Walking is Good Exercise

When I quit my job on the 4th of March, I decided I wanted to do something a little more interesting with my days so I started going for long walks. A few hours for example.

In the beginning I used it as an opportunity to head over to Inglewood and grab some pizza from Inglewood Pizza. They normally have slices available right from opening and the distance was about right. See I have a problem. Or maybe I used to have a problem?

Just going for a walk sounded so boring? Why? Why was I going outside to wander aimlessly around the city? To what end, I ask you?!? In my head it didn’t make sense. I needed a goal! A target to which I could assign my drive! And pizza, my dear reader, is a worthy goal.

So during the first week or so, after my morning trading session, I would lace up my shoes (purchased during my sabbatical) and walk to Inglewood where I would consume two pieces of pizza: one Hawaiian and one House Special. And then I would come home.

And that was enough for me. Until I started to lose some weight. Then it turned into something different. I was no longer walking for pizza; I was walking because I liked being outside, in the sun and fresh air with the real wind blowing in my face, not air from a fan. And I liked the idea that the weather was GOOD for me.

So I’ve been walking every week since. Usually three days but sometimes more. I’ve dropped 30 pounds since I started and might expect a few more to come off but I’m fine if I stay the way I am. My mood is better, I’m helping more at home and hopefully showing my wife more attention than I was when I was working twelve hours a day.

I’ll keep it up and see what happens. Moral of the story is that pizza is the root of all good things.

Precision Cattle Ranching Project Video

I’ve been working at SAIT since 2005, in one capacity or another. I’m quite proud of that fact as the school is one of the better employers I’ve had in my life.

Since March of 2013, I’ve been working with the Applied Research and Innovation Services Department at SAIT. During that time I’ve had many roles: embedded programmer, project coordinator and now Research Associate, which is basically the manager for the Centre for Innovative IT Solutions. It’s been a great experience for me and I continue to get more opportunities as time goes by.

The video below is the first time I’ve been asked to present myself for an audio and visual presentation that we’ve published for the world on Youtube. Another good experience.

I thought I’d put the video here for posterity as I continue to inch away from Facebook as a social media platform. I have yet to generate enough courage to release myself fully but I see that in the future.

How do ‘Mental Health Days’ Reflect Your Satisfaction?

So here I am, sitting in one of a dozen local Starbucks (I really, really hate this place) hooked up to the Telus open wireless hot spot in this area (protected via SAIT VPN) and just had a very funny epiphany.  Hopefully, you won’t think less of me after my confession, Gentle Reader.

You see, for a very long time I’ve compared myself to my ideal self.  By that I mean the self I thought I was going mature into.  You know, you go through your adolescence slowly building up an idea of what you would like the rest of your life to be like.  In some cases, you’re correct, usually the easy stuff.  Marriage, kids, house ownership.  In most others, you’re grossly incorrect but be that as it may, you still have that picture in your head of where you wanted to be and what you wanted to be doing at particular phases in your life. And by ‘you’ I guess I really mean ‘me’.

For those of us that were much less ambitious in our youth, a lot of those things weren’t pursued. I didn’t think post-secondary education was important and took a major short cut. Though there was a close call, I didn’t consider marriage until well into my 20’s and only when I’d finally met my ‘match’.

So if I say that I haven’t been completely satisfied with my life, particularly my professional life,  and some of the decisions I’ve made, I think that’d be a pretty good summation of where I was sitting… up till about six months ago.

You see it wasn’t until then that I started getting the opportunity to manage our team and aid in the direction we were moving.  Though I’m still pretty green, I’m learning all the time about skills that I truly see as valuable.  Yes, I’m getting to the point and it is this….

I haven’t had to take a single ‘sick’ or ‘mental health’ day in several months, probably stretching back to April or so.  Like, at all.  This is significant as it illustrates a willingness to overlook those shitty days where you wake up, you aren’t feeling 100% and really don’t want to go into work.  I’m not positive on this, and I’m sure Sly will correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall that sort of time period without me needing to take a day off a month for decompression or real sickness.

The only way I can explain this is that I’m really finding a certain degree of satisfaction with my work and I really want to be there.  I’m not at work today due to a Flexday need and I really wish I was. So much so that I’ve actually been logged into my computer at work, spending some time on a problem that has dogged me for a couple of days.  Isn’t that weird?

Isn't that veird?
Isn’t that veird?

Yeah, it kinda is. But I’m going to accept this new position and do the very best I can to fulfill the requirements set out before me. Who knows? Maybe I’ve finally found what I was really meant to be and can banish all that adolescent ‘wishing’ to the past and continue, with open eyes and fewer expectations, into the future.