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Dougs Day

Words really do affect your actions.

I did a 10 k run today. I’m trying to get my time down to a personal best, under 55 minutes. Not exactly an Olympian I know but I’ll be happy with it and that’s what counts.

Running for the Kids of Camp Oochigeas.

I plotted out a new route on http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/, which is such a cool place for mapping out new routes. I planned the run in an industrial area figuring there wouldn’t be much traffic and I worked it out so the home stretch was back on my regular route.

Well, as the saying goes, crap happens. I got lost. Not lost really but spun around a little as the new area was under construction. I was paying more attention to the roads rather than the running and by the time I got near my home stretch, at about the 7.5 km mark, I was about ready to stop and walk the rest of the way. I was mentally exhausted more-so that physically. Basically a little P.O. ed that my route was messed up. I slowed down to just a trot and my mind was telling me to pack it in.

Then I saw this little sign spray painted on an electrical box. “Words affect your reality.”  I started thinking about that as I kept plodding along and then my mind changed gears. Instead of telling myself to stop and walk, I told myself that I’m the one who wants this new time. I’m the guy who set the standard for my self. It was all me, so take responsibility and follow through. I told people I was going to do it, so do it. I kept repeating this over and over even out loud. Talking to myself. “You want it? Then go get it.”

Without realizing it I was almost running at a full sprint and my breathing was good. I knew it was only 1.5 km to go so I kept those words going through my mind. Do it – you raised the bar – go – see what you got left old timer. My little legs were in top gear and I finished that last 2.5km in 10 minutes and 30 seconds. For me, that’s huge! I’ve never done that stretch that fast. Especially as the last leg of the race.

So I guess that positive feedback stuff really does work. It’s really amazing how words can change your reality. Rather than walking , that little phrase gave me the incentive to set a new personal best for myself.

From now on, I will be very conscious of what I say to myself…and everyone else.

Have a great week

Take care.

Doug

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Things aren’t always as they appear.

This particular entry has nothing to do with anything in particular. I was looking out the window, saw a big motorcycle driving by and I started to smile as it brought a distant memory to mind…then another quickly followed so I thought I’d share.

Bikers!

Waaay back in my crazy youth ( hmmm, interesting how the crazy part never changed) I was hitch-hiking across Canada with a good buddy of mine. We were in a small town in New Brunswick and stopped in at a little cafe to see what food we could afford this particular day.  As you can imagine, hitch-hiking around at the age of 17, we didn’t have a lot of cash to spare. We split a Roast Beef sandwich and were debating on coffee or coke. Back then I wasn’t the health nut I am now.

Suddenly we heard the loud rumbling of a motorcycle. Actually there were many cycles. Many, many motorcycles…and they were big. So were the riders. They had patches on their jackets! Good Lord we were being invaded by none other than Satan’s Choice. John grabbed his little backpack and I quickly turned my attention to my half – eaten,  half sandwich.

Most of them stayed outside. Only a few of them came in. Some went to the washroom. Others looked around. The waitress looked more scared than we were. We were doomed. We were going to be beaten up and our backpacks taken and maybe we’d be dragged behind their bikes for entertainment. I mean, that’s what these crazy guys did right? I was sweating and John hadn’t moved in about 5 minutes. He didn’t even chew his food.

Then HE came at us…now it was all over. This Monster in black leather and hair to his waist with a beard bigger than me leaned in right next to me,and  motioned with his head for the waitress to come over.  She nervously brushed her apron and greeted him with a very tight smile.

The he spoke. ” Excuse me miss. Could I have three large coffees; black, no sugar and a dozen hot-dogs please.”  John lost it completely. Instead  of the booming, loud, rough demand we expected, this tender, almost squeaky soft and very polite voice came out of this “monster”. John was snickering wildly and I was holding it in the best I could.

He put his gigantic hand on my shoulder and…and…and he laughed with us. ” Not what you expected was it boys?” he asked.  I quickly said, “No sir”. I actually called him sir.

We chatted for awhile until the dogs were ready and then he did the unthinkable. He paid for our food.

We went outside with him and he introduced us to his buddies. We talked about the bikes and shared some traveling stories. He even offered a ride but we were going in opposite directions.

From that day forward I’ve tried my best never to judge anybody or anything. Things aren’t always as they seem.

I’ve got another similar story…but I’ll share that another day.

