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8 Fun Autumn Sports

Want to try a new sport this Autumn?

Autumn is a great time of year to try a new sport. It doesn't have to be a "competitive sport" per se. It is possible to do a sport just for the fun of it. And Autumn is a great time of year to be trying these new sports. There are a number of benefits to trying a new sport in the Autumn.

#1. The weather. Not too hot, not too cold. And unlike Spring, not too rainy.

#2. Less crowds in public parks and national parks.

#3. The scenery. Is there any more beautiful time of year to go outside and enjoy the wonder of nature?

So lets get started.

Fun Sport #1 - Mountain Biking in Autumn

You don't need a mountain to do it. You also don't need a fancy mountain bike either. A hybrid bicycle will get the job done. And the scenery you see will take your breath away, even in the bicycle trails of Toronto.

Below is 3 real photos taken on Toronto bicycle trails.




Fun Sport #2 - Archery

Am I biased because I happen to teach archery lessons? Yes. Is Autumn my favourite time of year to do the sport? Also yes. Seriously. The weather is wonderful. The scenery is amazing and if you get lucky you will even see some deer and other wildlife at the Toronto Archery Range.

Update, October 11th - Student and myself saw two whitetail stags today who wandered into the archery field and to the south of the target butts. It is currently the pre-rut. In a few weeks these stags will be fighting over the doe we've seeing lately.

The photo below is a screen capture from a video I made of the two stags.
 

But yes, Autumn is truly a special time of year to be doing archery. There is a reason why bowhunters most often hunt during the Autumn.


Fun Sport #3 - Basically Any Outdoor Team Sport

Soccer, field hockey, road hockey, lacrosse, baseball, etc. Pick one.

For the purposes of choosing a photograph, I am going to go with road hockey because it is pretty popular in Toronto and thus easy for people to find others who are also interested in road hockey.



Fun Sport #4 - Nature Hikes or Fell Running

Someone should turn nature hikes into a competitive sport. Oh wait, someone already has. It is called Fell Running and it even has its own marathon, known as the Barkley Marathon, and is a 100 mile hike that must be completed in less than 60 hours. The competitors have 2 and a half days to do a 100 mile hike over difficult terrain. Not for the faint hearted either. People have been known to die during the Barkley. It is a cold wet affair done in late March / early April, but the athletes who compete in it train all year long. So Autumn is a good time to train.

But if you would rather have fun doing this activity, maybe stick to bringing your camera along and enjoying the scenery. There is no need to make it a competitive sport.



Fun Sport #5 - Canoeing and Kayaking

Remember to take your camera!



Fun Sport #6 - Sandyachting

Yes, that is a real thing. See the photo below. A bit expensive to get into, but certainly a fun way to spend your Autumn. Or Spring. Or Summer. Stick skis on it instead of wheels, and you could do it in the winter too.



Fun Sport #7 - Horseriding

I wrote a post awhile back about horseback archery where to get horse riding lessons in/near Toronto. If you skip the archery stuff, just read the section about where to get horse riding lessons in/near Toronto and that will help you on your journey to finally taking up horsemanship as a skill.

Scratch that off your bucket list during the Autumn and you will get some great Autumn trail rides in the process.


Or better yet, learn how to ride a horse AND do archery, and then you will be able to do both at the same time!

Fun Sport #8 - Spelunking

The Niagara Escarpment in Ontario has various caves, caverns, crevices and chasms that a person can explore. True, you can explore caves any time of the year, but the crevices that dot the landscape along the Niagara Escarpment are best explored during the Autumn because you typically have to hike quite a bit just to get to the crevices. Summer? Too many mosquitoes and too hot. Winter? Too cold and slippery. Potentially dangerous too. But Autumn is a great time of year to explore as the weather is perfect for it.

Take a friend with you who likes to do photography and you will have a fun time.


 If caves and crevices are not your thing, the Niagara Escarpment is also home to many waterfalls. Like Inglis Falls or Hilton Falls. The photo below is of Hilton Falls, near Milton Ontario.




What is my favourite bow to shoot?

So I was talking back and forth with one of my previous students about archery equipment, answering any and all questions he had, and I mentioned I had recently purchased a vintage bow off eBay, bringing my total number of bows to 32.

To which they responded and added a postscript:


" P.S. 32 bows!! At least you must have a sweet collection. Which one is your favorite bow? "

I had to seriously think about that question because I had never chosen a favourite out of them.

So I responded with the following:

Honestly, very difficult to choose a favourite. It really depends on my mood what I feel like shooting on a particular day. I definitely prefer the older recurves I have collected from the 1970s. I also have other older bows from the 40s, 50s and 60s... the oldest of which is from 1942. Obviously I don't shoot the really old ones that often because I consider them to be "shootable museum pieces", and thus I prefer to only shoot those on rare occasions when the weather is favourable - don't want to shoot them when it is too hot, too cold, or too wet.

