A letter supporting our local ice rink and its volunteers


January, 2019

Lavington has an ice plant cooled outdoor ice rink complete with a tractor Zamboni, a covered area to put your skates on, a fire pit, and a full hockey set up, nets and all.  

If you live in Lavington you probably already know this.  Just to say them in one breath, there is a lot there.  More so are the details and the history that has happened in bringing this unique facility to the place and use it sees today. 

I mentioned “details” in the above paragraph.  Permit me a quick few paragraphs to illustrate

I have lived in Lavington for four years and have enjoyed the community rink for a leisurely skate or some “slap the puck around” fun with my wife.  Now that I have kids, this amenity has become a welcome answer to the question, “what should we do with the kids on a cold winter day?” .  

On such a cold winters morning, as I was transporting skates and kids from the car to the benches. I noticed the beautiful clean ice surface, and then I noticed the fire pit.  It had paper crumpled, kindling chopped, neatly set, and balanced in a ring, just waiting and ready for a match.  

The ice surface is one thing to take note of, but the fire pit, to me, thats extra, that’s detail.  Thats pride.  It is this pride and effort that needs to be highlighted and the cause to feel inspired.

On any given weekday or morning, you may find the rink in use by either a father and son playing shinny, or a mom teaching her kids to skate.  You might even get to bump elbows with a grade school class from the Elementary school across the street. And, If you drive by the rink on a Saturday night the parking lot is usually packed with a full blown hockey game going on.  This is all to say, the rink is well used and for good reason.  It’s one of a kind in the Okanagan Valley.

The ice rink is the product of the community of Lavington, its residents, and the Community Association that manages it.  The rink didn’t always call its present location home (it used to be across the street in the park) and it didn’t always have an ice plant, which, as any back yard rink maker knows, you are at the mercy of the weather.  Some weeks you have great ice and the other weeks you’d better just leave your boots on. Not to mention the headache of rebuilding the ice surface after each melt.

Now, kids and families from the Valley get good ice the whole winter through. Even when the temperature goes above zero, the ice is solid.  Not just solid, it’s pristine.  Ground down and resurfaced daily by the farm sized Zamboni, driven by Gord.  Gord is one of a few volunteers maintaining the facility for all to use. 

And I do mean all, because it is the only outdoor hockey rink that is plant cooled, Zamboni maintained, and free of charge.  It is used by ALL in the valley.  Gord says he’s had groups from as far away as Kelowna come to skate and play hockey on the rink.  More commonly though are visitors from the neighbouring communities of Vernon, Armstrong, and Lumby.

With that being said… the ice rink, it needs a roof.

Here is why;

  • The volunteer base that runs and maintains the rink is small. Currently 2 people strong.  It’s not a big  pool to draw from when you consider the rink is open and maintained 7 days a week.
  • A heavy snow fall takes hours and hours to clear and we get some pretty heavy dumps of snow.
  • Warm temperatures and direct sun on a clear day will damage the ice surface, needing more volunteer time to repair.  (The ice plant can handle some above zero temperatures but it can’t handle both.)
  • Lastly, the roof will allow the community to gather for events in all weather, year round.

To conclude, I am writing as a resident, a father of 2 small kids, and a local business owner to support The Lavington Community Association’s proposal to gain funding to build a roof for its rink.  The Association has been responsible for creating this gem of a facility.  A facility that brings free family recreation to Lavington and the Okanagan Valley.  Please grant them your support.  


I know, the title is a stretch, but it will work itself out by the end.

It is 2019. 2018 blew by.

We (jess and I) feel lucky to be residents of Lavington. It is this gratitude and appreciation that we hope to infuse into our newly founded business, Idlewild Massage Therapy.

We are inspired by the residents of Lavington who have come before us in furthering this community, its amenities, and programs. They are worth a mention:
A volunteer run outdoor ice rink,
A free outdoor pool in the park,
Family Movie nights in the park,
A community volunteer fire station that hosts a variety of events including one of the best halloween fireworks displays in the valley.

Rounding out this incomplete list:
A community garden,
Community kids soccer,
Community kids baseball,
Community badminton,
Community volleyball.

I have recently been made aware there is a new one to add to the list:

Community Yoga!

Yoga. The word immediately brings to mind. Fit bodies. Beautiful poses, postures, and serenity.

I have had one experience with yoga in my life to date. July of 2004. The place, Metro Vancouver.

I enjoy a good challenge now and then. And, I like to stretch my mind with new ideas, new ways of doing things. So, when my sister in law Alicia asked me if I wanted to try Hot Yoga with her, I of course, said yes.

It was not at all how I pictured it, or the picture with me in it, is not how I pictured it.

I am a 6’4” tall, 230 lbs (on a good day) non flexible guy. For instance, I can’t dance. Oh, I can move my feet alright but, ask me to move my arms and hips at the same time and things quickly get awkward.

Slow things down to the serene and peaceful tempo of a yoga class and you get me struggling through postures, as I am posing with hushed panting, trying to breath through the pain. It’s not pretty. Definitely not serene. And thus, I have not tried it since.


I think I will try it again.

I enjoy learning. As a Massage Therapist I have recently been studying the body and an all encompassing area of it called, “fascia”.

What is fascia?

Simply put, fascia is the “bubble/seran” wrap like tissue that surrounds our muscles and links our body together from head to toe in long interconnected sheets or chains. It is because it is so prevalent and interconnected that it greatly influences how our mechanical bodies function or dysfunction. It is this function and dysfunction that is of great interest to Manual Therapists and to you and me, the people who are looking to feel and move better

For example, plantar fascitis (inflammation of the fascia on the bottom of our foot) is a very painful and common problem. The pain is felt on the bottom of our foot but can originate from the back of our legs, namely the calf muscles. The calf muscles are connected to the base of your toes through a sheet of dense fascia that wraps around your heal and under your foot. Over tension this fascia and it can start to cause dysfunction which translates into pain felt on the bottom of our foot when we step down.

How we maintain our fascia, and its balance throughout the body, is important. We need it to be of a certain tension, to hold and shape our muscles and how they move our body.

Increase or unbalance these forces and it will often end up in discomfort felt as an ache, stiffness, or pain.

This is where movement, and stretching through movement can help.

Being mid life, I realize the need now more than ever for a regular limbering up. Oh, I find the time here and there for a quick stretch. These brief stretches provide me with enough relief in the moment, but seldom do I feel like they allow me to gain ground on my aches and stiffness. I am ready to move forward, to be less stiff, have less pain, have better balance, and mobility.

This is where Lavington community Yoga comes in. A time set aside in my week to be intentional about my stretching, to be intentional about my health, to get some coaching. Some much needed instruction on how to do those beautiful poses right, or at least try hard, in my own way….in the back corner…of the class. I digress.

To sum it up. Lavington community yoga will provide me the opportunity to move towards better health.

I’m told the first class is January 7th, 2019

If you have ever wondered what a inflexible 6’4” guy panting his way through “downward dog” pose looks like… come join me. I’ll be in the back corner of the class, working it out.

Happy New Year!


“We must become the architects of our own healing.”
J. Fitzgordon