For you, it’s week one of my fitness journey. For me, I’ve been prepping for months.
My plan wasn’t to blog about my lifestyle change but as my program of fitness unfolded I thought blogging about it may be the best way to keep me on track. What better way to reach your goals but to have your peers hold you accountable, in the nicest way of course.
This week is just a quick overview so you can get an idea of what I’m up to and if you like you can copy my program. It may be a good place to start.
Pick a gym you feel comfortable with. My fitness club of choice is GoodLife. I’ve been a member for many years. You’re probably wondering why am I not in the best shape ever? Well as life is, it’s complicated. It’s too easy to let life get in the way. Well the noise of life anyway. Between work, relationships, health issues, etc. it’s not an easy road of commitment but it’s not over until it’s over so you’ve always got to get back up on that horse. Now is my time!
I got myself a trainer named Dave. He’s around my age and I thought for me that is important for many reasons. He did a physical test with me to see where I was at. Apparently I did okay. I’ll share the actual results next Wednesday. It will be interesting to watch as things improve like the number of push ups, sit ups, etc.
I began by putting together my own program using GoodLifes convenient machines. They have nine machines numbered one through nine and the idea is to follow each machine to help strengthen those larger core muscles to quickly begin improving strength. I’ll post these machines for you next Wednesday as well.
With all the data Dave took from me he is putting together a workout program that will hopefully move my fitness health into the right direction. Not to mention get my glutes bootylicious!
I’ll be seeing him tomorrow for my official first session following the assessment meeting.
I’m pretty pumped and hope you will get some encouragement to start your own fitness program.
Bruce in the City
A note from my Editor:
Good for you! It’s important as we get older to remember that our bodies need more care now than ever before. I also started a weight loss program this year on January 2. My goal is to lose 15 pounds by July 1 (25 weeks away). I am at 10 weeks and have lost 6.5 lbs. It’s not a lot but it is a slow and healthy pace and I’ve already dropped a size in my pants which I am thrilled with. For someone small like me (5’1″) it doesn’t take much to notice a difference. So if I keep on this same trajectory I will meet my goal. I started with some simple things like a 4 km walk three times per week and I cut out all unnatural sugars. My big downfall is potato chips so it was the one thing that I still allow myself to have as a treat on Saturday nights when we have movie night with the boys. I knew if I tried to give up everything then I would fail. Good luck to you on your journey. I can’t wait to follow along with your progress. Edited below! ME
Well the day finally arrived. I had my ticket for the fetish fair and I was all pumped to experience something way outside my comfort zone. A buddy of mine who has much more experience in the fetish world came along as an unofficial body guard. Literally! The event was taking place at The Phoenix. An amazing club and concert venue. The security and staff were exceptional and very inviting. I’ve seen a few concerts there and they are always thorough yet welcoming. Men and woman from all over gathered in the bag checking area inside the club. They began checking their bags and winter gear and began dressing up with their night’s fetish ensembles. All kinds of amazingly strange outfits. Some looking like people from the Blue Men theatre show, others covered in latex outfits. There were a lot of fellows in leather, and jock straps were plenty. The event was being hosted by North Bound Leather, Toronto’s number one fetish and leather boutique. You are probably wondering what I wore. Well I was pretty tame compared to others but I did have on the new collar I had purchased for the event and a leather bracelet I wore on my right arm (which I found out after meant I was submissive). Lol, I had no idea! No wonder all those big muscle men were looking at me like I was a piece of steak at a summer barbecue. I have to admit the attention was nice. The DJ was awesome. Trance and dance grooves thumped from the amazing sound system. As I investigated the corridors and rooms in the theatre I felt like I was in an episode of Queer as Folk, which was actually filmed here in Toronto. I honestly wish I could tell you in greater detail what fetishes I was observing but I think this time pictures will speak louder than words. I can tell you there was hot candle wax and wipes happening on the main stage. In one room people seemed to be admiring each others get ups and in another there was this stand that both men and woman were propped up on experiencing various physical stimuli. Did I mention this was not an exclusive men’s event? It was really exciting to see woman in dominant roles with men and other woman. The sharing of power and sensation. Both Anna and Peter from North Bound Leather were there. It was difficult to get a photo with them as people had them surrounded. I felt like I was trying to get a photo with David Bowie and Grace Jones. I never did get that photo. Better luck next time I guess. I did have a blast and met some really great men and women that in spite of the ongoing misunderstandings by more conservative people, these folks were a really engaging group of people. I’ve never met so many friendly people in any other club environment. No bullshit. No attitudes! Just people expressing themselves sensually, powerfully, and organically with one another. Would I go again? If I did I would certainly wear a better outfit! Stay tuned to find out! Hey maybe you can look into your own relationship and think a bit outside the box. Have you ever thought what it might be like to spank your big tough husband or let him blindfold you and tickle you with ice and hot wax? Life’s too short. Have fun with each other in a safe environment. You just never know how close the experience will help you become.
