I talk a lot about acupuncture on this blog…mainly because I am a fan! It has worked numerous times throughout my running career – when I thought all bets were off on an injury.
It has come to the point, as of late, that I get acupuncture treatments on the regular to keep all aches and pains at bay. If you are wondering if acupuncture is for you, here is more information on the treatment (courtesy of my acupuncturist Carlos Restrepo):
“Acupuncture improves balance and removes energy (Qi) blockages. When applied to an specific area increases the blood flow in the tissues promoting the body’s self healing process.”
Maccabi USA will bring a team of 1,100+ athletes who will be part of the 10,000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries, participating in 43 different sports at the 20th World Maccabiah Games, which will take place July 4-18, 2017 in Israel.
So it’s pretty impressive when seven of those US Team members come from Spanish River High School in Boca Raton – and are part of the school’s legendary Cross Country and Track program.
The Palm Beach Post noticed and stopped by a team practice yesterday to photograph the athletes and coaches. Here they are:
Rick Rothman: Current assistant cross country/track coach at FAU and former Spanish River High head coach of cross country/track; will be the coach of the Open Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Team at 2017 Games
Doug Horn: Current Spanish River High head coach of cross country/track; will be co-coach of the Open Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Team at 2017 Games.
Melissa Perlman: Assistant cross country/track coach at Spanish River High; former Spanish River High track athlete; is captain of the Open Women’s Half Marathon team at 2017 Games.
Jordana Kimelman: Former Spanish River High runner and current student at Florida State University; will be competing in Women’s Open Half Marathon at 2017 Games.
Jake Noonan: 2017 graduate of Spanish River High who will be entering Indiana University in the fall; was captain of cross country and track teams; will be competing on the Junior Track and Field Team at 2017 Games.
Alex Kline: 2017 graduate of Spanish River High who will be entering the University of Florida in the fall; was four-year member and captain of cross country and track teams; will be running on the Junior Track and Field Team at 2017 Games.
Rylee Pustilnik: Just completed her freshman year and is a state-ranked current member of the Spanish River High cross country and track teams; will be running on the Junior Track and Field Team at 2017 Games.
Thank you Joanie Cox Henry and the Sun-Sentinel!!!!! (Full article here.)
Delray woman headed to World Maccabiah Games
When Delray Beach resident Melissa Perlman is not running BlueIvy Communications, she’s running half marathons. The Spanish River High School track coach and former student will be the captain of the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Half Marathon Team at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel. The Jewish multisport event features over 10,000 athletes competing on behalf of more than 80 countries.
Perlman will travel from New York to Israel on June 27 and be in Israel through July 19. It’s the 35-year-old athlete’s third time competing in the World Maccabiah games, and fourth time when including the European version.
“I first heard about the games when my dad participated in the World Maccabiah Games in 1973,” she said. “After my freshman year of high school, I qualified for the junior Track & Field team for the 1997 World Maccabiah Games. It was my first time in Israel and I came back with four bronze medals.”
Perlman competed with athletes from Mexico, Israel, England and all over the world.
“I stopped running after college for a number of years. After a few major life changes, I decided I wanted to get back into it seriously,” she said. “I was working at Office Depot’s headquarters and decided in order to have more balance in my life, I needed to make the time. I left the company in 2011, started BlueIvy Communications, began coaching with my former high school Rick Rothman at Spanish River, and, in turn, started training again.”
By 2013, Perlman was competing in the World Maccabiah Games in Israel again as a member of the Women’s Half Marathon Team. She came home with an individual bronze medal and team gold.
With 83 countries participating this year, Perlman has been training as intensely as she did during her high school and college careers with a goal to bring home gold.
“As an athlete, many of us grow up dreaming of going to the Olympics,” she said. “This is my best chance of fulfilling anything close to that. The games are pretty amazing, and the Maccabiah staff and organizers really treat you like you’re an Olympian.”
Besides running, Perlman has been spending her spare time lifting during OrangeTheory Fitness classes, getting weekly acupuncture treatments and massages, and adding hot yoga into her rotation.
“I feel ready and prepared for the whole experience. It’s so worth all the work that goes into it,” she said. “This will likely be my last year competing in this so hopefully I’ll once again meet friends from around the world, see the beauty of Israel and win gold.”
The games open July 4 and the half marathon is July 10 in Jerusalem. This time, Perlman will have her father, boyfriend, brother and sister cheering her on.
“I’m so lucky to have my family joining me for the experience. I couldn’t imagine anything more special. Also, my sister and boyfriend have never been to Israel so I’m very excited to share it all with them,” she said.
Yep…You heard me right! And your reaction was probably similar to mine…but the needle was actually going in my leg, as was the fireball! Let me explain…
Acupuncturist Carlos Restrepo has been treating me since 2012 when he hired my PR agency (BlueIvy Communications) to market and bring media attention to his new acupuncture practice in Boca Raton. As a good professional, I tried out his services – acupuncture for stress, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and much more!
The results were immediate. Lingering injuries that I thought would never go away as well as new aches that were effecting my training were finally fixed. Now I’m definitely not a “magic” believer…but these needles seemed to be working! Was it the increased blood flow, the movement of the Qi, or something else?
Fast forward five years to this summer. I’ve been dealing with a sore and downright painful left achilles tendon since July of last year. It started hurting while training in Colorado and hasn’t let up since. Carlos started working on my achilles with acupuncture needles in May and the pain eased up. While I could feel the tenderness in my foot…I was able to train and complete runs. That was a win for me in itself.
