Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

I could have been rich, I tell you, I could have been rich! I knew it as soon as I saw it on Pinterest.

You see, several years ago I had a run in with breast cancer. I put in the obligatory year of treatment including the required surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. When the year was over there were a couple of things that stuck with me. One is that it became my reference for time. I now often refer to things as “BC.” Some people use this same time reference, but they mean “Before Children.” In my case, it is “Before Cancer.” Secondly, when the process began, I was a fairly well-endowed woman. But, when it was all said and done, I was left with one boob and one boobette™ (as I like to call it).

Now don’t ask me exactly when it happened, but at some point I started stuffing things in the leftover space. Yeah. That’s right – in the left over space on the boobette’s™ side of my bra. At first I was discrete. I would sneak in my change purse, or my cell phone, or my keys ― just when it wasn’t convenient to carry a purse and I wasn’t wearing anything with pockets. But before long I was carrying all three in there … at the same time … on a regular basis! I can honestly tell you there are few things that did not find their way in there.

The first time I went public, I was in line with a friend in the cafeteria at work. We were in the middle of a conversation when the cashier told me how much I owed her. Without thinking, I reached into my bra, pulled out my wallet and took out my debit card. My side of the conversation did not stop until I noticed my friend blushing at the cashier. I realized what I had done by the look on her face. “Oh. Sorry. That’s just my boob pocket,” was my response to “the look” as I stuffed the wallet back where it came from.

After that, my boob pocket (and a few urban legends that started circulating about it) became public knowledge. I would often move around throughout the work day, from upstairs offices to downstairs studios, green rooms, cafeterias, board rooms, tape libraries and master control. Just as often, I would leave something behind in one of those spots and have to retrace my steps. There wasn’t a room in the place that I couldn’t enter and say, “I can’t find my keys, phone, or whatever … did I leave them here?” and be met with the response: “Did you check your boob pocket?” More often than not, that is exactly where the missing item would be.

The only person who was still uncomfortable with it was “He-Who.” He did not like to talk about it. I will tell you, however, that he is continually handing me stuff and asking me to put it in my purse for him. I could get away with a clutch if it wasn’t for all the stuff I carry in my purse for him. But … he has yet to ask, even once, for me to put something in my boob pocket.

But here is my point. While wasting time researching on Pinterest, I came across a picture that left me with my mouth agape. LuLuLemon has created the ultimate boob pocket bra. It has not 1, not 2, not 3, but 7 pockets for all your essentials.

Seriously, I could have been rich. I did it first!

You may know that walking is now a regular part of my regimen. Well, I had been walking 5K every day and once again was having problems figuring how to carry the stuff I wanted to carry. Have you noticed how hot it’s been this summer! Minimal clothing was the only way to go. No extras like a backpack or a fanny pack were acceptable. There were no pockets in my workout clothes. It was time to get creative again. As it happens, I have a plethora of T-shirts and I don’t wear T-shirts. They are hot, unflattering, and I find them uncomfortable around my neck.

In fact, every year I walk with a team in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run For The Cure.

Walking For The Cure

My Mom died from breast cancer when I was 12, I am a survivor and one of my sisters is as well. It was my sister who started our team. We participate every year and every year we get a t-shirt. But I have never worn any of these t-shirts. Until now.

First, I cut off the sleeves and snipped the neckline. Then I sewed the sleeves onto the front of the shirt creating pockets. Each pocket has lots of room for my phone, keys, ID, a change purse and my inhaler. Just remember, you saw it here first!

This idea may not make me rich but it sure saved me some money on buying special clothing to walk in. Go ahead and dig out those old t-shirts you aren’t wearing and make your own fashion statement while you work out. Oh, and if you want to share some of that money you save with this clever idea and support a good cause while you’re at it, feel free to check out my sponsor page and donate.

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Today I saw the salmon “run” and it was amazing! I had never witnessed this before and found it fascinating. There were thousands of them! The mass of salmon was so thick it did indeed look like they were running a marathon and they were jumping and crawling over each other to get ahead. Now, please don’t get the idea that I am taking an interest because I am any kind of angler. I have been fishing twice in my life and only once caught a fish. Ok, I didn’t really catch it. It was a catfish and when I reeled it in it turned out I had hit it over the head with my cast and the hook had stuck in the top of its head.

