Category Archives: don’t give up

Let’s talk about setting goals…..

Well here we are, 21 days into February as I write this and I just got home from the gym.  I am sad to be honest, really sad to see that the gym numbers have already dropped off significantly.  For the first few weeks of January it’s tough finding a parking spot up front, you may need to walk a little bit further to get into the gym god forbid.  You may not be able to get on your favorite piece of equipment, you may need to wait a minute to use something.

Here’s the thing though, we all started somewhere.  We all had our first days at the gym and yes maybe it wasn’t in January but we all started somewhere.  I absolutely hate the negativity surrounding New Years Resolutions but we’ve already talked about that.  Tonight I want to talk about something different, one of the main reasons that people do not stick to their resolutions or diets…..Setting goals.  This is the most important concept you need to master in order to be successful in ANYTHING.  Not just losing weight or exercising more.

There is a specific system to use when it comes to setting goals and I am going to break it down here for you tonight.  You may have used this before or you may have used another system that worked well for you in the past.  This is not 100% the absolute golden rule for setting goals.  This is a technique that works and if used will work for you.  That being said there could be another system that works for you as well, I invite you to share some other systems in the comments so that readers may give them a try!

Here we go, let’s get into it! The acronym is S.M.A.R.T. and we are going to take a look at each item individually and really break it down.

 

S-Specific- This is the one where most people go wrong right off the bat.  If you make a goal that is too broad you are increasing your chances of dropping out right from the start.  A goal that is too broad would be something like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look better” or “I want to start running”.  These goals are not specific enough. You are leaving things up in the air and stacking the odds against yourself!  Instead, when creating a specific goal, give yourself more details.  “I want to go to the gym three times per week” or “I want to lose 6 inches off of my waist”.  These goals are much more specific, they are set in stone, black and white, no grey area and you can measure them. This brings us to the next point! (See what I did there, I think I might be getting the hang of this writing thing!)

M-Measurable, or meaningful- As mentioned above, the latter of the two sets of goals are things that are black and white and you can measure them.  If you look at the first set of goals, “I want to lost weight” or the “I want to look better”, you can not accurately measure those.  “But Ian I can get on the scale and it will show that I am losing weight”.  Ah yes my friend you are correct, but how much weight do you want to lose? What happen when you have a plateau? What happens if you only lose 1 pound that week and you want to lose 5 per week?  “I want to look better”.  Again, how do you accurately measure “looking better” to yourself?  With a selfie pic in the mirror? That sounds wildly acceptable for a measurement in progress….HAH! Make goals that you can clearly measure and are meaningful to you.  Don’t waste your time pulling something out of thin air and thinking it’s going to work.

A-Attainable or Achievable– Now this is where things get a little tricky, but please allow me to explain.  You want to make your goal attainable, you don’t want it to be too far out of reach.  You also do not want to sandbag your goal, it should be something that makes you step out of your comfort zone.  For example, saying you are going to loose 5 pounds a week for the next 10 weeks before your wedding.  Not achievable. “But Ian what about extreme weight loss, what about this person who did it?” blah blah blah.  Yes it has been done, however, IF you make it to that goal, yes IF, it will not last.  You WILL relapse and it will not end well.  A healthy goal would be to loose 2-3 pounds per week.  Another example would be, “I want to run a marathon in 15 weeks”, but you haven’t run a mile in 2 years.  Again yes it is possible, anything is possible, however thats a very far reaching goal.  Bottom line is, you need to have self awareness here and know what is going to push you a little but not too much.  Just know you can always adapt your goal!  They are goals, they are not written in stone, if you don’t achieve it, you learn what you are able to do in the set amount of time.

R- Realistic- Realistic and attainable can be interchangeable depending on how you view it.  Realistic can mean that it’s not too far out of reach. For example you want to qualify for World Championships in your first ever crack at a triathlon. This would be an unrealistic goal based on the fact that you have not yet completed a race.  There are situations and circumstance associated with racing that you cannot recreated in training.  You can always do you best to prepare but there is always a chance something can come up on race day.  It can also mean realistic in your resources.  For example if you have a goal to participate in an Ironman but you work 80 hours a week and have 3 kids and a significant other at home, an ironman may not be a realistic goal at this point in your life.  Taking that much time away from your family or job may lead to other things suffering which could lead to dropping the goal.  Be realistic with your resources such as your time, your equipment, your ability or your knowledge.

T-Time based- Last but not least, your goal needs to be time based.  You need to give yourself a time line of when this goal will be completed by.  There isn’t any other way to put it.  You simply can’t say well I want to drop 50 pounds.  Without that time frame, if there is a week where you stay the same there may be a chance of dropping out.  With a time line, you can track and keep yourself accountable.  The time frame ensures you will get it done and it keeps you honest.  Think of when your boss gives you a project at work or you have a project at school.  With a time line you can sit down, break it into small manageable chunks and get it done.  Some times you may even get it done early!  If that happens it’s ok, you get some time to plan your next goal and reconsider either your time frame or how challenging you make your goal.

One last thought to keep you motivated or on track is consider a reverse bet.  If you have a friend or a few friends who are all working on goals, create a reverse bet with them to hold each other accountable.  A reverse bet is simple, you have your goals and your friend has theirs.  You set the time line and then you set the consequences if you do not achieve said goal.  The consequences should be something that would absolutely make you cringe.  This is a great way to hold each other accountable, get friends and family involved and stay on track.

