Six weeks down, six to go…

Don’t get excited, it’s just time until my next Dr’s appointment.

I have to give my Doc a lot of credit in his support. He’s really held me to task since we started this back around Aug/Sept of last year. Granted there’s not a lot he could technically do to me besides stern words and utter disappointment, but it’s still nice to have someone to be accountable too (My wife’s used to me talking and not following through, so that doesn’t count.).

First couple of times were a month apart to check progress and develop a plan (do we still have a plan?), after that, it was spread out to two months. This last time, we decided on a three month interval. While some of my previous intervals didn’t have any significant changes or weight loss, I also never gained any weight back during this time.

Always take the little victories, no matter how small.

One of the goals during these periods was to start some sort of exercise program. That part I was failing at, but I was making progress on changing eating habits. Again, little victories. Last time we met, we decided to stretch the interval out to three months. “Great”, I though, “maybe now I can get an exercise program started!”. Now, I really didn’t have a great excuse for not starting a program (besides for some work issues that I’ve since solved and working around) and it would always start like “Next appointment isn’t until eight weeks away, I got plenty of time!“, which would go to “Five weeks away. Should start something soon, but I got time.“, until “My appointment is what date???“.

Rinse. Repeat. Recycle.

The difference this time is now I have started something. Not as early as I planned, but better late than never. Keeping it up until the target date is the next goal. I had planned (or hoped) to be under 300 pounds by that date (which I probably would have had a better chance had I started sooner in this cycle), however starting any sort of exercise is far more beneficial than a number. That number I’ll get to soon enough. When I do, it’ll be the first time I’ll be under 300 pounds in roughly seven years. Donations to help sponsor my Koi tattoo at that time would be greatly appreciated <shaking collection plate>.

Slow progress is better than no progress. I didn’t get to this point overnight, nor do I expect the solution overnight.

Words for anyone starting their own program; Stick with it.

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Run Fatboy Run!

Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase. – Joseph Pilates

Lets get one thing straight: a runner, I am not! However here I am, starting to run, or at least trying to.

Why running? Because it’s something, and it’s more than what I have been doing, which was nothing.

I have more than a surplus of books on different exercise styles; multiple videos from types of yoga, P90X, Insanity Workout (just to name a few); and other sources of information and exercises, thanks to the internet. I’d look over all of these and mull over which was best, which should I start with, and which would give me the best results. The reality is that any one of them would, but I was so busy debating (and looking for my usual distractions) that I wasn’t doing ANY of them!

There’s a saying that goes If wishes were horses, beggars would ride! It finally came to a time where wishing for a better body wasn’t going to happen. I need to get off my ass and make it happen! So, thus begins that start of doing anything! I figure it’s more important to be doing something, than thinking about doing something. The idea of this is to get into the routine of doing some sort of exercise rather than a particular type of exercise. Today was the second time I’ve got out to do a run in the last dew days.

Today’s hard part is drowning out the voice of self doubt; that conversation you have with yourself even while performing the exercise. Negativity is like a demon – whether it’s your own inner demons or the metaphysical type – and it plays with your best intentions. Today’s conversation went something like this:

Why are you doing this? – For myself. I used to say for my family, but I really have to do this for myself. My family will benefit from it in the long run.

You can’t do this! – How do I know? I’ve never tried to run before.

You’ve tried programs before and failed! – True, but situation is different and motivation is different.

Why are you out here? – Because I’m paying for years of neglect, and it’s time to right some wrongs.

Such was just part of today’s internal dialogue. The solution is to either come up with some good answers to counteract our inherent laziness, or turn up the MP3 player to drown out the voices!

Running is actually something I’ve thought about incorporating into a routine for a while now. It also plays into part of my goals (which are important!). One thing I’d like to try is to participate in next year’s running of “Mud, Sweat, and Tears”, if for no other reason than just the experience. I’d also like to (also maybe next year) go to Vegas and participate in “Run For Your Life”: a 5 km obstacle course while being chased by Zombies (you know you wanna!)!

