Depositphotos_16266123_l-2015

Family, Thoughts

Becoming a Santa

No Comments 06 December 2016

Found on Facebook. Author unknown.

“In our family, we have a special way of transitioning the kids from receiving from Santa, to becoming a Santa. This way, the Santa construct is not a lie that gets discovered, but an unfolding series of good deeds and Christmas spirit.

When they are 6 or 7, or whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready.

I take them out “for coffee” at the local wherever. We get a booth, order our drinks, and the following pronouncement is made:
“You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown, too. [ Point out 2-3 examples of empathetic behavior, consideration of people’s feelings, good deeds etc, the kid has done in the past year]. In fact, your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus.

You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren’t ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE.

Tell me the best things about Santa. What does Santa get for all of his trouble? [lead the kid from “cookies” to the good feeling of having done something for someone else]. Well, now YOU are ready to do your first job as a Santa!”

Make sure you maintain the proper conspiratorial tone.

We then have the child choose someone they know – a neighbor, usually. The child’s mission is to secretly, deviously, find out something that the person needs, and then provide it, wrap it, deliver it – and never reveal to the target where it came from. Being a Santa isn’t about getting credit, you see. It’s unselfish giving.
My oldest chose the “witch lady” on the corner. She really was horrible – had a fence around the house and would never let the kids go in and get a stray ball or Frisbee. She’d yell at them to play quieter, etc – a real pill. He noticed when we drove to school that she came out every morning to get her paper in bare feet, so he decided she needed slippers. So then he had to go spy and decide how big her feet were. He hid in the bushes one Saturday, and decided she was a medium. We went to Kmart and bought warm slippers. He wrapped them up, and tagged it “merry Christmas from Santa.” After dinner one evening, he slipped down to her house, and slid the package under her driveway gate. The next morning, we watched her waddle out to get the paper, pick up the present, and go inside. My son was all excited, and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. The next morning, as we drove off, there she was, out getting her paper – wearing the slippers. He was ecstatic. I had to remind him that NO ONE could ever know what he did, or he wouldn’t be a Santa.

Over the years, he chose a good number of targets, always coming up with a unique present just for them. One year, he polished up his bike, put a new seat on it, and gave it to one of our friend’s daughters. These people were and are very poor. We did ask the dad if it was ok. The look on her face, when she saw the bike on the patio with a big bow on it, was almost as good as the look on my son’s face.

When it came time for Son #2 to join the ranks, my oldest came along, and helped with the induction speech. They are both excellent gifters, by the way, and never felt that they had been lied to – because they were let in on the Secret of Being a Santa.”

keepmovingforward

Family, Relationships, Thoughts

Living, Loving, Learning & Losing

No Comments 22 December 2014

On May 17, 2001, the worst thing that could have happened, happened in the lives of me and my family. My mom died.

For about the next 10 years, I was in so much pain and I was so scared to love again that I would tell myself that I loved someone but I would never let them get close enough. I meet so many amazing people but there was no chance for anything to happen because I was so broken. I had many moments during those 10 years of grieving where I felt like I was healed but then something would happen and remind me just how broken I was.

In about 2011 I finally was at the point where I felt like I had healed enough to let someone in. But I still didn’t know who I was or where I was going. The three years from 2011-2014 have been the most revealing, beneficial, productive and eye opening in my life. I finally feel in a place where I was before mom died. I finally understand the path I’m on. I know how other people, especially women, need to be treated. I see things as they are and am more choosy about how I spend my time. I have been humbled by the friendship of my best friend, a dog, in Davy Whippet. I have been honoured to realize a few huge dreams and I have committed to having many more dreams and going after them.

I’m reminded by this quote:

It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

However, life isn’t always about being better. It’s about learning, connecting, sharing and doing our best.

Let me submit this revision of the quote:

Life is about loving and losing. That’s inevitable. But we must keep having faith. We must keep loving. We must not give up. We must keep moving forward.

Life isn’t easy. Everyone is dealing with their own thing. But we’re all in this together. As much as we need to worry about our own happiness, let’s try to be aware of how that affects someone else’s. If we don’t feel the same way as someone else or want the same things, be honest about it. It’s impeding our happiness along with theirs.

I’ve hurt far more people in my life than have hurt me. I didn’t always know what my actions meant. I have said words that I thought meant one thing but later on realized they didn’t. I have tried to apologize to anyone I have ever hurt because that was never my intention. I was trying to do the best I could with where I was at and with the information I had at the time. I have changed and grown a lot over the years but it doesn’t change what I’ve done in the past.

As a wise friend recently told me, imagine that everyone has their own emotional bucket. For every positive act, you add a bit to your bucket and to that other person’s bucket. For every negative act, you remove something from their bucket and your own bucket. When our bucket is empty, it doesn’t add to our bucket to take something from someone else’s. And vice versa. So let’s respond to negativity with positivity. Let’s respond to deceit with honesty. And let’s respond to hate with love.

