Sunday, September 2, 2012

My schedule

I am currently in the middle of a mysterious episode of insomnia.  I can't fall asleep.  I've tried everything.  Oh well.  That gives me an opportunity to write for a bit I guess.  

Tomorrow I am going to be on WHAS TV in the morning.  I was invited to be on because I'm a trainer at the Jewish Community Center (one of my many dungeons) and they are sponsoring a walk.  They are showcasing it on WHAS in the morning and asked a couple of the trainers to go on and talk about stretching.  Since I am not a big fan of overstretching and static stretching, I'm probably just going to be bringing my rolling stick in and demonstrating a couple of rolling exercises for the legs.  I hope that makes them happy.  If not, oh well.  At least I will have tried to convert their minds away from the old static stretching mentality.  

I've been spending a lot of time preparing for my summit in November (Louisville Performance Summit, maybe you've read it on here before).  I'm extremely excited to be putting on this one of a kind seminar here in The Ville.  We don't have a lot of these in this area and I'm stoked I will be the mastermind behind this one.   Not sure if that's good or bad ha ha ha.  It's still about 10 weeks away and I'm already getting a little nervous.  What if one of the speakers back out?  What if I only get 10 people signed up?  There's a lot to think about.  This is the first promotion of this kind I've ever done and I want to make sure it is perfect and everyone walks away with super genius tattoo'd on their forehead.  

In between working 4 jobs, 60-70 hours per week, and putting together this summit, I'm supposed to be training for the Bourbon Chase at the end of September.  I'm hoping that my pure raw athletic ability will be good enough because my training has been crap.  I run about once per week and hit the weights about once or twice.  For the Chase, I have legs of 8 miles, 5 miles, and 4 miles.  I should be OK as long as I get proper nutrients in my system and roll the snot out of my legs in between my runs.  I'm looking forward to this though because it's something I've never done.  There will definitely be plenty of pictures and a blog to recap the events of that one.  

Ok, starting to get sleepy, let's hope this bout of writing helped.  Good night all and happy training.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My speakers

Over the next few weeks, I want to introduce my speakers for the Louisville Performance Summit.  Right now I've got six and there's one I'm still currently working on, IF SHE WOULD REPLY TO HER EMAIL!!!!!  Anyway, I"m hoping to get this person because we would all be better for it.  I'm also working on getting NSCA CEU's for the event so you people that are NSCA-CPT or CSCS, this will be an event to get some of those continuing education credits you need to keep that certification.

My first speaker I'd like to introduce is a former professor of mine while I was in graduate school at the University of Louisville.  He was my instructor for only one of my classes but he made a big impression on me with the depth of his knowledge of all things exercise and more specifically tactical fitness.  His name is Brian Jones and he is currently a professor in the department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at Georgetown College.  He has a PhD in exercise science and is an NSCA-CSCS.  He is currently serving as the Kentucky state director for the NSCA and organizes the state seminars we have once or twice per year.  He owns the Valhalla Academy which is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo school in Frankfort, KY, and specializes in training combat athletics and tactical fitness.

I'm excited to see what Brian will bring to the summit.  I asked him to do something with tactical fitness but I left the door open for him to zero it in on something.  I trust him and know that he will come and blow your socks off.  You can find a link for his martial arts school below.  If you are in the Frankfort area and you want to learn to beat up people, or at least NOT get beat up, then go visit him.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I'm a little school girl!!!

Not really, but I'm excited like one.  I haven't been this excited in a long time.  The Louisville Performance Summit is coming together very nicely and there's a lot of talk about it so far.  Let me run down a list of the confirmed speakers for the event:

  • Brian Jones, PhD - Owner of Valhalla Grappling Academy and professor at Georgetown College.
  • Greg Fredrick - Co-Owner of Louisville Sports Performance Institute
  • Suzy Goodwin - Endurance strength coach and has run more marathons than you and I will ever run.  
  • Ami McMullen - TRX Master Trainer 
  • Ryan Brown - Co-Owner of Derby City CrossFit
  • Rob Arnold - Owner of Voltage Strength & Performance and all around great guy!
There is still one or two people I am working on that will bring a ton of knowledge with them.  I can't say who yet because I'm still working on it.  So far, Derby City CrossFit is representing hard with bringing a bunch of people and I'm stoked to see just how much they bring in all.  I'd love to have a contest to see which local facility brings in the most people.  Maybe a special reward will go out to them!

