I woke up to a foggy morning overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany.
My head should have been pounding. My teeth still stained purple from the obscene amount of wine I drank the night before. Anticipating the worst hangover in the world I reached for the ibuprofen by my bed when the weirdest thing happened- I felt fine…beyond great actually! So I did what I normally do when I feel great and threw on my running shoes and headed for the door. Continue reading
I just returned from a trail run during a rainstorm and naturally I’m completely caked in mud and dried leaves. Seriously, I have mud in crevices once unknown. This experience taught me something every trail runner learns at some point- how to fall without seriously hurting yourself.
Someday I will write about “How to Fall Safely” but after hearing my wife laugh her ass off at my mud-covered misfortunes, I have decided to take a less serious approach… Here are four ways trail runners fall down: Continue reading
This summer has been a huge blessing for me. During my time off from teaching I have spent most waking hours in the presence of the most beautiful lady in the whole world – my 5 month old daughter Harper. My days have become jam packed with raising and entertaining this tiny human (via poor attempts at guitar playing, silly dancing, and my new specialty- impressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger…his voice not the whole nanny thing).
One could say that my main objective of my time off is introducing my daughter to this crazy world. This is true. She’s seen some weird stuff (the aforementioned terrible dancing), been some weird places (from tops of mountains all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and the craziest place of all….Kansas City), and has accomplished some of her own athletic goals (mostly taking a giant crap while simultaneously sneezing and spitting up). And I have been there every step of her journey. Hours spent helping this little amazing creature along. Continue reading
I started trail running in June of 2013 when my wife and I moved to southern Virginia. I left behind a town that I loved (Des Moines, Iowa), a job that I loved, and many friends whom I loved. The saving grace behind this move was that our new town had 25 miles of mountain bike single track course! I made learning how to trail run my main objective (behind finding a job, renting a nice house, and meeting nice people…you know all that boring adult crap).
Up until that point, I had known trails only through hiking; the lone time I had run on one was to escape sudden death at the end of a 17 mile hike through the mountains of Colorado. I had researched the benefits of trail running and had read Born to Run (the book that apparently every ultrarunner everywhere has read…for good reason. The book kicks major ass!) and the idea of trail running very much intrigued me.
A few days after settling into Virginia I tied up my shoes and headed out to Angler’s Park our local mountain bike course. Continue reading
Why do we like running extremely long distances? Is it so we can look suffering in the face, flip it off, and keep pounding anyways? Is it so we can understand our own physicality and remind ourselves that our “limits” are imagined and really we can push ourselves WAY beyond their confines? Or is it because we are kinda sorta psychopaths?
These were some of the questions running through my head around mile 27 after a long morning of running up a mountain in pouring down rain and 30 degree temperatures. My body was drenched due to shoddy raincoat manufacturing and my hands were borderline-frostbitten. By all rights I should have been absolutely miserable. I should have been questioning every decision that I had made in life that led me to this stupid a$$ mountain in this stupid a$$ race. But I wasn’t, I had a goofy grin on my face. I was in the middle of Linville Gorge in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the midst of December and I was loving it!
Every race will teach you something new. In our lives, we learn the most from the kick-you-in-the-teeth moments, the moments you have to buckle down, face adversity and let resilience shine through you. Continue reading
Running is hard. Lifting weights is hard. Yoga is hard. Sitting around, binge-watching entire seasons of TV shows is easy. Exercise in general can be challenging, particularly if you are just starting to get back into shape.
You will be uncomfortable. You are contorting your body, putting pressure on your joints, discovering muscles in places you didn’t think possible, and quite literally tearing your body down so it can rebuild itself. This is especially true starting out. This is why it is so damn hard to stick with an exercise routine that is new to you.
The first few weeks will be uncomfortable. You will wonder “what the hell am I doing?” over and over again. This is where being cool with being uncomfortable comes into play. Continue reading
1. Spiderwebs in the eyes
Spiders are the practical jokers of the wild. Trail runners are generally their marks. I imagine them giggling wildly as they construct their webs directly at eye level, high-fiving their buddy as they see a runner coming around the corner, and laughing hysterically as the runner inevitably blinds themselves momentarily with webbing. After a year of trail running I am almost considered an expert at pulling webs out from under my eyelids (10,000 hours baby).
2. Spiderwebs in the mouth
This is where trail runners get their revenge. The amount of spiders I have accidently eaten has skyrocketed since beginning to run through the woods. My culinary review: Not too delicious, but ultimately a good source of protein. Continue reading
If “workout” is on your to do list for the day, it has to get checked off. Too often, we find ourselves making up reasons not to complete our goals.
“Something came up.”
“I had to ________________________ so I just could not find the time.”
“I’m just not in the mood.”
All these excuses sound exactly the same: “I don’t want to.”
Now is the time to put the excuses away. Man-up or Woman-up and get your heart pumping. Continue reading
Ever ascended 3000ft in less than an hour? I have and it sucks.
But it sucks in the “oh so awesome” way that extreme physical activity sucks. The burn in every muscle in your body as your lungs try to take in as much air as you possibly can is what pushes us towards amazing experiences. Without this feeling we would be lost in the complacency of our lives. These adventures can snap us out of a boredom funk and spring us back into discovering the amazingness of this earth.
But damn do you feel beastly when you are huffing and puffing halfway up the mountain!
This is what is known as a “Sufferfest.” Continue reading
My journey with yoga began in middle school with a gym teacher making our class watch and practice with a yoga DVD. My conclusions: I sucked at balancing, couldn’t touch my toes, and thought shavasana was just an excuse to lay around (the meditating pose at the end of a practice). My confusion continued in high school when my best friend, Travis, started doing “Yoga for Athletes” CD. After making fun of him nonstop, he convinced me to try it and it completely kicked my ass! I had never been so physically exhausted before in my life. My ignorant belief that yoga was “non-manly” was instantly transformed.
A few years later while in college I signed up for a hothouse yoga class. It was killer, but I was instantly hooked. For the first month $35 gave you access to as many classes as you want. Not being a man to turn down a deal like that, I went to a class every single day (sometimes I would combo pilates and yoga…hothouse pilates is still the toughest athletic thing I have ever done). Quickly I saw benefits: I was relaxed during conversations, focused in class, became less uptight and shy, I could finally touch my toes, my core felt amazing, I just felt like a more optimum human. Continue reading