I hope you have a very blessed Merry Christmas with those who are special to you – whether that be family or friends.

I will end this post with my favourite Christmas song, Happy Christmas by John Lennon:

Family, Music

My Top 15 Songs As a Teen

1 Comment 08 January 2013

As a kid, I grew up listening to my dad’s record collection, buying cassette tapes from Colombia House (11 cd’s for the price of 1) and recording songs off the radio onto cassettes. I still listen to many of these songs, over 15 years later and some of them still remain among my favourites. What are your favourite songs from your teens?

Family, Thoughts

Lucky Number 7

1 Comment 07 May 2012

Today marks exactly 7 years since I moved to Calgary from Halifax.

Today is also my sister’s 27th birthday.

My mom’s favourite number was, you guessed it, 7.

In honour of my mom, I’d like to share 7 things I’ve learned/discovered since moving here on May 7, 2005.

1. My passion. I’ve always loved sports and knew that whatever I ended up doing had to involve sports but I wasn’t sure how to make that happen. While I was trying to figure that out, I spent all of my time and money playing ultimate frisbee and starting 2 years ago, disc golf and dog disc and last year overalls. I now know that I want my life to involve disc sports. Teaching, competing, performing. I’m very lucky to have had the opportunities I’ve had but I’ve also worked very hard to get there. I know that the last year was just the beginning and I’m so excited to see what is to come.

2. Myself. When I moved here, I was lost. I didn’t really know who I was, I was following what I thought at the time was love, and I was really moving here to get away from my past. Losing my mom was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through and I was hoping for a fresh start moving out here. Over the past year and a half, I’ve really come to love myself and learn who I am. I’ve realized why I was the way I was and am now a better person.

3. My friends. I don’t see my friends a lot but they support me and are there for me when I need them. I try to do the same but I know that I tend to get caught up in my own things and could be a better friend to them. I’ve realized that your friends all bring something unique to a friendship and it’s through those connections that we can grow as a person and enjoy where we live. To me, living in Calgary, Halifax, Edmonton, they are all the same pretty much. But it’s the people you choose to surround yourself with.

4. My family. I don’t get home to see my dad and sister very often but I talk to them every week at least. I do miss them but I’ve learned that there’s no point wishing I could go home more when I’m traveling to many competitions. If I wanted to go home more often, I could, but I choose not to. I love them for respecting and understanding that I’m going after my passion and my dream and I know that when the time is right, we’ll see each other. Being able to have my dad come with me to China last year was one of the highlights of my life.

5. My career. While it’s great to do what you’re passionate about, sometimes your passion doesn’t always pay the bills. I’ve been very fortunate to have some great jobs over the past 7 years and I have learned a lot from all of them. From office moving to metal pipe cutting to teaching skating to building catalogues, I’ve realized what truly inspires me and what doesn’t. In my current role, working in marketing for World Health, I’m able to explore my passions because I have an incredible employer. I’m also able to share with our members my fitness and nutrition passions. Helping them become healthier by being more active and by eating healthier. I’m truly lucky to have the opportunities I have and for that, I thank World Health for making them possible. I’ve always wanted to help people and right now, I’m able to do that in my professional and my personal life. It’s a great synergy.

6. My body. I’ve always been active but I haven’t always been the healthiest. I’ve never smoked, have rarely drank and have never done drugs but I have eaten my fair share of sugar, junk food and fast food. I’ve battled the demons inside for a long time and over the past 2 years, I’ve really taken a look at the choices I’ve made, I’ve started to research more about health and nutrition with books, documentaries and talking to my friends and colleagues and what I’ve learned has changed my life entirely. I have also gotten into barefoot running (and barefoot living in general) and I feel so much better in every aspect of my life. For me, there are always 2 sides to the story and in my experience, usually the majority of people are on the wrong side. The side that has been created and influenced by marketing, by corporations and by the people who want to make profit. The health care industry is a perfect example. There is no money to be made by people being healthy. The popular slogan “take a pill for an ill” is proof of that. It’s sad and unfortunate and I hope to help others realize what is going on. We are stronger than we realize and we don’t have to be depressed, we don’t have to be sick and we don’t have to be unhealthy. The answer is simple but it requires us to take responsibility for our own lives and many people aren’t willing to do that. I hope to inspire others to want to take that responsibility.

7. My future. I see many amazing things happening all around me and I want to continue to surround myself with that. I want to continue to live a life full of passion, a life full of drive and motivation and a life full of goals and dreams.

Family, Thoughts

Families Are Like Fudge – Mostly Sweet With a Few Nuts

1 Comment 23 December 2011

In honour of the holiday season, give your family (and friends) a hug. Enjoy the time you have with them – you never know when you might not have them around again.

Be safe. Be healthy. And be thankful.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and all that 🙂

And enjoy one of my favourite Christmas songs – Happy Xmas by John Lennon.

