The Everyday Holiday Training Mindset

The Everyday Holiday Training Mindset

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Not only is this quote fitting as we enjoy the holiday training season, but it doubles as a reminder of what we need to hold on to every day.

Holidays resonate with many for various, meaningful reasons. The typical accompanying sense of gratitude and joy shouldn’t only be embraced once a year, but every day. Those moments of defeat, frustration, and dread…the days where we want to be any where but where we are right then and there (*cough cough* work on Friday at 3pm, holiday training trip, traffic, insert your daily complaint here)…why wouldn’t we latch onto this holiday mindset every day?

It isn’t only during the holiday training season that we are presented with moments to be grateful and the chances to express those – it’s every day.

Through our workthoughts, moments of givingskills possessed, conversations, routine activitiespassions – each waking day is a chance to live fueled with this joyful spirit, enjoyment and gratitude.

Nothing in life is guaranteed. We are given the gift of 24 hours. To not do everything in our power to make those the greatest 24 hours would be a shame. As we take the time to revel in the joy, giving, and optimistic goal setting of the season, realize this doesn’t need to happen one day a year.

Make this a part of your day. Every dayStarting today.

Sometimes it takes missed opportunities, adversity, cherished memories, or lost loved ones before you recognize the chances that you had and continue to have daily.


This video is a reminder to “focus not on what you can’t do…but focus on what you CAN DO…and be the best you can be“. Something as simple as the gift of playing a sport, what many of us take for granted, can be taken from us at any moment…just as it was this young boy. When faced with one option, he took it to places no one expected and became an athlete who defines today’s message.

“This is the only thing I can do – I’m going to become great at it”

Again – choose not to focus on what we can’t do, but focus on what we can do…and be the best we can be.

1. Can’t do something? Find something you can. There always exists the strength within you to test new limits. Offer your greatest self to others, and use this as an opportunity to grow in new ways.

2. Hold on to grateful for those opportunities and those memories with friends, teammates, and families; for that chance is something not everyone is allowed, and can get taken from you in a blink of an eye. How easy it is to become preoccupied with the rush, stress, and daily annoyances…but keep in mind the little things…the reasons behind what you do each day, and the meaning behind your actions.

Recognizing the opportunities presented to us amidst our most troubled times empowers us with perseverance and energizes us with gratitude. Treasuring what we have, had, and what’s to come – with our valued memories, the unique abilities we possess and our excitement for even greater things ahead – allows us to remember what we have to cherish.

Treasure the moments we have with loved ones and the opportunities presented to us all the time – through our sports, in our community, at home, while working…no matter the struggle or glory. A resilient quest to be our best self, paired with gratitude, was a lesson a former teammate exemplified throughout his years of swimming. This contagious attitude and mindset is one we can all exemplify.

Live each day carrying out this lesson of gratitude and resilience. With every chore, stroke, word, repetition, gift, and step this week – make it your absolute best. You have the ability to, don’t take it for granted.

How do you plan on living out this week’s message? What are you grateful for this week?


Sweat, Sun and Fun Pt. 3

Sweat, Sun and Fun Pt. 3

What does water have to do with this anyway?

Water is something I hold near and dear to my heart…73% of it to be exact (1)…and my lungs, muscles, blood, skin…

Countless hours (years) spent swimming through the awe-inspiring open blue, the permanently attached water bottle at my hip and a rather unusual adoration of a quality sweat-sesh. This only begins to explain the depths of which my heartfelt conviction for water expands. Call me obsessed, but soon you’ll see why you should be as well.

Water makes up 60% of our body, 70% of this earth, 80% of our brain…and should be 100% by your side

Can you guess what the most popular beverage in the US is? I’ll give you a hint it’s not water! (9)

Water comes in second behind soft drinks. If we were meant to drink soda, then it would make up 2/3 of our body! Soda is not only a health hazard, but it contributes to our increasing stroke rate, heart issues and obesity epidemic. All of this could be avoided with a simple beverage swap.

Being that water influences every process in our body, the benefits are endless. Whether you are looking for commercial clear skin or maximal brainpower – water is the answer. Most importantly, you have nutrients to be transported, temperature to be regulated, and food to be digested. Water maintains all these processes.

