Soul Met Mate


It was a normal November evening seven year ago when I received an unusual friend request on my Facebook page. It was from a name I didn’t recognize…at all. But I accepted it because a note attached to the request said that she read my blog, so I figured it couldn’t be such a bad thing. After I accepted the friend request, a message then arrived in my inbox: 

“Glad to see that my friend request wasn’t creepy.   :)

Yes, I *do* worry about those kinds of things. heh”

My response?


No…it wasn’t creepy at all.



And thus began a 90+ message frenzy that was the beginning of something very special.

Nov 24 2008

I wish I could say something like, “Little did I realize that seven years later blah blah blah…” but I can’t. Why? Well, quite frankly, I knew from the very beginning that she was “the one”. I know that sounds crazy, and for a little bit I almost scared Sunshine away…but the fact of the matter is that I’ve known from the very beginning.

From our first couple of messages it was quite clear that there was a connection. As those couple of messages turned into couple DOZEN messages, and the hours turned into days turning into weeks, I absolutely knew that this girl was special. That what we shared wasn’t just a “shooting the breeze” type of friendship or relationship.

Actions speak louder than words, and there are very few words that I can say that can show Sunshine I love her more than I do on a daily basis. I married her because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. She makes me feel like I’ve never felt before in my life, and still does on a daily basis.

This woman is, without question, my soulmate.

And I know it’s probably cliche to toss that word around, but so be it. It’s true. As cheesy as it may sound: she completes me. She is the woman I was searching for my entire life. And we’ve battled through quite a bit of diversity over the past few years so we can be together, but I don’t think either one of us would change a single thing.

The obstacles that we’ve had to overcome during the past seven years have made us realize just how great of a thing we have together. Because we’ve fought and scratched and clawed our way to happiness, we don’t take anything that we share for granted.

Not a single moment.

So as we spend this anniversary together, I’d like to reflect back on our years together in pictures. I’m sure you’ll see one constant in these pictures…

…our love.

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Don’t Be Afraid & Open Your Heart

AftermathWe are one week removed from one of the worst terrorist attacks of the modern era. 

ISIS immediately claimed responsibility for the multiple attacks. Unfortunately, this ended up sending shockwaves through social media and resulted in some of the absolute worst parts of human nature rising to the surface.

American politicians looking to be the next president of the United States decided to use this attack as a way to help create an agenda for their platform. ISIS needs to be the “new war”. Instead of withdrawing troops from the Middle East…we should be sending more and ridding the world of this global terrorist faction. In addition, both Canadian and American politicians decided to use this as a reason to call for a closure of North American borders to all Syrian refugees. 

I cannot begin to tell you how many of my friends on Facebook posted hateful, bigoted posts towards the Muslim community. And do not even get me started on Twitter…because that is the place where hatred can build to near riot levels in a very short period of time.

Muslim populationIt saddens me to see so many people quick to judge an entire group of people for the actions of a few. Are all Muslims  terrorists? Of course not. While trying to find information on the Paris attacks last Friday night on Twitter, I found a tweet that really caught my eye. I cannot even fathom what it would be like to be this person; both anonymous to the world and hated by the world at the very same time for something that you had nothing to do with.

This is the tweet:

Let’s think about that for a minute. Less than 1% of the Muslim population is affecting how the entire world views that population. These radical psychos are getting what they want because the general population is beginning to show some very ugly colours.

Can you imagine if the rest of the world saw how a group of Christians treated black people during the era of slavery? Where all white Christian people racists? No… of course they weren’t. 

So why, in this day and age, are so many people so very quick to claim an entire population pretty horrific actions of a few? This is the time in humanity where we all need to actually SHOW our humanity. The racist comments of a the online population are exactly what ISIS wants out of this.

KoranThink about it…what is the purpose of terrorism? It is to make people fear for the unknown. In this case, the unknown is the Muslim community. Because there are so many questions about their religion and their faith that the vast majority of of the non-Muslim population simply do not understand, it causes fear and anger and hatred.

