TPK – Two people with one vision.

Having been brought together by the Death Race, both Brandon and Odette – two punk kids – now find that living life is so much better.

A keen love of the outdoors is consolidated by the fact that nature doesn’t discriminate.

“She will expose you for who you are,:” explains Odette.  “If you’re willing to learn she will reveal your strengths, weaknesses, and insecurities. It’s truly magical when you unplug and commit to getting lost. Being alone with your thoughts and forcing yourself evaluate who you are is eye-opening. We want this.

Always searching for good vibes in the midst of modern life with it’s chaos and adversity, these two friends harness nature to breathe fresh air into their lungs, both literally and figuratively.

“We seek out events that facilitate this,” she continues. “We crave being around other people that are our kinda crazy.

We have made lifelong friends and met some of the planet’s most rad humans doing these events.We wanted an excuse to hang out with these people again, so we made one and created TPK Endurance.”

Listen here all about TPK.

TPK Endurance website
TPK Instagram
TPK Facebook

My Terrifying and Exciting Dive Into… Pool Running!

Let’s talk about bravery. 
Being ‘brave’ doesn’t mean you will or should be fearless. To me, being brave is a) acknowledging that a fear exists, b) breaking it down into its component parts, c) analyzing those components and questioning their legitimacy, and finally, d) making a decision that’s right for you. So how does that work in your daily life? Here’s an example from mine. 


In October I earned myself a super fun case of shin splints (not recommended!). I decided to take a break from running and shift my focus to cross-training. In the middle of a somewhat painful bike session, the possibility of hitting the pool crossed my mind: ‘Hmm. I know pool running is a great option for injured runners — I bet that would feel a lot better than this bike does.


That thought was quickly smothered out by others. ‘Nah, I’m a terrible swimmer, and I’ve never tried pool running before. I’ll just look ridiculous — my lack of coordination will make sure of that! I’m sure I’ll benefit more from the elliptical if I take it easy. Plus it’s such a hassle to haul my towel and swim gear to the gym. It’ll just be a waste of time.

 

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Wait. Rewind. Every single one of those thoughts was an excuse. And none of them were even good excuses! Once I started paying attention to my thought process I started to realize that I was actually just afraid of trying something new and looking silly. Okay, so those are manageable fears. Then I started to look at how legitimate they were.

 


Most of the people at the pool are swimming, not pool running. When I go to the pool to swim, my head’s in the water most of the time. I hardly notice anyone else. Why would anyone even pay attention to or care what I’m doing? Okay, like any new activity I’d probably feel a little ridiculous at first, but it’d be okay to laugh at myself through the learning curve. Maybe it’d even provide some good entertainment for the sleepy lifeguards on the 6am shift. So really, the hardest part would be having the initial courage to put on the belt and slip into the pool. 100% manageable.

 


So I did it.
I put that silly belt on, slipped into the pool, and away I went…. and I had an awesome workout! That tiny moment of bravery — when I chose to acknowledge and break down my fear — helped turn something new into a regular, beneficial, and surprisingly enjoyable part of my training.

 

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Change is a journey into the unfamiliar, and the unfamiliar can be terrifying! It’s easy to come up with excuses or reasons why we shouldn’t try something new, even if it’s a change we could benefit from.

 


So here’s a challengethe next time you catch yourself battling a change or commitment — whether it’s a new workout, a terrifyingly large project, taking a new step in or out of a relationship, or shifting career paths —  I challenge you to dig into your rationale, be 100% honest with yourself, and find out if your fears are valid. Whether they are or they aren’t, you’ll gain confidence in your decision.

 


Acknowledging and then isolating my real, underlying fears is something I’m learning to do in my daily life, and I’d encourage you to try it too! I bet you’ll feel empowered. It’s definitely not always as simple as convincing yourself to strap on a floatation belt, but it’s always rewarding!

“You can’t go too far, you are never too old.” Marshall Ulrich

Photo credit: Rick Barraff

Marshall Ulrich has done some of the most amazing feats of endurance in the world.  Some of them, beyond comprehension.  And that’s his mission. To prove that anything is possible by anyone.  Trekking death valley, Everest, and even running across America are a few of his exploits.  We go deeper though.

