Ah, January. The month of new beginnings, of new hopes, and of newly expanded waist lines. The month of the resolution.

Millions of people will have paid for a shiny new gym membership at the beginning of this month and I'm willing to bet that about 80% of those aren't using it anymore as of this writing. This article isn't about them though, it's about you; the remaining 20% who actually decided to make a change in their lives. 

Whether you resolve to run more, lift weights, change your diet, or just be more active in general, congratulations. You've made it about a month, which is a significant hump to get over with a new routine. Yeah, I know it hurts but stick with it. Your mirror (as well as some random people you've never met) will thank you later. 

Sticking with that whole "sticking with it" thing, get your expectations in line. You're not going to go from Jason Alexander to Daniel Craig in a week or month (or...generic fat lady to Jessica Beil for the ladies, as I obviously fear their scorn). 

Drastic changes lead to drastic crashes and relapses. The goal of your resolution should not be to go hard until you reach Goal X. Find small, but realistic, changes in the way you conduct your life and your workouts. Over time, those small changes add up. You'll find it much more manageable over a longer period of time this way, promise. Small habits over time tend to stick around. 

In tackling a new level of physical activity, structure and discipline are your best friends. Too much, too soon and you risk injury and burn out and then your back to square one (or: hating being healthy). Keep things relatively easy at the beginning and increase in small doses at a time. This is supposed to be a lifestyle change, remember?

Finally, ask questions. Talk to people. Learn about your body and how it will react to new stresses. There are entire communities dedicated to this. Find them and learn from them. We're not all assholes, I promise. 

Keep up the good work and the rewards will follow.

Even more so you don't have to hear my responses to failed resolution excuses!!

"But I don't have time!!"

Make some. No one is going to give you any more of it. 

"But I can't find healthy food!!"

Bullshit. You're not looking hard enough. I haven't seen a barren produce section in my life. 

"But the gym is too intimidating!"

Ok, I'll give you this one. There's no law that says workouts must be conducted in a gym. Got ten square feet and a jump rope? Go nuts. 

"But I'll NEVER look like him/her!!"

Unless you're their biological twin, you're absolutely spot on. You'll look like you, but better and healthier. You'll be motivation for a future resolutioner. Wouldn't that be a nifty goal?

Only you can follow through. 

Til next time,




Sometimes you just want to get outside. You want to get outside so bad that nothing will stop you. Wind? Meh. Cold? Whatever. Sixty-five degree water? I'm tough. Overhead waves and washing machine surf? Poseidon's got nothing on me.

Deciding to brave those particular conditions on a paddleboard and without a wetsuit is at best foolhardy and at worst a recipe for hypothermia.

Wading into the waves, it didn't seem all that bad; a little cold but whatever. I'm standing on the board so I'm relatively safe. Getting past the first break of sloppy 2-3 foot closers was a little difficult but nothing was going to stop Ryan and me from getting out the bigger swells that lied ahead.

When the first overhead roller hits your board in just the wrong way and sends you flailing into the surf; that's when the enveloping chill of the winter waters permeates every inch of your uninsulated body. Shock. Adrenaline. A hint of panic.

Then the next one hits. Same feeling. The same shock.

We get back on our boards and try our best to make our egos and pride overpower the surf. The ocean doesn't care. It's having fun sending us flying back into the water. After 10 or 15 minutes we wave our white flags and try to ride whatever we can on our knees for the one hundred fifty yard journey back to shore, dry clothes and hot drinks.

It was worth a shot and we'll be back another day when the Atlantic is feeling more forgiving. In the meantime we'll choose our battles better be better prepared. We were just happy to be outside doing something.

This cough I've developed needs to go the hell away by then.




The other morning, I planned on going for a nice little run before the sun came up. I thought to myself, "I'll wear my Vibrams today! I haven't worn these in forever." Twenty minutes into that run I quickly realized why I don't run in those shoes. My feet were throbbing with each footfall and my legs felt like hell. My calves are still screaming at me three days later. This from a run that I typically do in a hazy stupor in the mornings.

These fucking things.

Vibrams (and barefoot style running shoes for that matter) have next to zero cushioning. I weigh over 200lbs. I'm running on concrete. This is a recipe for nothing but pain! As a relatively seasoned runner, I know better than to wear these on hard surfaces. I just wanted to re-live the novelty, I guess. My  thoughts afterwards were with those that buy these threadbare shoes in the hopes of immediate improvement and being a minimalist runner.

There's a long drawn out story behind the barefoot and minimalist running movement, but the jist is this: the less armor your feet have, the stronger they will become and the more natural your stride will be. This is great, if you're running on dirt or trails or any surface that otherwise wouldn't cause stress fractures in your feet if you pounded your 205lb frame on it over 10,000 times over the course of an hour (sorry, projecting here). The muscles in your feet and legs don't go from weak to strong without some sort of transition. Minimalist shoes are not transitional by any means. I could write 5 more paragraphs on the mechanics of it but I know how long the internet's attention span is (still with me?).

That being said, I think barefoot and minimalist shoes (VibramInov8Altra, etc.) are great for things such as soft surface running, TRX trainingCrossFit, and weightlifting. They are very responsive shoes and provide a good deal of lateral support for your feet and legs. 

My point is this: Bare human feet were never meant to run on concrete or asphalt for long periods of time. This is why we have cushioning in our shoes and in running shoes especially. Some people require more cushioning. Some people require less. One of the most important things you can do as a runner is determine your running mechanics and get an appropriate shoe to suit it. Find a knowledgeable runner to do this, not a shoe salesman. You'll get a shoe regardless, but you'll find much happier running days in one that is best for how you run. 


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone



A half second of thoughts from Mile 4 traversing beautiful Lake Maitland on a foggy and flat Saturday morning...

Get your grip.
Square the blade.
Extend the arms.
Twist forward.
Get it vertical.
Reach, dammit, reach.
Catch quiet.
Lean in.
Power down.
Drive the paddle.
Blade to the feet.
Don't pass the heels.
Power off.
Break the wrist.
Twist the blade clean.
Glide forward.
Get upright.
Feather to the front.
Breathe in.
Do it again.
Do it better.
Do it til you're done.

We all talk to ourselves in the middle of long training sessions. What do you say to yourself?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Winter Park, FL



Dear reader (assuming I have at least one),

In what I can only describe as the 3rd iteration of my blogging attempts, this space will now be for more random musings on life and it's unintentional hilarity.

Don't get me wrong; there will still be plenty of posts regarding fitness, well-being, and a lot of stand-up paddleboarding. The triathlon days, for all intents and purposes, are done. So there won't be too much number crunching, detailed course descriptions, or spandex-laden anecdote to speak of. Less pavement, more water, waves, and hopefully bikinis. Yeah, bring on those bikinis.

(Courtesy: Paddleboard Orlando)

Here's to a better decade of writing at age 30.


(The aesthetic mess is temporary. I'll get to it at some point...)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


An Open Letter to Triathlon

Dear Triathlon,

It's been fun. It really has. These past few years together have been nothing short of incredible. You've shown me how to push the limits of my mind and body to places I didn't know I had. You've introduced me to an outstanding community of people that are the epitome of positivity and support. The events, the medals, the sweet gear that you come with, they're all motivating in a way that I've never experienced before.

The discipline you have provided me with for training was unmatched. I had never seen such a change in my body or the way it performed. I enjoyed every second of searching for the perfect wind-cheating tri bike to get an edge up on the competition. I relished in the achievement I felt with every entry I logged in TrainingPeaks. With each word of encouragement from my coach, training partners, and other athletes, my confidence grew and my happiness soared. I even went so far as to get my USAT coaching certification so I could teach others about how beneficial you could be to their lives.

Why then, did I have such a nagging feeling in the back of my head?

Don't get me wrong; all the things I said earlier are true. I figured that this would be something I could do my whole life until I'm old and made it to Kona based on athlete attrition alone. Everything was looking great.

Something clicked. Amidst the long training weeks on top of a full time job and another part-time job, what was I sacrificing in order to make you happy, Triathlon?

When all is said and done, you can be pretty high maintenance. There were times when the only instances of seeing my infinitely patient girlfriend would be at training sessions and a half hour before bed when I was half passed-out anyways. I willingly put off chances to see some of my best friends just because I had to train for a race and had to follow a schedule to the letter.

I enjoy swimming. I enjoy cycling. I enjoy running. Hell, I enjoy doing them all one after each other. As the difficult taskmaster you are, you can require sacrifices in life that can sometimes push the line of reason. Whether it be personal relationships, free time, or monetary outlays (you're not a cheap date), there are aspects of one's life that must unfortunately be put on the back-burner in order to appease you.

Sometimes I like traveling to a new city and enjoying the local sights, sounds, and tastes without having a pre-race brick, sleep schedule, or strict nutrition plan dictating my every move. I know you'll say "just stay a few more days if you want to enjoy the city." Well, I would, but then again theres that whole money and taking too many vacation days thing. Also, most of your big events are on Sundays; in effect, killing the weekend and forcing me to party like a rock star on a Monday night. Sometimes, you just want to be in a new locale and not have gargantuan levels of race anxiety.

So, it's been fun. I'll be back for more, just not as much as you want me to do in order to be the perfect triathlete. A casual triathlete, how about that? I like it. It'll bring the enjoyment back. I'll still teach and coach when asked. I'll still train when I decide to sign up for a race.

You're not going to agree with me, I know. You're going to think I don't have what it takes. You're going to think I'm less of a person because I won't give you 100% of my time. That's ok. I can live with that. You still rock, but I'll see you around.


Gathering thoughts...

I've got some time to burn at 5am in an Orlando airport terminal this morning. So why not get some words down? Here we go...

Yesterday, I had a text conversation with one of my best friends who had recently moved back into the Orlando area after three years of being away in North Carolina for work. The thinking was that everything would be right in the world when he moved back and could be with all of his old friends again. That thought still holds true, except that I've seen him a grand total of four times in the past six months he's been back. The whole sentiment was summed up in one sentence:

"Not gonna lie, it would be nice to see you more often."

Those words blindsided me. We currently live less than three miles away from each other. What the hell was so important that I couldn't make time to see one of my best friends of 15 years? 

March was an interesting month. Hell, the past year and half has been interesting, if not busy. Recently though, lots of thoughts, plans, and changes appear to be on the horizon. Nothing earth-shaking. Just...different, and yet the same. A change of gears so to speak. 

Next post - An open letter to the world of triathlon.