Passion of Ice Skating

I will never forget that day because up until that point I had never witnessed a jump like that up close and in person. I had only seen ice skating on television, where professional figure skaters seemed to execute jumps effortlessly, almost as if they were just dancing, and not barreling down the ice rink at 20 miles per hour. And, I have to tell you that nothing prepares you to see that kind of power and speed up close. What I also remember is that I saw David’s skates at almost eye level as they reached the top of the boards that day- nearly 4 feet off the ground! That’s what I call flying!

At that rink, I got to see a lot of great skating like that all the time. It was my new home rink and I was still an amateur skater, just getting to know the sport. Seeing the raw power of that jump, and the perfect landing made me want learn how to jump and spin and do all those tricks that I saw the other skaters do, and I became determined to do what David did that day…

But my skating career began much earlier, when I was about 9 years old. It all started one summer when my mom asked me if I wanted to take up a hobby for the summer. She introduced to me the idea of either learning how to roller skate or ice skate because she thought a hobby with an exercise aspect would be good for my health. Initially, I thought about roller blading, but the streets around our house were uneven, and had plenty of cracks, which made it difficult to roller blade, so I chose ice skating because there was an ice rink close to our house. It was that simple!

I returned to the sport at age 21, and since then, I’ve learned many spins and many jumps and all the moves in between. And yes… I even the flip that I saw David perform that fateful day. Over the years I took on new elements, practiced them, took quite a few falls, got back up and finally mastered them.

I’ll tell you, there is no greater feeling in the world than learning how to spin so fast that it feels like you’re floating above the ice, or the brief weightlessness you feel when executing a jump – it’s almost like flying. And learning how to control your edges, how to stick the landing and move through footwork as though it were a melody played out before you. It took years to master some of these moves but they have been the best years of my life, because I didn’t just learn the physical moves, but gained the confidence that comes with mastering difficult physical routines!

In addition to learning elements, I learned some other things along the way too like discipline and perseverance, attention to detail and grace, strength, and confidence – all of which have served me well on and off the ice. I spent many hours at the rink drilling and working hard on my elements and I did this as often as possible not because someone told me to, but because I loved it! I even went so far as to take gymnastics and dance lessons in order to improve body awareness and grace, and I cross trained off the ice so that I could become strong and confident. All of this spilled over into other aspects of my life and created the person I am today.

I should mention that I did almost all of my skating as an adult. I realize ice skating as a sport can be intimidating, especially for adults, but regardless of your age, you can participate at any level you want to. And the best part of learning ice skating as an adult is that you get to choose how often you engage in this amazing sport. You can simply do it once a week, recreationally, and just have fun, or you could do it every day if you wanted to for an amazing exercise routine.

Another great aspect is that there isn’t a learning barrier. You could take lessons from a professional trainer, or simply get a learn-to-skate program and practice on your own, at your own pace and comfort level. The most important thing for adults to realize is that anyone can learn (women and men) and no one is too old! During my years, I’ve met all ages and people from all walks of life on the ice and have formed great friendships and come to realize that anyone can learn how to skate!

I have been teaching skating for over 15 years now and I love passing on the passion of this amazing sport! Come join me on the ice, and let me share the joys and personal development it can bring into your life!

Recreational Running

Recreational running has also become a great social activity in our society today. Everyone who has incorporated it in their lifestyle knows the health benefits associated with it. Due to the increased number of people currently engaging in fun running, there are now more cases of running related injuries than there were few years back. I get asked all the time how one can deal with these injuries and since every case is different we are going to look at general ways to avoid or manage running related injuries.

Build your mileage gradually

It is human nature to try and accomplish as much as possible in life within a short time. For running unfortunately, doing too much too soon will only hurt you and discourage you from pursuing your favorite sport. This mainly applies to beginners more than advanced runners. It is important to remember that your body has to adjust to accommodate the any increased physical stress and it can only do so gradually. An increment of around 10 percent of your weekly mileage is enough after every 3 to 6 weeks. In other words, if you are doing 15 miles per week and you want to increase your mileage, you do not need to go past 16.5 miles per week. Bear in mind that your body will need up to 4 weeks to accommodate the increase comfortably.

Avoid running on hard surfaces

Most injuries associated with running are as a result of running on hard surfaces. I am sure there are trails or parks almost every location and making good use of them is paramount. If you like running along paved surfaces, at least make an effort to run on grass or dirt roads or trails once or twice every week. A good time is when you are doing one of your longer runs; it is refreshing to your legs. It is also important to avoid uneven surfaces as these may mess up the alignment of your body especially your legs and back.

Choose the right running shoe

I cannot stress this enough, but the condition of your running shoe greatly determines the number, type and frequency of running related injuries in your running pursuits. In other words, if you choose the wrong shoe type for your feet, the chances are that you be hurt even if the shoes are new. Sometimes you may have the right type of running shoe, but you have exceeded the mileage requirement for the shoe. If you are a beginner and you are not sure what type of running shoe to buy, get advice from running shoe expert or your trainer or more experienced runners. Avoid buying cheap shoe simply because of the price, it may cost you a fortune to treat injuries or even worse case stop you from running altogether.

Supplement recreational running with other activities

Our bodies need a break from running especially when we are tired. Since taking a break has its place in our running schedules, I recommend doing other activities that will yield similar benefits as running, but put less stress in our bodies. Swimming and biking are the two most common and effective supplements to running. Both of these activities lift the pressure away from your legs and in the process allow them to recover without you really taking time off from working out. If swimming is not enough, try running in the pool, this will surely give you a great workout. Swimming and biking are also great for rehabilitation after sustaining an injury.

