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Twister… Industry Icon in the Fight of His Life

By Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS

I need to share a remarkable story of a fitness professional in the fight of his life. He is someone I have long admired. Someone I have shared the stage with many times. One of the best presenters I have ever heard. A wildly successful entrepreneur who has earned more accolades in his storied strength and conditioning career than most can dream.

Peter Twist is one of the most successful trainers and performance coaches of ALL-TIME.  His business, Twist Sport Conditioning, is a world-class training & performance facility in Vancouver, Canada, with franchises in the US and Canada.

For eleven years, Pete was an NHL strength coach. And since then, has devoted his life to helping kids and adults become their very best. His passion and energy are infectious, his intelligence is incredible, and his spirit is unbreakable. As a matter of fact, Pete may be in the best shape of any forty-seven year old I know, male or female. With the fitness and conditioning of an elite pro athlete, he looks like he can still suit up and play. And dominate!

But life took a strange turn earlier this year. Out of nowhere, Pete was diagnosed with Stage 4 Nasopharyngeal cancer (head/neck) that had spread throughout his lymph system. He was asymptomatic when he first went to the doctor in January 2011 (just about a year ago), and has been through hell and back since then, fighting one heckuva fight to force this thing into remission. He would tell you himself that this has been tougher than any fight he has ever faced in his long and successful hockey career.

I recently had dinner with Pete at his home in Vancouver. It gave us some quiet time to sit and talk. About fitness. About our industry. And about life. What a conversation it was.

I asked Pete if I could share his story, it truly is inspirational, because not many people know of his battle. As a matter of fact, for four of the hardest months earlier this year, only six people even knew Pete was sick. More know now, but the chance to share Pete’s story here with you is a chance to share some of the most IMPACTFUL words I have ever heard from another person. There are “deep lessons” from Pete’s journey, and I share them with his blessing and his hope that they might empower others in a similar battle for their health or other challenge in their lives.

****

One of the interesting things about Pete’s story is that there were no detectable signs or symptoms when he was diagnosed. He acted on his own intuition that something was wrong and asked to be tested. At first, doctors resisted because “he had nothing wrong.”  His physical appearance, strong vitals, and healthy lifestyle, said (on the surface) that nothing “appeared wrong.”

When the truth of the situation was revealed, doctors found a tumor the size of a baseball located about 2 mm from the brain stem. A thorough diagnosis placed the chance of survival for three-years at 25%.

What followed was brutal. Two months of chemotherapy and radiation at the highest intensity one can receive. When I asked what that felt like, Pete described it as “severe burning of my mouth, face, and neck from the inside out.” Taking in nutrients was next to impossible; requiring “thirty minutes under layered pain-killers to get down a glass of vanilla protein drink.” Knowing Pete, he was probably yelling like a gladiator to get it down and get it done.

I learned that the effects of head and neck radiation continue to accumulate for five to seven weeks post-treatment. That means the side-effects get worse and worse even after treatments stop. Pete said this was one of the most frustrating parts of the entire experience.

From Pete: “My objective was to keep as much strength and physical mass as possible and to do little things HOURLY to deal with symptoms and set myself up to have a little higher starting point when I could manage to start ramping back up. A one percent difference was worth fighting for relentlessly.”

****

We talked about life lessons and as always, his words were deep and introspective.

  • QUARTERBACK YOUR OWN HEALTH AND OWN THE PROCESS” Doctors: oncologists, nutritionists, naturopaths, chiropractors, you name it – all come from different backgrounds, academic paradigms, and philosophies. Many of them do tremendous work, but are often overwhelmingly busy in their day-to-day and guided by the ‘system.’ It is critical that YOU determine what is right for YOU and take charge at each step. Quarterback your health and quarterback the team you assemble for any acute challenge in life.
  • FOLLOW YOUR GUT, FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION. “If you’re strong and healthy, you won’t get looked at the same or as thoroughly by your doctors.  They make assumptions based on fitness, appearance, symptoms, and positive energy. Insist they look deeper.”

