July 15, 2016

June 2016 Review

It’s been a while since my last update. That’s not a good sign I’m afraid. But I think I’m finally back.

At the end of May, I was hoping that June’s word would be CHOICE. It turned into UNFORTUNATE.

Continuing this feature I started in January here’s this month’s monthly summary at a glance:

June 2016 at a glance
Starting Current Change To Go
Weight (lbs.) 202.4 207.4 +5.0
Fat (lbs.) 54.2 57.9 +3.7 23.2
Goal This Month Annual Average
Hours Sleep 8.00 7.24 7.28
Starting Current Change To Go
PMP PDUs 52 52 0 3
This Month Year to Date
Running KM’s 7 km 513 km


After being stressed in April, and lazy in May, I had high hopes that June would be when I can finally make good choices and get back on the bandwagon. Nope! That couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

Story of my month: June 2016
Story of my month: June 2016

Earlier in the month, I read a quote that said: “Accept that challenges will always come your way. No one’s journey is going to be ‘plain sailing’ “. It was certainly not plain sailing. And I could have done without many of these challenges last month.


Right at the beginning of June, we discovered that the outgoing sewer line from our home had broken and there was some reverse seepage. Gross! Apparently the roots of a nearby tree had grown into the clay pipe and broken it, restricting the outgoing flow of wastewater from the house. We were advised by the plumber that we couldn’t stay in the house until it was repaired, so a hotel was home away from home for a while. They had to excavate most of the front yard, and ruined the lawn I was so proud of. And the repair bill was MASSIVE! Thousands and thousands of dollars. So much for that New Year’s Resolution of saving money.

Very large hole in the ground to fix the pipe. Might as well have filled it with money afterwards...
Very large hole in the ground to fix the pipe. Might as well have filled it with money afterwards…


In the meantime, we were also renovating a bathroom at home. Although a contractor did most of the work, cleaning up every night was tiring and robbed me of sleep.

Upstairs bathroom renovation, before
Upstairs bathroom renovation, before

Upstairs bathroom renovation, after
Upstairs bathroom renovation, after

Upstairs bathroom renovation, shower before
Upstairs bathroom renovation, shower before

Upstairs bathroom renovation, shower after
Upstairs bathroom renovation, shower after


June was also a rough month at work for me too. Projects and deadlines seemed to be whipping at me from all directions. I would leave work mentally and emotionally exhausted, but mentally brought the work home with me to continue worrying about. This was highlighted by a weekend shift where I coordinated a lot of work during a line shutdown.


Years ago, I saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks, which portrays the development of the beloved film, Mary Poppins. It pays particular attention to Mary Poppins’ author Pamela P. L. Travers and how traumatic childhood events shaped her and inspired the Mary Poppins books. At the time, I never understand how her father became so stressed from work that he descended into alcoholism. Regrettably, I think I can understand that stress and bleakness now.


But, if I’m stressed, there’s always running and exercise, right? Nope! In lieu of running my personal trainer had been pushing me pretty hard with high intensity circuit workouts. On June 7, my left ankle gave out in the middle of a set of step-ups during the workout. It was by far the most painful strain I’ve every experienced on my ankle. In the days that followed I could barely walk. Add onto that back and knee pain that I carried over from May, and I wasn’t having a good time.

So damn, at one point I’m suffering from back pain, knee pain, a badly sprained ankle, with a huge plumbing bill, and spiking stress from renovations, life, and work in general. I wanted to run off the stress, but I couldn’t. It was gorgeous weather in June, and it pained me every time I saw a runner on the sidewalk, trails, or even on social media.

I eventually went to get medical help. My chiropractor did some sort of “clickity-clackity” to my ankle and relieved much of the pain immediately. The relief was incredible. I didn’t realize how I had just gotten used to the pain. The pain was probably affecting my mood. I think I have an appreciation of why old people are so cranky. I also spent a lot of money on RMT to try to get my back right again. 

So, mileage was bad, my weight spiked considerably, my wallet was emptying, and I was pretty miserable. I don’t think I showed it though; I never want to appear weak or needy. I would laugh off my worries in front of others joking about getting old or how it’s nice to get all my injuries over at the same time.


I can’t say the entire month was bad. There were some highlights:


I added an unusual medal to my collection. Back in May 2015, I started doing personal training 3-days a week at my local Goodlife Fitness Gym. To my surprise, after a year of personal training the Fitness Manager presented me a “Personal Training Champion Achievement Award” medal for training for a whole year. It may be the most expensive medal in my collection, all things considered.  It’s definitely a different medal than I got at the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon I got around this time last year.


