Beef Isn’t JUST What’s For Dinner…

It’s a pretty typical scene… The parents work towards preparing a family dinner and everyone sits at the table. One of the children takes one look at their plate and says, “That looks yucky, I don’t wanna eat it…” I’ll give you three guesses as to what he’s pointing at but you’ll only need one. That’s right, he was referring to his vegetables. It’s a pretty common story, one that often carries one into adulthood. I mean honestly, if you put meat, potatoes and veggies on my plate and told me I could only pick two, it’s a pretty clear bet about which of the three would get left behind.

People will often go for the food choices that appeal to their taste and preference, which, on the one hand, makes quite a bit of sense. As an adult, most assume they’ve “done their time” with being told what to eat during their childhood and so, they’ll eat as they see fit during adulthood. Although that concept makes sense in theory, it only carries you as far as what tastes good on your tongue and doesn’t say much for the fact that proper nutrition requires some of the tasteless green stuff that most of us prefer not to have.

in fact, good healthy and proper nutrition requires everything that people who claim to be tying to get healthier avoid. One big one is carbohydrates. On the one side, I try and keep my carbs as low as possible since the more carbs I eat, the more insulin I have to take. Increased carbohydrates can also lead to weight gain, which is a significant pain in the ass to a Type-1 Diabetic in his 40’s who may be trying to slim down the inflated dad-bod. But I the sad reality is that carbs represent a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg scenario, where you need carbs for energy to work out but only the calorie deficit that cutting carbs can bring will lead to weight loss.

For the most part, if I’m eating something and I anticipate working out, I’ll reduce or omit vegetables and carbohydrates since they also act as fillers. Nothing worse than trying to work out and put your all into something when your gut is full and you’re struggling to breathe for two reasons. Although most fitness gurus will agree that the only way to lose weight properly is to burn more calories than you take in, there has to be a balance. You need energy to exercise but you need to reduce the amount of food that gives you said energy in order for that exercise to slim you down.

So, what if you just fight through it? What if you decide you’re an absolute champ and can reduce your carb and calorie intake and just hammer through the effort? There are a number of symptoms and effects that you’ll likely feel as a result, and none of them are pleasant. I found a lovely little article posted by HealthLine.com that covers some of the worst ones quite nicely…

The top one is that you’ll be low on energy. If your take in less than the minimum calories you need in a day, your resting metabolic rate will lower and you’ll constantly feel tired because your body can’t support everything. This can sap your motivation and lead to skipping exercise because you just don’t have the energy? Sound familiar? I may or may not have written a post recently about that very thing. Self-recognizing certain health issues can go a long, long way. But I digress…

Being constantly hungry is another issue. And it plays into the old scenario where you go on a diet and try to lose weight, only to crash and binge-eat on a cheat day because your body is craving the calories you’re missing. It’ll also affect the quality of your sleep. So even if you sleep for eight hours because you’re exhausted from the low energy, that sleep won’t rejuvenate you and will likely be poor, especially if you feel hungry while trying to fall asleep.

There’s a host of other potential symptoms, including irritability, anxiety and constipation. You can click on the HealthLine link above to read further details on all of the symptoms they’ve listed. The reality is that while trying to decide how best to reduce your waistline, you need to be cautious and not reduce your calorie intake so far as to affect the very results you’re trying to achieve. I prefer to keep my meals low-carb, if not only because of the insulin requirement but for the weight loss effort. However, some of the symptoms I’ve described above have been what I’ve been feeling over recent months, which makes me raise an eyebrow. ☯️

A Little Light Before The Dawn…

I’ve always found that old expression, “It’s always darkest before the dawn,” to be wildly inaccurate. I know it’s meant to be metaphorical, but from a literal standpoint, it’s completely wrong. but before I go off on a tangent, today’s post is about more than inaccurate sayings. The winter months bring about a score of issues that the everyday person needs to deal with. Considering the snow, cold, needing to shovel, road and weather hazards and the fact that almost everyone else seems to turn into the world’s worst drivers on account of road conditions (I’m a little bit biased), it kind of seems as though the winter months make it safer and more worthwhile to just stay home and hidden under some warm blankies…

The winter months can be harsh on a person. Since it stays dark for so much longer during the day, it can feel as though one lives in perpetual darkness, especially if your work keeps you indoors all day. Most days, I wake up and it’s still dark outside. I make my way to work in the dark and by the time I typically leave the office for home, it’s either getting dark or full-on dark. This can play havoc on a person’s energy levels and motivation. Contrary to what many of my colleagues would say, a person needs a certain level of daylight in their lives. Not only is this important in order to balance out one’s circadian rhythm but for vitamin D and shit.

