Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Boys and girls of Beach Body land,
Anne and I went to high school together way back in the 70's. We got together to ski at Crested Butte this past season and got talking about health, fitness, weight loss, etc. What a shock, right?? After our conversation, her and her fiance, Bob decided to head back home and join the team. Her day 60 has come and gone and her day 90 is fast approaching. I wanted to share an email she sent me with a photo of her progress calendar. This girl and her man, Bob are on fire! I am so proud of them!!!

Hi Team,
For those who started on April 1...HAPPY 60TH!!!! I have 2 reasons to celebrate...my 60th day of being committed to P90 and my 50th year on this earth!!! Thanks to P90, Tony and all you guys I am on my way to healthier,more fit fifty years (God Willing!). 2 months ago, in front of my 10 year old niece, I attempted a cartwheel (easy for most and used to be for me), but my wrists were too weak and couldn't support my weight so I flopped to the ground. Last week I made another attempt and to the delight of both my niece and I, I landed a perfect cartwheel! WHOO HOO! Back flips here I come! Hope you are all seeing some kind of results. For those first starting out...there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just take it one day at a time!!
Peace and P90!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lowering Your Carbon Footprint

Green this, green that, hybrid cars, green living, green house gases, what does it all mean? There’s a lot of talk lately of the environment and what we can do to help make this world a cleaner, better place to live. Now how does that impact my little world? And why am I writing about it? Because it impacts my little world, Your little world and our big world.

What exactly is a carbon footprint? It is measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide. This impact must be considered in cumulative terms. Think of the ripple effect of a rock thrown into a pond. Everything we do contributes to our individual carbon footprint and continues having the effect even after we are done with the activity and in most cases, before and then after we use different products. Driving our car is the most obvious offender, but even turning on a light bulb increases our footprint. The electricity used to power even something as basic as a light bulb has to be produced, and doing so increases pollution.  We have to stop and consider the consequences of the production of most of the everyday things we use and then reset our minds to grasp the concept of how our behavior or what we buy impacts the earth.

Most of us feel that there is nothing we can do, “I’m only one person what difference can I make?” A huge one, and here’s some proof. If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars. One CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) can reduce 2000 times it weight in greenhouse gas over the life of the bulb. (I know there’s mercury in the bulb and you can’t just toss it in the trash, recycle it!) There are many, many more ways to reduce your CO2 output, and I encourage you to read up and discover for yourself the different ways you can help our earth heal, it’s really pretty fascinating.

So, why do I bring this up? Pretty simple actually but sometimes we forget the basics. We all breath, especially when we work out, so the cleaner our air is, the cleaner our lungs, the cleaner our bodies, etc., etc. We all need to take the necessary steps to clean up our earth, it’s the only one we’ve got, and it’s loosing the battle. If we loose, we loose everything and not just for us, but for everyone who comes after us. So start looking at the microcosm of everyday behavior and find simple ways where you can make a difference. If each and every one of us does, we’ll all be “bringing it” for centuries to come.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Johnny Strikes Again!

My ski buddy John is such an awesome story teller that I had to post his latest tale of adventure. Whenever you give yourself the gift of fitness the world becomes a giant toy chest of fun. Here's John's last day in the snow. Enjoy!