Take time off from running

As mentioned earlier in this article, our bodies need time to accommodate the physical stress that we are inducing through running. The principle behind training in any sport is to improve performance. This happens through recovery and adaptation. The simple explanation of this fact is when you run you are stressing your muscles and other body systems and they can only be stressed to a certain level. Once that level is reached, fatigue sets in and if you do not stop, your body will break down. The best way to avoid breaking down due to fatigue is to take one or two days off every week from running. If you neglect taking time off, you are calling for trouble, you will get burnout or injured and you may not have a choice but to quit running.

Eat healthy and hydrate well

Most people use recreational running to lose extra weight or control their body weight. Due to bad advice, I have seen people running and still eating wrong foods and drinking highly dehydrating drinks. If the whole idea of running is to be healthy, then it does not make sense to counter that effect with bad eating habits. There is no right or wrong, I believe moderation is the key. Eating a desert once in a while is great and fun, eating it after every meal – well, you can answer that for yourself. It is a fact that carbonated drinks when taken excessively only help to dehydrate your body. Drinking water and non-carbonated sports drinks are highly recommended. Supplements and vitamins also go along way in keeping you away from injuries. So remember always to eat enough to supply just enough energy to meet your daily demands, but not excess that will be stored as fats. Extra body weight makes your body more susceptible to injuries.

Climatic Nutrition for Runners

We realise that to run a marathon in 3 hours (or 2 or 4 for that matter) will cost us a certain amount of carbohydrate stored in glycogen and a certain amount stored in fats. We top this up with carbohydrates during the run and we have more or less success (in a nutritional sense)depending on how good we are at getting the right quantity into our system at the right time. But the complicating factor is that we sweat. On a hot day we sweat a lot, on a cool day we sweat a little and on a cold day we only sweat icecubes. But our carbohydrate intake is often linked directly to our re-hydration schedule. This is because for many of us we rely on carbohydrate drinks of various forms to provide our water, salts and carbohydrates in fixed quantities. We use the same formulas for a deadly hot day when our highest priority (and most impossible task) is to replace our salts and water, as we do for a freezing cold day ,when all we really need is carbohydrates (because we’ve lost little due to sweating).

So here is a marketing angle for any aspiring sports nutrition producer. How about supplying a pre-mixed drink that comes in various temperature formulas. Ranging from highly concentrated carbohydrates for cold running to highly diluted (but still high in salts) formulas for hot runs. Maybe call one “High Sweat”, another “Medium Sweat” and the most concentrated carbohydrate model “No Sweat”.

Maybe we should just be more creative with the products we have at our disposal already, by using combinations of gels, drinks, solid fuel, and dare I say it WATER to make up the perfect solution. Of course this is just one more complication that we can probably do without, but it may be that for optimal performance we can’t stick to one fueling strategy for all conditions.

We have to remember:

The hotter it gets the more we sweat, but our carbohydrate demand doesn’t change so drastically

The colder it gets the less hydration we need but again our carbohydrate demand doesn’t change drastically.

So really all we have to do is work out a formula which tells us how many calories we need to top up per klm at a given speed and we can keep that level constant regardless of the environment. Then work out our sweat co-efficient (how much we expect to loose in attempting to cool ourselves) for a variety of temperatures and then drink accordingly throughout the race or session.

Info of Bowling Balls

Let’s briefly breakdown what each of the above mentioned terms mean in reference to bowling balls.

  • Coverstock is essentially to outer surface of the bowling ball that creates the shell. Typically, the coverstock can either be dull or shiny on a bowling ball.
  • A weight block is the core of the bowling ball. Depending on the shape and density of the weight block, it can influence the reaction of the bowling ball.
  • Top weight is the core variation within the bowling ball. If the core is higher in the ball, it produces a higher top weight. If the core is lower, then the bowling ball will have a lower top weight.
  • Pin location simply designates the location of the top of the weight block in a bowling ball.

These definitions simply apply to the bowling ball itself. What factors not related to the make/model of the bowling ball? For this we are referring to factors such as your bowling game itself. Things such as ball speed, track flare, axis tilt, etc all play an important role in bowling. Each person has their own unique way of bowling. Knowing your game and style will make it easier for you to make the proper selection when buying a new bowling ball.

Below is a brief breakdown of a few key definitions.

  • Ball Speed is simply the speed at which you roll your bowling ball. Many of the newer scoring systems measure the speed of your bowling ball. However, not all are 100% accurate, but it can give you a general idea of what the speed is.
  • Track flare is the “oil rings” that appear on your bowling ball after you throw it. These rings show the progression of the rotation of your ball as it is rolling down the lane and the ball changing its axis of rotation while seeking its preferred spin axis.
  • Axis tilt is the angle of rotation of the bowling ball.

Depending on your style and lane conditions, making the right decision can be tricky at times. The easiest and best way to decide which bowling ball is right for you is to visit your local bowling pro shop. Many pro shop owners have been around the game of bowling for quite some time. With their knowledge and experience, as well as watching you bowl, they can give you strong recommendations on which bowling ball will suit your game.

However, not every bowling center has an on-site pro shop. Luckily the internet provides a plethora of information regarding bowling balls. Many of the manufacturer sites provide in depth analysis of reactions and characteristics and even a few videos with the bowling balls in action. Customer reviews found on various bowling ball message forums can also provide real life insight as to what a particular bowling ball can do on certain lane conditions. There are even a few retail sites that provide bowling ball reviews, which are customer reviews for various products.