  • What is a good why when it comes to adventure and running?
  • What was his biggest achievement physically?
  • What’s next?
  • We also delve into a bunch of non endurance topics.  His advice on politics, money, relationships, drugs, and pretty much anything made the list.

 

Enjoy this show from a wise and travelled athlete. You won’t regret it.  Want to support Athlete On Fire?  You won’t regret that either.  Support HERE.

Check out his book too!

 

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STSS 1: Cortisol — The Stress Hormone

 

 

Cortisol… that has something to do with stress, right?

 

You’ve probably heard of cortisol before. What is this hormone, and why is it important in the athlete’s body?

What no one else does!

What they don’t do.

It’s a saturated world out there.  Saturated marketplace, social media, competition in athletics, and everywhere else you look.  It’s overwhelming.  It stifles creativity and work ethic.  There is an answer though.  It’s you.  Learn more about how to do what no one else is doing so you can rise to the top of whatever area that is important to you.  Dre goes over some strong themes that will energize and empower you today. Promise!

Themes:

  • Confidence
  • Discipline
  • Uniqueness

This episode is for the 5%, enjoy.  

Listen to AOF more than an hour a week? Support us HERE!

 

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Why I Fight – Some Thoughts on How to Get Your Groove Back ….

Fighting to get my Groove Back

My biggest challenge as a new athlete is truly understanding what that encompasses.  I get what it is to train hard and know what it is to compete.  I understand commitment and dedication; I’ve had the satisfaction of winning – even if all I beat was my own record.  I’ve fought through physical challenges such as plantar fasciitis and a strained Achilles..  I’ve worked through pain and have experienced success.

 But, what I had not experienced, at least not until recently, is what it is to really struggle.  The idea that all athletes have physical and emotional battles, hit peaks and valleys, have set-backs and experience failures from which they must fight back is new to me.

For me,  this struggle quickly led to despair –

I mistakenly attributed the fact that I was recording slower times, experiencing more pain and having less energy to my age and to my recent diagnosis of degenerative arthritis in my hip.  I was ready to give up and had decided that my last half marathon would be my last.  

Last mile of the Bear Chase Half Marathon

Last mile of the Bear Chase Half Marathon

 

But, in fact, it marked a new beginning. …  

It is true that I’m getting older and my hips hurt whether I run or not; I might even be slower.  However, it is also true that when I was training for my last half marathon, I was running exhausted in the hottest part of the day, dehydrated and on poor nutrition.

Being an athlete is so much more than training hard.

What it really means is getting the mental, physical and emotional aspects of our being all lined up and working together.  For me, that means focusing on 5 key areas as I move forward:

 

  • Sleep – I need to vary both my schedule and my routine to ensure that I’m sleeping well and getting 7 – 8 hours a night.  If I don’t get this right nothing else will be.
  • Nutrition – I’m only just beginning to understand how incredibly powerful proper nutrition is, not just to our performance as athletes, but to our overall sense of well-being.  I’m addicted to diet soda, sugar and processed foods.  It’s time to get “real” when it comes to food!
  • Recovery – It does take me a bit longer to recover than it does a younger athlete.  For me recovery means mixing up my routine, stretching, foam rolling and rest.
  • Strength and mobility exercises – Other than maintaining a healthy weight, this is one of the most important things I can do for my hips – and for aging well in general.
  • Reflection – Even if it is only five minutes before I go to bed, I know that I must take time to unwind, reflect and to express gratitude every day.

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All athletes struggle; all athletes age.  Most of us will eventually have arthritis if we live long enough.  Ultimately, I fight to continue my journey as an athlete not for the events or the races, but for the quality of life that I have now and that I want to continue to have for many years to come.  I fight for the sheer joy of running on a mountain trail, riding my bike around the reservoir or paddle boarding in the ocean.  I fight to continue to experience new adventures and for the simple happiness that comes with wellness.

