fitness

How to do it all (?)

I'm coming to grips with the fact that you can't do it all. Yes, I've identified those things that are essential to me and bring me the most joy and reward and make the most time for them, but there are still so many other things I want to do! How does one do it all? This isn't something I have an answer for, but I think, for me, laying out everything either already on my plate, or that I want to add to my plate, will help me just feel more grounded. Here is my list:

  • Work/Career growth
  • Study for the GMAT
  • Apply to business school/get my MBA
  • Start a podcast
  • Go on more dates
  • Work on self exploration with a therapist (just started!)
  • Go to chiropractor regularly and do rehab/prehab exercises
  • Take a Project Management class
  • Learn to dance hip hop
  • Workout
  • Do triathlons
  • Do obstacle/adventure races
  • Travel
  • Practice for Improv group 1
  • Shows for Improv group 1
  • Practice for Improv group 2
  • Shows for Improv group 2
  • Networking
  • Go to more business/professional development events outside of work
  • Keep great friendships
  • Maintain my social life (where it doesn't overlap with other items on this list--like simply going out or concerts, etc.)
  • See more live music
  • Sleep MORE
  • Write more for myself
  • Writing articles for other websites
  • Finding and training new personal training clients
  • Practice mindfulness/meditation; possibly in a class setting
  • Go to gymnastics
  • Go to Crossfit
  • Play more basketball
  • Start playing hockey
  • Play in my rec sports leagues
  • Host some mastermind group dinners/friends dinners
  • Go play ultimate frisbee
  • Read more books

I'm sure there are more I can add.

How does one balance it all? Alongside maintaining full focus on getting ahead at work and keeping and growing meaningful relationships with friends and family?

Just throwing it out there--Let me know if you're a life organizer and can help me ; )

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Trip to Virginia Beach and The Unbreakable Body

I just got back from a great trip to Virginia Beach where I got to spend an awesome long weekend with my whole family! It was great to get a little break from the big city and get some “real summer”. The weather cooperated most of the time we were there and the Atlantic Ocean gave us waves for at least one of the days… and then acted like a lake for the rest of the weekend… 2014-08-15 20.10.56 2014-08-16 15.53.13We went to some great restaurants and got some fantastic local seafood. My brother has a sweet little house in Norfolk and it was nice to have everyone in one place. It was really weird to be back honestly. If you recall, I used to live there and it wasn’t my favorite of the places I’ve lived. But the trip was great…  Saw a Norfolk Tides game, plus we did the traditional Feerick men trip to see a Super Hero movie! We saw Guardians of the Galaxy and, if you haven’t seen it, it was awesome! I highly recommend it. Also got some great workouts in with my dad in little brother's "garage gym".

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Today I wanted to bring you guys a post from someone else whom I highly recommend! Kate Galliet is a good friend of mine and I’ve know her for a while via Twitter and both being personal trainers. She lives here in the Chicago area and she and I have hung out a few times; including walking across the city to get great coffee in negative 10 degree weather as well as going to awesome EDM concerts.

If you weren’t already aware, I am a huge proponent of strength and mobility work to compliment endurance training and I make all my clients do it. In my last post I mentioned the shoulder pain I was having in my wetsuit during my last race. Kate read that and immediately called me and we got down to the root cause of the issue and how to fix it! I’ve been putting into place everything she said and hopefully I will be pain free this coming weekend at the Chicago Triathlon!

Kate has just launched a brand new product called The Unbreakable Body! It is an all-inclusive solution to fixing yourself, maintaining mobility, and preventing injury to be a stronger athlete. While the program is for everyone, it has a strong bent towards endurance athletes who (myself included!) largely neglect mobility and recovery work. And no guys, using a foam roller doesn’t cut it! I asked Kate if she would be willing to share more about how she diagnosed my shoulder and more about her program! If you have any questions let me know and I’ll do another post later this week to answer more questions about the program.

Enter Kate!

500 Hours - Are You Ready To Handle That?

For most triathletes, the focus in training is on volume; run more miles, swim more laps, ride further routes. Did you know the average Ironman training plan adds up to around 500 hours?

This places an immense amount of pressure on your body, from your joints to your muscles. And as that pressure increases, your body begins to compensate in strange and damaging ways.

And when your injury happens, it likely won't be a freak coincidence. It will be because up until the moment of your injury, your body's durability was being worn away one day at a time.

Then, finally, it reached breaking point.

The saddest part about this isn't the pain and emotional grief of suffering an injury while you're training your heart out.

It's that it could've been prevented in the first place.

Sexy Comes Second, Foundation Comes First.

