San Antonio Finish Line

San Antonio Finish Line
Jeremy, Jen and I rocked it!

Fraternity Centennial Celebration

Fraternity Centennial Celebration

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ringing out 2011. What a Year!

Hello Readers,
This is my annual year in review post. Looking back 2011 was an incredible year for me both personally and from a fitness perspective. I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know some incredible people in the last year, I have reached many of the goals that I set for myself, and I have myself ready to make 2012 another great and successful year!

2011 saw me list as my goals to better myself as a person, continually improve my fitness level, and take more chances. I can honestly say that I achieved all the goals. I think each of us are always looking for ways to better ourselves. One of the ways I have tried to better myself is to see all situations in a positive light. As I move into 2012 this is a goal that will remain with me. There are certainly ways that I can continue to grow as a person and continue to better myself. I look forward to seeing the results in the coming year.

The second goal was to improve my fitness level. This goal seems like it might have been a difficult goal to achieve as 2010 saw me stretch myself to the ultimate limits. Amazingly I was able to reach this goal by finding new limits to test. In 2011 I ran my fastest half marathon ever, I broke 2 hours for the first time and hope to be able to better that time in 2012. I competed in three triathlons in 2011, one of them being an international distance event. This pushed me to that next level, not only was the distance the greatest I have completed, but the day the race was on was one of the hottest days in KC last summer so I was pushed to the maximum mentally as well as physically. With 2012 in sight, I have a couple huge fitness goals in mind and will share them in my upcoming goals post.

The third goal of 2011 was to take more chances. I do feel that I succeeded in this goal as there were times last year I stepped out of my comfort zone. Chances are something that for me are difficult. As many crazy things as it sounds like I do, my personality is one that is actually very conservative. Running and fitness have afforded me the opportunity to gain much self confidence in my life which allows me to take more chances. Taking chances will be something that will remain on my personal lists of goals every year, as I do believe the more chances I take whether fitness chances or personal chances the happier I will continue to be.

As I look forward to the challenges that will be 2012, I look back and think I can only hope that it brings me the happiness and greatness achieved in 2011. To my loyal readers, let me know what your goals are for 2012, if there is anyway that I can help you achieve them don't be afraid to reach out to me. As much as I love succeeding in my own life I absolutely love being able to help others reach their dreams and goals. Happy New Year to ALL!

Life is short, live it hard!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Seasons Greetings!!

Hello Readers,

Seasons Greetings to all! Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and families, I know I did. If many of you are like me you over-consumed both food and beverage. Honestly that is what Thanksgiving is for! That weekend was especially fun for me as I saw several great people and friends. On a personal and fun note, the weekend was also significant as Mizzou played their final border war game with Kansas. This game brings back some amazing memories for me. The great news is Mizzou finished the series properly by putting the Hawks and Turner Gill down for the count. Go Tigers!

I don't know about you, but for me this is a crazy busy season. It seems I have something going on constantly for the next three weeks, it is extremely important that during this busy time we don't forget or neglect to finish the year strong toward completing our goals and maintain a strong exercise ethic. For me this hasn't been a problem, I was out of town last week but still managed to put in my longest run so far of training by doing 13 miles. I have found that for me, the key during this busy time is finding hidden time in your day. For instance, instead of going out for lunch or sitting in the break room for lunch, I use my lunch time to get in my daily training run. I then eat my lunch at my desk. I understand this may not work for everyone, it is just one idea. The real point is that we are all busy, but we can find a way to make some time in the day to find and remain healthy.

This week I was watching the biggest loser on TV, this was their marathon week. I am not sure how many of you watch this show but it the marathon episode is one of my favorites each year as you get to see each of the contestants reach the pinnacle of their own personal journies to become healthy and lose weight. You can see when you watch this episode the true emotion felt by each contestant and the pride and self confidence they have by completing this. I can speak from experience and someone who has gone through the battles the contestants do that the show is the closest to reality of any reality show I have seen. I know after watching I am inspired and ready to do battle with my next marathon course in Little Rock.

I want to say to everyone enjoy the next few weeks, enjoy what the holiday season is all about, cherishing time with families and friends and lastly be safe.

