In less than one week, I will be joining 250 other individuals from the United States in Berlin, Germany for the European Maccabi Games! I am super excited for this opportunity and promise to enjoy, celebrate and appreciate every moment of it. I will be there representing much more than just me…
Please bookmark this page as I will be updating you on my journey throughout the trip as much as I can. I will also be blogging for the Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel team along with many of my USA teammates. The Maccabi USA website is http://www.maccabiusa.com.
About the European Maccabi Games
From July 27th until August 5th, the 14th European Maccabi Games (EMG2015) will take place in Berlin. The EMG2015 are Europe’s biggest Jewish sports event wih more than 2,000 athletes, coaches and counselors from over 30 European countries and the world. The competitions will be held in 19 sports.
For the first time ever, the European Maccabi Games will take place in Germany – 70 years after the end of the Shoah and the Second World War and 50 years after the establishment of the German – Israeli relations. The EMG2015 will be held at the Olympic Park in Berlin – the same location where German Jews were forbidden to participate in the Olympic Games of 1936 – as well the Half Marathon Race (which I will be racing in)!
On Monday morning my co-coach and I returned from Run Republic Running Camp out west in Colorado and Utah where we hosted seven high school boys (15-18 years of age). To say it was a blast would be an understatement. For ten days, Doug Horn and I were lucky enough to travel through two states, run, hike, swim, paddle, kayak, eat, play disk golf and corn hole and sooo much more with seven pretty amazing and fun kids.
Our goal is offer this Running Camp trip to more kids (and adults) from South Florida and beyond throughout the year. We truly believe we are on to something and after this first run through…we are pretty confident the demand and success will be off the charts!
Here’s an overview of what we did and where we traveled:
June 5 Travel to Denver, Colorado from Miami, Florida
June 6 Frisco, CO Running Camp w/former Olympic Track Coach; workout; Hiking and Touring Vail/Go Pro Games
June 7 Frisco, CO Running Camp w/former Olympic Track Coach; run; Snowshoeing on Loveland Pass Mountain;
June 8 Frisco, CO Run; Disk Golf and more Hiking; Drive to Moab, UT and have dinner (while watching NBA Finals)
June 9 Run; Hike through Arches National Park and travel to St. George, UT
June 10 Workout; Hike Zion National Park (8 mile hike to Observatory Point!); Swim; Pizza Dinner
June 11 Hike The Narrows hike at Zion National Park early in morning; Run; Drive to Park City and arrive at Cabin
June 12 Park City, UT and Deer Valley; Hang out at Cabin; Run; Hot Tub; Frisbee; and BBQ dinner
June 13 Park City, UT Run; Utah Olympic Park and Walk through Main Street
June 14 Park City, UT FLY HOME
So if you missed it (I’m not sure how you could with Social Media today…), yesterday was #NationalRunningDay. National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. And boy did they this year!
Runner’s World put together a montage of some of the best posts about #NationalRunningDay. Some are pretty funny! Click here.
And how did I spend it?! Well it was definitely a unique day of running for me…but a great celebration nonetheless!
3:00am: Woke up and couldn’t sleep; decided to go to my gym downstairs and get in my morning run. 20 minutes of arms/lifting; 3 mile run on the treadmill; followed up with 10 minutes of core/abs and stretching.
6:30pm: Spanish River High School kids 4 mile run at Boca Raton park and a fun game of tag on the fields. With it being exam week, we had a super small showing (less than 10 of us) but we pulled out the Selfie Stick and some fun #NationalRunningDay and #IRunBecause signs and had some fun!
Earlier this month I mentioned that my BlueIvy Communications client Stephen Walker (of the West Palm Beach law firm Critton, Luttier & Coleman) would be featured in The Palm Beach Post’s monthly “Healthy Living” magazine in honor of men’s health month. He was recognized as the pinnacle of men’s health: excelling at his career, in family life and with fitness/health. Well, the feature article came out this past Tuesday, and here it is. Be sure to read up on Steve’s schedule and his tips for others seeking the ideal balance of fitness, family and career!
