Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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I Can Has Directions?


Many moons ago, I saw a new story about a condition, known as developmental topographical disorientation (DTD), in which, essentially, people innately have a terrible sense of direction. In said news story, they informed viewers that you could check out the website of the neuroscientists studying this disorder – the aptly named gettinglost.ca1 and take part in their studies if you thought you might be one of these people who are hopelessly unable to orient themselves in their environment.  I thought, “I have a terrible sense of direction!” and immediately checked out the site. On the site, I was able to take some online tests as part of their research.  If memory serves, at that time they didn’t actually tell me if I had DTD2. However, some time later I received an email from the lead researcher saying that they were applying for funding to bring people affected by DTD to the University of Calgary for further testing in the form of brain scans and were hoping to get advanced consent from people saying that they’d be willing to participate3. Thus, although they didn’t actually tell me that I have DTD, they wouldn’t be asking me to go to Calgary to be in their study if I didn’t4. I think it speaks volumes about my love of research that I agreed, should they get funding, to go to Calgary to participate in their research!

Anyhoo, I’m still waiting to hear whether they’ll get funding (and I’m sure they are waiting with much more trepidation than I am, given that this is their careers whereas all that’s riding on it for me is a free trip to a city that I hate), but I did get an email today saying that they’d been featured on RadioLab, a US National Public Radio show (and podcast). I haven’t listened to the episode yet myself, but getting the email reminded me that I’d been meaning to blog about my DTD since forever, but I keep forgetting.  So, yes, if I ever go for a drive with you, I will likely ask you for the simplest of directions5, but you can’t make fun of me because I HAVE A DISORDER!!

Now if only I could find out what’s up with my terrible memory!

Image Credit: Posted by Ashley R. Good on Flickr.

  1. I *love* that the first line on their website is “thanks for finding us.” []
  2. but my memory, much like my sense of direction, is terrible, so I could be misremembering []
  3. essentially, they needed to demonstrate that they had enough willing participants with this disorder to fill their study []
  4. My ability to find my way may be impaired, but my logic and reasoning skills are clearly intact! []
  5. like how do I get back to the highway when we stopped for gas. Seriously. []


The Christmas of Fitness

Just discovered this mostly written blog posting that I wrote on January 3rd, but appear to never have posted. Because I am awesome like that. Anyway, I don’t care that it’s fully a month after Christmas – I’m posting it anyway!  Plus, I added pictures that I hadn’t even taken back when I original wrote it and then I also tweaked the writing, so that’s something.

So I was totally spoiled, as usual, this Christmas. But many of this year’s presents seemed to have a theme: fitness! It started with my trip to Ottawa, where Sarah & Dave gave me a gift card to the Running Room to put towards a new pair of running shoes. This was well thought out as (a) it circumvents the shoe-buying ban of 2010, should I happen to have found a good Boxing Week sale and want to get a pair before year’s end, (b) I’ll need new running shoes since the ones I have now won’t last me ’til the half marathon I plan to do in May, and (c) it prevented me from having to fit a gift in my luggage.

The trend continued on Christmas Day, when I received:

Day 200

Shameless photo of my heart rate monitor1

This awesome watch/heart rate monitor was from my parents. My chiropractor, who is also a runner himself, said that to get serious about running, I really should be monitoring my heart rate during training2. Combine that with the fact that my watch fell apart3 and a watch + heart rate monitor was a super duper gift.

Also in the above shameless photo is a running top I received from my Uncle Harry & Aunt Arlene. Harry & Arlene are big into biking, so they got me that top and a matching yellow triathelon jacket – great for layering when I’m training in the cold rainy weather, or wearing separately when it’s a bit warmer. Also, the bright yellow colour and reflective stripes on the jacket are perfect for running in the dark , since I generally do my runs after work and the sun sets awfully early in January.

Then, to round out my Christmas of Fitness, my sister and her bf gave me money to pay for hot yoga! They know that I really, really love my hot yoga, but also that I was having a hard time justifying spending money on it when I already spend so much on playing hockey and running4.  My parents then added to the pot of hot yoga money for my birthday. So my plan now is to do hot yoga once or twice a week5 and then I’ll need to find some extra money once my Christmas/birthday money runs out.

  1. note that this isn’t even how you actual wear the heart rate monitor – you wear it below the chest, not above. But I figured a picture where my breasts look not half bad would be much better than a photo exposing my flabby abs []
  2. plus, you know, all the running books say that. And all the cool kids are doing it []
  3. same thing as happened to this one happened again to my new one []
  4. running itself is free, but shoes and races fees do start to add up []
  5. can’t really do much more than that when I’m playing hockey twice a week and running 3-4 days a week []