Sunday, July 31, 2011

Subway Commit To Fit

So I entered to be the Subway Commit to Fit ambassador yesterday.  It took me a while to fill out the form and gather the pictures I wanted to submit, but it is done.

Who doesn’t want $10,000?  Especially after the fact for getting in shape and eating right.  I’d say my odds are slim as they are going to have one winner from Quebec and one winner from the rest of the country.  There will be four other prize winners that get $1,000 as well.  But hey it’s worth a shot.

This is what I submitted to them.

I used to be an overweight couch potato. Until March of 2010. I weighed 230 pounds, had a sore back whenever I played hockey and was out of breath after any real activity. I was also a karate student that was going nowhere. I decided that it was time for me to get into shape and began to go to the gym. I was there every day for four months and began to eat healthy. Once I had started to lose weight, 50 pounds, I got a trainer and began weight training programs. By November I weighed 160 pounds and was a fit and athletic machine. I achieved my black belt that month, and that year at hockey, after playing on the same team for five years, was named the most improved player due to the change I had made in my life.

Food was a large part of the process in losing the weight and eating out at restaurants was something that I had to do quite frequently due to work and school, Subway became my go to place to eat as I could eat healthy low calorie meals. I probably ate three or four 6" subs per week during the weight loss process.

Losing weight was only half the challenge, now I strive to be fit, active and healthy to maintain what I have achieved. I go to the gym four times a week, play baseball during the summer, hockey twice a week in the winter, attend karate to practice and to teach roughly 5 hours in the week as well.

Committing to becoming fit is the best thing I have ever done for myself. It has allowed me to do so many amazing things and helped me feel great about myself in every aspect of life.


(I just discovered that photo album feature!)

Something slightly odd is that it was a few weeks ago when I found the ‘before’ pictures from our first cruise when I was sunburnt, they came in really handy here.

If I win Ten Large the Halloween party this year can be at my place!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

From that day on, if I was ever going somewhere, I was running!

On my quest to be able to compete in this 10km Mudnewton I have upped my running distance to 8km this week, in doing so I changed my course entirely rendering any time comparison moot.

The new course was this:

running route2

I left home and went to Parkhill Rd. east to Reid, then South until Charlotte, West with a little detour to get up to Wallis, then North to Parkhill and then back to home.  Google maps said it was 8km and that’s good enough for me.  It was mostly uphill, so maybe not the best choice of route as a first outdoor attempt at 8km, but not impossible.

I did this run in 39:27  so 33 seconds faster than it took me to do 8km on the treadmill at the gym on Thursday.  Not too shabby I would say.  The initial 5km took longer than last weeks route by about a minute but considering that it is uphill  from E to H on the map (about 2.4 km) I’m ok with that.

A friend of mine asked me the other day “Did this stuff interest you before you lost the weight?” referring to things like the Mud Run and the Warrior Dash.  I replied that yes they would have interested me, but it would have been impossible for me to do them.  I do these things now because I can!

And why wouldn’t I do these things?  Why spend so much time at the gym and apply it meaningfully for one day grading to Black Belt when I can apply it to so many other aspects of my life.  That was a big part of the whole lesson in needing to get in shape for that grading.  Discover what you can really do!

I am just one example, but endeavour to find out what you are capable of doing if you remove the barriers your mind sets up around you.  Not only will you amaze yourself, but many people around you!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Almost There…

Yesterday at the gym I ran 8 kilometres on the treadmill.  I ran there and not outside because it was insanely hot and humid here and really I’d have to be a lunatic to run outside in this weather.  I’m all for the outdoors and sucking it up and such but there is a line there and I’m not willing to cross it.  This same point even stands for things I enjoy.  Like Paintball, I would not paintball in the weather we’ve been having because I’d either die from the heat because we need long sleeves to avoid poison ivy, or I’d suffocate in the paintball mask because of lack of breathable air.

Oh right the 8km.  So I started running just a couple weeks ago as you may recall and made some pretty nice progress time-wise.  However what I need is distance.  On that first run I only planned to run 2.5km because I was not sure if I could do anything more than that.  I ran 8km yesterday at the gym because that seems like a good target to get me closer to the 10km I have to run in this even I am doing in September (it was also and easy number to do the math to convert miles to kilometres since the treadmills use miles).

I’m happy to say I did run the entire distance, as if I would have let my body tell me when it had had enough, at a pace that was pretty close to my times out running on the streets. An average speed of about 12km/h (the fastest 5.2km I have run so far was at about 13.4km.h) if that’s the pace I keep up I would finish my 10km race in about 50 minutes or so.  But considering I still have six weeks to prepare and Jodi has a cardio workout planned for me I intend to set a shorter time goal than that on race day.

