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Dinner at before seeing Cowspiracy! – at WaterCourse Foods

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Working on some entrepreneurial ideas – yoga, plant-based nutrition, training, travel – how can they all be combined??? The million dollar question….. – at The Wild Goose Meeting House

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3 Of The Best Things About Visiting Home

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Living in Colorado, I am closer to home (Phoenix, AZ) than I have been in a number of years. With lots of family and friends still there, we are able to find many excuses to visit. Whether it’s the holidays, weddings or volunteering or participating in a race, we always form new memories with the amazing people in out lives.

Here are 3 of the best things about the places we call home.

1.) Visiting the places where it all began – As my last visit was for a youth hockey tournament, I was able to coach a game at one of the rinks that shaped the person I am today. I often wonder how many hours I spent at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, AZ. The number is easily in the hundreds – learning the game of hockey, forming lifelong friendships and enduring countless lessons about teamwork, commitment and the value of sport. Although places like Oceanside change, they remain the same with the familiar quirks still ever-present……these quirks create an authenticity and charm that can’t be replicated.

2.) Finding New Treasures – Making the transition to a plant-powered lifestyle has made visiting a well-known city a new experience! My last address was about 5 miles from a gem called Pomegranate Cafe http://www.pomegranatecafe.com/   that I probably never would have discovered otherwise. After one meal there, it became a must on any itinerary for our Phoenix travels. Breaking free of the familiar and the commonplace is a useful exercise in any location and has led us to new restaurants, yoga studios, parks and more.

3.) Gaining a greater appreciation for the past and increased excitement for the roads ahead – Visiting Oceanside Ice Arena as a coach made me think of the countless sacrifices made by my family and friends. The time spent in that arena helped create an unorthodox road that took me to rinks all over North America, thus creating a life 180 degrees south (or north) of the one I might have lived without hockey. A few miles from Oceanside is Tempe Town Lake where Ironman Arizona will begin with a 2.4 mile swim. The path from the rink to the swim, bike & run of the Ironman has been a long and winding one with many chapters still to come!

 

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Watching some sled hockey – #Sochi2014 Paralympics will be awesome! – at Colorado Springs World Arena

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Yoga & the Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks Super Bowl victory has brought significant focus to the way they have incorporated yoga, meditation and ‘a kinder, gentler’ approach to the game. As a yoga teacher-in-training this is music to my ears.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/05/sports/football/title-for-the-seahawks-is-a-triumph-for-the-profile-of-yoga.html?_r=1

And as a future Ironman, I can say that my yoga practice is the foundation of my daily life, athletic pursuits and otherwise. Because of the demands of training, work, coaching hockey, writing and other pursuits, many of my workouts happen in the hours before the traditional work day begins. During a typical week, I practice yoga 2 or 3 days at 6:00 AM. On the rare days I sleep in a bit, I usually feel like a completely different person. After practicing yoga in the morning, I am more alert, energized and in a better state of mind to tackle any challenge that arises. Being in a job that requires much more sitting than I would prefer almost makes morning yoga or some other physical activity a near necessity for me. In addition to being restless in nature, I simply do not have the ability to sit for very long. Morning yoga, however, brings me a level of mental clarity and physical comfort that enables me to thrive.

I often say the only regret I have related to yoga is that I did not discover it earlier, specifically when I was a college hockey player. I was often my worst enemy, prone to excessive periods to self-doubt, anxiety and depression in addition to physical ailments in my shoulders and hips. I think yoga could have benefited me on and off the ice in many ways. With that being said, I am grateful to have discovered the practice of yoga at this point in my life as an aspiring triathlete, paddler, floorballer and teacher!

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Kilts, Beer, Paddleboards

Kilts, Beer, Paddleboards

I’ve worn one, quite enjoy the second and am obsessed with learning more about the third. Ever since paddleboarding Lake Michigan last summer, my mind often returns to the freedom and bliss of paddling and being in the water. As the snow falls tonight in Colorado, I can’t wait for the long summer days to come filled with bike rides, yoga in the park and some time on a board.

Until then, it’s laps in the pool and runs down the mountain!