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Fitness training and Lysine

by Beth Adair

Years ago,  I was researching the benefits of Lysine, an amino acid.   I have been taking it since 2003 & had read an article in a fitness magazine that it’s use would improve athletic performance.  Back then, I was training for my third @nycmarathon. I did add it and did notice an improvement in my training with taking it, ( and with taking other vitamins). I have been on a various amount of vitamins since the age of 27.

The article recommended adding iron & other vitamins to metabolize it in my system. Similar to your body being unable to assimilate calcium without Vitamin D, my doctor, Julian Suhrer, MD, recommended the use of vitamin C, & B complex to assimilate iron better.  It all vastly made a difference in the way I felt in my training, which was much more energetic.

Over the years, Dr. Suhrer suggested taking CoQ10, which I added in 2006 &  his research once suggested taking vitamin E, 400IU. I travel for a living as a flight attendant, maintain a very active fitness lifestyle & try to keep my immunity strong. I am not currently on medications, & I’m not suggesting you take anything (vitamins or otherwise), until you consult with your doctor. If you are on medications, some medications will interact with vitamins & possibly cause issues, so check with a doctor before you take anything to ensure it’s safe for you. Better to pay an insurance deductible or office fee, than to visit a hospital later.

I’ve been saving money by using a protein supplement containing 2,719 mg of Lysine per scoop. The pill form I was using only contains 1,000 mg per tablet & I used take 2,000 mg a day via pill form, With use of protein drinks, the need for pill form is eliminated. I typically do not exceed the use of 2 protein drinks a day, thus totaling 5,438 mg of Lysine. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a recommended dose of Lysine is 3,000-9,000 mg a day.   If you intend of taking any vitamins, amino acids or ingesting anything as such, I recommend chatting with a doctor first. I’ve used protein supplements for the last 4 years.  Also, if you google Lysine, it’s also been proven to help with issues with the virus causing cold sores.

I’ve embarked on my first bikini competition this fall. Before the Covid mess hit, I had planned to do the contest in the summer & was researching protein amounts for my body weight,  and how much water you need daily. I had already been drinking 2 daily qts. of water, but hadn’t always ingested 125 mg. of protein.  

I attended the 2nd Annual Healthy Running conference in in January in Tiberias, Israel. I got the invite by Ron Golan, MD an Israeli cardiologist and a mutual friend of Dr. Jordan Metzl, MD, an American orthopedic surgeon who I met through my fitness contacts. During the course of the 9-10 hour seminar, I learned quite a bit. The most useful tidbits came at lunch time. I was out on the patio talking to American Robert Sallis, MD, who practices out in California, and Ron Golan, MD.  I asked whether it was safe to ingest 125 mg. or more a day & how much water did I need? Ron asked my weight, (then was 125 lbs, with  1 gram of protein per pound of weight requiring 125 mg of protein at minimum a day).  Robert asked if I had normal kidneys. They both said the body would process the protein just fine & recommended I drink 2-3 liters of water a day along with my protein intake.  (I had read somewhere you might tax your kidneys if you didn’t drink enough water when ingesting more protein, and I couldn’t remember what the article specifically said about protein intake in grams). The conference was fun, and Jordan & Robert took off for Tel Aviv to chat with another pack of doctors,  while I flew back to the United States to go to work.

See a kidney specialist if you have questions on your kidneys.  I’m grateful I have not had any issues with my kidneys, as my maternal grandmother used to get kidney stones when she was alive.  Obviously, I want to avoid any issues.

I’m a flight attendant and was grateful for open seats on standby (with a “great airline pass”, a gift to all employees from our CEO, Ed  Bastian), & I often joke,  “I’m not flying solely for my health”, but in that particular case, I was.  

I look forward to returning to work tomorrow and will work to Amsterdam.  It’ll be great to be back, and I’ve enjoyed  little about being off for 2 months.

What’s on your fitness agenda? Have you researched your plan? I hope you have as much fun as I’m having.

@bethadair13 Instagram
@bethadair13 Twitter

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Bikini Contest Posing Class

by Beth Adair

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Ever take on a fun new project, & later wonder if you just bit off more than you can chew? I’m no novice to plunging in “headfirst” to new projects, but today I did get a tad uneasy with walking in and taking my first posing class.

My latest project on the “front burner” is my fall bikini model contest. Today I signed up with a posing coach, Steve Mousharbash who runs TeamFlawlessPhysique.com.

I have the training started, as when the gyms were back open, I got back to a weight room. I have been consulting once a week with my trainer, Lyn Lichty, for a few weeks now, and doing other training on my own.   It’s “time to get serious” & start addressing other aspects of the contest. After chatting with a few competitors up in New Jersey, I realized I needed to get some help with learning how to pose.

Learning how to pose isn’t easy. Boy is that an understatement. Today we spent an hour going over a few moves for foot, arm and hand placement. We slightly touched on stage walking, but Steve emphasized other posing first, and we’ll fool with learning the other parts later. Once I’ve mastered this, I’ll move to the whole set of movements. All the while I was there, a sweet girl, Britni, would take a few pictures and a video for me to use to practice.

I’m not in contest shape as of yet, but motivated to work harder and it’s time to “clean it up” with my diet.  I’ve been running “half throttle”, but I’m less intimidated after today. On Sunday, I’ll be 16 weeks out, and better prepared.  I’ll spend Saturday morning doing food prep. I only need to cut 5-6 lbs..  Once I’m better at posing, I’ll share a video.  Today’s photo is a flash screen from the video, & I’m over to the side, while Steve demonstrated.  We blamed my 6 lb. overage on “covid”, as it just seemed appropriate.  This of course, brought a lot of laughs.

Funnest part to the meeting today was that Steve had met Paul Buceta. I had worked with Paul up in Canada and realizing how small the fitness world is, Steve, Britni and I all chatted on NPC, World’s and IFBB. We had a lot of laughs. They had the same enthusiasm as Paul and his wife, Kim.

