Sunday, 24 March 2013

Snow Melt Soon

It seems that every year at this time my mind starts to wander.  Generally, I am more sedentary during the winter months and come the spring time as the snow starts to melt, I begin to have different ideas, nay schemes about what physical activities I am going to take part in.  Now, this has been the case for as many years as I can remember.  Back when I was a little boy, even though I was deep in the middle of hockey season, had participated in the fall volleyball season, and for a few years in elementary school the post-Christmas basketball season, when the snow started to melt, my anticipation began to build.  I have been playing soccer since I was 2 years old in one form or another.  Every Februrary I would begin to think about the season, hoping that the snow would melt early and Quesnel might get their season started a week or two ahead of schedule.  In recent years, even when I had neglected any physical activity whatsoever in the winter months, and my body and capablities had begun to get away from me, the melting snow still brought thoughts of a renewed vigour for all things active. 

Now that I have managed to get myself more active, and my second full season of recreational hockey is coming to a close my mind has been working overtime.  I have put considerable time and thought into just how I want to spend my spring and summer months, and what activities I am going to be involved in.  All we need now is a little cooperation from mother nature and my schemes can become reality, or at least I can begin procrastinating rather than dreaming.  As I type this at 7 am on Sunday March 23, 2013, supposedly the 4th day of Spring according to the calendar the thermometer reads -16C or 3.2F for any American readers out there.  If that isn't enough to make your blood boil, obviously that figurative as it can't be literal, we here in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada are still dealing with a thick blanket of at least 4 feet of snow.  During the winter months the extent of my outdoor exercise is my dozens of opportunities to shovel the driveway.  This a point that my dad and I were lamenting while on our 3rd annual Prosk family skiing trip this past week.  Considering we are close to passing the 5 month mark with snow on the ground and I have been a 30 year resident of this region you would think I would have some winter hobbies.  I do have hockey, but played indoors in a heated arena, it doesn't depend much on the weather and I don't have the chance to breath fresh outdoor air while playing.  Maybe the lack of winter hobbies plays a factor in how silly I can get when spring comes.  The idle mind begins to wander, and the last few weeks, wander it has.

While the years pass some things change, but some things also remain the same.  Spring still means soccer season to me, and this year I have been anticipating it as I always do.  I have already officially signed on to coach for my 6th straight year as Jasmine continues to share my love for the game, and she remains excited about having dear old dad as her coach.  I had a great experience last year, Jasmine's team was full of girls who enjoyed playing and working hard.  My co-coach and I got along great and have agreed to work together again this year.  I'm hoping to have an impact on the girls I coach this year, as I feel that happened last year and it really is the measure of success as a coach.  While volunteering to coach may seem like a chore to some, I quite enjoy it most of the time and get very involved.  Anticipating my turn as a coach is one thing, but after taking the year off last year, I am most looking forward to playing the game once again.  While my schedule doesn't allow me to participate in the competitive "Open Division" as I would like, I was hoping to be able to play in the Monday Night Rec League this year.  It's not ideal, but I don't work Monday's and Jasmine's soccer night has moved to Tuesday so I am free to play.  I played in this league most recently in 2011.  It's pretty disorganized and the level of play isn't much of a challenge.  The negatives aside, it will be nice to get out and play.  One day my work schedule will change and I will be able to play competitive soccer again.  I will need to make sure my body can handle it when that day comes.

Most of the time that I have spent scheming and dreaming about warmer weather has been spent on running.  I have been fairly consistent, even in my out of shape years I would be all gung ho about running come the spring time.  In I believe 2008 I ran regularly throughout the spring into the summer.  In all my gusto I cnvinced myself to sign up for and run the Labour Day Classic that year, the 13 km distance.  While my training tapered off, and ultimately I was ill prepared for the race, I made myself go anyway.  I was able to complete the run in a respectable time, even beating a handful of other people.  Ever since I have planned to race again, but it hasn't happened.  This year, while dreaming up my pie in the sky plans I actually went ahead and took steps to bring the plan closer to reality.  Nearly every organized race in Prince George takes place Sunday morning.  I am scheduled to work every Sunday morning, and throughout the summer months it is nearly impossible to do anything about it.  I scoured the schedule and made a few vacation requests.  To free up an additional Sunday morning, I asked to switch my shift to the afternoon.  As it stands, my ambitious scheming has led me to this schedule that shall prove challenging.

June 2nd YMCA Road Race (5 km, 10 km or 21.1 km race)
June 15th Beat The Bugs (5 km or 10 km trail race)
August 21st Masich Mile (1 mile race)
September 1st Labour Day Classic (5 km, 8.5 mile or 17 mile race)
September 15th Terry Fox Run (5 km race)

I decided to go ahead and list all of the distance options for each race because as of now I really don't know where I will be at physically when these dates arrive.  At the Labour Day Classic I will be tackling the 8.5 mile race, so my training will be focused on working my way up to that point.  Likely, the first race of the season will be of the 5 km variety.  The Masich Mile is much shorter, more of a sprint, and it takes place conveniently on a Wednesday evening.  The Terry Fox Run is important to me, and I decided to take the day off this year and actually run it instead of walking like I have in years past.  If Asher hasn't outgrown his stroller by then, he will join me for the run.  Coincidently, all 4 official races I listed (The Terry Fox Run is informal) also have a kids fun run.  Back in 2008, when she was only 5 Jasmine ran the kids race at the Labour Day Classic.  She has fond memories of the cookie she got at the end, so I will help her get ready to participate in as many of these races as she wants to.  Hopefully training for a few races will get her away from her screens that she was fallen deeply in love with.  Not only do I have myself to motivate, but I am taking on this ambitious project as well, wish me luck!

No, my scheming didn't stop at just soccer and running.  Ultimate Frisbee looks like a blast, and I did give it a try many years ago.  I also played it a zillion years ago in high school p.e. class.  It was an awesome workout and the closest I will ever get to playing football.  The local league has been going strong for years, and I have decided to give it a shot if my coaching and soccer playing duties will allow.  I figure it will give me some variety in my training for the running races as well.  It looks to be fairly affordable as well.  For the last few years I have thought off and on about trying out some of the Mixed Martial Arts disciplines.  While I didn't think I could handle it when I was an out of shape blob, I believe I'm ready to give it a try.  While I have looked into it somewhat, I need to be sure that I am ready to make the time and money commitment it will require.  It's still a pipedream right now, but one that I am not giving up on.  As far as I know the club trains year round, so maybe I can give it a try for a month or two when I am not busy later this summer.  You know, after the soccer craziness has died down. 

The other summer sport I am greatly anticipating, is basketball.  Unfortunately, there isn't an organized league to play in as far as I know, but I quite enjoy just getting out on the school court and shooting hoops.  Jasmine keeps getting better, and Sheila also likes to play 21.  I grabbed a fancy new ball at the close out sale of Sport Mart and I am looking forward to putting it to use.  It's another good way to get some cardio work in that adds variety to the monotony of running. 

Anyway, I am going to end my long winded ramble about my summer plans.  What summer activities are you looking forward to?

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