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

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.

Autumn Archery Lessons in November

Please note that I am still teaching archery in November - partially because it is so warm lately. This year I have also had a bump in the number of people wanting lessons in November. Basically it is so warm that people are still asking for archery lessons.

My personal opinion is that Autumn is the perfect time of the year to do archery, especially September and October. But there is nothing wrong with doing archery in November, especially when it is unseasonably warm.

Autumn Leaves Archery Bracer
However this year it has been unseasonably warm. September felt like August. October felt like September, and now November feels like October. (I am fully expecting December to feel like November, complete with a green Christmas.) With it being so warm I thought I should put a note up here letting people know I am still teaching in November.

I do keep teaching during the Winter (for those brave enough to face the cold), but the number of brave people who are not afraid of the cold is short in supply. Thus archery does tend to be a seasonal sport, even though it can be done year round.

I think it is part of the reason why September to December is bowhunting season for whitetail deer. The weather this time of year is perfect for being outside. Not too cold. Not too hot. Also unlike Spring, it is also not too rainy.

In which case they really should be making camouflage clothing available in yellow, orange and red so that it matches the colours of the trees. Green camouflage makes no sense this time of year. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

Lastly this is also the time of year people start prebooking archery lessons for the next year. So if your schedule doesn't work right now, you can always prebook for the next season.

One Final Note

With Halloween now over, that doesn't mean you should rush out and start worrying about Christmas. Remembrance Day is Friday, November 11th and that has clear priority in my mind. Canadian Veterans and members of Canada's Armed Forces get a 10% discount off archery lessons between now and November 25th.

Photograph by Tim Nichols

#TakeYourShot for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

Earlier today I performed a trick shot on behalf of http://takeyourshot.org/, which is raising money for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, located in Toronto.

#TakeYourShot is a social media campaign to raise money/awareness and they are encouraging athletes and sports enthusiasts to use whatever skills they have - football, basketball, darts, archery, bowling, javelin, axe throwing, etc to show off their skills and raise awareness/money for the PMCF.

The trick shot I chose to perform was "Two Arrows at Once", which I recorded at 120 frames per second on my cellphone and then slowed it down to 30 frames per second to show it in slow motion.



The video was made today (July 11th 2016) at the Toronto Archery Range. I spent half an hour before the filming practicing shooting two arrows at once, then handed my cellphone to a friend and we recorded the trick shot in one attempt. That first attempt was so good we didn't bother doing it over again.

The bow used was a three piece Samick Red Stag, which I have named "Ulmaster", draw weight 35 lbs. The arrows were Easton Power Flight 400s. The distance I was shooting at was approx. 20.5 yards (61.5 feet or 18.5 meters).

To donate to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation you can visit either: http://takeyourshot.org or http://www.thepmcf.ca/Ways-to-Give/Donate-Now.

ArcheryToronto.ca is also looking for people to submit links to YouTube videos of archery trick shots for the campaign so that people can get inspired and take part / donate.

Want to see more archery trick shots? Leave a comment below and a suggestion for another archery trick shot and I will see if it can be done.

Toronto Archery Photos a Hit

One Very Popular Photo
I recently received an email from Google notifying me that some photos of mine are extremely popular.

Years ago I submitted 5 photos to Google Maps in an effort to help boost the popularity of the Toronto Archery Range located at E. T. Seton Park.

Those photos have since apparently gone a bit viral, with over 300,000 views. Woot? Sure, what the heck. Woot!

During that time I have also seen attendance at the Toronto Archery Range skyrocket. Much of that is largely due to the Hunger Games and other film / TV franchises.

But the good people of Toronto wouldn't necessarily know we even have a public archery range. That is the real trick. The range is one of Toronto's best kept secrets, as the vast majority of people don't even know that the place exists.

When I first started going to that archery range in 2009 it was usually dead quiet there and you would be the only person there most of the time. On a busy day there would be maybe 3 people there, and they were the "regulars" and you would get to know them all by name.

During the height of the Hunger Games/etc visitors to the archery range exploded, with crowds of 15 to 30 people there regularly, or even 60+ on the really busy Saturday mornings.

So clearly the word that the place existed was getting out. Huzzah!

Last year it was so busy I found myself wistful for the quiet days back in 2011 and prior to that, when archery was comparatively less popular.

