_ Well, I woke up today ready to write a rant post on some issues I've been seeing with approach to fitness. I had some complaints I needed to get out and share. But, with the temperature on the mid-60's, and no clients from late morning all the way until tonight, I could not avoid the great outdoors. And what happens to me when I get outside, away from all things man-made? I don’t have anything to complain about anymore. So, I've decided to write something a bit more positive, and leave the ranting to another day.
If you take a few moments and browse through Mark Sisson's awesome blog, Mark's Daily Apple, you'll find article after article about the benefits of being outside. From returning to our primal roots of connecting to nature, to the incredible benefits of vitamin D. Basically, being outside is impossible to argue against. I have read countless articles and studies on the positive effects of the wild, but I have no interest in getting into the science of it all. I simply want to share my experience and hope that it might inspire you to either get out more, or get out in some way at all if you never do.
To me, getting outside could be looked at in two ways: an escape, and a return. I am escaping the world that us humans have created. This is a world of responsibilities, technology, negativity, processed goods, concrete and metal and on and on. In my mind, almost everything we experience in the man-made world is some form of stressor. Even if you think it's relaxing to have a bag of chips and watch a couple TV shows, in reality, you're not doing anything to help yourself. You're slowly "poisoning" yourself with things your body and mind were not born to experience. I am not about to sit here and tell you you should toss all that out. Hell man, I love watching a good TV show or movie, and I love having a good snack here and there! But if these things become your definition of relaxation, I am sorry, you are doing a good bit of damage to your overall well being. So, when I head out to the wilderness, I am escaping the “trap” that is all this craziness we have created for ourselves. I don’t have pressure; I don’t have my senses being overloaded with lights and technology. I don’t have people bustling by me with too much to do to enjoy a moment with themselves. I am totally free to naturally do what I want.
Sometimes there tends to be a negative connotation with escaping. Like drinking alcohol or working out too much. This is why I also have found that getting outdoors is a return as well. It’s a return to what is naturally there for us to survive in. Nature is the only thing that we can experience that we did not create. And because of that, there is something incredibly unique about experiencing it. In my experience (and I feel like it’s a pretty good deal of it), the only people I have met who do not enjoy being out in nature are very, very inactive people and very, very depressed people. Aside from those guys, I have never seen anyone spend time in the wild and not enjoy themselves. This is more than enough proof to me that we are meant to be out there on a somewhat regular basis. Shoot, the people I know who spend a ton (I mean, at least 8+ hours a week) out in the wild are some of the happiest, chilliest, most enjoyable people I know.
Now mind you, when I refer to outdoors, I don’t mean going for a walk around your neighborhood. If that’s all you can do, do it as much as possible of course, but I'm talking about more. I am really referring to getting out to the woods, the mountains, the ocean, a hidden lake somewhere, The Wild! Spending time in a place where the only sign of mankind is a trodden path and/or a friend or two that join you is what I'm talking about. Outside, to me means, the wilderness. If you want the full effects of reconnecting with nature, get into TRUE nature and soak it all in!
Today I found a large slab of rock stretching out into the Potomac River out in Great Falls, Maryland. I navigated my way out there, laid down in the sun, closed my eyes and just chilled. I could hear birds chirping, crickets and frogs buzzing through the woods, snaps of tree branches from deer and random splashes of water from the fish in the river. No cars, no people, no hum of a generator or anything. As cheesy as it sounds, I had an uncontrollable smile on my face within 10 minutes. All I could think about was climbing rocks, scaling trees and wading through water. When I left my nap area, I found a collection of about 8 deer feeding in the woods by a little rain-pond. I just perched myself on a fallen tree and watched them for a few minutes. They heard me and sat there watching me. I then moved along and when I turned back around, they were back to grazing.
I know I can be a little fanatic about nature. Most of my California friends know me as someone who would rather spend my life frolicking naked through the woods then doing pretty much anything else. I don’t expect my view of nature to be that of everyone else in the world. But I do believe, with all my heart, that every single one of us would be happier, more at peace, more relaxed and healthier if we just got out into Real World on a somewhat regular basis. If you agree, go outside and do it! If you don't agree, just go try, see what happens...
