Fresh Meat ~ And the Training Begins

I found this great post about being Fresh Meat. Check it out: Fresh to Death: Three Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was Fresh Meat.

So much of it I am trying to adapt to my life at this point. More training and better eating on top of my everyday life. Creating a schedule to follow each week definitely helps me out to become more motivated and not become lazy (which I tend to be in this chilly winter season). I am quite excited for my long weekend and since I am alone with my furbabies this Easter, I will have plenty of time to get my workout on!

A few things that I have been specifically trying to tackle is loosening up my hip flexors, strengthening my knees, and working my way up to big girl push ups (I can really only do one at this point).

I also find I spend so much time of my day sitting, as I sit and type all day at work then come home mentally exhausted and all I want to do is relax on the couch. So now I am trying to add a bit of stretches and exercises that I can do for a few minutes at my desk everyday to help loosen up my muscles and minimize back pain from sitting so long.

Below are a few links that have some tips and tricks to help out with a few of these issues.

Push Ups

Happy Training!


Pursuit of a Roller Derby Name

I feel that there are so many aspects of myself that no one word could really describe who I am. It took me months to find a name that I really loved and to be honest I didn’t even think it up. My house was littered with sticky notes filled with words that I liked and felt represented me as a person. It definitely gave me time to reflect on myself for sure. In the end it came down to my last name, which most people accidently pronounce as steer when they first read it out loud, with this my fellow derby gurl suggested Steer Clear. I loved it right away, but decided to sleep on it overnight. Of course I couldn’t get it out of my head all night so it became a clear (ha ha) choice, Steer Clear is my name! I always find life has an interesting way of figuring things out and this is just another example.

If you need any help picking out your Derby name here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Make it Memorable. Find a name that the audience can easily remember and come back to cheer for you time and time again!

2. Do you want it PG? As an active volunteer in my community, I work with kids who are at a very influential age. Also I would love to have my Godson’s cheer for me as well (without getting in trouble from their mom). So I stuck to something on the PG side.

3. Avoid Similarity. You don’t want to be getting confused with other skaters, especially on your own team.

4. Test it Out. Try it out on your Derby team, friends and family to see how they feel. Remember though your choice is final.

5. Get Registered. Don’t forget to register so that no one else scoops up the name before you do!

Why not go out on a limb? That is where the fruit is!

Good luck!

Why Roller Derby?

There are many reasons why I love Roller Derby. First of all it is an awesome way to exercise and motivate yourself to get fit. It also is a great way to meet many awesome hardworking people. Derby requires all your focus at practices (and of course at bouts as well), so you have no time to dwell on other issues going on in your life e.g. work problems etc. When you’re doing something that difficult, you can’t afford 13 seconds of dwelling because in that time someone will either out-skate you or knock you to the ground. After practice you suddenly realize two hours went by where you weren’t worried about the things that keep you up at night. In addition with all the extra dopamine pouring into your brain it makes you feel naturally happy. Derby makes you step out of the box and push yourself to get better. It gives you increased confidence in your daily life and the initiative to work harder.At each challenge that you succeed in Derby it makes you feel like you can conquer the world and there is no better feeling than this. Personally, I can not get enough of Roller Derby! From the moment I started I loved it, even though I could barely skate. Now I am starting to fly around the track! And I couldn’t be more proud and happy to be apart of something so awesome. Now off to watch some Whip it!

by Jessica Stere

by Jessica Stere


Influential Women

Throughout history there have been many influential women who have brought great change to the world. A couple of my favourites (in no particular order) are Cleopatra, Mother Teresa, Emily Murphy, Emily Carr and Malala Yousafzai. These are just some of the women who have made a positive impact on my life. I enjoy reading about all that they went through and are going through. Each woman has so much that we can learn from.

Here are a few of my favourite quotes:

I will not be triumphed over. ~ Cleopatra

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do. ~ Mother Teresa

Nothing ever happens by chance, Everything is pushed from behind. ~ Emily Murphy

There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness. ~Emily Carr

Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world. ~ Malala Yousafzai


As I go through my day to day life, I often think about all the influential people surrounding me. I definitely think there is a bit of each person that I carry along with me everywhere I go. I hope you enjoyed my favourite quotes, Happy Feminist Friday!

