Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Hope everyone is having a great time tricking and treating. Pumpkin carving will commence at our house very soon I'm sure (just waiting for the head pumpkin-carver to get out of bed ...)

Sadly, this is the second Halloween in a row that I've been too sick to do much about. After encouraging signs (read: advanced fooling myself) that I was on the mend, a wedding on Friday night -- with its late night, dancing, chatting and libations -- put me right back to square one with a throat so sore I couldn't speak. Don't worry, once again I won't be touching/contaminating any candy meant for children.

The other thing I was looking forward to this weekend was training. But I had to cancel two glorious road rides and an orientation class at this kettle bell gym down the street called "Ironkore" where "buns of steel are no match for balls of iron". I know the crossfitters get a lot out of their their kettle bell training so I was interested in checking it out. They are very focused on getting their clients off on the right foot with proper technique so you have to take classes before you work your way up to an "open gym membership". It sounds like an awesome workout and you don't even have to wear shoes, which I like. Guess I'll have to take a raincheque. So far, winter training is off to a great start. hrm.

I DID manage to sign up for a gym membership though. I'm officially a Goodlifer now. A colleague of mine at work used to be an aquafit instructor there. When I told her I joined up she welcomed me to "the cult". Cult comment notwithstanding, I like it already and I haven't even done a workout. Their rates are lower than Extreme (my last gym -- not recommended), I can cancel at any time for 99 bucks, OR for five bucks I can put my membership on hold for six months. No enrolment fee, pus, they have a pool and they gave me a sweet bag. OH, and I don't have to start actually paying until January. It all sounds too good to be true to me as well so I'll let you know when it becomes clear which part of all the fine print I didn't understand correctly.

Also aiming to get started on yoga again. There's a Moksha just down at Bloor and Jane and they have a special introductory offer -- $40 for all the yoga you can do in a month. So November/December will have four weeks of intense yoga to a) get my money's worth and b) kick start my return to stretching and flexibility.

Apparently, there's a new yoga place in Port Elgin as well which I'm excited to try out. They've got hot classes, unheated classes, and a couple different yoga disciplines. Even a class called "yoga for regular guys" which is great, because one thing Port Elgin has in abundance is "regular guys". Anyway, it's great to know there's a place in Port for when I go home -- especially because my sister is getting into it as well so I'll have someone to go with.

All in all I'm very excited about all the things going on for winter training ... I can't wait until I can actually start DOING them.

Signing off from the couch, with tea,

Monday, October 25, 2010

OMG, really?

For cying out loud, I think I have strep. Again.

This will be the third time in a year. Not normal.

All the telltale signs are there ... ambushed by swollen glands. Polka dots visible by flashflight. Itchy ears. Overall feeling of uneasiness and dizziness. Headache.

To top it off, I just finished reading Francis Raymond's book, as I mentioned earlier, and he basically says antibiotics are the devil and makes a pretty good case for that statement. I remember reading his words and thinking "that's it. Never again." I didn't think I'd be called out so soon though.

My doctor isn't available to see me until Wednesday so I'm now on a mission to gargle with salt water as much as humanly possible. Add to that green tea, lemons and honey and hopefully I can avoid a course of the dreaded antibiotics.

Although I'm worried about what she's going to say about three throat infections in the space of a year. Tonsillectomy, me no likey.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


If I'm not careful, it's going to be a whole month gone by before I check in here again. So here's a quick note to say hello, and provide an overview of what's been going on in the "off-season".

1) Vacation!!

G and I packed up and headed out on a helluva deal to the Mayan Riviera. No hurricanes, fantastic weather and sunburn free. We tried to relax, but we're just too antsy in our pantsy (it's what I like about us!) and ended up doing all kinds of fun activities, mainly in the ocean with the fishies and the rays and the turtles. I even got out for a dive and saw a pair of enormous barracudas! However, despite the sea life being the most memorable part of our trip, we don't have an underwater camera so I can't share :( Our above-water camera did capture some great memories for us though and you can see those on facebook.

2) Bikes

I still can't decide. Lord help me. I want to have the guts to go with the 29er, but I've never even sat on one before so I'm having difficulty feeling confident pulling the trigger on that one when the other choice is a bike I know I will love. Sweet Pete's has a FS 29er demo in the shop now, so maybe after riding that one it will make more sense to me. I rode one on the streets the other day (also FS) and I was so intimidated walking up to it my resolve was totally shaken. you can fit a whole 26 inch wheel INSIDE a 29er!! It feels like getting on a horse! What to do??

3) Training

... has begun!! Much more motivated this year and much more on track. Look out!! I leave the bike at home except for commuting and weekend rides this time of year, so running is the name of the game. Monday's run was so nice -- sunset burning the edges of the clouds, temperature just right, spotted some wildlife (fox!) and was even on par with last year's pacing. I did wipe out though, which was embarrassing, but thankfully not a disaster or anything.

4) Work

Full speed ahead! Check out to read about our last year. We just had our big Liberal AGM this past weekend and we are good to go for the year leading up to the election. The Premier made a speech that got me choked up no less than four times and I truly wish for every Ontarian to see it too.

Premier McGuinty Keynote Speech - OLP AGM Saturday, October 16, 2010 from Ontario Liberal Party on Vimeo.

5) Reading

I just finished a pile of books (thank you vacation and rainy TTC days!) and would recommend all of them:

Never Be Sick Again, by Raymond Francis.
This one looks at "getting sick" from the perspective of your cells. I know it sounds like dry material, but it has really changed the way I do my grocery shopping, how I feel about those mini-trampolines our parents had in their basements, and even where I leave my blackberry when I go to sleep. Raymond Francis is a researcher with degrees from MIT so it isn't some hippy dippy trippy malarky. Urge everyone to check it out.

Room, by Emma Donoghue
This novel was our book club pick and I read it way too fast on the beach in Mexico -- couldn't put it down. It's written from the perspective of a five year old who lives with his mother in Room. For him, Room is the world. For her, Room is the prison "Old Nick" has kept them in for seven years. It was an amazing story of what a mother can do to protect her son and raises lots of thought provoking questions I can't wait to discuss with the girls!

Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd
I picked this off the shelf because it was skinny. I found out that despite it being skinny, it wasn't always light. In the back the author says that when she finished writing it, she was homesick for "the pink house" and its inhabitants, a sisterhood of love. now that I'm finished reading it I'm with sue. It's one of those books you make friends with. I haven't seen the movie yet, but i'm eager to see what they do with it.

I think that's all I've got for an update ... hope everyone is enjoying the fall weather and riding.

Anyone looking for road riding buddies, please think of me!