Your Helmet Won’t Stop A Speeding Car…

I grew up during as time when the wearing of bicycle helmets wasn’t really a thing. And how could it be? I couldn’t wear a helmet while wearing earphones to my walkman, now could I? This was long before the advent of earbuds but honestly, as long as I was wearing a ball cap to protect my scalp from the sun and I was home before dark, my parents never imposed the wearing of a bike helmet. These days? Depending on the community you live in, the requirement of a bike helmet may be law. But there isn’t a day where I don’t see multiple people cycling in heavy traffic areas without a helmet.

It is what it is. Some people are more apt to follow rules and best practices than others. But the curious thing is, what purpose does a bike helmet serve? If you’re a young child and you happen to topple sideways on your bike, a helmet may save your skull from cracking on the edge of a sidewalk; no question. But whether you’re a child or an adult, you’re helmet won’t save you from any significant incident, such as getting struck by a moving car. This makes one wonder why it’s considered so necessary on most cases. And this post is about all of those little “rules,” not just bicycle helmets.

The reason behind certain rules and regulations isn’t always clear. And more often than not, it can seem unnecessary and perhaps even excessive. Especially if you find yourself on the receiving end of a penalty in relation to any of it. One good example is last week, when I was issued a traffic ticket for performing an “illegal” turn. I won’t get into the specifics of the ticket, other than to say that I definitely performed the alleged action, and the section of legislation does render it unlawful. So I really can’t argue the traffic ticket. But I couldn’t help but feel that I had done nothing wrong or unsafe and that being issued a ticket because of it was rather ridiculous.

The point behind today’s particular rant, is that even though it seemed perfectly safe and acceptable to me, doesn’t mean that it would be to everyone. In most cases, an incident likely occurred that led to that action becoming unlawful. By that logic, it becomes important for people to observe those laws and abide by them. Not only for their own safety, but the safety of others. At the risk of opening my comments section up to a plethora of argumentative points of view, this concept applies to a lot of rules, regulations and laws that are being enacted in response to the current state of the world. Some of them may seem unfair or excessive, but they all have the aim to protect and safeguard the population as a whole.

Most people can’t discern the difference between their “rights” and doing “what’s right.” The two often don’t go hand-in-hand and don’t always apply to one another. And sometimes, we need to abide by certain rules in order for society to continue to function normally. This is the cost of living in a modern society where we live in mass gathering of populated towns and cities. I’m quite certain that if a vehicle clips me while I’m out cycling, my helmet likely won’t do a damn thing to save me. Just like wearing a face mask “may” do nothing for me or the people around me. But I acknowledge two things: the first is that I can still observe my rights as a person while abiding by the rules. The second is that it costs me nothing, which tends to make peoples’ theatrics over most of these issues more than a bit ridiculous. this is why you’ll always see me do both those things, so long as it’s required of me. Food for thought… ☯️

All Things Good And Bad…

I’ve written a handful of posts about things you should never say to someone with Type-1 Diabetes… And without getting into any of them, let’s agree that there is a shit ton of different things that, unless you have or know someone who has Diabetes (and even if you do) you should never say/ask them. It’s not as bad as being asked about one’s faith, orientation or personal beliefs, but asking about one’s medical status and/or requirements is right up there. I’ll step off my soapbox now and get to the actual point of today’s post.

Although there are plenty of things you shouldn’t assume or say to someone with Diabetes, living with one can be all the more difficult. More often than not, people don’t know what they’re get into when they become involved and begin to live with someone who has Type-1. Because of this, I consider my wife to be one of the strongest people I’ve ever met because she puts up with more of my shit than a wheelbarrow could hold. But previous relationships haven’t fared quite as well. They’ve ALL ended up on the losing end, mostly because despite claiming they understood certain aspect of Diabetes, they really didn’t. And now, let’s get into a list of things you can expect while living with someone who has Diabetes…