Roller Derby ~ Fresh Meat

Afternoon Everyone,

It has been about six months since I have first tried Roller Derby. At the moment I am working on my minimum requirements to be able to play in a scrimmage. So far Roller Derby has been such a blast and I have already met such great people who are energetic and truly one of a kind! Roller Derby has been such an amazing discovery for me, as I like to be physically active and part of a team, but have not had the chance to join much since moving. Every time I come home from practice I am beaming with delight (even when I was so sore I could barely move)!

My Derby Story:
I have a friend who was in Derby and kept telling me how awesome the group is and how great of a sport Derby really was. I was on the fence about it for a long time, not sure if it really was the sport for me, since I had no skating capabilities at all. During a night of volunteering for the festival in town I had a chance to talk to one of the Derby Coaches in town. He immediately asked if I was interested and told me all about Derby and how to play. I left the night with his business card. I kept the card on my nightstand on my bedside table before I approached my friend interested in trying it out.
My first practice: As the derby season had just ended my first practice was very quiet with only a few members present. I feel that this was a good thing for me as I would be described as Bambi learning to walk on ice like mentioned before no skating capabilities at all. The very first thing you learn in Derby is how to fall properly (onto your protective pads), that way you don’t hurt yourself. This I did pretty well with only a few falls that hurt because I was not in Derby stance.
It took a few weeks before I became more excited and less nervous to go to attend. Even at the beginning, the adrenaline after each practice was pretty high. I fell in love with skating! Now I am working hard to get better and become more fit.

by Jessica Stere

Design by Jessica Stere

If you are interested in Derby and want to know more, you can visit

Cochrane Winter Carnival

This year Cochrane’s Winter Carnival will be from February 6th – 16th
It is going to be an amazing few weeks here in Cochrane, with many activities for all ages. My favourite activities of the Winter Carnival are the Polar Bear Dip, Demolition Derby, and the Torchlight Parade.
The Polar Bear Dip, I have done two years now and looking forward to another great dip this year, is where a hole is cut into the ice on Lake Commando and the Towns Folk jump into the freezing water. Before and after the freezing cold swim, there is a sauna for you to warm up in. By far it is the most refreshing thing I have ever done. After the first initial shock to your body, it seems as though it puts it into hyper drive and your body works harder than ever to keep you warm. After the swim the cold air doesn’t seem to be as cold anymore. I always find I get very tired that night and I sleep so well.

The Demolition Car Derby is held at the Cochrane Snow Dump, where the Town piles all the extra Snow from the sidewalks in town. For the Demolition Derby, a stadium is dug out of the gigantic pile of snow. It is a most amazing site and I have never seen anything like it till I moved here to Cochrane. It is such a different experience to watch the cars smash and crash into each other while also slipping and sliding in the snow.
The Torchlight Parade is also such a different concept which I have never seen. The volunteer firefighters work hard to build torches before the event. The Day of the event people gather in two different locations on each side of town. Each participant is given a lit torch to carry down 5th street towards Lake Commando. Once you reach Lake Commando, everyone throws their torch into a giant bonfire. It is truly amazing to watch thousands of people carrying torches. It brings such light to the community. The bonfire area is where the Mayor and Carnival Chair have the opening ceremonies!

I am looking forward to this years Carnival which is less than a month away now. It helps to get through the frigid nights of Winter when you have such wonderful things to look forward too!

