December 4, 2022 · 8:05 am
To say that I have been busy over the last few years would be a huge understatement.
Buying a house, selling a house, packing, moving, unpacking, tying up loose ends before retiring, all while a worldwide pandemic was raging was tough.
When I retired, the first few months were spent clearing what I call “the backlog of backlogs”, tending to appointments and in-person shopping that I could not complete during the pandemic restrictions.
It was only after rejigging my retirement routine a few dozen times that I finally found time to catch my breath. That was when clarity started setting in.
I started noticing the finer details of the flora and fauna around our rural property. I found that my ability to remember names, dates and details was improving. Ideas for my writing would actually stick around for a while and not go “poof” if I didn’t write them down immediately.
But one day, after my morning shower, as I was applying my anti-perspirant, my new-found clarity turned to horror when I noticed the tissue in the triceps area flopping around. When did that happen? Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Health and Wellness, stories
Tagged as age, aging, arms, commitment, exercise, fitness, flabby, gym, habits, muscle, muscles, program, sport, sports, time, tone, working out, workout
April 22, 2018 · 8:52 am
I admire those people who say they are going for a “quick run”.
They are those phenomenal runners who stack up personal best after personal best, while barely breaking out in a sweat, who can simultaneously update their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds with professional-grade photos of wildlife, beautiful scenery and gorgeous skies.
They can carry on a conversation without ever being out of breath. And they look so graceful, from the beginning to the end of the run, like gazelles out for a joyful dash through the savannahs.
They inspire me! I love them and I am incredibly jealous of them.
Meanwhile you can find me at the back of the pack, fiddling with something or other, or holding a part of my anatomy that’s complaining, wondering why a 3 kilometer run takes me an hour… or two.
Here they are, my top 10 reasons why going for a quick run is impossible (for me). Continue reading →
Filed under Running
Tagged as conditions, earphone, exercises, fitness, food, gels, headphone, hydration, music, planning, playlist, playlists, preparation, quick run, regimen, routine, run, runner, running, Seinfeld, spring running, stretching, wallet, water, weather, wires, workout
January 31, 2016 · 10:59 am
A couple of weeks ago I did the unthinkable… I deleted 25 shows from my personal video recorder (PVR), without even watching them!
It is not because the shows weren’t good. In fact, some of them were shows I enjoyed quite a bit. Unfortunately, it came down to one simple fact: there just aren’t enough hours in a day.
The sad part is that I am a seasoned veteran when it comes to binge watching: game show marathons, “Bewitched” marathons, “The Nanny” marathons, “Dallas” marathons, watching an entire 24 hour rotation of MuchMusic (once, back in University, …I dared myself), and the list goes on. Television has been a passion since I was very young, as well as a good companion to a “latch key” kid (who also happened to be an only child).
I was one of those kids who pushed up the national average for the number of hours that kids watched TV. I could have easily put in 3 hours per evening during the week and on the weekends, cartoons in the morning and family programming in the evening. It is probably no surprise that the first book I learned to read was the TV Guide.
However, my conundrum is this: I seem to have the willpower to not fall into the time trap of hours of video games on my iPad, cute cat pictures on Instagram or chain watching YouTube videos (unless they are vintage Price is Right episodes, in which case all bets are off). However I really have to exercise tough love with myself when it comes to watching television. A few endearing characters, clever writing, a storyline to make me laugh or think… I can easily get hooked.
September and October brought us a new raft of shows to watch and even though I thought I made careful choices to ensure I wasn’t painted into a corner, I still seemed to be drowning in programming. Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, pop culture, TV
Tagged as anecdotes, balance, focus, free time, game show, perspective, priorities, running, television, time, workout, Writing
April 25, 2015 · 10:07 am
When watching a reality competition show do you ever find yourself yelling at the screen, “Have you ever watched the show?” I remember a season of the Amazing Race several years ago in which a couple was eliminated in the first few weeks, and their parting words were, “We just didn’t think there would be so much running involved”. Years later, I am still asking myself what part of “Amazing RACE” did they not quite understand?
Checking out the Ice Bar in Stockholm, site of an Amazing Race Season 6 challenge
While I cannot comment on how people get selected for reality shows, there always seems to be that one competitor or team who does not seem as well-prepared as the others, despite their great spirit and enthusiasm for the show. I guess producers must think that this makes for good TV, especially for the loyal viewers who have watched from the beginning.
The recurring saying on the show Big Brother is “expect the unexpected” and the production team does indeed come up with jaw-dropping twists to keep competitors on their toes. But when it comes to competition shows, if someone was serious about applying to be on the show, why wouldn’t they prepare, practice and rehearse as much as they can?
For example, in 2003, I had made a request for tickets to attend a taping of The Price Is Right and in the months that followed, I recorded every episode, watched each episode attentively, wrote down every product and every price, transcribed them to organized lists, and I studied the lists on my bus rides to and from the office. By the end of the first month, I started noticing trends and products reappearing, so I suspect that studying might have helped, if I had been picked for contestants’ row. Unfortunately, on the appointed date, I did not get there early enough to make it into the studio, so that idea went back on the bucket list. If I was to try again, I would have prepared exactly the same way but would plan to arrive in the wee hours of the morning. Live and learn.
