Category Archives: Sports

7 Reasons to go Camping

It seems like it was just yesterday that my brother Jeff and I, along with our families, got home from a week of camping in the backwoods. (Actually, now that I think about it, it really was yesterday that we arrived home)

There is a little lake in Alberta that we love to spend time at during our summers. The area we choose to call home for a week has everything we are looking for in a campsite. The sites are private with tall trees surrounding them. The washrooms are close enough to sprint to if need be. The water is drinkable (sort of) and the beach in only 200 yards away.

It really is the perfect place to go camping.

Now I fully understand that not everyone likes to go camping. There are some who would consider spending time in the great outdoors as a great sacrifice. Having to walk to get water can be a pain. The trip to the smelly toilets can be a real inconvenience at 2:00 AM. How about always being on the lookout for bears or mountain lions?

Someone give me directions to the Holiday Inn Express!

As Jeff and I were sitting around the fire chewing on some sunflower seeds, we began to discuss this very concept. What is it that makes camping so fun?

In true TOP 7 fashion, we made a list. Here are 7 reasons why everyone should go camping.

1. Camping separates you from the world, literally

There is something about spending a week in a location where your cell phone will not work. It generally takes me a few days to get used to not having a cell phone on my hip. I might struggle with a phantom vibration on occasion but even those dissipate in time. It feels good to shed that leash I call a Blackberry.

2. Camping shows you how tough you really are

Take away the conveniences of home and we will see what you are really made of. Can you survive without running water? Will you make it if you have to walk a ½ mile to find a shower? Just think, some day you can tell your grand-kids that you used a hole in the ground as a toilet and endured the pain of one-ply toilet paper.

3. Camping brings out the adventurer in you

Our families love adventure. We have lots of fun and get into lots of trouble. Camping brings out the best, and sometimes the worst, in us. This past week we went looking for Bigfoot.

Don’t believe us? We have video proof.


4. Camping helps you slow down

It all slows down when you are camping. It takes longer to do pretty much everything. Have you ever made toast on a stick? It takes a slow and steady hand.

5. Camping puts you in the fresh air. Fresh air will help you sleep well at night.

The first few days I am wiped out when I go camping. I believe it is all the fresh air I am taking into my lungs. It could also be all that walking to the toilet, and to get water, and to the beach. You get the picture.

All I know is that I sleep well at night.

6. Camping promotes creativity

Pop Quiz: It is starting to rain and you have a tarp and some rope. Can you make a shelter?

I am not sure I could because I would be in the RV. But hey, it is fun to think I could.

7. Camping saves you money

For the price of one night at a nice hotel I can stay a week at a great campsite. Some would call me cheap. I like to think I just like to go camping.

THE TOP 7 is a rapidly growing blog that is made up of random lists of seven. It is run by Kent and Jeff, a couple of middle-aged Canadian boys that are always up for an adventure or more. Make sure you stop by for a visit. You never know what you will discover tomorrow.

The Iconic Canadian Wayne Gretzky

There is this man, and he has motivated people all across our nation to work hard, be patient, and foster their own talents. He has inspired our children to act as leaders, with the power of what can be, instead of what currently is.

There is this man, and at the age of 14 he decided to leave his hometown and move to Toronto, with the hope of creating a better future for himself.

There is this man, and his name has rung through the ears of both faithful hockey fans, with their painted faces and waving flags, and the not-so-interested Canadians, who would have heard of him from ecstatic friends, endearing teachers, or proud parents. “Wayne Gretzky” has become a household name.

There is this man, and he plays hockey. He represents both Canadian diligence and resilience, and in his sport seems to be a reflection of our own ideals.

Still, how had he become such a hero? All across the web statements supporting his work and play can be found. On his public Facebook page, which totals almost 80,000 individuals, one middle-aged fellow stated that, “No other man, except my father, had such an important influence on my childhood.” Adults growing up at the same time as Gretzky watched him as a peer: excelling, growing, and eventually reaching an absolute pinnacle of stardom.

“Growing up” for Gretzky was spending hours on the ice rink his father made in their back yard practicing his shots, skating tactics, and stick handling. He was talented, for at the age of 10 he broke his first record in his hometown Brantford by scoring 378 goals in their atom league. Often he battled older youth on the ice, becoming increasingly prominent as he went, and he was the youngest person to ever score 50 or more goals in a season. Years later, his career totaled at 894 goals, and he was one of the only 3 players to ever score more than 100 assists in a season (he had done it 11 times).

But why is he an iconic Canadian? Is it because no matter what level of fame he acquired he still seemed to instilled a sense of humility to his fans? Or was it because despite his challenges he had been able to climb to the top of his sport? Was it because he was the youngest, the fastest, or the the most diligent? Was it a mixture of media favour and dumb luck?