Disc Sports, Family, Sports, Thoughts

A Recap of My Guinness Trip to Beijing – Dec 2011

5 Comments 07 December 2011

Last week I flew to Beijing, China to attempt a new Guinness World Record – “most targets hit in one minute with a flying disc (frisbee)“. Guinness set a minimum requirement of 20 targets hit and although I was close on my 2nd attempt with 16 targets, I was not successful in establishing a new Guinness World Record.

That happened on Saturday night and to say I was upset is expressing it lightly. I was crushed. I felt like my friends, my family and my fans were going to disappointed since I hadn’t set the record. I felt that everything I had done up to that point didn’t mean much since I wasn’t able to perform when it counted most.

But, as the seconds turned into minutes turned into hours turned into a few days, I’ve been able to look back and see the good in all of this.

First of all, I got a free trip to China (and was paid for my appearance) and my dad also had his trip paid for. How sweet is that? I also:

Got to spend the most time I’ve had with my dad in years

Robert McLeod, Cliff McLeod

Got to spend a few hours on the Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Met Anthony Kelly, who holds many Guinness World Records and travels all over the world (such as Most Tennis Balls Caught in 1 Hour, and he has also caught an arrow while blindfolded!)

Robert McLeod, Anthony Kelly

Met Peter Rosendahl, who also holds many Guinness World Records and has been to more than 55 countries (such as Fastest 100m on a Unicycle – 11 seconds, and Most Skips in 1 minute with a unicycle)

Rob McLeod, Peter Rosendahl

Met 2 guys from Storm Freerun team,  Tim “Livewire” Shieff and Jan “Jashman” Barcikowski (they freerun with Damien Walters!!)

Tim Shieff, Rob McLeod, Jan Barcikowski

Met Liz and Rob, the 2 Guinness officials from the UK, who were awesome and super supportive

Guinness World Record Officials

Met Cathy from CCTV, who set the whole thing up for me and flew my dad and I over

Cathy from CCTV, Rob McLeod

Went to the Hongqiao Pearl Market and bought some “good fakes” (a watch, headphones and a flash drive)

Stuff from the Pearl Market

Got to see a new culture and experience history that is many times older than Canada

So, if you look at my trip to Beijing with the sole intention to set a Guinness World Record, then yes, I failed. However, to do so would be shortsighted because the opportunities and knowledge I gained from failing are worth more than had I achieved the record.

The setup of the world record was actually not done properly so I will be filming an attempt in the next few weeks – if successful, I will be submitting to the Guinness officials who will award me a World Record. I also didn’ t know there would be a minimum requirement so that was a surprise. I’m glad Guinness is giving me the opportunity to give it another attempt and I will not disappoint this time!

I am going to be working with Anthony and Peter and hope to do more Guinness shows in countries like Italy, India and possibly China again.

I had a very difficult time Saturday night trying to digest everything that comes with not being successful at achieving something. But I’ve realized that I will have many more attempts at World Records and not every attempt can be successful. All I can do is make sure that I’m as prepared as possible and that everything I can control is done properly (like the setup of the World Record, which I will make sure of next time).

I want to thank all of my friends, family and fans for your support these past few weeks and I look forward to sharing with you my Guinness World Record when I am successful. I will keep you posted on the progress of my attempt and will share videos and pictures with you from that event.

I look forward to going for coffee with my friends and telling you all about my trip. I have many more planned so I know this is just the beginning. It’s opened my eyes to what is truly possible when you do what you are passionate about.

Disc Sports, Family, Sports, Thoughts

Are You a Dreamer, a Doer or Both?

No Comments 26 August 2011

One of my favourite quotes is from George Bernard Shaw:

“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?'”

This is a huge theme of my life – dreaming. My favourite movie is Rudy, a true story about a kid who dreamed about playing football at Notre Dame, and achieved his dream when he got to play 1 play in the final game of his final year.

Now, in life there are people who dream (like Rudy) and there are people who do (like many people who work 8-5, Monday to Friday). Everyone can dream but too many people don’t because they’re too afraid of not being able to reach their dreams. So what do they do? They try to fit their dreams into their current life instead of working to make their current life match their dreams.

Well I like to live with both a dreamer’s and a doer’s mentality. I’ll admit I often look at things that are and ask “Why” but I’m also quick to ask “Why not”. I don’t care if something has been tried before – there’s usually a reason it didn’t work the first time. Once that reason is known, why not try again?

And the nature of my passion (disc sports – ultimate, disc golf, distance, self caught flight, dog disc, etc) allows me to often dream of something and ask “Why not?” And the beauty of it is that I can actually do something that hasn’t been done (or hasn’t been done for more than 25 years).

