Day 454

Today is Yom HaShoah. It is the day every year that Jews set aside to remember the Holocaust. Perhaps it would be more accurate to write commemorate, as for most of us – at least those of my generation – seldom does a day pass when we do not remember it. There are reminders everywhere if you know what to look for. If that makes it sound like we are all wallowing in misery, let me clarify; it is vital that we remember because if we do not, and if we do not teach our children about it, then it is bound to happen again. I have stories that I will not share here of encounters with survivors. I remember meeting them as a child, as a soldier. So many encounters with so many incredible people who, when I was lucky enough, would share their stories with me. More than one of those stories changed my life. It has been seventy-eight years since the camps were liberated; the survivors who are still with us are octogenarians (and nonagenarians). They have seen so much, but one day they will all be gone, and it will be my generation’s responsibility to continue to share their stories. We must never forget.

Sometimes you fall off the wagon, and getting back on track is painful and grueling. I spent three days off my program (although still jogging), and I was determined to get back onto it yesterday. As I said I would, I walked the kilometre to the post office to ship my package. I also bought a bundle of pocket tissues because it was raining, and I could already feel my nose dripping. As I walked out of the pharmacy, I started my run. I honestly did not know how far I would be able to go and did not set out with any particular course in mind. I wanted to extend my current streak of hitting my steps goal, and the fact that it was raining a little would not stop me. That I felt a weird and nagging ache in my hip would not stop me, as long as I stayed true to my self-promise that I would listen to my body. I had almost arrived at Guelph Line, but rather than crossing the shopping centre parking lot and then the thoroughfare, I turned down onto the walking/biking path (which would take me to that same street in a few moments anyways). I crossed Guelph Line, staying with the off-road paved path. I knew there were several streets onto which I could turn up when I realized I was running out of steam. I was not entirely sure where the path ultimately led, but I was sure I would not find out on this outing.

Something strange happened on my run yesterday. I have jogged over 5km something like 30 times in the last couple of months, whether on the streets or treadmill. Every time I do, I pull up for a break for just a minute or two every couple of kilometres, sometimes every kilometre. At a certain point I realized the walking/biking path was coming to an end. I saw Costco in the distance, and tried to reconcile where exactly that was. Oh, right… North Service Road near the corner of Brant Street, which means the path had curved down a bit. Okay, should I stop? No, not yet. It’s still raining a bit… maybe I’ll pop into a store and get dry for a moment? I know I don’t have my Costco membership card with me, and anyways if I turn up Brant then maybe I will stop into one of the stores at the corner of Mount Royal. What happens if I stop, and my hip locks up? I would have to take an Uber home, and that is not what I want to do. Maybe I’ll just keep going for another kilometre. We’ll see.

The only time I paused my trackers during the entire outing yesterday was when I was stopped at a red light at the corner of Guelph Line (on the return trip). I peaked down and I was 7.5km into my run. I was stopped for fifteen seconds. I realized at a certain point that it might have been my first jog over 5km during which I did not stop to rest. If I can keep that up, then who knows? Maybe there is hope for me yet!


  • Distance: 10.08km (5.18km)
  • Duration: 1:18:17 (39:58)
  • Average Pace (Min/km): 7m46s (7m43s)
  • Steps: 12,150 (6,120)
  • Calories burned: 1,200 (600)
  • Average cadence (steps per minute): 155 (153)

I should also note that my per-kilometre pace was below 8m0s for every kilometre except one; for reasons likely pertaining to wind and elevation, the seventh kilometre was clocked at 8m03s.

Where does this leave me in my challenges? When I checked yesterday after coming in I was ranked 22,154 (of 144,259 participants), in the top 15.36%. Oddly enough, in my age and gender bracket I am not even cracking the top 25%… I stand 3,395 of 13,167 participants, only good for the top 25.78%. I do not know who the leaders are, but the leader is averaging nearly 40km per day, which leads me to believe that something might be rotten in the state of Denmark. I honestly don’t care though… If I complete the challenge then I am equally eligible for the prizes as he is, as they are drawn at random from everyone who completed the challenge.

I have to admit, between the killer jog, my staying true to the program (for the first time since Thursday), and a really good bowel movement this morning, I was a bit disappointed that the numbers on the bathroom scale did not drop a little more than they did. .2 lb. is really just a statistical blip. No matter, it will come… I just have to prove to my body that I am serious about not cheating. My only aberration from the program yesterday was a cup of Japanese milk tea, which I needed because my throat would not have made it through the last hour of my lecture last night.

We always say that if you don’t like the weather in Canada, just wait a few minutes. As Her Floofness and I walked this morning in the near-freezing temperatures, more than one fellow fur-parent expressed their shock at the drop in temperature. I reminded them that last week was the anomaly, and that this is the norm for mid-April. That does not change the fact that all of us long for a speedy return to the high-20s, but that is not normal for this time of year. With a high temperature forecast as a windy 5°, I decided early that today will be a day to work out in shorts and a t-shirt… at the gym, followed by a hydro massage and a stint in the sauna. After all, what am I paying them for if I am not going to use the facilities, right?

I cannot lollygag around on the computer for a few hours before finally changing into my workout kit today as I did yesterday. I have to be at my therapist’s office in Oakville for 1:30pm, which means that I will try to remember to bring my meal replacement with me to the gym so that I do not face the same quandary I did three weeks ago when I scrambled to pick up peanuts in my mad dash from the gym to the therapist and then to my barber. If I get to the gym by 10:30am then I should be able to get through a leisurely workout and then post-workout routine in time to leave and drive unrushed to her office. My buddy Eduardo might be coming over for a cigar later, which will be nice despite the unpleasant weather. We have not seen each other in a few weeks, and he just returned from Cuba with some goodies for me. I am unsure of what he brought, but if there is a box worthy of the occasion, I am still undecided on which cigars to hand out to guests at the wedding. He might just have the answer for me when he comes over this afternoon!

This evening I will be in the dojang. I am so happy to be back at Taekwondo and wish that I had the freedom to do it more than twice per week. We must always be patient, especially when we are studying an art in which the mental aspect of patience and calm are so important. I also know that in mid-May I am starting a new teaching contract that will have me teaching the two evenings when I am usually able to go to the dojang, and that will continue through mid-July. I will be speaking with the Master to ask him if there might be some accommodation that can be made for me to train outside the hours of the adult/Black Belt classes… after all, I should not need anything other than the gym. If that is not possible, then I could also use one of the studios at my gym for the same purpose – after all, didn’t I write just two paragraphs ago that I should be using the facilities as long as I am paying for them? Maybe I will speak with the gym manager today to ask if that would be alright. I cannot imagine it would be an issue.

I found out this morning that a close friend is in the hospital, and I am worried. I spoke with his wife, and she assured me that it was not a heart attack, but the doctors still need to run some more tests to figure out what is going on. In the meantime, my buddy is nearly thirteen years my junior, but I have thought on several occasions that he is working himself into an early grave. I have one more person to pray for today. Four, actually… I will pray for his wife and my godchildren as well (although I always do, but not with the specificity I will today). This is just one more reason why I am glad that I am getting myself into better shape and taking care of my health. I do not want Leslie to have to call an ambulance for me because I am on the floor clutching my chest.

Okay, it is time to get moving. Today will be my second day true to the program, although if I need to grab something, it will be a very small handful of nuts. With a morning workout and an evening Taekwondo class I would not begrudge myself that if it is needed. Tomorrow through Friday I might be able to jog outside, although Friday through Sunday they are predicting rain. We’ll see. Today is a gym day for sure.

Have a great day folks!

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