Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The End Of 2013

Gah I messed up this post when putting up my 2014 goals post!

With 2013 over I wanted to look back on my goals and see how I did.

I set out to:

Travel 2000 kilometres - I went 2228.6! 700+ by running and 1500+ on bike!

Do 50,000 push ups - I only managed slightly over 25,000, I admit I got bored with challenge and it dropped off for me about half way through the year.

Attempt a Try-a-Tri - I actually did a canoe, bike, run triathlon with my dad this year, So i blew away that goal.

Bench press 230 pounds - I did mark this as completed, but it was not with a full range of motion.  I can lift that much, but I'll have to set a newer more defined goal this year.

Complete a 1/2 marathon - This I did!  I didn't do it as part of someone else's event but as part of my own WCP race weekend.  I completed my half marathon distance in less than 2 hours even!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Christmas Eating Contest Is Over

Right this moment I'm on my way home posting this from my phone as Amber drives.  We are returning from London, Ontario to our home.

In the last seven days I've had 3 Christmas turkey dinners and way too many snacks to even think about.  The only saving grace to all this is that I played hockey last Saturday and will again tonight and I was at the gym on Christmas eve working out and running.

I love getting together work my family and Amber's family, but the week long eating contest that is the Christmas holidays is a bit of a grind food wise and I'm actually glad that this segment of the holidays is over.

Starting tonight with hockey I plan to have 9 days in a row where I am at the gym,  working hard to undo all these calories I have consumed.  I do think that for the most part I did ok though really.  I only ever had one plate of food plus some extra turkey and veggies at each meal.  The killer I am sure are the desserts! So many desserts!

But in the big picture three or four days where I eat too many desserts is the reward for a year of working like a mad man to able to really enjoy that type of thing.  I never feel guilty about food,  I just get excited about the work I'll have to do to earn it again!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Man Of Steel

I’ve completed one week in which I started the Man of Steel Workout.  I am not going at it with as much gusto as Henry Cavill did but only due to the fact that I do have a full time job apart from working out.

I was at the gym only three times this past week, partly due to commitments early in the week and partly due to the fact that I was puking my guts out Friday night and then asleep for about 80% of Saturday.

All that aside I would say that the workouts are amazing and going well.  It is the first time I have used a workout plan from someone other than Jodi and my body has been aching afterwards!  When I did the Upper body, Chest and Shoulders day I couldn’t even walk comfortably out of the gym.  I couldn’t walk normal out of the gym after ARMS day because my shoulders were so sore!  It was awesome!

The upper body, chest and shoulders day took about 1.5 hours, but was totally worth it.  I did legs day the following day and that took about an hour.  Given that the feature on Man Of Steel said his workouts were about 2.5 hours a day I have to think that either he did a pair of workouts each day, which is plausible or that these workouts lists online are only part of the whole thing, also plausible.

Leg day I found to be difficult but not that bad really and I wonder if it is because I already run and bike so much that my legs recover faster than my arms do.  that said two days later my lower body was killing me, this could have been from the workout of whatever illness ran through me from Friday night to this morning.

I’m very excited to be on this path again where I can feel that I am progressing toward something rather than maintaining or making small gains.  I know I’m not going to come out of this whole experience as pumped up as Cavill was/is but I certainly can already feel myself getting stronger!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


If you haven’t seen Man Of Steel, you should.  Superman punches a lot of things and it’s amazing!  Also Henry Cavill is super buff and there was absolutely zero padding or CG on his actual Superman suit (though the cape is CG most of the time actually, which looks awesome too).

How did Cavill become Superman.  Work.  Unbelievably hard work!  I watched the extras on the Blu-ray and he worked with Mark Twight from Gym Jones and was working out about 2.5 hours a day six days a week.  As an example of how far he came during the process, during one of the interview segments Cavill States that he went from deadlifting 200 and some pounds at the start to nearly 500lbs!  It was awesome to see, him with 4 plates on each end of the bar, the bar itself bending as he lifted.  He filled out that costume well for a reason.

After seeing that feature it got me thinking about if I could be doing that type of thing at the gym.  I don’t have 2.5 hours every day to work out, but I do spend time at the gym often enough to do the same things just spread out a bit more.  So I searched around the internet and found the workouts along with interview bits.  I was a bit surprised to read some of the thing Cavill had to say at first.  Not because they were shocking, but because they mirrored the types of things I was saying when I lost those 80lbs and became more athletic.

For instance,


Mark has opened my eyes to seeing past what I thought was my limits. He understands what I’m going through physically. He understands me, what I go through physically. That’s what makes him such a good trainer.

The training has been a journey of discovery, just like Superman’s journey of discovery. Superman learned how to fly. I learned I could do all sorts of things in the gym, which I never thought was possible. It’s not just the physical things,but a psychological thing as well.

I hear or read that and I think, yeah!  I know what you mean!  It inspired me all over again to find out that a guy like that, who started off deadlifting more than I do now, started off already very strong and fit can go through the same type of self discovery I did getting shape.

I have found the details of the Superman workout and will be putting them to use, six days a week.  I might not have the 2.5 hour block of time in a day that Cavil had, but I have more time overall since I’m not on a movie making deadline.

I’m going to become my own Superman all over again.

Here’s a little snippet of the featurette, pretty cool stuff


Wednesday, November 27, 2013


If you go look up inertia in the dictionary (which is an actual book about words for the kids reading) or you google it, you’ll find a definition very similar to this.

