Mothers’ Day

There’s two important mothers who have helped make me the man I am today, and if part of who I am is a triathlete, then they’re a big part of that too. Let’s do this in chronological order…

My mother was born in immediate post-war Germany, so she started off tough, as you can imagine. I know one story where her mother took her three daughters (my mother being the youngest) to pick potatoes from a field just so they’d have something to eat. My mother ended up with shoes full of blood – she couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 years old. She grew up without a father thanks to the war, and my grandmother, my aunts and her had to move around a fair bit. Still, somehow they muddled through.

Athletically her side of the family has been very tennis-centric. It’s amazing to watch my mom play tennis (especially since she wins a lot) – no hard or fancy shots, she just hustles for the ball, and returns it consistently, grinding her opponents down. I haven’t stepped on a court in years, nor seen her play recently, but I bet it’s still the same. Growing up, we didn’t just have tennis though. I can remember being in Scouts (everything from Cubs to Venturers), piano lessons, soccer, judo, diving, softball… the list goes on and on. On weekends we’d bike as a family or cross-country ski or hike at the cottage. We were a multi-disciplinarian, multi-sport family, so now, I’m a multi-disciplinarian, multi-sport man.
When I met my wife, I was immediately impressed by how many pies she had her fingers in (figuratively speaking, you understand).  She was working full-time in a marketing executive position, volunteering with a Young Executives of Canada subcommittee of the German-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, teaching special needs kids to ski, all while maintaining an active social life and close ties to her family.  She even seemed game to take on training for a half-marathon with me, so that’s what we did.

Getting to know someone as a friend and better through running (or another form of training, I suppose) till the point where you’re starting to fall in love with them is something I’d wish for anyone who tries to lead a physically active lifestyle.  Running, exercise and physical challenges have always been part of our relationship, and now they’re part of our family life too.  Bringing triathlon into any relationship takes the support of your partner and it can mean outright sacrifice too; so I’m lucky to not only have her in my life to do all those little things that make swimming, biking and running possible, but also that she enjoys similar pursuits and I get the chance to return the favour sometimes.  For the second year in a row, I will be taking care of our sons on Mother’s Day while she runs the Sporting Life 10K… and we’ll be all waiting for her at the finish line (this year I even did the race kit pickup!).

The Human Totem Pole from last year

 Happy Mother’s Day (or Mothers’ Day… there could be more than 1 mother in your life!) How have the Mothers in your life shape your healthy lifestyle?

Recapping the #FitFluentialTO Get-Together/Tweetup

It’s hard for me to write about an event that I know will be covered by others (and they’ll do a better job of it too) and since this was a social event rather than a training session or a race, it’s even more out of my wheelhouse, but here goes nothing…

Saturday May 4th (happy Star Wars Day!) was the eve of the Goodlife Toronto Marathon, and several Fitfluential Ambassadors were getting together to welcome Brian, the Pavement Runner to town and wish him good luck on the race.  The whole thing was put together by Krysten, the Darwinian Fail.  They’re both great sources of leadership and inspiration in the running community, so any meeting of the minds between the two was sure to be the place to be!

The choice of venue/activity was carbo-loading at the Old Spaghetti factory; I don’t need a race as an excuse to eat pasta… let’s hope this doesn’t set my DietBet back too far!  One of my blogger heroes, Janice the Fitness Cheerleader got in touch and we carpooled to downtown Toronto for the event.  (You’ll notice I always include their blogger name – luckily my brain managed to stick to actual given names, but my instinct was always to use online handles, like they were superheroes with secret identities or something!)

We sat at the end of the table and were soon joined by Phaedra from Blisters and Black Toenails who organized the great #BostonStrongTO run, in short, another online running community leader (do you see a pattern yet?).  Go to her blog for another recap of the night.