If you set a goal for New Years and you have dropped off, DON’T wait until next year to make a S.M.A.R.T. goal.  Make your S.M.A.R.T. goal tomorrow.  The best time to start was yesterday and the second best time to start is now.

If you have a technique for setting goals that has been successful for you please share it below in the comments section! If you need any further help or just want to bounce some ideas off of someone please use my social links below and hit me up in the DM’s.  I really love hearing from you guys!

 

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

 

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

Back to the Basics

Its no secrete that I have been slacking with this blog. I felt as though I couldn’t “create” enough content for the readers and so it led to me slacking on this blog. I have been following and consuming a lot of content from Gary Vee and Mike Vacanti and I have learned that putting things out there consistently is far better than not putting anything out there at all. So my vow for 2017 is more consistent posting.

So here it goes….

My year this year with tri was busy to say the least. I had some tune up races early in the season and a late peak. I won’t bore you with the details, I have posted race report from the season that you can read up on those.

One thing that has really been lacking, other than my blog posts, is my nutrition. I haven’t been nearly as locked in with it as I used to be and so I decided to start a Facebook group for No Cheat November. I knew I needed to get back on track and this would be the perfect way. The month started and it was back to basics for me. Tracking calories and macros, eating the right foods and cutting out the crap. Yes this means no soft pretzels 3X a week, sometimes more. It was hard at first, I’m not going to lie. I knew I needed to do it and I knew that I could do it, but for some reason, getting rid of this 25-30 pounds that I put on, was harder than when I first started.

I knew what I had to do, it was just bringing myself to do it! So the group was perfect, holding each other accountable. It worked very well and we actually decided to continue the group through the holidays.

When I started the group and the clean up though, I had one thing that I wanted to give a try and I was nervous. Intermittent fasting has always peaked my interest, why I don’t know, I love food but I always thought it was never possible. How on earth could someone skip breakfast and not eat until like 1-2pm?! I decided from the start I would do it on rest day, I would be trying to keep calories low this day anyway and wouldn’t be training so it made sense.

The first time I did it, it was kinda like the first time you take your kid to the doctor, I had no idea what I was in for but once I got there I found out real fast what was going on. The only thing I had from dinner the night before until lunch was black coffee and green tea. In the following weeks, I almost looked forward to the challenge. I knew what I was in for but I was ready for the pain. In some sick twisted way, I am convinced that I just love pain. There is really no other explanation for it to be honest.

Since then I have begun fasting everyday except for days when I know I will be training 2+ hours. It’s something that you think is impossible and then you try it and it’s really not that bad. I usually eat dinner pretty late because I train after work. Dinner is usually between 8-9pm after training. From there its nothing for 16-17 hours except for black coffee, green tea, and water. I was against the idea of gum at first but its negative calories (you burn more chewing than what’s in the gum) so I also have gum from time to time.

Here is the other key, when I break my fast I am not eating burgers and fries and whatever I want like these “trainers” you see on Instagram. I still keep things clean and as always I am conscious of my macros. If it is something that interests you give it a shot!

There are many benefits to intermittent fasting depending on if you can make it work with you schedule. The whole idea of “breaking the fast” in the morning is no longer 100% the only way to go. If you are trying to stay in a calorie deficit and you’re not training this can be difficult. With intermittent fast I typically skip about 500 calories from breakfast and another 200-250 in a snack that I would have mid morning. If you are interested in the more detailed explanation of how this could help you, stop over to Octane Athletics blog and read this article from Blake, he goes in depth on everything you need to know if you want to give it a try! http://www.octane-athletics.com/intermittent_fasting/

As far as everything else goes it is just back to the basics for me, thats what this post is all about. Back to black coffee, lots of protein, healthy complex carbs and just getting shit done. Don’t get me wrong I will have plenty of beers through the holiday, pie on Christmas, and everything in between. But then it’s right back on track. That’s the biggest thing I have found so far, is that before when I would have a little slip, the wheels would fall off, now however its back to normal and I am thankful that I can recognize that.

Thank you to everyone who joined the Facebook group and shared your thoughts and journeys for the month of November. I plan to keep it open through the New Year so if you are a reader and you would like to join the link is right here https://www.facebook.com/groups/370960176573403/

My attempt to be more consistent with this blog from now on is 1-2 posts per week. I am going to do a reverse bet (shoutout to Mike) and if I don’t do that then I will need to do something that makes me even more uncomfortable. Leave your comments below and share something you plan to do in 2017 that will make you better!

Until next time, all for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Why Motivation Sucks, by Kyle of KJ Healthy Way

Got your attention, didn’t I? Let me start by saying motivation doesn’t suck. I am a big believer in motivation and its power to galvanize action. But motivation is only just that, a spark. It is a jumpstart to your day or pick-me-up when you need to push through. It will not carry you through the finish line all on its own. The title really should have been “Why Motivation is an excellent tool for starting you on your journey towards your goals or helping you sustain your efforts while pursuing them but should not be as the sole instrument to achieve success,” but, then I didn’t.
Motivation is kind of like a drug; you get that first hit and BAM, you’re flying high. Eventually, the high of the motivation wears off and you’re left with that need for more. Take another hit, you’re flying again. This time though, you don’t have that same amount of intensity you had the first time. But you get your fix. You repeat this process until you just don’t get that same rush, that same crazed intensity you had the first time. Eventually, whatever you’ve been using for motivation just doesn’t work anymore and you look for another form of motivation to get you that same “high” you had the first time.