The vis insita, or innate force of matter, is a power of resisting by which every body, as much as in it lies, endeavours to preserve its present state, whether it be of rest or of moving uniformly forward in a straight line.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I contemplated running after work and or going to the gym.  See we had a staff meeting at 6, but I finish work at 4 and it occured to me just how easy it would be to go home and do nothing.  play my new Mario or Zelda game, or shoot some folks in Call of Duty, or watch TV, just relax.  Heck even just sit down and stare at the wall.

My original plan was to go to the gym since our meeting was planned to start at 6:30, lots of time to drive the 20 minutes to the gym, change, workout for about an hour, drive home, shower and go back to work.  starting the meeting at 6 meant that it wasn’t likely I’d make it back in time if I did a proper workout.

I think that is where a lot of people just stop.  Oh my plans are trashed, I can’t go to the actual gym today, so I’ll just sit.  Once you sit the first time it becomes much easier to sit the second time, and the third and so on.  It becomes easier because you are allowing yourself to slow down.  I know that if I come home and sit down I will not get back up to run or gym or anything, I’ll just be done for the day.  But if I get home, get ready to run and do do it, or go right to the gym after work that my brain can force my body to do the work I want to do.

The real catch is this.  You can get into a routine that allows you to do just the right amount of exercise to stay fit, or get fitter.  If you keep up that momentum, your inertia will carry you through, you are in motion and so you want to stay in motion.

If you stop, you don’t just stay at the status quo, you backslide.  Fitness requires a certain amount of upkeep and the fitter you want to be the more upkeep is required.  Healthy foods, activity and so on.  It’s not easy.  If you just decide that you want to just watch TV from now on, you simply won’t even maintain all that you have worked to achieve.  Complacency is the outside force that acts on the inertia of fitness.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friend Making Monday: Holidays and More


The Holidays and More: Part 2

   I didn’t do Part I earlier

1.  What state/country do you live in? 

Ontario, Canada

2.  Where were you born?  Were you raised there? 

I was born in Collingwood, Ontario, but did the majority of my growing up in Buckhorn, Ontario.  Yes, it’s as small as it sounds like it would be.

3.  How do you feel about stores like Wal-mart opening on Thanksgiving Day for pre-Black Friday sales?  Will you participate?

Our big stores are all closed on major holidays.  Wal-mart, grocery stores, 99% of businesses.  Usually the only things that are open are convenience stores and coffee shop chains.

4.  Have you ever participated in a Turkey Trot? 


5.  What was your favourite toy as a child?

This question here is why I really wanted to answer this week.  Favourite toys is always fun to think about.  My childhood can actually be divided up into very distinct sections.  He-man, Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles.  Each of those favourite toy eras spanned a few years, and therefor a few birthdays and Christmases each.  I never got a lot of toys on each event from my parents, but when they added all up I had loads!  As collective groups those would have been my ‘favourite toys’. 

To have a singular favourite toy it would have to be when I was younger and I had a stuffed lion, I still have it now.

6.  Will you count points/calories on Thanksgiving Day? 

During holidays I try to keep track a bit, but I always counteract it all by hitting the gym or the road on the same day for a hard workout.

7.  Will you watch football Thursday? 


8.  Do you decorate inside/outside of your home for the holidays?

We decorate mostly inside with a few lights and Christmas type things, nothing too elaborate.  But not until after Amber’s birthday.

9.  Do you have allergies that prevent you from eating traditional holiday meals?


10.  Is it snowing where you live? 

Yep!  Last year we didn’t have now right up until Christmas, it’s come ‘early’ this year.  We only have a bit of a dusting but it is on the ground.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I Hate My Guts

Literally (at the moment) not figuratively.

This week has been pretty much a write off as far as exercise goes.  I have only run once and not been to the gym. Why? I’ve been counting the tiles on the wall in the bathroom if you know what I mean. 256 if you must know.

I did get out and run yesterday, just a 5k, that was mostly due to the fact that it gets dark at about 4:30 here now though.  I had a decent time even, 23:01, so I was actually quite happy with that. 

I miss the gym already and it’s only been a week, I was too sick to go there Tuesday.  Thankfully I will be there on Saturday, my client is going to get his second cardio day, Iron Man I think, I intend to do it along side with him plus maybe a couple things I missed out on during the week.  I really don’t like the feeling of not doing much gym-wise in a week.  It makes me feel soft and weak.  Being sick doesn’t really help with that though.

I did discover though that I will end up running farther this year than I did last year even with the few weeks off I had to take due to the injury to my Achilles and wanting to ride further on the bike since my dad lent me his old touring bike.  I’m pretty happy about that.  I’m excited to see what I can do next year since I won’t be running a half marathon and injuring myself!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I’m In Jodi Amounts Of Pain

Today was my first time at the Wellness Centre on my own since I returned from just working out at home.  I chose to do Tabada day, which is 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest, for four minutes, and then there is eight pairs of workouts within that.  So it’s only about 32 minutes or work, but it takes about 40 minutes to do.

I worked out hard at home, you can ask Sarah about that if you really want.  I ran hard, I lifted good amounts of weight and I challenged myself with lots of my workouts.  However, leaving the Wellness Centre today I was reminded why I like the actual gym so much and the workouts that Jodi crafted for me.

She designed things that were hard, and I was left with muscles aching and lungs burning by the time I was done.  I am using to pushing myself and making my own life difficult, but to be back in that much pain, “Jodi amounts of pain” was awesome.

