We are a nation bound by the game. With nearly 7 Million dollars raised for the community of Humboldt at the time of me writing this, not even a week after the tragic events that took the life of 15 members of the Humboldt Broncos from their loved ones, we are given a light that brightens that awful darkness.

Support. Care. Understanding. Love.

We all feel something special because of a emotional connection. It’s hard to explain…

I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s the haunting reality of the events that as a hockey player growing up in small town southern Alberta, happens to draw me into this mix. My youth was sprinkled with close calls on icey highways, narrow backroads and the ability to name towns like Gleichen, Stettler, Wetaskawin, Leduc, Indus… etc. I can only imagine the living nightmare that must be going on inside the minds of those affected directly by the loss of one of their own.

“Big League” is an anthem to cherish memories of the lives that were lost and give hope to those that are in recovery. This will take years if not a lifetime to heal, but the outreach of support from complete strangers just like you’d expect from family is truly amazing. It embodies the sense of the hockey community. Of being Canadian. Of being human.

For me, “Pricklies” is an anthem that already meant the world to me. (If you ask my mom and dad they’ll tell you that I sang the chorus to Tom Cochrane & Red Riders hit “Big League” mistaking the words for “play in the pricklies”. I was 8. I didn’t know any better. I just loved the song.) I just loved waking up Saturday morning to drive to places like Indus, Gleichen, Hussar, Beiseker you name it… there’s not a barn I haven’t seen in Alberta… but more than the game, I loved to have time with my dad on the road. Listening to his (generally) sound advice on my positional play and overall thoughts on the game as we cruised from places like High River and Hanna left me with memories ever etched in my mind and associated with Tom Cochrane and the freedom you had as a kid growing up playing hockey for your hometown.

What I have learned from this horrific event, is that no matter where you’re at in life… the ones you love will come around. They may be mad. They may not even speak to you. But you’re still “gonna play in the Big League”. Life is way too short and whatever they’re doing, whether you get it or not is to help you and support you. Even though I didn’t know any of the players or family personally, I feel like experiences through hockey are shared universally. Humboldt represents a community inseparable by the bond of love for the game. I want to lend my hands and my heart to support the community of Humboldt in any way I can.

I don’t have much money to give, but I would be honoured to give my time and capture the stories of each Bronco involved in the crash to let the rest of the world know what the number on the back meant to the Bronco on the front. In due time I will see if this is something the community would like from an anonymous voice. It’s about Humboldt.

We are all in this one together. The hockey community, what it means to be Canadian and it goes to show how important life really is. Hug you kids, hug your parents, hug your brothers and sisters. Keep your stick on the ice and drive to hard to the net – you never know what will happen when you just put the puck on net. Make things happen.

Thank you for listening. Keep a stick out for Humboldt.

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I get this one a lot.

Alike many nutrition questions, not to sound cliche… but it really depends.

First off, we gotta get some more context. What are your goals? Are you trying to lose weight, add muscle or increase your sport performance?

Here are a few quick tips for each of these cases:

Losing Weight

Well, timing is important otherwise you start to devour everything in sight when you finally do eat. You may have been there before. Smaller more frequent meals are commonly taught, but I generally coach the “eat when you’re hungry” approach. The biggest keys are to eat slowly (20-30 minutes) and away from distractions (no TV, texting, Facebook etc…) and only until you’re 80% full. That way your body hits satiety (AKA the feeling of fullness). If you eat too fast, your body doesn’t have time to trigger the “stop eating” button and you’ll tend to overeat.

Gaining Muscle

Eat. Eat often, and when you’re not hungry eat a sandwich. Seriously, timing of large meals is critical when you want to add muscle to your frame. Eating large amounts of food quickly is the takeaway here. Quality protein is most important. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or eating animal protein (which are scientifically proven to be more complete) you must ensure all essential amino acids are being taken into account to maximize the growth of muscle fibres.

Sport Performance

When you’re a performance athlete and need to consider nutrients and calories and performing well, you need to ensure you’re getting the appropriate number of nutrients in your body before every lift. Many meals throughout out the day is the gold standard, while pre and post training nutrition plays a huge role in your success too. Eat good whole food and sleep well to ensure you’re body is ready for the next competition.

