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Comments About Our Choice of Recreation

It is obvious to most that we can't expect the world to operate in a way that caters to our personal needs and preferences. However, when it comes to free time activities, we tend to believe we are capable of choosing what we really want. But you still might find it enjoyable and worthwhile to explore and evaluate the following activities, to see if you can find better ways to spend your free time.



Examples of Fun Activities


Take a journey
with an Inline skater.

ready for a long 
scenic 37 km journey

If you want to explore the experiences of an inline skater, to get a sense of what happens when modern technology changes walking into rolling, then try the file:
A Journey On Inline Skates
which is near the bottom.

Add variety to how you dance.

14 different folk
dances (performed at the 2007 
 Edmonton Heritage Festival.)

This video shows a variety
of folk dances from different countries. Watch 14 different folk dances
which were performed at
Edmonton's 2007 Heritage
Festival. (1 min. 35 sec.).


Take a pleasant late afternoon skate on an outdoor lake.

ice skating in the late 
afternoon on a nice day
Video at youtube.com
Click on this link to view
a 33 sec. Video

at youtube.com

Sometimes the weather and atmosphere can make simple recreation extremely enjoyable. This 33 second video was taken in the late afternoon on a lake in Edmonton. The camera glides by different people who are enjoying an afternoon skate.







Bikers enjoy running
downhill on a ski hill. Well built bikes and
new safety equipment are a necessity for this extreme sport.

Hanging out at a skate park in south
Edmonton, watching a biker take to the air.


"Following a path through
the bushes.

This guy tries to hang his
bike on the lift cable.

Four follow a 
rough trail to
the bottom.
Photo taken 2008.  (321 kb)
click to enlarge (321 kb).

Four follow each other
along a rough trail.

This biker flies 
by on his way 
 down the hill.  
Photo taken 2008 (235 kb).
Click to see full photograph (235 kb).

This biker flies by on his
way down the hill.


River Raft Races

On a warm sunny day, raft races can be a lot of fun. Water fights spring up here, there, and everywhere. It can be a "COOL" activity.

Raft races are a sensible way of being active and having fun. Other activities like "the running of the bulls," sky diving, racing cars, climbing dangerous mountains, risking avalanches, or dealing in drugs can result in death. Many people don't know that the excitement of taking a risk can be a serious problem. It can actually be addicting. It can make a risk taker lose perspective and fail to care about potential consequences.

Because of this, everyone needs to be aware that when they see someone take a risk, it doesn't automatically mean they are displaying courage. If the risk taker doesn't totally understand the situation and potential consequences, and then control the risk; then we all need to recognize that what we are witnessing is NOT COURAGE, but rather, it's stupidity.

The computer world is now full of people who spend days sitting in front of the computer, playing video games. Why not live in the real world and actually enjoy the real action of an exciting activity? Most people don't have access to a raft race, so find a substitute. Try a backyard water fight, some form of orienteering, or engage in a fight using paint ball guns. There are lots of unadvertised activities that are exciting and don't cause permanent damage.

Unfortunately, we tend to appreciate a video of someone banging their head against a cement wall, or some crazy accident, or some stupid extreme whatever. Maybe, with a little effort, we can adjust our preferences so we really appreciate exciting activities that we can enjoy on a regular basis.

Not everyone is looking for the extreme. Instead of an expensive raft, you can find something else to help you float down the river. Get ideas for activities from the Olympics. I found inline skating went from a very good activity to an excellent, exciting activity by simply buying new speedo wheels. Instead of focusing on working to pick up speed, I had to focus on breaking, to slow down and maintain control. Find an activity that suits your own preferences, then enjoy it. The search takes a little time and effort, but it's worth it.

the engine won't start 
so they fear being 
a sitting duck  (284 kb)
Click here to enlarge. (284 kb)

The engine on this raft has stopped. Now they're sitting ducks. So the rafters are looking back, worried that trouble is brewing. One man works hard, trying to start their engine.

one raft guns its engine
so a wave of water is 
thrown at this raft  (334 kb)
Click here to enlarge. (334 kb)

As the other raft moves away, it guns its engine and throws out a wave of water. Most duck down, out of sight, so they don't get hit. A hat can protect a person from a shower, so that is what this guy is using it for.

the raft people are just 
realizing that the wave of 
water is gone. These photos 
are from 2006.  (364 kb)
Click here to enlarge. (364 kb)

The raft people are just beginning to realize that the wave of water is gone. All eight people have survived the attack. One man continues to try desperately start the engine.

an intense
heavy duty 
water fight.  (346 kb).
Click here to enlarge (346 kb).

These rafts are engaged in an intense, heavy duty water fight.

These rafters are in 
a fight that reminds 
me of house to 
house combat.  (438 kb).
Click here to enlarge (438 kb).

