The Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt, Hockey Style

It’s been a long time since I updated but as I’m sure you’re all aware, I recently started in my new role as Director of Women’s Hockey Operations at Colgate. One of my first major projects for the team was to organize our team retreat, so I just wanted to share some details of what we did.

For the retreat, we rented out a summer camp. We wanted it to feel truly secluded – and it did – but to add to that and really force our team to bond, we took the girls’ phones for the whole weekend.

When Coach Fargo and I first discussed the retreat we knew we wanted to do some kind of scavenger hunt, but we thought we’d put a little twist on it and make it more of an Amazing Race / Survivor type of hunt. On the surface, it was a good way to kill a few hours, even though it was going to have a LOT of moving parts. But it became so much deeper than just a scavenger hunt and allowed us to test our athletes in ways that were incredibly telling about their own personalities, how they interacted in a small group, and how they decided to play the game – and how they might translate it to hockey.

Also, while researching for this scavenger hunt, I had a really hard time finding activities I thought would translate well to a group of college-age elite athletes. I found a lot on Pinterest and through Google but what I ended up doing was piecing a lot of stuff together. So if you ever find yourself looking to do something similar, I hope this helps you! Also, Amazon Prime was absolutely key in making this come together. You really can get virtually anything on Amazon.

To kick off the hunt, I divided the 24 girls into 5 teams, totally at random but making sure that there was at least 1 freshman and 1 senior on each team. To make it feel more like a cohesive unit, I gave each team a color and a corresponding bandana. I found blank white flags (thanks Amazon) and ordered 5, and we gave the teams 15 minutes to come up with a group name and a logo on their flag using sharpies.

IMG_0541

Coach Fargo overlooking the yellow team’s flag construction – “Team Queso”

IMG_0540

The CWIH Pink Ladies making their flag

IMG_0539

The Unstoppable Green Machine!

IMG_0538IMG_0537

IMG_0536

The blue team became “The Storm”

IMG_0535

The red team became the “Red Samuri” 

IMG_0534

After they presented us with their flags, I gave them their first clues and a map of the camp, started the clock and they were off. Also, we decided that we would give them clues or a single answer to a question in exchange for a 1 minute penalty off their final time.

For context, here are the team staff roles:

Fargo – Head Coach

Sophie, Stefan – Assistant Coach

Gordo Dennis – Student Manager (also shout out to Gordo for many of these photos!)

Megan – Equipment Manager

Bennett – Athletic Trainer

Bruce Crowley – Colgate alum who joined us on retreat weekend to lead a few team development exercises

Clues:

  1. Find a tree at camp with your team color’s ribbon tied around it. Scattered near the base of the tree are coins. Find the coin that coincides with Fargo’s birth year. Bring the coin back to HQ for your next clue.

I asked Megan to choose any trees in the whole camp to tie to the ribbon around and scatter the coins at the bottom. Three teams found their tree in a pretty timely manner, but two needed a little help. In order to keep the game moving we gave them a little help.

  1. Go to the art center. Make a balloon animal; you may use any and all materials available to you to enhance your project. Present it to the staff at HQ. Choose a staff member to judge, and he/she will determine if your balloon animal passes the test or if you go back to the drawing board. If you pass, HQ will hand you a card with your next location.

IMG_0527

The players had no idea that this challenge was incredibly calculated on our part. We had pre-determined who would hold the clues to the next challenge (Fargo and Sophie) and who would have pins (everyone else). Upon presentation of the balloon animal, if they picked a judge with a pin, we’d pop their balloon. If they picked the right judge – they got the clue. Of course we chose Fargo and Sophie to hold the clues – the two people on staff who are the most authoritative – who we knew the players would be hesitant to choose as judges.

The players really got creative with their balloon animals, thinking we were judging them on that, or how the balloon animal’s story related to team building themes we had explored. They spent a lot of time hammering it out when in reality, it didn’t matter at all – it was who they chose to judge their balloon animal that was the determining factor.

