Turning Over a New Leaf 2017, Part 1

Giving back to someone that has worked really hard to succeed is a wonderful feeling.  New Leaf Physiotherapy is very glad to support our community and Kelowna (who knows this year, possibly beyond).

Sharlet has her new Garmin Forerunner 35 on her wrist and she is in running clothing
Sharlet testing out her new watch at The Next Step

If you recall last year, we did a three part series of blog posts about how NLP gives back to the community.  You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

Up to speed in 2017, we have already helped out a couple of people in the New Leaf community.

The first person that we helped out was a sponsorship to Linda.  Linda had a total joint replacement surgery.  She was determined to get the most out of her surgery, that is where NLP comes into the picture.  She was very motivated but needed a guiding hand.  She did marvelous!  In May of 2017, Linda wanted to do a fundraiser with the YMCA, Cycle for Strong Kids Okanagan 2017.  Linda contacted NLP asking if we would help her raise money for this great cause… And we did!

The second half of Part 1 is this young lady, Sharlet.  Sharlet is a lady that I have known for a few years in Kelowna.  Over the last year, she had a very tough struggle/ battle.  She is a single Mother of 3 children 7, 5, and 3 years of age.  A lot of her paycheck goes to rent and necessities and does not have much room for extras.  Earlier this year, Sharlet started asking me about running.  She wondered if I thought she would be able to run a half marathon, as she has not run any distance longer than 10 km in her life.  My answer was an obvious, “Yes”!  We sat down and had some discussions about training for the half marathon but she was not sure if she would do it.

One day, a few of months ago, Sharlet had a big smile on her face and said that she got into the SeaWheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver.  It was a lottery race, there are only so many spots and a lot of people want to run it.   So the date was set, August 12, 2017!

Sharlet got enough money together to buy herself a new pair of running shoes (I think she told me it was her first new pair of running shoes ever!) and started more focused training.

She has done some crazy training runs to get herself ready for this half marathon.  Here is the craziest training run, that I have heard, you will know it is crazy if you live in Kelowna!  She started at the Rails to Trails on on Clifton and ran up Clifton to High Road.  High Road turned into Summit Drive as she went over Dilworth Mountain!  After she got to the bottom of Dilworth Drive, she turned around and went back up Dilworth Drive, turn back onto Summit Drive and went over Dilworth Mountain a second time!  Then down High Road, down Clifton and then down Clement to Okanagan Lake and then back to her starting point.  I usually do not use a lot of exclamation points but that running route is CRAZY!!  I was so impressed (I have never tried to summit Dilworth Mountain twice in one run and I have done a lot of running).

She also started coming out to the Next Step.  The Next Step is a Tuesday night running group put on by the Kelowna Running Club.  It is a free workout done at the Apple Bowl in Kelowna.  The group meets every Tuesday night at 6 pm.  We do a warm up run and some warm up exercises and then do a harder running workout.  There are two groups,  the main group and the advanced group.  Each group gets their own workout.  Sharlet has done a great job in coming out and running on the Tuesday nights.

A couple of weeks ago, after a Tuesday night Next Step workout, she stated it would be really cool to get a GPS watch for her running to see how far she had actually been running on her long runs.  However, the prices of the GPS watches were simply too expensive.

I listened to our conversation, as did my girlfriend, Charlene.  We got in the car to drive home, we both agreed it would be a great gift, as she has really turned over a New Leaf in her life, in any different aspects.

So after one treatment earlier this week, this happened… (sorry about the bad video, I really wanted to surprise her and it is hard to surprise someone while pointing your phone, while recording them)

She was so happy and appreciative.  I am very glad to help out this wonderful woman!  If you simply hang out around her will know it!  Use your new Garmin watch lots, Sharlet!

Sharlet holding her new Garmin Forerunner 35!
Sharlet and her new running buddy!