When these rafts get up close, the water fight is similar to house to house combat. Danger lurks everywhere.

the smaller raft is
attacked (453 kb)
Click here to enlarge (453 kb).

The big raft circles in close as the smaller raft pulls away. The people in the Edmonton Queen riverboat have a good view.

the rafters on the
 smaller raft are able 
to survive.  This line 
of photos is from 
2005.  (538 kb).
Click here to enlarge. (538 kb)

You can now see how the rafters in the smaller raft are able to survive this viscous attack.



Winter Fun


photo taken 2005 or 2006 
in the city of Edmonton at the 
Edmonton Ski Club (110 kb).
click to enlarge (110 kb).

Inner tubing, tobogganing, snow boarding, being pulled by your dog, and skiing are extreme sports that make sense.




this guy is taking his dog
for a run in Snow Valley, a ski area 
within the city of Edmonton (56 kb)
click to enlarge (56 kb).
skiing next to ski jump at COP.  
The city of Calgary is in the distance. 
Photo taken about 1995 (110 kb).
Click to enlarge (110 kb).



You Can Have a Great Time Engaging in Team Sports


Choose a team that finds ways to enjoy themselves. A hockey coach I once had had a strong desire to win, so our practices consisted of mainly shooting and skating drills. This took a lot of fun out of the game. If we wanted to dipsey doodle, we had to do it on our own time.

More recently, at the 2004 dragon boat races the team that impressed me the most was the one that chanted "The middle of the pack." They set their goals to suit their talent and then had a great time.

If you aren't very good at a sport, play with people who will modify things. Warm-ups and practices can be fun. Also, modify the rules of the game, or make use of a larger than normal ball, or play with a large plastic bat.
With team sports,
you don't have to have a lot of talent in order to really enjoy yourself.

Hundreds of millions of people watched the Canadian mens hockey team win a Gold metal at the 2010 Olympics. But we already had enough Gold. Instead of being greedy, we should have simply let the United States have the Gold. So the game wasn't that necessary and the fans didn't need to watch it. [?]

At that time, those fans should have been at the Panda's basketball game, to see the girls beat Vancouver's UBC. It was an extremely exciting playoff game. Mainly due to the hockey game, there might have been only 50 fans there. So after winning the game, the Pandas showed their gratitude to the fans by running across the gym and trying to give them all a big hug. How can hockey compete with that?

At the start of that game, the UBC players sang the Canadian national anthem badly: off key, off note, off words, and singing in harmony didn't work either. Their coaches need to understand that singing is part of the game, that singing drills are as important as shooting drills. Luckily, there were only a few volunteers and myself at that end of the gym, so not very much damage was done.

panda mascot 
dancing -  8 seconds at 
youtube.com  - taken 2007.
Click here to view this video at youtube.com.

The Panda mascot does a little dance. Sometimes I wonder if the mascott enjoys being at a game more than anyone else in the building.
(an 8 second video)

in the clear to hit 3 points 
a 3 second video taken 
Feb. 2/07 - can be viewed
at youtube.com by 
clicking on this link
Click here to view video at youtube.com

Happiness is: catching the other team using the wrong strategy. When the opposition's zone defense presses high, just run to the open corner, catch the ball, and put it in the basket. - If you're not this talented, then try to modify the game.
(a 3 second video)

using a layup routine to get 
hyped up before a game
Video at youtube.com
Click here to view this video at youtube.com

A shooting routine can be used to get hyped up before a game. After using this routine, it isn't surprising that this team tended to get a great start to their games, and to build an early lead.
(a 15 second video)

running into each other for absolutely
no reason at all -  video was taken 
Feb. 3, 2007 - is 3 seconds - can 
be viewed at youtube.com 
by clicking here
Click here to view this video at youtube.com

Running into each other for absolutely no reason at all. This is not a real basketball move. The game hasn't started, so I have no idea why they do this. This is a sign of insanity.
(a 3 second video)

running into each other 
for absolutely no reason 
at all - is 5 seconds,  taken 
Feb.2/07.  Use this link to
view at youtube.com
Click here to view this video at youtube.com.

Running into each other again for absolutely no reason at all. You would think they would learn. This activity is totally pointless. Don't try this at home.
(a 5 second video)
But this was all part of the
magic that happened in their
2006-07 story book season.



Family Recreation Program

A System That Could Build Family Strength

Key advantages:

  • simplifies the schedule of today's busy parents
  • all family members experience a refreshing break
  • gives families more time together (is better than separate
    activities in separate locations)
  • gives family members more things in common
  • increases the desire of family members to be together
  • builds family strength

This link gives more details and a diagram on how
Family Recreation program works and the benefits it provides.
A key concern is that instead of family members being free to do their
own thing (a popular preference), they must cooperate,
and conform to the group and the program.






