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David Wenger of Super Squadra, Bicycle Sport Shop’s Elite Race Team, at The Driveway Race Series

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WHO’S BACK AND WHO’S NEW IN 2013 Meet the most recent members of AFM’s elite group, Austin’s 10 Fittest—you may be surprised by what you learn about their passions, workouts, and goals.






Cool treats aren’t just for kids

Building bridges

Katy Dooley wears swimming’s Triple Crown

Tricks to keep your makeup looking fresh

Increased stability can result in better strength and performance

Weston’s Popsicles

Three Special Summer Camps


Fit Over 40 Profile

Beauty Tips for Hot Days

Working a Single Leg Stance



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28 Finding Your Fittest Self

AthleticFoodie Garrett Weber-Gale shows small changes add up

30 Resisting the Quick Fix in Weight Loss

Today’s diet craze isn’t the right answer


34 A Trail Running Conference is Born


68 Graduating Your Style

Tips for taking your wardrobe to the pros

72 Athletic Doesn’t Mean Frumpy

Joey Miller shows the chic side of a workout do

Fit Finds (Web exclusive)

There’s an app for your



perfect health provider

Three pieces of gym equipment get a once-over

Working out and parenting little ones are not mutually exclusive

86 Playing in the Pool for Improvement

96 Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

76 Picking Your Healer

78 Book Review: My Beef with Meat

Taking a look at Rip Esselstyn’s lastest work

80 Taking Care of Your Body Art

How to keep your tattoo healthy

82 What’s That, and Should I Use It?

Getting comfortable in the

90 Running Around Your Kids

How to get where you’d like

88 Cyclists Take a Spin at the AFM FITTEST time to raise awareness

Reporting on the state of the sport in 2013


65-66 AFM FITTEST Competitors’ Reports

Find out how you compare to the overall winners, Best in Test benchmarks, and more

Laura Ugokwe, Haley Hall, and Obinna Ugokwe view the AFM FITTEST with a focus on nutrition

64 AFM FITTEST Competitors’ Reports

67 AFM FITTEST Competitors’ Reports

Darrold Smith debates—Was the AFM FITTEST a loss?

Dr. Enrique Peñ


14 From the Publisher 16 Letters to the Editor 20 Contributors

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22 WWW 24 Fit Focus 40 The Pulse

100 Events Calendar 102 Rides & Races 104 Discover!


Congratulations AFM FIT TEST participants and winners!




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Are You Up to the Challenge?


Throwing down the gauntlet for 2014

hanks to all of you—our readers, advertisers, sponsors, and volunteers—the 2013 AFM FITTEST event presented by Trigger Point Performance was a great success. The weather was great, the crowds were enthusiastic, and the competition was keen. I was privileged again this year to be the heat leader for the over 50 male competitors and they proved lifestyle is indeed the best way to challenge Father Time. Not only were their performances awe-inspiring but also their attitude and sense of good humor were extraordinary. A 7 a.m. start time came pretty early for these guys, but they embraced the experience without complaint. As I led them from test to test, I felt a real sense of pride in their efforts to be the best they could be. As we approached the the triumph on their faces, as if to say we took the challenge and we are winners. And, boy, were they right! For all of you who traveled to Camp Mabry to be a part of this special day, I imagine you experienced much of the same feelings I did when you followed your favorite. To each of our competitors, I say thanks for allowing all of us to be part of your experience. We all loved cheering you on and sharing the challenge.

Before I close, I have two challenges for next year. First: seven out champions from 2012 and, while that is certainly a validation that they are some of you believe that you can take their place on the podium. We invite you to try next year. Second: For those of you who didn’t experience the fun of challenging your bodies and minds at the AFM FITTEST in 2013, come out next year and give it a try. Think of the experience as which you can launch a new life. Once you know how you stack up, you can use the event as a benchmark to set goals and measure progress, all while making your life better. So, we at AFM invite you to celebrate the accomplishments in this special issue. It is full of fun and achievement and demonstrates how the Austin community is “out there” at the forefront of healthy living.

ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Sarah Schneider DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Carrie Crowe SENIOR ADVERTISING CONSULTANT Richard Maloof ADVERTISING CONSULTANT Betty Davis WRITERS Carrie Barrett, Keith Bell, Lori Burkhardt, Haley Hall, Ashley Hargrove, Emily Laskowski, Elli Overton, Dacia Perkins, Alexa Sparkman, Diane Vives, Garrett Weber-Gale, Laura Ugokwe, Anne Wilfong OPERATIONS ASSISTANT Jackie Pica DESIGN INTERN Michelle Suggs GENERAL INQUIRIES ADVERTISING INQUIRIES SUBMISSIONS EVENT LISTINGS SUBSCRIPTIONS 2201 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 220 Austin, TX 78705 P 512.407.8383 F 512.407.8393

Keep Austin Fit,

Austin Fit Magazine assumes no responsibility for the content of articles or advertisements, in that the views expressed therein may not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or any magazine employee or contributor. This publication and all of its contents are copyrighted.

Lou Earle, Publisher, CEO

Austin Fit Magazine is the assumed name of its publisher, Louis M. Earle, who has no interest in the business of Denis Calabrese who operates an exercise program under the assumed name of Austin Fit, which trains individuals to improve their jogging or running skills to participate in marathons. The views, opinions and other representations published in Austin Fit Magazine are not those of Austin Fit or any of its directors, officers, employees or agents. PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE

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This month’s letters to the editor are dominated by feedback from the 2013 AFM FITTEST. Just like last year, we sent out a survey to all the competitors; this year, the feedback was almost doubled. Here are some of those results:

A Word from the Test Creator BY DIANE VIVES, M.S., C.S.C.S.

By the Numbers

47% were referred to the event by a friend. 42% did the AFM FITTEST because they wanted to try something new. 40% were interested in finding out how they compared to others. 22% of respondents aren’t associated with any particular gym or trainer, while 26% opted not to answer. Of those who did work with a gym or trainer, 5% worked out with Camp Gladiator, National Instruments, and an assortment of CrossFit locations; 4% at Pure Austin; and 3% each with Texas Rollergirls, Rogue, Simply Austin Fit, and Out Right Fitness. A total of 33 other gyms were listed. 83% would like to participate again next year; not one person said he/she would not return, though 17% were “not sure.” 94% would recommend the AFM FITTEST to a friend. 98% of the competitors thought Camp Mabry was a good venue. 83% did not train with a class for the event. Of those who did, Pure Austin was the most popular location, followed by David Braswell’s Out Right Fitness. Favorite test = 40-Yard Dash (16%) Least favorite test = Precision Throw (21%)

Competitors rated the AFM FITTEST at an 8 on a scale from 1-10, 10 being best. Most popular recommendations for Celebrity Participants in 2014: Lance Armstrong, Gilbert Tuhabonye, Trey Hardee, LeBron James

Some comments from readers: “My heat leader was awesome and kept us motivated, which was difficult considering we were out there for four hours. If groups could move through faster, I think it would really help. More food for people who finish later would be good, too.” “I love this event. It was remarkable to see the caliber of fitness. It was inspiring to see the 75-year-old woman and the young man who had a prosthetic leg compete. It was so much fun to see competitors from last year.” “The vertical jump needs to be a part of [the AFM FITTEST] again next year.” “I LOVE LOVE LOVE the shirts that you guys gave the competitors. They are honestly my favorite shirts. LOVE them. I just want to add that, overall, I really enjoyed the event and you guys did a great job…but I want to make it better and more fair and even more fun. Looking forward to next year!” “Positive: Bravo on the logistics improvements (i.e., groups, lanes, field setup, mile run, 40 with a gun start,

etc.). THANK YOU! Needs improvement: It’s just so darn tough to train so hard and have the judging be inconsistent on the pull-ups and burpees. The contest is so close that what judge we get literally determines if we win or not. It’s not their fault. They are human. Please adjust how these two events are performed to make it more fair for everyone— including those poor judges.” “The mile run was great this year with the new course. Last year, people were on the dirt (sic) path, no problem this year. Luke’s Locker is a great addition.” “If you could have more Porta-Potties in more than one place, it would be awesome.” “Can there be a separate category for fitness professionals? I would be more interested in competing against people who work 9-5 in something other than fitness, training, and sport. It’s rather discouraging to line up next to people who do this as a job rather than fellow weekend warriors like myself. I am sure I would do far better on the tests if I literally worked in a gym all day!”


ustin’s fitness community definitely did not disappoint in this year’s AFM FITTEST competition. The passion and positive energy from start to finish was incredible from competitors, judges, and staff. With help from our AFM team and the test sponsors, we did our best to improve the experience from 2012. And, like last year, we continued to learn a lot and identify areas for improvement and needed change. As the test creator, my mission is to develop a competition that truly challenges the athleticism of the competitors without bias toward any one particular group, make it accessible to a wide range of our fitness community, and foster an environment that is fun and motivating for competitors and supporting spectators alike. Using the feedback we’ve gathered, the AFM team and I are already making changes and improvements for next year. We’ll continue to refine test guidelines and protocols, which will help judges to be as objective and consistent as possible, and make scoring changes to reduce and eliminate ties in certain tests. Elevating the Austin fitness community as a whole has always been a focus for me, personally and professionally. To that end, we are already planning training programs and clinics that will reach out into the entire community, offering support for our competitors and connecting you with many of the great fitness professionals in our Austin area leading into the event. Based on the changes that we’ll be announcing very soon, excitement is already building toward the 2014 AFM FITTEST. Together, we are creating true validation that Austin is the fittest city in the nation. And I am truly honored to be a part of this event among many other outstanding Austin fitness leaders.

AFM wants to hear from you! Letters should be addressed to Letters to the Editor, AFM, 2201 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 220, Austin, TX, 78705. Email address is All letters should include the writer’s name, address (email included), and daytime phone number. We are unable to acknowledge or return unpublished letters. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

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Contributors Thank you to AFM’s contributors who make this magazine a worthy #KEEPAUSTINFIT

BRIAN FITZSIMMONS Brian Fitzsimmons, a freelance photographer based out of Austin, has worked in tropical locations like Hawaii and Fiji as well as remote spots in Alaska and Europe. He started shooting for Austin Fit Magazine after a chance meeting with Monica Brant photography. Having three dogs, Fitzsimmons’s favorite issue of the year is, naturally, the “Fittest Dogs” issue. When he’s not photographing landscapes and wildlife or gardening in his backyard. Some of the more challenging shoots he’s done for AFM involved rock climbing, where he was hoisted up the side of a cliff, and hanging off the back of a Polaris, capturing an extremely fast-climbing rider, Susan Dell.

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DR. BRIAN ELLSPERMANN, D.C., A.C.P. Brian Ellspermann is an Vice President of Sports Development for Airrosti Rehab Centers, and Sports Injury Consultant to the University of Texas Athletic Program. Ellspermann started out as a civil engineer in the U.S. Air Force, but made a career change. After graduating from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology, he completed his Doctorate of Chiropractic from Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas. Dr. E has always had a strong desire to work with athletes and active people, and he joined Airrosti Rehab Centers at Texas Sports and Family Medicine in Austin in 2007. An athlete himself, Dr. E’s workout of choice is CrossFit, and most of his free time is spent with his wife Rebecca and their 6-month-old son Eli.

EMILY C. LASKOWSKI Emily C. Laskowski is a native Austinite and longtime athlete. An advocate for competitive sports Laskowski loves to watch all kinds of sporting events ness and health as an adult. She is a successful event coordinator and communications professional in Austin and is currently a program coordinator at Texas Exes, The University sociation. This month, you ing up on burnt orange as football and volleyball season gets underway for her Texas Longhorns. eclaskowski

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Write for AFM Here’s how. Letters should include the writer’s name, address (email included), and daytime phone number as well as a short description (250 word max) of the article premise. Send to Story Ideas, AFM, 2201 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 220, Austin, TX, 78705. Email address is . Response time may vary greatly due to publishing dates. Detailed submission guidelines will be provided by AFM as appropriate.

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ANDRÉS RIVADENIERA Andrés Rivandeniera’s through years of playing organized sports. He has been involved in personal and group training for nine years and enjoys competitive side, as well as assisting them convert to healthier lifestyles. He tions through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association. He also recently attained his Level

SUSAN FARAGO Susan Farago has over 20 years of coaching expericoach in running, cycling, and nutrition. She is an avid athlete and the cofounder of Trailhead Running and the “Women on the Trails” training program and race series. Farago is also a nationally published freelance writer.

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Rivandeniera graduated from Texas State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Exercise and Sports Science. /SwiftFitPersonalTraining

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Submit Fit Focus Photos Here’s how. Photos must be original artwork submitted in 300 dpi. Include credited photographer’s name, title of photo, and location in an email with the photo attachment. Email photos to . Images published in Austin Fit Magazine become the property of AFM.

Michelle Suggs is a freelance makeup artist specializing in photo shoots and events. For the past seven years, she has worked with numerous clients throughout Central Texas, enjoying using her skills to transform women and give them the extra beauty they deserve. Aside from makeup artistry, Suggs is also the design intern for Austin Fit Magazine. @michellelanh /makeupbymichellelanh

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Make sure you’re part of the AFM fitness community online with YouTube—watch videos, like David Norton’s FitTestDummies look at the 2013 AFM FITTEST. Smugmug—view photos of events and buy AFM FITTEST photos. Pinterest—new this month, with recipes, quotes, workouts—you name it. Instagram—see what other fit folks are up to. Twitter—get breaking news and find out who’s doing what. Facebook—follow LiveChats, enter in giveaways...and you know you love the Fit Friday posts. Videos Watch how AFM’s nutritionist Anne Wilfong creates this month’s recipe, a cool summer treat.

AFM FITTEST test creator Diane Vives shows the technique behind working single leg exercises.

Check out these short interviews with each of the AFM 10 FITTEST and this year’s Team competition champions

@AustinFit Most Popular AFM Tweet: Photos from @colinshope #Got2Swim Lake Austin 4-miler with @BrendanHansen, Elli Overton



Do you get the AFM weekly newsletter? Sign up to receive information about contests, upcoming events, and interesting happenings. AFM BLOG Don't miss these bloggers and topics: Dennis Porter provides updates on basketball and the Round Rock Rhythm; Kevin Fricke tells what's going on on the pitch with soccer; Amy Dolejs covers mixed martial arts and boxing; Courtenay Verret will have a wrap-up on the Colin's Hope event in her swimming coverage; You'll see more reports for the Texas 4000 riders as they make their way to Alaska; and look for a variety of guest bloggers on everything from strong woman competition to injury rehab and prevention and more.

Web Exclusives

Most Popular AFM Post:

GIVEAWAY August 13: Take a look at the Equipment Review (pages 82-85). AFM will be giving away the PRX7 system discussed, so be sure to join in on Facebook for your chance to win.

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Finis Neptune MP3 Player

Keith Bell reminisces and discusses the benefits of being an athlete—particularly a swimmer—at a Division III school. AUGUST 8

Believe it or not, school starts up at the end of the month. Is your child thinking about riding or walking to school? Take a look at these tips for promoting safety and encouraging that daily exercise.


AFM continues our look at gadgets and equipment with a review of waterproof MP3 players—you’ll want to check this out before you purchase.

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Send your active lifestyle photos to for a chance to be published. Guidelines are provided in our Fit Focus photo album on


Named for Austin Fit Magazine’s art director, Weston’s Popsicles are a fun and sweet treat to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Weston's Popsicles BY ANNE WILFONG, R.D., L.D.


What You Need

Calories: 40 Protein: 2 g Carbohydrates: 9 g Fat: 0 g Fiber: 1 g Sodium: 10 mg

6 ounces frozen blackberries

Dixie cups Popsicle sticks

4 ounces coconut water 6 ounces non-fat lemon Greek yogurt

Consider other fruit and yogurt combinations:


1 cup of blackberries has about 8 grams of fiber. Fiber not only helps maintain our GI health but may also play a role in improving our immune system.

How to Make it

1 tablespoon honey

Mango with strawberry Greek yogurt Blueberries with lemon Greek yogurt


Strawberries with peach Greek yogurt Mixed berries and vanilla Greek yogurt

1. In blender or food processor, puree blackberries, honey, and coconut water. Taste and adjust sweetness with honey as desired. 2. In the bottom of the Dixie cup, place approximately 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt and then fill remainder of the cup with the pureed fruit. Insert stick into cup and freeze for at least 2 hours. 3. When frozen, peel off the cup and serve the Popsicles immediately. Makes 8 Popsicles Serving size: 1 Popsicle

Tips/Tricks: If the consistency of your fruit mixture is thin and the Popsicle stick won’t stand up, freeze the popsicles for approximately 30 minutes until the fruit is slushy and slightly thickened. Then, add the sticks and replace in the freezer to continue hardening.

Registered and licensed dietitians Alexa Sparkman and Anne Wilfong can provide reliable, objective nutrition information, separate facts from fads, and translate the latest scientific findings into easy-to-understand nutrition information. For more information about their nutrition counseling practice, contact Alexa or Anne at 512.257.0898 or

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This recipe is brought to you by Whole Foods Market.