Life is short, live it hard!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Remembering Others and the Building Phase

Hello Readers!

Wow, has this year flown by or what? We find ourselves one week before Thanksgiving. I wanted to remind everyone what this time of year is all about. As the holiday season comes upon us we need to remember others. In one week I will be running a 5K with my best friends and their families. While running a 5K is not out of the ordinary the point of the race is to raise money for a great organization. The event will benefit Harvesters. This is one of my favorite charitable organizations in Kansas City, they are the largest food bank in the area. They will be collecting cans that day, they also collected cans at the Girls on the Run 5K I completed last weekend. This time of year we need to remember that everyone wants to celebrate the holidays with their families but not everyone has the means to do this. I urge all my readers to compete in some sort of event or do something for a charitable organization that they might not normally do. This is the season of sharing after all and we have the ability to make the season incredible for all families.

Ok, off of my soap box and back to training. Exactly one year ago this week I was in San Antonio finishing my first marathon. As I continue preparing for Little Rock in March, I was thinking back on last year and how I am going to improve my time. My goal is to take 20 minutes off my time from 4:49 to 4:30. This is a lofty goal, but I have developed a strategy to achieve this. I completely tuckered out last year on the race, I took it out in a very quick pace and didn't have the gusto to finish strongly. I am going to stress pacing this year. Currently I am in the building phase, my miles are ramping up. I have been working on not necessarily worrying about how quick I am but maintaining a solid pace. This has been a difficult concept for me as I always want to do everything at 100% but I know this will benefit me in the end. Something else I am really incorporating into my training this time which should prevent me from tiring out is lifting. I have been hitting the weights three days a week. Don't get me wrong I am not bulking up, but rather I am cardio lifting which should really show results come March.

In closing this week, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Have fun celebrating with your friends and family. Be safe in celebration!

Life is short, live it hard!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Fun

Hello Readers!

It is the first week of November now. I am hoping everybody is doing well. It once again has been a while since I posted but want to let everyone know that training is going well. I am right on schedule for Little Rock. I actually ate lunch this week with my great friend who will be running with me Jen and we are both excited for March 4th. Recently I have been providing updates of what I have been doing, but I find this to be slightly boring for my readers. I always tell people to live life hard but I rarely let anybody into my own personal life. I let everyone know about my training but this week I will let people know I am actually a real person and do enjoy my life and live it as hard as I preach.

First I just wanted to mention that this is the busiest season for half marathons and other races. About three weeks ago was the KC Half Marathon and Marathon. This was a rare occasion when I didn't participate in a race I actually went out and watched runners. That day reminded me just why I love running so much. Runners support each other. I ended up seeing about 20 people i knew on the course and really enjoyed seeing each of them reach their own personal goals. Congrats to everyone!

As I mentioned earlier, I do love living life to its fullest. I always speak of my training and believe me this is important but I think it is truly important to let people know I also love living and there is so much more to my life than just working out. The past few months have been difficult on me from work perspective, but this has not let me stop living. I wanted to mention that I passed my AAP Exam which is an important and difficult certification. My friends have kept me busy, we have had Halloween parties, we went to see my favorite teams play such as the Monday night Chiefs game agains the Chargers, the Sporting KC Eastern Conference playoff game against the Houston Dynamo, and my trip to Phoenix for the Mizzou/ASU game. Thanks to my brother and all my friends for taking my mind off of daily stresses and reminding me of why I put in all my hard work.

A couple weeks back I mentioned that one of the reasons I am doing a spring marathon is that I want to make sure I hold myself accountable during the holiday season. I wanted to remind everyone that daylight savings time rolled back yesterday. This makes for a difficult time of year as the days are shorter and many of us are saddened by this. I am also this way, but this means it is time for us to increase our activity. It is very easy to slack off as it is dark so much of the time, do not let this happen! Listen to my advice here, switch up your routine but find something to keep you active as you will be tempted during this season to eat more, drink more and be inactive due to the weather. Live life hard and make the most of every day.

LIfe is short, live it hard!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Week One Marathon Training in the Books

Hello Readers!

