Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Part I: Make it less complicated

When did eating become so complicated?
I  have a few childhood memories, mostly good, of food. 
I was never forced to sit at the table an eat my vegetables or clean my plate.  The only rule I remember from my mom was to you don't like something if you had never tried it before.  Much to my mother's surprise, both my brother and I wound up liking foods she never really expected (or wanted)  us to like, steamers & mussels come to mind. Although I had a very predictive response to brussel sprouts. I gagged the first time I ever put one in my mouth. A totally different story now.

I know this is not the case for every family.  I have heard horror stories about children being forced to sit at the table until they ate all their vegetables or cleaned their plates. I have even heard about children being served their dinner for breakfast because it was not eaten the night before. I understand we want our children to eat properly but we do not want to create disordered eating or create other food issues in the process.
Home is not the only place were we learn to have an unhealthy relationship with food:  teasing in the lunch room over what we brought to eat or didn't bring, magazines of the 80's & 90"s with their heroine chic models, weight watchers with their horrible slogan "nothing taste better than thin feels' or even my own my mother's " you have to be a little hungry to be a little thin"  I say BULL. Who said we had to be thin to feel good.
Food is fuel.  Food is life. without food we die and with food ...
Somewhere along the way, food became the enemy and a very complicated issue for a lot of people. We label food "good" and " bad" and punish ourselves for indulging. We need to stop giving ourselves such a hard time. Just like you don't want to be labeled as a person neither does your food want to be labeled. There is no such thing as good food or bad food. There is just food we eat more or less of.
As a fitness professional & health coach, clients come to me wanting to lose weight and with a little discovery, I find most of them do not eat enough overall food.  The second scenario there is they eat fabulous Monday through Friday lunch and then over-indulge through Sunday night.
Let's not even get into the crazy diets and the diet myths, people come to me with.   People, for the most part, think they are doing the right thing by restricting calories and working out. Ideally, our goal is never to gain in the first place. That not being realistic. Taking in the proper amount of nutritionally dense food should be the goal.  But how much food is that?
Let's start with basal metabolic rate ( BMR). Your BMR is an estimate of the number of calories you need to keep your body functioning normally.   If you were to do nothing but lay in bed all day.
For example, my BMR is 1223. Which means if I did absolutely nothing all day and ate 1223 calories, I would neither lose or gain weight and my body would function normally, meaning my heart would beat, my lungs would breathe and my body would not look for another source of energy.   Now you need to add an activity factor and decide if you are maintaining or losing weight. again me as an example working out 6-7 days/ week I could consume 2100 calories to maintain my weight.  click here to calculate your own

A healthy diet incorporates all food groups: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. each macronutrient has a specific function in the body and any diet that restricts any one of them may need a second look. 
Your body needs carbohydrates, they are the primary fuel source, proteins build lean muscles and fat helps absorb vitamins into your system.

 Part II coming soon... How Hard do I need to work?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

You May Be a Secret Couch Potato

You have finally done it!
After months and years of trying, you have a workout routine that works for you. After trying this class and that workout routine, the downloaded workouts from YouTube, or the copied workouts from your Shape magazine (“Women's Health”, “Men's Health”, “Fitness”, etc.), once-and-for-all you have the workouts that fits you.

You are now getting up early, you are skipping the occasional happy hour, or skipping dinners with friends. You signed up for a road race.  You seem to be doing everything right. You have it all figured out.

I have some bad news for you.  It’s probably not enough.

What?! WAIT!  not enough??

No, probably not. Being a human being is tough. That body you are living in requires a lot of maintenance. As amazing a machine as your body is, and all the adaptations it can make, it’s still needs more than 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Have heard that sitting is the new smoking? Probably. Doesn't make much sense, does it?  How can you be doing almost everything right and still have it wrong? 

Even if you are meeting the exercise requirements, if you sit at a desk all day, you are still considered sedentary.   Another term for it: active couch potato.

High amounts of sitting during the day is associated with a higher waist circumference, and elevated blood pressure.  Sitting also affects your cholesterol, can cause muscular skeletal problems and lead to premature death. (worst case scenario is always death.) 

Five hour plus of sitting time also slows your metabolism, affects bone mineral content and vascular health. There are a few other more clinical terms I could insert here but I think you have the idea.