Becoming the Fittest You Can Be Small changes add up to big results BY GARRETT WEBER-GALE


eing fit is something most everyone aspires to be. My guess is that you wouldn’t be reading Austin Fit Magazine if health, nutrition, and/or fitness didn’t hold some sort of interest in your life. That being said, what does it really take to be fit? How can we measure fitness? And how do we blaze a trail toward being more fit than we are now, or have ever been? For the past ten years, I’ve trained at the University of Texas at Austin under one of the greatest coaches in the world in any sport: Eddie Reese. Eddie has been coaching swimming at UT since 1978 and has produced countless Olympians, gold medalists, and world record holders. In addition to being coached by great swim coaches at UT, I’ve trained around other world-class athletes in the weight room and seen even more athletes work with their respective coaches on other playing fields. This all compiles to a pretty good idea of what it takes to get fit and stay fit. Early on in my career, I noticed that the best thing to do in order to stay in shape is to never get out of shape. Although this sounds obvious, it is the single best thing we can do in order to keep our body in top form. However, we all know that this can’t always happen. Between vacations, rest periods, time with kids, busy schedules, and times when we might be burned out, everyone seems to take time away from exercise and staying in shape at some point or another. When I was leaving on my first summer break after my freshman year, Eddie told me, “It doesn’t matter if you take a break from swimming; you just have to never stop working.” Whether it’s push-ups, walking, running, playing tennis, biking, throwing a football, wakeboarding, or even Ping-Pong, staying active minimizes the fitness we can lose during break times. Don’t allow yourself to become sedentary for too long. Stay moving. The same concept holds true for nutrition. Even when you take time away from your main exercise routine and nutrient-rich diet, you can’t let everything go to the wayside. For example: If you’re going to Italy, eat the pasta. If you’re going to France, you don’t have to pass up all the pastries. If you’re going to California, feel free to eat as many of those ripe summer fruits as you’d like. Wherever you go, be sure to also take advantage of the healthy options available. France had some of the most divine tomatoes and lettuces I’ve ever tasted. Although I did eat pastries, I was pounding the veggies, too. When I was in Copenhagen, the carrots were absurdly juicy. At my parents’ home in Wisconsin, they

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grow fantastic produce, so I eat a ton of it. You don’t have to stay on your exact eating routine on vacation, but make sure you’re not letting go of everything that has helped you feel so good in the first place. Being your fittest self requires maintenance, even on vacation. Measuring your level of fitness is relatively easy. All this requires is setting benchmarks through testing. In swimming, for instance, we do specific sets throughout the year that measure aerobic capacity. One such set might be ten 300s (swimming freestyle) on a 3:30 interval, best average. Another set we do is ten 100s (kicking) on a 2:00 interval, best average, or even eight 50s (fast) on 2:00. We record our times for each set and then compare them to the times produced earlier in the year, the previous year, and even several years in the past. The same concept can be used in running, cycling, rowing, weight lifting, and so on. In this testing process, however, it is important to understand and lend credence to the fact that sometimes your body is just fatigued from training and you won’t be able to produce your best times. This has happened to me on many occasions, and it didn’t mean I wasn’t as fit as I once was. In order to really monitor results, you must look at the picture from a broad sense—that is, how is your training different from or similar to what you were doing in the past? And don’t forget that looking at nutrient intake and how your diet has changed can also give you great insight into where you are in your training. This month’s issue celebrates the 2013 AFM FITTEST winners and competitors. So, what does it take to be the fittest in Austin? Better yet, what does it take to reach your highest level

of fitness? Yes, there are some athletes who are just total freaks when it comes to being lean and athletic; they have high aerobic capacities and are naturally strong. But these are the exceptions; even at sport’s top levels, you’d be surprised at how few of these freaks there actually are. Most Olympians and world record holders are simply a product of the time, care, and effort they put into it. “Where does this leave me?” you ask. Attaining your most fit self involves constant refinement and consistent effort. In terms of nutrition, a good place to start is by seeking expert advice from a nutritionist or registered dietitian. The goal needs to be to figure out small changes that you can put in place to begin seeing a positive difference. The reason we start with small changes (like switching from white rice to brown rice, iceberg lettuce to spinach or kale, white flour to whole-wheat flour, or fruit juice to actual fruit) is because these are easy changes we can make on the spot. Once we crank on some of the easy stuff, then we can move on to the more specific measures, such as nutrient timing and protein needs. Start with simple changes. Master one thing at a time. Stay consistent in your routine of exercise and diet. You’ll be amazed at how each day, week, month, and year you’ll get closer to feeling and performing your best. AFM

Maximum performance through active rehabilitation


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Is the Latest, Greatest Diet Sucking You In? weight loss BY ANNE WILFONG, R.D., L.D.


erhaps you have been reading this column for a while and like the idea of changing your relationship with food…but, at the same time, you REALLY want to lose some weight fast, so the latest-andgreatest diet is tugging on you and sucking you in. Does this sound like you? If you had to pick, which would you say is more important: making a lasting change to your relationship with food or getting to your goal weight quickly? I often ask clients this same question and, almost always, when clients have a significant amount of weight to lose or have been on and off the dieting roller coaster for most of their lives, their answer is, “I want both now.” I am assuming some of you answered the same way and may be curious whether it’s possible to do both at the same time. If you are feeling this way, I am not surprised, and it’s normal to feel conflicted. Most likely, you have been on a diet before and can remember how well it did (or didn’t) work. Think about your last diet. Did you lose weight only to quickly gain it back? How did you feel when you were dieting— stressed, anxious, obsessive, or deprived? Were those feelings worth the weight you lost? Let’s assume for a moment the weight did come back. Did those feelings of stress, anxiety, and deprivation go away with the returned weight, or did they just intensify? If you are constantly being sent the message that being overweight is bad for your long-term health or you feel judged and criticized for your weight, then feeling an urgent need to change your physical shape makes sense. Outwardly, you and others can see when you have lost weight, and it’s an external validation of all your hard work. However, sometimes it’s tougher to see how changing your relationship with food can lead to a healthy weight, and you may be worried the results will take longer to see than when on a diet. Diets are alluring for a variety of reasons. The quick weight loss is gratifying, but

there’s a social aspect to dieting as well; tips and tricks are traded in the office, and bets are made as to who can lose the most weight and who can do it the fastest. Diets are also appealing because, when you diet, you eliminate the need to look at your own behaviors around food. Sometimes these behaviors are just habitual, but they can reveal things you may not love about yourself or feelings and emotions that are overwhelming. While this is the hardest part of changing your relationship with food, it is also the most rewarding. Through examining these behaviors, you learn your triggers around certain foods, as well as what types and amounts of food leave you feeling either great and energized or dragged down and tired. You gain confidence about your choices and how you feel in your own body. Through this behavior change, healthy body weight is often ultimately achieved, and, more importantly, it’s maintainable without long-term deprivation and stress. I can hear you thinking, “But it takes longer to lose weight through intuitive eating than by dieting.” Yes, you are right; it probably does. This process goes back to asking the important question and looking at why dieting probably didn’t work for you in the past. Interestingly enough, somewhere along the process of intuitive eating, a shift occurs. Clients generally start to recognize what life looks like without being on a dieting roller coaster and how losing weight by paying attention to hunger and fullness doesn’t lead to deprivation. Suddenly, the slower weight loss is worth the extra effort. It’s hard to work on both goals at the same time, but one thing I know for sure: You can’t change your relationship with food by dieting. But you can achieve a healthy weight by changing your relationship with food. Whichever path you choose, your journey will be full of ups and downs, and I encourage you to always think about what is most important for you individually and what will leave you living your life with energy and happiness. AFM AUGUS T 2 0 1 3 AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM 3 1

p ©


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At Camp Discovery, everyone takes part and a wheelchair is no hindrance to summer fun. Photo provided by American Academy of Dermatology

Summer Camps Help Special Kids

Fun and fitness go hand-in-hand BY EMILY LASKOWSKI


s a kid, summertime is a rite of passage for getting dirty, forging friendships, and learning lessons outside of a textbook. Summer camps and sports leagues shape the childhood memories of active

a young age. However, some children need an alternative to traditional summer camps and sports leagues to help them learn values such as teamwork, perseverance, and judgment. For example: Kids with chronic skin diseases need programming something not available through most neighborhood swim teams or overnight camps. Luckily, access to these supplemented programs is available, and not just for kids with chronic skin disease. Barriers such as income or physical dispracticing an active lifestyle. Three organizations that offer specialized training, programming, and good, old-fashioned fun include the American Academy of Dermatology’s Camp Discovery, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas’ iCanShine, and the Austinbased Marathon Kids. Each program focuses on giving children with various needs the tools to succeed and grow though an active and healthy lifestyle. 32 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

CAMP DISCOVERY (American Academy of Dermatology;

For: Young people ages 8–16 with a chronic skin condition. About: Under the expert care of dermatologists and nurses, Camp Discovery offers campers the opportunity to spend a week among other young people who have similar skin conditions. Many of the counselors have serious skin conditions as well and so can provide support and advice to campers. Fun, friendship, and independence are on the top of everyone’s agenda, and everyone shares in the discovery of what it’s like to be included. Activities: Archery, arts & crafts, bicycling, boating, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, mural painting, swimming, theme days, talent show, water sports, and more! Cost: $0 (Funded by the American Academy of Dermatology and its supporters). Location: Six locations in five states, including Camp Dermadillo in Burton, Texas. Next Camp: Camp Dermadillo, August 11–16, 2013.

Los Angeles Marathon Kids and volunteers kicking off the Finisher Medal Celebration at the LA Coliseum. Photo provided by Marathon Kids

According to Mark Dahl, MD, FAAD, a board certified dermatologist and founder of Camp Discovery, “Children and teens with visible skin conditions, such as epidermolysis bullosa, psoriasis, alopecia areata, or vitiligo, may feel isolated from their peers because they are self-conscious, have been teased, or cannot participate in regular activities due to the limitations of their skin condition. Camp Discovery is a place where all campers have a skin condition, so there’s no need to be embarrassed or self-conscious. We encourage kids to wear shorts, jump in the lake, and get dirty—the things most kids do at camp—because no one is judging each other here. Everyone just wants to have fun.”

MARATHON KIDS (Founded in Austin, Texas;

For: All children in kindergarten through fifth grade. About: Marathon Kids is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the health of children by providing them with the motivation, tools, and support in order to live happier, healthier lifestyles. Activities: Running or walking 26.2 miles over six months, eating healthy food daily, and learning to grow fruits and veggies. Cost: $0 (Funded by corporate sponsors, foundations, individual donors, and fundraisers). Location: At-home participation or via participating elementary schools in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Rio Grande Valley, Los Angeles, Baltimore, or Chicago. Next Camp: Participation is available year-round. According to Christine Pollei, executive director of Marathon Kids, “Completing a 26.2-mile marathon is quite an accomplishment at any age, much less for K through fifth graders. The commitment these children make is inspiring to witness, because it’s a crucial step towards a long and healthy life. We have such great supporters in the city of Austin, like Whole Foods Market, who help us make an impact in the community now and long into the future.”

iCANSHINE (Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas, DSACT;

For: Young people at least 8 years old with a disability (other requirements: being able to walk without an assistive device, being able to side step swiftly to both sides, being able to wear a properly fitted bike helmet at all times when on a bicycle, having a minimum inseam measurement of at least 20 inches when measured from the floor wearing sneakers, does not exceed 220 pounds). About: iCanShine provides quality learning opportunities in recreational activities for individuals with disabilities. By creating an environment where each person is empowered to maximize his or her individual abilities, everyone can shine! Activities: Five- to 75-minute sessions teaching riders to learn to balance, pedal, steer, and take off on a bicycle of their own. Cost: DSACT members, $150; non-members, $200. Location: North Austin Event Center. Next Camp: August 12–16, 2013. According to Gerard Jimenez, DSACT program director, "It's amazing to watch the kids start camp not knowing how to ride a bike and then by the end of the week they were riding solo on two wheels! Absolutely amazing! What a great program!"




From the Growth of Trail Running to Environmentalism

Katie Blackett discusses land stewardship during a panel discussion.

Reporting on the inaugural National Trail Running Conference BY SUSAN FARAGO


Ascent—Trail Running Conference was held on June 20 through 22 at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. The event offered a full two days of seminars, a vendor tradeshow, networking opportunities, and prize drawings that raised money for the American Trail Running Association mission is to represent and promote trail and mountain running. The conference concluded with a 5.9-mile trail race showcasing the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Event Director Terry Chiplin created the conference as a way to bring the trail running community together. Said Chiplin, "Trail running has seen

34 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

exponential growth in recent years and is poised to become one of the most popular outdoor active pursuits in the United be dedicated to our growing and dynamic sport. This conference will seek to set out a strategy for the continued growth in trail running in the USA and beyond." Over 100 attendees represented all areas of the trail running community, including: recreational and professional trail runners, race directors, land managers, sports medicine professionals, trail gear vendors, media, running clubs, ATRA. Ten moderated, panel-style sessions took place over the two days, and topics ranged from nutrition, injury prevention, and altitude training to trail accessibility, trends in gear, and trail

blogging/social media. However, the biggest discussions revolved around the growth of the sport, trail conservation and land management, and “greening” trail race events. Since its formation in 1996 as a member of the USA Track and Field organization, ATRA has seen the trail running community explode as more races and runners take to the trails. Nancy Hobbs, ATRA executive director, has been tracking this growth and provided these statistics: The number of trail races rose from 450 (2000) to 2,667 (2012) The number of race participants increased from 90,105 (2000) to 326,098 (2012) The number of brand new races grew from 25 (2000) to 233 (2012) PHOTOS PROVIDED BY SUSAN FARAGO

Attendees at the first annual trail running conference.

Terry Chiplin, conference director, and Susan Farago, conference panelist and attendee.

In 2013, the number of trail race participants continues to grow to an expected 350,000, with an average of 345 participants per race. Overall, the trail race community comprises 844,560 active participants. Trail running, long associated with “ultra” distance races (31 miles or longer), is also seeing a shift in its identity. In 2013, there are 341 1,859 trail races are available in shorter distances ranging from 3.1 to 25 miles. Adam Chase, editor for Running Times Magazine, believes trail running has become so popular because it brings people from all sports backgrounds. Said Chase, “It is a simple, accepting, warm sport where everyone feels welcome.” Although trail running is an individual sport, it is that sense of community that many runners feel creates such a strong draw to the sport. No doubt the growth in trail running has had a positive impact on the health does this growth mean for the trails? Trail conservation and land stewardship was another big topic of discussion at the conference; there is a shift occurring from that of environmental conservation to preservation. Katie Blackett, CEO of the Colorado Mountain Club—one of the largest recreation/conservation organizations in the United States—said, “We are loving our trails to death.” Trails are being closed for a variety of reasons, including issues with erosion, wildlife corridor encroachment, and funding for maintenance of these spaces. Her solution for working toward managing 1. Get involved with local land

management organizations, such as offering to set up a study group for land usage. 2. Create “smart trail systems” that can anticipate potentially heavy usage yet still have minimal impact on erosion, wildlife, and human maintenance (time and dollars). 3. Learn land respect, which includes staying on established trails, striving to leave no trace of garbage or usage, and honoring wildlife and habitats. 4. Give back and volunteer time to earn a place at the local or national level for land stewardship decision making and policy setting. 5. Partner with multi-use groups (such as equestrian, mountain bikers, and hikers) to organize multi-use plans for trails.

the Council for Responsible Sport

conference attendees what they did to make their women-only trail series more responsible: no cups on the race course, but water provided; no packet pickup bags; optional giveaways and handouts available at packet pickup for runners to take only if they wanted; a carpooling e-mail so participants could rideshare; detailed bike maps and bicycle parking for each of the race venues; partnering with the YMCA camp in Buda, Texas to bring greater awareness to the facility; and providing a mapped 5K trail for YMCA programs to use on an ongoing basis. To date, 55 different events have

The call to action for trail advocacy is awareness: “We all need to band together for access to the trails,” said Blackett. How this will shake out remains to be seen as groups continue to vie for more access to already limited resources. Dovetailing with land stewardship is how to make trail running races “green.”

for Responsible Sport, serving over 755,000 athletes in the process. The second annual Estes Trail Ascent— Trail Running Conference is tentatively scheduled for October, 2014 and is a must-attend for anyone interested

evolved from simply recycling trash to supporting climate and energy initiatives, community involvement, inclusion, procurement, and sourcing. ATRA provides an event standards document on their website that includes a section on Environment Awareness—tips to make any event more environmentally friendly ( atra_event_standards.pdf). Austin’s own Women on the Trails Race Series, presented by Trailhead Running, earned

Additional Information and Referenced Resources:


American Trail Running Association (ATRA) Council for Responsible Sport Colorado Mountain Club Women on the Trails Race Series – Sustainability Plan




Pushing Her Limits

Katy Dooley takes swimming's Triple Crown BY CARRIE BARRETT


was on a bike ride with Katy Dooley in 2008 when she announced that she wanted to swim the English Channel after our Ironman training

myself, “Isn't this hard enough? We're training for a dang Ironman! What more do you want?!” What came out of my mouth was, “Of course you will. I know you can do it. You are amazing!” Dooley planted about her long-range 36 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

goal of becoming a marathon swimmer. this chick is totally off her rocker” while pondering what it actually meant to swim from England to France. A few seconds later, we heard a gunshot in the distance. Actually, it wasn't in the distance; it was too close for comfort, and we ducked and almost fell off our bikes to hit the deck. We both heard the bullet cutting through the leaves on the trees above us. It was a stark moment that, in a split

second, went from a fantasy of dreaming big to utter survival instinct. We still laugh about that day and debate whether it was an intentional “let's see how fast you ladies can pedal” warning or some skeet shooters with poor aim. Either way, what happened that day, ironically, has become a metaphor for the last few years of Dooley's life and training. It has been a consistent contrast of dreaming big and depending on survival instinct. Dooley has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN FITZ SIMMONS

that you can still set impeccably high goals and reach them, regardless of age. From early childhood through her college years at the University of Texas, Dooley grew up as a competitive swimmer. She has always been incredibly gifted and disciplined in the pool, but she never thought about swimming as came naturally to me,” Dooley explained. As an adult, she took time away from the water to focus on other things: relationships, family, and career. She’s an employee at the Corporation for National and Community Service where she does program development. The organization agencies developing AmeriCorps VISTA and Senior Corps Programs. It's a career she loves, since it focuses on addressing and improving communities. Dooley also spent many years excelling in other sports, such as marathons and triathlons (including two Ironmandistance triathlons), before returning to the water in a big way in 2010. And now, at the age of 46, Dooley is in the best shape of her life, both physically and mentally. Yes, Dooley successfully completed her English Channel crossing in 2012. But in the process, she also went on to complete the Triple Crown of marathon swimming: the Catalina Channel swim (2011), the English Channel crossing (2012), and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (2013). Completing these three events places her in a unique club, one of only 69 people in the world to have achieved the coveted Triple Crown. How does she juggle the rigorous training with work and her social life? “Training is fun for me because my training life is also a part of my social life,” Dooley explained. She keeps close social ties to many competitive swimmers, runners, and triathletes. “We all love what we're doing and can't imagine life without these activities,” she said. These friends, she emotionally asserted, have provided immeasurable support during

and money so that I can be successful,” she said. This support includes shifts of kayakers and swimmers on training swims over what she describes as “a gazillion” weekends over the last three years. “I would send an email looking for volunteers, and friends always stepped up to help. They believed in me even when I didn’'t.” The support from her boyfriend Calvin, friends, and family is overwhelming to Dooley, who readily admits that she couldn't have accomplished her goals without their noted, “I have gratitude times a million.” Friends and loved ones also traveled to her races and cheered loudly from the support boat as she hit the shore with every race.

Completing these three events places her in a unique club, one of only 69 people in the world to have achieved the coveted Triple Crown.

