I’m Back Baby! ~ George Costanza

So it’s definitely been awhile since I’ve sat down to write a blog post for my little site here.  I honestly was upset for the ripple effect I saw in my personal life from a simple blog post(s) from earlier this year, and I’ve been busy!  Going back to work full time and head first dove into the world of dating once again.

And that experience is what I want to write about again.  My goal is to simple share my experiences, both good and bad and hopefully someone can learn something and apply it to their own life.  That would be aces.

As of this writing, it’s been about five weeks since I made the decision to date again.  And is that really a decision you make?  I just woke up one day and said to myself, today is the day to get back out there.  What was it about that particular day versus every other day, I couldn’t tell you.  I just knew that I finally, after almost two years felt ready to give it a serious try.  Now when I do something, it’s 100% and then a little more, as I believe that you only get back what you are willing to put in…

Two months ago, a co-worker and I were talking about Tinder, the “dating” app where you can swipe right (I like), or left (no thanks) based on a few pictures, and maybe a paragraph or two…  So as much as an experiment as anything else, I created a Tinder profile and started swiping away.  It felt very underwhelming to be looking for love on my cell phone, swiping left or right.  This site is also geographically based, meaning you can only see certain woman based on your search radius and where you are actually located.

Let’s just say in that first few weeks I learned all the single ladies in and around Barrie and Angus… I’ve yet to meet someone in person that I’ve seen online, and I often find myself wondering if someone out there recognizes me?

“Hey, I saw you on Tinder but I didn’t swipe right…”

Is that really a conversation anyone wants to ever have?

img_5624I honestly wasn’t getting much action on Tinder until I changed my profile picture.  Once I loaded this picture, Tinder blew up for me.  I would argue I saw 1000% more interest based on this picture.

I had a few ladies ask if that was really me in the picture, and yes it is!  Perhaps my all time favorite photo of me, cause in all honesty I look fantastic.  I would sleep with me…

I’d just finished a 1.5 km swim after jumping off the side of a steamship, flew out of the transition area on my bike and finished the first climb of the day.  The photographer, Mike Cheliak was sitting in the middle of the road at the top of the hill snapping away.  My arms, chest and shoulders were still all pumped up from a 40 minute swim, and start of the bike.

I also dusted off my old profile on Match which I had set up the previous summer without much success, truthfully I wasn’t ready for that whole world just yet.  I believe I went on one date, and uncovered at least three scams to get money from me.  It was not a good experience because I just didn’t have the right mindset, and any relationship that I may have started would have been doomed to failure.

The whole online dating process is a lot like answering want ads or applying for a job might be an even more accurate statement.  Your searching through all the listings, looking for the “lady” that might just be the one, that right combination of interesting words and a eye catching picture of two.  With so many different people out there, all looking for something slightly different you never know the responses you might get, and from whom…

From the research that I did, there seemed to be lots of ideas of what to include in your profile to draw interest.  And from talking with people about their experience(s) in the world of online dating, and from my own experience so far I can honestly say you are never going to know, nor should you be surprised by anything that may happen.

So over the next few months I will be sharing my experiences to date, pun intended.  And truthfully I’ve already met someone pretty special, things are going very well and it was the most unexpected person I would ever have guessed.

 

Today Is # 100

In a few hours I will be heading out for run number 100 in a row, in a challenge I started on back on January 1st.  Talk about the ultimate New Years Resolution!!

There are going to be a lot of emotions and feelings floating through my head while I am out there and I am actually very interested to see where my thoughts take me.  I remember vividly during the final few kilometers of my first Ironman 70.3 race, I started to reflect on my journey that led to this race.  I had tears rolling down my face during the final two kilometers with each step filling my heart and soul a little bit more with a sense of accomplishment.

This challenge was not easy for me, and almost didn’t see it’s conclusion.  I had (and needed) help along the way to see it through, and while I may have been the one doing all the running it was a group effort to get me across the finish line.  Being a single Dad of four kids it takes a lot of planning, juggling and lots of help to manage and organize your time to get these runs in.  Body maintenance, proper rest, nutrition and the right frame of mind are also big factors involved as well.

With that in mind I would like to thank so many people for their help with this journey.  I honestly could not, and would not have done it without your help!