You see it all too often: healthy, active, fit man graduates from school, starts career and family, hits 35, then becomes sedentary, tired, out-of-shape professional.
But not 37-year-old Jupiter resident Stephen Walker!
Full-time job … full-time family man … full-time fitness! photo
Steve Walker performing a deadlift.
Walker is a partner with the West Palm Beach-based Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman (www.lawclc.com) where he focuses his practice on high-end marital and family law and complex commercial and construction litigation. He has been with the firm since 2012. “It’s a sedentary job,” Walker explained. “During a trial or deposition, you could literally be sitting for hours. And standing up to stretch out is usually not an option.”
When Walker isn’t at the office (where he typically spends around 60 hours a week), he’s focused on keeping a healthy work-life balance.
During the workweek, Walker wakes up at 5 a.m., kisses his wife Robyn and their two daughters — Madelyn, 5; Lillian, 1 – goodbye and heads to CrossFit Palm Beach (crossfitpalmbeach.com) for the daily 6 a.m. Workout of the Day (WOD). He leaves the gym and goes directly to the office, where he showers and gets dressed before a full day of work. On the weekends, he’s back at the gym for an early morning workout — Saturday and Sunday.
His consistency at the gym is impeccable. According to CrossFit Palm Beach co-owner Tony Frezza, “Steve may have better attendance than most of our instructors. Heck, even me!” Walker also admits having to call the gym on the rare occasion he is traveling and can’t make it in. “So they don’t worry,” Walker joked.
Walker works out seven days a week — always in the morning. Most workouts include strength training and a high-intensity workout that, in total, usually lasts less than an hour. His workouts typically include a mix of cardio, stretching, strength, core, and calisthenics. He also runs and surfs on his own; competes in one to two triathlons a year; and makes sure he is active on the weekends (surfing, running on the beach, paddle boarding, golf, swimming in the ocean, and playing with his daughters).
“I just don’t feel right unless I stay active and get in some physical activity every day,” Walker explains. “It is a significant stress mitigator. I also feel like I am investing not only in my health, but in time. Every workout, every day, I am adding quality time to the end of my life.”
Moreover, Walker said, any soreness or fatigue he feels is far outweighed by the emotional benefits of increased energy, stress management, and overall happiness. His wife, Robyn, a psychologist and Pilates instructor would agree. “She always recommends exercise for stress management for her patients, so she thinks getting some form of exercise every day is a great thing for me,” Walker said.
Walker’s diet is just as impressive – consisting mainly of meat, veggies, fruit and other forms of protein. He doesn’t have specifically planned “cheat days” but won’t refuse some of his favorites: chocolate chip cookies, French fries and potato chips. He drinks alcohol and eats dairy and peanuts but won’t eat bread or pasta. And he’s found that changing his diet was a big part of his success in the gym.
Walker says he’s been pretty healthy and active since his college days. But when he entered his 30s, he noticed his metabolism started to slow; he immediately adjusted his workout schedule and diet. “It sort of became a constant experiment for me,” Walker said. “Work out seven days a week and see what happens; clean up my diet by removing starches and breads; add cardio; and so on.” Walker saw the results immediately – after six weeks straight of everyday workouts back in 2012, he had gained seven pounds of muscle and lost an inch on his waist. He said he hasn’t looked back since.
Full-time job … full-time family man … full-time fitness! photo
Steve Walker doing pull-ups.
And it’s the results that keep him motivated every day. “It comes down to making the time and prioritizing your health,” Walker said. “My job is mentally intensive and sedentary, so it helps to balance that, manage stress and keep me focused.”
Walker’s colleagues at Critton, Luttier & Coleman have noticed. Partner Robert D. Critton Jr, who also works out with Walker at CrossFit Palm Beach, said: “Steve is a great role model for attorneys and everyone who claims that they have no time to exercise.”
And Walker has no plans to slow down — ever: “My plan is to exercise and stay active every day for the rest of my life.”
STEVE WALKER’S TIPS FOR A FIT LIFESTYLE
Keep your alarm clock on the other side of the room so that you have to get up to turn it off.
Shower at the gym or your place of work.