Every long swim and race requires a large support crew, including kayakers and observers, whose sole purpose is her safety. “I have been surrounded by

Support is certainly vital to Dooley's success, but she also credits her coach, Whitney Hedgepeth, for preparing her both physically and mentally for the rigors of training for 20+ mile swims in adverse conditions. One thing Dooley understands now is the importance of quality workouts over quantity. She listens to her body and takes rest days between tough speed sessions in the pool. When she set her initial sights on the English Channel crossing, many coaches and mentors suggested the Catalina Channel crossing as a training race. “I trained my longest and hardest for the 20.2 mile Catalina swim,” she recalled, establishing a huge base of mileage and also working on the mental side of swimming long. Training swims included multiple three- to six-hour swims each weekend. The swim starts at night off Catalina Island in California and, although she was anxious, Dooley carried the motivating words and support of her coach with every stroke. “Whitney always encouraged me to accomplish my extreme goals. She is attentive and positive, and her workouts are second-to-none,” explained Dooley. “On Mondays, when I would come back to the pool, she always asked about my long weekend training

swims. She knew exactly how to motivate me.” In fact, Hedgepath’s words before Catalina—and each subsequent swim of the Triple Crown—resonate daily with Dooley. “When your coach tells you they have no doubt in your ability to complete a swim, you believe them,” she said. Each swim certainly presented its own set of unpredictable challenges, and it's impossible to say that one was more Catalina crossing, there were big surf warnings, and people were not allowed in the water. She was afraid her swim might be cancelled but it wasn’t, and they started in the dark. Imagine beginning a 20.2-mile ocean swim in the dark of night with only the guidance of a lone tugboat and kayaker next to you. Support crew had to toss her liquid nutrition to her on a rope since she was not allowed to make physical contact with any of the volunteers or boats. Wetsuits in these races are also illegal, making cold-water crossing in 9:49. Yep, that's nine HOURS and 49 minutes. The English Channel is notoriously cold, choppy, and unforgiving. To prepare for this 21-mile swim, Dooley gained about 30 pounds of weight and spent countless hours swimming in the coldest

in Austin. Once in England, the event date actually spans a week-long window, which is based on the tides, so swimmers don’t know exactly when they’ll get England and wait. Talk about nerve wracking. Dooley got the call, once again, to start at night. “I wanted to quit three hours into that swim because I was so seasick due to the choppy waters,” she remembered, “but a marathon swim is long and your perspective changes many times throughout the miles.” Dooley completed her goal of crossing the English Channel that fall in a time of 11:16, making her one of the fastest women to do so in 2012. “I didn't even know what the Triple Crown of swimming was until I started learning more about marathon swimming,” explained Dooley. “My initial goal was the English Channel and by the fall of 2012, I had completed two of the three events.” The remaining swim was the Manhattan Island Marathon swim. Dooley had previously done this swim as part of a relay in her training, A U G U S T 2 0 1 3 AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM 3 7



so she decided to apply in November 2012 after the English Channel. Her application was accepted, and she successfully swam 28 solo miles around the Island of Manhattan this past June in a time of 7:44. Only 11 of the 39 competitors successfully completed that race,

second among women. This type of success requires not just physical training but an incredible amount of mental training as well, which Dooley believes is equally important to creating a successful event—as well as a successful balance in work and life. She spent countless hours outside of the pool visualizing the perfect swim. She examined videos and photos of the starts and

that I would be successful,” said Dooley. “It doesn't necessarily mean that I didn't have bad mental days, but I never let go of that focus.” It's this focus that has made Katy Dooley such a success and inspiration to others. She that concept extends beyond just physical healthy choices has become more important to me,” said Dooley. “There is a balance in my life and I'm more invested in taking care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually.” Her next goal? She heads back to dry land with a 100-mile run around the Florida Keys in 2014. What started as a dare to raise money for her Manhattan swim charities turned into a friends. She has swimming goals, too , including Lake Zurich and the Straits of Gibraltar (Spain to Morocco). “I like to have something on tap because it motivates me to wake up every day Thankfully, Dooley hasn't had to dodge any real bullets since that day on the bike, even though she dodged a few virtual ones to achieve her Triple Crown of swimming. Katy herself is a bullet in the water, and these days, she's the one calling the shots. AFM

38 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

Congress Avenue Kayaks Is Open!

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Downtown Austin’s newest kayak and SUP rental on the water, by the hour or half day, for beginners and the experienced.

photo by Vladimir Brezina photo by Calvin Baxter

Waller Creek Boathouse Below the Four Seasons Hotel

74 Trinity Street Austin, TX 78701


photo by Calvin Baxter

photo by Vladimir Brezina

photo by Mel Magallanez



Heartbeat of Austin's Fitness Scene

Ways to Take Advantage of the Austin Heat

Suggestions for next year's AFM FITTEST Mystery Test

No time at home? Bake cookies in your car

Book Bit From The Son by Philipp Meyer

Move your Bikram yoga class outside Capture and repurpose your sweat for non-watering days

23% — Pec Juggling 18% — Shake Weight Balance Beam 37% — Softball Lob (from 5 feet) 10% — Hot Dog Eating Contest 13% — Smart Car Pull 3% — Staring Match

Sunbathe in Saran Wrap for at-home spa treatments

With the 2014 X Games in town, folks from L.A. are going to have to adjust their palates.



Manuel’s El Tepeyac Father’s Office M & M’s Soul Food Park’s Barbeque Matsuhisa

Juan in a Million Hopdoddy Hoover’s Cooking Franklin Barbeque Uchi

“Meanwhile my old acts of cowardice continued to haunt. Had I married Maria (for whom I briefly harbored feelings), instead of Sally (my proper match)…who was thirty-two and twice jilted, who loved her life in Dallas, whose bitterness was apparent from the moment she stepped from the train, who came because her father and my father and her own biology gave her no choice. I was so lonely when I met Peter, that is the story she tells of our courtship. Our fathers arranging the breeding as if we were heifer and bull. Perhaps I am dramatic; in truth our first years were quite pleasant, but then Sally must have realized that, just as I always said, I really had no intention of leaving this land. Many families of our stature, she rightly pointed out, maintain more than one residence. But we are not like other families.”

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In the Heat of the Moment — Asia Sweat — Snoop Dogg ft. David Guetta Too Hot To Handle — UFO Heatwave — Martha and the Vandellas I'm on Fire — Bruce Springsteen

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HYUNDAI GIANT! #1 Hyundai Dealer from Dallas to Laredo to Pensacola




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A u s t i n ' s

1 0

F i t t e s t

These ten athletes have set the bar for Austin's fitness community in 2014. Here's your chance to meet them, learn from their experiences, and get a grip on what's needed for next year.




A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

Overall Female Winner, Female 30s Winner

Judy Mcelroy by Courtenay Verret


t’s hard enough to defend your title when there are dozens of others who are hungry to take it from you, but add to that the fatigue of having recently competed in another physically demanding event, and you can understand what Judy McElroy was facing going into AFM FITTEST 2013. “The CrossFit South Central Regionals just wrapped up two weeks before this event and the last thing I wanted to do was run,” she admitted. “I gave myself a pep talk and did what I could. Just like everyone else, I didn’t feel ready. But showing up, and doing your best at the moment, puts you in the best place for next time.” McElroy’s pep talk was clearly effective: She was able to hold on to her Overall FITTEST title, despite the increased number of female competitors this year. In discussing her training strategy coming into this year’s contest, McElroy explained, “Earlier this year I declared that, ‘[2013] is the year that the athlete I presently am and the athlete I ought to be will meet.’” For McElroy, that meeting in the middle meant enlisting the help of coaches. “You can have all of the talent in the world but underachieve because you don't have the right people to nurture your talent,” she explained. “I have done some good things in my life but have spent most of it in a state of unlimited potential. What does that mean? It means that I was good at a lot of things, and people were impressed… but I could never reach peak performance. You will never find a great athlete who coaches himself to greatness.” With the help of her coaching team—which includes former Level 1 and Level 2 USA Track and Field Coach Aaron Davis, Wes Kimball of CrossFit Austin, and Olympian and National Champion weightlifter Chad Vaughn—McElroy began participating in CrossFit competitions at the end of 2012 and was competing at an elite level after only a few months. “The focus is on becoming a better athlete, not just better at CrossFit or deadlifting,” she said. “With the great coaching, and all the great athletes in Austin, I have lots of people to learn from.” McElroy noted that she did not train for specific events of the AFM FITTEST; rather, she used the event as an assessment of her physical fitness. “There are a lot of different events, and I have to remind myself that I will do better in some and worse in others,” she explained. “Some people look at the scores and immediately announce that they could jump farther or run faster. That is not what this event measures.” McElroy has a message for those who are considering entering the AFM FITTEST next year (or even for those who are just contemplating becoming more active): “Your life is now, or never. Every one of us possesses unfathomable strength and ability, but we rarely call on our tremendous mental and physical resources. They demand to be stretched, exercised, and challenged, and there is nothing better than athletic competition.”

“You will never feel ready to compete, in any type of athletic competition. Nobody ever feels ready. Fear can be a bad thing in your life, but it can also yield results. The only fear you need is the fear that you will continue living a life much smaller than your hopes and dreams.”


A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

Overall male Winner, male 20s Winner

“I had such a great time at the event last year. Everyone from competitors to volunteers to fans was very supportive and energetic and it was something I've been looking forward to for awhile.”

Greg Cook by Courtenay Verret


f you had won the Overall category of the AFM FITTEST last year, you might have felt a bit self-satisfied and ready to move on to the next challenge. For Greg Cook, however, his 2012 results were merely a benchmark for what he wanted to build on in 2013. “Coming into this year, I wanted to improve upon my weaknesses from last year,” he said. “Last year, I didn't really train for the mile at all. I used some of my other training to work on aerobic conditioning, but didn't do any running over a quarter of a mile. This year, I started running to work and adding one-mile runs to the end of my workouts.” The 25-year-old personal trainer at Pure Austin knew that this year he’d be facing a large contingent of men who would be eager to steal his title. Rather than stress about his competition, however, Cook’s strategy was to focus on himself. “I was determined to focus primarily on my own training,” he asserted. “I wanted to perform as well as

possible, and if someone was able to beat me then they would deserve it.” This “win big, lose small” strategy paid off, enabling him to defend his title as the fittest man in Austin. Not even the Mystery Tests could throw him off his game; in fact, Cook noted that he had suspected one of the tests would involve balance: “Last year [the AFM FITTEST] tested all of the aspects of fitness except for balance. So I had a feeling that one of the Mystery Tests would involve balance, but I couldn't think of any way to make it testable that would give any meaningful rankings.” The Interval Run was Cook’s favorite test, for its combination of speed, endurance, and change of direction. Cook is not only a physical powerhouse in the gym; he also regularly flexes his mental muscles by playing chess. Yes, chess. As in the game. A few years ago, during a four-and-a-halfmonth backpacking trip across the world, Cook picked up the game from his friend,


who taught him how to play on the life-sized chess sets they would periodically encounter. Cook enjoyed it so much that he ultimately purchased his own travel chess set in Budapest so that he and his friend could play all the time. (His affinity for the game may explain his ability to have successfully strategized two consecutive wins in the AFM FITTEST!) Cook is currently busy developing some new and innovative fitness classes he would like to roll out at Pure Austin this fall, but he hopes to once again defend his AFM FITTEST title in 2014. He encouraged people who might be on the fence about entering the contest to consider signing up next year and using the opportunity to benchmark their own fitness. “I think a lot of people don't enter the competition because they feel like they won't have a chance to win it,” he said. “But many of these same people sign up for 5Ks and marathons without any concerns about winning. The key is to establish a benchmark and work towards improving for the next year.” A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

Female 20s Winner

Julie Pickler by Leah Fisher Nyfeler


ulie Pickler made her debut this year in the AFM FITTEST; the former collegiate and pro athlete was looking for a challenge and goal to work toward. Two things swayed her: pictures of last year’s event that showed competitors having fun and an email from a friend—“Alex Earle said I should do it!” As a heptathlete, the variety of the AFM FITTEST appealed to Pickler. She’d started out in high school in basketball, volleyball, and track; an area coach spotted her and introduced Pickler to the heptathlon. That’s a two-day, seven-event track and field competition that involves four events on Day One (100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, and 200 meters) and another three events (long jump, javelin, and the 800 meters) on Day Two. Pickler excelled and received a full scholarship to Washington State University, where she garnered five Division I NCAA All American awards, before becoming a pro athlete with Asics. Just in case you’re thinking, “That’s right—I think she went to the Olympics, too, and was one of AFM’s 10 FITTEST before,” you’re wrong; that was Pickler’s twin sister Diana, also a heptathlete at Washington State. The sisters are close, and Pickler snapped photos at the AFM FITTEST all throughout to send to her sibling, who currently lives in California. These days, Pickler combines quite a few of her loves with her profession; she’s the Wellness Specialist at Apple Inc. “The best way to describe [my job] is to keep/influence/motivate Apple employees to be healthy,” Pickler explained. “I absolutely love my job as it offers so much variety, from planning events to counseling Apple employees about their health results. I have amazing co-workers and a supportive manager who allows me the flexibility to get workouts in the afternoon and take walks around the building throughout the day with my co-worker.” She loves to cook (though she doesn’t like following recipes) and eat (her summer favorites are a Caprese salad, fish, and hearts of palm as a snack). Though Pickler didn’t specifically train for the AFM FITTEST, she credits a lot of her success to Move Austin Fitness. She’d joined the gym two months prior to the competition. “I’m very picky with gyms, workouts, and trainers, and I have finally found my niche in Austin,” Pickler said. She’s been training with Katy Duggan Freshour, Jared Freshour, and Jake Norman three days a week, with a variety of strength, mobility, endurance, and speed workouts. “I believe in a balanced approach in order to achieve optimal fitness,” she explained, and that includes maintaining healthy and nutritious eating patterns and incorporating fitness into her fun activities. Pickler and her boyfriend love to take “surprise trips” (in fact, the two headed off to Estes Park the day after

the AFM FITTEST) where they hike and camp. She recalled a fun trip with a 10-hour hike that involved sliding down glaciers and punching holes in the surface with their feet in order to ladder back up. Pickler has an effervescent personality, a bright smile, and an easygoing sense of fun but there’s a real competitor contained in that lithe frame. She laughed and talked a bit about the healthy rivalry between her and her twin; she said they had a pattern growing up, that she’d be better at first and then Diana would catch up. She’s clearly not afraid of a tough competitor, as she said she’d encourage her sister to come try out the AFM FITTEST. “I will certainly be back next year,” she exclaimed. “I am looking forward to it because I will be in the same age category as Judy [McElroy, reigning overall woman champion] next year! Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I will be 30!”


A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

male 30s Winner

David King by Leah Fisher Nyfeler


hile several of the AFM FITTEST age division winners have stated that they did not specifically train for the event, David King trained with a vengeance and all the focus of a heat-seeking missle. The trainer wanted to set an example for his children and his clients…and to discover for himself “what was possible if I REALLY trained.” King started in early February and worked with a team of trainers (Michael Duke Winchester, Red Black Gym; David Braswell, Out Right Fitness; Brette Hayward, 5 Fitness), chiropractor (Dr. Jay Ding, Peak Performance Chiropractic), sports psychologist (Frank Sarosdy, Sarosdy Nutrition Solutions), and a whole crew of friends (fellow competitors Mark Cunningham, Kent Smith, and Steve Lisson). This was a very different approach for King, who described his typical training pattern as that of “a lone wolf.”

Each member of King’s team helped him in specific ways. King described the work he did with Winchester, which included kettlebell workouts and resistance band exercises, as “gracious torture.” Braswell’s Speed and Performance class took him to his running limits; Hayward’s NFL combine-style workouts worked his body and “challenged my mind to stay calm at levels of fatigue and burn previously unknown to me.” King visited the chiropractor “at least once a week” to keep his body healthy, and he took his nutrition to an intense level with Sarosdy, who added supplements into King’s diet and helped him visualize the AFM FITTEST “frame by frame, like an Olympic athlete.” King is intense and focused, and he readily admits that he can have a “tough time controlling attitude

when things don’t go my way.” Again, it’s a team aspect that’s brought improvement—his family. This super-charged competitor visibly softens when he talks about his two little ones, daughter Sofie and 1-year-old son Kade, and his wife, Chelsea, who he describes as “the mother I always imagined for my children.” He credits them with helping him to control that temper: “I admit that I reached down to throw a cone at this year’s AFM FITTEST,” King stated, “but I thought of my kids—they’re a great inspiration for me to be a better person.” The family works fitness into their together time; they have a Saturday walk routine around Lady Bird Lake, Sofie is into gymnastics, and little Kade took up walking about three weeks ago. It’s important to King that he’s home at night for dinner, and schedules his job—he’s a fitness coach specializing in helping overweight folks take on nutrition and exercise—to accommodate that special family time. In addition, he coaches personal trainers to improve their skills with clients through his on-line program called Ebook Personal Training Excellence. He’s put his background as a management specialist to good use, though it took awhile to nail that college diploma. King started out in Flatonia, Texas, in a 1A school (“I graduated with 31 kids. We got to play everything, including golf and tennis”) where he specialized in track and field. However, he spent some time after high school “wasting unfilled potential partying on 6th Street” before he made it, at age 27, to Huston Tillotson University on scholarship. There, he competed in the decathlon under iconic coach Howard Ware, who took him to two NAIA National Championships in a row. King reflected on this time: “It was at this moment in life when I realized my parents were right. We can accomplish something extraordinary with hard work, a little help, and a positive attitude.” It’s a little funny to hear King call out one specific test at the AFM FITTEST as his best event: the Precision Throw. King got 8 out of 10 throws, which took third in the men’s 30s division. “If it weren’t for this event,” he speculated, “I wouldn’t be sitting here right now.” He also talked about giving his all in the One-Mile Run, channeling Roger Bannister and working to stay with fellow competitor Dane Krager. He recalled the final 50 meters of the run: “I heard my friend, Taylor, screaming, ‘Do not surrender! Do not surrender!’ Somehow my legs finished the race in 5:43 and I fell to my knees. Surrounded by my entire team of support, including my wife and young children, I knew that I had given it my all.” He summed up that June day at Camp Mabry, saying, with a smile, “Win or no win, it was a wonderful day.”


