Thursday Thirteen. 13 Things I liked about the 2011 Global Corporate Challenge.


This is my list of the 13 things that I really liked during (and after) the 2011 Global Corporate Callenge.

13. The actual Exercise – It was nice at first keeping track of my steps during a normal day, then during a day in which I went to the gym, and finally on a weekend when I took the boys for a 2-3 hour walk.  But as my numbers climbed, I found that I would walk a lot more at night, and always take the stairs, no matter where I was (see post on our holiday where were all took the kids from the 5th floor to the 12th floor numerous times a day).  Then it became routine.  Every day for 16 weeks. 

12. Losing inches – It was nice during the GCC to notice that while I was getting stronger and my endurance was up, that I was losing inches in places where I have wanted to lose inches.  A nice surprise.

11. Feeling lighter on my feet as the event went on. At first I was dragging my ass around, but the more I exercised, the easier it was to move… Funny how that works, eh?

10. Having walking meetings with my staff. It gave me an opportunity to speak with them in a neutral environment and I found they had more suggestions, some great recommendations and they were more eager to ask questions which were HR related or industry specific without the threat of having someone question them on something they should have knoen..

9. Competition – I love competition.  Once I saw that it was going to be a close race to the finish I turned it up and walked, more, exercised more and busted my ass to make sure I did the best I could and help my team win.  I’m really competitive.  REALLY. 

8. I hate to lose way more than I like to win – This challenge reinforced that I hate to lose more than I like to win. Now that the competition is over and my team came in first out of all our company’s teams in North America; 309th out of 28,249 in the world for and 6th in Canada out of 809 teams. That is all warm and fuzzy, but it’s over and I am so past it. But when we were losing… That got my ire up.

7. Saving my ass – By beating all the teams I trash talked in the early stages of the challenge, I saved my ass from ridicule and the fear of being mocked was part of my motivation to get the job done!

6. Knowing I had no choice but to walk / run / swim / cycle. With this challenge and your teammates depending on you plus the fact I was the team leader, I felt more was expected of me. With that “pressure” I had to keep moving… all the time. That meant I only went to sleep one day out of the 16 weeks before midnight because I reset my pedometer at midnight, so I used every spare minute to walk, walk and walk.

5. Being able to spend time walking and thinking about life, work, family and other things. The quiet was refreshing and it was nice to get out late at night to just walk around. When I run, I run late at night – 10:30 or 11pm, so I am used to getting out that late, but I’ve never been a fan of late night walks… Until this competition.

4. The race at the end. Since there were 4 teams really close together, I was fixated on the step entry and seeing who made personal bests, and the sort. It was a lot of stress but also a lot of fun!

3. The change to my body shape was a nice touch. My legs and torso are slimmer, my upper body more muscular and overall, I feel better.

2. Seeing all the locations on the http://www.gettheworldmoving.com site as we moved trough the course and the final drive to complete the course which we did not. Seeing that in Canada there was snow made me laugh since it was August and obviously there is NO snow here in the summer.

1. I’ve changed my ways and in addition to all the exercise I regularly do in a day (before GCC I was averaging between 12000-14000 steps without the gym, and 21000 with the gym) I find I’m more than ever walking to keep moving.

So what benefits did you find from the GCC? If you did not take part, would you enter it next year if your company took part?

Advertisements

GCC Friendly things to do in Toronto with kids


Weekends always pose to be a dilemma for my family. We are all so busy during the week, my wife and I working, and the kids at camp during the summer, that come the weekend we’re tired and feel we all need a break. Then again… The weekend is the perfect time to do things as a family, run errands and spend quality time together.

Also in the mix is the fact that this was a sucky week for me in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) and I pledged to make that right on the weekend.

So when my wife and I sat down Saturday morning trying to plan the day we thought about getting the family outside and adding some steps along the way.

So we ate breakfast, loaded up on water and some snacks and off we went. Here was Saturday;

Walk to the subway.

Walked to the Art Gallery of Ontario (where we got married just over 10 years ago).
Looked for the Village on the Grange (it’s not there).

Walked over to Chinatown to this crazy cool old school dim sum joint on the top floor of a strip mall.

Walked down to Queen Street.

Had free freezies courtesy Virgin Mobile.

Peeked into Much Music – they were filming something for Degrassi.

Saw the homeless guy with his homeless girlfriend / hooker and their homeless dog. He has a sign that says “Need Money for Weed” . I wanted to hand him a new sign that read, “Stay in School Kids – living examples”.

