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Showing posts from March, 2011

Huffing and Puffing: Episode 7: Failing Forward

As published at : "Is it the shoes?" asked Spike Lee in a 1991 TV advertising campaign for Nike Air Jordan shoes. "It's gotta be the shoes!" In my case, I've learned, it's not the shoes. I mean, the shoes are nice, but they are clearly not the solution to my problems. A friendly and startlingly laid-back man from Aerobics First outfitted me with a new pair of Brooks Dyad shoes at the deep-discount clearance sale at the Halifax Forum's multipurpose centre. The price was right - $150 sticker, $60 marked down. They fit. They look sharp. They're very comfortable. But there's more to running the right way than choosing the right shoes. I had high hopes for the shoes after weeks of shin and knee pain. Running in the new shoes did not fix anything, as far as I can tell. My shin muscles still hurt, and now my shin bones are sore right in the middle, like I'd done a three-quarter speed roundhouse kick to a telephone pole.

Huffing and Puffing: Episode 6: Running & Leiping

As published at : Now I can drink chocolate milk without guilt. Of course, it all comes down to moderation and wise choices. At least that's what registered dietitian Anna Leiper told us this week in her lecture to the Lung Association of Nova Scotia's Learn To Run For Smokers program. It's week five, and already some of the team has disappeared. The team photo from the first week shows more people than we've seen since. Those who are still coming are brave, dedicated individuals. I'm proud to be one of them. That doesn't mean I'm eager to get out of the car when arrive at The Tower at SMU on a windy, rainy morning that has the raindrops flying sideways. I'd rather sit in my car. You can imagine my joy when I find out that Jayne Norrie has arranged for us to exercise indoors at the Tower's gym. JOY! Instead of sloshing around outside, we find places on modern treadmills. I've done treadmill running before, and I honestly like it a

Huffing and Puffing: Episode 5: Charlie Shin

As published at When I signed up a month ago to take part in the eight-week Learn To Run For Smokers program offered by the Lung Association of Nova Scotia, I knew it wouldn't be easy. But I didn't know it would be this hard. I don't know why. The prospect of getting off the couch, putting on running shoes and exercising so hard that I actually improved my health didn't scare me. It was getting up for a 9am meeting every Saturday that was the intimidating park. But on the fourth week of the program, I find myself struck by my own physical limitations. This week's exercise task is to do a series of four 800-metre loops in Point Pleasant Park. My division of the Bad Ashes team is assigned to run for three minutes and walk for one minute. After the first three-minute run, I'm winded and my legs are cramping up. It's not my entire leg, though. It's just the muscle that runs along the front of the shin. I quickly decline to running a

Huffing and Puffing: Episode 4: Endorsement

As published at : 'm a skipper, but I'm not a quitter. I woke up tired on the third Saturday of the Lung Association of Nova Scotia's Learn To Run For Smokers program, stumbled outside for a cigarette and found the streets covered in snow. It rained and rained and rained, then snowed and snowed and snowed. The tire tracks on the road were swooping back and forth across the street. It looked bad. A phone call to my wife at work confirmed that the driving was terrible. I gave up, shoveled the driveway and went back to bed after emailing program coordinator Jayne Norrie to apologize for my non-attendance. That could've been it. I could've given up for the week. But, a commitment's a commitment, and when it's my health at stake and I'm doing it all in public, I might as well follow through. Monday morning, I joined Jordi Morgan for a half-hour interview on Maritime Morning. It was strange for me to be the subject of an interview rather than th

Huffing and Puffing: Episode 3: Be Athletic

As published this week at "Be athletic." That's one piece of advice from Louis Brill, President and CEO of the Lung Association of Nova Scotia as he teaches running technique to the group gathered on this Saturday morning at the Halifax Curling Club as part of the Learn To Run For Smokers program. Even though I've run the Bluenose 5k in the past, I've never believed I knew anything about running. That's why I'm eager to see what this runner-loving coach can teach me. His enthusiasm is contagious, but I'm not entirely sure what he means by "be athletic." "Right now, you might say 'what the heck's athletic?'" says Brill. "Think athletic. And you want to be light on your feet. Think that and say 'am I?'" Me? No, I'm not. Not yet anyway. I'm two weeks in and still far from athletic. But the advice to "be" athletic in form and posture is actually helpful, as Brill illus