Archive for October, 2012

What a busy weekend!


This past weekend was one of the most challenging for me, because I decided to squeeze in so many events in one day. But I attended all of them and fared pretty well in each.

First Stop: Enbridge CN Tower Stair Climb for United Way
I’m not a morning person, so waking up at 5am was a challenge enough as it is. I didn’t have a lot of time to make myself a decent breakfast before I was supposed to meet my friends downtown for 7am to register for the climb, so I decided to grab some McDonald’s. That was my first mistake. But I would rather have a sausage and egg McMuffin in my belly, then climb up 1,776 steps on an empty stomach. I made it up the the tower in 25:02 minutes… Exactly 3 minutes off from my very first climb back in April.
Now I can blame the McDonald’s I ate, the lack of training, or even my old age, but I’m still proud of myself for getting up those steps without taking a single break for a breather! By the time I got my t-shirt and stuff from coat check it was just after 8:30am.

Second Stop: National Women’s Show
I’m a devout fan of this annual exhibit for women. This is truly the ultimate girls day out. The show started at 10am. since it was in the same vicinity as the stair climb I was able to get there early enough to secure my free goodie bag. I had wrangled up 10 of my girl friends to accompany me and we had a blast. Got some great deals and freebies on food, fashion and wellness. Even got to see Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott from The Young and the Restless). My shoulders were aching by the end of our visit because off all the bags-o-stuff, but it was worth it. Left there at about 3:30pm, because I needed to get home, clean up and change for the Bachata Social later that evening.

Last stop: Kings of Bachata “Love & Hate” Dance Social
Hosted by The Bachata and Toronto Latin I was super excited for this social dance event. Bachata is definitely my favourite dance since I’ve started Latin dancing. To have a wide array of instructors under one roof helped display social comradery among the salsa scene in Toronto. I got there around 7pm and several DJs played a nice selection of bachata and salsa. I even got a good kizomba lesson during one of the workshops.
What I was looking forward to was the Jack and Jill Freeze Competition. The object of the competition/game is to dance to randomly selected bachata songs, with randomly selected dance partners. The “freeze” addition to the game has the music stop, and the last person to freeze their bachata pose gets booted from the competition until one couple remains. As the competition went on, the remaining couple’s dance technique became just as important as their “freezability”, and I’m happy to say that my partner and I won the competition! It was great getting cheered on by my salsa friends. I am now the lucky owner of a Sony Reader (now I can start reading books again).

What an eventful Saturday!

I Must Be Crazy: I’m Climbing up the CN Tower Again


I might as well make good use of my agility and metabolism while I’m young, ’cause heaven knows I won’t be climbing up 1,776 steps 20 years from now.

That’s correct, I’m taking on the challenge of the CN Tower Stair Climb again–this time for United Way. Last April, I was able to climb up the equivalent of 144 stories and reach the observation deck in just over 22 minutes. This Saturday morning I sincerely hope that I beat my personal best, because if I don’t I’m probably going to feel like it’s all downhill from here!

My training comprised of a few different activites last Spring, but this year I didn’t get much of a chance to. I did manage a basketball game (I was so afraid of getting injured again), and some salsa dancing to get the blood flowin’ this week though. I may do a session of Turbo Jam tomorrow night, so we’ll see how it goes.

What’s strange is that I’ll be spent by the end of Saturday, because I also have to tackle the National Women’s Show and a giant Latin dance social that same day! Sometimes I wonder how I do it. I may need some Red Bull stashed close by just in case.

If you’d like to sponsor me (100% of the money raised goes directly to the United Way), please follow this link.

By sponsoring me, you’re helping support a network of community-based health and social service agencies located across Toronto. Click here if you would like to find out more about how your generosity can help.

Thanks in advance!

World Poutine Eating Championship


Fries, cheese curds and gravy went flying today at Yonge-Dundas Square as contestants took part in the third annual World Poutine Eating Championship. Only in Canada.

Hosted by Smoke’s Poutinerie, eaters from around the world faced off at eating the most poutine in 10 minutes.

The winner of the Amateur competition downed 7 1/4lbs of poutine in 10 6 minutes, and walked off with free poutine for a year (though I could’ve sworn the emcee mentioned ‘for life’). Either way, that’s a whole lot of poutine.

I forgoed picking up a box of the free poutine they were giving away (the line was way too long anyway), and stuck around for the Professional competition. People of all shapes and sizes were lined up ready to take on the title. Who would’ve thought that the petite Meredith Boxberger of Barrie, Ontario would garner 6th place over all those burley looking men?

The winner of the Professional competition was Joey Chesnut, who ate a whopping 19 boxes of Smoke’s Poutinerie poutine. He got himself a nice $2000 cash prize,  a retro-looking trophy, and bragging rights as the poutine-eating champion of the world.

Watching these people shove poutine in their mouths is a visual I’ll never forget. I love my poutine, but after today’s display I may not be eating it for a while.


Work to Live, Don’t Live to Work


I was at the local convenience store today buying my Lotto Max ticket (fingers crossed). After being in awe of my current hairstyle, the conversation the cashier started with me somehow drifted to work habits between people in North America and those overseas.

It’s not a secret that Europeans have longer vacations than those of us in Canada and the U.S. And it’s clear that obesity in the U.S. is a growing issue, which is even more reason why more people should spend some time with active extra-curricular activities such as sports.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard complaints from friends who’s been inundated with requests from their superiors, even though they all go beyond the call of duty already. I know the economy is tough and feeling the pressure to do so much in order to keep your job can be a challenge.

This year I made myself a promise not to overwork myself like I have in past years. I know I can’t please everyone, and saying “no” to requests every once in a while won’t hurt. People need to know that you’re not superman.

I’ve rewarded myself with a few getaways in 2012, because I knew I deserved them. I’ve been joining various sports teams in order to stay active and healthy. Working too much can lead to stress, and you can make yourself physically sick if you don’t treat your body and mind with the respect that it deserves.

So to all you readers out there: take a break every once in a while. Take a walk during your lunch break instead of eating at your desk. Join a social sports league to keep yourself active after work. Spend more time with your family and friends. These little changes will help you live a more balanced life.

Here’s hoping I win that 50 million in tonight’s draw so that I can take the vacation of a lifetime!