Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Secret Is: I’m Always Sore

We had a grading last Saturday at karate, it is my job at a grading to run the warm up and put the boot s to everyone.  I created something on the spot that was only about 12 minutes long, but a lot of people were tired at the end, including myself.  I took part in the grading, as so along with all the students I did all the kicks, all the punches, all the jumping jacks, crunchies and double the pushups throughout.

Now if you have not seem The Avengers, first get out from under your rock, it’s a great movie in many ways. But there is a part where Bruce Banner (The Hulk) as been asked what his secret is to keep turning into the big green monster under control.  He’s coy for a while and then right as he big fight is about to the begin someone says to him “you better get angry” (or something like that).  He goes “You asked me what my secret is, the secret is: I’m always angry!`as he turns into the Hulk.

Later after the grading Mike said to me something like I guess you don`t really get sore at all anymore?’  At the time I answered ‘no, not really’  I was thinking about it later and told Amber about the conversation.  Really what I should have said is that ‘Actually, I’m always sore.’

It’s not that I am always in pain or anything, but just that I nearly always feel like my muscles are worked.  I could literally have a massage every day and feel like I was being torn apart (and love it).

At first I was sore like ‘Oooohhhhh  my muscles ache!’ and now I’m just a bit sore, but it’s a good sore.  It’s not a sore that prevents me from doing anything.  It’s just something you get used to.  I think that too many people get that initial soreness and then feel that it’s too much and stop, or stop working hard.  If you fight through that beginning it soon feels way better!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hungry For Change

This is going to be quick, but don’t mistake brevity for unimportance.

I am watching a documentary on Netflix called Hungry For Change.  Very eye opening, even for someone like me who is no longer losing weight.

It talks about the make up of modern food, how diets and especially fad diets are set up for failure right from the outset, how low fat or no fat diets are not the best (fat does NOT make you fat).  So many great things!

Watch it.


Like, right now!

Quotes and Notes:
Some of these are not news to a lot of people I think...

Eventually, if you add in all the good things(foods), the other choices simply become invalid.

Simple, whole foods are best to help you lose weight.

Plants with lots of chlorophyll are Really good for cleaning your system of toxins (parsley, cilantro and green veggies).

Sugar is your enemy, and it is in EVERYTHING under loads of different names.  If you are trying to lose weight, get away, as far as possible from processed foods.

"When you are upset - don't eat"  Don't try to fill a void that can never be filled with food.

Go to sleep! It metabolizes stress hormones.
Exercise!  Anything, lift weights, walk, something, it reduces stress and makes you feel good!
Stress is bad for you!

Visualization can be a huge part of your success, use it to talk to your subconscious.  How should you look?  Visualize it!  Talk to your subconscious, tell it what you want in your minds eye.  Look "through" a picture, let your mind absorb it, not your eyes.

Love yourself!  Tell yourself "I accept myself unconditionally, right now!" Everyday, twice a day, for 30 days. (or beyond)  It's science baby!

Three Simple Questions
Where does my food come from? (A farm or a lab?)
What goes into my food? (attitude, care, love compassion?)
What is this food for?  (Function or entertainment?)

Friend Making Monday–Q & A

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: 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!

Questions and Answers


1. Did you watch the Oscars? If so, who did you enjoy seeing most?

Nope.  Award shows do not interest me in the least.

2. Do you drink meal replacement shakes, smoothies, etc?  If so, what’s your favorite kind?

Nope. I did make a few of my own, like ice and fruit and milk and such, but nothing store bought.  I can’t remember if it was when I was losing weight or not though, I don’t think it was.

3. Share one thing you have done to help someone in the last week? 

I shovelled out the end of my neighbour’s driveway after the snowplough went by.

4. What is the tastiest thing you ate last week? 

Shawarma! We had a grading at karate and afterword I headed over to a local Persian place and got chicken shawarma, so great, I love the garlic sauce on it.

5. Think of one fun thing that you could do this week without spending any money to do it. 

I’m going to PD this week, that might be fun…  I’m going to karate this week, that’s always fun!

6. Share one place that you’ve been to and would like to visit again. 

Puerto Rico, and I am going back in two weeks!  I cannot wait to be in the Caribbean again!

7. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter? 

I think I prefer Facebook, but  I use twitter to get into different types of conversations with people

8. What is your favourite vegetable? 

I think my favourite veg is broccoli. It’s just good.

9. Share a goal that you have for the month of March.

One of my goals for the month of March is to actually run outside!  I hope the weather around here agrees with that idea.  I'm getting really bored with the treadmill, but out here in the country the roads are not really suitable for running on.

10. Share a quote that inspires you. 

I’m not sure I actually have one.  I did really like this ad during the Olympics thought, It’s pretty inspiring!

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

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chris Grew To Lvl. 11

So I went to the gym today, the day after I missed my hockey game because I had the wrong time in my brain and I didn’t get the email about the change.  I decided, since my legs were fresh I would be a good day to take another crack at The Beep Test.

Last time I only made it to level 9, and when I walked out of the gym that time I told JT that I would be at level 11 next time.  I made good on my word.  I was pretty gassed at the end, but I couldn’t do any more.  A score of 11, if I am remembering right, scores me perfect if I was in the police foundations course at college.

After that it was on to squat day.  I of course was not content to use the same weight as I had the time before.  I only added ten pounds, so still only a weight of 145 pounds, but I was about to do a LOT of squats.