Pete went in because of a premonition, a gut-call that something “wasn’t right.”  He really had to press to get the right team together and get the tests done to eventually be diagnosed and then treated because he looked healthy. Had he waited until symptoms appeared, the results may have been….

  • BE PROACTIVE. How you feel, your physicality, your health metrics, your blood work, and lack of symptoms do not necessarily mean you’re A-OK at the cellular level. Pete did crazy research on cancer, and believes, “We all have cancer five to seven times in a lifetime. Most we naturally eradicate from our systems… some we do not.”
  • DON’T PLAY THE VICTIM CARD. It took a tremendous amount of grit and determination for Pete to get this far in the fight. He doesn’t like “wearing the cancer hat.” When going to the hospital for chemotherapy and radiation, he would drive his car “straight to the top” of the roof of the cancer center and park. He did not want to park where it said “PATIENT” painted on the wall. He would enter the parking garage with inspirational music cranked (AC/DC or POD if I know him!) and later would say, “Is that all you got? Give me your best shot!”  After each radiation and chemo treatment, he would attempt to exercise right away, sometimes right in the parking garage. Literally.
  • HEAL FROM WITHIN. Look beyond traditional nutrition guidelines and organic foods and invest in a deeper understanding of all the variables affecting cellular health.
  • WE DON’T “RISE TO THE OCCASION”; WE “SINK TO THE LEVEL OF OUR TRAINING.” This is a message for trainers: Make sure you are ready for a battle and that your clients are too—one day everyone will face an immense challenge. I like what Pete says, “You can’t be your best when your best is needed and you aren’t in peak condition.” He adds, “I believe survival is in part determined by a will to live, a will to love, and a willpower to do the hard things well every minute during challenge, pain, and suffering. Become very passionate about LIFE and engage in activities in a way that grows WILL and WILLPOWER.”

WOW. Don’t wait until there’s a problem to start training like an animal and begin living TODAY like it’s your last day on earth. Powerful words.

  • BREAK ALL THE RULES. “You must be willing to change YOUR rules: to adopt healthful strategies that give you an edge, to step up and break from the traditional medical model, to return to action.”  Pete is an example that we are capable of more than we might be told. Fight to give EVERY effort any moment to build your physiology and physicality. Work at YOUR pace – not the pace of the average sick person. Not the pace expected by the disease model. Be willing to do everything it takes to get back to where you were. Act on your personal pride, conviction, and your will to live “FULL ON” for yourself and all those around you.

Pete’s words really stuck with me. He is an incredible man and truly inspirational. He ended his story with this (and I will paraphrase): Growth comes from challenges and of these, there are very few that will force you to draw upon absolutely one hundred percent  of every single element of your being. One hundred percent of every personal resource within you. When one of these challenges presents itself, it will be an amazing opportunity. After the anger and fear have ripped through you, after you face your sadness and concern for loved ones, be sure to see the amazing opportunity you’ve been given. The battle will become a set of scars you carry with quiet pride and deeper gratitude for the chapters ahead of you. The personal growth is strong and real. Don’t be bound up or held back from the beating you’ll take. Springboard from it and let it ignite every single day for the rest of your life.

****

My evening with Pete ended with some “HEALING FROM WITHIN.” Pete’s diet for this past year has been mostly raw vegetables and a concoction of organic foods, supplements, and powerful antioxidants to fortify his system. So when he asked me if I would like one of his “desserts,” I willingly obliged. It was here I was introduced to what I now call “Twister’s 27-Ingredient Jungle Juice.” This “shake” has so many things in it I can’t remember them all. Three times a day for almost a year: cabbage, broccoli, spinach, raspberries, blueberries, cranberry juice, greens mix, fish oils, and many other “goodies” in it. Sounds disgusting, huh? Pete said, “You think this tastes horrible? Try cancer and then tell me if you like it.” Despite not knowing all that’s in it or if there are really twenty-seven ingredients, by the end, it tasted real good! For me, that night, sharing Twister’s 27-Ingredient Jungle Juice was a spiritual moment.

