Powered by Soul Spotlight: Lamont Doss

DossHulkThose with lesser stamina will be left in his dust gasping for air.  He doesn’t just take leisurely jaunts accross town, he can ride to another state with only his legs!  Introducing the Iron Man, Lamont Doss in his own words.

My name is Lamont and I’m transitioning my residence from San Antonio, TX to Charlotte, NC. I’m 38 years old and employed as a Network Engineer.

Tell us about your fitness routine including type, days per week, location, preferences etc.
Because of my work schedule, I only work out on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. I have an alternating three day routine of Back/Chest, Legs, Shoulders/Arms. In the Spring and Summer months, I participate in a number of cycling events, so I’m trying to focus more on my legs during the off season.

Do you follow a particular nutrition plan?
This is an area where I really struggle. While I would love to verbosely describe my healthy eating habits, this is not my current reality. My nutrition plans are still a work in progress.

How long have you been active/following your nutrition plan/playing sports etc.?
I really got serious about having an active lifestyle about three years ago. I used to frequent the gym after work, and later, a colleague offered to teach me to play golf. From there, a couple of colleagues invited me to join them on a couple of 18 mile cycling rides, which grew into 25, 45, 60, then 100 mile events.

Do you have a success story/testimony relating to fitness, nutrition or your overall health?
Though my cholesterol levels are great, I still have issues with high blood pressure. That’s my next challenge, and necessary before I can claim success. In the interim, I can proudly say I’m physically stronger than I’ve ever been in life.

What motivates you to do what you do in terms of fitness and nutrition?
Stress, but mostly the release of it. Going through a divorce while taking on a new job was a bit of a load, so I used weightlifting as a way to purge frustration, stress, and anger. The redirection of bad energy helped me maintain my focus. Though I don’t have to deal with many of the aforementioned challenges anymore, I continue to find peace in my workout.

Do you have a personal motto/philosophy you’d wish to share?
Plan, achieve, and then excel.

Powered by Soul thanks Lamont for sharing the challenges and the triumphs of his fitness life.  Hopefully this writer will be left in his dust in a road race this spring 🙂

If you or someone you know would like to be featured in the Powered by Soul Spotlight, please let me know in the comments, contact me on Twitter or Google+.  Until next time see you at the gym.

Injury Report – Ridiculous

The latest injury news for the old broad is lumbar radiculopathy.  When I received the diagnosis I couldn’t help but think how close the word was to “ridiculous” and told the doctor as much.  This is a back problem, inflammation aggravating a nerve which manifested itself as a pain in the arse, hamstring and foot. This is not new and is something I’ve dealt with off and on for about 30 years.  In the past the condition has been treated by:

  • steroid injections which failed at relieving the back pain but ended up improving my asthma symptoms
  • chiropractic manipulation – which helped tremendously but required weekly visits that were not covered by insurance
  • major weight loss – which eliminated the chronic pain
The doctor didn’t ask me what I’d been doing but I told him about my exercise regimen which is what I assumed caused this latest flare-up.  To relieve the symptoms the doctor prescribed:
  • oral steroids (which are making me bats#$% crazy)
  • rest and, wait for it …
  • losing 10 pounds as my current level of exertion may be too much at my current weight

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Thus far I’ve taken the pills and stayed out of the gym, practiced yoga (the only exercise permissible) and have been contemplating how to address my diet in order to lose some more weight.  I’m not pleased but will do it, and will seek a nutritionist since I’m diabetic and  exercise five days a week.  In other words, I am actually complying with doctor’s orders 🙂

I hope that none of you are dealing with any injuries during this festive season.  If you are, I hope you’re on the mend, complying with the prescribed treatment(s) and enjoying your family and friends.  On the bright side, if you’re sidelined from the gym/road/court etc, that gives you more time to spend with the folks you love.

If you have a history of back problems, I’d loved to hear about your experiences and how you’ve overcome them.  Feel free to share in the comments or hit me up on Twitter or Google+.

Until next time see you somewhere, anywhere other than the doctor’s office 😉

Powered by Soul Spotlight: Kym McNair

Kym NcNair Jpegs-Kym NcNair Jpegs-0021She leaps tall buildings in a single bound, slays all foes and has the
ability to make you think you can do the same.  I continue to be inspired by her determination and work ethic and have been privileged to enjoy her sense of humor as well.  Known in certain circles as Wonder Woman, introducing Ms. Kym McNair in her own words.