It was the first time I’d met people who I only knew online in real-life (unless I count the old days of internet dating *shudder*).  I have to admit there’s an underlying awkward vibe that goes largely unacknowledged, but I think everyone feels it all the same.  The good news is that the crowd is so like-minded in their interests – running, social media, triathlon, blogging, health and wellness that good conversation is pretty much non-stop.  There was just a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings as everyone wanted to support the racers, who wanted to support the community of Boston.  If you weren’t racing, you still had training or wellness or blogging goals that everyone wanted you to be able to achieve too.  I even learned about a couple of kids Tri events that bear further looking into…

Phaedra not only beat me to the punch on the recap, but also did a great job of collecting links.  I hereby hijack that list, and add to it…

Christina:  The Athletarian
Kierston:  Candy Fit
Lisa:  ElleSeeFit

and without blogs, but on twitter: Derek
I’ll be spending the rest of the evening adding those to my Feedly (Google Reader Replacement), you should do the same and follow them on Twitter or whatever too.  If you were there that night and I forgot you (or know someone fitting that description), please leave a link in the comments!

EDIT: Holy Cow! I nearly forgot the best part! We all got little loot bags of  Clif Energy Products to take home.  I’ll bet I’m set for race season…

Felicitous Friday: Week in Review

Another week has gone by with enough interesting developments to merit a recap post!

  • On Tuesday I did a new record for longest swim workout using the ‘Ladder’ workout from Meals And Miles’ Swim Workouts Compilation.  That was before breakfast, and I made it to a Gravity Machine class for lunch.  If I had one more workout/form of exercise, I could have called it another Trifecta Tuesday, but since I didn’t, we’ll call it a #FAIL 😉
  • Those two workouts made me a little sore for Wednesday, but it was some of the nicest weather we’d had all year, so wild horses weren’t going to keep me from doing a Burbathlon! I wasn’t too intense on upper body strength exercises, but I did fit in lunges with a park swing, box jumps on a bench, push-ups, step-ups on a stump, balance beam on a few logs, as well as jumping and (simple-)vaulting some logs and a baseball diamond fence.

    It starts with a hill and a path into the woods….
    The Big Hill to Climb
    Dips in the trail…

    This pic was taken in a colder season… but you can see the lunge with a swing.

  • That all left me too sore on Thursday to do my planned workouts, so recovery it was… especially since I neglected to wear compression or foam-roll the night before.
  • Friday is a day of excitement.  I tried out a bike workout hack that I’ve had rolling around in my head for a while, but you’ll have to wait to see it..  The rest of the weekend is jam-packed with activities and get togethers including initial planning this year’s Levac Attack and a Fitfluential Tweet-Up (or whatever we call get-togethers of online friends) to welcome Pavement Runner to Toronto, where he’ll be doing the Goodlife Toronto Marathon.

How was your week? Is your weekend full of fitness and excitement?

Pin-It Party Link-Up

Lindsay from the Lean Grean Bean had the wonderful idea to leverage a little Pinterest and help a bunch of bloggers bring attention to some of their older posts.  Blame me or my equipment, but I generally don’t have the most jaw-dropping pictures… I do know that visuals are important in blogs, as walls of text turn people off.

I picked 5 posts based on 1.) they had to have a ‘Pinnable’ image and 2.) they represent the real heart of what this blog is about.  Here are my 5 posts:

Now that I look at them, there’s not a lot of triathlon representation, which is the main theme of this blog.  Well, my triathlon posts either don’t have good images (that originate from me), or just don’t have the level of originality that I want to present today; e.g. race recaps – I swam, I biked then I ran.  So did everyone else.  The posts above, though? They have that special Iron Rogue brand of crazy.  So go ahead an pin an image!  You can find me on Pinterest here.  And be sure to go to Lean Green Bean for other great posts on fitness and wellness.  I’ll even put a few links in the comment section!

EDIT: Can’t put links in the comments, so here’s some of the other participants I’ve visited:
Itz Linz
Coffee, Cake and Cardio
Family Fitness Food
Fit 2 Flex
Let’s Walk and Talk/