****

Pete is now almost one-year post diagnosis. He powers UP mountains running and laughs rambunctiously as he races down; he lifts hard and heavy again in his Twist Sport Conditioning Center and does wind sprints like he did when he was competing. He’s teaching again and back in the trenches making a difference. But most of all, he’s enjoying life and is as vibrant and FULL OF LIFE as I’ve ever seen him.

Pete recently developed a CREED for himself, his team, and all the clients they touch.  Think to this as your life motto: “Life is short…LIVE EVERYDAY.  Today I will GIVE everything I have, what I keep inside I will lose forever.”

Thank you Pete Twist for the man you are. The trainer you are. And the friend you are. I hope your story IMPACTS thousands of people to live their BEST LIFE EVERYDAY just as you do. Thanks brother!

**Note: Connect with Pete on Facebook: http://facebook.com/peter.twist13

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes. He is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council, serves on the Gatorade G-Fit Team, and is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit.  He is a two-time Trainer of the Year (IDEA & ACE).  Additionally, Todd provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide.

Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US.  Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd has authored 35 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.

His new book, The IMPACT! Body Plan, debuted in September 2010 and is a 10 Week program designed to create world-class fitness and life performance.  You can sign up for Todd’s FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the TD TIMES, at www.FitnessQuest10.com or www.ToddDurkin.com.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb above with it.  If you would like a Word Document of the article sent to you, please email us at durkin@fitnessquest10.com to let us know and we will be glad to supply it to you.

Metabolic Primer Part 1 of 3 If You Can Measure It, You Can Manage It

By Pat Jak, BS, CPT, USAC II, USAC Power Based Training Coach

Tell me if this is you: you get frustrated when you hit a plateau?  Do you feel like you are working as hard as possible and yet don’t see any changes. This is often when I hear the following phrases:

  • My metabolism is out of control.
  • My metabolism makes my body want certain foods.
  • I’m getting old so my metabolism is slowing down.
  • I downloaded this app that tells me my metabolic rate.
  • Today I plan on getting a great metabolic workout.

Unfortunately, these phrases are a little misguided and further perpetuated thanks to news articles, morning talk shows, and other media blitzes that hit us daily. To make matters worse, we are told things like “If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t weigh yourself too often.” Or we are told, “good diets are effortless and we don’t have to count calories.” Um, excuse me but if I never weigh myself how do I know if I’ve lost weight? Also, if I’m not measuring how much I’m eating, how do I know I am sticking to my plan?

Diet and exercise changes require a high level of managing because you are trying to force change. And the best way to manage a process is to regularly measure progress. While I understand what people mean when they throw out these phrases, there are better ways we can empower ourselves and make positive changes to our health and fitness. And it comes from understanding a few key things about metabolism and measuring it to manage it.

Try not to get hung up in those over used phrases mentioned earlier because:

  • Metabolism is trainable. It CAN be changed. With exercise, healthy diet, and good lifestyle habits, you can maximize your metabolism!
  • Your metabolism doesn’t want certain foods. It just wants real, quality food. So FEED IT!
  • Metabolism does NOT slow down when we age. In reality, there is only a 2% loss every decade. We simply move LESS when we age. Move more and your metabolism increases no matter how old you are!
  • There is NOT an app for that! When you calculate your metabolic rate estimated by your age, height, weight, and gender, you can have a 1,000-calorie margin of error!
  • ALL workouts are metabolic! When you workout, you impact your metabolism.

Okay, I’ll spare you the detailed exercise physiology, but I do want to share a few key points to help shed some light on the confusion we face with our own metabolisms and how to overcome them to help build a leaner, healthier, happier you.

What is Metabolism?

Our metabolism is a collection of biochemical processes that combine nutrients with oxygen to release energy. This release of energy helps us grow, reproduce, maintain basic life processes, and respond to our environment. Metabolism is as individual as a fingerprint and is based on genetics, lifestyle, training, and nutrition.

Our metabolism will change. This is important because we use our fuel (food) differently when we are exercising and when we are at rest. Normally measured in calories, food and metabolism is simply a measurement of energy. In other words, some foods provide more energy than others and some activities burn more energy than others do. This does NOT mean you can eat whatever you want as long as “calories in” balance “calories out.” It also means you CANNOT exercise however you want and burn calories equally. Quality and type of food matters. Likewise, quality and type of workout is important to consider.

