Tag Archives: personal

For My Heart, Day 17-20: Dogs and Zombies

awesome pit bull

Meet Maverick, owner of the Changing Laws for Paws founder

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” – Charles M. Schultz

I recently teamed up with an organization called Changing Laws for Paws. Dedicated to repealing Breed Specific Legislation in Ontario, they also educate Canadians on what some consider ‘dangerous’ dog breeds. As the Director of PR & Communications, along with copious amounts of research (and coffee, I’m afraid) I’ve been on the lookout for the best way to tell the stories of loving dog owners and their beautiful K9 companions. Pondering on a walk with my pup, I quickly snapped out of it to see a snappy little terrier snarling at us, and looked up to see a visibly embarrassed owner beg and plead with her adorable, terro–err–terrier to cut it out. She then complimented my dog on how well behaved he was, and how she “just didn’t know what to do with him.” This is not the first time I’ve seen this woman, nor will it be the last (she lives on my street), and so I can safely say she has the classic markings of an enabler. “I love him, he’s like my child, and I think he’d come back to me the way yours does when he’s off leash on the field, but I just don’t know,” all the while stroking him while he snarled (in other words, unknowingly praising him for his territorial behaviour). It was just reason #453 as to why BSL legislation simply doesn’t make any sense. A dog owner is responsible for the training and well being of their dog. There are facts to prove that BSL hasn’t reduced dog bites AT ALL. And so, I believe I’ll soon be starting a series on “Holy terrors: when little dogs attack” with a focus on ‘harmless’ dog breeds going after ‘dangerous’ dog breeds, to show that any dog has the ability to have poor manners.

World War Z, Brad Pitt...man, he's still got it.

World War Z, Brad Pitt…man, he’s still got it.

Anyways, the next night, our team went to see World War Z. It was a very impressive 3D film. I’d go as far as saying it’s the most well made 3D film I’ve seen to date. The entire thing was polished, terrifying, entertaining, edgy…and educational. One part in particular stood out for me (not a spoiler I promise). I’ll just say that there was a moment where someone was describing group dynamics, and how they always employed one person to research the opposite of whatever a team consensus was on any given topic handed to them. This encouraged the team to look at an issue from all angles, despite, actually because of, popular opinion. Going forward, we’re going to be using it as a best practice for our own organization. Who knew that a zombie movie would teach us how to not act ‘zombie-like’ in business!

roses, nature, scenery

Take some time to stop and smell (or at least admire) the roses

Today, the dog and I stopped to smell the roses as we took a 4.8k stroll to my mother’s house to pay her and my chocolate lab a visit. I live in a small city, and people tend to complain quite a bit about the ‘lack’ of things to do. Admittedly, I’ve done my share of complaining, but the overarching message in this blog is that I am learning how to appreciate the things around me for what they are: fantastic learning experiences. From the past to the present, from the scenery, to a movie scene, to simply enjoying a walk with the puppy. And you stay in the now, have gratitude, and are curious, there’s nothing you can’t draw inspiration from. **steps off soap box**

What ‘little things’ inspire you?

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For My Heart, Day 16: The Distance

Prince William Park Trail

“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach

13 laps = 5.2k

13 laps = 5.2k

Going the extra mile is so much easier when you’re amongst great four-legged company, beautiful weather, and have a goal in place that encourages you to move forward. I decided to ramp things up today by pushing a little harder in my running intervals. During them, I realized that I want someone in life who will run with me, not go a mile ahead and wait, take the other fork(s) in the road, run circles in mockery, or stay behind. It just makes the journey so much more fun. The thing is, you can’t take everyone who comes into your life with you, no matter how much you might want to. And what I know for sure is that in this life, the truth is permanent, and everything else falls to the wayside. Consider keeping that in mind to eliminate worry and doubt in every area of your life. As for me, I’m going to continue to push for more, and celebrate with the people who choose to do the same.

dogs, smiles, track, sunshine

6 laps = 2.4k

I should add that yesterday Jagger and I did get out, and it was awesome until our efforts were thwarted by soccer practice on the field our favourite track encircles. Oh well!

What does it take for you to go the distance?

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For My Heart, Days 8-15: Going Off Track to Get Back on Track

Benjamin Franklin, electricity, kite, key

“Well done is better than well said.” – Benjamin Franklin

Progress is a process, and during these past few days, I dedicated my time towards moving forward with career plans. I have amazing mentors, and a lot of knowledge is currently being put into motion. Yet ironically, one of the greatest lessons I learned is that some of my best ideas pop into mind during walks and jogs. So never again will I not find an hour of time to carve out for a time to sweat and reflect. Physical movement lends to mental movement, and with that kind of value, it’s ridiculous to even consider taking another week off from the routine. I can already tell the puppy is elated with this revelation.