I hope you can find your way out there soon. If you want some company, I am never one to turn down an adventure in the wild!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Well folks, REGISTRATION IS UP AND RUNNING which makes this event officially ON! So, along with that I wanted to post up a bunch more info for everyone, hopefully answering as many questions as I can. Of course, if you have any other questions, please do ask!
The entire weekend will be $350. This includes:
· Detailed fitness instruction from two world-class coaches, Josh Courage and Brendon Mahony
· Presentation/seminar from Core Foods founder Corey Rennell
· Information packet with notes and resources for everything you will learn all weekend
· Three local, organic, very high quality meals from food picked up at a local farm and prepared on site
· An entertaining evening on the beach!
· Surfing instruction from one of Pacifica’s longest running surfing schools
· A bad ass t-shirt!
· And a few other surprises…
As this is the first event like this I will have put on, I have decided to let people pick and choose how much of this they want to attend. If you want the whole weekend, sweet! But if you only want to camp and surf, or just camp, or just workout in the woods, you can do that as well. All of these options are up on the registration site, so, sign up for what you’d like!
Two events - $275
One event - $150
What I cannot stress enough is that whatever you sign up for, you will not be able to change. I am working tirelessly to make sure we have the proper mount of food and gear for everyone coming. So, if you sign up for just the woods training but then decide you really want to join the camping, it will NOT be allowed (as much as I wish I could allow anyone and everyone do whatever they want!). Also, I cannot offer any refunds.
I am working right now on getting a spot for people to crash on Friday night if people want to travel to Norcal for this event. No matter what, if you plan to travel to this thing, let me know and I will offer either good hotels to stay at, or contacts for people who will lend you a couch for the night!
Meet up will be at San Mateo Team Elite in downtown San Mateo at 11am on Saturday morning. We will all get together there, go over the itinerary for the weekend, pack up all the gear and head out around noon o’ clock for the woods!
This is a fitness adventure, so you can expect to work your butt off the entire weekend. Of course we will have plenty of rest and down time, but if you feel your fitness level is extremely low, this may not be the thing for you. That being said, it is not only for super-athletes as well. Everything we will do all weekend will be doable for anyone with a base level of fitness. We are not weight lifting, we are learning to move in nature. You will learn how to run, walk, crawl, climb, throw, and on and on. You can expect to get out of breath, sweaty and most likely very dirty. And, I will pretty much guarantee that you’ll be smiling most of the time.
The first portion of Into The Wild will be in the woods. We will learn how to move fluidly though trails, over rocks and stumps, around trees and through water. We’ll learn how to climb trees, boulders and hills, we’ll learn how to use what can be found out there to your advantage in movement and in training (who needs barbells when you have massive branches!?!) . The second portion of the Woods will be a friendly, but I am sure highly competitive Throwdown/competition. I’ll put together a multi-workout challenge that everyone will take place in, and winners will get some extra goodies!
From there we will all pack up and begin a relatively less intense hike through the woods to get to our next location.
Our next workout will be Portion Three of the adventure (Portion Two is just camping and will be talked about below). We will wake up and everyone will be led on an early morning beach workout. You can expect to run a lot and do all sorts of fun crazy things in the sand! Again, the nature of these workouts will allow all to be a part of it, no matter what your fitness level. It’s not going to be a run for distance; there will be nomonotonous activities this weekend!!
The final “workout” will take place after breakfast when we all head to the ocean for a couple hours of surfing. I put this in quotations because there won’t really be any form of structured workout, it’ll just be getting out and learning to catch waves. For anyone who has done this before (and I’ve only don’t it once…) this is sneaky tiring, so, expect to work up an appetite!
After our Throwdown/Competition in the woods, we’ll hike on down to the beach for a chilled out night. We will cook our awesome food together over an open flame (details on that below), tell stories, sing some songs, and I am sure there will be a collection of “skills” being shown off throughout the evening. Handstand, rolls, flips and so on.
I highly recommend everyone sleeps under the stars for this one, but we will have a few tents for people to crash in, and some tarps set up as well. You will be more than welcome to bring your own camping gear if you’d like, as we will only be supplying a very base amount of gear for people. A full list of what will be supplied and what you might want to bring will be coming in a few days.
