6/13/2017 1:00:00 PM / Steve Priolo
Instead of moving into an apartment while he plays in a summer league in Victoria, British Columbia, Bandits defenseman Steve Priolo decided to make a van his temporary residence and hit the road. Each week, he's blogging about his experiences for Bandits.com.
I arrived in Victoria with still a half day of sun light and a stiff body. With the first game approaching that Friday, I decided that I needed to find a new training facility. And it's not like I needed to “settle in” to a new home for the summer because I've already been living in it for over a week.
There is a couple that I have known for years that live close to Mt. Douglas. Mike and Ashley are the type of people that if you needed them – not matter where or what – they would be there for me. So it made my decision easy as to where I was to head next.
From the ferry, I drove straight to Mt. Douglas and started running. Trail running has always been a favourite of mine, but when you’re running the whole time straight up hill, it was like it became an addiction! I was hooked on running these mountains!
These mountains where going to be the way I can not only stay in shape, but bring my game to the next level. The view from the top of Mt. Doug is breathtaking. You can see all of Victoria City, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and across to Mt. Baker in Washington.
With my legs feeling great, we played Langley on Friday. A lot of familiar Bandit faces are on that team. With Big Fish (Davide DiRuscio) in net for Langley, I knew it was going to be low scoring, and thankfully with enough offensive pressure, we came out on top.
Right after the game, I really wanted to stay and hang out with everyone from the Shamrocks, but I knew the best advantage of living in my van was I would be able to get a head start on one of my favourite island places. That night, I started the drive toward Tofino.
Tofino is Canada's Surfing Capital and just an amazing little town that seems to be stuck in the ’60s. So I knew my van would feel right at home.
I drove as far as I could before I was sleepy, pulled onto a little trucker stop, grabbed a quick sleep, and was back at it in the morning. I wanted to spend my morning in Tofino. I arrived at around 9 a.m., grabbed a surfboard and was surfing by 9:30. In my mind, it was a perfect morning.
I have “tried” surfing all over the world – Florida, Australia, Hawaii, and Tofino in 2015 – but I could never seem to get the hang of it. Then last year, when I was back on the island with Jacqueline visiting, we were on the beach and she spotted someone with a lacrosse stick.
I don't recommend this to anyone, but Jacqui thought because I play lacrosse and they play lacrosse that they could watch our bag while we surfed. Seems like a bad idea as I type it, but all I heard was, “Priolo?”
Oh my goodness, it was Mike’s cousin Chris from my hometown, St. Catharines! What are the chances?
He was living out here making surfboards and playing his music for a living so with a couple tips from him, I was on my way! Surfing is now a staple for me on the island. I will share the tips that I was given that turned me from falling every time to being able to stand up almost regularly.
OK. Swim fast when the wave approaches, use FLAT hands to stand, don't grab the sides, and ready for the kicker… Bend your knees!
I have a book written about first-time experiences with different sports (it’s not out yet or published or even written on paper) BUT the first sentence each time is “Bend your knees!!!”
With this being just my first couple days on the island, I knew that this summer living out of the van was going to be jam-packed with adventure!
Next week, I will take you through what it takes to make a cup of coffee, the Sooke Potholes, and life at the lagoon!