Ski day at Nakiska and first foray into vlogging March 14, 2019. Busted out with a day off work after the schedule cleared. I’ve had a season pass here for the past five years. Definitely good value if you catch the early bird discount. It’s really the quickest trip from Calgary and need not occupy the full day.
Those learning to ski need an easy going comfortable setting with appropriate terrain. Nakiska fits the bill.
There’s never a snow issue here because of the well developed snow making infrastructure. The snow park is well equipped with ramps, jumps and rails. Downhill skiing not your thing? Just jump on a tube or snap into X country gear and tour the picturesque landscape of Kananaskis Country.
With Brayden Schnur’s runner up finish at the New York Open
this past week, Canada now has five men ranked in the top 110. This is a
statistic never seen before to my knowledge. I had the pleasure of watching
Brayden warm up at the Calgary Tennis Club a couple years back and play the Challenger
Tour event here last fall. He has the physique, the strokes and the drive to
win. However; I’m a bit concerned about the stress he puts on his front knee
during his service motion. He’ll get to contend with the ace machine and ultimate
victor of the New York Open, Reilly Opelka, throughout his playing career.
The two young guns Shapovalov and Auger-Alliasime have burst
onto the scene demonstrating court prowess atypical of their youth. We’ll see
how this pair contends with the rigors of the tour in the face of fully mature
Canadian men on the outside looking in are Peter Polansky
and Filip Peliwo. Peter seems to have more fire burning than ever before and
Filip may be struggling a bit on the mental side of the game as I witnessed in
his match here in Calgary last fall.
The ladies are also making waves. I’m sensing some healthy rivalry
building in their ranks given some competitive off court exchanges. There are a
handful of ladies now in the mix to provide Eugenie with some company. Bianca
Andreescu currently outranks Bouchard.
I’d be amiss not to reference the formally developed
coaching development program over at Tennis Canada as an obvious resource in
propelling Canada upward in the international tennis scene.
I’ve put these three C’s together because alliteration wasn’t
foreign to any of these three. My biggest miss for cancelling cable has been the
celebration of athletic feats through language. There was Bob Costas’
deployment of vocabulary atypical of the arena but succulent to the scholastic.
Mary Carillo triumphed with unrehearsed back seat colour laden with one- liners.
Howard Cosell’s deliberately slurred maligned characterizations injected fodder
for the fortunate fans of Wide World of Sports.
Costas is in the news because of an opinion in the face of
the sports machine. He’ll retire after a good run and his legacy will be
steeped in his affinity for the formidable phrase fitting to the forum (okay, I
can do alliteration too).
I have no idea what happened to Mary but her charisma simply
shone through the TV.
Although young as an admirer during the Cosell years, I remember Cosell as an obvious stalwart in and industry critical to extracting entertainment value from sport. There were the Muhammad Ali interviews and the Monday Night Football mantras such as “he could go all the way”. As a boy, it became evident that there was eloquence in sport beyond finesse on the field. In spite of having snipped the cable, my sense is that the market and mystique of midfield monologue has now left the broadcast booth. Was Cosell’s opinion that ex-athletes were not best equipped for the microphone correct? I suspect yes with exceptions. ���F�z�Q4 �h
I agree. Believe in something and while doing it, undertake the process for change available to every other citizen in your country rather than grand standing at the sidelines of a sports venue. Western democracies are endowed with the right of speech freedom. This right empowers citizens irrespective of race, sex, or religious affiliation to express themselves in the public domain. What is the public domain? Well, you can write a letter. You can recite your beliefs on a street corner. You can visit a government official. You can attend a political rally. You can start a political party. You can espouse your beliefs in conversation. You can light up the twitter sphere with one liners. You can form an organization as a form of lobby. As you can see, the opportunity to freely express oneself has many outlets.
