PLEASE "like" our fanpage!

Monday, May 23, 2011

You are a cheater

The stories were popping up like crazy on Facebook Sunday night. The walls have started to crumble down on Lance Armstrong. After all these years and all the deception it looks like the truth is finally being told by cheaters with integrity. (An oxymoron I know)

Lance Armstrong is a cheater.

I, for one, am not very surprised. Of the top 10 finishers in the seven Tours de France that Lance won it appears that 41 of those spots were occupied by people that were later caught doping.

What a bunch of cheaters in a tainted sport.

I used to race bikes. I never became pro or anything so I never did any major tours but I did do a lot of races in the late 90’s. I even did a five day stage race a couple of times. The stages were hard but I worked my way through and did OK for myself a few times. I can’t imagine what it would be like to race like that for three straight weeks with millions of dollars on the line with each pedal stroke.

That’s crazy.

So they all doped. Big deal. They are making a living cheating. So what?

So… you are a cheater too.


Yeah, you are. You see Lance Armstrong and the rest of the cheaters and liars of the murky world of professional cycling cheated to take a short cut to achieve a goal. For them the reward was millions of dollars…

(By the way, for several of the Tours de France that Lance was winning him, George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton, Frankie Andreu and Floyd Landis were riding for the United States Postal Service. Yeah, our tax dollars funding a bunch of druggies who figured that it was OK because everyone else was doing it.)

Where was I?

Oh yeah, their reward was millions of dollars. They took a shortcut to the money. Have you ever taken a shortcut? Think about it.

Who had taken a diet pill? Who has bought the ab roller? Who got the B12 shot? Who bought Herbalife? Who’s on Medfast? Who did the Atkins diet?

Do you see the point?

Lance Armstrong is just another in a long line of arrogant people with money that think the rules don’t apply to them. Think Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons! Truth is that we are all the same. We all do it.

We all cheat to win. We all take short cuts in life. It’s what our society is all about. Everyone does it.

“It’s hard to eat right….. I need gastric bypass… my kid will only eat Ramen Noodles... I don’t have time… I don’t have money… I don’t know how…” I could go on all day.

Instant gratification is the only way to go these days it seems. Everyone has an easy way to do anything and everyday will cheat to win.

It’s crazy.

Tired? Never mind getting enough sleep and eating right, have a Red Bull or a Monster.  Having trouble “coping” with life? It’s OK, get drunk. Fat? No need to “diet and exercise”, just take this pill and you’ll be OK.

Again, I could go on and on and on…

 Today I have a message. It’s a two part message; two very simple parts.

These professional athletes that cheat are losers. Our kids look up to them and we cheer them. We buy crap that has their name on it and we read their books. We applaud them and we worship them. Then they cheat and all that is taken away.

That sucks.

Roger Clemons was the best picture of my generation. He did drugs to get that way.

Barry Bonds hit more home runs that Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. He did drugs to accomplish that feat.
Lance Armstrong was the greatest ever in the sport that I love and compete in. He cheated as well.

It’s a crying shame.

Our idols failed us. But you know what? You failed yourself! You cheated as well! Not everyone but so many cheat to win in fitness. So many do diets and pills and machines to take short cuts just like the professional athletes that we demonize. We smoke, we drink, we do drugs, we use caffeine, we take pills, we drink shakes….

You hopefully get the point. In an effort to get ahead we have all cheated in some way.

It’s sad really.

In our society, and it seems the world in general, winning has become more important that the race. I wish we could all just enjoy the journey from here to there and not be so focused on what is at the end of the race that we forget to look up at the clouds or down at the flowers and really just appreciate the gift that we all have that is life on this earth.

I hope that you think about this as you go through your day today.

Me? I’d rather try my best and finish where I finish then cheat and risk the shame of being a cheater. What about you?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rick’s Amazing Race

I was very confident on the way to the airport in Orlando on Wednesday. I was wearing my Team USA shirt and was confident that I could talk my bike onto the plane without paying the $200 fee. Others had done it; I could too.

I was wrong.

Foolishly I put the $200 fee onto my credit card. I didn’t know then but that decision would change the entire trip. Was it for good or bad? I will never know.

I got on the plane bound for Madrid, Spain to do the first ever ITU Cross World Championships.

I was excited, but as it turned out, totally un-prepared for what awaited me across the pond.

The flight was painfully long and boring. Eventually we touched down in Madrid and I walked off the plane and up a flight of stairs.

I bet not many airports in the USA have two flights of stairs right off the plane…

I had made a reservation to rent a car. I was off to get my bike and get my car. The plan was to camp but that changed when I met Bill in the baggage claim. He said he had two other athletes staying with him in a villa. On a whim I asked if I could throw a few Euro his way and sleep on the couch. He said fine. Cool. I got my bike and was off to get my rental car. Things seemed to be going well.

Then I went to get my rental car.

My credit card was declined. I’m still not sure why now but there I was with no car. Crap. There was another athlete from the USA named Greg there and he offered to help but couldn’t give me a ride. Being quick on my feet and now in Amazing Race mode I went looking for Bill. I asked if I could jump in his van with them. 

He said sure and now there party of three just became four.

It looks like it wasn’t going to be a lonely trip after all.

