Peace River; Taylor, BC

British Columbia is beautiful in many aspects. This week, my wife and I did a couple excursions with our new kayaks in Northern BC.

The other day we went to Charlie Lake which was 15 minutes north of Fort St. John. On Thursday my wife and I headed 15 minutes south towards the town of Taylor, BC.

We wanted to hit the Peace River for some kayaking. However, we knew the current would be strong because of the information we read about when we went to the Site C Dam lookout. After some research on Google and using the Google maps satellite view- I found a small alcove near a boat launch on the south side of the Peace River. So we went exploring.

This had to be the most peaceful kayaking we’ve done yet. The waters were calm and the views were spectacular. It was so leisurely that we spent almost two hours floating around without having to put much effort in.

It was a pleasant excursion and made me glad we toted the kayaks almost 1200 kms just to experience this. Perhaps one day our upper body strength will be better and we could try tackling a stronger current.

But until then, I’m content to put my feet up and relax.

Charlie Lake

About 15 minutes outside of Fort St. John is Charlie Lake. Yesterday my wife and I decided to go and check it out with our kayaks.

The boat launch that is there is in disrepair, so you can only bring kayaks, canoes and small boats in the lake. This meant that yesterday- we had the lake to ourselves.

This is a small lake only 3 km wide and 13 km long. There are a few homes situated along the shore, but none if you paddled north. Near the shoreline was heavy in algae which gave it a green tinge and made it tough to paddle through.

Once we ventured out about 500 meters, the water was pristine. Our mid day paddle last a good couple of hours and we paused at one point for a lunch break as we bobbed up and down on the slight waves.

This was yet another easy kayaking adventure. No challenge to it. But because of the amount of time we spent on the water- we can feel the burn today in our muscles. It feels great.

Short Walks

Lately I’ve been enjoying walking. Years ago, I used to walk everywhere. Most of my jobs in the past had me on my feet where I walked a lot.

When I was a projectionist looking after 19 auditoriums- I was spending eight hours a day going back and forth between them.

Working at Home Depot was a bit rougher on my feet since it was a concrete floor. But when it was slow, I wandered around to learn as much DIY as I could.

Chuck E Cheese also had me on my feet keeping track of customers and running food. Plus the occasional dance routine…

Then came CN. Where I would walk miles and miles outdoors every shift. This was by far the best exercise I ever received. Until I started working in the office. Then I became stagnant. That has been the past few years now.

I’ve been missing walking. So my wife is encouraging me daily to get back at it. It has started with walks around the block or parking at the far end of a mall parking lot. Now we are trying to wander through trails and enjoy nature instead of asphalt. I’m starting to enjoy meeting birds on my walks as well.

Good Kind of Sore

I woke up this morning with aches and pains. My arm muscles feel tight from hours of axe throwing and archery yesterday afternoon. My lower back is throbbing from bending over to rip out weeds and building our target. My legs have periodic cramps from the excessive walking I’ve put them through suddenly.

All of it feels good. I feel alive and ready to do some more. The sun is shining and the heat is rising. Later this afternoon I am planning on going for a hike with the family and take full advantage of the Spring Weather. I’m going to work through the aches and get my body back to where it should be.

It’s amazing how when I was a child none of these pains existed. I’d ride my bike, climb trees, walk to the store, or swim in our pool. As a teen the pains still didn’t happen. There was lots of walking, hiking, biking and running to be done.

Even a few years ago I used to walk constantly. Many of my jobs/ careers have had me on my feet and walking around. Including when I first started at the railroad. But over the past few years I’ve gotten lazy-ish. More office work and sitting at a desk now. And probably will be for another fifteen years or so. I best do something to keep me active.

When the weather is good, I enjoy being outside. I love walking when I have a destination in mind. Especially when on vacationing to places like Disneyland. We walk constantly. Same with last year in Tokyo. My body and mind cleared up during these trips.

During my days off, I need to be less sedentary and push myself. Get over the aches and pains and let my body remember how to be active. Like a photograph reminding me of my youth- my muscles will remember how to be used.

Healthy Lifestyle both Physically and Mentally

As I get older I feel that my life needs a bit more of a health upgrade. My wife is constantly pushing me to be more active. And she’s right. Look at yesterday for example:

I become stagnant and inert sometimes without realizing it. Yesterday she accomplished nearly 12,000 steps. I barely did 1700. As you can see- her goal is significantly higher than mine. Now that I’m in my early 40’s- it’s time to really start looking at my future.