I hope all of your projects are fun, and if you take on a huge one, sometimes diving in “headfirst” is best. The unknown can be less fearful the sooner you delve into where your weaknesses lie. It’s like running your first marathon in a race known for hills or strong winds, getting your class syllabus, or taking a new job and not fully understanding all of the duties.  You’ll still be getting through each day with resilience and resolving to make each day better than the last.

My new project will be a fun focus for 4 months. Make each one of yours fun, too.

@bethadair13 Insta & Twitter

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Strength in your Fifties

by Beth Adair

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Just the other week I was chatting with a follower on 1 of my social feeds. We were discussing fitness training and how hard it can be to stay fit as we age. I appreciate all of my followers, and comments from men over 50 always keep me entertained. The most hysterical response I got from one man over age 50 was this, “I don’t have a bikini to motivate me aesthetically, but I still care how I look with my shirt off & I don’t ever want to have that old man gut”. This Dad of two college aged kids would also add that, “I watched how my parents aged and atrophied, so that has shaped my approach”.

What he’s referring to is sarcopenia. What’s sarcopenia? It’s the decline in muscle mass as you age. According to Harvard Health, “after age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% [muscle mass] per decade. Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetimes.”

To combat this, weight training of 2 days per week, and not on consecutive days is what is recommended.   I have chatted with trainers, and weight lifters that will lift different body parts, and do so daily.  For example, they will train with weights solely for the biceps, and follow up with cardio.  The next day, they will train solely the triceps, and follow with cardio.  (I have not tried their approach as of yet).

In my own fitness training, I lift weights 2- 3 days a week and space out each weight training session to one day of rest from the weight room in between.  I try and manage 5 days of cardio for 45 minutes per week, in addition to my weight training.   Running, bike riding, eliptical, stair mill, or walking are my favorite forms of cardio.   I just love bike riding (and sometimes will ride longer than 45 minutes).  It’s my new hobby and buying a bike before Covid lockdown (a Mango beach bike with 8 gears and hand brakes) was the best money I spent thus far this year.

I travel for a living, and with the Covid situation, I’ve been challenged with how to fit my training in.   Grounded on leave for two months from my flight attendant job (a decision I took for many reasons with the main one being that most European routes weren’t active till July) provided challenges.   My beach club (where I also go for fitness),  has an hour restriction in the gym (to limit the number of guests per hour).   I’m grateful we have access at all, as when I was in SC seeing family, I met a man that had driven from NC just to workout (it was a 2 hour drive for him).

I joined a second gym for the advice of a trainer, Lyn Lichty, and see her once a week.  I have known Lyn since before she had her kids.  Once there is a Covid vaccine, I’ll make decisions on whether to keep both memberships.   I’m not thrilled at the amenities being removed at my beach club and if none of them return, I’m not sure I’ll stay.   I did enjoy the complimentary coffee, razors and lotions before Covid.  It made my life easy and coffee was a treat.

When I get back to flying in July, I’ll be challenged with how to fit in training on the road.  Simply put, though I have foreign gym contacts, some machines will not be available.  For example, the captains chair (also known as the Vertical knee raise machine) is not found in many gyms abroad, nor is the leg press machine.  I just try and work with what I find.  I’m excited for the Safcompetitions.com in October, my latest project and when I have finished the competition, I’ll still want to maintain my fitness.  Essentially, what has changed from my old methods to what I am doing now is in the diet.    I’ve added more protein, and cut a lot of excess carbs.  I still stay within a range of calories not to exceed 2,000 a day.

Most of my male followers have complained about “man boobs” and asked how to combat this.  My best advice is more chest work with weights, and an adjustment in the diet.  Chest Flyes, chest press, incline dumbbell press, etc., will all work the chest area and support muscle growth there.  Contact your local gym for a good recommendation from a trainer if you are a novice to weight training.  Do this after you’ve gotten clearance from your doctor.   To prevent injury, don’t try to lift too much weight too soon.   To see any results, you’ll need 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight at minimum.  Go online to find a health calculator to help you figure out your daily caloric needs, and be honest with yourself.  If you are leading a sedentary life, don’t weasel a day or two in the mix to suggest that you are active two days a week by rationalizing that walking to the mailbox is exercise.  Most women need 1800-2200 calories a day for maintenance.  I’ve met marathon runners who run 130 miles a week who can’t keep weight on with that calorie amount and will add more calories to maintain their weight.  Bill Phillips is over 50 and working out in CO with his wife Maria.  He’s a great motivator and trainer with years of knowledge.  If you are a man over 50 wanting advice, email bill@transformation.com  or seek him out on Facebook.

With any fitness or change in your diet, consult a doctor.  Most MD’s stay fit and workout, as well.  I’ve had the same gynecologist for the last 19 years. He knows my health, fitness and vitamin history and makes recommendations on what to add or what is now recommended with vitamins.   His wife was who referred me to him as she knew my activity level.   I take a lot of vitamins for immunity, and recommend that you take them so long as you are not on any medication and you consult a doctor.  (It’s good to consult with a doctor, as some medications interact with vitamins and can cause harm).  Luckily, I’ve avoided medications thus far.

The younger you are, the quicker you’ll see results from weight training. If you are new to it,  it’s not too late.   I’ve met women in their 70’s who started late in their fifties and are now stronger than most millenials.

@bethadair13, Twitter and Insta

Weights by Gronk Fitness —
livefit.com
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Hair and Makeup with Renee

by Beth Adair

A talented makeup artist can make all the difference in the world to your next head shot or photo shoot.  I wanted to get a few shots in fairly “natural looking” makeup, for a “business look”, & that would also show up in pictures.  In Jacksonville, Renee Parenteau (@ReneeParenteau) is a fabulous contact.

I had first met Renee when working on a photo shoot with the late Paul Figura back in 2011.  Paul was locally known, well liked, & had worked with the @Jaguars.  He had accounts out-of-state with goals in commercial work. In 2011, I was eagerly trying to get the attention of the @Runnersworld magazine staff & wanted unedited shots to send to them.   (In hopes of getting picked up on a potential project, later on). Paul came highly recommended by Chris Condon, a friend from high school, & photographer for the PGA tour.

It was an incredible gift, as I worked with Paul free on spec.  Sometimes you won’t know where or why you’ll get such nice favors, but I am always grateful.

