•June 5, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The week before I produce an event is always filled with tidying up last minute details, sorting and loading gear and answer participant questions–leaving tight windows of time for my workouts. The scheduled windows are there to make sure I’m getting in some training, but leave very little wiggle room to change based on the vagaries of Florida’s Summer weather.

So, the pre-dawn paddling workout I had planned today was changed to a garage gym workout due to the torrential rains during my 5:30am-7:30am training window. I just had no wiggle room this morning. In addition to the list I already had for today, I have to get my timing company the registration data that I promised them last night, but that got put off for some family things that needed addressing.

When I am crunched for time, I most often turn to incorporating the Concept2 Rowing Machine into my workouts–done with proper technique and intensity, it provides a lot of  training effect in a shorter period of time.

Today’s Workout:

  1. Concept2 Rower: 2 minutes
  2. Web Mountain Climbers
  3. Band Reverse Flies on BOSU
  4. Side Step-up and Over: 1 minute
  5. Weighted Lower Back Extension

Concept2 Rower

I went through this first circuit four times and then did:

  1. Concept2 Rower: 2 minutes
  2. Band Pull-downs on Physioball
  3. Medicine Ball Russian Twists on Physioball

I went through that circuit three times.

physioball and medicine ball

It was a quick, high-intensity workout–and, now I’m back on track to get my pre-race Race Director duties checked off my list.


•June 4, 2017 • Leave a Comment

KETTLEBELL STEP UPSAs I work to get back into the shape I want to be in–for paddling, mountain biking, running and just life in general–I’m starting to again add some balance challenges back into my workouts.

Some movements that I’ve been doing seated or standing, I’m now doing on the BOSU, a physioball or on one of my homemade balance boards. I typically lower the weight of a movement when first adding a new balance element–eventually, working back up to what I was doing seated or with my feet planted solidly on the ground.

I’m also adding in more full-body, complex movements. I especially like combining squats and presses or step-up and presses into my routines. Eventually, I’ll include some walking lunges with presses as well.

Today’s garage gym workout was what I like to call an “imbedded” strength and conditioning workout. This is a circuit workout where I do different exercises between each set of the main course of exercises.

Today’s main course was:

  1. Kettlebell step-ups and press
  2. Bench Press
  3. Side lateral raises followed by front raises (both on BOSU)
  4. Pull-ups
  5. Webbing Pikes
  6. Dumbbell Rows

In between each exercise in round one I did one minute on the Concept2 Rowing Machine (6 x 1 minute).

In between each exercise in round two I did Static V-Sits with dumbbell shoulder presses.

In between each exercise in round three I went back to one minute on the Concept2 Rowing Machine.

In between each exercises for the fourth (and final round) I did ball slams.




•May 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment

With severe thunderstorms and high winds cancelling this evening’s OC6 practice, I got an early start on my alternative workout for the evening. I’ve been slacking on my interval training and my leg/core work, so this workout was a little combination of both.

My circuit included:

  1. Concept2 Rowing Ergometer: 1 minute
  2. Bodyweight Sissy Squats
  3. Bodyweight Low Back Extensions
  4. Web Hamstring Curls
  5. Web Pikes





I went through all of the exercises at least four times. Then as I continued, I dropped one exercise per round. So I ended up with 8x the rowing machine, 7x the sissy squats, 6x the low back extensions, 5x the web pikes and 4x the hamstring curls.

As I increase the consistency of these types of workouts, my intention is to add some more (or substitute in) full-body/complex movements.

As I get closer to my end-of-July mountain bike race, I will add in leg and core movements that will help me with that event.





Once I’ve completed the mountain bike race, I’ll shift my focus to paddling–specifically preparation for the 31-mile Chattajack OC6 race–and movements that will prepare me for that endurance event.






Everything I’m doing at this point (specifically) the intervals are designed to help me lose some of the body fat I’ve added over the last six months–leaner and meaner is the goal. Well, that and moving the bike and the boat a little faster.


•May 19, 2017 • Leave a Comment


With all the negative things (mail fraud, elder abuse, magazine subscription scammers) I’ve been writing about, I thought it would be nice to share one of the activities that usually helps keep balance in my life–paddling.

While out paddling this morning, I was thinking that, for me, being on the water is the perfect synergy of workout and environment–the rhythm of the stroke, the glide of the boat through the water, the wildlife above and below the surface. All these elements blend in an activity that challenges my body while resetting my mind.

DCIM108GOPROMy preferred on-the-water time is dawn–sometimes I’ll launch before there is even a glow from the sun on the horizon. Often, I’m the only paddler on the water–sometimes (at least for a while) the only watercraft. There is just something special about being out there and connecting with the world when the day is new. It’s a great way for me to get in my workout before the needs of the work day infiltrate my mind and corrupt my resolve–but, it’s also the best way to launch the day in a positive mood.

While most of my paddling is done solo, a couple of times a week I also enjoy the workout and the spirit of paddling the six-person outrigger canoes with my club. The commitment, trust and teamwork involved in paddling an OC6 is reminiscent of the time I spent as a rower in college at Rutgers (and as a rowing coach after college).

2017 Sprints

While team paddling is very different from solo paddling–there is the added benefit of mutual motivation as well as the shared love of the water. It’s simply nice to be around other people who, while passionate about their workout, also love the environment we glide through–never quite too serious to not notice the cavorting dolphins or the fire-orange sunset.