Morning workouts are key! It means you are not giving up family dinners, networking opportunities or spontaneous nights out.
Make nutrition convenient. I keep a 5-pound tub of protein powder in my office, which means whenever I’m hungry or feeling lethargic, I can get an energy boost quickly.
Be flexible. Indulge in your favorite foods in moderation every so often.
I’ve been running for about 20 years now and for the first time ever was bit by a dog…Now I wasn’t chased or mauled by the dog…but rather quickly and suddently bit (not a small bite). So my post is more of a “be aware” note and advice on what to do just in case you are bit as well.
The situtation/what happened: I was running last Wednesday evening with my high school team when about 10 of us decided to veer off to a quiet nature trail in east Boca we sometimes venture off on. It’s basically a one-mile paved sidewalk that goes by bushes, plants and a lake. But a nice change-up. Anyway – the ten of us (all boys, one girl and myself) were running on the sidewalk past the lake when a couple with four dogs approached. We naturally went into our single file line and ran on the right side of the path. We were in the middle of talking about whatever when as I passed the couple (fourth in line for our group), one of the dogs (Australian Shepard) jumped up out of no where and bit me. (Not sure if it was on a leash or not, but it was with the couple and three smaller dogs.)
I immediately dropped to the ground in shock and a little bit of pain and the kids circled me. The couple and dogs were right there as well and seemed shocked as well. I had the kids check out the injury unsure as to how bad it was (a scratch, or more?) and the female owner came over to see as well. We all realized that it wasn’t a scratch at that point. The woman texted me her information so I could keep in touch as I still wasn’t sure how bad it was…or what my next steps would be. I pulled up my shorts to prevent any additional chafing and the kids and I ran back to our cars at Spanish River park.
When I got back, two of the girls (Sydney and Bailey) helped clean up the injury in the bathroom with soap and water before I jumped in the car with the plan to have it checked out by a doctor. It was at this point that the pain escalated and I realized I would have to rush to an ER Clinic/MDNow.
What the doctor said: My brother and friend met me at the clinic where the doctor cleaned me up, gave me antiobiotics and pain medicine. He mentioned that while only 5% of dog bites get infected (side note: 85% of cat bites get infected), that I should still watch it and come back if the injury turns red, gets inflamed. He also made sure that I had a tetinus shot and asked that I get the Rabies records from the dog owner’s vet.
No inflammation resulted the following day but the bruising has been pretty bad. And kept getting worse the first few days. Now it has calmed down a bit. Running was impossible the two days following the incident (felt super sore) but has been okay the last couple of days. (Sorta running through the pain a tad…)
The dog owner has been very attentive and checked in on me daily. She has agreed to buy me a new pair of shorts (the ones I was wearing were ripped) and pay for my co-pay/prescription (medical bills). We are both very lucky it wasn’t worse!
Lessons Learned: While honestly there was no way for me to have prevented this incident…I have learned a few things that I’ll share here:
Run with a phone…I didn’t have a way to get the dog owner’s contact information. Luckily she had a phone and texted me her correct information.
Don’t just run on the opposite side of the sidewalk…potentially run off on the grass if possible. Even if the dog is on a leash with owners…even if you look strange running so far away – it’s for your safety.
Get the other person’s contact info no matter how bad (or not bad) the bite was. I didn’t think it was that bad at first. The adrenaline was pumping apparently. Get the information just in case.
Be kind. It stinks to be bitten by a dog…but dogs are animals. And it’s not necessarily the fault of the owner (or you obviously). So be kind with each other…and see the situtation for what it is. I was lucky to have an attentive and caring owner that teared up when she saw how I was hurt….and I’m sure she felt lucky that I was understanding and not immediately threatening, yelling, etc. So be fair and kind.
*THANKFUL: Super thankful it was me that was bit and not one of the student-athletes I was running with…
I was recently charged with the task of writing an article on a Palm Beach County resident who represented the ideal of “men’s health.” Well it wasn’t a difficult assignment to meet. I knew exactly who I would profile for the feature – my client, attorney Steve Walker from the Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman, LLP. I knew Steve as a great, successful attorney in the areas of complex family & divorce law as well as complex commercial & construction litigation. I also knew him as a loving husband and father of two girls. And thanks to jokes and ribbing around the office, I heard of his consistent workout and training schedule. What I didn’t know what how consistent and intense his workout actually was.