I love working that hard! I can’t wait to be there again on Thursday!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Friend Making Monday–Food Matters

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!


Food Matters

1. Are you familiar with GMO’s?  Is it an issue that matters to you?

Generally, no, not really.  I have heard the term and I am aware that to some folks it’s a huge deal.

2.  List a few items that are typically on your grocery list. 

Chicken, tomatoes, english muffins, peanut butter, other fresh veggies, milk.

3.  What is your favorite place to shop for produce? 

I just shop at Value-Mart in Bridgenorth, nothing too fancy.

4. Do you eat processed foods? 

Generally no.  At least not if there is an unprocessed version.  Like peanut butter is what it is, but I’d say 90% of our groceries come from the outside edges of the store.  I eat almost nothing from a box.

5.  Do you look for the “organic” label when you shop? 

No I don’t.  If Anna & Christina have taught me anything, it’s that organic isn’t always better, but it is always more expensive.

6. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? 

English muffin with peanut butter and jam (homemade!), same as pretty much every day.

7.  How many meals per week do you cook at home? 

Out of 7 possible dinners, we normally eat 6 at home at least.

8. Do you think that foods that have been genetically engineered should be labeled?

Yeah I would think so.

9. What matters most to you when you’re choosing a restaurant? 

Depends on the meal and the company and the purpose.  Sometimes I just want Shawarma, sometimes a steak and sometimes just a sammich.  I think what matters most to me is what I want to eat.  I’ve narrowed down the places I will eat already since I know I want to eat healthy.

10.  What is your favourite meal to cook at home? 

Lamb with pureed parsnip and green beans.  I love it and if lamb wasn’t so expensive I could eat that meal every day!


Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments, and have a happy Monday, friends!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It’s Great To Be Back!

My return to the gym couldn’t have gone any better at all.  I’m loving every second of it!  While renewing my membership who came by the desk but Jodi!  A big hug and as “It’s awesome to see you here!” later and I was on the floor yet again.

I was actually training someone, thereby refuting all those times when I have said “I can never be a trainer!”  I did a bit of a workout at the same time as training Jon.  Chest presses, shoulder presses curls and tricep extensions.  All things that I can do here at home, but then it was on to pull-downs and rowing.  It was all great!

Today I was on the treadmill and while it was a beautiful day outside it was only 0­° when I woke up, so I was kind of happy to be inside running.  Until I was inside and running of course.  I forgot how hot I get running on the treadmill!  I did manage to get 7k done in 31:06!

I’m excited to be back at the gym for the next four months and I’m sure that it will make me appreciate my home gym even more once spring arrives. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Dark Knight Returns

I'm returning to the gym, and I'm pumped for it.

You see over the summer, well since late march I think actually I have been working out in my garage at home and the roads nearby.  Winter is coming on and it's getting awfully chilly outside here in Ontario and so biking has been off the table for about a month at least now. This plan did work great for about eight months, well, more like seven and a half months.  Working out in the garage was an amazing time saver when it came to driving back and fourth from town.  I had pretty much all the equipment I needed out there to do nearly every exercise I was doing at the gym.

The problem I was about to be faced with though was running on the unplowed sidewalks of Bridgenorth, no biking and working out in an un-insulated garage during the coldest months of the year.

This whole situation has been remedied by a great turn of happenstance.  Our new furnace is paid off finally this month, and so that frees up over $700 a month and a pal of my brother-in-law has looked to me to be a trainer due to our common starting point in a fitness journey.  It's really more that second bit that has catapulted my wife into the area of understanding that a gym membership for the four coldest months of the year is not an unreasonable thing to desire.  So instead of paying a fee once a week or whatever to get into the gym to do the training, why not pay a lower monthly fee and then use that same money to pay for the gym membership!

I'm very excited about the whole situation.  I miss the BOSUs and the back extension thingy and the stretching station most of all.  Working out at home is super convenient and I'll be happy to return to it in March of 2014, but there is something about actually being at the gym that will keep me pumped to be going!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Friend Making Tuesday –A New Season

1. What is your favorite thing about Fall?

Cool weather all the time.  I like wearing sweaters, I like wearing jeans and I like sleeping all snuggled up in my covers instead of trying not to be boiling hot.

2. It’s not Fall until…

The leaves start to turn colour!

3. Apple cider or hot chocolate?

Hot Chocolate all the way.  I have one almost every night!

4. Share a happy Fall memory.

My happiest recent fall memory is, hmmm, Tough Mudder, it counts because the leaves were changing colour already.

5. Do you have any hobbies that are seasonally specific?

I starting playing hockey in the fall.

6. What do you miss most about Summer now that it’s officially over?

Riding my bike actually.  I find it too cold on my hands and the wind going by makes my ears hurt when I ride in the fall.

7. Do you prefer pumpkin pie or pecan pie?

Pumpkin, always pumpkin unless there is the possibility of strawberry-rhubarb.

8. Do you suffer from allergies? 


9. How do you celebrate Halloween? 

I just hand out candy and try to keep the cats inside.  Last two years we’ve had a party/Open House at Shamrock that is awesome and a party at the karate club.  All kid friendly of course.

10. What is the biggest change that you expect to experience during this season?

I’m not actually sure about this one.  I’m not expecting much of a change heading into the fall.