Turning Over a New Leaf 2016, part 3

As I have talked about it Turning Over a New Leaf 2016, part 1 and 2, giving back to the community where we live in is important.  The act of giving someone, in your community, a hand up maybe all that is needed to change the path that they are on.  With the hope of a better, brighter future.  With Turning Over a New Leaf 2016, part 3, New Leaf Physiotherapy has tried to do just that.  

I asked a friend, Christy, back in November about giving back to the community and she stated that she was working with the YMCA in Rutland.  You see Christy is the leader of the Sun Run clinic that occurs in Kelowna, as well as an extraordinary runner.  The Sun Run is an annual 10km run that occurs in Vancouver, usually the third Sunday in April, I believe.  You get to run 10km with about 50 000 of your closest friends.  Yes, that is not a joke, 50 000 people run it!

The clinic itself is costly, $144 + GST, however it is a 13 week training group.  In addition, you also get a paid entry into the Sun Run in Vancouver on April 23, 2017!  We meet once per week, just behind the H2O Centre at the Kinsmen Fieldhouse at 6 pm on Tuesday nights.  There is a short talk, usually 20-30 minutes on some topic relevant to running or healthy lifestyle, i.e. nutrition, injury prevention…  From there we do a little bit of a warm up and head out in groups, and we stay in those groups i.e. nobody gets left behind, and do our work out.  We meet back at our meeting place, do a little bit of stretching and be on our way.  Another great thing about this clinic is the social atmosphere.  You will meet a bunch of people, you will find a running partner or possibly mulitple running partners at your pace.  You might even make a friend or two.  🙂 If you would like more information on signing up for the clinic this is the place to click.

Christy is not the only one that leads all the groups.  There are number of different group leaders that help with the Learn to Run 10km group or the Run Stronger 10km group.  I was extremely fortunate this year and Christy asked me to be one of the group leaders.  In addition, she asked me to be a presenter!  I will be doing one long talk and a few mini talks, 5 minutes max about different aspects of running and real life injury prevention.  I am super stoked about this!   

This is the poster that gives the registration details about the Sun Run 2017 clinics
Sun Run InTraining Clinic 2017

Anyways, let me get back to what am I doing with the YMCA to promote this incredible clinic.  Christy stated that she works with Rhonda at the YMCA.  Rhonda is a director at the YMCA of the Okanagan.  What Christy had suggested to me is to contact Rhonda about donating a some spots in the clinic.  So I called Rhonda and we a great conversation.  Things did not end up as early as I would have liked, i.e. gift under the tree for Christmas, for the donation. However in early January 2017, a cheque was given to Rhonda so her and her staff could find some clients that go the YMCA that would like to take the Sun Run clinic but do not have the financial means.  New Leaf Physiotherapy is proud to donate 4 spots to the Sun Run 2017 clinic!

Thank you Christy for the great suggestion and Rhonda for making this come to fruition!  

I am looking forward to getting back to running with a great group of instructors.  Helping people do things that they did not think that they were capable of doing.

Turning over a New Leaf 2016, part 2

New Leaf Physiotherapy, NLP, knows the importance of local charities.  Giving back to the community that supports New Leaf Physiotherapy is an extremely important component of the foundation of which the company was built.  

Cases of peanut butter and coffee stacked in the backseat of Rob's car
Cases of peanut butter and coffee

A little bit from every client that New Leaf Physiotherapy assesses/treats and donates it back into the community every year.  This year the physiotherapy department at Kelowna General Hospital, KGH, was supporting Inn From the Cold.  I did some research about this charity and decided to jump on their coat tails.  

Inn From the Cold is a charity that provides a place to sleep at night.  It is a 35 bed facility.  You might have seen the offices on Harvey Avenue, when heading from Gordon Drive to Burtch Road, the office building is on Chandler Avenue, on the left.  