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this and no special equipment is required.  Add activity to break up your sitting time:

  • Drink water
    • You hate to drink water because it makes you need to use the restroom. That is my point.  Get up & go.  Find the furthest bathroom from your desk and drink often.
  • Stand up
    • I know you talk on the phone during the day or sit in on conference calls. During the call stay on your feet.  You don't have to stay up for the duration of the call, just some of it. Another good one is to stand for all calls. When the phone rings, personal or otherwise, stand up to answer. If it’s a short call stay up through its entirety.
  • Set a timer
    • If you have a Fitbit or an Apple Watch or something of the like, they have built in reminders to get you up throughout the course of the day. When it reminds you to stand, stand and move a little bit. If you don't have a wearable device, set a timer on your phone to move every hour you sit at your desk.
  • Walk
    • Park your car at the back of the parking lot if you drive to work. Take the stairs (be reasonable, you don't have to walk to the 22nd floor) maybe just two flights then jump on the elevator.
    • Take public transportation. Studies have found if you do, you tend to sit less. plus, you must walk to the bus/train station. 

Off work time counts too.  Your most sedentary time maybe in the evening or the weekend. If you find yourself in front of the television over the weekend or in the evening binge watching Netflix. Take the 20 seconds needed rollover into the next episode to stand.  If you are DVR-ing, stand up to fast forward or (god forbid) you let the commercial run and stand through them. Hell, you could even move around a bit. 

And always before you sit, sit twice. Before the end of the day you may have just added 3 set of 10 squats to your daily routine.  A hint here, don't flop onto the chair or the sofa. Use some muscle to get there. 

These small activities during the day add up and improve cognitive function.  If you are not quite getting all your steps in during the day, you may see a marked improvement.

Congratulations on coming up with the exercise routine. You put a lot of work into finding exactly what is right for you so you can be consistent.  Don't let a little thing like television or work get in the way of overall great health. Just take that one more step.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why the Abs?

If you didn't know already, I am a personal trainer.  I am also a group fitness instructor, running coach as well as a black belt in mixed martial arts.  

Every time I take on a new client, I do an assessment of their physical fitness. I ask them thing like; “how much time do you have to commit to daily exercise?”, “Are there exercises you absolutely hate to do?”, “What does your current routine look like?”, and of course, “What are your goals?”I also ask my group fitness class every month if there is something would like to focus on over the next few weeks.

Inevitably, the answer is: “core”. “We want core work.” “I want better abs.” “I want a flat stomach.”

In my head, the response is always; “You know you have other body parts, right?” And usually during the assessment for an individual, I discover areas other than core that are needed to improve ADLs (activities of daily living). 

Most younger people don't think bout ADL's because they function just fine (note: the activities of daily living are considered: eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring [walking] and continence.) Even if they have some weakness, their youth and strength is enough to muscle through or compensate in some way. No one should use the compensation approach but they do.

Unless you had a sudden debilitating health incident, it is hard to understand the importance of having a full functioning body.  I broke my wrist many years ago and relatively recently had an ACL/meniscus surgery. I understand being disabled. Walking is kind of important. Try brushing your teeth with your other hand!

So why to you all want the Abs?!  Most of you are not going to walk around with exposed bellies even if they were rock hard.  I get it. Most of us are vain to a degree, but we’re not likely going to wear a bikini to the pool or beach. I know I personally would be judging your fashion choices more than admiring your oiled midriffs. 

Nobody wants to walk around with a big stomach regardless if it is due to a medical condition or lifestyle choices. Focusing on core alone won’t produce 6-pack abs and it won’t improve your overall quality of life.

Yes, you need a strong core to support your spine. But you also need a strong back and shoulders too.  To really achieve less back pain, you need those things in addition to a daily dose of cardio to burn calories preferably HIIT (High intensity interval training).  HIIT taps the easy stored abdominal energy to fuel the workout and afterward keeps your metabolism elevated through EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption).  

A combination of steady state cardio, HIIT and strength should give you a rocking core (I am not promising a 6-pack). To get the abs of your dreams, it is a full-time commitment to diet and exercise. Your dinner could be steamed broccoli with skinless chicken with dessert of a Listerine strip. Yum!

Flat abs start in the kitchen.  I am not a dietician and cannot recommend your daily diet but you know darn well why your belly bulges out from under your clothes.  Exercise is needed, genetics play a big part but diet is what will make the most difference.