Monday, October 21, 2013

How To Spend The Evening When Your Wife Is At Camp

Amber is off at Camp Kawartha with her school and so here I am at home by myself and I thought what type of shenanigans can I get up to?

upon my arrival home from work I switched into my running gear and and took off down the Bridgenorth Trail.  I had another really good time for the run.  7k in 33:31 on the trail, not too shabby.

I got home and cleaned up.  I warmed up leftovers from last nights dinner, Chicken Alfredo, and watch Batman/Superman Public Enemies.

And then I decided it would be a great idea to play The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker for a few hours.  This game is as great today as it was ten years ago on Gamecube, except better! 

Canada`s Worst Driver will cap off the night.  Does it get better?  Maybe if Amber was around, but this is pretty sweet.  Tomorrow i think the only change will be strength training in the garage instead of running. Woo!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Good Workout

I was in the garage today killing myself doing leg day and I thought to myself a good work out is were the clock says it’s been 40 minutes and your body thinks it’s been about 3 hours!

I was dying!  And loving it!

Burpees, box jumps, bench hops and frog jumps with strength training in between each set (squats, step ups, lunges and so on).

What awesome workout did you do today?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Friend Making Monday–All About The Blog

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here and over at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

All about the Blog

1.  How long have you been blogging? 

Just about three years.

2.  What is the overwhelming theme of your blog? This blog the theme is fitness mostly.  There are a few other bit and pieces here and there, but mainly fitness.  The Mighty Chrispy focuses on art.

3.  Have you connected with people in person after meeting them through blogging? 

No, not yet actually.

4.  What do you enjoy most about blogging? 

I like the interaction and feedback and suggestions I get from people.

5.  How often do you blog?

When I’m in the mood I blog A LOT, daily sometimes even.  Once in a while there can be a bit of a dry spell, like this last week and a bit actually. 

6.  Share one thing that you don’t like about blogging.

I don’t like it when you put out a ‘Hey what do you think?’ kind of question and you can hear the crickets chirping.

7.  Do you talk about your blog in everyday life? 

Hmm, not usually.

8.  What is the coolest and most unexpected thing that has happened to you as a result of blogging? 

Being able to make friends from different places in the world has been great!

9.  Are there topics that are off-limits on your blog?  If so, name a few…

Generally I follow the rule of ‘If you don’t want your mom to see it, don’t put it on line’.

10.  If you could accomplish one thing through your blog before the end of this year, what would you want to accomplish? 

I’d love to inspire someone to take those necessary steps to get into a fit type lifestyle.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tough Mudder

On Sunday a few friends and a couple of folks I had not met were all a part of an amazing event!  The fall edition of the Tough Mudder Toronto, which is actually nowhere near Toronto.  It was actually up in Mount St. Louis Moonstone just about a 1/2 hour away from my old stomping grounds near Orillia.  I have actually been planning to do this event for the whole year up till now!

I left my house at around 6am and picked up my workout partner Sarah, who just did Run or Dye with me, and we headed off to my friend Rob’s old house.  Rob, who I had just reconnected with last January after about 23 years of not seeing each other, joined my Tough Mudder team almost right away when I put out the call.

Tara, whose crazy idea this all was had to bow out unfortunately due to illness, and so did Lindsay due to injury. Rounding out the team though were Kamita, who I had met at Run For Your Lives. Ian, who was a roommate during the Super Smash Bros. portion of my life!  Ian’s girlfriend, Caroline, and pals of Tara and Kamita, Julia and Nicola.  We even ended up with a team photographer, Genny, Rob’s gracious wife who waited around for us all day and took some amazing pictures.


(Rob, Me, Caroline, Ian and Kamita in Yellow)

The very start of the event – they sort of make it clear that it’s not a race – we waiting in a starting coral as a group and when they let us go, we came to a wall about six feet tall and then climbed over and discovered that we were actually at the real start of the event.  There was a guy pumping everybody up, we sang the anthem and then off we went.  The very first thing was a HUGE hill.    We came up that as a group pretty much and then had to crawl under barbed wire face down in the mud (Kiss of the Mud).


There is the big hill.  This guy had no legs and we doing the event.  We didn’t see him after the start, but he got a huge cheer as we passed him on the hill!


The water was pretty chilly, but at this point the sun was warm, and it was pretty ok.

The race was fairly mild for that first half, not any really steep hills, and some pretty tame obstacles as far as effort was concerned.  A few boosts here and there and some encouragement were all that was required.

It was during this portion of the event that we decided that the runners could run between obstacles and then we’d regroup at each of the obstacles to get past them as a team.  Really being a team during the trials is what this event is all about.

My real challenge during Tough Mudder came about mid way through this opening part.  Walk the Plank was a leap from a platform that was about 15 or 20 feet over a pool of water.


For some reason I just really had a hard time leaping off this.  I think part of it was the murky water, I wanted to be able to know I could push off the bottom to get back to the top.  That and I have not been much of a jump in the water from heights guy since a wicked ear infection when I was in high school.

It took me a minute or two, but eventually I screwed up the courage to leap.  Of course it turned out to be no problem in the end, but it was the hardest thing for me that day.

After a bit more running we came to electric eel where you had to crawl through muddy water under hanging electric fence wire.  I only got one shock, as did Rob, for me it simply made my arm go limp and I let out a bit of a yelp but there was no real pain.

The biggest surprise for me came at Funky Monkey, a set of monkey bars over water that angled up for half way and then back down on the second half.  Earlier this year at the O-course I failed miserably at monkey bars.  This time it was no problem at all!  I was really shocked!  Out of the eight of us six made it across no problem.