Here’s an example: I watch the Rocky IV training scene where Rocky is training in the Russian wilderness and Ivan Drago is in the Russian lab training with new age equipment (one of the best Rocky training montages in my opinion). I get motivated to start training and get in shape. The next morning, I’m up before the sun and out the door running, you know, like Rocky would. I feel great and I have a fire in my belly to keep pushing until I look like Rocky (in Rocky IV, not the original Rocky). I am able to sustain this intensity until midway through the month, when my motivation starts to wane. I’m not quite looking like Rocky yet and I’m tired and sore and don’t really feel like getting up early and running anymore. Watching Rocky training montages isn’t doing it for me and I’m getting sick of listening to “Eye of the Tiger” on repeat. I abandon my “training” and, most importantly, wonder where my motivation went.
Maybe not an applicable example for everyone but definitely something you can relate to. Everyone needs motivation to get you started or to help get you out of a slump with your training. But motivation will fade and you need something else to, not only sustain your efforts, but to help build a lifestyle around your goals. How can you do that, you ask?
You need to build Systems into your life that allows you to create a sustainable lifestyle and not a transient state of excitement.

A System is not a robot or software that does stuff for you (although, if you can make this happen, contact me). The best way to describe a System you probably already use is where you put your car keys. When you walk in the door after a day of work, you put your car keys in the same spot; on the counter, in a dish by the door, a hook on the wall. You’ve developed a System for placing your keys in a convenient spot so you can effortless grab them as you’re heading out the door. It is automatic and you don’t even think about it anymore. It is a System that you’ve built for your morning routine.

So how do you build Systems into your daily routine so you make proper nutrition and exercise automatic? I’m glad you asked.

Systems for Exercise:

  • Pack a gym bag the night before and place it by the front door or in your car
  • Schedule your workouts on a calendar or your phone calendar or Google calendar (so many calendars)
  • Hire a personal trainer or prepay for a month’s worth of sessions
  • Put your alarm clock or phone alarm across the room so you have to get up to turn it off
  • Wake up 1 hour earlier…do it
  • Buy some simple workout equipment like resistance bands and a yoga mat that you can take anywhere
  • Purchase a workout program or course

Systems for Nutrition:

  • Meal Prep…you know you saw this one coming
  • Pack food like fresh or dried fruit, nuts and seeds, protein powder, tuna pouches at work and in car so you always have something with you
  • Buy food containers so you can take your prepared food and snacks with you
  • 90-10 Rule – eat clean 90% of the time and the other 10% you can eat what you’ve been craving
  • Remove temptation from your house by removing junk food
  • Plan Meals and shop for those meals
  • Learn 1 healthy meal or recipe per week and put it in rotation

Systems can be used for anything: sleep, work, chores, etc. But, if you noticed when I was listing the Systems above, many of them involve some sort of monetary involvement. This is absolutely by design. By investing in something related to health and fitness, YOUR health and fitness, you are making an investment in yourself. This is a crucial step toward any goal. Additionally, you’re more likely to use or do something you paid for rather than if it is just given to you. There’s something about paying for an item or service that, psychologically, makes you appreciate it a bit more. You’re also more likely to “get your money’s worth” as well.
In summary, Motivation does not suck. Motivation is awesome and necessary. But it not the end-all and be-all to success. Inevitably, it will not always there. Instead, use Motivation to start building Systems into your daily routines. This will ensure you are not always relying on Motivation to push you forward and you will develop a consistent lifestyle.

If you have any questions, comments, or want some more help developing systems, feel free to leave a comment below.
Thank you.

 

kyle

Kyle of KJ Healthy Way

Atlantic City International Tri


It will always hold a special place in my heart because this is the race that started it all.  Coming off of an iffy race I was ready to murder this race. 

Let me start by saying I love racing in Atlantic City, it is my favorite place to race.  I go over the bridge into Atlantic City and I get all amped up and ready to go.  I hit bike check in, packet pick up, and the athlete meeting.  I have done this race before but I wanted to check in with the RD and say hello so I figured I would hangout.  Plus things change from year to year so it is good to catch one of these.  After chatting with Steve I learned that the idiot who went off on me at the Challenge Race was fired and we chuckled about that.  He had to be on his was and I needed to check in to my hotel so we parted ways.

I was trying to keep costs low for this trip so I booked a hotel at the Chelsea but on the “other” side and not in the towers.  Horrible idea, DON’T EVER DO IT.  If there is one thing I learned about AC, it’s don’t hit the cheap button on your hotel choice. On top of that there was a huge pool party right next to my room.  Thank god that ended before bedtime.

My alarm went off and it was game time.  I got set up in transition and did a warm up jog I was ready to go.  This course is so fast that things happen in the blink of an eye.  The swim course is great, back bay, calm and little current.  The bike course is super rad because it is on the AC expressway, which is obviously closed to bikes at any other time.  The run is on the boardwalk but it is early enough where all the drunk, party people are still sleeping. 

My swim went really well for this race, I have been trying to improve it and I felt great during this swim.  I jumped out of the water and went right to the bike.  


