Legacy of my Skating

I’m writing this at 35,000-feet above the Earth on my way to Edinburgh, Scotland. There will be two posts from Scotland and then one from Zermatt, Switzerland.

Saturday, January 13th, 2017 was a day of passing on traditions, sharing a legacy, remembering my past, excited about the present, and creating opportunities for the future. The intention of this post is not to share a story of my past and how it lead to this day of creativity and excitement, but to impart the importance acknolwedging that everyday we have an opportunity to have a life long lasting impact on those we come in contact with.

IMG_0246The YouTube video you see embeded in this post is the very start of a project evolving from over 25-years of skating with Gary Visconti. Years ago he had expressed interest in wanting me to be the demo-skater for an instructional skating series for ice hockey. Approximately 10-years ago I started teaching skating in Seattle, Washington, passing on the skating techniques that I had learned from him, that he had learned from his coaches. The legacy lives in those we pass traditions onto. In this case, it’s skating with impeccable attention to detail. My excitement for this project coming to life was not evident until I watched the play back of a single take of us standing in front of the camera talking about what we are doing. The two hours we spent on the ice talking about progressions, teaching techniques, and coaching cuees felt like 20-mintues. I’m very much looking forward to continuing this project. We’re shooting for a September 2018 release. You can tell by this initial video which we shot ourselves that we have a lot to learn and will more than likely enlist the assistance of professionals in our network.

Not only was this day about working with my mentor but it was about reconnecting with another friend as well. We got a surprise visit from a long time friend. I knew Raul was coming, but Gary didn’t. It was wonderful getting to catch up. Raul drives one of the two Zamboni for the Los Angeles Kings. I got to catch up second time at the King’s game. IMG_0260The Kings have been my one and only home team ever since I started playing. Hearing Raul introduce me to regular game attendees as someone who really held a place in his life while he worked at Culver Ice Arena really made me feel special. It’s sad that the rink that held so many memories and was a place of maturation for me is gone. But the people who made it special are still in my life.

IMG_0257.PNGAs previous generations give way to younger generations, I am filled with hope that the future is going to be beautiful. I was once that younger generation. I still am young and my mentors are still mentoring me everyday. This feeling was driven home when I found out that this particular game I was lucky enough to attend was the evening of Bob Miller’s retirement ceremony. Bob has been the voice of the King’s for 44-years. I associated his voice with hockey and my youth. The exuberant narrations of the televised games are engrained in my memories. The jersey numbers hanging in The Staples Center represent the players I idolized growing up. My first ever hockey number was inspired by Marcel Dionne, number 16.


What a day! From being on the ice with a mentor to witnessing a once in a lifetime event. Taking in the team sport that is giving me the opportunity to pass down a legacy of skating techniques to the next generation. I am blessed for the community that I get to participate in. The community I am doing my very best to create via Primitive Optimism would not be what it is without you, my readers. I am truly grateful for your participation and sharing of this blog. I want to hear about your mentors. The legacies and traditions that you’re sharing with the world.

Thank you for being you and being a part of my primitively optimistic community.

Published by: Coach DanielH

Daniel Heller is a strength and conditioning coach, working in the field since 2007 where he began as an intern at Hope’s Gym in Monroe, Washington. In 2009, a month after graduating from Bastyr University, Daniel became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Since then, he has served as a strength and conditioning coach in the private sector, helping athletes from youth through college level in ice hockey, figure skating, mountain biking, football, and motocross. He works closely with each athlete’s physical therapists and doctors to ensure safety and performance improvement. In 2013, Daniel received the designation of Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach (RSCC) through the NSCA. On the side Daniel was the exercise physiology, biomechanics, and kinesiology consultant for the Advanced Products Development Team at Oakley Inc. He is the Cofounder and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Seattle Institute of Athletic Performance providing Functional Movement Screens, corrective exercises, athletic performance programs, as well as educating athletes and parents on the importance of Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) and practice of heads up sports. Daniel’s passion for strength and conditioning stems from his days as a competitive ice hockey player and mountain biker, aside from the many recreational sports he participates in. He is the true strength & conditioning coach for competitive youths aiming for long careers as athletes but also the weekend warriors that train during the week to stay safe on the weekends. In 2015, Daniel took a year break from coaching in Seattle, Washington to pursue his dream of acquiring a masters degree. He returned to Seattle in September 2016 with a Masters of Science in Strength & Conditioning from the University of Edinburgh after living in Edinburgh, Scotland for a year. By immersing himself in the cycling community of Scotland, he was inspired to focus his dissertation on competitive cyclists from varying disciplines where he researched a potential method of improving stationary sprint start performance. He is excited to return to coaching mountain biking combining his childhood passion with his academic and applied expertise.

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