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!

 

Three Runs To Go!!!!

Unbelievably I only have 3 more runs left to complete in my 100 day running challenge, and the question now shifts from IF I will finish, to HOW I will finish and I’ve thought of a few different scenarios over the past two weeks… it’s a great shame that mother nature just isn’t co-operating with me at this point.  We have had snow all week, and even this morning I’ve woken up to another foot that had fallen overnight.

I don’t mind running in the snow, or the cold but hey, I’ve been running outside for three plus months now, sometimes in extreme and crazy conditions.  Heck, I ran in January when it was minus 26 degrees.  That my friends is dedication!  I guess I just really wanted to end on a nice warm spring day, where I could just have shorts and a t-shirt on and just enjoy the beauty as I finish with a nice long run down to the lake and back.  I still may do this run, it’s just that it will be cold and rainy on Tuesday.

I have a group call every Tuesday night with an amazing group of men that know of this challenge, and I am going to start that call while out running so they can all have a good laugh but I will already have completed the 100th earlier in the day, I guess that will be run 101.  Seriously, I’ve had so much enjoyment with this challenge and I never thought that I would see it through.  I figured injury, or my own head would get in the way of me finishing and it almost did.

i was at a pretty low point in March, in fact the whole month was a real struggle for me.  I found myself withdrawing inside my own head, slid back (rather easily) into some bad habits and almost gave up this challenge completely.  My body was tired and sore, my energy level started to decrease on a daily basis, some days I just didn’t even want to get out of bed.  I hadn’t felt that low since last September when I had to walk away from my job at Keg because I was a grumpy, miserable fuck.

That all changed a few weeks ago with a phone call.

A mentor and friend of mine, Jason talked me through what was going on and the why of it all.  He told me something that I have not heard enough of in my life…

YOU ARE WORTH IT.  I BELIEVE IN YOU.

Very powerful words when one does not believe in themselves.  I have these limiting beliefs, check that, I HAD these limiting beliefs that have held me in place my entire life.  The journey that I have been on the last six months has been to smash through those beliefs and do some crazy and amazing things with my life, and my family.  I have made some progress but always seemed to take a few steps forward then a few steps back.

NO MORE I SAY!!  NO MORE!!

Having someone believe in me, having someone blow wind into my sails is all I have even wanted out of life, and in a relationship.  I had just that for awhile and when it was taken away from me I collapsed like a house of cards.  That’s life, right?

The foundation that I have worked to build the last six months remained strong, Jason helped shuffle those cards back up and I took them back and started to rebuild.  I have had a few comments from various sources about being on fire recently, and boy I sure am.  The introvert Ed Dillon, he gone just like a baseball player whiffing at strike three.  Gone.

In it’s place stands a strong, confident compassionate man on a journey of personal growth and increased wisdom.  I love that statement, it gives me goosebumps.  But it’s true, it’s damn true.

This past week I have had meaningful and intense conversations with men from all over the planet, we truly like in a global age.  Thursday past I spoke to guys from Australia, Missouri, Minnesota, Toronto and Texas all with intent and meaning.  A year ago you couldn’t put me into a room with strangers, I would shy away  and be a wall flower and feel totally uncomfortable.  Today, I welcome these challenges, it pushes me out of my comfort zone and forces me to grow, and grow and grow.

I am very grateful for being on this path.  My relationships with everyone has improved, my children most of all.  Emily… i don’t even need to put it into words.  Tears to my eyes… life is going to get very interesting, heck it already is.

Have a fantastic Sunday everyone, this guy is smiling ear to ear!

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!

 

Post Valentine’s Day Blues

So as a single guy a day like yesterday kind of sucks.  Everywhere you turn love and happiness is being thrown in your face, to make matters worse I was also trying to capitalize on this day by pimping my sugar cookie business to anyone that was interested.  To spend the day before (all day) baking, icing and decorating, then packaging up all these tasty treats was a lot of fun but just drove the point home even more.

It was a perfect storm of life events as well, both little kids went back to their mom’s house as it was Wednesday.  The eldest two wanted to spend time with their friend and boyfriend so I had an empty house.

