When I’m not working, I’m trying to take care of my family. When I’m not taking care of my family, I am doing my best to be outside. Unless I am baking bread, in which case I am doing my best to rise to the level of almost-good-enough.
I am a mediocre-at-best surfer, but I am working on sucking less. Toronto-area breaks work on a strong easterly wind, especially in the Fall and Winter; on a west, Oshawa us usually the nearest surfable beach. Lake waves are short, chaotic, and often gutless; they can be hard to learn on. Weather data is essential for Great Lakes surfing; thank you, GLCFS.
I kayak competitively (sprint, marathon, ultramarathon) and recreationally (whitewater, downwind). Whitewater runs in Southern Ontario are best during spring and winter run-offs, so, like surfing, Ontario whitewater is a cold-weather activity. See S. O. Shreds for my thoughts on whitewater. For the bulk of the year I paddle on Lake Ontario and the Humber River, often training with the Humber River Trash Pandas or alongside Maka Koa Outrigger. Emptying into the lake in the middle of Canada’s largest city, the Humber is nonetheless replete with wildlife, including several species of heron and egret, coyotes and coywolves, kingfishers, bald eagles, deer, several turtle species, and several species of anadromous fish. Philip Cote’s murals are visible from the water, and the rich Indigenous history of the river is discussed on First Story Toronto.
I climb a lot less than I used to, but there is passable ice for the middle-aged as nearby as Elora. In February and March it is sometimes possible to climb 2 or 3 short pitches in the morning and paddle down the Gorge (ideally via the Irvine) in the arternoon. Better climbing is mostly further North, in the Batchawana region or in the Ottawa valley.
I am thoroughly beat down by my starter, which is the actual boss of me.