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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Thoughts on Middleton for Kraft Hockeyville 2015

Last year Kingston had an incredible experience running for Kraft Hockeyville. I am green with envy that I was living in BC and missed it. I am so happy to be home in the Valley for my home rink's Hockeyville celebrations.

At first I was a little hesitant about Middleton's nomination for Hockeyville. The thought of sharing a place I find so sacred with the country was a challenge. Growing up the rink was my second home and honestly most of the time I preferred to be at the rink than at home.

I have heard people say that here in Canada we over romanticize our relationship with hockey. I've played hockey across this country and I can tell you that there is nothing like being the first person to hit a freshly cleaned sheet of ice at your home rink. The ice crunching underneath your skates as you push off, the cold air hitting you in the face and let’s be honest, sometimes in Middleton it was more like a warm foggy air that you could not only feel but taste and smell as well. It is such a personal, individual moment that is part of a sport that truly teaches you how to be part of a team.

When I look back at my childhood and teenage years that feeling was a key part of growing up; learning how to skate by sprawling onto the ice outside dressing room #2 and being equally as excited to see the tractor clean the ice as I was to skate, tripping on my skate guards getting onto the ice outside room #1 for figure skating and finally jumping down from the home bench too many times to count outside room #5 hosting hockey games for my seven seasons in minor hockey.

Everyone in Middleton has a memory of our rink:
- The late 80s mix-tape that was played well into the 90s during public skate
- The excitement and anticipation of your first Rink Drink
-Getting an extra penny candy (or two) in your bag from the canteen
-Bicycle rodeos
-Saturday night double-header high school hockey games
-CanSkate lessons with lots of marker scribbles on the ice
-Waiting for the Zamboni to come out on the ice (they really seem to blow young children’s minds)
-Walking into The Pep, knowing every face and struggling to find a seat
- The annual parent-child hockey game
-Taking two bags to hockey so that when you finished at the rink you could head over to Sampson’s pond
-And getting to the rink with enough change in your pocket and time on your hands to get Adrian to sharpen your skates. I swear Middleton kids had the sharpest skates in the Annapolis Valley because of that man! It didn’t matter if we were heading off to another rink for an away game we always made time to stop off and get our skates sharpened by our Pro Adrian. 

I had to take a break; I have now just come back to this blog after a few days.

I want to finish this blog by reflecting on my experience with Middleton Arena and playing hockey in Middleton. I started playing hockey much older than kids normally do. I was eleven and held back on the Atom team; taking the year to develop the skills and work my butt was one of the best decisions my parents ever made for me. I was in Grade 6 that year and it would end up being the only year that I played on a single hockey team. I cried when the season was over; I never wanted it to end.

The following year I was off to MRHS and not only played on my minor peewee team, but on the first version of the Middleton High School Girl’s hockey team. Many of the girls had never played before and the leadership from the senior girls who had played before was something I will always appreciate. For the next two years we lost brutally to teams that would go on to form our High School Girls Hockey League and other senior female teams in our area. When the league finally did form we started to reap the benefit of having younger girls leaving elementary school and moving on to MRHS. Yes, our league was dominated by young experienced hockey players who helped a large number of the more senior players develop. There were some seriously skilled female players playing that were older than me, but again the majority of the older female players were newbies.

There it is! 
The moment that will always stick with me in a Middleton Hockey jersey was huge. Unfortunately it happened in Barrington Arena in the spring of 2007, my graduating year in high school. Our MRHS girl’s hockey team faced Kings Edgehill at Regionals. KES is one of the first actual high school teams I can remember playing. I was in the 8th grade, it was before there was a high school girl’s hockey league and we met them at one of CK’s first Christmas time tournaments.  They killed us 17-1. Beating them at Regionals and advancing to provincials in one of my last games wearing blue and gold was such a vindicating moment; it was the first time we EVER had beaten Kings Edgehill and (I like to think) it was a big moment for the league. We may not have won the banner in the Middleton rink, but all the work to bring us that BIG “W” was done at home in our rink over the years it took to get us there.

I have many more photos from the era before Facebook at my parents house to dig up, most of them are during very awkward stages of life that teenage Kate hid strategically. 

There ya go! My thoughts and my moments on why Middleton is Kraft Hockeyville 2015!
Use #khv_middletonnsforhockeyville and #MiddletonNSforKraftHockeyville to join the conversation, visit to share your story!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Middleton for Kraft Hockeyville 2015!

I am so excited! My hometown Middleton, Nova Scotia is in the running for Kraft Hockeyville 2015! Here is a little video from Valley Credit Union’s Head Office of myself, and a couple others doing the “Kraft Faceoff” Challenge with Oreos. I am pretty pumped that I won; I was horrible at it during the practice round.