I plan to journal and share my experiences as I work through each of the key areas mentioned above; I’ll start with sleep.


 

Karen Adler is…

An educator by trade, runner, hiker and adventure-seeking fitness enthusiast by passion. She explores what it means to be fit after fifty along with the multiple joys and trials that come with age. She is truly an Athlete On Fire!

Team SISU podcast – Kit Klein / GORUCK

It’s a match made in heaven. Team SISU, known for designing an event and then spending some more time thinking of ways to break the participants even more and Goruck, a company led by people that take a sick sense of pleasure in having people grimace in physical discomfort for hours at a time. It seems only right that the two join forces for events and indeed, this podcast.
In this episode, regular host Cookie talks to Goruck Partnership Manager & Photographer Kit Klein about the company, it’s aims, it’s goals and everything in-between.

Listen Here:  If you listen to this podcast more than you do your spouse, you can support us HERE!

Sweating The Small Stuff

Our bodies are supremely complex, ridiculously cool machines! As I’m learning more about the body, it’s becoming clear to me that when I ignore mine, it’s pretty easy to blow off ‘good practices’ if I’m feeling okay. For example…

 

  • I don’t have time to stretch today.
  • I don’t see the benefit of this drill.
  • I exercise so much that it doesn’t matter what I eat.
  • I don’t need to warm up today.
  • Sleep is for the weak!
  • Rest day? Meh, I feel good — I think I can fit in a workout.

 

Admit it, we’ve all done it! The thing is, just because we feel ready for a workout, it doesn’t mean our bodies are. Just because we think we can get by on 4 hours of sleep, it doesn’t mean our bodies have had enough rest. Just because we don’t see an immediate benefit, it doesn’t mean our bodies aren’t undergoing important changes behind the scenes.

The body is constantly working and quietly carrying out essential processes so that we, as a) humans, can continue on with our daily lives and, b) athletes, adapt and improve over time. To harness our potential, we have to respect and listen to our bodies. I suppose, if we want want to reach our true potential, we have to pay attention to detail. We have to sweat the small stuff.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not an extremist by any means! I believe in a balanced lifestyle, an imperfect diet (is it possible to live without chocolate?), and the occasional obscenely late night. I’m not promoting perfectionism, but I do want to treat my body well and gain a deeper understanding of it. Perhaps you do too.

 

So, to help us all out, I’m cooking up a series of bite-sized videos called Sweating the Small Stuff. In these videos, I’ll explore some of the fundamental concepts that most of us are familiar with, but might not exactly understand. Like: what are our bones busy doing while we’re taking rest days? Or, proteins — yes, we all know they’re essential in muscle repair, but why, and how? Getting a better grasp on these concepts can help us all become better informed, and as a result, higher performing athletes.

 

I’ll be posting STSS videos biweekly on Wednesdays and blog posts weekly on Fridays — stay tuned!

DreAllDay: 01

Dre Baldwin hosts the first episode of DreAllDay, his new show being featured on the Athlete On Fire Network.

Dre shares his experience with trying to figure out how to make it as a professional basketball player overseas.  DreAllDay will be a regular installment!

Links Mentioned:

My free 1s book “Buy A Game”: DreAllDay.com/BuyAGame
Training Programs: www.HoopHandbook.com
SnapChat: @DreBaldwin

Team SISU podcast – Tony Matesi – The Endurance Ninja

The Endurance Ninja

There’s not a lot Tony Matesi hasn’t done.

With a background of Tae Kwon Do as a child, having done gymnastics, competitive collegiate cheerleading (ranked in the top five nationally) and flirtations with Muay Thai, Savate and a little Capoeira, too, it could be argued his athletic foundations are solid.

Having done his first obstacle race in 2009 and gone on from there, he’s finished the Death race, been an American Ninja Warrior and now finds himself as the Director of Spartan Race’s Endurance branch.

Add to this his inclusion as a SISU Pro Team member and one wonders where he finds the time to do anything else. Listen here to the chat we had with Tony about The Hurricane Heat, Agoge and everything in-between.

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