Sara’s Freedom Dog Park

dog future home of

The idea of Sara’s Freedom Dog Park is to create a dog park in the Town of Cochrane that is an safe off-leash area for dogs to play. We are looking to raise around $10,000 for fencing, garbage bins, trees, play equipment/structures and signage. Building a small parking lot for community members who live out of town is also in our plan in the near future depending on funds. We are hoping to break ground in the early spring of 2015 for construction and hoping with lots of volunteers to have it open and ready for public use by July. We got over 325 signatures on our petition to ask for the land of the dog park and we are sure even more will use it once it opens.
Background: Sara Bernier at ten years old approached Town Council of Cochrane Ontario in 2013 for some land and permission to build an off-leash dog park. It has been Sara’s dream to open up a dog park in Cochrane for a few years and finally decided it was time. Sara worked hard and obtained 325 signatures for her petition to build a dog park. After Town Council approved her idea she went to work to find the perfect location. She assembled a Dog Park Committee of committed adults to aid in her dream. With lots of hard work and dedication the perfect location was found. Now that we have a location that is a safe, accessible, provides lots of running space, and has great visual interest for the dog park, the committee can now start raising funds. Sara believes in giving back to her community and opening up a dog park is a great way to start! Sara wants a park that is safe with a double gate entrance and provide interesting equipment for the dogs to play on.The dog park would create a wonderful wealth of benefits to the dogs, their guardians, and the community. Dog parks allows dogs to exercise and socialize safely, as well as providing an outlet for dog owners to socialize. The love people share for their dogs reaches beyond economic and social barriers and helps foster a sense of community. Dogs who are well-exercised are better neighbours who are less likely to create a nuisance, bark excessively and destroy property. Having the Dog Park located in a central part of Town would encourage users to get out and get active while walking their dogs.
Mission: To provide an accessible off-leash area for dogs and their guardians to exercise and socialize in a safe environment while promoting responsible dog ownership.
Impact: Everyday many dogs can be seen walking around Lake Commando in Cochrane. Some points of the walk can become dangerous as the sidewalk is very close to the road. With an off – leash dog park the dogs will be a safe distance from any busy traffic and will be in a safe enclosed area for them to wander and play in with no worries.
Sustainability: The dog park committee along with volunteers and the Town of Cochrane will all work hand in hand to make sure that the park is maintained for many years to come.
About Sara: Sara an 11 year old who is very community minded and hard working. Sara is a part of the Girl Guide Association and is currently working towards her Lady Baden Powell Award. She can be found volunteering for a number of activities and events. From the day she was born she was always so kind and caring to animals of all kinds. Didn’t matter what the dog looked like she still found them cute and wanted to rescue them. She wants to be a vet when she grows up, but says she wont be able to put an animal down. Sara grew up with dogs all her life and wouldn’t change that a bit as it has made her who she is and makes her want to do what she is doing now for the dogs. With her love for animals and the outdoors what could be better than opening up a Dog Park in her home town!


FLorence Carlyle ~ My Inspiration

For as long as I could remember, Florence Carlyle has been my most favourite artist. Florence was born in Galt, Ontario in 1864 and moved to Woodstock, Ontario in 1867 where she took her first art classes under Paul Peel. Moved she moved from Woodstock to study in France. She came back to Woodstock and opened a studio where she taught art. After she continued to travel and open up other studios. She moved to England in 1912 and sold paintings for the Red Cross during the first World War. She remained in England and died in 1923.
Being born and raised in Woodstock myself, I grew up going to the art gallery where the largest collection of Florence Carlyle paintings are kept. I loved visiting the numerous exhibitions and I always checked out the Florence Carlyle room every time. The Woodstock Art Gallery has since moved to a larger more central location and features the Carlyle Gallery on the first floor. If you would like to know more information about the Woodstock Art Gallery you can visit their website at
I couldn’t imagine the barriers Florence had to go through to become a significant female professional artist. With self-determination and an independent spirit she was able to achieve this.


The Tiff

The Tiff

Happy Halloween

My favourite part of Halloween is the dressing up! I get to pull all my skills together to create a unique and fun Halloween costume. This year I decided to do something a little more scary. I GORIFIED a teddy bear up and then ripped apart another to make my awesome costume! I used paper mache to make the bones and then used liquid latex to stick everything to my face. The left over teddy bear parts I made into a vest, I also had a little teddy bear tail which you can’t see in the photos.



I hope you enjoyed my Halloween costume! I hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween!


Sara’s Freedom Dog Park

Round 2 of voting starts today till November 3rd! Every vote is much appreciated!


We are starting a new initiative here in Cochrane Ontario to open a leash free dog park. Our idea is now on Aviva’s Community Fund challenge and we are looking for votes! You can vote everyday once a day for each round! Every vote would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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