For me, I really have no interest in going past about 10 km. Chad, a good friend of mine, did his first marathon last year; that’s 42 km. A far better man than I to do such a feat! I’m a firm believer in “everything in moderation” (except Asian food, which is probably why I weigh what I do) and I had heard of reports that too much running can actually be bad for the heart (not enough cardio is bad for the heart too!). So while anything of that extreme distance is not on my goal list, I salute those that can. I’ll be cheering for you at the finish line.

Two times out doesn’t make me a “runner” by any shape or form, but it’s more than I’ve done in the past! I’m doing my best to be smart about it and work into it. Sadly, I’m not 25 anymore and don’t recover as well from mistakes. I’ve also been running on soft surfaces like sports fields, as blowing out my knees are a concern, especially with my weight. So far so good in that department, but surprisingly (and thank God) I’ve never had much problems with my knees even when I was heavier. So, as until my body tells me otherwise, I shall continue with what I’ve been doing.

Wish me luck.

Gorge Creek Trail Loop

Not all those who wonder are lost – J.R.R. Tolkein

Despite the many years I’ve lived in this province, I’m continually amazed by the places I never knew existed, or may have driven past a thousand times without stopping. This location is a little of both (more the former), and discovered – in a roundabout way – thanks to Geocaching.

I’ve been to Craigellachie multiple times. It’s usually a common rest stop when I used to travel back and forth from AB, however I’ve never ventured much further than the flats. I had no reason to.

If it wasn’t for this kiosk…

If it wasn’t for Geocaching, I would have had no reason to venture up the small hillside to look for a cache. I would have never gone past the small kiosk with pictures and info about the Gorge Creek trail. I wouldn’t have taken a picture of the sign (so I didn’t forget) and shown it to my wife.

Almost a year later of “we should go there sometime”, it became the destination of a family hike on Mother’s Day of 2013. Finding some directions online, it turned out to be easier of a find than expected. Craigellachie is about 1 1/2 hour drive from Winfield (including fuel stop). Plenty of parking is available in the “Last Spike” rest stop. Once past the bathrooms, there’s a short paved path going up the hill, follow this to the kiosk. Once there, look to your right and there’s a short path to the highway. If you look west across the highway, the sign to the trail head is clearly marked (Unless you’re driving on the highway! Can’t read it going North, and it’s angled wrong to read it travelling south.).

Being a coastal boy I fell in love with the area, which I can simply describe as “lush”. Much of the area is covered in a thick layer of green moss. The day was cloudy with the occasional short shower, but we were dressed for it and I enjoyed the cooler weather.

Fir Falls

Upon coming to Fir Falls – the first of the three – my first impression was nothing short of awestruck. While not the largest falls I’ve seen, the deafening thunder of rushing water with the spring runoff, and the thick mist in the air which felt like we were in a cool shower was nothing short of amazing. The view was even more impressive on the bridge which crossed in front of the falls, and had a small falls of it’s own. Log rails are in the area to help define boundary but I wouldn’t count on them to resist much weight on them.

Cedar Falls

This location at Fir Falls is where the trail branches off across the bridge to the trail on the other side of the creek, or continue going west on the trail to the other falls (personally, go this route). Whatever route you take, this is the spot you’ll return to on the loop.

Cedar falls is next on the loop. The mail trail will continue on with a short trail that will take you to the falls. Not a great view when first approaching the falls, but another short trail that follows the creek will give you a better view of the falls. There’s also a small (and I do mean small) bench in the area to have a seat and enjoy the view. return to the mail trail to carry on. From here the trail does get steeper in parts and while not a must, hiking (walking?) poles are an asset.
Hemlock Falls

Hemlock Falls in the final falls on the trail – and in my opinion – the tallest of the
three falls. View of the falls from this spot is at a bit of a distance, but when the water flow is high, you can understand why you wouldn’t want to be too close! It sure doesn’t’ detract from the beauty. From here, the loop carries on above Hemlock Falls to a bridge that crosses the creek and carries on the south bank of the creek. My son took a liking to a couple of stumps that someone took the time to carve into chairs (you’ll see them just before crossing)! Once across the bridge, a picnic table is close by to stop and enjoy a snack before finishing the loop.