As promised I wanted to get out here and post a little more timely this time. I can tell everyone that week one of marathon training is officially in the books and it was a hard week! I pushed myself very well. I did my standard Monday - Friday workouts, but then on Saturday I decided to really push myself. I started the day with an awesome 35 mile bike ride called Tour de BBQ. This was an awesome event that benefitted the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I rode with some of my great friends from the "Y" Larry, Chip and Joel. We toured all of Kansas City and got to stop and taste BBQ at five different delicious joints. I found a few places I had never been, but will go back even though they aren't legendary in this BBQ town. At the conclusion of riding, I met my good friend Rachael for a 7 mile run. I hadn't done 7 miles at one time in quite a while and my legs were already exhausted from the ride, but she didn't allow me to use that as an excuse and when I stopped to rest she lit into me making sure I finished strong. Time wise I was very happy as I completed the run in 63 minutes which kept me on a strong pace considering.

Many people have come up to me and asked since I have already completed one marathon, why on God's green earth are you doing another? I thought I would dive into that subject a bit this week. For me there are a few simple reasons: first, the holiday season is coming up. With the holiday season comes two fo my favorite things to do in life eat and drink! By knowing that every Saturday or Sunday for the next 5 months I am accountable to run no less than 8 miles this will allow me to enjoy the finer points of the holidays eating and drinking and not feel as guilty. Secondly, I saw a phrase that I feel summarizes everything with the marathon. "The Pain is only temporary, the Pride is forever". I was looking at my picture from San Antonio and it just brings so much pride to me. I want to recapture that moment and the feeling I felt at that moment. Lastly, most people know that my true goal is still to complete the 70.3 half ironman next year. If I am in the shape to run a marathon, then continuing my training and being in shape for the 70.3 should be very attainable.

I mentioned in my last post that I don't much enjoy failure, and by not being ready to do the 70.3 this year I felt I failed myself and everyone else who expected that of me. Needless to say I will not let this happen next year! It is important that we all keep are expectations high, and always strive for excellence. Week two of training will see me continue the same work. Hopefully everyone has a great week of training!

Life is Short, Live it Hard!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Expectations and Good Times Ahead

Hello Readers!

It has been far too long since I have posted. I apologize to you readers for that. I am going to philosophize just a bit here. People who know me know I put extremely high expectations on myself. Sometimes my expectations get the better of me, whether on the tennis court where I feel I should never lose and can be seen giving myself stern pep talks, or in running where I feel I should run a faster race every time. The fact is there will be times when we can't meet are expectations. I have learned that in reality not meeting expectations is not a failure. It is actually something that can be used as a tool to push ourselves to new limits.

My summer ended as crazy as it began. I have been extremely busy getting myself back in good shape. I think after I ran my two triathlons I let my fitness slip a bit. There was a bit of time there where my motivation lacked, the good news is this has passed. I feel that in that period I forgot what my own slogan on life is and that is "Life is short, live it hard". This is a slogan I refuse to forget in the near future.

The funny thing is I was reminded of the slogan when teaching in Girls on the Run. It is absolutely amazing the amount of energy and zest for life these 3-5 graders have. This is only the third time I have worked with my group but they come to class every Wednesday ready to go. They are always eager to learn the lesson for the day and they really want to hit the track. In a class where I am supposed to teach them about life, they remind me every time no matter how tough times are that in reality life is good!

I am ready to attack this fall season and winter with new zest. In the past couple weeks I have been back to my crazy two a day workouts. I have been running 3.5 miles every day at lunch then I mix in boot camp Mondays, 2000 Yard Swimming Wednesdays, Volleyball Thursdays, 2000 Yard Friday's, 25-35 mile ride Saturdays and Les Mills body pump class, and finally 2000 Yard Sundays. This mad training will all lead to the ultimate prize, I will be running my second marathon in March of 2012. The plan right now is to run Little Rock, this is something Jen, Jeremy and I have been talking about for a while and I look forward to completing this challenge with my friends!

I will talk to everyone soon, I hope everyone continues to be motivated and most importantly make sure they live life hard, it is short!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Long Hot Busy Summer!

