The Solution for Those That Hate Tying Their Shoes

If you’re anything like me, you hate tying your shoes.  I just hate it.  It’s an inconvenience and it’s 30 seconds I can’t afford to lose.  I would much rather slip a pair of shoes on and fly out the door.  There are many advantages to this.  Your sleep is maximized because you can lay in bed an extra 30 seconds every day.  Your risk of injury from tripping over untied laces goes down.  Plus your coolness factor goes up because…well…you own Snaplaces.

My Under Armour slip-ons are one of the most comfortable shoes I own.  Not just because of the 4D foam, but because I don’t have to worry about laces being too tight or too lose, I can just slide them on and they adjust to my foot.  So I looked at alternatives to make my shoes more convenient.  I looked at Hickies, I looked at Lock Laces, but they didn’t seem to work for me.  Then I came across Snaplaces.  

   
The elasticity of the product intrigued me.  I didn’t have this awkward bow that jutted out or have an awkward number or laces to string through.  They just worked.  My friends at Snaplaces were kind enough to send me a few sets of Snaplaces to try out.  I was impressed.  The set up is super easy.  You feed one set of laces through two sets of holes, the other set through the other two sets of holes, cut to the tightness you want, fasten to the clips, voila!  

  
Hook the laces on the other side and you have just made yourself a pair of slip-on running shoes with your preferred tightness and fit.

  
 
Snaplaces are 100% American made.  I always support American products.  They have hundreds, literally hundreds of color combinations to choose from.  When I spoke with Joseph, he asked me to send him a picture of my shoes.  He then asked me if I wanted the shoes to pop or if I wanted a more subtle look.  Of course I opted for the “pop.”  So I got these sweet neon yellow laces for my Brooks.  I used one set and put them on my wife’s shoes so she could test them.  She raves about them.  I showed my Snaplaces to my parents and my mom bought two pairs.  The convenience of your running shoes being slip-on and a perfect fit every time is awesome.  

The only complaint I have about these is that two of my clips broke.  I’m not even sure how I did it.  I just looked down and it wasn’t clipped anymore.  I contacted Snaplaces and they promptly replaced them and asked that I send back the broken ones for testing.  They said a few of the colors became brittle in the process of making them.  Plus 1,000 points for customer service!  So I got a replacement of the pair that broke plus a red pair.  The beauty of customization is that you can mix and match when you buy.  You can vary the lace color or the snap color for a truly unique look for your shoes.  I put two different color snaps on my Brooks to set them off a little. 

  
I wouldn’t hesitate to wear these on any training runs or any regular running races. I’m not sure I would trust them during a Spartan Race or other obstacle race.  I’d be afraid I would kick a wall and break a snap or lose them in the mud due to the slight elasticity.  However, the thought of throwing on a pair of shoes that have a little give after a race sounds great as my feet swell and throb from soreness and overuse.  So if you hate tying your shoes, love the convenience of slip-ons, or you just want a shoe that is tight but has a little give, I think you’ll really like what Snaplaces has to offer.  Give them a shot!!!  Check them out at http://snaplaces.com!
*A big thank you to Snaplaces for outfitting my shoes 

**All opinions in this post are 100% my own

Dear Meathead 

Dear Meathead,

    I remember the first time I met your muscles.  I mean, that is what you wanted me to meet right?  Draped underneath your stringer tank and your unlaced basketball shoes that you’ve never played basketball in.  I heard you first, with your forceful grunting in front of the mirror at my local gym.  As you stood there curling the equivalent of two small children in each hand, you smirked at me and my 30lb dumbbells.   You waited impatiently as I used the squat rack to bang out some quick bench sets.  The huge gallon of pink pre-workout you sat down beside me said, “dude, hurry up.”  As I started to re-rack my weights, you were the guy who said “no, it’s cool, leave them.”  Then you added two more plates to each side.  I watch you as you study your muscles in the mirror between sets.  You make sure that no angle is forgotten.  I tried to tell you that you missed checking out a backwards biceps pose during your last exercise.  You must not have heard me over your Beats headphones.  It’s ok, I understand.  I’ve always meant to ask you why you never work your legs.  It must be some advanced weightlifting technique I don’t know about.  About an hour after I left the other day, I realized I forgot my wallet.  When I came back to grab it, you were still there.  Yet you didn’t notice me or say hi.  