Yes, you want to hit the pool straight away, or hop on the bike. But that's the sexy stuff. And it’s also the stuff that, if sub-optimal movement patterns exist, will be the demise of your body. Before beginning any workout, it's important to ensure your foundational movements  are correct. If you don't, you not only run the risk of encouraging weak movements, but setting yourself up for injury. Whenever I work with an athlete, they are not allowed to start their workout until after we've done muscle activation work. We do this at every single workout, so that when we reach race day, doing pre-race movement activators are second nature (and protect them from mid-race injuries, too).

99% Of The Time, Your Injury Was Preventable

People hate me for saying this. But it's the cold hard truth. If you get injured, 99% of the time it could have been avoided.

Yes, there was an unexpected bump in the road and your ankle rolled, and it caused a sprain... But would your ankle have rolled if you did ankle strengthening drills every day for 60 seconds?

And yes, your arm was pulled awkwardly by the current as you reached the 1/3 mile mark and impaired your pull...But if you'd been doing daily mobility work on your shoulder, would you not have had greater margin to absorb the awkward movement in the swim?

The reality is that nearly all injuries are simply the punctuation mark at the end of a long string of poor decisions. But it’s ok. You’re ok. We’re gonna be ok. We learn. We get better. We get stronger and more durable.

You Aren't Alone: Preventable Injury Happens At Every Level Of Performance

I’m gonna put Chuck on the hot-seat now. ;-) When I first met Chuck, it was over a coffee at La Colombe in Chicago. He hit me up over Twitter, I obliged, and the friendship began.Then, not long ago, I read Chuck’s blog about his race and saw that he was noticing something strange.

Every time he swam in his wetsuit, his shoulder would go numb and start to ache. This was to the point where if he didn't stop every few strokes to shake it out, it would get worse. But it was more than an uncomfortable feeling. It cut into his performance. Imagine doing a swim and every few strokes you gotta stop to address your arm — annoying and time-consuming!

Chuck’s an Elite Team Member of Wattie Ink, he couldn’t be getting held up by something stupid like a numb shoulder!

After a quick assessment of how he felt, and his current training regimen, I had a solid idea of what was causing his issue but was straight up with him - if this didn’t help him, or anything got worse, I wanted him to seek out a medical professional.

Chuck had tissue that wasn’t moving as it should, and it was compressing the nerves around his shoulder that led to his hand. Without a wet suit, this wasn't noticeable. But when he put on the skintight suit for the swim, the added compression of the suit seemed to magnify what was going on already in his shoulder. My hope was that with proper, consistent, mobility work that we’d unglue the area and get everything that supports the shoulder girdle moving well again and working in a harmonious way that allowed him to swim, and do so without that numb aching feeling in his shoulder.

So with a lacrosse ball, some basic mobility drills and specific area targeting, Chuck was able to begin unlocking the tissue that seemed to be compressing the nerve. And happiness ensued in Chuck’s and my worlds.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure: Prehabbing The Pain Points

With the compressed nerve now unlocked, Chuck's got a new mission. To ensure that he never has to stop mid race and shake out his fingers again. To do this, he's continuing to perform regular drills with a lacrosse ball. These drills don't just prevent the nerves from being clenched tightly beneath his skin, though. They put his tissue into a more optimal state for every movement he is going to ask his body to do.

In turn, this will help Chuck to move faster, take greater advantage of his strength training, and see better performance across the board.

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Thanks again Kate! If you guys want to learn more about the Unbreakable Body, click here! Let me know if you have any other strength training or mobility questions for myself or Kate and we will be sure to get them answered!

Let me break it down fo' ya

Here comes a completely unpremeditated post. But I needed a preface for posts to come. I'm thinking about making some big changes in my life... I just haven't figured out what they are yet... But I'm working on it. What I have realized is this: I want to have a bigger impact on the world and be heard more in order so that I can help others.  And I don't know what that looks like yet either, but I've got some ideas. Those updates will be for another time when I've got more direction.

One thing I want to do is to begin to write more.  This will stay as my personal blog (although it needs some serious cosmetic edits), but I want to start more fitness writing. Ideally, I'd like to find a way to write for magazines and online articles. With my personal trainer certification, I have the credentials to do this, but I'm also thinking about expanding my knowledge base in this area with physiological knowledge.

So sometime this week I want to start trying out some of my articles here on my blog.  Soon, I will be creating a new website dedicated to training, healthy living, and fun, where I will focus my fitness and life related articles so that I can keep the more personal stuff here. I know I run into the consideration that I'm recently in recovery for my eating disorder, so is getting into this a good idea? For me, absolutely yes. It helps me walk the walk as well as try out new things on myself. Plus, I really want to get rid of the eating disorder label that I've placed on myself for so many years.