Hello Readers!

I am sure most of you probably think that I have forgotten about my blog, but no I haven't I just have been extremely busy. Sometimes summer is the most difficult time to keep up on your exercise as it is so hot and humid outside. I want everyone to know I have not slipped up, I have been extremely busy with several events. I will say this may disappoint many of you but my training schedule didn't allow me the time to prepare for the 70.3 in Branson. I do still intend to run the sprint triathlon there that weekend but training for a 70.3 is almost like a second job. No worries it is still a long term goal of mine to complete and you will see future posts on my quest.

When I say I have been extremely busy this summer I mean it!! I have completed many great achievements for me the first and foremost being the Shawnee Mission Triathlon. I did the long course which was 1000 meter swim, 18 mile bike and 4.5 mile run on a day in KC which reached over 100 degrees. This event was extremely special for me as my mother was able to attend. This was the first distance event she has had the opportunity to watch and it meant the world having her there. My great friends Jen and Jeremy competed and were also there to cheer me on to my finish. Thanks also go to Marquita my boss who came out to support on a brutally hot day. I have also completed two other tri's this summer, one in Leavanworth and one in Cameron.

Triathlons are not the only thing which have kept me busy this summer, thanks to my "Y" friends I have gotten into biking. I competed in my first road race by doing a 32 mile ride around the city with my great friends. The "Y" folks also really helped me to push my boundaries with a 2 mile lake swim on the 4th of July. This was a great challenge and I was happy to accomplish this feat. With summer in full swing I have had to be much more creative in training as running has been near impossible due to the brutal heat but have no fear I will be back at it in full effect soon as I plan to do the Cerner 15K and be ready to pound a half marathon in a matter of two months.

This past weekend I aged another year, but I have not let that effect how I go about my life. This has just inspired me to continue to push my boundaries. This last weekend was pretty special for me though as I was able to celebrate doing the things that make me happiest with the people who make me happiest my great family and friends. Thanks to Jay for making it down from Iowa for a great round of golf, Ocean's of fun and then Dinner. Saturday the celebration continued as I competed in the Warrior Dash which is a 5K obstacle course. Lets just say this was totally crazy!! Then was the annual Dive 2 Survive Charity VB tournament which my team may not have won, but I can promise we had as much fun as any team!

As summer is near ending, I want to say to everyone reading continue having fun, exercise smart in this brutal heat. Most of all remember my slogan Life is Short, Live it Hard!!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Very Busy Spring!!

Hello Readers!

It has been a very busy spring for me which has kept me from getting my updates out here more frequently. I figure I will try to keep you up to date with my latest happening and what has been keeping me so busy.

First thing was my first triathlon of the season in Ft. Leavenworth. This was a great experience for me. I ran the event with my good friends from the "Y" Chip and Joel. Both of them have provided me with great inspiration in targeting and hitting goals. The results of the race were extremely positive. I completed the course in a time of 1 hr and 23 minutes. The swim was a little bit short for my liking but fun nonetheless. The bike on the other hand was the most difficult 14 mile bike of my life. The hills on the base are absolutely insane. This all led to what is normally my strength which is the run. Lets just say I was so tired from the bike that my run was pretty weak. I won't complain as this is only the second time my 5K time has been recorded under 30 minutes but I was slow compared to normal.

With getting into Triathlons I have suddenly gotten very into biking. This is still by far the weakest part of my triathlon but it has been keeping me very busy as every weekend I ride around 25 miles with my friends from the Y. They have also gotten me into some mountain biking let me just say this is crazy and extremely difficult as well. I was told by Larry that 10 miles of mountain biking is equivalent to 20 miles of road riding and I believe this!! I challenge everyone reading this to get out and give either kind of biking a try the results are so positive and will help break up some of the monotiny of running.

Something else which has been keeping me extremely busy is my girls on the run coaching and other charitable work. This culminates this weekend with the 5K run. This experience has been as rewarding as I had hoped it would be. I work with 7th and 8th graders from Antioch Middle School in Johnson County. These girls have taught me a good deal about how to remain positive and truly appreciate life and all it has to offer. I hope that I have been able to be as good a role model to these young ladies as they have been for me. I am anxious to tear up the course with them on Saturday and see the excitement for many of them in completing their first 5K.

