Sign up for personal training / sports training by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com.

Warm Weather is Here / Archery Season in Toronto!

The 14 day weather forecast shows there being a slight dip in temperatures starting Wednesday until Saturday of this week, and then it getting a lot warmer in a hurry on March 1st.

By March 4th it will be 5 degrees outside and sunny.

For Toronto's Archery Community this means a return to shooting outdoors regularly, and seeing friends many of us haven't seen since October or November. (Sadly archery is very much a seasonal sport, even for private indoor locations the sport is largely seasonal.)

Speaking for myself I have been missing archery during the Winter so it is going to be a joy to be shooting again very soon.

The Toronto Archery Range on a Cloudy Day

Browse my archery lessons page to learn more about rates / discounts.

Read my archery lesson plan so you understand what you could be learning. Eg. Want to learn how to shoot long distances? Sign up for at least 3 lessons.

Lesson 1 - Short Distance Field Archery.
Lesson 2 - 20 Yard Target Archery.
Lesson 3 - Long Distance Field Archery.
Lesson 4 - Moving Targets.

Want to learn more about what is involved? Just email cardiotrek@gmail.com with any questions.

Happy Shooting!

4 Need To Know Things Before Your Weight Loss Journey

4 Things You Need to Know Before Setting out on Your Weight Loss Journey

How many of us have woken up on a Monday morning telling ourselves that the “diet starts today”, only for it to be ruined by lunch time? We have all been there, and the more we try and force ourselves to get through fad and crash diets, the less likely we are to stick to it. Losing weight isn’t easy, and with processed and high in fat food being so easily accessible, it is very common to fall into bad eating habits that can seem impossible to get out of.

However, it is important that you look after your weight, as being overweight can cause an increased risk of suffering from life threatening conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Therefore, we have put together some of the things you need to know before setting out on your weight loss journey that may help you along the way.

Starving Yourself Won’t Work

First of all, don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you starve yourself and dramatically cut down the amount of food that you eat each day, you are going to suddenly drop two dress sizes. In reality, those who follow crash diets are much less likely to continue with their journey as they give in to the temptation of high calorie foods.

Instead of cutting down the amount of food you eat, you should plan three healthy meals a day that are both nutritional and tasty. Nobody wants to eat just salad for the rest of their life, and thinking that you can is not going to work. So, stop thinking about the bad foods you can’t eat and focus on the good foods that you can!

Get into The Right Mindset

If you can get yourself into the right mindset that is needed to see you through a successful weight loss journey, then you are already halfway there. When we start a diet at the beginning of the week, many of us don’t take it very seriously, which is why it rarely lasts past lunch time. So, start by telling yourself that you are ready to make the changes to your diet and transform how you feel about yourself.

Decide Your Why

While a medical professional would tell you that your main motivation for losing weight should be for health reasons, there may be a variety of other reasons that have you led you to your weight loss journey. While losing weight for the benefit of your health will likely be a considerable factor, you may decide that you want to feel good about yourself again, something that has been unobtainable to you since gaining the weight.

You may even have a special event coming up that you want to look good and feel comfortable for. Whatever it is, decide your why and focus on it to keep your motivation up.

There Are Extra Tools Out There to Help You

Remember that you don’t have to struggle through your weight loss journey alone, and there are extra tools and resources out there that will be able to you through. You may be interested in weight loss groups or HGH injections that can boost energy levels, so make sure you should consider the online purchasing options available to you.

The decision to start your weight loss journey can be both daunting and anxiety provoking, and it is important to remember that it is completely normal to feel nervous about trying to lose weight. However, by following these tips and advice, you can start off on your successful weight loss journey.

Women's Boxing Achieves a New First in Vancouver



The first-ever all-women's boxing fight card in Vancouver has been a success.

Organizers for the event say never before has there been a boxing event that had only women fighters on the program, known in the sport as a fight card.

How many more decades will we have to wait to see live women's boxing events on television, cable, Netflix, etc?

I think it is unfortunate that this is an untapped source of sports entertainment and that nobody (not even the greedy gambling industry) has realized the potential for this as entertainment.