It was also very interesting that Gordo was the most chosen person to judge the balloon animals. He’s someone who was more of a peer to the players and the least authoritative – they thought he’d be least likely to pop their balloon. In fact, some teams chose him more than once! He popped their balloons every time.

We popped each team’s balloon animal at least twice.

Another aspect of the challenge was watching their reactions to us popping a balloon animal they had spent so much time on and put so much effort into. For some, there was just an absolute look of defeat in their faces. That was a test from us: What are you going to do? Wallow in it, or adapt? We also saw a few teams heading all the way back to the arts center to come up with another balloon animal, while other teams simply repurposed their previously popped balloon animals and got through to the next challenge faster because in reality … the animal didn’t matter.

This challenge was really fun and also a great character building piece. We overhead some of their discussion after we popped their balloons – “Guys, we are so far behind,”  negativity which we thought was a pretty good indicator of how that might translate to a game situation.

  1. Go to the southernmost area of Camp Echo Lake

There you will find scattered puzzle pieces. You must gather pieces with your team’s color on the back. Once all pieces have been collected, your team may begin to assemble the puzzle. Unscramble the letters on the back of the puzzle pieces to find your next location.

For this one, I found some 20-piece puzzles on Amazon – they were all maps of the United States. I asked Bennett and Gordo to hide the puzzle pieces somewhere in the wooded area. Most of them made it to their next spot in a timely fashion, except the Blue team, who went into the challenge dead last. After getting their balloon animal approved on their second try (they were VERY behind and we had to pass them at that point), we gave them their clue and they went the wrong way to the southern area of camp. They went east instead – even though another team was on their way back to HQ from that challenge, and was coming from another direction!

  1. Welcome to the roller hockey rink. The team must find an envelope with your team’s color ribbon on it. Your task is to match country, state and/or provincial flags to the right location using the bank at the bottom. Return the paperwork to HQ. 

Because we gave them a bank at the bottom, we wouldn’t pass them to the next round unless it was all correct.  After they passed that, each team got a Detour card.

  1. DETOUR: each team will go to the green space for their next challenge.

Each team must map out and draw, with as much accuracy as possible, the solar system. Do not forget details such as size, color, rings, etc.

Your team may not advance until an HQ staff member checks it for accuracy.

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 4.59.52 PM.png

This was actually a huge struggle for some of our teams. I mean, I get it – as adults, how often do we think about the solar system? But I also chose this challenge because it’s a subtle reminder that we are actually very small in comparison to the universe. It’s a reminder not to get caught up in the little things in life. Anyway, clearly a few teams weren’t aware of My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. Going into this challenge the yellow team had a clear lead but this one really tripped them up – and they were the last team to leave this challenge.

After this challenge, each team is given a music riddle sheet as a ROADBLOCK in which teams must fill in the name of the song and artist. Each team must solve the sheet to learn their next location.

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 4.25.47 PM

I’m a huge fan of 90s music so of course I did a 90s music trivia sheet. I chose pretty well-known songs I thought they’d know, but I gave them a certain number of blank spaces for each letter so they had an extra hint. Naming either the artist or the song title, I put a (___) around one of the letters. They had to use all the letters in the (___) and unscramble them to find out their next location, which was the lake shore.

While doing this challenge, one of the players on the pink team had an epiphany: “Guys, what’s the only other location on our map we haven’t been to yet?” She looked at her map and looked at the few letters they had gotten from their answers. “It’s the lake shore!” And they were off. Talk about adaptability!

  1. All teams proceed to the lake shore where they must solve a combination lock. Teams choose which lock they will solve upon arrival.

The lock’s combinations are:

Lock 1. The year Colgate first got a Division I varsity women’s hockey team

Lock 2. The year Starr rink was built

Lock 3. Krista’s birth year

Lock 4. Stefan’s birth year

Lock 5. Sophie’s birth year  

Once solved, teams open the box and find they must go to the wooded area behind cabins 22-42.