I do not blame people for their ignorance. They are who they are and there’s nothing I can do to change that. All I can do is ensure that my family and especially my children understand the reality of the situation. What is that reality? To me, the reality is that the human race is at a crossroads right now. Terrorism is causing everyone to question exactly what the definition of humanity actually is.

Should we simply ignore everybody that we don’t understand? Should we hate the population because of the actions of a few? Do we build a wall across the border simply because the actions of a few are affecting how people perceive the majority?

I'm a Muslim...I, for one, refuse to give in to the fear. I do not care about your race, your religion, your sex, your sexual preference, or anything else that may defined you or make you different from me. I will extend my hand in friendship unless you turn out to be an asshole. I cannot imagine my world being one filled with hate and fear and ignorance. I simply will not allow myself to go down that road.

It is an extremely scary world that we are living in right now. And yes, I am afraid of the terrorists. I am not afraid, however, of other members of the human race. Like or dislike someone for who they are; not who you perceive them to be.

The Personal Training Session

Personal Training
On a recent trip to GoodLife Fitness, my wife and I walked in and were waived over by a one of the personal trainers. He asked us if we wanted to “Spin The Wheel”, which would give us a free personal training session of a specific type (ex: cardio, stretching, strength, core, etc.).

Spin The WheelOf course this was something that we both wanted to try. I spun first and got a core workout. I was asked if this was something I was interested in, and I confirmed that it was, but where I was kind of a beginner I was willing to do whatever it was that he wanted to recommend.

My wife spun the wheel and got strength training, which was exactly what she was hoping for. Where she is a marathon runner, her legs are powerful and strong already. The rest of her upper body, however, does not get the same type of attention (though I think she’s still got “guns”…heh).

Personal TrainerI was called the night before by the personal trainer to remind me of the session the following day, which I thought that was extremely polite and helpful. Of course, I was looking forward to the session anyway but I didn’t mind the reminder at all.

I walked in and saw my trainer working with somebody else. He told me that he was “double booked”, but had found someone else to do the session with me. The trainer that I was then introduced to was named Scott. He had just happened to come in an hour before his shift and was more than willing to help me out with a training session.

Because this was all so last minute for him, Scott asked me what I was looking to get out of the training session. I gave him full disclosure about how I got the session and the blog I would be writing about it. I did not want him to get any false hope that this one session could turn into multiple others down the road (I’m pretty happy with the course I’m currently on).

Scott asked me what I thought was more important to me: strength training, stretching, or circuit training. I told him that I was feeling comfortable with the 20 Minutes Fit Fix, so my weakest area was with stretching.

Wake up workoutOver the course of the next hour, Scott put me through a pretty grueling stretch workout. I learned proper techniques for push-ups, squats, thigh stretches, and planking. The great thing about it was that these stretches could be done in the comfort of my own home on the days I wasn’t at the gym. With proper technique, I was told that these could be just as good as a cardio workout.

Once we had finished stretching, he had me work on a couple more of the circuit machines just to make sure that I had proper technique down. Once it was all finished, I had quite the sweat going so I felt that it was an hour well spent.

There are numerous reasons to go with a personal trainer. If you know what you want to do with your body, they are trained to help you get the most out of whatever you’re doing to reach your ultimate personal goal. The training sessions are not free, but if you can afford them they are probably worth every single penny.



This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Admitting I’m Losing The Battle

This is gonna be a long one…

As I mentioned in Monday’s blog post, I have been finding difficulty motivating myself to work out on a regular basis. Unfortunately, there is much more to that then just being lazy and sitting on the couch.

A few weeks ago I had an interview with a company that could’ve turned into a great job and a potential career for me. I had a good feeling leaving the interview and, thankfully, they called me in for a second interview that also went extremely well.

I didn’t hear from this company for a couple of weeks after that second interview, so I just assumed that they went in another direction. As a way to confirm, though, I reached out to them and asked for some feedback on the interview. The next day I was called and asked to come in for a third interview. I was told that there was some kind of miscommunication and they were still very interested in speaking with me. I felt really good about this and looked forward to the interview.

