Saturday, February 1, 2020

February Update: Fitness Served Cold

I have hit the ground running--and biking and skiing and climbing and kiting--into the new year producing, writing and hosting another fitness series for Global News.

This one is called Fitness Served Cold and the goal of the series is to give people different options to stay fit, happy and healthy during the coldest months of the year.

I filmed all four episodes in January. Two of the episodes have already aired and the final two episodes will air later this month.

The first episode was on fat tire biking. It was something I had never tried before and I wrote about the experience as well.

The second episode was about cross-country skiing. I had done it once before, but I wouldn't blame you if you thought that wasn't possible after watching me above.

The final two episodes are on ice climbing and snow kiting, respectively. I will post those videos in next month's update and I will also have some details on my next project.

Thanks for reading and watching!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

January Update: A Decade in Review

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions and, even though we have crossed the threshold into a completely new decade, I don't plan on listings things I would like to accomplish over the next 12 months or the next 10 years.

However, what I did want to do with this post was to take a look back ten years and see where I was at that stage in my media career and compare that to now.

In January 2010, I was living with my parents, working part-time as a personal trainer. I had a goal to have a career in media, but no concrete plan at that time on how to achieve it.

I was writing a sports and pop culture posts five times a week for a blog I created that no longer exists. I didn't get paid to write it, but I enjoyed doing it and it showed that I had the creativity and drive to do it for a living (I just needed someone to give me money to do so).

It was also at the beginning of 2010 that I completed the first draft of my baseball novel. It took another two years to get it published by a small publishing company in Eastern Ontario.

(That company is now out of business--surely the publication of my novel is unrelated!)

The steps and career check marks I hit from that point in 2010 to now, here on the first day of 2020, were incremental. I was the furthest thing from an overnight success.

Case in point:

2011 - Played semi-pro baseball for the London Majors. Then worked as a freelance sports reporter and columnist for the Metro News London. 
2012 - Named editor and sports reporter of two community newspapers: The K-W Review and the Guelph Review (now defunct. I swear it wasn't my fault!)
2013 - Worked at The Weather Network as an on-camera presenter and field reporter.
2014 - Hired by CrossFit Media to be a sideline reporter for their regional fitness competitions. Presented the weather on CBC’s The National, CBC Toronto and CBC News Network.
2015 - Worked as a sideline reporter for ESPN at the Reebok CrossFit Games. Hired at Global TV as a weather anchor.
2016 - Worked as a fill-in sports anchor for Global News and fill-in co-host of The Morning Show on Global.
2017 - Worked as a sports reporter for Global News, producing, editing and writing various sports stories. Sideline reporter for CBS Sports Network for Reebok CrossFit Games.
2018 - Joined Tennis Canada and created a monthly video and article blog for called Second Serve: An Inside Look at Canadian Tennis (Interviewed Bianca Andreescu, Daniel Nestor, Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov). Individual competition sideline reporter for CBS main network coverage of the CrossFit Games.
2019 - Produced, hosted and wrote What’s Your Fitness Age and The Culture of Fitness series , covered the Rogers Cup for Global News and did sports radio segments on Global News Radio 640.
It has been a long, arduous process to get where I am today and there were many times when I didn't think things were going to work out, but I kept persevering.
Looking ahead, I am already creating and producing more content for Global in early 2020. One is a series called Fitness Served Cold and the other is a competition series called Top Dog.
Happy New Year! 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

December Update: A Wrap on The Culture of Fitness

November not only included a full TV, online, radio and social media roll-out of my new series, The Culture of Fitness, for Global News, but also a trip to Jamaica at the end of the month for a friend's wedding.

It was a much needed week of relaxation after consistent overtime hours for the past couple of months putting the series together and then spending time on Global News Morning and Global News radio previewing each episode.

I posted the Capoeira episode in last month's post, but the following three episodes were about Parkour, Muay Thai and Cricket.

I now have my own page on the Global News website called The Fitness Corner where I will post all of my fitness and sports related videos and additional written content.

I have a couple of ideas for my next fitness related series, but right now the plan is to take easy over the Christmas season. But I may have a tennis tournament over the next couple of weeks as well. I can't take it that easy.

Also, I only have 10 copies of my novel, 60'6": Balls, Strikes and Baseball Mortality left available to purchase through my website. It would make a great stocking stuffer of Secret Santa gift. Here's some more info on the book and how to buy it.

And I will be co-hosting Global News Morning on December 30 and 31.

Thanks for reading and watching!

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!