Just a reminder of how smart we are – our body is one massive, synchronic army constantly sending cues for combat. The sensation of thirst is a concert of tiny, specific cues precisely timed together. Our brain, organs, hormones, kidneys, glands…EVERYTHING…work in tune to monitor the amount of water coming in verse going out (2).

Most of the time our body has it all under control. It’s only when we are losing more water than we can replace (think Part 1 with some super sweat sesh or Part 2 trapped in a full body suit running a marathon) that we are dehydrated and left completely helpless.

Let’s back up to Part 1 – when are body temperature rises from a butt-kicking workout, we cool it down a notch by sweating. Sweat evaporates from our skin and takes the heat with it. However, if you don’t have water, then blood can’t flow to the skin to make this possible (3).  Exercise and heat are the two big culprits in jacking up our sweat output. It’s easy for us to not realize how much we are sweating, and before we know it we aren’t matching that with water intake.

In efforts to reduce the risk of thermal injury and impairment of performance during exercise,

“fluid replacement should attempt to equal fluid loss” being that the “requirement for fluid replacement becomes greater with increased sweating during environment thermal stress” (4).

So what does this mean…

For those who don’t catch every exact ounce of individual sweat droplet and measure how much water they should consume, how do you know how much water to drink?

Many, many, MANY factors contribute to our water needs. Breathing, sweating, peeing, crying – water is leaving us all the time, at different rates through many ways. Most of the time we can rely on our simple thirst mechanism to keep us hydrated (5). However, the dangers of dehydration can be just as important as overhydration. I’m all about water…but in moderation of course!

In efforts to avoid or combat dehydration, hyponatremia can occur when people drink way too much water that it dilutes their blood. The kidneys have all the water, salts and other solutes under control. Start forcing water down our mouths and our kidneys won’t be able to flush it out fast enough. All this water has to go somewhere – so off it flows into any place that will take it (it won’t be the toilet) (6)!

Understand your optimal balance by paying attention to urine color, energy levels, satiety, and general feel. Only YOU know how your body handles special circumstances like exercise and heat. The invariability based on our individual factors and lifestyle make it impossible to prescribe a perfect number, but a daily water intake of 3.7 L for adult men and 2.7 L for adult women meets the needs of the vast majority of persons (2).

The multitude of factors, important symptoms and how we respond to dehydration (and even overhydration) is worthy of it’s own article – check back next week for the last article of this series!


  1. The chemical composition of the adult human body and its bearing on the biochemistry of growth Mitchell, H.H. et al. 1945. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 158: 625-637
  2. Water, Hydration and Health. Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Nutrition Reviews68(8), 439–458.
  3. Hydration effects on thermoregulation and performance in the heat. M. N. Sawka, S. J. Montain, W. A. Latzka. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2001 April; 128(4): 679–690
  4. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and fluid replacement. V. A. Convertino, L. E. Armstrong, E. F. Coyle, G. W. Mack, M. N. Sawka, L. C. Senay, Jr, W. M. Sherman. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 January; 28(1): i–vii.
  5. Human water needs.Michael N. Sawka, Samuel N. Cheuvront, Robert Carter, 3rd. Nutr Rev. 2005 June; 63(6 Pt 2): S30–S39. Fatal water intoxication. Farrell, D. J., & Bower, L. (2003). Journal of Clinical Pathology56(10), 803–804.

Coconut Oil: The One Ingredient Solution to the Top 10 Swimmer Problems

The One Ingredient Solution to the Top 10 Swimmer Problems Coconut Oil!

*Features on*

Swimming is a sport that demands efficiency – in the water but also on land.

Efficient stroke mechanics, time management, space name it.


Forget caring bottles of lotion in your bag, making countless trips to the convenience store, and putting chemicals in your body that you can’t even pronounce. If there is one item that you should remember to pack for your meet (besides your suit, cap and goggles, of course) it’s this – Coconut Oil.

1.     Chlorine Hair

While shiny, green, dry hair is an emblem of our countless hours of dedication and hard work in the pool, there comes a time when we may actually need to comb through our hair or at least take it out of our permanent swimmer buns… (…and when you do, you don’t want it looking like this (

Adding coconut oil to your hair pre-swim will saturate the hair and keep it from absorbing the chlorinated water while also reducing protein loss (no more dead ends) due to its high affinity for hair proteins, low molecular weight and straight linear fatty chain (  AKA our first grade science experiment -  water and oil don't mix…coconut oil repels the water.