And now on to something a little different.
The world of kink!
As the song states, Where Do I Begin….?
The fascinating part about living in a metropolis is the diversity you find. People from all walks of life gather to experience what the big city has to offer. Sometimes it’s the latest coffee house and the gathering of friends there and sometimes it’s an all night fetish fair!
You guys should know me by now. I’m not going to walk away from a challenge and recently I’ve been certainly challenged by some of my readers to walk on the wild side and see how to get the winter kinks out! This is your opportunity to escape now before your master (that’s me!) takes your hand and leads you down the rabbit hole.
Okay don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Before we get started I just have a really quick (completely unrelated) tail to tell. Yesterday when heading to the village, Church and Wesley, just as I got off the street car there was a big bang up the street from where I was. It kind of startled me and so I said to the fellow standing beside me at the street light, “What was that?” He turned to me and ever so calmly said, “Well either someone just farted or their car just backfired!” Outstanding I thought. And then I just laughed my head off crossing the street. People must have thought I had lost my mind. It ended up he was the night time security guard for the BMO at Church and Alexander, also in the village but I digress!
So kink! I’m going to assume like me, many of you know very little about the world of kink. I think it’s fair to say most of you have heard of 50 Shades of Grey? This is only one of many Hollywood movies and docs that have opened the Pandora’s box of adult role play. It was on such a night when my Pandora’s box was opened. A buddy of mine dared me to do a blog about something totally different for me and blindly I said sure. I had already eaten horse so how much more different can a blog review be?
He told me to go to a shop called North Bound Leather. I was to get help with buying a collar. Okay? I had a collar for my dog already. Apparently this collar was meant for me. Well, woof! I was like, “No way! You’re not getting me in a collar!” The back and forth chicken comments and the double dog dare you was heavy in the air when I finally said fine. Where is this den of delectables? Nicholas Street, just one corner west of Yonge and Wesley. There it was in all of its leather and lace. Oh yes, and latex. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked in but dark and dingy came to mind. I pictured an old pervert behind the counter staring judgingly as if to murmur under his stale breath, “There’s no turning back now”. Amazingly it wasn’t like that at all. It was a very lovely leather boutique. I mean I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore but I also didn’t feel too uncomfortable when from the length of the room greetings came from a sexy bearded and harnessed fellow who introduced himself as Peter. It didn’t take me long to realize he was the leather model featured on the large posters directly above me on the walls. “How can I help you?”, he asked. Oh, let me count the ways I thought almost audibly.
Just then a fabulously dressed woman walked into our space and introduced herself as the owner or one half of a duet that owned the shop. Then of course a maiden in the distance working on some displays also greeted me with a smile and a nod. I wondered if they instinctively knew that I was new.
