hockey culture

Hockey Culture

One of my favorite aspects of hockey culture is the commitment of older players to encouraging and mentor the younger players.  It manifest in a number of ways.  When Marty St. Louis played for the Lightning, his son played travel hockey here in Florida.  There were a number of tournaments we attended that when he was there, he’d offer his encouragement to our boys.  As loud as these hockey players are the minute an NHLer walks in the room, you could hear crickets.

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You may recall from my blog a couple weeks ago that Goalielocks had skate courtesy of a professional rehabbing here in Florida.  Well, today was our boys turn.  Goalielocks’ team was offered the opportunity to volunteer at the Panthers’ Learn to Skate program that is being hosted at our rink.  Goalielocks equipment was still in the truck, so he helped them set up.  Meanwhile, the Mayor was more than happy to go out on the ice and help.

Dressed in their black tracksuits, the Mayor, his friend Justin and a handful of Goalielocks’ teammates took to the ice for learn to play.  We watched from the glass fondly recalling how they were all that little once.  By comparison to the learn to play kids, even my Mayor looked gargantuan.  Our bantams looked like giants next to these little players.

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Unquestionably, these boys are tough on the ice. Most of them visit me in the box at least once a game (my Mayor included.) Nonetheless today on the ice, they were gentle giants.  It was awesome watching them help the up and coming hockey players throughout the hour.  As tough as they can be, they were patient, caring coaches.  For my boys, it was a rewarding experience.  As we left the rink, they were excited to return next week to help coach.

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Post learn to play, I got my second coffee of the day from Dunkin’ before heading to the pet store.  Our first stop was a Tanks A Lot, which sells aquarium and a wide array of marine life.  For my boys, it was like a candy shop.  This store had everything from sea horses (I want one) to two different shark species.  Unquestionably, my boys wanted to take home both of the sharks.  Unfortunately, we don’t have an aquarium large enough to house the sharks.

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After our trips to the pet store, we headed home for Goalielocks to setup his new aquarium.  He got several small fish to cycle the thank.  Meanwhile, I was hoping to run, but the weather and my hamstrings were not cooperating.   Instead I chose to cuddle on the couch with the Mayor and watch the Office.  It was a solid choice.  Nonetheless, it also means I’ll have to run more miles tomorrow.

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Lastly, we’re seven days out from the Broward Palm Beach Purple Stride and still $3,500 away from our fundraising goal.  While it looks doubtful that I’ll be logging a PR at this race, due to poor preparations, I do not want to fall short of my fundraising goal.  If you’re in S. Florida, join us at the event.  If you’re not local to S. Florida, please consider donating to Team Deb Force Five.  You can join the team or donate to the team via this link:  Team Deb Force Five.

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Tonight’s song is a flashback to the 80’s.  It’s also one of my kids’ favorite song after it was featured on Family Guy.  Enjoy Toto’s “Africa.”

 

 

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Friday Afternoon Bowling

Friday Afternoon Bowling

Today I spent my Friday afternoon bowling at a team building event for one of our business partners.  On the heels of yesterday’s BBQ for our team, bowling and building relationships with our business partners was awesome.  Truly,  I spent a good part of my week building relationships and on employee engagement.  Is there anything better?

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Unequivocally, one of the things I love about my job is the people I work with.  Some are on my team, but many work across the organization in the departments we work with daily.  Silos are the greatest danger to any organization.  Make it your mission to remove silos from our place of employment.  Make it your mission to make positive relationships with the people that support your department, but may work outside of it.

 

That’s all I have for career/work advice tonight.  Let’s talk about the bowling.  I’m awful.   Truly I don’t have enough fingers on my hand to count the gutter balls I threw today.  Consequently, during our second game I switched to bowling from my left hand.  The first ball I threw left handed resulted in (gulp) a gutter ball.  I promptly followed it up with a right handed spare.   Thereafter, I alternated between the hands in resulted in a score that was double my second game.

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In fact, in game two I even led for a moment.  Albeit a brief moment.  For that brief moment between the 2nd and 3rd frame of game 2, I was in the lead.  Since this never happens, I simply had to take a picture of my amazing accomplishment.  Unfortunately, I followed it up with some more gutter balls before netting another spare and two strikes.  You can only imagine the awesomeness of my post-strike strut.