I didn’t even have to explain to Renee what I was looking for, a “sport” look as she already knew & had already done work out in Los Angeles.  I showed at her studio before the crack of dawn, so we could be Paul’s studio by 7 am.  I had always been trained in college to show with clean hair and no makeup on, so that’s how I arrived.

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The look was perfect.  A natural “sporty look”, & using mostly muted shades, with lash extensions.  On any given day at the gym, you will find me with mascara or lipstick.  I’ve been known to show at marathons with a full face of makeup (something not always understood by other runners).
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Years later, I’d cross paths with Renee again, and she was just as fun to work with.  Her studio had transitioned to both makeup and still shot photography.  I needed a few head shot looks for my professional profile.   I got some in a suit, and a “housewife look” in a denim shirt.

 

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My agent and I met later that month and we reviewed pictures.  She commented that Renee did great work.   I hope if your travels bring you to Jacksonville, you’ll add Renee to your list of contacts for make up.

Renee works in the Jacksonville, Florida area.  Contact her at reneeparenteau.com

@bethadair13, Instagram & Twitter

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Photo Shoot with Paul Buceta

by Beth Adair

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Working with Paul Buceta was the bomb. With the fitness world being so small, I had heard how great Paul was to work with, & I knew my experience would be positive and provide great art.

The opportunity to work with him came at a great time.  I knew several months in advance of the January ’19 shoot, & my mother was on a decline in health the fall previous.  Before her passing, it was a riot to overhear her boast to her friends, “My daughter is doing a photo shoot in Canada”.   The nurses & friends at the assisted living facility were as excited for the opportunity as me.  It was always well received, and a riot to me that at my age, my mom would still boast.  

I arrived in Canada with strict instructions on where to enter the @prodstudioTO.  It was January & you can imagine that it wasn’t a “balmy 70 degrees” in Canada. I think the wind chill that day was -10.  Paul’s studio is a short drive from downtown.  I got there early to work with Monica Kalra,  his makeup artist.  Monica had a real estate exam that day and would only be available for an hour, but her help and techniques were much needed as I am not good at placing my own lashes.  On any given day, I wear mascara, but for photo shoots, I like lash extensions.

Outfits for the shoot were in vast assortment.  There were a few from @Rogiani, @Brooksrunning, & @LucasHugh.  I had brought my bikinis with me, and they were from @Venus and a line called Mossimo, (that used to be found at @Target).  My reason for picking these two lines of bikini’s?  The  Venus line is from my hometown in Jacksonville, Florida.  I’ve never met the ladies there in person, but over the phone they are so energetic and nice.  I own probably 6 Venus bikini’s, all made in the USA.  The Mossimo line just fit well.

Paul selected the outfit for the first shots.  I changed and through the course of the 8 hour shoot, we worked in natural lighting,  artificial lighting and combination of both.  He staged shots on occasion with a fan, and some shots were done in black and white.

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The number one thing I learned from this shoot was the best way to pose in a bikini to give your upper thighs the best look.   You stand in a pair of high heels (about 3-4 inches high), with your feet placed at “second position” like a ballet dancer. With your back straight and arms placed, you bend your knees outward like you are squatting.  You start descending down until Paul says “okay”, and then get the pictures.   It will give your legs a defined look, and look more smooth or chiseled at the upper thigh and show in the pictures. This was a fun new pose.  I know i’ll use it again.  Using high heels was nothing new, but the pose was.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3D939EB2-1687-40CE-97A5-AEFD86EE338D-576x1024.png

It was on the lunch break where I would meet Paul’s wife, Kim Gunther, and marketer, Kevin Greene both on staff at @STRONGFITMag.   They were both a breath of fresh air, and I laughed a lot.   After they left the studio, Paul and I decided to play a joke on Kevin by doing some fun poses in a Tshirt.   I wore the shirt over my bikini. (Shown) .

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I co-own the rights to the photos, with most of them being used on my social media pages, as well as the opening shot of my website in black and white, and unedited.   The top in the opening shot was from Paul’s wardrobe rack.   My web designer JB chatted with Paul on how to get the image transparent.  The “fitness over 50” project was a success.  My agent would later put out a press release. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is EB139AF5-EAF9-445E-93E0-FCE447FBAB4B.jpeg

My goal is to motivate people to train.  All of my friends know I love fitness, and love to eat.  I hope everyone works with Paul and his team at some point (PaulBuceta.com).  May all of your projects produce a laugh and a positive cash flow.

What do you have planned next? Remember to plan well, work hard and your work will pay off one way or another. I once read online that 42% of your goals get accomplished just by writing them down.

 

@bethadair13, Instagram & Twitter

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Thoughts from the Paw

by Beth Adair

So why a bikini fitness contest, or anything of the sort at 50+? Because it’s a positive focus. In a nutshell, that’s why I’ve got the wheels in motion to do one.

Over the course of the last several years, I’ve met so many who have competed, & most have talked so positively about it. Usually any negative comments have come from athletes that are just plain burned out on it, & have succeeded in their fitness goals. Whether it’s getting published, growing their brands, or increasing their clientele in training, they all did something of the sort.

I first heard about bikini fitness contests from one of the fitness magazines I’ve read & noticed the information about the SAFCompetitions.com in a recent Strong Fitness Magazine. I’m no stranger to a gym, & a vast majority of my “athletic career” has been in running. No, I’m not a pro athlete, yes I love to eat,  & yes I typically surround myself with upbeat people.  No matter where I’ve traveled, I always manage to come in contact with people in the fitness world. Was I ever published? Once, in the very fabulous , Oxygen Magazine AU, in 2015.   I hope to get to Australia someday, as the people I’ve met online from there are so incredibly nice

Through the course of this pandemic, I’ve seen more of  family, cleaned house constantly,  volunteered, &  all of which I’ve enjoyed. I did take a voluntary leave of absence for 2 mos. & it taught me I’m not ready to retire for another 10 years. I enjoy my job too much, & I enjoy my side projects in fitness or modeling, too. I do a lot of things free on gratis, like helping international contacts, or helping a novice.  I’m grateful to still have the energy and “gung ho” to do it.