The idea for the evening will be to chill, enjoy each other’s company and just have a good time in the California air! While we are not supplying any alcohol at all (we’ll have plenty of water for people) I am not opposed to people bringing along a drink or two. We’ll have a couple large coolers at the start of the whole thing where people can put food and drinks they want to bring along. Of course, if you plan to bring a drink, you should expect to share with others! So yeah, anyone who knows a good local vineyard or something, get the hook up and bring it along! Just remember, we’ll be waking up pretty early to run around the beach, so keep it toned down if you know what I mean!
Yours truly of course will be leading this whole thing, and if you want my credentials, just ask away (or check out the About section of this website). All I’ll share with you about me here is that I basically spent as much time as physically possible outside and have established a pretty close relationship and understanding with the great outdoors. It’s my goal in general to inspire as many people as possible to utilize nature to their advantage to become healthier, fitter and happier, so, this adventure is just about the most perfect thing I could ever imagine!
Brendon Mahony is basically a running genius. The dude has run at the highest of levels and still competes at high levels today. I have learned a ton from him and am proud to have him as a friend and fitness consultant in my life. He also owns and runs San Mateo Team Elite (formally CrossFit San Mateo). He’ll be helping out all weekend, and will be giving everyone a crash course in advanced trail running!
Corey Rennell is the owner of Core Foods, hands down the BEST meal bar in the market I have ever found (and believe me, I have searched like crazy). Everyone will get the pleasure of feasting on his creation throughout the weekend, but you’ll also be getting a little something extra. In the process of getting his company up and running, Corey traveled around the globe learning nutrition from tribes and indigenous people who have been eating their way for hundreds, if not thousands of years. He’ll be sharing what he’s learned with everyone! The information this guy has in his brain is invaluable. So pumped for this!
Pacifica Surf School is owned and operated by a family that I am so proud to know. I met the Gubsers when I began to train Justin, and beast of a football and baseball player looking to tear it up next year in college after a hugely successful High School career. It took way too long, but eventually I went out with him and got my very first surfing lesson. I can’t say much more than: it freaking rocked! You all will be in such good hands out there. Whether you’re an avid surfer, or have never touched a board, it’s going to be crazy fun!
I am working right now to secure the perfect farm(s) to get all the food we’ll be eating from. We’ll be feasting on the highest quality meats, veggies and fruit; along with Core Bar, Courage Bars and plenty of liquids. While this is not a “Paleo”-specific weekend by any means, you can expect the majority of the food supplied to be as follows:
· Red meat
· Chicken and/or turkey
· Core Bars
· Courage Bars
If you have any specific concerns for food, please let me know ASAP. If you sign up for the whole weekend, you will be getting three LARGE meals. Trust me, I will not let anyone go hungry here! That being said, if you feel like you want to bring more, perhaps you have an awesome dish you really think should be enjoyed by everyone, please bring it! And a mentioned before, if you want drinks other than water, you’ll have to bring it yourself. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be getting an email with details about the food and gear. Basically you’ll receive what can best be described as a menu and you’ll be asked to let me know what you want so that I can purchase the right amounts of everything.
As only I do, you can expect the weekend will be filled with all sorts of extra little tidbits (think, random challenges thrown at everyone without notice with fun little rewards, one-on-one throwdown challenges and so on. Be prepared for anything at any time!). Again, a very comprehensive list of what will be supplied, along with a list of what you should bring will be coming in a few days or so. But the main thing to prepare for is that the whole concept is to connect with nature, I discourage bringing tons and tons of gear. But if you feel like you might need something in particular that is not on the list I supply, bring it to my attention and I’ll let you know what I think!
Right on everyone! That’s it for this one. Please let me know if you have any questions and/or concerns and of course, get yourself a spot NOW! If you know f anyone who might be interested in this, please do share it with them. The info is about to go out to a large amount of people in the Bay Area, and I fully expect all spots to be filled up pretty quickly, so get yours ASAP!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
About a month ago I was brainstorming ways to justify a trip back to California when an idea hit me. What was the number one thing I enjoyed about being out there? Well, it was getting outside and exploring all the great natural areas, the mountains, the parks, and the beaches. Sometimes I would hike, other times run, or bike, or swim or whatever. There is always just so much to do out there! This got me thinking about how so many people miss out on experiencing the great outdoors because of so many different things: The simplicity of life in a climate-controlled office and house; the ease of finding food at restaurants. I wanted to find a fun and exciting way to re-introduce people to their roots.