But if I applied to be on a show like Survivor or Big Brother (not likely though), given that both shows have been around for many seasons, viewers know what to expect: Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, Inspiring, TV
Tagged as bucket list, experience, game show, how to, inspiration, observational, passion, television, training, workout
November 3, 2014 · 7:58 pm
When I posted “The Half-Marathon Playlist” a couple of months ago, it did not occur to me that it could attract as many readers as it did. Given the ever-increasing number of runners as well as the ever-increasing number of races, it did not come as a surprise that any advice that can improve on personal bests has the potential to draw interest. I guess that steps to building the perfect playlist are no different:
1. What motivates you?
The first question to ask yourself is what motivates you and what keeps you motivated? Perhaps you prefer the ambient sounds and solitude of nature. I know others for whom conversation and the shared social experience is what keeps them engaged. That’s OK too! Everyone responds differently and there could be a chance that music is perhaps not your motivator. But if music spurs on a natural reaction, makes you want to move or makes you lose track of time it may indeed be your motivator. If that is the case, read on! Continue reading →
September 22, 2014 · 9:50 am
In the week leading up to the Army Run, I kept checking the weather forecast, hoping for the picture-perfect backdrop for my first half-marathon. Sadly, the call for rain seemed consistent throughout the week, right up until the day itself.
Then came the logistics of figuring out where and when to park downtown. Between the 25,000 runners and the crowds lining the routes to cheer the runners on, competition would be fierce even before the cannon was fired to mark the beginning of the race. Ultimately, the goal was to get to the race safely and in a relatively zen state.
Aside from those two wild card factors, I seemed ready for the big race: good nutrition, good sleep, good stretching exercises, no pain and no inflammation. It was time for preparation and training to go into auto-pilot mode and to do their stuff!
What I discovered along the way of the half-marathon journey is Continue reading →
September 17, 2014 · 8:27 am
To build up to that point where someone can run for over two hours takes a great deal of mental and physical preparation. To be in the moment and running consistently for over two hours takes an amazing playlist.
In chatting with my fellow runners, everyone seems to march to a different beat when it comes to the soundtrack for half-marathon training. Some prefer silence, to be alone with their thoughts; some prefer paying close attention to the ambient sounds of nature or the footsteps of other runners; others like the company of cheerful conversation to help pass the time. For me, it’s all about the playlist!
What that playlist consists of is a very personal choice as it all comes down to what motivates the runner in that specific moment. Just the same there seems to be a natural curiosity among runners in terms of “what’s on your playlist?”, always searching for the perfect song to develop that perfect playlist.
Over the last several months, I have been adding and deleting songs regularly, in seeking that perfect combination for race day. While on the one hand I want songs with a very clear consistent tempo that aligns with my natural cruising speed for running, a full two hours of those can get a little dull. I believe the solution is Continue reading →
July 27, 2014 · 8:59 am
or.. What runners think of when they are writing
T’was a Sunday morning
Ideal for a run
All stretched and hydrated
I was ready for fun
My run gear was laid
On the bedside with care
Hoping the weather, as planned,
Was 25, mostly fair.
I drove to the park
My favourite starting line
Where the paths run flat
Backed by views sublime
The first few K’s
Were a bit of a mess
My contacts felt itchy
My shins felt stressed
I wondered right then
Should I have stayed in bed?
I was so comfy there
As dreams filled my head Continue reading →
January 20, 2014 · 9:22 pm
Happy New Year everyone! How are things going with your New Year’s resolutions?
If you scan the web, the University of Scranton is quoted frequently for their research, monitoring subjects who make New Year’s resolutions and keeping statistics on their success rates. Unfortunately, the bottom line is not an encouraging one. The percentage of people who are successful in keeping their resolution is only 8%.
How’s that for your daily dose of optimism? .. but seriously, don’t let that discourage you. Let’s face it, changing a habit is not easy, otherwise New Year’s Resolutions wouldn’t get as much press as the Kardashians, year after year.
On the brighter side, the University of Scranton offers more encouraging news in that 46% of those who make a resolution are likely to keep it at least six months. This is definitely better than what I hear from my friends who regularly work out at gyms, that are usually packed for about three weeks of January, then the crowds progressively thin out and then a return to the “regulars” shortly thereafter.
Perhaps folks are too ambitious, perhaps they expect instant results, perhaps their goals are not entirely realistic, perhaps they don’t cut themselves enough slack to get back on the treadmill should they stray from their goals (rather than give up entirely). At the end of the day, my question is this: why does 45% of the population (with another 17% who make them, infrequently) pressure itself into waiting until January 1st to make a resolution? Continue reading →
November 7, 2013 · 5:02 pm
Here is a piece of writing history for #throwbackthursday !
Back in the mid 1980’s, I was a huge fan of the “:20 Minute Workout” and had quite a crush on one of its instructors, Bess Motta. Keep in mind that I wrote this little poem when I was just a young pup of 20. This was my playful tribute to Bess! I hope you enjoy it!
Title: Aerobic Queen (written Feb 26, 1986)
He sat right down
And watched TV
His eyes popped out, what did he see?
A pretty girl
Who’d stretch and pull,
His jaw hit floor, began to drool.
It was a love,
At first sight said,
His interest new, was now phys ed.
Four more, three more,
Two more, one…
Aerobicize was now great fun! Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, pop culture, Running, TV
Tagged as 1980's, 20 Minute Workout, Aerobic, Bess Motta, exercise, fitness, fun, health, poetry, television, tribute, TV, workout