Colin Kaepernick had chosen a method of expression convenient to him in an apolitical domain – the football arena in a football uniform employed by a football franchise in the spotlight broadcast around North America via television. He chose an outlet reserved for an occasion other than politics and it was his right. The interesting thing about his behaviour is that his employer has the right to sanction him accordingly for behaviour not in accordance with his duty. His behaviour will obviously impact the perceptions of other potential employers. Some citizens loyal to his cause may empathize with his plight and even lavish him with praise of courage. However; it would be misplaced. I view Colin Kaepernick as a career martyr deserving of his plight. I consider him lazy for not pursuing the outlets of expression available to him with the same vigour in parallel to the apparent passion he brings to a cause.
As for Nike’s endorsement of him, I’ve been avoiding Nike in stores for decades.
Tennis Canada is making headway in player development. Upon taking the Instructor Level One course in 2014, I sensed that the curriculum for the introductory player was strong. There have been advancements in addressing the needs of the young players. This year at Roland Garros, four Canadian women have merited entries into first round qualifying with No. 120 ranked Francoise Abanda leading the charge. In fact Ms. Abanda was seeded 16 in the qualifying tournament.
Indeed, Ms. Abanda has ruffled some feathers of late in her claim that race has played a role in the context of her lack of exposure on the tennis scene despite her rise in ranking. She could be right. She could be wrong but she’s allowed to feel the way she feels. One can label her as a “victim” or a grandstander. In a facebook post just yesterday, I wished luck to the Canadian men vying for the French Open title but I did so having first checked the first round of the women’s draw having concluded that no Canadian woman made it through qualifying. I am sensitive this way knowing full well the current state of Bouchard’s game and the past history of Canadian women’s tennis. Bianca Andreescu just missed by the way.
I’m willing to cut Canadian sport reporters some slack given Canada’s tennis track record. The most decorated Canadian tennis player, Daniel Nestor, did in fact move out of the country (for good reason due to our exorbitant tax system) and his residency would have been relevant in our sports reporters refrain from covering him. Have you heard of him? Canada’s attention to the sport has paralleled the relative lack of players at the top level but it’s good to see that things are changing. More indoor facilities and grass roots programs will further improve the sport’s appeal.
Without question, Mr. Miller and his annual ski movie editions were tantamount to the excitement circulating through the halls of Kamloops’ Sahali Junior secondary as friends and I anticipated the first snow and trips to local Tod Mountain (now Sun Peaks Resort). The thing most distinct in my memory of his adventure movies was his calm yet drama filled voice and perfect annunciation fitting of the exuberant spirit of the sport. This self proclaimed “ski bum” grew his audience from modest beginnings by sharing with friends scenes captured from his eight millimetre camera taken at Sun Valley Idaho while working as a young ski instructor.
Over time, with success and a growing budget, he moved his sets world-wide and depicted wondrous winter landscapes as backdrops for elite skiers stunting or careening knee deep in breathtaking unmarked fresh powder. Now, I marvel at the planning which would have went into acquiring the miraculous footage when factoring in winter travel, weather, procuring skiers, cooperation from resorts and heli-ski operators. As teenagers, these things didn’t cross our minds while mystified by the possibilities of where our ski interests may lead along with the upcoming ski season.
In anything we do, there needs to be particular seeds of inspiration which compels us to move and to actualize the joy freedom offers. To this day, Warren Miller and his movie making team play a definite role in inspiring yours truly to seek winter solace and athletic prowess in the mountains ranges of Western Canada and to them I say thanks!
Roger was on the ropes throughout the first set but his iron clad mental toughness shone during critical points late. From the opening serve of the first set breaker, the wilting effect had hit Tomas perceptibly.
It’s rare that you see Roger make a poor shot selection. In particular, on this day his backhand was exacting short hop topspin loops with concise accuracy during particular episodes of desperation which proved more than just defensive at times. He used a well disguised backhand drop shot also which definitely caught Berdych off guard.
There is never any inefficient energy expelled during the Roger Federer ground strokes. At 36, his court movement is still lizard like tracking shots with the benefit of an anticipatory sense matched by nobody. You may have to be a tennis player to appreciate the extensiveness and exquisiteness of the Roger Federer grab bag of tennis shots. It’s one thing to possess the arsenal but to know exactly when and how to deploy it with blazing reactionary instinct is another. He never seems to waver when down a break and you’ll never see him quiver at the very rare miss hit. He doesn’t short circuit stroke fundamentals in spite of his prowess and continues to glow in the glory of victory with a modest charisma destined to color the record books with distinction.