If you plan on attending this inaugural event, make sure you head over to the page and register.  As much as I want to give this away for free, I can't.  So head over there and register.  More to come about this soon!

Stay tuned for the next post on here.  I'll be discussing one of my newest passions in youth fitness.  

Friday, August 17, 2012


If you have read any of the previous posts, I've got quite a bit going on lately.  Between working 3 jobs, training for the Bourbon Chase, trying to organize a summit of fitness geeks from the Louisville area, and going through the sheer enjoyment of a divorce, my plate is pretty full.  Sometimes I have no idea what day of the week it is.  Seriously!  This has happened.  After today I will have worked for 143 hours in the last 12 consecutive days.  That's a lot of work but I have to do it for several different reasons.  This week I've been recruited to train for a private studio here in town and the prospect of being there seems awfully promising.  The owner said she is at about 90% capacity is far as her other trainer's schedules are concerned and she needs to bring in a couple of more.  That's where I come in.  Hopefully I too will be at 90% capacity in no time there.  The goal is to use that gig and get rid of 2 of the other jobs.  Geez, I'm tired just thinking about all of.  Oh yea, and I have the Bourbon Chase coming. 

Why do I continue to focus on my training?  Why, in all of the madness surrounding my life, do I put training for events on the front burner?  What's the point?  I should be way too tired to do anything like that.  I am, but that's beside the point.  Why do I do this? 

If you've ever listened to Eric Thomas speak, you will be amazed.  His nickname is the Hip Hop Preacher and he has a bunch of youtube videos, a website, a pretty big facebook and twitter following.  He's a motivational speaker.  I don't listen to most motivational speakers because most of them say the same crap.  Be your best, you can achieve anything, you can do it, don't let anything stand in your way, no mountain too tall.  Blah blah blah blah.  Eric Thomas is different because he's a little in your face and makes you face facts.  One of his more recent talks was with the Miami Dolphins football team.  These are professional athletes that are adored by millions, and make millions of dollars a year.  What could Eric Thomas say to them to get them motivated?  His message was simply, "What is your why?"  Why do you do what you do?  Why put yourself on the line every day?  Why?  When you can answer that question, you will motivate yourself.  You won't need a speaker to do it for you.  So what he did was very smart, he put the motivation back on to the athletes themselves.  Rather than him being a cheerleader, he made them think.  Made me think too! 

Why do I train?  I'm not an elite athlete.  I never was.  I have a ton of personal stuff going on that could get in my way.  Why do I do it?  Why push myself when I run dog hill at Cherokee Park?  I discovered my "why" recently.  I always thought is was simply because I can and because I should.  I was right, but for the wrong reasons.  I recently watched the Olympics along with half of the world.  I LOVE track and field at the Olympics.  LOVE IT!  This year had a guy from South Africa running the 400 meter dash.  No big deal.  There are a bunch of people in that event.  Only thing about this guy was, he had no legs.  Oscar Pistorius ran with some orthopedic legs.  And you know what, he did really well.  Watching him compete was amazing.  His "why" was because everyone told him he can't.  He proved that he could.  He proved it to millions of people.  He faces his "why" every single day.  And kicks it in the face with his orthopedic leg.  Training for him is his identity and he will never let anyone take his identity. 