This also works as a natural post-swim deep conditioning moisturizer. The small molecular structure of the oil allows for easy absorption through the hair while the fatty acids delivers a soft smooth texture which relieves that dry post-swim chlorine hair feel. This will also protect your hair from the damaging effects of the copper deposits giving your hair that lovely green hue.  

**Rubbing a small amount of oil in your hands and working through the hair before and after you swim will do wonders!

2.     Dry Skin

Chlorine, bromine, salt, you name it – exposure to these chemicals can be harsh on your skin, eventually depleting your skin of its natural oils. Water itself even removes oil that allows dryness to set in.

**Moisturize and even treat skin infections by using coconut oil in place of body lotion ( (

3.     Swimmer’s Ear

Every summer…we all know it’s coming. No matter how many Dry-n-Clear bottles and earplug packs we go through there is always the inevitable case of the dreaded swimmer’s ear.

Coconut oil has antifungal properties (, and I hate to break it to you but the cause of your ear infection is from swimming in bacteria and fungi. The oil is a great remedy by helping to drain the water out of the ears, thus reducing the pain.

**Warm 20ml of coconut oil and fill the ear using a dropper. Tilt your head to side of the filled ear to empty and drain.  (Note: if in a cold climate, avoid using this method due to the hardening of the oil at lower temperatures)

4.     Sunscreen

Coconut oil has a natural SPF of 3, however chances are with the amount of time spent at the pool this isn’t going to be enough. What you can do is add a dash of zinc oxide, the skin-protecting ingredient in sunscreen (, which provides broad-spectrum UV protection (

5.     Sun Burn

…and if you didn’t follow number 3, coconut oil can still help you!

The skin-nourishing fatty acids double as burn relief to calm that sting. Coconut oil also contains free-radical fighting compounds. These antioxidants have been shown to slow the aging of skin and reduce the harmful effects of sun damage which we put our bodies through each day. (,

6.     Chlorine Burn

If you don’t have it from swimming everyday, just wait until your championship meet when the pool chemicals spike. The repeated exposure to the harsh chemicals often triggers rashes. No worries, coconut oil works to combat redness, irritation and mild inflammation (

7.     Razor Burn

You get to shave once a year, so make the most of it. Using coconut oil can be used in place shaving cream. The oil sets you up for a close shave while also hydrating your skin. Plus, this works wonders for those with sensitive skin (Boys with the painful post-taper meet razor burn, I’m talking to you).

8.     Nutrition

Coconut is extremely high in fat. BUT…this is good fat. YES. Good fat!  Fat gets a bad rep but as endurance athletes we need to make sure we are getting these essential fatty acids for proper cellular energy production, immunity and brain function…. and the right kind! (This isn’t an excuse to go out and eat cake, sorry)

MCFA’s (medium-chain fatty acids) are naturally found in coconut oil and these are digested a bit differently than most fats. Instead of chilling in the bloodstream like all the other fats, these triglycerides are absorbed and go straight to the liver. Since this is easily digested, the fat is utilized quickly as energy (like carbs!) and may even boost endurance performance. (

9.     Massage

Thanks to the increased research emerging ( on the benefits of massages for swimmers, we finally have a science-backed excuse! Not only does the coconut oil work as a great lotion for massage techniques, but its aromatherapy benefits will take you to your happy place on the beach in the middle of the high-stress, swim meet environment. If you can’t bring the trainer along for the ride this is easy for self-massage techniques (

 10.    Odor

And for the few spare moments when you are out of the water…           

You have five minutes to get from the pool to dryland and all you have are tennis shoes and coconut oil…well the good news is that’s all you need! Smooth some under you arms and the lauric acid ( ) will kill the stinky causing bacteria.


Coconut is the true swimmer triple threat with its antifungal, antiviral, and antioxidant properties – killing pool thriving fungi, curing cracked skin and restoring our hair to normal. Here are a few things to remember: 1. Go for the organic, unrefined, extra-virgin products which are higher quality and less refined (Costco is fabulous) 2. A little goes a long way 3. It’s normal for coconut oil to solidify at cooler temps (melting point is 76 F) 4. And lastly, these are just tips that I’ve found to work and coconut oil may not be for everyone. Like all products, individuals can be irritated by all kinds of things. Make sure you stop use if any irritation occurs!