Tuesday, June 10, 2014

367 Days

I'm two days away from my 39th birthday.  That means I'm 367 days away from my 40's.

In every decade of my life, I've been thin and fit at some point - except my 30's.  While I'm not at my max from a weight perspective, I'm not far off.  I could stand to lose weight - a lot of it.

I feel that if I end up going into my 40's like this, then it's like I've accepted that this is the way that it's going to be; like I'm signalling that this is as good as it's going to get.

But I don't want that.  I want to live.  I want to not have fat surrounding my vital organs.  I want to look in the mirror on a Saturday morning and feel proud.  I want better, I want to fix it.

I've wanted to in the past though - it's not enough.  It's never been enough.  But the threat of my impending 40's is really pushing the matter for me.  I won't give up.

367 days to go.  I can stay like this or I can change.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I'm Not Too Old For This Stuff

In the spirit of my recent commitment (jumping & backflipping on skis), I've taken a step forward in Gymnastics last night.

I mustered up all the courage I could, got some training, and now I can land backflips out of the trampoline.

Next steps are backflips onto a mat, backflips on the trampoline and landing on the trampoline, then ground to ground.  I can do it, I'm not too old.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Foolish Quest - Click here to begin

I had a lot of fun skiing this winter.  Our family managed to get out lots, and capped it off with a week at Mt Ste Anne skiing some great terrain.  My girls progressed so much this year, and Tina did absolutely fantastic and now looks like a pro.  I'm so proud of them all.

Finishing the season at a mountain like that is kind of a tease.  I quite literally had the best skiing of my life that week, and it only left me wanting more.  I fell in love with my skis (which I've had for 4 years), as I pushed them to the brink - and quickly learned that is what they love best: to be pushed to the absolute brink.  I carved this year instead of skidded, I pushed the boundaries and had a hell of a time doing it.  Skied the most difficult Mt Ste Anne had to offer and it was nothing.

Another neat thing happened just before that trip - the 2014 winter Olympics.  My girls watched the women's moguls and fell in love.  They wanted to do the booty shaking skiing, and I ended up taking them on moguls later in the season.  They wanted to be just like the mogul skiers, except for one little thing.

They didn't want to do the jumps...that would be far too scary.

My girls ski and love skiing because WE ski and love skiing.  They get family time with us, and they do what we do - often more.  Thus, therein lies the obvious solution:  I must learn to jump.

Now you get the title.

If I jump, they'll follow me wherever I go and jump too...and most likely do it better than me.  The things Dad's do for their girls...well, at least this Dad does.  I wanted to be scientific about this, so I sat down and thought this all through, and boiled it down to three major elements:

  1. Fitness
  2. Equipment
  3. Ability
For the fitness piece, I play hockey, but really need to ramp it up in other areas.  I've figured I need to run more, play more outside, and just be more active overall.  Really, when you think about it, a man with the same muscle mass but 40-50 pounds lighter, can not only jump higher, but be far more nimble and absorb more impact on landing.  It's just logical.  Plus the muscle tone and core strength is going to be key....I added in a little something else as a treat :)...wait for it.

For equipment, I'd been looking at Volkl Wall's for a while.  I set myself a goal that I'd save my change and extra cash through the year, and only get money for my birthday and such so that I could buy the skis I wanted.  Well, I ended up getting wicked season ending deals and picked up 2014 Volkl Walls, and Rossignol FKS 140 L's to put on them (they arrive in the mail on Monday).  My rule stands though that until I save enough, I can't touch them....every cent goes to them now...I love them.

That brings us to Ability.  Well, I want to learn to jump, spin, and flip.  I did what any logical 38 year old overweight (BMI-wise actually obese) guy would do.  I joined Gymnastics.  What?  Yeah, gymnastics - deal with it.  I go every Monday night - it's a blast.  First week I learned front flips out of the trampoline - nailed it.  Last week I learned back handsprings...I still need a spotter, but for 38 years old and over 200 lbs...I'm claiming victory.  I advised them of my goal, they said they can help. I'm in.

