distraction is not just texting. It’s also things like trying to find your favourite song on the radio, eating, talking on the phone, and even putting on makeup (seriously, people do that?). We are a world of multi-taskers who think we can do it all while we’re driving–sometimes at speeds in excess of 100km/hour.
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It only takes a few seconds for an accident to happen but those few seconds can change lives forever. I know this from personal experience.
In May 2008 my family and I were on our way to my in-law’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day. We never made it because at about 4:00pm less than a kilometer from our house we were hit head-on by a drunk driver.
There was a “C” shaped curve in the road but instead of turning with the curve, the driver kept going straight. He hit the meridian, flew into the air straight into us. One second we were on our way to dinner, the next our van was facing the wrong direction on a residential street across from a park, air bags deployed, shattered glass everywhere because the back windows imploded. I turned around to see my older son's face covered in blood.
That's when parenting survival instinct kicked in. All we knew was that we needed to get our boys.
My husband and I were injured (but not 'catastrophically' as the insurance agency so delicately puts it). My husband had abrasions on his face from the air bag, and I had a broken pinkie finger. I was the lone person who saw the car coming directly at us and had put my hand up to my mouth as I gasped when the collision occurred and the air bag deployed—snap went my pinkie.
Both of us were left with back and neck problems. It took months of physical therapy to fix the physical injuries.
But the mental and emotional ones? Those take longer.
Did you know there are police officers who carry stuffed bears with them while they are on duty to give to kids who are in car accidents? It’s to help calm the child down, especially if he needs to be cut out of a vehicle.
My older son wouldn’t walk to school without that bear because it was the only way he felt safe.
For more than a year after the accident when he went to bed he needed to be given ‘drunk driver magic’ in order to go to sleep. He was worried a drunk driver would crash through his wall while he was sleeping.
His bedroom is on the second floor.
His fear of drunk drivers also had a ripple effect into other areas of his life and we had to pull him from swimming lessons until he felt safe again.
And me? My youngest was two at the time of the accident. I was unable to pick him up for months. I also ended up with a case of PTSD. Although I forced myself to drive and not let the fear overcome me, to this day, six years later, I still have a hard time driving on two lane roads.
Because now I know in a split second how things can change. The collision we were in happened so fast, there wasn't time for my husband to even attempt to swerve away from the car coming at us.
The person who hit us was drunk but sadly, distracted driving now causes more accidents than drunk driving.
CAA South Central Ontario and other traffic safety partners have come together to launch a six week long education and awareness campaign about distracted driving.
They are urging all drivers to make a promise to focus on the road.
But don’t just make the promise.
In only a few seconds you can ruin your life, your family’s lives, and the lives of strangers. There is no text, no song, no lipstick, no conversation that is more important than your life.
Lives depend on it.