  1. We’re moody as shit: People in general don’t tend to realize that fluctuating blood sugars affects just about every system in the human body. Every. Fucking. System. As a result, people with Type-1, even when properly controlled can experience mood swings and crankiness. This happens even when it seems as though it shouldn’t and although most of us do our best to control it, it’s important to remember that it isn’t personal. It’s also not an excuse, and someone who regularly gets pissed for no good reason should look within and consider some better control methods.
  2. There’s medical stuff all over the place: I have at least three glucometres. I have boxes of sensors, insulin reservoirs, vials and various Diabetic equipment. It can get tedious and take up space. If we could live without it all, we would but the reality is that every piece of medical equipment in our environment is necessary for good control and our overall health.
  3. We get sick with EVERYTHING that floats by: “Man-flu” notwithstanding, our immune systems make it so that we catch every cold, flu and annoying bug that happens to float by. As a result, we tend to get sick a lot and some people tend to interpret this as being a hypochondriac or even Munchausen. The truth is, it’s more annoying to us than it is to you, despite the fact you may have to deal with us being sick, often.
  4. There are unfortunate “surprises”: Picture this… You meet someone you make a connection with, you go on a few dates and before you know it, you end up back at their place or they end up at yours. The evening starts heating up and clothing starts falling off… Before this slips dangerously into a steamy romance novel (I’m not sure I’d be great to write that genre), you notice tubes and devices attached to the other person’s abdomen. Turns out they have Diabetes and are using an insulin pump. maybe even a CGM, making them look like a bad, 80’s B-movie cyborg. Communication and forthcoming is important. It’s totally one’s right to choose not to share that information but for the Diabetic in the equation, it’s important to recognize that the topic will come up eventually, so you may as well be open about it.
  5. Plans will get cancelled: The unfortunate reality is that if one is suffering from an extreme high or low (blood sugars), they may not necessarily want to go out to whatever plans were made, be it a restaurant, a get-together or otherwise. It may even interrupt and kill the mood if one is seeking some “quality” time. But it can make things difficult for just about any plans one may be seeking to make.
  6. Everything takes planning: I saved this one for last because it’s the one that grates on my soul the worst. Even the smallest of things require intricate planning. Going out on errands for an hour? Gotta test my blood, remember when I ate last and have a contingency plan in the event I suffer a low, depending on where I’m going. Karate class? That’s even worse. Even if my blood sugars are fine, I need to consider how my blood sugars will be affected depending on whether we have a more cardio-heavy workout or if it’s more technique-based. Fast-acting carbs are a must, and I have to be ready for the embarrassment of stepping out of class early, should m y blood sugars refuse to cooperate.

Having Diabetes can be tough, but refusing to own one’s truth and face what needs to be faced will make it even tougher. I know some people with Diabetes who have refused to take the appropriate steps and be open and communicative about their condition. Such is their right. But all of them I’ve encountered are in the ground, now. A pretty morbid reminder that being open and willing to talk to the people in your inner circle about your Diabetes is a key component in maintaining healthy control. And last but not least, you should NEVER compromise your health to accommodate someone who won’t understand or isn’t willing to meet you halfway. That’s why I’m so lucky. Food for thought… ☯️

Bring On The Pain…

When one becomes a parent, we usually hope and pray that our children will inherit our better traits and values. We hope that they’ll be strong, healthy and develop a wisdom that will allow them to push forward and make a positive presence within the world. At least, that’s what I hope for my sons. But of course, life rarely cares about one’s plans and things don’t always turn out the way we’d LIKE them to. This is why, instead of a strong martial arts acumen or a love of books or making exercise and fitness a priority within his life, my son has chosen one of my lesser-enjoyed traits: he’s a fuckin’ klutz…

Now, don’t get me wrong… I love Nathan. He’s my first-born son, he looks like me, clings to me and watches my every move. So when I say he’s a klutz, I say it with affection albeit a mild tinge of frustration since there are so many other aspects he could have prominently at the forefront. Last week, while walking on my at-home treadmill, he wiped out. This caused him to face plant and roll on his shoulder off the edge of the treadmill’s belt. He busted open his upper lip and bruised his right shoulder pretty good.