The big concern regarding the abs is the fat that is hanging around your middle. It is killing you. This visceral fat increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Keep an eye on your abs for the right reasons, your health. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

The F.I.T.T. Principle

I was watching a man in the gym for several months (not in a stalking kind of way).  I nicknamed him, quietly in my head, Mr. Magoo. He looks a lot like the cartoon character but is not nearly as endearing. He bit my head off one morning for some infraction I now cannot remember. I may have taken up too much space on the stretching mat. 

This not-so-adorable gentleman appears at the gym every morning. I found the cartoon Magoo irksome. This doppelganger is no different. in the beginning, I tried to be friendly. I smiled and said hello but he just pushed past me and went about his daily routine (and routine it is).

This brings me to the subject at hand.

Some routines are great! Some routines are bad.  The routine that gets you up and gets you to the gym every day is good. The routine that has you doing the exact same thing every time you go to the gym is bad.

Mr. Magoo shows up every day at 8:00 AM and does the exact same thing every single day.  The same exercise, the same weights, and the same cardio.  Not only is this BORING, he is making no progress, and doing little to maintain his current fitness level.

I admire the fact the he shows up every day. It also drives me crazy that he does the same thing and does it wrong.

To help overcome the grind of doing the same thing repeatedly, you can apply the F.I.T.T. principle.

F- Frequency.
ACSM guidelines for cardio respiratory exercise is 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days per week or 20- 60 minutes of vigorous exercise 3 days per week.

Strength training should be done 2-3 days per week with 48 hours rest in between strength sessions. Two to four sets of each exercise, 8-12 repetitions to improve strength and 15- 20 repetitions to increase endurance.

Flexibility should be done 3-4 days per week. Each stretch should be held 10-60 seconds.
muscles are best stretch when they are warm. NEVER stretch a cold muscle.

You cannot go hard every day.  Some days need to be easy, and some days need to be intense with high intensity intervals.  Use your RPE (rate of perceived exertion). Some days you will be at a 4 or 5. On higher intensity days, you will be at 9 or 10. Schedule the different intensity days into your regular routine.

Unless you are training for a marathon or other road race, running everyday can get monotonous. Try adding cycling or swimming to break up your routine.  Add a group fitness class a great trainer (hint).

Can you run every day for an hour? Of course you can. I don’t know why you would want to but you could.  Vary your time. Shorter and more intense, longer and easier.

Here is some tips to maximize your workout time. Vary the amount workout times to alter your routine even more. Set aside time on the weekend for a long ride with friends. Have NO time in the morning before work for an hour workout? Then add a 30-min high intensity interval training session to get your metabolism jump started.

Use the fit FITT principle to keep your workouts interesting  & fun. Most of all to make sure you are doing something every day. Keep moving your results the direction want to see.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hot Weather Running Tips

Hot Weather Running Tips

The Road Runners Club of America wants to remind the running community about the importance of following our hot weather running tips. Running in the heat of summer can be dangerous if proper precautions and preparations are not followed.
  • Avoid dehydration! You can lose between 6 and 12 oz. of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. Therefore it is important to pre-hydrate (10–15 oz. of fluid 10 to 15 minutes prior to running) and drink fluids every 20–30 minutes along your running route. To determine if you are hydrating properly, weigh yourself before and after running. You should have drunk one pint of fluid for every pound you’re missing. Indications that you are running while dehydrated are a persistent elevated pulse after finishing your run and dark yellow urine. Keep in mind that thirst is not an adequate indicator of dehydration.
  • Visit Gatorade Endurance’s site. You will find great tools for developing a hydration strategy.
  • Avoid running outside if the heat is above 98.6 degrees and the humidity is above 70-80%. While running, the body temperature is regulated by the process of sweat evaporating off of the skin. If the humidity in the air is so high that it prevents the process of evaporation of sweat from the skin, you can quickly overheat and literally cook your insides from an elevated body temperature. Check your local weather and humidity level.
  • When running, if you become dizzy, nauseated, have the chills, or cease to sweat…. STOP RUNNING, find shade, and drink water or a fluid replacement drink such as Gatorade Endurance. If you do not feel better, get help. Heatstroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature, and the body temperature continues to rise. Symptoms of heatstroke include mental changes (such as confusion, delirium, or unconsciousness) and skin that is red, hot, and dry, even under the armpits. Heatstroke is a life-threatening medical emergency, requiring emergency medical treatment.
  • Run in the shade whenever possible and avoid direct sunlight and blacktop. When you are going to be exposed to the intense summer rays of the sun, apply at least 15 spf sunscreen and wear protective eyewear that filters out UVA and UVB rays. Consider wearing a visor that will shade your eyes and skin but will allow heat to transfer off the top of your head.
  • If you have heart or respiratory problems or you are on any medications, consult your doctor about running in the heat. In some cases it may be in your best interests to run indoors. If you have a history of heatstroke/illness, run with extreme caution.
  • Children should run in the morning or late afternoon hours, but should avoid the peak heat of the day to prevent heat related illnesses. It is especially important to keep children hydrated while running and playing outdoors in the heat.
  • Do wear light colored breathable clothing. Do not wear long sleeves or long pants or sweat suits. Purposefully running in sweat suits hot days to lose water weight is dangerous!
  • Plan your route so you can refill water bottles or find drinking fountains. City parks, local merchants, and restaurants are all good points to incorporate on your route during hot weather running. Be sure to tell someone where you are running how long you think you will gone, and carry identification.
Stay hydrated, cool, and safe this summer!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

