Archive for March, 2013

Yesterday was the first round (ok, the second round) of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament, which just happens to be my favorite time of year. I enjoy the tournament more than Christmas and I usually spend the entire first two days watching games. Yesterday, was no different except I noticed there were quite a few games where the play was stopped by the referees to review plays in order to see if a foul was too excessive. This morning, there were explanations by the NCAA for the fouls as the NCAA is trying to make the game safer. This is a common theme throughout sports. The NFL is under a great deal of scrutiny over concussion issues as they scramble to make rule changes to make the game safer. The NHL, NBA and now the NCAA are all doing the same things. There are many people who agree with these rule changes and just as many who do not. I personally fall somewhere in the middle of these opinions. I think the games need to be safe, but I also feel there is an inherent risk of being involved in a sport or physical activity and each sport has different inherent risks and by changing the game too much you drastically take away from the things that make these games special.

However, I feel the current rules that were suddenly being enforced in the NCAA tournament yesterday went a little too far in protecting players. One flagrant foul involved a player ripping the ball through with his elbows, not swinging the elbows. A technique used to protect the ball. For those of you who understand basketball, this is not a dirty play, this is a basketball play. Unfortunately, an intent defender got hit by this elbow. The second flagrant foul involved a very athletic player who was fouled on a fast break. This player was moving very quickly down the floor and jumped very high in the air on a layup. The defender, trying to make a play on the ball missed the ball and caught the offensive player either on the face or on the shoulder, making very little contact. However, because this player was so high in the air and moving so quickly this contact resulted in a very dangerous fall. I do not want anyone to get hurt, I want that to be clear, but remember there is an inherent risk when participating in physical activity. When you play tight defense, I feel there is an inherent risk that you might get an elbow to the mouth. If you do not want an elbow to the mouth, do not play tight defense. When you jump four feet into the air on a layup against a defender, I feel there is an inherent risk that you will not come down to the ground in the safest possible fashion. If you do not want to fall out of the air while shooting a layup, do not jump as high.

While the rules I am complaining about are about basketball, I think it is important for people to realize that this super safe trend we see in sports is happening in many facets of life. I feel that often times some of the measures we are taking to make us safer might actually be putting our health and quality of life at risk. I think a lot of measures we take put us in a bubble, a smaller bubble, which can drastically limit us. Physically, bubbles may cause us to move less, or move in fewer ways. Spiritually, bubbles limit the experiences we have. A good example is hiking alone or in treacherous weather. Most people choose not to do this because of the inherent risks involved such as falling, getting bit by a snake, freezing to death or attacked by a bear. Meanwhile, these people sit on the couch for hours a day, in a “safe spot.” I can’t quote the statistics, but I know physical inactivity causes a lot more deaths than snake bites and bear attacks. At the same time, those that choose to abstain from something like a hike in the snow miss out on some amazing experiences, experiences the TV and couch cannot give you.

The point I am trying to make here is, as humans, we are trying to make ourselves invincible and avoid all injury. Unfortunately life carries many inherent risks. Furthermore, I don’t think we are putting the proper thought into how our protections may actually be harming us, making us more vulnerable to poor health or taking away the excitement of life, thus harming our quality of life. I am supportive of most rule changes in sports which are implemented to make us safer because the end result will be better health. However, by protecting our athletes too much I feel we may be preventing them from using their bodies in the ways the body is supposed to be used. More so, when rule changes drastically affect a sport it can take some of the enthusiasm and spirit away from the sport; keeping people from participating in the sport. I guess losing all of these great things about life and sport are the inherent risks of being safe but I will take my risks in choosing to be active.


Ok, I will preface this by saying I love Nutella. It is delicious! However, I am not sure how it is marketed as a health food. I think many people actually think it is healthy for breakfast or healthy for a snack. Recently, Columbia University claimed that their students were going through 100 pounds of Nutella per week. I have had a few people say here have some Nutella on some bread, it’s good for you.

Hmmmm….Well, as you can see from this picture of the nutrition labels of Nutella and Hershey’s chocolate syrup, the healthier choice is Hershey’s syrup. Nutella has twice as many calories per serving…. which the serving size is the exact same size (2 table spoons). Most of these calories come from fat, which sometimes is ok. However, the Nutella has more sugar than the chocolate syrup as well. While Nutella is a “hazelnut spread,” its top two ingredients are sugar and palm oil respectively. So it would be more accurate to label this as a sugar spread.

Therefore, when you are thinking about starting your day off with this “health food” I would think twice. While it still would be an unhealthy choice, having a piece of toast with Hershey’s chocolate syrup would be a healthier choice than toast with Nutella….Moral of the story, check your nutrition label!

An old article I wrote for work….Thought I would share it on here.

I love being a personal trainer and I love being a personal trainer at Highlands Country Club. The reasons that I love working here are numerous, but one of the greatest things about my job is that I get to know my clients. I spend between thirty minutes and an hour with them two to three times a week. While we do work hard during that time, I get to hear stories about my client’s current future and past life. Some trainers may feel this is not necessary but I feel this allows me to relate to my clients needs.
One major topic of discussion is grandchildren. I get to hear details about every single one of them from newborns to those adult grandkids that are having kids of their own. While I may forget how many grandkids my clients have, their names and some of the things they do, I love hearing about them! One thing that grandparents, especially those here at HCC, love to brag about is their grandchildren that participate in sports. Almost every grandparent here at HCC has an athlete grandchild and most of them, from my understanding, are pretty good at their chosen sport. Some of these grandkids I have met at our kid’s camp, at golf camp or just in passing around HCC.
However, over the three years I have been working at HCC, I have only worked out with one of my client’s grandchildren. As you may know, children need structured exercise now more than ever. Even children involved in athletics need additional strength and conditioning exercise to prevent injury and increase sport performance. I love working with kids and wish I could do more of it. I have two degrees in physical education, coach basketball at Highlands High School and I am a strength and conditioning coach. So, working with kids, especially athletes, is one of my passions. There are a variety of fun things to do with children from teenagers through toddlers that can enhance their health and their abilities to move.
In addition to enhancing the health of the grandchild, a workout at the LEC can also help out the parents and grandparents. Many of the members here at HCC have their grandkids for weeks at a time, often times between kid’s camp and golf camp. Sending them to the LEC for an individual workout with one of our personal trainers gives the members and their children a break to take care of things they need to accomplish. Also, kids can be hyper! One of the best prescriptions for hyper kids is high intensity exercise that burns off sugar! So, this summer if your grandkids are in town looking for something to do, driving you nuts, or need some fitness training, call the LEC and book a workout with Susan, Juanita or myself!

March Madness Warm Up

Posted: March 10, 2013 in Tip of the Week, Video

Every March I am always amazed that everyone wants to play basketball. Basketball season starts in November…However it takes people until March to get motivated to play pick up games. So here are some tips on warming up before you play. Don’t get hurt and get ready to play at your best! WARM UP PEOPLE!!!!!