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Thursday, April 20, 2017

I've inquired about a train derailment situation, since I think this one is a good start, but let's take it up a notch

Emergency Exercise to Simulate GO Train Vehicle Collision

TORONTO: April 18, 2017 - On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, in support of Operation Lifesaver’s Rail Safety Week, we will be conducting a rail safety simulation at a level rail crossing in Bradford West Gwillimbury. Metrolinx, along with our partners from South Simcoe Police, The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, Bradford Fire & Emergency Services, County of Simcoe Paramedic Services and Holy Trinity High School will participate in an emergency exercise that will simulate a train/vehicle collision. This exercise will not disrupt GO Train service.
Media is invited to observe as emergency responders deal with a simulated collision between a car and a southbound GO train. It is not an actual emergency. This exercise will demonstrate the hazards of both distracted driving and railway crossing hazards. During the simulation, the public will see student actors pretending to be injured and first responders and Metrolinx operations staff acting out the response protocol. A debriefing with students who participated will be held the following week to further underscore the importance of rail safety.
The exercise is a critical component of our Emergency Management program to test our emergency response preparedness
Prior to and following the exercise, Metrolinx Manager, Operational Support, Safety & Security will be available to answer questions from the media.
WHAT
Emergency Exercise: Simulated train/vehicle collision
WHEN
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Exercise 9: 00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Media availability at 8:00 am and 11:15 a.m.
WHERE
Level crossing at 20 Sideroad and the 12th Line of Bradford West Gwillimbury
WHO
Metrolinx Spokesperson: Steve Harvey, Manager, Operational Support, Safety Security
South Simcoe Police Constable Rich Williamson

For more information:
South Simcoe Police, contact Police Constable Rich Williamson at 905-775-3311 x2006

For media inquiries:
Metrolinx Spokesperson, Vanessa Barrasa, 416-230-3732 Vanessa.Barrasa(at)metrolinx.com

Back in the saddle even though I'm a mess

It'll be a year this May 2 when I tore my left leg's hamstring. It has not been an easy recovery and I'm left with so many issues stemming from this injury (weight gain, mental distress, anxiety, depression). I've also developed other problems that have become aggravated by the injury and the recovery process.

The worst has to be that I developed pes anserine bursitis in both knees. This is a painful condition that makes walking down hills and stairs difficult and challenging. To add to the pile of woe, I also have iliotibial band syndrome (IT band for short) in my left leg (I'm telling you the fun never ends). But wait, there's more! Just recently I was diagnosed with achilles tendinosis in my right foot - this is truly a party that never stops. I can only wear flat shoes which aggravates my left foot and is probably going to result in extensor tendonitis, a condition I've had before and is most painful first thing in the morning. There's been some discomfort which tells me it's inevitable.

I spent most of the summer crying myself to sleep, crying in the shower and just being fucking miserable. It wasn't any better emotionally leading up to Christmas. Depression set in when I found myself sized out of 90% of the clothing in my closet resulting in me breaking down and buying clothes in a size (22/24) I haven't worn in over three years.

I spent two years changing everything about myself which resulted in a 90 pound weight loss. I started in February 2012, two months after ditching my car and relying solely on my two feet and local transit to get to and from the GO station. My highest weight was 326, possibly 336 (this is a guess since my scale maxed out at 320). I made it all the way down to 250 in February 2014. My goal was 236 pounds. I got down to 246 but struggled all summer of 2014 to stay there. I plateaued at 256 until Thanksgiving of that same year when I blew out my right knee while running (I was running 2 km which was impressive considering my osteoarthritis). I tore my right ACL. The recovery was long and painful. Just when I was starting to feel better, I fell down the stairs of a double decker GO bus which resulted in me developing infrapatellar bursitis in the right knee.

Even now, just writing this all out I'm left with a sense of despair.

The only thing that saved me from the 2014 injury was taking up long-distance road cycling. At my peak, I was cycling 400 km a month - mostly evening and weekend rides. Now that my kid is finished daycare, I'm considering cycling from Courtice to the Oshawa GO station but the amount of trucks and crazy, distracted drivers terrify the shit out of me. I haven't worked up the nerve. My only options are Bloor Street or Highway 2. These are extremely busy arteries at rush hour and I'm convinced I'll be writing my own death sentence if I do it. There are no bike paths I can take that are a direct route. Cycling out in Durham really is a suicide mission. It's not like cycling in Toronto. Drivers aren't looking for cyclists and when they do see you, most try to run you off the road. Or maybe it's my own paranoia that feeds into my distrust...