The wound on his upper lip, now scabbing and nearing removal

He worked it off like a champ, despite my letting him know it was okay to cry a bit if he needed to let it out. What was worrisome is that he still had a week of school left. In my experience, some school staff become a little overzealous and will assume some dark things when they see a child come to school with new injuries. And even though I don’t think Nathan would lie or make something upon, children have an unfortunate propensity for making shit up if they think it sounds cool or they’re trying to please or agree with another adult.

Luckily, he made it to the school finish line without an issue but that didn’t stop him from hurting himself further. once school was done, my wife took the boys out shopping on the day before Canada Day. Since we were heading into the summer, she bought Nathan one of those plastic tubes that spray water. You know the ones; you stick the tip in water and pull back the tube and it fills, then you push hard and it can squirt almost twenty feet. Well, she got him one of those on the condition that he not use water in the backyard without my permission and that it wasn’t an “everything” toy… It was only to be used with water.

Only my child would manage to self-inflict an injury this way…

So while we’re hanging out outside last week (this was on the same day that a rabbit came to visit), he had been playing with the water tube, using a bucket I made available and told him he could refill it a couple of times, not wanting to waste TOO much water. he came running into the garage at one point with tears in his eyes and showed me his arm, as pictured above. I asked him what happened and he told me he pinched his arm with the water tube.

Now, I’m pretty good at picturing things and I have a pretty solid imagination. But I just COULDN’T wrap my head around how in the holy hell that he managed to hurt himself that way. I had him demonstrate and even to his credit, it took him a couple of tries before he could replicate exactly HOW he had managed to hurt himself. Turns out he was holding the tube almost rifle-style, with the plunger in his right hand against his left pec and pulling the tube towards him instead of pushing the plunger towards the tube.

The result was he pinched his flesh and caused the abrasion in the crook of his arm. All things considered, I think that hurt him and had him more upset than smashing his face did. It didn’t stop him from playing further, but I couldn’t help but think that only my son would be that awkward as to cause an injury with something completely safe that shouldn’t have caused said injury. Que sera… I’ll take his being clumsy and self-injurious over his being diagnosed with Diabetes, any day. ☯️

Rabbit Wars: The Return Of Fluffernut

As some of you may have read, we recently had an incident in our front yard where a large crow attacked and killed a rabbit kitten (once again, baby rabbits are called “kittens,” I looked it up). A second kitten ran and the mother bailed. I was still at work at the time, but I came home to find the second kitten wedged under the wheel of my recycling bin. I managed to coax the little guy out and despite the vast plethora of negative comments and feedback I received online when I sought advice, Nathan and I fed and kept the kitten until the end of the day where, on advice of actual professionals, I put him under the cover of the tree in our front yard to be retrieved by his mother. I named him Fluffernut and you can read the original post here.

Creepy, prolonged rabbit eye contact…

Maybe it’s just me or maybe I’m just believing what I want to believe. But last Thursday I was hanging out in the garage, enjoying a cigar and Nathan was a short distance away, playing on his Nintendo Switch. All of a sudden, he looks up and whispers, “Dad, there a rabbit there…” I stood slowly and looked over and sure enough, a small rabbit was sitting at the edge of my garage looking at us. We stepped closer and to our surprise, he hopped TOWARDS us. It may be a romantic notion, but given the small size and the look of the colour, I was pretty confident that this was Fluffernut, come back for a visit.

Some may comment that this could have ben any rabbit, and they would be right. Maybe it is just some random rabbit. Damn… Try saying THAT three times, fast… Random rabbit… Maybe it’s just my French tongue. But I digress… We put out some timothy hay pellets and watched in amazement as the rabbit followed Nathan around the yard as he placed a few small piles here and there. The rabbit partook of some and hopped around, staying close to us the whole time, before dashing off between the garage and the neighbour’s property.

Come at me, bro!

Was this the rabbit I rescued a short while ago? Maybe not. Does it matter? Absolutely not. To have a creature of nature willingly come into my yard, frolic and play with my son and I and add a bit of positive energy to our lives makes it so it doesn’t matter if it was the same rabbit or not. With everything happening in the world, a little positivity can go an extremely long way; especially in one’s home. Food for thought… ☯️

Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day is my country’s national holiday and is always observed on July 1st, every year. It stems from the Dominion of Canada being formed on July 1, 1867 and was actually called “Dominion Day” until the Canada Act came into force in 1982, at which point the holiday was renamed to what it’s known today. The holiday usually consists of parades, fireworks and of course, the singing of our national anthem.