Needless to say, things went extremely well. In fact, I was contacted a couple of days later and asked to provide my references for them to contact.

I waited an entire week without hearing anything from them after that. To say I was puzzled and disappointed would be an understatement. They got my references on a Friday, so I waited until two weekends later before reaching out again. On that Monday, 10 days later, I asked them if they were going to make a decision in a particular time frame.

The phone call I received the next day has affected me in a very negative way ever since.

I was told that my references were excellent and that I interviewed extremely well. I was also told that they saw me is a great fit for a better job within their company, but that job was currently unavailable at this time. 

I was then informed that I was not seen as a good fit for the position that they wanted to create. NOT the position that I interviewed for, mind you…but the position that they had yet to create internally. Confused? Me, too.

Let me try to summarize: I was great for the position that the advertised for, but at some point during the hiring process they decided that the position was not what they needed for their organization. Therefore, I was no longer a good fit.


I was told that once they decided what they wanted from this position that they would re-post for it, so if I saw it online I wouldn’t need to apply. They said that if they decided this new position ended up having a career trajectory that lead to that OTHER position that they thought I was a good fit for (but was unavailable), then they would give me a call. 

Have you got all that? Believe me… I’m confused just trying to explain it.

I had myself a “pity party” that day and Sunshine knew that I had to do it. She didn’t fight me on it, but knew that I had to snap out of it the next day and put my “big boy pants” back on. 

I tried. I really, really tried. I told myself that I was okay. I told her that I was okay. But the fact of the matter is that I really wasn’t okay at all.

I fully realize that I did not do anything wrong in the interview process. I fully realize that there was nothing wrong with me, but rather it was the unique situation within this company. The problem, though, is that I still used it as an excuse to revert back to the old CBG and eat food as a way to make myself feel better (even if it was temporary). On more than one morning, I drove my wife to work and the kids to school and then stopped at a Tim Hortons on the way home. As I entered last weekend, for whatever reason, I was still battling a depressive funk in addition to feeling guilty about eating crap during the week. My self-confidence was severely rattled.

Over the weekend, during my visit with Ankle Biter, I ended up eating more junk food then I did over the entire previous week. For whatever reason, I thought that shoving food into my face would make me feel better about still being unemployed. 

As you can imagine, that didn’t end up happening.

As I sit and write this blog post I feel ashamed, disgusted, and horrified at how I have treated my body over the past few week. I need to snap out of this ASAP. I have had multiple issues with self sabotage over my lifetime, but up until this past week I really thought that I was moving in a forward trajectory. Not working for three months is really beginning to affect me in a very negative way. I am not angry or upset or feeling like I am to blame or the universe it out to get me or anything like that. I am just in a funk and I can’t seem to dig my way out of it.

I am really hoping that writing everything down and putting it all out there can get me to change my recent behaviors and habits. I deserve better than this. I lost over 20 pounds on my own during the summer after I was let go from my job. Why in the world, especially now that I have a gym membership to utilize with all the time I could ask for, would I decide to treat my body this way? I am better than this.

I can’t rely on others to motivate me. Sunshine is incredible…but she has her own things going on right now and can’t do for me what I should be doing…what I NEED to be doing…for myself.

So I feel that I am at the point where I’m starting all over again. I need to convince myself that this point in my life is not a bad thing. The universe has given me a great opportunity to grow as a person. This is also a great opportunity for me to find the long-term career that I have been searching for. Finally, this is the universe telling me this is a perfect opportunity to give myself in the best physical condition of my entire life.

I feel like an alcoholic who fell off the bandwagon last week. In that situation, though, what do they do? Do they continue to drink and go right back down that rabbit hole all over again? No…they go back to the meetings and start from Day One all over again.

My Day One was on Monday and I continued things along yesterday. And I will be damned if I let myself fall off the bandwagon again.

Let’s do this!


The Struggle Is Real – A One-Month GoodLife Fitness Membership Review

Goodlife Fitness 2About a month ago, I joined a Goodlife Fitness gym on a three month membership.  I thought it would be good to just recap the past month and let you all know how things have gone for me so far.