A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

Female 40s Winner

Cara Mastrian by Lori Burkhardt


ara Mastrian laughingly describes herself as “kind of pretty good at a lot of different stuff” and a soccer player who works “wherever I’m needed.” This versatile mother of three has learned to master the art of the impromptu workout, and Mastrian credits the variety and creativity of these workouts as an important part— even as an advantage over her competitors—of her success in the AFM FITTEST. It’s hard to argue with Mastrian, as she is once again the 40-49 age division winner. Mastrian doesn’t just incorporate her hectic family lifestyle into her fitness regimen; she’s embraced an additional benefit in having her husband Shawn as an informal coach and training partner. She described him as “the smartest person I know,” someone who is “into the science and technique” behind the various tests. “Together, we created ways to practice for each of the events,” she explained. “He helped me come up with techniques to employ and ways to maximize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses.” Newcomers to the 2014 AFM FITTEST should take note of Mastrian’s advice: “Do not ignore the technique of each event. When you get up to the line to do the Broad Jump or throw the medicine ball, know exactly how you are going to execute it.” She added, “But most of all, just have a good time.” Mastrian just couldn’t pass up the challenge of competing in the AFM FITTEST. “This competition is so unique to the Austin fitness scene, and it is really cool to be a part of it,” she said. “On what other occasion would you have the opportunity to improve your coordination by throwing softballs? Or use all the power in your legs to jump as far as you can? Or work on the good old-fashioned pull-up?” Though she’d won her age division in 2012, Mastrian felt there was work to be done to improve her performance in all events for 2013. “The idea of pushing myself to excel in so many aspects of fitness is so appealing to me. It’s a fun way to train and a fun competition,” she asserted. To prepare for this year's event, Mastrian began working with Karen Smith, a running coach in Austin, who helped her “focus on versatility, endurance,

and rapid recovery.” This training tweak resulted in a faster mile time for Mastrian and gave her the overall ability to “better attack each event.” She also praised the “wonderful people” at Heroes CrossFit in Cedar Park who were “so supportive of [her] training and competition for this event.” Mastrian applied a bit of detective work to her training, too; she noted that “balance” appeared in this year’s literature, realized that this was not one of the key words on the 2012 competitor shirt, and deduced that one of the Mystery Tests would involve balance (her best guess on the focus of the second was core work, perhaps planking). Hating to admit she has a down day every now and then, Mastrian has learned to power on. “I push through and tell myself I’ll just get it done fast!” she explained. “I know that I will feel good after a workout and that’s what keeps me motivated—that awesome, post-workout feeling that I know will knock out almost any form of the ‘blahs.’” Mastrian also draws inspiration and motivation for her workouts and daily life from her grandmother, who survived three years in a Japanese prison camp in Dutch Indonesia during World War II. “She believed in being a strong woman, inside AND out,” Mastrian said. “She was always fit, even before it was trendy, and she exercised well into her eighties. Some day I hope to write her story, but until then, she will continue to be an inspiration to me.” Mastrian looks at well-being as a whole, and so she does not neglect the health of her soul. Her faith and fitness fuel one another. “I regularly use my runs as a time to pray and reflect and appreciate God’s creation all around me,” she said thoughtfully. Finding joy and gratitude in her ability to work her body “adds a profound level of drive” to everyday workouts and even benefits her mentally, helping her to clear her mind and focus on things that are important. “When I’m competing, or pushing myself really hard, I often call on God,” said Mastrian. “When you ask Him to show up, he’ll be there. Every time.”


A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

male 40s Winner

tim Zeddies by Courtenay Verret


here is no competitor who can challenge you like yourself. Or at least that’s returning AFM FITTEST winner Tim Zeddies’ philosophy. “If I can beat numbers from the previous year, or from a previous workout, then I feel successful,” he asserted. Of course, given Zeddies’ profession— sports psychologist—it makes sense that he would take such a healthy attitude toward the competition. He looks at the FITTEST “not as an opportunity to fail, but as a fitness measurement, a chance to have fun and get information about areas to address in training.” Coming into the 2013 FITTEST, Zeddies was confident in the changes he had made in his training and was hoping to see some improvements to his scores. Last August, he began training weekly with Dane Krager of Dane’s Body Shop, focusing on lower body explosiveness. He also attended classes at Dane’s two to three times per week. “[I] love the community aspect of [Dane’s Body Shop], as well as the emphasis on overall health and fitness,” he said. One of the most important aspects of Zeddies’ training, especially as an athlete in his forties, is rest and recovery. “We grow when we rest,” he said. “It’s a hard lesson to learn.” With his number one goal being to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury, Zeddies adjusted his workouts by decreasing their volume and number while keeping the intensity high.

This year, the Mystery Tests were the subject of much speculation among the athletes, Zeddies included. To prepare himself for whatever the FITTEST threw his way, he chose a few possible options and trained accordingly. “On the one hand, it was fun because you didn't know what was coming,” he mused. “On another level, and this was particularly true on the balance test, it seemed to measure a competitor's ability to find a gimmicky way to do the test rather than a more pure measure of fitness.” Were he given the opportunity to add his own Mystery Tests to the mix, Zeddies said he would select two: “Max pushups in two minutes…The first minute is comparatively easy, but the wheels come off for most people on the second minute,” he explained. The second would be the “Farmer's Carry Interval test in place of grip


test…it is a better measure of functional fitness, in my opinion.” Family support is key to any athlete’s success, and Zeddies credits his wife Andrea and their daughters (Bella, 11 years old; Julia, 10 years old; and Caela, 6 years old) with his. “The generous and loving support of my family…[they] have been so wonderfully patient with Daddy's fitness activities, which often involve early bed times for me and strict diets,” he said. Zeddies plans to return once again next year to the AFM FITTEST (“It's too fun to miss!”), and he hopes that others will join him. “I'd encourage them to use the FITTEST as an opportunity to face and then overcome whatever they're fearing. After all, fear is just a feeling, right?”

A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

Female 50s Winner

Kathleen Parker by Lori Burkhardt


athleen Parker exudes positivity, confidence, and passion. As an iGnite Your Life Fitness trainer, she consistently inspires others to challenge themselves: "Our philosophy…is to empower each member to reach their fullest potential and live their best lives every day. Each morning, I can’t wait to go to ‘work.’” Parker invites the curious to try out her favorite class, “Lake Escape.” In it, she teaches wake surfing, water skiing, and wake boarding, which were all staples of her childhood growing up around Lake LBJ. Parker returned in 2013 as the female 50-59 winner with her focus on bettering last year’s results and keeping her title. “My main competitor (this year) was myself,” she said. In late spring, Parker “amped up her training,” adding sprinting drills and working twice a week with two personal trainers, Coach Mo (Maurice Harris) at Coach Mo’s Elite Fitness and Chad Mahagan at Westlake Medical Center. She also practiced the Precision Throw: “I can still do the splits, but cannot throw a ball,” she joked. Parker’s additional training paid off—she proudly exclaimed, “I got last place in the softball throw last year and moved up to second-to-last place this year!” She also met her goal of improving her scores in every other event. While Parker admitted that “walking out onto that competitive field is intimidating,” she stressed that first-timers will feel “amazing, accomplished, and exhilarated” after crossing the finish line of the last event. With that kind of positive thinking, Parker is sure she’ll convince her husband to take on the challenge next year. At 90 years young, Parker’s father, who “lives life fearlessly and fully,” adds inspiration to her active lifestyle by reminding her that “having a healthy and strong body keeps a healthy and strong mind.” Active all her life, Parker may be one of

a very few people who “loves burpees,” praising the exercise that works multiple muscles (much to other’s dismay). She and her husband have four adult daughters, three of whom are triplets. All but one, who claims to have been “separated at birth,” follows a love-to-sweat lifestyle. However, Parker did not find her calling to become a trainer until she was 45; prior to that time, she’d focused on “raising my kids” and, once they were grown, began to search for “what I wanted to do with my life.” She tried out classes at iGnite and discovered something she loved; founder Neissa Brown Springmann inspired Parker to “find and follow my passion, and to live each day with purpose…I would not be doing what I am doing today had I not taken that to heart,” she asserted. Aside from her competition with last year’s numbers, Parker noted that all of the women in her 2013 age division were “amazing competitors,” and she called out Mary Moran Parker in particular as one to watch for 2014. “We all have gifts in different areas,” she said, and some of those gifts were tested in this year’s Mystery Tests. “I liked the idea of Mystery Tests because there is no way you can train for them and they truly show your fitness level on the spot,” Parker explained. When asked what type of test she’d like to see in the 2014 AFM FITTEST, Parker stressed one that measures flexibility. “Having full range of motion is such an important part of being healthy and fit,” she reasoned. “Along with strength and endurance, I believe flexibility is the third component of being all-around fit.” Watch for Parker again next year. “[The FITTEST] is a great summer goal; having goals to reach throughout the year keeps me going full force,” she said, adding, “Waking up with a purpose each morning keeps us all around happier.”


A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

male 50s Winner

when coworkers at MCC introduced him to a noontime pickup game with IBM and UT folks located at the Balcones/ by Leah Fisher Nyfeler Pickle Research Center campus. Soccer also became another way for Talley, a long time single parent, to bond with his im Talley missed last year’s kids. “I decided early on that it wouldn’t AFM FITTEST event. He be in anyone’s interest if I ‘sacrificed’ my only heard about it after the life for the kids (and grew resentful of fact, when he discovered that),” he explained. “So I supported their that a training friend, Jessica participation in youth soccer leagues, and Estrada, was the runner up they came along to my adult soccer games.” in the women’s 20-29 diviWhile Talley didn’t set out to work a sion. The two worked out together at CATZ, particular training schedule for the AFM which puts on occasional competitions for its FITTEST, he made plans to continue his athletes, and Talley’s curiosity got the better functional training with CATZ; in addition to of him. “Jess and I scored very similarly in one his soccer, he continued to run. Talley figured of those competitions,” he remembered, “ so he’d devote the last six weeks prior to June I used her FITTEST times/counts/distances 15 to specificity of training. And that’s where (with some adjustments) as a crude measure the wheels came off—he fell ill. “I got sick in of how I would have done in my bracket in late May,” he remembered, “and I just never 2012. This made me think that it was maybe a seemed to get any better.” Every workout possibility to win it.” In addition, Talley loves a Talley attempted put him back in bed with challenge—how could he resist? what seemed to be a cold or flu. A round of Talley has been a soccer player since his antibiotics had no effect; two weeks before 30s and he maintains his fitness through the AFM FITTEST, he went to see an ENT avid play; he’s involved in both indoor specialist to find out what was causing his and outdoor leagues in Austin (primarily dizziness and lack of energy. Though the the AMSA Over-40 Premier league team, doctor felt his condition was resolving, Talley the Eliminators 040). He started playing wasn’t so sure—he even debated on whether he should pick up his packet. He reasoned that he could always change his mind, so Talley did pick up that packet… and he made it to the event, though the Burpees exacerbated the vertigo and he repeatedly fell off the balance beam. But this is Talley’s biggest strength, “that I’ll rise to whatever challenge is in front of me, or ‘die’ trying,” and so he stuck it out. He’s a quietly confident man who tends toward the self-depreciating, mixed with streaks of wry humor. For example: Talley wrote that he was feeling “dejected and desperate, and of course, seriously deconditioned” by his bout with illness, and then added a side note, writing, “For you younger athletes, one of the ‘joys’ of being an older athlete is that the amount of Talley, who's unattached and always happy to find a new

Jim talley


dance partner, dances to the Robert Kraft Trio with Teresa Cobo at Austin's legendary Continental Club.


time required to get into shape rapidly increases as the decades roll by, while the time required to get thoroughly out of shape diminishes in a similar fashion—a Catch-22 really, which, hopefully, you’ll have the athletic longevity to experience for yourself.” Yes, Talley’s a lifelong athlete with a seriously competitive streak. He talked about returning to compete again (though he knows injuries—and illness—can play a huge part in that outcome); he outlined how he analyzed his fitness with Greg Cook’s initial run-through of the AFM FITTEST; he explained how he worked to improve his pull-ups by achieving one additional rep each week. And yet, this guy knows how to have some serious fun. Talley is a huge music fan who probably sees more bands in a month than most fitness buffs with similar training regimens see in a year; in fact, he’d attended the Old Settlers Music Festival in Driftwood and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival right before falling sick. He’s always been into music, so much so that he moved to New Orleans for a while and worked as a studio engineer. Talley is also a salsa dancer. He fell in love with the Latin step when he was an exchange student in Ecuador, and he’s been working the floor ever since. “I don’t really consider it exercise,” he said, though there’s no doubt he’s managed to incorporate another fitness aspect into his day via leisure time. He gave a shout out to the Sahara Lounge over on the East side as a great place for music and salsa. When asked what he would say if given the opportunity to encourage someone to try the AFM FITTEST, Talley responded humorously. “I would tell them: ‘You are so screwed. You are going to go out there and make a total fool of yourself when you…’ Oh, wait! The question said encourage, not discourage!” he joked. Then, he gave a succinct, serious, inspiring response. “You shouldn’t think of it as a dichotomy between (nearly) winning it or looking like a fool,” Talley explained. “That’s definitely a false dichotomy. The AFM FITTEST event is a great evaluation opportunity, which can show you where you’re at personally in terms of fitness. Such a benchmark, in turn, sets you up to be able to compete against yourself (your most worthy opponent) as you work at improving year over year. The AFM FITTEST event provides a fun, wholesome, healthy environment which is a great place to challenge yourself.”

A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

Female 60s Winner

Janice Wirtanen by Lori Burkhardt


t the 2013 AFM FITTEST, Janice Wirtanen accomplished the goal she set at the end of last year’s event, “to be healthy enough to participate next year,” with flying colors. Not only did Wirtanen participate, she nabbed a repeat win in the women’s 60+ division. An avid basketball player and boot camp attendee, Wirtanen explained that she’s not explicitly training for the AFM FITTEST—she’s training for life. “I do not want to become an elderly person who becomes dependent on others to perform day-to-day tasks,” she stated adamantly. “Once a person finds excuses to avoid working out, it would probably become a habit, eventually leading to a sedentary life.” Wirtanen’s boot camp instructor DJ Olsson encouraged her to participate in the 2012 AFM FITTEST. “The night before [last year’s] event, I seriously doubted my ability to compete,” she admitted. After chatting with several female competitors the morning of the competition, Wirtanen realized that nervousness was a common theme, and it should not deter those who are afraid of competing in the FITTEST. “It was nice to be in a positive environment in which women support each other,” she said. No encouragement was needed this year, though, as Wirtanen was eager to “compare [her] 2012 scores with this year’s scores” and signed up with confidence. Wirtanen finds that her best source of inspiration comes “from within.” Suffering from a deep foot bruise and an inflamed tendon from an injury about three months before the competition, Wirtanen was crutch-bound for three weeks and unable to fully exercise for an additional two weeks after that. She had concerns about her cardiovascular abilities coming into the event, though she performed well. Wirtanen was pleasantly surprised to also find inspiration in her fellow competitors, Jody Kelly (75) and Linda Lloyd (60, who recently lost a significant amount of weight). “It would be so cool to be 75 and be able to compete,” she said admiringly. Wirtanen, who hopes to return in 2014, would like to see push-ups added to the event, possibly in the form of a Mystery Test. “Hopefully, I will not suffer any injuries prior to the competition,” she remarked. “Unfortunately, as one ages, the possibility of injuries increases.” Wirtanen has plenty of opportunities for injury, as she continues to play basketball competitively (she’s always on the lookout for additional women to field the Senior Olympics team she’s on) and stays active teaching physical education in an elementary school. That PE class, though, turned into quite an advantage; Wirtanen was able to practice her softball pitching with the kids and improved significantly; she is the Best in Test winner for 2013 with 9 out of 10 throws in the Precision Throw. Last year, she

threw overhand and scored 3 out of 5; this year, she practiced an underhand throw, reasoning, “If it’s good enough for Cat Osterman, it’s good enough for me.” Her future focus is on reclaiming the cardiovascular endurance she had prior to her injury. Wirtanen continues to push herself to try new events in all aspects of her life, and that youthful attitude led her at age 60 to start her own lawn-mowing business. As sole employee, she’s found her business to provide another useful, albeit unconventional, workout that will no doubt aid in a speedy recovery of her cardiovascular endurance. “It was hard work, but it helped keep me active,” she noted, adding, “You are truly as young as you feel.”


A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

male 60s Winner

Pat thomas by Lori Burkhardt


Inspired by his two children, Joey (age 28) and Lauren (age 24), who “are in very good shape and are tough to keep up with,” Pat Thomas came back for the 2013 AFM FITTEST. “My kids would never let me hear the end of it if I didn’t defend my title,” he said. Making this win even sweeter was Thomas’ ability to prevail over the challenges of being active with asthma. “Some people have arthritis; I have asthma,” Thomas noted. Having dealt with the condition since he was 23, Thomas’ lung capacity is between 60 to 70 percent, and he had never run for exercise until he prepared for last year’s event. This time around, Thomas worked his running and the effort shows. While he claims he’ll “never break 10 minutes,” he came awfully close, clocking a time of 10:02 this year. Thomas kept most of his training elements from last year in place, including the amount of time spent in the gym. He added additional plyometric work, weekly burpees (“because it’s a specific event”), and running. “I know I’ll never be anything other than last or close to it in the mile, so I need to do really well in all the other events,” he averred. Mission accomplished: Thomas placed first or second in all but two of the 12 tests. Additionally, he dominated this year’s Mystery Tests, winning both the Vertical Jump and Balance Beam Hurdles in his age division. “I had no idea what to expect,” Thomas said, smiling, “and that was a really fun thing—not knowing.” He wondered how much of his success at this year’s AFM FITTEST could be credited to dropping 20 pounds through an Atkins-style diet; his reasoning for the weight loss was that “I can’t get any younger, so I might as well change the things I can.” Although the aforementioned training was essential to Thomas’ conditioning, his true passion is golf. Thomas started playing when he was 32 and, while he doesn’t arrange his vacations around golfing, he has played famed courses such as Pebble Beach and St. Andrews and logs quite a bit of playing time in Maui. You won’t often find Thomas aboard a golf cart, though. He walks whenever possible and is typically able to get in a good 10K during play. In tandem with the weight of his clubs

and other necessities, golfing tees up a well-rounded and aesthetically pleasing workout. Thomas works his golfing around his training and business, since he’s not retired. He even manages to bring a fitnessoriented perspective into his day job; Thomas smilingly states that he helps companies get “fiscally fit.” “Age really is a state of mind, not a number,” Thomas declared. He will be back in action at next year’s AFM FITTEST even though he knows “all those young 50+ whippersnappers…will be coming up to our bracket soon.” The AFM FITTEST keeps him motivated all year to stay in great shape. His advice for new competitors: “Just have fun, and compete against yourself. Do the best you can.”