It would be ignorant of me not to acknowledge the issues and challenges that my country has faced in recent years. I won’t get into them, as they seem pretty pale in comparison to what some other countries have to contend with. But it’s never been a harsher time for people in my county, with controversy, political and financial issues as well as matters of ethnicity, personal beliefs and even a ridiculous notion by some to rename the holiday away from “Canada Day.”

Despite all of these issues and concerns, it’s important to remember that a country is not considered the sum of its shadows. If this were true, current allied countries and territories wouldn’t be considered “allied.” If you study history in depth, you’d be hard-pressed to find ANY country that hasn’t had some dark stains in their story. Canada is no exception. But one must consider that while it’s important to remember the past in order to prevent its repetition, there really is only one direction in which one can move, when considering history: forward.

I love my country. I consider it a privilege to have been born here and live in a country as free as it is. in fact, under the right circumstances you might even catch me tearing up while singing the national anthem. I have no illusions that there aren’t issues but I feel it’s important not to let those negative issues cloud the positive. Positivity is truly the only the way to move forward. I don’t usually write about such things, as I try to keep my blog on a particular track.

Amidst all the controversy and societal issues, don’t lose sight of the fact that today is a day of celebration and should be treated as such. Take the time to acknowledge your pride and your belief in who you are and where you’re from. The entire world is rich with people who make it beautiful. Taking this one day to acknowledge that you’re one of them is an important step in living a positive life. happy Canada Day, folks! ☯️

From The Least Likely Of Sources…

Being a homeowner is a difficult prospect and given the shape of the world’s economy, isn’t always in the best interest of the consumer when considering the responsibilities and costs associated with home ownership. In fact, given rising home costs, people are beginning to look more and more towards rentals or alternative forms of residency.

For me, home ownership was never an option. I was raised and spent my childhood in apartment buildings of varying sizes, shapes and locations. My parents owned a home when I was born but came to realize that their mortgage payments cost more than a monthly rental fee. ounce you tack on residential taxes, utilities and the cost of repairs and upkeep, it’s pretty easy to see how my folks decided it wasn’t worth their efforts to retain ownership of an actual house.

That’s why, for the majority of my adult life, I never considered the purchase of a house and have always rented. It’s what I grew up knowing. But at some point, the scales tipped to where a mortgage payment was lower than a rental fee to the extent that I jumped on buying a house (and because I had no choice, given my current posting). I was taken aback and shocked at the amount of work and upkeep involved. It isn’t like I didn’t KNOW, per se… But once I was knee-deep in it, it hit home a bit harder (pun fully intended).

Here in Regina, my wife and I are the proud owners of an average-sized bungalow. Recent years have seen us perform major repairs and renovations, as we are the house’s second owner since its construction. It sometimes feels as though there’s always something to fix, clean or repair and given the rigours of daily life, martial arts training and having children, time is short to perform such things. They often get pushed aside for long periods of time.

Anyway, we have a large fir tree in our front yard. It’s a beast of a thing and has caused non-stop issues, with the pine needles everywhere and the tree sapping all the moisture from the front lawn, causing the grass to go without and causing bald patches that won’t grow grass as a result. It’s also been a major pain in my ass, sometimes literally, when I’m trying to trim my hedge or do general yard work in the front yard as it dominates and takes up space.

For the past couple of years, I had been toying with the idea of having the tree trimmed or removed. With everything else going on, including the demolition and renovation of our basement and the re-tiling of our roof, the tree in the front yard took a back seat on the priority bus. But I this year, I realized that ignoring the massive fir has led to its branches growing beyond the hedge lining my property and by next year, branches would likely stretch onto the neighbour’s property.

