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You Can't Run Until You Walk

You Can't Run Until You Walk

March 10, 2020

Memorial Day weekend in Buffalo, NY marks the official start of the summer racing season. Whether you are running a 5k, looking to complete a half-marathon, or tackling the full marathon, this is where you can put those hard-earned winter fitness gains to the test.

For those who are just starting out or for those who want to keep on going, here are the most important things you'll want to keep in mind:

As running legend Amby Burfoot astutely pointed out, “the goal of any beginning running program should be continuing.”  

Most folks who aren’t endurance athletes gauge aerobic fitness through Garmin watches or Fitbits. These totals are not easily sustained long-term. The thought of any legitimate distance for beginners can be intimidating and terrifying at the same time. That's why I suggest to anyone who inquires about a running program, to walk first. I can’t stress that enough. Start by walking around the block. Pack your sneakers in a backpack and walk at lunchtime. Walk to think clearly, walk to breathe. Give your phone a reboot and walk instead. There are approximately 1150 steps in a mile.

I’ve seen dozens of able bodied talented individuals sabotage their goals by doing too much too soon.  

Time on your feet is the number one prerequisite to completing any distance. This is the fundamental building block to aerobic fitness, one that cannot be substituted with workouts with misleading titles and “overnight results”.

Even in the face of fast-approaching deadlines and weather on the brink of catastrophe, fitting in a well-planned, short walk can give you gratitude and perspective on otherwise challenging day.

Walk this way indoors.

If you choose to do your walking utilizing a treadmill at the gym do your best to resist the temptation of holding on the handrails.  Holding onto the treadmill reduces the positive effects of your workout in several ways. These include: creating a stride pattern that is unnatural, reducing your possible calorie burn and encouraging improper posture and body alignment. So keep you head high and and stride forward with purpose.

Break up your weekend of binge watching and do some binge walking. You might be surprised at how far you go.

You Can't Run Until You Walk



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Concentration, Distraction, and Reaching Your Fitness Goals

March 4, 2020


How many times were you told to concentrate when you were a child?  I remember being told to concentrate all the time.  “Come on Josh, concentrate on your homework”.  Or, while learning to ride a bike (which I was petrified of) “Concentrate on staying balanced, Josh!”.  My personal favorite… “You’re just going to need to concentrate harder”.  What does that even mean?

My whole childhood I had been told to concentrate.  I formed this idea that concentration meant to posture up and pay attention, or something like that…it felt a little ambiguous. Nobody taught me HOW to concentrate.  School didn’t formally teach me HOW to concentrate.  My parents didn’t teach me HOW to concentrate.  And because I never learned, I never practiced.  It wasn’t until I went to India and studied yoga that I truly learned what it meant to concentrate, how to concentrate, and how to practice concentration.

After learning how to concentrate, I suddenly felt empowered.  I understood that anything was possible as long as I stayed focused.  I could run under a 5-minute mile, hold my breath for over two minutes, even start a successful business.   I could choose to see the light in all situations.  It was possible to be and do everything I wanted. But I had to change my mind…

What does the mind do if it doesn’t know how to concentrate?


Anyone can form the goal to hold a perfect handstand. In fact, many do.  Have you ever wondered why only a small percentage of people who want to hold a perfect handstand actually do it? The answer is simple and you’ve likely seen it a million times: people get distracted along the way to their goal.

They start off really focused, with such promise.  And then they start their first training session.

Listen to the following distractions that the mind seduces us with and see if you can relate:

“This is a lot harder than I expected.”

“This is going to take a long time.”

“I’m no good at this.”  

“I’ll never get good at this.”  

And often times, sadly, we quit.  Then we move on to the next trendy thing, fitness oriented or otherwise, only to spend a day or two practicing and quit just like all the others before it.  Does this sound familiar?  It should because it happens to all of us.

Until we learn how to overcome distraction…

Learning the nature of the mind is essential to overcoming unwanted distraction.

First, we must understand that there are two components to our consciousness - awareness & mind.  Think of awareness as an orb of glowing light that we have the power to place anywhere.  Think of the mind as a platform that has different centers; joy, sadness, creativity, motivation, logic, anger, depression, love, fear, excitement, and so on.

Think of concentrating as your ability to direct your awareness to the thoughts, feelings,and results you want to have.

If you aren’t concentrating on what you want to feel, or the result you want, you are subjected to the random feelings and actions of others.

Who would you rather have in control of your life; you or everyone else?

Imagine this…

Someone yells at you because they’re angry, you become aware of their anger, now you are angry.  You yell at them back.  Did you ever have control over that situation? No, you became distracted by the other person’s anger.  That anger was not yours until they gave it to you and you accepted it.  Maybe you don’t respond angrily to anger, but instead with fear. This is the same.  You have allowed an outside circumstance to trigger a reaction and you lost control of yourself.  Can you relate to a time this happened to you?

It doesn’t have to be this way. If we concentrate unwavering on how we want to feel, what we want to do, or who we want to be, nothing will be able to distract or deter us from feeling, doing, or being, the way we want.

Can you concentrate on feeling love for someone in the face of their anger?  Of course you can.  Can you concentrate on running today no matter what inconveniences present themselves?  Of course you can. Can you concentrate on making the healthy nutrition choice amidst temptation and situational pressure?  Of course you can.

What do you wish to accomplish in life? Are you willing to concentrate on it until it comes true? The power to have anything, to be anyone, and to feel any feeling, is available to you. 

I’m really excited to see you reach your goals in 2020!  Please pull me aside and share with me what you’re focusing on next time you see me or stop by for my weekly yoga class 7:30 pm Tuesdays at our Wehrle Drive location. 

And don’t forget… concentrate

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