A Jolly Good Journey  

for Inline Skaters

a look at the Calgary and Edmonton pathway systems.



The Calgary Journey

The photo below on the left was taken at the beginning of a 37 km journey. I had just left home and was on my way to the river pathways which would take me from one end of Calgary to the other.

ready to go

This looks like I am packed for a week's journey. Actually, my napsack looks full because it contains loads of drinking water, and the empty bag I use to carry my inline skates.



Also, tour the
Edmonton paths.

View a quality thumbnail photo
gallery of the Edmonton
pathway system. (38 photos)
This 6 minute video lets you experience an easy cruise on inline skates. It was taken on fairly new and level paths in south-west Edmonton.

heading towards the Crowchild Trail bridge - 6 kb   roller blade through trees 8 kb   zooming through the trees - 8 kb


PART 1 (9 photos for 123 kb) includes these photos in which you head east followimg the river pathway, zoom through the trees, and then approach the more congested paths of downtown Calgary.


a step away from the river - 15 kb


After passing through downtown Calgary, you begin PART 2 (10 photos for 127 kb) of the journey. In this part, after running through some more trees, you reach this point where you are heading south next to the river.


the long run down - 16 kb


In PART 3 (10 photos for 138 kb) you come to this hill which offers a bit of a challenge.   After you arrive at the bottom, the path takes you into Fish Creek Park.   Lake Sikome, showers, and food are only about 40 minutes away, assuming the wind isn't against you.


The entire trip can take 3 to 6 hours, depending on the wind and your level of fitness. After a rest and swim, I bag my inline skates and head home by bus and c-train.

So you can now sit back and use your computer to zoom effortlessly through the entire journey. I promise you that it will all be down wind, and I promise that there won't be any bus pictures.


Does this really rate
as a Jolly Good Journey?

There are two sides to the evaluation of this journey.

One side is that the trip is on mostly smooth paved paths that are downhill, running downwind near the river through six beautiful Calgary city parks. You can get a real high when cruising along for hours with the wind behind you. It is satisfying to use a rhythm as you stride to maintain speed while running over the bumps and heaves in the pavement. For most of the run, you zoom along effortlessly. If you use expensive speedo type wheels, you will be surprised with how quick and easy the journey is.

It is nice to know that you are travelling on your own feet, and that you are moving along at a speed that is about four times faster than walking. The end of the trip comes almost too soon. When you reach Lake Sikome you can swim in the cool water, take a shower, have something to eat, and relax on the beach.

But there is another side to this journey. Along the way, there are two hills to climb, two steep hills to run down, about 1/3 of the run is over rough pavement, there are some irregular parts of the pavement which require your full attention, and breaking requires excellent balance. If you have not developed excellent breaking skills, even a small slope can be dangerous.


Examples of how dangerous slopes can be for the beginner are in this file:
the need for safety.

Or you can view this video:

image from video 
at youtube, which is 2 minutes 
and 19 seconds long
Click here to
view video at youtube.com.

Although much of the path is protected from the wind, sometimes you have to skate into it, and this can be the toughest part of the trip. There are many days when the wind will change directions a number of times and force you to work hard. As well, during the run the weather can change from one extreme to another. This turns every journey into an unpredictable adventure.

The last and worst problem you face happens when you finally make it to the lake. You must force yourself to take your beloved inline skates off. It is unfortunate, but sometimes we must face the truth. Inline skates don't work very well when you're swimming.   [I am only taking a wild guess here. Maybe you could try it. Let me know how you make out.]

After the swim and a rest, you climb a hill to get to the bus stop. The bus only comes once every 45 minutes, so it helps to know the schedule. The trip back is a bit slow, but when you're tired it doesn't matter; you have some good memories to keep you occupied.


Also tour the

Edmonton paths.

Here are 36 thumbnail photos of the paved paths that run down the river valley in Edmonton.


Edmonton path through the snow
An April 11, 2002 photo.

Edmonton had the coldest spring on record in 2002, so their paths looked like this. All the inline skaters in Edmonton only had 5 meters of pavement to work with. Luckily, on this day it wasn't crowded at all.
But summer is a different story. Now you
can explore Edmonton's path system.
(36 thumbnail photos in the gallery.)



To A Jolly Good Journey for Inline Skaters Introduction (4 photos for 59 kb).

To PART 1 (9 photos for 123 kb)   |   PART 2 (10 photos for 127 kb)          
              PART 3 (10 photos - 138 kb)   |   PART 4 the need for safety (3 photos).


back to the future.

to a file about major problems the new inline skater may encouter.

Posted January 18, 2001.   Since March 18, 2002 you are guest .