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The coolest cards…ever…

January 7, 2011

Shopping In Ambleside

The other day I was shopping in Ambleside in West Vancouver and I came across a store, Glynda the Good Witch, a very unique gift store.  On top of the collection of very interesting and cool gifts, books and trinkets, there is a wall of greeting  cards.  I started looking at these cards and I noticed something right away…  I hadn’t seen these cards anywhere… They were entirely unique.  I checked the back and lo and behold, they were custom made by Glynda herself.

I thought that was fantastic, made a mental note to come back, and was going to leave the store when I noticed a collection of running cards by the door.  I was stopped in my tracks.  What a brilliant idea.  On top of several running motivational cards and biking motivational cards were some congratulations on qualifying cards and good luck cards.  I am in love with these good luck cards! I think they are fantastic.

An Aside About Fitness

As all of you know, I feel that the only way to lose weight for the long term is to incorporate exercise into your life.  I don’t know of one person who has gotten fit and stayed fit without a serious exercise routine, and the best way to incorporate a fitness routine into your life and stick with it is to set a timed and measured goal coupled with a realistic plan to achieve this goal (I call this aspect of fitness Goal Oriented Fitness).  Nothing can beat the 5k run as your first goal (or walking to get fit enough to train for a 5k run).  This should be a first step in anyone’s fitness future.  Still, running sucks.  Running is hell, until you do it enough that you actually enjoy it.  I never thought I would say that you can enjoy a run, but after two or so years, you begin to enjoy some of your runs and after 3 years, you actually enjoy quite a few.

The point is though, all fitness enjoyment will come once you have developed a fitness base.  There are many different ways you could develop one, but running is the easiest.  If you can run 5k in 30 minutes you are no longer unfit.  In most fitness endeavors you will not be the slowest, or the least fit any longer.  You can start to try new fitness things, such as hiking, skiing, or swimming and actually enjoy them because you don’t suck.  Okay, you may suck, but your fitness won’t be the reason( and strangely, the new you will understand that this is a challenge, like running, which you presumably sucked at before, and you will probably keep at it long enough to not suck).  This was me with swimming.  I didn’t know how to swim (sure I wouldn’t drown in a pool and I had a front crawl that, although really wasn’t a front crawl, would get me 15 meters or so).  I stuck at it, joined a masters swim class and spent a year being the worst swimmer in the slow lane of that class.  Now I am in the middle of the middle lane.  Fitness was never the factor, skills were.  I wasn’t fighting both problems so I stuck with it and now have a scheduled group fitness activity twice a week.

To start training for a 5k pick up ‘You Are Not A Fit Person’, now available at (or, or start on the couch25k program.  A brief warning though, if you are considerably overweight and over the age of 25 you should probably not start off by running.  Try walking first.  There is a chart in you are not a fit person that will help you pick the best program for you.  When you have decided what program to follow, take it with you to your doctor and discuss the program with him or her and see if they think this is something that you should be doing.

Back to Glynda’s

If you know of anyone training for an event, visit Glynda the Good Witch.  Get them a card.  Show them support.  If you can’t visit the store give her a call or email her and order some of her cards.  They are fantastic (she has a full wall of other unique cards as well).  I am including some of the fitness cards below to show you some of what she has to offer (I have intentionally reduced the quality, as these are her personal images, although they are reproduced with her permission).  Getting heartfelt support is very likely going to be the difference between success and failure for many people.  There are some key experiences in my life where people pulled me along, and showed that they cared about my fitness, and I still draw on these for power when I need it.  Having my brother show up at the transition, out of the blue during my first triathlon is one of them.  I had no idea he was going to be there.  My wife and my kids coming to the finish line of my first Olympic distance triathlon was another.  I know if I had received one of these cards from someone, that would be another.

If you know of someone who is doing an event, who has set a goal and is working hard to achieve it, consider getting them one of these cards or if there goal is something else, make your own.  It may help someone you care about from being one of the 1/3 of people who quit their New Years Resolution before the end of January.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2011 8:12 pm

    I heard walking or slow paced jogging is the easiest way to lose weight.

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      January 12, 2011 7:19 pm

      Hey Bill,

      There is some truth to that theory, but how much I don’t know. The idea behind it is that when you are burning calories you are either burning pure fat or pure carbohydrates or pure glycogen or a combination of 2 of these depending on your heart rate. The slower your heart rate the more fat you burn to carbohydrates until you reach your cardio zone where you are burning almost entirely carbohydrates, as your heart rate increases up to your maximum heart rate you begin to burn more glycogen (stored energy in your muscles) until that is all you are burning. At this level of exercise you can only stay in this zone for a short period of time.
      As is apparent to anyone looking at this though, the slower your heart rate the less work you are doing over a given period of time. For example, if you walk or jog at a slow pace over the course of say one hour you won’t travel as far as if your ran over the same period. Because you aren’t doing as much work, you aren’t burning as many calories. At the end of the day then, you may burn more fat (or not depending on your heart rate), but you don’t burn more calories. Given that, you will still gain fat if you have an imbalance of calories (you still eat more than you burn).
      The bigger reason though, is that working out below the cardio zone (in the fat burning zone) does not create much adaptation in the body. Working out in the cardio zone allows the body to adapt and become more efficient at doing work. You can increase your speed and decrease your heart rate to do the same work and even more work in a given time. By doing so, eventually you will be able to increase how much work you can do with the same heart rate, thereby burning more fat in the fat burning zone. This isn’t a small amount either. Most people can double their work output in a short time with a good training program. Does this answer your question?

  2. January 11, 2011 8:13 pm for more info on me

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