My adventures were just beginning…

So we went to the rental car area to get Bills car. There I met Brain and Lisa. They were both 20 something youngsters from California. Bill was from Utah so we made quite a diverse group.

While we waited for the van to arrive we assessed our new situation; four bikes and four people in one car was a lot unless it was a big van. Hmmmm….

Out of the blue, out popped  Gary in his rental car. He asked if there was anything her could do. I asked if I could through my bike in his car to insure that we would have room in our van just in case. He said sure.

Rock on. I put my bike in his car and said we would meet him at the team dinner tonight to get it. Off he drove.

Holy crap what did I just do? I just loaded my bike into the car of a dude that I met at baggage claim in the airport. We couldn’t even remember his name. What if he didn’t show up to the dinner? These are the thoughts I had as my bike went off into the streets of Madrid, Spain in the back of the rental car of a guy named Greg, or was it Gary, Jerry…from Tennessee or did he say Texas?

Oh man. What had I gotten myself into?

Then the van showed up. The term van is being very generous. It was more like a mini-mini van. We’re going to fit three bikes and four people in that?

We put two bikes and our bags in and the spots for people were sketchy at best. My spot was lying down in the back between the bike boxes. Lisa was sitting on the console in the middle, Brian had half of his butt the front seat and of course Bill was driving. He was the only one with a seat belt. We crammed in and set off to get Lisa’s bike.

Yeah, we still needed to pick up a rental bike for Miss Lisa.

It would take us 3 hours to find the shop. Welcome to Europe.

So here we are driving through the streets of Madrid trying to follow the GPS to get to the shop. We “arrived” but had no place to park when a Madrid Policia came to the window. He said we can’t have three people in the front. (Who knows what the hell he really said. That’s what we took from his angry gestures) I don’t even think he saw me lying in the back. With probably the dumbest decision on the trip Brain got out walking. We disappeared down the street and he was left alone in Madrid.

We were within 200 yards of the shop but we wouldn’t see Brain again for 2 hours.

After driving around for an hour we finally parked and set out for the shop on foot. When we finally found it we assumed Brain would be there; he wasn’t.

Lucky for all concerned Bill found his phone number and Lisa was able to call him.

He was close by so we were able to reconnect. Thank God it was him and not me. We would still be looking for me; my cell phone didn’t work. Actually I think I would have found the shop…anyway…

We loaded Lisa’s bike up and we were off. My spot in the back was now even smaller and less safe. Now my hips were wedged between two bike boxes and Lisa’s bike was my ceiling. I was in a very small space. I couldn’t sit up or move at all really. I hadn’t slept really in 30 hours so I fell quickly asleep.

I woke up hot, having to pee and having an anxiety attack. I felt like I couldn’t even stay in my skin a second longer. I begged them to stop. We did and I got out to pee. We got going again and they were able to open a back window to cool things down. This made me feel a little better. I’ll admit it was uncomfortable and very nerve racking. After about an hour we stopped to eat.

We sat down in the restaurant and the waiter came over speaking in Spanish; none of us knew any Spanish. Lisa is from San Diego so she knew a little but not enough. The waiter spoke no English. I was so hungry that I just pointed to an item on the menu and ordered. Everyone else did the same. Brain was the only one that got something that looked like what he thought we ordered.

Lisa wanted chicken salad and got a piece of chicken and a side salad, Bill thought he got the special of the day and it was a bowl of soup and I got a plate of asparagus. Yep, apparently I ordered a side order of asparagus. It was good asparagus though.

We climbed back into the car and we all fell fast asleep. Yeah, we ALL fell asleep including Bill.

I awoke to the sickening sound of metal on metal. I lay there frozen in fear bracing for an impact that never came. Apparently while Bill slept the car veered off the road and we redirected by a guard rail. When we stopped later the entire left side of the car was dented by the guard rail. Apparently no one else but Bill knew that something dire had happened. I went back to sleep and luckily Bill did not.

After what felt like 300 hours (which was actually three) I felt the car come to a stop then turn around. Apparently they thought they had gone too far when they had not. They found a local who gestured us to follow him and Bill drove up a crazy small alley up a hill into the village of Cassa Del Monte.

By sheer luck we had run into the husband of lady who cleaned the villa apartment that we were supposed to stay. We think this was the case because no one in that town spoke a lick of English.

This isn't the town we stayed in but it looked like this!

After of two hours or gestures, dictionaries and correct and incorrect assumptions we moved our stuff into a three story villa with four beds. Just when we finally got situated we met the Australian guy from Texas that spoke Spanish in and English accent. He talked to the apartment owner and in 30 seconds confirmed all that it took us our group two hours to figure out.

That guy’s name was David. Although the whole trip we referred to him and the Australian guy from Texas that spoke Spanish in an English accent. The other cool guy we would meet later was the Japanese guy who spoke Spanish in an American accent; he was my favorite.

Now it was off to the team dinner and to see if my bike was in town or if it had been sold on the Spanish black market.

We arrived at the team dinner 30 minutes late. Apparently getting around Spain was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I couldn’t make heads or tails of the maps. It’s like the road were designed in the 15th century or something…oh wait.

Dinner was good… so was the free wine.

Exhausted, full of Spanish ham (they love their ham in Spain!) and a little tipsy we headed back to the villa. 

When we got there we headed out to find wireless. I had no luck and around midnight fell fast asleep and totally exhausted.