I’m planning to retire by my mid 50’s. Which means besides being financially secure by then, I also want to be able to enjoy life. I don’t see myself hitting the gym, but walking more and getting off my phone to see the world are becoming more prevalent choices in order to feel healthy. So I also took a drastic approach to my cellphone addiction on Sunday.

On Sunday, as I was waiting for my son to compete in his Speed Skating competition, I noticed how everyone in the stands was on their phones- hardly interacting with one another. Naturally, I took out my phone and opened Facebook. This is when I realized I have a problem. It became clear that even though in the past I have taken a month hiatus periodically from the Social Media- I needed to do more. So I began by looking at my “Friends” list. I removed people to try and “clean house”.

By the end, I had removed nearly everyone on my list. There is now only my wife and daughters, my three friends who have passed away and two fellows whom I respect in many ways. One is a hard working artist, the other is my son’s coach. It took four days before anyone noticed that they weren’t my “Friend” anymore. The one who did notice is a close friend of mine and messaged me last night. Others may not have noticed, because if they follow my Blog- they are still seeing me posts on a daily basis because WordPress shares directly there for me.

After nearly 12 years on Facebook, it is tough to just give it up. I have kept my Facebook “alive” in order to read stories and news articles from groups that I follow. As well as to interact with those who comment on my blog posts. A couple of years ago I stopped using Twitter. The one social media I do enjoy is Instagram. I follow many of my Former Facebook Friends on their and enjoy seeing quick snapshots of their adventures.

Maybe one day I’ll regret dropping all of those Facebook contacts. I didn’t announce it to the world at the time because it really shouldn’t be a big deal. So I guess this is that announcement just to let people know. Time for me to move on. And by move, I mean walk more. Healthy living should be both physical and mental.

A new journey lies ahead. If I put my phone down- I’ll see where I’m going.

Sunday Walkabout

Yesterday was one of the nicest days we have had this year. Warm and sunny as if Spring was peaking its head around the corner. A big change from just over a week ago when there was snow on the ground. My wife wanted to take full advantage of it. So we headed into Fort Langley and walked a part of the “Fort to Fort Trail”.

Partway through our walk, my wife realized that it was far warmer than she expected it to be. The gloves, toque and hoodie came off after about a kilometer. As we walked, we talked. It was nice as we meandered along the path passing numerous other people enjoying the day. It didn’t surprise me much as Fort Langley is a busy little arts community that is often crowded.

The path took us behind the Fort Langley Golf Course. This was the course my father used to have a membership to. We cut back up to the road to the entrance of the golf course. Every few months, I’ll stop in for a beer. Yesterday was no different. Many of the pubs and drinking establishments in Fort Langley were crowded. People were taking advantage of sitting on the decks with a cold beverage. The pub at the golf course was empty. Which was perfect for us to grab a table and take a break halfway through our four kilometer walk.

After wetting our palates, we wandered back to the busy hub of Fort Langley. A train had passed through and caused large crowds waiting to cross the tracks. That moment was one of the moments that my wife expressed why we could never live there. Crowds aren’t my thing usually and I can only take them in small doses. I have always wanted to live in Fort Langley, but I can see why on weekends it wouldn’t be overly enjoyable.

However, if yesterday was a sign of things to come- this spring and summer will be a pleasurable one. We will take more walks throughout the Lower Mainland and enjoy the talks together. Did you enjoy the sun yesterday? What did you do?

Axe-Holes Of Bad Axe

Yesterday for my 43rd birthday, I gathered up eight fellas and we went out for a “Guys Night”. Or is it called a “Bro Date”? Anyways, it was a night out without significant others or children. Time needed to blow off some steam.

I arranged a couple of hours for us all at a place called Bad Axe– where we got to throw axes at a target. It was something that none of us had tried before and it seemed like a great way to celebrate my birthday.

We had an instructor who taught us how to throw the axes as well as the safety precautions we needed to take. There was a variety of throwing styles and axes available to throw. There was a bit of a learning curve to it. I favored a heavier axe with the two hand approach. After a few failed attempts by each of us- we began to get better.

We split into teams and had a few competitive challenges. I’d say that 75% of the time the target was hit. Not the bullseye- just the target. I’ll also say that 100% of the time there was smack talk going on. Anything to throw off the other guy’s concentration. Needless to say- we were all Axe-Holes by the end strutting our stuff when we hit the target.