So why do I train?  Because if I don't, I'm going to become someone I'm not.  I'm going to become a different person that people won't recognize, that I won't recognize.  Training is my identity and it is who am.  Why?  Because I refuse to let someone tell me I can't or that I need to slow down.  Why?  Because I want to be a good example of living a healthy lifestyle to my children.  Why?  Because every single day I speak to individuals that give in to the pressures of life and accept high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, type II diabetes as normal.  Why?  Because sometimes my training is the only thing my life I know how to control.  These are my "why's"  What's yours?  Look deep inside and try to figure it out.  You may be surprised that the answer you get is not the one you were expecting.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Louisville Strength Summit

Call it a meeting of the minds, call it a bunch of meatheads getting together, or simply call it the Louisville Strength Summit.  Currently I'm organizing the 1st annual Louisville Strength Summit to be held at a location TBD.

The way that it works is I will be bringing in some of the smartest, most intelligent strength and conditioning coaches, fitness professionals, sales and marketing gurus, and nutrition experts in the Louisville area.  Is Louisville big enough to hold a summit of this sort?  A summit where a bunch of local competitors will be in the same room helping spread the word of their expertise?  YES!!!  You know why, it's because we are not competitors in fitness.  We are all in the same boat and have similar goals.  We want to give the most we possibly can to our clients and customers.  I know I can learn a lot from Joe Tronzo, a 4 year letterwinner a the University of Louisville and current owner of a local strength facility.  I know I can learn a lot from Chris Bingman, a local fitness equipment sales representative who knows an absolute ton about sales and marketing.  I know I can learn a lot from the owners of the CrossFit affiliates, from the directors of the YMCA, from the trainers at Burn Louisville or Body Evolution Boot Camp.  I'm going to invite all of these people, and more.

The way it will work is we will meet on a Saturday morning at one of the local facilities.  I will create a list of invitees to come and present a topic that is near and dear to their heart.  Their staff will be able to attend for a small fee of $25.  The general public will be able to attend for a fee of $50.  We will provide lectures all day Saturday and come back again all day Sunday.  I'm also trying to get CEU credits from NSCA for attendance to the event.

If you would like to be a part of this landmark event, drop me a line and let me know.  Whether you simply want to attend or if you have something you'd like to present, let me know and we will work it out.  Again, the location and date is currently TBD.  I will let you all know soon so get ready!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Podcast Review: The Paleo Solution

I'm normally not a big fan of podcasts.  Most of them are of poor quality and I usually end up falling asleep because they are so monotone that I simply can't take it anymore.  But, I have about a 30 minute drive to work during busy days and my local ESPN affiliate has crappy reception so I decided to give it a try while driving.  After looking through the billions of options, I went with Robb Wolf and Greg Everett's Paleo Solution.  I like paleo, I like Robb Wolf, I like Greg Everett.  So why not?

The first thing that jumps out to me on this podcast is the production quality.  It doesn't sound like they are talking into walkie talkies or just through some silly mic hooked up to their keyboard.  It definitely sounds like they've invested a couple of bucks into some decent equipment and maybe even a good program on their computers.  Since I know nothing about podcasting, I know nothing about the equipment or programs used to make some sound better than others.  Obviously they do and they hit a home run with the quality of the sound.

The second thing is the totally laid back attitude they have.  Having been in the CrossFit world for a number of years and knowing how that community idolizes Robb Wolf, I figured he's have this holier than thou attitude regarding his views on the paleo diet and how if you don't follow it, you're stupid and you should never be allowed to eat until you do.  After all, that's how the sheep of the CF world act.  But knowing why Robb is no longer affiliated with the CF world, I should have known he wasn't like them.  They are completely laid back and confident in their knowledge of diet and exercise.  They have done the research and have been active practitioners for a long time.  They have the mentality that you don't have to like what they preach.  If you don't, who cares.  As Robb so eloquently puts it, that's more bacon and eggs for him!

The next thing is, these guys are simply full of knowledge bombs.  I have quite a bit of knowledge on strength, conditioning, and nutrition.  But every episode they have I learn more and more and more.  Knowledge bombs are constantly exploding in my head.  Thanks guys!  And it's all practical stuff too.  The bottom line is this the best podcast I've listened to so far.  Great quality, great knowledge, and fun to listen to.  Good stuff guys!  Thanks for making my daily commute less dreadful.   I've made it through about 6 episodes, and apparently there are 144 of them.  So it looks like I have some catching up to do.  I better stop writing and get to listening.