I woke up feeling like total crap. I don’t know if it was the wine, the ham, the asparagus, the jet lag or the anxiety but man did I feel like crap. After a trip to the local store to get some funky tasting bananas and Spanish yogurt I managed to purge the contents of my stomach in an alley to start feeling a little better.

After a while we loaded the bikes up and headed to the course.

The found the race course with no problem. We pieced the bikes together and headed out to see what the world championship bike course was all about. Turns out it was really stupid; some dirt road but mostly just tape through fields and up and down some orchards. Parts of the course were along the lake which was kind of cool but 90% of the route was literally no trail just a taped alley through the country side. High grass, rocks, sand and mud made the course interesting but slow.  I avoided the mud on Friday but I just know that wouldn’t be the case on Saturday.

After we finished riding the course it started to pour. It would rain on and off till the race the next afternoon.

Can you say mud pit?

After the pre-ride we loaded the bikes up and headed out to find food and wireless. We went off to the city of Hervas where the team dinner was the night before. Surely they would have a supermarket and a place to eat. We would look for a place to eat first. We managed to find a bar that gave us a small sandwich.

In Spain most everyone goes home for a nap around 2pm. Sure enough it was 3pm and nobody wanted to serve us food. We had to beg to get them to open up the kitchen and make some sandwiches. I was also able to find wireless so I could let people know that I was alive and well in Spain. It had been a day and a half and no one in American knew if I were alive or dead. It felt good to let everyone know.

We set out from there to find a supermarket.

Spain really isn’t like the US. (No shit, right?) They really don’t speak our language and they really aren’t into convenience. It is impossible to find a place to eat or shop. There are no chain stores in the country side! 

After asking about six people that didn’t speak and English we got a shop owner to send is son out with us to find the grocery store. (By know we knew how to say supermarket in Spanish. That helped)

Now with some supplies we headed back to Cassa Del Monte to relax and prepare for the race the next day.
I went for a nice walk up the hill in town and found some cool stuff. What a neat town! Who knows how old the town is but man is it ancient. Some of the alleys could barley fit a bike never mind a car. There is a river that goes through town with some cool waterfalls and bridges. I really enjoyed my walk through town that night.

Finally that evening I found the wireless spot. If I put my laptop in one certain spot at the right angle I could pick up the WiFi from the local library. I was able to make some posts to Facebook and chat with Teresa. That made my day.

I went to bed feeling a little better physically and really to race the next day at 1:20pm.

I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of heavy rain. That can’t be a good sign.

The plan to get us to the course was to have me ride my bike. It was only like 8 miles and I volunteered. (There was no way to fit four bikes and people in that car.) When I woke up to rain I then volunteered to drive Lisa and Bill to the course. They were racing in the morning and Brian and I weren’t going off time after lunch so it would work out.

I dropped them off and proceeded to get lost on the way back to the hotel.

This was another “oh shit” moment for me. I didn’t have my passport or money, I had no phone, and I couldn’t remember the name of the town and I still don’t know the name of the villa I was staying at. What if I broke down or got pulled over? What if I crashed? I quickly re-found the route and get back to the villa. 

Brian and I relaxed for a while and then headed down to the course.

By the time my race came around it had warmed up to the high 50’s and the water was in the low sixties. Not ideal temps for a race but not as cold as it was with rain in the morning. That didn’t look like fun.

I raced hard in the mud and finished 14th in my age group and was the first American. This trip was about the race but it was so much more. It had become a battle to stay emotional and physically strong and to be mentally smart. The race was the easy part.

After the race we brought the bikes back and watched some of the pros race. Of course it was raining so my only warm cloths got a tad wet. Lucky I just wore the wet cloths the rest of the night to make them dry again.

Later that night we went to the awards dinner. What a bizarre event. Several hundred people showed up for this event. Somehow I don’t think the organizers expected that many. We waited outside in a massive line for 45 minutes. Finally at almost 11pm (Yeah, the awards dinner!) they let us into the room filled with about 20 round tables. Each table had plates of Spanish looking food. But there were no plates, silverware or chairs. 

After a few moments standing around looking at each other we finally just dug in with our hands and consolidated the serving plates to put food on. It was really weird.

By the time we finished the meal and got back to villa I was ready for bed. I went to sleep having no idea how we were going to all get back to Madrid, what the hell I was going to do till Tuesday, and if I would have money to fly my bike home. I was also homesick and missing Teresa like crazy. I was very anxious. I slept like a rock however.

When we awoke Bill, the elder statesman and the organizer of the group, had an idea. He said that they would drop Brian and me off in Placencia, a town about 20 miles south of where we were. We could take the train to Madrid from there. He and Lisa would take the bikes in the rental car.

Sounds good to me; of course we get to the train station and there is a 5 hour wait for the train and it is raining. Awesome. Five hours in a train station. In about 20 minutes the rain stopped and Brian and I headed out to see the sites in this town that we knew nothing about.

After walking for about 10 minutes we saw a big ancient cathedral up on a hill. We headed that way. Soon we found the old town wall and a gate. We went in and found what I’d always wanted to see: an ancient European village behind a wall with cobblestoned narrow streets, churches and relics as far as the eye could see. The next four hours was spent exploring this amazing little city. What a find! It truly was a lemons to lemonade day. We had so much fun!