I am so happy to be living close to home during this exciting time for one of the most special places to me. More on that to come…

Here is the Youtube video:

To support Middleton’s bid check out the Kraft Hockeyville nomination page and use #MiddletonNSforKraftHockeyville and #khv_middletonnsforhockeyville.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Midwinter New Moves Fitness Challenge: #1 Deadlifts

In my last blog I talked about all the dope stuff that was under my Christmas tree and why I am motivated to sty fit in 2015. It has been a busy month with my new job, my old job and the puppy but I have still been in the gym every week (or playing sports) 5 out of 7 days each week. New Years Eve I actually worked one job and then went to the gym, had a healthy lunch and then finished the day at my second job. It was a very productive day.

Going from working at a restaurant in the evenings to working 9am-5pm everyday has been a struggle. I used to have all the time in the world to workout everyday and maintained a very specific training plan. Things have changed; now my workouts have to fit in between work and supper, most days supper comes pretty late in my house. 

Now my workouts have to be quick and thorough. One thing I am doing is breaking out of my comfort zone more and moving away from single muscle group exercises. I am challenging myself to do new workout moves that are more productive for my body. As I mentioned in the previous blog I am easily intimated at the gym and now that I am becoming more comfortable at my new gym I think it is time to learn some new moves for my new lifestyle.

In December I started doing squats and now they are one of the key parts of my training routine. I see and feel the impact squats have on my body. I am so happy I moved past the short-term awkwardness and now can feel the long-term gain.

January has been all about deadlifts. Again, I am so happy I have added the deadlift to my program. I had been disappointed with my efforts over the first few weeks of working my new job and fitting in time at the gym. Now with squats and deadlifts added to my training plan I am feeling like I am gaining back what I lost.

Here is a great video of some tips that helped me feel comfortable enough to try deadlifts for the first time at the gym. Check it out.

From now until the end of February I am going to try to do something new every time I lift.  I am thinking that will be about 20 blogs. Give or take. For example today I should have soccer and would not be having a full weight lifting session and at least two days a week I work both jobs (making it impossible to get to the gym).  I’m hoping to not get sick again (I am sick at home right now, moping around because I was too sick to go to work). Also, I will have to have my wisdom teeth removed over the next month or so too.

New Move #1 -> Deadlifts
New Move #2 -> Lumberjack Squats
Check them out here:

I’m a girl in love with squats right now so I am pumped to try doing Lumberjack Squats! That’s what it is all about right?
Also, I love the “Buff Dudes” channel on Youtube. I like these videos so much that I am able to get past being called a “Dude”.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome To 2015! Happy New Year!

I do not consider myself one of those people who are obsessed with fitness. I work two jobs and on the days where I only end up at one of my two work places I hit the gym; normally about 5 times a week. I take pretty good care of myself and watch my diet without really ever feeling like I am missing out on anything.

At one point I was very unhealthy and overweight, it started in my 4th year of university and ended in halfway through my 1st year of trade school. That year of binge eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted with little to no exercise was worth the lesson it taught me about life. Unfortunately no one really told me I was getting fat. I was 200 lbs and felt super hot. Usually because it was because I was winded from walking up stairs or moderate movement in general, but I never felt ugly.

I went into radio school bigger than I had ever been in my life. I started to realize what was going on with my body when I looked at my photos from my first trip to Disneyland in California and finally when visited Value Village and stepped on a scale for the first time in over a year. Late night snacks, quick drive-thru trips and 7/11 sugar rushes were adding up... fast.  

After deciding that enough was enough I started with the smallest step possible. Something manageable that I could do everyday, every morning I woke up with enough time to drink a protein shake before heading off to class. This was strategic, protein early in the morning helps you feel fuller later in the day and it was easy to do. Waking up early in the morning really was not my jam. Doing something quick and easy to start the day in the right day was key. I had been starving myself for the first half of the day and then fueling myself with something quick and easy for lunch at school. Unfortunately quick, easy and cheap is not a good combination in a school cafeteria.

My protein shake breakfast started during the winter months of 2012 and it is hard to believe it has been almost 3 years! To this day I have a shake for breakfast on mornings that I have to rush out to work and I still hate waking up before the sun.

That one easy step helped me drop weight quickly. The first pounds seem to be the easiest for me. I cleared out my stock of high carb food and scheduled my first cheat day. I have been doing this ever since.

The weight that I lost just by keeping an eye on my diet did more for me than I ever imagined. I had energy again. I had been napping every day since I was in high school and struggled to stay awake every day; that ended after about a week of smarter eating. I liked to look at myself again. Even though it never bothered me seeing photos of myself when I was overweight once I realized what was going on it tainted the moments a little bit.

