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Showing posts with label Notes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Notes. Show all posts

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.

A Lesson in Adaptive Archery, Archery Focus Magazine


My 2nd article for Archery Focus Magazine has been published in the July 2018 issue. Titled "A Lesson in Adaptive Archery".

The article is about my first experience coaching a very brave student with no fingers. Not many coaches will take on the challenge of teaching students with a disability, but for its challenges it is also a rewarding experience.

Adaptive Archery is the term used for teaching people who have disabilities when it comes to doing archery and have to adapt their methodology so that they can still shoot (and even compete) in the sport.

There is a whole industry of products available for people with various problems to overcome, so for every disability there is usually one or more items available for the Adaptive Archer to use to beat the problem they are facing.

Some people also make their own solutions and/or adaptive equipment. It really comes down to problem solving.

So in my case as the student's coach I needed to do some problem solving so that a student with no fingers would be able to hold the bow, and also to be able to draw the bowstring.

And if you want to read about how we solved this problem, you will need to buy a copy of the magazine. I am not going to spill the beans here.

Subscriptions to Archery Focus Magazine are available by visiting archeryfocusmagazine.com. You can even use the following discount code to get 20% off your subscription: 20afm2018.



You may have noticed I said this was my 2nd article to be published in Archery Focus Magazine.

My first article was about how to market/advertise an archery coaching business, and titled "Marketing Strategies for Archery Coaches" and was published in the July 2017 issue.


So clearly I need to keep up a tradition and publish another one in July 2019. I have no idea what the topic will be...

Maybe something about teaching my son archery? He is barely over 1 now, so by March 2019 I might be showing him how to shoot already. Maybe. Maybe not. Some toddlers even compete in archery competitions for the under 3 category, but I don't think I want to push Richard into archery. It should be something he sees and wants to do. I don't want him to feel pressured he has to do it.

Who knows? We shall have to see.

Last year I also set myself a goal of publishing articles in multiple archery magazines.
  • Traditional Bowhunter Magazine
  • TradArcher's World Magazine
  • Bowhunting World Magazine
  • Petersen's Bowhunting Magazine
And just because it is a local magazine found here in Ontario:
  • Ontario Out of Doors (OOD) Magazine

Also if you noticed, Simon Needham and Steve Ruis seem to have their own July tradition. Writing and publishing "Getting to 600" and "Getting to 650" one year apart.

So clearly some archers really like their traditions. Especially Traditional Archers. 😉

Is it too much to ask clients to remember the day of their lesson?

So imagine you are a personal trainer or some kind of sports trainer (eg. swimming instructor) and clients book specific days and times for their training session. This describes me and my business, as I am both a personal trainer and a sports instructor.

And lets imagine you teach certain sports and activities outdoors, even when it is one of the hottest days of the year. Like it was Saturday with the combined temperature and humidity putting Toronto in a bake you until you die 46 degrees Celsius. So crazy hot.

So you are there in the baking heat, so hot that a friend of yours sticks unbaked cookies inside their car on the dashboard and comes back later and their cookies are baked (and their car smells like freshly baked cookies now). True story.

So you are out there in the heat and you notice your client / student is running late. You check your email and see the following:

"I am so sorry for the last minute.
I am just getting back from Prague..
an I thought this was tomorrow."

And you should be rightfully annoyed. I know I was.

At 7:30 AM that morning I sent them an email warning them about the heat that day. Recommending they bring cold drinks with them.

Did they really get back from Prague? Who knows. Maybe.

Or maybe they just realized it was going to be super hot outside and wanted to reschedule based on the weather conditions. That is normal. Would not be the first time we have rescheduled because of rain, thunderstorms, too hot, too windy, snowing, blizzard, too cold, etc. Except weather was not their excuse. Their excuse was they thought the lesson was Sunday, even though they scheduled it for Saturday.

Not even showing up however and/or last minute cancellations... those are a personal pet peeve for me.

There is a reason why dentists charge patients if you forget your dentist appointment and don't show up. They were there. Their staff was there. Everything ready for the patient to arrive. And then they don't show up. The staff and everyone still needs to get paid, even if the patient forgets they had a dental appointment.

Same goes for me. I am out there in the weather, sometimes very hot weather, with all my equipment ready to go, and if a student / client doesn't show up for their lesson...

Well then that is just a clear forfeiture.

Because I was there. Where was the student?

Relaxing after getting back from Prague supposedly.

Years ago I ended up making a Terms of Service page to remind people what happens when they miss lessons or want to reschedule lessons. Rescheduling a lesson? No problem, I just need 24 hours notice so I don't end up outside in the heat or cold waiting for a student who decided last minute to not show up. Missing a lesson because you forgot? That is a forfeiture.

I am also not your Social Secretary. It is not my job to remind clients of when their lessons are. It is the client's job to remember to show up, just like it is my job to be there on time, ready to instruct.

Not knowing or remembering the day of the lesson (if that was truly the case) is clearly the fault of the client. After all, I am not their Social Secretary. It is not my job to remind them what days and times they have lessons on.

Is it too much to ask clients to remember the day of their lesson?

So after receiving the email I was annoyed. And overheating in the heat/humidity, and being in such a state is never good time to answer emails from people who have annoyed you.

I ended up waiting 24 hours before replying and politely explaining that they had forfeited the lessons because they had failed to give me 24 hour notice. Politely. Like a true Canadian would.

I have also noticed that some clients in the past are "problem clients". The type of people who reschedule lessons frequently, show up late, forget they have lessons, and even make up funny excuses. One such "problem client" years ago claimed she had somehow misplaced her children after a series of similar times when she had failed to show up for lessons on time or at all. She did it so often she ended up forfeiting all of her lessons by supposedly getting lost, claiming to be stuck in traffic for two hours, forgetting what day the lesson was, and finally the "I misplaced my children" excuse.

I eventually Googled her name and discovered she had been fired from her workplace for a serious case of office politics coupled with being accused of fraud. So her reputation was that of a person not to be trusted, and myself and others should probably avoid having any dealings with such an untrustworthy person who clearly makes up excuses and lies all the time.

So what should a person do with problem clients?