The physiotherapy staff at KGH received a list of items that Inn From the Cold accept.  One of the things they said was that they go through a lot of peanut butter, coffee and hot chocolate.  However, they all accept different types of clothes, sleeping bags…

Looking into the trunk of Rob's car, you can see stacks of large coffee cans, some packs of socks and few jars of peanut butter
Coffee, peanut butter and socks

NLP decided to make a shopping trip to Costco and purchase some items for Inn From the Cold.  My biggest fear is that I would not be able to fit it all inside my car!  NLP purchased for donation to Inn From the Cold, 50, 2 kg jars of peanut butter and 50, big cans of coffee, as well as 72 pairs of socks!  Take a look at getting my car filled up with items.  Crazy!

Inn From the Cold was very happy with the donations!  I hope it helps someone to save a little more money so the do not have to live in their vehicle during the spring, summer and fall.  The Overnight Shelter is not in operation during the summer. It operates generally from November until April.

If you wish to donate not money but material goods to Inn From the Cold, here is a link to that page.  


Below is taken directly from the Inn From the Cold Kelowna website,


Winter Shelter

Inn from the Cold – Kelowna offers emergency overnight shelter to people living on the street during the coldest winter months: November to April. Our shelter is located at 1157 Sutherland Avenue. Intake hours are from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Our shelter is a minimal barrier shelter that serves the most vulnerable homeless members of our community. Women and men are welcomed and a vulnerability assessment to determine bed allocation is completed at intake. Intake is completed upon referral (self or agency) and beds are assigned for duration of stay. The following are prioritized for service:

  • Couples and adult family members
  • Persons with pets
  • Does not access other shelters
  • Transgendered individuals
  • Persons who work past curfew times (sex trade and traditional employment)
  • Unable to access other services due to bans, time limits, red zone court orders, personal conflicts etc.

31 beds are made available and 4 are reserved for late night emergency referrals from hospital, RCMP, or self referrals.

Our total shelter capacity is 35.

The address and phone number, for Inn From the Cold, should wish to help out this great local charity is 1829 Chandler Street.  Phone: 250-448-6403.  Office Hours: 8:30 – 4:30, Mon-Thur



Rob with stacks of coffee and peanut butter in the back of his car.
Rob, lots of coffee and lots of peanut butter

Most of all New Leaf Physiotherapy would like to thank YOU!  Yes, you who are our clients.  It is you that make the difference to allow us to give back to the community.  The Kelowna community has been very welcoming and accepting of the novel concept of home physiotherapy.  New Leaf Physiotherapy graciously and humbly give back to those people that need a ‘hand up’ and not a ‘hand out’.

Look out for Turning Over a New Leaf, 2016, part 3…

If you would like to comment on the blog post, above, please do, below.

Wine Country Half Marathon 2016

On Sunday, September 4th, I lined up and ran the Wine Country Half Marathon, for the second time.  This fantastic race is situated in my home town, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

The half marathon starts at The Vibrant Vine Winery and it winds through beautiful East Kelowna bench.  Incredible views of the city and Okanagan Lake can be seen at multiple spots along the route.     The race started at 7 am and the announcer stated that there were over 1200 participants!  I was looking for the 1:45 pace bunny but there was none to be found.  My good friend and running buddy, when we get a chance to run together, RJ, was the 1:30 pace bunny, Dustin was the 2:00 pacer and Jennifer was the 2:30 pacer.  There was also a 1:40,, 1:50, 2:45 and 3:00 pacers for this race.

Rob running around a corner, going to his right. He has little blue cotton gloves on, so this is near the beginning of the race.
Looking to pass on the left

It was great to see a bunch of my Kelowna running friends out, ready to race!  The morning was overcast and warm, much warmer than what I expected.  I arrived at the start line about 630 am, not too early to stand around for a long time before the run began.  I was hoping to run between 1:40 and 1:45.  In 2015, I did not run as much as I had in the past.  2016, a brand new year, I am back to loving the running and trying pick up my pace.  Doing a lot more speed work and distance training than I did last year, I was pretty confident that it would be a good race.