It still amazes me a bit as to one can accomplish with the right frame of mind, and this journey has certainly helped build a mental toughness that is going to come in very handy during my Ironman 70.3 race this summer.  Very handy indeed.

Up next for this guy is going to be a 100 day bike challenge, that will be equally challenging to me, although not quite as taxing on the quads, and other leg muscles.  It will help build an excellent cycling base to go on top of the excellent run base I have established.

There will be lot’s of running in the days ahead, and I am looking forward to switching things up to a more diverse training plan with regards to running.  Hill work, interval training, recovery/base runs and long run Sundays are going to be part of the plan moving forward.  Goals?  I have a few… I really want to break a 4 minute kilometer, and hit a 21 minute 5km as well.  With proper rest, the correct warmup and the desire to just bring it, I believe all of these things can happen and more.

Amazing, just amazing…

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

Welcome to the Next Evolution

 

Life is an ever evolving journey that will keep me on my toes right up until the day that I die, which I hope to be many years from now but in all reality who really knows?

I have been doing a lot of soul searching, reflection and subconscious thinking about my future over the past several weeks.  At times in my life I have been caught in the cycle of the nothing, but this period of time was completely different… when I am in the grip of the nothing, nothing happens, I don’t do much (usually zero exercise) and I feel sorry for myself, a little depressed, just generally not a good mental place.

Again this was different, I know BIG changes are coming and my mind has been planning things out getting ready for today.  Today is the first day of the next evolution of my life as things seem to be falling into place, perhaps not the way I originally planned or intended but that is life isn’t it?

It’s kind of funny to me when I sit here and think about things, rolling with things, being a bit of a free spirit has never been my strong suit and something I have really struggled with in the past.  I would fight against what I had planned, and what life was presenting to me, it was a struggle and it would usually end up sucking the joy and excitement of whatever it was I may be doing.  A very small change in my own mental perception of things has helped tremendously when approaching life.

Using my oldest daughter as a perfect example, as I have struggled with her or more correctly my own mental perception of what I thought her teenage years should be, and as time went by and I struggled with my vision of my daughter’s life, the way I thought it should be, and what ultimately it turned out to be were two completely different things.  The more I would fight against what was reality, and what my vision of that reality the further apart we seemed to grow.  Having accepted the situation for what it is, for accepting the way my life has turned out now I can build from here.

The next four months are going to see a lot of HUGE changes coming in this guys life, and I am very excited to see where I can end up come the end of this summer.  It’s going to be awesome!!

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

Monkey See, Monkey Doo

I didn’t quite understand just how much my actions would influence my children’s behaviour until very recently when I had a numerous of life hard truths that I had to first face, and then overcome.  The last few months I have had the absolute pleasure of seeing the results of a positive, action lifestyle.  A few weeks ago during one of my MasterMind group calls, the topic of doing things in front of your children.  One in our group is learning to play the guitar, and it was suggested to practice while the kids were around so they could see Dad practice…  Interesting concept.

This has now translated into working out with Austin each day as opposed to lifting weights at the gym, I have the ability to do this at home.  Each day he gets very excited to join Daddy in building muscle downstairs in my home gym.  Today will be no different as Austin and I will soon be crushing chest day.

The opposite effect of something like even writing this blog post is that Austin is lying here beside me watching his Ipad, or his cartoons on the TV.  If I am not actively engaging him he can get lost in the electronic world, and I’d much rather have him based in the real world.  With most of the snow now melted up here, Austin has also started asking to go the park, as this is when my “training” will get to be really a lot of fun.  As beneficial as lifting weights has been to my overall strength it does get rather repetitive and boring for me.  Perhaps lacking a true workout partner to push me harder and further… who knows… but what I really enjoy is jumping on my bike with the boy in tow, and then stopping at parks for him to play and me to get some working out in on the playground equipment.

It’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of weight based movements with lot’s of pushing and pulling involved, I challenge you to try to the kids monkey bars the next time you find yourself passing a playground.  It’s tough.

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

100 Days of Running – DAY 50

Many people have expressed to me, including the Nike coach that sometimes whispers in my ear as I run to start off easy and build into the run.  It was a hard lesson for me to learn, and even after all these years I am not sure that I still even get it.  Let me explain, back in 2007 when I was a 234 pound coach potato and had yet to do my first triathlon I started to run.  I can visualize the run corse still in my head, I would start on my driveway head about 150m down the street with a left turn and a kilometer down the street to an Esso gas station, turn around and return home.  Two kilometers in total.

