Attending STM’s 50th school anniversary

STM Turns 50
STM Turns 50

In 1993, I was just 12-years old in the sixth grade.  My elementary school St. Thomas More aka STM, was celebrating their 25th anniversary.  In May of that year, kids from kindergarten all the way to the eighth grade assembled for a large school photo and put it into a time capsule.  Each classroom participated and contributed items that would be put into that same time capsule and would later be opened at the school’s 50th anniversary.  25 years later on May 7th, 2018, I made sure to return to my roots and check out the festivities.

STM 50th Anniversary Presentation in the Large Gym
STM 50th Anniversary Presentation in the Large Gym

I attended the STM 50th anniversary with one of my childhood friends from the third grade.  When we got there, we arrived to see the current crop of elementary kids participating in a musical presentation for the audience.  Inside the gym, it was scattered with parents, faculty, former teachers and students that spanned decades.   A slideshow followed that highlighted 50 years of the school’s history.

When the presentation in the large gymnasium concluded,  people started to mingle and catch up with one another.  Unfortunately there weren’t too many people from my grade or even teachers for that matter that attended this reunion.   To be honest, the school did a terrible job of promoting the 50th anniversary.  You would think that in this social media age, they would use it to their advantage to spread the word around such a momentous occasion.  I found out about this 50th anniversary through the church that was next door to STM.  They had a weekly newsletter, that had a small mention about it.

Anyways not to get off track in my story, I went into the smaller gymnasium (our school had two gyms), looking to see the time capsule.   I was very intrigued to see the nostalgia inside that big wooden box that was padlocked for a quarter of a century.   From a pop culture standpoint what I remember during that spring of 1993, Hulk Hogan was WWF champion and the Blue Jays got off to a rocky start in what would be their eventual second World Series championship season.  The Maple Leafs were shocking the entire NHL and having an unbelievable playoff run at the time.  The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was a popular comedy show among my classmates and Lenny Kravitz’ ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way‘ was a really big record.

STM School Photo, May 1993
STM School Photo, May 1993

When I finally saw all the items from the time capsule spread across the table, my childhood memories started to kick in.  It was really cool to see what kind of stuff was inside there.   There was a dated newspaper inside there, with politician Jean Chrétien leading the headlines with his running for Prime Minister. There were baseball cards and hockey cards from the 1992-1993 season.   One class cut out fashion magazines and made collages, highlighting the fashion trends and styles of that year.  Two mixtape cassettes were found in there, ranging from all the popular artists at the time such as Snow, Nirvana, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Robin S to name a few.   There was a VHS tape that had footage of a videographer coming to everyone’s class earlier in the year and having them say something on camera.  They were playing that same video in the school’s library on an old TV that looked like this lol.

I was really disappointed that my class’ contribution, an ecosystem was not displayed on the table.   I remember we submitted some fishbowl looking glass display with plants and algae inside it…maybe when they opened it smelled funny or the water evaporated, I have no clue lol.

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2017 Year In Review

Wayne Lapasa
November 2017: Work Christmas party portrait

2017 is a wrap! What a year it has been.  This blog is going to be short and sweet compared to other posts.  I just want to take a quick moment to review this past year, highlight some key things that I’m really happy I achieved.

Word Press
Word Press


Since the fall of 2016, I started using Word Press again, mostly for school assignments.  Once the school year term ended in April 2017, I still continued to use the platform to share my thoughts on all things digital.  It has allowed me to publish content and to build up my writing portfolio in the process.  Employers can also easily search through the archives to see what my writing style is like and what I can bring to the table.

Honestly, I hadn’t touched Word Press since late summer 2012, so to be able to do this and get reacquainted with this platform was fun.  I will only be using this site to publish my thoughts on a monthly basis.  The reality is that I’m busy and pre-occupied with work and life.  And besides this domain, there’s other social media channels I am on regularly where you can find me as well!

Wayne Lapasa
December 2017: 💪🏻 Kris Kringle friends party

Back to the gym

When you have a celebrity as big as The Rock preaching that exercise is his daily anchor, I totally get it.  For me it is too. I don’t boast about it and publish my progress on social media, I just do it.  People tend to comment how I post a lot of foodie pics, yet I am in great shape.  The reality is, the work is being put in – I choose not to broadcast it.  The gym is sacred ground, it’s like a church to me.  Treat it with respect and you will see the results.

When school finished in the spring, you would think that more time would open up for me to get back into the gym.  I fell into a bad gym funk.  It actually made it harder for me to get back into the groove of things. I even switched gyms in the summer and was not able to motivate myself like I used to.  I regularly keep a gym journal on how many times I go to the gym.  From May to September, I only swiped my gym key 41 times.  That is embarrassing, considering there were 163 total days in that five-month span.  For me, enough was enough…it was time for a change.  There were three months remaining in the calendar year and I was not going to wait till the new year to get my butt in gear.  A light bulb switch in my head went off.  I am proud to say that I regained my consistency in the fall.  I just refocused and rededicated myself.  For the final 92 days of 2017, I went to the gym or did some sort of physical activity 76 times.  I went to the gym on average of five days a week.  This is no easy task given how busy one person’s work schedule can get.  There was one week where I was sick as a dog and I still went five times pushing through.

