Sunday, January 03, 2016

Make It Now Again

Oh, hello there, 2016. Didn't see you hiding behind that loudmouth with the stupid hair. Anyhoo, this is the post where I go on about all the great New Year's resolutions I'm not going to keep this year. I did it last year and I'm pretty sure I went 0-for the lot of them. There were reasons, of course. There are always reasons.

The year started off with a thud because I wasn't running. I took a few months off to take care of my sore heels. Instead of doing the usual physical therapy route, which hadn't worked the last few times, I went to an exercise physiologist recommended by some runner friends of mine. She determined that my glutes and hips were too tight, causing a lot of the issues with my feet, so she had me do a series of stretches to address them. And sure enough, it worked. I was running pain free by March. But then I stopped doing the stretching, and within a month or so, the pain returned. I eventually figured out I had to keep stretching; I couldn't stop even after I was running again. So after another visit in July, the physiologist got me back on the right track. It took a little while but I was able to get back to the point where I was pretty much running without pain by the late fall. The only problem was I was about 10 pounds heavier than I was a year ago, so the speed I had last year was gone. I tried to cut out some of the junk and actually got through November without eating so much as a single piece of candy. But then came the holidays and I started eating like crap again as well as drinking a lot of beer courtesy of the great Beer Advent calendar Deb gave me.

Thus, one goal (not a resolution) is to drop 15-20 pounds and get back to running at the pace I was in 2013-2014, when I was as fast as I ever was because I had dropped a bunch of weight at the end of 2012. Once again, I'm trying to cut out as much sugar as possible (no desserts, no candy, no soda), eat more fruits and vegetables and reduce the beer intake. I think it's an achievable goal.

Another resolution I made last year was to write more, especially here on this blog. I had mentioned the idea of posting in the morning, but I quickly discovered that my brain's not exactly firing on all cylinders first thing in the a.m. And once again the non show-related posts were few and far between. Although by year's end, I WAS writing more...just not here. Both were to be collaborative efforts where I was going to be pitching in along with other writers. One was the revival of the Cold As Ice hockey column that Stephen Mapes and I wrote for Popblerd a few years back; Stephen suggested we revive it as a blog for this NHL season and I agreed and built a WordPress blog for it. But after the first joint post we did, it's been all me (with some nice contributions from my buddy Phil Stacey), and unfortunately, I haven't done as much as I would have liked. But I'm hoping to pick up the pace a bit in the second half of the season. The other project was an idea that proposed on Facebook for the great Popdose site about Canadian AOR artists of the '70s and '80s. I was enthused and it appeared like it would be me and two other writers contributing to it. Then it was two of us. And now it's just me, but that's okay. The series is called EhOR and it's pretty fun to do; it's also very cool to be posting for Popdose, a site I've admired for years. I was hoping to do one post a week or even every other week, but there's a decent amount of research required, so it's more like once a month. I've done three posts so far (on April Wine, Coney Hatch and Max Webster) and am working on the next one (on Triumph). It's more of a nostalgia thing for me, looking back at old Canuck acts I used to dig when I was a kid (and eventually, I'll be getting into bands I know little about).

And there's still the other stuff: I recently passed the 400th episode of my podcast Completely Conspicuous. I'll admit that partway through last year, I was entertaining thoughts of ending the show. It was becoming a chore and I was starting to question the point of continuing. But I ended the year on a strong note and have been rejuvenated a bit. Not saying I won't change my mind, but I'm forging ahead for now. The radio show, Stuck In Thee Garage, probably requires the most work of anything of the extracurricular shizz I do, but dammit, I love doing it. It's also a blast to see doing so well; I'm proud to be a small part of it. And I'm still enjoying writing the running column for the Salem News. Plus, there's also the fact that it's the only of these things I do in my spare time for which I actually receive compensation. But as much as I'd love to do this stuff full time, I know full well that having a full-time gig is the only way I can do things like the podcast and radio show. If it was about the money, that would be one thing. These are fun things I can do while also being here for my family and doing thing like coaching soccer, running road races and playing hockey.

The other night, we were at a New Year's Eve party and a friend asked Deb what my actual job was, since I was so busy with all this other stuff. It's a valid question, but I guess the answer is I have a lot of interests and I'm not content to just come home and watch TV (I mean, I do that, too, but still...).

It should be an interesting year. Hannah's going to start high school in the fall (WHAT?) and I'm going to be a year away from the big 5-0, which is just too crazy to think about right now. But I'm healthy, my family's healthy and happy, work is going well and I don't have a whole lot to complain about. There's even hope for my usually hopeless sports teams: the Jays made the playoffs for the first time in 22 years last fall and should at least contend this year and the Leafs' endless rebuilding project is actually making progress (and the Pats won the Super Bowl last year; not sure about this year, though). Of course, the state of the world is another thing, but let's not get depressed right now.

MAKE IT NOW! (Again.)

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