A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

team Winner

Dane's Body sHop by Leah Fisher Nyfeler

From left to right: David Norton, Brian Allen-Aguilar, Dane Krager, and Tim Zeddies


n one hand, the winning team at the 2013 AFM FITTEST is brand new; this combination of four men in their 30s and 40s did not compete together last year. However, Dane’s Body Shop did put together last year’s winning team of ten. What’s the secret? There may not be any need to analyze any further than gym owner and guiding spirit Dane Krager, former NFL (Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks) and Arena Football League (Austin Wranglers, Arizona Rattlers) player and owner of the eponymous shop. Krager also took the men’s 30 division last year, so he is intimately familiar with what it takes to put together a successful training session for the AFM FITTEST. The four men came together through Krager’s prep classes for this year’s event. Tim Zeddies had, ironically, won training sessions with Dane’s Body Shop as an overall men’s 40 division winner for 2012. David Norton and Brian Allen-Aguilar, both new to Austin, came to that first session where all in attendance ran through the entire fit test to establish a base line. “I knew Tim would be on the team from the start,” said Krager. The two were working out every Wednesday afternoon, and they put their heads together to analyze the prospects. Norton, who’s a TV producer (“The Biggest Loser” and a new venture called “Destination Fit”), trainer, and model—and also a complete beast when it comes to pull-ups—was a no-brainer. Allen-Aguilar was “the ringer” for the mile; completely self-trained until the AFM FITTEST, Allen-Aguilar had moved from Colorado and “needed something to do” to help cope with loss in his family and recover his well-being, and he’d embraced running. The four men came together as a team. Norton explained that they never looked at training as something special for the event; he called their workouts a “365 [day] lifestyle.” Each of the four also entered the individual competition. Surprisingly, the events each undertook for the team

were decided on June 15, scrawled on the back of a bib in the minutes before the afternoon competition got underway and following a brief analysis of their performances throughout the day. Norton had rocked the pull-ups (he’d worked up to 130 a day), so he performed those, the Standing Broad Jump, and the Hand Grip—he’d pulled a hamstring in training and opted out of the running events. No worries there, as Allen-Aguilar—who’d knocked out a 5:17 at this year’s Manzano Mile and went on to bust out a 5:21 in the individual competition at the AFM FITTEST—had that, the Balance Beam with Hurdles, and Burpees. Zeddies focused in on the Agility Cone Run, Interval Run, and the ever-popular Precision Throw, knowing he had the support of his daughter, who told him prior to the event, “Daddy, no matter what happens on Saturday, I love you.” And Krager, ever the gentleman, simply opted for whatever events the others didn’t want to do—the Vertical Leap, the 40-Yard Dash, and Standing Med Ball Toss. To a man, they each felt they performed better in the Team event than they had earlier in the day for the Individual. How did this happen? According to Zeddies, “On competition day, you tell your body to shut up.” Norton explained further, when asked whether he rationed his physical resources: “If you’re thinking about the next thing, you can’t do anything. You have to be in the moment and give it your best.” Watching the four together, it’s clear that there wound up being more to the group than simply trying to give the best team performance in a fitness competition. There’s a sense of camaraderie and joyfulness in their approach to fitness, and a true sense of bonhomie in their interaction with one another. What stands out more than their impressive physical fitness is the amount of sheer fun that these guys had with each other. And they’ll be back. AFM


A F M F I T T E S T . C O M

Hall of Fame and 2013 Best in test HOW THE BEST OF THE BEST PERFORMED

2013 AFM Fittest Overall Male Winner Greg Cook,

total composite score: 166




Coach Mo’s Standing Med Ball Toss

480 inches


Fitness Institute of Texas Standing Broad Jump

118 inches


Camp Gladiator 40-Yard Dash



Body By Frame Agility Cone Run



HIT Center Vertical Leap

32 inches


Oatmega Bar Precision Throw

6 out of 10


Pure Austin Pull-Ups

20 reps


CrossFit Central Burpees

38 reps


Castle Hill Fitness Hand Grip

200 psi


Dane’s Body Shop Interval Run

9 levels


H-E-B Balance Beam Hurdles

50 hurdles


Luke’s Locker One-Mile Run








Coach Mo’s Standing Med Ball Toss

336 inches


Fitness Institute of Texas Standing Broad Jump 108 inches


Camp Gladiator 40-Yard Dash



Body By Frame Agility Cone Run



HIT Center Vertical Leap

28 inches


Oatmega Bar Precision Throw

4 out of 10


Pure Austin Pull-Ups

15 reps


CrossFit Central Burpees

37 reps


Castle Hill Fitness Hand Grip

122 psi


Dane’s Body Shop Interval Run

7 levels


H-E-B Balance Beam Hurdles

40 hurdles


Luke’s Locker One-Mile Run



2013 AFM Fittest Overall Female Winner Judy McElroy, total composite score: 79



2013 Best in test

Molly Buck

Michael Ray Garvin

Mike O'Hara

Jennifer Fisher

Jenny Rutherford

Leigh Chilton

Megan Leath

Coach Mo’s Standing Med Ball Toss

CrossFit Central Burpees

Fitness Institute of Texas Standing Broad Jump

Castle Hill Fitness Hand Grip

Judy McElroy (36) — 336 inches Greg Cook (25) and Adam Hamilton (30) — 480 inches

Judy McElroy (36) — 108 inches David Braswell (30) — 131 inches

Camp Gladiator 40-Yard Dash Molly Buck (24) — 00:05.749 Michael Ray Garvin (26) — 00:04.792

Body By Frame Agility Cone Run Nikki Boudreaux (30) — 00:07.955 Michael Ray Garvin (26) — 00:07.109

Judy McElroy (36) — 28 inches Michael Ray Garvin (26) — 38 inches

Alison Gardner (38) — 23 reps David Norton (36) — 31 reps


Molly Buck (24), Breanna Campbell (25), Megan Leath (25), and Judy McElroy (36) — 7 levels Chad Leath (27) — 10 levels

H-E-B Balance Beam Hurdles (Mystery Test #2)

Jenny Rutherford (42) and Janice Wirtanen (63) — 9 out of 10 throws (90%) John Barr (25) and Glenn Bankston (35) — 10 out of 10 throws (100%)

Pure Austin Pull-Ups

Leigh Chilton (45) — 160 psi Rob Adams (48), Nick Archer (34), Paul Badchkam (35), Brian Bergeron(40), John Bollinger (31), Chad Byers (37), Greg Cook (25), James Couser (34), Mark Cunningham (43), Justin Fischer (34), Jeff Gemperle (41), Kyle Hernandez (29), Kevin Hines (43) John Jertson (25), Dane Krager (34), Matt Laessig (42), Jayson Lee (33), Brad Marcus (42), Jess Martin (34), Darren Nichols (41), Asitha Senanayake (28), Hunter Smith (29) — 200 psi

Dane’s Body Shop Interval Run

HIT Center Vertical Jump (Mystery Test #1) Oatmega Bar Precision Throw

Breanna Campbell (25) — 44 reps Mike O’Hara (28) — 46 reps

Jordan Rosen (26) — 75 hurdles Adam Gumula (24) — 75 hurdles

Luke’s Locker One-Mile Run Jennifer Fisher (45) — 5:45 Wesley Johnson (50) — 5:03


A F M F I T T E S T . C O M


David Braswell

Chad Leath

Alison Gardner

Glenn Bankston

Janice Wirtanen

Wesley Johnson

Med Ball Toss


Standing Broad Jump


40-Yard Dash

Hand Grip

2013 Judy McElroy (36) — 336 inches 2012 Brandon Drenon (24) — 492 inches

2013 Alison Gardner (38) — 23 2012 Bradley Swail (26) — 36

2013 Judy McElroy (36) — 108 inches 2012 David Braswell (29) and Brandon Drenon (24) — 133 inches

2012 Kristy Harris (37) — 5.09 seconds 2012 Terrence Sims (31) — 4.40 seconds

Agility Cone Run

2012 Breanna Campbell (24) — 7.81 seconds 2012 Yancy Culp (40) — 6.85 seconds

Precision Throw

2012 Robin Pettinger (30), Alissa Magrum (37), Desiree Fournier (32), and Judy McElroy (35) — 4 out 5 throws (80%) 2013 Jenny Rutherford (42) and Janice Wirtanen (63) — 9 out of 10 throws (90%) 2012 David Courtright (47), Dane Krager (33), Deric Williams (42), Conrad McCue (22), and Tervor Ross (33) — 5 out of 5 throws (100%) 2013 John Barr (25) and Glenn Bankston (35) – 10 out of 10 throws (100%)

2012 Judy McElroy (35) — 46 in 1 minute 2012 David Braswell (29) and 2013 Mike O’Hara — 46 in 1 minute

2013 Leigh Chilton (45) — 160 pounds 2012 David Braswell (29), Jeremy Kampen (33), Trevor Ross (33), and Steven Ward (42) — 200 pounds (the maximum score measured) 2013 Rob Adams (48), Nick Archer (34), Paul Badchkam (35), Brian Bergeron(40), John Bollinger (31), Chad Byers (37), Greg Cook (25), James Couser (34), Mark Cunningham (43), Justin Fischer (34), Jeff Gemperle (41), Kyle Hernandez (29), Kevin Hines (43) John Jertson (25), Dane Krager (34), Matt Laessig (42), Jayson Lee (33), Brad Marcus (42), Jess Martin (34), Darren Nichols (41), Asitha Senanayake (28), Hunter Smith (29) — 200 pounds (the maximum score measured)

Interval Run

2012 Jackie Brumbalow (28) — level 8 2012 Greg Cook (24) and Chad Leath (26) — all 10 levels

One-Mile Run

2013 Jennifer Fisher (45) — 5:45 2013 Wesley Johnson (28) — 5:03



A F M F I T T E S T . C O M


Jess Martin photo by Tea Eiland

Cara Mastrian photo by Stacy Berg

Bonnie Thomas photo by Zac Stafford

2012 rank*

2013 rank*


18 4 7

4 2 5

14 positions 2 positions 2 positions

Jess Martin, 34 Cara Mastrian, 41 Bonnie Thomas, 29

Honorable Mention

*Rank was determined by looking at the competitors who participated in both 2012 and 2013. Raw scores for nine tests (the two Mystery Tests—introduced in 2013—and the Precision Throw, which went from 5 to 10 attempts, were not included, as this data was not consistent in both years) were used to determined placement within that group for each year. The rankings for each year were then compared and the man and woman who showed the greatest improvement in position in the overall results were selected. There were 33 men and 12 women who competed both years.

5-year Age Division Winners

5-year Age Division Winners

19-24 Meryl Carey, Molly Buck, Courtney Sugar (3-way tie)

19-24 Adam Gumula, Stephen Robinson (tied)

25-29 Julie Pickler

25-29 Greg Cook

30-34 Robyn Pettinger

30-34 Dane Krager

35-39 Judy McElroy

35-39 David King

40-44 Cara Mastrian

40-44 Tim Zeddies

45-49 Terri Givens

45-49 Todd Stewart

50-54 Kathleen Parker

50-54 Jim Talley

55-59 Carolyn Esposito

55-59 Kent Smith

60-64 Janice Wirtanen

60-64 Pat Thomas

65+ Jody Kelly

65+ Michael DiLeo


A F M F I T T E S T . C O M


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AFM Fittest reVieW

testing My Fitness Levels My Return to the AFM FITTEST by Enrique Peña


enough—but grinding through sprints and burpees in hopes of pushing that anaerobic wall farther and farther back is truly a challenge. Even for those of

all that our professional and personal lives throw our way, the routines can sometimes become predictable. Every so often, a new journey presents itself to break those mundane training rituals. Fitness professionals and enthusiasts alike now have June to aim toward. gural event in 2012. Finally, there was a standard with which to

sense of friendly competition and camaraderie that was present friendly faces and was pushed harder by my fellow competitors ress. The Pull-Up seemed to draw a particularly large crowd of spectators, and their cheers pushed me to keep going. This year my girlfriend was present, supporting me while braving the Texas heat and despite feeling a bit under the weather. I could hear her while I pushed through the Interval Run, and, despite a from the spectators’ cheers took me farther than I might have gone otherwise. The sense of friendly but intense competition is truly the strength of the event. I noticed groups of competitors of toddler-sized fans in tow. Looking at the events as a whole, they are a reasonable measure of strength, speed, and agility. The addition of the Mystery

64 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

and balance standpoint. On the other hand, I can’t shake this feeling that something seemed a bit off as I marched on with my 30–39 male division that day. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m 5 feet 3 inches and 150 pounds, not exactly a match for many of the other competitors. I suppose it’s as if the welterweights and heavyweights mixed and mingled for the bench press competition. Although further categorizing the divisions may provide some logistical headaches, more precisely matching cohorts of competitors might produce tighter competition and further The use of electronic timer systems to measure the 40-Yard Dash and One-Mile Run are technologies that enhanced the event and potentially reduced the errors introduced during some of the other events. I must have had at least ten separate Despite taped lines and clear directions, the number of burpees seemed to be judge dependent. My personal experience of having done 39 last year and 26 this year is a case in point. I wonder if there is a way to integrate technology toward some of these other events as well. competition—although I’m still not sure what component of playing competitive and recreational baseball, I mustered only three out of ten in the target. My feelings toward the event may be more a personal vendetta at this point rather than objective feedback. Nonetheless, the best way to express my feelings with regard to the 2013 AFM FITTEST is that I’m looking forward to 2014! complaint is about the weather; can you do anything about that, guys? Can anyone say “indoor arena”?


3-part series

AFM Fittest from a nutrition standpoint

Evaluating food intake and energy output at the 2013 event by Laura Ugokwe, R.D., L.D., Haley Hall, R.D., L.D., and Obinna Ugokwe

Laura Ugokwe, R.D., L.D.


two words immediately come to mind: proud and inspired. I am proud of the fact that I set and accomplished the goal of participating in the competition

who participated in and watched the event. From a registered dietitian’s perspective, I am proud that I nailed my nutrition strategy, even with some hiccups. I am inspired by the number of people who offered to give me extra nutrition when I was in need. Austin is a unique place in that it is full of people that care about health and also about each other. I followed the nutrition plan we created in Part 3 of the AFM FITTEST Nutrition Series: Nutrition During Competition. For breakfast, I had my usual bowl of oatmeal with a spoonful of almond butter and frozen fruit on top. I added honey for extra fuel and chia seeds for hydration, since they can soak up to ten times their weight in water. I drank a big glass of water with breakfast and sipped on Gatorade on the drive there. During the competition, I used Shot Bloks, Gatorade, and water as my fuel. All, however, did not go as planned. Before the 40-Yard Dash, I got bitten by an ant. Because I am PHOTO BY FLA SHBAX 23

very allergic to ant bites, I was forced to take a Benadryl (which can cause drowsiness and an extremely dry mouth) to prevent hives. Although I typically listen to my body in regard to hydration, the medication made this impossible; I overhydrated to compensate for the dry mouth, which diluted my electrolytes. Thankfully, a kind person provided me with a bunch of pretzel chips, which got me over the hump in terms of sodium replacement. The other challenge was that our heat took two more hours than planned. I was unprepared, but I was lucky enough to have other participants offer to share their extra fuel. I made it through the competition feeling tired but performing well. As

weren’t for my generous competitors who shared their food. Lessons learned: Bring more nutrition than you think you need…and stay away from ants! about their health and support the fact that others do, too. Fitness is contagious, and the AFM FITTEST was a breeding ground. Check it out next year; I guarantee you will feel proud and inspired. A U G U S T 2 0 1 3 AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM 6 5

AFM Fittest reVieW

Haley Hall, R.D., L.D.


competition! I have to admit, it wasn’t easy. As a primarily endurance-focused athlete, I had to train my body well outside of my comfort zone. Fortunately, that’s why I chose to compete: I wanted a new challenge. From training to event day, it was a good experience. Initially, training was tough, simply because I wanted to be out running. Once I got back in the in the swing of strength- and power-based training, I was having fun and enjoying the process. I trained with the help of Jackie Brumbalow and John Barr, two personal trainers at Pure Austin Fitness. When the day of competition arrived, I was able to consider it a success, knowing that I had met my goal of training my body differently. I think this attitude took the edge off and helped me perform well mentally. The event was fun and well organized. The stations were clearly

Hall's Nutrition Schedule See the

to the next. It was helpful to have a team leader to guide us through the day to each test. Plus, she was a huge encouragement. My division

Obinna Ugokwe he AFM FITTEST competition gave me a reason to change up my training regimen. I enjoy working out and staying active,


a week can get monotonous no matter how many Zumba classes you include. When my wife Laura told me about the competition, I was very interested. We immediately agreed to sign up and kick start a new workout plan based on

66 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

the known events in the competition. Training for the contest was fun, especially since Laura was doing it with me. We got in the habit of setting two alarms just in case one of us happened to hit snooze or, worse still, the ignore button. More often than not, we looked forward to the workout, and we held each other accountable. Although we tried to place equal focus on each event, we ended up neglecting a couple of them, which hurt us in competition. The day before the competition, I made my way to H-E-B to stock up on snacks to consume during the course of the event. I followed the nutrition guidelines that Laura wrote in Part 3 of the AFM FITTEST Nutrition Series, using sports drinks and Shot Bloks as fuel. That night I spent time visualizing each event and going over my technique.

(Females 19–29) moved through the tests slowly because we were bottlenecked behind the highly populated Males 19–29. This was great because we got to see the men perform, but it was tough as I fought to stay mentally focused. The two-hour delay also required some adaptations to my nutrition and hydration plan. See below for my detailed competition day sports nutrition consumption. If I had to do it over again, there are a few nutrition strategies I would keep and a few I would change. First, I would keep my pre-exercise meal and snack. Oatmeal with peanut butter and a banana is my favorite breakfast, whether before a workout or before work. It is hydration strategy also worked really well. NUUN replenished my electroincrease my desire to drink water consistently. In the future, I would plan for the unexpected and pack extra snacks. Better safe than sorry! Overall, the AFM FITTEST was a huge success in my book: I was challenged physically, I had fun, and I got in Austin.

