Friday, November 8, 2019

November Update: The Culture of Fitness

After many hours of overtime and juggling my regular weather and sports duties for Global News, the premiere of my new health and wellness series, The Culture of Fitness, launched this week.

On Tuesday, there was a full social, online, radio and TV roll-out of the first episode. And a similar roll-out will take place on the next three Tuesdays.

Here is the first episode, which is all about Capoeira.

My day on Tuesday started on Global News Morning for an interview previewing the series and to show some teaser clips from the episode above. After my appearance on GNM, I made the rounds on a number of Global News radio stations to discuss the series and get people to check out the online portion of the series on the Global News website.

There is some additional written and video content online to accompany each episode.

I now have dedicated landing page on which houses all of the fitness content I have produced over the past year. This is also where my future health and fitness content will live.

I will show the remaining episodes in next month's post.

Another fitness-related story I have produced and written recently was on Tommy Calhoun, a 75-year-old quarterback who has played in the same touch football league for 57 years!

Here is the full episode.

And here is a link to a blog I wrote about the experience of meeting Tommy and seeing him in action.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October Update: Wrapping Up The 2019 Tennis Season

What a September it was for Canadian tennis!

Bianca Andreescu made Canadian history by becoming the first individual to win a grand slam title when she won the U.S. Open over Serena Williams on a Saturday evening in New York.

I was actually at a wedding in Windsor, Ontario that evening. I watched the first set from the house where we spent the downtime between the ceremony and the reception.

It was in the second set when we got to the venue and I quickly realized there weren't any TVs. That wouldn't do.

So five of us left the reception to go to a bar across the street to watch the end of the match. It was 5-1 Bianca and I ordered five tequila shots. But then Serena won four games in a row to tie the set at 5 and the crowd in New York was going nuts.

Amazingly, Bianca was able to keep her composure and win the next games to take the title. It was one of the greatest victories this country has ever seen.

And it was a culmination of a story I first started following in 2017 when I first spoke to Bianca for a story on Global News. I talked about that experience the Monday after her victory.

Earlier that week, I put together another tennis feature story on Rob Shaw, who won a gold medal in wheelchair tennis at the Parapan Am Games in Peru at the beginning of the month.

This month I have also filmed all four episodes of my new fitness series for Global called The Culture of Fitness. The final edit of the series will take place today and the aim is for the first episode to premiere on November 1 (we're holding off until after the election).

It was a blast learning capoeira, parkour, muay thai and cricket.

I will be sure to have some more details about the series in next month's update.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September Update: A Ball Man, a Caddy and More Fitness

I mentioned my adventures as a "Ball Man" at the Rogers Cup in last month's update. Here is the final product. I think it's safe to say that Julia bailed me out big time.

After the piece aired, I received a message from Golf Canada asking if I wanted to try being a caddy for a pro golfer during the CP Women's Open Pro-Am at Magna Golf Club in Aurora.

I said, absolutely, and I was on the bag for 23-year-old Maddie Szeryk from London Ontario. My performance as a caddy was significantly worse than my "Ball Man" escapades. 

See for yourself.

My next creative focus is a new fitness series that is a bit of an addendum to the What's Your Fitness Age series. This one is called The Culture of Fitness. I start shooting it next week and the four episodes will air in October.

Here is a synopsis of what the series will be about:

The What’s Your Fitness Age series was a gym-centric approach to health and fitness. But fitness looks different around the world. The Culture of Fitness is a four-part series that will explore fitness regimens from different cultures and how their methods compare and contrast to a traditional gym routine.
Each episode will focus on a different region of the world and how that culture stays fit and healthy. I will embed himself within each program to experience it for himself and to give viewers an idea of how it compares to the traditional fitness method of the What’s Your Fitness Age series.
At the end of each episode, I will talk to a fitness expert to see where each fitness culture stacks up in terms of providing the most well-rounded approach to health and wellness and what they need to add to their routines to fill in any missing links.
The four cultures and fitness regimens that will be explored are:
Brazil - Capoeira
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. It is known for its quick and complex maneuvers, predominantly using power, speed, and leverage across a wide variety of kicks, spins, and other techniques. 
India - Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player (so they are "out"). 
Southeast Asia - Muay Thai
Muay Thai is a martial art that is known as the "art of eight limbs". It is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, and shins.
France - Parkour
Practitioners aim to get from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Parkour includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, plyometrics, rolling, crawling and other movements as deemed most suitable for the situation.
Thanks for reading and watching!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

August Update: Better Late Than Never

The frequency of my monthly updates has been wanting so far in 2019, but I do have a good reason. All of the extra content I have been producing and hosting for Global News has taken up the majority of my time and focus throughout the spring and summer.

Although I did get an opportunity to travel to Newfoundland for a wedding in mid-July and I was able to get many hours of spectacular hiking in throughout the trip.

I mentioned in my last post in June that there would be some addendum pieces to the What's Your Fitness Age series about senior fitness. I travelled to McMaster University in Hamilton to produce a story on the MacSenior fitness program.