I think what made it just that bit easier was that the bar were small enough to be able to grip completely, the ones at the O-course were like pipes and you could only hook your hand on.


We all reached the half way point and Genny was there waiting for us right by the Berlin walls.  These walls were much higher than previous ones along the way, easily 15 feet tall.

Sarah and I got up on the first wall and helped our team get up and over, it was a bit of a balancing act to get up there and be able to help people over but we managed to get everyone up and over without much of a problem, except when Sarah fell and landed flat on her back and a bit awkwardly on her arm.  I thought for sure that she’d have broken it.  She was fine though.



(Leaving Berlin Walls – Rob, Sarah, Julia, Nicola, Me, Crouching – Ian, Caroline, Kamita)

On the second wall Ian and I sat up top and helped get people over, this time no falls.  It was a really fun obstacle I thought and really the first one that took lots of team members to accomplish.

This is where the hills really started.  The soul crushing, hills.  The first half of the race only took us and hour and a half, the second half was almost double that due to the number of hills! 

The second half featured possibly the most dreaded and the most exciting obstacles of the whole event.  Arctic Enema and Everest.  Arctic Enema is basically a shipping container full of icy water with a barrier in the middle that you have to go under.  Yeah that’s right, submerged completely in ice cold water, that guys are constantly dumping bags of ice into.  It was SO cold!  We got out and had to jump around for a bit to get warmed back up.  We were all wishing the sun was still out at that point.


Between Arctic Enema and Everest was Mud Mile, the dirtiest, slipperiest part of the whole event.  Pools of soupy muddy water, and heaps of slick muddy hills.  Everyone was brown, like really brown with mud!


I don’t think that any of us got as dirty as this guy though.



Finally we came to Everest, I was looking forward to this part for a long while, I thought it would be really cool.  Ian was the first of our team to go and he made it up on his second attempt.  I was next, and with the help of a couple guys that were already at the top I made it up.  This really was an obstacle where you needed the help of others, impossible to do on your own.  Especially once the ramp is all muddy.

Once I was up on the top I helped get the rest of the team up to the top along with Ian and Julia and Rob each taking turns helping me out.





(One of my favourite pictures)

Everyone on the team successfully got up and over Everest, from here the only thing left was Electro Shock Therapy.  this is the one that is the image you see of Tough Mudder everywhere.  A length of muddy track with hanging electric fence wire and you plow through as a team.  On Ian’s veteran suggestion we all linked arms so as to hold up anyone that took a few consecutive shocks and would have been on headed for a face first dive.


in the end it took us about 4:40 to finish the whole course and it was a blast the entire way along.  Everyone was all smiles at the end, sore, muddy smiles.  I would totally do this race again, and I think there was consensus that we totally should!  One of the best parts for me was that I got the chance to do the course with a few old friends and really strengthen those relationships, and I got to make some new pals too! Fantastic.


Best Team Ever

Hold Tight

I have a super awesome Tough Mudder post coming soon.  I just need the time to finish writing it and then add in some pictures.

This might tide you over.



Monday, September 23, 2013

Run Or Dye

Saturday I ran in Run or Dye in Kingston, Ontario.  The people who are reading this that know where I live are thinking, ‘Kingston?  you live in Bridgenorth dude!’ And you are right to think that.  I drove about 5 hours round trip to run in a race that was over in less than 30 minutes!



But it was fun and when I signed up for the race in early August I wasn’t even thinking about the driving distance.  Tara, that I met at Run For Your Lives was suggesting that we all do a colour run, but everything was at the pre-register stage. This run came up first and Sarah and I signed up for it.

We drove to Kingston through the POURING rain Saturday morning where we had to leave the house at the ungodly hour of 5:30am.  When we arrived at the event the rain had pretty much stopped, though we did luck out when we went inside to get our race kits because for about two minutes it poured again and people were coming into the building looking like they had just jumped in a lake!

Then the waiting for the race started, we lined up in the starting chute and they were letting about 50 people at a time go.  They had the guy on a mic pumping everybody up and music and the group was doing the wave and whatnot.  People were using their dye packs.  Everyone got a little packet of powdered dye and a white shirt to wear for the race and so there was clouds of dye everywhere.

Our wave came up and by that time I was pretty purple with splotches of green and orange. I stayed with Sarah as we ran up a pretty steep hill up into the base at Fort Henry.  And we stuck together for about 90% of the race. There was a couple walking breaks along the way, but overall Sarah did amazing.  Throughout the race course there was dye stations where people were waiting with handfuls of colour to get you.  Sarah took a face full of pink dye and looked ridiculous for the rest of the day!  There was only about one and a half or two kilometres to go when Sarah told me to go off without her.  I asked if she was sure and she said yeah, so I ran off and finished, then came back through the course to meet up with her and finish again with her.  There was no timing chips so it wasn’t a big deal.

I finished in about 25 minutes and Sarah was maybe 27-28 or so, really quite good considering that we did a bit of walking along the way.

I’m glad I went, but I think next year there will be more local races done and less driving!


Waiting to start



After the running


Sunday, September 15, 2013


At the start of the year I set a goal to travel 2000 kilometres combined by running and biking.  Yesterday I met that goal.  I have now gone 2005.7km since January 1st of 2013.

To some that is not much at all, like my dad for instance.  I think the last time I asked him about it he had gone over 16000km on his bike!  He does have the advantage of being retired though, and not splitting his time with running or working out.

