Rise up to your challenges; I dare ya.

A good friend of mine from college, Chris Fortunato, just biked the Great Cycle Challenge to help kids fight cancer.

Chris Fortunato, Cyclist & Half-Century Victor

He’d been logging 17 mile rides. The personal trainer in me couldn’t help wanting to make it a little more interesting for Chris so I challenged him to ride a 25 miler, a 35 miler & a 50 miler – with a promised donation of a dollar per mile. He named it the Daunting Dobbs Dare. Note, Chris is NOT a hard core cyclist or triathlete (yet). And guess what?  He completed my challenge today with his grand finale, half-century ride, a notable feat even for experienced cyclists! And he thanked me for throwing down the gauntlet and said it wasn’t bad at all. (I see a century ride in his future.)

Inspiration & Motivation

Sometimes it takes that extra push from an external source to just do it or do the things that we weren’t even sure we were capable of or hadn’t even imagined in the first place. Chris was inspired by a great cause and then my “daunting dare” topped it off.

Back when I used to run some grueling trail marathons, thinking about my Dad who had a stroke and was confined to wheelchair always renewed my grit and determination. I’ve also participated in a couple challenging 100 mile / century rides for cancer, thinking about what cancer patients go through helped me tell my legs to just shut up and keep pedaling.

If causes inspire you, there are tons of walks, runs and bike rides out there where you can contribute to a greater good, improve your health and fitness, and have a good time with like-minded peeps.

Even personal trainers and coaches need motivation and more often than not it comes back to us from people we coach. For instance, I’ve  gotten away from biking lately, other than an occasional 35 mile ride. I’ve been doing other things, swimming, yoga, hiking, mt. biking, rollerblading, weight-lifting etc., but just haven’t been motivated to go the distance on the bike. The thing is, I have been missing the quality endurance training and serious calorie burning of a long ride. So guess what? After Chris achieved his 50 mile goal yesterday, I amped-up my standard route and road 50 in solidarity with him. Chris inspired me.

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Notablely, I was inspired and encouraged by good friends to create this health and wellness blog and my adventure travel blog. It took their kind and persistent nudging to get me to commit to taking those first few steps.

I’m also inspired by other fitness professionals. Last week I took a handstand class from local yoganastic guru, Lexi Beal.

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Lexi Beal, Yoganastic Guru Extraordinaire

Her grace and strength inspire me and I wanted to challenge myself to do a handstand. Why? Because I’ve never done one and I aspire to have that kind of strength, balance and core control. Did I do it? Well, I did go heels over hands, but only made it to a wall stand.

L wallstand

And that was still a feat for me. Still “on the wall” about taking my handstand practice further. While I love trying something new, I do want to preserve and protect my shoulders for swimming…As we get older, we sometime have to make those kind of choices. (Sigh, but that’s a subject for another post.)

We’re all on this life, health and fitness journey together. Who can you inspire to help them fulfill their potential or explore something new today? And who will inspire or motivate you to rise up to your next challenge, personal, professional or fitness?

Share your stories and let’s help each other grow and become our best selves – mind, body and spirit. Nameste.

L nameste

 

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Got your race results? Athlinks does.

Having trouble keeping track of your race results? Creating spreads sheet to microanalyze your times from race to race and compare them to your closest rivals? If you compete and want to make progress, you need to hone on the details. What seems like minutia may be the key to unlocking your next PR. This is especially true when it comes to triathlons, duathlons, aquabikes,  and the like because there are so many aspects that come into play. Yes, the swim, bike, and run, but also those pesky transitions. Races have been won and lost due to transition efficiency / inefficiency as I mentioned in my Tips for Conquering the 70.3 /Half Iron post. Trust me, it stinks to miss the podium or your PR due a slack transition. Stay tuned for a tips on transitions post.

The good news is that there’s a website called Athlinks that makes it easy to “geek out” on your results and  unveil your best opportunities for improvement. Athlinks is a comprehensive database of endurance race results worldwide. If you’ve raced, your results are visible there – go check them out. Here’s what it looks like:

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(And yes, the transition for my race looks super long, but a full iron was going in as well so it was super convoluted and protracted. The important / telling thing is that my transition was still “winning” comparatively speaking.

You can view your race results without joining Athlinks if you like, but joining is free and fun. Once you do, you can get a a complete (macro & micro) view of your race history, see how you rank,  calendar future events, follow your friends, stalk (figuratively speaking) your rivals, keep a training log, etc. Whether you’re racing for the podium or just for the sport of it, Athlinks is a great resource. And no, no one’s paying me to say so.

What’s your biggest opportunity for improvement? Got questions? Send ’em.

 

Running transforms a man’s life—–from homeless to business owner

http://screen.yahoo.com/yahoo-originals/homeless-business-owner-one-running-154620319.html

We all (all of us runners, anyway) know running is a great cure for pretty much everything that ails ya…Apparently, it’s a cure for homelessness too…. Here’s a quick video about Anne Mahlum, one inspirational runner who has made a difference with her unique running club, Back on My Feet. She uses running to help homeless men and women change the way they see themselves so they can make real changes in their lives. And it works. What can running do for you?

I’ve always believed in the transformational power of running, or any kind of exercise, especially those outdoor activities where you are immersed in nature, to cure whatever ails you…

Guess what? Study shows the benefits of vigorous exercise over moderate exercise. (Duh.)

This would have been great as my debut blog, but the 6 year study comparing the results of runners and walkers just came out. Turns out, runners had greater weight loss than walkers, especially overweight women. Both walkers and runners lost weight, but the weight loss was more significant in the runners. In fact, the same amount of exercise produced 90% more weight loss running vs. walking for those with a BMI greater than 28. High intensity workouts also reduced the risks for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, and coronary heart disease (CHD).

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