Why would you run THAT far?

Maybe you have thought about doing something that just seemed insane, or epic, or scary, or just like the adventure you need.  We all have.  It may be starting a business or traveling somewhere exotic or, it may be running a really really long distance, just to feel the pain a little bit.

Or for these reasons:

  • I want to hurt
  • I want to remember
  • I want to push myself.

If you can relate, you might like this most recent episode from the podcast.

 

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AOF:187 Great white sharks, sea lice, and big time open water swimming.

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AOF:186 "Life is either completely daring or nothing at all."

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AOF:185 March Madness without my dad, unpredictable spring, and fallen innovators.

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AOF:184 An ultra runner named Jeffrey and his bus named Earl.

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AOF:178 How his passion for gymnastics is helping athletes of many different sports.

Today’s guest is a passionate gymnast and he has a story to tell about how his passion brought him back to the sport he loves after some down years. He also talks about the tenets the sport teaches that are good for just about any athlete.  Our first gymnast for the Athlete On Fire show!

 

 

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Zac Cromwell – Gratitude is everything

Zac Cromwell has quietly gone about his journey in endurance, making many friends along the way. Harnessing his love and skills in rock climbing towards that of endurance events, he understands what it means to keep going.

Catching up with Cookie from Team SISU recently, he discussed experiencing “the dark place” and how a couple of DNF’s at events has made him grateful for what he now knows and how he spreads that same gratitude.

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The case against beautiful things.

You know the term “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

Well, this is why we can’t have beautiful things. Anymore.

 

First, beautiful– Of beauty, magnificence, or representing an abstract feeling of good, of love.  Both natural and supernatural.  Both literal and figurative. Almost always subjective.

 

 

Athletes find beauty in effort. In victory and in hindsight, DEFEAT.

 

Runners on a trail eye to eye with a deer or overwhelmed by the sunrise off the canyons or the dew or through their breath.

 

Some think a baby crying for the first time is beautiful.  Nope;)  But, the first time they lock eyes, for sure.  Call you daddy, hell yeah!

 

Are weddings beautiful?  Sometimes. But more beautiful is hot food in a messy kitchen at 10pm when you walk in the door for the millionth time.

 

 

 

Is       death                            beautiful?

 

Unfortunately, kind of.

 

But then. Nothing is ever beautiful again.

 

When I lost my dad last fall I felt nothing but love, and sadness.  Never angry.  And a little time has passed and I get pissed here and there.  You know what really pisses me off though?

 

The beautiful things

 

The sunset

 

                        music that moves and my sons and

 

the trails

 

and the clouds from the airplane and my wife.

 

The early mornings and movies and you know what?

 

 

I can see BEAUTY in everything. I think I always have but damn…

 

                                                              It all sucks.

 

I hate the way it feels and the way it doesn’t make people feel.  I especially hate the way it doesn’t make other people feel.

 

 

And I hate that he isn’t here to share it all.  Or is he?

 

I’ve never noticed so much beauty in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you find beauty too.

 


 

The author is the host and founder of Athlete On Fire.  Every once in awhile, he blogs about real stuff and the thoughts that come quickest. He is also writing this p.s.!

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Athlete Profiles: 003 “Until I found OCR, I was a bit lost and bored with life.”

Athlete (and we are all athletes) Profiles:

Check out more details about why we do this and even submit your profile HERE.



Name:

Stephen Geppert

 

DOB:

11/14/1972

 

Location:

Columbia, SC

 

What is the best thing about your hometown?

Blue Crabs! (My hometown is Baltimore, MD although I’ve lived in so many different places I don’t really have a true hometown). .

 

Athletic history:

I “accidentally” started running when I was 7 years old because I wanted to do the same fun run my 14 year old brother was doing. It’s kind of a funny story, because my parents thought I was missing until they found me sitting on the curb at the finish line waiting for my brother to catch up so we could cross the line together. After that, I didn’t run again until middle school where I ran track and cross country through high school. I also played baseball until I was 13, when I felt pressure to choose between baseball and running track. I played a lot of intramural sports in college but decided not to run competitively in order to focus on school. After that, I was in and out of fitness. When I was 33, I decided to learn how to play soccer and played in a rec league for several years. It was a humbling and extremely rewarding experience.