  1. Fulfill any remaining obligations.
  2. Issue a refund or partial refund if absolutely necessary.
  3. Once 1 and 2 have been accomplished, stop answering their emails.

I once had a client whom I was teaching his son archery, and he basically treated me like a babysitter - which I am not. His son also had behavioural issues which made him unsafe to be teaching a sport like archery. Somehow (long story) I gained the impression that the client was in the mafia and was not used to being told "no". So when he asked for more archery lessons for his son, after his lessons had been exhausted and my obligations had been met, I asked him to send me an email regarding booking more lessons. I then simply never replied to his email. I also later changed my policy regarding minimum age for archery lessons to 16.

So there are more than one way for a client to be considered to be a "problem client" in my opinion. Chronic lateness/not showing up at all is certainly one way. Me becoming worried that the client is a criminal (or hires other people to commit crimes) is certainly another way. Treating me like a babysitter or having a spoiled kid who is a safety hazard, that is also another way.

Most of My Clients are Wonderful

99.7% of my clients show up on time. Or if they are running late, they let me know via text message or email.

They are a joy to teach. They don't make up lies or excuses either.

It is really the few bad eggs out of thousands of clients I have taught over the page 9 years that cause me headaches. I don't lose sleep over these people. I just point to the Terms of Service so they know what happens when they miss lessons and the proper way to reschedule a lesson.

Or at least, the proper way to lie about it. People who are sick or severely injured get a free ride when it comes to rescheduling lessons. Here is how to lie about it:

Contact me BEFORE the lesson begins and just say you are sick and unable to make it. Contacting me after the lesson has begun (or was supposed to have begun), well that still counts as a forfeiture, because you knew you were sick or injured hours before the lesson and there is no reason not to have let me know as soon as possible.

If the lesson start time comes and a client is clearly late I typically contact them after 10-15 minutes with a polite "Running late?" If they then say they are sick, that is unfortunately a forfeiture because they failed to notify me of their illness BEFORE the lesson time began.

Jetlag is not an adequate excuse because the person knew they would have jetlag when they returned from a trip, and it is neither an illness or an injury. There is no reason they should not have been able to email me 24 hours before the lesson and let me know they want to reschedule.

If a client is going to lie and make up an excuse, at least say you are sick. And do try to let me know before the lesson start time. Preferably before 8:30 AM, but definitely before the scheduled time slot.



Happy Canada Day!

On Sunday the wife, son, and I visited my mother-in-law for Canada Day. I never book archery lessons that day (or other holidays) because people have a tendency to reschedule anyway.

Monday (a holiday thanks to Canada Day being on a weekend this year) we went to the beach and it was so crazy hot we got slushies en route to the beach. Slushies are not very healthy, but I said to the wife:

"I would rather have brain-freeze than have heatstroke."


And to paraphrase myself on this true topic of this post:

"I would rather have clients who show up on time and remember their lessons than to have clients who do not."


The 2018 Seton Archery Competition

NOTICE - Due to rain/thunderstorms on both the Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th, the competition has been reschedule for Sunday, July 29th.

The 2018 Seton Archery Competition is coming up this Saturday, June 23rd Sunday, July 29th, and I shall be adjudicating and judging the competition this year. Which is basically a fancy way of saying I will be doing lots of math and making sure people follow the rules.


Note that the deadline for taking part is 11 AM. Meaning if you show up late, you won't be able to ranked and take part. So it is very important that people show up early or on time. SHOW UP ON TIME.

You do not need to register to take part, but you do need to show up on time.

Location: The Toronto Archery Range located at E. T. Seton Park.

This annual (usually) event is free to take part in and includes a Potluck BBQ for everyone who attends. So if you want to show up and just watch the competition, absolutely. Bring some food to share, a picnic blanket or a lawn chair, and have a fun time watching the competition.

Myself, as a judge, I will be bringing a lawn chair so I can enjoy watching and eating (and adjudicating / doing math).

In the event of rain on Saturday the competition will be moved to Sunday (in which case I will not be the person judging, as I will be busy with my son's birthday party that day). Or rescheduled for July evidently.


Job offer to teach archery in Japan

Last week I received a job offer to teach archery in Japan at a resort. They are looking for an experienced instructor who can teach a variety of different kinds of archery to complete beginners. Woot? Or maybe not woot... keep reading!

They were offering an annual salary of 2 million yen (roughly $23,000 CDN) plus free room and board at the resort.

Sounds like a sweet offer, yes?

Think again.

#1. I am married and my wife just graduated law school, which means she is currently articling as a lawyer. Articling is sort of like an apprenticeship. So we are not going anywhere until she finishes articling.

#2. My wife and I have a son now. I spend most of my weekdays looking after him and I usually only teach archery on weekends (although I can sometimes teach on Thursdays and Fridays). When in doubt, ask.

#3. I happen to like my current routine of looking after my son and teaching archery when available.

The resort wanted me to be available to teach 7 days per week, from 9 AM to 7 PM. With breaks whenever there was a lack of students. And I would be expected to work on holidays. So that is 10 hour days, 70 hour weeks. Practically sweatshop hours.

Now I can do math.

70 hour weeks... x 52 weeks. 3,640 hours per year. At $23,000 per year...

Is $6.32 per hour.

Which is less than Japan's minimum wage, but since I get free room and board, and breaks whenever there is *supposedly* a lack of students... apparently it circumvents Japan's minimum wage laws. Seems awfully fishy.

Somehow I doubt there would be a lack of students and many breaks.

So I would probably be working sweatshop hours and rarely get to see my son.

#4. I used to teach English in South Korea many years ago. That whole experience made me distrustful of the corrupt "hagwon" system in Korea. Is the resorts in Japan similar to Korean hagwons? Maybe. I don't see any point in finding out.

#5. I checked... the starting rate for teaching English in Japan is about 3 million yen per year. So it would actually make more sense for me to teach English instead of archery. Better pay.

True, I love teaching archery - but teaching it 70 hours per week would take some of the fun out of it. My current system of less hours, better pay suits me just fine.

#6. No pay for the first 3 months. Afterwards they would pay me 222,222 yen per month. This is to deter people who aren't serious about sticking around, so they claim. Makes me wonder what the turnover rate of new employees is.