Is This What They Mean By Metabolic Rate?

Absolutely! And you actually have two basic metabolic rates that are most meaningful to your health and fitness goals, your Resting Metabolic Rate and your Active Metabolic Rate.

Your Resting Metabolic Rate

This is the amount of calories you use on a daily basis to maintain basic life functions including brain activity, liver function, lung function, and tissue growth and repair. It actually represents 60-75% of your total daily energy expenditure. The basics do apply. Eat more than your daily requirement and your body will store energy (gain weight). Eat below your daily requirement and your body will reduce it’s energy stores (lose weight).

It is important to note that if you are too aggressive with your daily calculations and fall below the very base resting metabolic number, you will negatively impact your body. This often occurs with crash diets, starvation diets, and insane Hollywood cleanses. But it can also occur when we “get too busy to eat,” skip meals, or only eat tiny portions.

Why should too little food matter? Remember that your resting metabolism is responsible for brain activity, lung function, and liver function. If you don’t feed these organs and allow them to do their thing, you will create catastrophic effects in your body and actually increase the aging process and risk for debilitating disease.

Your Active Metabolic Rate

This is your capacity for work during activities such as exercise. It can be shown through a correlation of three key markers. Among these are your AEROBIC Threshold. Representing the point when you utilize fat as a primary fuel source, Aerobic Threshold is the number you find on a new car’s sticker that shows best MPG.

Another marker is your ANAEROBIC Threshold, which is the point when you lose the ability to utilize oxygen and fat to create energy. Another way to look at it is your “redline.” You will be able to rev your engine at this level of intensity, but probably not for very long.

Finally, the number everyone likes to use to compare ability is your VO2max. While high-level athletes often rely on VO2max to determine competition readiness, it is important to everyone because it represents potential.

How Do I Know What My Metabolic Numbers Are?

There is only one true way. Get tested. If we are all individuals and our metabolisms reflect our individual characteristics and activities, wouldn’t you want to know your numbers? If simple little calculators can be off by 1,000 calories, wouldn’t you want to know your EXACT numbers?

Everyone has a benefit if they are tested regularly.

  • You can establish a baseline or snapshot of you right now.
  • You can identify your individual needs and what you want to achieve.
  • You can create a customized, periodized training plan to be better able to achieve your goals.
  • You can track progress and see how your metabolism changes over time.

A Case Study

Just to give an idea how important it is to test your metabolism, consider the following data from my own test taken last month.

  • Resting Metabolic Rate was ESTIMATED anywhere from 2,730-3,037 calories per day while the ACTUAL was 2,574.
  • VO2max was ESTIMATED at 36.6 mL/kg/min, while the ACTUAL was 67.5.
  • Threshold heart rate was ESTIMATED at 155 beats per minute while the ACTUAL was 160.

Why does this difference matter? If I had relied upon calculators to estimate the numbers that are most meaningful in my exercise and daily calorie intake, I would be spinning my wheels. The estimated versus actual numbers leads to a half-pound to a full pound difference per week. In 12-weeks of training, this is a 6-12 pound difference under or over my goal!

The exercise estimations lead to incorrect training levels and false estimations on how many calories I burn at different levels of intensities. In the same 12-weeks of training, this can lead to a difference of another 2 to 3 pounds. Why would I want to estimate and take the chance of gaining 8-14 pounds in 12 weeks?

Measuring versus estimation is ALWAYS more accurate. And when it comes to your metabolism, never assume. Never estimate. If you want to get on top of your health, fitness, and nutrition, know your numbers. And the best way to know your numbers is to test them. Because if you can measure it, you can manage it!

