At Wat Nong Wang in Khon Kaen
So I’ve been away for awhile. I took a sabbatical and went to visit my wife’s family in Yasothon in the Northeastern part of Thailand. Exercise was at a minimum. I didn’t run anywhere except to the kitchen table – and that was a frequent trip! Perks of the visit, besides the pleasant, relaxed atmosphere of the village, included an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies…and frequents naps!
mmmmm – Mangoes!
… there were bananas, coconuts, limes, papayas, several types of tomatoes, corn, watermelon, long beans, and the list continues. There was Holy Basil, Lemon Basil, Lemon Grass and many other herbs that we cut and used daily but I only know the Thai name for.
Then I met up with one of my ex-English students…who just happened to be in the food business! So of course a bowl of delicious noodle soup was on the list. Friends and neighbors were constantly popping by with fish or some chicken or other tasty treats. Life seemed to center around food. Yet, somehow I managed to lose 6 kilos!! I thing it was muscle mass as I did very little of any kind of physical work or exercise.
Mostly we ate…
The only strenuous work I did was to take down a huge tree to make way for a new fence. It might have been easier if I had something bigger than a hatchet!
So while in the land of Muay Thai, I never entered a gym or even donned a glove. Basically, I did nothing….annnd loved it!
Little Weefy really enjoyed the lifestyle, getting back to nature and visiting family.
But soon the fun and relaxation and warm weather was all over and me and my little sweetheart, who had been there for 6 months already, spent a few days in a big fancy hotel and headed back to Toronto and work and minus 30 degree temperatures…sigh.
At the pier in front of our hotel, counting down the hours before our trip back to Toronto.
It was a great holiday and hopefully we will be back there within a few years to continue work on the organic farm.
But for now, it’s back to the gym, work and the “grind”. Time to readjust and learn to love the city again.
Stay well and warm if you’re in my neighborhood!
I read a lot of inspirational quotes from a wide range of people; athletes, scholars, actors/actresses, and even politicians. I also download a lot of photos with cool sayings written on them. They pump me up, make me think and give me the extra little push that keeps me going. Occasionally, one of them “comes to life“, so to speak…such as this one;
Now for those of you that read my ramblings, you know some of the crazy things I get involved with. For those of you who might have been kind enough to recently pop by, I’m into pushing my limits. I’m getting on in age, yet, I love those crazy mud runs, sprinting hills with weights, rock climbing, struggling with the Kettle Bell and I recently took up traditional Muay Thai. All, considered by many, to be a younger mans activities.
At first, my family, friends and some of the kids at the gym all had the same question, “Why do you do those crazy Tough Mudder and Spartan runs?” or “Why would you take up Muay Thai at your age?” That was months ago. Now, I’m actually leading the cardio warm up sessions of some of the weekday classes and recently and some of the guys have started training with me for their first mud run. The question has changed from Why to How.
How do you keep going? How do you find time to come up with all these crazy workout routines? How do you stay healthy through the ‘flu’ season? How can you keep running up that stupid ski hill?! More how questions than why questions these days. And to be perfectly honest I never really expected that, at all, ever. I’ve had the photo I posted above for a long time, back first when I started doing the Spartan races. It’s a cool photo but I never really took it to heart.
But now, it’s happening! And truthfully I’m a little taken back, somewhat embarrassed and kind of lost for an answer. I guess the how is just getting back to the basics. I eat as healthy as I can. I’m always trying to stay on top of what’s good and what’s not. Processed foods are almost non-existent in my diet. I also try to learn as much as I can about the human body and the ins and outs of proper exercise. Both those things help control any stress in my life and I meditate to help maintain that as well. My wife plays a huge part in my life is is totally supportive of what I do. Sometimes I think I do these crazy things just to stay healthy so I can be with her!! So how do I keep doing these things with vim and vigor? When those basic requirements of life come together, proper nutrition, regulated exercise, low stress levels and love and support, the ‘how’ just ‘is’, if that makes any sense to you.
As for the why, that’s easy, it’s just the Love of the Game. When it ain’t fun anymore, I’ll stop. Simple as that.
Now, time to get that skipping rope moving.
Have a great weekend everyone. Stay well, train hard, eat smart and smile, even through the pain.
I really enjoy running the Tough Mudder and the Spartan Beasts and other Mud Runs. The Muay Thai is probably the most exciting and vigorous activity I’ve taken part in. As a much younger man I used to go “boulder running” in the B.C. Rockies or ‘scree’ running with friends - that’s two items for a post all on their own.