#7. This offer started to sound more and more like a scam. Trick foreigners into working in horrible conditions, pay them peanuts... most of them quit before 3 months.

#8. Cost of living in Japan is very high. Korea and China are cheap in comparison.

Would my wife and son be expected or welcome to just hang out at the resort all the time? Most likely they would get bored of it. Which means they are going out, taking taxis, eating out, etc. Such things add up and Japan is notoriously expensive to live in.

#9. Free plane ticket for me, but what about my wife's and son's tickets? Who pays for that? Plus how big is this room? Is it big enough for a small family?

#10. Why would I leave a successful business here in Canada, close to friends and family, for a job offer that is dubious?

So yes. The offer sounds like a scam. Which is why I am recommending other archery instructors to be wary of such an offer. This is also why I am not mentioning the name of the resort, where it was located, etc. I don't want other archery instructors to get sucked in to this scam. If anything, I am now doing a public service by trying to warn other people.

So even if I didn't have a wife and son, I still wouldn't be interested in this scam. There is too many IFs and irregularities in the offer.

Would teaching archery in Japan be fun and interesting? Sure, but I would rather not have such a risky sounding offer.

And I would rather do it on my own terms.

8 hour days, 5 days per week, holidays off, 4 weeks of vacation time, 3,500 yen per hour (roughly $40 CDN per hour)... 10 paid sick days, health/dental insurance benefits for myself and my family.

So that is 40 hours per week for 48 weeks, 3,500 yen per hour is... 6.72 million yen annually. ($76,800 CDN annually.) That is enough for a family of 3 to live on.

But even then I still wouldn't take it, because my wife's earning potential as a lawyer is greater than mine.

I would much rather stay here. Buy a house in Toronto, practice my woodworking skills, look after my son, teach archery because I enjoy it. Maybe eventually get that horse farm and teach equestrian archery.

Japanese Yabusame (equestrian archery) would be interesting to see... but there are other ways to see that kind of archery don't involve so many risks, what ifs and poor pay.


The 2018 Seton Archery Tournament at the Toronto Archery Range

I will be judging / adjudicating an archery competition on June 23rd, namely the "E. T. Seton Archery Tournament" mentioned in the image further below. As an adjudicator I will basically be called upon for my math skills and to settle any disputes about whether an arrow is touching a line (in competitions if the arrow is touching the line, it counts as the higher amount of points).

The location is at the Toronto Archery Range within E. T. Seton Park. If you have never been there before I recommend using a map.

The tournament is free to join and there will be prizes, and a Potluck BBQ Lunch.

People who want to take part in the tournament should be EARLY or ON TIME. If you are the type of person who is always running late, then you should really aim to be early. People need to be there on time in order to do their Ranking Rounds and then later enter the elimination rounds.




Three Tips for Archery Competitions
  1. Eat, drink and be merry! Food, drink and laughter reduce stress. Hunger, dehydration and melancholy are a mental distraction.
  2. Relax during your shots and focus on the quality of your form and aim. Forget everything else.
  3. Ignore your rivals, instead focus on defeating the part of yourself that is holding you back.
And Bonus! Pay attention to the wind conditions, but don't let the wind mess you up mentally either. Two years ago I took 2nd place in a compound competition because the wind started gusting during the final rounds and it was blowing me sideways while I was shooting. The frustration made me anxious and I messed up the final round, costing me 1st place. So my primary problem wasn't my rivals, it was myself getting frustrated by the wind conditions and allowing my anxiety to win. So I failed to follow my own tip in that scenario. Part of me was also tired and just wanted the competition to be over.

Happy shooting!

Thursday Archery Lessons in Toronto

Regarding Archery Lessons...

I have been thinking of making some time slots available on Thursdays - 10 AM, 12 PM and 2 PM for teaching archery lessons.

UPDATE, I may also be available on Fridays too.

At present I only teach on weekends and watch my infant son on weekdays, but in the near future I may be able to start teaching on Thursdays again, pending availability*.

* I might not be available on all Thursdays. We shall see.

Sorry, no evening lessons. Not available.

Anyone interested in Thursday archery lessons should email cardiotrek@gmail.com and let me know what time slots you are thinking of and how many lessons you are interested in.

To learn more please read my Archery Lessons page which provides all the necessary info regarding my rates, equipment, etc.

And now, because I find them interesting and amusing, here are some photos of birds perched on arrows. Tada!


Owl perched on a cluster of Arrows
Peach Faced or Rosy Faced Lovebird Parakeet perched on an Arrow

Looking forward to teaching archery again

Hey Toronto! Happy New Year!

Starting in March 2018 I will be offering archery lessons again, however this year I will be limited to teaching archery mostly on weekends.

People who want Archery Lessons in Toronto should contact me via email - cardiotrek@gmail.com - to arrange lessons.

The time restrictions is because on weekdays I am looking after my son Richard, who is currently 6 months old, while my wife is attending university. There may sometimes be weekdays during which I am available, but I would not wager on it.

That said, I am looking forward to teaching archery again. I taught a dozen or so lessons back in September and October, on weekends, and so it has been several months and I miss being outside teaching.

Although admittedly it is winter right now, and I do not normally teach much during the winter anyway. Still, the snow will melt and it will be Spring soon enough. It will be good to get back to teaching, even if it is only on weekends.


Happy Yuletide Season from Cardio Trek

Happy Yuletide Season!

Okay, so fun fact - the 12 Days of Christmas is actually originally the 12 Days of Yuletide, a tradition that dates back to the Vikings, Scandinavian and Germanic peoples of northern Europe.

Old Norse Calendar
"Yule" (or Ylir) is the Old Norse word for the month of December.

During the Yuletide Season, the great god Odin would visit the homes of the people while riding his eight-legged horse Sleipnir, and bring them presents. He would sneak into their homes via their chimney. Historically it was celebrated in Scandinavian, Germanic, and regions conquered by Vikings / Anglo-Saxons.

Later the Christians in Denmark would co-opt the tradition and changed the names. The modern "Santa Claus" myth actually originates from Danish Christians living in New York... and if you are interested in all this you can research it, I am not going to go into the details.