My Relay for Life team has had a few events and we have done a great job in raising money for the fight against cancer. We hosted a casino night the evening before Easter which raised over $1000. We will be having the annual walk on the first full weekend in June. My team's fundraising culminates with the annual Dive to Survive Volleyball tournament on July 30th. I am very excited as this is always a highlight of my summer.

As you can see time has been flying but I will do a better job of keeping people informed of all my progress. Next weekend I am finally taking a little time to catch my breath with a full weekend of R&R in Florida hanging out with Josh, Dev and my brother. Can't wait for the fun boys!!

Life is Short Live it Hard!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Achieving Goals, let the fun begin!

Hello Readers,

It has been a while since I have posted readers. I wanted to touch on one of the goals I had mentioned in my beginning of the year blog. I mentioned that my running has been getting better and better, well I achieved a great milestone goal that I had set early in the year. A personal goal of mine for this year was to break 2 hours on a half marathon. Last weekend with my girlfriend Joy, a great deal of my closest friends and my family out supporting me at Kansas City's Rock the Parkway Half Marathon I was able to achieve this goal. I crossed the finish line that glorious Saturday with a time of 1:57:51. This was a new personal best for me by over 8 minutes, which may not sound like much but in running time is an eternity. This averaged out to under 9 minute miles. If you consider even a year ago at this time I was averaging about 10:30 miles for my half marathon times this shows that hard work really does pay off. Every person has the ability to reach goals and limits that they may never have thought were possible.

Last week I worked out but for me took a week off to refresh my legs and get prepared for what will be the most difficult but most rewarding journey of my life. Yesterday began the official training for the 70.3 in September. My friends at the "Y" got me started with a nice long bike ride. This is by far the weakest part of my triathlon is the biking. Every Saturday or Sunday from now on I will be completing at least a 25 mile bike ride building to where I will be able to knock out over 50 miles rides easily. I will also begin biking to and from work when the weather permits. As readers I need all of your assistance making sure I stick with my training and help push me through any walls and road blocks I come across during the training.

In my title I mentioned let the fun begin, in the next coming weeks I will be posting about my Relay for Life team the NiteCrawlers. We will be hosting several events as a way to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Last year I was lucky enough to get to experience what Relay for Life is and have vowed to make this a part of my life every year. Cancer is a disease that has affected and will affect each of us in some capacity in our lifetimes. I will be sending an email out to many and placing a link on this blog in the upcoming weeks asking for donations. I know this has been a very tough economic year, but ask that if you can spare any sort of donation it is greatly appreciated by myself, my team and the American Cancer Society. I want to mention the first event we are hosting, it is Saturday before Easter we will be having a casino night at the Agriculture Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs. I will be working the Roulette table it will be a blast and if you have any free time that night I wanted to invite anyone and everyone out.

Happy Exercising this week, remember life is short live it hard!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Helping a Good Friend

Hello Readers!

This week I wanted to focus in on charity. Many who read this know how important charity is to me and how much I like to be involved. My great friend Jen is need of some assistance from anyone willing to help. She is running the Boston Marathon in six weeks. She has been raising money for an incredible cause for the race. The cause is the Childrens Hospital of Boston. The race has provided a way for her to get donations that is extremely simple. I am putting the inforamation below but assistance from anyone is greatly appreciated. As a member of the running community I have seen how everyone is willing to bond together and assist people. This is a simple way to assist and help some great children. All donations mean so much and help a great cause.

Official Instructions:
As the official team sponsor of The Miles for Miracles Team, AT&T is offering a wonderful texting donation option! Supporter can text in $10 donations using their mobile phones by texting the word 4HOPE and then Jen's runner ID (RJ0153) to 20222 $10 will be billed to your phone bill and her fundraising account will be credited.

