4-0-300 Blog 001
So as the founder of the 4-0-300 project I will probably be the most frequent contributor to the site so I wanted to give you a bit of an idea where I’m coming from.
So first of all the “Scotty Voodoo” handle is mostly going to be used to keep my private life just that. The name comes from an old nickname, that morphed into a gamer tag (a life I’ve long left behind) and is now just something I go by on most social media.
As for me I’m in my early 30’s although I think this year that turns into my mid-30’s. I’m a super lucky and proud husband, I definitely married up. I also am a father to two amazing boys whose imagination and playfulness helps keep me even younger at heart than I probably already am.
My Sports Background
I grew up in an athletic family both my parents played then coached competitive baseball/softball. My sister was coached by my mom in softball and achieved a pretty high level of success. My mom pushed both of us into skiing from a very young age, while my dad would encourage me to play any sport I wanted while we would talk stats all the time. Safe to say sports and being active was and continues to be my first love. Growing up I played baseball, soccer, roller hockey, rode in rodeos, junior high basketball, I ran cross-country one year although I only made the team by taking an accidental short cut. I was playing touch football every day even the dead cold of winter, rode in mountain bike nationals, was hiking and climbing, had done ski racing and was starting to get into freestyle skiing all before high school. In high school I played football the first two years, the first season as a 3rd string garbage time player but after finally getting my growth spurt I was the starting safety my second year. I was also very lucky to fall into a revolution in freestyle skiing that became my passion and would shape my life’s path.
I got in to it right as the twin tip/terrain park metamorphosis skiing went through at the turn of the millennium. I devoted a ton of time and effort into it and was able to excel enough to start getting sponsored. I never would be what I call a full pro as to me that means you can live off only the sport and no supplemental income.
I was able to travel though out North America competing on some very large stages and was even able to able to bring a trophy or two home. I started ski instructing during this time to make actual money, which would lead to coaching eventually (which I’ll get into next). Coaching and competing would lead me overseas for northern hemisphere summers living and working in New Zealand with some quick European stop overs when I had come home for the winter. While living in New Zealand I became a huge rugby fan and would stay up late to watch games (still do) when back home in Canada. After a few years of being less active I would play rugby sevens to get back into shape because nothing will scare you back into shape like knowing you’re going to have to tackle/be tackled by people who haven’t let themselves go. I gave up rugby a year and half ago as I was organizing and coaching a team who frequently wouldn’t show up for practice, so when you only have a small amount of training time available each week I chose to devote it to OCR.
My first job was ski instructing when I was 16. Both my mom and grandfather had been instructors so it was a natural path for someone who started skiing at 3 years old. After a couple of years and some personal competing in 2002 I started to do some coaching. Now for those who don’t know the difference between instructing and coaching it boils down to me like this. Instructing you only impact an athlete for max 3-4 times and usually their ambition is purely recreational. While coaching you work with an athlete numerous times a season while working out a schedule of peak performance at certain times of the year, and while their skill level may not be there yet their ambition is competitive. The best part of working with this type of athlete is most of the time you get to work with them for more than 1 training cycle.
I was able to coach some amazingly talented kids who were and continue to be even more amazing people, I still count quite a few of them as my really good friends and I wish I could find time to hang out with them more. As part of coaching for me being an age in between the athletes and their parents I also was able to make incredible friends with the most unheralded support network for successful athletes. I learnt so much from a number of the parents that I worked into my coaching and now in to my daily parenting.
In 2007-2008 I had my most successful year results wise as a coach. I had a “golden generation” of athletes I had worked with for a few years all hitting incredible milestones, we were competing at a level equal or higher than the provincial team they were supposedly not ready, all while I still got to work with the athletes a year or two younger to keep pushing the whole team. It was an unbelievable work environment; I couldn’t wait to get to next training session. After each session all the coaches got hang out with the parents and just chill, it was one of the best time in my life.
