Cetacean Nation shot the puck over the blue line where it was picked up by defender #7 Rachael Ade one of the Whale’s core of exciting rookies. Extremely active both on and off the ice, Rachael not only played in all nineteen games for the Whale this season, she was also awarded the NWHL Foundation Award for her off ice activities. The Foundation Award is presented to the player most actively applying the core values of hockey to her community as well as growing and improving hockey culture. She joins teammate Elena Orlando, who won the award for the Whale the prior season. We posed some questions to Rachael, and she graciously shared the following thoughts with the Cetacean Nation fans.
Cetacean Nation is always interested in the off season activities of our Whale, and their insights and activities most often reflect compelling aspects of the players lives and careers. When we asked Rachael about her off season schedule, here is what she told us. “Now I’m mostly continuing to work my full time job, while still training during the week. Ideally I like to train four days a week when in the spring and summer months.” She gave us a very interesting bit of her training and conditioning philosophy with the following: “Off season is really when you get to build the most muscle instead of mostly maintaining, and fine tune some of the areas you may have neglected during the winter, when trying to stay as fresh as possible for each weekend of games. It’s also about working on the little stuff to continue getting better on the ice, and letting yourself have some fun in men’s league, and try new things.” In addition to serious training, Rachael added: “I also use it as my time to travel, and see some of my friends and family I don’t get to go see during season. I usually do coaching in the summertime, as I have been coaching (hockey) for the past 7 or 8 years now, being involved since I have two little sisters. However I have not done so much this summer. In my opinion it is one of the more rewarding activities to do, but I just haven’t had as much opportunity as I have had previous years.”
Cetacean Nation was curious if Rachael still participated in any other sports. She replied: “I do not, and have not really played other sports growing up. I did try a few different ones when I was very young, and did do hockey and gymnastics until I was about 10, however my time commitments started to pick up around that age, and I just did not have enough to do both. Officially picking hockey to be my main sport. I would be on the ice 6-7 days a week, and multiple different teams year round, but that’s what I enjoyed doing and chose to do. I’m also a Floridian, so it was one of the best places to be in the heat.” Thinking about the gymnastics aspect, it occurs to Cetacean Nation that the balance, strength and flexibility needed by a gymnast could also be a big help a young hockey player. Rachael had additional thoughts on the benefits accrued by various physical activities, and concluded “Personally I think it’s great to be a multi-sport athlete, I think it makes you build different muscles, and challenge your mind in different ways. It can really be so interesting how sports you never thought about together can really compliment each other. Overall, staying active I think is the big thing, and finding happiness in it. Even throwing a football around, or rollerblading to the park can be enough just to change it up, and keep yourself mentally and physically refreshed.”
Rachael also shared this heartfelt message to the fans of Cetacean Nation “Honestly the fans are so great, and I know we are all so grateful for you. Without the fans this wouldn’t be possible, and I don’t think we could thank you enough. I know for myself this wasn’t even a dream that I had, because this wasn’t even an option up until 3 years ago, which was my junior year of college. Being able to give back is the least we can do, and truly it’s easy. Every player has been on that same side of the glass doing the same thing our fans do. Being able to reach you guys, give back, and answer your questions, see the smiles on people’s faces is so rewarding. At the end of the day that’s what it’s really about, that and being able to give those little girls the option to have this dream if they do choose, so thank you!” Cetacean Nation is appreciative of Rachael’s activities both on and off the ice, and for providing the fans this great content. If we were grading her contributions like a gymnastics judge, there would be a 10 on our scorecard for the Whale’s #7 Rachael Ade.