 

Current athletic passion:

When I turned 40, I did a local mud run (Project Mud) in Charleston, SC. It didn’t seem too bad, so I signed up for a Spartan Race the following April. I ran the first mile at 5K pace and then failed three obstacles in a row. Needless to say, I got crushed and barely finished! Since then, I’ve been hooked and have been getting a little bit better each year. I was fortunate enough to qualify for and run in this year’s OCR World Championships and recently qualified to run it again in 2017. That was a truly amazing experience.

 

Who or what in the world is inspiring you right now?

Prior to starting with OCR, I was 30 lbs heavier and drank way too often (mostly out of boredom). After three years of mostly focusing on the fitness side of things, I recently completed the 90 day OYNB challenge (mentioned in one of your podcasts). What is inspiring me now is how good I feel both physically and mentally as I’ve gone through this journey and how much better I am as a parent, husband, and business professional.

 

What is your favorite single workout or physical challenge that people can try today?

Aside from trail running, my favorite is to find a local playground with monkey bars and a football goal post. You can do traditional monkey bars, lateral monkey bars, Tyrolean ladders, and pull ups on the monkey bars and Tyrolean traverse, overhead beam traverse, and lateral beam traverses on the goal posts. I usually run back and forth between the monkey bars and goal posts between sets. I also live near a state park, so I like to run through the park and hit all of the nearby playgrounds, trees, etc. to do the same exercises during the run. It’s basically like creating your own obstacle course race in training.

 

Why do you consider yourself an athlete on fire?

When it comes to athletics, I’ve always been pretty competitive, so I have always thought of myself as an athlete. (Even when I was 30 lbs heavier and not taking care of myself, I still had the mental image of myself as an athlete). I am also a bit of an introvert, which I think makes it easy for me to go to an event and stay in that competitive athletic mindset because I find it hard to socialize. That being said, one of the things that I unexpectedly love about the OCR community is the completely welcoming atmosphere shared by everyone who participates, from the super-fit elite racers to the less fit first timers who have never done an event before. I have literally never seen anyone make fun of another person at one of these events, and I believe that if someone did, they would be immediately called out and probably shamed off of the course. Everyone is constantly encouraging everyone else. I think this community truly embodies the notion that everyone is an Athlete, regardless of their physical ability or appearance. If you are on the starting line, you are an athlete. It is very common to see people stopping to share food or help someone else who is struggling. I know I have become a lot more social at these events over the years, and now I always bring extra food to share during a race just in case someone needs it. I would never had thought to do that three years ago when I started.

 

What would you say to someone who hasn’t found their passion in sport or life yet?

Keep looking! You don’t know what you don’t know until you do, so just try as many new things as you can until you find what connects with you. It’s out there somewhere.

Until I found OCR, I was a bit lost and bored with life. Now I wake up every day with a purpose beyond the daily routine. It has driven me to make better positive choices and to try to be a better person in all aspects of my life. It just makes everything better overall.

 

Where are you on your athletic journey? Flicker, Flame, or Fire?

Fire

 

What keeps you up at night?

Getting injured! I have learned a great deal in the past three years about how NOT to train and what NOT to do nutritionally. I ran incorrectly, I ate incorrectly, and I trained incorrectly. As a result, I’ve had IT band syndrome, heat exhaustion, dehydration, “bonking”, and this year a broken 5th metatarsal in my right foot. I am now an avid podcast listener and have completely changed my entire training program based on what I’ve learned. We’ll see how this year goes with my newfound knowledge!

 

What’s your favorite healthy recipe that anyone can try today?

I am not a big cook, so I go for simplicity. One of my favorites is grilled chicken in a small soft taco shell with chopped cilantro and white onions, a pinch of lime, and La Victoria Salsa Brava hot sauce. It is super easy and really good!

 

NOTE FOR Stephen:Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with the Athlete On Fire community. Thanks for sharing the awesome workouts and attitude!  OCR is such a great sport. You are inspiring us as much as we are you! You are definitely an inspiring Athlete On Fire!  

 

Remember. I am, you are, everyone is an athlete on fire!

