Saturday, January 20, 2018

Ridley: A Secret Garden

My old boarding school. This was filmed in the late 70s or early 80s, but reflects very accurately the type of place it was when i was there. Surprisingly, all the teachers shown here were at the school when i went there. Thank you Mom and Dad for sending me to Ridley, a school that has a warm place in my heart and in my son's future. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Habits For A Healthy Life

There is a better way to eat, train, work and sleep. It starts with asking the right questions and ends with making some simple changes to our daily habits. The result is a whole new level of performance, productivity, health and happiness.

I am a big fan of waking up early and working out in the morning. It sets a good tone for the rest of the day and makes it easier to renew myself when i'm done with work by going out with friends or swimming with my son and having deeper conversations in my relationships. A healthier, more balanced life means you're not worrying about or wasting time being lazy.

Serious exercise promotes skeletal-muscular strength, cardiovascular health, increases libido, makes you look good, feel alive and sleep well. Any human on any kind of training regime where you spend more hours in the gym than in restaurants will feel the benefits almost immediately.

What scares me is death and obsolescence. Aging happens, and so does anti-aging. My anti-aging cream is the birth of my son. Fatherhood has made another person the center of my world. I didn't realize becoming dad would instill in me a sudden and profound sense of purpose and grounding. Now i strive to live long by upgrading my diet, fitness, sleep and work. It isn't hard.

It is also undoubtedly true that if you are inactive – lack of serious exercise can cause muscle atrophy, cardiac decline and intestinal defects that make every bowel movement a lucky dip. Obesity strains joints, ruins knees and hips, makes osteoarthritis and future trouble with your ticker highly likely.

The feckless, the fatty, the unfit man who is content to put on a kilo a year for a decade will spend his later life in stiff-limbed, constipated agony. That carb-crazed, beer-swilling couch potato TV lover will one day know much about knee pain and wished he had been a long-distance runner. Avoid that verdict. And of course, no injury feels trivial when it totally disrupts your life. Injury is like poverty or a failing relationship. It is only trivial when it is not happening to you.

The human body has an endless capacity to heal itself. Aches and strains do go away. Illness and injuries can disappear with or without help. The "rice" formula – rest, ice, compression and elevation, will make most knocks and ow-ies disappear. When coming back from an injury, attitude is everything. If injured, own your injury and recover from it. Find the treatment, get second or third advice. Being injured doesn't mean you do nothing.

In this life of surprises, it makes sense to be prepared. Regular exercise boosts blood circulation, cell growth and your immune system. Sweating keeps your heart healthy, bones and the muscles strong. Get out there. Stay fit. And keep training.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

This Is Why We Row

Pictured here: The University of Toronto defeating Cambridge Blue at Henley Royal Regatta in the Visitors' Challenge Cup. Happy to be in touch with some of the men i have had the rare privilege to race with in championship eights and fours (as seen here). Phone calls with all the old boys resulted in lengthy hour long conversations that made us all laugh. We have all done well in life. Married well. Had kids. Shipping them to privileged schools as our parents once did. Mine shall in a few years attend a proper finishing school such as Ridley College or Upper Canada College. In 2018, we are all still in very good shape. Not a single oarsman that i have rowed with has turned into a fat-shit. A reunion boat is being set up for the upcoming year for programs including U of T, Argonaut Rowing Club and Hanlan Boat Club. Many of us are to travel to Henley on Thames for the races this summer for kicks. I am bringing my son. We are also training to get an entry for an alumni racing 8 for the Head of the Charles in fall. Very excited to be back in a shell with my lads. It's been nearly impossible to row with anyone else. Thanks Len for sending me the pic. Ha.