Honestly sitting home alone was not so much fun, and it allowed my mind to wander into some rather dark places.  I didn’t like where it was going, and I was questioning a lot of the decisions that I have made over the last few months.  I immediately recognized this as the beginning a what could have been a very nasty negative cycle.  These patterns of thinking have been very self destructive for me in the past, and it is so easy to fall back into them and let the nothing just carry you away.

Good thing for me I have learned a few things these last few months about myself and how to handle this negative energy.  As it was February 14th most of my support circle was busy last night having the most wonderful time (I hope), so I had to look at the man in the mirror for some guidance and help.  I fired up Titanic on the big screen, grabbed my trusty journal and wrote a bunch of pages to purge my mind of the evil thoughts stirring around in there.

Those thoughts are now out of my head and will be translated directly into actions today which is a great thing.  These intermittent thoughts that I would argue we all have from time to time  can be self destructive when allowed to take hold, its comforting knowing that I can now recognize the onset and not allow myself to get trapped, but even more so be a source of energy and inspiration to drive me forward.

Today we have 80 sugar cookies to bake this morning for a client tomorrow afternoon, and some for my daughter and her class tomorrow as she is star of the day, then it will be some quality kid time tonight with swim lessons and some family fun at the YMCA followed my Marvel movie night!

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!

 

How I Feel Better, Not Rocket Science…

To say I’ve been in a bit of a funk recently would be an understatement, which is weird because usually after some kid free time I am recharged and ready to face the week ahead.  Not so much this weekend, I had the best Saturday possible where it involved a 11.5km run outdoors, followed by a leg workout.  Then I had the pleasure of playing my x-wing miniatures game and won 🙂 and enjoyed the time in between playing pool and other things…

I woke up early on Sunday and took a look at my MasterMind homework for the week, this scared the crap out of me and I think started the process of getting inside my own head.  To backtrack a bit, I’ve joined several men’s support groups on Facebook and have started working with several guys through weeks of community calls and support to help improve mental health/  The love and support I’ve found here is life changing in so many ways that sometimes words cannot just describe.

So this exercise really got into my head, and it started my mind thinking on a bunch of other things that really had an impact and effect on my mood.  This would be one of the greatest things that I needed to work on and change when I decided to walk away from my job and rediscover all the joys in life.  We sometimes call it Mental Toughness, and it had been awhile since my mind had gotten the better of me.  This mood, if you will drifted into Monday and I got through that day but was very lethargic, didn’t eat well and perhaps drank one or two too many beers last night.  Lying in bed eating a large piece of apple pie right before going to sleep perhaps was not the best thing.

The last two night I have also had very vivid and telling dreams about a few of things that I have been thinking on.  I think my sub conscience mind was trying to work through some of the mental baggage that I am still carrying around in the back of my mind.  And I have a job interview today, one that I am only a little nervous about as it’s my first in a good long while, and there may be some uncomfortable topics on conversation along the way.  I think if I approach it with an open mind, and coming from a point of being vulnerable then I should be just fine.

With all this going on today, I reached out to some friends and posted in a few of my support groups, and I was hit back with some instant comments and support.  Even had a challenge thrown my way to keep at things and I happily accepted that challenge and found my way down to my gym in the basement for a good hour of lifting weights and running the stairs throughout my house.

It helped immensely with my mood and energy level for the rest of today!  I actually feel pretty good, I guess the only thing left to work through is my nerves with regards to both this interview and the fact that I will be the center of attention during my conference call tonight, talking about this very subject.  i actually welcome the chance to get 12 other men’s perspective on my situation and what I am currently dealing with.  It’s an incredibly nerve racking experience to open up and share what’s going on in my head, not something that I have ever done before which is causing the nerves.  When it all said and done I know that I will learn and grow from the experience and continue to move my life in the right direction.

This is a cycle that I have dealt with my entire life, and it would cripple me for weeks at a time.  Dealing with addiction made this cycle even worse, and even tougher to shake.  I have a smile on my face as I type this now realizing that I have positioned myself to help safeguard these self destructive cycles that I know that exist in my life.  Ha ha… win!