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AOF:187 Great white sharks, sea lice, and big time open water swimming.

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AOF:184 An ultra runner named Jeffrey and his bus named Earl.

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Jon Townsend – Running is a reward, not a punishment.

Jon is a long-serving writer for These Football Times and the Original Coach and is the author of the upcoming book “It’s Just a Ball: Exploring the Complexities of a Simple Game”.

 

Jon, a supporter of Liverpool Football Club and AFC Ajax, is based in the U.S. and is involved in promoting grassroots football and specializes in player development writing and coaching. He is the co-founder of Year Zero Soccer, a non-profit grassroots football organization that is partnered with TFT.

 

His work has been featured on the Guardian Sport Network, Inside Soccer, NSCAA Soccer Journal, White Lines Magazine, and Spartan Magazine.

 

Cookie of Team SISU caught up with him recently a they draw the parallels between running, football (soccer), training and what athletic ability and training means in modern times.

 

Listen

Twitter: @jon_townsend3

http://www.farpostfooty.com

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AOF:177 Ever dream of living in the mountains?

Living in the mountains.   

 

The thought of this is what has forced people from every inch of the globe to pack up and find their home in their dream place.  But, once they got there the work dried out and they reluctantly moved back to where they could make a living.

 

Aryn Schlicting has a solution for all of you dreamers out there.  Be a pro.  Start your career or continue it in the mountains and use her website to do it!

On the show:

  • What was her journey to living in the mountains of Colorado
  • How did life change before and after having a family in the mts
  • What is a perfect day, including work, in Vail, Colorado
  • What is her site, Mountain Careers all about?

LISTEN

 

Aryn Living In the High Country

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Nick Waddell – When military training is used for “fun”.

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Nick Waddell has a lengthy and impressive background in the military. For fun, he crawls through sand and mud, hikes long distances and carries heavy things for no apparent reason. Nick is an endurance athlete.

But what makes him tick and why would someone want to do these kinds of things when they don’t need to?

Nick addresses these questions and many others when he caught up with Cookie from Team SISU recently.

Listen to the show!

 

AOF:176 Three unique workouts, coincidence, and the magic in numbers.

On the show:

  • Three unique workouts to give you some variety early in the year.  Be sure to scroll down to check them out!
  • The launch of Becoming Ultra Season 4.
  • The coincidence of numbers, especially 62.
  • What Roger Maris, the golf majors, and the Green Packers have in common.
  • A new podcast and curriculum for fitness professionals.
  • A simple challenge for the new year, forever.

 

Three Workouts: Please share, we put lots of time into everything we do at Athlete On Fire.  Sharing is one of our favorite currencies!

Feel Free to print or save so you don’t forget to do them!

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Athlete Profiles: 002 “In retrospect, I should have been a runner that also played baseball.”

Athlete (and we are all athletes) Profiles:

Check out more details about why we do this and even submit your profile HERE.



Name:

Brian DePersis

 

DOB:

1/26/74

 

Location:

Wyckoff, NJ

 

What is the best thing about your hometown?

The best thing about my town is the proximity to so many great places. I’m only 30 minutes from NYC, an hour or so from upstate NY, an hour or so from a beach, and more.

 

Athletic history:

I was a baseball player, from age 4 until 20. That is all I wanted to do. I ran some cross country and indoor track in high school, simply to stay in shape for baseball. I played every intramural I could growing up, we played pick up sports, went to the park for sand volleyball, everything.

 

Current athletic passion:

I am a runner. In retrospect, instead of being a baseball player that ran when I was growing up, I should have been a runner that also played baseball. I love to compete in races, to be faster and push myself.

 

Who or what in the world is inspiring you right now?

I get a lot of inspiration from my fellow bloggers in the fitness world. Some of the things they are doing is amazing. The focus that a lot of them have is a credit to them. Also, Scott Jones! I have been listening to Scott since his first AOF podcast. I love the connection I have to elites by listening, drawing some knowledge, and some workout/racing tips. Finally, my wife is an inspiration everyday. She is my biggest fan, leading our 4 kids to races, giving me someone to sound off to, and pushing me to do more.

 

What is your favorite single workout or physical challenge that people can try today?