By the time I was done it was 418 squats.  Gah, I pretty much collapsed at the end of those 16 minutes!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Body Image

I don’t talk about ‘looks’ much here.  Fitness to me is not about being skinny or presentable.  Being ‘thin’ is just a happy by-product of being fit for me.  I don’t work out to stay ‘thin’ I work out to stay fit.  And I think that is an important distinction to make.  I also think it’s an important difference when I tell Amber that I would like it if she was fit.

I’m sure you are aware that saying to you wife ‘hey you should be more fit’ is just asking for the silent treatment or the Loraine Bobbit  treatment.  Amber posted a couple of pictures on her blog yesterday about the body type she is going for with her getting fit.

tara lynn

sara ramirez

My response to her after seeing those pictures was that ‘I would not throw either of them out of bed for eating crackers!’

Are they super skinny? No  My thought that followed it up was that I am not hoping for Amber to be a size 7 or something I am hoping that if our kid is heading towards the road, that Amber can run the whole way down and snatch them off the sidewalk before they become street pizza.  I’m about health and activity, not about a clothing size.

That in mind I was reading She’s Losing It, by Lisa and she had a post about BMI.  If you are unaware, BMI is just a very simplified way to find out if you are in an underweight, normal, overweight or obese state.  It loses it’s meaning if you are someone that is athletic or a body builder because it’s simply taking in the factors of height, age and weight and spitting out a normalized result.

For instance my BMI hovers around 24 now, gaining or losing 0.1 Kg shifts the BMI number by 0.03.  A BMI of more than 24.99 is classified as overweight.  So according to my BMI I am very close to being overweight.  I was actually my ideal BMI of 22 only for a single day back in 2010.

Body fat percentage is a more useful number, but you need good equipment to measure it!  The scale they have at the gym, Jodi told me, costs about $1000 dollars.  You can get a scale from Wal*mart too for about $50.  We did.  It was awful.  So at the gym I have about 8.4% and I have been between 7-100% for the last few years now.

The issue with weight, or BMI or Body Fat Percentage is that it is still a number.  You and I can strive for a long time for a number to make us happy.  I’ll tell you something.  I think it’s a lie.  The numbers are a good indicator of us being in the right area, or heading in the right direction.  We can stress about them all we like. In the end a number will never make us happy and neither will trying to look like someone else exactly.  We have to be happy with ourselves.

And here is why.  I was going to put another reply on Lisa’s BMI post, and I decided to write this whole thing instead.  I think we can all agree that I am fit.  I’m not going to win Mr. Universe, I’m not going to outrun Usain Bolt, but I am fit.  I like my body, Amber might claim I pose a bit too much (not even in front of a mirror, just get up from the couch and pose all super hero like).  My BMI is good, my Body Fat Percentage is great, BUT I lost my weight pretty quick, and either as a result of that, or just that I was a fat guy for more than 10 years or so I have a bit of lose skin on my belly.  I have to hide it a bit.


Not a problem here…


Or Here…


But You can see it here.

Am I still happy with my body?  99% of the time yes.  If I knew for sure that losing weight slower would have saved me from having it I would have done so.  But it’s alright.  Why?  Because I am happy with what I can do.  My body image is not based on a number, or an ideal or judgement of others even if it was a competition.  I’m happy with my body because I have worked it to a point where if things need to get done, I can do them.  To me, that is what is important,  What’s important to you?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Achievement Unlocked: Speed Demon

Yesterday I went tot he gym before I was supposed to go to Professional Development.  I had just done all three of my new program days during the long weekend and so I figured that I would focus on cardio.  Plan A was to run the beep test, and then bike.  Plan B was to do sprints and then bike and then do more sprints, and plan C was just plain old run and bike. 

I ended up going with Plan B.  I got on a treadmill and set it to 11mph and did 30 seconds on 20 seconds off sprinting.  By the time I had done ten 30 second sprints I felt like 11 was not fast enough and bumped it up to 12mph.  During my 11th sprint the treadmill crapped out and started to slow down on me.  Ugh.

So I got off of there and biked for 5k.  For me this is a good way to keep the cardio going while my heart rate drops back down a little bit.  Since there were lots of people at the gym I figured that I shouldn’t test my luck and just run a straight 5k on the treadmill instead of sprints again.

I got on the machine and set it to go at 9mph.   I trucked along there for a bit and figured that I would be close to being under 20 minutes at that pace but I might just have to punch it up a few notches.  So after about 2k I went to 9.2mph and then a little later 9.5 and for the last 400 meters I was going to run at 10mph.  I had less than half a lap to go when the machine outright died on me.  All the lights off again.


So I quickly remembered to stop my stopwatch, cleaned off that treadmill, got on another, let it spin up to 10mph and then finished the 5k.  I did get a bit of a break, but considering I was less than 30 seconds away from the finish, I have no doubts that I would have done so at that pace just fine.  I probably lost a few seconds actually due to the whole treadmill dying fiasco.  And so, for the second time, I finished 5k in less than 20 minutes.


Pretty Sweet!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Most Inspirational

So one of my new readers, Tanvee, nominated me for The Most Inspirational Blogger Award.  I’m a bit shocked by this really.  I have been doing this for a little while now and recently I don’t think I have been that inspirational, more factual.  But I appreciate the award and am honoured to receive it.

So, as you can see I have posted the badge there on the right and so now I am supposed to give you all seven facts and then list off 15 other blogs!  Here I am going to deviate from the award rules.  If someone is going to be really inspirational to me I don’t think I can lump them in with 15 other blogs.  I’m going to pick just two or three.

So I present you with: Seven more random facts about me!