After learning about the program, I couldn't pass up the opportunity for another fitness challenge where I teamed up with a member of the program and we took on Ross and his senior partner. Here's the link to that piece.

Earlier today, I had a meeting about producing another fitness series, this one will be called The Culture of Fitness. I'm still at the exploratory stage, but I hope to start shooting this new series in September and I will have some more info in next month's update.

Sticking with fitness, it is Rogers Cup week in Toronto and Montreal. Yesterday, I put together a preview story from Aviva Centre for Global News teeing up the all-Canadian affair between Bianca Andreescu and Genie Bouchard.

Also, on Sunday, I had an opportunity to be a "Ball Man" during an actually qualifying match at the Rogers Cup.

2. Lots of stuff to remember, especially when you’re on towel duty @TennisCanada

I am currently editing the full feature and that will air on Global on Friday night. I will post the link in next month's post as well.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

June Update: More Fitness

The What's Your Fitness Age series that I co-produced for Global has come to an end and it was a lot of work and a lot of fun. It was also very well received by my co-workers and viewers. Here's the final episode which includes the final results.

If you want to watch the full episodes, which includes extra content if you want to find out your own fitness age, you can check out the landing page for the series.

I am doing some additional fitness content this month as well, including a story on adaptive fitness. Here is the link to the video, which also includes some more written information and and additional video content.

I will also be creating two pieces of content on senior fitness later this month, which I will post in the next update.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Update: What's Your Fitness Age and Conference Attendance

I mentioned last update that the new project I've been working on, a four-part series called What's Your Fitness Age?, would require a lot more work added to my plate. And I don't think I was evenprepared for how much time it would actually take to produce, shoot, edit, write, and promote this series.

Don't get me wrong, it's been an absolute blast working with people I don't get to normally. And fully immersing myself in such a creative endeavour in something I don't get to do in my day-to-day, so the long days have been worth it.

I've been putting in 10-12 hours of overtime every week for the past two weeks and this will continue for the next three until the final episode of the series airs on May 17.

Each episodes premieres on Fridays on Global News Morning and I am also appearing on GNM for a segment to talk about the series each Friday as well.

Here's how the first episode turned out.

The second episode will premiere on Friday. We also have a dedicated landing page on the Global News website where you can watch each episode and get extra content like exercise demos, more information on the scoring system and the challenges, and an opportunity to find your own fitness age.

My May schedule will be a little nuts until the long weekend, when things should normalize a little bit more.

Outside of my media career, my start-up, VoiStory, has been getting some traction within the hospice and palliative care community. We have signed licencing deals with four organizations thus far and we attended the 2019 Hospice Palliative Care Ontario annual conference in Richmond Hill last weekend.

While there, we met with a lot of stakeholders in the community. Our website and how it can streamline and simplify legacy work seemed to strike a chord with most people we met. We received a ton of interest, which we're hoping will turn into more deals for the company.

We've also just released our latest update, which allows users to upload images to link to their corresponding audio clips. This gives our website a more fully immersive experience for our users.

Here is updated demo of how the website works.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Monday, April 1, 2019

April Update: New Content and New Business

Apologies for my lack of a post last month, but I really didn't have anything new to report at that time. I pretty much just did my regular shift for all of March, however I was working on two things that I can share in this month's update.

After the success of my monthly tennis blog last year, I was looking for a new project for 2019 that would let me create and produce some entertaining content (although I may bring the tennis blog back for a special occasion if I really have some success in tournaments this year).

Since January, me and fellow weather guy Ross Hull have been working on a 4-part series pitch called What's Your Fitness Age? It will be a competition series to find out how different our 'real' age is from our 'fitness' age. Joining Ross and I as competitors will be Liem Vu and Jen Valentyne from Global News Morning.

Ross and I spent last month devising the outline of the series and the challenges in consultation with the High Performance Sport Department at the University of Toronto. We will be shooting the series in the middle of April with the first episode scheduled to premiere the week after Easter.

It will be a lot of work added to our regular plate, but it should be a blast to shoot and I'm really looking forward to it.

The new business I referred to in the title has actually nothing to do with my media career.

For the past 18 months, I have been working on a side project in my spare time. It's a start-up company called VoiStory that I've recently launched with two other co-founders. VoiStory is a web service that allows users to record, edit, organize, store and share their life's memories as audio clips.

Here is a demo video to show you how the website works.

You can find out more information about what VoiStory is on the website plus here's a link to the VoiStory Facebook page. That's where you can find testimonials from some of our users plus additional info about VoiStory.

Right now, until the end of April, we are offering an early adopter discount for individual VoiStory accounts. It is only $20 for a forever membership and 1GB of storage, which is approximately 20 hours of recording time.

This early adopter discount is 80% off the regular price. Also, in the next few weeks, we will be releasing a feature where you will be able to upload photos to your recorded stories and chapters.

Thanks for reading and watching!