Results tagged “danijsanderson”

Mount Royal: An Escape in the Heart of the City


(Photo Credit: Jogg In)

Although not technically a mountain, Mount Royal is rarely or never referred as anything else by the locals. Nestled between the Plateau, Outremont, Côte-des-Neiges, Wesmount, and downtown Ville-Marie, Mount Royal offers a perfect escape from urbanity. It boasts three summits, a man-made lake, two cemeteries, countless trails through the forest and toward the summits for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing, vast green spaces, a sculpture garden, and an interpretive centre, not to mention seasonal and cultural events. Mount Royal has something to offer for everyone who just needs some time away from the busy city schedule.

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Do you ever watch runners zoom by and wish you could dash around so effortlessly? Do you find yourself a wheezing, gasping mess after only ten steps at more than a brisk walking pace? Do you like British accents? Then NHS Couch to 5k (Ct5k) podcast is for you.

Back in the day, I loathed running. I would go out of my way to avoid running for even a single step. I wouldn't even run to catch a bus, despite knowing that I would have to wait half an hour for the next one. But slowly, after a while, I started wishing I could go for a jog. I would watch people jog past me effortlessly and just burn with envy. I wanted to do it too, mostly because I enjoy the idea of the peace and solitude involved in long distance running, but also because regular running has great health benefits, such as reducing the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, boosting mood, and keeping weight under control.

Then my sister introduced me to the NHS Ct5k podcast. Now, I know what you're thinking: going from a couch potato to running 5k in only nine weeks? Sorcery! Trickery! I call BS. But hear me out for a bit, and maybe you'll change your mind.

How to Survive Going to the Gym When You're Overweight and Out Of Shape

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Until recently, I was overweight and out of shape. I wanted to get in shape, but to gain access to exercise equipment (weights, treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, etc.), I would have to brave the gym. The thought of walking into a room with dozens of thin, fit people who make exercising look effortless filled me with anxiety and dread, and I would use any excuse to avoid going. I didn't want to face the judgement from all of those fit people who would look at me, sweating and jiggling and puffing after only a few minutes of exercise, silently mocking me. Objectively, I knew that most people weren't doing that, too focused on their own workouts, and even if they were, it didn't matter as long as they kept their opinions to themselves. But tell that to my severe lack of self-esteem.

Today, I'm still overweight and out of shape, but I'm exercising regularly and making great improvements, getting stronger and fitter every day. And yes, I go to the gym.

Allow me to walk you through the steps I find necessary every single time I go to the gym so that I don't feel self-conscious and, occasionally, worthless.

Life According to Scott


It's a beautiful morning in mid-October. My friend, Scott Simcoe, who you may remember from the profile "Meet Scott," has graciously permitted me to pick his brain once again and ask potentially invasive questions about his illness and his personal life to share his experiences with the world. I have offered to meet him anywhere in the city and at any time, and he has chosen "the slope across from the park by the south-eastern edge of the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery" for breakfast. Obscure directions notwithstanding, I know exactly the place he means, which is one of my favourite spots on my way to and from University. He offers to bring pumpkin spice tea and cupcakes, and I am bringing roasted Mediterranean vegetable wraps and a blanket. I arrive fifteen minutes in advance, as is my habit, and am surprised to see Scott coming over the crest of the hill, early in a way I am not accustomed to from my friends. In spite of the cool breeze, Scott is wearing shorts and sandals, as well as a Billabong sweater, his bronze-tinted Ray Bans hiding his eyes. His smile is boyishly charming as we spread the blanket out on a gentler slant of the hill and serve out the food and drinks we brought. Before we can start the interview, there is one thing I need to know.

Meet Scott


On the surface, Scott Simcoe is not a very impressive man. At twenty-six years old, he is shorter than average and slender, with reddish-blonde angel curls, soft blue eyes, and a gentle smile. He wears a mishmash of brand-name and vintage clothes that he finds in a variety of second-hand shops. On a warm day, he can most often be found sitting under a tree at the Mont Royal Park, blasting Indie Rock with his earphones on, a pair of light brown-tinted Ray-Ban aviators slipping down his nose.

What people don't usually see, however, are Scott's insatiable lust for life, his inspirational mind, and his incredibly warm heart.

Silver Lining

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"Only in the darkness can you see the stars." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

I always look for the silver lining. It's not something that comes naturally to me, so I have to work at it. It isn't necessarily easy, but I somehow manage it every time. I do the same when dealing with people, trying to see things from their perspective and finding the good in them. My philosophy in life is that there is always an upside; it helps me keep negative influences out of my life and encourages me when I'm having a rough time.


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