Of the bows from the 70s my favourite is probably the Black Hawk Avenger from 1972. It is a rather pretty "magnum style" recurve. It is called a magnum style because it is shorter and designed for hunters to easily move around with, less worry about it getting caught on branches etc. The problem with that design however is that it makes the bow less forgiving. A longer bow is more forgiving, you can make a mistake and still hit the target. With an unforgiving bow, you make a mistake and miss completely. Thus while it is a small beautiful bow, it is very challenging to shoot accurately and perhaps that is why I enjoy it more - because I like the challenge it presents.

Photos below, the Black Hawk Avenger. I really should take more photos of this bow. These photos do not do it justice. I also have a Black Hawk Chief Scout (compound bow) which is the prettiest wooden compound bow I have ever seen. They don't make them like that any more.
 
 
 


Weekday Archery Lessons, Autumn Discount 10%

Autumn is one of the best times of year to do archery.
Now here is a special offer for anyone who has lots of spare time on weekdays and is looking to get into archery.

For a limited time* I am offering a 10% discount when people sign up for 3 or more archery lessons on weekdays.

*Offer valid until September 21st (Autumn Solstice) 2018. Offer does not stack with the standard Seniors Discount of 10%. Offer does not apply to weekend archery lessons.

Discount Code: AUTUMNSOLSTICE10.

So why am I offering this discount? Honestly, it is so I can fill up some empty time slots on specific weekdays. Purely a logistical motivation on my part to fill those days.

The regular weekday rates for 3 or more lessons for 1 student are:

3 Lessons - $170; 5 Lessons - $270; 10 Lessons - $520.


So the discounted rates are:

3 Lessons - $153; 5 Lessons - $243; 10 Lessons - $468.

Want to book now? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com. Have a nice day!

Notes
  • Browse my archery lessons page if you want to book lessons for 2 or 3 people.
  • This discount also makes now a great time to prebook archery lessons for Spring 2019.
  • You can also buy archery lessons as a gift for a friend, family member or colleague. I sell Gift Vouchers so they can redeem the voucher later and schedule accordingly.





Steroids, HGH, SARMS and Peptides = :(

Earlier today I got an email (spam???) from a company trying to sell steroid pills / etc.

It said the following (edited so I am not accidentally advertising their company):

"Hi friend,

Good day! This is Vera from NAME OF COMPANY REMOVED, which has engaged in R&D, production and marketing steroid powders, HGH, peptides and Sarms for more than 10 years, our products are exported well into U.S. , Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, Poland, Greece, Italy, Australia and many other areas. Our company gains high reputation among our old and new clients through the highest quality, best price, fast and safe delivery as well as the excellent customer service, many of them are famous labs.

What we can serve for our customers:
◊ 100% legit steroid powders with top purity
◊ Competitive price with frequent discount
◊ Mature logistic system to assure the delivery time
◊ Discreet package for worldwide shipping
◊ One to one on&after-sales customer service to support

If you have interests, small trial order for first cooperation to test our quality and shipping efficiency is welcomed. I'll try my best to satisfy you on your request. Looking forward to your kind reply.

Regards,
Vera
COMPANY WEBSITE REMOVED"

Getting this email disgusted me.

It is bad enough when professional athletes are induced into taking steroids because they really want to win and they manage to find someone willing to sell them a steroid or illicit drug that will allow them to cheat.

But it is even worse to be trying to sell this crap to a personal trainer / sports coach, who would then effectively become drug dealers trying to sell the drugs to their clients / athletes. That to me is much worse, as it tarnishes the sacred role of a teacher (which is what I consider myself to be) and turns the teacher into a drug dealer who can effect multiple students / clients. So not just one person is effected in such a scenario, but multiple people.



No reputable person should be dealing in steroids.

Not an athlete. Not a coach. Not an instructor. Not a personal trainer. Not a doctor. Not a nutritionist. Nobody.

Anyone who is encouraging cheating / drugging yourself to bulk up should be ashamed of themselves, and when caught banished from the industry.

Vitamins, minerals, calcium supplements, whey protein powders, creatine - these I don't have a problem with because they are all natural things we get in our diets, they are just being used as supplements to make certain the athlete is getting enough of what they need.

Whey protein is just a protein found in milk, which is separated during the process of making cheese, and is sold in powder form so people can take mix with water / milk for a protein drink. Creatine is just a chemical found in red meat that regulates energy to muscle tissue, and thus is handy for losing weight / building muscle.

