With the exception of when I overheat during a workout, I’m always cold. ALWAYS. So it’s ironic that I find myself in various ice cold arenas 12+ hours a week. The trick to staying warm when you’re in a cold environment is being prepared and dressing in layers.
The prepared part means you’re talking to a girl who has a Costco sized box of Little Hotties Toe Warmers sitting beside her desk. The layers part means I’m constantly dressing and undressing depending on what I’m doing.
In the change room helping Hockey Playing Son get into his gear? T-shirt and a sweater.
Sitting in the stands watching his game? T-shirt, sweater, parka, boots.
On the ice helping out at speed skating? Baselayer, t-shirt, hoodie.
In the stands watching Speed Skating Son after I get off the ice? Baselayer, t-shirt, hoodie, winter parka, boots, and Little Hotties.
This is not an exaggeration. My speed skating mom posse sees me in my sleeping bag parka shivering away–three hours in a rink and a girl gets cold.
So you can imagine I was thrilled when Columbia Sportswear wanted me to take part in their Trying Stuff campaign because (a) I need warm gear and (b) I’m always trying new stuff.
The first package they sent me contained a Columbia Omni-Heat Heavyweight Baselayer (which is what I now wear on ice when I help the first class at speed skating) and a pair of OutDry Kiry Neve Gloves (which I haven’t worn yet).
And the theory behind this is that I wear the gear while I “Try Stuff.”
Only I can’t get my mind off the fact that last weekend Speed Skating Son’s Club Mini-Meet was cancelled because there weren’t enough volunteers. It was pretty disappointing for the kids. The older kids always have a great time racing against their teammates and for the newest skaters it’s the perfect opportunity to compete in their first meet in a friendly environment.
The first thought that went through my mind when I got the email the meet was cancelled was, “Crap! I should have signed up to do more. It’s my fault.”
This would be the exact reason I’m always over-extended, but that’s a whole other story.
Listen, I get it. There are a million reasons not to volunteer. You’re busy, schedules conflict, there are younger siblings who need to be take care of. I’ll be the first to tell you I didn’t volunteer the whole first year Speed Skating Son was in speed skating (why yes, I do feel guilty about it, thankyouverymuch).
This year, I started helping out on the ice at speed skating. I had no idea what to expect when I volunteered to do it. I knew it would take a re-balancing of my schedule, a husband who would support it, and on occasion when my husband had to work, for my two boys to be patient and wait for me while I was on the ice. What I knew for sure is that the younger kids in speed skating need more people on the ice to help keep them organized and if I could do it, I would.
It’s taken me a few weeks to feel comfortable out on the ice. I’m good at volunteering in the classroom but out on the ice is out of my comfort zone…this is something we’ve established in the three years I’ve been writing here, n’est–ce pas?.
But I love it. I love being on the ice with these kids. No matter how crappy I feel before I go on the ice, within minutes I’m in a good mood. These kids… THESE KIDS…they make me grin. Their stories, their jokes, their confidence, their smiles…it’s amazing.
So in the theme of “trying stuff” if you’re a parent and you can volunteer in a way that will help your child in a sport–not just speed skating, any sport–try it. Whether it’s a big position or small, you will both walk away smiling.