I’ve driven fast cars and I even have about 50 parachute jumps on my list. But…
There are a few things I would really, really, really, ( did I mention really?) like to try.
Wingsuit flying!! It fascinates me to no end. I usually bounce around in my chair just watching the videos. I would love to try it at some point.
Shaolin Kung Fu! I also find this amazing. However, I would like to go to some ancient temple in China and study it for years…if that’s still even possible. Not just for the Martial Arts but for the spiritual journey as well.
BMX dirt competitions. I’ve always loved riding bike, especially on trails and such but this takes it to another level!
Parkour or Extreme running. Now the guys and girls in these videos really do take it to the extreme. I wouldn’t want to do anything life threatening but I would really love to learn a few of the basics and run around a local park.
I hope these links come out right and I apologize for the ads all over Youtube these days.
So that’s my little fantasy bucket list. Whether I get to do or try any of them remains to be seen…but the seed has been planted in my little pea brain!
What’s something you’ve always wanted to try or experience but seemed just a little over the top or out of reach? Come on!! There must be something lurking in there!!
Stay well friends.
New Years resolutions. Running. Changing your eating habits. Lifting weights. For the most part, whatever exercise you do, or resolution you’ve made, or path you’re following for a better, healthier you, it takes work and discipline.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. I love going to my Muay Thai classes and I try my best to never miss a class. It’s hard work and the benefits are showing as I am trimming down, toning up and my cardio has improved so much in the last 9 months. It’s amazing.
However, as I said, it is hard work and it does take a certain amount of discipline. As do a lot of the other exercise routines and eating trends we follow. ( I don’t really like the word ‘diet’.)
BUT WE NEED FUN TOO!!
I recently started skating again. It’s been 11 years since I last put on a pair of skates. I always had the fear of twisting my knee since I’ve had the operation. But I figured, I do mud runs, play squash and tennis and try my best to learn Muay Thai, my knee should be OK for skating.
MAN!! it was so much FUN!! I forgot what it was like to just whiz around the ice, no set time or distance. No routine to follow, nothing. Just the cool wind on my face as I went gliding around the arena. Yeah I was a little shaky and I fell a few times – to be expected. But I stopped when I was tired and had a hot cup of Holy Basil tea from the thermos I brought along. Just relaxed and watched all the rest of the smiling faces zipping by. It was a nice feeling of freedom. So relaxing and so much fun! I felt like a kid again.
So remember, what ever your lifestyle, or exercise routine, be sure to do something for yourself that is no strings attached, pure, good old fashioned, fun. It just makes you feel lighter inside!
Nathan Phillips Square; Toronto; right in front of the City hall. It’s like the League of Nations there. People of every age from dozens of countries…it’s awesomeness on ice!
Skating will be a regular thing for me this winter. I’m not really beach guy but I’ll find something to fill my down time this summer that is also mindless fun.
What do you do when you want to just get out there and have some plain old fun?
And as always, keep smiling peeps.
…and I feel Freakin‘ GREAT!!
My toes almost froze!
New Years Day was extremely cold but I went skating for the first time in almost ten years. I was on the ice for three hours. It was the cold toes that forced me to pack it in!
From skates to plates.
Not something I do often but I went to the gym and pushed some weights. No record setting but it was a great 45 minute work out.
May as well use the Kettlebell.
January 3rd. The workout continues as I pushed through a nonstop 25 minutes with Katie my trusty Kettlebell. And…
On the fly to Muay Thai.
I really have to bundle up because it -27 Celsius and that’s not much fun. However that won’t stop me from putting on the gear and hitting the gym for a two hour, punishing, Muay Thai workout.
Hello 2014!! Whaddaya got for me this year? Bring it on!!
I hope everyone has finished their extended “cheat” day(s) and is now back on track to a happy, healthy new year. Keep running, lifting, biking, skiing, Zumba or whatever it is you do, just keep doing it. Eat healthy; keep the mind and spirit strong as well as your body and make this the best year of your life.
…and as always, keep smiling!
Happy birthday to meee!
Today marks another successful year. I feel stronger, faster and healthier than ever.
“Really? What about when you were a kid or teenager?” That’s a question I hear a lot when I say I make my statement. As a kid I had a horrible immune system. I was sick…a lot. Colds and flus were the norm. In my teens I abused myself with booze and limited sleep and that certainly didn’t help.