Placencia, Spain

We got back to the train station to find the ticket office closed! Darn siesta!  I can’t read Spanish but from what I could tell it wasn’t going to open up again till 4pm! Our train was at 3:45pm. We sweated it out a little but the ticket guy did show up to sell us our ticket. We were on the train to Madrid.

We arrived at the train station and walked to the meeting spot in Plaza Mayor (Main Plaza or Town Hall).

We somehow beat Lisa and Bill there by about an hour. We didn’t mind though. What an amazing Plaza! We were having a good time people watching. Did you know that it is fashionable for women to wear leather books that go over there knees? The European men all seemed to wear blue pants. (Baby blue. Not like blue jeans)

Be had dinner and headed back to the hotel near the airport.

Now it’s Sunday night and my plane doesn’t leave till Tuesday. I had no plan. My first bad idea was to go to the airport on Monday morning with Bill and Brain to see if I could re-book for an earlier flight. Lisa flew out to Paris early; she was backpacking around Europe. Bill was flying out and Brian was bringing his bike to the airport to fly it back with Bill. Brian was also going to backpack around Europe but he was flying to Paris on Tuesday. (Ah to be in my 20’s again and to back pack around Europe…)

Of course they wanted $250 to change my flight. It’s 10am and my plane didn’t leave for 24 hours and I was stuck in the airport with my bike box.

It took a few minutes but I finally found someone that spoke English well enough to tell me where the lockers were so I could store my bike. For 5.50 Euro’s I had a safe spot for my bike and now I could go explore Madrid. Brian and I got on the bus and we were off to the big city.

Man if I only didn’t have to carry around my bag of clothes.

That problem took care of itself when I stupidly got off the bus in Madrid leaving the bag with all my cloths on one of a million blue busses riding around Madrid. Boy was that dumb.

I asked the bus driver on the next bus what I could do. He just gave me the number of the bus company. My phone didn’t work in Spain, Brian wouldn’t let me use his (it was like $1 per minute) and I couldn’t use a pay phone because I needed every penny I had to get my bike home.

Maybe I’ll call when I get home…

The saving grace was that EVERYTHING that I NEEDED was in my backpack which I did think to bring. My phone, laptop, chargers, passport, money, camera…I had everything. I am glad that I thought to grab my back pack.

We spent the next few hours taking pictures and video in an amazing city! Madrid has some really spectacular sites. After a couple of hours we ended up back in Plaza Mayor. While there we ran into a tour group where the tour guide was speaking English. It was a FREE TOUR! Right on. We jumped in and for the next three hours we say a TON of wicked cool sites and got to learn Spanish history at the same time! It was awesome and totally free. Pretty good times for a guy with no money!

During the course of the tour Brain met some girl and I could tell he was going to ditch me for this girl. I bailed him out. It was alright because I know that I was heading back to the girl of my dreams back home. I wouldn’t trade going home to Teresa for a million hot Spanish girls…

We parted ways and I went back to the airport. I wandered around the airport for hours and hours. 

Eventually I found a quite place to lie down and sleep for a couple of hours (or minutes?). At 5am I got my bike. At 7am I got in line to check in.

I got a break at the check in. I didn’t have the 200 Euros that it requires to get my bike on the plane. I had 130 Euros. My credit card was shut off so I was hoping that they would put the rest on my debit card. Would they do that? In Orlando I begged and pleaded and was honest. They still charged me. Here I simply lied.
Hockey equipment flys free on Delta. I turned on the charm (as much as guy who hasn’t shaven in 7 days, showered in 2 days, changed my socks or underwear in 2 days could possibly muster up) and lied though my teeth. I was teaching Spanish kids to play hockey! In the box were sticks and pads. I was going to resort to the ol’ “My country just killed Osama Bin Laden” but I didn’t need to. She put the tag on it and I kept me Euros in my pocket.

I survived the long boring flight to New York. As I type right now I’m in the air en-route to see the most beautiful and wonderful girl in the whole wide world. I am so lucky.

I learned a lot of things on this trip.

Not people all over Europe do not speak English; we only found the Australian dude from Texas who spoke Spanish with and English accent and the Japanese guy who spoke Spanish with an English accent.

Mini vans do not have unlimited space.

Stop in restaurants that have the menu translated or that have pictures.

Some tour company out of the US gives free English speaking tours all over Europe.

The ITU Cross race has nothing on Xterra
OK the list goes on.

The most important thing that I learned?

I can’t leave my girl behind ever again. I missed her like crazy the whole trip. Never again do I do on a trip without Teresa…

Yeah and I guess I should have money…and a credit card…and a place to stay…maybe leave a little of the language…

Monday, April 18, 2011

Top Ramen

So a few weeks ago I was helping my son’s Cub Scout pack get ready for the upcoming camp-out.

The comment that one parent said to me I really didn’t believe at first. I’ll have to admit that I gave him a deer in headlights look for at least 10 seconds.

This is what he said to me: “My son only eats Ramen Noodles”.

No kidding.

So let’s fast forward a few weeks and it was time for the camp-out. Sure enough when everybody else was eating this little boy was running around playing. After the meals his father fed him his Ramen Noodles. Yeah, I’m not joking.