This was the wake-up call I needed to get on it. Time to move the tree to the front of the priority bus. Although I could have clipped some of the lower branches, the size and breadth of the tree made it unlikely that I would be able to properly trim it without posing a hazard to myself. So I started shopping around for local businesses that would come trim the tree for me. I was somewhat surprised at the fact that I got same general response from almost all businesses I contacted…

The cost to properly trim the tree would be almost bad much as simply removing it. To be clear, this tree obstructs all view out of our picture windows and blocks most of the natural light. This is on top of the mess it causes in the front yard. I discussed it worth my wife and ultimately came to decision to have the tree removed. The company I hired was reasonably priced, fast and efficient and had the job done within an hour or two, while I was at work.

When I got home from work, I was pleased to see a clear, unobstructed front yard. I took a quick look and realized there would be significant clean-up required to remove all the pine needles, pine cones and debris that was under the skirt of the fir. Although i was quite pleased, my wife told me that my son Nathan questioned where the tree had gone, a question he posed to me later when I was sitting in the garage.

He asked me why I had the tree removed, to which I explained all the reasons, including the fact that the tree was hindering the proper growth of the grass and I wanted the grass to be healthier and the yard to be cleaner. He hit me with his thought that I killed one living thing in order to make room for another living thing and why hadn’t I left the tree because so many birds take refuge in it.

I was a bit taken aback and I honestly couldn’t refute his logic. It made a lot of sense. I, in my “infinite” wisdom, decided to cut down and destroy a living thing that housed and protected other living things, because it was inconvenient to deal with and because I wanted my grass a little greener. Not very Buddhist of me. What’s worse is that my 7-year old son had to explain this to me, rather than have me realize it myself.

It made me wonder about the concept of doing whatever to save a few bucks and opting for the easy road instead of the one that requires a bit of effort. And that’s where the title comes in… I pride myself on having a pretty enlightened view in most respects. But to have a young child illustrate such a simple and logical concept to me that i should have already realized was important and illustrates how we can gain insight and wisdom from the most unlikely and unexpected of places. Food for thought… ☯️

If You Spill A Bag Of Marbles, You May Wipe Out Trying To Pick One Up…

It’s an odd thing to me, how some people feel it necessary to stick their noses into other people’s affairs. And no, despite that snarky opening line, I’m not bitter, angry or pissed at anyone. If anything, I’m genuinely curious. I’ve seen this happen in almost all areas of life; work, personal and recreational. I’ve always fancied myself as being the kind of individual who stays in his own lane, works hard and makes an effort to be efficient in all things that I do, and work to repair the issues when I fail at that endeavour. But for some, it seems almost impossible to avoid the allure of either wanting what they have or commenting on how they do things.

If I take karate as an example, I’ve frequently seen students become angry or upset at seeing other students promote when they haven’t. Instead of looking into the REASON why they didn’t promote, they seem to find more value in being unhappy that someone else did. That’s a very odd stance to take, especially when you consider that only genuine way to promote in a traditional martial art is to work and train hard and make yourself ready for promotion. But I it sure doesn’t stop some people from being bitter when they’re overlooked.

If I take work as an example, it amazes me how many people are utterly consumed with focusing on other employees activities; when they come and go, how they perform their duties and what they’re doing while they’re on the job. When one is busy poring over these concerns, it can be easy to forget to perform one’s own duties and worry about one’s own job. Not a good approach towards ensuring one’s progression and advancement in the workplace.

From a personal perspective, we’re looking at folks who tend to stick their noses in other people’s personal lives. I have to admit that I’ve been guilty of this on many occasions, myself. Sometimes it can be hard to keep from commenting on someone else’s choices, decisions and lifestyle, especially when it conflicts with ours. In some cases, many cases, it can lead to hard feelings, ended friendships and damaged familial relationships.

The important thing to remember is to stay in your lane. And this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t express concern to someone, if that’s your end goal. Showing concern to others is important and shows one’s compassion. But if you’re training towards specific fitness and martial arts goals, focus on THEM, not the other students around you. When you go to work, don’t worry about the fact that a co-worker takes an extra fifteen minutes on their lunch break; rather focus on ensuring you follow the rules and stick to your duties and entitlements.