I won’t ruin the entire article that was written up and which will be featured in the June 2015 issue of Health Living Magazine, distributed by The Palm Beach Post. But I will share with you a few fun tidbits that Steve shared with me. (Stay tuned for the full article next month!)
“I just don’t feel right unless I stay active and get in some physical activity every day,” Steve said. “It is a significant stress mitigator. I also feel like I am investing not only in my health, but in time. Every workout, every day, I am adding quality time to the end of my life.”
Steve Walker’s Typical Day
5am: Wake up, get dressed, and gather my things (I drink a protein shake and take my vitamins).
6am: Workout of the Day (WOD) at CrossFit Palm Beach in Jupiter. His workouts typically include a mix of cardio, stretching, strength, core, and calisthenics. He also runs and surfs on his own; competes in one to two triathlons a year; and makes sure he is active on the weekends (surfing, running on the beach, paddle boarding, golf, swimming in the ocean, and playing with his daughters).
7am: Head to the office; during drive, drink a protein shake, have an apple or banana, and green tea; at the office, shower and get ready.
8am: At desk or getting ready for Court or a deposition; if I’m at my desk, I try to stand as much as possible while working.
10am: If I can, I drink a protein shake.
12pm: Go to lunch; working in downtown WPB, we pretty much eat out every day. Trying to make smart choices from the menus on Clematis is a workout in and of itself.
1-6 or 7pm: Still working…I try to get a high-protein snack or shake around 3pm.
7-7:30pm: Try to get home before the girls go to bed, bath and story time, eat dinner and relax (or stretch) in front of the TV and/or get some more work done.
9-9:30pm: Bedtime; if I ate relatively early, I will drink a protein shake with slow-digesting protein so that I don’t wake up hungry at 3 or 4am.
What could be better you ask? Nothing! As defending champion of the Levis JCC Run, Sweat and Beers 5K hosted in Boca Raton, Florida on a hot July night (7:00pm), I feel I can make that statement! The 5K is now in its 5th year and keeps getting better. Plus, if you’ve never run an evening race…you’ve got to try it! (Side note, for winning, I received a case of beer…so you may want to start training now!)
What: 5th Annual JCC Run, Sweat & Beers 5K
When: Thursday, July 16, 2015; race starts just after 7:00pm
Where: South County Regional Park; 11200 Park Access Rd, Boca Raton, Florida 33498; Race start is just outside Ampitheater/Dog Park; follow the signs!
Welcome to Delray Beach Fleet Feet Sports! Our friend (and fellow South Florida Runs member) Nicholas Stump just celebrated the grand opening of his new store Fleet Feet Sports Delray Beach and we’re super excited for him and his wife Mackenzie.
We’ve had the pleasure of hearing some of the fun (and challenging) stories as they prepared for opening and we are thrilled to hear the store is open and shoppable!!! Be sure to check them out on the North-East corner of Linton Blvd and Federal in Delray Beach (same shopping plaza as Panera, Fresh Market and Zone Fresca)!
More about Fleet Feet Sports
At Fleet Feet Sports, you will find a welcoming environment where runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts of all abilities receive unparalleled service and support. Fleet Feet Sports’ Fitlosophy is to help you find the right ”FIT” in every facet of your active lifestyle. Our goal is to engage and inspire all ages to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. We are committed to helping everyone achieve their goals, celebrate their accomplishments, and win everyday! Whether you walk, run, or simply need a good fitting pair of shoes, the educators at Fleet Feet Sports will work with you to evaluate your foot’s gait and natural biomechanics to help you select a shoe that offers the best fit and function for you. Fleet Feet Sports is committed to enhancing and growing our local running and walking communities, and offering educational resources and training opportunities to assist you in achieving your fitness goals. Each store is locally owned and operated.
