It’s been a while…

Hi everyone,

Just a quick post because I have to get back to the gym for a double and into work.

I made it through my training, graduated and have been on the trucks for about 6 weeks now.  I cannot believe how lucky I am to have gotten the best job in the world.

The fitness has not fallen down since I last posted by my scale weight has started to creep up.  I weighed in this morning at 202.4.  I started lifting heavy weights and think that I look a lot bigger that I did 1 year ago.  I am going for a fitness assessment in a couple of weeks and I plan to have my bf% taken.

I had to pull out of the 1/2 Ironman I was signed up for as I ended up injuring my foot and my ankle during training.  I did manage to complete a sprint and olympic tri this season but I think that I might be done for the year.

I am really pumped to be getting back to a 52DC as it has been a while and I have figured out that I am the type of person who needs goals to function properly.  I am also planning on posting before and after pics of the challenge and getting some pics up soon of where I came from and where I am now.

Hope everyone is well

 

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Finally Got the Call

It seems so surreal. Yesterday I got the official word that I have been hired. 

I can’t believe that I have my dream job and I don’t have to move across the province or the country like other guys do.  I will be able to stay in my house and continue to serve the volunteer department I am on.

The last 7 weeks has been absolute hell on me and my family.  This was truly the most stressful time of my life.  I don’t think it would have been as bad if they had given me a realistic time frame during my interview.  2 weeks is what they said and 7 weeks was how long it took.   I actually started the process way back in January when I did the physical, then the aptitude exam in February, the interview in March the DISC profiling and reference checks in April.  I received a conditional offer of employment on Friday April 15.  That is conditional upon a medical exam which I did yesterday. 

I am so happy, but like I said it seems like it is not real.  Now I have 2 weeks left of my current job.  Tonight I will appear before council to let them know.  I have told my parents and that went a lot better than expected.

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Wednesday April 6, 2011

The fundraiser on Saturday went very well.  We did run out of booze and cups which is very impressive.  I bought 30 cases of beer, a case of vodka, rum and rye and 6 cases of wine.  Luckily we managed to get our hands on more to keep the people happy.  The show was very well received and the comics were very funny.  I have not done totals for the profits yet but things are looking very good.  I think we will end up having raised about $7000.  So now we just have to decide where to donate the money to.  I would like to creat a benevolent fund so we have money to give to anyones family in case the unthinkable happens.

I can’t wait for the nice weather so that i can get out and run and bike outside.  I still have not received any word about the job.  I did notice the my resume has been viewed another 6 times since my interview so I am thinking that another department is considering doing a hiring.  The test I wrote was to create a pool for 4 departments to pick from.  But I have not heard anything yet.  Yesterday it was exactly 1 month since the interview with no word (nobody has heard) which is extremely frustrating.  I have also been told that the start date has been pushed back to May 9th.   It is amazing the difference I have in my attitude as I am acting as if I have the job.  Things are not getting to me and the blocks are removed and things are sorting themselves out. 

Now if I could only drop some weight.  My wife and I spoke this morning and I think we are both going to go back on the Abs Diet.  I have enjoyed TNT but my weight has not changed and I don’t believe that I can follow TNT for the rest of my life.  With the Abs Diet I truly enjoy the food and I can follow its principles for a long time without ever feeling deprived.  I will incorporate carb cycling and carb watching into the Abs Diet and hopefully the scale moved again.  I am also hoping my workout quality can go back to where it was with more carbs as Tri season is just around the corner.

This morning I swam for 30 minutes, ran for 30 minutes and then took a spin class.  weight was up to 197

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Friday April 1, 2011

Still have not heard anything, this is truly killing me.  I heard that they are still doing interviews.  I guess that there are some HR policies that say so many people have to be interviewed  for every job.  I guess this means that things are going to happen very quickly over the next few weeks.  I am hoping to hear today.  I have  a feeling that things are going to work out and I will get on.  To be honest it is  a little bit scary to leave a secure well-paying job where I have total autonomy and freedom to come and go as I please to a job where I am on probation for a year and getting paid a lot less.  I know I will get over it but these last three weeks have got me thinking a lot about my life and what I want out of it and a bunch of other deep topics.  I have also decided on the surprises for my family no matter how these things work out to say thank you for putting up with me.  (I can’t say because I know my beautiful wife reads this from time to time)

This morning I ran 5 miles on the treadmill then did 300 pushups, 300 crunches and then hit a spin class.  I am finding that I don’t have nearly enough energy to finish my endurance workouts as strongly as I did before going on TNT plan A.  I think I am going to have to move to a plan that has a few more carbs so that i can start to do some longer runs and bike rides.  I think I am supposed to run for 90 minutes tomorrow and then a 2 hour bike ride on sunday.

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Tuesday March 29, 2011

So the family has all been sick since Thursday night.  My daughter got it the worst of all of them and started to recover late Sunday afternoon.  My son got it saturday night and my wife had it when she woke up Sunday morning.  Luckily I did not get it though.  I didn’t manage to get out and get a workout in on Friday or sunday so I think I will have to put in at least one double which I might do today.