This little boy is about 6 years old and looks to weight about 35 lbs. He makes most kids look like Hulk Hogan. Man his guns were like 2 inches around. He was a tiny, tiny kid. Well, if you only eat Ramen noodles I can see how THAT would happen.

Before I go on let me remind you all of something. We eat why? Why do we chew and swallow? Really. It’s a serious question. Do we do it because we enjoy eating and we like what we eat? For most people that is the answer. For kids it’s almost ALWAYS the answer.

That is not, however, why we eat. We eat to nourish. We eat to survive. We eat to grow and develop. We eat to live. Eating for the pure pleasure of it is selfish. Kids do it because they don’t know any better. Parents feed them this way because sometimes they don’t know any better either.

OK, let’s see exactly what this little be is being fed three meals per day.


Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid)
Vegetable Oil (contains one or more of the following: Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Palm Oil)
Sodium Tripolyphosphate
Potassium Carbonate
Sodium Carbonate
Sodium Alginate

SOUP BASE (Picante Beef)

Hydrolyzed Soy
Corn & Wheat Protein
Monosodium Glutamate
Soy Sauce Powder (Wheat, Soybean, Maltodextrin, Salt)
Chili & Other Spices
Caramel Color
Autolyzed Yeast Extract
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Dehydrated Cliantro
Beef Powder
Beef Fat
Disodium Guanylate
Disodium Inosinate
Dehydrated Leek
Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten

Uhhhhhh…. I don’t even know where to begin on this list of chemicals. It’s ridiculous. Dehydrated Leek?? Really?? WTF is that?

Beef power and beef fat? Why not just use, I don’t know, BEEF!!?? I don’t know either.

Other spices?? Why not name them?

This article isn’t about the ingredient list of Ramen Noodles. That would be fun and all. I’m sure you’d never let your kid eat them again when you found out the effects of MSG on a little boys brain.

My subject matter today is more along the lines of the choices we make for our children.

Why would you allow your child to eat one thing and one thing only? Never mind the fact that one thing is VERY unhealthy and will totally damage this young boys body. Why would you do that to your kid?

I had a dentist friend years ago that used to yell at parents that brought kids in with nasty teeth. He said it was child abuse not to brush your kid’s teeth a couple of times per day. I think this is the same thing. Kids don’t want to brush their teeth and they don’t like certain foods. It’s because they don’t know better. Kids actually think that they eat because it’s fun and it is for enjoyment. It is OUR JOB to teach them that this is not the case.

It drives me crazy.

Should we make our kids eat brussel sprouts every meal? Not a chance. Should we make them suffer with foods they hate? No again. But should we allow our kids to go through life simple eating one food because they REALLY like it. What if we allowed our kids to run around naked because they didn’t like cloths? What if we let a 6 year old drink beer or do crack? Same thing here; same EXACT thing.

So I say this to all of you. Be a parent. Show your kids what is right from wrong. Don’t let them hit and don’t let them walk around naked. Teach them that drugs are bad and that smoking is stupid. For the love of God PLEASE teach them they what they eat is the most important of all these things. If they only like Ramen Noodles then let them have Ramen Noodles after 3 bites of broccoli. Next time make it 4 then 5 and so on….

Do they like chocolate cake? Tuesday nights let them have chocolate cake. Start weaning them off the crap and start making them eat good things. Going without dinner or lunch a couple of times will help them to learn.

By the way, I do believe that it is a mistake to reward a kid with sweets. BUT sometimes when they are addicted and so used to them it is the only way to wean. EVENTUALLY they forget. It’s alright to have Ramen Noodles every so often.

I went to college…I ate my share of Ramen.

PLEASE understand the point of this article.

The point is this: It is your responsibility to educate your child about eating right. If you don’t do it then guess what…someone else will. Who is that?

Sit down with them and watch their TV shows for an hour. Watch the commercials. Do you see broccoli advertised?? No, you do not….

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Tearful Call

Got a tearful call today.

"I gained 5 lbs".

When you are trying to lose weight this could be a stressful event. OK scale time. Feeling good! Working out! Eating right! GAINED 5 lbs!!

Holy crap! What the.....

Relax. Let me explain. Weight will always fluctuate. Try weighting yourself all the time. You will see that number go up down and around. I've lost 15 lbs in a day before then gained it back in two. It happens. It's nothing to worry about; as a matter of fact that could be part of the problem. Exactly. Again, I shall explain .When you are worried, frustrated, stressed out... you get what I mean..... you can not and will not lose weight. This is just a fact. So, yes the problem will compound it's self. You get worried and frustrated that you can't program the scale yourself and BLAM! Now your REALLY not losing weight and likely going to gain some!!

Another thing is that your body will cycle. Sometimes your burning fat like it's no tomorrow and sometimes you are adding muscle. The body does what it is going to do! Don't worry about it! It happens! In the end you will win of you are doing the right things!

The stress factor is more than you even know. If you aren't getting the results that you want the FIRST thing you need to look at is your stress level. What is going on in your life? What can you eliminate? Who you you cut out of your life because they are infusing toxic levels of stress into your day?

Something to think about. Stress = acid = fat = death. Is that a simple equation?

What can you do to eliminate stress from your life?

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Day at the Springs

It was such a beautiful spring day in Florida on Saturday. So nice in fact that my girlfriend and I packed a lunch, threw the kids and my guitar in the car and headed out to DeLeon Spring near Deland.

