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.

<iframe src=”https://webapps.9c9media.com/vidi-player/1.4.3/share/iframe.html?currentId=1367821&config=ctvnews/share.json&kruxId=ImoeZsch&cid=%5B%7B%22contentId%22%3A1367821%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1367880%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1367859%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1367796%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1367785%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1367522%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1367375%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22adsite%22%3A%22ctv.ctvnews%22%2C%22adzone%22%3A%22embed%22%7D%7D%2C%7B%22contentId%22%3A1367086%2C%22ad%22%3A%7B%22ad

Advertisements

Have you ever wanted just to numb the pain away?

But a car is spinning tires just outside Blush Lane

They ask for help, you – “of course!”, there is no other way

Their smiles make it hard, at least not today

Have you ever just wanted to grow up and blow away?

Up in the clouds where you’re dreaming almost every single day…

With blinders on you’ll never see or taste or hear them say,

Thanks for stopping to lend a hand so I can get up on my way

I just want to feel loved

Iwant to feel comfortable inside my skin

I want to feel loved (ahwoo!)

Gotta feel it from within

So now it all seems trivial, the things that I could say

Nostalgia of my childhood dreams, for them – just ripped away

Maybe when the time is right, we’ll drop the puck and play,

And kiss and hug and sing and dance as if we’re gone today

I just want to feel loved

I want to feel comfortable inside my skin

I want to feel loved (ahwoo!)

Gotta feel it from within

As I stand here, warming up in the bomby -2.5C Calgarian November morning, I look around to see nothing but open park, glorious cityscape and a few tourists over the stairs at Crescent Heights. The same stairs that the team and I meet every Sunday, at 11:07.

Not this Sunday though. I was the lone wolf.

I heard lots of inquiries, lots of interest, some were unfortunately sick and others had previous engagements and that’s all fine. I’m okay if you don’t show up. I have zero influence on what people prioritize until they see what health and wellness will do for them.

Ironic because most of the excuses I hear revolve around “I’m tired, I’m gonna sleep in, I’ve been working nights, I’m getting sick, I have no time for that…” which all stem from the root of why you should be joining me every Sunday at 11:07!

I don’t do this because I like it all the time. I do it because I know the alternative of depression, anxiety, poor conditioning, sickness, lethargy, zero motivation, ambition and the feeling of insecurity far outweighs the shitty 35:07 of a little hard breathing, muscle soreness and pounding heart. Yeah. I show up.

I’d encourage you to do the same the next time you say you will. Physically and mentally. At the end of the day, you’re only letting yourself down.

I did my reps.

So today marked the first real CrossFit workout I’ve had since I went in Maui about 4 years ago. One word: Community.

Curtis Laughren, an old friend of mine has established his box as so much more than a place to lift heavy things and put them back down again. He’s grown a family of individuals that come together, support and rally each other through the toughest physical demands they can put their bodies through every time they step on the floor. What’s more is that today was a holiday! The floor was packed. Every one to the athletes came up and introduced themselves to me. It was quite a humbling experience to see so many encouraging, forward thinking and mindful athletes together in one space. I was back in my element today. Part of the team. A feeling I haven’t had for nearly two years since speed skating came to an abrupt end in the fall of 2015.

I walked in and immediately felt like I was home. The sweat-culture of sport, intensity and collaborative competition hit me like a hurricane the minute I stepped inside. Greeted by Curtis, peering through the Concept2 rowers (AKA death machines…) standing on end in “park”, to see who the new guy was. Huge smile and big handshake waiting for me, it was at that point I knew that this was the next step in my athletic career.

We spent the first 15 minutes in RAMP (for those wondering, that’s smart trainer talk for warm up [Range Of Motion, Activation, Movement Prep…]) and then we got to some warm up movements on the bar. The workout today was modelling the CrossFit Games workouts that just took place this past weekend, so today “Amanda” and a strength Powerlifting style 5-3-1+ sets of deadlifts was on the docket.

What’s Amanda?

It’s a drop set 9-7-5 series focused around two big, sexy movements. The Olympic Snatch and the Muscle Up. Rawr…

I’m pretty good with the bar, so the snatch wasn’t a problem (insert endless jokes here….), but my shoulders have never been right since I separated the left one making saves in football (soccer) nearly 10 years ago. Actually, side note – that’s one of the biggest motivations for me trying this box out. My overall goal is to be able to complete 10 Muscle Ups before 2018. For today, Curtis and I scaled them down to strict pull-ups so my Amanda was really like a “Mandy”…. The beta version 1.8 and still pretty cool.

I had a nice and light 75lbs on the bar just to go through the snatch patterning and pounded out my modified Amanda in a quick 4:18. In hindsight I should have thrown 115lbs on the bar, but I feel good about my first day. It can still be intimidating to walk into a gym where you’re the new guy…even for an experienced, multiple-certified trainer like myself, guys… so I was pumped to just experience today.

Then came the deads…

I crushed a 265lb deadlift today, which I just calculated to be about 113% of my previous best. So I set a PR on my deads today. Which is cool. But don’t tell my cardiologist yet. She’ll get worried again. I didn’t hold my breathe, Doc. Don’t worry. No Valsalva over here.

