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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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Different Kind of Coaching

I am a big believer in coaching.

I've invested time and time again - fitness, swimming, triathlon, cycling, skiing... If I took up darts next week? ...well, I'd probably hire a coach.

As important as my athletic pursuits are to me, they are really kind of inconsequential compared to my role as a parent. Yet, until very recently, it had never occurred to me to hire a parenting coach.

I have never really spent any time writing about the challenges of parenthood... but that's not because being a parent is a breeze. It's not. Our family of 5 is an ever-changing, ever-challenging, mixture of personalities - and sometimes that mix works better than other times.

As educated, intelligent parents it's easy to feel like you should be able to solve just about any parenting issue. In our case, Sacha and I have 7.5 years of parenting under our belts - that's just over one "dog year" for those of you without kids.

I'd like to say that harmony abounds and there is nothing but "cumbaya" around our house, but lately Sacha and I have been running up against a short (but complicated) list of parenting challenges. The self-conscious parent in me will add that these "challenges" are likely nothing abnormal (at least I hope), but they are intensely irritating and generally distracting from the enjoyment of life for all involved. The result is stress - not just for us adults, but for the kids - their little brains and little hearts. It's not cool and we needed help.

Tonight we met with a Parenting Coach.

The first, and probably most interesting thing about the meeting, was that both Sacha and I came away agreeing with 100% of what she said. WOW - let's just say we haven't been in agreement on how to handle these issues - ever. We could barely agree on how to describe them!

We came away with a better understanding of the issues, tools to help us navigate through them, and methods to support each other when challenges crop up. In short, we have a plan, we know how to execute it and we are a team again.

Pretty great coaching.

The other HUGE lesson learnt for me is that we didn't need to stumble through the parenting process without help.

  • When I was 5 a baseball coach taught me to choke up on the bat - I hit the ball a lot better!
  • When I was 14 a rugby coach taught me that TEAM was all that mattered - by ourselves we are nothing.
  • When I was 21 a physiotherapist taught me that setting goals was an important part of achieving my dreams - she taught me to walk again too.
  • When I was 30 a personal trainer taught me to challenge myself beyond my comfort zone - I found my passion in endurance sports.

  • Tonight a parenting consultant taught me how to be a better coach and dad for my kids - which means that a bare minimum of 5 lives were improved in 90mins at the local coffee house.

If you were pulling your hair out earlier today, have a sticky issue or just want to raise your game to be the best parent you can be I highly recommend getting some coaching.

If you happen to live in or around Vancouver you need look no further than:

Karen Hoffman BA, CCFE, RPC

Canadian Certified Family Educator
Registered Professional Counsellor

Thanks Karen!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Fall Classic - I.F. Port Moody on the Board!

Yesterday was the Fall Classic out at UBC.

The last time I ran at the Fall Classic it was a small race - 5 or 6 six foot tables set up in the Student Union Building for registration - pretty minimal.

Nowadays it is entirely different.
  • Three distances - 21.1 km, 10km, 5km
  • Hundreds (maybe more than a thousand) runners
  • A massive stage with an Elvis impersonator, TV personalities as hosts, and more...
  • Chili after!!  (Best ever after a cold, wet race...)
As far as running events go the Fall Classic is pretty mega now.

But all of that was secondary compared to the importance of this event for Kris, myself and two important people that I'll tell you about in a moment.

This was the first official destination for IF Port Moody customers!  

Kris ran the half marathon with Julie.  It was her first in quite a while and despite the terrible conditions - cold, windy, rainy - she toughed it out to finish in an admirable time.  She'll be building from that in future events for sure!

I ran the 5km with Eric.  It was his first run of this type for several years.  We set a goal prior to the race and proceeded to DESTROY it by an entire minute!  Eric really dug deep and cranked it up in the final 2 km for a negative split.  It was a blast running with him.

Julie and Eric were pretty much our first customers out in Port Moody and it was awesome to see them getting results already...

Yesterday was also a great moment for Kris and I....  It's exciting to be helping people make progress and reach goals already...  that's why we chose this career.  There's a lot more to come and our doors don't open for another week!


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Friday, November 6, 2009

New Venture - Innovative Fitness Port Moody!

The space you see above will soon be a part of the training floor of Innovative Fitness in Port Moody.

If my post frequency has been down a little lately this is why....

For those of you who may not know, I am opening an Innovative Fitness franchise with a partner out in Port Moody, BC.  (That's about 30mins from where I live.)

We are scheduled to open on November 23rd, 2009....  which is right around the corner!

This venture is a really exciting step for me - it signifies the first time in my life that "passion" and "career" can be uttered in the same breath.  I intend to write a more thoughtful post on this in the near future.

I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have mentioned work in this blog...  "work", "career", "paying the bills" has simply not been something that excited me in any way for a long time.  I'm not blaming anyone - after all I have been an entrepreneur, so I only have myself to blame!  It was, however, something I wanted to change - in a big way!  You don't win the Game of Life by toiling away without passion every day...

Fortunately, that phase of my working life seems to be ending...  with this new entrepreneurial venture I am watching my passion and my career merge for the first time and it is very exciting.  Waking up for "work" in the morning has a totally different feel already!

These days there is a mountain of tasks to be seen to - Mt. Innovative.  New businesses need a lot of time and effort (whether you are passionate about them or not).  It has required a shift of priorities - a good thing really.  All of the most important things in life (for me) are now nicely aligned at the top of my priority list.

I look forward to sharing lots more about this venture, and its place in my "bigger picture", on these pages....  hopefully it will be of interest to my readers.   

For opening details, location, offers and lots of current news you can follow Innovative Fitness in Port Moody on Twitter....  CLICK HERE!