What a wonderful and perfect day!

While I kids were playing in the water Teresa and I sat in the sun while I played my guitar. After a while we started talking about fitness and the wellness and the sad state of health of most Americans.

I’m not one to judge but I couldn’t help but notice one lady sitting with her husband and their toddler a little ways from us. It wasn’t very hard to see why she wasn’t healthy.

This lady was very over weight.

Again, I’m not judging hear. I am observing. It’s a fact that she was overweight. We started talking about WHY this lady was overweight.

I don’t know her. I don’t know her genetics or her habits or her lifestyle or anything. I really have no idea exactly why she was overweight. I have my suspicions though…

The two biggest factors in why people are overweight is of course how you move your body and what you put into your body. I have no idea if this lady workout out or did anything. All I know is what I saw.

So what did I see?

Of course she was smoking. Does smoking make you fat? No but most people that smoke don’t lead very active lifestyles. That is just a fact. Smoking is so amazingly destructive to your body. This lady and her man smoking while they held there toddler make me more than a little annoyed.

She was drinking a Pepsi.

Some would argue that soda is just as destructive if not more destructive than smoking.  Soda will literally rot your body from the inside out. The sugar, the caffeine, the chemicals, the toxins…the carbonation; all these factors can cause cancer and a host of other problems.

She was eating Little Debbie snack cakes.

So there you have it. Here is a morbidly obese lady at the springs smoking, drinking soda and eating sugary snacks. REALLY??

Sometimes I actually do have blinders on. Really. Sometimes I think that all people that are heavy are trying to lose weight and will eat well and try to exercise;  this is just not the truth.

If this lady were to seek me out for advice to turn thing around I wouldn’t bombard her with “don’t do this and don’t do that”. That is not what she needs.

I would tell her to come to one class.

I would tell her to right down everything she ate for 4 days.

I would look at her food journal and have her ad a piece of fruit at breakfast and a serving of veggies at dinner.

Yes, simple and small changes.

Some help and encouragement and accountability is really what people need.

I do feel bad for people like this lady. I’m sure she has tried in the past to lose the weight and get healthy. I’m sure she got overwhelmed and confused by hype, marketing, half truths and scams. I really do feel bad because it happens all the time.

In my program I ask people to simply try one workout; then another workout, then a small change, then another small change. A couple of small goals. An extra walk…an extra workout.

It is a process and a progression. No one has results overnight but virtually everyone expects that.

I have been doing this job a long time. I live and breathe fitness 24 hours per day. I know exactly what people need to do to get fit. If you want to be a d live fit then I will make the same suggestion to you.

Take it one step and one workout at time. Come see me. I will help you. Let me guide you down the path to your new you….

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why we are unhealthy?

Really there is no true answer to why American’s are fat, lazy and generally out of shape. Of course everyone has a theory and some of those theories are right although most are simply marketing ploys designed to make themselves money.

Welcome to America people!

I believe there is an overriding reason that the majority of us are sick and unhealthy.

It comes directly from Tony Robbins.

He says that every decision that we make is based on our desire to avoid pain or to create pleasure.

I believe that this is true.

Now,  we know that most Americans aren’t in very good shape. The major problem here is that we do not exercise enough. I think this I can confidently say. Why is this? I think it could be that people perceive exercise as being too hard. In other words it brings them great PAIN to exercise. True?

Now I believe that I could also say that Americans don’t eat the right food for the most part. Another true statement? Without thinking of the health consequences, what is our perception of unhealthy food? (By unhealthy food I’m talking about candy, pizza, soda, pasties etc. etc. Also, I’m talking about convenience foods that are easy to prepare but don’t add a lot of nutritional value to our diets. Things like chicken nuggets, hamburger helper and most cereals.)

It brings us PLEASURE, right? Why do we eat chocolate cake? Why do we eat apple pie? Why do we eat Skittles? Why do we drink Coke? Exactly.

So let’s look at the two conclusions that I just draw. We see exercise as PAIN and eating crappy food as PLEASURE.

Tony Robbins says that all our decisions are based on the desire to avoid pain and bring about pleasure.

Can anyone else so the connection here of is it just me?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cable Sucks

I don’t have cable TV. It’s been close to a year now.

Guess what?

I don’t miss it.

Sometimes I do some dog sitting when my ex wife is away working or on a trip. To make things easier I’ll stay there. She has a TV. Guess what? Yeah, I watch it and it drives me nuts. I hate when I get roped in. I feel kind of silly saying this but I really having trouble pulling myself away from NCIS reruns. Hey, channel 30 has them on all the time. It’s like the NCIS slash House marathon channel; I love House as well.

I can literally watch those shows for hours.

At the end of those hours what do I really get? Yeah, nothing at all.

Whenever I think about adding cable at my apartment I remember what it is like when I can watch TV… I do!

Believe you me. There are times when I wished I had cable TV. Those times are fleeting though. Generally at those moments I pick up my guitar and play till my fingers ache. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk. Sometimes I’ll even just go to bed.

Hmmm. What is more important in the grand scheme of things: sleeping an extra hour or watch another episode of NCIS.

I bet we all know that answer to that one.

I know what you are thinking.

“I have a family and the kids…” Blah, blah, blah. That’s what Netflix is for. Plus there is always the Red Box. 95% of what is on TV is a total waste of time. Take the family out for a walk or rent a movie. You will be so much better for the experience.

