My name is Kevin Shields. I am as master athlete competing in running and spending time on skis as a ski coach. I am fortunate to have two main outdoor activities.
I grew up in the Ottawa Valley and as an adult have lived and worked in Waterloo Region, North Bay, Ste Foy, Thunder Bay and Gatineau.
I have coached cross-country skiing for 26 years. Additionally, I have been a program developer at two ski clubs. My coaching start in skiing was with four and five-year-olds. I have advanced through all age groups and enjoyed every level. Discovering fun or rediscovering fun on skis should be present at each level. Fun and joy have also been essential for the athletes I coached who qualified for Canadian World Championship teams and World Cups.
Currently, I am the Head of Sports Participation at Canadian Wintersports and designing and leading The First Lap coaching services. I am also the head coach of the Carleton University Nordic Ski Team.
Finally, I am a part-time Master's student at the University of Alberta. I am completing a Master of Coaching degree focused on socio-cultural studies.
I have a box of medals and ribbons from my early sports participation. However, the memories are far more meaningful and precious. I have a Canadian Masters 5000m track 2nd place medal from 2019. I feel extremely fortunate to be healthy enough and to be still enjoying training.
A sports highlight:
Nearing the end of a cross-country running practice at the University of Waterloo, it was early October, overcast, cool - clammy cool where your arms and hands feel the chill, but you're sweating. The daylight was fading, we had just finished the penultimate interval - I scanned our team and saw-felt commitment and enjoyment in our common effort. Making friends through sport.
A second-place finish in the 1500m at the Ontario University Indoor Track and Field Championships. It all came together that day.
Favourite place to ski:
Schneider's Bush, Wilmot Township. Backcountry - skier set trails - with multiple route options.
Preferred training mode or favourite workout (type or a specific workout):
Running is my preferred mode of training. I enjoy lots of variety in workouts and playing with the challenge of making something from each workout. Recently I have had fun with this format:
Part 1 - something long for 1 or 2 reps;
Part 2 - shorter intervals;
Part 3 - return to something long for a rep.
Following a team practice at Lappe Ski Centre, a master's athlete commented to me how much fun it was to join the junior athletes and continue to improve. This comment, combined with the athlete's consistent practice attendance and steady progress, re-confirmed the benefits of multi-age practice groups in sport.
Podcast: Happyness Lab, Hidden Brain, People I Mostly Admire, A Slight Changes of Plans
Books: recent: Taking Life in Stride, by Harvey Mitro (he is a friend of mine from University).
I know I have the best of time and space—and that I was never measured, and never will be measured. - Walt Whitman, 1855 (Song of Myself)
Currently Residing (City/town) – Gatineau, QC
Hometown – Cobden, ON (but born in Belleville, ON)
Home Ski Club – Waterloo Region
Years in Sport - 30+
Other sports and activities: Running (youth - ice hockey, softball; school - volleyball, broomball, flag football, soccer)