Hit up the Second Cup for a Chocolate Chiller for my wife and Strawberry Yogurt drink for my kids.

Walked back to the subway.

Headed home.

Once at home, Berry napped while my wife and I dosed and the boys watched TV, half conscious, until 4:30pm when we ran out to

get our new glasses, pick up bagels from the Montreal bagel place on Avenue Road (Chatted with Haley-O’s husband Josh-O of Cheaty Monkey fame).

Went to Toy Town.

Came home.

Picked up dinner at the amazing Indus Tavern on Eglinton (yum x 1000) then some tidying and we were both out cold by 11pm.

Net GCC result: 35,212 steps!!!

 

Sunday:

Up a little later – 7am.

Out of the house by 9am to Whittamore farm for some raspberry picking then over to pick some green pees, yellow beans, beets, green beans, sugar snap peas and new potatoes…

By 11:30am it was pretty hot and we were all pretty sapped of energy – But let me tell you how cute it is seeing the kids pick the berries. Berry, picked some great berries and put them in her basket. It wasn’t until she tried one when she realized some liked them. It was all downhill from there. The field became her buffet.

From there we went to T&T Grocery store in Markham, then over to a Tim Horton’s drive through for my first coffee in 14 days… YUM!!!

Then after some shopping / sampling we all hopped back into the car and flew over to Woodbine and the 407 for lunch at the new King’s buffet restaurant.

From there home for a nap for Berry while the boys try to kill each other.

I put everything away and at 3pm I checked in at 21,000 steps. I am totally not going to get to 30,000 steps but this has been a great weekend with the family and a great walking weekend for the GCC.

We got the kids bathed, garden and lawn watered and cleaned up quite a bit of the house.  Up and down the stairs over and over again sure helped my walking total as once Berry went to sleep, at 8:30pm, I was at 30,000 steps for the day.  More cleaning, more up and down the stairs, some laundry, and a trip to the store later and it’s midnight and I take off my pedometer and it reads this;

Final total, and a personal best, 36, 019!!!

So there were some fun things to do with kids on a hot weekend in Toronto.

Urban daddy housekeeping: Global Corporate Challenge and new blogs for you to follow


I am always looking for new blogs to read and today’s post is about some that have come to my attention that I would like to mention.

The first one is Silly Little Ones – http://www.atomicreach.com/microsite/sillylittleones  A new online parenting community which gathers photos, videos and blogs on children and their stories.  Those of us who contribute content to this site benefit by increased traffic to our sites while giving readers some new posts to read and comment on from fellow mommies and daddies.

The next one is Damn Yank; http://damnyank.wordpress.com/

The third one is the Lazy Photographer http://www.lazyphotographer.ca/.  If you check out David’s page you will see he is Toronto based and you should recognize a lot of the surroundings and see through the eyes of this photographer.   David also takes family portraits at a reasonable cost – we’re scheduled for later this summer – and he specializes in one-on-one (or group) street walking sessions where he will teach you how to get the most of your camera.  If I had any time at all, I would totally join David on a tour of the streets with my camera.

Welcome to all of you!  I hope the Urban Daddy community treats you well and comes to visit every now and then.

 

Changing things up a little… did you all hear about the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest (free publicity @nathans… Please send dogs! Nitrate free and kosher please)  The winner ate a disgusting 62 dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes.

62! How gross. I mean who would go watch these?   I think only people who want to watch others throw up, or watch people die, or watch schoolyard fights on the internet.  

I think the most I ever ate at one sitting was 6 and I was probably 17 at the time and still… growing.

 

Switching gears here to the Global Corporate Challenge: www.gettheworldmoving.com

Check it out!

So I’m at day 50 of the Global Corporate Challenge.  I joined it under the impression that I would be given a pedometer, form a team with 6 other colleagues, then walk for a given period of time and keep track of the steps.  Simple, right?

Well did you know that the average white collar worker walks an average of 3,000 steps a day. The #GCC encourages 10,000 steps a day.  Last year the person at my office that walked a lot averaged 13,000 steps per day. 

Going in I had very few expectations.  Well, with kids, my first day was 13,ooo steps and nowadays, by 10am after getting my kids ready and myself ready in the morning, plus a walk I’m at that goal.   Add on 4000-5000 more steps getting them to bed and with some daily exercise, or walking I have been doing quite well… Okay, very well. Here are my totals and my teams totals to date:

Personally, I have walked 3,722kms, or just over 1,000,000 steps. That puts my team at Level 75.