I've still been training for triathlons, just more intelligently, and spending a lot more time lifting weight, which I love! I actually feel like I'm getting stronger and moving toward my goals for the first time in a while. Building some muscle is definitely helping my body image as well, although I've still got a ways to go.

I want my writing to be fun and motivating and helpful to others. I'm planning to start taking personal training clients again as well, as its something I've always loved. So I hope you read my first fun article later this week. My writing will focus not just on fitness and health, but simply personal betterment. Hence why my first article was inspired from an animated Disney movie I recently watched...

In other news, the past few weeks have been busy but a lot of fun! Here's a quick run down, a la photo journal style:

A couple of weeks ago, 9 friends and I went up to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia for the weekend:

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We did some hiking

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Played some video games:

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And learned to catch water bottles on our heads. Check me out in the background as I totally nailed it... (Bill is an incredible performer!)

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The next weekend my parents and sister came to visit so we went to an Astros game:

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Then to Disney World!

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And my dad and I became official Cosmic Commandos on the Buzz Lightyear ride.  No shame at all.  We may or may not have ridden it 6 times and found all the secret target...

Buzz Lightyear

 

That's it! More stuff coming soon!

On a real note--I am looking to build a new, really good looking website, but have no idea how to do this. If anyone is looking for some freelance work and knows about building and hosting websites, send me an email at chuckfeerick@gmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

 

 

Flipturns

I have a new outlook.  It came from my coach this week.  We were on our way to a ride in Ocala (more on this later…) after swimming and I was beginning to think I might bail on the ride.  I was planning to go to a hockey game that night and didn’t want to be late, and, of course, by going home, I could make sure I had comfortable foods to eat and just ride where I knew I would get a good workout. Felipe was in the car in front of me and I called him to discuss this and he really let me have it- brutal honesty in the most beneficial way it can come.  And it plays to so many factors in my life.  He basically said “I’m trying to help you, but you keep finding ways out of it and being sketch.” This was true.  He brought up the example of doing flipturns in the pool.  Right now, I don’t (didn’t) do them because while I can do it, I’m not great at it and don’t like it and stick with my comfortable “quick-touch and go” method.  But, he has told me many times to do exclusively flipturns.  If I don’t start, how will I ever learn to do them or really break my fear of them?  I never will.

Then he said something that sort of blew my mind—“it’s better to do the right thing wrong than to do the wrong thing wrong.”

How true!  This is so relevant to anything in my life—unless you buy in and bite off that piece of success, how do you expect to get better?  Instead of knowing there is a problem and then looking for excuses of how to get out of it, why not proactively face them and discuss them with someone who can help?  Instead of hiding my fear of flipturns, Felipe told me tell him!  Say, “Felipe, I’m not good at flipturns and they scare me—how can we work together to overcome this problem?”

Face your problems head on—don’t run from them—get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  That’s how you get better, in love, life, sport, or anything—it plays true everywhere.

And well, speaking of Ocala and our ride there… let’s say it was quite and adventure ; ) …

Ocala is the HITS half Ironman course that we will be racing in March.  The goal was to ride the course and do a time trial on the back end.  I ended up going ahead of the friends I was with and just thought, duh, I’ll right turns at every dead end and then make all the left turns coming home.  Problem with this logic is that you have to remember where those left turns are, since they aren’t dead ends on the way back!  So after 23 miles, knowing I had to be back for the hockey game, I turned around and began heading back to the car.  It’s funny how one wrong turn can ruin a ride…

Another 25 miles later and I was totally lost.  Turns out I had looped back and was almost back (unknowingly) to the place where I had turned around.  Since no one wanted to stop and help me on the road, I wound up at a gun range with a bunch of “country folk”… after some bargaining and figuring out where the F my car was (about 18 miles in the other direction) I finally convinced a “feller” there to drive me back for $15.

When I got back to the car I found Jess and Felipe waiting, very worried, and also learned that the police helicopter that had been circling the park was actually looking for me…  Ha, we then called the sheriff and let him know to call off the search and then he came and made sure I was in fact alright.  Well, my adventure wasn’t yet over as I had to go back to the gun range and get my bike. Then just head south and drive straight back to Tampa right? Wrong- try being on the long split of the highway and heading halfway to Orlando... LONGEST DAY EVER!

When I wasn’t being lost the ride felt great—I felt strong and fast and even though I haven’t been riding a ton, this was really promising!  My speed was good and my heart rate seemed like it was a solid spot. Just got to up the mileage a little bit now.

So take those lessons this week—it’s better to do the right thing wrong, than to do the wrong thing wrong. And then, what Felipe thought may possibly be my last words to him—“real men eat the banana peel.”

So do flipturns and eat the peel.  Words to live by.

