North Atlanta Kettlebell

First Gear Prep for Fifth Gear Performance

Breakfast can be challenging, or so the rumor goes. What do we eat? How much?

Options are plentiful, but simplicity always works best for all of us. Here’s a simple solution for getting a morning mouthful of carbs & protein to make the movements of our days even more dynamic. My ingredient preferences might not work for you, but even a casual glance will show you where you can make necessary improvements & substitutions.

Raspberries 3

  • Toast . . . I use simple bread, some wheatish concoction of sugary slicery, but you could certainly substitute your English Muffins, or whatever you need, to make you plate more palatable.
  • Peanut Butter . . . I’m a Peter Pan man, but hey, use whatever nutbutter variety works best for you & your dietary concerns
  • Honey . . . local, preferably & encouragingly
  • Raspberries . . . my favorite berry, but any will do. Blueberries, blackberries, whatever is in season, whatever is available
  • Bacon . . . rarely is a morning meal complete without it
  • Coffee . . . (not pictured) Do you really need to ask?

Yes, it really is that simple. A low-effort breakfast that yields high-energy results.

Bon apetit & Semper Fortis,


Alter We Go

Alter We GoHere’s a perfectly lovely example of adapting what is useful . . . CrossFit has a benchmark WOD (workout of the day) affectionately known as Fran, which consists of the deceptively simple movements, Thrusters & Pullups. Three total sets of each exercise for 45 total reps. 21-15-9 are well-known numbers, beloved & despised simultaneously. 21 Thrusters, 21 Pullups, 15 of each, then 9 of each.

Maybe we don’t need or particularly care for the idea of Pullups today . . . no worries . . . we can insert anything we want & or need into this well established template. Do try this at home, in the park, or wherever you can focus on the feeling:


  • Thrusters & Kettlebell Swings– same # of sets, same rep scheme
  • Burpees & Cleans– same sets, same reps
  • Squats & High Jumps– same, same & wear your big kid underwear


The list can & should go on. Like anything that attracts us into action, it looks simple, but it certainly isn’t easy. Whichever combination you pick, revisit it once a week and see if you feel less wiped out that the week before. There are ways to make it tougher . . . a down & up 21-15-9-9-15-21 rep scheme is one way, but make sure you can finish the basic template before experimenting with anything more complicated.

Whatever you choose, whatever you do, enjoy it . . . this might be your only chance in this earthly form.

Congratulations to all Boston Marathoners

Boston StrongThe Boston Marathon started in 1897 and is the most highly coveted race covering 26.2 miles anywhere in the world today. I’d like to take just a minute to say ‘Congratulations!‘ to everyone participating in today’s race, to those who have ran before, and those of you who plan to run in coming years. Completing a Marathon is tough enough, but completing one with a fast enough time to qualify . . . yes, qualify, one does not simply fill out a piece of paper and await entry status, oh no, you’ve got to be fast & you’ve got to be good to qualify for this one, and maybe therein lies some of the appeal.

26.2 miles of hills & windings through Boston is appeal enough. When I think of Boston, I still think of the Mighty Might Bosstones, Dropkick Murphys, Sam Adams Brewing and all that fantastic Revolutionary history. Arguments have been made that if it had not been for Boston, our country would still be a scattered concoction of disgruntled colonies. Of course, history is more complex than that, but so are Marathons, so is running . . . and running is what motivates us, at least in part.

Running is really something we’re born to do. As babies, we want to move, and we want to do it fast. Back in those ‘good ol’ days’ there wasn’t all this thought, theory & blatant intellectualization into the process of what it took to run. We just did it, and for the most part, we did it well.

The years piled up in front of us and bullied us out of our natural tendencies with school, jobs, social expectations, and somewhere in the mix, we forgot how to run. Even worse, we lost the excitement for running.

Visit any library or bookstore and the volumes on form & how-to running are plentiful & myriad. It’s enough to make our heads swarm with the possibilities, but it’s also enough to discourage us from reconnecting with that instinctual urge to move fast & move well.

I’d like to be able to tell you to get out there and just run . . . keep doing it until you find that early sense of joy & freedom we all experienced, but with many of those chasmic years behind us, the divide is great, and unless we’ve done something about it, our habits keep us from getting any positive benefit from running . . . and enjoying the run, for far too many, is certainly out of the question.

There are several great running stores in & around Atlanta that offer a range of services to help us with our running, no matter how far removed from the innocence of speed & freedom of self-guided movement.

Team in Training also offers coaching, motivation, technique & strategies to get you running while raising money for an excellent cause . . . definitely worth checking out.

As overwhelming as the book selections can be, I’ve luckily encountered & devoured a few that either help with motivating you back onto your feet, or instructional in the ways of good form & technique.

Lists like these are difficult to compile, because no matter how good your intentions, you just know that you’re leaving out some good resource or another. This may well be the case here, but at least we have a starting point for where & possibly even how to start, and that’s usually better than what we had before. But, compiling & composing the perfect list (if such a thing had a chance of ever existing) isn’t the goal here . . . the goal is to celebrate runners & running, and maybe even encourage you to give it a try . . . who knows, you could soon be planning an adventure trip to Boston for your own legendary running of the Boston Marathon!


Run well, run often,