While on the bike I started to pick a few people off.  I caught up to one guy and he was clearly from north Jersey.  He look at me and was like “oh man these shorty bars are killing me. I am cramping up.”  2 mins later he puts his arms up over his head and screams “OHHHH MY ABS!!” I almost peed my pants.  

fasted bike split for AG
I continue riding my race.  We play cat and mouse, he said at one point “I thought I lost you.” And we headed in to T2 together.  I could see him leaving T2 and he actually stopped to “stretch” but turned around looking for me.  I was paying attention to my race and just let him go.  I knew what I needed to do and that was smoke this run.  And that I did.  I came back into Bader field and I was moving at a pretty good clip.  As I cam down the chute my boy Jim was waiting for me and he ran the whole time, yelling and pushing me to finish strong.  
Coming into Bader Field
Running the chute with Jim

Finish strong I did in 59:54.  I wanted to go under an hour at this race so bad and I did.  I was on cloud 9. 
I literally cannot thank everyone who supported me at this race enough.  Jamee, my mom, dad, and Jimbo.  It was incredible to do what I did there in front of all of them.  Thank you as always to my followers and sponsors and Coach Dave for getting me to the start line healthy and enabling me to accomplish this goal.

I can’t thank this man enough for everything that he has done for me since day one.  He’s been here through the entire journey. He was there on that first day I toed the line and he was there to witness the win. It was special that’t for sure.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart Jimbo.

Up next is Challenge Pocono!

Until next time, All for Now

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself


I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

It’s not always rainbows and butterflies…

I find myself reflecting as I lay down here in bed.  I find myself going back in time, far back in time.  Not just weeks or months but a few years back.  A time where things were very different, I was very different.  I didn’t have a care in the world, about anything.  I was a teenager, I enjoyed simple things and I loved life.  I was so naive about life, love and the pursuit…..

As I lay here I wish I could go back in time and talk to that person I was.  Tell them(OK maybe scream in my face) that there are bad people in the world, bad things do in fact happen to very good people and yes you can and WILL get screwed.  People are going to talk about you, people are going to look on and judge like they know you when they probably don’t.  There are more bad people than good and there are going to be times where it feels like there is a rain cloud stuck right over your head.  There will be times where it feels like the world is crashing down on your shoulders.  There will be times where it feels like no one understands. There will be times where it feels like people treat you like dirt and you just won’t understand how they can do that.  It was a time where I thought I was on top of the world and nothing could ever possibly happen.  I was very wrong and I think  had I gone in knowing that these things could happen, it would have been different.  Maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so out of control so fast, maybe things would be different.  Then again if if’s and but’s were candy and nuts, everyday would be Christmas right….The person I was is not the person who I have become however…

Things are very different now that is for sure.  I am certainly different than I was both inside and out.  I wouldn’t change things for the world.  I have come so far and learned so much over the past year.  Things are turning around and beginning to become different, but it is a good different.  I find myself getting excited about things I would have only dreamed of in the old me.  If I have learned one thing that would sum it all up it would be that nothing is going to be handed to you.  If you want something, you are going to have to go out and get it.  If you sit around and wait for things to happen, it won’t, bottom line.  When you work for something so hard though and you get to where you want to be it is quite possibly the most rewarding feeling in the entire world.  The last thing I learned is that there are going to be people who come and go in your life.  There will be people who come though and never go.  Those people will be there day in and day out.  Those are the people who will ALWAYS be there.  The trick is finding who those people are and hanging on to them for dear life.

If you are reading this, you probably found it via twitter, facebook, or instagram.  We also probably share some of the same interest, from swimming, biking, running, or all three.  Eating healthy or working out to better yourself.  Regardless of why you are reading this I would like to say thank you for one.  People like you are the reason that I can keep going.  Support from people who read and like my posts means everything in the world.  The second and last thing I want to say is that everything isn’t always going to be rainbows and butterflies.  Although I would like it to be, as I am sure you would to, its not.  When things get tough, you have two options, you can throw your hands up in the air, quit, walk away and say screw this I am not doing it anymore.  OR you can step up to the plate, bat in hand and give it your best swing.  If you never try though, you’ll never know whether you could do it or not.  So why not step up and try?  No it is not going to be easy, yes there will be times that suck more than anything, but it’s a fight and when you win that fight you’ll be so happy!  On top of that, you’ll be ready for your next fight and whatever that may be. 

I thank you all for reading and if you are in a place right now where you don’t know if you want to fight or flight, I highly urge you to fight on.  Things will get better and that sun will come up to push that rain cloud away I can promise that.  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and have a productive week!

All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

and AGAIN!

Today I was in the pool teaching some of my clients.  I felt like I was pulling my shorts up a little more than often.  Between clients I stood up on the pool deck and looked down at my shorts….they were practically falling off!  I just bought these shorts at the beginning of the summer.  They are a size 36 and they are falling down and loose on me.  It’s insane.  I remember when my size 40 shorts were tight on me.  I am seeing so many changes and feeling so different than I did a year ago at this time.  This time last year, I was happy, I was having a good time and it was summer.  This year I am feeling 10,000 times better and it’s simply INCREDIBLE.  I feel energized, I feel satisfied and I feel happy, but this time it is both inside and out.

When I was at work today a guy came in to swim before his race this weekend.  I have been watching this dude train for months and he is doing something that is still unthinkable to me…the IRONMAN Lake Placid race, which is this weekend.  I looked at him in awe for many reasons.  One was because I have so much respect for him.  He is going to compete in one of the most physically demanding things there is on the face of this earth.  The second reason was because I cannot imagine the feeling he is going through right now.  He has to be excited out of his mind.  I remember how I felt the night before my Broad Street race and it was a feeling I will never forget.  I can tell you right now I can’t wait to feel that feeling in Atlantic City again the night before my race in September. 