Hope this helps get the ball rolling for you. Be sure to reach out if you need some answers! Ciao!

M

xo

I’ve been asked countless times, “Mike, I’m eating well, I just can’t seem to lose the weight… what am I doing wrong?”

I’m usually quick to ask “What’s eating well look like to you?” As part of my coaching, I like to believe the best in everyone, but honestly, seeing is believing so I generally follow that question up with “Can you show me what each meal has been exactly in the past three days?”

Most often, that person cannot.

More often they say something to the effect of

“Well, it’s just really tough when the boys want to go out for wings and beer after the game… when my wife wants to do pizza and wine night on Friday and the kids are always on the go for band recital, soccer practice and other extra curricular events… I just don’t wanna be that guy, you know?”

I do. However, own it. You get to make that choice to get wings and beer, enjoy the pizza or choose to eat fast food from the drive thru en route to the kids practice… only you get that choice. And to piggyback on this, it’s not only to do with nutrition. If you find yourself in any less than ideal situation, maybe you just lost your job, maybe you’re considering starting your own business, maybe you want to pursue a passion – whatever it is, if you don’t have the social support, the likelihood of you achieving that dream significantly decreases.

It’s amazing how much we are influenced by the social circles that we are in. I found a very interesting article that explain the power of social support very clearly, from my friends and fellow coaches at Precision Nutrition. Take a read if you think you might know someone that’s got the right intentions but the wrong friends. Might be time to cut the line…. [Read the full article here]

Ciao, babes!

Xo

M

 

Featured Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

This is impromptu. Everything about this post goes against the grain. Everything goes against what we are taught in school. Be smart. Follow the process.

I’m here to shake that shit up.

I’m leading with my heart. The human being is complex. Our souls are complex… and they sure as eff don’t follow linear strategy.

It just makes sense to post now so you all just get a bonus post today. Hell, depending on where you’re at in the world this counts for tomorrow. Anyway, this one’s really spontaneous.

Everything happens for a reason. You and I put things out into the world subconsciously, allow the magic to happen and take what cards are dealt our way.

Here’s the spin…

Music has a very powerful way of channeling feelings, evoking emotion and setting the stage for what you’re in for. It can be scary. It can be wild. it can be whatever you want it to be. It’s the moment. It has no rules. There’s no meter. There are no right or wrong notes. Just go. Just play.

As I write this post the music keeps on flowing…

It’s almost like your “vibe attracts your tribe” extends to “the song is where you belong” – Music makes memories.

There was a reason I tuned in, Strombo. I didn’t know it at the time. I’d say you’d never know what that show did for me… but you just spoke to exactly what I was writing. I’d say that’s eerie, but that’s my whole point. Now you’ll read this and it’ll all make sense.

-sidenote-

If you don’t already, go follow The Strombo Show. @thestromboshow on the socials… this guy’s been golden since I first got into music and I’d strongly encourage you to have a look and see what he’s crafting up.

Also, CBC Radio 2, on point with all of your programming and discovery of amazing music.

Toronto… you have a compelling argument…

Til next time… here’s the thing that started this all. Metric’s “Empty”. A song that represents 2006-2007 to a tee for me, my growing up and my dual struggle with finding myself, and pleasing the rest of the world’s expectations of what was to become of me.  It was a song my girlfriend and I listened to in the car, and she was the first person that introduced me to Metric and I’ll forever be grateful for that. Thank you, Sarah.

Sleep well, loves.

M

xo

 

 

Photo by Malte Wingen on Unsplash

The irony is unmatched, eh?

Canadian hip hop, r&b, soul, spoken word, beats, rap and all other sub-genres of urban music got a huge break Sunday at the 2018 JUNO Awards in Vancouver, BC.

