Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in Review- FUELED By FIRE

I have  a passion for endurance sports because they have changed my life for the better and I believe this type of physical fitness can change the lives of others. This past year I continued my adventures in endurance sports.

During 2012,I ticked my way through numerous endurance events to include the Louisiana Marathon ( I ran the half ) , the Cowtown (10K), a Spartan race, three triathlons, two WOD for Warriors, a 25 year WOD, and numerous other races. But more important than my accomplishments were the people at these events with me.

I continued my work with Team RWB, and in the process met some amazing people in the running, crossfit, trail running, and triathlon communities. As a husband and father I am very proud that my family is supporting this great organization that focuses on enriching the lives of Veterans.

Team RWB-West Point (Top)
Team RWB Trail Running Camp (Bottom)


WOD for Warriors:July 4th at Crossfit Alexandria (Top)      
Memorial Day at Little Cakes, Alexandria, La (Bottom)

I also joined an amazing  team at the Center for the Advancement of LeaderDevelopment and Organizational Learning ( CALDOL) at West Point, NY. The team works hard so every learning event we execute is a HOMERUN and the impact is a Positive, Inspiring, and Energizing experience for everyone involved.  The team believes that leader development includes physical fitness and continuously explores  challenging approaches to physical fitness covering the full spectrum of endurance sports.


2012 was FUELED by FIRE and that  will carry on in 2013!!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Row Harder, Swim Faster and Hit the Peak

For the last month I have been sidelined with a couple of injuries. One requiring surgery and the other will possibly require surgery but that will be determined at a later date. I read this great article in the New York times about encouraging people toexercise by getting them to find an exercise program they like.  The article cites research by Daniel Kahneman from his book  “Thinking, Fast and Slow”. I am familiar with his research from my research project in graduate school.  In Chapter 35 he talks about his research findings that people remember the peak of an experience and the end of an experience.  The New York Times article applied this to exercise and encourage people to find an exercise that they liked and would remember the peak and end of the exercise.

Since I am currently dealing with injury  I could relate to this. I am 43 years old and have been CRUSHING IT in the Army for the past 25 years as an Infantryman and Armor officer. Other than being wounded in Iraq I have been pretty much injury free. One thing I loved about running is how I felt at the most intense part of the run and at the end of a run after pushing myself hard. Since I am not able to run at the current time or do my regular upper body workouts I have been looking for alternate forms of exercises that gave me the same feeling that running did. 

These injuries have led me to look for alternate forms of exercise that are non-impact but physically challenging, which is the purpose of this post.  There is always a way to exercise even if a person has physical limitations.

I have turned to swimming and rowing.  I have been a triathlete since 1997 so swimming has always been part of my workouts. Lately I have been swimming more frequently and I find that if I swim 1000 meters plus hard for time I achieve the "peak"  feeling I used to have during and after a good run.

 I decided to try our rowing on a Concept 2 as an alternate cardio workout to swimming and as an alternate way to do a strength workout. Rowing between 5000-7000 Meters at 25-26 strokes per minute (SPM) with a focus on the drive also gives me the same intense "peak" feeling I had during and at the end of  a challenging run.  Another rowing workout I enjoy is doing 7 X 1000 meter sprints on the Concept 2 rower with kettle bell swings in between each sprint.

One of the keys to staying physically active when you face physical limitations is finding a form of exercise that you enjoy.

If you are interested in rowing here check out the Concept 2 site for rowing techniques and workouts.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fighting to CRUSH Lou Gehrig's Disease

Last weekend I attended my Newton North High School class reunion.  One of my classmates, Michael Jaillet has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis  (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  I talked to Mike that night and he was in good spirits. His good attitude inspired and ENEGRIZED me to take action to support him in his fight. That night I talked to a couple of my classmates and we decided that we wanted to do a fundraiser to support Mike.

Two days later on the way back to West Point I watched a Ted Talk by Julie Bernstein titled “4 Lessons in Creativity”. In the talk she shows a picture of a repaired piece of pottery stating "We can look at those cracks because they tell the story we all live of the cycle of creation and destruction....…picking up the pieces and making something new”. .

Watching this made me think of Mike.  I am sure the news devastated him when he learned he had been diagnosed with ALS. But instead of being defeated he demonstrated resilience, picked up the pieces and created the organization MJ’s Army. The primary mission of an army is to fight and defeat an enemy so in order to support MJ’s Army, my classmates and I are planning the MJ5K in the Newton, MA area this spring area to raise money for Mike’s organization.

I am FIRED UP and doing my part to CRUSH ALS!