You asked, I answer!

Here are the first set of responses from my Q&A game last week. I will answer more on Thursday, so there’s still time if you want to ask anything. Leave your questions in the comments section.

Leo asked:

I’d like to know your favorite off-road paths for barefoot running within the GTA, if any. Oh, and where was the picture on the blog header taken?

The picture was taken on one of my favorite off-path trails! Here is how I found all my trails:

1. I did a Google search of my own address.

2. I scrolled out and located all the empty, unmarked green spaces in my area.

3. I ran there.

This is a fun process because it involves a lot of exploring. Some fence hoping. But I’ve ALWAYS found beautiful woods that make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere.

My favorite spot is behind York Woods Cemetery at Yonge/Sheppard. After you run through the entire cemetery, there’s a spot at the end that looks like a dead end. That’s where I dive into the bushes to find a footpath. There are no marked roads to make reference to; I have to physically show people where it is.

I’ve seen maybe 10 people on that path since October, so it’s quite secluded and only about a 10 min run from my place. This is where I do all my tree climbing and trail running, and that’s where the header photo was taken.

Stephanie asked:

So, what is your place like? Are you neat and tidy, clean fanatically or sloppy and only clean and tidy when necessary? Or nicely in the middle?

My place is very cozy and comfy. Very uncluttered and relaxing. Here are some pics:

I’m a bit of psycho-cleaner, but I’m not particularly neat. I can let things pile up for a couple days, but then I go on a binge and clean EVERYTHING all at once. I hate clutter. But I’m not as good at keeping things neat as I go along.

I think my threshold is 4-5 days in between cleaning. When someone comes to my house, I’m very eager to make my place look great. When nobody’s home, I prioritize functionality and coziness. The hardest thing for me to pile up is laundry. I’m always eager to wash my running clothes! The easiest is dishes.

Do you use books as furniture? I imagine stacks of them that accidentally become coffee tables.

I was stacking them for a while because I thought they looked cool as pillars, but I wouldn’t put anything on top of them. I’m always afraid of spilling something and ruining them. I like to take good care of my books. I’m even afraid to eat with them sometimes.

Do you sit at the table to eat meals or on the sofa?

Always at the table. I have a thing for dining room tables – I had mine custom made. I think it reflects back to my love of food. In my mind, I sort of envisioned a family heirloom where kids and grandkids and great grandkids would all sit at the same table and share meals over the years. It might not quite work out that way, but that was the sentiment when I bought it (wasn’t cheap). I don’t eat well on the sofa because I like to watch TV lying down, but I can do snacks.

Scott Smith Honey Badger-In-Training asked:

What was your first encounter with a Honey Badger?

Oh wow, I don’t even remember! It feels like he’s been around forever.

How can I get my wife to eat right and exercise?

You can’t. Wives do whatever they want. Like honey badgers.

Do you ever go off your diet and pig out?

Well I don’t really consider my regular eating habits a “diet,” but yes I can pig out! I love popcorn and chips. Salty over sweet. I don’t really binge eat because it doesn’t make me feel good. I don’t go to food for comfort. I think I just never had the opportunity to form those comfort food associations in my head. I tend to gravitate more towards running and exercise when I’m upset. That said, I definitely do indulge.

I find that the more I run, the more I can indulge. I know that sounds really obvious, but I was still always scared that if I slipped up with some junk food, I’d gain weight. So I decided to try it once. I ate really badly (a lot of junk food, whatever I felt like) for a week or so and kept running. I didn’t gain any weight, but I didn’t feel as good during my runs. It wasn’t until I cut out the running that I started to slowly gain weight. Now I know I can occasionally indulge and it’s not the end of the world. It’s no fun to be scared of food.

Do you drink green tea and is it really that good for you?

I do sometimes, but not every day. It’s an antioxidant so it’s good for you, but it does have caffeine if that’s something you’re watching. I prefer matcha green tea, which is a more potent antioxidant. You can read more about it here.

You’re almost 30 but look 20, how?

 51% genetics, 49% refusing to get an adult hair cut.

Why is curling a sport?

 Because lawn bowling is.

Why am I doing this instead of doing my homework?

Why do you have homework? You don’t look 20.

Caity from Run Barefoot Girl asked:

Would you call yourself an environmentalist?

No, but that’s probably because I don’t like to put labels on myself. I do feel strongly about the environment, but I’m not one to go out and protest and write letters (though perhaps I should). I mostly just like to hang out in nature and I get very upset if someone is ruining nature in any way, be it polluting or cutting down trees.

I used to get really frustrated growing up in church because the focus was very much on “spiritual” things, and concern for the planet was considered a “worldly” thing. We were encouraged to not think about it or care for it because “we’re not going to be here for very long” anyway. That always really got under my skin, because it’s not even biblical.

I always felt that we had to take ESPECIALLY good care of the environment if we were spiritual, because we were entrusted to be good stewards. But nobody really saw my point, and I couldn’t express it well when I was younger.

I do stupid irritating things like confront people when they pollute. I remember once in high school I was walking to school and a lady walking in front of me dropped her garbage on the sidewalk. I was so upset. I picked it up and ran after her. I tapped her on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, you dropped something.” And stuffed her nasty garbage back into her hand.

I’ll answer the rest of the questions on Thursday! Feel free to leave more questions if you’ve got them!