Going to the gym is a personal challenge of mind over matter.  To be healthy, you must incorporate fitness into your lifestyle.  But to build a lifestyle, you must build consistency.  Those two keywords are synonymous with one another.  To many, doing any sort of physical activity is considered torture.  The true testament is to ensure your mindset overrules any physical limitation you are feeling.  Once you can change the way you think, you will not dread working out.

Graduate Certificate Information Session 2017
July 2017: Seneca College alumni at the Graduate Certificate Information Session

Going back to school

The decision to go back to school has been highly documented in a previous post on this website.  But for me, it was my most favourite and personal post to publish. To add some other insight that I didn’t include in that write up, procrastination was a major factor in such a long layoff on not returning to upgrade my education.  In fact, in the summer of 2014, I almost contemplated towards a career as a realtor.  I started to read a few chapters of the books my mom had and I eventually concluded this was not the path I wanted to take.  I’ve always been a firm believer that patience is a virtue and that good things come to those who wait.  I simply cannot be rushed into something.  And if you don’t have that gut instinct that this is what’s best for you, don’t second guess yourself.

Attending school while working full time and graduating with honours was a great accomplishment.  What I am most proud of the most, was that my whole family was able to come to my convocation – including my dad, who missed my 2004 graduation at York University because he had to work. You are forgiven Dad! Xoxo.

Wayne Lapasa
December 31, 2017: NYE ’18


These are three highlights that I wanted to mention as this year comes to a close.  All of them are somewhat tied to digital, but more on a personal level for me.  Blogging was something I had done for five years straight…only to take a five-year break as well.  Going back to the gym was inspired from visuals I saw on Instagram and helped me refocus in that area.  And getting a post graduate certificate in social media was the icing on the cake for me.  Having that said, I just want to take this time to wish everyone a happy new year, wishing you all the best for 2018!

Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover…R.I.P. Rich Piana

Rich Piana
Rich Piana, Toronto Pro SuperShow 2017

A few days ago, controversial body builder and social media star Rich Piana, known as @1dayumay passed away. The story about this picture I took with him is that even though it was just taken three months ago, I had no idea who he was.  I dragged my friend Mike to come downtown with me to the @toprosupershow, a well known fitness industry weekend event in Toronto.  To be honest, I actually wanted to meet a fitness model which I did and also to just walk around the expo and check out the surroundings.

“Whatever It Takes” was his mantra.

Rich Piana’s booth generated the most amount of fan fare interest.  Now if you see this guy from the outside, he’s extremely large looking and he’s tatted up to the gulls.  He had quite the presence.  I was like “Mike, who is this guy?.” He was like “You paid for my entrance and dragged me out to this and you have no idea who this guy is?  Even I know who he is!” Lol.  You should have seen the line up for this guy, well over a thousand plus people that weekend wanted to meet him, take pictures with him, sign merchandise and pick his brains about the fitness industry.  So for just about an hour or so, I too lined up and had a brief chat with him.

You only get once chance to make a first impression.

What I recall about meeting him that day, was that he had a personality behind that big frame of his.  And the reason why  the line ups were so long for him was because he actually took the time to meet and talk to each person who wanted to see him. That is a sign of someone who know’s their self worth and what an influence they are to the public. When I got home, I Google’d more about who he was and what was the hype about him.  The real appeal that I witnessed about Rich was his transparency and sincerity when interacting with the people. Yes, he previously admitted to steroid use and yes there was probably an addiction or desire to achieve a certain size in his physique.  But what’s amazing about him is that while he did not hold back in his transgressions, it was his open honesty with his audience that was his true major appeal. He eventually became one of the most profitable bodybuilding stars in the industry while growing his brand through social media.

Although I just met him briefly, I witnessed what a larger than life personality he was.  He meant a lot to so many aspiring people in the fitness industry.  It’s very easy to judge a book by its cover.  But in Rich Piana’s case, I couldn’t do that to this man. You only get once chance to make a first impression and he did that with me. Rest In Peace Rich.  My thoughts and prayers go out to your family, your GF @c_no5 and the @5percentnutrition team.

Social Media King

Rich Piana’s consistent promotion of his businesses on social media helped grow his name and brand in just a few short years.  You can relive some of his work through his popular YouTube channel.  Check out some interesting Sysomos stats during the week of his death on August 25, 2017.

Rich Piana Death Instagram Stats
Rich Piana Death Instagram stats, well over 3,000+ mentions on IG
Rich Piana Death Twitter Stats
Rich Piana Death Twitter Stats
Rich PianRich Piana Death Twitter Statsa Death Twitter Stats
Rich Piana Death Twitter stats, with over 4,000+ mentions on Twitter
Sentiment on Rich Piana's Death
Sentiment on Rich Piana’s Death was met with mixed reaction
Most ReTweeted on Rich Piana's Death
Most ReTweeted stats on Rich Piana’s Death