So the elements are coming together.  I'll have to stick with it, or I'll be a disaster next year.

Here's to being overly ambitious.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Time to lose...

I've struggled with weight pretty much my whole life.  I've been up, I've been down.  Looked good, looked not so good - you get it.

I want to be healthy; give my children/wife a strong, healthy dad/husband, and more importantly:  to feel great.  I want to wake up some morning, feel like I could take on the world, and then actually feel like giving myself the "Buddy Christ" thumbs up when I look in the mirror.  I want to live that day, perfectly fueled and feeling great all day long…and then repeat that day after day for all the ones that come after that.

This is a lifestyle change.  It's not a diet, it's not a fad, it's not a trend.  It's my desire to change, little by little, bit by bit.

I've gotten fed up in the past, tried to do something, then failed.  But today, I'm doing two things I've never done before.

1 - I'm making myself accountable to you all.  I'm putting it all out there and exposing myself to the encouragement of forward progress, and the motivation to do better when it's not so forward.  

2 - and this is the fun part - I'm personifying my weight.  I'm a mathematician working in a quasi-financial role - I deal with numbers all day.  Their meaningless to me - plain rice/white bread/4 door sedan - boring.  Today I personify it.  I'm at 210 pounds currently; I want to lose 50 (yes - ambitious, but not rubbish).  I'm naming all 50 pounds.  When I'm running/lifting/eating well/playing with my kids, I want to know who I'm up against at that time…I don't want to think "ok, I'm at 35, going for 36" - I want to think "this week, I'm taking on Iris, Nadine, and Angelina."  Then it's a vendetta, then it's tangible, then it's personal.  And when I see that they're gone, up comes a new list of foes…not just a predictable number.  Game on.

You've likely noticed by now that I chose girl names…that is unless you happen to have dude friends named Iris, Nadine, or Angelina I guess.  I chose them for a reason, for meaning - and none of the names on the list were intended to be anyone I know - not even Tina :).  In fact, I didn't write the list - I got it from somewhere.  I'm betting the first person to pick up on it will be a guy, and will also realize that Lisa is in fact not the last name on the list - props to you if you've figured it out - now off to Google with the rest of you.

I'm going to beat this, and it's going to start now.  All forms of encouragement, support, one-upmanship, and peer pressure are welcomed.

So, here it is.  "The List".  DISCLAIMER:  This may take a while…

Pound 1:  Mary
Pound 2:  Barbara
Pound 3:  Lindsey
Pound 4:  Laura
Pound 5:  Alma
Pound 6:  Madeline
Pound 7:  Patricia
Pound 8:  Carol
Pound 9:  Daniela
Pound 10:  Stefanie
Pound 11:  Erin
Pound 12:  Pamela
Pound 13:  Stacey
Pound 14:  Anne
Pound 15:  Kate
Pound 16:  Vanessa
Pound 17:  Denise
Pound 18:  Diane
Pound 19:  Iris
Pound 20:  Nadine
Pound 21:  Angelina
Pound 22:  Rose
Pound 23:  Susan
Pound 24:  Megan
Pound 25:  Tracy
Pound 26:  Rachel
Pound 27:  Bernadene
Pound 28:  Deborah
Pound 29:  Gina
Pound 30:  Hillary
Pound 31:  Kimberley
Pound 32:  Dorothy
Pound 33:  Donna
Pound 34:  Samantha
Pound 35:  Ellen
Pound 36:  Gabriela
Pound 37:  Shannon
Pound 38:  Jessica
Pound 39:  Sharon
Pound 40:  Tina
Pound 41:  Marsha
Pound 42:  Natalie
Pound 43:  Virginia
Pound 44:  Tanya
Pound 45:  Grace
Pound 46:  Ashley
Pound 47:  Eleanor
Pound 48:  Cathy
Pound 49:  Lynn
Pound 50:  Lisa

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from THE FUTURE: July 2014

I cried like an angry hungry baby today. I'm just glad I didn't soil myself while doing it. Me and a buddy ran the Tough Mudder today. We started training roughly a year ago, building up from a state (at least myself) of gravitationally secure video game experts, to the rough cut beasts of men we are today (how I managed to grow an extra foot taller in my late 30's I'll never know). Our training mostly prepared us...mostly.