The teams had to figure out the combinations to each lock, (the combinations were 20001, 1960, 1987, 1987, and 1986 respectively), which I think went pretty smoothly. After that, they were on to the next challenge. The game started to move VERY quickly after this, whereas in the earlier part of the game, there was a lot of waiting around for the teams to get moving into the next challenge.

  1. Ball game. There are 10 ping pong balls in each team color  and numerous other multi-colored distractor balls scattered across the wooded area. One “caller” from each team will lead the remaining members of the team, who are blindfolded, to their team’s colored balls. The caller cannot touch the ping pong balls; only her blindfolded teammates can. Gather the ping pong balls in your team’s bucket. You must collect all 10. There will be a 1 minute penalty for any incorrect balls in your bucket.

 

As predicted, this challenge started as an absolute shit show. However, many of the teams strategized on this one, with the caller taking one teammate at a time into the woods to gather the balls. This was a smart move and prevented a lot of chaos (and injuries).

  1. Once all balls are collected, teams are given envelopes with a picture round. Your team is to ID who or what is in the pictures and return it to HQ. Once you have at least 15 of the 20 correctly you may move on to the next location, which will be handed to you in an envelope. You may buy an answer for 1 minute additionally added to your finish time.

Here is the picture round:

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 5.02.09 PM.png

And the answers:

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 5.02.17 PM.png

Most teams couldn’t get the 15 of the 20 required to pass onto the next round without taking penalty minutes, but I thought this was actually a good thing because it made the game really interesting.

After they turned in their picture ground, all teams got a U – Turn card which told them to return to the lake shore for their next challenge.

IMG_0528

  1. At the lake shore, teams must do an Endurance challenge: Planks.

Each team member must choose who will forearm plank for the following increments. Some team members may have to perform more than one plank. You may attempt each time as many times as you need.

30 seconds

1 minute

1:30 minutes

2  minutes

2:30 minutes

3 minutes

3:30 minutes

With each successful time bench mark reached, the team will earn a letter. The team must unscramble the letters to earn its next location.

The letters we gave them after every successful plank unscrambled to spell ARCHERY – though we found most teams figured it out after they got a few letters and didn’t have to do all those planks.

  1. At the archery field, find your team’s Mental Challenge worksheet. It be solved and returned to HQ staff members. Once it is 100% correct, the first team to return to HQ with the sheet entirely correct, will win (with the addition of penalty minutes).

Here was the sheet I put together:

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 4.24.50 PM

This was an interesting one because we wouldn’t let them finish, officially, until it was 100% correct. It was definitely a race to the finish and all teams were trying everything as quickly as they could in order to finish first. Megan, Gordo and I corrected their answers sheets until the teams came back with everything 100% correct.

I was correcting the green team’s sheet and heard one player say something like, “Who cares what the answer actually is let’s just mix around the answers until they’re all right.” In other words, stop putting so much thought into the answers, and just keep experimenting with the order of them until they are correct.

The red team finished first with the best raw time, and green shortly after that. The whole thing took just about 2 and a half hours to complete. We marked every team’s finishing time, and their order in finishing was: Red, Green, Pink, Yellow, Blue.

But after the penalty minutes were applied, the Green team came out with the win, followed by Pink, Rink, Yellow, and Blue.

After the hunt we had a post-mortem: why did the green team win? The answer was that they played the game to a T. They strategized in that if they didn’t know an answer they didn’t waste time thinking and instead just took a penalty minute and moved on. This team also HUSTLED the entire time the hunt was going on – they ran literally everywhere.

We also spoke about how red had a solid five minute lead at one point in time, but fell behind when yellow passed them to the solar system challenge. We asked the players how that felt, and they said it was frustrating, they felt defeated, etc. “We had to take a deep breath and just get back to it,” they said. We equated that to how it feels in a game situation when we give up a lead. The red team also had a back and fourth lead in the beginning, but said they didn’t really strategize, and they felt as if they were all on the same page when it came to decision making. However, that non strategizing landed them third.

It turns out the pink team had strategized in determining they were going to really figure out the answers to the challenges and NOT take penalties.