For the contest, I’m unsure which category I’ll be entering, & will enter closer to the date. I noticed you get marked down on one category for being too ripped or vascular. I don’t care so much if I place, as this is my first competition, and I have so much to learn. My cardio will have to be cut at some point as with the pandemic, I’ve taken to daily 17 mile bike rides which usually take 85 minutes or so. I’ve really enjoyed it. Cardio training needs to be capped at 45 minutes a session, from what I’ve read. My weight training took a hit too, with the gym being closed, I lifted less and can tell in how I look (less toned).  I put on 7 pounds since January & that’ll need to come off, too. To get rolling again, I got a few books to change my training and contacted Lyn Lichty, a radical trainer I knew as a kid.  I’ve worked 1 session a week in the budget, and will do the rest solo. She’s tough!

What’s your next goal? Are you surrounding yourself with positive things? If your job is gone or money is tight, do you have a plan for the future? Will you look back on your life in 15 years and say, “man, I really kicked some butt that year”?  Whatever your case, don’t give up and don’t allow any  back logs with bills stress you out. The worse is behind us, and it’s time to focus on recovery and keep vigilant about staying healthy and getting a positive cash flow. The bills will still get paid, albeit some sooner than others, & just keep positive. I’ve met landlords cutting slack to those affected and have seen such kindness in other areas.  For my own general well being, I’ve cut out a few toxic people in my life (by this I mean, not toxic to others, but toxic for me), taken to listening to upbeat music, & re-read a few chapters in the book “The Psychology of Winning”, by Denis Waitly.

Stay focused on your own path.  Work hard, laugh harder, and remember, I’m always laughing with ya.

@bethadair13, insta and twitter

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Face Mask

So happy to show you a method to making a face mask that I learned from watching TV. I used simple items you may already have.  Check Twitter @bethadair13 for video attached to pin.

We’ll need to follow face mask rules & it looks like we may be in them awhile. As soon as they open the skies, I’m taking off to Ireland.

Be well, & hope you find a laugh in anything you do 😁

Beth

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Tiberias Strikes Again

It was less than a week ago I was on a flight to New York City. I had set up volunteering at the #TSCNYCMarathon & was very excited to go & hopefully see friends. The energy of the race is so fun, even if you aren’t running.  To work the race number pickup & chat with runners from around the world is a blast.

While on the flight up on Halloween morning, I was trying to tie up loose ends on why I kept getting notifications for only 1 day of volunteering, (when I’d put in for two). Long story short, after about 3 emails & a confirmation that it would be fixed, I was changing my hours of volunteering on my social pages. After posting the changes on FB, I got a reply from a contact in Israel, Ron Golan, mentioning that a running conference was taking place, once again. Because I was on taxi-in to JFK & about to get my bags, I didn’t watch the link of the video. I was just wanting to get off the plane and deal with the trains to NYC.  I had hoped Jordan was going again because he’s fun.

I went last year to the conference, & had a ball, and even drove over to Jerusalem to check out the holy lands.  I knew if I could get on a flight there, I’d look into accommodations.  Tel Aviv goes out full, (this I knew from my friends at work that are Hebrew speaking flight attendants who work the flight often).  .

After getting to the city, I was on a trek to find my friend George. but before I even thought about going over to the RunCenter, I needed to drop my bags at a friends place in the UWS.   I wasn’t staying with her, but it was a great place to store my bags & I was grateful for the help.  Probably the best thing about that muggy & rainy morning was that I was able to chase down a senior lady outside the CVS who had left her phone in the cart next to mine In the store. I had gone to CVS to get Halloween candy, a diet Mountain dew & a few things before going the RunCenter. This lady was hard of hearing, and I told the guy at the CVS Checkout counter to watch my cart because I just wanted her to have her phone back. I know the “passersby” at the corner of west end and 71st thought I was a fool, running down the street yelling , “m’am, M’am, you left this” to a woman who was hard of hearing.  It was a half a block run, but I caught up to her & she was glad to get her phone back.  When I got back to CVS, all my things were intact.  I trusted the guy running the counter, as I’d seen him there before on previous visits,, and there was a camera to record anyone jacking my stuff.

When I got to the RunCenter, the guys sent me straight to the Javits Center. I had just missed George, but was told to find him there and not to expect it to be easy.  (I already knew this).  I merely wanted to catch up.

When I got off the escalator at the Javits Center, there was a man standing outside of the expo, &  he asked how my day was going. I noticed his “Jerusalem Marathon” logo on his shirt, so I asked him if he knew Ron Golan and the people in Tiberias, (and about the conference w/Jordan). Oddly enough, (at least to me), he knew of them all. He said he’d been invited earlier that week & was going. After about 3 minutes of chatting &  finding out how small the world is, we ended up at the booth for the Jerusalem marathon. What are the chances? It was so weird to me. The first person I’d chat with at the Javits center knew the man that sent me the link to the conference on taxi in from my flight that morning.  Such coincidence and we all were laughing at the Jerusalem marathon booth.

After tooling about 5 or 6 booths, and inviting them all to the Gate River Run, I decided I needed to get rolling over to Stamford, CT where I’d be staying the first night of my visit.  I’d gotten a room off of hotels.com.  The next two nights would be with my dear friend from middle school who I’ve stayed in touch with since. ( Her husband was leaving for China the day I got into CT, so it was better for everyone that I’d show to her house the next day).

I knew that leaving the Javits center Thursday,  that I’d be back over to the Runner’s World booth  at some point to hopefully meet up again with Kit Fox.  He had published a book, Mighty Moe, and I wanted to chat on video about it, and the race headquarters for Jacksonville, Florida (1stplacesports.com).  I liked his enthusiasm and he knew of an outstanding legacy editor, Amby Burfoot.   (We got the video done in five minutes on Saturday, which was all the time I had.  Check my Instagram or Twitter pages at @bethadair13 , if interested).