The lack of motivation that the winter months bring can affect one’s motivation to do some of the little things through the course of your day, such as working out, spending time with family and ensuring proper nutrition. In fact, most days during the winter, all I want to do is flop down on the couch and binge-watch television for an hour or two before crashing for 12 hours or more. As nice as that sounds, I usually leave the house and get to work around 7 o’clock in the morning and leave work at 4:30 to 5 o’clock, making for a 10-hour day. If I followed that up with 12 hours of sleep, that would only leave about 2 hours of free time per day, which kind of sucks.

It can be pretty easy to allow the rigours of the day and darker, greyer winter weather get you down and keep you from doing what needs to be done to ensure proper nutrition and health. It takes a bit of a push in order to ensure you don’t get kicked in the balls by the winter blahs. And they can sneak up on you without notice. Eat well, exercise regularly and check your blood sugars often. Eventually, the snow will melt, the weather will warm up and weekend coffees on the back deck can become the norm again. ☯️

Because Sometimes, You Have No Choice…

I’m a firm believer that something as complicated and intricate as martial arts can’t be learned solely from a book. I know some people who have tried. The problem is that even the best illustrated book will lack the context, body movements and essential coaching one needs to properly learn the art. That being said, books can definitely be a good addition to one’s learning and supplement your in-person training. Certain books can also be read simply for the purpose of curiosity, allowing the reader to explore a particular art or skill that they aren’t actively studying.

I keep a varied library of training books, as seen in the photo above. Some are a bit more on the philosophical side, such as Bruce Lee’s “Striking Thoughts.” The first three books on the left are the ones I got for Christmas that I wrote about in a previous post. Despite the philosophical nature of these books, they still contain knowledge and lessons that can be valuable to a martial artists. As I write this, I notice that my copy of the Book of Five Rings ins’t there! Where the fuck did I put that thing…? But I digress…

For the past fourteen years or so, I’ve had to train in karate on my own, with Sensei being 3,400 kilometres away from me. I’ve had the opportunity to train with him an average of once a year during that time, which has slowed and hindered the rightful progression of my learning path. because of this, I’ve had to lean on my books for a certain amount of training. The red book entitled “Uechi Ryu Karate Do” is a comprehensive manual covering the art of Uechi Ryu, written by George Matteson, who brought Uechi to the United States from Okinawa. It contains illustrations of all the basic exercises and forms one needs to learn Uechi Ryu karate.

This works in my case because I already know all the forms and basic exercises. This allows me to use the manual as a corrective tool to smooth out and perfect my techniques as opposed to trying to learn from scratch, which I stand by the opinion would be improbable. What I particularly like are the Men’s Health manuals that teach a number of different weight workouts. Either way, building a personal library of reference manuals can be a good addition to your overall training and help you out on the occasions where you need to be reminded of a technique or exercise and your instructors aren’t readily availability. ☯️

Unfamiliar Sweat…

As part of my recent decision to try and better myself all around, fitness plays an integral role in maintaining a healthy body and regulating blood sugars. For most people, this can mean joining a local gym or fitness group or working out from home. For me, the latter is preferable because I can do what I want when I want and I don’t have to follow others or wait on people using machines that I might want. Not everybody feels this way though and it would be inaccurate to say that there aren’t some benefits to using an outside gym. yesterday, when i got to my hotel in Saskatoon, I had a bit of free time as the roads were better than I anticipated and I had two choices; kick back and relax before heading to the hospital or hit the hotel’s gym… Guess which one I chose?

Normally, I arrive in Saskatoon, check into my room, unpack my necessities so that I’m not groping around for them when I get back and have lost most of my vision and then make my way to the hospital for what is almost always a delayed process where they’re running late. On this visit, I actually had a couple of hours to spare before my scheduled appointment. I changed into gym wear and made my way down to the hotel’s gym. A reasonable space, I could see it becoming somewhat cramped if there were more than one or two people in it. But, the space had everything one needs for exercise, including free weights, a couple of cable machines and at least one of every type of cardio machine (elliptical, treadmill and stationary bike).