Archery Products on Etsy

The best places to buy archery products are typically in a bricks and mortar store, followed by the various archery websites which ship such products (including both Amazon and eBay), and then there is one website that few archers ever discuss.

Etsy.

So the problem with Etsy is that the products on there are made by 3rd parties who may have wildly different standards for what they are making and selling.

A quick search on Etsy for "archery" garnered 24,067 results as of January 31st 2020.

By the time this post goes live on February 4th 2020 there will probably be more than that. 24,100? Maybe.

The first thing I did after doing that search was click the option to Sort By Top Customer Reviews.

This way I could see what products are super popular and people really like them.

One of the first items I saw was a two-in-one armguard with bow glove, designed for use with longbows or horsebows (shown below) with 717 reviews. It is not the most highly rated item on there, but I can see why it is ranked so high. And it comes with a bonus shooting tab.

Downside: It was $83 CDN.

 Now you may recall I purchased a similar two-in-one armguard and bow glove last year and did a post about it. I got it off Amazon.ca for a mere $19.99 CDN.

No shooting tab that came with it, but I have been very happy using it and very happy with the quality.

This one looks nice with the black and brown leather layers, but colour is just about aesthetics. I don't see anything that makes it functionally better or worse than the one I purchased from Amazon.

I also saw the following things on Etsy worthy of mention:

  • A bow rack / arrow rack for $300 with 90 reviews.
  • Bow gloves.
  • Finger gloves.
  • Tabs.
  • Quivers
  • Thumbrings for horsebows.
  • Replacement nocks.
  • Overpriced longbows with a dubious number of 5 star reviews.
  • LARP arrows.
  • A variety of archery themed shirts with varying numbers of reviews.
  • Jewelry.
  • Pants.
  • An annoying number of ads for firearm holsters, decorative hunting knives, slingshots and other things that are off topic for what I searched for...

By the end I was getting the impression that all of these products have an annoying number of 5 star reviews that they must be faking it. No product ever gets that many 5 star reviews.

So I have to conclude that the reviews must be fake. Completely bogus.

So that armguard above, did it really get 717 reviews? I admit it seems like an awfully big number, but if they are all faking it then perhaps it is really easy for people to fake the reviews.

And then I found out a fault in the reviews system...

The number being shown wasn't for the product. It was for SELLER. The seller had a total of 717 reviews. It isn't for the individual product at all.

When I went back and checked the armguard a second time I saw there was only 53 reviews for that specific armguard.

And everyone, for whatever reason, only seems give a 5 star review.

So it might as well just be a Thumbs Up/Down system.

So now I am skeptical about the whole idea of buying anything off Etsy with respect to archery equipment. I cannot trust the review system whatsoever.

To say nothing of the puffed up prices.

Amazon and eBay both have their faults too, but I think my preference will continue to be to shop at brick and mortar stores. I would have to see something truly special on Etsy to want to buy anything on there. And I don't see anything particularly spectacular.

Toronto Archery Lessons, 2020

My 50 lb horsebow balanced on three arrows.
February 1st 2020.

Spring is coming and I am looking forward to teaching archery again soon. March is almost here, but first we need to get over the "cold weather hump" that is February.

In the meantime I have been taking archery lesson bookings for Spring and Summer 2020.

If you are looking for archery lessons during the 2020 season I recommend booking now so you can get the best time slots before I become fully booked on certain days / specific months.

To book archery lessons in Toronto start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and state whether you prefer weekday or weekend lessons, and how many you are looking for. Browse www.cardiotrek.ca/p/archery-lessons.html for my rates and discount packages.

Whoops, hit the nock on this one shot on the left. Cannot complain about the accuracy.

Availability will be limited as I am still a stay-at-home dad while my wife works on her law career.

However on the plus side, with my son getting older I am hoping to be spending more personal time at the Toronto Archery Range so my son can do more archery.

During the winter I have been teaching him how to use a toy crossbow in the comfort of our living room, but I look forward to warmer weather when we can get outside and he can try the real thing with a children's recurve bow I have waiting for him.