An Ounce of Prevention

NOTE:  I am inspired to republish this entry after seeing Bob Harper, Biggest Loser trainer, on the Today show on Tuesday.  In February, Bob had a nearly fatal heart attack. According to his interview, he ignored some early warning signs of dizziness. Even if you are considered the epitome of health, like Bob, you can't know what you look like inside on your own. 


The Husband and I enjoyed a great week of vacation on the North Fork of Long Island after the triathlon in July.  Long island Lolita was kind enough to open her home to us and allow us to bring the smelly beast. The smelly beast is not welcome everywhere. There was resting, there was wine, there was lobster, and even a little stand up paddle board.

Of course, all good things must come to an end.  Upon returning home on Sunday, I found not one, but two letters in the mail from the radiologist office where I had had a mammography two weeks before the triathlon. The letter simply states: “pleasecontact our office to schedule another appointment, additional imaging is needed"  

WTF?! What does that mean? Additional imaging! Squeezing the shit out of my boobs and making them pancakes the first time wasn't enough? There were two letters. yes, count them TWO! Of course, I am freaked out and there is nothing I can do about it until Monday.  They never ask for additional images when everything is normal.  Clearly, something is wrong.

In hindsight, I do not believe the doctor's office should be allowed to send out letters.  You cannot talk to a letter.  If you need more pictures of my boobs, you should call me so I can ask questions. Your imagination is your worst enemy. 

Monday morning meant back to work straight away at 5:00am. Being up at 4am really lends itself to a different perspective of the world. To be at work at 5 really puts your mind in a different universe thawhen you get up at say 7 to be at work by 9.  When I finish my morning sessions at 7:30 AM, I expect the whole world to be up and running. Now, I would like to be productive but my hands are still tied. Most doctor’s offices don't open until 9:00 AM at the earliest (please correct me if I am wrong). I have been awake and working for hours! So 9:00AM!? 

The series of events that follow only add to the stress of the letters. I called and left a message for the scheduling coordinatoras instructed, crickets.    I call again on Tuesday, once in the morning and once again in the afternoon.  Finally, I get the chance to speak with the coordinator.  I explained to her that,after I received two letters and two phone calls (did I not mention the phone calls) from her office asking me to come back in, I felt a bit of urgency to speak with someone. Not returning my calls for a few days was additionally upsetting. Not to mention that I received two letters and two phone calls in a three-week period. 

The woman explained to me that there was something on the film that they were not sure about and that I should get my old films and get them over to her. She continued to explain, since this was my first visit to this office, the Dr. can look at them to compare to the latest. She insisted that I make an appointment "just in case" and if the doctor compared the films and saw no change, we could cancel the appointment.

I am not taking any chances. I hand delivered the films myself 10 days before my appointmentI figured this would give them enough time to read them. 

My just-in-case appointment was scheduled for Thursday.  I called the Monday before my appointment to find out if it was needed.  Apparently, the doctor had not read the films yet and they would call me back in 45 min.  Two hours later, I called back.  I was told the doctor had not read them yet but they would call me back once she was done seeing patients for the day.  I was not happy but I understood.  

Tuesday morning, I called the office and left a message.  I was told once again that doctor had not had the chance to review the films and that they would call once she did.  In addition to wanting to know if I had to keep my Thursday appointment, Long Island Lolita was coming to visit on Thursday and I need to tell her where to meet me, if at all.  I waited all day Tuesday to hear back. I don’t know if I have words to describe how angry and frustrated that I was at that time.