Recently visitors to the range has dropped off in 2016. A sign perhaps that the archery fad has slowed down a bit and only the true archery fanatics are sticking around.

However as the archery fad of the 1940s to early 1970s shows, these things come in stages. The 1940s-1970s fad lasted 4 decades, spawned largely due to all the Robin Hood movies in the 1940s. (There was literally dozens of them, beginning with the 1938 film "The Adventures of Robin Hood" starring Errol Flynn and showing the archery skills of Howard Hill.) The fad ended a few years after 1973, the year Disney made their animated version of Robin Hood. Deliverance in 1972 was also part of the same fad.

A brief archery fad in the 1980s sparked up after the making of the 2nd and 3rd Rambo movies. Another one followed with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991. A small one occurred after the first Lord of the Rings film in 2001.

But those fads were all relatively small. Especially compared to the decades long fad of the 1940s-1970s era.

In this era of smartphones, the internet, and cable television it is very difficult for people to get motivated to go outside - thus it is also more difficult for large numbers of people to get involved in an outdoor sport. We will likely never see an archery fad as big as the one which occurred between 1938 and 1975.

How to tell whether you are doing a good job as a personal trainer

#1. When your clients start bringing you "thank you gifts" and drinks for instructing them. Recently when a student gave me a gift of a large bottle of Belgian beer as a thank you gift for archery lessons. I have also received tips, gifts, thank you cards, and drinks (people have apparently discovered my love of chocolate milk).

#2. When your clients give glowing testimonials of your skill as a trainer. (Admittedly, most of my testimonials are about my skills as an archery instructor. A few are about personal training, boxing, swimming, ice skating, but the vast majority are archery testimonials.)

#3. When clients keep coming back for more and more sessions. This shows they really like what they are learning / doing and are seeing results. If they were not seeing results, they would not keep coming back for more.

#4. When a client recommends you to their friends. Word of mouth is great advertising and it shows when clients have so much fun that they are posting photos on Facebook and friends ask "Hey, how do I do that?" and they point their friends towards their trainer.

#5. When clients eventually reach the point they no longer need you, but sometimes still come to you anyway for advice. I would argue that this is ideal. Eventually clients should feel so satisfied with their results that they feel they no longer need the trainer, but will sometimes come back once in awhile with questions because they trust the trainer's ability to impart new ideas, knowledge and skills.

If I think of more examples in the future I will post them on here.

Also, more amusingly, if your clients keep quitting because they find your personality annoying, then it is probably a sign that you are not very good at your job.


Post #700 + Exercise Quotes

It has been awhile since I have made a post containing exercise quotes, and seeing as this is also the 700th post I felt it was time to do another Motivational Exercise Quotes post at the same time.

"Think working out is painful? Try liposuction and find out how painful that is."

"Anything worth having is worth working hard to get it."

"No one ever regrets being healthier."

"Every one breaks records when they strive to do their best - and beat their own records."

"The only way to have pride in yourself is to do something you didn't think you could do."

"Don't wait to make yourself a better person. Start today and become better by tomorrow."

"Sweating is easy. If exercising is hard, then it means you are making progress."

"Go outside. Do stuff you enjoy doing."

"Persistence doesn't come easily. You have to do it again and again and again."

"Even a baby can exercise. It is called baby steps."

"Facing challenges changes you - one step at a time."

"Exercise like you mean it."


A few statistics...

Since its first post CardioTrek.ca has been visited by over 1.6 million visitors, mostly from Canada and the USA.

Most of my clients live in Toronto, but the website gets visitors from around the world. Outside of North America, visitors are most likely to come from: United Kingdom, France, India, Germany, Australia, Russia, Taiwan + Mexico.

Not sure why CardioTrek is so popular in France, but sure. Whatever. I am okay with that. Might have something to do with the words "cardio trek", which means exactly the same thing in French. Apparently I picked a name that was perfectly bilingual. Maybe in the future I should make CardioTrek bilingual so it is also available in French? Hmm. Although truth be told my Korean is better than my French.

Archery Trivia

France has over 72,000 registered archers. More than any other European nation. France even has more archers than the USA.

There is a rumour (unsubstantiated) that French forces sometimes cut off two of the fingers of captured enemy archers so that they wouldn't be able to fight against the French later in the future. This supposedly led to the phrase the "Two Finger Salute", however there are many historians who question the accuracy of this rumour.