In unrelated news I saw the following archery themed wall hook at Michael's recently and took a photo. Unfortunately I have no use for such a thing currently, but maybe if the wife and I purchase a home someday we can buy six of them for storing coats on.

You know you are true archery fanatic when you start decorating your home with archery themed items.

This is the true danger of learning archery and falling in love with the sport. You start buying archery things and obsessing about anything connected to the sport.


Get your True Love an Archery Lesson for Valentines

For a limited time, between now and February 14th 2019, I am offering a discount on people purchasing a single archery lesson for 1 or 2 people.

Weekday Rates
  • 1 Student, $55 for 90 minutes
  • 2 Students, $75 for 90 minutes

Weekend Rates

  • 1 Student, $82.50 for 90 mins
  • 2 Students, $112.50 for 90 mins 

The archery lesson in question does not take place on Valentines Day (like many people I am busy that day).

You or your Valentine can schedule the archery lesson any time before its expiry on August 31st 2021. The person receiving it has approximately 18.5 months to redeem it.

Simply print out the Valentines Gift Voucher shown below, fill out the appropriate names and add the Gift Voucher Number. Email cardiotrek@gmail.com to purchase a Gift Voucher Number.

If you want more than just 1 archery lesson check out my discount rates for people wanting 3 or more archery lessons in Toronto.

Have a Happy Valentines Day!


Archery Hindsight 2020

(Also my face when I see someone making a mistake.)
You know the phrase "Hindsight is 20/20"?

It means that after you do something you can look back on what you did and determine your mistakes. Assuming that you witnessed what you did wrong in the first place.

With respect to archery hindsight is something you do after every shot, but there is a few tricks to it.

#1. You have to know what to look for.

#2. You have to know how to fix your mistakes before doing the next shot.

#3. Knowing what mistakes you are doing and how to fix them is very difficult without an archery instructor (or possibly an archery how to book).

#4. How to spot your good habits that you should keep doing.

A person who is trying to teach themselves archery has several main areas they are going to struggle with. Whenever they make a mistake (or multiple mistakes at once) they don't immediately know what they did wrong. Yes, they will recognize they missed the target, but they won't know WHY they missed the target. Or the multiple whys they missed the target if they did multiple things wrong. Having an archery instructor is a bit like having a spotter while weightlifting. They can spot when you are doing something wrong and can immediately help you.

Thus having an archery instructor is incredibly valuable because they can watch and spot your mistakes while you are doing them and (hopefully) correct the mistakes before they happen. Then by practicing and perfecting proper archery form the new archer gets better and eventually becomes an intermediate archer ready for new challenges.

Even by some chance an archer who is teaching themselves realizes what mistake they are doing they don't necessarily know the best way to fix the mistake so they can replace their bad habits with good habits. Thus the archery instructor, or at very least an archery how to book, becomes very useful.

This goes double for also spotting your good habits. Beginner archers will have a tough time recognizing their bad habits, but they also won't know what things they are doing correctly either. Imagine for a moment fixing one bad habit, but then stopping a good habit and replacing it with a different bad habit. An archery instructor will notice this sudden change. eg. Lets say the student is very good at placing their feet in the proper position and reaching full draw, but they suffer from plucking the bow string during releases. Imagine they fix the plucking problem, but then become sloppy about their footing and full draws. They would just start making brand new mistakes and not know why they suddenly became worse at archery. This is where an archery instructor becomes a benefit because they will spot the change immediately and work to fix the student's footing and make sure they are full drawing the bow.

With respect to archery how to books they can make an excellent starting point for a new archer - provided you actually read it. Preferably from cover to cover, at least twice.

But even so a book is never going to be able to compete with the abundance of hands on teaching ability that an instructor can provide. Especially an experienced instructor who knows what they are teaching and how to teach it properly.

In April 2020 I will have been teaching archery for 11 years and practicing the sport for 31 years. I am frankly surprised that I turned archery into a career. Looking back with hindsight now I wish I had taken the sport more seriously when I was a teenager and during my 20s. I wish I had not waited until 2009 before I started taking it seriously.