We talked a lot about riding the highs too high and the lows too low.

But what did our team learn from this challenge? It was about events happening to us – positive or negative – and what we bring to the team  in terms of our emotions and our thinking. We can be what we think we can be, IF we allow ourselves to do it. Sometimes we have to remove our emotions and just allow our skill and ability to take over in our games.

This activity was just one in a jam-packed weekend of learning more about each other on a personal level, bonding as a team, and establishing our goals.

It was an unforgettable weekend for everyone and I like to think I had a big role in that 🙂 HUGE thanks to all the staff for helping me with the hunt (Gordo, Bennett, Megan) and to the coaches for their assistance as well.  We all had a lot of fun and learned a lot about each other in the process.

Go ‘Gate!

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Top 10 Season Moments

After every season, I like to look back at some of my favorite Blades memories. This season had so many fun times.

  1. Gino’s Gronk Spike after our first (shootout) win in Toronto, Dec 11, 2016. Please take a moment to watch this .gif over and over again, because it is amazing. This is a moment of pure fire. Gino just cannot contain her excitement in the locker room after our shootout win, so she decides the most appropriate thing to do is Gronk Spike her glove. Because of course.

2. The Blades opening game vs Toronto, 2-1 OT Loss, Oct. 15, 2016. The first game of the season is always a little bit nerve wracking for me. You never really know what you’re going to get, but in this game, we saw what Lauren Dahm was truly capable of. I remember after the game a group of kids came up to our locker room wanting to meet her. She was like, “Really?” – a little nervous about going out to say hello to them. I said, sorry Dahmer, you’re a pro now. Get used to kids asking for your autograph, especially after a game like that.

img_1974.png

So awesome to see the Blades’ Toronto fan base expanding 🙂

3. Pond hockey  skate with fans at  Patriot Place, Jan. 7, 2017.

pondhockey

So many people came out to skate with us!

img_0849.jpg

Tara met her mini-me…

 

img_0844

And our #NorthernFans from Montreal came, too!!

And watching Dahm score goals was pretty fun, as well.

4. Puck drop at the Heritage Classic with Canadian Consulate David Alward & Quebec Delegate Madame Marie-Claude Francoeur, Jan. 8, 2017, Walter Brown Arena.

img_1988

This was a great way to connect with our Canadian roots in Boston. We may have lost 6-4 but we had a 3-2 lead at one point during this game. And, most our games with Montreal were quite competitive this season. It felt great for us to play well against the (well, arguably) best team in the league. It makes for exciting hockey.

5. Road Trip to Beauce.  I think hands down this was one of our favorite road trips. The people of Beauce were so incredibly kind to us. Quite honestly we got the rockstar treatment there, which is what the team truly deserves, so thank you to Beauce & Les Canadiennes for doing this incredible outreach game. The crowds were absolutely amazing, and the poutine was the best I’ve had. (As if I wasn’t going to mention poutine in this post…..)

img_1971

Watchy just feelin’ Canadian on the bus…

img_1973

 

 

6. Puck MS Game, Jan. 28, Walter Brown Arena.

img_1981-2.png

A cause very close to our hearts, it was amazing to honor Watchy and Gino’s moms, who are both affected by MS. We wore orange to spread awareness of this terrible illness which hopefully one day we will find a cure for.

watchorns

Watchy’s husband helped us out with a BU color guard for this game. It was so amazing to have her whole family involved.

(Thank you to Michelle Jay for the photos! xo)

7. Jan. 29 at Umass Lowell.

It is always so much fun for me to bring the Blades to my alma mater, UMass Lowell.  This is the rink where I fell in love with the game, so to see my Bladies play here is always so special for me. This year we only got to do one game here but boy did we have an amazing crowd for it! This was our best crowd for a Boston area home game for sure.

img_1982img_1068

8. #FightLikeAGirl Title Boxing Event, Jan. 14, 2017.

img_1980.png

The Blades partnered with Title Boxing Club North Andover for an amazing power hour workout session fundraiser, lead by my best friend and #1 life bae, Shelly, who works for Title. Thank you so much to everyone at Title and all who came out to this event! It was so much fun!!