For those of you who are golfers, Jen also has another opportunity for you. She is putting on a charity golf tournament the second weekend in April. This tournament will be played at night at Minor Park which makes me happier because my game can't be any worse than it already is. Anyone interested in joining my team for this tournament contact me. If you are interested in creating your own foursome or just playing they are accepting solo players as well and will place you in a foursome. Contact me and I will forward your information to the proper people to get you registered.

In other updates concerning charity, I am super excited as this week begins my journey as an assistant coach. I found out the school I will be working with is Belinder Elementary School. I have taken a class and am ready to begin this journey. I must say I am a bit nervous as it very easy to give advice on a blog but actually having 15 girls between 3rd and 5th grade listening to my advice is slightly intimidating, but I know they are just as excited to learn as I am to teach!

This week I officially signed up again for Relay for Life with my team the Nightcrawlers. You will see me post information about some fun fundraising events we will be promoting like our annual sand volleyball tournament in the upcoming weeks stay tuned!!

Happy Exercising this week, remember Life is Short, Live it Hard!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recharging the Batteries!

Hello Readers!

It has been a long time since I have posted. I took a couple weeks off of my writing to recharge my batteries. With workouts and life sometimes things become routine and we need to find something to inspire us again and recharge our batteries. Recently I have met someone who has helped recharge my battery in life and in my workouts! My good friend Rachael was kind enough to introduce me to a person who has brought a little pep back to my step. She told me she knew someone perfect for me, a person with a heart of gold. With one of my goals this year being to take more chances I decided it was time to take a chance and let someone new in my life. I am extremely thankful as I have met Joy. Joy has provided me with great inspiration and recharged my batteries.

By having my batteries recharged I have seen a great difference in so many things. This blog is generally about fitness, and I have noticed my workouts have been better as I want to continually improve myself. My runs have been longer and quicker, my swims are getting longer and faster, and I find myself doing new things by playing in a mens basketball league. With this pep I have seen results with my size and weight. People who see me every day at work have noticed and mentioned that I look skinnier. My Drury friend saw me last night and mentioned that I continue to melt away. Thanks all that means a lot to hear that and just lets me know that the hard work is still paying off! Needless to say I am fully charged now and ready for what should be the best year of my life. It is extremely important for everyone looking to improve their fitness to find something or someone to help inspire you as it makes the process of weight loss and competition so much easier.

My batteries being recharged has not just affected my fitness but I have people at work who continually come up to me and ask is there a reason I am so happy? People who know me know that I am a very happy go lucky person. Apparently I continually glow while at work, I have been told that I am happier than normal while answering the phone. What can I say other than it is nice to have the batteries charged again. I have stressed living life by the theory of "Life is short, Live it Hard". Those who know me have seen me take this theory to the next level. Thank you Joy for helping recharge my batteries forcing me to live life to the fullest every day!

For those of you reading if you have hit a rut in your workouts, or a rut in your personal life take some time find some motivation and recharge the batteries. Once they are recharged you will attack both with a new vigor and your results will be better than you can expect.

Life is short, live it Hard!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vary your workouts to see best results

Hello Readers!

I thought this week I would change up my post a bit. I normally would go into great detail about the cardio workouts that I had performed for the week. Don't worry I continued with my serious cardio blast, but I have recently been reading studies and have talked with some people who have pointed out that I will see best results by varying my workouts. I have tried to take this to heart in many ways. I have been varying my cardio. I am a runner by nature but with several Tri's on my plate for this season I have really been working the swimming and biking. I did stretch out my longest run since the marathon and put in 9.5 miles in 89 minutes which was a really good pace. I owe this to being fresh and having bumped up other areas.

Two things have really been helping me see results. The first is that I have really stepped up my core training. Each day before I begin my workout I make sure to get in 250 crunches/sit ups and at least 50 push ups. This has really been great for building my core and building my strength. This also shows up in my running. By having a stronger core I run with better posture, and my technique is stronger. I am a firm believer this has had an impact on why my times continue to drop. The second thing which has been vital in my variation is I have made sure to add some weights to my training. I was afraid to add weights at first as I didn't want to gain weight but many studies show that it is extremely important to add weight training in a weight loss program as it builds muscle which burns fat. It also helps to increase your metabolism and increase your calorie burn throughout the day. On a side note this is important for me as with the extreme weight loss I have experienced I have a great deal of loose skin or flab as I like to call it. This helps me tone this flab up, and again helps with strength in my running causing improvement.