I was effectively fried when I got to Stamford. The stress of getting up at 3 through the trains in the city and down stairs at the Subway, and deal with the city traffic on Halloween, all caught up.   I decided to take an hour walk around Stamford and hit the hay early. Before doing that though, I checked the video on the link I’d been sent that morning. There was Jordan Metzl  chatting on the video about the conference and my very favorite skeletal prototype, “Rex” in the background. I smiled and knew I’d make the trip to Israel if there were seats open.  I travel standby, and go on available space.

I know Jordan through my contacts with Runner’s World Magazine. The first meeting w/him was when I had made a trip to a Running Strong clinic several years ago, and I remember getting a few of his books and also some by Meb. At the book signing, Jordan asked where my books were. I hadn’t budgeted for my own, (or more than 3 of his books and 3 of Meb’s books), too. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone by not buying more, and was trying to motivate a few guys from my running club at work (one a paralympic runner). With taxi’s, subways, buses and all kinds of expenses to get to the conference, I was glad he wasn’t offended, neither was Meb.  I needed to get a magazine signed by Meb, too, for a kid who looked up to him.

I have a good time. The volunteer adventure was just that, an energetic blast:-) I made people laugh, got pictures with any runner who wanted one and took pictures of runners who were alone but wanted proof they were in corral 100-1,999). I joked I was also running “PR for race number pickup”.  One of my favorite families was from Spain.  Two men were running and brought in 8-9 members of their family to watch the race.  That was an expensive trip, plane tickets, accommodations and his wife said “get a picture with this chicas”, so funny!  I was in their photos.. It was important to me to do race number pickup this year, as once I’d made a trip to a race and the peeps working the number pickup could’ve cared less I’d traveled to get to their race. (Like money grew on trees for hotels or it’s easy to schedule time off). It was a learning experience that if I ever worked a race number pickup, I’d thank everyone making the trip (even if they were locals). I did that at the Runner’s World Half and Festival back in 2017. I remember there was a guy then who’d driven all night to get from the outskirts of Boston to make the race in PA. It was “off the chain” dedication to make his work schedule and running schedule work that week.  A “work horse” is used to pulling an allnighter.  It’s like studying for an exam in college, or in my job, when you get a weather delay and it adds an additional six hours to the 8 hour flight you only thought you’d be working.  It still shows their passion for the sport.

I knew I’d be revved to work harder after being around “gung ho” New Yorker’s and sure enough, I was. I never caught up to George, but did get a nice email before leaving the city from him that he was tied up and we’d catch up again, soon. Once I finished my volunteering both days, I’d head to my friends place in CT.  I picked up a trip to London to fly out on marathon day and know that I’ll be in the city for the race again next year.  It’ll be the 50th, and full of excitement.

2020 will be a blast of a year. I’m excited already. I’ll be checking out the conference in Tiberias (running-medicine.co.il), and  the Stadium Blitz clinics throughout the year, too. I’ll be training for my first ever bikini fitness contest using the Bill Phillips concept, and adjusting my weight training to get my body shaped up better.  I may have to hire a trainer for a few sessions, as over the years I’ve gotten into a chain of habit, and it might be time for an adjustment.  With my travel schedule, staying fit is essential. I’m 52, and am always looking for a new goal. My fitness keeps me going and I like fun new projects. It’ll be fun to put the energies into new projects.

What are your goals for 2020? I hope they are well planned and easy to attain, and if not, you have it mapped out well:-).  Keep up the positive vibe with a lot of laughs:-)

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Stadium Blitz

Obstacle Course Racing at it’s best.

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@bethadair13

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On October 26, 2019,  I had the most excellent time checking out my 2nd visit to #StadiumBlitz.  Stadium Blitz is an OCR (Obstacle Course Race) set up in various stadium’s throughout the US & by a family of retired NFL football players, The Gronkowski’s.  The first one was in Buffalo, NY and the second in Tampa, FL.  I had so much fun at the first one, I had to go to the second one.

I first became acquainted with Chris Gronkowski through a Twitter feed a year or two ago.   I used to have a large following on Twitter and Instagram prior to my shutting it down and redoing it (a result of hacks).   I became familiar with Iceshaker.    Chris markets his IceShaker product well.   I knew the Gronkowski name because I’m a football fan, & anyone who follows football, knows of the Gronkowski’s.  My Godsons also love the Gronks, so that was another reason.

My Godson’s Noah & Justus are football fans, & have been playing since they were tikes.  They love the Gronkowski’s.   Noah is playing football at Oklahoma Baptist University (@OBU_Football) on scholarship & has aspirations of going into the NFL. As a “Godmom”, I wanted him to have a contact for advice & good example of a work ethic from guys already in the business.  The Gronks “fit the bill”.   There are also Jaguars players that do, too.     Probably the funniest thing (that made my day) after attending a Stadium Blitz, was a text I got from Justus.  I had told him & his brother about my race.  He said, “That’s really cool that you met the Gronkowski’s.”.  He now follows me on Twitter.  Glad I graduated to “coolness” with a Twitter “follow” by my Godson.

Over the course of the last 2 years,  I had been in touch with @STRONGfitmag with a fitness project I was working on.  I wanted to work with Paul Buceta, the best in the industry of fitness photography.  I was trying to think of a fun way to be involved in fitness  if I ever got published.   I was looking for a nationally marketed line of equipment . 

 I had been reading the paper on the flight to Arrowhead Stadium in  Kansas City last year (to watch my @jaguars play the @chiefs).  I  noticed somewhere that Rob and his family had been marketing some of their@GronkFitness line products  with livefit.com.  I took a look at the site & later started following them.  Before leaving Atlanta that morning, I emailed Paul Buceta & asked if I could use Gronk weights in our photo shoot.  He said sure, but they already had weights.  He still sent an address to ship things to if I wanted to use them. 

When I got back to FL, I ordered the stuff I wanted to use & sent them to Canada.   They are still in Paul’s studio for any model to use.  I used other branded weights in the shoot, too.

We were using @GronkFitness brand kettlebells.