Tory Lanez couldn’t have planned it better if he tried. Due to his absence at the awards show, Rascalz, Thrust, Checkmate, Kardinal and Choclair busted into “Northern Touch” in an impromptu self-proclaimed “takeover” of the JUNOS. This, much to the likely chagrin of the brass (and my parents) was a very radical and much needed shakeup in the musical landscape. I think is sad that a nation so proud of its heritage, proud of its diversity and proud of acceptance still has “-gasp- moments” when a group of artists take the microphone and lay down the facts like they did last night…

Its 2018. Let’s get real. Urban music is very much a part of our national identity and because of the talents that took the chance at the shake up last night, we are leaders in the urban space. Much love. Much respect. You’re true foot soldiers. We need more of that.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of these legends of Canadian Hip Hop, Kardinal Offishall this winter, when he hosted an event at NMC, interviewing another leader in the World Music genre, fellow Calgarian, Raghav.

Kardinal is hilarious, classy and it’s great to see him continue to give back to the music community and really help to continue to grow the hip hop movement.

So yeah. I wanted to not just base my argument solely off of opinion, even though I know a lot more than the ignorant, culturally narrowed-minded opposition… so here are three of my favourite arguments to counter those who deny urban music and its legitimacy in the industry.

1. “Rap is not music.”

Oh, is that so? Well, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition music is:vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, or harmony.

So if you believe rap is not music, you would be incorrect.

They tie lyrics together in multiple rhythms and rhyme schemes to a beat generally, but not always. Case closed.

2. “Rap Artists have no talent.”

Have you ever tried to fit 14 syllables into one sentence and line it up like poetry and craft stories around your experience?

No? Still not sold?

Okay. Watch this then – The Greatest Rhymers of All Time

3. “It’s just a bunch of gangster noise”

Awfully insecure, ignorant and insensitive, don’t you think? Here, watch this clip and tell me urban music hasn’t moved entire political, socio-economic and popular culture agendas. Straight Outta Compton – trailer

Urban music is charged by emotion. Rhythmically, lyrically and ingeniously it is an art form simply reserved for an elite class of forward thinking artists. Sure, there are some pretty shitty artists out there, like any industry. But generally speaking, the urban scene, especially in Canada is alive and well.

I find that most people fear change. These are typically the same people that horde, and share an incredibly narrow focused belief system about how the ways things are.

We fear what we don’t know.

And a lot of people don’t know urban music, hip hop and the like…

Tonight’s takeover was a huge step in alleviating that fear.

Thank you, Kardinal et al.

A little context

The following is a piece of poetry I just wrote. Last night I was at the Our Lady Peace concert and before OLP closed the night off, they made sure to dedicate a song to Matt Good. To paraphrase Raine Maida, he’s been an amazingly strong voice and brave ambassador in the fight against the stigma of mental illness. “It doesn’t matter if you’re f*cked up here (points to his head) or if you break your arm, it’s all the same. And we need to support each other instead of running away and give each other a safe space while we get better.”

Talking about mental health is slowly becoming a more common occurrence and it’s platforms like this with influencers like OLP and Matt Good that can make a difference.

If you know someone suffering, please reach out and get them help. There are local distress centres in just about every major Canadian city, and if you’re an artist like me, there are specific organizations to help you continue to craft. You can call Unison Benevolent Fund to speak with a counsellor. Call emergency of course if it’s an emergency, but head to unisonfund.ca and register your free account so when you feel you need some help, support or emergency relief, they’re there for you. Completely confidential, completely on your side.

Like I said, this is a piece of poetry I just wrote. I’m working on a solo singer/songwriter project, learning to write and perform pieces like this on an acoustic as nice, safe outlet for my own self care and enjoyment. It also provides me with a platform to get my message out to the world. I hope you dig.

Soundtrack Of My Life LP

No matter if it’s all in your head

A broken arm,

or what pills you’ve been fed

We’ll be right there with you, baby

We can’t escape from a living hell

The chaotic neutral,

Disempowering spell

So we’ll be right there with you, baby.

Time ticks on

Can’t see

We’re blind

Can’t hear

The cries

Out for someone “help me please

I’ve fallen again, actually”

You see

It goes

You heard

The notes

Songs that bring hope to me

The soundtrack of my life LP