  1. My dad read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings to me before I was even nine years old.
  2. I have graduated from college twice, once in 2002 for Computer Support Technician and then in 2011 for Early Childhood Education.
  3. I have had three big screen HDTVs, two of them malfunctioned, both LGs and I had them replaced.
  4. I used to think it was ridiculous to spend $150 or more on running shoes, I have since bought three pairs!
  5. My first visit to the gym in March of 2010, I did about an hour on the elliptical as my wife and her friend did a fitness class.
  6. I didn’t go on a date until my final year of high school.
  7. I want speeches or stories at my funeral pre-approved by whoever is running the event.  Funny stories, or actually interesting stories only. No rambling on and on.

I’m only going to nominate three people now.  I have been mulling this over the whole time I was writing my facts, which is almost 40 minutes – sometimes it take me a long to to think up random facts.

I’m going to nominate Marion at Affection For Fitness – she says some pretty cool things over on her blog and pulls no punches.  I like her style!

The other blog is Onederland or Bust by Bailey.  I think she does some really good things and you can hear the effort in her voice when I read posts by her about where she is trying to go.

The Final one is Learning To Love The Gym.  Amber is my wife, for those that don’t know, and she has a very interesting project going on at the moment and I think that when she succeeds at it, the inspirational value of her blog will be through the roof!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oh God, My Legs!!

So yesterday i did my third and final new program that Jodi gave me.  It was a holiday here in Ontario and what better way to put it to use than to go to the gym while all the college kids have gone home and won’t be using the equipment that I want.

The final day is all squats.  Well a warm up and then squats.  So I did the warm up and then got set up on the rack.  The fist thing to do it the squat warm up where I was basically gauging the weight I wanted to use for this whole endeavour.  I settled on just 135 pounds.  I’m trying to build up back strength, not lift improperly and cripple myself.

So, the routine for the day (and part of why I chose a bit of a lighter weight) was to do as many reps as possible in one minute, with a break in between, for three rounds of Front Squats, Regular Squats and Air Squats.  Front squats you hold the bar on like your shoulders and collar bone.  Thankfully my shoulders are big enough to keep most of the weight off my actual collar.  Round one went well, when I started round two I did my front squat set, but the bar had rolled down my arms a bit so that I was supporting it more on my upper arm than my shoulder.  the problem with that is I was gassed and couldn’t lift the bar back up on the hooks.  I struggled with it for a bit, luckily I had the safety bars on and I was able to set it on there!

I finished my sets and then, since it had only been about 35 minutes I hopped on the bike and rode for 10k.


All in all I did 394 squats in 16 minutes!  Not too bad for my first go at it I would say!

Friend Making Monday–Blogger To Blogger

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: 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!


Blogger to Blogger


1.  Does your blog have one overwhelming theme?

I’d say the majority of my posts are about fitness, or how to be motivated to do fitnessy stuff, or what I have learned along the way.  A few random things get in there too.

2. How did you come up with the theme(s) for your blog? Was it intentional?

Yeah it was intentional.  I wanted a place where I could just spout off on my thoughts and I thought a few other folks might find that interesting.

3.  Share something cool that has happened in your life as a result of blogging.

I have been interviewed by two websites, FitFluential and My Rebody.  Also one of Amber and my friends who reads the blog called up the local paper after I did Run For Your Lives and I was interviewed by the paper.  All that was pretty awesome!

4. How much time to do spend reading blogs everyday?

Depends on the day.  Like here on Friend Making Monday I’ll probably spend at least an hour popping around to different blogs.  Most other days I just read ones with new posts that I follow, so maybe half hour or so.

5.  Do you blog on the weekends?

Yes, yes I do.  Some of my better posts are weekend posts.  Weekends are when I do most of my interesting stuff anyways.

6.  Do you keep track of your stats?  Do they matter to you?

I keep track of stats for way too many things!  Blog stats for sure, my stats for hockey, my stats for running and biking, everything.  Do they matter?  Some do things more than others of course, I mainly just like to see where I am at.

7. How do you decide how much to share about your personal life?

If it makes for a good or at least interesting story or insight, I’ll share it.  I have had a few things up here that I thought might get me in trouble with people I know or at work.  But I generally have a positive spin on stuff so it has all worked out so far.

8. Do you aspire to be a writer, or did blogging happen for some other reason?

I like writing, but I couldn’t be a writer.  A book by me would be too short.  For instance:

How to lose weight, by Chris Barnes.

Chapter One

Eat less.

Chapter Two

Do More.

The End

9. As a blogger, do you think it’s more important to write for yourself, or for your readers?

I think I write from myself to my readers.  Like we are all friends at a party or something and I am telling a story.  Hey guess what I did today, or learned the other night?!  Sometimes that story is good and people respond and it starts conversation.  And then I go read their blog to see what they have to say at this party and it all just keeps going.  If I only wrote for myself I don’t think this space would be nearly as entertaining.

10.  What kind of plans do you have for the future of your blog?

Oh, you know, like words and stuff, posts.  I would like it if it could be integrated more into social media, like here I talk and talk and talk, and it reflects quite a bit of my personality, but say facebook has more pictures of stuff and little one liner comments that people might enjoy, it offers a greater chance for more interaction.  That I think is what I like most about this, interaction.


Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions.  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments.  Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Day Two Of Crossfit

I went to the gym today, big surprize.  And on the menu was the bench pressing day.  First there was the warm up, same as yesterday, and then finding out my one rep max for bench press.  I decided, since I hate asking for a spotter, that I would do the bench press on the rack, that way I could put the safety bars at a spot where I would not get crushed when I got to the point where I could no longer lift.  I was supposed to do a bunch of sets as I worked my way up to my maximum.  Today I managed 225 as my most and failed twice at 235.

After that it was a challenge to do maximums of bench press with 70% of what my max was, and pull ups.  So bench pressing 165 pounds, after five rounds I did 64 presses and 47 pull ups.  It was pretty hard.

After that it was on to back extensions to try to help out my lower back and then I ran 5k and then biked 5k on the spin bike.


Not too shabby I must say really.  I have now travelled over 284 kilometres and done 14000 push ups since January 1st!  Nice!

Also, here is yesterday’s workout sheet, I meant to put it up but forgot.


What A Great Day

Yesterday was awesome!  It started out with a trip to the gym where I was ecstatic to go and use the new programs that Jodi had invented for me.  After perusing how busy the gym was at 8am on a Saturday I decided to do one of the programs where I needed the rack.  Let’s try out this Bear Complex thing for myself.

There is a bit of a warm up built into the program, so I did that. After the little mini run I did on this program Thursday night I put only 30 pounds on the bar for a total weight of 75 pounds.  Not a lot of weight, but on Thursday I could not get it done with 95 pounds to do four reps in one minute.  I think the 75 pounds was a little light though because I was doing the reps in about 25 seconds.

Bear Complex

From there is was on to ten minutes of Pull ups and Thrusters. One minute to do 10 Pull ups, wait until that minute is up, and then a whole minute to do six Thrusters, then wait and repeat this process five times.  I kept the weight on the bar the same as the Bear Complex, but I probably should have had the bar at 95 instead.


The final part of this workout is Dips and the Overhead squats.  Dips I find very difficult due to my old shoulder injury, I simply cannot go to a 90 degree bend on the elbow and then push back up, it is too painful.  So I go as far as I reasonably can.  Ten dips, wait for the minute to run out.  Then it’s on to Overhead squats.  I thought I should up the weight on the bar since it’s a squat exercise so the bar was at 95 pounds.  I get the bar fully extended over my head, elbows locked shoulders shrugged up and do six squats.

Overhead Squats

Since the bar is slightly behind my head I don’t think my shoulder completely agrees with this exercise either, but I’m hoping it will help to strengthen it up a bit.

The afternoon was spent helping out and supporting a friend at a service for her dad that recently passed away.  It was pretty nice and she did very well speaking while I ran the slide show we put together the night before.

Then it was on to hockey!

The first game I played net, I was not awful, I was not great.  I got lit up on a couple of breakaways, but then I made a few good saves too through screens and one really nice glove save.  The real highlight was the next game.  I was playing with my usual line mates, Jeff and Mark.  the first goal for our line I started with a pass across the rink, that Mark had once chance, got his own rebound and put it in.  Our line’s second goal was a nice back and forth by Jeff and I.  He passed it to me on the left side of the rink, I carried the puck up over the opposing blue line, dished it back to him and he rifled it to the top corner of the net. Our third goal was mine.  I don’t know who passed it to me but I took the puck on the right side of the ice near the opposing blue line, nodded my head left, but deked right around the defender, cut back a bit toward the middle of the ice and fired for the far side of the net. Goal.

What a great day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fitness Assessment And Crossfit

Yesterday I did another fitness assessment.  As far as I think it came with mixed results.  I was really expecting to see some gains in muscle size what with all the heavy lifting I have been doing recently.  I was also expecting to see similar skin fold measurements to the last time as I have been doing a fair bit of running recently.  Mainly though I was looking for the percentage of body fat to go down.

My Body fat percentage was the only success on that list.  Today I was at 8.4%, down 0.7% from last time.  I consider that a success.  9.1% was not bad, but down in the 8’s is better.

Untitled-chart 1

What I was most shocked about was the skin folds.  I was very surprized to see that the iliac crest and subscapular had jumped up so high.  I’m not sure what to make of this really.  I thought I was working all those bits and I have felt like I can see more definition in my body.  I suppose some of these millimetres could just be due to the pinch itself, but still.

chart 2

I did find this a little perplexing.  I can lift WAY more than I used to, for instance back in November my maximum bench press was 165 and now my maximum was 235.  Or Bicep curls previously my max was 27.5 and last Saturday I did 50s.  So I was a bit shocked to see that nearly all my muscles measurements were down, only my chest is noticeably bigger by measurement.

So I’m happy about the body fat, not so happy about the skin folds and a bit confused about the muscles.

The other thing we did was that Jodi showed me a three new programs for the gym, based on crossfit. I’m pretty pumped about it.  They are “quick” hard workouts!  I did a bit of a mini run on one of the programs yesterday that included the ‘bear complex’.  When I heard that name I accused her of making it up just to mess with me.  It looks like this:


I’ll outline that full workouts as I do them and try to get some videos up of me doing a few of these things.  For yesterdays mini workout I tried the bear complex with 95 pounds to start, sadly it was a bit much for doing 4 reps every minute for ten minutes!  We shall see how it goes once I’m really in gear to go full bore.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sometimes You Just Need To Run

Today at work I was so not feeling it.  After the disaster that was Monday February 11th, my day was not going badly, but I had just had enough.  So I called in a supply and got the OK from my supervisor and took a ‘mental health’ (half) day.

I didn’t have a plan for what I was going to do for the afternoon beyond not work.  I came home, my car slid down my driveway, again.  I got my car unstuck, again. I had lunch and watched Duck Dynasty.  I “fixed” my bumper with some hockey tape and then I got my gear and went to the gym.

Running and Biking, that would solve what ails me.  I got on the spin bike and biked 5K, then I got on the treadmill and ran 5k more.  Right at the end of that run Jodi was passing by.  We chatted a bit.  Her schedule is crazy with clients and training the volleyball team at Fleming and doing the workouts for the Police foundations program as well. I said I took the afternoon off work and just had to come do something. “Sometimes you just need to go for a run eh?” She said, I agreed.  She apparently has some crossfit type of program in mind for me when we meet on Thursday, I’m really pumped for that.  I went and biked another 5K after that little chat.

I came home and dropped my car off to be estimated for actually being fixed, and Amber brought me home, seemingly ditching her plan to go to the gym.  I told her she was being ridiculous that two minutes earlier when she picked me up she was going to go to the gym, but now that I had already been to the gym she wasn’t going to go.  So I said I would go again and go to the YMCA with her so that we were both going in again and not just her.  Eventually she realized that it was silly to just change her mind like that and we went to the Y.

I ran beside her and offered a few thoughts on her use of the treadmill.  She would like to run faster, but also for a longer amount of time at once.  I suggested that to increase her speed she needs to do some sprints, and to increase her actual running time that she just needs to push for longer times and at first do those two things in different workout days.  She ended up with a new best time for her 3K run, 26:20!  Nice!  I ran another 5K while beside her.  I was running a bit slower than I had been earlier in the day so that I could still be talking to her as we ran.

Then it was home for pancakes!  It is shrove Tuesday after all.  Yum!  Taking the afternoon of was probably my best decision of the year to that point.  And going to the gym twice just so Amber would go was the best one of the day.


A few months ago I was asked to be interviewed and have an article on a couple of websites.  Fitfluential was one of them (

A few times a week FitFluential hosts like a Q&A on twitter and I finally last night got to be a part of the whole thing just by chance of when I checked twitter.  I’m not a huge twitter user, in fact most of my twitter posts are just from here, updating when I have a new post to my blog.  I should get better at using it.

It was pretty cool though.  There is a theme to the Q&A and some other place usual co-hosts and gives stuff away.  If you are a big twitter user, you should check them out @FitFluential.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Friend Making Monday–Personal Quirks And Habits

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: 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!

Personal Quirks and Habits

1. Share one unique character trait that sets you apart from your friends.

At work this trait would be: being male.  Overall though: funniness

2. List at least two pet peeves that always aggravate you.

When Amber leaves tea bags in her mugs, people using the machines I want at the gym

3. Is there a word or phrase that you say so regularly that people expect to hear it from you?

Um, I’m not sure if I have a catchphrase or not, the kids at work would probably say “Boogers” or '”I brought something for you… Messy hair!”

4. Are you a risk taker, or do you typically play it safe?

I’d say half and half, sometimes I do risky things, other times take the safe road, depends on what’s at stake.

5. Describe your life as it was in high school. Are you the same person? Have you changed?

My life in high school was great I thought. I hung out with friends, played cards or football at lunch, got good marks.  I didn’t do much going out.  I’m pretty much the same guy, just fitter, and wiser.

6. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done that you’re glad you did?

I don’t think that anything I have done is too crazy really.  People told me I was crazy for doing the Warrior Dash, but that was awesome.

7. Do you ever talk to yourself? If so, share an example.

Oh all the time.  I talk things out pretty much anytime I am alone.  I talk in the shower, I talk in the car, I talk when Amber is not around.  Just instead of having that in your head dialogue I speak it out loud.  Like what am I going to do today, “I’m going to go to work, do push ups, go to the chiropractor…” or “man that was an awesome game, finally I have more goals than I did last year” on the way home from hockey.

8. Share something you did that unexpectedly helped shape your life.

I got laid off.  It sort of happened to me as opposed to something I went and did, but it gave me new friends and a new career, and I got to keep my old friends too!  Totally life changing, and awesome too.

9. Do you follow a strict routine, or are you a free spirit? Are you somewhere in between?

Somewhere in between, I like having a pattern rather than a routine to follow.  Like what do I do on certain days instead of having each day carefully planned out.

10. Share something about yourself that you hope will inspire others.

Three years ago almost now I decided to make a lifestyle change.  It was not half measures, or something I was going to try.  I made a change, and stuck to it!  The result is that I went from 230 pounds down to a skinny and weak 149, and now to a healthy and strong 166.  I’ve been about this new 166 weight for almost two years.  It’s the best thing I ever did for myself, EVER.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I Like To Move It!

Since standing around makes my back hurt I went to the gym with an insane program of almost my own design today.  So insane that part way through I was forced to dial it back a little!


I wrote it out before I left the house.  As you can see I know my arm day routine without even looking it up, a sure sign it needs a change up.  Originally I added in five 2k runs and ten sets of 50 pushups!  For some odd reason I figured a 10k run would only take 35 minutes, oops.

Once I got to the gym I added in the box jumps and long jumps as a way to warm up my body before doing the bench press.  Ashley saw me there doing the long jump thing I suppose.  She might think I’m crazy, I’m sure most folks at the gym do.

The good part about breaking up the run was that I could run at a higher than usual speed for the distance I planned on going and it kept my heart rate up for the whole time I was at the gym.  The bad part was that as I just explained earlier today, I had played 2 hours of hockey the night before and my legs were not as into the whole thing as I was.

You can see that I scratched off a couple things, and then ended up doing them anyways.  That was the ‘we are going to be here forever’ side of me and the ‘a 1k run only takes four minutes, suck it up’ side of me arguing.  I did have to switch to 1k runs instead of 2k runs in the later stages though, my legs did not want to go that far today.

You can also see that I guessed I would be at the gym for only about 70 minutes.  I was more like 110 minutes on the floor, that did include a bit of a chat with Ashley though, so like 108 minutes of work!

I also made a new playlist on my ipod for working out today.  It looks like this:

It’s a bit all over the place!  But I think that was the point when I made it this morning.

Standing Still Makes My Back Hurt

It seems like ages ago now that I used to be in excruciating pain every Sunday.  I would hobble around, hardly able to bend or even walk.  Playing hockey would kill my back.  It would hurt during the game, it would hurt after the game and it would be super stiff the next day.

Last night I played two games.  Our team only had two spares, one guy for the defense to switch off with and one guy for the forwards to switch off with.  This meant that out of 60 minutes I was on the ice for probably 50-55 minutes.  I only came off 4 or 5 times I think.  In our game I scored 1 goal and notched 4 assists.  Not too shabby!  In the second game I didn’t score, but there was lots of skating to be done anyways.

The interesting thing is that it was during those two hours of hockey that my back felt best for the whole day!  Earlier in the day we had a black belt pre-grading at the club.  Two ‘kids’ (both about 15-17 or something) are getting close and it was a time for us to knit pick what they are doing and explain some things very bluntly to them.  It really was great and a huge learning opportunity for all involved.

The problem for me was that I was standing, and wandering around the room, and watching.  We started at 10:30 and finished at about 1:30 and by noon I was starting to feel my back tighten up.  Bare feet and a soft-ish floor are not agreeable for me for long amounts of time (I had already been at karate since 9am).  When about 1pm came around I was glad we were going to do randori (an exercise where one person stands in the middle of a circle and the people on the outside attack.  It’s the one persons job to defend and strike and/or throw down the people that attack) because it meant I wasn’t just watching anymore.  I could get in on the action and maybe loosen me up a bit.

I meet with Jodi on Thursday to do measurements and stuff and I know now what I want to work on.  Lower back strength and flexibility.  I hate feeling like this.  But I know the solution, work!

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Wife Made Me Go To The Gym

Yes folks that actually happened.  Not in the ‘I don’t wanna go’ dragging my heels kind of way, but indeed she was the one that suggested going to the gym yesterday!  I had planned to just stay home and do nothing since I was there the night before (Wednesday) and on Monday night.

It seems to me that she may be flipping the switch here, and I think it’s fantastic!

So What do I do when I go to the gym when I really had no desire to go?  Why, try to run my fastest 5k since the summer of course.  I did a few push ups and some ab work and then set the treadmill for 9mph and hopped on.  A pace of 9mph gets you finished 5k in just over 21 minutes, pretty quick really.  And actually I was doing quite fine at that speed if my right ankle would have just been quiet and got with the program the rest of me was on.  But play through the pain, it builds character.

I didn’t want to be over 21 minutes, so with a lap and a half to go I sped up to 9.2, then with one lap to go 9.5 and with half a lap to go 10mph.  I was trucking along just fine, 0.1 miles to go (5k is about 3.14 miles) and… lights out.  The treadmill completely shut off.  Not just started to slow down as it has done to me so many times before, but totally shut off.  The belt stopped in less than two strides, so I nearly slammed myself into the console.  Ugh.  Why can these treadmills not keep up with me?  I moved to another machine and completed my run. 20:50 for 5k, pretty good.

From there I hopped on one of the spin bikes and did another 5k.  Well according to the bikes console it was 5 miles, but I did it in just under 15 minutes and really, that’s totally unlikely.  I’m annoyed that these spin bikes are not accurate.  Amber is experiencing the same things with them over at the Y and I just tell her to pick a machine or two that you use consistently so you can compare apples to apples.  A best time on one machine and a worst time on a different one a day later can totally be the fault of the machine itself and nothing to do with you.  Treadmills, when they work, seem to be immune from this wild variation, but ellipticals and bikes are all over the place.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Liebster Award

Bailey over at Onederland Or Bust nominated me for an award!  And so to honour that nomination I am doing as the award requires and posting some things.


Here is how the award works:

Here’s how it works-the rules:
Each blogger posts 11 random facts about themselves.
Answer the questions the tagger has set for you
Choose 11 new bloggers to pass the award to/nominate
Come up with 11 new questions to ask your nominees
Go to their page and tell them about the award.
No tag backs!

And now, my things for the award:

11 Random Facts

  1. I have 5 Batman logo shirts, all different, 2 Green Lantern shirts, 2 Superman shirts and one Flash shirt
  2. My workout and running shorts are actually swim shorts from Old Navy
  3. My boisterous persona actually helps cover the fact I am quite shy
  4. I have two college diplomas (Computer Support and Early Childhood Educator)
  5. My middle name is the same as my brother’s and my dad’s
  6. I couldn’t skate until I was 14, and couldn’t skate well until I was nearly 20
  7. Typically I enjoy animated Superhero movies over live action ones (Like Batman: Under the Red Hood over The Dark Knight Rises)
  8. I have many friends that work in the entertainment industry either as animators, musicians or artists
  9. I don’t use shaving cream or anything to shave my face, just water and a razor
  10. While growing up my dad built two of the three houses I actually remember living in, both log homes
  11. I prefer cats over dogs.


Bailey’s questions for her nominees:

1. Why do you blog?

I blog simply to have a space for my ramblings, I hope that some of them are helpful or informative or funny.

2. What’s your favourite song right now?

Either Into The Sun by Infrared Ridinghood

Or Docks by Roboteyes

3. What’s your dream vacation?

I think that a cruise is my dream vacation,I’ve been on two and heading out for a third in March, fun and relaxing!

4. What’s your favourite healthy snack?

The healthy part is portion control, but tortilla chips and salsa!

5. Where will you be 5 years from today?

Probably about where I am now, in this house, working with great people at Shamrock, running races and hopefully a dad.

6. Where were you 5 years ago today?

Five years ago I lived in a little starter home and worked for Computer Installations Plus.  I was about 70 pounds overweight, a brown belt at karate, and at the time pretty content with all of it.

7. Where did your blog name come from?

It came from the Legend Of Zelda and the Triforce in the game.  Seen on the banner and there on the left each triangle represents one of those things. Wisdom and Courage form the base with power on top.  Without wisdom and courage, power falls.  All must be in balance.

8. What’s your favourite activity?

Karate.  I don’t get there as much as I used to simply because I am spent at the end of a work day, but I love it, and the friends I have made there.

9. If you could move anywhere where would it be?

I’m actually quite content right where I am. Anywhere would probably be a house I designed myself with some sort of pond in the yard so I could have a rink all winter with relatively little work.

10. Do you have any pets?

I have two cats.  Grayson and Talia.  They are very nice.  Grayson sort of snorts, pretty often, it’s pretty funny.  Talia has decided that she wants to be able to go everywhere in the house which makes for some interesting situations.

11. What do you hope to accomplish this year?

I’m going to complete the Tough Mudder with a group of friends, some of which I have not even met yet!  To place top 3 in a regular running race to go over 2000 kilometres on bike and running combined and do at least 50,000 pushups!


My questions for the people I nominate

  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. What motivates you to get things done?
  3. What stops you from achieving your goals?
  4. Batman or Superman (Human physical and mental greatness or Alien god-like powers)?
  5. Do you have pets?
  6. If you could travel anywhere for relaxation or excitement where and what would it be?
  7. What is your favourite movie and why?
  8. Would you use a time machine to alter your past? Knowing that any changes made could completely change your life/knowledge/personality now?
  9. What’s your all time favourite band?
  10. What makes a good friend?
  11. Why do you blog?


My Award Nominees


I would add a few more, but the rules say 11.

The Mighty Chris, Slayer Of Treadmills

In the past two visits to the gym I have killed five treadmills.  They don’t like to go fast I guess.  See I have been doing sprints and so what I do is crank up the speed to 12mph, wait for the belt to get going, and then hop on and run!  The treadmill, if it is weak, will not even make it through that first 30 seconds.  About 15 seconds in the speed will start to drop and I am there, bewildered and somewhat frustrated.

It must look pretty weird to others at the gym.  They see a guy get on, wait for the speed to up, run like mad for a few seconds, shrug his shoulders at the machine, and then go to a different one, sometimes repeating the whole process before moving on to a third machine.

Thankfully I have been able to find a machine that can keep up with me each time so far, eventually.  I like running sprints, they are hard, but satisfying.  Yesterday I ran 30 seconds on, 25 seconds off.  It wasn’t until the last couple of sprints in each set of ten that I really needed the break to be that long either, next time I am hoping that a 20 second break is long enough.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Friend Making Monday–Five Things

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: 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!


Five Things


1. Share five things you hope to do before you die.

  1. Own an awesome car
  2. Design/build my own house
  3. Win a race
  4. See more of Canada
  5. The the boss of somebody at work


2. List five things you love about yourself.

  1. My colour changing eyes
  2. That I’m fit
  3. My varied skills
  4. My voice I guess
  5. Ummmm… my smarts


3. Share the five coolest things that you’ve done in 2013.

  1. Started learning to draw better
  2. Sledding with the kids at daycare
  3. Benched 235 pounds
  4. Done over 10,000 pushups so far
  5. Got an Album that my Friends released (check it out, they played this on the radio)



4. List five things that you always have in your kitchen.

  1. Water in the cooler
  2. A super sharp knife
  3. Pasta
  4. Fridge
  5. Stove


5. Share five places you would like to go on vacation.

  1. British Columbia, Canada
  2. Japan
  3. East Coast of Canada, like PEI or Nova Scotia
  4. Jamaica
  5. Europe


6. List five celebrities/public figures you’d like to meet.

  1. Harrison Ford
  2. Robert Downey Jr.
  3. The Current Prime Minister (like whoever that would be when the chance arrives)
  4. Someone named Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, Hal Jordan etc…
  5. Bruce Timm


7. List five bands or artists you’d like to see perform live.

  1. Roboteyes
  2. Daft Punk
  3. Queens of the Stone Age
  4. Barenaked Ladies (again)
  5. Weird Al (again)


8. List five TV shows that you don’t want to miss.

  1. Mythbusters
  2. Duck Dynasty
  3. Young Justice
  4. Community
  5. Big Bang Theory


9. Share five things you wanted to do as a child.

  1. To be a Ghostbuster
  2. To be a Ninja Turtle
  3. To be Batman
  4. Have a fun job when I grow up
  5. To have my own AT-AT Walker (The big ones from Empire Strikes Back)


10.  Share five things you hope to do in 2013.

  1. Place top 3 in a regular running race
  2. Eat local food on our cruise
  3. Meet my Tough Mudder team before the end of February
  4. Score more goals at hockey than I did last year
  5. Become a dad


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

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Let’s Do This!

So I was at the gym over the weekend, as usual.  I took my phone on the floor with me, not as usual.  Ashley saw me with my phone, and scolded me, I said I wasn’t at work and she wasn’t the boss of me at the gym.  We laughed. Ha ha.

So here are a few of the things for that men’s health thing I posted about. just to show what the exercises were for a couple.  The push ups and the squat, curl, press things were both the second sets of those exercises.  The final bit is burpee pullups.  Jodi invented them because she hates me I think.  You are seeing the third and final set of 15 each.