Wednesday rolls around, you guessed it, I called the office first thing in the morning. I was told once again that the doctor has not read the films yet.  (NSFW expletive inserted here.) Why did I bother to bring the films 10 days ahead of time? I know doctors are busy but you can't take 10 minutes at the end of every day to review films and assuage someone's fears? I can promise you I was not a pleasant person to be around that Monday Tuesday Wednesday.

Finally, at 4:30 on Wednesday I got a call from the doctor office. I was told I needed to keep my appointment. I texted The Husband right away and simultaneously broke down in tears.  He had a dinner scheduled that night but volunteered to cancel it. I told him "no" go to the dinner.  There is nothing he can do.  

I spent my evening with Olivia Pope, Cabernet Sauvignon and Kleenex.  

The fear of the unknown is devastating.  The imagination is so powerful.   I cried my way up the entire evening for not knowing what this all meant. It's a lump. It's unusual. Would I live with only one breast? 
Could my husband still love me? Would I be able to look at myself?  What would be like to live with a piece of me gone?  Of course, after bouts of feeling sorry for myself, I would have bouts of if his is cancer I am totally going to kick its ass! And then I would think what if it is cancer? The cycle continues until bedtime.  When The Husband arrived home, I couldn't even face him because I was so scared. I didn't want to scare  him (he is such a delicate flower). 

Morning of the appointment, I arrived at the radiology center. I was surprised how quickly they took me in since the waiting room was full.  I was given my instructions to undress and wait. Again, surprised again how quickly they took me.   Once in the room, the offending boob was once again smashed. But this time, more so than the first time. As the tech was squashing boob to look like a pancake, I would see the mass in my breast that everyone was so concerned about.  My stress levels became even higher.   Pictureget taken and I am instructed not to get dressed just yet. The doctor needs to read my film and compare.  Our history being what it is, I figured I would be there for at least 10 days.  

It was not quite 10 days but I did have to hang around half naked for 45 minutes waiting for what I don’t know because nobody explained the process to me.  Not being one who sits for long, I began pacing the hallways, disruptiintrusting pretty much everyone.  

Around the 1 hour mark, I am called into yet another exam room.  Apparently, the boob squashing was inconclusive and they needed to do an ultrasound.  If I were not so scared, I wouldhave been equally angry.   This is scary stuff and I am alone here. The Husband is at work, Lolita is on her way but would not be there for at least another 30 minutes and I couldn't burden another friend. What if were nothing? 

They at least get me started immediately with the ultra sound.  The technician immediately checks the results and withinseconds tell me " it's just a cyst". A cyst? That's it? Are you sure? She assures me she is sure.  A CYST! YAY!  I have never been so happy to just have a cyst. Phew.  I immediately text The Husband and Lolita and swear heard them both exhale through text. 

I am lucky it was nothing and I am smart to get my mammogram every year. My personal doctor recommends a mammography every year. Some recommend every other year. The point in telling my story was to emphasize the importance of prevention.  Many conditions, if caught early can be treated.  Women, get your mammography every year (whatever your physician suggests). Get a physical annually.  It is so important to know your numbers. You should know your cholesterol bloodpressure, blood sugar, your vitamin D levels, your BMI and body fat %.  Based on your family history and your physician’s advice, don’t forget the colonoscopy.  

Knowing these will let you know what you look like on the inside, we already know what you look like on the outside.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lil' Crazy

The Husband and I have a language all of our own. I think most couple do.

The Husband and I will be watching shows, sports or politics and discuss the “level of crazy” the particular person needs to be in order to be driven to the level of success that person achieved.

For example: George Clooney.  George Clooney, Mr. Hollywood, has some of the greatest success out there. Most everyone knows who he is. And although there was probably a fair amount of nepotism in his beginnings, he had to be talented enough and want success enough to move forward. He also had to disregard the naysayers who may have only considered his career on the coattail an of his famous aunt (Rosemary Clooney). 

Let's look at someone that doesn't have any nepotism in their background, Tom Cruise. Raise your hand if you think Tom Cruise has a special kind of “crazy” . He has no famous parents, siblings or friends to leverage in the beginning of his career but something drove him forward (yes probably Scientology but that should only prove my point). 

One more, Michael Phelps. This is fitness blog after all and not a blog about acting.