Saturday was my sons championship game for his hockey season, and admittedly he is not the best player on the team but he has improved dramatically since the beginning of the season.  they ended up wining the game 6-4 but the best part of the game was that my son scored the game winning goal with 1 second to go in his shift.  I am so happy for him as I am a huge believer in self-confidence for kids and things like this and doing the triathlons really help to assure him that he is amazing. 

I still have not heard about the fire job, but nobody has.   It now officially has been the longest three weeks of my life.  I hope that I hear things soon because I still havent told my boss that I am doing this and she is one of my references.  The way our Municipality is set up the senior staff is made up of the CAO, The Director of Public Works and myself.  The person who is the Director of Public Works has handed in his retirement papers and his last day will be April 30th.  He is really good friends with the clerk and has made it very clear to me that when I tell her about my plans that I will send her over the edge.  So needless to say I will only tell her if I get the call.  They told me in the interview that they would call and ask if the could contact my references.  I have started to clean up all the little fires and messes that I have put aside for the last 6 years as if I will be leaving.   For my families sake I hope things are decided soon.

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Tuesday Marhc 22, 2011

There was a major tragedy close by to us last week http://www.theobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3033720.  I was hoping to attend the funeral on Thursday but we had to draw names to see who could go up and my name was not picked.  The reason being we can’t have our entire department at a funeral an hour away and nobody around to respond.  There are so many questions that come to mind when you hear things like this.  Most of all I truly feel for their families and the guys and girls that served with them.  It is almost sickening to stop and think of what these two people went through in the last minutes of their lives.  It also inspires me more to become a fulltime firefighter as I think that my knowledge of buildings and building construction would be an asset to any department.

Today is 2 weeks since I had the interview and I am hoping to hear something.  Last night I spoke with my friend who is already on the department and he thinks I should be hearing something soon.  He also said he has a good feeling for me and feels I have a lot of what they are looking for with this hire.  This has truly been the longest 2 weeks of my life and I have been through every emotion possible.  Every time my wife calls me at work I think it might be news, but then it isn’t and I am disappointed.  I also started to think that I wasnt going to get on for a few days and now I am back feeling like this is my time.

In terms of fitness I have been going to the gym as usual doing my thing.  I got my new road bike fit on Sunday so I can’t wait until I can get out.  I found a new podcast (Ignite wrmup) that I listen to before a workout and it has really helped me to bring it again.  I kind of feel that I have been playing around and having fun in the gym for the last few months and my weight 196.8 shows that.  So I am glad that training for triathlon time has come around again as a clear goal really helps me to push myself in the gym.  yesterday I ran 6.25 miles in 50 minutes and then hit a yoga class.  Tomorrow I am planning on a 9 mile run followed by a spin class so that should tell me where I am in terms of fitness as I was doing this every Wednesday in the fall.  Wish me luck

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Wednesday March 16, 2011 Day 1

So another challenge is upon us.  I have vowed to myself to make this challenge one of my best.  I am on the TNT eating plan and I have started to train for the half Ironman in September.  My wife and I also have a side challenge going for who can lose the most weight (by %) prior to my cousin’s wedding in May.  So far she has jumped out ahead and is kicking my butt.  THis is why I have decided to sign up and attempt another 5% WLC.

Today I slept in a bit but still made it to the gym by 5:30.  I had a good RT training session where I was doing low weight and high rep sets (3 x 30)  then went off to a spin class.  I am not planning on counting the cardio minutes towards the Insane 15,000.  Tonight my wife and I are planning to go rock climbing for a few hours but I don’t think I will count that as anything as there is too much down time while the other person is climbing.

I am still waiting for a call from the HR department to let me know what is happening with the Fire interview I had, it is very very stressful and every time the phone rings my heart skips a beat and then sinks low, this is definitely an emotional roller coaster, and I feel really bad for my wife having to deal with me.  I know that they are planning to conduct interviews until Friday so I am actually expecting to hear something next week.   I was hoping that they would pick from the bunch of guys that they considered to be “preferred” quickly and then conduct the remaining interviews to fill the any spots they had not filled yet.  The plan is to hire 20 guys and the start date would be May 2nd.  After the interviews there are 2 more processes we would have to go through prior to getting hired.  The problem I am having is that I am not motivated at work and I can’t stay focused on the job I am doing.  Well hopefully I should know soon enough, I just can’t wait.  I feel like this is part of my life plan and that I am ment to get hired this time around.  I hope I am right.

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Wednesday March 9, 2011

Well the interview is over and done with.  I am feeling fairly positive about things but obviously the negative self-doubt thoughts are slowly creeping in.  They said that they will let us know one way or the other within 2 weeks.  THe process from here is another shortlist of candidates is made, then there is a series of other things that we go through so that they can pick their ideal candidates.  If  everything works out for me I would have a start date of May 2nd.