The morning of the event I woke up ahead of my alarm and full of energy. I was pumped and ready to get to Camp year participating, I did not fully know what to expect. The crew of volunteers at the site made it easy to get from event to event and understand the instructions. The competition got off to an ominous the Standing Med Ball Toss. I was able to recover by posting personal records in Pull-Ups and Standing Broad Jump. I can honestly say I didn’t focus on the Precision Throw nearly enough during training, and slowed a bit about halfway through the day, so I followed my wife’s recommendations and took the opportunity to refuel. At the end of the competition, I was exhausted. I had been pushed to my physical limit for over four hours. All in all, I would highly recommend competing in the 2014 AFM FITTEST. I am already looking forward to participating in the 60+ division in about 30 years. PHOTOS BY BRIAN FITZ SIMMONS

i “Lost” the Contest One competitor’s view of the 2013 AFM FITTEST by Darrold Smith


trained for the AFM FITTEST for ten weeks. I was talking because of the softball throw but, in 2013, I decided to just practice and learn it. There were 12 events; we had information about ten of

gram from one sponsor who, in turn, paid my entrance fee when Everyone slows with age, but runners measure this literally. I had lost my seven-minute mile back there somewhere but, I oldest group, ages 60+, what I call the "Geezer Class"). I knew how competitive Austin was and, like many, I worked out and ran. I also had a daily Ashtanga yoga practice, which I thought might give me an edge in endurance—and maybe in evaluating my goal in all of this. This didn’t go so smoothly, but that didn’t stop me. I injured myself in training but kept after it. I got a sinus infection and was on medication but kept going. Before the event, I decided to only give 80 percent to avoid injury. I worried about what the competithere were seven of us. I hoped I wouldn't come in last. On June 15, 2013, I arrived at Camp Mabry at 6 a.m. to warm Med Ball Toss, which I had practiced in the gym, but this was on off the grass. My second try counted…but I wished it hadn't. I had no sense of how the other guys were scoring. Some of them seemed as competitive as the younger men, but some were on some events and disappointed with it on others. For example: I thought my second Broad Jump and my second Agility Cone Run were ok. My Precision Throw wasn't as disastrous as it could have been (I had imagined scoring 0 out of 10 in front of full bleachers). I thought my Vertical Jump, the Balance Beam Hurdles, and Interval Run were all lousy. My Burpees, on the other hand, were good.

The last event was a one-mile run, which no one felt like dothat we had made it through the entire contest. I began to feel Geezers who had taken on the AFM FITTEST. I had just enough time to clean up and attend a reunion meet-

I talked about it all that week and wondered how I would compare with the other Geezers. My private fantasy was that I would do well and tell everyone about it. But what I said was I hoped I didn't come in last. After six days of waiting, the results were in. Based on placements in the 12 events, I came in seventh out of seven. I placed on three events, sixth on four events, and seventh on three. My self-image slipped from athlete to nerd. The six days of waiting impatiently for the results yet feeling was not talking everyone's ear off about the details. Secretly, I ordered 12 photos in case I never did it again. My high school reunion was on June 22, the day after the results were posted. First thing in the morning, I cracked my big toenail all the way across. I might not be able to run for a while. The reunion I had worked so hard on, though, was a huge success, and it was a beautiful night. Summer had begun and the moon was full. As in all things, failure mixed with success in the AFM FITTEST. I tried something new and faced my fears, persevering ishing all 12 events and living to tell about it. My ego and pride took a hit, but maintaining them was never the point anyway. While I was fantasizing about the win and glory, I was doing something that was strengthening my body and my will. Did coming out on the bottom of the heap tick me off enough to try it again? Ask me again when training season rolls around. Or maybe I should stay in training, just in case… AFM A U G U S T 2 0 1 3 AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM 67


Products Used Dress Banana Republic Necklace Express Handbag Forever 21 Shoes Rosegold Neiman Marcus Last Call


Back to School, Graduate Style Making your student wardrobe fit for work


t's that time again; summer break is almost over and undergraduate days are drawing to a close for many students who will be beginning the transition into the professional world

medicine, and a variety of other post-graduate studies. Many of these students may not be aware of how much a sophisticated, their new careers. For some people, a new semester brings forth a desire for a fresh wardrobe, but for others, new classes still mean comfy PJs and a hoodie. However, networking and making connections are extremely important in this new stage of life, so it's time to starting thinking of dressing like an adult and not looking like you just rolled out of bed. The key is to make slight upgrades that result in a more mature look while making a positive impression on professors and other students. Budget is a major concern I encounter when shopping for clients who are heading into grad school. Since most are taking some time off work to attend classes, saving is a priority and a dressier wardrobe is not necessarily at the top of the list for extra income. I have compiled some helpful suggestions for comfortable yet professional looks that will see a student through professional schooling and on to a career without breaking the bank. The idea behind the list is to create a base that can be worn over and over again and doesn’t involve constant dry cleaning or ironing.


Blouses or dress shirts in solid or bright colors are always very classic looking for the ladies. Add to these a blazer, sweater, or cardigan for chilly classes. This will cover most of the shirt, which brings me to my next item. 3

Stick with the basics in a blazer 4 (black, beige, or navy) so you have quite a few choices, depending on the other colors worn. If you are willing to spend a little more for some other options, go for a tweed or herringbone blazer/jacket. Blazers will professionalize your jeans, khakis, shirts, and dresses. You can throw a blazer or jacket over almost everything, including t-shirts. 5

Invest in a couple of pairs of nice

sneakers, or a pair of leather boots for all of the walking you will be doing. Good shoes that will last make it very easy to transform your basic looks into something a little more adult.

NOW, FOR THE PLACES TO SHOP! Target - This is my absolute favorite place to shop for quality wardrobe items at an inexpensive price. You can get suits, dresses, cute tops, jeans, sweaters, cardigans, scarves, handbags, AND shoes! They

even have a large selection of blazers, slacks, dress shirts, ties, and belts for men. Target is a one-stop shop for someone who does not want to spend a lot yet still desires quality clothing. Express - This is probably my second choice when shopping for professional clients who need new business attire or mature college attire. Yes, Express is a little more expensive, but this is where you NEED to purchase suits for men and women, better quality dress shirts, blazers, and sport coats. I recommend ladies purchase tops elsewhere (Target, boutiques, Forever 21); there is no need for expensive tops when you will simply cover them with a blazer or cardigan. Put the money into your outerwear for better return. If you are still having trouble with what to wear and how to pair the clothes you have check out Pinterest. Pinterest is not only for women’s clothing; they have an entire section dedicated to men's fashion. It’s a great resource for ideas for those who need more visual help. In particular, visit my boards at to see more examples of my styling. AFM

Purchase several pairs of dark jeans or nice looking khaki chinos. No light colors, no holes, nothing distressed. Mix in some dresses or skirts, and stick in some neutrals with a pop of color every once in a while. While you don't want to be drab, pick styles that are comfortable and easy to layer up. 1

Long sleeved and short-sleeved t-shirts are key. Stay away from anything with logos and graphics, and 2

that is too tight. A U G U S T 2 0 1 3 AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM 6 9


Summer Makeup Tricks How to stay beautiful under the Texas sun



ith 100-degree weather in Austin, it’s easy to feel apprehensive about looking your absolute best in any outdoor social situation—or even indoor, for that matter. As much as we’d like to simply toss that hair back in a ponytail and

70 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

occasions where it’s just not possible. Don’t let the Texas heat foundation that ultimately ends up on a tissue are not a foregone conclusion. Believe it or not, your look can survive the summer. Say goodbye to melting makeup with these six simple tips that will help you look your summer best. PHOTOGRA PHY BY TEA EILAND

ICE FACIAL Giving yourself an ice facial may sound bizarre, but this simple trick not only beats the summer heat but also helps with the makeup application process. Ice has the ability to mattify and tighten skin and also helps to reduce and prevent wrinkles. Simply wrap an ice cube in a paper towel or plastic bag (direct application of ice to skin could cause blood vessels to break) and massage your face and neck until the ice cube melts.

FOUNDATION Contrary to what many people may think, liquid foundation is the best choice when it comes to a long-lasting, beautiful look. With proper primer and application, your makeup will last all day. Use a flat top brush; spray it lightly with either water or a fix spray (MAC Studio Fix +, $31) and dab it in the foundation. Tap and blend the foundation from the nose outward, to the edge of the face.

SOFT LIPS Sometimes it can be difficult to stay hydrated, and your lips don’t lie. Soften them up by using a sugar scrub, baby toothbrush, or washcloth to do away with the flaky skin. Afterward, apply a conditioning lip balm (and a primer if you choose to); let that sink in before applying a lip color.

USE COLOR Bright and bold colors are this summer’s trends in fashion; why not apply that to makeup? Try a bright coral lipstick, such as MAC’s Vegasvolt, or, if lipstick is too thick for the heat, experiment with a hydrating lip balm from Sonia Kashuk. You can also keep the lips natural and apply a bold, colored shadow underneath your lower lash line.

MOISTURIZE AND PRIME After cleansing your face, it is important to moisturize, and, with the Texas sun, a moisturizer with sunscreen is the best choice. Apply a thin layer all over the face and neck for the best protection. Let the moisturizer seep into the skin before applying a primer. Primers are key when it comes to having foundation last all day. If you have oily skin, choose a mattifying primer that will minimize the amount of oil your skin produces. If you have dry skin, use a hydrating primer that contains illuminating powers to give your skin a dewy glow.

FINISHING Another trick to keep your makeup from disappearing is to apply a translucent finishing powder all over the face, including the eyes (try Make Up Forever—HD Microfinish Powder, $16–$34). This will keep your makeup set in place, reducing the risk of smudging and creasing. Use a large, fluffy brush and set it into a generous amount of powder. Shake off the excess and tap all over the face for a long-lasting finish. AFM

On Sanetra, left: eyes (MAC—Grand Entrance and Wedge; Sugarpill Cosmetics—Darling), lips (MAC—Vegas Volt). On Kait, right: eyes (Sugarpill Cosmetics—Buttercupcake and Afterparty; MAC—Fluidline in Blacktrack), lips (Lime Crime—Countess Fluorescent). Both models are wearing Revlon PhotoReady Liquid Foundation, Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder, and MAC blush in Coygirl.




Looking Chic as an Athlete Hairstyles for workouts can go beyond ponytails and hair bands BY JOEY MILLER

Austin Fit Magazine asked Joey Miller, owner of Vain Salon (1803 Chicon), to provide an updated, athlete-friendly hairstyle for one lucky woman. Miller, who is a runner herself, treated her subject to a makeover that will certainly banish a summer slump and provide a pick-meup to any workout.

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nnie is an athlete in the Austin area. Annie started her makeover with an expert eyebrow

and a 90-minute facial to prepare and perfect her skin. She also received a skin analysis, Ayurvedic body balancing, and an oil treatment for her hair. Annie and I consulted to design a cut and color that worked for her lifestyle; we decided on a summer-to-fall makeover that really provides energy and artistic expression. and deep rich colors, such as a chestnut brown highlighted with black and purple hues, created a 3-D effect, adding bounce and dimension. The cut is designed to expose An-


nie’s face. From her eyebrow, a “C” shape opens the collarbone, which shows off her upper body strength and allows a the back in the middle of the head, giving directions from right to left. The points in the cut help diffuse the weight throughout the style; without these points, the cut would require a lot of styling and maintenance. All this style

needs is a little product and either air Annie's cut will grow out well, so the upkeep is about every three months, though each individual will have a different maintenance schedule for support cut and color that's easy to manage for an active lifestyle. AFM

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Are You the Right Person to Help with My Injury?

Five indicators for evaluating your health care provider BY BRIAN ELLSPERMANN, D.C., A.C.P.


njuries affect us all at some point during our active lifestyles. Some are acute…some chronic. Fixing these injuries can range anywhere from resting to having it surgically repaired. If we experience a musculoskeletal injury (or pain), how do we determine what to do next? No one likes “down time”! We work so hard to make progress, and we don’t want to lose that progress. Let’s face it; NSAIDS and rest are hardly ever

dreaded down time? There are many different clinical providers and specialprovider with appropriate training, expertise, and commitment to patient care and satisfaction. This can be especially chal76 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

lenging when it comes to soft tissue and joint injuries. There are agreed-upon clinical guidelines for evaluation, testing, and imaging throughout the health care industry. However, these guidelines are not widely followed because many providers are overworked, overscheduled, and unable to devote the oneon-one time with each patient necessary to fully evaluate and accurately diagnose the source of pain or injury. This can result in costly imaging and other diagnostic testing, over-prescription of pharmaceuticals, and premature surgeries. The lack of proper diagnosis and treatment can result in many conditions never fully resolving—leading to a lifetime of chronic pain and reoccurring injuries.

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Check the provider’s educational background. In this day and age, every provider should have a website with these details. Have they had additional training in musculoskeletal conditions through training? It is important to remain knowledgeable about the most current developments in treatment protocols.



The provider should take adequate time to compile enough information to detect the true nature of the injury. This will lead to a more accurate diagnosis and a more effective treatment plan. Experienced providers have a good idea of what they think the diagnosis is within ing with you about the injury. However, adequate time should be taken to perform nosis or rule out other possibilities.





Other than the obvious, which is whether the treatment is safe and effective, one big question to ask is, “Is the treatment plan outcome based?” What does that mean? It means that the treatment plan is based on progress, or outcome, rather than just being a set plan regardless of outcome. I often hear from patients that they decided to stop going for treatment because it was not working. If the treatment were outcome based, the provider should be the one informing the

visit how soon you should see results and what happens if you don’t see results by then. An effective musculoskeletal treatment should provide results within no good deal on a treatment that doesn’t work. I suggest basing your treatment decision more on effectiveness than cost. provider and treatment that effectively is not the place to shop for “bargains.” Rather than looking at the cost per treat-

have your injury completely resolved in three treatments at $300 per treatment, or to spend $75 per treatment at 12 treatments and feel only a little better?



This one is rare, but it is gaining ground because insurance companies want to see data supporting effectiveness of treatment. Look for providers who track the outcomes of their treatments and make that data available to their patients and the public. Like I said, they



do exist. sure that you are heading down the right your injury. Keep in mind: There is no treatment option that is 100 percent effective for 100 percent of the people. Do for you. Movement is the spice of life! moving and reduce down time, the sooner your quality of life will improve! AFM



Musculoskeletal injuries can be complex. It is imperative that a thorough examination by a medical professional with the proper training be performed to detect the true cause of the pain, as well as other contributing factors. In my experience, many providers will resort to imaging immediately to save time and reduce liability. However, taking an adequate history and performing the proper functional, orthopedic, and neurological testing can help decrease the need for costly imaging (X-rays, MRIs, etc.).

patient that he or she should not continue with that particular treatment. Why continue if there is no progress…

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Rip Esselstyn’s Beef With Meat

Shattering the myths surrounding a plant-based diet BY COURTENAY VERRET


ip Esselstyn has a beef with meat—and he’s not afraid to delve into the reasons why. In his 2009 book The Engine 2 Diet, the Austin

eating “plant strong” as an effective way of combatting what he calls “Western disease”: obesity, diabetes, and heart disease (among other maladies). Citing research by his father, Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., as well as that of other prominent physicians and scientists, Rip Esselstyn urged his readers in Engine 2 to forego meat, dairy, and extracted oils in favor of a plantbased, whole foods diet. With the plant-strong movement picking up steam, Esselstyn’s latest book, My Beef With Meat, probes even further into the subject, taking on the myths about eating a plant-based diet— many of which, according to Esselstyn, are propagated by the meat and dairy industries—and dismantling them one by one. Take the argument, for example, that meat is necessary to meet daily protein requirements. Esselstyn notes that, far from being of protein, far exceeding the World Health Organization’s daily recommendations. He lists the protein compositions of several plant-strong foods (beans, whole grains, leafy greens, and even fruit), asserting that a person’s daily protein requirement can sure, Esselstyn refutes another common myth—that plant-based protein is incomplete—citing the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ position that “an assortment of plant foods eaten over the course of a day can provide all essential amino acids.” Lest one be misdirected by the book’s title, the dairy industry is also the focus of Esselstyn’s myth busting. He cites some startling research—namely that populations with the highest consumption of dairy also suffer from the highest rates of osteoporosis, a statistic that seems counterintuitive given the widely held notion that “milk does a body good.” The reason for this paradox, says Esselstyn, is that the consumption of meat and dairy creates an acidic state in the body, which tries to compensate by leeching calcium (an alkalizing agent) from the bones to neutralize the effect. As an alternative to dairy, he recommends Esselstyn provides counterpoints to other popular (but, in his opinion, unhealthy) diets in chapters titled, “The Problem With Paleo” and “The Mediterranean Myth.” He even has an an-

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swer for “The French Paradox”—the notion that the French consume large amounts of meat and dairy yet have low rates of heart disease (Hint: It’s all in how you interpret the research). Athletes who are looking for that extra edge might be interested to read Esselstyn’s chapter dedicated to plant-powered his own athletic success after switching his diet in 1987. He breaks down (in simple terms) the nutritional needs of athletes boosting effects of a plant-based diet, which he says shortens recovery time and sustains athletes through the physical stress of grueling workouts. Esselstyn also provides a laundry list of notable athletes who credit their success to their primarily plant-based diet: ultrarunner Scott Jurek, triathlete David Scott, and cyclist Lizzie Armistead, among others. Readers might blush or giggle over chapters such as “Plants Perk Up Your Pecker” and “Veggies Give Verve to Your Vulva,” strong. The research cited, however, is fascinating—and noteworthy. For example, he points out that erectile dysfunction is often a symptom of heart disease and other circulatory illnesses; plant-based diet has numerous positive consequences for the sexual well being of both men and women. It is not uncommon, says Esselstyn, for people who switch to a plant-based diet to experience an increased sex drive and even enhanced sexual pleasure. Esselstyn’s sister Jane, an R.N. and sex educator, chimes in on women’s sexual health, breaking down the science and offering her own perspective on the topic.

Parents who are concerned about raising their kids on a plant-based diet whose own two children have been eating this way since birth. He lists the nutrient needs for children of which parents should be mindful, citing advice from plant-friendly medical professionals such as the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Dr. Joel Furhman. By raising children plant strong, says Esselstyn, they will be less susceptible to Western disease and will naturally have a cleaner palate that craves healthy food. Other chapters include discussions on moderation (it’s a myth), soy consumption, and eating healthy on a budget. The book concludes with a recipe section, curated primarily by Esselstyn’s sister Jane. There are sections for breakfast, comfort foods, burgers, and dessert (to name just a few). The recipes follow the tenets of the Engine 2 Diet—no meat, dairy, or extracted oils—and use relatively simple ingredients without relying on “fake” meats or other processed foods. Plant-strong foodies will enjoy Bri Guy’s Reuben on Rye and Red Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Corn; they might be skeptical about creations such as Chocomole, but the Adonis Cake and Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies will likely end up on regular rotation.