As such they are used by people who know they aren't eating enough red meat or not enough protein, so that they can maximize their body's natural ability to regulate energy / build new muscle tissue.

Man-made Steroids however...

All sorts of bad side effects.

Decades of research into the topic has revealed while steroids do give a temporary advantage to athletes, they cause long term permanent side effects which I am not going to bother listing as there are so many of them. The most notable and common side effect is liver damage leading to terminal liver cancer, as steroids are also toxins and the liver will try to filter the toxins out - but doing so puts so much stress on the organ that it effectively kills the person's liver.

HGH is technically a natural hormone, human growth hormone, but humans usually only have large amounts of it when they are children or pregnant. Adults taking HGH pills is effectively unnatural and allows the person to build muscle at a faster than normal rate. It is heavily regulated too, and numerous celebrities and athletes have been arrested trying to smuggle HGH across international borders. So if it has to be smuggled into Canada by criminals, then it is definitely not something I am interested in.

SARMs, are various chemicals categorized as selective androgen receptor modulator are a type of androgenic drugs. They can be used legitimately for people who suffer from low testosterone, but for people who do not they are used to increase testosterone production. Various athletes in the NFL and NBA have been banned due to alleged use of SARMs.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids connected by peptide bonds, hence the name. They block and/or control sugar, and thus they can be used as anti-obesity medication, but are also used in the bodybuilding industry to increase energy levels to muscle tissue. Taking in combination with steroids, they give a person an unnatural edge over the competition. Some peptides can also effect the body's HGH production levels, can be used to increase testosterone levels, etc. As such an athlete who tests positive for certain peptides used to effect HGH, testosterone, and anything else that gives them a competitive edge is considered to have cheated.


Honestly... are people so obsessed with winning that they have to damage their liver and ruin the reputations just for a shiny trophy or gold medal to hang on a mantle?

Clearly some people are.

Ben Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones, etc.

Thankfully there are some sports where doping doesn't really help. Figure skating for example is more about finesse than bulk muscle.

Tonya Harding already had the physique of an amazon that gave her a physical edge to perform triple axels - making her the first woman to complete a triple axel in a competition. But her fear of losing resulted in her conspiring with several men to put out a hit on rival Nancy Kerrigan's leg.

So there are always more ways than one to cheat in sports, but when you consider that Tonya Harding was banned from figure skating and later took up a brief career in boxing because of her financial problems.

Clearly cheating doesn't pay.

And selling the drugs to do so clearly means that a sports trainer is in it for the money, not because they actually enjoy teaching and guiding athletes.

Speaking for myself, I enjoy what I teach. It allows me to go outside and exercise regularly, and to get paid to do it. I cannot ask for anything better.

How to train like a Superhero Vigilante

Step 1. Disappear off the grid for 5 years to study weapons, martial arts, and how to MacGyver yourself out of a bad situation...

Step 2. Focus on cardio and endurance in the beginning, then switch to weightlifting and speed training over time to become a more efficient fighting machine.

Step 3. Get an actor or actress like Ben Affleck or Jennifer Garner to portray you in the film adaptation... Is it weird that those two are married, and yet Ben Affleck plays Batman and Jennifer Garner is in the new film "Peppermint" where she basically plays a female version of Batman*?

* Although to be fair, her character is more like the Punisher.



So how did Jennifer Garner really get in shape for the film role? According to interviews she has done, she used a variety of exercises including:
  • Australian Twist
  • Handstand Butt Kick
  • Side Shaper
  • Single Towel Slider
  • Wonder Woman Pose
But the exercise she did most of all was Star Jumps. She did 10 star jumps in-between each of the other exercises. See what Star Jumps looks like below.


The exercise routine uses a combination of cardio to burn fat and body weight exercises to build muscle. eg. Simply jumping in the air is both cardio and a bodyweight exercise.

And where did she come up with this unusual exercise routine? Well, she didn't do it herself. The studio hired a personal trainer for her. Having a personal trainer gives a person a real edge towards accomplishing the goals set forward.

In other news I am promoting my other website "Project Gridless" this September and to start things off I am giving away tickets to see an advance screening of "Peppermint".

To be eligible, simply visit my Project Gridless youtube channel, subscribe, and leave a positive comment on one of my videos.

Also you must live in or near Toronto in order to receive your prize if you do win, but everyone is welcome to check out the Project Gridless website and youtube channel http://youtube.com/ProjectGridless even if you don't live in Toronto or the GTA.

Project Gridless is all about "off the grid" living. eg. To live in the wilderness, to fish/hunt/farm/forage for food, to build your own shelter/home, survival skills, etc.

So if you ever want to disappear off the grid for 5 years, and then come back a vigilante superhero, please let me know because I would like to interview you for my youtube channel. ;)

Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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