Lastly I wanted to follow up on last week where I mentioned I would be paying it forward, another opportunity opened up that I am really excited about. My friend, tennis captain, and realtor Bruce offered up an opportunity to be on the Heart of America tennis committee for marketing and public relations. Thanks Bruce I am looking forward to the opportunity to help another sport which means so much to me grow.

Hopefully everyone can take some of these tips and take their workouts and weight loss to the next level. Readers keep living life to the fullest!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Taking Chances by Paying it Forward

Hello Readers!

In my initial post of the year I mentioned that a goal of mine this year would be to take more chances in a personal manner. Recently I received an e-mail from a great organization looking for volunteers. The organization is "Girls on the Run" it is an organization who has a running program for girls between 3rd grade and 8th grade. They instill values in youth about the importance of running and exercise in their daily lives. They run two twelve week sessions each year where at the end of the twelve week session the girls you work with run a 5K in Kansas City.

You may be reading that first paragraph and be thinking how is this taking a chance? The chance that I took is that I applied to be an assistant coach for these youth. I would have applied to be a head coach but they are looking for only women to be head coaches. For me this is truly taking a chance that I might have let slip in the past. As an assistant I will dedicate two afternoons a week to helping teach the values of the organization and help motivate these children and pushing them to reach all their goals. I am a huge believer in charity and paying things forward, running basically has given me my life back so this is the ultimate opportunity for me to help make a difference in others lives and pass along the amazing feeling that running has provided me.

Coaching has always been something that I have desired to do in my life. So by taking this chance I will be fulfilling a life long goal of being able to coach and paying it forward at the same time. One of my great friends Andre is a coach of a track team and I always see the great pride he gets from helping children every day reach their goals. I can only hope that I get to see the children be excited to learn from me and achieve their goals in life. This is an experience I think will be so rewarding for both me and the people I am able to coach. Another friend of mine Cynthia's daughter participated in the program last year and she told me that I will be perfect for this. She said that it was an amazing experience for her daughter. I feel blessed in so many ways that this opportunity presented itself and that I didn't hesitate to act on it. I look forward to sharing some of the great stories of my teams success!

Have a great week readers! Make sure to keep beating those winter blues!
Life is short, Live it Hard!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter Blues and Wake Up Call

Hello Readers!

Hopefully everyone is off to a great start on their New Year's Goals (Resolutions for some). This is the time of year we are all anxious about what we have set out to do in the next year, but many of us live in cities where mother nature quite frankly doesn't care about our goals. I know for me in Kansas City this week we were hit with 8 inches of snow and temperatures not getting out of the teens during the day and below zero at night. This makes exercising tough for many of us. My message is don't let the weather be an excuse, don't let it get you down this is actually an extremely important time to stick with your plans and hit the gym even harder. Winter is tough as most of us would prefer to do our exercise outside, but you can be creative and just as effective with inside workouts. I recommend trying classes at your exercise facility. The trainers are professionally trained and are always working on new and exciting ways to make exercise fun!

I have come out swinging this year. I had a little too much fun over my Christmas holiday, I ate everything in site and over indulged in way too much holiday cheer (beer for those who don't know me) I have been on a personal mission to get back to being me and killing it at the gym. The first two weeks of fthe year I have done two a days every day getting up and putting in either a 4 mile run or spinning every weekday before work, I then follow this up with either my bootcamp classes or swimming and biking at night. On the weekends I try to get a good run in and play some tennis. I do make sure I get one day of rest though otherwise my body yells at me and lets me know I need to slow it down a bit. The great news is no matter how nasty the weather gets the "Y" and probably whatever gym you use stays open. While normally this time of year no equipment is open due to all the resolutions made on days where mother nature takes over if you dare to go to the gym it will be primarily wide open for you. This is how you can avoid the winter blues.

