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Tribesports User of the Week: Ryan B


Posted by Ryan B under Running, Fitness & Training, Nutrition on 24 January 2013 at 12:00 AM

Ryan B profileWhich Tribesports Challenge has been your toughest and which are you most proud of?

I've done a lot of crazy challenges that require you to do a bazillion reps of some workout and those are certainly tough, but the hardest challenge for me was running 10K without walking.  I'm just not a runner and since I started running seriously in November I've always struggled with frequent walking breaks.  I achieved this last week and it turns out it wasn't really a physical challenge at all, it's 100% mental. I've run 10K with breaks before, it was just a matter of telling myself I didn't need the breaks.  

My goal that day was to simply run a bit further than my last time which was 4 miles, I was shooting for 4.5, but once I got there I told myself to go a bit further, every bit of effort will pay off on my next attempt.  When I ran an entire half a mile something clicked and I absolutely knew I had another mile in me, so I just kept running. I ended up running 6.65 miles.  It was really eye opening for me, and when I finally stopped running I felt like I could have definitely run another mile or two.  Since this was last week I've been sticking to 5K's to rest up a bit, but I'm very much looking forward to trying to go 8 or 10 miles without walking as soon as possible.

In your bio, you say that you've spent 3 years finding the right fitness lifestyle for you, what were some highs and lows of that experience?

Ryan runner number 5Well 3 years ago I weighed 185 pounds which for my height and build put me pretty far into the overweight category.  I spent a whole year calorie counting and doing the only exercises I knew from my days in the army, pushups and situps.  Being overweight this plan actually worked amazingly well, I lost 35 pounds which put me right back to a healthy weight.  I was super proud of myself, and I thought I could keep track of my calories in my head from that point forward to maintain this new healthy weight.  Over the course of 2011 I ate whatever I wanted and at first I did limit my portions, but slowly and surely everything went back to where it started.  The only lasting change I made in 2010 was giving up sugary drinks, every other junk food came back and so did the weight.  So January 2012 I was right back to 185 pounds.  When I realized this I was flabbergasted.  I couldn't believe I let it happen again, and I still to this day can't believe it only took one year to get there.  I was really upset, but this quickly turned to fuel for the fire and I started calorie counting again and doing pushups and situps.  

The real turning point came for me when I joined Tribesports.  I had been doing all of this alone but seeing other people not only at the point I was striving for  but also in the exact same spot I was in really drove it home that this was something I had to put real effort into year after year for the rest of my life.  I started doing challenges at home but seeing all of the amazing gym based challenges made me rush to the closest gym and sign up.  It's been about 6 months since I joined the gym and this simple act has made me feel like an athlete and this drives me to improve my health and fitness every single day.

What tips can you give to someone trying out the paleo lifestyle for the first time?

The trick for paleo is to definitely take it slow.   Main meals are quite easy, a lean meat and some frozen vegetables is an amazing dish to eat, for me it was the snacks that proved trickier.  Most of the healthy snacks I was eating before paleo were grain or dairy based.  Greek yogurt, low fat string cheese, granola bars, and old fashioned oatmeal were banned all of a sudden and I just knew I couldn't do it all at once.  So I spent about a month slowly easing into it.  First I got rid of the greek yogurt but I ate all of the other snacks, after about a week of that I said no more oats, but corn was still ok.

Paleo diet at restaurant quality Once I mastered that I stopped drinking milk, but low fat cheese was still ok.  Slowly but surely I got rid of everything I wasn't allowed to eat and replaced each thing with a paleo approved snack, carrot sticks, grape tomatoes, avocados, grapes, apples, walnuts, pecans, and raisins.  Paleo is a really great diet for me, I love meat so getting to eat turkey, shrimp, lean steaks, salmon, scallops and almost any other meat I can think of is really great, and throwing sliced avocado on top of it with some fresh cracked black pepper most of my meals come out of the kitchen looking like they're restaurant ready.  Several times my wife has gasped at my plate at dinner and said "Can I have a bite of that?"

Qualifying as a personal trainer is pretty awesome, do you train others as well as yourself?

Ryan B bicepOnce I got the certificate I was really gung ho about this and I practically begged several of my non-gym going friends to join me at the gym and I'd help them get started.  They all declined and after continuing at the gym alone for a couple of months I sort of realized that I really don't have the practical experience to be a trainer.  I read a 1000 page book, then took a test, the experience needed to be a great trainer is something I simply don't have.  My wife has allowed me to guide her in her training, so every week I give her some goals and print out a workout sheet for her to do.  I have taken a lot of pride in being able to answer questions about fitness and diet here on Tribesports though, it's really great to be able to guide people in the right direction, people that are probably exactly where I was 3 years ago. 

What big Challenges do you have lined up for 2012?

I'm super excited about Karen L's Months of 2013 Challenge series. January was tough, but it's going to get tougher and tougher every month and I can't wait!  However my first goal is to clear out every single one of my challenges and complete the challenge to have no challenges left!  I've been working on that for months, but with so many amazing challenges being created every day it's proven to be impossible.  I'm finally within striking distance, around 60 challenges left, hopefully in the next month or so I'll knock that one out.

With the vast selection of mud runs out there, which one do you think you'll opt for?

Living in Indiana our selection of the really awesome events is pretty limited.  I've only found 2 mud runs and I signed up for them both.  The Mudathlon in June and Spartan in April.  I can't even tell you how excited I am about this.  I think everything I've done all through 2012 was gearing up for these races.  I've got a group of buddies on board for the June race, but they all said there is no way they could run two in a single year so I'm running the April race all by myself.  Not sure how I feel about that, but I'm not going to back away from a challenge even if I have to do it alone.

Which Tribesports users make your day?

I made the mistake early on of trying to get the "Follow 30,000, 35,000, 40,000 etc" Challenges so I clicked the "Who to Follow" button every chance I got so with around 40,000 people I'm following I hardly ever seen the same names twice.  The speed at which my feed updates is staggering, but even with this massive amount of data there are 3 names that show up every single day.  Crystal L, Baldy Jon, and Tan P are always on top of my challenges giving me encouragement and it always brings a smile to my face to see their names under my activities.

What's your favourite quote?

"Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."  - Bernard Baruch