It could be all of the above, and really, it could be because he was passionate about his goals (pun intended). He showed us that we all can do great things, if we were willing to put in the effort. Where would he have been if he didn’t spend those days on his father’s ice rink? What would he have done, if he had just hoped for the scouts to find him in his yard? It seems likely that not much would have happened. Talent needs fostering, and he understood that.

Speaking of that man today, with legacy running through hundreds of books, and in the minds of thousands of Canadians, one can only say that:

There is a man, and he is a great Canadian.

-Alicia Vanin

A Great Canadian Workout

How do Canadians stay in shape? Easily. In our great country we are lucky to have physical activity as part of our everyday lives. If you do these workouts a few times a year you will have that lean lumberjack figure you always wanted.

The ice fishing workout

You drill a hole in the ice working your whole upper body. Haul out your beer using your shoulders. Use your back and bicep to reel in your fish. Hike back to your igloo for your cardio. Do this workout once a week, eat the fish you’ve caught, and you’ll have your lumberjack body in no time.

Portaging workout

This workout is grueling. First you us your upper body to load up your backpack with gear and get the canoe in the river. Work-out your back by paddling the canoe until you cannot go any further and use your legs to drag it out of the water. Get the canoe on your back and hike, carrying it until you reach another body of water. Repeat until you reach your destination. If you do this workout a few times a summer your sure to impress the ladies at camp.

Lumberjack workout

This workout engages all the muscle groups. Take down a tree with your axe to work your upper body and core. Then once the tree is on the ground, get out the saw and work your arms and back. Now, that the logs are in smaller pieces you can start carrying them back to the cabin a few at a time to work your legs and for cardio. Don’t forget chopping the fire wood, this will target your arms and core. A few times a week and that plaid shirt will fit better than ever.

These are just some of the ways Canadians stay fit. We also ski, dog-sled, build igloos, and mountain climb to name a few more. Leave a comment or check out our Facebook page to let us know how you stay in shape!

Vancouver vs Boston The Deciding Factor

The game is over, and ecstatic Boston fans leave the stadium with glowing eyes and waving flags. In a display of stilling joy the priceless Stanley Cup is hastily passed from one grateful Bruins player to the next. Canuck fans are filed out too, but with eerily dejected gazes and slumping shoulders.

Where did the difference lay? Both teams were passionate, and both represented the heart of their home cities. Could it be in the quality of the coaches, or the amount of funding for better service? No, it seemed that the heart of the Canucks loss lay in their endurance; their heart. After two goals all viewers who were watching the game at this small Nanaimo residence could feel the disheartened threat of loss on the shoulders of the players. It was at this time that the Bruins had opportunity to gain strong confidence and fall back on their defence, and what defence it was!

Tim Thomas, the Boston Bruins’ goaltender won Conn Smythe Trophy; an award given for the most “valuable” player in the playoffs. He won this primarily for his 37 saves, and 96.75% stop rate.

When asked, Michael Jensen (a new found Canucks fan) said “they seemed to be good at a lot of things…but easily taken back when confronted”. In this sense, the first goal can be a game decider in itself, because it shows who the aggressive, dominating team is. Tonight that was Boston, and it remained apparent until the very end of the 4-0 game. Mark Quiambo, another fan said that “[this] game really provided insight into what the Canucks can do for the next season. I mean, even though this wasn’t really a failure, it is grounds for improvement, right?” He spoke the truth, because even though the Canucks didn’t come out the best, they still put out their own best effort.

The challenge for next year is raising that bar, and focus training on the weakest points. It is this self-improvement that is the challenge, because it is now up to all the players, whether it be Christian Ehrhoff or Roberto Luongo, to identify what they did well and what they need to do better next time. That will be the deciding factor for next season, and maybe then it will be Vancouver’s turn. It may not, depending on if they are willing to work for that growth.

As fans we will have to wait and see, and maybe take a page out of Boston’s book, for the strong and self-disciplined will rule the ice-or their life. We must accept that every year the most deserving team wins, and this year it was the Boston Bruins. Congratulations to them right now, and good luck to Vancouver in the future! All we can do is train, and hope that our team brings it back home.

Don’t forget to like our Facebook page and upload a photo for your chance to win a Canadian wine prize pack!

Stanley Cup Play-offs Vancouver Boston

The Vancouver Canucks are looking good with some of the best forwards in the world right now. Hendrik and Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler worked hard Tonight in game one of the Stanley Cup playoffs at Rogers Arena. But it was Raffi Torres that scored the winning goal with 26 seconds left in the game!

The heroes of this game were the goaltenders. A few more games like that and Boston Pizza will have to change their name for good to Vancouver Pizza. You can see the next game in the series on June Fourth, 8 pm Eastern time. Get all the news at