One week in

Elbow is playing on the HiFi and I’m sitting on the apartment balcony watching lightning over Lake Ontario.

Storm watching #burlington #lightning

A post shared by John East (@johneast) on

The video doesn’t do it justice. It’s quite something to watch.

So I’ve been in Canada for a week now, and apart from missing my family I’ve really enjoyed myself. I’ve met old friends, made some new ones, played glow in the dark mini golf, been go karting and had fun evenings out with my work colleagues. It’s all been good.

As I said in my last post, my plan for my time in Canada for my training was to concentrate on Original Strength crawling which is what I’ve been doing. Every morning I’m up at 6am, I have my daily meeting with my team back in the UK office over Skype which lasts about 20 – 30 min. I then have a bit of time reading my Bible and praying, and then I start training. To begin with I concentrate on easy basic movements like segmental rolling, head nods, rocking and baby crawling. I also make sure I spend a bit of time consciously breathing with my abdomen. Most people get into a habit of breathing with their chest, however this is how we breathe under stress. So if we’re breathing like this all the time then our nervous system is always in a stressed state. By breathing with our abdomen we give our nervous system the signal that we are relaxed and everything is okay. This is more important than it sounds.

After this it’s time to go out and do some more intense crawling. About 10 minutes walk away there is a park so I jog there and spend some time crawling. Some mornings I just do leopard crawling and see how long it takes me to leopard crawl around the soccer pitch they have there. Other mornings I switch my time between forwards, backwards and sideways crawling. It doesn’t sound too much, but believe me if you crawl on your hands and feet keeping your hips below your shoulders for 20 minutes with a 1 minute work and 1 minute rest ratio, making a total of 10 minutes crawling, you know you’ve done something. One of the ‘problems’ with Original Strength is that it’s so simple, and sounds so easy, that a lot of people disregard it or don’t see how it can be of any benefit.

I haven’t measured anything so I can’t say if it’s done me any good or not. I feel good but that’s subjective. There are two things I can say for certain though, one good and one bad: For the latter part of this week my shoulder has started hurting again. I haven’t had any issues with it for a while now so it’s a little disappointing that it would come back. There are a few factors that could be causing this though. At work in the UK I stand for most of the time, whereas here in Canada I’ve been sitting at my desk a lot more, which affects my posture which could have something to do with it, also on Wednesday this week I woke up with stiffness in the muscles under my right scapula (thanks to sleeping funny in an unfamiliar bed) which meant my shoulder ached and I had trouble turning my head right. I know this has affected my shoulder but I don’t know if it was the cause. And finally there is the change in my training, switching from turkish get-ups to crawling, both are fairly shoulder heavy but involve slightly different mechanics. I’ve done I week of just crawling before (thanks to putting my back out slightly one time meaning I couldn’t train with my kettlebells) and it didn’t cause an issue, but I was just crawling forwards and not crawling in different directions. I’ll carry one and see how it goes. The good point is that I haven’t really suffered from jetlag. A few mornings this week I woke up early, but I haven’t had that awful feeling where you feel like you just can’t cope during the day and all you want to do is go to sleep, which I’ve experienced before. Whether that’s down to the training or just to being outside in the open air in the morning I don’t know, but whatever it is I’ll take it.

My eating is also something I had to change when I came out here. There are a group of us out in Canada from the UK, and because we are on expenses here it means that we tend to eat out a lot, well okay, all the time. We haven’t cooked anything yet. But because I don’t eat much during the day, it means I can manage it, or at least that’s how it seems so far. I have my bulletproof coffee before I go to work, at lunch time I’ll have some green leaves with half an avacado and maybe some butter, and in the afternoon I’ll have a handful of almonds or cashews. I feel pretty good during the day and I’m hungry come evening time which means I can eat without worrying too much. I’m still not eating any wheat/gluten/sugary products (so no desserts for me) and this is helping me I believe. Still it’s only been a week, let’s see how I’m doing in another six.

One thing that is frustrating over here is the cost of good quality butter. If you want to have healthy fat in your diet (and I do) one of the best sources is butter from grass fed cows. In the UK this isn’t too hard to do, Kerrygold is a good source as are some of the other high quality butters. In Canada however, because of the laws and restrictions surrounding the diary trade, it means it’s really expensive for the farmers to be accredited by the government, so in order to be cost effective they gear their process for mass production rather than quality which means feeding the cows grains in order to produce a higher yield. This unfortunately makes the cows sick and so produces a lower quality butter. The end result is that good quality butter is really expensive and it’s also difficult to find. My mouth literally hit the floor when I saw that the butter costs $10 for a 1lb pack! That’s five time more expensive than normal butter. 😦 Good job I’m on expenses.

So that’s my first week. I’m going to bed now and hoping the thunder won’t keep me awake.

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