My AD and I had joined the white team.  There were five teams and we rocked it.  As sure as I was that I would torpedo the team, we killed it.  We had a blast!  It was such a great opportunity to meet new  people, connect with those we know and build positive relationships.  While I will never become a professional bowler (cue the small violin here,) I look forward to my next bowling trip my colleagues.  Special thanks to our friends TE and NM for the invite.

Tonight’s song “Smooth” by Santana ft. Rob Thomas.

serving others

Serving Others

Today was all about serving others – literally.  As a thank you to our staff and business partners, we threw a BBQ for our entire South Florida team.   While this wasn’t our first rodeo, it was our third, our last two BBQs have been for a team of 40-50.  Comparatively, today’s BBQ was for a paltry 450 people! For the majority of the team, leadership included, this was their first offsite BBQ.

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Our day started early with a trip to Sam’s to pick up the food we had pre-ordered.  While MK and I got the food, the rest of our crew headed to the park to start the grills.  In order to serve by noon, we started grilling at 10.  Our chefs, as always, were fantastic. When I finally got a chance to eat a burger, it was incredible.  By the time our teams showed up to eat, we were more than ready to go.

For the next three hours, my team and I served our employees burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers.  It was an amazing opportunity for us to interact with our teams and build new relationships on our expanded team.  We spent the entirety of our day preparing for the BBQ, executing and cleaning up the park.  Unquestionably, it is hard for us to be away from the laptops for extended periods of time, but it is worth it to serve our teams.

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Some leaders fall into the trap of getting caught up in titles and even self -importance.  True leadership, however, is about serving those that report to you.  I privileged to be part of a team that espouses the servant leadership philosophy.  After I left the insurance industry years ago, I never wanted to be in a leadership position again.  Surprisingly, here I am in a leadership position again.  What drew me back into the leadership role was the commitment to servant leadership.

Today was an exhausting, but rewarding day.  The opportunity to meet and celebrate the people that make an organization successful was amazing.  I look forward to our next event celebrating the team’s success and our employees.  In the interim, I remain grateful for the opportunity to serve my team as a servant leader.

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Lastly, I’ve been handling my iPhone X gingerly, so as to not drop it.  I’m acclimated slowly to the major changes on the phone.  Truly, the facial recognition piece is amazing. Once I’ve gotten accustom to it, I will post my review here.  

Tonight’s song: “Mr. Jones”  I’m totally on a 90s music kick this week.  Can you tell?  What’s your favorite 90s tune?

Don't Quit Keep Going

Don’t Quit Keep Going

Don’t quit keep going!  When you first start running or any fitness routine, it is easy to give up when it starts to get uncomfortable.  But you can’t!  As Jillian Michael says “unless you puke, faint or die, keep going.”  As you learn to push through those walls, you’ll build both physical and mental  endurance and strength.  What could be better?  Remember if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

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Don’t Quit Keep Going

Moreover, working out is the perfect panacea for a bad day.  Run mad, run wild and exercise the stress away. Your mind, body and family will thank you.  The beauty of exercise is that it gives you both physical and mental clarity.   Many people, myself included, do their best thinking while running or working out.

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Don’t Quit Keep Going

As you build both the mental and physical strength that allow you to break through barriers in your workout, you’ll also find it translates into other aspects of your life.  The grittiness and confidence you find in your workouts will help you immensely.  Namely, it will help you find the mental strength to persevere through life’s toughest moments.

 

National Eat Your Kid's Halloween Candy Day

Happy National Eat Your Kid’s Halloween Candy Day

Guess what day it is!  Not only is it hump day, we’re over half way there, it is National Eat Your Kid’s Halloween Candy Day.  A little known holiday that’s a bit of mystery outside of the parenting circuit. Nevertheless, it is a very important one.  As a parent, we’ve earned the right to pilfer their candy.  If we left it to them, we’d only get the raisins, pencils or pennies.  We can’t have that nonsense!

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Back in my day, you hit the mother load when you got a full size candy bar in your bag.  Oh how we have raise the bar!  Goalielocks came home with several king sized bars last night.  Could you have imagined that back in the 80s and 90s?  If this seems excessive, it is.  However, it does help mitigate the loss of candy to National Eat Your Kid’s Halloween Candy Day.

 

In order to mitigate the extra calories, I headed back to the Barre for more fun.  It was another fabulous class. Truly,  I can’t recommend Adam’s class highly enough.   Let me tell you, Xtend Barre is a lot harder than it looks.  I felt the first class for almost a week!  You can imagine my horror when I got to class and the dreaded Bosu was back.   Literally, the last time I did the class on the Bosu, I couldn’t laugh, sneeze, cough or move for like 5 days.  It hurt my abs to simply exist.