Give me two weeks and decent weather and I’ll be running 10km outside in under 50 minutes.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Injuries Part III

Should one person really have the material for three injuries posts in a blog?  If your living life to the fullest, yes!

Check out Part I and Part II!

The Other Knee
Back in 2002 I think it was I lived in an apartment over on Barnardo St. Just a little ways north of us was a church school or some such and on their property was a hill.  It was the kind of hill that goes flat about half way down, but also increased in steepness as you went along their property.  So at one end it was a death defying plummet towards a thicket with a high probability of a jump part way down, and as you approached the other end it was a fairly tame hill with and nice little whoosh in the middle to give a sled ride a little more character.

I took my soon to be step-daughter (soon after to be ex-stepdaughter or however that goes) sledding one day on this hill.  We started at the large end and she was scared to go down.  So, in my wisdom I said ‘It’s fine! I’ll show you.’  And so down I went.  That ‘probably to catch air’ half way down turned out to be a certainty and I flew off the sled landing awkwardly and twisting my knee all up.  Of course I had to pretend I was fine and continue sledding for about another hour.  We did so on the tame end of the hill.

The Spider Bite

Also while living on Baranardo I was bitten one night by a spider, unfortunately it was not radioactive.  At first I thought it was an ingrown hair or something that would just clear up on it’s own.  Eventually my forearm swelled by about 50% and my boss at the gas station told me I had to go to the hospital.  The doctor put heat on the area then lanced the bit of puss ball that swelled up and then left me.  Of course then I had to squeeze it, and make all the goop come out.  It was gross, but awesome at the same time.  I was occupied with that the entire time I was waiting for the nurse.  I then had to get an I.V. of antibiotics three nights in a row and then take home huge antibiotic pills to take for the next ten days!

Bike Wipeout In Toronto

I went to University of Toronto for a few months in the fall of 1998.  To get around I had my bike and I would frequently ride up to the mall near the Erindale campus because I hated being at the residence, my roommates sucked! So I was riding back from the mall and decided I would take a shortcut across the grass and ride over a sewer lid.  Problem was that the sewer lid was up on like a concrete spire with a big ditch and long grass cut even with the lid.  My tire hit and bent right over and I pitched clear over the handle bars and landed right at the edge of Mississauga Rd.  I wasn’t that hurt, but my front wheel was ruined and I was nearly run over after I hit the ground.

It’s amazing I’m alive.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Change Hurts

At the gym anyways, but it’s GREAT.

I had been doing the same program of 4 workouts at the gym since mid March.  Four months!  That is a loooooooong time.  I had wanted to get a new workout about six weeks ago, but at the time Amber was considering starting up with Jodi and so to not spend as much money at once on the extra sessions with a trainer I held off getting a new routine.

Yesterday I started a new set of workouts at the gym aimed toward giving me an extra gear at hockey.  I told Jodi that I wanted these exercises to enable me to explode past ‘that guy’ that I was trying to beat on defense.

I don’t have a single exercise at the gym that is the same as I have been doing for the last four months and I was (and am) in much soreness now.  It’s fantastic.  For weeks I have been going tot he gym and doing my thing for an hour or more.  I would be tired, but not sore, I wasn’t working any new muscles or anything.  The workouts took a while but my body was so used to them that they were “easy” to complete.  My body knew what it had to do and nothing was all that difficult anymore even though I upped weights every three or four weeks.

Thursday I will be shown my two cardio workouts to go along with these two muscle building ones.  As I have mentioned I will be doing a 10km run in September and I need to have the power to do so.  I’m looking forward to all new kinds of pain on Thursday!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Stink at Slo-pitch

Many, far too many years ago I was a pro-star at 3-pitch.  I played in Buckhorn for a few years in a row when I was in grade 7,8, and 9 I think.  Grade 8 for sure, I remember that clearly due to the Stanley Cup finals.

Commonly I would play first base, and be the pitcher for our team.  I could hit the ball too.  Back then you used to be called out if you hit it over the fence in 3-pitch, maybe you still are, if kids even play ball anymore, I did it twice I think.

When I was good

I had thought about playing ball for a couple of summers and just this week finally found someone looking for players in a slo-pitch league on kijiji and replied to the ad.  It’s a fairly similar way to how I started playing hockey, but that’s another story.

I went out to play tonight, and apparently in the first game we played we were against one of the best teams in the league.  Luckily for me the team I was on seems to be all about just having some fun.  I say that because somewhere in the last, oh, 18 years or so I seem to have forgotten how to catch anything.  Which is surprising to me a bit because my goalie skills have not gone nearly that far down hill.

