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Keeping Up with Jerry Patten

Professional Home Building has been in Jerry’s family for years. But, when he’s not building homes, just try to keep up with this inspiring Masters Athlete who takes on pretty well any sport and shows everyone, age is no barrier!

When did you know you wanted something different? I’ve always been willing to try any sport. I raced motocross for years and totally loved it. But after 25 years on and off racing bikes the injuries do add up. Luckily nothing too bad. So that’s when I started to focus on finding something new.   I started tournament water skiing at 38 and ramped up my mountain biking and road riding. I picked up white-water kayaking at 45 and started racing sport bikes then too (what could go wrong at 320 kph?). I joined Crossfit to help my downhill ski racing, which I was new to and had some catching up to do. Of all my sports, I would say ski racing is my favourite.  As of today, that is.

What keeps you motivated? I wake up motivated every day. I’m very competitive with myself and am constantly pushing myself to improve. And the younger athletes really motivate me; I never want to fall too far behind (or behind at all, I’ve never liked being there).   And I have had, and still have, a few great mentors.

How did you get started? As I tried to wean myself off biking, I filled in the free time with waterskiing. I would hit the course 4 times a week, sometimes going straight from the track.  It was a great transition sport.  Then at 44, I was at a party and a couple of my friends talked me into joining our house league ski racing. After that, I went to every race available. By 46 I was doing 25 ski races a season and skiing with some amazing skiers. I had always skied but never raced until then.  My friends Jeff Sutherland and John Mealey helped me improve every week.  Three years ago we did an amazing full downhill race out west with speeds up to 123 km/hr.   This was my favourite race of my ski racing career so far. I was on the podium with 2 ex-national team skiers and my smile was so big my face hurt.

How has your life changed since you decided what is next? It has been so much fun and so social. We race so hard and then always have time for a beer or two afterward. I started CrossFit to help keep me in shape and it has definitely done that. I may be a little competitive some days there too. But lots of fun with great friends. I can’t say my life has changed, because I have always made sport and competition a part of my life. But I have to say I’m happy that nothing has changed because I can’t imagine being a couch potato.

Tell me about your nutrition? I definitely watch what i eat but I’m not afraid to have a slice of pizza or a beer. Right now I’m on an 80% Paleo diet. And the way I feel I’m happy with my nutrition – it is working well for me. I’ve tried tracking all of my macros and I found it very difficult while I was working, and busy doing the things I love to do. But it did help me to really understand what I eat every day, and that awareness has improved my diet.

What is your definition of old? Age is just a number and when I’m doing my sports i never think that I’m 50. I just keep trying hard and enjoying it. As long as you stay active and healthy, ‘old’ will never apply.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? I’m starting to compete with my horse, I should still be doing that in 10 years! I plan to still be ski racing, and am open to any other activity that comes my way.

What do you do to stay Young? I stay very active and social.  I think you need both to stay young.

How old would u be if you did not know how old u are? I think around 35. Still strong, but much smarter than I was at 25.

What were your parents doing when they were the age you are now? My mom has always been active, but she was never involved in organized sports.  At 50, she was keeping the house and looking after my dad.  He was not active at 50; he only watched sports on television (Nascar, mainly).  Their lives then were very different from what mine is now.

There is a saying…”the two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why you were born” Most people eventually find out their “why” which answers why they are here…do you know yours? If so, when did you find it and how did that change ur life? I don’t spend much time thinking about my purpose, I just try to be the best person I can every day.

What is NEXT? I plan to keep doing what I’m doing and loving every minute of it.  I’m in it for as long as my body and brain are.

Maureen Wiley Triathlete

First Ironman Proves “Nothing is Impossible”

Certified Personal Trainer Maureen Wiley is a proud mother of three living her winters in Oakville and her summers training for various triathlons in Muskoka, Ontario. Find out how Maureen got into Ironman and Triathlon and is setting an excellent example as a role model for her children.

Maureen Wiley Triathlete TrainingWhen did you know you wanted something different? After my third child turned 2 years old I needed to do something for me. I wanted to get back into shape and with other adults! I was home with my 3 kids and I needed more of a group setting. I have always been a runner and I was bored with that. I saw an ad in the paper to a local Tri Club to train to do your first triathlon in 12 weeks so I signed up. I had never been on a road bike and swimming was something I did recreationally. I wanted a new challenge. Trained with this amazing group finished my first sprint tri and placed first in my age! I was hooked!

What keeps you motivated? Initially, it was “follow the plan or else” fear…I didn’t want to be ill prepared. I was also motivated to get into shape again and lose the rest of the baby weight. Later on, I wanted to show my kids that an active life is fun and good for you. Now after 10 years of doing tris it’s enjoyable to plan and train with friends.