The interview team consisted of my chief from the department I am on now as a volunteer and a representative from HR.  I tried to keep upbeat and positive and to do all of the small things like keeping good eye contact and engaging them in my stories, I had a few chuckles and nods of approval  I am a little worried because there were obviously a bunch of check boxes that the Hr and the chief were looking for and on a few questions I noticed that none of the boxes were checked but on other questions they were all checked and then a lot of notes made.  What is really stressing me out is I couldn’t answer a particular question where they were looking for an example of something and I tried to answer the question but I couldn’t.  I wish I could say what the question was but I don’t think that they would appreciate me repeating any questions that they asked me. 

I do not know much about HR but I am assuming that it is rare that every candidate gives a perfect interview (or at least i am hoping that is the case)  Like I said I felt good coming out of the interview but now I am coming up with better answers to the questions now that I know them.  I truly believe that this is my time and that things will happen the way that they are supposed to but the anticipation after not even 24 hours is killing me. 

Yesterday afternoon I went to a physical at the doctors and things seem to be good.  She did my BMI and yet again I am obese which I understand that the scale does not really work for me as I have a muscular body type.  She then did a circumference test of my waist and that was a little high also, but she said that she has no worries because I obviously work out and I am fit.  However it was really good to hear a doctor say that as it is going to help me find some motivation to push myself.

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Monday March 7, 2011

Well things are moving quickly in my world.

I passed the written exam that i wrote (quite disappointed with an 84%) but still passed.

The city passed their budget approval the hiring of 20 firefighters on Thursday night.  I received an email friday night asking me to call to set up and interview.  I called this morning and arranged to have an interview tomorrow morning at 9 am.  I am very very nervous, i think that this is my chance to make a change.

My wife and I have made changes that will hopefully allow us to function on a reduced income.  We have renegotiated the mortgage (cutting payments by almost half) and traded in the mini van for a smaller more economical vehicle that has lower payments, cheaper insurance and gets almost double the mileage on the same amount of gas.

I started the TNT diet last week and I have lost almost 4 lbs.  I found myself having a really hard time this weekend and I had strong cravings for sugar and carbs.  I am not sure if it is because of how stressed I am or if it is my body telling me something else.

This morning I made it to the gym, did a full body workout and then went into a yoga class.  I really enjoyed the yoga and feel very relaxed and energetic.

I am going to post my progress pics this week for everyone to see.

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Friday Feb 11, 2011

Wow I am horrible with keeping up on blog posts.

So the vacation went very well it started out rough but progressively got better.  I woke up at 3 am on the day we left hit the gym and was home by 6.  things were going well.  Then when we 5 minutes from the airport the baby threw up which she never does.  The sickness ended up lasting almost the entire trip.  Got through check in  and then on to security.  So apparently the handle of our baby stroller is covered in chemicals which are used to make explosives.  So my wife got taken aside questioned and manually searched. ok we were done, then the plane got was delayed by almost an hour.  Finally on our way.  On board the baby was crazy and everyone was hungry however our row was the row where the 2 food carts meet and as it turns out they didn’t have enough food for everyone and there was one sanwhich for the four of us to share.  Ok we land.  Customs was almost an hour and a half all the asshole people from our plane decided that they wouldn’t wait in line like the rest of us and they would make their own line which only increased the time we had to wait.  Have I mentioned I have 2 backpacks, 3 pieces of luggage and a bay stroller to move in the line while my wife entertains the kids.  Not a single person helped or let us go ahead of them it was actually the opposite people were trying to pass me in line while I was trying to move all of our stuff.  Ok through out to the transfer, I decide that I would take a picture of everyone with my Iphone (work phone) but it is not in the backpacks.  I obviously am freaking out now and my wife encourages me to go back and ask, so I end up upstairs in this weird back part of the airport but my phone is there.  wow.  The rest of the day went relatively well except there was major confusion surrounding the upgraded room we wanted so we could be feet away from the pool so the baby could nap and we could use a monitor and swim with our son.  They quoted one amount then another and instead of arguing I got fed up and told my wife to pay the amount they wanted.  However the next day my cousin checked in and they quoted him the same cheaper rate that they originally quoted us.  My wife went an argued and now they have given us the free upgrade during our next stay.

So pretty much things could only go up from there.  We ended spending our time at the basketball courts, the water parks, the soccer field and the beach. We went snorkeling in underground caves and I went scuba diving for the first time.  I think it had to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

So now it is back to reality and I am back into the swing of things.  I have been falling behind on my goals and now I will have to pick things up again to hit them by the end of the challenge.

I also wrote the firefighter exam on Sunday and I think I did ok I didn’t get stumped on a question until # 85 out of a 100.   I think there was about 7 that I wasnt sure of.  I was hoping for 100 but we will see.  I am told the department I want to get onto is hiring very soon so I am excited about that.  THey use a point system to decide who will get an interview which I think that I should help me.  I think over 800 people ended writing the test  not very good odds considering we might be lucky if they hire 20 people.

Now I have also been recently contacted by a head hunter from a private engineering company who seems quite interested in me.  This would be going back into the role I had before I came to the public sector.  The only catch with this is that the job is right in downtown Toronto which would mean a huge commute or moving.  So I am torn but one things has become very clear to me since October is that I am bored with this job and the time has come for a new challenge for me. 

Stay posted I hope to have a clearer direction soon.

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