Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I love winning. Everybody does. But you can't always be the winner. Still, you can often learn from the experience.

Back when I was younger, I traveled quite a bit to sparring competitions. While I had my share of first place victories, more often than not, I took second.

Some of those losses were due to mistakes, and even chance. But sometimes, they just had my number. I have to say, even I was impressed with some of the ways they beat me.

One year, I made it to the finals at Disney World in Orlando, FL. It was only the second time in 15 years that I ever made it to the finals at a national event.

This time, we were about even when WHAM, out of nowhere a spinning heel kick blasted through my guard. It knocked my right hand down, broke my nose, and cracked my cheekbone in two places. Now that was a nice kick!

At that point I couldn't really stand up, so I just sat down right there in the ring. Obviously, I couldn't continue, but I didn't want to say I quit. So when the referee asked me, I simply said, "I resign." Smooth answer.

A few years later, after I'd taken some first responder training, I realized I'd probably experienced my body going into shock. Significant injuries can do that sometimes.

A good friend drove our rental car to the hospital where they said "Yep, it's broken!" They gave me antibiotics for the ensuing infection, from a plane ride home with an open sinus cavity. They also referred me to a specialist to see if surgery would be required. Yikes.

Fortunately, my nose wasn't bent quite enough to require re-breaking. And the specialist said the two cracks in my cheekbone would heal on their own. While one side of my face was pretty numb for a couple of years, it really could have been worse.

For years, friends would kid me about getting a "Reuben sandwich." That was the guy's name, and we even became friends later, although we never competed together again.

The next year, they made face protection mandatory at all national events. Later, they extended it to regional tournaments, and finally to all sparring at the local levels too.

I was told my face actually "helped launch a thousand face shields." All these years later, it's probably tens of thousands of kids' parents who don't have dental surgery to worry about. Now that's a win for everyone!

This week's Biggest Losers were Christy Henry, who lost another 6.8 lbs and 3.1% of her body weight. Brian Bradley placed second, losing 6.2 lbs and 2.4%. Matt Murphy was third, losing 5.0 lbs and 1.5%, and Pam Kelly finished fourth, losing 3.4 lbs and 1.4%. Of course, I think they all were winners!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I had a neat conversation with someone the other day. It was their first day back in the gym after spending the winter in Florida.

First of all, how cool is that? Not just Florida, but Florida during the blizzards! He said they were just lucky. I think he makes his own luck.

We were talking about older people and how to get them into the gym. He said he was working out because he doesn't want to be back in a wheelchair.

Twelve years ago, a serious medical issue knocked him down, but apparently not out. It was tough going for awhile, though, and he said he can still feel it a bit on the one side of his body.

During his rehab, he stayed focused on a particular goal. He wanted to walk over a large skyway bridge down there, that was big enough for ships to pass under. It took lots of work, but he finally made it, both there and back!

He went on to tell me he's pretty sure he'd be back in a wheelchair if he didn't work out. So he and his wife come in regularly when they're home in Paris. When they're down South, they frequent a gym there.

It seems to be working. He's a great example for people of all ages. Twelve years ago, he was determined to make it back. Now 80 years young, he's still back!

Our Week One Biggest Loser was Terra Ogle, who lost an amazing 14.0 lbs and 7.0% of her body weight. Christy Henry placed second, losing 10.2 lbs and 4.4%. Bailey Bradley was third, losing 4.0 lbs and 2.8%, and her dad, Brian finished fourth, losing 6.0 lbs and 2.3%.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Getting it Done:

Biggest Loser "19" finished last week with some nice results. Several lost over 25 lbs and two lost more than 30 lbs during the twelve weeks. But the completion rate has always been 50% at best. Sometimes it's as low as a third of the group.

This has held true for 10 years, regardless of the season, the day we've done it (Mon, Fri, Sat), or even the time of day. It's held true with winners ranging from 25 to 60 years of age. It's even held true whether we eased into things, or hit the ground running.

For whatever reason, about half the group never finishes. As you might imagine, this bugs me. I've even thought it could be me, but enough people have loved the program, that I figure I'm not the reason either. So I decided to ask what kept them going, even when they got busy, injured, discouraged or just plain didn't feel like it. Here's what the top ten had to say (in no particular order):

1. "I wasn't about to start something I couldn't finish."
2. "Something about having to check in each week just made us accountable."
3. "Having someone tell me what to do helped a lot."
4. "Once I started seeing results, I got excited."
5. "I saw other results besides just the numbers on the scale: my clothing changed and I could do a lot more."
6. "I got with workout partners, took some nutritional supplements, and used a fitness app on my phone."
7. "I just watched what I ate and worked out."
8. "Family support kept me in."
9. "We all celebrated victory together in the group."
10. "I was just determined not to quit."

On Monday night, I told the new group in Biggest Loser "20" that for whatever reason, only half usually finishes. Then I asked them, "Which half are you going to be in?" Almost everyone said they're going to finish. Guess we'll see in 12 weeks.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


After eleven weeks, we finally had both warm weather and enough daylight showing, so we took the workout outside. As always, the Park-to-Park workout was pretty challenging, especially for those new to running.

It started with a run from the gym to the park on Wood St. where they did 15-25 reps each of push-ups, body squats, and sit-ups. Then they ran North on High St. over to Sunrise Park.

This time they did the push-ups, body squats, and sit-ups, but also added 15-25 reps of pull-ups on the jungle gym. Then for extra fun, they climbed across the jungle gym too, just like the kids do!

Then they ran over to the football field where they hit it all again with a few special twists. First, they did a set of push-ups, and then they did walking lunges all the way across the field. That got their attention, and their legs burning too. Once there, they did some more push-ups, a sprint back across the field, and another set of sit-ups.

Finally, they got to run up across the overhead bridge across the railroad tracks, and then back to the gym. But that wasn't the end. First they had to do a final set of push-ups, body squats, pull-ups, and sit-ups.

For those who had only run inside on treadmills, it was kind of eye-opening. It's a little harder running outside in the wind, and also with hills. It's also more fun, especially when you throw some other stuff in there.

This workout was sort of an introduction to outdoor events like Warrior Dash (5K) and the longer Tough Mudder (10-12 mi). With spring arriving, we're going to do much more work outside in the next Biggest Loser!

This week's winner was Brooke Bishop, who lost 3.0 lbs and 1.4% of her body weight. Sarah Mitchell was second, losing 1.8 lbs and 1.3%, and Rhonda Arthur placed third, losing 2.0 lbs and 1.1%.

Biggest Loser "20" starts on Monday, April 14th. Sign up now!