Stay well

Doug

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The Wheel – of – Pain!

( looks innocent enough )

The stair climbing thing went quite well I thought. So as I was relaxing and catching up on some  reading I just happened to notice my little exercise wheel. Such an innocent looking item sitting there kind of plain and round. Almost like a kids toy. What the heck; I’m feeling good right? Got a little extra energy from all that good food and smoothies.  Give it a shot, why not? What do I have to lose?

Dinner maybe!

I started out easy. A few light stretches first.  Then I increased the distance and did about 40 rolls from the kneeling position. By now my stomach was one tight knot. I was feeling kind of woozy.  But I pulled myself together and managed not to lose my lunch. Then I got real brave and did a few rolls standing up.

Well  - that’s where the session ended because I lost my grip completely and did a straight no holds barred, belly “splat” on the floor. Whomp! I’m OK – no broken bones or anything. But it did hurt.

I was feeling good – tummy tight and hurting like a good work out should. Not pain but ‘feeling it’. I retreated to my computer to do some research. yeah, that’s the ticket, research. So as I’m wiping the sweat off my face I and still feeling proud ( hurting but proud)  I came across this video.  The dude is 71 and does 100 rolls.

Sort of puts thing into perspective…proud of doing 40.  I deserved the belly flop.

Enjoy the video. But I’ll be back! You can guarantee it. 100 rolls eh? hmmmm…

Stay well;

Doug

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Running in the Snow!

Weefy and I just came back from a little shopping trip. It was snowing yet the sun was shining brightly at times. The snow was light and fluffy so we headed to a little park and played in the snow for awhile. It was clear, fresh and invigorating. After the standard snow angels and pushing each other around we had a little race.  I did cheat on the starting line a little and then pushed her off into the deep snow; it was a close race but I manage to get to the tree first. All in good fun. Thai plopped down and made more snow angles and then we hustled up a little hill back to the car.

snow fun is good fun

Thirty minutes tops but I had sweat running down my back  - the heart was thumping and our cheeks were rosy red. Even my legs were a little tired. Funny how I can run 5 or 10 km without too much stress but running 15 minutes in 30 cm of snow is so challenging. I think it’s time for me to start running the ski hills again.

I remember snowshoeing last year was so much fun…we’ll have to do that also.

on the trail

A fun day – and free! I hope you are all doing something to stay healthy and make the best of winter. It’s here, we may as well enjoy it.

Take care – stay well

Doug

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I”M BACK – YEEE HAW   ( and Christmas is a comin’)

Hi folks. I’m back. I had several projects happening all at the same time and I was totally focused on completing them all and complete them I did. Now it’s back to writing my zany observations and corny comments about the general wackiness of everyday life.

Christmas is quickly approaching and I have about a gazillion things to do. Well, maybe not a gazillion but at least 5 or 6. First thing on my list is preparing for our trip to Newfoundland. So starting today I have to clean out the car and prepare food for my ravenous wife to eat on the journey, buy some gifts, arrange to have someone water our little jungle of houseplants, buy more gifts, finish off the laundry and clear away my computer area as I promised Thai I would. ( There’s not that much stuff there. I mean, I can see more than 3/4 of the screen. Isn’t that enough?)  Anyway that’s just one of the things on my “honey do” list. Maybe it is closer to a gazillion things to do after all!

So off I go whisking away, carefree and carefully, in the crazy Toronto, “seasonal” traffic. I really have to start on that list pronto.

Merry Christmas

May you all have a wonderful, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Be Safe, Stay well and as always – smile.

Coach Doug

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Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

I was at an Apple Orchard last week with some family members. It was a great day out – picking and eating apples naturally. The colors were awesome and the weather was fantastic. All in all a really nice day.

I sat down to relax as my sister and the kids went off to run through the haystack maze and find some munchables. Personally I was stuffed on five types of apples I had to …ah, test for freshness. Anyway as I was there soaking up some Vitamin D as I always enjoy doing, I heard this intense screaming behind me. It was coming from both the kid and the parent. The kid was about 3 or 4 years old. She – the kid – was telling her mom exactly what she was going to spend her money on and mom was screaming back that it was too expensive. Remember now, this child was 3 or 4 years old max.