Carlos, however, wanted more improvement. That was when he broke out the “fire balls” or Moxibustion as the professionals call it.
Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called “moxa” are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences.
And it worked…after one treatment, my achilles was 50% better and after two treatments, the pain GONE. Now to be fair, every once in a while I feel the tightness in my calf and ankle area (usually after a deep stretch or hard workout) but all-in-all I run pain free. This magical Moxibustion sure did move my Qi!
Great article from the NY Times with detailed research and studies
on what tactics seem to work best in “cooling” the body prior to a run in the summer heat.
I personally have introduced Hot Yoga (90 minute classes) to my workout routine this summer…and not only seen the stretch benefits during/after class but also the ability to adapt to the heat during my runs easier as well!
The takeaway for those to busy to read the full article:
“The upshot of these results is that “you will receive a bigger bang for your buck from acclimating to the heat rather than by temporarily cooling yourself down” with chilled clothing and such…
On the other hand, precooling can be a useful stopgap measure when temperatures suddenly rise and you do not have time to acclimate before a looming competition, he says. “Throw your ice vest and cooling shorts into the freezer” and wear them for about 20 minutes before your event, he advises.
Acclimation demands far more time and planning. During your first workouts in summer heat, he says, reduce the time you spend outside and go at a gentler pace than normal, slowly ramping up your effort as the exertion begins to feel more tolerable, which can require anywhere from four or five days to two weeks, depending on your current fitness and heat tolerance. Be sure to drink plenty of water, too, he says, since you will start to sweat more profusely.”
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 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.
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.
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.
I have a great relationship with a Palm Beach Post reporter that allows me to write for the paper and its supplemental magazine “Healthy Living” every so often. Here is my most recent feauture story on a wonderful couple that I had the pleasure of meeting, interviewing and photographing. Enjoy! Read it on the Palm Beach Post’s website here.
Healthy Living Magazine
Palm Beach Post
February 15, 2015
Debbie and Ron Schwartz have been happily married for 47 years. So what do they attribute their success as a couple to? Well working out, together of course. Debbie, age 68, and Ron, 71, workout together at the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center (Levis JCC) in Boca Raton three days a week for 60 minutes…sometimes more. They typically begin each session with legs and lower body and end with biceps; Debbie adds on between 15 and 30 minutes of cardio after her weights; Ron skips the cardio trying not to slim down too much.
According to Debbie, the couple has always worked out together. “It motivates you,” she says. “On days I don’t feel like working out, Ron pushes me. And vice versa. It makes you really enjoy working out and being together. It’s our time. We can share it and be together with no distractions.”
Ron, who is also Debbie’s personal trainer, adds: “Debbie never complains. I’m truly amazed at what she can do. She is absolutely my favorite student.”
Ron, who has been working out since age 15, first taught Debbie his healthy lifestyle ways when the two got married. Since then the two have taken up the “get healthy cause” together and share it with everyone they come in contact with – from their social circle to other Levis JCC gym members to their two young grandsons. “Our focus is on staying healthy and hopefully living a little longer,” says Ron. “Appearance and health motivate us; working out and eating healthy are what get us there. Hopefully we can share our message with those around us.”
Debbie adds that nutrition and eating healthy have been a huge component of the healthy lifestyle for her. Just three years ago she lost the extra thirty pounds she had been carrying around thanks to Ron’s training schedule and a focus on cleaning up her diet. “For me, I had to start watching what I was eating more,” Debbie says. “Just working out was no longer enough. We now eat salads every night and lots of vegetables, fish and turkey burgers. We’re not perfect but try to eat well about 95% of the time.”
Pull Quote: “It is a lifestyle. We are not suffering. We love working out and we love eating healthy because we know it is good for us.” – Debbie Schwartz.
Debbie Schwartz: Age 68, Lives in West Boca Raton, Works full-time as an insurance agent at Century Risk Advisors.
Ron Schwartz: Age 71, Lives in West Boca Raton; Retired from IBM and Office Depot where he worked for more than 40 years total as an IT Systems Analyst.
Health Living Tips from Ron and Debbie Schwartz:
Visit your doctor to get medically checked before starting any physical exercise or nutritional program.
Join a gym (like the Levis JCC in Boca Raton)!
Get a trainer and/or find a partner. If you don’t have a partner, working out is much harder and definitely not as much fun. Plus a partner/trainer gives you accountability, motivation and guilt – all the emotions that will keep you going back!
Educate yourself: Learn how to work out before you even step out onto the gym floor or pick up a weight. Understand the process first and then start. Otherwise you risk injury.
Eat healthy. It is not a diet, but rather a way of life. We recommend more vegetable and lean proteins!
About the Levis JCC Sports & Wellness Program
The Levis JCC Fitness Center is an affordable way to incorporate health and wellness into your life. With a variety of membership options, members can make working out fit both their budget and schedule.
Membership includes brand new, state-of-the-art fitness center (bikes, elliptical machines, treadmills, Stairmasters, strength training equipment and free weights. Fitness staff, trainers on-site. Unlimited group exercise classes (Zumba, Body Pump, Cardio Kickboxing, Yoga) in new studio; Spinning in new, neon room with top instructors; six tennis courts and two full indoor basketball courts. Locker rooms with sauna, steam room and showers. Learn more at http://www.levisjcc.org/sports-and-wellness/fitness-membership/.
Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center
9801 Donna Klein Boulevard | Boca Raton, Florida 33428 561-852-3200 |email@example.com