Unfortunately, I’m battling a nasty cold.  I am praying that I’m done with the coughing fits before the pan of tonight’s class hits my abs.  Otherwise, sweet mother of Jesus,  there will not be enough Aleve in the world to cure my ills.  If I’m looking at the bright side, the good news is that class is superbly effective.  I guess that’s what keeps bringing us all back now isn’t it.

Tonight’s song “I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow

 

Be the Reason

Be The Reason

Be the reason someone smiles today! Regardless of how you feel, choose to rise above the fray.  Indeed, choose to be kind, choose to be sincere, and choose to champion the beautiful people in your life.  Lastly, wishing the blogosphere a very Happy (and sinus infection free) Tuesday!

My Thursday

My Thursday

My Thursday started with a longer than normal commute down the turnpike courtesy of a wreck and some rain.  It is a proven fact that rain will jack up your commute.  Oh and it did! It jacked up my commute both coming and going today.   The sad, sorry fact is that it isn’t even snow bird season yet, so traffic is only going to get worse!  By the time I got to work, I was feeling beat up.  Obviously, it was a namaste in bed kind of day and I got the memo too late.

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Nevertheless, I grabbed my Dunkin’ and headed to work.  Thank God for coffee and the many hilarious memes popping in on a fantastic group chat.  These definitely brightened my Thursday.   I can’t say that every meeting was awesome sauce today, but I had a few their complete gems.  I’ve been a director for quite awhile, but seeing people develop and come into their own never gets old.  I freaking love it.  I can’t even express how happy it makes me feel.

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Over the lunch hour, we threw an impromptu birthday party in a team meeting for one of our very tenured employees.  When I first started in my current department, this person took me and my colleagues under his wings.  He made sure we understood the process and helped us in anyway he could.  Today we celebrated him and he was blown away.  Afterwards, you could see how much he appreciated the gesture.  Above all, it was a poignant reminder of how important it is to make sure your employees feel that they are important to you and appreciated.

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One of my last meetings of the day was invigoratingUn.  I love finding ways to make organizations better through collaboration and teamwork across departments.  Who needs silos anyway? Am I right?  At any rate, I look forward to seeing how the fruits of our labors can make a difference.

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On the home front, my brother sent a picture to the group text of the Mayorworking on the car at my folk’s house in Minny.  I can’t believe how young he looks in the picture and how old he is now! Unquestionably, I’m not ready for the boys to grow up.   The fact that my youngest is in middle school in mind blowing.   Undeniably, I would really appreciate if someone could figure out how to slow down time.  It is going far too fast for me.  Moreover, I know I’m not alone here.

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I’m a mere 8 years from kids being out of the house.  I know it sounds like a long time, but I also thought 18 years was an eternity.  Turns out it’s not.  Jake is now 18 years old and the hubby and I still can’t figure out where the time went.  It’s seriously profane how quickly the time has gone.  It seems like it was just yesterday, I was a kid watching Madonna on MTV and choreographing awesome routines to her songs.  Now she’s oldest to carry an AARP card and I’m old enough to have a kid in college.    #mindblown  In honor of today’s daily prompt, enjoy Madonna’s Express Yourself music video.

 

loyalty

Loyalty

Loyalty is a fickle character trait that is coveted and prized in our friends and colleagues.  If you wish to see loyalty in its purest form, look no further than a child or a dog.  There is no more of a loyal companion than dog.   Young children’s loyalty to their parents is fierce.  Of course by the time they’ve reached middle school their more loyal to Snap Chat than their parents.  I loved the quote above from Claude McKay because it is totally on point.  How can you be loyal to someone else if you aren’t loyal to who you truly are?  #mindblown

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Why is it at we get older it seems loyalty becomes a rare commodity?  Why is that for many adults their loyalty is based on expediency?  This is especially true in the workplace, but also exists within many of our social circles.   As a kid, I thought of loyalty in terms of my loyalty to people.  While this concept is still very much alive in my life, now I think of loyalty differently.  Rather than emphasizing a person, I am loyal to my ideals and my ethics.  I don’t believe in loyalty by expediency.  When I think about what winning means to me, it means winning without cheating.  Winning without cutting corners or bending the rules.