Eye of the Tiger and Uptown Funk played and we were called to the start line and we were off.   There is a little bit of a downhill right off the start as you leave Vibrant Vine.  From there, you turn left and you end up doing a horseshoe shaped loop until you turn left onto Hart Road.  The view from Hart road is amazing!  On a clear day, you get a great view of the entire Okanagan Valley, the lake, the vineyards and Kelowna.  I started off at a good pace, just over 5 minutes/km.  Hart road is quite a bit down grade, I hit 4:40 min/km, I thought that was a little bit too quick for me off the bat.  I am much more of a slow starter and like to do a negative split (which I achieved on this race).

From Hart Road, you go down, then you go up.  Up, up, up, take a left on Spiers Road and go up some more.  Turn right onto Todd Road and go up a little more.  Todd Road has some ups and downs, then turn right on to Saucier Road.  Saucier has a slight uphill grade.

Rob is looking right at the camera, waving his right hand. He is wearing little blue cotton gloves, so this picture was taken at the beginning of the race.
Waving to all my fans, lol

There is a lot of down and up during the first 10 km in the race.  Then it comes… It sounds like it is a great idea but you, the runner, really need to take heed of the next section of the race.  You turn right from Saucier Road on to Bedford Road… and so it begins.  I am talking about the downhill section.  It is about 2 – 2.5 km of downhill, not slight downhill but I would say about 6-8% grade.  It is quad shredding, leg pounding, foot stomping downhill.  I was passed by a number of people running down that downhill section.  There was one girl that passed me on the downhill section and by the bottom she was 500+m ahead of me.  I played it conservative on the hill to save my legs for the flat last 6-7 km.   Be cheered along the way by Christy and Vik at multiple locations, they were on their bikes, was great encouragement.

At the bottom, of the ‘great hill’, is the check point, 12.5 km and where the relay change, did I mention that you could do it in a relay, occurs.  Just before the Mission Creek Greenway.  You get onto the Greenway for about a mile, and you emerge on Lakshore Road.  From there, the route is quite flat, you vs. what you did not burn out of your legs going down that crazy, steep, long hill.  I think I passed about 15 people on this last stretch.  You run past Rotary Beach, through the ever popular Gyro beach, caught and passed that girl that flew by me on the downhill, along the big house Abbott Street, past the hospital and take a left on Lake Avenue.  You cross over Mill Creek, through the tunnel, around City Park, which is a great place to hang out, past the Kelowna Yacht Club, , take a sharp left and you are in the finishing stretch at the Delta Grand lagoons.  The official course map can be found here.

You see the back of Rob and the finish line only about 30 meters in front of him.
The finish line in sight
Rob has his head down, concentrating just before the finish line. He is sprinting.
Sprinting towards the finish, digging deep.

My time, on my watch, 1:45:00.  The official chip time, 1:44:58.  I was really impressed.  I finished about 6 minutes faster than I did the year before.  I was very happy with my run.  It was a suffer fest, the last 3 km, which I know like the back of my hand, seemed to be so slow, barely being able to keep 5 min/km pace.

Rob posing with a sign on his right shoulder. The sign says '#Crushed IT'
Posing after the race

After I recovered, we, Charlene and I, found the selfie stand and took a couple of pics.

I look forward to running this race again next year and improving my time even more.

How did I survive that long  downhill run and still  have enough in the tank?  With four weeks out from the race, I added in a long hill run.  The run, which I learned from Christy last year, was from McColluch Station Pub, all the way up to Gallagher’s Canyon Golf course and back.  As just stated, it is an out and back run, 5 km uphill and then 5 km downhill section.  With the last km being steep.  It is a great way to practice your downhill running technique.

One issue with running downhill is that almost everybody tends to over stride.  One way to combat that is to try and land on your forefoot when running downhill.  It is very difficult to do, but if you think of doing this one trick, it will increase your cadence and force you to take a smaller step when going downhill, which will lead to less forces going through the body = less chance of injury.  Give it a try and tell me what you think of my technique!