In other news...  I also have a new season of racing and training to plan!  That will be fun to do over the next few weeks.  You'll be the first to know!

Some photos from November!!!  (This is not normal November weather in Vancouver!)

Lighthouse Park with the kids.  Mattias is there too but out of sight.

Viggo is still small enough for this....  It's fun to hear his "dada" chatter in my ear...

Beautiful day with dozens of sailboats off Point Atkinson.

Timer shot....  not bad.  Had to photoshop it a bit but I liked the effect.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hallow's Eve Recap

The Hallow's Eve 10km on Sunday was a lot of fun.

It's been quite a while since I ran a race with over a dozen people I know so that made it different for sure. Here are some of the IF crew... many not pictured.

I went into the race with no plan whatsoever other than to enjoy myself. I knew I wanted to check in on the group from lululemon and that I wanted to run with some of the IF folks for a bit but that I also wanted to run a few sections "for myself".

So that's exactly what I did. At the start I ran with some friends from IF including my old coach (from a year or so ago) James. Then I slowed down and waited to run with the lulu girls for a while. Then I sped back up and ran with Virginia and Antony (who was in Moab with me)...

The course was pretty challenging (do I ever NOT say that?) There were LOTS of stairs, and lots of wooden walkways that were wet (this is pretty sketchy with my running leg). There were lots of uphills and some really fun downhills too.

I was having a blast running with a group of about 6 runners for several km until I caught my leg on a root and actually dislodged it! That has never happened to me in any race... it was actually off for a second... somehow I didn't go down - just hopped and reattached.

That broke my momentum, I lost my group, and though I got the leg back on, it was very sloppy - the liner had been pulled down a bit...

Fortunately I was only a km or 2 from home and didn't need to do a full reset.

My next post may have to be a prosthetic leg make-over... my running leg is in ROUGH shape after the last two or three trail runs and also the 3 Peaks... It is definitely in need of some TLC.

Congrats to everyone from IF and lululemon!!

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cross Country Canada

Found this video the other day... These fellas are getting ready to host (and hopefully beat down) the rest of the world in February.

Although this video might be slightly over-the-top, there is some awesome footage of the training these guys put in... which is massive.

You'll come away pumped for some Winter Olympic action...

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hallow's Eve Half Marathon & 10km

Just a quick note to invite anyone reading to come down and take part in the Hallow's Eve Half Marathon and 10km.  These are trail races so dig out your trail shoes.

I will be opting for the 10km and running it with some of the folks from lululemon and/or some other folks from Innovative Fitness...  (I have cool sponsors!)  

The misleading part about the "Hallow's Eve" race is that it takes part in the morning...

Sunday October 26th @ 9am to be precise.  

Check HERE for other details.

Call:  604-990-6888 to register!

See you there!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

POM Wonderful - Review

While it's true that "owning" a blog isn't all VIP parties, limos and Cristal, there are a few benefits... Like the other day when Janny emailed me regarding POM Wonderful.

"Not another 6 figure sponsorship offer..." I thought to myself.

And, no, it wasn't... she just wanted to give it to me to try... feedback was all she asked for. The relief was immediate, those six-figure deals are more trouble than they're worth...

So, after giving her the green light, we hammered out an intricate deal whereby I would consume three or four bottles of POM Wonderful and issue an opinion. I drive a hard bargain, nobody takes MJ to the cleaners...

The Review

With the word "Wonderful" in the name this beverage has a lot to live up to... not just that but it has a price tag of $4.99 per bottle (473 ml)!

At first I was a bit outraged by the price (though it was free for me as a result of my wheeling and dealing). I found myself almost hoping that it would be gross so that I couldn't develop a $4.99/day habit. Just as that thought crossed my mind I stopped to think about my morning latte - $4.30 from Starbucks. I'm not sure how Starbucks has programmed me to be OK with $4.30 for a latte, but POM should employ the same techniques...

NOTE: 473ml (16ozs) is meant to be a TWO DAY supply. So, really, the price of POM Wonderful isn't much more than a lot of other high quality juices. I just didn't realize this until much later.


Unlike my morning latte, guzzling POM Wonderful pomegranate juice offers several health benefits:

- and more

I know the one you're looking at... here are the study results:
Compared to patients taking a placebo, those men drinking 8 oz. of 100% pomegranate juice daily for four weeks were 50% more likely to experience erectile improvement in this study of 53 subjects.
I would imagine those results compare favourably to the products mentioned in the emails I get from time to time...

In case you are doubting the legitimacy of all of these health claims... POM Wonderful has spent an incredible $32 million since 1998 to fund scientific research on pomegranate juice.


Testers: Meyrick, Sacha, Mattias (7), Aia (5), Viggo (18 months)

Pomegranate flavour - The juice is pretty potent. It tastes exactly like pomegranate seeds which Sacha and I like a lot. There is a tartness very similar to grape juice.

Bluberry Pomegranate flavour - The blend makes the juice quite a bit sweeter and much less tart. The kids liked this flavour a lot more than the pure Pomegranate.

Mango Pomegranate flavour - Still good but we liked the blueberry blend more.

Sacha and I liked the Blueberry Pomegranate the best.

The kids found all three a bit too powerful at first... after we diluted the POM with sparkling water they LOVED it a lot. In fact they ask for it every time now and have begun calling the resulting cocktail a POM Spring... which I think is catchy!


Once you realize that the bottle is not a single serving, and/or you water it down for some sparkling POM Springs it actually goes a long way... and the price becomes a lot more palatable. It tastes far better the next day than the second half of your Starbucks latte would...

I am sure we'll be buying more - Sacha and I both enjoyed the juice, but more importantly it's not everyday you hear 5/7 year olds begging for a "treat" that is as healthy as this.

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