Sometimes it’s a solitary pursuit and many people don’t get my passion but looking back over the past 11 years, I realize that I am who I am today because of frisbee and I know that when I look back on my life 11 years from now, I’ll be glad I made the decision to make frisbee such a big part of my life. I know that the more I do, the more I will inspire and amaze people and that is what keeps me going. To know that there is a chance others can share in my love for frisbee even a little bit is an incredible feeling.

So I ask you – are you a dreamer, a doer, or both?

Family, Thoughts

Where Do I Go From Here?

No Comments 01 July 2011

I will be flying back to Canada on Monday after having spent 10 days in Queretaro and truly one of the most incredible experiences of my life. However, there’s been a lot to absorb so I’ve been asking myself what do I do with all of the new knowledge and perspective I’ve gained? I will blog about the other days of my trip – for now the pictures will have to do as I have a lot of reflecting to do before I put some more thoughts down in words.

I went searching for a few quotes which would try to put into words how I am feeling and found some great ones:

People who look through keyholes are apt to get the idea that most things are keyhole shaped.

The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.

The mind has exactly the same power as the hands; not merely to grasp the world, but to change it.

There’s an alternative.  There’s always a third way, and it’s not a combination of the other two ways.  It’s a different way.

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.

I know that this trip has changed my life forever. It’s helped me appreciate a few major things: we work too much in Canada, we don’t spend enough time with our friends + family, we don’t appreciate the history of our country as much as we should and there is so much food that is bad for us.

I know that I can make some changes right away. Others will take a bit of an adjustment. I’m not afraid of change. I’ve had the worst and the best happen to me in my life and I’ve come out stronger for it; however, that doesn’t make it easy to change. It just means I’m willing to.

I appreciate all the energy + support you have all shown me for going on this trip. I truly feel blessed and know that I have made some great friends. As Victor’s mom said, I now have a second house – in Queretaro, Mexico.

I look forward to catching up with you and telling you all about this trip. And I now look forward to hearing more about your trips as well – it’s something I didn’t give much credit to before; but that’s changed.

Thinking of you all,
Rob

Family, Maritimes

Why My Dad is Awesome

No Comments 18 June 2011

In honour of father’s day, I wanted to say a few things about my Dad. How much I appreciate everything that he is to me. How lucky I am for him to be my Dad. How I wish I lived closer to him. And how so much I want him to be happy.

Any man can be a father.  It takes someone special to be a Dad.

There’s a reason I call him Dad.

My Dad and I have been through a lot together. Losing my mom. Having arguments. My struggles in relationships/university/life. And he’s always been there for me. Even when I didn’t want to ask, I knew he would be there for me. Without him, I don’t know what my life would be like. I know I wouldn’t be as strong today if it wasn’t for the support, the guidance and the belief of him in me.

Sure he can be tough on me. But he wants me to be happy and if he feels that I’m making a mistake, he won’t hesitate to tell me.

We’re very similar people. I remember in high school talking to my guidance counselor about the relationship between my Dad and I. About how we would argue about the dumbest things. And about how stubborn we both are. She said it’s because we are both so similar that sometimes we will have battles. And that I needed to try and be more patient with him. And I think I’ve been really good. I know I’ve been a jerk many times. I know I’ve made decisions he didn’t agree with. I just hope that he is proud of me, that he understands what guides me, why I am the way I am and he knows that I’m working towards creating my own life and doing what will make me happy.

I have many things to thank my Dad for – but the greatest gift he ever gave me was his love of sports, athleticism + the spirit of competition. Ever since I was a kid, I was involved in sports. Growing up, I was in the water + on the ice before I was a year old. I learned to play golf when I was only a few years old. I played baseball all the time in the backyard, I would throw the football with my Dad, I would watch him play touch football, I would watch sports with him and I would go to his softball games (and annoyingly call him Clifford the Big Red Dog). Dad, I’m sorry I called you that…I can only imagine how embarrassing it was for your kid to call you that. Wow. To thank my dad for all the incredible things he has done I wanted to gift him one of the best pool sticks, he loves playing pool!

I am so thankful for him coaching my hockey team, for coaching my baseball team, for driving me to/from practices, going to weekend games/tournaments with me, paying for all of my sports and never stopping me from trying out for the AAA hockey teams. Wanting me to do my best. Spending hours helping me practice in the driveway, shooting off the piece of plexiglass he got from work. Playing basketball. Teaching me how to dive and watching me land flat on my back 15 times in a row trying to do a 1 1/2 off the 1 meter board. Setting up some weights in the basement for me so I could start working out. Giving me advice although at times it seemed that I didn’t listen to him (I did listen to him – sometimes I was stubborn and didn’t want to admit that he knew what he was talking about).

I’m sorry for being difficult. I’m sorry for not caring more about your situations and instead thinking my hockey was the most important thing in the world. I realize now how hard you worked at a job you didn’t like with a boss who was a jerk just so Margo and I could play sports and follow our dreams. And how we’ve turned out, we have you to thank.