This went on long enough for me to seek a quieter place to relax when the little girl screamed her loudest scream…“Zoom You Mommy – I’m getting it anyway!” ‘Zoom you’? What the heck is that?  Mother dearest crossed her arms in submission and stated for the audience that had now gathered to watch this little spectacle,” I just don’t know what to do with her.” Ah – excuse me –  she’s 3. I thought of a few solutions but I didn’t go there. The little blonde lady stamped down to the market and came back with a bag full of something she couldn’t even carry without it dragging on the ground. Then handed it to her mother with a curt “here!” and skipped away to the petting zoo. Maybe it had something to do with the fact she was chomping on a lolli-pop the size of a dinner plate and washing it down with a slurpy of some kind ( as most of the kids were ) and she was hyped up on the sugar. How about an apple for a nice treat instead?

Zoom you? That was only one of several altercations I saw that day between young, very young, children and their parents.Both boys and girls and Moms and Dads. Have we lost total control? What in the world has society come to? I seem to recall the parents are supposed to be the ones telling the children what to do. When did that change?

Since then I’ve made it a point to watch the interaction between kids and parents. Sadly I have to report in many many cases – the kids are the ones in control. I’m not about to make any conclusions or decisions about the situation- just post this comment and ask for your input. Was that just a bad day or is it now the norm in our wacky society?

At the end of the day, my sisters, the kids…who do NOT control their elders- at least on that day and I headed home with bags full of apples, healthy treats, a few colorful photos and memories of a nice day out.

But I have to ask – in today’s society, “Who’s Zoomin’ who?”

Stay well – smile

Coach Doug

Thanksgiving – Thank Goodness!


Today was a day of eating and relaxing. Time spent with family and friends, chatting and catching up on all the latest news. I had to cut out early because of a meeting but it was still great to see everyone gathered together again. That doesn’t happen often enough anymore. We all have our own lives to lead and separate paths to walk.

During my brief visit I looked around the room. The graying hair and expanding mid-sections of most people in the room. Mostly what caught my attention was the variety of ailments that seemed to dominate a lot of the conversation. Sore knees, headaches, rashes and skin problems and the proverbial backaches. Then the worries about whether to get the flu shot or not because of the fear of getting the next “deadly” strain of flu to come around.

That’s when I really gave thanks. My hair is getting gray as well and the wrinkles are showing a little more but I’m really and truly thankful for my health. I’m blessed to be able to go through the day with no aches or pains or any other of the complaints mentioned. I don’t fear any upcoming flus or viruses. I wake up each day fresh and ready to go and I sleep well each night. All my body parts are functioning well and overall …I feel great.

I realize that could all change in an instant. Nobody can predict the future. But for now – I’ll give thanks for the good health I have and do my best to keep it that way.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family.

Enjoy the time spent together as well as the food. ( try not to ever eat too much!) Maybe do a family walk together after.

Stay well  - smile and until next time… take care of yourself.

Coach Doug

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Boot Camp…definitely not a walk in the park!

I can’t type very fast today. In fact I can barely lift my arms to the desk!  It’s been a hectic week and I will admit I really slacked off my workouts. Just doing enough to be able to say I exercised without having to stretch the truth…but no serious sweating sessions like normal.

So – what did “Wonder Boy” do to make up for his slack ways?  Go to a Boot Camp – what else?

I drove to High Park and saw the “platoon”. The morning was cool – the threat of rain hovering in the air. The breeze sent chills down my back. Maybe it was just my fear of knowing what was about to come. I ventured over and introduced myself. Friendly bunch. They all knew each other… and they all had this knowing smirk on their faces – the new guy had arrived. Maybe that meant a little reprieve for them.

Enter Tony; ex- U.S. Marine Corps Drill Sergeant. A lean, mean, fighting machine with a smile that was as devious as it was charming. No time to waste – let’s get started. I liked him already.

Warm ups were basic – a few stretches – over head crossovers – lunges – up/downs – arm circles. So far, fairly basic. I was feeling pretty good. Keeping the pace. But the pace changed…quickly.

Jumping Jacks…faster- faster;  “I don’t remember telling anyone to slow down!” Tony bellowed (in a friendly manner?) Everyone jumped faster. Then we worked in the infamous Burpee with the Jumping Jacks…still no slowing down. “OK – walk it out and sip water. Time’s up, back in formation.” I didn’t even have the lid off my water bottle yet!