I nervously asked for what I was needing. A collar. A leather collar. Oh my god I just couldn’t believe those words were coming out of my mouth. Without hesitation Peter, my new best friend, took me to the collar wall. There was a collar wall. I had no idea there was going to be so many options. He helped me try some on and we finally came up with one that fit because of course my neck is as thick as a football player. I thought it was pretty badass and he was even eager to show me a leash accessory that went well with it just in case I had someone to lead me along at this kink event I was invited to attend. I passed on the leash this time lol. Of course when he put it on me and was holding the other end I did have a brief moment of, lead on you bearded stallion!
They make all of their leather goods in shop and they also do custom work. This is no run of the mill leather shop. It really is pretty impressive and also this is no cheap hobby, lifestyle, or role play. These harnesses, collars, and accessories are made of top quality leathers. The owner was a lot of fun and really made my first visit to her shop really welcoming and exciting. I learned that her shop North Bound Leather was actually the host to the event I was planning on blogging about. I did end up purchasing my first badass leather collar and even bought a pair of long yellow sport socks for my buddy that talked me into going. Next stop, the kink event at the Phoenix…..
You know it’s sort of funny when you think about it. When you’re a blogger, such as I am, your followers (mine over 21,000 registered readers) can get the impression that every living moment is over the top active and fabulous. You all know that isn’t true right? Just like everyone else days can go by at a glacial pace, especially in the winter. We are all doing our damndest to get out of the cold and into something hot and comforting.
Well I was introduced to a trendy little coffee shop by a buddy of mine called Black Bear Espresso. You should give it a visit if you are in the Yonge and College area and want a nice change from the corporate monster with the sea goddess on their cup (I think that’s what it is). I personally think their coffee tastes like designer gasoline. The whole “over the top happiness” is also super invasive. It may work for some but I don’t need to know the emotional well being of the employees who always seem to be shooting and banging stuff around. Also, what’s this need to be steaming our names across the room?
This cozy Black Bear spot offers a more discrete atmosphere to enjoy the sounds of steam without the noise pollution. The coffee and treats are delicious. The artistry of their presentation is lovely. A place to just enjoy being incognito. It’s located right across the street from my favourite movie house (The Carlton). Their pastries are beautifully made and have such a homemade flavour and feel. So when you’re looking for that quiet moment in your day to just sit and take a breather, consider the Black Bear Espresso. You won’t regret it!
It’s that time of year that I do my best just to make it to spring. Are you with me? I can handle November to January, as long as it’s been gentle. Every year it seems winter is waiting longer and longer to unleash its wrath. The last few weeks have been brutal in Toronto; all over Canada really. So I thought for the next few blogs I would focus on finding some Zen. I found some Zen on the Danforth the other day. There’s an amazing shop along the Danforth strip called Gifts from the Earth. There are two locations in the city actually. The other is on Queen Street. I’ll supply geographical info at the end. Basically the shop is literally a small gallery of dinosaur bones, semi precious stones, precious stones, and crystals of all sizes. This shop is not really like most shops in this category. Their items are significant sizes and collections. They have fossils. The fossils are incredible. To think of the age from which they came is mind expanding. In our modern world of text and internet and work stress and on and on, it’s so easy to forget this whole thing is bigger than the sum of its parts. We think so small and we think we own the time. As I perused the displays and took in the scents from the incense bar, you really just have to let your stress melt away. New Age music plays quietly in the back ground and there’s an energy in the atmosphere that is really hard to articulate. Intimidating in age and yet welcoming in spiritual and geographical relevance. The earth literally gives an abundance of riches to heal, feed, calm, educate, mystify, and protect us. We just have to take a moment to slow down and allow it to speak to us. Wow, I’m sounding like an old hippy. It’s worth more than one visit. I got myself a beautiful crystal and some incense. I’ll be back soon. Maybe I’ll see you there and we can get ourselves some Zen together.