I put in a solid thirty minutes of resistance training followed by about fifteen minutes of fast-paced elliptical to cap off my workout. It was good times, despite the fact that I forgot my Bluetooth headphones or earbuds at home and had no way of listening to music while I worked out. Talk about first-world problems, right? But I got a solid workout in and worked up a wicked sweat, which was nice. It felt good knowing that I had done the workout and wouldn’t squander the extra time. Typically, I don’t get much done prior to my appointment and once I get the eye injections, I sleep it off for a couple of hours followed by some time in the pub, having dinner and a couple of pints to fight off the pain. This was a nice change.

Reasonably, one can hammer out a workout just about anywhere. With only a six-by-six foot floor space, I have a wicked marine workout that uses body weight only and will absolutely kick your ass. By that logic, it could be easily done in the hotel room. But sometimes it can be fun and keeps things fresh, using machines and resources you don’t typically have access to. Every little workout counts and helps contribute to better health, better weight management and better overall blood sugar control. It can be SO easy, finding an excuse not to work out. And the body usually prefers being at rest because it’s designed to reserve energy. But if you can find it within yourself to push a little and hammer through, not only do you get to tell your body I told you so, but it’ll thank you in the long run. Food for thought. ☯️

Thermogenic Supplements

I’m a big fan of supplementation. Start a conversation about vitamins and shit in any group and I can promise that it will be divided conversation, almost ALWAYS equally divided. For some, they believe there’s no point to supplementation as it just ends up being something you swallow to crap out the other end with no measurable results. The big problem is that one needs to take supplements for a significant period of time before any measurable results can/would be seen. Plus, since all people are different, supplements may not work as well for one as they would work for another. The other half are the ones that at least take a daily multivitamin or supplement in order to help themselves along in whatever they’re trying to accomplish.

For example, you can take supplements for low iron, lack of B-vitamins or if you spend all your time indoors and never get the opportunity to spend time outside, supplementing your Vitamin D can be a good idea. Actually, I wrote a really good post about certain vitamins, minerals and supplements that explain what individual supplements do and how they benefit one’s body. I’ve reposted it several times and for your convenience, you can read that post here. Despite promising myself that I wouldn’t conform to societal norms and make a New Year’s resolution, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have plans to increase my fitness in the coming year and a part of that is a new form of supplementation.

I recently did some research on some called “thermogenics.” Simply put, thermogenic supplements are intended to increase the body’s core temp, specifically in the fatty tissues, which is supposed to cause the body’s metabolism to burn fat through this increased body temperature. Since I’m not a scientist or medical practitioner, I’m sure there’s more to it than that. But it’s an interesting concept and one can’t deny that something that aids in fat burning sounds far more plausible than a supplement that’s supposed to just make you lose weight. After all, one’s fitness must always include one’s own efforts as well.

According to an article posted by HealthLine.com, “the word “thermogenic” literally means heat-producing.” The article covers different types of supplements that have a thermogenic effect on the body but outlines how the effectiveness of this is hotly debated and there’s no significant evidence that it holds any significant effectiveness. One thermogenic supplement they mention is caffeine, which is ironic. If caffeine was effective as a thermogenic supplement, I’d be a skinny bitch by now, considering how much caffeine I suck down in the course of a day. Of course , all of that will need to change since I have decided to find out for myself and have started taking a thermogenic supplement prior to working out.

It’s only been a few days, of course. But if it works, great. If it doesn’t, no harm, no foul. Seeing the effects of any supplement takes a significant amount of time, usually a few months at least. In the meantime, the same rules of life continue to apply. Stay hydrated, monitor blood sugars and check one’s blood pressure regularly. If I begin to notice anything out of the ordinary, I can drop the whole thing without issue. I’ll keep everyone posted, if and when I see any results. ☯️

What Is A Dojo?

I get this question once in a while and with mainstream shows like Cobrai Kai being all the rage, it rather surprises me that I still do. But those of you who know me are fully aware that I can talk an elephant’s ear off, so here I am, ready to explain once again. In short and from a high level, the term “dojo” is actually the joining of two Japanese characters that are combined to mean “Place of the Way.” A dojo is generally a special place that is set aside and laid out specifically as a gathering place for students of the martial arts, like Karate and Judo. The term has been used in other forums as well. Interestingly enough, Zen Buddhists refer to their meditation chambers as dojos, as well.

Unlike other training locations, a dojo is intended to maintain a certain level of decorum and ceremony and is intended to be treated with respect. A clean, proper uniform is required when training in one, and bowing respectfully when entering or leaving is also expected. Unlike training locations like your local gym and only under special circumstances, the dojo is intended for structured training, with a Sensei or senior student leading the other students through drills, lessons and teachings, which can include forms, sparring and even meditation, in some styles.