This summer, from July 27 to August 5, the 14th European Maccabi Games (EMG2015) will take place in Berlin, Germany, and I personally have the great privilege of participating in the games as a member of Team USA’s Half Marathon Team. The EMG2015 are Europe’s biggest Jewish sports event with more than 2000 athletes, coaches and counselors from 36 countries around world. Personally, this will be my third time participating in the Maccabi Games; my first two experiences both occurred in Israel as part of the World Maccabi Games (once in 1997 as a member of the Junior Track & Field team and most recently in 2013 as a member of the Women’s Half Marathon team).
However, this summer’s experience promises to be extra meaningful. For the first time ever, the European Maccabi Games will take place in Germany – just 70 years after the end of the Shoah and the Second World War and 50 years after the establishment of German-Israeli relations. And potentially most significantly – right in the midst of a period of heightened terrorist attacks and anti-Semitism in Europe, when prominent leaders and journalists from around the world are suggesting the Jews emigrate from Europe. Further, the EMG2015 will be held at Olympic Park in Berlin, which is the same location where Jews were forbidden to participate in the Olympic Games of 1936 – less than 80 years ago.
The historic and sociopolitical importance of the EMG2015 is enormous for Germany, Berlin and the worldwide Jewish community. And the urgency of Jews like myself not backing down but rather traveling to Europe, and specifically Germany, to proudly compete in athletics and celebrate being Jewish is dire.
It is with this purpose in mind, that I humbly ask you to support me in reaching my Chaverim requirement and becoming an integral part of my personal journey to Berlin and EMG2015.
Ailments, illnesses, sicknesses…they all seem so distant, foreign, disconnected from you…until someone close to you, a friend, family member, etc., is diagnosed, assigned that title, matched with said “situation.” And from then on, that name, acronym, label is no longer someone else’s problem or sad story…it’s now yours as well.
This was never so true as when my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer and then passed away two very short years later. But today, I’m referencing COPD. Sure, the commercials on TV are pretty common, the pretend definition “chronic old people’s disease” always a throught or two away, but in reality did I know what COPD actually was? No, and I am pretty sure the majority of people out there don’t either. That was until, my friend and running buddy Sam informed me via text one afternoon that he had just been diagnosed with COPD. He was telling me not to spread the word or make some official announcement, but rather because I had put out a feeler via social media asking friends if anyone knew someone with COPD, asthma, or some other related breating ailment. (You see, my other friend / Palm Beach Post reporter Steve was looking for a local person to be profiled for the next issue of Health Living Mag, distributed by the Post.)
Sam let me know that he was probably the ideal candidate for the profile – having had asthma as a kid…and now only months early being diagnosed with COPD. He wasn’t sure if he really wanted to spread the word and announce to people he had COPD…but figured it was a good thing to tell his story in the hopes of helping, informing someone else. So he put his own concerns, selfish feelings to the side and offered up his full story. Sam and I sat outside Starbucks one morning…and he told me what a diagnosis of COPD really meant, when he received it, what his plans were, and what he was scared of…
And that’s where the story becomes real. Sam’s real fear/concern in telling me (and the Post and its hundreds of thousands of readers) his story…is that by putting it in writing, out there for everyone to read and hear, was making it real. He knew he couldn’t avoid it anymore, pretend he didn’t receive this news from his doctor, etc. He’d have to accept it, strategize, plan, and go-on with his life – different or not. I think the fear is still there…Sam acknowledges he is dealing with it still…and probably will for a while. But what I told him (and will say again here) is that life can’t always be planned. Diagnoses, changes, challenges happen. And if you focus too much on them and what will happen next, you will miss out on today. So yes, plan and strategize and do what you need to do to keep yourself healthy…but be sure to live every day life to the fullest, unconcerned with what you can’t control, and focused on being happy.
We didn’t know my mom would be diagnosed with cancer and die two years later. We couldn’t plan for that…but what we can do, is make sure we are living every day to its fullest while we are here. It’s the only way to win at life, regardless of what is thrown your way (good or bad).
So with that said, please read on…Here’s the Palm Beach Post, Healthy Living Magazine cover feature story on my good friend Sam.