It never fails, every time someone heads out into the wilderness, even if it’s just to sit around and do nothing, they become a little happier. There is something innately human about connecting with nature and it is this something that I hope to harness and allow people to experience. It’s not some extreme primal workshop or anything like that; just an organized weekend to show everyone just what is in his or her backyard. That living healthily and happily is as easy as playing around in nature and eating real, good food. And because so many of us have forgotten how to do all this thanks to cars, sidewalks, big houses, stores and on and on and on; I though I’d open up the doors for everyone to re-learn it all. It’s time to become HUMAN again!
Here’s what it’s going to look like:
Saturday, late morning we’ll meet we’ll all meet at a soon-to-be-announced location. Our minimal luggage will be stored in vans, extra food and drink in coolers and we’ll go over the weekend’s events. The early afternoon will consist of learning how to move throughout the wilderness. Now, this may seem a little childish at first thought, but have you ever tried to run through the actual woods? The athleticism needed to react to your surroundings is that of a professional football player trying to avoid getting crushed by multiple opponents. With that in mind, you’ll learn how to walk, run, crawl, climb, push, pull, jump, skip, and so much more. The idea is to feel completely comfortable in the most natural of settings.
After a couple hours of organized play, we’ll all break for some fuel and to relax for a bit. This is where the first of a few wonderful surprises will be offered out! We will be partnering up with one or more local farms to supply you all with the best of the best in terms of food. We’ll have top of the line, grass-fed meat, completely organic and free-range chicken and eggs, fresh, organic produce and fruit, and of course plenty of water. My close friends at Core Warrior will be around as well with the best protein bars on the planet for everyone to indulge in.
After our break, we’ll all get set up for a wooded throwdown of epic proportions! Using all the skills everyone just learned, we’ll set up for a friendly competition using tools only the greatest gym in the world: the great outdoors, can provide. Trails, hills, streams, rocks, logs, the list is only as long as your imagination, so, you’ll have to be prepared for anything!
With our bodies wonderfully burned out, we’ll pack up all the gear and begin to make our way to the evening location. We will either be on the beach for this, or at a campsite, depending on what I am able to secure in the coming weeks. Either way, we will most likely be hiking to this location with our gear. Once there, we’ll set up camp, start the fires and let the nighttime festivities begin. We’ll cut loose on another feast of wonderfully local food while we tell stories, sing songs and just enjoy the night air and good company. As the evening winds to an end, you’ll have your choice to sleep in a tent or, as will be strongly recommended depending on the weather, under the stars.
We’ll all be up bright and early the next morning to head out to the hazy beaches to hit a wake-you-up workout before yet another scrumptious feast for breakfast. After the gear is packed up, and all that bacon grease is licked of our fingers, we’ll then head to the waters edge for a couple hours of surfing the famous waves of Pacifica.
Right on. Now, if this does not sound the like the most perfect weekend in the world, I personally think there’s a little something wrong with you…! That being said, I am sure there are a ton of questions you would-be adventurers might have. If this is the case, ask away! I’ll be posting up all sorts of details on this thing in the coming weeks so most of them hopefully will be answered, but in any event, I am here to assist in any way. This is an event I am super crazy excited to host so I will be putting all my energy into making it the best possible experience for anyone and everyone! Registration is not open yet, but will be very shortly, so, until then, go on to Facebook and “Like” the page so you can constantly see all the new updates. I’ll also be throwing things up on the blog on a pretty regular basis as well.
Before you all bombard me with 100’s of crazy questions though, let me throw this out there: In the next couple days I will be posting the dates, times, meeting places, all locations, more details of the specific events and a whole bunch more. Also, things like what to bring and so on will be sent to anyone who signs up. This initial announcement/post is merely to get everyone pumped up for the idea! I know that the date is the most important thing for pretty much everyone, and I can tell you that it will either be the second or third weekend of October. I’ll post that up on the Facebook page tonight so you all can make sure that weekend is not double-booked!
Well there you have it folks! Stay closely tuned if you are interested in all this and please let me know if you have any questions at all!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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