3 monthsThe first couple of workouts felt a little awkward, if I can be honest. I had never been inside of a gym before, so I didn’t really know what to do other then stepped on a treadmill and run. After a few more workouts, though, I began to feel a little bit more comfortable and walking into the gym wasn’t such a big deal anymore.

One of the things that always prevented me from joining a gym before was the thought that I would stick out like a sore thumb. I’m a “regular guy”…shaped like a pear and not in very good physical condition at all. I was so nervous about seeing nothing but big “muscle guys” and “beach bunnies” that I would psych myself out before I even gave it a legitimate chance. Thankfully, Goodlife Fitness attracts people of all different weights, sizes, and ages. When I walk into the gym now, I feel quite at ease.

GoodLife LifeChangerOver the course of the past month, I have received a LifeChanger session and, last week, I won a free training session through an in-house giveaway. That training session took place recently and I will talk about that later this week

The primary issue that Goodlife Fitness wanted me to tackle during my time as a “Blogger Ambassador” was finding the time to work out. Because I have been “in between jobs” over the past couple of months, finding the time to work out out during the day in non-peak hours has not been a problem.

005However, my wife and I both have a membership now and enjoy working out together whenever time allows. At this point, we have found that there are two nights every week that we can work out together when we do not have the girls in the evening. I won’t lie…it has not always been the easiest transition to pick my wife up after work, go immediately to the gym, workout, and then be back in time for supper and a video chat session with my son all before 8 PM.

Every other weekend, when the two of us have time together, we also have the opportunity to work out at the same time. So right now, if I were to begin working tomorrow, that means we would find about six or seven opportunities to work out in a two week span. I suppose that isn’t really too bad, it’s just difficult trying to squeeze everything into a very short amount of time.

20 Minute Fit FIxThankfully, both of us have learned to do the 20 Minute Fit Fix. This means that even if we don’t have a whole lot of time, we can still be in and out of the gym in less than one hour while getting a full body workout. That, my friends, is very appealing. 

As I enter my second month of membership with Goodlife Fitness, I plan to start spreading out to other gyms in the city. Over the past month, my wife and I have only visited one location and it has become our “home base”. I had originally requested a multiple location membership just so I could check out different locations and see if there were any real differences between the locations. I will provide more updates on that experience over the coming weeks.

To summarize…my first month of working out has been an enjoyable experience. I do not dislike going to the gym at this point, but I am still having difficulty finding the motivation to go on a regular basis.

That, however, is another blog post for another day.


The Struggle Is Real


This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own.


More Politics, More Problems

Trudeau & StreisandThere has been a TON of talk over the last few weeks about Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Some of you non-Canucks may recognize the last name and that would be because Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau,  was Canada’s Prime Minister from 1968-79 and from 1980-84. He dated singer Barbara Streisand and actress Margot Kidder during his time as a “swinging young bachelor”…so some people may remember the name.

Anyway…Trudeau’s Liberal party swept across the country to gain a majority government back in the October 19th election. Of course, it’s not really his policies or party promises that has taken the world by storm…it’s his good looks.Justin Trudeau 2

And yes, I will fully admit that Justin Trudeau is a good looking man. That can’t be denied. And no, he may not have the most experience when compared to the other politicians who were trying to be the country’s leader. At 43 years of age, it would be like a guy I graduated high school with now leading the country…which either says I’m really young or really old, depending on who you ask.

Here’s the thing…I think he’s smart enough that the Liberal party agreed that he could lead them in the federal election. I also think he’s smart enough to surround himself with those who are smarter than him so he can learn from them and lead the country (he has said as much in interviews). And let’s face it…the United States hasn’t always had the smartest men leading the country (ummm…Bush, Jr, anyone?), but the key to being a great leader (I think) is to surround yourself with great people. If Trudeau can do that, then he can do great things for Canada.