Focusing on others will never help you or be a healthy way to approach life. The only way to progress and improve in life is to look inward. Focus on oneself and push yourself to grow and improve. Only through this method will you be able to help others because you can’t help others if you haven’t Fort helped yourself. Stay in your lane! You’ll be all the better for it. Food for thought… ☯️

Traditions & Hopes…

On Saturday, my family and I got to attend a very special event, that of the wedding of a dear friend of mine from back home. Interestingly enough, he also became a Mountie and was posted here Saskatchewan. he chose to have his wedding at the RCMP Chapel at the training academy, which means I got to set foot on academy grounds for the first time in well over a year.

I felt an empty sense of loss as I crossed the chainlink gates into the parking lot of the academy, where I had parked my vehicle and performed my duties for almost five years before retiring from the Force. I got to see some cadets standing sentry, spoke to them and discuss their training, which brought back memories as well. Although I speak as though I retired years ago, it certainly does feel as though I was there a lifetime ago.

Patiently awaiting his bride (face blacked out to protect his identity)

We walked into the RCMP Chapel and saw a spread of people who had all attended to join in this happy occasion. Since we couldn’t find a babysitter, my wife and I opted to bring the boys; a choice that would end up costing me. But I’ll get to that later. The RCMP Chapel is a beautiful building and in fact, the oldest standing building in Regina. It’s wooden benches have been beautifully maintained and were originally constructed by serving inmates at the time.

The stain glass windows are iconic and represent various scenes from religious texts and the walls are adorned by commemorative plaques for fallen members and members who died in service to the people of Canada. There is always a sense of quiet calm inside the Chapel, even when there happens to be a troop hollering to one another outside. My kids, being young as they are, were at a loss to enjoy and appreciate the environment they were in.

Finally got ‘er done!

After some delays and the bride arriving late (the Chaplain made a point of saying that any good thing takes time) the ceremony was under way. Nathan was becoming restless and asking why we couldn’t leave yet, so I wound up handing him my phone so he could play a game on it. Pretty sad state of affairs when life requires this kind of distraction for children. In my day, I would have been told to shut up and wait for the ceremony to end and that would have been it. Sign of the times, my friends.

A video game only kept Nathan occupied and in his seat for so long before he handed me my phone back and started doing that whiny begging kids do, when they really want something or they want to leave. Alexander started following suit and I hushed him by putting the Paw Patrol movie on my phone on mute and both boys sat and watched quietly for all of ten minutes. Then, they handed me my phone again.

That’s when I took the step that cost me dearly. In an effort to entertain the younger one (the older one had returned to his end of the bench and was sitting quietly for a moment), I handed him my RCMP Veteran’s card, which features my photo and some key information identifying me as a retired member of the RCMP. He played nicely for several minutes, giggling and pointing at my photo… In retrospect, I’m not sure if I should be offended by that or not.

Things were quiet for a few moments and it took me those few moments to realize that Alex was no longer holding my ID card. I looked down at the floor and realized it wasn’t sitting there. I asked where my card was in a harassed whisper, to which he pointed to the small compartment of the back of the bench on front of us. You know the ones, they hold hymn books and bibles and stuff in churches. I reached in and realized my card wasn’t there. Then to my horror, I realized there was a slight gap between the front panel of the box and the panel at the bottom. My ID was now trapped inside this thing, with no apparent way top get it out.

All of a sudden, the entire moment switch from being all about my friend’s wedding and all about my ID card. My wife and I searched frantically for a gap, a nail or some means of getting the thing open without damaging it. None was found. The wedding procession made their way out of the Chapel and I stopped the Chaplain when he was exiting to explain what had happened.

It was a fun day and I was happy to see my friend get married. I have no idea when I’ll get my ID back or whether I can get a replacement if I can’t. Of course, my kids WOULD have to do something to hamper the day’s joyous overtones. But as the old saying goes, “This is why we can’t have nice things…” I treated us all to some take out and we went home, none worse for the wear. ☯️

Sweatin’ To The Facts…

Most people don’t like to sweat. And that makes sense, right? It’s uncomfortable from a dampness standpoint. Humans have an instinct to try and stay warm and dry, and being all wet from sweat tends to contravene that. And it’s considered somewhat taboo from a societal standpoint as well. It’s seen as gross, especially if you it’s seen on someone in a work or social setting. And last but not least, depending on one’s body chemistry and what cocktail of bacterial cultures may be living on you (depending on one’s personal hygiene), it can lend for some rather pungent odours.