Detail of the Goodlife “Personal Training Champion Achievement Award” Medal

Posing with my Goodlife medal and wearing a Goodlife shirt, naturally.

I have mixed feelings about the whole personal training experience. It is nice to feel like I am treating myself to premium, elite service like this. I think it is the best way to maximize my time. And having fixed appointments gets my butt out the door, even if I’m tired or not mentally into it. When I first started, MANY people commented that I looked a lot better. And I think it did have a positive effect on my recent races, particularly Chilly and the Mississauga Half. But, I think that the intensity caused, or certainly contributed to my recent injuries. This pain made me very wary to go to the gym for quite a while.


In another monthly positive highlight, I had a lovely weekend at my family’s cottage with my girlfriend in mid-June. It was a nice escape from everything else going wrong during the month.

On the water in June 2016
On the water in June 2016


And we also went “camping” with a group of my University friends to UofT’s Hart House Farm. I put “camping” in quotes because there’s a lodge with running water, but we did sleep in tents. It was gorgeous weather. Being a crowd of mostly engineers, there were some shenanigans like playing with liquid nitrogen, and a dangerous plentiful amount of fireworks.


Selfie with the tent
Selfie with the tent

Chillin' by the water at Hart House Farm
Chillin’ by the water at Hart House Farm

Liquid nitrogen as a cooking implement.
Liquid nitrogen as a cooking implement.

Liquid nitrogen is SO COOL!
Liquid nitrogen is SO COOL!

Fireworks at Hart House Farm
Fireworks at Hart House Farm


Group picture
Group picture

Group picture
Group picture



I used to play the Harvest Moon series of video games. There are meters for everything, like stamina, fatigue, money, and such. But the “A Wonderful Life” entry added new hidden meter called the “spirit meter.” Essentially it was a gauge of your character’s mood. You could replenish it by going to the bar, but the best way to restore “spirit” was to talk to people and attend social events. Well, I think my spirit bar was pretty depleted for several months, and I think it’s finally starting to replenish.





Goal: Reduce Body Fat to 35 pounds by the end of 2016
Status: Bad and getting worse

Date Weight (pounds) Body Fat % Body Fat (pounds)
December 31, 2015 194.4 24.9% 48.4
February 2, 2016 194.0 26.9% 47.9
March 1, 2016 193.8 24.4% 46.9
March 28, 2016 198.4 25.5% 50.6
April 26, 2016 200.0 25.8% 51.6
May 31, 2016 202.4 26.8% 54.2
June 27, 2016 207.4 27.9 57.8

It’s actually quite discouraging to look at this graph. My goal was to lose weight this year, and in half-a-year I’ve gained 13 pounds. I see myself in the mirror, and I don’t like it. I feel the flabby thickness, and it’s embarrassing.




Goal: My average hours of sleep will be at least 8 hours per night in 2016
Status: Average 7.24 It was better than May!

June 2016 nightly hours of sleep

The sleep was inconsistent and bad at best. I just couldn’t focus enough to get to bed on time. Towards the end of the month I tried catching up, but it wasn’t enough to save the average. But, I know now that sleep is the magic cure for all: Mood, weight loss, and injury recovery. If in doubt between exercise and sleep, I have been choosing sleep.



Goal: I will earn at least 6.5 more PMP PDU’s by the end of 2016
Status: +0!

I had one lunchtime sitting of the Managing Project Human Resources module this month, but it wasn’t enough to finish it. Every unpaid lunch hour at work was full of work. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. But, I’m sure people would gladly take my job, so I’ll suck it up princess and survive the daily grind.






I have high hopes for next month, but I’ve been saying that a lot.

I feel like I have SO far to go to get back into shape. It’s daunting. It’s intimidating. And it’s rather disheartening to see how far I’ve fallen in just a couple of months.

When I’m fully healed, it will be nice to be able to run again. It will be nice to have a training schedule again and stick to it. It will be nice to put this unfortunate month of June behind me.

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  1. Robin says:

    Sounds like you had some good times and that’s important!! You’ll get back at it in no time Paul.

    • Thank you Robin. You’re right. I should try to focus on the good times rather than dwelling on the bad.
      I have a long way to go, but with support from inspirational friends like you, I’ll get there!

  2. […] June‘s word of the month was UNFORTUNATE. I’d like to think July’s word of the month was YES! […]