This is a three part series all about metabolism, how to test it, how to train it, and how to fuel it. Come back next time for Metabolic Primer 2: Using Cardio Training to Effectively Boost Your Metabolism Or…

What You Thought You Knew About Cardio Was Probably Wrong

About Pat Jak

For nearly a decade, Pat Jak has worked with performance athletes, teams, and fitness conscious individuals from all walks of life. With one-on-one consultation and customized training plans, he coaches and trains cyclists, multi-sport, and endurance athletes including beginners, juniors, seniors, and masters, several of whom are World, National and State champions and medallists. His workouts have been featured in Bicycling Magazine and he is currently Director of Metabolic Testing at Fitness Quest 10, Team Coach for the Swami’s Pro Development Team, Head Coach of the UCSD Cycling Team, and Coach for the Challenged Athletes Foundation Million Dollar Challenge.

To learn more, or to schedule your metabolic test, contact Fitness Quest 10.

Learning From Our Kids

The primary difference between training adults and youth is that training youth is all about giving them something physically constructive to do with “all that energy.”  For adults, it’s all about giving them some energy by giving them something physically constructive to do.

Youth are little fireballs of energy.  Adults are constantly looking for ways to get energy.  Imagine that if at 40, you had the energy you did when you were 10!  While there are certain neural and physiological factors that create a difference, let’s look at some practical behavioral differences that could help explain the contrast between energy levels in adults and youth.

Kids Sleep:  Young kids go to bed at the same time every night, usually close to when the sun goes   down.  They have a pre bedtime ritual (brush teeth, get in pajamas, read stories, say prayers, other “calm down” activities.)  Adults often go to bed at different times every night with no clear pre-bedtime process of calming down.  Kids don’t go to the playground complaining about the crappy night of sleep they just had.  Poor sleep patterns have been linked to a host of health problems.  Develop a pre- bedtime routine to supercharge your sleep.

Kids Laugh and Giggle:  Kids are always looking for an excuse to laugh or giggle.  When’s the last time you had a real belly-laugh?  When was the last time you got the giggles?  As adults, we have to search for these opportunities to be silly.  There is quite a bit of research on laughing and health.

Kids Move:  It can be somewhat of a “chicken or the egg” phenomenon, but kids are constantly moving.  Some argue it’s because “kids have more energy.”  That is true to a certain degree.  However, creating energy in our bodies is like a perpetual motion machine.  When we move, we create energy.  When we have energy, we want to move.  Our body depends on circulation to create and distribute materials to our cells to create energy.  No movement, no energy.

Kids Don’t Force Toxins Into Their System:  Your car stops running well if you use bad oil, fuel, or other low-grade or downright damaging materials for operation.  Your body works the same way.  While kids can develop poor nutrition habits (facilitated by adults), the amount of downright toxic substances they directly ingest is normally 0.  I’m talking about alcohol, drugs (legal and illegal), smoking, excessive caffeine, and other “adult” vices.  As adults, we know these are not good for our system, but we take them in anyway.  If something isn’t good for your vehicle and you put it in the gas tank anyway, what happens to the car?

Kids Play:  When was the last time you performed a physical activity without an essential, directed outcome?  “Play” is physical creativity.  It helps our body and mind develop the way they should.  Unfortunately, even the amount of play our youth participate in is now limited.  When you watch kids play, what do you see?  Probably a mix of movement, social interaction, and probably some laughing to boot!  Find some play outlets as an adult.  That may mean playing with your kids, joining a sports league, or merely shooting hoops by yourself.

The list could go on.  The point is that as children, we naturally separate ourselves from the things that damage our mind, body, and soul.  As adults we are almost forced to have an affinity for them.  This affects many things, including our daily energy!  I have a saying, “If you want to feel like your 20, act like you’re 7″.   Sleep, move, laugh, and play!

 Brett Klika C.S.C.S. Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10, is a world renowned human performance specialist, motivational speaker, author, and educator. In his 14 year career, Brett has accrued more than 20,000 hours of training with youth, athletes, executives, and every day people.  He uses this knowledge and experience to motivate individuals and audiences around the world through his writing, speaking, DVD’s, an d personal correspondence.

Avoid the “Diet Mentality” and Lose Weight Now!