I got on base alright, I never really got a hold of a pitch, but I did make a base 2/3 times at bat, so that’s not too shabby.  It was the fielding that was so, so bad.  The first ball that came my way I nearly had but it was going fast enough to twist it’s way out of my glove.  I make the play well, but just couldn’t hold on to it, fine.  Then I dropped a fly ball, flubbed a grounder that I was charging and bruised my hand trying to snag a drive (that then bounced out of my glove) it still hurts now!

Our second game the other team didn’t have enough players, so they forfeited the actual game, and we played pickup.  I made a few catches there and hit the ball ok again.

I’m hoping to not be so bad next week.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Flash

I run now, I think three times would include me in the group known as ‘runners’.  A friend asked if I jogged or sprinted, and I thought, neither, I run, it’s in between, fairly self-explanatory.

On Wednesday I ran after work in the ridiculous heat we have right now and was only two seconds faster than the first time.  Today my goal was just to be faster than Wednesday and here I was pretty darn quick.  Today I ran for the third time on my 5.2km route I took 30 seconds off my time since last week!

It took me 23:16 to do the run this time around, but in the end my ankle hurts like mad.  The ankle that I snapped over playing hockey about 10 years ago or so.  Now I did do a little something to it at the gym on Tuesday night hopping over the barrier that you are not supposed to hop over to get to Jodi’s class quicker, but I think that is more of an addition rather than a cause.

So today I bought shoes, actual factual running shoes, not the $30 sneaks I usually buy at Wal-mart.  I bought these:


They cost me as much as I would spend on three pairs of shoes usually!  I hope they make a difference, not so much for speed, but for comfort and no ankle pain.

I also finally bought an Under Armour shirt.  I had thought about it for a while but was, hmmm, insecure about having a super tight shirt on.  But after trying one on last week I couldn’t not buy it.  So soft, comfy and apparently I look pretty good in it according to a couple of people.


Eventually it seems that I may actually be a superhero, all I have to do is save someone.  I am very glad to see my fitness having real world applications though now, not just progress in the gym.  If I have to out run a friend because a bear is chasing us and I want to live, I can totally do that.  If I have to lift a heavy thing that is crushing my kid later on in life I won’t necessarily need that rush of adrenaline that old ladies use when one of their ten cats is trapped.

All I need is a red shirt with a lighting bolt on it!


Oh wait, I have that!

Friday, July 15, 2011


I am tired.  Just like I was last summer, which seems strange.  Last year I attributed my tiredness to the fact that I was eating basically nothing and working out.  This year I eats lots, but the last few afternoons my energy level has been so low it’s ridiculous!

I was perfectly fine while supplying for day care and out of the nine days I have worked so far it’s only been a few so I don’t think it’s that.  I hope I figure this out soon because I want to be able to have the energy to do things in the afternoon or when I get home from work without having to feel like I’m swimming through lead or something.

It could be just the sun I suppose, I don’t like the heat and yet it has been hot for 2 week straight now and I’m out in the sun for quite a while some days.

I also wonder if it is inactivity.  On the weekends I’m doing the gym or something that raises my heart rate either in the early or mid morning  I wonder if that makes a difference?  Because I did run on Wednesday and got to the gym yesterday after work and once I had done those I felt fine.  Or I wonder if it is that I need some sugar at lunch, next weeks solution is going to be bananas at lunch time to see what happens.

Anyone have ideas?

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Good God, I have run, simply to run.  It’s not a day I ever thought would happen, even now that I am fit.  Two years ago the only running I would have done was for the last chicken ball at the Chinese buffet, and if I knew there was another tray on the way I wouldn’t even have bothered then.

A friend of mine is doing something called the Warrior Dash today.  I only found out about this on Thursday and immediately thought it would be a wicked thing to do.  Basically it’s a 5km run with various obstacles along the way like climbing a hay bail mountain, getting over a big wall, leaping over fire and whatnot.  I looked for the sign up right away but registration for the only Ontario date has long since closed.

My immediate thought was I would love to do that, and hmmm yeah I bet I could.  And then I thought about what it takes to do well, so I looked at the results from one of the past events and the top people are finishing the course in around 20 minutes give or take a few, the top guys my age are generally around 27-32 minutes to complete the circuit.  Seeing stats of course got me thinking.  If I did this could I do well?

I have not done any direct training for running at all, because I generally don’t like running.  However my last two assessments at the gym have involved the beep test and then running an obstacle course that Jodi designed.  And during a couple of my workout days I run sprints on the treadmill.