There are actually 4 main reasons that I don’t want cable. Here they are in no particular order:
1. I already mentioned the time waste factor. That is a biggie.
2. Commercials. We are the most marketed to society in the world. Quick. Who has enough money to place adds of TV? That’s right. Drug companies, the food and alcohol industrial complex, car companies, lawyers, etc. All stuff we don’t need to hear anymore about. Commercials are like air pollution. You can’t avoid completely but you can try.
3. You get addicted. Just like soda, sugar, nicotine etc. you get addicted to “NCIS” or “The Amazing Race” or some other mindless show that isn’t worth it but you just have to find out what happens.
4. You start seeing TV as reality. Really. TV is nowhere near reality. Who cares what the hell those stupid Kardasians are doing? Come on. Why not put normal people on TV. All you see on TV is fake story lines that all come together is 42 minutes. Just because you witness it on TV does not mean that is how it happens. It drives me crazy.

I refuse to get cable TV. I watch moves with my son from time to time. Otherwise I text with my friends, workout and play guitar till my fingers are numb.

I think I’m cool. It would make a boring reality show though…

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Inspire me…inspire you

Here is my Facebook post from this morning:

“Still trying to decide which I like better: inspiring or being inspired.”

That’s deep stuff; even for me. So what does that mean and what is the answer?

The word inspire comes from a Latin word meaning “to breath upon or into”. Awesome. Guess we can’t do much if we are not inspired.

But is it better to inspire others. In other words, is it better to compel others to act. Or perhaps it’s better to get inspired because if we are compelled to act there really isn’t going to be much to us. Am I right?

I would argue that the balance of inspiration is way off. Way too many people are being inspired but yet not giving off inspiration. That’s not cool.

You give what you get, right?

I was talking to my Pastor just the other day. He told me how much of an inspiration I was to him. This is coming from a man whose JOB it is to inspire and compel others. Fantastic stuff.

I do the same thing he does. I get up each and every morning trying to inspire others. It is indeed a great life. Still I wonder if I give more than I get. Or perhaps I get inspired more than I inspire.

I know the answer.

It may surprise you. It actually may REALLY make you think about your impact and place in this world.
I believe that we cannot truly ever be happy if we do not EQUALLY inspire and be inspired. If you give so much that you can’t get anything back then you will feel hollow and empty. If you do nothing but take well then happiness will always be elusive.

It’s all about balance. What do you do to give back so that someone gives back to you? Yeah, this is very important thought provoking stuff. If you give nothing you should expect nothing. If you give nothing but expect to be given something (you know, like inspiration).

Where do you honestly stand?

Do you receive no inspiration?

Do you give no inspiration? Whom do you inspire?

My answer to my Facebook post is this: I need to be inspired to inspire. I may inspire people to do things but they inspire me when they do them.

I hope that makes sense.

Now go out there and inspire someone today; now be inspired. I shall do the same.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pay it Forward

It was over a year ago that my son and I were geocaching in the Ocala National Forest. The road was good and my car was moving.

Then the road got bad and a corner… and sand…and… STUCK!

For an hour we shoveled and pushed but that little car just wasn’t moving.

Then a couple of hunters came along in a four wheel drive pick-up truck. “Can you pull us out?”

It didn’t take long for them to hook up my little Saturn and pull our stuck behinds to the safety of the main road. I was very grateful that they came by when they did. I don’t know what we would have done had they not happened by when they did.

Fast forward to just this weekend.

I was again geocaching in the forest. This time I grew some common sense and I went with a friend that had a 4X4 SUV. Driving down and narrow sandy trail deep in the forest we came upon a small group of guys on ATV’s. With them was a dune buggy with a driver and a passenger. We said hello and drove on to a geocache a couple hundred yards down the trail.

As I’m looking for the cache I heard voices. The voices were getting closer and seemed pretty frantic. I came out of the woods to find the two guys from the dune buggy running down the trail.

“Our dune buggy…broke…an axle…our friends gone…no cell phone…no GPS…lost…”

After a few minutes he calmed down and we assessed their situation.

They didn’t know where they were or where their friends were. They couldn’t fix their buggy.
Of course it my turn to payback the guys that helped me last year.

“Hop in”.

We drove them about 10 miles through the forest to their campsite and their family. I’ve never seen a more thankful couple of guys.

It was no skin off my back. After all, some did it for me about a year ago….

The message for today is twofold: First, don’t feel bad when people help you. That is what they are there for. 

Second, be ready and willing to help someone else. After all, you never know when it will be your turn to need to help. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Autumn was 21 years old.

Autumn was 310 pounds.

Autumn was a mother of a young baby.

“You will die before you reach 30”.

This is what a brave doctor told this young lady. Instead of enjoying another 50 years she was planning on less than 9.

Autumn was shocked.

Can you imagine this young mother being told that she’d be dead before her kid turned 12? Autumn was told she should be dead because she was so unhealthy at 21 that her body just couldn’t handle it for  9 more years.

Autumn had a choice as a very young lady.

She could do what most people do and have a pity party. She could whine and complain and blame the world. She could be to have some silly surgery that may or may not work. She could go on living her lifestyle and chalk it up to “bad genetics” or “luck of the draw” or “stress” or any other reasons people have to being morbidly obese.

