“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” – Andre Gide
Greenroofing is the latest craze that’s swiffering the nation. It’s an architectural concept of growing vegetation and plant life on the roof of a building for a number of various reasons. With the entire “green” mentality that’s taking over the world, greenroofs are a concept that allows corporations and companies an opportunity to minimize the carbon footprint they leave behind. Although I don’t completely agree with this reasoning, it’s kind of like BP planting a bunch of trees to make up for the gulf oil spill. The word “green” is thrown around a lot these days, often politically charged, wholeheartedly embraced and often received with resent (“damn tree hugging hippies”). Besides building a positive public image through greenroofs, these buildings also can sustain various wildlife and provide a more natural landscape. There are countless ecological benefits to greenroofing, they can naturally filter airborne toxins as well as provide a substantial storm water management capacity. Greenroofs mainly consist of several layers of a root restricting material and a water-retaining layer that as it evaporates, keeps plants alive during long periods of drought.
Extensive greenroofs are classified from the amount of grow median used and the weight and type of plants used during the landscaping process. In this case, our extensive greenroof provided soil around 4 inches thick with 14,000 seedums planted spanning the 7000 sq. ft. area.
An intensive greenroof contains 12-15 inches of soil maxing out at 15 feet of soil and can contain trees and other substantially larger plants. With benefits to the building it houses as well, such as reduced cooling bills in the summer and less impact on heating during the winter, greenroofs actually aid the environment in a less direct way as well. With a positive impact on LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) it is a sustainable way to reduce energy costs. I’m still in the researching process of this fascinating field (pun intended) but I’ve grown a soft spot for landscaping and re-forestation. A possible post-wrestling, pre-firefighting career choice may be in the works, as the concept and name is only going to become more widespread as the years go on and our planet becomes more destroyed. Ladder experience is always an asset. So yeah, that’s where I’ve been the last week. Building a greenroof in Port Alberni which just happens to be a short drive from… Tofino!
The water is cold and wet. Well of course it’s wet, it’s water. The taste of salt marinates my lips as I paddle into oncoming crashing breaks of white off the Vancouver Island coast. My surfboard awkwardly balances unevenly under my fatiguing upper body. Another wave crashes onto me, followed by another. The tide is coming in with a relentless force, I tumble, ass-over-tea-kettle amongst the roaring surf. What would a sport be if it didn’t break your spirit, topple you over and make you hop right back on? I now love surfing. It is an insane workout and fun activity that will constantly create an everlasting room for improvement. I struggle, to catch my bearings. Am I upside down, or right side up? I guess that question would be answered determined on where the surface of the Ocean is. I gasp for air and swallow some sea water as I reach the oxygen infused atmosphere. A seagull “gawks” at me. Fuck you seagull. I climb back on my board and get back in line for another sweet series of rad waves. Catching one, and another I am encouraged by the rewarding feeling of helplessness that the energy of breaking ocean charges into your board with a force that can manage humans to stand on an object and play water-walking Christ. The concept and thought of how surfing developed must be an interesting history lesson.
What I’m getting at is that active living during the summer months is just as effective as frequent gym hitting. Vancouver is a perfect spot for outdoor activities that will challenge your mental and physical limits quickly. I went Kayaking today in False Creek and surrounded by the lively atmosphere of Granville Island, one can’t help but get an overwhelming good feeling. Kayaking will wear out your core pretty quickly as balance is a big part of maintaining your dryness. Chest and back muscles come into play as you paddle and after short all out speed bursts, one is quickly reminded that kayaking is indeed a hardcore Olympic sport. It’ll wear you out, and you’ll be so stoked at the end of it all.
The Grouse grind is another obstacle that I’ve been making an effort at toppling as much as possible this summer. The north shore is such a haven for endless outdoor opportunities including hiking and kayaking alike. All around us is a playground unlike any other place on planet earth. Where else can you go snowboarding or snowshoeing only to paddle through the inlet of a major metropolitan city in the same afternoon? Running/biking/rollerblading the seawall is a great way to absorb some sun, breathe some fresh nautical air and get a glimpse at Stanley’s lungs of Vancouver. There’s so much opportunity to do adventurous things around us all that you will get a rush from. Rock climbing, wind surfing, bungee jumping, beach volleyball, golf, we’re subject to the World’s best backyard so take advantage of it, and never take mother nature for granted. Even tree climbing, portaging, carving totem poles, clotheslining homeless people as you run down Hastings, wrestling grizzlies, eating flapjacks, digging senseless holes and beating up jabronis are other great activities suited best for BC’s landscape. Toss a football around for chrissakes.
Workout of the Day
Heavy bag, Skipping rope, Boxing gloves and a timer.
2 minutes skipping.
3 minutes kickboxing combos. I mixed it up for each round. At first I did a 4 combo (jab, cross, hook, cross) for all 3 minutes. Then I would do three 3 combos (jab, cross, hook) and 3 kicks right, 3 kicks left, 3 alternating knees and drop down for 3 pushups for all 3 minutes. Just mix it up as much as you can. Maybe do an all kicking round and with 30 seconds left a jab/cross burnout. Your chance to be the trainer and be creative but don’t let your client slack, it’s you.
Do each 5 minute round six times. Maybe 1-2 minutes rest in between rounds. But if you can try to use your 2 minutes skipping as a way to reach steady state before the next warrior round of kickboxing combos, do it. That way you continue constantly for 30-35 minutes. Pretty rad workout, I usually get pretty gassed from it. I try to do a light warm up shadowboxing round before the vigorous stuff. And after cool down with a light jog or if you feel insane some wind sprints. Insanity is a virtue.
To quote the 2 most inspirational fitness gurus of a generation. “Keep fit and have fun” –Hal Johnson and Joanne Mcleod (Team Bodybreak)
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