But after discovering the very basics of good health, such as eating real food, proper ph balance, exercise and reducing stress, I haven’t had a cold or flu in about 11 years now. I did get one chest infection but that’s a long story.
So, one of the most common questions I get regarding health is, ” Why don’t you get sick?” There are many many reasons but a friend of mine sent me a great article about why the Amish seldom get sick and I figured it was worthy a re-post.
Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2014 is the year you’ve been waiting for;
Now, here a some of the basics on staying healthy…it’s soooo simple!
Why the Amish Don’t Get Sick: Things You Can Learn From Them
When we think of Amish people we think of a simple life, free of modern advancements. Most of us view them as foolish for not using the advantages of convenient technology and even look down on them for not conforming to the norms of mainstream society. But if we look at the statistics, the Amish are much healthier than the rest of America. They virtually have no cancer, no autism, and rarely get sick. What are they doing different from the rest of America? Let’s look at some of the things they are doing different.
Why the Amish Don’t Get Sick
The Amish have chosen the traditional wisdom of our ancestors over our “modern” way of living. They live by the practices of past generations.
1. The Amish Don’t Get Vaccinated.
Did you know that Amish people rarely have any learning disabilities or autism. There have been only 3 cases of autism among the amish in which the kids got vaccinated (here). Instead of crediting their lack of autism to the absence of vaccines, mainstream society credits it to a superior gene that the Amish possess. In spite of constant pressure from the government, the Amish still refuse to vaccinate. You can read more about the dangers of vaccines – here.
Vaccine-nation: Poisoning the Population, One Shot at a Time
2. The Amish Eat Organic, Locally Grown Food.
The Amish not only avoid prepackaged and processed food, they actually grow all of their food using organic farming methods. They raise their own animals; their food is natural and gmo free (the dangers of gmo). It’s important to note that they eat seasonal food during the harvest months, and save the rest by canning and fermenting. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are nutritionally higher in value. They are filled with anti-oxidants that are of great benefit to our health. Anti-oxidants fight free radicals, which helps you stay healthy and young. Thus, the lack of ADHD, food allergies and asthma can be undeniably contributed to their diet.
3. The Amish Eat Plenty of Healthy Fats.
The Amish have a very low obesity rate despite their high fat diet. Their eating habits by all means are not low fat. They eat plenty of butter, meat, eggs, raw dairy. Foods like butter and raw grass fed dairy contains a lot of fat soluble vitamins such as A, E and K2. It’s important to note that Vitamin K2 is very insufficient in modern diets. All that low fat nonsense has depleted our bodies from these essential nutrients. Vitamin K2 is particularly important as it is involved in calcium metabolism. Vitamin K insufficiency leads to many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and even cancer.
4. The Amish People are Physically Active.
Compared to the overall 31 % obesity rate in America, the Amish only have a 3 percent obesity rate. Since they don’t use cars, or any modern technologies, their level of physical activity is very high: men averaged 18,000 steps a day and women 14,000. They walk a lot and are truly involved in physical labor which reflects in their extremely low rate of cardiovascular diseases. According to David R. Bassett, Ph.D., FACSM, a professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, “The Amish were able to show us just how far we’ve fallen in the last 150 years or so in terms of the amount of physical activity we typically perform. Their lifestyle indicates that physical activity played a critical role in keeping our ancestors fit and healthy.”
5. The Amish Live Stress Free Lives
Stress is probably the number one culprit to our health problems. When you are stressed, your cortisol levels get elevated which is extremely dangerous for your health in the long run. Health problems associated with stress include heart disease, adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances,high blood sugar levels, elevated cholesterol and obesity.
The Amish live in a stress free community. They live slow paced, patient lifestyles. They don’t compete with each other; they created a egalitarian community for themselves where their lifestyles are based on equality, cooperation and harmony. (here)
The Amish live the same way they lived 300 years ago and we can definitely learn some lessons from them. They live toxic, free self sustainable lives. They are not plagued with various diseases and they are much healthier than the rest of America.
There may be a few more details that you will need to take care of in your personal life but basically, that’s it!
Stay well my friends. Strive for a healthy and sick free 2014.
But let’s not forget the running and serious workouts!!
Smile – even through the pain.
This article was originally in LA Healthy Living.