I guess I could write about the fact that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I could talk about the groundhog; he didn’t see his shadow I understand. I could even talk about Trump. I’m not going to though. I’ve got something I need to get off my chest. Disabilities and chronic illness in the workplace. This issue affects me personally. This article isn’t going to be a crucifixion to those who have affected my own personal recovery in a very negative way, but to look at why and what we can do to make it better. It needs to get better. We need to all start from that spot. I’m going to focus on my own situation. I am one of a million people who suffer from mental illness, more specifically chronic anxiety, panic attacks, and chronic depression. For those of you who read my blog weekly you may think, “I don’t see it”. Bruce’s articles are funny, ridiculous, charming, cheeky, etc, etc. The same thing happens in my day job. People don’t seem to understand that just because a person can put on a brave face and fake it until you make it doesn’t mean all is well in the mind. Everyone experiences pain, stress, and anxiety but mental illness and chronic conditions are not the same thing. I’m not going to try and explain the why’s and how’s. You can research that yourself but trust me for the sake of this article that my statement has been proven over and over again. I went on a stress leave from work several months back and on my return last summer I spent hours speaking with professionals in my company, doctors and therapists, on how to manage work stress and my own ongoing wellness. I suppose if I had to rate this back to work experience I would have to give it a 4 or 5 out of ten. In saying that I may be headed for another sick leave depending on my doctor’s advice this coming Tuesday. I don’t want to have to take this direction. I love my job. I love my team. The sad thing is I’ve been getting all the therapy and education on my illness I can, but for the most part many companies are dangerously behind when it comes to working and supporting those employees that suffer and survive this challenge. The time for change is now. How many more good and talented people must leave careers, take sick leaves, commit self harming acts on themselves because the heads of companies turn a blind eye to the ignorant leaders in their companies. Why do the afflicted have to work harder and harder but the leaders can behave in any manner they wish towards these employees? Would it be appropriate for a manager with an employee that has a broken ankle to kick that employee in the afflicted area? I’m being sarcastic here but it’s no different for chronic mental conditions. Best practices must be put in place and actually adhered to so an employee can effectively do their job and also continue to heal. I’ve been in retail management for over 20 years and I can say with certain life experiences that companies fail miserably when it comes to education and awareness of mental illness. My hats off to those I know who are working hard to change this serious problem. I have been an unexpected participant as teacher to educate people within my professional world and as much as I’m proud to speak up and try to help people understand, I’m the one with the condition and it’s exhausting beyond belief. I just want to be the best I can be. I want to build positive work relationships. I want to reach new hightail in my industry but I can’t get there if those in leadership roles above me continue to intentionally or unintentionally kick me in my broken ankle. We must hold our leaders and companies accountable for their ignorance. We are getting the help and guidance we need to cope in our professional positions but we can’t do it alone. I’m calling out to the corporate world! You want to continue to be successful and to be relevant? Then understand how you can be the inclusive place you claim to be. Lift those who work for you. Educate your teams to be tolerant and knowledgeable about these issues. Change your conversations behind closed doors. Change the stigma on mental illness. I remain hopeful but I’m worried about us. We the panic ridden, depressed, anxious, PTSD, bipolar, etc. I’m not convinced our leaders are doing their best. I find it incredibly daunting that empathy, communication, and understanding are such a difficult value to implement. If you need help I’d be honoured to point you in the right direction. You can find me on Instagram @bruceinthecity. You are never alone so keep reaching out. Keep fighting and keep the faith.
Ok this months Beard is most inspiring. His name is Wilson and he has a very big following on Instagram. This fellow should seriously be on the big screen or even the small screen for that matter. I’m thinking Vikings! I’m thinking Game of Thrones! I admit I got a big beard crush on this one and not just because he’s crazy sexy and perfect in every physical way but from the look of his Instagram account he is an amazing family man. He also does a great job at promoting different beard products etc. Ladies this ones just deliscious! Follow him today @wilsonlimabeard on Instagram!
I thought it would be fitting to explore a book that reminds us of importance of science. In a time when some world leaders are grossly irresponsible when it comes to the importance of science. This wonderfully written Work explores four remarkable friends who transformed science and shaped our modern world.