I mentioned in the title of this week "Wake Up Call" this may sound strange but yesterday at work I had my health assessment and needless to say this was a wake up call for me. They measure things like body fat composition, body mass index and other important health tidbits. I went in like the contestants on "The Biggest Loser" do extremely confident. I knew that the last year had been a great year so I was almost cocky as I went in. The results received actually shocked me and provided me with a wake up call. My body fat composition while much improved from last year was still on the upper end of overweight. I had a body fat composition of 23%, compared to last year and 28% this was awesome, but in reality healthy is considered 18% which means my hard work is nowhere near done!!!

Lastly I wanted to say thank you again to all my followers, people on FaceBook who read this and everyone, this marks the one year anniversary of my posts. Last year in early January I started with an inspiration post, the people who provide me inspiration. This list has not changed it has only grown. It is the support received from all of you that continue to push me down the right path and to eventual healthiness!

Life is short, Live it hard!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!! Goals not resolutions for this year!

Hello Readers!!

2011 has been rung in and it is underway. I hope everyone had an incredible Christmas and New Years celebration. I know I enjoyed spending awesome time with my family and friends. Santa and friends were kind to me this year and has prepared me for another incredible year. I have new running shoes and a new watch to take me to the next level. Hopefully he was good to everyone and they are set for what should be another incredible year!!

I wanted to start this year talking about my goals for the year. You notice I said goals, I don't believe in resolutions because no one holds us responsible for resolutions, but if you put goals down people will hold you accountable and you will be forced to go for your goals and ultimately achieve them.

I visited the Doctor last week for my yearly check up, while he was very happy with where I am weight wise, he said that I need to lose another 35 pounds to be the correct size for my height. This is a goal of mine. I want to visit the Doctor this same time next year have him tell me you are now where you need to be. I know many of you wonder why this is so important as I do have my health and do look very good right now, but this is important. I don't know that I have ever been the correct weight for my height since I was about 7 years old. It is a lofty goal but I have made a habit of reaching lofty goals and do not look to fail at this.

Secondly I have a personal goal, I am a person who doesn't take a lot of risks or chances in my life. This year I have the expectations of myself to take more chances. This is not a fitness goal, this is from the standpoint that many times I allow awesome opportunities to pass me by. This year my goal is to act on opportunities. This doesn't sound lofty, but those who know my personality know this will be a challenge for me and one I look forward to taking on. I look forward to sharing results of my progress.

The main portion of my goals is my fitness goals for the next year. When I completed the marathon I received a plaque from my friends Jeremy and Jen, the plaque has a phrase that is on my facebook homepage now and hangs in the living room of my house, "Ryan, The only way to define your limits is going beyond them". This is my goal for the upcoming year is to not define limits but to truly exceed them. I have lined up some lofty goals and expectations to reach this year. The first is I will be running two half marathons in one month. April of 2011 I have already scheduled the Rock the Parkway run on April 2nd and then the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville on April 29th. I have scheduled some fun triathlons in my schedule, the first being in Columbia, Missouri the first weekend in May which is a sprint Tri. The second is the Rock and Roll Tri in Seattle Washington on July 17th. This will be an Olympic sized tri. The culmination of my triathlon year will be on September 18th. I have committed with my friend Jen to running the Half Iron Man Triathlon in Branson, Missouri. I may have mentioned before, but the Half Iron Man is a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile bike and capped off with a half marathon. This will be the ultimate test of my body and mind. I will complete this and look forward to sharing the stories upon completion of each. I am hoping if the time presents itself this year to throw a marathon in the mix in October or November.

The next year is going to be a special year, what is going to make it so special is that all of the events mentioned above will be competed with so many different friends. My "Y" crew plans to join me in Columbia for the Tri, I plan on running Nashville with my friend Jen's husband Benny, my great work friend Cynthia, and a good college friend Kristi. The Seattle Tri and the Rock the Parkway will be with friends Jeremy and Jen, and the crowning jewel in Branson will be with my friend Jen! This embraces why I got into running is the incredible lifelong friendships I have gained from it and the incredible feeling that come over me each time I finish an event.

Cheers to you Readers and your goals for 2011