I thought my body would be feeling the demands of my training much more at this point but I have been trying to train smarter not harder.  I have been doing my research and homework and talking to a lot of people.  At this point my focus has changed from shedding pounds to being successful in my race in September.  By successful I mean I have looked at times from last year and been tracking my progress and I want to be a top 10 finisher for the 20-24 year olds and this is completely attainable.

It’s funny because today as I was sitting outside at 5:30 this morning I started to reflect.  I found myself focusing on two things.  One was that when I started I remember telling a friend “I will never look like him, I just want to be happy with who I am” and two was “I know I am not going to win but I just want to finish.”  It’s funny because these two things have changed drastically since I started.  For one I am certainly going to finish my race and I have a focused goal at this point.  I am not willing to stop at anything until I can attain that.  Two is I am going to look however I want.  I have the power, as do you to do anything in this world that you want.  Whether it be fitness related or anything else, you have the power and only you can make that happen.  It is an emotional ride and as I sit here and think about the ups and downs I am getting emotional too.  There is no reason in this world for me to give up on what I am focused on and you all should be doing the exact same thing!

I am doing my best to post on here as things come in to my head instead of waiting to do it in one long post.  I know I finish every post by thanking everyone who reads this, but I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart.  There is no way in the world that I would be able to do this without all of you reading this and the continued support I receive from you.  Whether you know it or not YOU are helping me every single day and I really thank you for that and I owe you more credit than I could ever give you.  Don’t give up on what you are doing…

All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

A BAD Case of the Modays

Ever hear that saying when it rains it pours?  Well that was me today.  It just felt like if there was something that could go wrong…it would.  I can’t seem to win today and I am so ready to get out of this rut and start a fresh day tomorrow.

First of all I did my brick yesterday.  It was my first real brick workout and it was hard….very hard!  I drove down to the Y to park my car and jump on my bike.  I headed out filled with energy and a few cold water bottles.  I rode the route I usually go on from the Y and it was a nice ride.  The weather was beautiful and I just embraced the ride.  I finished 18 miles and headed back to the Y.  I jumped off my bike, switched my shoes, grabbed another water bottle and sucked down my Power Bar gel before heading out on my run…..OUCH!!! My legs were not happy with me, they felt like wet noodles when I started running.  I had my Nike+ app going and I felt like I was running at a 15:00 pace and I wanted to stop so bad.  Just as I rounded the line for my first mile, I could hear the app kick in and I wanted to swallow my head because I knew it was going to tell me my time.  That annoying voice chirping in my ear and then it came….8:00 first mile after an 18 mile ride!! Holy cow did that feel awesome!  I knew I had to put in at least another mile so I forged on.  Trying to keep pace with that 8:00 mark I picked up my speed.  She came on again after the second mile and I hit another 8:00 mile.  I couldn’t believe it.  I have never held that pace before and I just did it, after an 18 mile ride!!!  What an INCREDIBLE feeling of accomplishment that came over me. 

Strava from my brick
Run portion of my brick.

Today didn’t go so well though.  I got to work and I had forgotten my lock to put my bag in a locker.  Unfortunately we live in a world where you just can’t trust anyone so I put my bag on the pool deck.  What’s one day right? It’s not that big of a deal….wrong! I got yelled at for having my bag on the deck when there were three other people who had their bags out there.  I took my wallet and keys out of my back and put the rest of my stuff in a locker.  I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, I was breaking the rules, no big deal.  It just felt like I was getting in trouble when I always have my stuff in a locker but other people don’t.  Maybe I am being too sensitive, oh well…

I then got an email that my midterm paper for my summer class was late.  I was on the school’s website everyday over the last week checking for my professor to put an update with what was due and she never did, so I assumed that nothing was do….well you know what they say about assuming.  So I said OK, no big deal I will just complete the paper when I get home and upload it.  AGAIN wrong….the paper requires a book which I of course, you guessed it, don’t have.  So on top of not turning in the other assignments for last week, I know have no submitted my paper…..this is not going to end well.  I knew this class was going to be hell, but I really can’t afford to fail this class.  I have to skip sailing tomorrow and find this stupid book to complete my paper.  I can only hope that my professor will accept it late and just give me a grade.  I need a C to pass this class and just be done.  I am praying that I can make that happen. 

Other than that today was very uneventful.  I needed to post to vent and get these things off my chest so that I can fall asleep and hopefully start tomorrow fresh.  I did my lift today but it didn’t feel the same.  Hopefully I will get back into the swing of things tomorrow.  Although this was a bad day, I refuse to let it set the tone for the rest of my week.  I am going to stick to my guns and get things done!  One bad day isn’t going to throw me off track and it shouldn’t throw you off either.  Wishing you all a good week and hopefully it got off to a better start than mine!  Thank you for reading!

All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Never Take ANYTHING for Granted

Things are super duper busy these days and I have been trying to find time to post more but I just can’t sometimes!! Things are going fairly well here though and I am loving the summer time.  Could be because it is my favorite time of year, could be the friends, family, the pool, the weather…Not sure what it is but I LOVE it!!

This past week was super busy but surprisingly super productive!  Last Sunday I went to a lifeguard in-service that I was dreading.  The month of July was designated to practice possible spinal injury extraction.  It is always a long meeting because it is a very serious topic and it is very involved.  Yes when life-guarding, everything is very serious, this is just one of the more involved and challenging topics that we have to cover.  We have been there for a long time in the passed and I knew I had to get up at 5 the next day so I just didn’t want to be there until 10pm or later.  Luckily things went very smooth and I even had time to make it home to catch Sunday family dinner!! 