I had no idea of anything like #StadiumBlitz at the time of the January 2019 photo shoot, & I didn’t even know that was in the works.  My photo shoot rolled well with Paul and was a blast!   I like to laugh, too.  Paul & I played a joke on other staff at the magazine.  It was a pleasure to meet Kim, Paul’s wife and hear of the escapades of a legend, Bob Kennedy.  Unfortunately, I never crossed paths with Bob Kennedy before he passed, but he was such a motivator.  He was  extremely “cut and dry” as a fitness writer and Paul had great stories from knowing him.  (Bob ran publishing over at Oxygen Magazine before passing from cancer).  It was fun to share stories with people at StadiumBlitz in Tampa.

The first #StadiumBlitz was up in Buffalo, NY.  I was excited to go, had pulled into NY after working from Dublin & then flew to Buffalo for the fitness race.  I’m a flight attendant, not a multi-millionaire with my own lear jet, and love my job. My career allows me to do fun trips.  I don’t however, use flight passes on anything involving money for my second job as a “model/actress”. For the photo shoot to Canada, I bought tickets on Expedia to get there & didn’t violate any company policy of my employer.  If any of the pictures made money, I could be subjected to getting fired.   Same thing applies for commercial projects or anything else I am making money doing.  

Stadium Blitz in Buffalo was a blast! People couldn’t have been nicer. Everywhere I went people were friendly. I stopped by the G & G Fitness store there (where I had bought weights online sone months prior for the photo shoot).  I tooled around town & I went by Dick’s Sporting goods, too.    I wanted to pickup new shoes for the 1st event as I got a new jacket at work,  & wanted it to match.   I told the guy there at the store in Buffalo about the Stadium Blitz.   He was in his 20’s, & excited to hear of it.   He hadn’t heard of it prior to my mentioning it, which I thought was interesting.  He was a millennial,  and most millenials I see are glued to devices.   I’m 52, and not glued to a device and knew of Stadium Blitz because of social media!    Ironic!   I loved this kid’s energy.  I’m sure he’ll go to one sometime later on.

I got to New Era Stadium a bit early and sat in the rental car and jammed a bit to music. It was fun to be early as it gave me a chance to meet the other vendors who had booths there. We all got a group pictures with the Gronkowski’s and then went out in blocks of 10 for the race. I’m not concerned on my finish time these days as with this, I had never done a OCR before and didn’t even know what I was getting into. I was highly entertained by a lady at my start corral who said she had lost weight and was there with her son and saying things like “don’t go so fast, I don’t need to blow out my knee on this event”. Such a scream! I was laughing in line with her, and lots more along the course.

I’m wearing my @strongfitnessmag Hat

The obstacles included walking on a 2X4 and I lost balance there, so I skipped it after the first fall off,  as I didn’t want to slow up people behind me. In between running to obstacles, you will be climbing stadium stairs. I’ve used the stairmill in my cardio training, and didn’t find this too hard.

One obstacle was to carry several pounds of weights up and down stairs. I was careful with his in both Buffalo and Tampa as slipping and going headfirst will likely lead to a “stair facial” and breaking something.

Another obstacle included a ladder climb. I was a touch nervous in Buffalo, but it was easy once I got going. I knew after doing it the first time in Buffalo, I’d need gloves for my next one as I didn’t want to lose grip on the metal stairs.

There was one obstacle where you pulled and pushed 90 lbs. back and forth. In Buffalo, this was easy.  In Tampa, I could barely get the weights moving, and even asked the guy next to it if there was more weight here than Buffalo. He said no. My next question was about the grass. In Tampa, at @RJStadium ,the grass was wet & it was real grass. Up in Buffalo, the turf was astro turf & easier to glide weights on. (As a football receiver or running back, I’d be asking about all turfs I was running on in all stadiums).  I had greater appreciation for the NFL combine after learning all this.

I went on to run a few more stairs and obstacles in between.  If you can’t finish an obstacle (or don’t even want to try it), you can skip it.  You get to log points on what obstacles you finish by scanning your monitor.  As a retired marathoner,  and several time finisher of the Gate River Run 15K, one thing I used to worry over was whether my race times would be recorded.  The same goes for these style races. Thus far, I have not run into problems anywhere.

The fun part about doing these #StadiumBlitz courses are that you will get a run through the locker rooms on occasion and parts to the stadium you would never see if you were at a football game. That is what makes this OCR unique.    It’s a fun surprise to see what you will be doing next.  In Tampa, the weather was much hotter, and I was drenched like a wet dog coming in off the beach, but I had a good time and a good workout:-).

Interested in #StadiumBlitz in 2020?  Visits in the new year will include going to Notre Dame, Kansas, Texas, Rutgers in NJ, and the next one will be in Tallahassee in February.  To register, click on stadiumblitz.com, or get the #StadiumBlitz app.

I plan to attend the one in Tallahassee as I live only a 3 hour drive to get there. I told some of my FB friends who are diehard  @FSUFootball  Seminoles fans.  This will be a fun way to get out and have fun.  If you are interested in following or signing up, get on the app, Stadium Blitz, or register online at StadiumBlitz.com , love to see you there.

What are your goals for 2020?  Do they include fitness?  Hope to see you at a Stadium Blitz in 2020:-)

Beth

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Israel by the Seat of my Pants

I first got notice of the running conference in Israel, when I was looking on Dr. Metzl’s site for events in New York City. I sometimes try to get to his events, & if they fit my schedule, I sign up. I was looking into 2019, & he had planned a conference with Ron Golan, MD, and several other doctors in Israel.

I’m a flight attendant, and more than once I’ve joked, “I’m not flying solely for my health”.   I checked loads to see if there were standby seats available. It was a miracle, there were.  Tel Aviv goes out full, most of the time, and even to work the trip at my seniority of 27 years, it’s not a “cake walk” to get the trip.

For work into the New Year, I wanted to bring all kinds of good luck. So, I picked up a work trip to Dublin, Ireland that would be flying back on New Year’s eve.  I planned to change after I landed & go straight to Israel from there, landing in Tel Aviv on the 1st.

The flight departed on time, and late in the evening.  It leaves nearly at midnight & was a long flight over 9 hours. I didn’t know it until I got there, but two of my friends were working as purser and B-coordinator. That’s flight attendant jargon for lead positions over both coach and business cabins. Both men work extremely hard.  Ruslan and Markus, and it’s always a pleasure to see them both.   I brought candy too, from Ireland, for the crew. I opted out of food on the flight and just slept the whole way over.  I did wake up once, and had a cup of tea, and then back to the seat for the rest of the flight.