Today I woke up early, which sucks, but I put the time to use.  As I lay in bed trying to go back to sleep at 6am I was thinking about could I even run 5km?  If I tried how long would it take me?  So I got out of bed, did my Wii fit measurement looked up what a 2.5km course would be got dressed took a sip of Gatorade G2 and went outside and then… Ran.

My goal at the outset was to run the 2.5km and see what the time was, as I approached the end I said to myself, I could run this again, so I hit the lap timer on my watches stopwatch and did the course again (plus a little just in case Google maps rounds up.

Today I ran 5.2km in 23:46.68 and the split time at 2.5km was 11:19.01.

Not too shabby for my first time out running I would say.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What I Like

I'm at my new job and everyone is adjusting.  Some to new routines, some to new faces, and some to new tasks and gaining a knowledge of the lay of the land, and some to everything at once.

I like bright smiles and moments where you can see the light bulbs flashing with ideas and thoughts.  It's exciting and entertaining.  I hope the skills of bringing out these bursts of interest and focused enthusiasm become easier to access.  I like when the day goes relatively smoothly.

I like that I get to wear whatever shirts I want.  So far I have worn three superhero shirts to work this week! This is something that I could not have possibly done at my old job.  Clearly I am pleased by very simple things.

I like the drive out here, up until now all my work driving has been about five minutes from my house to downtown, but driving the roads from home to Ennismore is easy, passive and calming both on the ride to and from work.

I like that my hands will never be sunburnt, though I still hate sunscreen!

I like the children and the people I work with.  So far, a great week! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Career Decisions

A friend of mine recently questioned some decisions they had made involving their career, I think everyone has, and if you haven't yet, you will.  How can you not?  When you go to the same place to work each day there are going to be things you like and things you don't like.  If the ' don't likes' outweigh the ' likes', start searching the want ads.

My career has gone in many directions since before I even left highschool.  Originally I had wanted to be a teacher, when I saw my dad become a bit displeased with his job due to changes from the government I decided I was going to go into computers.  I went to University of Toronto for a while to become a programmer, that didn't pan out, so I went to Flemimg to become a computer support guy.

I got a job at one computer place supporting the libraries of Ontario, when that looked like it was going under, I got hired with CIP. My computer career had begun.  After only just over a year I was offered a job with a larger company for more money.  And herein was my first career decision, do I go for more money, but more responsibility and traveling, or stick with the place I know and the companionship of workmates I like.

I chose to stay.  Financially it might not have been the best decision, but it has resulted in a friendship that will last a lifetime.

I have since been layed off from that job.  I tried working at one other computer place but was miserable so career decision #2 came and I decided to go into ECE, returning to school has netted me more friendships that will last a long time and has me in a career that I have been enjoying almost every second of!  A huge part of that enjoyablity had been the places I have worked and the people I have worked with.  I am confident that my new workplace wil be one that satisfys me again, just as working with friends did.

Once you begin a career, you are hopfully in it for a long term commitment, some decisions must be purely business, but the most important ones are about how much you enjoy your work. 

Be happy in your work!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A New Career

A couple of months ago I blogged about having new jobs, those new jobs have given way to a new career that starts on Monday.  I’m quite pleased about the way it all turned out really.  Having the supply jobs with three different companies gave me the opportunity to see my options in depth, and the ability to make an informed choice.

Child care is not the kind of job where you want to settle for any position I think.  If this were my first time in the working world my opinion might be different but since this is actually my second career I was already aware of the type of things that keep me happy at work.

A good and positive atmosphere and enjoyable people are the main things that I need at a workplace.  In this instance I have more than just my co-workers to provide that to me, also the children that I will be around and helping on their journey to learn and grow.  I expect this career to be very rewarding and fulfilling even if it is draining from time to time.

Some of you might be wondering why I make the distinction of ‘job’ and ‘career’.  To me a ‘job’ is something like working at the gas station, or tutoring at the college, you get part time hours and the expected amount of pay that goes along with doing something that anyone can do.  A ‘job’ is not specialized, very little of one’s full potential is used and the money that comes from it is enough to scrape by by the skin of your teeth.  A ‘career’ to me, is something that requires training, either some sort of apprenticeship, education or hours upon hours of dedication to do well.  You get paid well enough that if you live responsibly you have some extra money to spend and it’s something that you might spend some time on while you are not getting paid so that you can either do better, or make it even more enjoyable when you are there.

I’m very excited about this new career I’m about to begin, two years of college and now two months of supply work have prepared me as well as they were ever going to.  I’m quite certain there will be many learning opportunities along the way for me in the weeks, months and years to come, but really if I can do this well enough, everyday I should be able to learn by playing, how many people get to say that when they are over 30?