The thing is, I almost missed this miracle of nature because I live next door to William H. Macy. No, I am not talking about the William H. Macy in FargoMarmadukeWild Hogs or PleasantvilleNo, no, no! I am talking about the William H. Macy of Shameless.

William H. Macy in "Shameless"

Yes, my neighbor bares a remarkable resemblance to Frank Gallagher in more ways than one.

In the just over a year I have lived here, He-Who and I have been regaled with tales of the neighborhood ― all the dangers and terrors and weirdness that is abundant where we live. Not knowing anything about the area, we took all these stories to heart and pretty much stayed indoors. Then, in June, I started walking. Always in the bright of day, I would do 5k, sticking to the main streets and crossing with the lights. And every day I walked by the entrance to a trail that was just steps from my front door. 138 steps to be precise. That’s right, I counted. Of course our “Frank” told us about all the horrible things that happen on that trail so I stayed off it.  On the other hand, twice in one week I witnessed vehicles whose drivers had lost control and ended up on the sidewalk. One of those times I was very lucky that the light turned red, stopping me just as I was about to step into the street. Had I made it across the road I would have wound up under that car.

These things make He-Who nervous. He was getting antsy about my walks, especially because I was threatening to widen my horizons. Finally, He-Who decided that he would accompany me and we would brave the evil trail.

He-Who Braves The Trail

He-Who Braves The Trail

This was no ordinary path. It was beautiful. It was well kept, clean and paved. Surely this could not be the trail “Frank” had talked about. We walked for a ways in one direction and then turned around. We passed our starting point and went a wee bit in the opposite direction before He-Who left me to continue on my own and returned home. The next day he joined me again and went the entire 5k with me. I think I broke him as he pretty much slept the rest of the day, while I did some research on my computer. It turns out my trail is one of 22 paved pathways in Oshawa.

Oshawa’s Trail system totals almost 27 km of paved surface that provides citizens and visitors with opportunities for physical activity such as walking, running, cycling, rollerblading or bird watching. A safe and environmentally friendly way of getting to and from work, school, shopping, or a nearby park, the trails are a great place to gather and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.

Now, that may sound like it is right out of a brochure … well, actually it is.

My trail is called the Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path and it is 7 km from start to finish. I love it!

Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path

Surrounded by lush vegetation this paved path meanders along the picturesque Oshawa Creek valley with connections to Downtown Oshawa. The creek is home to the spring and fall trout and salmon runs.

I can vouch for the lush vegetation as you can see from the pictures.

Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path

Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path

The path and bridges are very well-built and maintained.

Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path - Bridges

Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path - Bridges

Cyndi Walking with Aunty "M"

Cyndi Walking with Aunty “M”

Benches and garbage containers are placed generously along the sides of the path. Grass is trimmed and waste receptacles are emptied.

Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path

The paths are monitored by police officers on bicycles so safety is not an issue. Oh, have I mentioned that this trail ends at a lovely sandy beach?

Beach at end of trail 2012


Every day I see families walking and biking; exercisers running, walking and cycling; couples taking leisurely strolls; and anglers fishing. I have yet to see any of the horrors I had been told existed on the trail.  There is even a Trail Users Code:

  • Motorized vehicles are not permitted.
  • Please stay on the paved trail.
  • Hunting is not permitted.
  • Abide by the signs regarding permitted trail use.
  • Cyclists must keep right, use a bell or verbal indication when passing, travel at moderate speed, use caution around pedestrians and dismount when crossing streets.
  • Keep right to allow others to pass.
  • Keep the trails clean. Use the trash receptacles provided.
  • Keep pets on a leash.
  • Leave flowers, plants and trees for others to enjoy.
  • Respect and protect our natural resources.

And now I can also attest to the abundance of salmon.  It was something to see. Battling up stream, building up a head of steam as they launched their attack on the current, the rocks and the rapids, these Chinooks were amazing.

Oshawa Creek Before Salmon Run

Oshawa Creek Before Salmon Run

There are times when I just get sick of hearing people say “you can’t” or “don’t do that”.  Sometimes you just have to find out for yourself and leave the urban legends to the William H. Macys next door. No matter how great a neighbour they are.

Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path

A Path Off The Trail

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A little over a year ago we moved from a 3 bedroom, 1 floor condo, west of Toronto, to a 3 bedroom, 3 floor house east of Toronto. The move was a little over 100 km. With Toronto being in the middle it might as well have been 1000 km. When I lived west of Toronto it was nothing to “run home” to Niagara Falls for a couple of hours to visit family and friends. That drive across the top of Toronto can add anywhere from 1 – 3 hrs. (depending on the traffic) to my trip home now. Needless to say those visits are much less frequent.

So, why did we move? Well, our business was in the Durham Region and those treks from west to east on a daily basis were damaging us and our business. I really liked our condo. We had been in it for 8 years. It was, however, beginning to look less and less like a home. Everywhere I turned there was business stuff. Not just in the office. It was in the living room, the kitchen, the dining room, the bedroom and yes, even the bathroom (don’t ask).  We found this house and I liked it right away. But, the thing that sold me was when we opened the basement door and went downstairs. The basement had already been made into an office space! With cupboards and a sink and plenty of room for our business!  I was so happy as we brought everything in, because if it had “office” written on it, it went downstairs.  I now had a living space and a working space and I could come upstairs at the end of the day and close the door and that was that.

A recent visit to Dr. A had her a little concerned with my well being.  I have gained weight and have been struggling with getting rid of it.  I have a Gazelle exercise machine set up so I can take breaks from the computer and get some exercise, but doesn’t seem to be helping. The good Doctor suggested we run some blood tests and that I should walk for 20 minutes every day.  I looked at the sheet she handed to me to see what she was testing.  As I drove home I did some thinking. One of the things she checked off were my Vitamin D levels. Hmmm, if I am not mistaken (it happens on a rare occasion) Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin”.  It then occurred to me that I actually rarely see sunshine.  The first 6 months we lived here I would accompany He-Who* on the front porch or the back deck for some “fresh air” (as we call it in my family) otherwise known as a smoke break.  In January I got really sick and stopped doing this.  I stopped going outside.  By the time I got home I had figured out that although I had a great working space there was something missing.  Windows. All the windows were in the laundry room side of the basement. It was lovely and bright in the laundry room.  It was dark and dismal in the office part.  Could it be I was just not getting enough sunshine and fresh air?

The first day I tentatively walked around the block. It took me 15 minutes.  I was not that familiar with the territory so I kept my head down and went a little further each day and then would see how long it took me.  I went to 38 minutes, then 45, then 50 until I finally made it to just a little over an hour.  An hour is my goal each day hopefully picking up speed as I carry on.  I have also incorporated it into other things I have to do.  I needed an oil change so I drove my car to the shop, dropped it off and walked a half-hour in one direction and then a half-hour back to my car. He-Who does the grocery shopping, so the other day I went with him.  When he went into the store I started walking towards home. An hour later he picked me up on his way home from the store.

We live in the downtown area. It is a little rough around the edges and sometimes a little intimidating. The other day I accidentally lifted my head while walking the usual route and noticed these…

A brazen glance to the left and I saw these…

…then to the right there were these…

It was head up and eyes all over the place after that. How could I have been walking past all this and not noticed it?  I walk with 1 piece of ID and my cell so I started taking pictures with my phone…

There was a lot I was missing as I scurried along my route. We have lived here a year and I find myself coming home and saying things to He-Who, like, “Did you know there was a big city pool behind us? With a big park behind it? I saw families playing!”

I am not Anglican but I have to tell you this sign made me stop. I read it twice before I took the picture. I quite like what it has to say.

I walked past several fire hydrants that were hand-painted. I will have to do some investigating to find out the story behind them. This one was my favourite.

This is a General Motors town. I have passed this place every day. Several years ago I worked on a documentary about GM in St. Catharines. Some day when I am not all hot and sweaty, I will go in.

Last weekend I heard music, people laughing and a lot of activity (of course this was “pre-looking up” walking). It turns out there is a beautiful bandstand with seating and a lovely park.

The sides of the bandstand are made of these panels…

and there is this wonderful monument beside it.

I have blisters, bites and sunburn but I feel better than I have in months and as it turns out there is lots to see on my walks.  All I had to do was get up, go outside, get some sunshine, fresh air and move again. Thanks Dr. A.

*Recently a friend referred to He Who Shall Remain Nameless For His Own Protection as He-Who because as she stated, “I can call him that because we are on a first name basis”.  Well, I’m on a first name basis with him too (at least for the time being) so He-Who it is!

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