For Margo going to university on a full golf scholarship to me competing at Nationals in ultimate. To Margo going to Nationals for golf to me going to World’s for flying disc. It all started with you + mom being there, supporting us, teaching us and coaching us. Being our biggest fans.

I hope you know that what you’ve done for me I cannot adequately express in words. I’ve done my best here but it goes so much deeper. Growing up, I know that Margo and I were the luckiest kids ever. To have two loving, dedicated, athletic and caring parents in our lives. I only hope I can someday provide that to my kids. I would be honoured to have been as good to my kids as you have been to me.

Today, on this Father’s Day on Sunday, June 18, 2011, Dad, I want to say how much I love and appreciate you.

Your son,
Robert J McLeod

 

Family, Misc, Thoughts

The 3 Types of Friends in Our Lives

2 Comments 05 June 2011

Moving forward is all about getting to know yourself and knowing what you need to make yourself happy.

I’ve met a lot of people who don’t have a passion and don’t have dreams. For whatever reason they let others dictate their lives for them, whether it’s their parents, their friends, or their partner. I’ve been there too and let others influence my direction. Sometimes it’s good for them to have that impact, but it’s much better when their impact affects you in a good way.

For example, say you’re really passionate about sports. And your friends like to drink a lot. What will benefit you in a positive way and help you move forward?

Or, you’re really passionate about going to live theatre but your friends love going to the movie theatre. Again, what will benefit you in a positive way and help you move forward?

We all choose to have people in our lives for a certain reason. Early in our lives, we’re friends with people from junior/senior high school because we live in the same town/community as them and it’s easy since we can’t drive.

Later on, when we go to university/college, we become friends with a group who are in the same program as us or who participate in the same activities as us.

After school, we’re friends with people from work because we spend so much time with them. They don’t necessarily share the same interests as us but they’re like family since we’re around them so much.

So in theory, we can have 3 types of friends – friends who are convenient to be friends with, friends who become close since they spend so much time around us and friends who share the same passions + interests as us. Which one will help us move forward? Well, the latter. The first two could also fall in the last category but not necessarily.

You see, when we let others dictate our lives and distract us from our path and our goals, then our dreams will suffer and will take longer for us to reach.

If your friends don’t understand when you choose to follow your passion rather than theirs, if they’re a true friend, they’ll understand. If they don’t, then they’re not are they?

Just something to think about. Happy Sunday and cheers to my 100th post!

Family, Maritimes, Misc

My Grandmother’s Dressing

No Comments 24 May 2011

My grandma is awesome. And she’s a great cook. Her dressing has made it into Canadian Living magazine and I’ve been lucky enough to have it at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for most of my life. I guess technically it’s my grandmother’s grandmother’s dressing.

Now, I share it with you:

6 medium potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp vinegar
2 slices bread
1 tbsp summer savory
1 tsp sage
1 onion chopped

Method: Peel and cook the potatoes. Drain, mash and add the butter. Mix well. Add the 2 slices of bread torn in small pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.

This dressing is good to use in stuffing your turkey or chicken (I do not put it in my turkey – instead I stuff the turkey with a couple of onions).

This dressing is not baked in the oven. It can be warmed up and served wit your vegetables. Also good cold.

My grandmother did – she put it in a small loaf pan – put it in the fridge. She used to slice it and lightly brown the slices in a buttered pan and served it warm.

Let me know what you think! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I have!

Family, Relationships, Thoughts

Having a Whole New Perspective

1 Comment 29 April 2011

I’ve always been told I was positive and optimistic.

I believe that people are inherently good.

There was some doubts in myself based on some past experiences. Doubts about love. Doubts about my future.

But there was a moment a few weeks ago when that changed.

When I felt more optimistic than ever.

When I felt more positive than ever.

When I had so much excitement + passion for living and the future.

I met someone.

And I feel like I have a whole new perspective.

Sometimes the timing is just right.

And you can 100% be yourself.

I feel that time is now.

This trip, this journey that we’re on. Life. It’s simply amazing.

And I’m loving every second.

Family, Maritimes, Thoughts

Spending Time with Family Over the Holidays

1 Comment 24 December 2010

Something that is tough living so far away from home (roughly 4,500 km actually) is that I don’t really get home much and usually have to make a decision between going home in the summer (better weather and cheaper flights) vs over Christmas (lots of snow, delayed flights and more expensive flights).

For the past 2 years I’ve decided to go home in the summer – which was convenient because my vacation coincided with the Parlee Beach ultimate frisbee tournament in July. It’s such a great time and it’s an easy way to see most of my friends all at once.

However, because of how I was raised and how much Christmas means to me, it is tough being away from them during the holidays. I have so many fond memories of being a kid and waking up on Christmas day, opening presents and playing games with my family.

I try to do as much of that as possible whenever I’m not able to make it home for Christmas but something I’ve realized over the past few years is that family will always be family but close friends and really nice people can be close like family too.