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I love my family and friends that have become family.   These brilliant people, some of who at present are blowing up my phone with phenomenal memes, are loyal people. They’re loyal to their ideals, their friends and especially their family.  Perhaps that’s why I so dearly love my hockey family and my friends that became family.  A special shout out to my non-hockey friends, who tolerate the insanity of our schedule and our limited ability.  We truly appreciate your understanding of our craziness.

Fraud

Fraud

As I thought about today’s daily prompt fraud, I came across this quote from Sophocles, “rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.”   It really spoke to me because I’d rather fail honorably than “succeed” fraudulently.  Bernie Madoff was once a darling to many as he provided them rich returns on their investments.  For years, Madoff lived the high life, but as is always the case his fraud was unveiled.  Deservedly,  he’ll spend the rest of his life rotting in jail.

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I think we can all understand the attraction, right?  It appears to be the easiest, most expeditious route to the top.  Moreover, it can be frustrating seeing dishonorable people succeed while you struggle. I’m sure many felt Madoff wasn’t on the up and up, but didn’t have the proof until 2008. Nevertheless, we cannot give in to the temptation.   Remember the fastest path isn’t always the right path.  A path pave b

Here are some of my least favorite frauds:

  • Vegan cheese – I could easily be a vegetarian, but as Meatloaf would say, “I’d do anything for love, but I wouldn’t do that….” No vegan cheese for me.
  • Equifax’s web security                                                                TPYznCi.gif
  • KUWTK – I won’t even dignify them by spelling out their show.
  • WWE- Closest thing to wrestling I enjoyed was Hogan Knows Best and that wasn’t real either.
  • Fake news
  • Fake friends – don’t be a plastic                         .tumblr_mhtj2cKMrP1rv3b62o1_500.gif
  • Decaffeinated coffee – this is perhaps the worst offender of them all.  At this point in my life, I need a daily IV drip of fully caffeinated coffee.                                                There-is-a-time-and-place-for-decaf-coffee.png

Tonight’s music selection is John’s Lennon’s diss track for Paul

 

Be Exceptional

Be exceptional, don’t settle for average, don’t settle for mediocrity, don’t freaking settle!  Do you hear me?  Instead choose to be your best.  Everyday we have a choice.  We can choose to be average or worse mediocre, but we can also choose to be exceptional.  This doesn’t mean that we are perfect or striving for perfection.  It only means that we do everything with our best effort.

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For example, when we work out.  Do you give your best the entire time?  Or do you slough off a bit?  If we’re not giving our workout our best effort,  we won’t see the results we covet.  Our results are proportionate to our effort and sadly our diet (damn you age and womanhood.)  For example if we only give 50% effort at a Zumba class,  instead of burning 500 calories, we’ll only burn 250 calories.

Tonight I tried my first Xtend Barre class up at Burn Fitness.  Cheese and rice, I will feel it tomorrow.  Adam, our amazing teacher, likes to call his class barre boot camp.  He wasn’t lying.  Hey, at least he was up front and honest.  He’s a great teacher with tons of energy, so class went quickly.b8d1df9391abe1705203067426eec94f--barre-memes-funny-barre-fitness.jpg

Class may have went quickly, but it was tough!  In truth, I felt a little bit like fish out of water as I was the sole novice in the room.  Adam, as good fitness instructor will do, made the class appropriate to everyone’s level including mine.  Even though I was new to barre, and admittedly not that good, I gave it my best effort.  Consequently, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to move tomorrow, but no pain, no gain.  Right?

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Being exceptional isn’t just for the fitness studio though, it’s for all aspects of our lives.  If we find that what we’re doing is no longer inspiring us to be exceptional, then it is time to move on.  Life is far too short to settle for mediocrity.  It is imperative that we find something that makes our heart and soul sing.  In addition, it is easier to be exceptional when we find something or someone that we are passionate about.

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Tomorrow morning the choice will be all of ours. Join me in embracing the madness one cup of coffee (see meme below)  at a time and being exceptional.    If you’re not where you’d hope to have been by now, that’s okay.  Now is the perfect time to start working towards your dreams.   Now is the time that you stop settling and grab the bull by the horns.   Its time to go get it!

p.s. I’d like to give a special shout out to my Finland for tagging me in the meme below on Facebook.  It very accurately depicts my relationship with coffee!                                     22365410_1448928341822504_7005541926207002228_n.jpg6361016783982351261051636329_574e2900dc33501062016054456