The phrase "keep it under your hat" speaks of an ancient tradition of archers keeping a spare bowstring under their hat so it doesn't get wet.

The phrase "playing fast and loose" refers to archery jargon for "fast" which was traditionally used to mean "stop shooting fast" and the word "loose", which means to loose your arrows at the enemy. "Playing fast and loose" thus originally meant a person who would stop and start things quickly.

The phrase "a bolt from the blue" refers to a person struck by a crossbow bolt launched from a long distance, coming out of the proverbial blue sky from an unknown crossbowman.

It could also be used to shoot broken or damaged arrows whenever the archer started running low on arrows.

1.5 Million Visitors to CardioTrek.ca

A few days ago the total number of visits to CardioTrek.ca surpassed 1.5 million. Not bad for a personal training website that gives away free advice / answers fitness questions, in addition to my personal training / sports training practice.

Most of that 1.5 million is from visitors in Canada / USA, and tiny fractions from other English speaking countries, and non-English speaking countries.

It would be interesting to know how many are actually from Toronto, my home turf. Three years ago in January I found stats on Alexa.com stating that CardioTrek was in the top 5000 websites in Toronto - which was when CardioTrek had merely 25,516 visitors. In contrast in January 2016, exactly three years later we recorded 58,495 visitors.

Numbers are nice, but more importantly is the fact that I am often fully booked 8 months of the year (November to February is the slow time of the year). Booked up so much that I have been raising my rates and cutting back a bit so I can have more free time. So I am obviously doing something right.

I am also frequently asked to appear in television shows. In the past year I appeared on:

CBC's "Marketplace", a piece about eggs / nutrition.

CityTV's "Athlete of the Week", a piece about my archery skills.

OLN's "Storage Wars Canada", during which I was asked to identify and estimate the value of a Bear Grizzly recurve bow (modified by the US-CDN exchange rate at the time).

So yeah, good times. Let the good times roll!

Should be interesting to see where my website / business is 4 years from now. Or 14 years from now.


Wanted - Sports Photographer in Toronto

For the past several years I have been trying to find a good sports photographer (in Toronto no less) with experience doing a variety of different photography styles.

For example:

Motion Capture Photography, like this tennis player in motion, by Jean Yves Lemoigne, who unfortunately lives in New York State. Pity. He is really good at what he does.


The one below of a male gymnast in motion isn't by Jean, but it is also really good.


Time Lapse Photography, which looks similar to Motion Capture but ultimately looks more like a blur. Depending on the length of the Time Lapse, it can be extremely blurry. Below is an example of Time Lapse Photography of cyclists.


Time Lapse Video, sounds similar to Time Lapse Photography above, except it is video in which only a few frames are captured so that when viewed it appears to be sped up so that you are seeing a longer period of time flashing before you in mere seconds. A good example of this is the GoPro videos that cyclists like to make showing their rides sped up, like the one below.



Slow Motion Video, like the video below which shows a variety of archers shooting and their arrows hitting targets in slow motion. Oh, and it is in HD. Huzzah!



Other forms of photography are also welcome, especially if it works well with the theme of sports.

Anywho, if you are a photographer in Toronto and are available for a short gig please contact me via cardiotrek@gmail.com. Send me your hourly rate and three examples of your past work (which may include links to YouTube videos in the event you have past experience doing slow motion or time lapse work).

Also note that I am a firm believer in paying people for work. None of this "it is good for your portfolio" nonsense. If you are doing a job, you deserve to get paid for it. End of story. Everyone has to make a living and artists deserve to be paid like everyone else.

Archery Christmas Ornament

Saw the Christmas ornament below while visiting relatives. Can you tell our family is really into archery?

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!


Five Rules for having a Merry Christmas from Cardio Trek

Below is Cardio Trek's Five Rules for having a Merry Christmas...

Rule #1. Eat lots of carrots. And veggies in general.


Rule #2. Enjoy the little things, no matter how small.


Rule #3. Reward yourself for all your hard work during the holiday season.


Rule #4. Pay attention to things that don't make sense. eg. Why does the reindeer in the image below look evil? You should avoid evil things during the holidays. Krampus for example.


Rule #5. Have a sense of humour. Because laughter is the best medicine.