By: Craig Valency, CSCS

The weekend is upon you and temptation is all around. Parties, barbecues, restaurants, wine and beer are all calling your name. With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner you brace for the carb onslaught. This is when you are really tested; you have to balance your reluctance to undo all the hard work you did throughout the week with the realization that weekends and holidays are different for a reason. This is a time to decompress, reconnect with loved ones, or go out on the town; it only makes sense that you would eat differently on weekends and special days. Trying to eat the same way that you do the rest of the week is simply not realistic, nor should it be! Does that mean you should have four slices of pizza, a pitcher of beer and a hot fudge sundae every weekend? No! Nonetheless, you should not beat yourself up over a glass of wine or a slice of apple pie once in a while.

Lifestyle change rather, than a short-term diet, is the key. Naturally, everyone needs to restrict somewhat in order to get their weight under control.  However, these changes should be sustainable. Eat less sugar, more protein, and more fruits and veggies. Your grandparents were right all along! The key is in the compromise. Rather than downing half a bottle of red wine and five slices of sourdough bread with butter, opt for a single glass and one delicious slice of bread (dipped in olive oil of course!). There is no need to throw in the towel just because you ate a little treat, but just don’t order every treat on the menu! The key is balance. Change from a negative “diet mentality” to a positive “healthy lifestyle mentality”. Keep in mind that if you make exceptions and over indulge every weekend, holiday, office birthday, midnight snack and family get together, the exceptions start to become the rule!

One of my most successful weight loss clients, Susan, did not make a change in her lifestyle for the first year we trained together. She was resistant to giving up things that were ingrained in her lifestyle. She loved her Dr. Pepper, ice cream, and beer on the weekends. And there was no way she was going to do any extracurricular cardio! When it came time to renew her training sessions with me I, asked her to think about why she was going to spend more money and not make a change. Susan finally had the epiphany. She made trade-offs without going into an extreme diet. She gave up the diet Dr. Pepper and kept on eating the ice cream, but not as frequently. She still drank some beer, but did an hour interval walk-run by the beach after work. She lost 30 pounds. Four years later, she has not gained back a pound.

Should you find yourself really cheating, resist the urge to have an “all-or-nothing” mindset. All hope is not lost. Remember that the minute you begin eating right again, you are back on track. If you happen to overeat a little do some extra cardio to ease your guilty conscience, and burn a few more calories. Avoid the diet mentality. Do not obsess over restricting yourself; think of adding good things rather than just removing bad things. It is also imperative that if you do cheat, you do it with gusto! Enjoy your sneaky little secret. Don’t hide it. Do not feel guilty and do not avoid the frosting (it’s the best part)! I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but this is the only way to avoid that vicious and restrictive dieting cycle. (Besides, after cutting out much of the sugar from your food, you will feel so much better that you won’t even want to eat a lot of the bad stuff—and you won’t feel good when you do) Remember that if you feel too restricted, you will always be susceptible to the “rebound effect” with the ultimate consequence—a lifetime of yo-yo dieting.

Unfortunately, most people do need to alter their eating habits to obtain optimal health. If you really miss something, think about how you can re-create it with similar, healthier alternatives. If you love to eat a chocolate dessert after dinner you don’t have to go for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. You can opt for the ricotta dessert recipes made popular by the South Beach Diet. (Mocha Ricotta Crème: 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 packet sugar substitute {Stevia}, Dash espresso powder and 5 mini chocolate chips. Just mix it, serve it & eat it!)

This will satisfy your cravings and you’ll end up feeling less bloated and guilty. If you love mashed potatoes, try steaming cauliflower and mashing or blending it with a little butter, sour cream, and garlic. You get the same mouth feel and flavors without all those carbs and calories. If you love rice reach for the basmati brown rice, quinoa, or pearl barley—all of which have a lower glycemic load than their white cousin. Another, more novel idea, is to have your salad at the end of your meal. It’s not a dessert, but it can be just as refreshing.