Santa Claus = Odin
Eight Reindeer = Eight-legged horse Sleipnir
Elves... well, that one is easy. It is based on Norse myths of elves.

Yada yada yada.

Odin riding his eight-legged horse Sleipnir
Merry Christmas and the So-Called "War on Christmas"

So I have never liked the phrase Merry Christmas. Not even when I was a kid. I like having more variety. I sometimes say it, but I mix it up by saying other things like:

Happy Yuletide!
Happy Holidays!
Happy Winter Solstice! (December 21st)
Happy Hanukkah (which this year started on December 12th and ended December 20th)!
Happy Kwanzaa! (December 26th to January 1st)
Mele Kalikimaka! (* I will come back to this later at the bottom. *)

I might even jokingly say "Humbug!" to people in my best impersonation of Ebenezer Scrooge. That always gets a laugh.

Okay, so Hanukkah is tricky because unless you are familiar with the Hebrew Calendar you might not know WHEN exactly it is. It starts in the evening on 25th of Kislev and lasts for 8 days, but since the corresponding Roman calendar doesn't line up, the dates end up being different every year.

2018:   December 2-10
2019:   December 22-30
2020:   December 10-18

Kwanzaa is also tricky because technically you're not supposed to say "Happy Kwanzaa!", but there is nothing stopping you. What you are supposed to say is "Habari gani?" and the other person is supposed to respond with a different answer depending on which day of the Seven Days of Kwanzaa it is. So for people who don't celebrate Kwanzaa, easier to just say Happy Kwanzaa to those people who also say it to you.

Okay...

So why are these greetings even an issue?

Well, because the Holiday Season (which includes Christmas) is now being used as a political boxing glove to hit opponents. Certain people (including the more recent American president) have been arguing that people should be forced to say Merry Christmas, even if they do not celebrate Christmas, or if they have chosen to go with a less politically charged way of saying it.

Saying Merry Christmas these days actually is seen as trying to force one's religious beliefs unto the other person. The big fuss that politicians have made about the phrase "Merry Christmas" is actually making it worse too. It is those kinds of people who have "declared war on Christmas". They are the ones making it worse by using Merry Christmas as a political boxing glove.

So where does that leave companies and corporations, including small time companies like Cardio Trek?

Well, I have to ask myself what phrases do I want to use when conducting official correspondence to my audience of potential clients.

Do I use Merry Christmas? Sometimes. Especially if it is actually Christmas Day.

But other times I use Happy Holidays, Happy Yuletide, etc.

If someone says Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa to me, I will say it back to them. Not because I am being forced to, but because I feel it is more polite.

I do the same thing when I speak other languages. If I want to make it clear I am thankful I tend to gravitate to the more formal ways of saying thank you. eg. In Korean there are many ways to say thank you, but if I want to make it clear that I am really thankful - I use the formal polite traditional way of saying it, which would be 구맙 습니 다.

Why??? Because I prefer to be polite when speaking to people and to me, the formal polite traditional way of something is ultimately more polite.

So Merry Christmas is a traditional way of speaking.

But honestly so is Happy Holidays... which dates back to the 1860s and earlier.

And if we want to get technical, the Yuletide is even older and more traditional. It predates modern Christmas celebrations.

Coupled with this is that the Moffat family is from Scotland and we can trace their line back to Vikings who settled in Scotland. So to me, anything to do with Vikings is basically a matter of familial ancestry.

My mother's side of the family is from what would have been the north coast of Prussia, south-east of Denmark. So it is not a stretch to say there is probably some connections to Viking ancestry there too.

So I am at least doubly inclined towards "Happy Yuletide".

As someone who is not a Christian but still uses Merry Christmas once in awhile I find the whole "War on Christmas" idea to be idiotic. It really only matters to the people who worry about such things.

I don't care about such triviality. I greet people in a manner which is polite, that is what is more important to me.

Which is more important to you?

People who say Merry Christmas, but are jerks about it.
People who behave politely and use whatever greetings they feel work in that situation.

Honestly, I would rather go with the polite way of doing it.

This all reminds of the Hawaiian way... Mele Kalikimaka!

Now that is a fun way to greet people during the Holiday Season. For those who don't know, here are the lyrics.

(Stanza x 1)
Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That's the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway
Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun will shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way to say Merry Christmas to you

(Chorus x 3)
Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That's the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway

(Repeat Stanza x 1)

So it is kind of like you are saying Merry Christmas, but you are not.

And if people ask what is Mele Kalikimaka, then it is your chance to spring into song. ;)

And if people get the reference to the film National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation... then so be it. It works.

Happy Yuletide!
Charles Moffat and Family
CardioTrek.ca

No Winter Archery This Year, Winter 2017-18

Hello Would-Be Archery Students in Toronto!

I will not be teaching archery this winter, but I will be resuming teaching archery lessons (weekends only) in March 2018.

Anyone wishing to have archery lessons in 2018 should prebook now as availability may be limited.



I don't like the word "Superfood"

Earlier today I removed all references in a guest post to the word "superfood" and replaced it with "useful food" or similar wording.

I made this change because I find that word "Superfood" to be problematic, because it tends to imply that the food is somehow special or magical. While it is true that many foods have special properties or have lots of specific nutrients or minerals, that trait of being useful in some way is pretty much universal of all vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, etc.

I also find that people in the food industry have a tendency to use the word "superfood" in the same way some people use the words:
  • new, or new and improved
  • exceptional
  • free, or hassle free
  • easy, or very easy
  • perfectly honest
  • results, or get results
  • sex, or sexy
  • love
  • discover
  • guarantee
  • health, or healthier
  • now, or immediately
  • best, or better
  • save, safety or safe
  • proven (Really? By whom?)

These advertising clichéd words are a problem within the food industry because they are being used to sell you on a product - and their usage annoys me and feels dishonest to me. This includes variations on the word like Superfruit or Super-Veggie.

With the word "Superfood" they basically just stuck the word Super on front of the word Food, and then used it as an advertising word to try and sell people on the concept that the food they are promoting is somehow special.