But I don’t even care what his policies are. This is a man who is as “normal” and as “modern” and as likeable as any politician you will ever see. THAT is why he was elected…people simply like the guy and can relate to him in some way. Just as an example, check out this “behind-the-scenes” piece done on the day that he was sworn into office as Prime Minister:

Now let me make this very clear…this ISN’T a “pro-Trudeau” or “pro-Liberal” blog post. I don’t like diving head-first into politics because it’s really a very personal and “touchy” subject. What I do want to mention is the way the rest of the world has been reacting to him…specifically the United States.

Just look at some of the memes that have popped up in recent months…

Trudeau 15

And yes, you can purchase this sweater online.


Of course, all of the “Internet fun” hasn’t just come from Americans. There has been a TON of fun had here in Canada at Trudeau’s expense, too…

Trudeau 6 Hey girl

I don’t think there’s any real point to this post other than the fact that our new leader is a good lookin’ dude. Many people dislike him for that fact, but whatever…he can’t do any worse than the last Prime Minister.


The 20 Minutes Fit Fix

Goodlife Fitness 2

When my wife and I signed up for our GoodLife Fitness memberships, they suggested we have a Fit Fix Orientation to learn how to use the circuit machines. Due to time constraints, we weren’t able to do that until about two weeks after we signed up. Thankfully, we were given enough instruction and familiarity with the club that we managed on our own until recently, when we went in for our orientation.

We walked into GoodLife Fitness for our 8 am appointment on a Saturday morning. Thankfully, at this time of the day, it wasn’t very busy. We were anxious to get started and quickly got changed for our appointment.

Scott was the name of our Member Ambassador. After he introduced himself to us, we told him that we were good with the cardio machines, but were eager to learn how to properly do the 20 Minute Fit Fix workout.

20 Minute Fit FIxWhat is that, you say? Well, this particular GoodLife Fitness location has a number of circuit/weight machines in a specific area of the gym that are numbered from 1 to 9. If you start at 1 and work your way through the circuit, you can be done in about 20 minutes and receive a “total body workout”.  Due to time constraints most evenings, I don’t have the 90 minutes I would like to run 10K on the treadmill. Being able to have a complete workout in 30 minutes or less is extremely appealing.

So Scott began to take us through all of the pieces of equipment. He explained how each piece of equipment worked, how to set up the equipment to match our size and shape and weightlifting ability, and how to use proper form when doing the exercises.

As someone who has only done walking and running as a way to workout, why should I be doing the 20 Minute Fit Fix?

  • 20 Minute Fit FixMaximum Results– Take it from a guy who simply wants to be healthier and doesn’t have any specific fitness goals; if I do this workout regularly every week, I will absolutely end up seeing results. End of story.
  • Minimum Amount of Time– Once you get into the swing of things, it’s only a 20 minute workout session that you should do 2 to 3 times every week. Right now, because I’m still writing things down as I go and I haven’t memorized all of the details for every machine yet, it’s taking me about 40 minutes to complete a circuit. Still…I feel the results the next day and my body is telling me that I was in a total workout.  To get that feeling for less than an hour’s worth of work is great for my schedule.
  • Easy to Learn– All orientations are absolutely free and GoodLife encourages all new members to take the orientation so they can get a good understanding of proper weight training. Everyone is taught proper form and technique by the Member Ambassador.
  • Easy to follow– The circuit itself is already set up for you with numbers and instructions on every machine – you just have to follow it from exercise #1 through #9.
  • Safe– The Member Ambassador ensures that you learn proper form and technique so you get the most from your workouts and do not injure yourself unnecessarily.
  • Multi-Leveled– What I love about the Fit Fix is that even though I’m a beginner, I can do something on every single machine. It’s also easily adaptable for people who are regular exercisers, as well…so it really can work for everybody.

I have done the circuit three times now and I know that it’s working because I can feel. My abs, my pecs, my arms, my legs…they’re all a little stiff and sore. Not debilitating soreness, but just sore…so I know that those body parts were worked over really well.

My plan is to continue doing the Fit Fix for the remainder of my membership. Doing cardio is great, but it only works out one part of the body. I’m ready to overcome whatever other obstacles are put in my way.

The struggle IS real. #MakeItHappen


“This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own”.



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