The important aspects to look for when visiting a dojo include the cleanliness. As I mentioned earlier, a dojo must be treated with respect and filth does not align with that. Unlike what you may have seen on television and in movies, a dojo doesn’t need to look like a bad Japanese tourist trap, with the polished wood everywhere and fancy decorations. Literally four walls, a floor and a roof are all that are required. Any additional equipment or accoutrements should be limited to what’s required for training and not include a bunch of decorations or trappings intended to make an onlooker believe the dojo is fancier than it is. Because a dojo isn’t MEANT to be fancy.

I’ve trained with students who have had a small, square ten foot by ten foot space set aside on their home. That’s their dojo. And it’s adequate for training and all they need. Although it can be enticing to see all the gilded decorations and weaponry on the walls of some dojo, it’s important to bear in mind that such things don’t speak to the quality of the art or its teachings but to the quality of their decorator. And that won’t provide much in terms of learning the martial arts. If a student chooses what style to study based on how fancy the dojo looks, they may be in for a rough ride. ☯️

Tired, Or Burnt Out?

It’s not unusual for someone to get tired and feel exhausted after a long day of being at the office, dealing with one’s children or managing a household. Add cold weather that forces the body to work harder internally in order to stay warm and you’re looking at a perfect recipe for developing a strong case of “I don’t give a fuck-ness…” But one problem, and it’s a big one, is that people tend to use the term “burnout” interchangeably with being tired. And the two are typically quite different. Let’s dive in…

Being tired and experiencing burnout are similar in that they can both cause feelings of mental and physical exhaustion. But the big difference comes from the fact that if you’re tired, sleep, different forms of rest or meditation as well as distractions or diversions will help relieve your tiredness and it will usually pass. If you’re experiencing burnout, your fatigue likely won’t go away regardless of how many hours’ sleep you get. And that’s where the problem comes in.

Burnout usually happened because you’ve been dealing with high levels of stress, emotional difficulties or trauma for prolonged periods of time. Although most people would associate this with the workplace, it can occur in ways that don’t directly relate to work. Some signs of potential burnout can include anything from heavy drinking and moodiness, all the way up to lack of motivation, inability to make important decisions all the way up to suicidal thoughts. Just a touch more significant than just being tired, wouldn’t you agree?

According to an article posted on WebMD, burnout doesn’t happen immediately. It’s a gradual process that builds with stressors from your job. Signs and symptoms can be subtle at first. The article echoes a lot of what I wrote above so y’all can go have a read for yourselves but it does include that some important ways to dealing with burnout include getting an appropriate amount of sleep, engaging in relaxing activities and exercising. In fact, getting even just 30 minutes of exercise a day can help relieve stress and help you to sleep better, which helps the overall burnout.

It’s also important to talk about it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed as a result of your work, talking with trusted coworkers, friends and family can be important. Even discussing your workload with your boss can be important, although most people have a fear of doing so because they feel it will make them appear unwilling to work. Speaking strictly for myself, I prefer to have staff who are willing to discuss their workload in an effort to do a good job than someone who just keeps their mouth shut and ends up quitting once they’re burnt out. But self-care is ultimately important. If you feel your fatigue is more than that, you also have the option of discussing it with your medical practitioner. They may have the means of assessing what is actually causing you or tiredness, burnout or not. ☯️

The Little Engine That Couldn’t Get It Up…

Let’s talk about sex. If that opening sentence doesn’t get your attention, I’m not sure what would but sex is an integral part of life and the survival of our species as a whole. Without sex, there would be no procreation and therefore no propagation of our species. Setting side the possibility of fertilization through scientific means and/or the fact that some people honestly SHOULDN’T procreate, sex isn’t ALL there is in life but it is an important part of it, and most would agree that Diabetes can throw something of a monkey wrench into one’s plan to make the beast with two backs…

Like all things in the life of someone with Type-1 Diabetes, sex can be a difficult topic because it’s more difficult for us. Depending on blood sugar levels, comfort, etc, it can be difficult getting to go time and even more difficult and awkward trying to explain that to a potential partner. That’s why I thought I would share some advice on what’s worked for me and what I’ve experienced through the years. Although it applies to both genders, I’ll obviously be focusing on the male half of the equation since, well… I’m a dude.