Monday I was up at 5am, had a long day at the health club and then turned around and taught some of my private clients.  I picked up a new client that came three days this passed week and he is doing very well!  I also somehow squeezed in my lift on Monday which was the start of my “power phase”  It was a challenge to get through because I was exhausted but man did it feel great!

Tuesday I had work again and in the middle of my shift I had a super long break so I figured what better time than to go out and ride my bike!  Best and yet worst idea yet.  In my last post I mentioned how I wanted to feel my lifting when going into my bike, but man not like this!!  My legs were killing me.  Instead of feeling faster, I was feeling like I really had to push through the workout more.  I did have a good ride though and I am happy that I could take advantage of the opportunity to better myself yet again for the race! 

Here is my Strava from Tuesday.  13 miles still ain’t half bad!
 
Tuesday night was race night and as I have said before it is one of my favorite things to do!  We used a different main sail than we usually do and it messed us up for the first two races.  In the last race though we stopped messing around with the sails and configuration and just sailed the boat and we ended up taking a second which was pretty cool!  Had a total cheat meal at waffle house after the race but it was worth every bite!
Wednesday was pretty uninvolved, not much going on and super hot out.  I have been trying to swim more at the club, but the inside lap lanes are always taken.  Being an employee, I don’t like to take up space for members who are there to swim.  Luckily there was some space outside so I went out there.  Again, not such a good idea.  The pool is sooo HOT out there and it is very hard to get in the groove!  I have been trying to do more sets, like 5X100 with 20 seconds rest to improve my 500yd time and it was tough in such a warm pool.  I would put my face in and it would feel like bath water and when I came out for a breath there was no relief because it was so hot out!  After work and private clients I decided I was going to go for a run…..again, bad idea!!  Are you starting to see a trend here?! I am haha.  When it rains, I complain, when it is too hot, I complain….I need to go somewhere like oh I don’t know California 😉  The run was not my best to date lets just say and I didn’t break any records but I got out and did it.  If I can do it now when it is hot and disgusting out, come September, I will be kicking butt!!
I actually did 5.9 miles but forgot to hit start!
Thursday I had another long break so I went out on the bike again.  This time was much better.  I am still not as confident as I would like to be on the bike, but I am getting there.  I am way more confident than I could have ever thought when I was first getting started.  I went out on some back roads around here that can be pretty sketch and didn’t even think twice about it!  It’s funny to stop and think how far you come when you don’t over think things and you just go out and do it!
Here is my Strava, 2 miles further in 5 min ain’t bad either huh?!
 
Friday was back to work and the weight room.  I tried to swim again and ran into the same problem outside.  Super hot and super hard to get into the groove.  There is a guy who must have been a swimmer in high school and is now doing triathlons who trains at my club.  He came out and jumped in my lane and I thought great just what I need.  I have watched him swim before and he is a pretty good swimmer.  When I pushed off the wall to start my first 100 I wasn’t paying much attention to anything around me.  I came in and got my rest and pushed off for my second one and realized he pushed off at the same time I did…still never thought anything of it though.  We finished, I took my rest and then pushed off again, sure enough, HERE HE COMES. So I thought you know what, lets go.  I was keeping pace with this guy through my 100 the whole time!  He was doing flip turns on the walls and I wasn’t yet I still kept up with him through my set!  I was pretty siked about it to be honest.  I have watched him before and thought that he was good, but never thought that I could keep up with him.  NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF or what you are capable of!  I finished up my lessons and went straight for the weighted room.  I crushed my lift and when I was doing my pull over this guy asked if I had ever done them on a bosu ball instead of on the bench (same guy who is ripped who was super impressed about my broad street time from a few posts back).  I said no way I couldn’t do that and he said “man you absolutely could, just try it! You’d be surprised what you are capable of.”  He’s right and next week I am going to try it.  People like this keep me going that’s for sure.  This guy doesn’t even know me and he is pushing me to get better. So awesome.
Friday night I got an offer to go out with my buddy.  I was supposed to go out for dinner, but my plans ended up falling through and I was super bummed about that.  I really wanted to go to West Chester and grab some sushi after crushing a workout.  So we went to grab a drink and catch up.  When we were sitting at the bar we were joking about my biceps and my lift that day.  This is the same guy who got me started and who deserves more credit in the world for everything.  The conversation went on and he said man, you don’t even need me anymore.  You have the passion and the drive to learn things and make yourself better and you go out and find what you need to do that.  He was absolutely right, some times it just takes someone else to say it for you to realize it.  This also ties into a comment my uncle left on a facebook post I made…side note, Do It For Yourself is now on facebook, head over and join me! https://www.facebook.com/foryourself15 On the post he said it’s not about what you lost but what you have gained.  He was completely right.  Yes I have lost 90 pounds, but who cares, that is just a number, it doesn’t define how far I have come in the least bit.  I have learned so much and bettered myself so much more than some stupid number!
Today I went to play golf in a benefit outing.  There was a woman who was paired in my group because we did not have a full group and she was by herself.  I am not a women hater and I don’t give them flack for playing golf or think it is a man’s sport etc.  It did however kill our team and give us a disadvantage because she was holding us back a bit.  When we were there my buddy and I agreed we weren’t having fun and we just wanted to be DONE with golf for the day.  Although we did a lot of complaining I look back now and realize we were lucky to be on the course, have our health and be able to go out and do something we enjoy for the day. 
I came home and some family came out for the day who I haven’t seen in forever.  It was great to see them and catch up and see their kids, etc.  My cousin said to me at one point, “do you realize how amazing it is what you have accomplished?!”  I gave her an honest answer and I said no.  I don’t think what I am doing is amazing, it is something I should have done a long time ago.  Is that ignorant? Is it cocky or arrogant? I am not sure, but I don’t think it is amazing….I am chasing a dream that I have wanted for such a long time and now I am not going to be satisfied until I reach it!
Tomorrow is going to be a brick day, I am not looking forward to it, but I haven’t done one in a long while and I also haven’t done one with a real bike ride.  Previous brick workouts have been done on a trainer so I am excited to get out and do a “real” one.  After that my plan is to sit at the pool and just RELAX for once.  There is nothing going on for the rest of the day and I am super excited about that.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend, enjoy your Sunday if you have it off!  Hopefully I will see you all on the other side!  Thank you so much for your continued support and remember you are not in this alone.  You always have a friend in me 🙂  Join me on facebook, follow my journey and introduce me to yours, let’s do it togehter!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Glad We Got THAT Out of the Way!

Today is Tuesday, a day I have grown to LOVE for the past 4 summers here.  I have gone sailing every Tuesday night with a very close friend of mine starting 4 summers ago on a lightening and I have grown to love it!

To pick up where I left you last on Friday, I was on my way to the beach.  After my plans were all over the place for a few days, I finally got things nailed down and headed out to the beach for the weekend.  We got there Friday night and just hung around at my friends house for the evening.  Nothing too excited happened and I was totally OK with that.  Just being around great friends and sharing laughs was more than enough for me.

We woke up Saturday morning and my buddy asked if I wanted to go for a run.  I was so happy! I didn’t want to be the only guy who woke up and wanted to go out for a run!  So we laced up and headed out.  He is faster than me by a long shot but I was going for a longer run on Saturday so he agreed to stay with me.  We went for two miles together and then he pealed away and finished up but I continued on.  We were in Lewes, DE and the run was beautiful!  I found a nice little trail and followed it around until I finished up just over 5 miles. 

My little Banner from my run 🙂

When I finished up my run I hit end on my Nike+ app and that annoying yet amazing little notification popped up.  I broke ANOTHER record!  Just 6 short months ago to the date I went for a run around the same neighborhood.  This time I killed that run.  My 5K time was down over 5 minutes and I went for 2 miles further than I did in January.  What an accomplishment!  I was never a runner so I don’t know if this is as huge as I think it is, but I am going to enjoy it while it lasts!

After the run we headed out to Seacrets in OCMD.  I was excited but at the same time I wasn’t.  I am not a huge fan of OCMD, it’s not exactly my kind of crowd but nonetheless my buddy wanted to go their and it was his birthday weekend, so I wasn’t going to rain on his parade.  I ended up having a great time and really enjoyed it.  YES I know before you say it, this is becoming a common theme and I should just continue to not over think things.  Hi have we just met?

This is me, 6 months ago on NYE with my friends girlfriend.
This is me, Saturday, at Seacrets…difference much?!
 
Holy cow what a DIFFERENCE.  I look at the first picture and don’t even recognize that guy anymore.  When that picture was taken, I had been working out and busting my tail for about 4 months but just couldn’t see a difference.  Through time, hard work, and dedication though I stuck with it and look at the difference now!  I uploaded this picture to facebook and there were a handful of likes and comments but the one that stood out the most read:
I’m so glad you finally posted a picture so everyone can see how great you look! I am so proud of you and happy for you, you inspire so many including me, love you!!
Thank you so much, that really touched me and I can’t even tell you how much it pushed me to keep going on this journey!!
On Sunday I got home and I was messing around with my bike in the garage.  I decided to ride up and down the street a little to see what these new pedals and shoes were all about.  After a few up and down’s I though forget this, I AM GOING ON THE ROAD!  I came home and grabbed my bike shorts and my other gear and I was off!
This ride was different than any ride yet.  For those of you who don’t know Chester County, I’ll just go out on a limb and say it’s a little hilly.  On top of all that I was trying to get used to having my feet attached to my bike.  It was weird at first but I got the hang of it….or so I thought. I rode down to the Y which is around 5 miles give or take from my house.  I turned around in the parking lot and was heading down towards the red light.  I checked for traffic and had to do a double take because I though I saw someone driving down the road who I knew and then it happened….before I knew it, I was laying on the ground. Yes I fell on my bike and the only thing I could do was starting laughing. I said out loud “well at least we got THAT out of the way!” I knew it was bound to happen at some point, I just didn’t think that would be it!  This ride was not my best but I got it done and it is a step to getting used to being in the pedals and shoes. 
Monday was a pretty typical Monday…The weather still stinks here but I have found my self tossing the iron around again and I love it.  I was always more for lifting in the past rather than cardio but that’s just because I was being lazy.  I know love the two and really hope that I can use both to improve myself, both physical and for the performance in my racing.
 