Hemlock Falls

The south bank of the trail offers a closer (and nicer) view of Hemlock Falls from this location. Please exercise caution on this side of the trail, as the trail significantly narrows with a sharp drop to the river in a few locations. My highly-distracted almost 4-year-old gave us a couple of heart attacks on this side of the creek with the occasional slip by not watching his footing; damn him and his lack of fear. Also, there’s a couple of steep spots while descending where poles would be handy. Now to cross the bridge near the base of Fir Falls with a thunderous roar of water underneath you. Once crossed over, trail markers guide you back to your starting location.

Below Fir Falls bridge.

Now… part of the idea of Geocaching  is to place caches in interesting locations to bring people to areas they may not normally find on their own. Did we place any? Well of course! However I’ve entered these caches as part of the BC Geocaching Association’s 2013 Blitz, which should start on May 25. I’m actually surprised no one has placed any caches in this spot after all this time? Hopefully they get approved. Kind of a distance to maintain, but as my wife said, this spot will easily be a yearly venture anyway.

Edit: Caches are approved! GC4C89Q, GC4C8A5, and GC4C8AQ.

Coleman for to carry me home…

I love camping.

I have my wife to thank for rekindling my interest. I started camping again when we started dating. I thought about doing it again before that, but she was the one that really got me back into it. I used to go camping with my parents as a kid, but I stopped when I was around 14. Quite frankly, I was bored. Dad’s idea of camping was driving to the same spots, in the same schedule, getting set up and then spending the rest of the evening sitting around and drinking his beer. I used to explore around the areas as much as I could but there’s only so many places to go around the same campgrounds that you’ve been to year after year. I hated the “routine”, no sense of adventure.

However, there’s some things that will always remind me of camping. Bacon and eggs are a breakfast staple, but when the canned potatoes came out and were fried up, that was camping! I want to be able to take my son out exploring and enjoying nature (something desperately needed in this technology-dependent era) and getting myself in better shape will let me do that, besides for sitting around complaining of being “sore” or “tired”… but I digress. One that that always stuck with me and will always remind me of camping is the old liquid fuel stove and lantern. Now much of the same is propane powered, but in a way I always long for that bit of nostalgia.

Recently my father-in-law had given me on old liquid fuel lantern he had around for a while, and just needed a little repair and cleaning. After finding a new globe and finding the right mantle, it was ready to go. I got it fired up, and was thrilled with it running. The roar of the mantle and smell of the fuel was a gateway to a rush of memories. My wife was in the back yard and I had shown her the running lantern  “Yea? It’s a light.” was her reply. She clearly wasn’t as thrilled with it as I was.

Do I need it? Probably not, but I’d still like to bring it along as an extra or backup light. If not to add to my son’s experience, for at least my own sense of nostalgia.

Back in the (bike) saddle!

So much for best intention-ed plans. After my night shift, I was going to go for a bike ride this morning , but said “one quick video game” which turned into well over 2 hours later.

Crap. I see I need to ban myself from them again.

Getting late, but dammit I’m doing it! Went for a quick ride just down the road. I didn’t go far because my back tire has so many cracks in it, it looks like a topographical relief of the Grand Canyon. But, at least I did go. First time on a pedal bike in at least 20 years. Damn, balance isn’t what it used to be (that and my “centre of gravity” has somewhat shifted over the years) and ho boy, I haven’t used those muscles in a while. Not a long venture, but it’s better than sitting around feeling guilty for not going. doing even a small amount still beats having the best of intentions and not acting on it. Think I’ll take it in to get that rear tire replaced on my day off and that’s one less excuse.

Man… I’m going to feel this later…

Anyway… I had planned more of a post of how this all started for my first blog entry, but this is another project that’s sat on the wayside, sidelined by the best plans and intentions, but lousy execution. I figure it’s best to start something and get something going than sit and wait for everything to be “perfect”. God knows I’m not.