She did none of that.

Instead she started changing her diet; slowly at first. She went to seminars to learn how to eat properly. She saw specialists. She really started to focus on doing the simple things. She drank lots of water, cut her portion sizes down, and cut way back on soda and sweets.

She started walking and doing exercise tapes.

All of a sudden the pounds came off and the self esteem went up.

Within a few years Autumn had lost the weight. She went from 310 lbs at 21 to 120 pounds at 26.
Was it an overnight success story for Autumn? Nope. Did she stay a pillar of health at 120 lbs? Nope. Has it been easy? Nope.

Now at 32 Autumn has 4 kids. She isn’t 120 lbs anymore but doesn’t want to be that light. Today she is working hard to get back to a comfortable weight.

Autumn had a choose 11 years ago. Be dead in 9 years or live.

She chose life.

I’m glad that she made that choice because just a few weeks ago Autumn and her kids were at the park with a friend.

Autumn’s friend had a heart attack and died right there.

This man’s heart stopped.

Autumn (The 32 year old who was supposed to be dead at 30) and a bystander at the park did CPR and brought him back to life. Today Autumn is a lifesaver and a hero.

Not just that day in the park. Not just THAT day but also because of that other day 11 years ago. The day she decided to save… HER OWN LIFE.

I bet her kids are thankful and I bet the man she saved is thankful.

I know I am thankful because today she is a very close friend and one of the hardest working members of my program.

Autumn is a hero to me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Motivate Me

The dictionary tells me that the word “motivate” means:

–verb (used with object), -vat·ed, -vat·ing.
to provide with a motive or motives; incite; impel.

Huh, that doesn’t tell me much does it.

I write about this today for a specific reason. I get this from people every so often when I ask the question, “Where have you been?”

Often people are doing well coming to classes until all of a sudden they just stop coming for a week or two or even a month or more. When the emails and the calls go out sometimes I get this response:

“I’m just not motivated.”

Pardon the language but WTF does that mean? Really.

To be motivated basically means to have a reason to do something. I go to the bathroom in the morning because I really have to pee. That is my motive. I feel pain in my insides when I haven’t peed for 8 hours. It’s time to go and it’s time to go now.

I’m motivated to eat because I’m hungry.

Those are easy ones.

How can you not be motivated to work out? So what does that mean?

Why DO you work out? Well, you work out to be healthy and fit, right? Does it not suck to be overweight and unhealthy? How can the sight of the mirror in the morning NOT motivate you to exercise?

It’s not that we aren’t motivated. We are all motivated. We all WANT to be healthy. Here is where the problem is. We are not motivated to do the work that is required. Or better yet we are not motivated 

OK, this is where I may have to get a little cynical.

What the real problem is is that we as Americans are marketed to death on TV, radio, the internet, newspapers, magazines….you name it, with visions of the quick fix.

“Lose 10 lbs in 10 days”

“Drop 4 dress sizes in 24 hours”

“Lose 10-24 inches in one treatment”  ß Heard this one on the radio on the way to the office today.

The point is that we think it is easy but when we realize that it is hard we lose “motivation”. It drives me crazy. I don’t know what to say to these people.

I’m just not motivated right now. If I told you that you would die next week if you didn’t walk 3 miles per day would you be motivated then?

Statistically if you are obese and over 60 then you are in deep trouble health wise. Let’s say you are 50 with two kids under the age of 10 and 100 lbs overweight. Are you motivated now?

You’d think wouldn’t you? Right?

I don’t know what people mean when they say “I’m not motivated”. Is that true or a cop out? Is it laziness or fear? Maybe it’s a little bit of everything. All I know is that I can’t motivate people that aren’t motivated. You have to bring the motivation to mean and I give you the tools to succeed.

Perhaps I’m a little too cynical. Perhaps I’m too hard core. Perhaps I’m just a jerk that doesn’t understand.

Or maybe I get it and most others don’t.

Honestly, I’m man enough to admit that I’m a little lost sometimes.

Regardless of how to get to the “Island of No Motivation” you still need to built that bridge to get off. Are you one of the unmotivated? Here are 10 things you can do to help get yourself motivated to work on self improvement:
       1. Strip down to your birthday suit and stand in front of a mirror for 5 full minutes. Inspect everything.

2.       2. Do the same thing in front of your spouse.

3.       3. Do the same thing in front of your doctor.

4.       4. Right down everything you eat for a day. Research the calorie count and compare to how you should be. 
Check out how many cancer causing chemicals you have every day.
         5. Research on the internet the survivability of breast and prostate cancer.
         6. Find someone (like me for example) who watched a loved one waste away and die. Interview them to see what it is like to tell their 10 year old that grandpa in dead.
                7.   Visualize your own funeral. ß My personal favorite.
                8.    Imagine yourself out of work for a month because of a major illness or injury. Can you pay your bills?
                9.    Imagine your kid in their 30’s taking care of you in a nursing home.
        10. Picture your child having a child and you not being there because you too afraid to leave the house because you are 400 lbs.

Yeah, I know this list was awful. Of course positive reinforcement is better than negative visualization. But just image these things. If you are over-weight and unfit you will be SICK and INJURED more than you are not; this is fact.

Is that how you want to live…or die?

Does that “motivate” you to get out the door for a walk??