9. Blades Brunch, Jan. 28, 2017.

What do you get when you put two of my personal favorite things – hockey and brunch – together? You get one amazing Blades event. Common Ground in Allston hosted this one and it was so spectacular! Thank you for being so easy to work with!

img_1039img_1034

I didn’t get too many actual photos during brunch because I was enjoying it so much but here are a few. Thank you to all who bought brunch plates for our athletes and/or joined us and contributed to this event! It was so fun and delicious and it really helped out our team!

10. Newcastle, Ontario, Weekend, Feb. 18 and 19, 2017.

img_1946

It is hard for me to find words for how amazing this past weekend was. My heart is full.

I had kind of hoped our friends from Montreal would be at the game, but I didn’t directly ask them or want to push them on it because I knew it was a long drive for them. But when I saw them come into the rink in Pickering, I just about cried tears of happiness! It was so good to see their faces! And thank you ladies for all your help over the weekend, you all helped it run so smoothly and your cheering for the Blades was SO LOUD! 🙂

And of course how can we forget Miss Kaitlyn, our #1 Blades fan in Ontario? She & her family brought SO many people out to the games! Thank you SO much for your support of us and I am so happy you are part of our special little Blades family!

img_1967

Overall we had great crowds this past weekend and got a tour of our Captain’s hometown, a very special place to all of us on the team. It was the perfect last weekend of the season.

I will never forget this season for so many reasons. The laughs were hard. Tears happened, but they always do, and in the end, everything worked out just fine.

One of the biggest lessons this job has taught me is the art of letting stuff roll off your back. Working with what you’re given to make it the best it can be, because nothing will ever be perfect. But I really think you don’t need perfection. You just need a lot of people who care, who are in your corner no matter what, and this season we definitely had that.

I want to give a special shout out to the Blades volunteers. You guys are the reason why this team happens. None of it happens without you. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed and I want to thank each and every one of you – you know who you are. You showed up in a snow storm, you helped carry heavy things, you did things you maybe thought you’d never have to do (or maybe things you never wanted to but you did anyway because you love us right?). THANK YOU just does not seem like enough. You are the real MVP’s.

Lots of fun plans for the off season this year, but for now, I’m going to keep reeling over such a great season.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. xoxoxox

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When Another Season Comes to an End…

When another hockey season comes to an end, usually I feel ready for a break.

Toward the end of the season, the wheels start to fall off, so to speak. Practices and games become a grind. Players get sick, tired. They prepare to go off into different directions, tend to their families, take some time away from the game. And as much as we all love the game, that’s a good thing – a healthy thing – for everyone.

Everyone starts counting down: two weeks of practice left. One week of practice left. Last practice. Last commute to and from Boston. Last time I’ll have to pack for a road trip. Last team meal. Last time I’ll have to write out the game sheet for the season. Last puck drop. Last post-game beer.

This season has had so many highs and lows. The highs were fun. New faces in the locker room, new friends made, new experiences on the road together. The wins, the laughs. The lows were low of course. The frustration of losing. Long travel weekends. Lots of tears shed from a combination of all those things…and exhaustion.

And as much as I’m ready for a “break” I know it’s not really much of a break either. Yes, I will be able to get much more sleep on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and for that I am very excited. Weekends will now be so much more free. But we’ll still have some more team events and appearances, which are challenging in and of themselves in the off season. We’ll evaluate. A lot. We will look at how things went this season and where we go from here.

But I’m not there yet.

Right now I’m thinking about getting on the bus with my squad, and what this weekend has in store for us, and how we can make the most of our last games as the 2016-2017 Boston Blades.

My body – many of our bodies – are tired. In my head, I am ready for a break. In my heart, I am cherishing every moment.

Cheers to another season.  xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Writing Another Chapter

It’s time to make resolutions a reality. 