So the lesson, the primary lesson for you the reader, is to take your activities seriously. Even if you just think it is a hobby for now, take a moment and consider what the future might hold. You might have a skill that you can hone over decades and become highly paid for. A skill you enjoy doing and would love to have it become a major part of your life.

Archery has become a major part of my life. A central part. Not just for me alone, but for my wife and son too. Archery has become a family activity for us. It is something I am very thankful for.

Which is part of hindsight too, I believe. To look back and not just recognize your mistakes, but also your blessings.


Anita Ekberg, Archer and Actress, 1960

DISCLAIMER

Please do not do what Anita Ekberg did in 1960. You probably will not get away with it like she did.

I probably should not be promoting this idea, but I did find it funny.

In a slightly related idea, since this is Canada and Prince Harry + Duchess Meghan Markle are soon to be living here, I would be somewhat amused if someone shot one of the paparazzi that follows them everywhere with an arrow.

Not that it would ever happen, I am just speculating on something that would be ironic in terms of history repeating itself. Do not take this as an endorsement of a course of action.

Also seeing as how the paparazzi killed Princess Diana I would see this as karmic against the profession of paparazzi.

Should archers believe in karma? Or luck?

Perhaps they should.

I find I shoot best when I have clear conscience and I am feeling good about the world. An archer who is stressed, angry, upset, hungry, distracted, etc is typically going to be shooting poorly that day. An archer who behaves badly will often reap the rewards of their misbehaviour on the archery range because they did something which upset themselves and ultimately leads to distraction.

Likewise paparazzi should probably learn to just mind their own business and find a different way to make money that doesn't involve following people like a bunch of creepy psychopaths. That cannot be good for their personal karma.

My 4th article in Archery Focus Magazine

My 4th article in 'Archery Focus Magazine' is now available as of today.
 
The article in question focuses on portable archery targets, Reinhart Target Balls in particular, and alternative methods of making portable targets. The article also covers the types of activities target balls can be used for and a few tips.

For those people interested 1 year and 2 year subscriptions to Archery Focus Magazine are $32 / $54 USD respectively and include digital access to all previous magazines dating back all the way to 1997.

My previous articles in Archery Focus Magazine include:
  • "Marketing Strategies for Archery Coaches", Archery Focus Magazine, July 2017.
  • "A Lesson in Adaptive Archery", Archery Focus Magazine, July 2018.
  • "Teaching Archery Through Narratives", Archery Focus Magazine, November 2018.
 



People looking for archery lessons in Toronto starting in Spring or Summer 2020 are welcome to contact me to book lessons. My availability is limited so it is recommended people contact me sooner to get their desired time slots.

Happy New Year! Is 2020 the year you will start doing Archery?

Happy New Year!

I am scheduling this post to go live at 12:01 AM on January 1st 2020.

While I am writing this on December 31st 2019 it is technically already 2020 in Tokyo Japan, so I guess 2020 has already started.

Many people do New Years Resolutions, but personally I started my New Years Resolutions a few months ago.

After all, why wait for January 1st 2020 when you can start your new resolutions RIGHT NOW. Or in my case, back in November.

So what are my resolutions for 2020 (some of which I started doing early)?

#1. Do More Archery.

As a Toronto archery instructor it is a guarantee that I will be doing archery, but on a personal level what I really want is to do more personal practice. More time for me to do archery myself, or possibly while just hanging out with my son or my friends who are also archery fanatics.

For those people looking for archery lessons in Toronto I recommend prebooking your Spring or Summer archery lessons now to get the best time slots which suit your schedule. After all, if you don't get your ideal time slots that will interfere with your goal of "doing more archery".

For those people who have been procrastinating about starting archery, for whatever reason, now is your chance. I provide all of the archery equipment during lessons so you don't need to buy anything. Just book the lesson(s), show up, and be ready to shoot.

#2. Eat More Salads.

My wife and I started doing this one back in November.