How has your life changed since you decided you wanted something different? It’s amazing because when I started doing triathlons I started out with the sprint and Olympic distances. It was all I could manage with young kids. It was back then when I volunteered at an Ironman and thought that was the craziest race ever…yet so inspired!! 8 years later my kids were older and I was injury free so I signed up to do an IM on Mother’s Day! I followed the plan exactly and I remember thinking this was impossible to do. I finished and felt amazing – more mentally than physically. I had accomplished what it thought was impossible. A lesson that translates into the real world. I then decided to be more involved in fitness and took my Personal Trainer course and started training people. It motivated me to continue taking fitness courses.

Maureen Wiley Triathlete CyclingTell me about your nutrition. I eat clean. Breakfast would be eggs or yogurt with granola, lunch is salad with protein and dinner is lots of veggies with a meat. Of course, I enjoy my handful of chocolate-covered almonds every day and wine every now and then! I just try to stay away from starchy food.

What is your definition of someone who is old? I think it’s someone who has stopped living actively not only physically, but mentally too. I think it’s important to engage with others and to stay involved any way you can. Whether it’s going for a walk or playing cards and engaging.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? I hope to be injury free and I see myself still involved with the Tri community and in fitness. Perhaps becoming more involved with the coaching side of triathlon. I do love fitness maybe teaching boot camp on a beach in the Caribbean!

What do you do to stay Young? I think my kids keep me Young. I play sports with them. If they want to do something active I try to make it happen…play b-ball, tennis or go for a run. I always have a great time with them too. I also plan at least 2 Tri races a year. Then I am accountable to not skip out on training and I’m at the gym at least 4 or 5 times a week.

How old would you be if you did not know how old you were? I feel like I’m in my 20s. I am definitely more fit then I was back then. I think now I have more discipline than I did back then. I was very active with basketball but I didn’t do strength training…plus the wings, pizza, and beer didn’t help.

What were your parents doing when they were the age you are now? My dad was very fit and active. He played hockey, baseball, and went to the gym routinely. He was a coach, a referee, an umpire and he spectated every game he wasn’t involved in that we ever played. Huge inspiration! My mother was the caretaker. She cooked ultra-healthy meals…peaches were often our dessert!! Gasp I know!!

Maureen Wiley Triathlete FinishMark Twain wrote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Most people eventually find out there “why” which answers why they are here. Do you know yours? If so, when did you discover it and how did that change your life? I think once you have kids they become your “why” you’re here. Hopefully to inspire, show them good decisions making with fitness and nutrition so they lead long healthy lives. To be “real” and to stay involved in their lives. To make sure they have their education too – so important.

What is next for you? Prepare for another Tri season and continue to learn more about healthy living – maybe nutrition course or cooking class (I’m sure my kids would love that). Continue to help people along with their fitness goals.

A Passion for Outdoor Adventures

Carol Higgins began her career as a nurse and has been in medical device sales for 19 years. Married and living in Newmarket, ON, she has a passion for the outdoors and everything active.

When did you know you wanted something different? I’ve always known that I wanted something “different”; I’ve always loved exercise, the outdoors, being physically active. When I was in high school, I used to don my x-country skis before sunrise and go for a ski in the fields behind our house before the school bus arrived.

What keeps you motivated? From an activity perspective, the excitement of learning something new or improving at something ie climbing a rope or improving my backhand in tennis or becoming more streamlined in the pool.

How did you get started? I’ve always been motivated that way.

How has your life changed since you decided you wanted something different? I really haven’t had an epiphany. Steady eddy.

Tell me about your nutrition? I try to eat clean as it gives me lots of energy but I have a serious sweet tooth especially for the likes of molten lava cake.

What is your definition of old? Inactivity. Fear of trying something because you think you’re “old”.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? Retired and doing more outdoor adventures with my husband.

What do you do to stay Young? Laugh, play, eat well, sleep, exercise, explore, be curious, delight in family and friends.

How old would you be if you did not know how old you were? 32.

What were your parents doing when they were the age you are now? Working hard both at work and home, entrenched in their kid’s lives and socializing with family and friends. They certainly weren’t doing CrossFit!

Mark Twain wrote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”. Most people eventually find out their “why” which answers why they are here. Do you know yours? If so, when did you discover it and how did that change your life? I’m here for a purpose and each day requires being mindful and open to that purpose and whatever that may be.

What is next for you? 50 and then 100 double unders! 20 has been my highest thus far. A tender Achilles tendon has slowed me down a bit 😉

Richard Calistan Mountain Biking

On the Right Track

Richard Calistan Before and AfterRichard Calistan is a multi-award winning Audio Engineer who works on television shows and movies. Over the past 25 years, he’s worked with hundreds of actors including Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Samuel L. Jackson. Working crazy hours and very often through the night to meet the demanding schedule, fitness was not always part of his life. In 2008, he began a life changing journey that would help him lose 80 pounds and start an addiction to running that ended up with him reaching his ultimate goal, the Boston Marathon. After running 7 marathons and multiple races of various distances he is now an avid mountain biker, and rides weekly to keep up his fitness.

