O.K. I've gotta admit it. Some days it's been damned tough
to persuade my body to get out there and log double-digit
Ks through the Mississauga tundra.
sidewalks, dark streets, and cruelly frigid winds that seems
to lie in wait until I emerge from my warm nest -- they're
all working me over, wearing me down, sapping my will.
in sluggish legs that whine, complain and keep trying to turn
my body towards home, and you've got a recipe for apathy.
yes, I haven't been 100 per cent lately. The right thigh's
been moaning and the groin's been a-groanin' since December.
In January, a 10K lunchtime trudge along Toronto's lakeshore
left me whimpering on a stool outside my locker. It was like
someone took a ping-pong paddle to my upper thigh every other
pictured myself sitting on the shelf - long enough to keep
me from courting Lady Boston again, come April.
some head scratching. Read a tealeaf or two. Devised a two-pronged
one: Headed back to my athletic therapist's table for another
round of pounding, pummeling and acu-puncturing. Leaving my
leg in the hands of a pro was a no-brainer.
two, I was a little less comfortable with. Put it this way:
if Don Cherry believed that some athletes don't wear skates
and carry sticks, he'd still be ragging me for being a wimp.
This Canadian boy decided to take much of his training indoors.
the past couple of years, I've run outdoors wearing shorts
at least once in every month of the year. But this year -
it's been like one of those winters from my days as a kid
in Montreal. You know, when your lips freeze to the swing
taking more than a couple of generations to breed the Mediterranean
out of this guy.
when the temperature has bordered on mild, winter has found
ways of penetrating layers of clothing. And the groundhog's
been no help, either.
reluctantly took out a membership at the Mississauga YMCA.
They've got this 200-metre track. Indoors. No wind, no ice,
no slush, no drivers overcome with some inexplicable need
to swerve at runners as they juggle cigarettes, coffee, doughnuts
it's a trade-off. A hundred laps of a 200-metre track can
be mind-numbingly boring - unless there's an aerobics class
in view. Like a colleague suggested, "Why not just nail
your left foot to the floor and run in a circle?" The
scenery doesn't really change much. How do you know you really
it outside, though, and 20K in Mississauga means you've run
through two or three different eco-systems.
a funny thing happened while I was circling that little indoor
track. The ping-pong paddles left me alone. The sluggishness
slipped from those leaden legs. Those kilometres were piling
up at a more reasonable rate - all without the fear that I
would lose my footing and aggravate that right leg.
amazing what a few days' rest, several treatments and a gradual
return to normal training can do. No, I'm still not 100 per
cent. But confidence is returning. I'm less concerned that
those long - outdoor - Sunday runs are going slower than they
were this time last year.
all part of a process. One on which Lady Boston may smile.
At least that's what the inner wimp is saying.
story, Peter. I am a father of three and starting to be a
doe boy. Your story was well written and an inspiration to
some of us. I just started basketball with grey hair boys
last week, I feel your pain.
I am from the Caribbean Islands too and, yes, that tropical
weather decades later still hasn't flushed out of me. You
are a brave man, I still can't get my backside out in the
cold, and instead I honk at the men and women that jog in
my neighborhood and smile with a thumbs-up. Some of them think
I am some crazy driver but most others understand that it
is a vote of confidence.
I think one thing most of take for granted is our health;
we are too busy with work and the kids ... of course making
excuses for why we can't do it. We don't realize until someone
keels over with a heart attack and dies that we are only here
for a short time, and that short time just gets shorter every
day we don't exercise. We also don't realize how lucky we
are to have health that allows us to do normal things like
walking and running.
keep it up, you got this wimp/ whiner getting out. I am probably
10 years younger but I do appreciate your article. It would
be nice to see more of these articles to inspire Canadians
to get out. Last week in Ottawa one of the writers from the
Citizen went on the South Beach diet and lost 20
pounds in a month. This has inspired my wife and I to give
it a try.
you can get some other high-profile anchors or writers to
do the same. My apologies for the long email.