It took a little over a year for me to feel comfortable enough to go back to the gym. I had been regularly going in the fall of 2010 but as I learned about health and my body I realized that my intense cardio workout were part of my problem staying committed to the gym. I knew as I was dropping weight from a healthier diet that I was going to have to change the way I exercised my muscles.

The first time I visited a gym after dedicating myself to eating properly was in the spring of 2013. I learned how to properly schedule my workouts and a variety of new diverse things to do at the gym. It was very intimidating. I was back in the gym that I had stopped going to when I started to gain weight but using a completely different floor with new machines. I did things wrong and it scared the shit out of me to be told that maybe I should tweak things to do them a more effective way but I kept at it.

My mother owns a tanning salon in a gym so growing up I spent a lot of time in a gym. I started lifting weights when I was in 8th Grade in the weeks between seasons when I was not playing sports. As I got older my workouts changed into being straight-up cardio sessions. Why? It was easy, mindless (for me) and there was little chance that someone would approach me to correct my movements. I hated it which made me think it must be what I needed to do to lose weight and have a kick-ass body. Cardio was all my friends wanted to do when they went to the gym and there were rarely women downstairs on the weight lifting floor.

It was a big change to program workouts, track progress and lift heavy things. I still do cardio; I just do it differently and in conjunction with lifts.

Changing my thought process regarding working out has been the most challenging part of my weight loss story. I do get bored with my workouts some times and my schedule has changed multiple times since I started working out. These things have taught me another valuable lesson about being healthy and fit; willpower is a muscle you have to train just like any other part of your body.

In 2013 I made it about 15 weeks straight hitting the gym. I moved across the country during this period, finished post-secondary education and internships. When I was offered a job in British Columbia it brought me into the 9-5 fold and I was thrown from my fit routine. It took me about 9 months to get back into a gym after the move.

That was 40 weeks ago today. Yes, I keep track. That is one of the key things for me. I am a nerd who carries around a notebook at the gym so I can proudly tell you exactly what I did the last time I was there and how many times I have visited the gym since I started going back. It has been 40 weeks and 165 gym sessions and I feel great. I feel better than ever actually. I would be going to the gym today if it was open, I could write a massive rant about why the gym should be open on New Years Day but I decided to start 2015 on a positive note.

Back to willpower, it is a “muscle” that always can use an extra set. Even on the days I do not feel like going to the gym (which is pretty much every weekday after working at my desk job) I go. I put an hour on the clock and go hard. I let myself do some mindless cardio and rock out to my music. I prove to myself that my mind is as strong as the body I have spent so much time to build.

Now, to be clear I do not have the perfect body. Not even close. Especially coming out of the holiday season. That is not why I go to the gym. I go to release the energy that I now have from eating and sleeping well, I go to get out of the house and see people, I go because I like to binge watch television shows and I go because I LOVE to eat. And sometimes when I make the turn to go home instead of to the gym I think about seeing myself on the TV monitor while I was taking Radio and Television Arts and seeing my bloated face’s headshot. I think about how crappy it felt to not want to watch myself on TV, something I has wanted all of life. That for me is the kicker, the thing that gets my ass into the gym and helps my willpower kick in when it needs to at the grocery store.

We all have motivations and things that drive us to be the person we want to be. I like to think I had a kick ass 2014, I hope you did too! As great as the past year was, lets make 2015 even better!

This year I am not setting New Years Resolutions. Not one. There are things I would like to keep up on, but I will not be beating myself up to get them done. I would like to continue to learn; so I have gifted myself access. I would like to continue to be fit and healthy, so Santa has brought me 40lbs of protein powder and 4 boxes of Quest bars to go with my year gym membership. I have also gifted myself a new gym outfit from Fabletics. Nothing feels as good as slipping into new workout gear after a day in heels and business attire!

The most challenging thing I would like to do in 2015 is to continue to create. Working two jobs I find I have no time to write a blog or something witty for radio and that is the big thing I would like to exercise my willpower on this year.

So I’m going to sum up how I would like to see 2015 in my mission statement right here:

“2015 a year of learning, exercising and creating”

What would you like to happen in 2015?

All the best and Happy New Year!



A BIG THANKS to for all of the awesome deals on my Christmas gifts. Yes, I know where Santa shops. It is my favourite place to order pre-workout, protein powder and protein bars. Click here to check out

One more shutout, this one goes to Fabletics. I am obsessed! I used to be all about Lululemon and saving up to treat myself to a new piece of workout clothing. Now I shop at and get an entire outfit for the price on one of the Lulu shirts I bought at a Lulu Outlet! Check out Fabletics here.

PS. This is my new outfit! I love it! At 50% it was $56.00 with shipping and taxes.