Here is a breakdown of the whole experience:


So as you can see Sunday was my biggest day for both running and biking which surprised me a little bit to discover.  This 2000k includes my half marathon, the 5k Kms for Care race in which I came first in my age group, The O Course, and the Sydenham canoe, cycle, run triathlon that I did with my dad!  Still to come is Run or Dye and the Tough Mudder later this month!

I have gone 554km running and 1451km biking, I hope that I can at least get those to 600, and 1600 respectively and I don’t think that will be a problem.  Aiming for 2500 at this point might be foolish as I will soon have to pack in cycling and I don’t have the gym membership to ride a stationary bike now.  But I think that next year my goal should be 3000 at least!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Seven Days In A Row

As you may well be aware I have not been running quite as much or as long as would be considered typical throughout the summer.  This has come about due to a few different circumstances, heat and injury.

It hasn’t been ridiculously this year, thankfully, but it has been hot enough to put me off running a few days here and there and without the gym membership to make use of a treadmill I simply biked or worked out instead. 

The injury I sustained way back in May doing my half marathon has haunted me the whole summer through.  Mainly, I think, because I refuse to stop working at things for long enough at once to just let it heal up the whole way.

However the heat seems to have broken since the start of September and with that road block out of the way I made a point last week of really getting out to do some stuff. My lack of running was on my mind and so each day that it was not raining I was sure to get out running.

So here is how it all went down last week.

  • Monday – Ran 7k
  • Tuesday – Ran 5k
  • Wednesday – Full Body workout, ran 2k
  • Thursday – Ran 7k
  • Friday – Biked 20.6k
  • Saturday – Upper body workout, lead two 10 minute heavy duty warm ups at karate grading
  • Sunday – Biked 26.6k

Seven days of killin’ it in a row!  Typically I wouldn’t do quite that much without a rest day, but with the cooler weather I just felt like I could do anything!  It was so great!  The best part is though that during the whole thing, and even after my 7k run last night, my ankle is not hurting me at all.  Either that or I have simply adjusted to the pain and it doesn’t bother me.

I challenge you to seven days of awesomeness in a row, do it, then tell me all about it!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How To Pull Your Groin Muscles In 18 Minutes Or Less

I was about to head out on a bike ride on Sunday when what did I spy but a cycling club riding past my house up the hill.  I took this to be a direct challenge and I quickly finished getting my ipod hooked up and my helmet on, and my bike out of the garage and set off chasing them.

I was at least 30 seconds behind, probably more.  But the race was on!  I pedaled as hard as I could, at a pace I knew I could keep and flew up my road.  They were in sight when I rounded the corner, but they were pretty far off.  It was a group of about twelve cyclists I think and riding in a pack is much easier than riding on your own.  I had my work cut out for me if I was going to catch up.  So I gritted my teeth and went harder.

At the end of my road, 4.5k later, I was only about 20 seconds behind and I knew I could reel them in by then.  I think they upped their pace a little though knowing they were being chased by someone not in their club.

We crossed over the 8th line of Smith and were headed for Selwyn road.  I figured that we would be turning different directions at this point and so now I had a finish line.  There are two massive hills toward the end of this road and I figured that this would be where I could catch up if I had a chance of doing so.

I pounded my way up the first hill, the last of the group of cyclists were only a few meters ahead of me at this point, I crested the hill maybe 5 seconds behind them.  Coming down I cranked the bike into its highest gear and pushed, I was going nearly 60km/h!  On the next hill I passed two of the club and charging down the opposite side I caught up with the leaders of the pack.

They stopped at the stop sign to wait for their club mates and I whizzed by and turned left.  They went right.

It was awesome to reel in a whole group of cyclists that were taking turns at the lead so that they could draft behind one another and such.  They might not have been ‘racing’ me, but they had enough advantages that it didn’t matter.

It too me about 17 minutes and change to cover the 9k or so to catch them up.  Now, my groin muscles are killing me. 

It was totally worth it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Friend Making Monday–Getting To Know Each Other

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here and at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!


Getting To Know Each Other

1.  What is your favourite flower?

I don`t really have one, Daisies I guess

2.  What is a date on the calendar that you’re looking forward to? 

Sept 28th, the start of my hockey season.  I`m excited to get back on the ice!  And then the next day I run Tough Mudder!  That will be a great weekend!

3.  List at least five characteristics of your ideal mate. 

Funny, Smart, Adventurous, Driven and Caring.

4.  What is your favourite travel destination? 

Of the places I have gone I think I like Puerto Rico the best so far.  I could happily spend a long time there. (just not in the summer probably)

5.  What is your idea of the perfect date? 

Doing something we both enjoy.

6.  What is your relationship with your family like?

It`s good.  I see my parents fairly often either them here at my place or me at theirs.  My brother and I don`t hang out much though.  I would say I am better friends with my Brother-in-law than I am with my actual brother.  Probably has to do with the torture most siblings put each other through as kids.

7.  What time did you wake up this morning? 

6:09am  ick!

8.  What characteristic do you like most about yourself? 

I like that I am pretty driven to things, I don`t like that I am forgetful

9.  What is your favourite sport to watch? 

Hockey!  It`s pretty much the only sport I watch, and last year due to the strike I didn't watch much.  We’ll see if that changes this year.