When did you know you wanted something different? I was extremely overweight for a large part of my adult life. In 2008 while walking our dog, I felt out of breath. I thought “Oh no. This is not good”. It was this moment in my life that was the catalyst for me to change my life.

What keeps you motivated? 
My wife and our son. I really appreciate the gift of good health and I want to stick around for as long as possible.

How did you get started? By walking around the block, seriously!!! Then it went to two blocks…. You get the picture.

How has your life changed since you decided you wanted something different? First, I am way more healthy. I am so much happier, and I have been able to experience many incredible things over the years.

Tell me about your nutrition. My body is a “fat man always ready to return” so I have to watch my portions, no red meat and just to be aware of what I’m eating. I know the good food from the evil food.

Richard Calistan RaceWhat is your definition of old? Wow. That’s tough, I’m very inspired by some old people. During one of my first marathons, I was passed at one point by the legend, Ed Whitlock, and I think he was almost 80 years old at that time. (I wasn’t that slow, he’s a really fast runner, that keeps breaking world records). I mountain bike with a few guys that are older than me, and they are way better riders than me.
Old should be still enjoying and loving life as if you were 20.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? Trying to have as much adventure in my life as possible. This year I drove to BC and mountain biked at numerous trails along the way, and it really opened my eyes to the beauty of our amazing country. I rode in the Alpine of Revelstoke. Did a helicopter drop to the top of a mountain and rode down, and hiked up various mountains.

What do you do to stay Young? Do not take life seriously!!!! Laugh as much as you can and always be the goof. (Well that’s what I’m told I am)

How old would you be if you did not know how old you were? Maybe 25. Old enough that you weren’t carded for I.D. all the time.

What were your parents doing when they were the age you are now? Well I’m 48 now, my Dad was always working his ass off, but neither parents were active. They like watching TV a lot.

Mark Twain wrote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”. Most people eventually find out their “why” which answers why they are here. Do you know yours? If so, when did you discover it and how did that change your life? I like to think I was born to bring as much happiness and joy to as many people as possible. To be there to support and love my family is really important to me.

What is next for you? As much awesome stuff as possible. It’s going to be crazy!! (You’ve got to have goals). As far as fitness I want to stay as active as I can for many years to come.

Andre Gordon Marathon

A Healthy Career Change

Andre Gordon Before Pic
Andre Gordon “Before”

Andre Gordon, a once overweight Auto Sales rep, decided to take matters into his own hands and get fit; he eventually dropped 60 pounds. After meeting his Physiotherapist wife, she encouraged him to become a Mad Dogg Certified Spin instructor; he later became certified as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor and then took on the vocation full-time. He has worked along with Orthopaedic Surgeons and Physiotherapists in his native Jamaica to assist in the rehab of their patients and has also has worked with elite athletes, clients looking for weight management, and Running clinics. Andre is presently working on his NCCP Triathlon and Swim Coaching certification and in addition his National Lifeguard certification. This motorsport enthusiast (co-driver), marathoner, century cyclist has on his bucket list an Ironman distance event to be ticked off.

When did you know you wanted something different? 
Post-mourning of a failed marriage; when I realized that I was looking into the “Rabbit Hole” at about 36-37…

What keeps you motivated? The main thing is knowing how hard it was “to climb the mountain,” to move from 245 down to 180+.

How did you get started? Long story, but basically at the time I was taking my son to the nutritionist in an effort to teach him to make the correct choices, thought to myself that I should have been making the same choices. My father has psoriatic arthritis and had to start his own program to control his health/fitness due to the side effects of steroid treatment, this inspired my physical push.

How has your life changed since you decided you wanted something different? Some, I changed from going to party on a Friday to sleeping early on a Friday so I could get up Saturdays to run with the Running club at 5am.

Andre Gordon Group CheerTell me about your nutrition. Eat healthy, eat in moderation.

What is your definition of old? Age is but a number; or “When life is no longer fun.”

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? I would like to think still Personal Training clients and having a great time doing it.

What do you do to stay Young? See “What is your definition of old?”

How old would you be if you did not know how old you are? I have had people guess my age as young as mid-30’s.

Andre Gordon Workout GearWhat were your parents doing when they were the age you are now? My father worked as Bank Manager and mother ran her business which would have 20+ years old.

Mark Twain wrote, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Most people eventually find out their “why” which answers why they are here. Do you know yours? If so, when did you discover it and how did that change your life? Can’t say I know why yet, still trying to figure that one out…

What is next for you? Moving to the great metropolis of Toronto in January 2017 and seeing if I can make my ‘mark’ there. Haven’t thought much more as there is some movement in my family structure at this time, hopeful once the dust settles, maybe time for that college degree!