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
“Dude I need some inspiration because I’m hitting the F’ing wall right now.”
This was the words uttered from my exhausted mouth between breaths to my buddy, Brady, over the phone during a hike break in my 2nd annual after school marathon.
The “After School Marathon” is a concoction invented after realizing that my wife, Lindsey, and I were moving away from Iowa to Virginia. Back in Iowa, I would run from the middle school where I taught almost every single day. I thought that running my very first marathon after work on a random Wednesday would be the best way to commemorate an amazing two years of teaching.
In retrospect, I’ve realized that the 26.2 miles I ran around Ankeny, Iowa could also be considered the “World’s Flattest Marathon of All Time…Ever.” This thought crossed my mind a year later about 22 miles over extremely hilly terrain through the woods of Danville, Virginia. Continue reading
My first attempt at trail running was fraught with fear.
I want to flash back to 2006 for a minute.
Lindsey (my wife and then girlfriend) and I were hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a short 4.6 mile trail to Cub Lake which I had hiked as a kid when visiting my dad. (Side note: This trail has the potential for astounding views of elk herds in the summer months) We were taking our time on our leisurely stroll when we realized “we have not seen anyone on this trail.”
Nowadays we are much more seasoned hikers and would have no problem with being alone on a hiking trail (in fact we would probably welcome it!). We have been out in the wilderness miles from human beings, we have hiked to the top of sketchy looking mountains; generally we are more comfortable being out in the woods. Back in 2006, no one on the trail meant an uneasy Chris and Lindsey. At the end of our hike we had planned to sit down by Cub Lake and have a nice romantic picnic (I know how to treat a lady…even though we got engaged at a place called Hillbilly Hill…). Our plans were interrupted by a loud GRUNT coming from the bushes a few yards away. Instantly we abandoned our plans and took off from whence we came. Continue reading