The next season wouldn’t go as well for me as I became enveloped in my success and while I never ego tripped into thinking I was the best, I had lost track of what had made me successful, which was fostering a fun but competitive training environment. Most importantly I was forgetting that I needed to work with the parents rather than against them. That offseason I had hernia surgery and had been asked to take a step back to coaching a development team. While I should have taken the chance to use that time to refocus and recover I took it as a personal attack. I took the year off except for some individual training and realized I really wasn’t devoted enough to want to keep coaching. I tried to make myself by agreeing to coach for the next two seasons but my heart wasn’t really in it. So after 10 years it was time for new challenge. Well how do you transition after getting athletes to national/Olympic teams in one sport to find something new to coach and be passionate about?
To be honest I never found the answer. My dad passed away shortly before my last season coaching and I just let myself go. I was fortunate to never pack on weight but I lost any focus. That’s when the best inspiration I could ever have when my eldest son was starting to get mobile, I noticed the shape I was in. So I made a promise to myself to be more active so I could be around for him, be able to be a fun dad and most importantly be an inspiration to him (and shortly after my second child).
Heart disease runs in my family so being active is something I want and need to do, plus I want to be a driving force in my family to help steer us to a healthier lifestyle. In my ideal vision of the world I want to get my whole family moving and be a very outdoors based family. I workout 5-6 days a week around my boys, and usually get my training runs in a couple of times a week which is one of the few times I train alone. For me it’s so much fun when my youngest son tries to copy the workout movements while my eldest tries to encourage me or critique my form. In an upcoming post I plan on laying out just how crazy my week is but how I make sure to get my workouts in because I try not make excuses.
So having worked at a couple of ski hills and taking certification programs I had made friends with people all over the world. One day on Facebook about 2 years ago I saw one my old coworkers posting his medal having just finished a Spartan Race in Berlin. I read his post about how much fun the race was and incredible the feeling was of having finished. I still don’t know why but I didn’t think to look into it more, I just automatically figured it was a European only thing where they could get away with those type of obstacles due to it generally being a less litigious society. I stored it away and didn’t think of it again until I was looking into a rugby tournament to sign up my team for in the Pacific Northwest when the results of the Washougal Spartan race came up. I was so excited to see that this phenomenon had “made it across the pond” so I looked into Spartan racing. I was floored to see it was actually a North American thing and that I had never heard of it or any other race series. Disappointingly I just missed the 2014 Calgary Race by exactly a week. So with my birthday gift card I bought Joe De Sena’s book Spartan Up! Taking a direct lesson from the book I signed up for my first race for Christmas so I would have something on the calendar to look forward to and put my energy into for training, even though it was 8 months away. I did that race and was hooked. I volunteered at the race the next day and it made me drink the Kool-Aid even more. The community and culture around these events is so cool and inspirational you almost have to try to not enjoy it.
Writing Style/Plans For My Posts
My writing style will probably be a little sporadic and full of random quotes or references to obscure movies or TV shows with a healthy dose of old Simpsons tie-ins. I like my sports similes, and antidotes. I’m by no means a writer in any way shape or form prior to this and it is actually quite intimidating to be knowingly putting something out there that is beyond your comfort zone. I do believe that world is wussifying so I’m not going out to offend anyone, but if you think I’m writing from a position of tough love you’re right. I will not offend people because of their race, gender, religious beliefs or orientation and personally think it’s Neanderthal-esque to insult anyone for something they can’t control.
I am a big fan of the Spartan Up Podcast as well as the Obstacle Dominator podcast and will recommend those to anyone, so I will try to stay away from topics covered on those as I feel like I would just be repeating what I hear on them.
I plan on posting articles on the build up to my races and reviews of those races. I’ll do product reviews on stuff I actually use for races not just training unless that’s only what I intend to use it for, maybe even some book reviews. I will layout articles on my views of the future of this sport which are little different having been involved in two different sports during the process of Olympic inclusion.
Alright well I think that gives you idea where I coming from and where I going. So I hope you come along and enjoy the journey with me.
I’ll see you out on the course.