Waxing becomes more important as temperatures rise because the subtleties associated with stride length, kick wax surface length, wax application technique all play into your ability to maintain stride when course manoeuvrability becomes restricted. You’ll find that you can really blaze in moderate temperatures if you’ve prepared your skis effectively for the conditions.
If it’s old snow, you’re using glister as your kick wax. This stuff is gooey and you don’t need that much. In fact, I recommend that you shorten from your cold weather kick wax length because of the power of this stuff. You want to be careful that you don’t get it in contact with your glide bases because it’s a nuisance to remove while anticipating your ski day. On course it’s best to take breaks during the flats since restart will be easier since glister wants to adhere while stationery. Take full advantage of the slick conditions by extending even further during stride. Aim for a 90 degree finish at the knee with aggressive poling. On a good track with nicely prepared skis, these are the days where you’re close to the athletic zone actualizing the benefits of this aerobic winter sport.
Don’t despair, “skin skis” (google it) are now all the rage allowing you to bypass the kick wax procedure should you want to just get out on the trails with no fuss.
Now it’s the CFL commissioner who’s has been espousing what he thinks the city of Calgary needs to support the Calgary Stampeders.
Well, if you fumble the ball at the three yard line with a minute plus left in the championship game negating the opportunity for a two score point spread and fellow players are indifferent to positioning themselves correctly on the field to defend against the possibility of a fumble – I’m not so sure that the “professionals” care enough about their team for me as a taxpayer to care about them? Seven of them had literally littered the right half of the field immobile. This is not good football. This is laziness and poor execution of backup coverage at the most critical moment of the most critical game in the season. Yes, the Argo scampered the full 107 yards for the TD. This indifference is not dissimilar to the Stampeder holding penalties at critical junctures in the game or the objectional conduct perpetrated by a player wallowing in disappointment over failed execution.
Miraculously, the Stampeders found redemption with seconds left in the game after a dropped pass when a completion left them within field goal distance of tying. When a second down field goal could have put the game into overtime under poor play conditions, the team opted for the more risky play of throwing down field setting up the ultimate sorry end via interception.
Any hard core Stampeder fan who witnessed a similar meltdown in 2016 must be questioning their season ticket purchase plan for 2018. I certainly would be. In fact, I had given up my season tickets years ago not because of poor execution and player indifference but because of the continual interference of fellow fans as they made their frequent trips to the beer stands and loos during the action. For some it’s just a beer fest and the game doesn’t matter much anyways but for a sportsman such as myself, it’s simply too tough to watch at times other than the concluding spectacle. There’s certainly good grace in losing a battle fought with furor but this morning I’m in gratitude for my severed cable TV and having not given this team my attention during the season.
Of course the U.S President of the United States, Donald Trump, should have ceased reactionary tweeting when he took office at the White House. Of course he should not have waded into this anthem kneeling chicanery enacted by NFL players through twitter. However; he is entitled to have an opinion with respect to protocols, conduct, and assembly of Americans in witness to the ceremony of the country’s national anthem.
Americans exercising their civil liberty are entitled to their opinion regarding each others’ conduct. If a citizen has a grudge to bear against their country, they have the freewill to express themselves within their law abiding rights. Each American has the autonomy to choose which way they wish to fight their civil battles within their rights. I suspect that many Americans lacking weekly television exposure while administering their own rights for justice would rather see NFL players take their grievance(s) to the appropriate forum for resolution rather than grandstanding in front of folks enthusiastic about watching some football.
I, personally, stopped watching football in 2014 upon learning of an NFL player beating his wife in a casino elevator. There was much ado about whether the player should be suspended by the league or not. The story line had morphed from the strategy of defensive alignment, pass protection, finger tip end zone catches, and fourth down late game conversions into a gong show about the conduct of privileged elite players having difficult managing themselves.