Cycling helped my right leg get better. And when Spring rolled around last year, I was eager to get back into my cycling routine. I had no idea that all the cycling from the year before had over-lengthened my hamstrings (due to a poor seat position most likely) which made me vulnerable to hamstring injuries and all it took was one kick-boxing class a year ago and poof! My life changed for the worse. I've spent more time with my physiotherapist than with my own family these past 12 months.

Last Saturday, I tuned up my bike and went for a 4 km bike ride. I felt fine. Nothing hurt outside of pain I am used to feeling. Last night I went for a 9 km bike ride. I felt fine. Nothing hurt... until this morning. My IT band grabbed its fucking mariachi maracas and quickly reminded me it was fiesta time. Hey?! Remember me?! ¡Arriba, arriba! ¡Ándale, ándale!

Fuck.

I currently weigh 279 pounds. I was hovering around 284 in March. At the beginning of April, I had a pow wow with my dietitian and we developed a strategy where I would consume 1200 calories a day to kickstart weight loss. My body loves to be big. My metabolism is non-existent. I don't burn much. She and I discussed how obese people remain obese because the body actually becomes conditioned to being obese. She pointed to a study about contestants from a TV show called The Biggest Loser. It's a heartbreaking read.

I'm determined to be physically active. Despite all the pain, I remain committed to walking 1.8 km every morning to a bus stop where I can take a bus directly to Oshawa GO that puts me on the 7:03 am GO train. I just punch through it. It's been tempting to take a different route where I don't have to walk beyond the corner of my street, but it means taking a later train, which means leaving the office later... so it's a no from me. I've considered buying a car. The thought comes and goes. It would make life a lot easier but it's an expense I've become very accustomed to not having.

I will figure out how to deal with the IT band issue. Stretching will help. The concern now is the struggle to stay in one clothing size and remain there. I don't need to be skinny. I gave up on that years ago. I just don't want diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems, breathing problems and whatever else being obese can bring. I've had osteoarthritis since my early 20s. It was always manageable, but it's definitely progressed in the past two years and primarily due to the stress and strain of the injuries and conditions.

The depression has been the hardest part of this. I'm not medicated. I find ways to cope. I fight the feeling of just giving up, quitting work and filing for disability. On weekends, I won't get out of bed until well after noon. I look forward to when it's time to go home each day so I can have dinner and just retreat to my bedroom. I'm no longer in physiotherapy, but I do force myself to perform stretching and strengthening exercises for 10-15 minutes in the morning and again just before bed. Some nights I just cry. Then I get mad at myself and remind myself of how good my life is, that I'm not dying and it could be so much worse. But boy, what I would give to just be able to climb a ladder again without feeling like I'm about to fall, or just being able to run down stairs - just for the hell of it. What I miss most, tho, is dancing.

Anyway, enough feeling sorry myself. I just wanted to put out an update for those who have read this website for years so I could share my woe. Thanks for reading.

What bottle of alcohol?

This is when I start kicking the bag. Y'all are too kind

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What rules?

I wonder how this is working out for him (this happened in December)

When you're so entitled and the all the space belongs only to you

So last night this woman who yapped on her phone for the whole train ride on the 4:30 pm train from Union to Oshawa, took offence when another passenger coughed while waiting to exit the train. I do believe she was reminded by other passengers it was the Quiet Zone, but didn't clearly give two shits. I could hear her over my headphones and I was five quads away from her.

Phone lady, who clearly felt the Quiet Zone meant only others had to be quiet, was seated sideways on her seat, leaning into the top part of the stairwell and to be honest, was blocking the aisle. Her head was lowered down which made it awkward for those standing in the aisle while the train pulled into the station.

The confrontation I witnessed happened when I was standing on the first step. Behind me stood another passenger who coughed suddenly. This clearly awoken Satan on a cellphone, who, not even politely, told the passenger who coughed that they rudely coughed right in her face. Satan went on and on about how much she didn't appreciate it. The passenger who coughed would have none of this fuckery and told Satan she didn't appreciate how she talked the whole train ride in the Quiet Zone.

I don't know how it ended as I was "salmoned" off the train, but I really wanted to put in my 2 cents. I'm bummed I didn't even get a chance. I should have spoken up the minute Satan felt her health and overall immune system had been compromised. Argh.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017