Article by Guest Writer Jill Moffatt, Canadian Olympic Athlete, Fuelled by Cheeseburgers
Every month I cover topics that are important to both me, and Big Wheel Burger! We align on so many community initiatives so why not put them all in writing. I thought I would share what it was like to be an Olympian and the how important community support is. Thanks for reading along and joining me on my journey to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games!
I hope everyone is enjoying the month of November so far and keeping warm. This month I’m going to chat about what “winter training” looks like as we begin to prepare for the Olympics next year! At the same time, I want to highlight the incredible work that Big Wheel Burger is doing to support local food banks and soup kitchens. I thought it would be great to share some information about BC food banks and the wide range of people they serve.
Winter Training With Paris in Mind
As a national team rower, we train all year round. Our competitive season is only a few months in the summer, which means our “off-season” makes up a large portion of our training. We are just over a month back into our fall/winter training, and our training looks quite a bit different from what we do in the Spring/Summer months. It is exciting because this is not only the last winter block before the Games, but also the last one of my rowing career!
With the Olympics less than 10 months away, it is really important that we take advantage of each week that we have. As our race is around 7 minutes long, it is integral that we build a big aerobic base in the winter. This will allow us to build a strong anaerobic base on top of that. Think of it like a pyramid – without a strong base, we are limited in how fast we can get. This means that our workouts are quite long and at a much slower pace than racing, and we have a big focus on making any technical changes that are needed.
Our rows typically last from 80-120 minutes, and we take advantage of weights and cross training (indoor rowing machine, biking, running), to also build our strength and cardio base. It may sound boring… and it is, but that is the beauty of winter training. It’s not glamorous, but it works. Over the next few months, we will keep increasing the amount we are training, and our bodies will slowly begin to handle more and more. Our goal is to be able to handle more volume than anyone else in the world while taking the time to have the best technique. If we can accomplish this, we will be in a great position to build into our racing season.
One of the reasons that I love being a part of the Big Wheel Burger family, is that Big Wheel actively supports our local communities. Over the winter months, Big Wheel Supports local food banks and soup kitchens. I think that everyone can grasp how important these services are, but we may not realize the scope that these organizations have. I want to take the time to shine a light on what food insecurity is and some myths about who uses a food bank or soup kitchens.
What is food insecurity? Food insecurity “is the inability to acquire or consume an adequate diet quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so (Government of Canada).”
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports that one in seven households in B.C. are experiencing food insecurity and that one in six kids in B.C. live in a household with food insecurity.
A general assumption is that food banks and soup kitchens are for serving those experiencing homelessness. Although those who are unhoused may use these services, they are not the only ones.
1 in 3 children are clients of food banks, according to Food Banks BC. Many children face food insecurity which impacts their physical and mental wellbeing, as well as their ability to take part in school and extracurriculars.
On the other side of the age spectrum, senior citizens are one of the fastest-growing clients of Food Banks in BC. Last year, the Shelbourne Community Kitchen in Saanich registered 280 new clients, with 20% being senior citizens.
In addition, 42.4% of Canadian food bank users are on social assistance or disability-related support as their main source of income.
Although these statistics may be disheartening, I think it is important to realize that food banks and soup kitchens serve a very diverse group.
What You Can Do
There are many ways to get involved. You can volunteer at a food bank, donate money or food, or support businesses that then give back to these organizations – such as Big Wheel! You can also share the information posted above. Knowledge inspires action, and understanding the impact of food insecurity is a great start.
For the months of October, November, and December, Big Wheel Burger is donating $2 from every feature burger sold to local food banks and soup kitchens. Grab a feature burger and help to give back to those in need this holiday season!
Until Next Month!
My name is Jill Moffatt and I am an Olympic rower living in Shawnigan Lake, B.C. Big Wheel Burger is supporting me on my path to the Olympics and in exchange I’ll be sharing parts of that journey with you! Follow along each month for behind the scenes stories and other things outside of rowing that I am passionate about. Thanks for reading along and joining me on my journey to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games!