Monday, March 12, 2012


I was just reading about the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley. (It's below)

I first came across it when I was in school in Ireland at about the age of 16... in English Literature class. I loved the poem back then... mostly because as a 16 year old boy, hard core poems about "bludgeoning" and "blood" go over well.

I didn't know any of the history of the poem.


1. Henley wrote it in 1875 when he was 26 and it was about losing his leg below the knee to tuberculosis.

2. Nelson Mandela kept it on a scrap of paper in his cell during his 27 year incarceration.

3. In the recent movie, Invictus, Mandela (Morgan Freeman) gives the captain of the South African rugby squad (Matt Damon) a copy of the poem before the final game of the 1995 World Cup in which they are to face the heavily favoured New Zealand All Blacks. The Springboks (South Africans) go on to win.

4. In reality Mandela gave the Springbok captain (Francois Pienaar) an excerpt from The Man in the Arena speech by Theodore Roosevelt. This quote has always been one of my favourites - see it on the sidebar.

5. Invictus is latin for unconquered.

For these reasons Invictus has now joined the excerpt from Man in the Arena as my favourite pieces of literature. What amazing stories and coincidences.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

- William Ernest Henley, 1875

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Buntzen Lake Hike

Buntzen Lake is about 10 minutes from our new facility in Port Moody. The loop around the lake makes an awesome hike of about two hours if you are moving steadily.

Yesterday (pre-Superbowl) 22 customers and friends, 3 IF staff, 3 dogs and one baby took on the hike around the lake. It was a little rainy so I thought the turnout might suffer but nobody was deterred - great start!

We are one week into the facility Nutrition Challenge (essentially a cleanse combined with a challenge to increase your exercise) - it lasts 28 days. (Note: That's why the cakes pictured in the previous post were so torturous!) This hike was worth a solid 20 points, so 22 out of 40 Challengers were in attendance... solid.

The hike is approx. 10km and there are some steep uphill and downhill sections. Some great lake views, great people and lots of time to chat away from the facility made it a awesome start to the day.

I did the hike with Viggo in the backpack - he's getting a bit heavy for this type of distance... but it was a great workout! My glutes, quads and calf are all sore this morning. Feels good!

Enjoy the pictures!

Jen breaking down the route...

Off we go...

The trees are epic around the lake - moss covered and towering

Viggo's backpack... It distributes the weight really well... HIGHLY RECOMMEND to any parents looking to get out with their kids. Also please note V's olympic spirit - Quatchi hat and Team Canada jersey... he's a proud Canadian!

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Superbowl XLIV

The sad part is that I can't eat either of them.... Who are you picking?

MJ's Superbowl prediction: Colts by 3

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grand Opening Party!

This Thursday is our Grand Opening Party.

It has been such a journey to get to this point - a lot of sweat but a lot of fun too! We are going to enjoy ourselves on Thursday and take a moment to reflect before we put the head back down and keep working.

Please stop by and join us!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

May your Holiday Season be filled with family, friends and good health!

Merry Christmas from the Jones Family!

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thoughts After Two Weeks

On Monday it will have been two weeks since we opened the doors of our sparkling new Innovative Fitness facility in Port Moody. It has been the busiest time of my life... There hasn't been much family time to speak of. That's why tonight's "Penguins vs. Capitals" game in front of our house was just what the doctor ordered. Penguins won by the way (as always.)

Some thoughts about the last two weeks:

- People: It has been a long time since I was meeting new people every day. I didn't miss it in my life because I didn't think about it... but it's one of my favourite things about the last two weeks.

Every few minutes somebody walks through the door - will this person end up being a great friend? Will they be beside me on a trip to Moab, Machu Picchu, the New York Marathon or the Himalayas this year? It's exciting - because I was that person walking through the door. When they sign on the dotted line I have a pretty good idea of what lies ahead for them.

The Port Moody IF community is growing fast, and already I find myself looking forward to seeing friends every day, watching them progress and celebrating the victories we all have along the way.

- Team: I love being on teams. I always have. It is so rewarding to be working HARD side by side with teammates - especially when the going gets tough. As one of the "team managers", I hoped we would all work well together, but you don't know for sure until the opening whistle blows and the team gets tested.

I remember being on my high school rugby team, preparing for games - the things people would say, the looks on their faces, and how much pride we all took in "doing our job" on the field. Before each home game we would play AC/DC's Hells Bells (loud) in the locker room to get pumped up. I loved it. This is as close as I have been in a long time - (we even play AC/DC from time to time!)

- Balance: <- A word I barely deserve to even type right now. An important goal for the coming weeks is to steadily begin re-activating all of the other parts of my life that have been on hold. It was important to put 100% into the business, but now it is critical to find a healthy, happy and sustainable balance. That should result in a little more blog posting in the coming weeks... no promises - but I hope so.

- Training: This week I started training again and it felt great (in that "I haven't trained for three weeks" way...) I have some exciting plans for the coming race season... but that's another post!

I hope you are having a great weekend!

Aia and her teammate Natalie...

Aia running after a loose ball...

Kris setting up Circuit Class this morning - Every Saturday at 9am by the way! Call us at 778-355-9800 for details.

One of our new signs... They came on Friday.

We did a Pinecone Toss competition for the Christmas event in our neighbourhood... There were probably 3000 people circulating through the streets - it was a blast!

Kids getting ready to toss pinecones.

Jen, Cathy and Sacha... They worked the crowds all night in close to freezing temperatures. Thanks ladies!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Start Line

If you've ever woken up early, brushed your teeth, and headed in to open the doors of a new business on day #1 then you are part of a small but hardy group. It isn't easy to get to the Start Line.

Let's say you have an idea. Almost everyone does...

Starting: The hardest part for sure. You have to have courage... and you have to find money (usually). Then you have to wade through tons of governmental bullcr&p... Now you have a bunch of paper (BC865446776 or something like that) and a bill from a lawyer. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Planning: Locations, sticky leases, irritating landlords, pesky holdbacks, confusing clauses, 80 page contracts, quirky lawyers, bearded accountants. And bills. Now you have an empty building. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Creating: Busy builders, tough negotiating, expensive designers, expensive millwork, better go with the less expensive computers, choose the lighting & flooring, order the equipment, delays, decisions, decisions, decisions. And bills. Now you have a concept for your empty building. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Build it! Crews, electrical, plumbing, framing, drywalling, painting, debating, second guessing. Lots of bills. Bills. Bills. Now you have a business under construction. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Planning (yes, again): Marketing, studying, learning, networking, monitoring construction, counting the days, worrying, dreaming. Now the construction is done and you feel ready. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Preparing: Cleaning, arranging, shopping - Home Depot, Staples, Ikea, Canadian Tire, Costco, London Drugs, and more. Bills everywhere! This place is stocked! ...better mark this occasion with a celebration. Congrats.

Time to get started.

Celebrate: The IF crew, 1 jumpsuit, 1 wig, several beers, Browns, St. James, The Point. Taxis, tylenol, lost phones, a few hours of sleep. (Clean again.) Congrats (you're alive.)

Time to get started.

Opening Day! The doors swing open at 6. The music is on and our first customer is warming up on the bike. He is followed by one more - then the place is empty again - hopefully not for long. We made it to the START LINE. Congrats.

Now it's time to get started.


We are doing really well. Four days in we find ourselves ahead of our projections for the first month - which is great - but we've barely started. We are the swimmer exploding from the blocks but yet to hit the water...

Other photos from Day 1:

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