By the way, I'm setting up the Louisville Strength Summit.  It'll be a meeting of the minds so to speak with local strength guru's providing info in anything they currently have in their minds that will further the strength and conditioning field in the Louisville area.  Everybody get's smarter, everybody benefits. So be on the lookout for this in the coming months.  If you or someone you know wants to present, shoot me a note and let me know.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Not exactly the year I'd hoped

Back at the beginning of the year I had posted several goals regarding things I had hoped to accomplish this year.  They were absolutely written with the best intentions.  I never set a goal with the thought of failing at that goal.  I always strive for excellence in the goals I set and I get extremely discouraged when I am unable to reach them.  You may have noticed that I have been absent from the Forever an Athlete scene for quite a while.  Not necessarily by choice, more simply because 2012 has been an extremely challenging year both personally and professionally. 

As I stated, the year started with the absolute best intentions.  I had several goals I wanted to attain as an athlete, as a husband, and as a father.  As an athlete, my shoulder did not heal the way I'd hoped.  Rather, I should say not as quickly as I'd hoped.  I'm still having mobility issues with it and still cannot do anything overhead.  It's extremely frustrating to say the least.  So, in lieu of this, I've been running.  A lot.  I was going to do a 50k trail race but due to some life situations, I'm not quite able to train properly for that.  I am however running the Bourbon Chase in September with my good friend Suzy Goodwin (yes, the same Suzy that can run a marathon in her sleep and still have enough for a CrossFit WOD after).  So that should be fun, humbling, and entertaining all at the same time. 

Away from the athlete side of things, I have had a lot of personal issues happen this year also.  After 14 years of marriage and 2 beautiful children, my wife and I have filed for divorce.  This has been an extremely challenging time in our lives and one that I would not wish on anyone.  My father told me on my wedding day, "It's a whole lot easier to get into marriage than to get out of one".  He's right (he seems to be right a lot more as I get older).  While I still love my wife, we both realize that we simply cannot continue putting so much effort into something that should be a lot easier.  I feel I have failed my children in this regard and I hope that having them see their parents have a peaceful and amicable separation and divorce will teach them that their parents love them more than anything on this planet and that not all relationships end in hatred, contrary to what the TV shows would suggest.  I ask that you respect both of our decisions in this matter and moreso I ask that my wife be given the respect and privacy she deserves throughout this ordeal. I realize posting this online isn't very private, but it's my therapy and I'm sure she understands.  Maybe. 

On the business side, that has taken a backseat these days to getting through the divorce.  I've had to focus on my work as a Health Educator and have taken several side jobs to make it through the divorce.  Voltage Strength has been put on hiatus for now.  But it will be back and better than ever soon.  I've been brainstorming with some very smart people and have some great ideas for the future.  Stay tuned!!!

With that, I sign off for tonight.  I'm going to get back into the writing.  This is very therapeutic for me and I still hope that I can provide some insight, knowledge, and humor to life's little happenings with the emphasis still being on my trying to stay the athlete I think I used to be.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Trail Store

I wanted to post something today about the Trail Store in Louisville closing.  I saw today on Facebook that the owners of The Trail Store are closing their doors.  That stinks.  

For those of you that don't know, The Trail Store is a locally owned business that specializes in all things outside.  More specifically, it focuses on outdoor fitness such as hiking, camping, trail running, and all that kinds of stuff.  It is very similar to Quest, which we also have here in Louisville.  Last year I got involved briefly with The Trail Store with one of their trail races, which I blogged about sometime in August I believe.  I was looking forward to running in their trail series again this year and actually doing all of the races they offer.  I was going to become a regular patron of theirs as I prepared for these races.  I've decided that I really like trail running and these guys were a local business that I felt I could relate to.  Unfortunately though it seems they just didn't get enough business.  The large chain Quest has won the market of outdoor activities and seem to be growing.  That's too bad because I am a big fan of local business and patronizing businesses that reinvest in the community.  The guys at The Trail Store seemed to do that.  Their running series was a great thing and they said they plan on continuing that this year.  I hope so.  That was going to be my main Forever an Athlete project this year.  Hopefully I can still compete in all of the planned races, it's just too bad I will have to go to some other store to buy what's needed to prepare.  