  1. How was your weekend?
  2. Send any sports/training/nutrition questions you have--we are recording the next podcast this weekend with hopefully a pro triathlete!
  3. Anything fun going on this week?

Rants and Raves

I know I haven’t done a written post in a while, but that’s because I’ve been putting together some podcasts that I hope you all can listen to! First I want to talk about a few things that have been awesome lately... and then a couple rants I have- one being really important.

So- things I’m loving:

  • As I’ve said before, that my computer can read articles to me--but this time, the WAY it reads some words. My favorite is “Paleo”, which it reads “Pahh-lee-oh”.  Also, if anyones types “xoxo” it reads it as “Sockza”  Haha, explain that to me.  And just to let you know, I imagine you all in real life sounding like a computer robot since I have the computer speak your blog posts lol.
  • Brussell Sprouts.  Really! I love vegetables and they are a new way to incorporate more variety.
  • Full fat coconut milk: Check it out- here I mixed it with spaghetti squash and cinnamon... so bomb:

  • The fact that I still got some high-intensity workouts while I was traveling to Nashville last week. Also met up with my man JC there, who owns www.JCDfitness.com.

  • My swims the week before last--I swam over 15,000yds! Hoping to repeat that this week
  • I signed up for 2 races next month- The Gasparilla half marathon on March 4th and the Ocala HITS Half Ironman triathlon on March 25th!  I really need these to test my readiness for Boston so I’m really looking forward to it!  Not thrilled that I have to race against my coach though... but at least he’s not in my age group!
  • FEARLESS NUTRITION RADIO! The podcast I have started with a friend of mine.  We did our bios in the first episode and had an interview with expert Sean Croxton last week.  Pretty cool that we’ve been able to line up some VERY acclaimed and esteemed guests to interview!
  • I ate bacon.. no really!  For the first in my life and all on my own!  Here I made bacon wrapped chicken:

  • I went to Disney last weekend and rode the Rock n’ Roll coaster for the first time... fun picture:

  • New threads: Fly?
  • I downloaded Instagram

  • Joined Pintrest.. not a bad way to collect recipes and workouts I want to try

Now a couple rants!

  • First, I don’t know if any of you have listened to the podcasts!  We haven’t had many questions come on or any comments.  These take a lot to work and I really want to bring you guys a lot of benefit!  Please let me know if you have any questions that we can answer and guests you’d like to see.  I’ve got nutritionists, pro athletes, and health gurus lined up and I really want to keep this up!
  • Next- I was watching the show “Fat Chef” on Food Network.  I love Food Network and I appreciate what they are doing but it just highlights again to me how many (I didn’t say all!) “Registered Dietitians” really have no idea what they are doing.  The nutritionist wanted to put a 340 pound woman on an 1,800 calorie diet. Clearly she had no idea about the actual laws of thermogenisis where that woman’s metabolism is actually going to be HIGHER than an average-weight person. Not to mention she’s probably burns twice as many calories as the average person as rest due to the fact of supporting and moving all that weight around and the calories needed to maintain it. The right way to do this is to lower calories below maintenance, but this is still going to be a significant amount of calories which will slowly be tapered down as the woman’s weight decreases proportionately.  Sorry, but that just drives me crazy, same with the Biggest Loser, that these “Celebrity dietitians” don’t know things such as this.  Sorry.

Ok, if you read one, read this one.  My dad sent me an email last week asking if the changes I had made in my life lately were truly benefitting me.  And he was asking completely earnestly.  I took this back to my nutritionist as she has been helping me with a lot of things- prioritizing nutrition, sleep, and all that etc. Basically, she called me out real hard.  I had to be honest with myself and my dad and to her!  Have I done any of the plan that I’ve time, money, and focus on doing?  NO!  Not really.  Yeah, I’ve changed my diet for the better, but what good is that if I am not sleeping enough and not making the lifestyle changes that will allow this better, healthier paleo diet to actually work!

How can I expect to increase my testosterone, beat the iron deficiency that has caused me to become anemic, and to release my fears and comforts with foods if I don’t take the first steps to get me there? So basically, I need to harden the fuck up and step it up.  If I can focus so hard on the other things in my life like working out and eating, why can’t I put the remaining piece of the puzzle into place? I am committing to do (I’m sure you’re laughing and saying “gee Chuck, you’ve only said that a MILLION times!”) but now, the harsh reality that my nutritionist has brought to light has got me focused.

Thank you all for reading.  Now go listen to my podcast!

Questions:

  1. What questions do you have for the podcast?  What guests would you like Max and I to have on the show?  We really can get some “famous” people on there!
  2. Do you have any tasty recipes or ideas using coconut milk?
  3. What are you ranting and raving about this week