Pulling into Tel Aviv was a trip. I’d never been. I am not Jewish and don’t know a lick of Hebrew.   I was a touch nervous,  at first, that I’d have a language barrier issue. When I got to the customs agent, he spoke perfect English. He wasn’t messing around. He wanted to know details about where I was going in Israel, and who I’d be seeing. I even had to pull out race information on Tiberias and the conference information on Jordan’s website for him to see.  I also had to explain that I’d be going to Jerusalem after the conference. Fortunately, he didn’t ask too many details about my time in Jerusalem, as I was “winging” most of my time there.   I had planned to set up tours when I got to Tiberias.  I’m not generally a person for tours, as most of the world I’ve seen on my own, but for Israel, I knew I needed help.  There was going to be no way to cram in everything “Holy” in two days without a tour, and I needed help getting into Palestine.  With a tour, it’s just easier if you ask me.

I found places to stay in Tiberias and in Jerusalem off of Airbnb.  The rental car I found off of rentalcars.com. I got the insurance in Israel for the car. I do the same thing when I go to Ireland.

Landing there, it was 5:30 pm and we landed early. I got to the line for the rental car after customs clearance and just loved chatting with them. They did say point blank, not to take a car with Israeli car tags into Palestine, and don’t get lost, either. Thank God for Waze. I don’t know what I’d have done without the Waze app. Before leaving the US, Ron Golan, one of the doctors at the conference, said via email to be sure to have Waze, backups for it and etc.. With all of the bad press on TV and the issues with the Gaza strip, I figured the guys on the border wouldn’t have a sense of humor and a woman wouldn’t be welcomed at all in many of the places there. (I already knew you lost your rights as a woman if you step foot into Iran, and was not sure on the other parts of the middle east). I had to take things a bit more seriously than my usual “fly by the seat of the pants” even though in some fashion, I still was.

I withdrew 100.00 dollars worth of Shekels from the airport ATM to have local currency in shekels. It was plenty.  I’d use my debit or credit card for other purchases.  The drive from the Tel Aviv airport to Tiberias was 2 hours. It was dark, and I had to make one stop at a convenience store after getting off of Yitzhak Rabin highway.  The guys there didn’t speak much English, and looked at me like I was from outer space, so I decided I was definitely “from outer space” and hurried with my drink purchase.

The condo I was going to for three nights was off of the Sea of Galilee and about a 15 minute drive from the hospital in Tiberias where the conference was located. The whole time I was driving, I was thinking, “this is a trip”.

 

I got into Tiberias and had issues with getting into the condo. I found it, but had to eventually call the owners as it was impossible to communicate further through email.  I needed help retrieving the key.   They fortunately spoke enough English on the phone,  and a nice lady greeted me with a hug and a key to the condo.  She gave me the tour of the condo (in broken English) of where the hot water heater button was, how to turn on the heat and how to get the electonic blinds open. I had a radical view of the Sea of Galilee. Two mornings I had coffee in my room with the blinds open to see the water.  It was too cold to sit outside, least for me this trip.    One night a storm blew in and it was a relaxing view to watch.

The first day of Jordan’s conference was my favorite.  Greeters were happy to help me.   I sat far off to the right of the auditorium, & was greeted by a few local runners and store owners that knew English as a second language. Seeing Jordan is always a pleasure. He and his travel companion showed about 20 minutes after me and then Ron, Jordan’s friend, was there a few minutes later.  It was fun to hear Jordan pick on Ron.  “There ‘s a picture of the very young Ronnie”.    Had I been “Ronnie”, I would’ve played along, with a poke or two on something.

The first half of the conference was in both Hebrew and English and they had headsets for translation. I appreciated this. A few students had shared their thesis information in their speeches proving the benefits of running.  Other information I tuned out as I had realized I needed to get tours booked.   Before cutting out at 2 pm, I passed along  to Jordan to share, about 8 Chocolate Whiskey candy bars from Ireland. It’s good luck and good fortune to have anything from Ireland.   I’d just blown in from Dublin 2 days prior, so it was easy for me to do.   I wanted to do this for good luck in the New Year.

The second half of the first day, I had to leave. I’d received an email from the owner of the condo in Jerusalem where I’d be staying a couple of days later and realized I needed to plan my tours in advance. He had great advice I was glad I took. He also said that when I left Tiberias on Friday, I’d need to be there before sundown and sabbath start, as he’d be entirely out of contact with me or anyone else.  I knew it was probably serious, being sabbath in Israel.  I got the tours booked after a couple of hours.  I did it all from my phone.  I made sure I got to town before sabbath start.

The second conference day was fun, too. It was only half a day and I chatted a bit more with peeps. I caught up with Jordan and Ron before leaving, and met a couple from a nearby town. I decided too, I’d check out the local gym, @Olympus_tiberias. on Thursday night. I had a photo shoot in Canada scheduled two weeks after the conference and needed a weight room. It was great to meet the gym peeps. The owner charged the US equiv to 13.00 per day for use of his gym.  He invited me to the fitness class they had upstairs. So sweet, but I had to opt out, as I just needed an hour of weights.

I left Tiberias the next morning at 11 and jammed to local radio all the way to Jerusalem.    On the drive over, I still saw race peeps though I didn’t do the race.  I stopped at a gas station between Tiberias and Jerusalem and there was a race participant in the gas station getting water.  Given I walked in the convenience store and had questions about the gas pump, and being as I wasn’t dressed in what I assume was normal (skinny jeans and ankle high boots with a sweater and a scarf), my welcome wasn’t very warm.  I didn’t chat up the racer, or anyone else in the store.   I paid and got out quickly.  There was also a line to the gas pumps and I didn’t want to miff anyone off making them wait.