It is funny for me to look back from time to time on where I used to be and where I am today.  I would have never done the things I am doing today.  I would have given up so long ago but that just isn’t me anymore.  There are so many changes but I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  I am so happy that I took the bull by the horns and stuck with it! People laughed at me and made fun of me for so many various reasons but if I listened to them I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have and I am really starting to see that.  I knew what I had to do to ensure success and I did it.  Not for them but for me, for myself, and I am so glad I did.  Whatever you are doing, ask yourself, am I doing this for me or am I doing it for them?  When you find the difference, please contact me and let me know because I want to give you a hug and share how amazing you will truly feel!
Tomorrow is a new day and I will be headed back down to the boat for our annual 3rd of July party.  It is sure to be a good time and I can’t wait.  Looking forward to spending the evening with great friends yet again!  Hopefully I will see you all on the other side of the holiday and I hope you all enjoy it where ever you are!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself!

Back to Reality

Well vacation has come and gone.  With a bit of a rocky start getting down there we lost a few beach days.  This also meant a few days of riding for me, but I still got out.  Overall we had a good vacation.  It wasn’t one for the record books by any means, but we had a great time.  Our “neighbors” were two women we met in a previous trip there and they are absolutely amazing! So glad we had a chance to see them again!

I believe I wrote a post on Tuesday Wednesday when I was down there.  So Thursday we woke up and played a round of golf with my Dad.  It was a little chilly in the morning but ended up being a very nice day.  We came back and unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with us and I lost another day on the beach so I went shopping with my grandparents. 

Friday I woke up and I was just delaying the inevitable.  I knew it was our last day and I didn’t want to waste a minute on the beach.  As much as I didn’t want to I geared up for a ride.  Boy am I glad I did!! I had a beautiful ride through the town of Myrtle Beach and back totaling just under 23 miles according to my Strava! It was a beautiful ride and I am so glad that I went.  For the first time I felt like a “real rider.”  What is that feeling, well don’t ask me because I can’t tell you but I sure did feel it!  I was just cruising along with cars going right next to me, which was the one thing I was nervous about.  For those of you who don’t know the town of Myrtle Beach well, there is a very high population of campers.  The first time that HUGE truck went wizzing by with a camper right next to me I was definitely a little nervous!

I came back from my ride and headed straight to the beach and stayed there for as long as I possibly could.  For those of you who don’t know me well, I am a complete beach bum and I LOVE the beach! We came back and had dinner and then I went back out Friday night.  As I was leaving my little cousin Nicholas asked me where I was going(he is only 2).  I told him I was going shopping and asked if he wanted to come, I promised him ice cream if he was good.  So of course he jumped at the choice, LITERALLY, he jumped off the steps into my arms!  So off we went.  We got to the stores and I plopped him up on my shoulders.  He was an absolute angel the entire time so of course I bought him ice cream. 

Here’s the little dude digging into his Ben and Jerry’s.  He carried that silly little drink umbrella around all night!

Our return trip Sunday was much better than the trip down.  No blown tires or craziness to get there.  We got home and unpacked everything and had some dinner.  My mom asked me what I wanted and after that week I just had some chicken and salad.  There were QUITE a few cheat meals down there!  After that I just went to bed, I was exhausted.

Today I got up and went to church as I do every Sunday.  I actually saw a neighbor there and she said “You look amazing! I saw you running the other day!” Then after church one of the ushers stopped me and asked if I had been working out so I explained I was training for a triathlon.  He expressed that he thought that was great and said how he always feels better when he works out.  I agreed with him and said there was no better feeling!

I came home and was back and forth between texting so friends to go down to the river or go out and get bike shoes.  I decided after my rides at the beach that it was time to bite the bullet and get some new shoes.  After riding down there I realized that I really need to get my shoes and clips on so I can get the most out of my rides.  So I changed out of my work clothes and headed out.  I went to a few bike stores before I ended up at Performance Bike over in DE to get shoes.  When I left the house I put on a tank that I bought down at the beach and went and looked in the mirror.  For the first time I felt comfortable going out in public in a tank.  It was absolutely INCREDIBLE!  Before this, the only time I wore a tank was walking to the beach and back….that’s it.  Today for the first time I actually felt comfortable going out in public and walking around in a tank and I felt so awesome.

Here I am in my Ron Jon tank!
 
When I left today I did not really have any intentions of buying shoes.  I have never worn tri shoes or any type of bike shoe for that matter.  I was just going to try some shoes on so that I knew what size to order from the internet.  When I tried on the size I thought I was they were too big.  This was good and bad because the shoes I found online were only $60 but they would have never fit.  So of course I walked out of the store with a pair of shoes.  I can’t wait to get my cleats and turn into more of a “real rider!” I also order my first ID bracelet from Road ID and I can’t wait for it to get here! 
My Shimano Tri Shoes
Aside from getting my new shoes there weren’t too many exciting things going on today.  I wanted to go for a ride and or run but the weather was just not cooperating with me.  As for tomorrow it is back to work.  This is also the last week of my summer class.  It will be the last time I put paper on pencil for a written test and it is REALLY weird to think about.  It did not hit me until writing this that it is the last time I will take a written test as an undergrad.  It will be bittersweet for me because I cannot wait to graduate and start my next chapter but I will also be lost not getting up and going to class!

As for now I am going to listen to a little more of this new Sublime album, Yours Truly and fall asleep.  If you haven’t tried it yet I highly suggest you check it out, it’s a really great album and I am liking it a lot.  My training is going very well and I am getting super excited for my race.  I am hoping that there are a few more people who come to give me a high five a long the way for this race.  This will be my biggest accomplishment to date and there are a few people who have been here through every step that I really want to be there to witness it with me.  Until next time thanks for reading and remember whatever fight you are fighting, DON’T YOU EVER GIVE UP!!

All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself