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: 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.