Monday, January 10, 2011

Athlete Advance

This past Saturday, the CSC (Canadian Sport Centre) out here on the west coast put on a pretty awesome day long conference, called Athlete Advance (apparently they'd decided they had a fundamental issue with the concept of retreat, so put a more positive spin on it!). Just heading into the meat of training and competition season, it was good to take a day out to step back and look at some of the other aspects of sport.

Also, between the endless construction pre-Games, heavy security blanket during the Games, and not being in town post-Games, I had yet to see the Athletes' Village, where the conference was held. One of the main facilities from the village has been turned into a community centre, where we were, with all the CSC testing labs, along with a bunch of public courts and a gym - just one good example of the positive community impact the Olympics can have.

Ryan Walters ('86 Stanley Cup winner, former Canucks coach, and current women's national team coach) opened the day with his public speaking piece "feeding the hungry spirit". After than everyone headed off to a series of seminars we'd each selected.

I started off with nutrition (to feed that hunger), which involved us cooking several different "fast" meals. Came away with some good nutrition tips and delicious new recipe ideas - peanut sauce on homemade pita pizzas, try it!!

Then on to sleep and psych seminars from some of the IST support staff we'd had down at our nat. team training camp in Tucson last yr. Good reinforcement of some of the more fringe, but also necessary aspects of excelling.

My last seminar was probably my second favourite, to the nutrition, and went over the struggle between sport and "life" that athletes go through. Mostly, I just always love hearing athletes' stories because they're guaranteed to open your eyes in some way.

Clearly aware of their audience...and the fact that athletes are pretty terrible at sitting still all day long...we got a break for a craaazy yoga class sponsored by lululemon. Eoin Finn, the instructor is pretty well known in the yoga world, and he lead us through what I can safely call a workout, he terms super flow. Yoga can't even be included in the name, as it's some combination of yoga, tai chi, surfing and karate. Guaranteed for a laugh. Can't wait to try out the "Happy Hips" DVD they gave us...

The day wrapped up with a Athletes Panel, with Adam Van Koeverden, Emily Brydon and Adam Kreek. Again, hearing from such accomplished athletes wrapped up the day pretty nicely. However, not only are they all olympians, but this group are all highly involved in community work. It was impressive to hear about the commitment that they've put into using the opportunities they've had and the position they've been given to make a difference for other kids. Primarily as a way to find a purpose for the rationalization of putting so much into going down a hill super fast, or making a boat go. Something that resounded with me.

S'all for now.

7 days 'til sunshiney, warm Palm Springs!

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