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Still Kicking

July 29, 2016

 

Healthy

Right now I’m pursuing a combination of running, swimming and soccer. Although I retired from soccer two years ago, I started playing again this spring and also started dabbling in swimming. A couple of months ago I did my first triathlon. It was a “mini-Tri” that was all indoors. I got second and even though it was a small field I found it encouraging and fun.

I had a streak going – I exercised every day for over 6 months.

But that streak got broken when I injured my back while golfing. Now I also have an injured sheath around my Achilles tendon from soccer so I’m laid up for a bit. That’s frustrating! Now in my fifties, I have to pursue activities I can sustain without getting injured.

Fortunately, I have more time to devote to leading a healthy lifestyle: my kids are in their twenties so they’re semi-independent. My diet, paying attention to stress levels and ensuring a healthy work/life balance are more top of mind.

Like many Canadians, I played hockey & football growing up. Basketball was my sport of passion in high school. In university I shifted gears and started playing soccer. I’d never played organized soccer before but I just loved it. I slowly got better and played for over 30 years, and coached for over 20. I’ve coached youth and adult soccer at all levels, from recreational to premier. I played UofS Huskies soccer in the last year of my graduate degree.

I played soccer in the last 2 World Master’s Games: 2009 in Australia and in 2013 in Italy. I’m planning to go to the World Master’s Games in Auckland, New Zealand next year, my sport still to be determined.

I’ve had both knees scoped and last time the surgeon said there was no cartilage left in there so the change of pace and direction in soccer has taken it’s toll on me. But I can still run pain-free, so I’m doing more of that. I recognize the need to make smart choices about the sports I pursue as I get older. I am contemplating track or orienteering.

I’ve also been getting more into hiking, biking and yoga for the past couple of years. Yoga is quite radical for me, but I’m really enjoying it and it’s definitely increased my flexibility and my controlled breathing skills.

My wife and I have been hiking for the past few years. We fell in love with Portugal, and did hikes there in 2014 and again this year. We hiked both on the mainland and on Madeira, and also in the Azores; it was all incredibly beautiful. The trails are everything from easy to technically difficult. At the same time we like to focus on the history of the places we visit. We most recently hiked several trails in Sedona, Arizona, another fun junket!

My fitness goals have always been motivated around modeling good behaviour for our three daughters. My credo is: “work hard, play hard”. I’m a highly competitive person. Exercise has become a ritual for me: if I don’t do something active every day or two, I start feeling really lousy both physically and emotionally, so I need to stay active to feel good.

I love to eat and that’s probably my lifestyle weakness. I am cognizant of the huge role that diet plays in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

I often remind myself of the cliche that “you can’t outrun your diet”.

One of my inspirations for diet is my oldest daughter who until very recently lived at home. She transitioned to vegetarianism and then to veganism and that radically changed how all of us in our home approached our diets, and in a good way! The rest of us did not become vegetarian or vegan, but it forced us to think a lot more about our diet. That was really valuable so I thank her for that.

Ideally, everyone would have an ultimate goal for fitness, but I think it’s even more important to simply get started. Start small and don’t set yourself up for failure. If you say you’re going to exercise every day even though you haven’t exercised in months or years, you are setting yourself up to fail.

Life

I have worked in health administration for the past 30 years. Most recently I was the CEO of a community health centre which is a mid-to-high level stress job where the buck stopped with me. I’ve recently left that role which has given me the opportunity to focus on my own personal health and my family.

Long term I am committed to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle – it’s the right thing to do. Over the next few years I will continue hiking and biking. I am making plans to climb Kilimanjaro, visit and conquer Machu Picchu, and trek the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela over the next few years.

Style

I’m not a big shopper but I really like Columbia gear for working out and hiking, so places that sell that are where I often shop for clothes. I was hiking in Sedona, Arizona and there was a Columbia outlet store not far out of Phoenix, that was kind of like a heaven for me. I prefer the really light dry-fit clothes.I’m also a bit of a gadget guy and my most recent purchase was a Garmin Fenix 3 which tracks just about everything I do, and much more. It also tracks heart rate and other stats like VO2 max, cadence, and SWOLF for swimming. It has GPS, a compass, an altimeter and a barometer so is very useful when I’m off the grid.


Soccer
Shirt: Columbia Titanium
Shorts: RecTec
Socks: Adidas
Cleats: Adidas


Hiking
Shirt: Columbia
Shorts: Kuhl
Boots: Salomon Quest 4D
Backpack: Vaude
Hat: Columbia


Street
Shirt: Windriver
Pants: Pantagonia
Shoes: Steve Madden
Watch: Garmin Fenix 3 HR
Glasses: Hugo Boss

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