From a fitness and physiological standpoint, sweating is not only important but also beneficial to the human body. there are a number benefits to heavy sweating, including the release of toxins, alcohol and other waste byproducts of the body, which helps with detoxifying the body. It also helps with the overall beneficial increase in blood circulation, which has a whole score of other benefits outside of the sweating aspect. But besides being gross and making people think something’s wrong with you, what are some other benefits of sweating?

According to an article posted by HealthLine.com, heavy sweating during exercise can help to potentially reduce the amounts of heavy metals in the body. This is important for the detoxifying process. This is also true for the elimination of certain chemicals that can be harmful on the body in the long term. The sweating process is said to be an excellent elimination route for these chemicals. Sweating also helps with the elimination and removal of certain bacteria from the body, which can be beneficial.

People usually view sweat as a nasty thing but it’s actually a natural and necessary function of the body. Sweating is the body’s primary way to cool down, which is why we tend to do it when we exercise. It also happens when we’re sick as a result of having a fever. When that fever breaks, sweat will appear. The idea is that when the warm sweat evaporates on your skin, it cools your body temperature. All the other potential benefits mentioned above are just icing on the cake. Although sweat contains traces of ammonia, urea and salt, it doesn’t smell bad, in and of itself. The odour typically comes from whatever your sweat mixes with.

As with all things in life, sweating requires a balance. If you sweat too much, it can be a sign of low blood sugars or certain nervous system and thyroid disorders. If you sweat too little, you can potentially face dangerous and life-threatening overheating of the body. This can also be a result of dehydration. If you don’t sweat normally and consistently when exercising, it should be addressed in order to prevent further issues.

If you see someone at the gym who’s completely drenched while working out, don’t judge and keep your comments to yourself. Either they’re pushing as hard as they SHOULD, since a workout isn’t a workout if you don’t sweat through it, or they have a condition that makes them sweat excessively, such as hyperhidrosis. If you find yourself sweating in awkward and inappropriate times, like in the office with huge pit stains on your dress shirt, there are several treatments and prevention methods you can talk to your doctor about, in order to stem the problem. The important thing to remember is not to sweat it (see what I did, there?). ☯️

Under The Veil of Night…

Weekends have become a special time for me. When I was in law enforcement, weekends essentially meant nothing, since shift work meant that I would have my days off at any given point during the calendar week. this meant that days off were valued, but having them on the Saturday and Sunday meant very little. It also didn’t matter as much before I had children. Now that one of my boys has been in school for a few years, Saturdays and Sundays have become a coveted time when we get to do family activities. That’s why Friday and Saturdays nights are important and represent my time to relax and unwind after whatever the week has brought me. I’m grateful for them and I look forward to them.

All of that was brought to a grinding halt on Friday night. After a cigar and a few drinks, I was spending some time with both boys in my basement. We were watching some carton and enjoying some garlic fingers, which Costco has been good enough to stock. They’re from a pizza chain called Pizza Delight, popular in the Maritimes and all but unheard of in the Prairies. It seemed as though the evening was shaping up to be fun and light. Until my phone rang… I looked down and saw my next door neighbour’s name light up my phone screen. Although we often text each other if we need to advise each other of something happening, he’s never called me before.

I picked up and my blood turned cold as he told me that his downstairs tenants could see someone in my backyard, dressed all in black and standing near my fence line. I told him I’d check it out and hung up. Filled with a sudden instinct I thought I had left behind, I grabbed a weapon and my bright, tactical flashlight and bounced into the backyard intent on intercepting whomever would be back there. To clarify, my home is laid out in such a way that it’s impossible to accidentally end up in my back yard unless you intentionally walk all the way up thirty feet of driveway. And one certainly wouldn’t stay back there once one realizes there’s no way out.