I read signs in English, fortunately, and it was a sunny day. When I got to Jerusalem, it was easier getting into the condo there. I followed all of the codes and texted the owner that the blow dryer was missing. I had the keys to the condo and realized I needed to get to the grocery store, as stores were already closing down at 3:30 and I’d have no food.  I quickly googled grocery stores and the only one still opened until 4:30 was 15 minutes away.  When I got to the store, I had to do a power shop in 15 minutes.  They were already packing up early.  Oatmeal, omelet makings, peanut butter, salad materials and packaged turkey.   I was set.

My first day on the tour, I’d planned Masada and the Dead Sea. It was a sunny day and one of the only ones with a warmer forecast that week. I had planned to get in the water in the Dead Sea. The tour was well worth it. I was picked up at the Crowne Plaza lobby by the tour van that had my name. I parked the rental car along the street and walked over. The day was great. I met people from the US, Germany and Russia. There were some hysterical students from Rutgers on another van, too.  They were at the Dead Sea doing film retakes of themselves.  Just a riot.   I was the most entertained by this as they were laughing saying, “no, no, we have to film like this”.

The surface of the Dead Sea was concrete hard, and jagged. It hurt to walk along it in bare feet. I had walked to the receeding water line from the spa and got in the water. The van driver said only one bacteria could grow in the water, but nothing else survived the high salt content. The views of Masada, a camp which was a retreat and safe haven to about 1,000 Jews was high up and they had a nice set up. The views were incredible. I was with a tour group and we had to go by cable car, but had I’d been solo, I’d have done the hike up Masada by foot. You could see the Dead Sea in view from Masada and everywhere else was desert. My phone said “welcome to Jordan” when I pulled into the lot with the tour group. So many machine gun guarded checkpoints, it made my van tour plan even more worth the money.

The next day was tour of the holy lands.  I parked the rental car at the exact same place.  Because it was Sunday, and there a normal workday, I got back with a parking ticket to worry over later.  There were no signs, nothing to indicate I wasn’t allowed to park there.  From what I gathered, I had parked in front of a condo that had rights to the spots.  I could’ve as easily shown up to no car, and a towing bill and God knows what else, so I got over the parking ticket in about 10 minutes.  The drive from the Crowne plaza was around a traffic circle that went back to the expressway and each time I passed a bridge that so resembled a Santiago Calatrava bridge I’d seen in Ireland called the Samuel Beckett Bridge (or locally known there as the Harp bridge).  When I got back to the condo in Jerusalem, I googled the bridges in Israel.  Sure enough, the design was what I had recognized, a Calatrava creation and called “the Chords” Bridge.  I instantly thought I was cool.  I had recognized two bridges by the same guy in two different countries.

On the tour of the holy lands, the first stop was to see the view of the Mount of Olives.  We drove around the city a bit and went straight to a lot where we’d change vans to enter Bethlehem.  The drivers explained that it might’ve seemed crazy, but it would save hassles, as with an Israeli tag, we’d likely get stopped, everyone would be questioned and possibly even have to prove where we were from with our passports.  I was glad to change vans.  In my youth, I was a bit more fearless, but even at that age, I wouldn’t have fooled with crossing territories in a foreign country.  If you foul up in a foreign country, you’re at their mercy.

 

 

It was a very windy and sunny day.  We walked from a cobblestoned road into town to the small door where we’d enter to see where Jesus was born.  Once we got there, we waited a short time to descend down steep stairs.  All ages were there, including men and women much older than 80 and determined to get down the stairs with no rails.  I was glad the millennials showed respect.  It was a dark sort of tunnel, and a cave like existence.  On the right was the actual birthplace that had a star on it that you could touch and see for a few seconds and then you had to cut out for the next person.  Once you turned around, a few feet away and behind. was the area where the manger was located. We got upstairs and I got a pic in the area named the Greek Orthodox church, which sat right above Jesus’ actual birthplace.  I’m not vastly religious, but did appreciate seeing everything.

The next stop was one of the only Christian owned stores in town.  In Bethlehem, the percentage of Christians was less than 13%.  I chatted in the store with some US locals from WA state.  They were a married couple and knew a lot about religion.

From there, we stopped off to have lunch and would spend an hour there.  I love chicken, and fortunately, they had a version of chicken there.  The seating was hard pressed though as many vans stopped in.  I quickly ate and found a place to charge my phone.  I got harassed by a man selling trinkets on the way out.  He made any trip to Canal street in NYC look like a walk in the park.  I didn’t buy anything, and asked him to knock it off.  I probably would’ve bought something had he just quit insulting me.

The next stop would be the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  This would be my least favorite as it was where Jesus was crucified.  We saw the areas where He was placed on the cross, where the cross was located, and where He was prepared for burial after the crucifixion.   The mood there wasn’t as somber as I expected, but grim enough.

We went to the Wailing Wall next, which would be my favorite for the day.  I had read on the wall before taking off from the US and knew I was going to write down some prayer requests.  The tour guides gave us a 20 minutes to write stuff down.  What I thought was a bit archaic was that the men and women were divided in two  and the area for the women was smaller.  I had to wait a bit to find an empty section of the wall to stuff the prayer in.  Requests included stuff for me, health for my family and specific requests for a few friends who were dealing with health and wellness struggles.  If you can’t make it to the actual wall yourself, you can go online and ask that your prayer or wish request be placed there.  I crammed the slip of paper into empty grout and was careful not to move anyone else’s request.

David’s Tomb was one of the last things I saw. Two rooms separated the tomb for prayer.  Men & women were in separate rooms.  Click onto the link if you’re interested in hearing live prayer at the Tomb.  The men were to the right on the other side of the wall.

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I got back to the condo that night and decided to chill.  It was great.  I did get online though with my credit union and noticed my credit card had been jacked to the tune of 200.00 so I had to call the US to shut it down.  It pisses me off when this happens.  I have to redo all of my bill setups when I get a new card and it’s quite inconvenient.  It also provided additional worry about my other card.  I decided to get to the airport and turn the car in and count my lucky stars I had no other issues.  I waited in the airport about 6 hours.  I just felt that with the trip going so smoothly and ending with a credit card jack, that I needed to get out of dodge before anything else could happen.

It was a smooth flight back to the US, and a friendly crew.  I slept the whole way.  I travel in business attire and was grateful for business class both ways on standby, sheer luck.