:)

Archery Seniors Discount x2 = 10%

I have decided to permanently increase my Seniors Discount from 5% to 10%, doubling the discount.

My Normal Weekday Rates

1 Student
$60 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $170; 5 Lessons - $270; 10 Lessons - $520.

My Weekday Rates with Seniors Discount

1 Student
$54 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $153; 5 Lessons - $243; 10 Lessons - $468.  


Also please note that I am also offering Archery Gift Vouchers, so for anyone not sure what to get Grandpa or Grandma or your favourite Aunt / Uncle this Xmas, but you know they have an active lifestyle, maybe archers lessons is the way to go.


For those people wishing to purchase Archery Gift Vouchers for friends, family, co-worker, etc simply contact cardiotrek@gmail.com to begin the process. When you are done, give the Gift Voucher to the lucky person and they can redeem it at their leisure.

Archery Gift Vouchers come with a Voucher Number that is redeemable for archery lessons. You don't need the card to redeem it, just the voucher number. Vouchers have an expiry of 18 months after the date of purchase. No refunds. Vouchers have no cash value, but are transferable.



Notice to Spammers - Bugger off!

CardioTrek.ca cannot go a week without someone leaving a Spammy comment in the comments section, usually generic bla bla bla with a link at the end of the comment.

Unfortunately for the spammers, all of the comments are moderated. By me personally.

Which means I delete all the spam. None of it ever gets so much as a brief appearance on the final product that the public sees.

Sometimes, very rarely, a spammer actually tries to leave a comment that is meaningful and includes a link at the end of their comment. That is deleted too.

Basically, if it contains a link that is clearly meant as spam advertising, it gets deleted.

Now I do allow advertising on CardioTrek.ca, but I charge DOUBLE of what normal market rates for such advertising is - and I refuse to advertise anything like casinos, diet pills, bogus nonsense. So they have to first jump through the hoops of both credibility and morality, and once they have done so they have to pay double of normal market rates.

And furthermore, I charge a fee for guest posts - because that is still technically advertising. And if you don't like it and/or think you are providing me with a service, then clearly you should read Wil Wheaton's post about "free exposure". "Free content" from people who just want advertising, I don't care about. Complete waste of my time to even post their junk writing - which guests posts need to be the following:

  • High Quality Writing
  • Moral and Ethical (eg. not advertising casinos or cigarettes)
  • Credible + Not Obviously Bogus (eg. diet pills, health gadgets that don't work, etc)

Don't like my rules? Take your diet pills / shoddy writing and peddle it somewhere else. The back of a tabloids newspaper seems like a good place.

And because no notice posts should be left hanging without something funny, I give you the following photo on the topic of Roller Derby. :)


Note to Self - Personal Trainers and Sell Outs

Note to Self

If I ever become a sell out personal trainer who becomes so focused on selling books and DVDs that I am no longer providing free advice on my website, will someone please leave a comment on this post and remind me to stop doing that nonsense.

I am speaking of course of the "personal trainers" who apparently spend more time writing books and making DVDs (that very few people actually read or watch and often collects dust) than they do actually training people.

Also I should note, yes, I am currently writing a how-to book for archery, however I should note one of the reasons I am writing that book is because I am so busy I cannot teach everyone who is asking for archery lessons, so my plan is for whenever people have schedules that don't match mine, I can simply point them towards the book instead.

So I am not doing it for the money. I am doing it because I genuinely want to help people learn archery.

Also it is nice being on the CBC, CityTV, TSN, etc for archery clips because I enjoy promoting the sport - but I don't want to be doing that stuff full time. A few days ago I was contacted by a journalist student from Ryerson who is making a documentary about archery. Unfortunately their schedule didn't mesh with mine, so I couldn't help them.

So it is a matter of priorities and scheduling in my opinion.

Less than a month ago I was contacted by a television producer looking for someone for a reality TV show. With some trepidation I put my name in the hat of candidates, even though I despise reality shows. Does that make me a hypocrite? Maybe. But it also makes me realistic. The reality of the situation is that I would probably enjoy being on that show. If I don't enjoy it, I could go back to what I usually do.

Thus, note to future self: If I am not enjoying something, stop doing it and go back to what I do enjoy.

In other news, Happy Halloween! Below are some zombie archery targets, both 3D and 2D.





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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