That’s why this year I’m giving a huge shout out to my friends who are going to make this a great Christmas even though I’m not able to spend it with my family in NB. I will still try to call them all on Christmas morning though. And open my gifts from them.

Dang I wish I had a Christmas tree though. Hmmmm. There are a bunch of trees just up the street….

Family, Maritimes, Thoughts

Doing Good for Others aka Volunteering

No Comments 09 May 2010

To be or not to be…that is the question.

When it comes to volunteering and helping others, it most certainly is.

I strongly believe that there are 2 types of people who volunteer – those who truly want to give their time freely and those who simply put in their time because they think it’ll look good to their peers.

Well that’s fair. I can definitely understand doing something because it enhances your resume or because it gains respect amongst your friends/co-workers.

But what happened to doing something because it was the right thing to do?

I’ve been volunteering because I have the ability to help others. Mostly my volunteer hours have been spent teaching sports to kids. I think that’s due in large part to being involved in sports my whole life and seeing the positive impact they had on my childhood. Having the ability to give back, to me, is the greatest gift of all. And the best thing about giving your time freely to kids is that they appreciate you for doing that. When you show up and give your best to them, you’ll get their best back. It’s an incredible thing.

I also owe a lot of my volunteer spirit to my parents, both of whom I was very lucky to have had growing up. Whenever Mother’s Day is near, I reflect back on my time spent with my mom and I realize just how lucky I was to have had a mother who gave so much of herself to make sure I had the opportunities that I had – it was truly incredible.

I ask you to think about why you do/don’t volunteer. I’d love to hear your inspirations/stories!

Disc Sports, Family, Sports, Thoughts

A List of Some Awesome Things

No Comments 30 January 2010

Sweet potato fries.

Tri-ominos.

Good friends.

Cute puppies.

Good music.

Ultimate frisbee.

Water.

More good friends.

Disc Sports, Events, Family, Maritimes, Misc, Thoughts

Beginning of the End…In a Good Way

No Comments 06 September 2009

On Tuesday school starts again at the U of C. I’m back in 4 classes each semester and will finally be getting my degree after having started almost 10 years ago. It’s been an interesting 9 years and here are some things I’ve learned/done in those past 9 years:

1) Lost my mom

2) Lost my grandfather

3) Learned how to play ultimate frisbee

4) Taught myself how to build websites

5) Met a lot of amazing people

6) Lived in 3 provinces and 8 different places

7) Attended 4 universities in 3 provinces

8) Had 14 jobs

9) Lost some friends – made lots of new friends

10) Completely changed my career focus

11) Discovered my passion in life

12) Got 3 speeding tickets

13) Bought my first car

14) Had my first love

15) And have been a part of many amazing trips, groups, parties, adventures and events

I wouldn’t change it all for anything. As hard as some of it has been, it’s made me who I am today. Very cliche to say but it’s true. The worst thing ever and the best thing ever happened to me – losing my mom and finding my passion. Knowing that she would be happy with what I’m doing makes it all worth it, what I’ve gone through to get here. Sometimes it’s nice to look back on a period of your life and reflect. You could almost consider it to be an era of my life ending and a new one starting. But really there’s multiple parts of my life right now so just one part of that is going to be over when I graduate in April. It’s been a good run, I’ve learned a lot and still have a lot left to learn. Here’s to living life!

Family, Maritimes, Thoughts

Home to the Maritimes

No Comments 07 July 2009

I’m flying home to visit my family tomorrow night. I haven’t seen them all in 2.5 years. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long and it makes me sad. I’ve put so many other things ahead of taking trips home and for what?

Sure I’ve enjoyed playing in ultimate tournaments. And going on road trips has been great. But really when it matters, family is who’s been there for me. And I’m so proud of them. Margo just tied for 2nd at the NB Ladies Golf provincials and is on the team for Nationals. And Dad is happy being a teacher and is enjoying his summer golfing. I can’t wait to get out and play some golf with him. Just hang out with him and talk. It’s been a long time since we’ve done that. And I’m going to our family cottage in PEI for 3 days. Nick, Natalie, Tina, Steve and Grandma will all be there. How amazing is that? I haven’t been to the cottage in 8 years! I can’t wait to hang out in the yard and on the beach and play games with the family. I think I need this trip more than I realize. It’s very easy to get caught up in your life so much that you neglect the really important things in life. Those people who really care about you.

I also am going to get to visit Grandma in New Glasgow. I got to spend some time with her last fall when she was out visiting the Salomons but it’s always nice to see her in NS. Although this will be the first time I’ll be in the house since Grandpa passed away I’m also going to visit mom’s grave and throw some pennies in the pond. It will be the first time doing that without Margo which will be sad but I think I need some time alone with her. I feel like I’ve lost some of my morals since I was last home and I really need to reclaim those. I haven’t been feeling myself lately and I need to figure out how to get that back.