The staff were amazing and fun. The two hours of axe throwing went by quickly. It was a great experience that I would gladly go back for. I’d recommend it for anyone to give it a go. Watch how easily I hit the target, anyone can do it:

It’s Good

It’s only been a couple of months in my new position at work.  A lot of people are asking me how I like it.  I usually give the same response- “It’s Good.”  Of course only two months in it’s really hard to say if I like the j…  That’s a lie.  I love the job.  

I used to spend eight hours a day staring at a computer screen five days a week.  Now I put in twelve hour days, but limit sitting at the computer to a handful of times.  Maybe four hours total throughout the day.  The hours may be longer now than they once were on the days that I am at work, but having three days off is perfect.  


Not only am I spending less time in front of a computer, but I’m out on the ground more these days.  Doing lots of walking.  It seems my wife was right- exercise is good for you.  I still don’t do the Fitbit thing, but I have been secretly watching my step count.  What used to be under a thousand steps per day (some days only being around four hundred) is now three to four times that.  I have never felt better.  My muscles are happy and my body is feeling more energized.  I think on my days off I shall start to walk my dog more often.  Plus the weather is going to get nicer.

Arenas

The smell of the atmosphere inside the arena.  The sound of skates clacking and screeching on ice.  The laughter and screams from the children echo around the building.  Welcome to Friday Night Speedskating.


This is the first of many evenings spent at the arena.  The building isn’t like the ones I remember going to for skating.  Those old arenas had a strange ammonia scent that filled the air as the zamboni cleaned the ice.  I miss those old buildings of cedar wood with large ceiling heaters covered in dust.  The smell of sweat and cigarettes lingered in the air.  The arenas often found in the industrial parts of town.  In fact, one of our favorite Speed Skating meets is in such a place.  


But this building is far superior.  There are numerous rinks, a couple of viewing areas on the second floor.  Plenty of televisions on the walls and extremely well maintained.  It’s located on the edge of a well established suburb with nice homes nearby.  Close to the industrial part, but not in the middle like they once were.  I will be spending many Wednesdays and Fridays here with my son until Springbreak.

My son loves to Speed Skate.  I wrote about him a few months ago in My son- The Future Olympian.  Speed skating gives him exercise and keeps him active.  It’s a supportive but also competitive environment.  There are lots of other local skating clubs.  My son has made friends at many of the skating meets as they cheer each other on.  It’s a great feeling to hear your son’s name chanted through the stands.  He may not always get first place, but he sure doesn’t give up.

Here I sit writing my blog in between his warm ups, drills and practice races.  I suspect I will write more about speed skating as the days go on.  

So, as long as he loves it, my wife and I will continue to support him.

Go Theory!

Happy wife, happy life? ¬†Or “How exercise is going to kill me.”

My wife is forcing me to become more active.  Ugh.  She absconded my cellphone and proceeded to set up a new Fitbit for me- while I was napping.  Her excitement about this new device for me is uncontrollable.  She woke me from my nap and told me to go weigh myself.  I haven’t stepped on a scale in months.  I don’t think of myself as unhealthy, all I have is just a little beer gut.  It’s called a “Dad Bod” all the celebrities are rocking it.

Exercise? You mean punishment.


I have never devoted time to exercise.  My wife wants to challenge me to walking goals and stair climbing.  This may not end well for me…  I walk where I need to get to and go up or down stairs as required.  I am afraid that I will be aimlessly wandering my home because my wife will think my step count needs to be in the tens of thousands!  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Pie chart truths of Mario Kart.


My wife is very competitive as well. These step count goal are sure to lead to some cruel taunting-as if going on forced marches up and down the stairs won’t be bad enough.  I may have to get sneaky and turn on Mario Kart to get her to sit her butt down.  She knows she can beat me at that game, so if I get a few rounds started then get up to leave, I should be able to nap again.  Our kids will gladly play that game and keep the exercise drill sergeant occupied for me.


Maybe I’m just being paranoid.  Maybe I’ll find some value in seeing how active I really am in my daily routine.  Plus, if someone actually calls me (who makes phone calls anymore?) my wrist will display their name.  So that’s kinda cool.  We’ll see how this turns out.  A bit more of a focus on being active won’t kill me.  I can forgo a nap or two each day.  But, I’m worried my deep fryer is next to go…