1. Be open and communicative: Let’s be honest; most people dive right into sex without really talking about it. We see all kinds of articles and experts talk about how sexual partners should communicate but it very rarely happens. It DOES happen, just maybe not as often as it potentially should. But in this scenario, it’s important to be honest about one’s Diabetes and explain how it may affect the overall possibility of having sex when one wants to. There’s nothing more awkward than having to explain, “It’s not you, baby! My blood sugar is just low!” Better to communicate that Froom the beginning to avoid that awkwardness, which brings me to the next point…

2. Monitor your blood glucose and balance accordingly: This one can be a little tough, especially if you’re out on a nice date, eating out at a restaurant where carb-counting may be harder than with controlled portions at home. Making sure you test and monitor your blood sugars and eat in reasonable amounts if you suspect the evening may lead to adult-happy-playtime is important. If you eat at a buffet and gorge yourself, you may find yourself unable to perform whether your blood sugars are balance or not but bear in mind that in most cases, high blood sugar will leave your little soldier just as helpless as low blood sugar.

3. Do what works for you: This can be a tough one because it somewhat contradicts point #1. It’s important to do what works for you, especially when Diabetes comes into play. For example, it may be easier for you to “rise to the occasion” if you’re on the bottom and don’t have to contribute large amounts of blood flow to your legs to keep from crushing your partner. Ultimately, an erection involve blood flow to the penis, and blood flow is already something that most Type-1 Diabetics have difficulty with. Of course, that’s why point #1 is so important but it can be tough trying to explain to your partner that you’re not trying to be selfish and only do what YOU like, it may simply be that performing is all that much harder (pun not intended) in certain ways.

4. Be impulsive/Don’t pre-plan: Yet another contradiction but oh, so important. Most of us can likely remember spur-of-the-moment sexual encounters where although you were romantically involved with someone, you didn’t necessarily expect to have sex and then BAM! Y’all hit funky town! It can be hard to find a balance between ensuring you’ve prepared from a blood sugar and dietary standpoint but still manage to keep things fresh and impulsive. Eventually, certain aspects of life get in the way. Having children in the home and trying to deal with Diabetes may cause significant periods of time to elapse between sexual encounters. And as much as that sucks, there’s also nothing wrong with that. Many couple try to pre-plan their sexual encounters or have specific “date nights,” but this will often lead to undue expectations and pressure, which can make it difficult to perform.

5. Don’t be so hard on yourself (pun intended): There’s this unwritten expectation that having sex is supposed to be some earth-shattering experience that will utterly and completely rock your world. That expectation can lead to significant disappointment, much like daydreaming about that cupcake all day at work, only to finally eat it and having it be no better than a market muffin with canned frosting. Allow yourself to take it easy and be easy. If sex is initiated and you can’t rise to the occasion or blood sugars interfere or if you’re like me, it’s just too fuckin’ hot in the bedroom, it’s not the end of the world. It’s okay for it to not be your night. It’s not a slight against you or your partner and it’s important you both know that.

At the end of the day, sex is an important song and dance that incorporates a fine balance of planning ahead and just letting things happen naturally. It’s important to have a partner who is willing to communicate and understand, especially if there are limitations that may prevent things d from happening. Anyone who isn’t willing to meet you in the middle regarding those limits may not be the person you want in your life and certainly not the one you should want to share yourself intimately with. Demanding is a big no-no, whether you’re on the receiving or the giving end. The whole point behind sex (besides procreation) is intimacy and one can’t achieve that by making demands.

Take all of this with grain of salt. I’m not a doctor or health practitioner, I’m not a sexual therapist or educator. But I have had type-1 Diabetes for over four decades and have encountered everything I’ve written above in some way, shape or form. Those aspects becomes even more prominent as we get older. That’s why it’s so important to take good care of oneself in order to continue enjoying all the more pleasant aspects of life. Food for thought… ☯️

Even The Finest Armour Can Rust…

There’s a consistent truth to life that eventually, we all get older. I never got it or understood it when I was younger. My parents felt old to me when they were almost twenty years younger than I am now. I never understood all the jokes and memes about how waking up in the morning was like the sound of a thousand mouse traps. But I swear that my joints are the reason why mice stay the fuck away from our house in the winter. A little touch of cold and all of a sudden I have to rock back and forth a dozen times to roll myself out of bed. But I digress…

I’ve always prided myself on maintaining my health as best I could. Getting the basic equivalent of a death sentence from my doctors at the tender age of 10-years old woke me up in a way that most adults wouldn’t appreciate, at the time. I started training in the martial arts, taking control of my food and make conscious choices about my health and my future. Having been educated on all the complications Type-1 Diabetes can bring, I refused to become part of the overall statistic. There was no fuckin’ way in hell anyone was going to amputate one of my limbs. losing my eyesight or having a heart attack also didn’t sound too appealing.

