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Day four - Food, yoga, and mohawks

by Darren Archibald / Vancouver Canucks

I left off yesterday with dragon boating so I’ll start today with the dragon boat update. There was a bit of controversy because both boats think they won. I was in the red boat and we were told by the motor boat following us that the red boat won. For some reason, the yellow boat seems to have it in their heads that they won. I mean, I’ll admit, it was a close race but everyone knows red won.

It’s a great shoulder workout especially because you’re only on the one side the whole time. The left shoulder got a little burn when you’ve got it going for a minute straight. It’s something I’ve never tried before but I would absolutely do it again. It’s a great team sport because you can’t really succeed individually on that, much like hockey.

Good news is nobody tipped but it was a little rocky at times when people moved but generally, it was a pretty sturdy boat. It was a little cold to start because it started raining but once we got paddling it wasn’t too bad.

We had Commanding Officer, Bradley Peats of the HMCS Vancouver come in to talk to us as they are set to go overseas soon. It was fantastic to hear from them. Bless those guys’ hearts, who are going over there to help people in need and can’t thank them enough for what they do for this country and to help others as well. My grandfather was in World War 2 over in Germany so for me, that’s a good experience and to meet someone like that. I’ve never met anyone in the navy so it was interesting to hear their side of the story. I wish them the best of luck to them going overseas.

After lunch, we had a food and nutrition session with a nutritionist and a chef. The chef made us some pasta – something simple that we can make ourselves. It was pretty basic, just whole wheat pasta, chopped up tomatoes, oregano, basil, and chicken breast. One of things I took away from that session is to use lots of herbs in your cooking to bring it up a notch. The pasta was phenomenal.

I’m getting better in the kitchen – I’m usually a guy that just likes to eat so there’s still room for improvement there. But I know that in the near future I’m going to be on my own and won’t have anybody cooking my meals so I’ll have to get into it more. I’ve been trying to start getting into it more this summer. During the season, usually all my meals are cooked for me. The odd night that the billets aren’t home, I have to whip up something myself and even in the summer time, if mama bear’s not home, I’ve got to fend for myself.

My specialty dish is actually something my mom and I came up with together. Marinate chicken breast in sun-dried tomato dressing and then fry it up in the skillet with some rice and asparagus. That’s my go-to meal.

With yoga becoming more common in hockey training now, today was actually my first time doing yoga. It was really good and relaxing – maybe too much because I think I almost fell asleep. Some positions you had to keep a little more balance but great first experience. Marc Zanetti was trying to knock me over a couple of times but I’m kind of a brick wall.

I got a fan question from Lynsey: After doing all the drills with Ryan, what is your favourite and least favourite drill that he makes you do?

My least favourite is probably the Mohawk turn, which is when you’re going backwards and pivot to one side and you open your hips up and continue on your stride. It’s mainly for defenceman and that was pretty tough when Ryan first introduced it to me but I definitely feel a lot more comfortable doing it now.

I don’t think I have a favourite one – maybe any skating drill that has to do with shooting the puck. And one that we worked on a lot was tight turns which was a big help for me so that maybe that would be my favourite.

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback and a couple tweets from people about the blog and I appreciate all the feedback and questions – keep it coming. The phone’s still buzzing about it and I love it.

Got any questions? I would love to hear from you. Send me your thoughts.

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