I have two for you. The first, go to the Erin Bersini AOF podcast (#83) and check out her 500 rep workout on the page. It’s awesome, simple, and all you need is a pull up bar and your own body.

My second workout is to take your normal, basic jog distance and make it a progression run. For me, a basic 5 miler becomes a test. After the first mile as a warm up, try to go each mile at 15-20 seconds faster than the last. It’s great for negative split work, running on tired legs, and some mental strength for races. End with a mile cooldown.

 

Why do you consider yourself an athlete on fire?

I consider myself an Athlete On Fire because I like to push myself athletically and I look forward to knowing I am choosing to put in the time and effort needed to accomplish my running/racing goals. In the past, I have been good, not great. I have typically been at a Flame level, with short periods of the Fire level. My challenge for myself for 2017, is to really get after it in my personal, professional, and my running life. I want to be in the Fire, put myself out there.

 

What would you say to someone who hasn’t found their passion in sport or life yet?

It’s never too late. The great thing about the connected way of life we live nowadays, is that you can go online and find a league, a club, a group doing anything. Check out what your friends and family are doing on Facebook, or go to your community webpage. Look for something that sounds fun, nothing else. If you have fun, it will stick. If it feels like work, let it go, you already have one job (at least) right?

 

Where are you on your athletic journey? Flicker, Flame, or Fire?

Flame

 

What keeps you up at night?

Ask my wife, nothing! Once my head hits the pillow I’m out. She says it’s a gift I have! The only thing I want, is for my kids to be happy and healthy!

 

What’s your favorite healthy recipe that anyone can try today?

Since it is cold weather time, here’s a recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal.

When you get back from your long run, try this out for breakfast. Bonus if you live somewhere cold! Sub in different nuts if you like, a specific maple syrup, or raisins, etc. If you make it, send me a picture(@dailyfitjournal) & I will post it. Enjoy!

Pumpkin & Maple Nut Oatmeal

3/4 C Canned Pumpkin
1/2 TSP Salt
1 1/2 C Rolled Oats
1 TBSP Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 TBSP Pecans, Chopped
2 TBSP Maple Syrup

Combine pumpkin & salt w/3 cups water & boil.
Add oats & Spice.
When mix bubbles, reduce to low heat.
Stir occasionally until oats are cooked/thicken ( 8 min).
Top with nuts and syrup.

362 calories
9G Fat
63G Carbs
11G Fiber

10G Protein

 

NOTE FOR Brian:Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with the Athlete On Fire community. Thanks for being such a loyal follower of Athlete On Fire.  You are inspiring us as much as we are you! You are definitely an inspiring Athlete On Fire!  

Be sure to check out Brian’s blog that covers his journey as an athlete, teacher, and family guy!

 

Remember. I am, you are, everyone is an athlete on fire!

Listen to some inspiring athletes here!

AOF:187 Great white sharks, sea lice, and big time open water swimming.

Eliza Cummings is a young athlete who is competing in some of the biggest open water swims in the world.  We learned so much from her and enjoyed the passion she brought on a sport we really haven’t covered. On the show There is repellant for sea lice, larva of jellyfish Painting stripes on your […]

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AOF:186 "Life is either completely daring or nothing at all."

On the show.  Noah Kaufman of American Ninja Warrior fame and longtime rock climber.   Noah Kaufman is no stranger to pressure.   Competitively he has excelled as a ninja on the popular American Ninja Warrior in front of millions.   He has been scaling rocks as a climber for over twenty years where the […]

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AOF:185 March Madness without my dad, unpredictable spring, and fallen innovators.

On the show: Legend Lost The late and great Royal Robbins passes away at age 82.  He was a pioneer in rock climbing as the sport we know it today.  Go watch Valley Uprising.  It’s an amazing and inspiring look at the roots of the sport.  Our host, Scott was born just 30 minutes away in […]

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AOF:184 An ultra runner named Jeffrey and his bus named Earl.

Jeffrey James Binney is a comedian, actor, and now, ultra runner.  Why does he intend on living in a bus?  How was his complete failure more stressful than usual at the Leadville 100?  Did he ever finish an ultra?  Plus, some bonus content featuring parts of his comedy special from the experiences.   Thanks for […]

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