10.  Share a few interesting things that you did over the weekend.

Well, let`s see.  I helped run a grading at karate, which was awesome, I love being a part of that type of thing when people achieve something that they will never forget.  I did a lot of drawing and watching videos on how to improve my inking skills.  I rode my bike 26k and in the process caught up to and passed a cycling club!  And I drew three pages for a comic book I am working on.


Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments.  Take a minute to say hello to someone new this week too!  Happy Monday!  Now, Where`s the COFFEE!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 1 At The Gym

004 - Gym Perception

Sometimes we make things more daunting than they actually are.  Me included.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More Art

So yesterday was Labour Day, and with that extra day off I did a few things.  The first thing I did was run 7k.  Due to injury and the heat running has sort of gotten away from me over the month of August, but this long weekend I took it back! Running 5k Friday evening and Saturday morning and then the aforementioned 7k yesterday morning.  It felt good to run that much and with the Tough Mudder coming up I need to be sure I can do the running.  As usual stretching is the key for me, and I have made a point of stretching after every workout!

The weather then turned really nasty and so I stayed inside and did some drawing.  As I mentioned the other day I have been watching a lot of videos and such and thought I would do one of my own.  So here it is:

Sunday, September 1, 2013


As you might have read I went to Fan Expo, while I was there I watched a few people create some art.  One of those people was Marcus To who drew me this amazing picture of The Flash.


(I scanned it, then printed it, and coloured in the print out)

Now I think I mentioned here that a while ago Amber and I went to a private art lesson and while it was interesting to be told some of those things that we learned that night for me it wasn’t anything ground breaking.  However since that night and even more so since Fan Expo I have been drawing a lot. 

Yesterday and today I have ended up watching a whole bunch of videos on youtube mainly with Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane and Todd Nauck as the stars and especially with McFarlane and Lee I learned so many tricks and ideas and methods.  Some of them I was aware of but didn’t really know how to put to use, or not use them correctly.  And then some of idea really taught me how to do something I didn’t know at all before, or I was really having trouble with.  Earlier today while watching some of those videos with Lee and McFarlane I made a point of having some paper handy and just sketching along, putting the ideas to use and really trying to cement things in my brain.  I’ll share those sketches and the lessons in a much shorter format below.



These are from when I was watching Jim Lee demonstrate. The first one is the top hand there that is a green lantern hand, and the middle Batman hand, the crux of that lesson was that hands are not squares, they are pentagons turned a bit, the top point of the pentagon is where the middle finger is.  For that flared out look you draw the pentagon shape, then the bulge for the thumb base, and then the pads of the fingers, lines to connect to the palm and then a few little shadows, done.  His basis for the hand in general though is that ‘everyone is holding a softball.  If you imagine that ball, draw the bits of the finger tips that you see and then the connections, it’ll work out.


This was a Todd McFarlane ‘how to draw feet’  He mentions in this video a previous video where he did hands and that fingers are basically peanuts, a peanut each for the first two bones and then 1/2 a peanut for the finger tip.  That way you get the knuckles.  He mentions this because toes are pretty much the same thing.  Most important to note when drawing feet from the end was that your ankle bones don’t line up perfectly.


There is a finger peanut hand here..  and then eyes.  Todd started with the left most eye in photoshop, very basic. Relax the eyelid, and give it weight, put highlights on the pupil and iris, then maybe a few creases around the eye to make it a bit more realistic.  If you are trying a bit stylized, you can draw the shape of a hat, and make than an eye.  To note was that you rarely see the entire iris, it’s usually cut off on the top at least, and be sure to add in the highlights if you are drawing at a detail level where you can see the pupil and iris.


Jim Lee had a video on drawing dynamic figures, he pretty much drew this Batman, with Joker getting punched in the foreground, I didn’t add that.  There was much more to the lesson, but one of his key points was to separate the centre of mass of the torso and the center of mass of the hips.20130825_215301

Like here, these centres of mass are stacked, and while the reaction of the villain helps to sell it, the pose up top indicates much more movement on Batman’s part.  There is good ‘movement’ on the Riddler here, but notice his torso, is far to the right of his hips.

action 2 and chest

Another Dynamic pose for the Flash, he’s moving super fast, and you can tell because of where his torso is compared to his hips.  (Lee didn’t draw Flash like this, I just did it while watching) Lee also noted the idea/rule of each action needs and equal and opposite reaction, so Flash’s right arm is way back, so his right foot is way forward to balance him out.  While this rule can be contradicted a bit from what I know of martial arts (in a step through punch the right arm and right foot come forward at the same time), it’s generally true.

On the bottom was from a demo with Todd and Greg Capullo, the current artist on Batman, and Todd was pointing out what he called the ‘Lazy W’.  It’s there in the chest, starting under the shoulder, forming the pecs and then going up around the other shoulder.  His point with this was that if you can draw that, you’ll know where to place lots of muscles as the should always stays ‘behind’ the W, even if the arms go straight up, pulling the chest to go nearly vertical.


Last was legs, this was Capullo and McFarlane again and here I learned that Todd is really big on drawing things connected as he goes, so here you can see the steps because I drew them all out.  starting with the knee cap, then the little bone under, then adding in the muscles on the legs, noting that the inside muscle is always lower then the outside one.  Then depending on where your light is you pic out the shadows to pull out and BooM – leg!