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My run accountability tracker.  It’s half full!

When I started I could not get to the end of my street without my heart pounding, a stitch developing in my side, and me being completely gassed.  What I was doing was leaving my driveway and not running, sprinting at full speed!  My inexperience with anything athletic at that point in my life, had me dazed and confused.  I didn’t know how to run, my goal was to run as fast as I could, I still shake my head sitting here over 10 years later that I couldn’t understand the concept of how to run…

So here we are 11 years later, and I am smack dab in the middle of a personal 100 day run challenge.  I had heard of this challenge a few years ago, and have tried it in the past.  My mindset was that if you could run 100 days in a row, it would put you into fantastic physical condition for the upcoming triathlon season. I believe I tried this challenge two or three years already and never ever made it into double digits.  I gave up, I quit, I missed a day, I left life get in the way…

So what is different this year?  How have I made it all the way to day 50?

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The man in the glass.

That is a very good question, something I will reflect upon today during run 50. What immediately comes to mind is the support circle and system of accountability that I have surrounded myself with.  The changes that I have made in my life both on a personal and professional level.  The fact that I know own my shit, not all the time but it is definitely a work in progress.  The MasterMind group I have joined, is an amazing place for support and accountability led by Jeff and Jason have encouraged me along the way.  New friends like John Bauer inspire me to keep going on this crazy adventure feeding off each others positive energy and good vibes.

Most importantly is the man I see staring at me in the glass each morning.  He inspires me to be better, he inspires me to try harder, he inspires me to run further, he inspires me to grab my shoes and go for a run each and every day for the last 50 days.  He will continue to inspire me to run for 50 more!

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

Valentine’s Day Cookie Rush…

It was a baking kind of morning, as the bananas from Sunday’s grocery shop were finally ready to be turned into some delicious loaves of banana bread, my children like to gobble down.  They were bright green when I bought them and have patiently  waited for them to turn…

And while those bad boys were baking away in the oven it was time to decorate some cookies for the Valentine’s Day cookie rush of early next week…

I have learned that decorating a sugar cookie is definitely a learnt skill, and one that can be greatly improved upon with a whole lot of practice.  And that is what this morning was dedicated to with a fresh batch of icing, learning the correct consistency for both flooding and writing, drying times, etc…

I will also say that also with the strength training that I have been doing recently, it has increased my upper body strength and allowed me to hold that icing bag with a steady head.  Results posted below, my only issues is that I like to sample a lot and eating sugar cookies is not a great part of the triathlete’s diet!

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

The Push Up Challenge & 24 Hour Fast

One of the trendy things to do in some of the Facebook groups that I am in has been a pushup challenge, one guy is working his way up to 100 pushups in a row.  A few others have gotten on board with doing them in public places and getting there family members involved.  So I decided to join in on the fun!

The kids really enjoyed climbing on Dad’s back and going for a ride, and I think I will continue this each time that I am doing push ups.  The extra weight will certainly help in the development of the chest, shoulders and biceps…

While it’s great getting in all this exercise, and running I will openly admit that my diet sucks.  Somewhere in the back of my mind it’s okay to eat whatever I want, whenever I want as I am burning off most of those calories throughout my training.  However I have recently started to notice that while my breakfast would be a three egg omelette filled with peppers and onions, a small slice of banana bread, orange juice and coffee.  Lunch would be a turkey sandwich with turkey bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and marble cheese, it was dinner time when I would struggle with.  Lots of chicken wings, homemade and baked in the oven, I am one of Domino’s best customers and have racked up several free pizzas over the past few months.  And I openely admit to having both a sweet and salty tooth, with bags of chips and cheesies or dollar store chocolate bars being my favorite.

My latest indulgent is the “extra” Sugar Cookies that I have been baking and decorating, as I have been making some orders and some promotional cookies to photograph and I have a hard time unloading them on the kids and putting them in the food waste bin as I hate wasting food.  What is a guy to do?  My freezer is already filling up with extra treats the kids couldn’t quite eat…

So today I decided to have a day of fasting, after my morning coffee and the two extra sugar cookies (breakfast of champions indeed) that I would drink nothing but water until 8pm tonight when I am sure that I will eat an entire pizza…

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!