Archive for April, 2012

We Did It!


A big thank you to MEC for putting on a great event, my brother for running by my side even though he could have left me in his dust, and my boys for being great runners and great sports. This picture was taken at the end of our first 5k run. What a fabulous day!

Let Them Roam Free

My sincere hope is that camping is not seen as “old-fashioned” and therefore passe. Camping doesn’t have to be about the stereotypical plaid shirts and bushmen (although I’ve always fancied both of these things). Getting outdoors is a form of escapism just as movies and the internet can be, only it offers a whole host of additional benefits.

With the proliferation of technology, traditional skills that were once passed on from our parents are being lost. Once upon a time parents took their kids camping and fishing and on endless road trips for entertainment. It seems that more and more now, kids are plunking themselves in front of the flat screen and passively staring at reruns rather than being engaged with others and their environment. Gone are the days of riding bikes, climbing trees and road hockey games stretching far into the night. Gone too are those camping trips with the folks.

If media reports are true, kids are increasingly sedentary, overweight and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. I’m not knocking the advances that have been made in technology. The internet and educational programming on television can be great resources. Why not use them to ensure that our kids reverse those scary statistics? Research how to take the family into the great outdoors if you don’t already possess the necessary skills like signing up to participate in a “Learn To Camp” seminar at a Provincial or National Park. Connect with others that are participating in the activities that interest you. Or forget technology and simply get back to basics with a stroll around the block.

I’ve found the outdoor community to be a very friendly one. Join a club that organizes outings to get you started. Try car camping for a night and work your way up to longer and more involved trips. If you’ve ever thought, “someday I’ll take the kids camping. Maybe when they’re older”. Make today the day that you start planning that trip for real.

There are so many benefits both physical and psychological, to getting away from the noise of the city and the walls that cut us off from world around us. Exercise, fresh air, room to roam…peace, time to reflect, time to think without distraction, space to dream.

Living in Canada, we have been blessed with the ultimate outdoor playground. So take advantage of our good fortune and give your kids the greatest gifts you can…healthy habits for life and time spent together. Take your kids outside.

My Little Runaways

Well it’s some kind of crazy mess that I’ve gotten us into this time. I’ve signed the kids and myself up for the MEC Toronto 5k Lakeside Loop run. Good grief I don’t know where I come up with these ideas!

Zach and I never run more than two kilometers at a time and we stop often to marvel over the complexity of pinecones and the simplicity of puddles. The idea of us completing twice the run in half the time is laughable. That’s just what we’re going to do though…laugh while we run, not that whole twice the race in half the time thing! Who’s kidding who here, we’ll be running twice the distance in as much time as it takes!

Happy as a running clam

The family is in training for our advanced 60km hike in Pukaskwa National Park next month and we can always do with some improvement to our endurance. I reckon that running every day for the next two weeks will surely serve our training well and I am confident that we’ll be able to complete the 5k, albeit with a mix of running, walking and wheezing.

While the certainty of a last place finish against “real” runners might prove too daunting for some, the boys and I will hold our heads high when we eventually limp over the finish line.  The fact that we signed up, trained and put in the effort makes us no less winners than those who will cross before us. Plus I’m going to make all our friends wait at the tape until the bitter end to cheer for us when we do.

Zach got a little tired on the uphill

And good gravy, if we can do it so can you, so we want to see you there! Come and walk, run, limp with us on Saturday April 28th and we promise to make you look good! Come and finish first or come and finish last, but come and have fun, keep us company and maybe do something you never imagined you would. There will be prizes for the fastest three men and women and draws for the rest of us.  Sign up ahead of time here for $10 or  pay $15 on the day of. It ought to be a nice course as it runs west along the Martin Goodman Trail, then loops back and finishes at Coronation Park. So I’ll see all of you at 10:00am at the starting line right? I’ll be the one with the two kids and the terrified look on my face. Yay running!

Spider Dog, Spider Dog…Does Whatever a Spider Dog Does

Have you ever had spider dogs? I hadn’t either until about four or five years ago when we had a huge family gathering at Presqu’ile Provincial Park. My sister-in-law’s family was there cooking up a storm and they were shocked that we’d never heard of them.

Well I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to enjoy this super easy way to make hot dogs taste incredible. Kids and adults alike can’t get enough of them, so bring more dogs than you think you could possibly consume. You can thank me later…


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Of course spider dogs are perfect served with a side of mac and cheese…no veggies allowed. I also suggest pairing them with iced tea or Tang to bring out the smoky flavour of the dogs. Bon appetite!

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