The run was ok, the obstacles were fun for the most part; it all went well. Until the end. At the end of these things is a gauntlet of sorts, where you have to run through wet mud....and dangling electrical wires. I knew about them going in, and I thought I could beat them. I figured I'd see a bunch of determined men and women power right through with angry looks on their faces, but no. Not even the 4 rough and tumble firemen (who we ironically had to fireman's carry the last half of the race as it was just too much for them), who offered to go ahead of us as thanks, were able to muscle their way through it without screaming and squealing.

Bear Grylls, whom we had rescued from a rather precarious wall climb obstacle a few miles back, made it a bit further. But even he broke down to blind rage and panic long before the end. Incoherently babbling about turtlenecks and a fuzzy leprechaun. It got weird.

I made it about half way in before I dropped. I turtled hard. The world went somewhere else. I was a mess of sparks, tears, and tiny shreds of dignity. It was awful.

I thought of my girls, pulled myself together - gave a quick glance to my buddy to make sure he was doing the same and we made off. Each grabbing one of Bear's arms and a couple of firemen, we pulled them safely across the finish line and into the history books. We made it.

But I cried - a lot. And incase you were wondering - no, still no hoverboards.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Instalment #19

I hate Tupperware.  Tupperware in my opinion is good for two things:

1.  Keeping the food you didn't eat contained long enough for you to throw it out at a more convenient time.

2.  Tupperware bombing your spouse.

I get Tupperware bombed all the time.  I even do it to myself.  Looking in that awful cupboard where you store it, you see no other alternative than to place that last piece in ever so precariously, then pray the weight of the door you've just slammed on it holds it in place.  Then, the next person to open the door doesn't just get one piece dropped out onto them...no.  See, Tupperware has a unique physical property typically reserved only for unstable radioactive isotopes where if it's compressed, no matter how stable the structure is, there's a point where everything just goes to hell.  You open a Tupperware cupboard and it's like you've asked an emotional menopausal woman with abandonment issues how her day went.  You then look up to the sky, and shaking your fist a la James T Kirk, you scream the name of he/she who set you up.

Then, naturally plotting your revenge, you cram it all back in, close the door and wait.  Tupperware is a vicious cycle - stop the madness.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Confessions of Guilt from Dan Graves - Instalment #18

I used to wake people up at night...a lot.  Well, I didn't, but their dogs did.  I was merely a catalyst.  See, when I was living in Japan, I was a young guy with lots of free time on his hands.  I went out a fair amount.  I often ended up coming home late, catching one of the last trains home if I was fortunate enough to make it in time.  Japanese houses are not the hermetically sealed giant Thermos boxes we live in here in North America.  No, while they are beautiful and ornate, walls are about as thick as wishful thinking and doors seem to amplify ambient sounds rather than muffle them.

So, did I shout?  Drag my feet aggressively?  Sing?  Kick things?  No...

I barked...quietly.

See - every house on the 3 minute walk from the train station to my apartment building seemed to have at least one dog.  And not giant slumbering laid back mutts either.  No, these were a series of small, yappy dogs, each more hi-strung than the next; a loaded gun with a hair trigger.  As I rounded one specific corner, all I had to do was let out one small quiet "ruff".  Barely audible, every time without fail it would set off a chain reaction that would see lights coming on all down the street that sounded like a kennel on bacon day.  I'd giggle uncontrollably the rest of the walk home and sleep peacefully to the sounds of whatever I had in my discman that day (remember those?) - oblivious to the escalating chaos I'd triggered all around me.

Fittingly, anyone who's been to my house in recent years knows that I'm continually reaping the payback I'd earned over those years.  I have the noisiest dogs of them all.