I’ve had the benefit of navigating the rough seas of Diabetes with a certain amount of pride. And zeal, I guess. Given my increased level of fitness, proper diet and attention to my condition has allowed me the benefit of reaching my current age with all my limbs and organs intact, a clean nervous system and essentially no complications after over four decades of dealing with Type-1. In my early twenties, I travelled to Japan and subsequently, Okinawa. I soon after passed my first degree black belt. I became a teacher of others. I excelled in every job I ever held. Despite all odds and opposition, I graduated from the RCMP Training Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan and became a Mountie. Despite what some may say and mistakes I’ve made, I have a story to tell…

Despite how hard I’ve worked and how many obstacles I’ve faced, time is beginning to show me that I need to slow down. I don’t move quite as quickly as I did years ago, which was premised by the broken rib I suffered last April from a punch I should have easily blocked. Getting out of bed, even after a full eight hours of sleep, has become more difficult. Getting through the day without increased amounts of caffeine (or a nap, if its the weekend) is becoming more and more difficult. I worry about things like cholesterol and blood pressure now, and have prescribed “preventative” pills for both. Apparently, that’s a good idea if you’re above the age of 30 and have Type-1 Diabetes.

If you would have told me, twenty years ago, that I would have to constantly check and worry about my blood pressure, I would have told you to, as the French would say, go fuck yourself. But believe it or not, here I am! Taking preventative measures for my health and slowing down, as time is wont to do. But slowing down doesn’t mean stopping. As I’ve always said, life brings movement. Movement brings energy. Energy brings life. If there’s one thing I can guarantee, it’s that I’ve never done anything less than 100% and I don’t intend to stop, creaky joints and all… ☯️

Testing One’s Medal…

I think I’ve gone overboard… A couple of years ago, I signed up for an app called the Conqueror Challenges. In short, you pay a marathon entry fee, which is pretty standard when you enter a marathon, and you perform a “virtual marathon,” completed a certain amount of distance in a certain amount NPF time. It’s a neat concept and the money you pay goes to planting trees or cleaning up plastic on the oceans. All in all, it’s pretty neat as a concept.

I started seeing advertisements for this thing on facebook and as I am with all things, I was a bit sceptical. After all, we now live in a world where almost EVERY advertisement for a downloadable game fails to accurately reflect what the actualmy is. For that reason, I sought out the guidance of others. I had a Facebook contact who often shared their link, so I asked him if he’d participated and/or ever received any medals. He said that he hadn’t participated himself but that one of his coworkers had, and he had physically seen the medals.

Alright, I was reasonably certain this wasn’t a scam and could be something worth trying. Considering the total cost was under $40 Canadian, I was willing to risk the loss if it fell through. Considering I’m not a big fan of large crowds and mass public gatherings at the best of times, this suited me perfectly. I downloaded the app and signed up for my first challenge. If memory serves me correctly, it was a “Marathon to Athens” and was 42.2 kilometres in distance and was to be completed over 3 weeks.

The collection… a few are missing, sitting at home.

The beauty part about these challenges is that you get to set your own pace, set your own timeline and you can include any of your fitness workouts that involve distance. Cycling, running, elliptical, even swimming! When I started doing these, I focused primarily on cycling but I started incorporating my walks, as well. Since I was measuring on a daily basis, it became an interesting challenge to see how far I actually walked in the course of a day. On average, I was putting in about 6 to 8 kilometres of walking, just around the office and going on breaks. That didn’t even include going to the grocery store or running errands after work!

When the summer ended this year, I decided to back it off a notch. At about $40 a piece, there’s a whole lotta money sitting on that wall. Plus, my summer was somewhat tame in terms of how much I cycled, compared to last year. That’s why I opened by saying I think I’ve overdone it a bit. But the medals are definitely gorgeous and if you’re looking for something to spice up your fitness routine, this will definitely do it. I don’t have any link to share but if you Google “Conqueror Challenge,” you’ll find it. If you’re an iPhone user, the app is also available through the App Store. ☯️