So my work is doing the Biggest Loser and I thought it might be fun to chronicle these 8 weeks as I go through them along with all of my clients 🙂

Let me first say that my 2016 ended with a crash….literally. Last Wednesday Jasper the Jeep saw his final day on the road:

Yes, 2016 brought me two car accidents resulting in 2 totaled cars. I was definitely lucky to get out of this one with only minor bumps and bruises. Air bag burns, seat belt burns, pain and weakness in my right arm and right hip….ugh. I definitely felt horrible for a few days but now that I am feeling better I am really ready for these other issues to subside! I feel so useless at the gym when all I can do is cardio and work my left side…haha. I am hoping I will be feeling a to better in a few days. But let me tell you….going from what I had been lifting at the gym to having pain holding a 15lb dumb bell was just sad.

On top of my car , my laptop is currently at the Apple hospital, so this blog is coming at you thanks to an iPad…. Ugh…anyway…

Before my accident I had a great regimen going. I was on a really sweet schedule at the gym:

Monday’s: Chest, shoulders, back

Tuesday’s: Legs 

Wednesdays: cardio, Bi’s and tri’s

Thursdays: Legs

Friday’s: Cardio and random upper body

Saturday: cardio and legs

Each day also included abs and stretching.

I know it’s only been a few days since the accident and I’m still healing but feeling broken is so frustrating. I am hoping these things subside by themselves in a few more days.

In the mean time I’m just focusing on what I CAN do, working what body parts don’t hurt me and focusing on nutrition.

Now I am not the best cook in the world (nor do I really care to be…I have more important shit to do) and I also do not mind being a creature of habit. So for food I try to keep it easy.


Did you know you can make omelette so in the mircorwave? Game changer. This was brunch after my “workout” (I’m using the term so loosely because I’m still so mad about my injuries ha)

I hit the store for some meal prep for the week. I honestly hate meal prep, because as much as I am a creature of habit I hate feeling like I am eating leftovers. But I am actually pretty excited to eat what I made. It’s a basic ground beef with herbs and onions and peppers, as well as honey bbq turkey and veggies. 


So now that I feel ready for the upcoming week,  I am resting my body in hopes of healing as fast as possible 🙂 I’m enjoying a quiet day of rest before I start to get the ball rolling on looking for a new car, Blades hockey starting up again,  and whatever else life wants to throw my way.

Happy 2017! May it be full of less chaos…less totaled cars… and lots of health and happiness.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Year, Same You, Just Better

Happy Holidays everyone! Hope you are all enjoying some time off with your families.

I can’t believe it’s half way through hockey season. I also can’t decide if they’ve been hectic or not. I know they’ve definitely been stressful but that’s GM Life. We were largely on the road in the first half of the season, which, operations-wise, is actually pretty easy. Our home games & fan events are what takes a lot of work to put together. So it’s really a marathon through to March once the new year rolls around. It’s been a really fun last month, though, as the Blades have finally won a couple games. It makes me so happy to see the players so fired up to play the game they love. Here’s to some more W’s in the new year!

Last month I started getting a lot more focused on my own health & fitness. As a personal trainer sometimes it can be really hard to motivate yourself. Actually, a know a lot of fellow trainers struggle with this. We get too comfortable, stuck in a rut and then start to see weight creeping back up. It can be hard to make time for yourself when your “first priority” is making time for your clients. But really, your first priority needs to be you…you just gotta figure out how to make it work.

So between life and work stress I decided to start taking my emotions out during my workouts. It has really helped me with my anxiety. One major thing that I struggled with before was creating a routine. I really struggle without one so I created one that seems to work for me. My routine includes getting my workout done FIRST THING in the morning, even if I have a 6 a.m. client, before I go to work. This means I am setting my alarm clock as early at 4:30 a.m. Seriously. However…it is worth it for me. I like working out first thing because it improves my mood and energy, and I don’t dread working out through the whole day. Plus I can *usually* get a nap during the middle of the day if I need one, or go to bed ridiculously early on nights we don’t have Blades practice. (Sorry, friends, if you text me after 9 p.m., chances are I’m sleeping.)