To be in a position to win, you need to have a game plan. Healthy eating is no exception. A useful analogy to illustrate this point is how I learned to win more consistently at tennis. Only when I learned how to develop a game plan in each tennis match did I begin to really win matches more frequently. I picked out my opponents 3-4 weaknesses and made that my plan. For your eating plan, an example would be: eat lean protein, avoid potatoes and bread, eat more veggies with every meal, and add fish oil daily. When I hit a shot into the net or long over the baseline, (having too much wine or a piece of chocolate cake) I did not stress. I knew that I had a game plan and that as long as I went consistently for those shots, I would win. I knew I would miss many shots throughout the match, which is only natural. but in the long run, I was clear about my mission and I was able to finally relax and not worry about losing individual points. I had a smile on my face for the whole match. In your fight for health, your opponents do not stand a chance. You will make more shots than you will miss, and in the end you will prevail.

Lifestyle changes are the key to lasting and satisfying success. The weekend is a time to relax, so don’t stress out over eating a few treats when you’re out to dinner with your friends. Make a healthy lifestyle the goal and you will make better decisions more times than not. Embrace new, healthier foods and activities. Once in a while you can reward yourself with some of your old favorites. If you “cheat,” it is important to avoid the “all-or-nothing” principle. Just enjoy it and go right back to your healthier ways of eating. To minimize cheating, make sure you eat healthy foods that satisfy your craving. Eating chocolate is as much about the creamy texture as the taste, so substitute a food with a similar feel and you will be satisfied. The most important thing is to be clear on how to eat a healthy diet this is your “game plan,” and if you stick to your game plan you can lose a few points along the way and still win the game. So just relax and realize that if you don’t overly obsess over hitting your target, you will likely hit that target more often and with greater ease.

Craig Valency is a Certified Personal Trainer and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (CSCS). He works at Fitness Quest 10, where he specializes in developing holistic training programs that promote lifestyle changes for permanent results in weight loss, athletic performance, & whole body functional strength & fitness. He earned a bachelors degree from UCLA, and has completed coursework in Kinesiology & Exercise Physiology at UC San Diego & Miramar College. He is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Kinesiology at San Diego State University.

Remember To Dream

By Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS

His name is Dewey Bozella and he just fought his very first professional boxing match on October 15, 2011. He won. Dewey Bozella is 52 years old.

Yes, my friend, that’s correct. At 52 years of age, Dewey Bozella finally had the chance to live his dream – the dream to be a professional boxer – the dream that kept him going for most of his life. You see, for 26 years, Dewey lived behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit. Several times he was offered a plea bargain. Freedom, if only he would say he was guilty.

According to Dewey, he would rather “rot in jail” than say he did it. More than once, he made the painful decision to refuse the plea. An innocent man in prison for 26 years. No stranger to pain. His father beat his pregnant mother to death when he was only nine years old, and two of his brothers were murdered on the streets of Brooklyn while he was just a teen. This man’s entire life was filled with pain.

Twenty-six years is nearly 10,000 days. All that time Dewey dreamt and worked for one thing: the day he would walk away from prison a free man, and have the chance to fight as a professional boxer. In 2009, justice was served and he did walk away free. He was exonerated of the crime after a quarter of a century spent trying to prove his innocence.

What a path to travel to achieve your dream! Just last month, Dewey Bozella fought Larry Hopkins on the undercard of a Bernard Hopkins (no relation to Larry Hopkins) fight. Dewey won by a unanimous decision and immediately afterward said, “I used to lay in my cell and dream about this day happening. It was all worth it. It is my dream come true. This is my first and last fight…I did what I wanted to do and I’m happy.” He fought. He won. And then he retired when his dream was realized.

My friend, what about you and your dreams? Likely, you aren’t in prison. Likely, you haven’t faced the battles Dewey faced. But each of us has walked a unique path to arrive where we are today. We’ve faced challenges and struggled through adversity. And now, more than ever, our dreams are so important because dreams do keep us alive. They empower and motivate us. They give us purpose and put meaning in every day and every action. Dewey Bozella got up each day for 26 years and lived with purpose. He never gave up and neither should you.

Let your dreams do their magic. Allow them to fuel your day, give you energy, and keep you focused. They’ll do all this and more. It doesn’t matter if it takes 6 months, 6 years, or 26 years to achieve, never give up. You’ve got to make your dreams come true.

