Sunday, January 22, 2012

I am a Hero; Jack Bauer Has Nothing on Me

I hate Monday mornings. I wake up terribly early knowing that by noon, I'll have to think about going to sleep so that I can wake up with enough energy to do a ball-busting midnight shift. If I have enough energy, I might go to the gym for a light workout, come home and do myself up some scrambled eggs Gordon Ramsay style.

However one Monday morning a few weeks ago I had very little energy and just decided to goof off on my laptop and checkout what wasn't happening on Facebook. I was probably about ten second away from closing the window when all of a sudden my friend Connie messaged me. And I had a feeling that it was important because she addressed me by my first name. In my experience, people only do that if the situation is pretty important.

So she gave me an 800 phone number to call and confirm if she had a flight for tomorrow morning. It was then that she told me that she was messaging me from a hospital in Muskat, Oman. For those of you who didn't watch Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego as a kid, that's in the Middle East. Connie spent her Christmas holidays there and was a teacher there a few years ago.

Seems that while she was down she caught some jihad-virus that was going around or something, was stuck in the hospital and thus, missed her flight the previous day but now couldn't tell if she was rescheduled for a flight tomorrow or not.

So there I am, about six-thirty in the morning, trying to figure out how to help my friend escape the Middle East within the next 24 hours. I called the airline and trying to get all the info I can, relaying it back through Facebook and then relaying any concerns Connie may have back to the airline. Needless to say I was saying, "Could you hold on a minute" quite a few times during these phone calls.

After about twenty minutes of dealing with people with bad accents, I was finally able to get the times for her flights. She would leave Muskat, then fly into Kuwait, then off the Dulles International Airport and then to Detroit with a short drive back into Ontario.

Just before I got off the line, the attendant I was dealing with asked me if he wanted to upgrade Connie's seat to give her more legroom for only the small fee of $150 USD.
I relayed this to Connie and based off the negativity of her response, I told the airline that she would pass on the generous (I made sure they could hear the sarcasm) offer.

Connie did manage to make it home and that day, I got a cheque from the government of Canada (Most likely word of me rescuing a fellow countryman spread quickly) and my Batman shirt arrived in the mail.

So yeah, I'm a hero. Saved a friend from captivity in a Middle Eastern hospital which was boasting about how their doctors washed their hands semi-daily and had been Jew free for 34 days. And I did this less than an hour after waking up.

The moral of the story: Schweitzer-Man is awesome

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Running Again

If there's one thing I can come close to disliking about a boxing workout, it's roadwork. The summer before I moved to Calgary, I was doing it almost every night, running 3k and trying to up my speed each time. I did 5k once and the second time I tried it, I had to stop running and limp home in pain after I started getting bad blisters on the back of my foot (Shouldn't have used brand new running shoes)

After I got back to going to the gym, I would start every workout with 10 minutes of cardio, running and increasing my speed every two minutes. It's weird because I don't mind running on treadmills. And all that time I've been going to the gym, I've tried to get Aaron to go with me.

Since living out here, we've only had two workouts and both were at the local YMCA. And that was only because we were on a 7-day trial period. I've tried every month, but he always has some new excuse. He did let me know over a month ago that he installed a pull-up bar in his basement and I thought that was a good start. I asked him if he planned on returning to the gym and he said that he would when he could get his money's worth out of a gym. At the moment, he was just trying to get "unfat" as he put it.

That made me laugh because he's not fat but whatevs. Then a few weeks ago he told me that he purchased a used treadmill and was running almost daily, doing 3k in 30 minutes. I have no idea why, but I suddenly got very competitive and started running for 30 minutes at the gym now as well. However, I doubted Aaron's numbers. The distance measurement told me that in 30 minutes plus a five minute cool down period, I was just doing over 3k.

I instantly called bullshit on Aaron's numbers and thought that he must be cheating. Turns out I was just an idiot and didn't know that GoodLife treadmills measure distance in miles instead of kilometers. However that got me a bit encouraged.

A few days ago when I finished work, I went to the gym and did 5.25km in total. A few days later, I decided to go a step crazier and go running outside. While most people say that Calgary winters are colder than a witch's tit (When did you feel said tit and why would you?), it wasn't that bad. I was wearing the proper gear for it and felt fine. I didn't have a route in mind so I just decided to run until I felt tired. After looping around several blocks, I ended up at the local Super Store and decided to walk home from there.

What kinda bugs me is that despite getting back into running, I thought I would be doing a lot better already. When I did my 5k in Essex, I did that in under 30 minutes. I know this stuff takes time but dammit, I'm impatient.

Oh, also, there's this cool true story about how I saved a friend from captivity in the Middle East but I'll tell you that next time.