I lost about 5lbs (which i quickly “gained back” like 3lbs because I like cheese during Christmastime…but I’ll get to that later) but more importantly I’m feeling better, I’m much stronger, and am a much happier person to be around.

FullSizeRender.jpg

During this time of year a lot of people stress out about what they eat. Perspective is everything. Yes, it sucks that I ate my body weight in cheese on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But the reality is 1) I realistically didn’t eat enough cheese  (or calories in general) in those 48 hours to “gain” back the 3 pounds that showed up on the scale this morning 2) It is two days out of 365 of the year. That’s it. Nothing I can’t bounce back from in the next week by drinking a ton of water and re-focusing on my nutrition. I *know* I’m  going to do it, so I’m choosing to acknowledge that it happened and move on. DONE.

It was right after Christmas about 7 years ago that I saw a photo of myself at 232lbs and decided to make a change. I decided I wanted it bad enough to actually do something about it. Once you get to that point, the rest is history. I’m channeling that feeling again 🙂

We start Biggest Loser at work this week and I’m doing it right alongside my clients with the goal of getting back down to my “happy weight” aka losing about 10 pounds. But this time at my “happy weight” I’m looking to be much stronger than I have ever been while at that weight. So I’m also monitoring body fat %, measurements, and going to start keeping better track of how much weight I’m lifting. Progress should be measured in numerous ways – not just on the scale!

Anyway if you are looking to make a change for the better – if you want it bad enough – now is as good of a time as any.

Come visit me at work at One 2 One Bodyscapes in Westford if you’d like to work out with me, or just know that I’m always available to anyone for advice, venting, whatever you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Keepin’ it Real

So my blog has kind of morphed over the past few years from health & fitness to hockey and lately that’s all I’ve been writing about. But the whole point of my blog is to always keep it real so I’m bringing it back to its roots to talk about something a lot of us in the fitness industry don’t normally talk about. And that’s the fact that fitness professionals aren’t perfect! Shocker, I know. And sometimes we need to get re-focused too.

fullsizerender-13

A year ago today, I was working at a 9-to-5 I hated. I don’t really consider myself someone who cries easily, so when I was crying on the daily at work, I knew I needed to find something else. My only real release from my job was working out. I’d already lost about 75lbs a few years prior and I was really enjoying becoming stronger and faster. Despite hating my job, I was in a great routine. Wake up, work out and get my aggression out, work, go home, go back to work (yep, I still worked split shifts), sleep and do it all over again. It was easy and I loved it, even though I felt like I was spending so much time at a job that made me want to claw my eyes out.

So I left that job in late February of this year, became a certified personal trainer and life is perfect, right? Far from it. While I truly believe that I was meant for this job and helping others change their lives, I have really struggled to find routine.

My normal workout hours became my working hours. My sleep suffered because I had Blades practices or early morning clients after a late night at the gym.  In fact when I began working this job I was convinced I had some sort of disease due to unexplained fatigue and joint pain. There were times when I felt like I just literally could not move my body. My doctor assured me it was just because I’d started a new job and I was adjusting, and I really didn’t believe him until all my blood tests were negative and those symptoms started subsiding.

Once I started feeling like myself again, I looked in the mirror and I hated what I saw. I’d gained about 15lbs from what I consider my “happy weight” since starting my new job and for the past couple of months it was like a dark cloud following me around. How can I tell my clients to be the best version of themselves if I am struggling? How did I let this happen? I can’t articulate how shitty it is to work in this industry and just hate your body as much as I hated mine. And it’s kiiiinda impossible to avoid mirrors at the gym.

fullsizerender-14

The past couple weeks I’ve been crawling out of this funk. Committed to working out 6 days a week again and even committed to cleaning up my diet. I’m lifting more than I ever have – which makes me sooo happy – and while I haven’t seen much action on the scale yet I know it’s just a matter of time and consistency in my good habits.