Lunges with a deep stretch. I knew he was setting us up for something because the rest of the crew all moaned at this basic move.  Ahhh – Jumping Lunges – high speed.  “If you don’t speed up platoon – we are gonna go allll day at this.”  He was laughing but I think he was serious.

His watch must have been broken because 1 minute seemed more like five to me. Then we switched back to the Jumping Jacks with knee thrusts tossed in for good measure. OK – as if my legs weren’t already wobbly enough, we do single leg, side to side jumps for what seemed about an hour.

Thank goodness – a real water break and then we had to move to the hill. The Hill! “It’s only a little hill Big Doug. Nothing you can’t handle soldier.”  Sprint down and run up – backwards – until we couldn’t do it any more. I got in 4 runs. “If we ain’t strainin’ we aint’ trainin’! You can’t give up now. Who’s gonna catch the bad guys? Get your ass off the grass. I don’t remember telling anyone to sit down!”  The smile never left his face…and the smile was contagious. Though we were all hurting ‘soldiers’, we were all smiling and laughing at each others grunts, groans and general suffering.

Back to the bottom of the hill…crab-walk up…feet first! My arms felt like wet noodles. Perfect – just in time for the push-ups – prone position across the hill. First with our left on the downside of the hill for one of his famous ‘minutes’ - then the right on the down side for another loooong minute. Then up to flat ground. More push-ups ;  but no, he wasn’t content with basic push-ups – he had to add in an elbow strike as if someone was on your back. “Get the bad guy off your back! Hit him hard! Harder! Don’t want no bad guy on your back!”  It’s actually a great exercise but at the time it was punishing. I began to feel stomach-sick.

We had the luxury of one last sip of water before the sprints. We weren’t fast enough – of course –  run it again. Stretch it out…and stretch it out again. OK – we were done – literally. Total time 1 hour and 45 minutes…closer to an eternity I thought.

I didn’t puke but I came this close. When I mentioned it, Tony laughed again. “So puke soldier! Don’t panic – it’s organic! You did fine Big Doug – it’s all about living in the moment.”  That made me feel better… I think.

So today I soaked in a tub of really hot water with some essential oils added to ease my aching muscles.  I ache in places I forgot I had. Cost of gas to get to the park – 5 dollars. Cost of the work out 10 dollars. Soaking in that hot tub – you guessed it – Priceless!

I’m going back next week. But you can bet your sweet bottom I’ll be better prepared. But I have a feeling Tony knows that – and he’ll be ready too!

Until next time – Stay well and smile – even if it hurts.

Doug

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Saturday September 25th

Right – Monday morning – I wake up, yawn and stretch, eat breakfast and drive the new student  (my wife, Thai) to university. Next thing I know I’m inserting the key to unlock the door…lights are off. It’s Friday night and I’m just finishing work. What the….? Did we lose a few days this week? Is it just me or did this week just seem to disappear?


Nature at it's best...

Sitting out on the balcony this morning  - HOLY! The leaves have seriously started turning to those amazing fall colors. Is there a new battery in the time clock or something?. Things are moving waaaay too fast. I’ve even seen Christmas decorations in some stores. Wait a minute! I didn’t miss Halowe’en did I?

Well, all I have to say, is I’m  glad I try my best to eat well and stay active. At least the ol’ body is holding it’s own for the time being. Everything around me seems to be zipping by – people rushing around trying to do everything they possibly can. But me – I’m still here just enjoying what I can.  Counting my blessings for my health. Yeah, I know I can’t avoid time either. It takes it’s toll on all of us. Time is indeed flying by but I’m fortunate enough to be able to enjoy what little I have – and that’s enough I think. I have made a note to myself  to concentrate a little more on that and not get caught up in the “big rush”

Enjoy the Autumn…funny word that –  Autumn – how do you pronounce “mn”

Stay well my friends – take care …and ..smile.

Doug

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Hey – welcome back.

OK – It’s Saturday again…already. September 18th

A basic day – a little exercise – some good food…and three hours in traffic to travel 5 kilometers!! Arghhhhhh! Toronto in the construction season!

So – I ate apples and listened to some good music. What else could I do?  Frustration faded after the first 30 minutes and I chilled with some nice blues and jazz.

Make the most out of a bad situation – that’s all one can do.

Stay well – see you again soon.

Coach Doug

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