What makes it easier is we having been buying lettuce, cleaning the lettuce leaves, and ripping it up into smaller pieces which we then store in ziplock bags in the fridge. Then whenever we want a salad it is very easy to just grab a handful of lettuce from the bag, toss it in a bowl, add salad dressing, croutons, etc and it is ready to eat.

Having the extra steps of having to clean lettuce leaves when you are trying to decide what to eat (and possibly feeling lazy) discourages a person from choosing the salad option. Since they are already cleaned and ripped it makes you more likely to choose the salad.

#3. Write More Magazine Articles.

Okay, this is more of a personal resolution for myself, but maybe some of you out there are also writers.

I regularly write and submit articles to Archery Focus Magazine. Sent a new one back at the beginning of December 2019, so this is another of the resolutions that I have already started.

However I don't want to limit myself to one magazine. I want to start submitting more articles to other magazines, both those about archery and other topics as well.

#4. Publish More Fiction and Non-Fiction.

Another personal resolution for myself. In 2019 I published three fantasy paperbacks. A novel, a novella and an anthology. My next book "The Blizzard's Daughter" is due out March 1st 2020 and is currently available for preorder.

I am hoping to publish four new fantasy books during 2020.

I have also been working on a work of non-fiction, about archery, which I hope to publish September 1st 2020.

#5. Go to the Beach More.

Going to the beach with my wife and son is a fun family activity. We get to build sandcastles, shoot stones into Lake Ontario using slingshots, throw frisbees around, and even swim.

#6. Go Bicycling More.

I own 8 bicycles and I would really like to use them more often. However in my case this means I may need to purchase some kind of trailer for towing my son around with me.

Bike trailers typically range in price from $160 to $800, with many of the mid-range trailers being about $300 to $500.

Now you might think "Gee, that is awfully expensive!" But when you consider a gym membership is about $900 to $1200 per year that it doesn't seem so bad, as this allows you to get outside and exercise with the toddler in tow. (I don't know any gyms that allow toddlers to come exercise with you.)

You can also find used bike trailers fairly easily as parents with toddlers eventually switch to bicycles and want to get rid of their old bike trailer, which is probably in decent condition if they barely used it. So if I could find one half price that is in decent condition that will satisfy our needs.



#7. Take my son Sledding.

In 2019 my wife purchased a red sled for our son to ride inside during the winter. So during January and February of 2020 I want to make use of the sled by taking him sledding. For me this is effectively exercise and an excuse to take photographs of my son.

Hopefully he has fond memories of sledding when he is older.


#8. Do More Chores.

I have a list of tasks I want done around the home.

#9. Take More Naps.

Do chores then take a nap. Sounds like a plan!

#10. Spend Quality Time with Friends and Family.

Something to do in the evenings? Better than staying home and watching Netflix and Disney+. (BTW, I am really disappointed with Disney+. It is very glitchy. It is so bad I would rather read a book when Disney+ starts glitching constantly.)

#11. Read More Books.

I have a stack of books waiting to be read, by a variety of authors.

#12. Work on my cooking skills.

One of the best ways to take control of your health is to learn how to make healthy food. I admit most of my cooking skills however lean towards foods that are fattening / high in cholesterol. In 2020 I would like to learn healthier recipes and learn how to control my intake of fat and cholesterol.

I am not getting any younger. I need to eat healthy.

And so should you. Many of us suffer from a lack of healthy cooking knowledge.

One of the things I do is I am subscribed to a number of cooking channels on YouTube and they show up in my YouTube feed when I watching YouTube. Whenever I spot a recipe that looks interesting I watch it, and sometimes I end up trying the recipes.

Here are two cooking channels I recommend:
  1. Food Wishes
  2. Townsends
Food Wishes is all modern cooking, and includes a variety of healthy and non-healthy options. But learning both are potentially useful as you are still learning cooking skills.

Townends is likewise interesting as it focuses on traditional recipes from the 17th and 18th centuries, many of which are healthy options. Townsends isn't all cooking either. They also talk about other topics from those periods.
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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