I’m part of a group fitness instructors Facebook group, and today someone posted about how she had been struggling too. “Can I lead a support group,” she asked, “of fitness instructors who need to get their acts together? We know what to do, we just aren’t doing it!” And what came after was more than 60 comments from instructors in the same situation due to injury, illness, anything and everything. It was awesome because it made me realize I wasn’t alone and that sometimes all we need is someone else who really gets it.

Today I had a shitty day at the gym. Those days are rare for me because I really do love the gym. And there’s usually a reason for those type of days. Today was a kind of day where I felt weak doing legs (my fav), couldn’t bear to look at myself in the mirror, and just felt bloated and gross. I gave what I could and went home. Sometimes you just don’t have it, and it’s okay.

Anyway, I’m writing this because there might be someone else out there who needs to hear it too. I know I needed to hear it today. So from someone who gets it…someone who has been 232lbs, to low as 10lbs under her happy weight, at her happy weight, and now 15lbs above her happy weight…it’s okay. It really is. All you can do is what you can.

Here’s to a better day tomorrow.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A GM’s Thanksgiving

I’ve been thinking about the subject of my next blog post for quite some time, and now that we are settling into the holiday season, I thought I’d write about what I’m thankful for, from a GM perspective.

1. Blades Fans. Here’s the reality: our team does not exist without you. And whether you’re a family member of a player, a friend, someone who just likes women’s hockey, an aspiring pro player, or just someone who was roped into coming to a game once. You’ve made a difference for this team and for that I am completely appreciative.

The easiest and best way to make a difference for this team is to show up. So thank you for showing up. I hope you keep showing up. Because if you don’t….well, that would be bad.

img_9293

2. Volunteers. You all are the real MVPs. Whether you’re friends I have dragged into this crazy hockey-filled life of mine (sorry?) or just people who reached out wanting to help, you have all made such a huge difference.

Sometimes all you need to make a game day run smoothly is another pair of hands. Sometimes those pairs of hands have talents you couldn’t possibly dream of having (announcing, singing the anthems, equipment repair, skate sharpening, the list goes on). Without you all I would be lost. Thanks for your constant support and sacrifice for this team. It means so much to me.

3. Players. The players on this team are pretty amazing. I watch them hold down full time jobs and a grueling hockey schedule, with practices, travel and games. I watch them take the time to greet little kids and make them feel special. They know when to let certain things roll of their backs and they know when to speak their minds. This group is a special one and I’m so glad to have such a great working relationship with them.

img_9097

4. An understanding family. If you want a job like mine, you need a good support system at home. You need your family to understand you will NEVER make tons of money in this business…but that’s not why you do it. You need to them to understand there are times you just need to cry it out. That sometimes things will just not be fair. But you do it anyway because you have a love for something so strong that there isn’t even a word for it. And for every time you wonder, “why do I put myself through this?” you realize the good times are so rewarding, and you’d never trade it. Your family needs to get that, too. I’m glad mine *mostly* does 🙂

img_4950

5. Sponsors. I’m not sure people fully understand just how far sponsorship dollars go in this league and for this team but let me tell you, without them, I don’t even know what we would do. I’m so thankful for the businesses who realize there is significant ROI in women’s sports and that supporting them is absolutely worth it. The impact is direct to the players and without you there would certainly be no CWHL.

6. Coffee. Props to you, coffee, and energy drinks. You have gotten me through roadies galore, to and from Toronto, Quebec, and more. You’ve allowed me to power through work when I’ve felt like I just have nothing left. Thank. God. For. Coffee. I don’t know where I’d be without you.

The most important part of the holidays, for me anyway, is to just slow down. So many of us have jobs that consume us…sometimes to a degree where’s not very healthy. We all need time to decompress. Find some quiet, read, listen to music. I will go out of my way to NOT think about hockey for a little while.

And then when I get back into work mode, I’ll be refreshed and ready to go.

I’m also looking into a post-hockey season vacation. Any destination suggestions? 🙂

Enjoy Thanksgiving. xoxo

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment