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?

 

How to Eat Healthy but Keep Your Man Card

One of my really good friends Simon, the author of The Intentional Dad Blog, recently contacted me and asked, “bro, what do you eat bro?” Ok, so he didn’t ask me like that, but it’s a relevant question.  How do I eat to be fit?  Eating to be fit isn’t to be looked at as a diet.  Not to me anyway.  It’s a lifestyle.  It’s a constant daily choice to be what you eat.   Every guy wants to be happy with what they look like.  It’s not a vanity thing, it’s a pride thing.  There is a difference in being OK with what you look like and being happy with it.  But it goes deeper than that for me.  Being healthy means I’ll live life to its fullest extent.  My life won’t be cut short due to the many illnesses that plague bad eating habits.  I will be in my kids lives until the good Lord decides to take me.

So let’s get to the real question.  What diet should I do?  There are millions of diets: Atkins diet, south beach diet, weight watchers, paleo, raw food, vegetarianism, Mediterranean, slim-fast, Jenny Craig, TLC, DASH, nutrisystem, HMI,  Ornish, flexitarian, etc.  I must admit there is something appealing about being on the flexitarian diet.  “Hey bro, I’m on the flexitarian diet.” (Hits front bicep pose) Let me first say that I don’t think any of these diets are bad. If they work for you, fantastic.  Kudos to you! AROO!  Me personally, I’ve chosen the Eat Clean diet.  I find it to be the least restrictive and easily modified.  The Eat Clean diet tends to be more on carbs and less on fat. My diet tends to flip flop those to lower the carbs I’m taking in.  Basically, if it’s meat (like actual meat from an animal, not Bologna), fruits, veggies, nuts, basically anything that isn’t processed, eat it.  If I can’t kill it, pick it, dig it up, or harvest it somehow, I don’t eat it.  Unless it’s hot dogs. I love me a good hot dog, but i digress.  As far as drinks, I tend to avoid sugar and drink lots of water.  Problem is, I don’t really like the taste of plain water.  My answer, Mio.  Flavor your water with zero sugar and zero calories.  I even found some with caffeine! Win win!   Mio isn’t included in clean eating but it helped me drink more water, which was good for me.

Here’s a typical day:  breakfast: eggs, bacon, homemade sausage, oatmeal, protein drink.  I like casein protein because it’s longer digesting and acts more of a meal replacement than a muscle fuel.  Lunch: ham, salad with grilled chicken and low fat dressing, fruit.  You don’t want people to ask, “hey, you want some salad with your dressing?” No.  Just no.  Dinner: meat, veggies, salad, fruit. Snacks: one of my favorite snacks is to buy a container of raisins and a container of unsalted peanuts and put them in a larger container and shake it up.  Voila!  Healthier trail mix!  I also have a protein drink post-workout in the evenings.  I usually use whey instead of casein as a more immediate delivery to the muscle.  Drinks: water and milk.

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m not perfect.  You won’t be either.  I don’t see anything wrong with indulging every now and then.  Note I said EVERY NOW AND THEN.  If you are shopping in the ice cream, chips, and soda aisles, you might have missed my point.  I’m sure I could write more on this, but this post is flirting with “too long”.

As always, incorporate cardio and weight training into your diet.  Yes I included it in your diet.  Muscle burns off anything you eat much faster than fat.  Also, keep in mind that this post is NOT medical advice, it is not professional, it is merely what has worked for me.  It’s still manly, gives you lots of choices while you’re out and about, and won’t give the appearance you’re actually on a diet (Can a man even utter the actual word diet out loud in reference to himself?).  Find what works for you and that picture on your man card will be of someone you can be proud of, a better, healthier, manlier version of you. AROO!

My dinner tonight…

How do I find time?

A lot of dads ask me, “How do you find the time to work out?”  I often hear, “I would love to work out but  don’t want to sacrifice time with my kids.”  “I was planning on working out after I put the kids to bed but I was too tired.”  Or my favorite, “My kids tired me out!”

So how do I do it?  What’s my secret?  I wanted to be fit.  I wanted to be the dad that my daughter looked up to. I wanted to be her superhero.  I found the time.  I usually put my daughter to bed around 9ish. So 9:15 was workout time. I retreated to the basement lair and it was my time to shine.  I would throw on a little Krewella or some Watsky and get lost in the iron.  My wife can sing the lyrics to my favorite Watsky songs just from hearing them blast from the basement.  Usually I can get a good hour in so that I can have my much needed chill time before I pass out for the night.

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This past thursday, we took a family trip to High Rock in MD before cruising over to Cunningham Falls State Park.  While at High Rock, my daughter was amazed at the view from the top of the graffiti laced rock.  So I decided that we should go down the trail to a different viewpoint.  My daughter says, “we like hiking daddy, cuz we are spartans!” AROO right?  So we get to a different set of rocks and it was a fairly steep climb.  I kept Jocelyn (my daughter) in front of me as she climbed the rocks like it was a Spartan cargo net.  As I stepped forward, I noticed a long brown creature with diamonds on its back slide down the rock beside us.  Without any time to react, I grabbed Jo and jetted up the rock while yelling to my wife, “Copperhead! Stay down there!”  Do you have any idea how hard it is to climb a 45 degree incline with a 4 year old in one arm?  I got Jo down while the slithering serpent escaped into the brush away from us. I used this opportunity to teach her what a copperhead looks like.  Now I know that if she comes running up to me at home and tells me that she saw a copperhead, I KNOW that there is a copperhead, and I need to grab the closest, sharpest shovel.  The cool part of this whole story is the walk back.  Jo was walking back to the car with me and said, “Daddy, you saved me from the copperhead, you’re like a superhero.”

Every dad wants to be their child’s superhero.  There isn’t much greater that a dad can hear.  Looking at my daughters eyes, I imagined how she looked at me.  Was it like how I used to look at Superman on my TV when I was younger?  Am I worth looking up to?  Am I being the best dad I can be?  Am I being the best man I can be? Then she looks at me, puts her little arm up in the air with her best flex and says, “look at these pythons.”  In that moment, I knew I was doing something right.

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