As a team, we have walked 5,000,000 steps for an average of 17,734 steps per team member. My step average is 21,596

So what does all this mean for my team?!? Well, we’re 1st in my company for all the North American teams of which there are many. We are 15th out of all the registered teams in Canada (there are 618 registered Canadian teams. We currently sit at 455th in the world out of 18166 teams registered globally.

Pretty cool, eh?

And it is very inspiring to see where we rank, how close were are to moving up or down and that there is another Canadian team right behind us who have been just ahead of us for most of the past month. Competition is good. It means no nights off for my 4-1,000,000 step club walkers.

All in all I have lost some inches but not weight I have actually gained some weight, but I have a ton of energy.

So what new blogs have you come across that deserve to be recognized (and don’t be shy… mention your own too if you’re not already on my blogroll).

I am going to walk!

It’s the Wednesday sensory post at Urban Daddy’s blog. Come touch, hear, taste, see and smell.


Today’s post at this urban daddy’s blog covers the five senses; touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing.  Originally my 5 included touching and feeling, lol, but I wised up when editing this post.  So please, have a read and let me know your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree.

 

And we’re off…

 

Can you smell that?

It smell like an election is coming to the province of Ontario.  To no ones surprise, the Liberal party is in fear that voters here might give them the same treatment that the Federal Liberals received so Premier Dalton McGuinty is throwing out the campaign promises left, right and… well, centre.  After 7 years in power and numerous taxes – and George Smitherman, the Liberals are promising to cut perks to MPP’s to the tune of $15,000 per year, and promising to refund passengers of GO Transit if the train / bus is more than 20 minutes late.  The NDP are countering with a pledge to remove the $45 fee for having a fire truck show up.

Can you hear that?

It sounds like choking and it was the Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo who has been talking the talking but his play has not been walking the walk… For his sake I’m sure all Vancouver fans were hoping for a shut out tonight and a Stanley Cup to go with his Olympic gold medal, but sadly the shut out came to Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and now questions about Luongo’s play, his comments and his value to the Canucks in light of his play and Cory Shneiders’s play will be a hot topic throughout the summer.

For me, personally, I was pulling for the Bruins (predicted a 4-0 win!) because I don’t like Raffi Torres, Aaron Rome, Burrows or Kessler and the whole lot of diving I have seen. It’s the same reason I detest the Philadelphia Flyers. Teams like that cannot win playing goon hockey because it signals to the rest of the league that it works. That is bad for hockey. Plus, any team that is being built for the future by the Toronto Maple Leafs and that eliminated the Flyers AND Montreal Canadians is great to me!  Canadians on the Bruins want to win it for Horton… Nathan and Tim.

Can you see that?

 I see Canada Post employees walking the picket line and frustration that this has dragged on. Shouldn’t Canada Post sit down with the union and realistically spell out the future? Let those who have walked the routes for years retire in peace and just curb the future hiring. If postal service is declining and an issue is the starting wage being $26/hr, up from $23/hr, then don’t hire more workers. Problem solved. I actually like, and respect postal workers. Say what you will, they do the job and are friendly. Iron it out!

Can you taste that?

It’s a bunch of lefties swallowing their words.  I think during the G20 summit in Toronto, when a mob broke out and started destroying the city, setting police cars on fire and causing chaos in this cit, the cry from the left was that the police (and the “man”) we squashing the constitutional rights of these protestors.  Free speech, right to assembly, right to destroy police cars, yadda yadda yadda,  I had that battle and now here we are in Vancouver and the hoodlums have taken to the street and have, are seen bouncing on police cars and being shitheads.  Yes, alcohol is a factor, but no one is criticizing the police for their use of tear gas in dispersing this crowd. 

Can you feel that?

That is what effort and success feel like.  Chris Bosh, LeBron James and the Miami Heat do have that feeling, nor do the Vancouver Canucks – he Ryan Kessler, that comment about winning and becoming a “legend”… yeah, not.  I also feel satisfaction knowing that I have stepped up my exercise for 26 consecutive days now while taking part of the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC).  My team is doing great, and personally, I feel the need to walk as much as possible – as the team leader – to set an example and setup expectations with the walkers on my team.  I’m averaging almost 20,000 steps per day and now that my team has fallen to second for our company in North America, I feel compelled to walk even more to get us back on top.  That other team surely cannot keep up that pace every day… Can they?

I’m in the top 10% of the participants for steps (and 3 of my team members are averaging more steps – one has lost 15lbs so far too) and my team sits at 921st in the world out of 18,137.  Seeing these statistics and seeing the weight loss, feeling my clothes getting a little looser makes me want to walk that much more!  Go team.