My Beef With Meat is part info guide and part self-defense manual for those who are new to eating plant strong and unsure how to respond to the many questions posed by well-meaning (and sometimes not-so-well-meaning) omnivores. Chapters are short and to the point; the book can easily be read in small chunks. If there is criticism to be leveled, it is that Esselstyn does not provide footnotes or a separate reference section for the research he cites. Readers seeking original sources and more in-depth information will need to refer to the Engine 2 website, where a host can be found and downloaded. Although critics of My Beef With Meat might argue that Esselstyn’s research is one-sided or biased, it should be noted that a variety of impartial sources are mentioned, including the Harvard School of Public Health, the World Health Organization, and the Journal of Clinical Lipidology. Given the growing community of Esselstyn’s plant-strong followers, My Beef With Meat is the natural next step for the Engine 2 movement. Those who are

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Care and Keeping of Your Tattoo How to keep that body art looking its best


Austinites love their tattoos; take a look through any issue of Austin Fit Magazine ink looking fresh if you’re someone who spends a lot of time outdoors? AFM asked Ezra Haidet, tattoo artist with Triple Crown Tattoo Parlour (1157 Chicon Street), for tips and advice. Here’s what he had to say:


aintenance of your new tattoo is pretty simple. This is the most important time to care for your art. You’ll need to allow one-week recovery (the scabs will flake off). Treat your tattoo just like an open scratch; avoid workouts that utilize gym equipment (think staph infection) or take you into natural water (it increases chance of bacterial infection) while you’re waiting for the scabs to come off. Sweat is not going to hurt your new tattoo, though you do want to avoid exercise that might scrape the scab or cause injury to the area that’s healing. You’ll need to wash your tattoo two to four times a day with either plain or antibacterial soap. Try not to touch the area—your hands are pretty germy. Avoid submerging the scabbed tattoo too much, since this will cause the scab to come off early and expose the new skin to sunlight before it’s healed, which can result in spots and loss of color. Sun ages tattoos the fastest, so it’s important to reapply sunscreen when you work out (or simply keep it covered, if possible). That sun exposure is accelerating aging in your skin, and the ultraviolet rays will break up color in the ink.

Browns and oranges tend to break up faster than other ink colors. Consider where you’re placing your tattoo and what colors you’re using when you make your selection. Keep one thing in mind when you’ve gotten a new tattoo and are doing any kind of activity: If it feels like it hurts, don’t do it. AFM

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he tattoo shown belongs to Austin runner Alex Schneider, who explained its origins: “Why did I get this tattoo? To me, this symbol has a bit of a different meaning than what you might get from Reckless Running. I did not put this image on my body as a logo to their company but rather as a symbol of the stress and the relentless hard work that an athlete must put forth in order to be successful on a competitive level. The skeletal foot and the tattered wing stand as a symbol of what might be left after I have put forth every ounce of energy, courage, and determination into my training. It also stands to symbolize that top level runners, although they may look fragile, must be mentally and physically tough in order to train through adverse conditions such as injury, bad weather, sickness, early mornings, etc. In a nutshell, this tattoo represents all the hard work that goes into training before the glory of victory can be realized.”

What is Reckless Running? Taken from their website, “Reckless Running is a running apparel company created to help inspire and enable runners of all backgrounds and abilities to reach their full potential.” The logo image was designed to capture co-founder, two-time Olympian, and six-time U.S. champion Anthony Famiglietti’s philosophy of running with “pure reckless abandon. The idea is to abandon fear, trepidation, self-doubt, fatigue, lack of focus, or anything else that limits individuals from reaching their full potential.” You can learn more about Reckless Running at


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AFM Gym Equipment Review

Trying out Jacob’s Ladder, the PRX7, and the BodyJac BY ANDRÉS RIVADENIERA


’m always on the lookout for new and creative workouts, so when AFM asked me to test out some equipment, I jumped (or in this case, climbed, lunged, and pushed) at the chance. After thoroughly testing Jacob’s Ladder, the PRX7, and the BodyJac, I hope these reviews will help readers in their own fitness programs.

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Jacob’s Ladder Positioned at a 45-degree angle, this ladder offers a low-impact and intense cardio workout with a high return in cardiovascular improvement. With benefits similar to a climbing version of a Stepmill, climbers can expect little to no stress on the lower back and joints while also being in full control of the machine’s speed. Through the tension placed on the cable connected to the user’s waist belt and the bottom of the machine, climbers can pick up speed by moving to the top of the machine and can slow down by easing back to the lower end. Even as a personal trainer, I found the machine’s size somewhat intimidating when I first approached it. Amid visions of Jillian Michaels yelling at me to “get out of my gym!” and warnings from friends about the intensity of this workout, I climbed on and buckled up anyway. To get a good understanding of the machine, I tried a couple of variations. On the first attempt, I wore a 30-pound vest for a higher level of challenge and, for another variation, I went vest free for an easier run—or so I thought. I found out quickly that no matter what approach I took with Jacob and his infamous ladder, I was going to come away feeling absolutely spent. And, sure enough, by the end of the test, both my lower and upper body were tired and fatigued. If you’re looking for a challenging cardio workout without stress on your joints, this piece of equipment is definitely a viable option. Since the climber determines the speed, it is fairly safe for fitness novices while still being able to provide the elite athlete with quality interval and threshold training. Focus is imperative due to the hand–eye coordination required to climb and, because of this, I would recommend that people who haven’t begun a workout program first start with a stationary bike, elliptical, or treadmill before jumping on Jacob’s Ladder.

Challenges cardiovascular strength Low impact and stress on joints Incorporates total body Offers low and high intensities based on climber

Large size of machine Requires moderate to high hand–eye coordination Location of cable on machine

BodyJac The BodyJac is an assistive push-up device that promises outstanding results with one core movement: “the push-up.” Although I do believe that the pushup is one of the better all-around upper body and core strengthening exercises, I went into this demo with a bit of apprehension as to how the creator “Cactus Jack,” who introduced his invention on the show Shark Tank, guarantees an all-around workout with this device. Formatted to counter your body weight with the assistance of two resistance bands attached to the rear of the frame, the purpose seems to ride on how many extra push-ups you can squeeze out with that added help. It comes with a repetition tracker that keeps up with your push-up count during the workout, and it can time your sets or rest periods if you are going the interval-training route. I assembled the BodyJac in a little less than ten minutes, timing myself to validate my manliness (I will admit that the frame is already about 80 percent assembled before taking it out of the box…but I digress). I gave this contraption a go and must say I was not very impressed at

the level of difficulty and did not feel very challenged. I did, however, quickly consider that this could be an effective tool for someone starting a workout program and looking to gradually progress his or her upper body strength. However, there are also other alternatives, which I'll get into shortly. It was not a very comfortable position for me during my trial run because I felt as though my shoulder region was engaging more than my chest area. The handles do shift some; I tried to place them in the best position for my chest to take over as the primary muscle group, but had a bit of trouble with doing so. I am not sure that the machine was designed to accommodate a large variety of body types. I tried a few other exercises, such as crunches and tricep push-ups, and felt more discomfort with body positioning then I did from actual muscle activity. In a nutshell, I would strongly recommend using other methods to assist in improving push-ups before shelling out cash for this Cactus Jack invention. Try starting out with pushups on your knees until you develop enough strength to progress to your toes. After having worked in the

fitness arena for nearly ten years now, I have established a couple of common threads for success when establishing a workout program: variety and combinations that suit your specific needs and limitations. These are something to keep in mind when looking for an easy fix, which is what infomercial devices such as the BodyJac like to bank on. Again, I feel the BodyJac is emphasizing a very important exercise, so I'll give it credit for that. However, I know as well as any other rationally thinking person that one exercise will not have you looking like a Greek god. My advice is to establish a well-rounded modified fitness program to progress you gradually and to stay away from the quick fix before you jack your body up and take up more space in your garage.

Good intro to upperbody strengthening Easy to assemble Occupies little space

Does not have a wide range of exercise capability Not very comfortable Promises unrealistic expectations



Small size—easy to pack for traveling Capability to ease into foundational movements Allows enhanced range of motion Includes supplemental resistance belt

Moderately extensive set-up Requires understanding strap adjustments Some discomfort with flat belts during exercises

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The Primal 7 Performance System, known as the PRX7, uses Olympic ring handles in a regressive assistance/suspension system and is based on seven foundational movements, including the squat, push-up, pull-up, great morning bend, twist, run, and the lunge. The PRX7 can be especially useful to those involved in weight loss programs or injury rehabilitation and is a great option for fitness enthusiasts of all levels. Developed by an Austin-based company, this system, when incorporated with a sturdy structure such as a parallel beam or pull-up bar, can more easily enable proper form and support than can other suspension systems. Right off the bat, I had a tough time securing and adjusting the straps on the beam, which I haven’t experienced with other suspension training systems that use carabineers but, with a bit of help, I was able to figure it out and begin my workout. I performed the seven primal movements as advertised and found that the system offered an almost effortless start. The flat resistance belt helped me progress quickly, and, when I needed less help, I switched to the lighter resistance band and noticed an increased challenge immediately. I ran into some brief problems finding balance and stability during the more difficult plyometric and explosive movements, but I adjusted to a slower rate to get comfortable before increasing my speed again. After working through the seven primal movements extensively, I believe the PRX7 can benefit a wide range of benefits for people looking to begin a new fitness program. In a time where form and movement patterns are often overlooked by gym enthusiasts, PRX7 users are able to gain a great understanding of both very quickly. Overall, I feel PRX7 is a high-quality fitness tool that emphasizes AFM would like to thank Castle Hill Fitness ( for the use the importance of form for foundational of the Jacob's Ladder and PRX7 system exercises, allowing users the opportunity and BodyJac ( for to heighten their fitness experience with supplying their product. less pain and injury over time. AFM


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More Play, Less Mileage Relax and feel the water BY ELLI OVERTON


riathletes, or folks who want to do a triathlon for the first time, are typically pretty fit, right? So some of them wonder why they feel more comfortable finishing a half marathon than swimming that first 25 yards when they dive in a pool. People who take up triathlons are generally “land animals” (runners or cyclists). Often when they get in the pool, they just want to get to the other side as fast as they can. What these folks need to understand is that they have to learn to swim at a jog or walk, not a run. You wouldn’t start out a training run by sprinting, and it is the same with swimming. To have a great swim workout, you need to be able to 86 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

warm up, so being able to swim slowly and comfortably is actually an important skill. Feel more comfortable and relaxed in the water by taking it easy when you first get in. Bob up and down before you start swimming, taking deep breaths and relaxing as you let them out underwater. It may sound remedial, but pushing off in a streamline and floating a few times before you get started is a great way to calibrate your body to its new environment. You want to feel level with the surface when you swim, so floating while you press on your chest and lungs (where you hold all your buoyancy) and feeling your hips rise to the surface sets you up to swim in the right position. In all likelihood, when

you push off to float the first time, your eyes will be looking where you are going. Try it again with your eyes looking directly at the bottom of the pool, your neck relaxed, and see how much better your body position feels. This is where your head should be when you swim. They mark the bottom of the pool with all those lines for a reason. The lines let you know where you are without needing to look forward, so skip that step! You can improve your swimming simply by improving your feel for the water. The water doesn’t provide enough resistance for you to muscle your way through it; you have to learn to hold it first. Fast gains in speed



CENTER can be achieved by focusing on efficiency, not strength. Working on efficiency and feel is more like “play” than “training.” When you relax and enjoy the water, you can feel it better. When you don’t have an interval to make or a mileage goal to hit, you can really focus on feel. Try starting a workout with floating and sculling. Sculling is when you move your forearms and hands in unison in different positions to propel yourself forward. If you practice sculling with no kick—or, even more fun, with feet first—you can learn a lot about your body balance and how to hold your body in the water. When you move on to swimming in your workout, you will be more attuned to how the water feels against your body: where the drag is, what feels more streamlined, or ways you can tweak your hand position to hold more water. Sculling gives you a chance to feel and hold the water in new ways, increasing your body awareness in the pool. What you learn will transfer to improved freestyle technique. AFM


Sculling 101 The area from the fingertips to elbow is your “paddle” when you swim. There should be minimum bend at your wrist, so that the “paddle” (or surface) is as one. The base sculling position is lying on the surface, facing up or down, just as you would stand on land—your neck in line with your spine, not tilted up or down. Break this body position briefly to breathe to the front or side, and then resume the same balanced position. Sculling should be done with no kick so you can really feel how those “paddles” are grabbing and holding the water. You will work more on body balance when you don’t have propulsion out back. Play with sweeping your hands in and out, from in line with your shoulders to out wide of your body (not making a breaststroke motion, just sweeping in and out). Play with the depth of your fingertips and the width of your scull: fingertips close to the surface, to all the way down, to pointing them at the bottom; hands moving not more than two feet apart to moving as wide as they can. Play with your direction. Try sculling on your back and your front; try sculling with your feet facing the direction you are going. Have some fun!


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Interested in seeing exactly what Elli Overton is describing? Use your smartphone to scan these QR codes to take a look at three videos with tips and techniques regarding sculling.

Basic introduction to sculling

THE COOLEST WAY TO GET FIT IN AUSTIN! Sculling aimed at triatheltes

The ins and outs of sculling, including deep water and vertical drills

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TRAIN BIKE PBK members at the 2013 AFM FITTEST, from left to right: Ricardo Trevino, volunteer coordinator; Juan Quesada, volunteer; Jorge Cardona, volunteer; Lauren D'Auria. volunteer; Al Bastidas PBK founder; Pat Bastidas PBK co-founder; Guillermo Martinez, PBK bike mechanic/volunteer.

Please BE KIND to Cyclists Helps AFM FITTEST Riders guide runners and find inspiration


hile competitors were trying out the 12 tests on June 15, cyclists were also out at Camp Mabry supporting the 2013 AFM FITTEST. These volunteers came from the nonprofit organization Please BE KIND to Cyclists (PBK); you may be familiar with the sporty yellow stickers seen on car bumpers all over Austin. The group is quick to point out that there’s more to them than an eye-catching sticker. “The AFM FITTEST is the type of event that we are dedicated to supporting,” said Al Bastidas, founder of PBK. Bastidas, his family, and the nonprofit’s group of volunteers work tirelessly to raise public awareness and encourage harmony and tolerance between drivers and cyclists. The group’s vision is to motivate global social change in the behavior of motorists and cyclists so that both use the roads safely and with mutual respect, resulting in healthier, more harmonious communities. Bastidas remains an avid cyclist in spite of a near-fatal accident on September 14, 2002. While riding his bike on a small neighborhood street, a distracted driver made a left-hand turn directly in front of him. Bastidas was slammed head first into the driver’s car before being catapulted onto the roof with such force that he was thrown ten feet into the air before finally slamming onto the asphalt. Doctors gave him a 50 percent chance to live, but Bastidas pulled through and founded PBK in 2006. You can learn more about the organization at and by following the group on Facebook. Bastidas was at the AFM FITTEST with ten volunteers from PBK. The riders helped safely guide and lead runners through the one-mile course by keeping each runner on the route and making traffic aware of their presence. “It was very encouraging to see so many healthy people from the 88 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

Austin community participating in such a great event,” said Patricia Bastidas, co-founder of PBK and Al’s wife. Fernando Martinez, a former professional cyclist for 25 years, found the event to be inspiring. “I was very impressed with all participants,” said Martinez. “Sometimes, we don't know how strong we are until we put ourselves into an endurance event like AFM FITTEST. I saw that you have to learn how to manage your time, focus your mind, and get strong exercising; [this] all together makes you a champion, no matter if you win or not. Just by finishing you become a champion.” Juan Quezada, another rider who kept the one-mile runners safely on course throughout the day, said he was “really impressed with the event organization and safety awareness, the layout of the competition stages, and the vendors’ tents,” going so far as calling Camp Mabry “the perfect setting” for the AFM FITTEST. Each PBK volunteer hoped that his or her presence at the AFM FITTEST would encourage people to learn about the organization’s mission and spread the message of safety for all vulnerable road users. Each supporting voice and every new member represent a vote and a choice to lawmakers and community leaders who, in turn, promote laws that protect cyclists and all vulnerable road users. And, as much as these volunteers hope to encourage Austinites to be aware of cyclists on the road, they also found themselves encouraged and inspired by the AFM FITTEST. Martinez, who’d like to come back next year to volunteer again, said, “You know I don’t compete [as a professional cyclist] anymore; I got it all out of my system. But after seeing all these people from all ages doing their best, I wanted to get on my bike and do it for myself.” Quezada agreed: “I am inspired to participate in the event after all the encouragement and cheering I heard. More than anything, I enjoyed my time volunteering at the AFM FITTEST!” AFM



Getting Your Run in with the Kids Balancing parenthood and fitness can be done BY DACIA PERKINS


hear one of the first things to go once you have kids is your sanity fitness. Who has time to work out when you’re working 40–50 hours a week and spending the rest of your spare time chasing after a toddler? It certainly hasn’t been easy for me. But, with my health being such a huge priority, plus the fact that I can’t imagine not running, I was determined not to let having kids hinder my ability to keep training. After much trial and error, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve found that have helped me continue running once kids entered the picture.

90 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

K Karen Knight D.D.S.

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Wake up early (before they do) Kid-free moments are pretty rare; however, one of the most predictably free times of day is while they are sleeping. So why not take advantage of this time and go for a run (as long as someone else is still at the house)? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found that some of my best days have started off with an early morning jog. I come back alert, energized, and ready to kick-start the day. Plus, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already accomplished one task on my to do list, which gives me great pleasure, since I love to check things off. For those of you non-morning people, I know this can be easier said than done but, with a few simple tricks (going to bed early, laying outâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or wearingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;your running clothes, and placing your alarm out of reach), you can take advantage of this precious time of day as well.

Schedule it If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re having a hard time squeezing in workouts, then taking the time to actually schedule themâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;physically blocking off time on your calendarâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is very important. One, it forces you to find childcare, if you need it. This could be a spouse, neighbor, friend, or even your local gym (many have childcare availableâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;check what ages are allowed). By planning ahead, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve given yourself the time to pull together resources to make your workout possible. Two, it forces you to actually go. If you have a workout scheduled, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not likely youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to have another time during the day to get it done. So when

your calendar alerts you of your upcoming workout, you know you need to get it done then, or it probably wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen at all.

Take advantage of any and all downtime Sometimes, even when you schedule a workout, there just isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough time to fit it all in. This happens to me a lot. I might have 30 minutes to go for a quick jog, but I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have time for a core workout, so I get creative. Usually this means youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find me doing some planks in the kitchen while cooking dinner, lunging to the dinner table as I set out the plates, and maybe grabbing a soup can or two for some bicep curls. If the neighbors saw me, they might think Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m crazy, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found that, if I want to stay in shape, I need to take advantage my downtime.

If all else fails, videos are great Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not ashamed to say I own a couple of workout videos. I even enjoy scouring YouTube for something new and different to keep me on my toes. So when I just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the option to leave the house, I will happily do a workout in my living room; something is better than nothing. And, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to say, some of those videos leave me pretty exhausted and sore the next day.

on runs together. We find it to be a great time to talk. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll catch up on the dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, discuss family matters, or just talk about life. Whatever it is, we really value this time, and if we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find someone to watch our daughter, then we just take her with us. She really enjoys riding in the jogging stroller, especially when we crank up the tunes on our phone. And she loves it even more when we finish our runs with playtime at the splash pad or playground. This time together has become a Saturday morning family tradition; if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ever out at Brushy Creek around 8:30 a.m., look for us running along the trail. When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at the stage of life where you find your family beginning to expand, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let your health and fitness be the first thing to go. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely important to keep your family first but, hopefully, by simply implementing a few of the tips and ticks from this article, you can make sure your training stays a top priority as well. AFM

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Single Leg Stance for Total Body Performance Working to equalize imbalances pays off BY DIANE VIVES, M.S., C.S.C.S.


y now, somewhere in your fitness and training experience, you have probably heard someone discuss the importance of single leg strength and stability. In many cases of locomotion such as running, shuffling, or transferring weight for many throwing movements, it is rarely a perfectly symmetrical effort of both legs at the exact same time. Therefore, when we look at total body performance in many sport activities, there becomes a distinct advantage in performance as well as injury risk reduction when we train the single leg stance within a full kinetic chain movement. Lifestyle and human nature also play a role in how we become dominant on one side of our body and focus many conscious and unconscious efforts on either our left or right leg. Think about how we approach a locked door with a heavy bag full of groceries in our hand. We naturally choose to shift the bag to the hand that prefers to hold heavier objects in order to free the hand that will perform the more fine motor skill of putting the key in 92 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

the lock and unlocking the door. Many people, when standing and speaking with a friend, will naturally shift their weight to the side on which they feel more stable—and unconsciously repeat this motion numerous times throughout daily activities. A combination of what is called use of our “dominant” side creates imbalances that affect whole body movement and efficiency in performance in sports and fitness activities. These four simple movements with single leg stance will give you some strategies for creating better functional strength and performance. In single leg stance exercises, part of the key for success is the pelvic position; being able to maintain a neutral pelvic position that connects the lower body and trunk to transfer forces properly while loading, accelerating, and decelerating movements—all while on a single leg base of support—is crucial. All of the following movements are performed with a single leg stance on one side of the body and are then repeated on the opposite side in order to perform one full set of the exercise.


1 Focus: To maintain balance and stability on a single leg while performing a total body combination of lower and upper body movement. The triple flexion and extension of the lower body’s ankle, knee, and hip are critical to the success of the movement.

VERTICAL CHOP ON SINGLE LEG šStart in a tall, single leg stance with arms extended overhead, holding a medicine ball. šUsing a vertical chopping motion, bring the ball down in front of the body while bending at the ankle, knee, and hip. šBe sure to sit back in the hip by making this a squatting motion. šPerform this in a smooth, controlled motion while maintaining balance. šPush through the heel of the ground-based foot in order; then, extend the lower body, reverse the chopping motion, and return vertically back to the start position. TWEAK DOWN:

Perform the movement with body weight only and to the successful range of motion that you can control and maintain balance. TWEAK UP: Add speed to the movement, performing it as fast as you can control.


2 Focus: This is a modified version of the Russian Twist that emphasizes controlled hip rotation and ankle rotation while maintaining knee stability.

MODIFIED RUSSIAN TWIST ON SINGLE LEG šStart in a single leg stance with a slight bend in the ankle, knee, and hip and while holding the ball just in front of the body. šBegin the movement by bracing the core muscles of the torso and focusing on initiating the movement from the hip. š Maintain the upper body position as a stable unit while focusing on side-to-side movements, using mainly hip rotation. šThe range of motion should be just 45 degrees off from center position on each side in order to avoid collapsing at the knee or involving the knee in the rotation of the movement. šThink of the pelvis as a swinging gate hinging at the hip. TWEAK DOWN: Use body weight by just clasping hands with arms extended in front of the body. TWEAK UP: Use speed to increase the load of the motion but only as fast as you can maintain proper positioning and stability.




Focus: This exercise combines the vertical chop and rotation of the twist in order to perform the natural diagonal movement that connects the shoulder with the opposite hip. This motion is key in many sports and daily living movements.

DIAGONAL CHOP ON A SINGLE LEG šStart in a single leg stance on right side with a slight bend in the ankle, knee, and hip with the torso slightly rotated to extend the arms over the opposite shoulder. šDiagonally chop the ball across the front of the body while squatting with the single leg, and finish with the ball just outside the lower portion of the lower leg. šTo return to start, push through the heel of the foot, extend the single leg, and finish with the ball over the opposite shoulder. šBe sure to face forward and maintain vertical alignment of the ankle, knee, and hip of the stance leg. TWEAK DOWN: Perform the movement with body weight in a slow, controlled motion. Use a shortened range of motion until you are successful; then, work up to a full range of motion. TWEAK UP: Add speed to the movement but only as fast as you can control and consistently maintain the lower body stability and path of the ball.

This series of movements can be used in a strength-training routine as a circuit that combines total body movement in single leg stance. Once this series is 94 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

Focus: This movement emphasizes a single side of lower body stability and strength needed to accelerate and decelerate takeoff and landing in rotational movements and reinforces lower body landing mechanics.

90-DEGREE VERTICAL HOPS šStart in a single leg stance on the right side with a slight bend in the ankle, knee and hip facing forward, and with toes pointing forward. šQuickly perform a lower body “dip and drive” movement while rotating the body to the right, and land with the foot at 90 degrees just under the body. šReturn to start by using the same “dip and drive” while pushing off the inside edge of the foot to rotate left. šPerform the vertical hop, landing with foot at 90 degrees to the left using the same method. šContinue with the vertical hops, landing at 90 degrees from center for the desired number of reps in a continuous and controlled rhythm. TWEAK DOWN: Perform the movement and pause at each landing to ensure balance and control. TWEAK UP: Add speed to the movement—but only as fast as you can control—and perform high-quality takeoffs and landings at the desired pace.

mastered, it is a good choice for a dynamic warm-up, following your soft-tissue work and corrective exercises to emphasize single leg stability and strength. Together,

this creates a comprehensive movement preparation option prior to your training session. Get strong on each single leg to perform your best on two! AFM


How to Get To Where You Want To Go

Mapping your way to better fitness BY CARRIE BARRETT


hen I moved to Austin from Ohio 15 years ago, I packed up my guitar in my Honda Civic, a few mementos, and cranked up the Dixie Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces.” After all, she needs:

“Room to make her big mistakes. She needs new faces. She knows the high stakes...”

That song still chokes me up because it was popular at a time when I really had no idea what my future held. I took a dream job at KASE 101, and this Midwest girl moved to the Lone Star State. And, 96 A U S T I N F I T M A G A Z I N E . C O M A U G U S T 2 0 1 3

like anyone who drove across the country in the 1990s, I also had my trusty AAA TripTik, the large book of detailed maps, which would take me from Ohio to Texas in about two days. Although I have found my permanent home in this amazing city, I'm still on a continuous journey; a fitness journey. I suspect many of you are, too. Whether you want to run a marathon, increase the number of pull-ups you can do, train for your first triathlon, or simply lose a few pounds, everyone needs a road map of sorts. We all need to know how to get to where we want to be. And, whether you’re using AAA’s paper or digital TripTik or trusting in Google Maps, you still need to plot your course and follow the best compass possible: your own. So, how do you begin your journey to where you want to go?

Create a Vision Do you know there are people who work at Disney whose only job it is to create? They are the ones who dream up fairy tales, Prince Charmings and Shreks, and fish that sing. They think big with no limitations. In the same way, you must also think big— but think clear. Aim for something that almost feels out of your reach. Write down your goal, but include specifics. Do you want to qualify for Boston? What pace do you need to run? What marathon is best suited to qualifying? The harder the challenge, the sweeter the reward. Your vision may sound ridiculous to someone else, but if it sounds awesome to you, that's all that matters. I mean, who would've thought a beauty would ever fall in love with a beast?

Be Committed When I stood on the altar and got hitched, I didn't say, “I wish.” I said, “I do.” Think of your goal in the same way. On one end, you may say, “I wish I could do a marathon” or “I hope to run a marathon someday.” You're beginning to create your vision, but you aren't expressing commitment. Those “wishes” and “hopes” must become “wants” and “dos.” In essence, your level of commitment can be gauged not just by words, but also your actions. How do you become committed to your goal? Start now. Pick a start date and a target date for completion. Select an accountability partner or coach. Plot some of the small steps to achieving your goal. You can't step over the Grand Canyon in one leap, but you can traverse it over small stepping stones.

Be a Rule Breaker Katherine Hepburn once said, “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” Amen, sister. Sometimes, in order to get to where you want to go, you have to break some rules that you or others may have set. Perhaps you've spent your entire life telling yourself that you are too slow to race a bike, too short to play basketball, too this, too that. If you dream big, you have to act big and dwell outside the walls of your comfort zone. Yes, that sometimes means putting down the AAA TripTik and navigating your own way through a lot of annoying traffic and taking a few detours now and then.

Be Fearless Being fearless doesn't necessarily mean living without fear. It most often means living with courage. Remember, fears are just feelings. They are not facts. The more you do something, the less fearful it becomes. That's why we practice and train, right? If your big goal and your big vision scare you now, that's good. Little by little, competence leads to confidence. I'll never forget my first day at the Austin Fit marathon training group. I was scared to death of the initial two-mile time-trial run. I wasn't sure I could finish it, and I also thought I would be in last place. So, I skipped it. I let fear get the best of me that day. I still joined the program, but my fear almost stifled me from joining at all. That was 12 years ago, and I'm grateful I stuck it out. It literally changed my life.

My big move to Texas was not unlike training for my first ever marathon. I had my goal, and I outlined the initial steps it would take to make both of those happen. I also broke a few self-imposed rules along the way. Sure, I was scared to death of the unknown of moving to a new city and doing something my body had never done before, but every day got a little easier with practice, patience, courage, and determination. The people I met along the way have been instrumental in my success, both in competition and in every day living. For that, I am eternally grateful. So, this fall, as you look ahead to where you want to be by the end of the year, look at these steps and draw your own road map. I promise, it'll be more accurate than SIRI's turn-by-turn instructions. AFM

Be Grateful Working toward and achieving your goal is meaningless without gratitude. Realize that not all things happen overnight. Achieving your lofty goal will take time, but gratitude allows you to appreciate where you are in each moment. There will be good days and bad days. Of course, there will be setbacks. Grateful is also being present and appreciating what you have now.


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chanting. Personal growth process and journaling guidance will also be available. Participants may attend each workshop individually or sign up for the entire series at a discounted rate. 9Wijb[>_bb<_jd[iišYWijb[^_bbÓjd[ii$Yec AUGUST 4

Street Hockey Street hockey in your shoes? You heard that right: Street Bird Hockey League is bringing back the sport, sans skates, every Monday and Wednesday evening at an open practice. You may wear as much protective gear as you like, but all you really need are a hockey stick and athletic shoes. Minimum age 21. Membership is currently free, so sign up for a team today. C[jpFWhašijh[[jX_hZ^eYa[o$Yec

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9th Annual Night of the BatFest Grab your friends and join in one of the largest street parties of the year. BatFest will feature food and drinks, two stages with live music, over 75 arts and crafts vendors, activities for kids, and (of course) a bat costume contest. Over 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats will be the stars of the evening, taking flight from under the Congress Avenue Bridge around dusk (typically between 7 to 8:30 p.m.). Ann Richards Congress 7l[dk[8h_Z][šheWZmWo[l[dji$Yec


The Dinner Detective Austin America’s largest murder-mystery comedy dinner show offers its guests a night of gut-busting trickery. Enjoy a four-course meal as you try to solve whodunnit! Be cautious; local improvisers have been hired to fool you, making everyone a potential suspect or victim—including you! Courtyard 7kij_d:emdjemdšj^[Z_dd[hZ[j[Yj_l[$Yec Bullock Texas State History Museum— First Saturdays On the first Saturday of each month, the Bullock Texas State History Museum offers free admission from 2 to 6 p.m. Spend your afternoon checking out the various exhibits on Texas land, identity, opportunity, and artifacts. One of the most popular attractions in central Texas, the museum has been visited by over 5 million people, representing every state in the U.S. and every continent on Earth. Don’t miss out; come learn “The Story of Texas.” Bullock Texas IjWj[>_ijehoCki[kcšj^[ijehoe\j[nWi$Yec AUGUST 24

“When in Austin” Austin Impact Dance Company Impact Dance Company is celebrating its ten-year anniversary with a performance titled “When in Austin.” Artistic director and owner, Marianne Hakanson, has choreographed and constructed a ten-piece recital dedicated to everything we love about this town. This performance will honor hometown greats such as Janis Joplin and Willie Nelson, while also highlighting local treasures such as Big Top Candy Shop, Hey Cupcake, The Bat Festival, Kite

Festival, and much more. Experience Austin history and culture through the art of dance and music. Railyard Shopf_d]9[dj[hšcWZWdY[fhe`[Yj$Yec


The Art of Ascension Austinites who need a break from the rat race and want to still their minds will benefit from this meditation course, which uses a very simple technique to raise one’s consciousness. The course is taught in the Ishaya tradition; teens and adults are welcome. Embassy Suites Austin Central AUGUST 10

Cooking Techniques Workshop The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is hosting a one-day, hands-on culinary workshop to explore fresh and notable culinary techniques, practices, and new methods for all teachers and counselors. Professional chefs will guide you as you cook a whole meal with your friends and colleagues. Learn from the best and enhance your home and classroom life through the magic of food. There is even an optional happy hour at the conclusion of the event. Auguste Escoffier IY^eebe\9kb_dWho7hjiš;iYeʺ[h$[Zk AUGUST 21

Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus “The Greatest Show on Earth” is coming to Austin with their most unusual attraction yet— dragons. The show is a “once in a millennial” event honoring the year of the dragon. Spectators will witness extreme athleticism and bravery while celebrating the mystical and spiritual beast. Frank Erwin Center

Submit your event online at AUSTINFITMAGAZINE.COM





Pure Austin Splash-n-Dash Fkh[7kij_d"GkWhhoBWa[š^_]^Ól[[l[dji$Yec

Capt’n Karl’s Night-Time Trail Run (60K, 30K, 10K) 9ebehWZe8[dZIjWj[FWha"BWcfWiWišj[`WijhW_bi$Yec



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Colin’s Hope Got2Swim Lake Austin 10K (solo and relay) and 10-miler BWa[>_bbi9ecckd_joFWha8[WY^šYeb_di^ef[$eh]




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Tri Rock Austin 7kZ_jeh_kcI^eh[iÂ&#x161;jh_heYaYecf[j_jeh$Yec% Austin/register

Survival Run: Hunter Gatherer 50K and 100K 9Wcf;W]b["HeYaIfh_d]iÂ&#x161;\k[]eoW]kW$eh]



5th Annual Water to Thrive 5K and Kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s K Dell Diamond, Round Rock

IBM Uptown Classic 10K ?8C7kij_dÂ&#x161;kfjemdYbWii_Y$Yec Race #1 in the Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge Series


Brain Power 5K Williamson County Regional Park

Athleta Esprit de She Cycle Tour Life Time Fitness South, 7101 S. MoPac SEPTEMBER 15

First Annual 80â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 8K @e^d=hkfjedIjWZ_kc"9[ZWhFWhaÂ&#x161;WYj_l[$ com/running/cedar-park-tx/run-free-texas-80 s-8k-community-race-2013 World Championship of Texas 3-on-3 Swimming Tournament Circle C Pool, 5919 La Crosse Ave. SEPTEMBER 21

Casa Superhero Run Mueller Lake Park & Hangar SEPTEMBER 22

Car2Go Marathon Relay 7kZ_jeh_kcI^eh[iÂ&#x161;j^[cWhWj^edh[bWo$Yec

10th Annual Lake Travis Relay 5973 Hi Line Road, Austin OCTOBER 20

Hill Country Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K Marble Falls High School OCTOBER 23â&#x20AC;&#x201C;27

Tex Robertson Highland Lakes Challenge Highland Lakes OCTOBER 26

Cactus Rose 100 mile/50 mile/4 x 25 mile relay Hill Country State Natural Area, Bandera




Run for the Water 10 miler/5K/Kids Run First Street Bridge, Austin Race #2 in the Austin Fit Magazine Distance Challenge Series


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Shoal Creek Shuffle

The Shoal Creek Shuffle is a diverse jog that rolls over shaded trails, under massive oaks, past ornate architecture, and near several pieces of good ole’ Texas history. This route was created by Nathanial Friedman, one of Austin’s local MapMyFitness ambassadors, and has a mix of road and gravel trail that provides a great break from pounding pure pavement on a daily basis. There are many points of access along the route, which enable you to cut out when the full 7+ mile trip needs shortening or have a friend to join in. You can typically find Nathanial at some point along this route during most of his training, and he knows these streets and trails like the back of his hand. Take a look at the points of interest listed below to make sure you don’t miss any of the great sights along the way. There’s even a historic drinking fountain to be found on the east side of the capitol under the low hanging live oaks, making this is a great option for a hot day. 1. Pease Park is the home of the infamous “Rainbow Hill.” This rolling climb gets the heart rate going and the legs burning as you ascend the quick climb along the Shoal Creek Trail. 2. You’ll pass right through the University of Texas campus while cruising down Speedway; you’re surrounded by many of the university’s historic buildings on this stretch. 3. Enter the Capitol complex at the North Gate and make your way to the South Gate using either East or West Drive. See if you can find all 17 Texas history monuments located on the 22 acres of land.

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4. The corner of 6th and Congress contains a statue that depicts the fiery Texan Angelina Eberly firing her cannon to warn Austinites that troops were afoot. Thanks to Eberly, Austin is still the Capital of Texas. 5. Tucked in between the Shoal Creek trail and Cesar Chavez, the Seaholm Power Plant provides a visual reference to the Austin of the 1950s with its retro signage. Watch to see what renovations are taking place whenever you repeat this classic route. AFM

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Elevation Chart

Give us a shout at @AustinFit and @MapMyFitness. We'd love to hear about your route experience!

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Shoal Creek Shuffle from MapMyFitness


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