This is written not so much as a diary of my quest to be forever an athlete but more of my plead to support the things you like and support the locally grown small businesses of the community that make your community unique.  The Trail Store was that and I'm sure I could've shopped there more often for my sporting needs.  I should have and I apologize to them that I didn't.  If you have that business that is locally grown that you don't want to see shut down, make sure you visit them soon and show them how much you appreciate them and what they do.  The last thing you want is for them to go away and be stuck with the chain store that couldn't care less about you or the community.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 goals

New Year's resolutions are stupid.  But I am quite the goal setter.  If you don't have goals, you're just spinning your wheels in a directionless path.  Anyway, I wear many hats.  I have a budding business with Voltage Strength & Performance, I'm forever an athlete (get it?  That's the name here, get it?), and most importantly I'm a husband and father.  So that's how my goals will be broken down here.

Voltage Goals:

  • I will build the Triple Crown Training Team and have 100% success rate for all participants
  • I will build up social awareness through the use of Facebook, this blog, Twitter, my training at JCC, and the Triple Crown Training Team.
  • I will create another running team that focuses on trail running and I will have a team run in all of the trail races sponsored by the Louisville Trail Store. 
  • I will read 2 strength & conditioning articles every week. 
Forever an Athlete Goals:
  • I will rehab my shoulder and get it to the best it's been in 5 years.
  • I will run in my 2nd marathon in Nashville with my wonderful niece Dani.
  • I will run in all of the Trail Store trail races.
  • I will foam roll / rolling stick / stretch every single day.
Husband / Father Goals:
  • I will make sure my wife knows she's the most beautiful woman on the planet. 
  • I will do all of the Cub Scouts activities with Abe and Eli and not complain.
  • I will go on a date with my wife once per month (it's not as easy as it sounds).
  • I will take read Abe and Eli the Bible two days out of the week.
  • I will continue to set an example to Abe and Eli on how to respect and treat women through my actions and treatment of their mother.  
I'm sure I'll add to this list throughout the year.  As with any goal, they can always get added to or modified.  Be thinking about your own goals and what you want to accomplish.  Again, it's better than just spinning your wheels with no direction to go.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

I'm putting my wife to sleep

Tonight's blog is being written for the sole purpose of putting my wife to sleep.  You see, she gets insane relaxation when she hears the white noise of typing.  And she says I breathe a certain way when I type also.  She really wants to go to sleep and she insisted on me writing in my blog tonight so here it is.  I would tell her that she'd be able to go to sleep a whole lot easier if she would put her phone down and stop answering text messages, but what do I know.

This is the beginning of the year and we all know what that means.  Big box, commercial, globo-gyms will be absolutely packed to the rafters with new people wanting to come in, start their New Year's resolutions, and take up space as they aimlessly wonder about through the gym without knowing where they are going or what they are doing.  So to help them in their quest to become magically fit in the next 30 -60 days before their motivation runs out and they stop coming, I am putting out a list of simple gym etiquette they need to follow.  If you are one of these members, please follow this list and do not stray far from it.