I’m also going to be running some ultimate clinics in Woodstock for the rec department. I’m doing 3; one for 5-8 year olds, one for 9+ and one for adults. I’m pretty stoked to be doing them as Woodstock hasn’t really seen ultimate before (maybe the high school teacher throwing the dad variety) so this should be pretty neat for them. I’m basically going to teach them throwing/catching, some basic gameplay and then run a scrimmage. And encourage them to get something started if they’re interested. It will be a good way to promote Ultimate Rob and teach some more people how awesome ultimate is.

And finally, I’m going to be playing in the Parlee Beach ultimate frisbee tournament with JD and some Fredericton folk. I haven’t played Parlee in 5 years so I’m pretty stoked to be playing again. I’m hoping my ankle will be 100% by the time I play (I have 10 days so we’ll see). And the last time I played we lost in the finals (and I felt like a rookie playing) so this time will be much better 

I’m just so excited to go. Lots of pics to come!

Family, Maritimes, Thoughts

Family Cottage – Linkletter Beach, PEI

No Comments 29 March 2009

Everyone has favourite place which they like to be. Could be Elbow Falls in Calgary. Or  a beach in Hawaii. Or a hill that looks over the city.

Point is, people have a spot they enjoy going. It makes them feel calm. It’s a place where they can think. It’s a place which holds a lot of great memories.

That place for me is our family cottage on Linkletter Beach in Prince Edward Island. I haven’t been there since 2001. That makes me sad. But I’m going to try and get home this July. The Summerside Golf and Country Club is close by. I was 2 under after 3 holes the first time I ever played the course! Rest of the round…was…alright.

We used to have a family reunion there every few years. We’d play stickball with a tennis ball and a worn down broomstick handle. We took Brandy and Sheeba (our golden retrievers). We’d go swimming in the ocean and watch Rick put his catamaran out in the water. We’d make a big bonfire and sit around telling stories. We’d play croquet and it was great because my nanny and great aunts would play and they were good! We’d play cards and watch nanny get super into it. We’d hang out inside and just enjoy spending time together. I miss that place. Will be nice to spend some time there again.

What place holds those memories for you? Where do you like to go?

Disc Sports, Family, Humour, Maritimes, Misc, Thoughts

25 Facts About Me (extended edition)

No Comments 10 February 2009

1. I have many passions but for the past 8 years, it’s been ultimate Frisbee. I frequently dream about playing ultimate. Whenever I see a green field, I think “Wow, that would be a great field to play on.”

2. I miss my mom more than anything in the world. She passed away in 2001 when I was 18 and it still hurts to think about it. She was the most important person in my life and I can honestly say that she was the most honest, most sincere, nicest, most caring person I’ve ever met. And I was lucky enough to have her as my mom. That makes me happy but also hurts that she’s gone.

3. My first love is golf, and I miss playing so much. The last time spent with my mom was on mother’s day when we went golfing. I’ve dreamt of playing pro golf for a long time.

4. I cry during movies. Sometimes. Shhhhh.

5. I’ve never been outside of North America, but I’ve been all over Canada more than most people.

6. I drank for the first time when I was 16 at the prom party for the grade 12’s (I was in grade 11). And the first thing I ever drank was coolers. Which continued to be my bevy of choice; until I got drunk off 3 Mike’s hard when I was 18 and that was the end of coolers.

7. I haven’t weighed less than 200 pounds in almost 6 years, but I can still beat you in a race…

8. I bought my first car ever in Oct of 2007. I miss rollerblading to get around and I think since I’m living downtown now I will do more of that this summer.

9. I miss my family a lot but since it’s so expensive to fly home to the Maritimes, I haven’t gone since Dec 2006. I’m going to go this year and really want to go to our family cottage in PEI.

10. I’m extremely proud to have grown up in the Maritimes and would raise my family there in a heartbeat. I love Calgary and the people here but it’s not the same. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know what I mean.

11. I’m a very honest person. Sometimes too honest. But that’s how I am and I will live and die by that sword.

12. I have an addiction for Haagen Daas ice cream. The 500ml variety. My favourite kind is chocolate chocolate chip and it made me very sad when they stopped selling it in Canada so whenever I’m in the US for a Frisbee tournament, I try and eat it.

13. One of my favourite things to do is to go to an open field and throw Frisbees. Like, I’ll bring 8 with me. And throw for 2 hours. By myself. It’s almost like my form of meditation. Ask me to go throw sometime and you better believe I’m there.

14. I think Frisbee golf is one of the best sports ever. Especially when me and the boys play the Majestic. Ask me about the Majestic and maybe I’ll tell you. If you’re lucky enough.

15. Rhubarb is to me what shrimp is to Bubba Gump.

16. I have built 3 of my own computers. I learned by watching other people and reading about it online. It’s fun being able to do that. But ask me about cars, and I have no clue. But I can bullshit and pretend I know what I’m talking about…sort of.