Workin’ Out

After the poor performance on the beep test yesterday I decided to put an end to that and did sprints on the treadmill today. 12 mph, 30 second on, 30 seconds off.  I did ten, then biked for 20 minutes, then did another set of 10 sprints,then biked for another 10 minutes.  In all I ran 3k in those 10 minutes of actual running.  Pretty fast.  My intent is to lower the rest time by 5 seconds per interval each week.  like next week 30 on 25 off, then the week after 30 on 20 off, until I am running the five minutes straight.  Then either shoot for a longer time, or up the speed and go back to intervals.  I intend to redo the beep test in say 6 weeks, just before our cruise, and get that level 12!

Snapshot 2 (03-02-2013 4-43 PM)

Snapshot 3 (03-02-2013 4-50 PM)

Raise Your Levels

I had a conversation last night with my wife about fitness. During that conversation I mentioned that when I was big, I was happy.  On a scale of 1-10, I’d say that in general I was like a 9.  I could have been a tiny bit happier, but life was good.

I was shown how out of shape I was, at our one training session in March as explained here.  I was still happy, but I was now acutely aware of what I was unable to do.  Last night we used hands to visualize two things.  One hand was general happiness level with fitness, and all the things that entails.  The other was happiness with sitting and not doing much and eating cake or chips or whatever.

choices 1

Once I was shown that my fitness needed to increase it was a test of my will.  I had to make the fitness choices, where once they were on par with relaxing, I had to make it a priority.  And for a long time that did not make me happy.  Hard work, alone in the gym is difficult to do.  Eventually I lost 30 pounds, bought myself a new hockey sweater, and realized that all this fitness was awesome.

Doing fitness things had made me aware of what I was capable of doing, I was happier for it.  How could that be?  I was already 9/10?  I had to change the happiness scale because I had raised the level.  Now I was a happiness of 17/20.  My pre workout self, now aware of this new level would have only been 9/20.

choices 2

The only issue, was that at that stage, relaxing choices were no good anymore.  I knew this higher plain existed, and I wanted to go there.  Eating poorly no longer appealed to me, and sitting and playing Nintendo alone could no longer make me happy.  In many, many ways this is a really good thing.  But as far as sitting in front of the TV, eating and playing video games went, it was not.

Here is the Great thing though.  At this point you might think that you only have 3 happiness points left to go because we are at 17/20, but you are wrong.  Here is the beauty of the whole thing, once I had reached fitness type levels, I had to eat more.  And where I am at now I workout in the morning on the weekend (and some through the week too) but then I have to rest, and eat and relax so my body can recover.

Now I get the happiness of being able to do so much great stuff, and satisfaction from being able to sit and relax and have bigger family meals or a few chips or whatever.  A day where I work out hard, is a day where nearly anything is on the menu.

choices 3

I would say that now I’m at about 29/30.  A long way away from the pervious which would now rate as merely 9/30!  I finished explaining all of that and I said I couldn’t put it any other way, and that I wish I could give her the experience so that she could have that realization.  But I can’t and it wouldn’t be beneficial if I could really, I think one has to come to that realization for themselves for it to mean anything.  But believe me, the hard choices at the beginning are worth it.  Eventually those choices become a lifestyle, and then they get put where they are, an indulgence.  And who doesn’t really love indulgence!  The days were I can do it all, like yesterday (workout, karate, massage, baked mac and cheese comfort food dinner with cake for dessert, play hockey) then you just are over the top.  Level 35/30! Happy, happy, happy.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Men’s Health Fitness Test

For Christmas Amber gets me a magazine subscription, this year it was Men’s Health.  In the November issue the magazine they outline seven tests for being fit, and they claim Men’s health fit is the pinnacle of fitness, or health or whatever.

So, here’s the tests:

Standing long jump

Men’s Health Fit: 8 feet or more – Check, just barely though
Above Average: 6-8 feet
Ordinary: Less than 6 feet

Squat, curl and and push press 20 times (with 30% of body weight in hand)

MHF: 20 in a minute – Check, 23
AA: 18

Perform One Controlled Wall Squat

MHF: One fully controlled all the way down squat – Check, easy
AA: Halfway
O: Less than half way

Score Level 12 on the beep test

MHF: level 12 or more
AA: level 11
O: level 9 – Boo, but I have been training for distance, not sprinting recently

Deadlift 1.75 times your body weight

MHF: 1.75 times your weight
AA: 1.5 times
O: Body Weight – Fail – I’m horrible at deadlift, and worried about hurting my back doing it

Do 10 clapping pushups

MHF: 10 – Check, I did 15 actually, then 10 more
AA: 5
O: No Claps

Hold a plank for more than 3 minutes

MHF: More than 3 minutes – Check, 3:27.94 woo!
AA: 2-3 minutes
O: 1 minutes or less


I have not gone out of my way to specifically try any of these, though I did do a 3:27 long plank the other day.  The only one that I don’t think I can do it the dead lift, I’m a bit afraid of putting my back out doing the form wrong.  I think though, I might try for a few more of these today at the gym.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Abs!!–And January Goals

This picture actually answers a lot of the questions I have about abs in general.  It says ‘let’s draw abs’ but there is lots of really good information here!

I really like the bit about obliques right at the end here, makes me feel good about what I see in the mirror.

January Goals

I actually didn’t set any short term goals for January, but progress for my year long goals is coming along nicely.

50,000 push ups – so far I have done 9,650 – which actually puts me on pace for over 110,000 push ups for the year.

Travel 2,000 Km by bike or foot – So far I have gone 188.14km which is on pace for over 2,200

Bench 230 pounds – last Saturday I did 235! Done!

Complete a 1/2 marathon – I have now run 16k so only 7 more to go all at once, on my way.

Do a try-a-tri – signups for the Chemong one are not open yet, but soon!

How are your goals coming along?