The funny thing is, I’m there for the same reason as you.  I want to be fit.  I want to be a better me than I was yesterday.  I’m not annoyed by you.  I actually envy your work ethic.  I envy your resolve.  You have a ton of knowledge about so many things having to do with fitness that I could only dream of knowing about.  It’s because of what you have achieved with your own body that I work so hard to build mine.  It is through your inspiration that I seek to inspire others.  I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for you.  It is because of the motivation you’ve given me that I push my body to its limit to see just what I’m capable of.  I have become a better human.  And for that, I thank you. 

Sincerely,

Spartan Daddy

  
 

Fitness Wishlist

Everyone has their fitness wants.  It is your wishlist of things you would buy if you went out and picked from the money tree in your backyard. Unfortunately, I could never get my money tree to bloom.   In my head it’s been blooming for years.  Apparently the blooms are only visible to my 4 year old daughter.  It must be a magic money tree.  So here are the top five things on my fitness wishlist:

  1. Skulpt –  this thing looks awesome! I’ve always wanted to have a way to measure my bodyfat in a more accurate way.  By measuring body composition, you can tell if you are getting stronger or more fit, regardless of whether you are actually losing weight.  
  2. Fitbit – I love the thought of having a fitness tracker as a fashion accessory.  If I could choose, I would choose the model that shows the time as well. Fitness tracker + watch = awesome product.
  3. Spartan Race season pass –  this is probably the number one thing on my list.  If you reference the money tree at the top of this post, I don’t have the funds to do near as many races as I would like to.  I’m lucky that I had enough to get my trifecta in this year.  A season pass would be amazing.   I’m pretty sure these are given at the pearly gates when you enter Heaven.  
  4. Brooks Glycerin 12 –  I saw a pair of these at the local sporting goods store the other day and I fell in love.  They were the ones that were mostly black with the blue and green accents.  My first serious pair of running shoes were Brooks.  I bought the GTS Adrenaline 13 and my feet thanked me for it.  I can only imagine these are even better.
  5. Prescription Sunglasses – now that I’m getting older, my eyes have gone downhill.  It’s a major difference between my eyesight when I wear glasses compared to when I don’t.  I have a pair of Oakley Flaks and they are amazing with the Prizm lenses.  Yet my vision isn’t clear because they aren’t prescription.  It would be amazing to have sunglasses that allow me to see clearly as well as protect my eyes with amazing clarity.  

If anyone on here knows where I can find a money tree that will bloom, please let me know.  Ours is clearly defective.  If you had a coupon for it, that would be even better. AROO!

P.S. Hersheypark, here we come!

  

What Are Your Goals?

If any of you read my previous posts, you would know that I am very goal-oriented.  There is something about setting a goal for yourself that forces you to work harder.  When you achieve that goal, there is nothing like it.  I had a goal to run an ultra-marathon by the time I was 30.  I achieved this goal by setting smaller goals along the way.  I started with a 5k, then a 10k, then a half-marathon, then a metric marathon, then a full marathon, until I ran my first ultra-marathon.  I cried after achieving every one of these goals.  Why? Because it was important to me.  Every one of those moments were a defining point in my life.  Every one of those moments showed me that I was capable of way more than I ever thought I could be.   Completing a Tough Mudder and a Spartan Race was part of this.  I also ran the Merrells Down and Dirty in DC, a 10k.  After completing it the first time, the 2nd time I elected to ruck it in the brick division, 40lb of bricks in a backpack.  None of this is to toot my own horn although I am proud of myself for putting in the work to achieve these goals.  It goes to show that if you set smaller goals for yourself, even an average guy like me can do great things.  

So what are my goals moving forward?  I have signed up for the Spartan Super in VA on Aug 22.  This is the third race for my trifecta, which is a goal of mine.  In September, I want to compete in the Civilian Military Combine in the Poconos.  I think my running and crossfit background will fare me well in a race designed like that.   The Battlefrog series looks challenging and was rated high in the OCR arena so that might be worth giving a shot.  I also want to complete an Ironman triathlon.  The Ironman is a longer term goal.  This isn’t something that I can do this year, nor have I extensively trained for it.  The Ironman is one of those races that are reserved for elite athletes.  I want to be in that club.  Maybe next year.  Fitness wise, I want to be able to bench twice my body weight.  I got a ways to go on that one, farther to go since I’ve put on 20lb in the last 4 months.  I’ve always wanted to be that guy that can bench twice his body weight then go out and run a 6 minute mile.  When I think of fit, THAT is it.  That is why I personally aspire to be.

Whatever your goals are, put in the work to meet them.  Figure out how to make that happen.  Set smaller goals along the way.  I don’t want to see anyone sitting around their living rooms at 75 years old, reminiscing on life, and thinking “man, I wish I would have done __________.”  Dream big.  Aspire to do more, be more.  You never know what you’re capable of until you give it an honest shot.  So I ask you….what are your goals?

 

Anti-Dad Bod

  
I’ve been wanting to do a post on this ever since I started this blog.  It’s been eating at me day and night.  What is this thing they call the “dad bod”?  So I typed in to google: “define dad bod”.  This is what I found:

The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out.  The dad bod says, “I go to the gym occasionally but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.

Allow me to pick this apart for you.  The dad bod is flabby and lacks any major definition.  The dad bod says, “I go to the gym but I don’t really go hard or anything, I do enough to get by.  I don’t watch what I eat because honestly I don’t care that much and how I look isn’t that bad or that important to me.”

I think there is a difference between those that are “dad bod” and those that are in the transitional stages of greatness.  I have nothing against that.   I don’t really care if you work out or not, it’s your body, do what you want (although I think the positive benefits far outweigh the negative).  My main issue comes out of the belief that women prefer this.  Really?  Put a beer gut dude beside a guy that’s all chiseled and basking in absolute savagry and you tell me that women prefer the first choice?  Maybe I’m delusional, but I would assume that a woman would like to see a guy who is fit.  Not just because his body resembles that of a Greek God on his final stages of carb depletion, but because a fit body demonstrates much more than that.  A fit body shows dedication.  You don’t get a fit body overnight.  To be fit is a lifestyle choice that shows you’re willing to sacrifice even though it’s difficult.  A fit body shows hard work.  You show me a guy who goes in to the gym giving half effort, yet still looks better than a guy who gives 100%, and I’ll show you an anomaly.  Who makes it their life choice to go through life giving half effort anyway?  A fit body shows pride.  This isn’t vanity.  This is being proud that you own your body, that you beat it into submission .  Whether you are doing 5 sets 4 plates on the bench for 12 reps or you master Norms bucket brigade on the side of a ski slope, you are pushing yourself to the limits.  You take pride in your body because you respect the work you put in to get it there.  

To me, the dad bod is a cop out.  The dad bod isn’t giving your all.  The dad bad is being ok with mediocrity.  The dad bod is being ok with being half of what you were meant to be.  How do I know this? Because I was there.  I was that guy.  I weighed in at 195lb of flabbyness and unfit.  But I decided to change.   I decided that I wasn’t ok with that.  I wasn’t ok with being mediocre.  

To all you guys out there who bust your butt every single day and still can’t quite get that six pack.  I’m not talking to you.  To the guys who watch what they eat yet still find a striking resemblance to the dad bod despite carving time out of their days to workout. I’m not talking to you either.  Im talking to all of those out there in internetland that are just OK with being mediocre.  Don’t be ok with that.  Be healthy.  Have some pride in your body and your fitness.  You’ll live longer, be happier, and hey, you might even sign a modeling contract at 31.  Nothing is impossible.  I’m proof. AROO!