What do you do to “jog” your creativity?

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For My Heart, Day 7: Sunshine

Sunshine

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman

What a glorious day. There’s something about sunny weather that cleanses the soul. And every time I think of Walt Whitman, I’m reminded of The Notebook, one of my favourite movies. Sunshine + Ryan Gosling? Endorphins were running high before I even got out on the track.

Ryan Gosling

I remember receiving a text once upon a time with the message “your favorite movie” (American spelling intended). It had a picture of a notepad with a post-it stuck on the front with “The Notebook” written on it. It’s little things like that, that put a smile on my face to this day…I don’t know why, but it reminds me of this line in Noah’s last letter to Allie:

And if in some distant place in the future we see each other in our new lives, I will smile at you with joy and remember how we spent a summer beneath the trees learning from each other and growing in love.

Jagger, day 7

Anyways, I could have gone for a much longer trip around the track today, but my canine companion tapped out. Guess there’s a first time for everything. Taking advantage of the momentum, however, I fit in a quick strength training session to round out the workout.

What are some of the little things that make you smile?

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For My Heart, Day 5 & 6: Woofstock and Mark Twain

Mark Twain and Blue

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” – Mark Twain

Woofstock 2013

Woofstock 2013

What better way to spend a Sunday than amongst good friends, in a great city, with hundreds of happy dogs? Woofstock, the largest festival for dogs in North America, was the place to be for canine/human combos this weekend. The turnout was incredible. From Afghans to Hairless Mexicans, to my personal favourite, Chocolate Labrador Retrievers, St. Lawrence Market in Toronto had truly gone to the dogs in a great way. While we did witness a few unsavoury actions by careless owners, I’m choosing to focus on the paws-itive things: we got in a ton of walking, people/dog watching, and free swag.

Rain

Today’s weather was in stark contrast to the loveliness we experienced yesterday. Days like this are perfect for curling up and reading some Mark Twain. He always gets me thinking about relationships. Things like how it’s possible that a man will ‘bite’ you, no matter how good you are to him. And that putting energy towards making yourself the best person you can be is far more productive than trying to change someone.

With those thoughts, I had excess energy to burn and opted for strength training. Since I’m wary of re-injuring my knee, I gave my dad a call (he’s a personal trainer) and then took to the interwebz to search for visuals to his recommendations on exercises that build muscle around the knees. I came across this great article on box squats from a really cool blog. What do you do to stay focused, despite the ‘rain’?

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For My Heart, Day 4: Happier Skies

Walt reads to Mickey

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney

I never want a future partner to wonder if he cares more about me than I do about myself, be it by my inaction, laziness, or indifference. I’ve let it happen, and the repercussions truly felt like a kick in the teeth. Man, did it hurt. I want my happily ever after, but thankfully Walt also knows how to put tough lessons into perspective.

IMG_20130608_194419

Bluer skies, awesome puppy, and 6 laps = 2.4k…not too shabby

Keeping that in mind, I marched onto the track with my favourite running partner, Jagger, and looked up to see happier looking skies break through the storm clouds. Coincidence? Nah, I prefer to think of it much more poetically.

It’s amazing how a strong resolve gives you a newfound purpose. It requires action, and action creates momentum. Momentum leads to progress. And isn’t that what happiness is, progress? Even if it’s baby steps, a step forward feels so much better than being at a standstill.

That’s why I made another resolution to mark my laps by hand from here on out. It’s just so much more rewarding that way. Moving forward. Feels good, man.

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For My Heart, Day 3: “Yezzir”

Pharrell Williams

“No incision in my vision just to get me where I’m at. That means I didn’t compromise; I stayed me for you. I stayed me for you.” – Pharrell Williams

“You don’t go for no ordinary Joe,” my mom said one time while I was professing my love for Pharrell Williams. I have to admit, she’s right.

As I set out to brave the sinister clouds threatening overhead for my daily trek around the track, the ‘why’ of it suddenly hit me. It’s because Pharrell really means it: everything he does sounds, feels, and looks like it’s from the heart.

13 laps = 5.2k

Those are the types of human beings I’m most attracted to. The sincere ones. The ones with passion. The ones whose creativity is intrinsic. They enchant me.

Maybe it’s because I feel like I can relate to them. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an insatiable curiosity for things. I could read before kindergarten, started playing piano at age 6, not because I was some kind of baby genius, but because I loved it. Spending hours just doing scales, or reading novels start to finish, or writing…it was, and still is, euphoria.

My Yamaha Clavinova, 20 years young

So when my heart and mind drifts to something in the past, it’s very unsettling. Can’t move forward if you’re holding onto something that’s behind you, right? Regaining balance is the reason why today I simply didn’t mind the rain pelting down on me as I methodically moved around the track, listening to some of my favourite tracks.

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