When you go to Wikipedia and look up superfood, here is the first paragraph:

Superfood is a marketing term used to describe foods with supposed health benefits.[1][2] The term is not in common use by dietitians and nutrition scientists, many of whom dispute that particular foods have the health benefits often claimed by their advocates. Catherine Collins, for instance, the chief dietitian at St George's Hospital in London has stated that "[t]he term 'superfoods' is at best meaningless and at worst harmful... There are so many wrong ideas about superfoods that I don't know where best to begin to dismantle the whole concept."[3]

 So clearly I am not alone in my assertion that the word Superfood is possibly harmful to the people who are tricked into thinking that various foods are "magically special".

I fully recommend reading the full Wiki entry on the topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfood

Use of the word Superfood is also ever expanding. It is theoretically possible for people to use it to describe junk food.

"Look at our new high sodium potato chips! It is a superfood chockful of sodium and electrolytes! Great for replenishing after you exercise!"

See my point? All potato chips are high in sodium and potassium - which are technically useful to replenish sodium and potassium.

But do you actually need to replenish if you are done exercising? No. You don't. Your body will naturally replenish those things over time through your regular diet. Bananas and potatoes are both high in potassium. If you really needed more potassium, you could get it from a baked potato, banana, plantains, or various other foods.

A common example of a "superfood" used by the food industry is blueberries, despite being very average when compared to various other foods. So while blueberries are good for you, don't believe everything you read about their greatness.

Spand-Ice Vest for Back Pain - For Weightlifters and More

If you are into weightlifting and various other exercises / sports, you may sometimes experience back pain. While Back Pain is not strictly a sports injury, it might as well be - and if you are experiencing extreme back pain - that could be a sports injury, and you should consult a doctor.

My normal recommendation for people experiencing back pain is to use Tylenol 650 mg tablets - which are marketed in pharmacies both as a muscle relaxer and for people suffering from arthritis. Hot Tip - It is the exact same product in both bottles, but the arthritis pills are typically cheaper. I guess they are counting on weightlifters on being unable to do math.

Yoga is also good for people suffering from back pain, as it helps to improve your posture - and posture problems is a common cause of back pain.

However today is different.

Yesterday I received a package from a courier.

In it was the "Spand-Ice Safe Alternative to Opioids: The Revive Tank - Wearable Ice + Heat Therapy for Back Pain Relief, Recovery, and Support".

Or as I like to call it, an "Ice Vest for Back Pain" or just "Ice Vest". So much simpler.

Spand-Ice (American company) contacted me in late August, seeking to promote their product.

And at the time my response was "Hmm... I sometimes get back pain." More often these days since the birth of my son, and I will sometimes strain my back a bit while carrying him. (Proof that this product isn't just for weightlifters, although my son recently clocked in at 14.9 lbs when we visited the pediatrician - so he is growing fast!)

So I agreed to test out their product and post a product review.

So yes, yesterday the package arrived containing a Men's Size Large version of their product and I briefly reviewed some of the written documents they sent with the product. (And my wife says I never read instruction manuals...)

And then I tossed the new ice packs in the freezer, next to the ice cubes and ice cream.

Now I should note this is not my first time using ice packs for pain therapy - I also have a collection of ice packs for treating wrist and elbow pain.

I should also note that ice packs only serve to provide pain relief. It is not a permanent cure to any kind of chronic pain. For that I recommend consulting a doctor.

My Thoughts So Far on the Spand-Ice Vest
  1. Wear the vest over clothing, don't try to put it directly on. The extra clothing gives you a buffer zone between you and the ice packs.
  2. Why did they call it a Tank? It is clearly a Vest. A tank top wouldn't have a zipper or buttons going down the front. But a vest would have a zipper or buttons going down the front. Someone in their product naming department needs some Fashion Police to tell them what is what.
  3. It feels really good on a hot day. I could see wearing this just to cool down on a hot day.
  4. Bonus, the packs can also be heated in the microwave - which means you could wear them on a cold day to warm up. For Canadians, this would go well with shoveling snow out of the driveway or sidewalks of your home. Heat up the packs in the microwave first, put on the vest, add a few extra layers for added warmth, go outside and shovel the snow while wearing them - stay warm while doing it!
  5. It does feel nice numbing any back pain. So it works. Huzzah.
  6. Because the vest is pretty snug and fits me well, I could see wearing this outside under a sweater or hoodie, with a shirt underneath the vest.
  7. I don't think it is very fashionable however. Not something to wear in public.
  8. The vest seems to be well constructed and made of durable materials. Only time will tell however, but at present it looks pretty good in terms of durability.
  9. I tried it on briefly yesterday and then ended up feeding and burping my son. He spat up a little bit on the shoulder during the burping process, but it wiped off easily. Woot?!
  10.  I am wearing the vest right now while typing this. It feels pretty good. So it works and does what it is supposed to do. I like it when a product does that.
  11. I like how the pouches for ice packs have two levels, one for the lower back and one for the middle of the back. I just use both, to get the "full effect", but I can see some people preferring to only use one ice pack at a time.
  12. The ice packs might be compatible with other ice packs I use for elbow and wrist pain. Maybe. Not sure. I haven't actually tested this yet, but they LOOK to be roughly the same size.
  13. The vest includes a belt that goes around your mid-section and then Velcros in place. I am guessing this is to prevent the vest from sliding around too much. Once it is on it is pretty snug and doesn't really move.
  14. I do feel a bit fat wearing it - but I guess that is normal for vests as they add bulk to the chest and gut area. But whatever, you are not wearing the vest for its fashionableness.
  15. If I was to wear a vest out in public, I have other vests that are fancier. Maybe wear one of those over top of the Spand-Ice Vest? Example below.
The author wearing a more fashionable vest and a Stetson while directing traffic at his sister's wedding.
Additional Commentary

I get that Spand-Ice is marketing their vest ("tank") for people who are into sports, and thus it looks like sportswear. But honestly, if they just added some buttons and pinstripes, it would look so much better. And then could offer it in colours other than black. True, black worked well for the Model T Ford, but when it comes to fashion more options is certainly better.