  1. Please know that the treadmill can go faster than 2.0 mph.  It really can.  Most of the treadmills go up to 10, maybe 12 mph.  It even has an incline that you can use to simulate walking a hill.  You may not need this yet, but should you choose to stay past the initial 30-60 days of your membership, you may try this out.  Please do not be afraid of going 2.5, 3.0, or maybe even 3.5 mph on the treadmill.  You will get better results if you move more.  
  2. If you are 40 and you haven't lifted a weight since you were the star of your high school football team, please do not jump on the squat rack and decide your going to do what your idiot coach in high school told you to do because you think you are just as strong now as you were then.  After all, you're a man now!  If you do that, you will hurt yourself.  Not maybe, you will.  Start with bodyweight squats, maybe go to the hip sled with some light weights.  And please, for the love of God, if you insist on using the squat rack, only do squats there.  If I see you do curls on that thing I will throw a kettlebell at you.  You've been warned.  
  3. Please shower.  I realize the gym is a melting pot of many different cultures, lifestyles, races, and nationalities.  That's great, I'm glad to see so many people catch that fitness bug.  But please shower.  Use some form of deodorant, soap, something.  When the treadmills are literally 4 inches from each other and the free weight area has benches that are about 4 feet from each other, every scent, odor, aroma, funk, whatever coming out of your body is seeped into the air and whiffed by everyone in a 10 foot radius, if not more.  The gym can be a sweaty place anyway.  Please don't make it worse.  Conversely, if you are into perfumes/colognes, wait until after you are done.  That can be just as bad.  
  4. Finally, if you don't know how to use something, ask one of the staff.  NOT THE GUY NEXT TO YOU.  He is trying to get his workout in and become the buff beast he see's in Muscle and Fitness magazine.  He's not there to help you.  The staff is.  Talk to them.  If they are not available, which is possible, find someone at the front desk.  But please do not have another gym goer show you how to adjust the seated biceps curl machine.  
I could come up with a list a lot longer than this but I think my wife is finally asleep.   Hopefully now I can get back to my Monday Night Raw updates.  Yes, I am that big of a nerd.  Shut up.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year from Voltage Strength & Performance

I wanted to take a few minutes to simply say Happy New Year.

Personally, 2011 was quite a memorable year for me.  I started this blog to document my quest in never giving up my status as an athlete.  I ran my first marathon which is a huge accomplishment for a quick twitch fiber guy like myself.  But as science proves, the older we get the higher the ratio gets of slow twitch to fast twitch.  Also, I have found that running provides a way to clear the head and have a bit of time to myself and think about absolutely nothing.  I like that.  This year was the year that I also discovered trail running.  I had done a couple of mud runs in previous years so I had a bit of a taste.  But I really got into it this year and I am hoping to use 2012 as a year to really entrench myself in trails.  This is going to be a lot of fun.  On a somewhat related note to the trails, I ran my second Warrior Dash this year with my good buddy Justin.  A great time was had but unfortunately I lost my wedding ring in the final mud pit.  Booooooo!  2011 was also the year I opted for my third shoulder surgery.  This time it was a rotator cuff tear on my right shoulder.   I'm still healing from it and haven't been able to do much strength training lately.  That sucks.  Atrophy has set in and I have lost about 7 lbs. in the last 2 months.  And not the good 7 lbs I might add.

Professionally, this was a year that saw me start Guerrilla Bootcamp.  This was a lot of fun and I had a few steady guerrillas show up every week.  While I was doing this, I noticed just how many other bootcamps were going on in the Louisville area at the same time.  I have a feeling that the bootcamp balloon will soon burst due to the saturation of the amount of camps available.  This tells me I need to develop a bit of different camp and other revenue streams in order to stay on the front of the list of best possible options for those wanting to be more fit.  I started doing some part time personal training at the Jewish Community Center in Louisville also.  I just started in December and am in the process of building up my clientele.  I'm looking forward to creating bigger presence at JCC and building the Voltage brand.

2012 is looking very promising so far.  I have a Triple Crown Training Team starting on January 14.  This will meet once per week every Saturday and will also include emails and possibly videos.  It's going to be exciting.  I've got 10 people signed up already and I'm looking forward to getting started.  I going to get signed up for the Nashville Country Music Marathon with my wonderful niece Dani.  It'll be her first half marathon and my second full marathon.  I am also looking forward to running the entire trail race series here in Louisville.  Maybe I'll throw in a kickball league or something like that.  Either way, 2012 is going to be yet another stepping stone in establishing Voltage as a great team to train with and finding new events for me to do.  Stay posted and I look forward to talking all about it.