Dec 31, 2009

Leaving Ohio

It hasn’t been that long since I’ve traveled beyond the Ohio border, but it has been a long time since I left for an extended period of time. When I was 19 years old, I left for a little over 8 weeks. I was playing drums for this punk band, and it was our first US tour. Before that tour, I had barely been outside of the state. In those 8 weeks, we hit 50 major cities across the country. It was a serious adventure for a handful of teenagers. By the time we made it back to Cleveland, I had never been so happy to be home. I was a little homesick, but that was expected. We were young and 8 weeks was a long time to spend on the road. Life away from home has always appealed to me. But, I can’t live without knowing where home is.

This time I’ll be away for at least 6 months. Everything about leaving my hometown feels surreal. The thought of actually moving away didn’t strike me until we crossed the river into Kentucky, and I am certainly going to miss certain people that I left behind. We have had a lot of good times since the end of summer, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. But now I get to go live the life I have been fantasizing about for years... the life of an athlete.

We spent the night in Memphis yesterday. This city is seriously a place a could see myself living someday. There is something about the culture down south. We spent the night watching blues bands, eating BBQ, and drinking a few beers.  Today, we’ll drive into Dallas and celebrate New Years. It’ll be nice to catch up with some old Texas friends. I haven't had much time to train on this trip yet but there will be plenty of time for that in AZ.

Hope everyone enjoys some road trip pictures. If I figure out how to put videos on here, those will be to follow.




Dec 27, 2009

Saying Goodbye

The holidays are finally over and it's just about time to hit the road. The fall and early winter have been absolutely great. I have spent a ton of time with family and friends. I've been to plenty of parties, and have slacked off as much as possible with my training. I know my training for the next 10 months will be demanding, so I am happy that I have been able to take some time to recharge the batteries. I will always think fondly of the people I have grow to love in Cleveland. This place will always be my home and I will always be back. I have realized how lucky I have been to have some many good friends here. Their support is wonderful. I'm especially thankful for the ones who pick me up when I'm down, literally or figuratively. However, the next phase of my life will depend on how well I can pick myself up.

I hope that all of my friends in Cleveland will stay in touch. I'll be back someday. I may just be visiting, but we'll have plenty of time to throw back a few beers.

I love everyone very much and can't wait to show everyone what I can do.

Dec 10, 2009

Workout #1 - Learning to Ride like Aussie

Over the course of the next several months, I plan to post some cool workouts I do or other people do. I’d like to post a new workout every week or two, but don’t hold me to that.

This week’s workout is straight from our favorite Aussie, Rob Thompson.

Building Strength on the Bike
For the unfortunate Clevelanders snowed in, this strength building workout is perfect for the trainer.

• Warm up with some easy spinning and some one leg drills (15-30 minutes)

• Main Set
o To start, put yourself in your 5th hardest gear.
o Down one gear for 4 minutes (4th hardest gear), up one gear for 1 minute.
o Down two gears for 3 minutes (3rd hardest gear), up one gear for 1 minute, up one more gear for 1 minute.
o Down three gears for 2 minutes (2nd hardest gear), up one gear for 1 minute, up one gear for 1 minute, up one gear for 1 minute.
o Down four gears for 1 minute (hardest gear), up one for 1 minute, up one gear for 1 minute, up one gear for 1 minute, up one gear for 1 minute.
o Put yourself in hardest gear and stand for 5 minutes.
o Lastly, put yourself in an easier gear in the big ring and ride tempo for 5 minutes. Imagine you just started riding downhill. This will teach you to use the back sides of hills to your advantage. The best riders attack when others are hurting!

• Cool down with easy spinning and more one leg drills. Make sure you cool down as at least 15 minutes. You’ll need to get the lactic acid out of those legs after a 25 minute climb.

This workout is designed to be 60-75 minutes and all of the climbing should be high aerobic. I used the last minute of each interval as a little bit of recovery; however, you should still be working hard the entire time. This workout is designed to simulate a long climb, so it should feel that way. Make sure to stay seated and relaxed while in the hardest gears. Sit back in your saddle to generate more power.

I encourage everyone to try this workout and let me know if you liked it. Aussie told me that he used to do workouts like this every week last winter, and we all saw how incredibly strong he got last season.


Dec 7, 2009

Looking for Motivation?

Tonight, I stumbled upon a pretty special documentary. It seems like you always find something interesting when you aren’t looking for it. This evening, I had the privilege of being inspired.

Watch it at 

The documentary, “Kicking It,” is based on the Homeless World Cup in South Africa. Several years ago, a few men organized a soccer tournament that would be open to teams of homeless competitors from all across the world. More than 500 men from 48 countries competed in this tournament. Not one of these competitors was privileged in any way. These men were from the worst of slums. Even though they all lived in poverty, they all fought incredible obstacles to represent their country in sport. Some men had lost everything due to drugs and alcohol and some were never even given a chance. Some men came from countries where playing soccer was an offense punishable by death. Regardless, their hope was simply a sport. It gave their life purpose… Maybe the only thing they had to fight for.

The power of sport is very interesting. It is so simple, yet it has the ability to save lives. For people that had nothing, it gave them hope. Who would have thought something as simple as a tournament could change so many people’s lives. For every athlete out there, we all have our motivations. But next time you aren’t sure if you can achieve your goals or dreams, think about these men who did.

If you have 90 minutes… open yourself up and watch this video, especially if you are having some trouble with winter motivation.