The point to my story is that the biggest determining factor of anything you do is your social support system. If you’re around a bunch of people that are in support of your actions, you’ll be much more likely to achieve. If you’re not, you won’t. Plain and simple. They say we are a product of the five people we hang out around the most. As a kid playing hockey I always wanted to play on the top line, I always wanted to be better. I wanted to be around the guys that were better than me. Nothing much has changed.

August 7, 2017 marks the actualization of bettering myself in the areas of my wellbeing that I’ve neglected for whatever reason… injury, laziness, lack of knowledge or special care. I’ve removed those excuses from the equation, and CrossFit Above All is the support system, the community, the family I have been lacking to drive me to progression in my personal and athletic growth. I am beyond stoked to see what happens. Thank you Curtis et al.

Do something awesome today. Until next time, stay sweet.

Peace.

-M

PS. If you’re in the Calgary area, check out www.crossfitaboveall.com

Curtis hosts multiple free classes each week for you to try out and see what it’s like to be a part of a common goal of personal growth and strength, both in the gym and out.

 

I was able to sit down with a friend, Danika Kelly, over sushi and coffee this past weekend. Danika and I got to talking about gender roles in sport and all of the controversy ensued. Please take a listen to the conversation below and share with someone you think this would resonate with.

“If masculine attributes are the defining characteristic of success in your sport… All of the hegemonic masculine bullshit comes into your sport with it.”
-Danika Kelly

I also touch on a few hot topics in this episode regarding “Intellectual Service”, teach you some tricks on fixing that lower back of yours and then we talk a bit about some happenings this week in Calgary. Music from Edmonton indie rockers, King of Foxes, to showcase Alberta’s talent to round things out for a super rad episode this week. Please share this post and dive in to it!

Have a great week, do something awesome and stay sweet!

PAYCE!

Get focused. 

You are the product of your behaviours. Oftentimes I’ll hear if a client that will give a vent session about an experience that sounds a lot like last week’s trouble of the week. And the week before that too. 

I’m a firm believer of if you keep running into the same problem, the problem might just be in fact … you. 

Instead of putting down the bar, unlacing the boots, throwing in the towel or whatever the heck else you wanna metaphor for quitting, try re-focusing. 

Breathe in ten times slowly and deeply. Calm yourself and try again. 

With this approach it’s hard not to come out successful. Give it a go!

And remember, you don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become that rock star. 

Stay sweet, folks!

Coach 

Well it has been quite some time between posts for me and I’d like to apologize. Busy is good though, right?

Here’s the scoop

  1. I’m on The Sweet’s EP! In a totally unexpected turn of events we had the opportunity to re-record one of our tunes “The Beast” with Pat Pallardy of Public Lunch Studios for our upcoming fall debut EP titled “Wild” on Tuesday. We laid down the drums in a little under an hour and also got the bass taken care of. So when Mitch and Claudia get back in town from a little vacation in Cuba, they can lay guitars and vocals down and we’re all good in the hood. If you want to get to know what you can expect from the EP, check out the video from the single, “Wild” here! It’s going to be a rad summer of touring and writing and then a big release in the fall. So. Much. Excite. Please feel free to Like us on Facebook too to stay in the sweetest loop!
  2. I’m going to CMW! That’s right, Canadian Music Week! I am actually spearheading a really interesting initiative that will study life on the road of the Canadian rockers Matt Blais and the Heartbeat. Matt is a beauty, one of my closest friends and a true warrior of the music scene. To be a part of his gang is an absolute privilege. I’m documenting Matt’s tour to CMW in Toronto as part of my study of the relationship between the road life of a rock band and the lifestyle that goes with the territory. I will also be implementing strategies to keep health and performance in the forefront despite the challenges the road poses. As I said, I’m going under the guise of a music journalist of sorts, looking to video and interview and get an up close and personal look into the (sometimes dark) lifestyle of working Canadian musicians. Why? Well, I am a musician myself, and since working very hard to gain the title of “The Music Industry’s Health and Performance Coach” I want to build awareness amongst the community that there is another way. We don’t have to abuse substances or abandon our health and nutrition. In the words of the great poet Ludacris, [we can still] have a good time and enjoy [our] Jack. But I want to introduce health in order to promote longevity. There’s some serious talent out there amongst Alberta’s independent music scene, it’d be a shame if the world couldn’t hear it.
  3. I’m running a 21- Fitness Challenge and only have about 6 spots not spoken for. Want in? Click here! Guaranteed results, but unfortunately as this is semi-private programming you either need to live in the Calgary, AB region or have a bomb-diggity teleportation device on hand. We need to talk if you have the latter. I wanna bucket list a Led Zeppelin concert, pre “In Through The Out Door”. Did you hear they’re finally moving forward with that lawsuit now…? Crazy!

If you’d like to stay in the know on the offers I do have for online programming or just get some sweet info on how to safely exercise and understand things like your 1 rep max, please visit here!

Alright, that’s it for now. Get up and make the most of your Friday. I’m going for a nice ride.

‘Til next time!

#TeamSchwartz