So yeah, other than a 35k bike ride and short workout this morning, this was most of my day today!  Yay FREE Art Lessons!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Comic Saturday #3

003 - mountain bike


I recently spent time at a friend’s trailer and took my mountain bike to ride while there.  Good Lord it was so different from riding the tour bike my dad has lent me!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Friend Making ‘Monday’ – Q & A

I’m a day late, but I thought I would join in anyways.


Questions and Answers

1.  What is a typical weekday like for you? 

I wake up at 6am, get ready for work and leave the house at 6:50.  Get to work to be open for 7, and set out a few invitations for the children, depending on what is for snack that day I’ll start that right away if it is baking, if not I’ll start snack at 8:30 or so.  Lunch at Noon, off work at 4.  Home to either workout, run, bike or crash depending on the day of the week.  Dinner, followed by a game with Amber and then TV and in bed by 10:30 if it all goes well.

2.  Name one song that never fails to make you happy and one song that you always listen to when you’re sad.

Ti-Cul by Les Cowboys Fringants usually makes me smile, it’s in french and I only understand a few words, but the music is great!  I don’t think I have a ‘usual’ sad song.  I’d say just instrumental music of some sort.

3.  Did you watch the VMA’s last night? 


4.  Share at least two talents that you possess.

I can draw pretty well, well enough to amaze kids at least.  And I can run pretty fast.

5.  Share one thing that you wish you had the confidence to do. 

Sing the Weird Al lyrics to a song at a karoke event!  It would be funny if people got the joke!

6. Tell us about one insecurity that people might be surprised that you have. 

I’m still a bit insecure about my tummy from time to time.

7.  If you could be the CEO of any company, which one would you choose to lead? 


8. List at least three hobbies that make you happy. 

Drawing, Working Out and Reading.

9.  Is there someone in your life that you wish you could say “I love you” to? 

I don’t need to wish for that, because I have Amber. :)

10.  Share one cool thing that happened over the weekend. 

If you read my last post you know I went to Fan Expo Canada, so that was awesome.  But what you don’t know is this!  i was talking to Tony Daniel, the guy that currently works on Detective Comics and he was there selling prints and doing commissions.  Two kids came up and marveled at his work, and told him the Nightwing he was currently drawing was cool.  He reached over grabbed two card size bits of paper, and sketched out a couple of Batman heads and gave them to the two boys (for a completed drawing of this size he was normally charging $20 I think).  It was pretty awesome of him and I told him so.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fan Expo Canada

So I sort of missed Comic Saturday #3 because I was away from the house from 6am-10pm yesterday.  I hauled myself all the way from Bridgenorth to Toronto to attend Fan Expo Canada.

It was the first time I had ever gone to an event like that and if I had to describe it in one word it would be “Overwhelming”!  It was just simply sensory overload for the first couple hours I was there until I was able to filter out enough noise to get a hold and focus on only one or two things at a time.

There were thousands of people milling about, some in elaborate costumes, some wearing nearly nothing, and a few just in plain clothes.  I opted for a minimal type of outfit, just my Superman Under Armour shirt under a dress shirt, you know, all Clark Kent-ish.

I wandered around the show floor for the first while just looking at all the art of various forms for a while trying to gauge what I wanted to buy and who I wanted to buy from.  I had scheduled out a few things I wanted to attend and my first thing was coming up, a panel where some of the writers and artists from DC were discussing what was coming up in their titles and what has them really excited about it all.

From there I went back to the floor and bought a few pieces of art.  The first thing I got was a print of Dead Pool for my friend Matt.  I found it much easier to buy something for someone else than for myself.  This indecision on my part was amplified by the fact that I wanted to spend some money on some original art, not just prints.  There were a lot of comic artists there with the pencil and ink pages from their current work, those interior pages cost anywhere from 80-600 dollars!  Covers for books ran as high as 3000!

I have just finished reading Flash Volume 2 and Marcus To was there still with room on his commissions list.  I hmmmed and hawed about it, I chatted with Marcus for a while while he drew a picture of Robin eating ice cream for someone.  I eventually threw down $100 and asked for a picture of the Flash.  I was excited about it.  I often go into Silver Snail (a comic shop) and think about spending that kind of money, but never do, I always walk away feeling mixed about it.  Not this time.  Marcus was awesome enough to finish the drawing by the time the floor closed that day too!

While Marcus worked on my picture and a couple others I toured the show floor again and played the Batman: Arkham Origins Demo that Warner Brothers had set up there.  It did not disappoint! The play is very much like Arkham City and it was cool to get the chance to play it ahead of the October release date.

I then went to another DC panel where the same group as earlier discussed how they got interested in comics and what their break was in getting into the business and their thoughts on what it takes to make it in the business.

After this I toured the show floor some more and got a few more prints that artists were selling.  Earlier in the day I picked up a couple of games, one DC comics card based game and Argricola, that Amber wanted.  I also got my Detective Comics #1 signed my Tony Daniel, the Artist.

Right at about 7 Marcus finished my drawing and I picked it up, we had the chance to chat a bit as he was working, I didn’t want him to feel like I was standing over him though so I would chat and then wander and then come back.  It was very cool to see him work though, I would have loved to just sit and watch the whole time.  It reminded me of when I used to watch my dad draw when I was a kid.

Here are a few select pictures, click on the album to see more!


The sun coming up as I left Bridgenorth


Some Robot Eyes for the car ride


My Clark Kent


Huge Lego Ship


After the Adventure Time Screening


Life sized LEGO Superman


Harley Quinn working at a games booth


Water Armour Link and Gandalf


Marcus and Flash!