Dewey Bozella is an amazing example of someone who very easily could have given up many times. Can you imagine nearly 10,000 days of wrongful imprisonment? He could have lived with rage. He could have lived with anger. He could have lived with hatred. He could have given up on any one of those 10,000 days. But that’s the thing that makes Dewey Bozella so special. He didn’t. Instead, he CHOSE to live with PURPOSE. He chose to DREAM.

What a great lesson this man is for all of us. Regardless of circumstance, hardships, turmoil, adversity, or situation, choose to keep fighting. Choose to keep persisting. Choose to keep believing. And always choose to keep DREAMING.

After all, dreams can come true.

Dream Big!

Todd

Who’s On Your Team?

By: Dr. Jenifer Reiner

Who’s on your team?

Athletes whether they are professional football players or collegiate volleyball players are surrounded by a team of medical providers, team coaches, and strength and conditioning staff all focused on providing a comprehensive program to achieve optimal health and performance.  Outside these settings, however, a coordinated effort between one’s medical doctor, personal trainer, chiropractor, or physical therapist is more of a dream rather than a reality.  Clients are becoming more aware of this “team” approach and are seeking out the one-stop-shop for their training and rehabilitation needs.

Following chiropractic school I was fortunate to experience the “team” approach to rehabilitation while working in the athletic department at the University of California San Diego.   The road to recovery is a collective effort that includes medical doctors, physical therapists, athletic trainers, acupuncturists, strength coaches, and chiropractors.  While many of our skills overlapped, the combined efforts in diagnosis, treatment, and sport specific training provided appropriate checks and balances to ensure we were on the right track for success.  Outside the university setting, however, I worked in a private practice that included two other chiropractors.  Challenging cases with atypical presentations or limitations in my own treatment skills often left me frustrated due to a lack of resources.  It was time to make a change in my personal practice and recreate the university setting I had grown to love.  Around that time, Todd Durkin was in search of a sports-based chiropractor to complete his team of rehabilitation and training staff at Fitness Quest 10.  The opportunity included a team of physical therapists (Water and Sports Physical Therapy), massage therapists, a world class group of strength and conditioning coaches, Pilates instructors, and yoga teachers.  Christmas had come early.

After 2 short years since joining the “team,” it’s safe to say I have experienced the most growth professionally, educationally, and personally, than in college and post graduate work combined.  I believe the key to this success lies in the motivation of those around you, your “teammates” dedication to mastering their craft, and pure enjoyment of learning from those constantly seeking the best information available.  No one settles for mediocrity in this establishment and failure is not an option.

I write this in hopes of encouraging other industry professionals to put aside the egos, if you haven’t already done so, and seek out your “team.”  Finding a core group of individuals with varied backgrounds, who speak the same language, and work together to improve your client’s/patient’s health and physical performance, is unprecedented.  Maybe I speak for myself, but this profession is not about us.  It’s not about how much money you make, how smart you are, how great your skills are, or how many people follow you on Twitter.  We are a profession of service and I would venture to say that 99% of us feel the most satisfied when we meet our client’s goals and exceed their expectations.  Therefore, whether you are a chiropractor, physical therapist, medical doctor, strength coach, sports coach, message therapist, etc., a team of masterminds is critical to your personal and professional success.  Research your local professionals, connect with like-minded individuals in the industry, combine services under one roof, and pick the brains of your teammates.  In the words of Martin Rooney, “Success and mediocrity are both contagious.  If you want to be great, surround yourself with great people and get infected.” Most importantly, your clients will appreciate your “team” effort in their quest for health and wellness.

Dr. Jennifer Reiner is the chiropractor for Water and Sports Physical Therapy and Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, California.  She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida and went on to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic West.  As a member of the Palmer West Sports Council, Dr. Reiner focused her studies on sports injuries and rehabilitation.  She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

She spent five years as the official chiropractor for the University of California San Diego, providing care to a variety of sports including swimming, soccer, volleyball, track and field, tennis, and basketball.  Dr. Reiner is certified in Graston Technique as well as Active Release Technique (ART).  She also holds certifications in FMS (Functional Movement Screen), SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment), TRX suspension training, and K-laser therapy.

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