Let's just put his physical attributes aside for the moment without denying that they made him a very special athlete. He was not born in Hollywood under bright lights but in Baltimore, MD. His mother was a middle school principal and his father a state trooper.

Phelps Parent are divorced (which could have led to a whole different set of issues). And although his father was a very good football player, neither of his parents were Olympic swimmers.He claims to have just fallen in love with the sport itself.

What drives a person after that to move their career to the top? “Super special crazy” no doubt.Phelps career is well documented and you can see that he was swimming most of his life (minus the first 7 years). We can go a lot of place with this story but I want to focus on the part nobody talks about.  Not the glory but the pain and the suffering.

You hear stories of athletes waking at 4am to go the gym/pool/track but do you actually know anyone that does that? We “everyday” athletes go about our lives wishing we were in better shape, thinner, maybe more muscle mass maybe more tone but what does it take to get there?

You get up at 6, think about going to the gym, hit snooze next thing it's 7am and all there is time left for is a 5 min shower before heading to work. Or you did not hit snooze but only made it as far as the sofa with a cup of coffee.  Lunch hour? Starving! Plus showering and changing in the middle of the day, oh the hassle. After work? It depends:  did your boss make you stay late? A client calls just at 4:45?  Invitation to happy hour or dinner? 

Sound familiar? I find with lots of my client before they met me this was their scenario.Not everyone has the internal discipline to get to the gym.  Some of us do.

Which leads us to the original scenario which is where your inner crazy might be found.

Back in 2000, I worked from home with my partner as a stock broker (Long story, different blog). I wanted to lose weight. I signed up for something called eDiets (similar to weight watchers but with calories, not points). I LOVED it. I didn't have to tell anyone since I worked basically alone.  Every Saturday morning, I would create my menu and head to the grocery store.  On Sundays, I would prepare my food for the week so I didn't have to think about what I was going to eat for the rest of the week.

I was also training in mixed martial arts.  I had made friend there and every day we would email one another and ask if the other was attending (eventually we worked out a schedule and didn't have to ask). I attended two classes on Monday, one on Tuesday, off Wednesday, two classes Thursday and off again until Monday and both of us ran on weekends.  

I had no idea what anyone thought of all this discipline because I lived with someone who ignored me, trained with someone who “got it" and I had no co-workers or other close friends at the time.FF -> 2003.  Without going into the very interesting details... Ticker tape and partner now in the past, I started working at a staffing company. This was the first time I had worked in an office in 3 + years.  Excited about my new fresh start, I planned my outfit and my lunch and packed my MMA bag for commuting the next day, my first day.

They sat me across from what I can only recall now as an awful woman (for those who know me, no it was not BK).  At lunch time, I broke out my lunch: two ham slices, lettuce, carrot slices on a mini pita with a Li’l Milk and 8 almonds (yes, this was my actual lunch). The awful woman saw what I brought for lunch and proceeded to make fun of my lunch: first the size of it and second the fact that I brought a Li’l Milk. 
I was so upset, I almost quit. I called my mom. I cried. I have never had anyone make fun of me like that. It was mean and it was cruel.  

My mother reminded me that I could kick her ass and not pay her any mind.  Since then I don't.  

During my 15 years doing MMA, I missed a lot of social functions and dinners out (but did I really?). I was doing what I loved with like-minded people who "got it".

These days I have turned my crazy from the heavy bag and mitt drills to the pool, the bike and road.  
There is lots of sacrifice in triathlon.

There are many hours swimming and biking and running and as you get deeper into the season, there is less and less time for social anything and more and more in the pool on the bike and on the road.No one makes fun of me anymore for making those types of sacrifices because it is who I am. During my corporate years, I caught tons of grief for not attending sales functions because I was training for a tournament. Or attending a happy hour because I promised to help someone with their grappling technique.  

On Wall Street, it was staying with a market position when the market was going the wrong way. In sports & fitness its sacrificing time with family and friends for your own personal goals. Wouldn’t you be “extra special crazy” if you were trying to achieve someone else's goals?  Wouldn't you be heartbroken if you followed the crowd and never achieved what you set out to achieve?

So, if you want to be a little successful, you just need to be a “Li’l Crazy”. Up at 4:00 AM to get into the pool? Probably not. Work out 3 times a day? If you don’t want a life. Find an hour 3 times a week with a fun activity on the weekend with friends? Li’l Crazy.