What a weekend: Karate, BBQ, UJA Walk for Israel and a picture.


Yes, I know it’s almost 1am and I should go to sleep, but I wanted to make sure much of the house was ready for the week ahead and that I would be ready for another productive week at the office.

Really, however, I should have gone to bed at 10am when my wife did because this was one action-packed weekend and like my family, I’m tired!

So where to begin?

Saturday!  Karate.  Both boys did quite well.  Linus was a little goofy at the beginning of his class and I noticed that he cannot bring his knees right up to his chest when he jumps, so I’m going to have to work with him, but every other stretch, or exercise, he was right in there with the bigger kids.  I’m proud of his development.

Stewie on the other hand really looks like he’s the odd-boy out in his group.  He’s the biggest kid in his level and honestly, he’s the most technically sound, which is why they are trying to move him up to his yellow belt, quickly before he gets bored.  He received another stripe in that class.  That puts him one red stripe and some grading away from yellow.  Yay.

It was also this day when I realized my kids refer to “Tim Horton’s” and “Tim-Portance”…

So we came home, cleaned up and had some new friends over for a BBQ.  YUM.  There is nothing like BBQ’d burgers, dogs and corn.  While the food was on the grill it gave me a chance to plant some veggies I bought – okra, beans, tomatoes, beets, and very soon blueberries to got with the raspberries and strawberries. 

It’s kind of funny that we spent all this money on nice patio furniture for our extended deck and we’ve only been able to use it once, with all the rain we’ve been having.   I found the solution to all the rain, I’m going to buy rain boots for my wife  whose birthday is in a couple of days.  Once she gets those the rain will certainly stop.

Sunday was the UJA Walk for Israel in the streets of downtown Toronto.  Last year it was roasting hot and we took to the streets with a then 6 months old baby in the stroller and 5 and 3 year old boys eager to walk check-point to check-point picking up treats and getting their passports stamped.  About 5km into the 7km route, Stewie melted down and we tossed him in the stroller, my wife strapped the baby to her back and with a blister on her foot, we walked the entire route.

This year, we figured with the boys one year older that we could make it through the route if we cut out a couple checkpoints and made sure the they had lots of treats.  Last year there were yogurt drinks, chips, licorice, and other such junk, popsicle, that kept the boy moving but this year checkpoint 1 had gum and water.  My kids don’t eat gum and we had plenty of water.  So this started the “I want a treat” whine from Stewie and he kept this up the entire day.  It even got to the point that he rejected chips and french fries because he wanted chocolate, so my wife threw him in the stroller – figuring he’d appreciate the rest and might even sleep,but he originally wanted no part of that, so what she saw was this;

Stewie, Urban Daddy, Berry and Linus walking
The 4 of us walked for a little bit until Stewie went back for the stroller and I scooped up Berry so we could head towards the finish. 
 
It was a good walk.  I put on 24,528 steps today for my Global Corporate Challenge.
 
I also realized I am officially bald.  I burned the top of my head.
 
Right before the end of the walk, there were these crazy orthodox men protesting the existence of Israel.  I thought that was really weird, as did Linus, until my wife pointed out that I had the same reaction last year.  These guys don’t speak Hebrew, they speak Yiddish, and they want to be free to pray where ever they want or something like that.
This upset Linus – who goes to a Jewish day school – because they fill their heads with pro-Israel news and information how could the kids not bond with the country.  Personally, I’ve never been there and my family comes more from Russia and Poland, so I don’t feel the tie to Israel, nor do I understand why peace cannot be ironed out, but hopefully we’ll get there in the next couple years.
 
One funny point today occurred when we cut through the Rogers Centre to get to a different check-point (I was holding a pizza and we wanted to eat it, then catch up…  Well we took the skywalk back to Union station but along the way my wife took the elevator to the ground floor, while the boys and I took it down only once floor so we were separated.  I called her and we agreed to meet at the next checkpoint, problems is, she had the map. 
 
So the boys and I walked on to Front street, found a gaggle of walkers, and joined their walk on King street when I noticed that we had butted out way into the Aja Khan walk and we going g-d knows where with g-d knows who.  With that, we quietly left that walk and headed back to Front street where we could my wife and daughter.
 
So all in all a great day!  Kids are clean and out cold, and my wife has not stirred since her head hit the pillow.  The kitchen is clean, I cma clean and it’s time for beg