Kym McNair, 46 years young, Trainer/Educator for a Domestic Violence Agency.Tell us about your fitness routine including type, days per week, location, preferences etc.For the past 3 years I’ve been weight training. I mix in some cardio, which I really can’t stand, but I know I have to do it.

Do you follow a particular nutrition plan?
I don’t have a particular nutrition plan, but I try my best to avoid grains, refined sugar, and dairy. You could call it Ancestral/Paleo light. I pretty much eat what I want. It just so happens that I don’t want to eat anything that’s not going to help me maintain some level of fitness. I have moments when I want something that’s probably not going to be good for my body. I’ll eat it and my body will remind me why I stopped eating it. Short-term satisfaction is sometimes just not worth it.

Do you have a success story/testimony relating to fitness, nutrition or your overall health?

Testimony: Gym time is Kym time, and for the time that I’m there, every and anything that’s been troubling or worrying me disappears. Or sometimes I find a solution to something that’s been challenging. I don’t have to worry about one upping anybody because it’s just me and the weights.I’ve learned that I’m braver than I ever thought I could be.I’ve also learned that age does not matter. I’m in better shape today than I was in my 20s, and I just need to continue to listen to my body.

Kym 2010Kym NcNair Jpegs-Kym NcNair Jpegs-0025What motivates you to do what you do in terms of fitness and nutrition?
My nieces are motivation. I want to be here for them as long as possible, but I also want to pass on a legacy of good health and fitness. I love to take them to the farmer’s market and hear their excitement over foods that most adults I know can’t identify. I love it when they want to play with my exercise bands or show me how they can squat or lift one of their dumbbells. They came home from school one day full of excitement over learning mountain climbers!

I’m also motivated by myself and I know that may sound self-absorbed. But when I think about where I was just 3 years ago and the condition of my body compared to what I can do today,I’m motivated. I’m motivated by the weight I can lift or how my joints feel or how good I feel about how I now take care of my body. I’m motivated by the fact that moving my body makes the pain go away.

Do you have a personal motto/philosophy you’d wish to share?
This is the fitness mission statement I wrote back in 2011 when I first started weight training. This is a slightly modified version.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I have the privilege and responsibility for caring, loving and cherishing my mind, body, soul and spirit. I’m willing to forgive myself for an unhealthy past and just be mindful of the present. Everyday I intend to take advantage of the opportunity to make space for love and healing and to celebrate the blessing that my body is.Powered by Soul thanks Kym for being in the spotlight this month and for continuing to be an inspiration and a blessing to those who know and love her.If you or someone you know would liked to be featured in the Powered by Soul Spotlight, let me know in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+.

Until next time, see you at the gym.

Photos: Kym McNair’s collection

Additional resources: Precision Nutrition

Powered By Soul Spotlight: Ant Pruitt

Ant-Pruitt-Aug2012Common interests (fitness and photography) is how the first Spotlight individual entered my orbit.  A good guy, a smart guy, a fit guy and an unabashed supporter of a certain college football team, introducing Ant Pruitt in his own words.


Ant(hony) Pruitt from Charlotte, North Carolina.  30 something, I think 36, I quit counting. I’m an IT Support Manager.

Talk about your fitness routine including type, days per week, location, preferences etc.

I workout a minimum of two days per week, but shoot for four either at the office fitness facility or Gold’s Gym. Heavy weeks and light weeks are mixed throughout the month with all muscle groups worked each week. A typical month may go something like: week 1 light, week 2 heavier, week 3 super heavy, week 4 light.  I also have some “musts” in the routine. “Upper body musts” = bench press, pull ups, bicep curls, lat pulls or rows. “Lower body musts” = Squats, dead lifts, calf raises. I also incorporate yoga once a week if possible.

Do you follow a particular nutrition plan?

It depends on how I feel and goals. Currently I’m on a higher protein diet with minimal carbs. If I’m dragging, I increase carbs. I also do periodic 48 hour fasts and fasts from particular foods, for example no beef all week or only fish all week. I fast to clear my mind and cleanse the GI tract.

How long have you been active/following your nutrition plan/playing sports etc.?

I’ve been exercising in some form 20+ years. My father used to FORCE ME to do push-ups every night as a kid. I’m also a former 3 -sport athlete. Only got conscious about higher protein since October 2012, but I used to just eat whatever and burn it. No less than 4000 calories a day.

