Hello everybody!

I'm just going to answer the hard hitting questions right now..

My feet are completely fine. I have one blister on each on the insides.

My back and hips were tight and my quads were sore.

Total soreness next day 6.5/10

First and foremost this fundraiser was created to provide children in need, an opportunity to have the same mentoring relationship I have with my little brother, and other Bigs and Littles in Listowel. BBBS Listowel has a wait list of almost 2 years for kids looking for a Big Brother or Sister, if I can reduce that wait time or inspire even a couple of people to volunteer then this fundraiser would be a huge success in my eyes. Meghan Martin and everyone at Big Brothers Big Sisters Listowel were phenomenal in helping me plan this feat and being there the day of to assist with the silent auction and other small tasks. I couldn't have done it without them! Thank you!

Secondly, I decided to do this fundraiser for me. Throughout the prep for this event many people said; "Oh you're a trainer, you're in great shape, you'll be fine". But that wasn't true. I decided to set a huge goal because I had become lazy and comfortable. I was bored of lifting weights, unmotivated, and was stuck in a rut of helping others exercise and ignoring my own nutrition and fitness. Lack of motivation happens to trainers the same way it does to everyone else, and I was in it bad.

Meeting with Kurzy one day I brought this up to him and he helped me start brainstorming ideas. A long run or bike was mentioned but I wanted to do something different, I hate running and people do marathons/endurance bikes all the time. I had started playing hockey again and thought an endurance Skate would be fun and lot easier logistically than a long distance run or bike. That being said, endurance training and events was completely new to me. I've never ran or walked a 5k, I've never done a tough mudder or character run, hell, I never even ran the 1500 meter race at track & field in public school. The most long distance thing I've done is playing soccer which at max is 90 minutes.

A large part of endurance training is the mental aspect. I knew my lungs could handle long cardio sessions but mentally I needed to get myself out of that lazy, comfortable attitude. Que David Goggins. If you haven't heard of him, his NSFW speeches will make you want to run through a brick wall. Listening to his audio book and various podcasts I slowly worked on my mindset and had more success with long cardio training sessions. For training, the town let me practice during the parents and tots skate so there were a couple options a week I could use and if I wasn't skating I was usually on the elliptical for its similar stride/low impact. That being said training gave me a bit of anxiety. Training for something that is over 2 hours in length is tough to fit into the schedule and I often felt like I wasn't doing enough because I would only be able to have the ice for 2 hours or a client to get to. The longest I ever trained on the ice was 3 hours. 3 out of 10 hours definitely made me nervous. 

Logistically doing a skate made the most sense to me. When doing a run or bike you generally have to have pit stops for water/food, with a skate, I could have all my supplies on the boards and just use the water fountain to refill my bottle instead of using dozens out on the road. The day of the skate I had a cooler full of drinks and food on the bench. In the room I had a microwave, stretch table, foam roller, lacrosse ball and any extra clothes or supplies that I needed. Having everything just a few feet away made breaks quick and convenient. 

The morning of the skate I felt pretty good. I had my regular morning coffee and made a bowl of scrambled eggs and hash browns for breakfast. I wanted to have a carb heavy meal to fuel me for the day...I didn't even finish it. I didn't get nervous till about 11am, which just fueled my excitement! At 12:30 I began my dynamic warm-up in the dressing room which I had heated with a small space heater to keep me warm beforehand and during breaks. 1:05 I finished my first lap with my little brother by my side, then it was off to the races. My back felt tight at 1:12, that made me laugh. At no point in my training did I have a problem with blisters, and of course, about an hour in I felt one start to form on the inside of my left foot, the right foot soon followed. Despite that I felt amazing! Around 2 hours in I actually sprained my finger.. funny right? Hurt your finger while skating?! I had gotten to close the glass and when I went to push off my finger snapped backwards..this also made me laugh. After that it was smooth sailing till about lap 350 (half way). It was at the half way point in which I felt the worst. My legs felt heavy, back tight, feet were sore. I took my longest break at this point. Kurzy switched out my skate blades and Steph stretched me for the first time that day. It took me a couple laps but I turned it back around. I felt phenomenal till the last 30 laps. I would change directions every 45 minutes or so to keep my legs balanced and feeling fresh, and the only time I didn't change was at the very end. Not changing directions before the last 30 laps made that last push quite hard. My left leg felt dead and I could feel my foot start to tingle like it had fallen asleep. The energy in that arena kept me alive though, glass rattling on one side, and horns and board smashing on the other kept me going. I had a huge smile on my face and was sprinting the best I could as I crossed that finish line and hit my 700th lap. I finished at 8:05pm in exactly 7 hours. I was happy I was done, but also a little sad it was over, it truly was one of the best days of my life. 

When I got off the ice I quickly took my skates off and relaxed every muscle in my body. I chugged some water and Gatorade and hopped on the table to get a more in-depth final stretch. This last stretch is what I believe helped me feel pretty good the next day. Once I was showered and had my life together I went upstairs to meet and chat with everyone that stayed, it felt great to celebrate with all my friends and family, the cherry atop the cake. I got home around 10pm and but unfortunately couldn't fall asleep. I think the mixture of adrenaline and celebratory sugar kept my heart rate a little too high. I didn't end up falling asleep until 1:30am. 

Overall this event was one of the highlights of my life. I pushed my mind and body to limits I didn't know I had, I raised approximately $12,000 for a charity that has changed not only my little brothers life, but my life as well and I got to spend the day supported by my closest friends and family. Truly a day I'll never forget. 

Thank you to everyone that donated, made signs, cheered, liked, shared, and helped me in anyway. I'll never forget this skate and all of you who've made it possible!!


-Cory P.