Also there is a long list of back pain sufferers I think who would like this product.
  • Pregnant mothers.
  • Elderly people.
  • People with back arthritis.
  • Parents who have to bend over constantly and pick up their children (cough cough, like me).
  • Construction workers.
  • Anybody with bad posture induced back pain.
  • People suffering from a back injury due to an accident.
  • People recovering from back surgery.
  • People who need to wear too much clothing at work and just want to cool down underneath all those layers. Ha!
  • Hunters - because carrying a deer or similar large prey out of the woods so you can eat it is back breaking work. Bonus, just make it camouflage instead of black. Hunters will buy anything that has camo on it.
The price is a bit much in my opinion: $125 USD. I was not expecting it to be that much.

It is made in the USA. So that might be a factor as to the cost.

But that is probably normal for a new product that recently went through its Kickstarter phase and only recently became available to the general public. I imagine the price will gradually go down as its popularity grows.

Product Links

For Men
http://spand-ice.com/product/the-revive-tank-men/

For Women
http://spand-ice.com/product/the-revive-tank-women/

OFFICIAL RETIREMENT, AUGUST 28TH 2017

1975 Browning Wasp, at the Toronto Archery Range
August 28th 2017

Hello!

If you are here looking for archery lessons in Toronto, I have some sad news for you: I am official retired, as of today.

I announced my upcoming and now present retirement back in July in the following post: My Retirement from Personal Training / Sports Training. The details and reasons for my retirement are listed there.

Unofficially I may still end up teaching a few archery lessons in the future, only on weekends, and only when my new schedule allows me a little extra time to teach.

Otherwise you will just have to shop around for a different archery instructor, which I am sorry to say there are few archery instructors who have the knowledge and experience that I have, having done archery for 28 years and having taught archery for 8 of those years.

Furthermore I teach all 5 major styles of archery:
  1. Traditional Recurve
  2. Olympic Recurve
  3. Horsebow / Shortbow
  4. Longbow / Flatbow
  5. Compound
I know a few archery instructors who teach 1 or 2 styles, but I know of no other instructor who is qualified and experienced at teaching all 5 styles.

I have been told that my retirement will be "a loss to the Toronto Archery Community" and I am not going to dispute that I have made some contributions to the promotion of the sport in Toronto. In the 8 years that I was teaching I taught well over a thousand different people. I don't know the precise number because I did not keep accurate records in the beginning, but I do estimate that I was teaching approx. 150 to 200 different students each year. The exact number is likely in the 1,200 to 1,600 people range.

Many of my former students now visit the Toronto Archery Range on a weekly or monthly basis to continue practicing their sport. Some of my former students have gone on to compete, including several Olympic contenders from overseas.

Some students came from very far away to study with me. From South Korea, from Japan, from the USA, Britain, Ireland, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia and a variety of other locales. Some of them came all that distance just to study archery under me.

I do not discriminate with students. I have taught young and old. As the years went by I began cutting back on the younger students, preferring to teach people who are 16 years old or older - but I sometimes made exceptions and taught younger students if they were exceptionally interested in archery and showed a keen obsession with the sport. I also thoroughly enjoyed teaching seniors.

In the photo below is two police officers who were visiting the Toronto Archery Range, one of my former students from 2014 (John G.), and myself in the sunglasses / Ducks Unlimited hat. This photo was taken recently, on August 14th 2017. John has become a regular at the archery range over the past 3 years and students like him have been a highlight of my archery teaching career and one of the reasons I give discounts to seniors.


I am going to miss teaching archery.

It has been the most enjoyable career I have had thus far. I got to meet lots of interesting people, make all sorts of archery jokes, educate people on the history of archery / the sport of archery, and promote one of the greatest pastimes of all time.

It therefore makes sense that I won't be giving it up completely. I will continue to teach from time to time, schedule permitting, but it will be very different from my current schedule of teaching approx. 10 to 15 lessons per week.

There was a time a few years ago when I was teaching 18 to 21 lessons per week, and frankly feeling exhausted after teaching 5 lessons in a single day. I eventually realized that I needed to cutback on teaching so many lessons and relax more. Around that time I raised my rates, cut back on my total number of lessons I was willing to teach per week, and started scheduling more vacation time.

Such vacations likely helped in the wooing of my wife and resulted in our marriage in August 2016. Quickly followed by a Honeymoon in Montreal.

A few months later we began planning the birth of our son Richard who arrived in late June 2017. (2.5 weeks before his due date, I guess he was impatient to meet us.) Below is a photo of our son Richard with a slingshot during a recent trip to the beach. He doesn't know how to shoot it yet, but I had fun shooting beach pebbles into Lake Ontario.


In a few short years he will be shooting that very slingshot and learning how to shoot his first bow. With both parents doing archery and a number of other relatives who do archery (including my cousin Ken who is the 1990 and 1991 Traditional Recurve North American Champion and had so many trophies he was throwing them out...) Richard will raised thinking archery is something that many people do - and frankly many people do archery, it is just not as much as say soccer or baseball.

Richard will be raised with an active lifestyle, something I am looking forward to, with a heavy emphasis on appreciation for nature, science and the world around him. Everything from bird-watching to rock-climbing to geology to astronomy to the wonderful languages and food our world has to offer. (As a polyglot myself, I hope to have him learning a variety of languages during his summers when he is not attending school.)

My Future

I have a long list of things I want to do with my life, outside of raising my son with my wonderful wife. I listed some of those things on my previous post announcing my retirement.

One of the things I most would like to do is to buy a horse farm, raise horses and teach equestrian archery. To me that would truly be living the dream. If I could add Falconry to that dream, that would be fun too.

The Future of CardioTrek.ca

The website isn't going to disappear, I can tell you that. I am going to keep using it to promote exercise and a variety of sports, including archery of course.

By the end of 2017 I expect there to be a total of 830 posts on this website and I will continue to do 5 to 10 posts per month indefinitely.

The big change will be that I will be adding Google Ads on the side of the website, and I will be allowing advertisers to post sponsored articles in the future for a reasonable fee. (I have a baby to feed and clothe after all, and babies are not cheap, so I see nothing wrong with allowing some advertising.) All ads will be family friendly and abide my sense of good morals.

Happy shooting!

My Retirement from Personal Training / Sports Training

July 22nd 2017.

On June 24th, 4 weeks ago today, my wife gave birth to our son Richard. I write this on my laptop while he sleeps (and farts) curled up next to me on a baby blanket.

On August 28th I will be officially retiring from being a personal trainer / sports trainer and I will begin devoting my time towards being a full time stay-at-home dad while my wife pursues her law career.

This means I only have 5 weeks and 1 day before my official retirement. Anyone in Toronto wishing to have archery lessons - which is my main thing this time of year - should contact me ASAP if they are seeking to have archery lessons.

This will therefore effect scheduling. As the Retirement Day approaches, I will be encouraging any new students to either choose a lesser number of lessons, or a very aggressive schedule to get the lessons done ASAP.

People seeking to have 10 archery lessons should be thinking of 2 or even 3 lessons per week, instead of the normal one lesson per week schedule. The goal being to get all the lessons done before August 28th.

Outstanding Lessons

Any outstanding lessons will either be refunded or conducted on weekends in September 2017. I am hoping to have all outstanding lessons done before the end of August, but there might be a few people who need to have their lessons on weekends in September or refunded.

The Archery Coach formally known as Charles, February 2017
Semi-Retirement???

After August 28th I will also be raising my rates and my availability will become extremely limited.

I am already the most expensive and most sought after archery instructor in Toronto - hence why I have been able to raise my rates multiple times over the years, due to the demand. However with retirement, I will be raising my rates again to compensate for the fact that I will need to arrange babysitting for a newborn / toddler just to make it possible for me to teach people seeking archery lessons.

So that means I won't be retiring from personal training / sports training entirely, rather my availability and willingness to teach will be highly dependent on a variety of factors, such as the availability of a babysitter, my personal availability, etc.

Richard's first trip to the Toronto Archery Range
So what will I be doing in the future?

Well, asides from changing Richard's diapers, clothing him, bathing him, feeding him, burping him, letting him sleep on my chest, teaching him how to go potty, teaching him archery, baseball, fishing, how to read, how to write, how to do math, how to cheat at poker...

On my To Do List I will also be doing the following:
  • Finishing my second book about archery and finally publish it.
  • Perhaps write a few more articles for Archery Focus Magazine or other archery publications.
  • Writing archery equipment reviews for archerytoronto.ca.
  • Bowmaking. I have 2 pieces of cherry and 2 pieces of black walnut just waiting to be turned into pyramid bows / flatblows.
  • Wooden arrow dowel making. (I started making a wooden arrow dowel jig two years ago and I would love to finish making the jig and start making arrows.)
  • Arrow fletching.
  • Making Bowstrings / Re-Serving Bowstrings.
  • Repairing Compound Bows (a rare skill, but nevertheless).
  • Working on my other website projectgriddless.ca, which is dedicated to off-the-grid living, survivalism, and bow-making.
  • Teaching archery to actors and thespians - I got into this years ago and I plan to keep doing this.
  • Doing trick shot videos.
  • Fishing and Bowfishing.
  • Working on my culinary skills.
  • Working on my carpentry skills.
  • Various fitness goals.
  • Sleeping in more often.
  • Camping.
  • Travel.
  • Raising my son to be a good person.

*Special Note* It is also theoretically possible that my wife's law career might take us outside of Toronto, possibly moving to a smaller city or town within Ontario, but I am very confident that even if that did happen, we would be back as both my wife and I have family here in Toronto and it is above all else, our home. If however we ended up living in a rural area that we could potentially get horses, lets add the following things to my To Do List:
  • Buy horses.
  • Breed horses.
  • Horse maintenance.
  • Pay expensive vet bills.
  • Teach Richard how to ride.
  • Get into equestrian archery.
  • Opening an archery range / horse-riding school.
So yeah, plenty of possibilities in my future. My retirement from being a personal trainer / sports trainer is simply a new step on a long road of adventures.

The future? We shall see.

Archery Lessons in the Rain in Toronto

It has been raining so much in the last two months (April and May) that I am curious how many people actually want archery lessons on rainy days.

Normally if it rains I reschedule lessons for several reasons:
  1. Water damages equipment.
  2. Water also causes mildew to grow on equipment.
  3. People are susceptible to getting sick if they get cold.
  4. People don't want to be standing in a field holding a potential lightning rod.
  5. People often feel miserable when shooting in the rain, which effects accuracy.
  6. A downpour will effect the accuracy of individual shots.
  7. The archer's ability to aim can be reduced by rain interfering with their visual sight.
However in theory if I used equipment that is immune to water damage I could teach on rainy days to people who are willing and up to the challenge. (I already have arrows suitable for this, although I might have to invest in different bows for teaching with than the ones I normally teach with.)

I am curious if there are people out there who would actually want archery lessons in the rain - perhaps there are people out there who really like a challenge.

If this sounds like you, send me an email and we shall explore this option.


2,000,000 Visitors to Cardio Trek

March 31st 2017.

Roughly 1.5 years ago (in June 2015) I wrote a post titled 1,000,000 Visitors to Cardio Trek. Well, sometime today, March 31st 2017, likely halfway through the day, we finally reached the 2,000,000 mark.

Woot!

It took 3.5 years to get our first million visitors. It only took roughly 1.6 years to get our 2nd million. Clearly we are doing something right. I don't want to estimate when we will reach the 3 million mark, but hopefully the rate of growth continues.

June 2015
  • 550 pages on topics ranging from weight loss, muscle growth / weight lifting, cardio exercises, sports advice, and lastly dietary / nutritional advice. Free.
  • Cardio Trek is home to Toronto's "best archery instructor - according to testimonials.
  • Cardio Trek offers a number of unique / bizarre exercises and tips that are rarely seen elsewhere.
  • If you Google 'cardio personal trainer toronto' then CardioTrek.ca is the #1 personal training website that comes up in the results. CardioTrek.ca is also #2 too.
  • We make a special effort to make Cardio Trek fun to read.
February 2017
  • 770 pages, etcetera etcetera.
  • Still the best archery instructor in Toronto. Just have lots more testimonials now.
  • Still offering a selection of unique and bizarre exercises - the lists just keep getting longer.
  • If you Google 'cardio personal trainer toronto' then CardioTrek.ca is #1, #2, and #3. Still dominating the top of the roster in Toronto, just more so.
  • We still keep making an effort to making Cardio Trek fun to read. Mostly because we enjoy writing things that are fun, and therefore don't waste time writing about boring subjects.
Last time we toasted the next million visitors with a strawberry smoothie in a wine glass. I think we shall do that again, except this time I will be using:
  • Fresh Strawberries.
  • Homemade strawberry ice cream.
  • Milk
My cousin last year gave the wife and I an ice cream maker as a wedding gift and we have been experimenting with making ice cream since then.

