I recently attended a workshop on wellness and personal fitness presented by Ottawa running coach Phil Marsh. He asked us if we exercised. A simple question really, but it had us all thinking. What do we do in any day that would count as exercise. The attendees ranged from people who are competing in marathons and triathlons, to people who have considered maybe doing a Couch to 5K. So where do I fit? Well when I did a little self assessment it turns out I am fairly active, or at least I have been fairly active. Last year I ran fairly regularly through the spring and summer, even competing in 8k and 10k races. In the past (the way back past) I rode my bike the 20 kms to work each day. And I’m pretty busy with the kids and our dog. But that was the past. Where am I at now? How active am I really, right now?
This is the first week of March. I can’t believe how quickly we’ve gone through through the first two months of the year. Maybe that’s because we’ve spent all of our free time at sports with our daughter’s ringette, one of our son’s hockey, and all three kids’ wheelchair basketball. Okay, admittedly we signed up for this because we want our kids to be active and healthy, but as we head into playoffs and Provincials, we kind of just want it to be over. Also, the fact that the average temperature for the lat two months seems to have been -30C may also have something to do with my attitude right now.
I had grand plans for this year that currently don’t seem to be realistic. I had planned to write a semi-weekly series on music. This was great in January, but February had me planning and drafting but not actually publishing anything. So now I’m behind on that project. I had planned to exercise for my self. You know, regular 7 minute workouts, some yoga, some time on the bike. Nope. Zip. Nadda. Once again, the best laid plans … well you know. Any way, this is really an outcome that is of my own making. When I wasn’t dealing with work, taking my kids to a sporting activity, or doing the parental hand-off in the driveway/parking lot because my wife and I play zone defence when it comes to the kids, or shoveling the driveway, I actually liked to sit down and enjoy some family time. But hey, I really should make an effort for exercise. Especially if I want to keep up with my kids.
Now it’s not all doom and gloom. I haven’t been a complete couch potato. Because I have a hard time sitting still (I mean a REALLY hard time) at the kids’ sporting events, I coach and participate. That means I get to play some wheelchair basketball once a week. I’m on the ice or bench coaching. That means for the months of January and February I’ve been on the ice for 18 practices of skating and shooting. While I’m not always working as hard as the players, I do get a good skate in. And it turns out shooting is not a bad workout either. Also, we own a dog. Ostensibly the dog was for the kids, but I think my wife really wanted him so that I was guaranteed some exercise. While I share walking duties with son #2, the dog and I have managed to walk approximately 50 kms so far this year. Our walks have been hampered by the extreme cold, so I expect we will cover more ground in the coming months (assuming it does actually get warmer).
So I am getting some exercise, at least enough to keep my calorie intake at bay. My doctor always reminds me I need to move more so that I can get my weight down. My sister-in-law, who is one of the fittest people I know, keeps telling me I can make time to exercise. She and my brother-in-law are two of the biggest sources of encouragement to get moving. And keep moving. Of course my family — my wife and our three kids — are the BIGGEST reason to keep moving. I plan to be around for a long time, so I do need to keep moving, and I will keep moving.