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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Friday Jan 21, 2011

Well I did it, I had the physical for the Fire Department last Friday, it was quite the experience.  I finished with 1:35 seconds to go.  Overall it wasnt much of a challenge from a mental or physical standpoint.  I think the guy in front of me didn’t make it through.  Now it is on to the next exam.  I have been told that this recruitment interviews based on your test scores so I am going to start reviewing things shortly.   I am aiming for high 90’s but really 100% then there is no question at all.

My goals for the 52DC are on track I think I plan on running and swimming quite a lot next week  in Mexico.  I weighed in this morning after a 30 minute swim and a 7.3 mile run at 192.6.  I am hoping to be down to 191 by the time I leave next Thursday.

I was thinking today while I was working out that it is amazing how your thoughts/view change as you evolve.  I can remember looking at a lot of these people I see day in and day in an envious way and looked up to them when it cam to fitness.  Now that I am where I am and these people are still doing the same thing and not evolving I am almost looking down on them and thinking they need to pick things up if they want to evolve.  i guess not everyone has the same goals and some people are just at the gym as part of a healthy lifestyle and for a social experience.

I phoned my son this morning and asked him if he wanted to do a karate video (Kenpo X) tonight with me so we are both excited for that.  Other than that the usual busy weekend is ahead.

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Wednesday January 12, 2011

One week in and things seem to be going pretty good all things considering.  This morning I got in an Ab Ripper X session, shoveled the driveway, swam, ran and hit a spin class.  I am feeling pretty good kind of want to sneak out at lunch and run a little more but I have a meeting early this afternoon so that probably wont be the best idea in the world.

I have started streamlining my life yesterday and stepped down from the position of Vice-Chair of the OBOA executive that I sat on.  I wasnt able to put in a full effort and do the job properly.  I was expected to take over the Chair position in November and I didn’t want to be responsible for having a negative effect on 60+ people’s careers.  I also have set up a meeting  with the guy I do Fire Prevention with for next week so we can discuss a diminished role until January of 2012.  I handed off all of the Treasurer stuff to the new Treasurer of the Fire Department Association on Monday night.  The idea here is that I can concentrate on things that I want to do that are important to me.

When I think of me as I ideally see myself I see me as a husband, a father, a firefighter and a triathlete of course all of the other things I must do in order to facilitate what I want to do.  Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can really concentrate on trimming the fat from my life so I can start to do these things better than I am currently. On that note I have also decided to stay on the Association of the Fire Department as president for one more year as I am personally getting pretty tired of the apathy that exist and I have made it my goal to change the feeling and bring the group (30+ type A alpha males) closer together.  I have my work cut out for me.

On a completely different note my son is featured on the TriKids website as the first picture you see when you go there.  Here is the link http://www.trikidstriathlon.com/  he is the swim picture.  That’s my boy!

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52 DC – Day 2

Last nights sleep was terrible I went to bed a little early (after the 2nd period in the hockey game) with what turned out to be a false sense of security that Canada would win the hockey game, fell asleep and shortly after my wife came to bed and woke me up to tell me that Canada had lost 5-3.  That started off the night very poorly.  The baby was up and seems to only go back to sleep if I go and rock her, so I did more broken sleep.  Then there was a medical assist call at 330 am for an 80-year-old male difficulty breathing, I decided to skip the call as the ambulance always beats us to the scene in the night, there are lots of new recruits who need medical experience and I was planning on waking up at 4.  Well I ended up sleeping in until 445 which set my planned workouts behind.

When I finally made it to the gym tired and grumpy I got into the pool planning on a 30 minute swim.  After 20 minutes all of my energy was gone and I was going to be late for the spin class, so i made my way upstairs to do the leg raises, dips and chin ups then hit the spin class.  I have decided to attend less classes so that I can get more benefit out of them when I do go.  I weighed in at 193 again this morning.  I have also decided that i want to weigh 189 by the time we leave for mexico. 

My wife has upgraded our room at the resort in mexico to a family suite so that we (I) have access out of the room when the kids are sleeping early in the morning so I can exercise.  It’s a bit costly but it will also give us a place to hang out with my cousin and his fiancée at night.  My cousin called me to ask me to be the best man in his wedding, it is one of the greatest honours for me to be able to be there for him on the biggest day of his life.  He was my best man and has helped me through so much.  He also put up with my drunken ass when we lived together in University.  The wedding is going to be May 14 in Montreal so I am quite excited I’ve already gotten a few emails from people who want to help me organize his stag.

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52 DC – Day 1

Today I started the challenge off right.  Woke up a 405, got ready headed to the gym, had a great RT session and then followed that with a 60 minute run.  I managed to go 7.7 miles but i have to admit it was hurting a bit.  My running stamina is definitely down since the last challenge.  Nearing the end of December I was getting quite sick of cardio so I took a bit of a break from the machines and from spinning.  I weighed in today at 193 lbs. 

I took the first serious step towards the career change and I signed up for the physical test at the University of Waterloo http://uwfitness.uwaterloo.ca/firefighter/cpat_ov.html, Tis test is what has detered me previously from making a full push.  I think that I can blow it out of the water but it looks like I only have one chance to do it as I wont be around for the actual testing day so it is do or die.

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