T. Horton 

Spring has finally sprung.  The leaves on the trees get fuller everyday, the flowers bloom in vibrant vivid colors, the birds sing in a dizzying cacophony signaling the progression of life and a new generation. Lovely. 
With all this drama and vitality, why am I so down.  The list is surprisingly long.  I hate the growing lawn that needs to be mowed.  I hate the early sun rise that breaks my slumber before its done.  I deplore the warm weather baking my brains and driving me to an uncomfortable sweat with any sustained effort.  And those rat bastard birds are making way too much noise!
I miss my love. And because of the bounty of the past solstice, there have been opportunities.  I squandered many of these opportunities early in spring.  After Black Sunday, when Schweitzer closed for the season (April 6), another local hill - Silver Mountain, remained opened on Saturdays for as many weeks as the conditions held; provided they had at least 1,000 skiers.  A reasonable and gratifying policy.  Unfortunately, all my capital (moral, monetary and otherwise) had long been spent on the addiction, and it was time to face the long list of responsibilities that life requires of me. 
My boss - always relieved when ski season ends - loaded me up with work.  My son plays lacrosse which requires traveling across the northwest on Saturdays and Sundays.  My wife blessfully waited for her required medical attention (nothing serious) until after ski season.  So in April I was Mr. Mom, Mr. Dad, Mr. Nurse, and Mr. Chauffeur.  Meanwhile, it was snowing throughout the month.  Many mornings I would wake to accumulations of several inches, feel the twinge in my heart and realize it was over.  This bounty would go unclaimed by me.
After a few weeks in May, my grieving abated and I rationalized enough to alter my reality.  After all it had been a great season and I had many days  of glory and joy (61 for you counters).  Besides, the skiing probably wasn't that great.  By mid May I had emotionally moved on by focusing on other things - an essential survival mechanism for any junkie.  Then one day last week in casual conversation, my wife mentioned to someone she was speaking with that Silver Mt was still opened.  My jaw dropped open. "Still?"  I interjected, stunned by the news.  "You mean they are still open...."
In the next few days I tracked the weather every few hours - would Saturday be too hot or too wet.  My mood swung wildly from excited to tentative.  Surprisingly, I found a thousand reasons not to go.  Poor conditions, waste of money, my stuff is put away - on and on.  Finally, Friday night I was committed - I was going skiing!!
I woke at the crack of dawn to a light rain and thought it might be snow on the mountain.  Already, my mood turned optimistic from a day earlier.  Two hours later I was on the Gondola still worried about the day. The weather was overcast - not too much radiation from the Evil Yellow Disk in the Sky. The snow was mushy, heavy mashed potatoes.  The rills on the snow showed stark evidence of the recent rain.  The surface was dark and dirty, covered with the debris (twigs, cones, bark) from a long hard winter.  This detritus was the accumulated remains of a seasons worth of storms revealed for the first time in months by the retreating snow pack, as the pages in the seasons history continue to turn, nearing its epic conclusion.  
My first few runs were slow and tentative, the mushy surface and poor tuning of my skis played havoc with my technique.  The day progressed run after run through the mush without much passion.  Then something funny happened.  It started to rain, just lightly at first, then getting a little harder.  I thought "Well, that's it.  Fun while it lasted."   But instead it triggered something inside me, like a bright light suddenly illuminating a deep, dark space. 
I unloaded the chair, cranked the tunes, and put my skis on edge.  Suddenly, I was flying, carving through the dirty mush like it was virgin POW.  With my new found speed and technique, I was able to gain air off bumps just like Stan.  I was moving into full aggro mode now.  I started to look for the goods like a hungry predator, and found some ancient cornices to get my blood going.  Through the rain I heard something strange but oddly familiar.  It was a guttural laugh and it came from deep inside me.  I hadn't heard that sound or felt that feeling in a long time.  I was now back where I belong, moving seamlessly from edge to edge, flowing easily over the terrain.  I was skiing.
I wanted more of a challenge and started to explore the deeper woods.  It was a little tricky because the surface was riddled with debris and the tree wells were opening into huge cavities with only narrow precipitous passages in between.  I flew at reckless speed into a tight treed area and found spaces large enough for only one ski.  With no time to stop, I improvised, loaded one ski, picked up the other and shot the gap.  Soon I was doing it everywhere, flirting with the abyss on both sides and dodging obstacles left and right. 
At the bottom, all I could do was laugh.  This was true adventure skiing, using creativity and reaction to move without hesitation through sketchy and treacherous conditions.  In my exploring, I launched off a blind cat track and at lift off, realized I would land in exposed dirt and rock.  I quickly lowered the landing gear, got the last scrap of snow and lifted again slightly, just clearing the rocks underneath me with a barely audible scrape, but no loss in speed.  I never even slowed down to gather my senses.  I just laughed.  Deeply. 
Suddenly, I realized that this is not normal.  This is maniacal.  This is sickness.  This is f**king fun!!  I kept going till they roped off all my routes and closed the lifts.  Once again, I was the last one skiing, and the lifties cheered me on, laughing at the lunatic.   On my way to the car, the rain lifted, the sun peered out and brightened the sky. 
Starving by now, I changed into shorts and went in for some food.  The village was full of people milling about and buzzing with activity.  There had been a bike rally in the valley and the resort had just opened up a new water park.  As I ordered lunch, the woman asked me about my day - did I like the bike ride?, how was the water park?...I just smiled and said  "Ma'am, I was skiing."