I had no idea what I would do if I found someone back there. I wasn’t interested in harming anyone and the thought of someone infringing on my property and violating the safety and security of my family was bringing out something in me that I didn’t like. But in my experience, shining a bright, halogen light into someone’s eyes while shouting to freeze tends to have the desired effect. That being said, the backyard was empty. The downstairs tenant came out to join me and we searched behind my out buildings, inside the sheds and even checked the neighbour’s back yard. Nothing to be found.

My neighbour was watching through his camera system in the event someone slipped past me. But I found nothing. The tenant’s girlfriend came out and claimed that she looked out the door and saw someone dressed all in black, standing in my backyard and couldn’t be mistaken for anything BUT a person. I honestly don’t know my neighbour’s tenants but I had no reason to disbelieve them. I posted notices on the neighbourhood Facebook page, warning everyone about what happened.

The whole experience put a damper on the evening and had me going outside compulsively, a few times over the next few hours. Luckily, the whole family seemed to sleep in until about 10 am, which was nice. Just an important reminder to everyone that although one’s home is one’s castle, it’s important to remember the state of the world we live in. Have precautions in place to protect your family, including bright lights in your yard, partnerships with your neighbours and local law enforcement on speed dial. Food for thought. ☯️

Bringin’ On The Pain…

Over the regular course of the year, Tuesdays hold a particular place in my schedule, for a variety of reasons. It’s the only weeknight that I don’t have karate classes, with Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays being the norm. Fridays are a weekend night and usually reserved to hang out with my son Nathan and then the actual weekend hits. Because of this, Tuesdays offer a unique piece of time in my week that I can’t find elsewhere. I often use this time to do some reading, writing or take care of chores like laundry.

Since I don’t have karate classes on Tuesdays (at least for now), I try to do something outside the martial arts realm. It’s always a good idea to keep the body moving and I enjoy changing things up. Doing so can help with weight loss and keep one engaged in their personal fitness journey. Keeping yourself engaged and interested in your fitness can mean the difference between hammering forward in your fitness goals or getting lazy and taking too many breaks, which inevitably lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of going long periods without exercise.

A short start back to the cardio world.

As any of you would have read in light-knows how many posts last summer, I’m a big fan of cycling. I can comfortably manage about 20 kilometres or so in about a hour, which is a decent outing. But considering that I’m gone most evenings due to karate, I try to do things a bit different on Tuesdays. When the stars align and I actually remember to bring fitness apparel, I work through my lunch hour on Tuesday. I know, I know… bad habit! But I do eat, I just keep working through that hour. Moving on!

I work through my lunch hour and exit the office an hour earlier than scheduled and make my way down to the office tower’s gym. There, I’m able to take advantage of various cardio machines including elliptical, treadmills and a weird stepping machine that I haven’t figured out how to use yet. there’s also stationary bikes, but I peddle enough on the weekends, so I steer clear of those. I usually opt for the elliptical, since decades of martial arts have rendered the cartilage in my knees nonexistent.

If I look like death, it’s because I feel like it!

Last Tuesday was my first time making it back to the office gym in quite a while. It was a rough session and I only ran for 45 minutes as opposed to an hour but it felt good to break that intense sweat and burn those calories. I slept solidly that night, no question. As the summer progresses, especially with less karate classes for the next month, it should be easier for me to pull off these Tuesday workouts more often.

As most of your likely know, maintaining one’s proper health and fitness involves a variety of different exercises. Focusing solely on cardio or strength training will provide benefits but perhaps not the totality of what you’re looking for. That’s why it’s important to sprinkle in a bit of everything. Most martial artists avoid bulking up too significantly as large muscle mass will restrict one’s fluidity of movement. Doing only cardio can be significantly helpful with cardiac health and weight loss but muscle build will be minimal and won’t be focused on strength.

That’s why it’s important to incorporate all types of exercise and workouts. Don’t be afraid to get out there and try something. Hell, I once bought a Zumba game for my xBox 360 and the first time my wife and I tried to keep up with the game, it kicked my ass! One can find the most interesting workouts in the least likely of places. Ultimately, as long as you keep moving, you’ll be headed in the right direction. Stay sweaty, my friends! ☯️