The great thing about having your own ice cream mixer is that you can experiment with lower calorie recipes and also make frozen yogurt, thus creating your own low calorie versions becomes comparatively easy - and you can use the ice cream and/or yogurt when eating berries, bananas, nuts, granola, etc. And whether you mix or make a smoothie, there are many ways to use it too.

Annual Visitor Records for CardioTrek.ca

This post is really more notes for myself, with respect to past records of visitors to CardioTrek.ca. I use such records for determining how well my online marketing is working.

For anyone reading this boring list of numbers, check out the moving GIFs on the right side and the Weight Loss Tip way down at the bottom.

2011
December = 54

2012
January = 90
February = 569
March = 3,372
April =2,638
May = 2,381
June = 2,351
July = 3,041
August = 4,118
September = 4,820
October = 3,964
November = 4,132
December = 10,153
TOTAL = 41,627

2013
January = 25,516
February = 15,615
March = 19,642
April = 21,917
May = 24,207
June = 23,954
July = 26,801
August = 25,151
September = 29,275
October = 29,108
November = 25,851
December = 15,194
TOTAL = 282,231

Note - Monthly fluctuations in popularity seems to be mostly due to specific posts going briefly viral.

2014
January = 14,256
February = 18,697
March =  36,011
April = 59,355
May = 30,177
June = 25,450
July = 23,829
August = 29,977
September = 30,783
October = 40,325
November = 39,626
December = 37,466
TOTAL = 385,952

2015
January = 45,511
February = 51,836
March = 57,620
April = 75,106
May = 54,890
June = 59,108
July = 73,843
August = 64,775
September = 55,188
October = 53,289
November = 41,499
December = 46,186
TOTAL =  678,851

Note - Several posts went viral in 2015 in April and July. This resulted in higher than expected growth.

2016
January = 58,495
February = 47,396
March = 54,690
April = 55,943
May = 47,633
June = 39,139
July = 60,496
August = 38,431
September = 26,410
October = 24,704
November = 23,142
December = 48,355
TOTAL = 524,834

Notes - So while there was a blip in popularity in 2015, 2016 saw a continued upward curve in popularity. I expect 2017 to surpass 2015 in numbers.

I also predict that Cardio Trek will reach the 2,000,000 visitor mark sometime in late February or early March 2017. Total visitors for 2011 to 2016 is 1,913,549.

:)

Weight Loss Tip

If you are serious about losing weight, then keep records of everything: Your daily weight, your average monthly weight, how often you do cardio exercises, how often you do weight lifting exercises, weight fluctuations, when you get sick/better, major changes in your diet, how many calories you eat daily, how much water you are drinking and anything else you think is relevant. Do this and you will see the benefits of keeping track of calories in and calories out.

No Ice Skating this Winter, 2016-17

NOTE

I am not teaching ice skating during the Winter of 2016-2017. I am however teaching Winter Archery and Archery Biathlon to anyone interested in learning such things.

I will be using my extra time to focus on finishing writing my archery book.


Happy Yuletide Season from Cardio Trek!

Happy Yuletide Season!

It is December 21st and that means the Yuletide season has officially begun. Time for folks all over the world to celebrate Odin and his 8 legged flying horse Sleipnir while he and his army of elves delivers gifts to all the good girls and boys via chimneys.

So get yourself a Yule log, cut down a tree as per the Old Norse tradition, celebrate with friends and family by eating ham and alcohol, pull on some big thick socks, go outside and go caroling from house to house while singing Nordic songs, visit sacred groves of trees, get kissed under a Mistletoe, and all that good stuff.

Other things you can do this Winter:

#1. Go skiing to celebrate Ullr, the Norse God of Skiing. (Ullr is also the Norse god of bowhunting.) Or just go skiing because it is fun. Downhill or cross country or even the Biathlon with Bow or Rifle, they are all good. :)

The logo on the right is for Archery Biathlon, but I am sure Ullr would approve.

#2. Go snowshoeing. Because it is a lot of fun.

Below are photos of myself snowshoeing back in (I think it was) March 2016. I am looking forward to doing more snowshoeing again this winter.


#3. Icefishing. I am not sure how much exercise is involved in icefishing, but a friend of mine has been bugging me to join them for icefishing for over a year now and I would really like to try it.

#4. Join the Polar Bear Club of Toronto - People of all ages jumping in the freezing cold water, running around in the cold water, and then hanging out afterwards. It is really freezing but people sure seem to love doing it. See torontopolarbear.com


#5. Winter Archery Lessons. Yes, it is true. I do teach archery during the winter. See my archery lessons page for rates.


#6. Go for a Winter Hike in the Woods - Take the dog, friends, family, and your camera with you and get some amazing photography done. Want a great place to visit? Try the nature trails near Hilton Falls (Milton Ontario). The frozen waterfalls makes for some pretty amazing photography.


#7. Go for a Winter Hike and Go Bird Watching. You can really do this practically anywhere. Birds are surprisingly plentiful, even in the winter.


#8. Pick One of the Following
  • Ice Skating
  • Build Snowforts
  • Make Ice Sculptures
  • Winter Surfing or Windsurfing
  • Icycling with Studded Tires
  • Winter Jogging
  • Rock/Ice Climbing
  • Curling
  • Outdoor Axe Throwing
  • Winter Winery Tours in Niagara Region
  • Jet Skiing
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Snowmobiling
  • Winter Caving / Spelunking
  • Snowboarding
  • Tobogganing
  • Snow Rafting


Conclusions?

Truly the Norse were on the right track with their Yuletide traditions of celebrating winter.
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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