Do you have a success story/testimony relating to fitness, nutrition or your overall health?

At my current age, I’m pushing more weight in the gym now than when I was in my “prime” in college almost 15 years ago. I can’t run as fast due to a replaced hip, but I’m just a hair above my “playing weight” by 10 lbs.

What motivates you to do what you do in terms of fitness and nutrition?

Endorphins. I don’t have a real reason to be stronger or more flexible, but I feel better mentally and emotionally by doing so. Plus I don’t want to look like my classmates. I’m always told I don’t look any different or I look better. I’m proud of that.

Do you have a personal motto/philosophy you’d wish to share?

Burn more than what you eat. Stop looking for people to always be your motivation. Help yourself. THEN others may help you.

Powered by Soul thanks Ant Pruitt for sharing his story with the readers.  To find out more about Ant be sure to check him out here.

Photos: Ant Pruitt

New: Powered by Soul Spotlight

Hey everybody, just wanted to let you know that there will be a new weekly (I hope) feature called the Powered by Soul Spotlight.  The spotlight will feature folks who are committed to taking charge of their health and serve as a great inspiration for others, me included.  Look for the first installment this week.

If you or someone you know, would like to be featured in the spotlight let me know in the comments.
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photo: MsThorns

Skip The Gym – Ekhart Yoga

Even if you’ve been going to the gym for years (25 in my case) there are days when you want to get a workout in but don’t want to leave the house.  Back in the day you had to rely on your own ingenuity by making up a workout routine, or later on you could workout with VHS tapes, and later DVDs.  The 21st century has made it even easier for us not to leave the house but still maintain fitness thanks to the internet and this glorious invention called YouTube where you can find any type of workout you desire for the cost of your internet connection. I started using YouTube for home workouts earlier this year and have found some great and some not so great channels and videos.  One great channel that I go to again and again is Ekhart Yoga.

 Ekhart Yoga
Esther Ekhart’s appeal for me is demeanor. She instructs in the way that my mind says a Yoga instructor should, with clarity, calm and instruction for modifications.  Her style is not to make the student push as far as possible but to move as far as comfortable with proper form and continued emphasis on breathing (which one can forget when trying to get a pose right). Her channel features long and short classes, with the shorter ones being specialized for such things as the time of day, injuries, sports related needs and so on. I’ve done several different classes and have yet to repeat any which is good to keep things fresh.

Esther Ekhart/Ekhart Yoga is the best yoga instruction on YouTube I’ve tried thus far.  I will continue to check out more yoga videos and channels to see what else is offered, however if you want variety and excellent instruction Ekhart Yoga is great for all levels of practice.

Until next time, Namaste.

An Old Best Friend

IMG_7407 (2) (1280x999)I moved to Atlanta from New Orleans.  For my two years as a resident I had the joy of running through Audubon Park, a fast, beautiful shaded 1.8 mile trail near campus and my apartment.  Coming to Atlanta was a rude for me as a runner, having started running through the flatness of Indiana, then in NOLA, I was dismayed with the hills of this new locale.  Just the same I was determined to resume running somewhere and enlisted my BFF to find me a suitable park . That first park was Best Friend Park.  Located off Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross, Georgia, Best Friend at that time (21 years ago) was more about hoops than it was about running and walking.  Just the same, I gave the park a whirl found it less than desirable.  I don’t believe that the trail was even finished at that time.

Having run most of the parks in my area over the last few years,  I recently headed back to Best Friend.  Entering from Jimmy Carter and heading back toward the giant powerlines leads straight to the beginning of the trail. What I saw was a pleasant surprise, nothing at all like I remembered.

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The trail starts on top of a slight hill, winds down and back up near the tennis center.  There’s a pedestrian crossing at that point as there is an entrance on that side.  The trail continues past a field up another slight hill,  curves around and ends back at the trail start.  The trail is listed at .75 miles and it goes fairly quickly since it’s not hilly.  The shade is adequate on the back side, but I imagine it may be pretty hot during the summer as you’re making the loop around back to the start as there are no trees on that portion of the trail.

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The Best Friend Park paved trail is a great, short trail that would be good for days when you don’t want to do anything long or difficult or if you want to do some speedwork amongst the trees in lieu of a track.  If you’re in the area, check it out hopefully you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I.

Until next time, see you on the trail, where you will not EVER find ME doing speedwork. 🙂

photos: MsThorns