17. I have been designing websites for 6 years and my proudest accomplishment was doing the Umbilical Brothers website for 4 years. They are 2 hilarious guys from Australia who do shows all over the world and I still haven’t met them. But they might be in New York in April/May and I am planning that trip already. I am beyond pumped to meet them. And to see my good friend Deb (whom I met through the forum I built for their website).

18. I have been on television 3 times. And recognized once from an appearance. For being on Street Cents, when I was living in Halifax. I felt like a celebrity. It was pretty special.

19. I have a plastic canvas calendar sitting in my drawer which I started over 8 years ago. I want to finish it one day. It’s an Olympic themed calendar. Maybe I’ll try to have it done by the 2010 games.

20. I can throw a Frisbee longer than a football field.

21. I once shaved my whole body. It took a really long time and I probably wouldn’t do it again. But I liked how my muscles looked really defined, haha I used the shaver from https://factschronicle.com/best-electric-razors-of-2017-revamping-your-outlook-by-shaving-1377.html, even though it was meant to be only for my beard. But I didn’t like how itchy it was when the hair started growing back in.

22. I’ve dyed my hair blond twice. Once it turned orange because I didn’t have enough dye. The other time it was very light and I liked it. Would I do it again? Why not?

23. I used to be really really funny in grade 8. Like make people fall out of their chairs laughing funny. Then in the summer between grade 8 and 9 I grew up. I remember reading Sphere by Michael Crichton and feeling more mature. I still make people laugh. But not like grade 8, oh man.

24. I love dogs. Like I can’t wait to have a house with a yard so I can get a dog. I think they’re the greatest pet ever.

25. Since I’ve been told I’m random, I’ll throw in a very random fact. I was suspended in grade 3 for one day because I pulled a knife on a kid. It was my grandfather’s and I happened to have it in my pocket. Not sure why I did it. But I haven’t done it since.

Family, Maritimes, Thoughts

Christmas Day – Memories and Reflections

No Comments 25 December 2008

very Christmas Eve, I am brought back to being home and being so excited for Christmas. Growing up my family was never rich, but my parents always seemed to get me something that I really wanted. My mom and dad were great at giving us really useful stuff…clothes, games, etc and after all of our presents were done, my dad would always ask us “So, did you get everything you wanted?” Of course we knew that there was a big present coming. Not so much big as in monetary value, but big in the sense that it was something we really wanted.

There are 4 gifts which really stand out:

One year I really wanted a remote controlled tractor trailer. My dad surprised me with it by driving it into the family room after we were done wrapping presents. I just about lost it cuz I was so excited to get it haha.

Another year I really wanted a sled for sliding and my dad got my sister and I matching sleds. I love the picture which really captures the moment:

Then there was the year that I wanted a CYV Peewee AAA Panthers jacket, which my mom and dad bought for me and had hanging up in the work room with the other jackets. I actually went in there earlier to get a screwdriver for one of Margo’s presents but didn’t see it. So, after the presents were done, my dad told me to go check there for my present lol. I was sooo excited to get that jacket.

Finally, and this is probably the one I remember the best, was the year I wanted the Lego pirate ship. After we were done doing presents, I sat there for 4 hours and put the entire thing together…my back was soo sore but I was so excited to have the pirate ship. That was probably the best christmas present I ever got. Funny thing now I actually get enough just by visiting the AAD Blog where I basically find everything I want and need.

And this year, as I wake up, call my grandmother/uncle/aunt, aunt/uncle/cousins, dad/sister, cousins and other family members, I can’t help but remember all the good memories. As a kid sure I enjoyed getting presents, but it was always about seeing grandpa and grandma and playing cards and games with my family. Playing hockey and playing in the snow. Eating turkey dinner with family. It’s never been about presents. Always has been about family and taking the time to spend it with them.

And, as I sit here alone on Christmas morning, I encourage everyone to take some time to reflect on that. Whether or not you’re with family, remember the good times, remember the times that you have now and be excited for having your own family and making your own memories. I’m having Christmas dinner with the Salomons and the Matwies later on today and I’m excited I have family out here that gives me the opportunity to spend time with them. I don’t see them very often; normally at holidays, but they are my family and they mean a lot to me. At times they do feel like strangers since I see/talk to many friends more than some family, but they are still family and I love them for that. I’ve known them my whole life after all.

So today, as we celebrate Christmas in our own way, take the time to realize what it means to you and make the most of it. Life is short and it’s good to remember the good times, celebrate the now and look forward to the future.

Merry Christmas to everyone near and far and all the best during this holiday season 🙂

Best,
Rob

About Rob


Rob "Frisbee Rob" McLeod is a motivational speaker and frisbee ambassador living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He competes in ultimate, disc golf, dog disc and overall flying disc competitions. Rob currently holds 6 Guinness World Records, 10 World Championships and the Canadian Distance Record.

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