•May 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

RX envelope scam

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare claims to be “trusted, independent, effective,” but I wouldn’t trust anyone who disguises their direct mail envelope (in appearance and feel) like some kind of prescription or prescription information coming in the mail. I wouldn’t trust anyone who sends more than two mailings to the same person each week–as they often do.

But, I have the luxury of a sound, skeptical mind–many seniors do not. This envelope is designed to prey on those who may not be able to make logical connections.

What senior (especially one who might have “memory issues”) would not want to open something that looks like medication? Even more so when the envelope says “open immediately and follow all instructions.”

Regardless of what lame plea for money is inside, someone with cognitive deficiencies (or just someone who was raised to follow directions) may still comply–writing a check to an organization that is deceptive, manipulative and unethical.

BEWARE. Look for similarly deceptive envelopes in the mail of your elderly parents or grandparents.





They are pretty much forcing seniors to open an envelope like this


•May 17, 2017 • 1 Comment

MAGAZINESI continue to be blown away by the people in this world that take advantage of the elderly and those with cognitive deficiencies. In helping my father get some things in order (including the mail I have written about previously), I’ve been trying to stop a number of magazine subscriptions that he doesn’t remember ordering and in which he has no need or interest.

My dad has never been a reader of Elle, Motor Trend, Men’s Journal, Automobile, Bon Apetit, Inc., Cosmopolitan or Shape.

These (and others I’ve already dealt with) are the product of predatory telemarketers who take advantage of those with memory or other cognitive issues. As I mentioned in my previous post, they also take advantage of the loneliness of seniors–engaging them in conversations that build trust or wear them down over time.

As I’ve tried to cancel (and just cancel, not even trying to get a refund for) these subscriptions, I’ve discovered that the magazine subscription business is a convoluted, multi-level monster. Magazines rarely depend on their own subscription departments to sell–they may do sales, but the majority of subscriptions come from contractors.

Let’s use Men’s Journal (a magazine I actually enjoy reading) as an example. I contacted them (I use email when I can because I want records of their replies) and this was the answer I received:

Thank you for contacting Men’s Journal Customer Service.

We are sorry that you wish to cancel your subscription. Our records indicate that your subscription was entered through Priority One Clearing Serv…a magazine agency. Unfortunately, we are unable to cancel orders placed through an agency and so you will need to contact the agency directly with your request. They can be reached at 1-727-443-2200. In the meantime, we will suspend delivery. Since our mailing labels are preprinted, you will receive a few more copies before delivery stops. Please discard these issues or share them with a friend. We hope you enjoyed our magazine, and that you will consider ordering from us in the future.

We appreciate this opportunity to be of service.

Well, that was one step–sort of. I contacted Priority One Clearing Service. They seemed (at least somewhat) sympathetic with this reply:


Priority One serves as a data processing office/clearinghouse for many different publishers, and we do not sell magazines or bill/invoice for subscriptions. We only process the data provided to us by others and send it to the publishers.  We are happy to help you get the information that you will need to get this situation resolved.

Per your request, this order (MENS JOURNAL) has been CANCELLED. Because magazine labels are pre-printed, you may receive 1-2 more issues, then the subscription will stop.

We have also contacted the company that initiated this order to request that your name and address be removed from any mailing lists.

If you would like more information, please contact the company that initiated this order. This order was sent to Priority One for processing by the company (DIRECT CLEARING). You can contact them directly at (866-494-1010). They will be able to answer your questions or refer you to the company that started your order. They will be able to explain exactly why the order was started in your name and provide any billing information if it applies.

Please use the following reference number when you contact that company:  (1914387 #)   .

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.

Wow. So here is another company involved–somewhat helpful, but ultimately passing the buck. I paused here without contacting Direct Clearing and did a little research online. Direct Clearing has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau for numerous unresolved complaints. They also pop up on most of the scam and fraud websites. I’m looking forward to dealing with them. But, what worries me is that in that reply from Priority One they say that Direct Clearing “will be able to…refer you to the company that started your order.”

What? I need to go (possibly) to a fourth company (that I know of) to cancel a magazine subscription and have my father’s name removed from their phone and mail lists. Who but scammers and crooks would make canceling a magazine so difficult?

Stay tuned for an update.

PHONE and Discount Club Scams

•May 16, 2017 • 1 Comment

phone scam imageDirect mail is not the only way that scammers take advantage of and abuse the elderly. Because they are often lonely, seniors fall prey to telephone solicitors who will engage them in conversation (often over multiple calls) long enough to earn their trust or wear them down. They take advantage of this and any decline in the elderly’s cognitive abilities.

If you can get a look at your elderly parents’ or grandparents’ credit card and/or bank statements look out for recurring charges from:

  • ITD
  • WC Value Plus

These are two known scammers that somehow get access to account information via the purchase of another product and then enroll the buyer in a “discount club” membership that never materializes. The only action is the money that “dematerializes” via recurring credit card charges and/or EFTs.

If you have a parent or grandparent that you suspect may have fallen prey to scammers–either in mail or on the phone–look carefully at past statements for recurring charges of any kind. Take the time to investigate and cancel them–you can save them hundreds of dollars (or more) over the course of a year.