Danny Dreyer developed a running style that elevates the experience of running
Danny Dreyer is a running coach and author (based out of Asheville, NC) that teaches people (both runners and walkers) how to move their bodies more efficiently. The basis of Danny’s methods are anchored in Tai Chi, hence the name ‘Chi Running’. Danny has studied Tai Chi for over 15yrs and is still filled with passion when speaking about the ethos of Tai Chi. “Tai Chi is all about moving from your center, your core, and not from your arms and legs” Danny tells me, “Most people think that running is all about moving your arms and legs but when you change that way of thinking and movement running becomes a much more enjoyable and safer activity.”
With the Chi Running method Danny teaches how to use your powerful core muscles and engage those muscles to facilitate running more efficiently and with less effort. “When you’re using this technique you’re using big strong core muscles that don’t tire out as quickly as your arms and legs” Danny teaches.
Danny estimates that he’s taught over one million people the Chi Method of running.
“Most people run really well when they are kids” Danny says, “but life takes a toll on your body over time and it changes the way you tend to move your body.” Starting out in the Chi Running method is like hitting the reset button at first. “If you watch kids run, they typically run with a natural forward lean as though they were sort of falling forward,” Danny explains, “Because kids don’t have strong leg muscles kids lean forward and utilize gravity to assist them in moving their bodies forward.”
It’s important that your body has really good posture in order to make the method work. Your body has to have a strong core in order to have really good posture and in order to apply the Chi Running method.
You have to mindful of your body and what is trying to tell you. It’s not enough to just listen to your body, you also have to respond to what your body is telling you. “For example, if you’re working at a desk slumping forward and your neck starts hurting, you need to correct your posture and sit up to correct your posture and relieve that tension and pain.”
Danny developed Chi Running while training as an ultra-marathoner. While training for his first 50 mile race he was introduced to his first Tai Chi instructor. “After one class I applied some of the body movements from Tai Chi to my running form. After one application the results were remarkable. I ran the same time but my body didn’t feel like it at all.”
Body Sensing & Mindfulness
The traditional methods of physical therapy and training are centered around strengthening the muscles around the area of injury. Chi running is a mindful practice that trains you to listen to you body and correct the problem before it becomes an injury. If you feel a twinge or problem, you listen to your body and change it so that you can keep moving without doing any further harm.
Having a clear mindset is knowing ahead of time what your goals are and developing a plan to get there.
If you want to do something in your life, have a reason for it. Have a reason that benefits you. This makes all the difference once you get into a training program. The person that get’s in the middle of a training program without clear goals is going to struggle. They’ll struggle to get started, maintain momentum, and struggle to recall what they are working for and working towards.
Chi Running reduces the amount of impact when you run. Two-thirds of all runners get an injury each year that interrupts that runners’ training program. Two-thirst is a LOT! “If the CDC got a hold of statistics like this, they might consider banning running” Danny explains.
There are two ways that people get injured while running:
1) Impact: Simply banging your feet on the ground can cause knee and back problems for the high impact effects of movement.
2) Overuse: These are people that push too hard, train beyond their limits, do not allow enough recovery for their bodies.
We teach people to run across the ground instead of into the ground. You want to glide across the running surface instead of banging your body against the surface causing high impact stress on the body. We change running techniques from pushing themselves around with their legs to falling forward and working to keep from falling.
You don’t see elite runnings running with their legs out in front of them.
The moving parts of you body need to loose, lean, and relaxed so they can openly flow when the core needs to be very strong to super very good posture.
Chi Walking takes the same principles of Chi Running and applies those principles to walking. “If you notice people walking around you will notice that most people lead with their hips and their legs. Their shoulders and back and they walk leading with their hips and legs out in front” Danny points out, “If you throw your leg out in front of you, you lock out your knee in front of you.” A little lean added to your gait will engage your core and increase the efficiency of walking.
This method shortens your stride length and decreases the impact with your walking surface due the effects of ‘rolling on the soles of your shoes’ that occurs while leaning forward (ever so slightly).
I love half-marathons because it’s just long enough a distance that it forces a person to seek out a more efficient technique of running.
The effects of improving your running spill into other aspects of your life. “Can you imagine improving your posture and core body strength while safely improving your running efficiency?” Danny asks, “Now imagine that same person needs to go ask their boss for a raise.” You can imagine the improved perception and confidence that person gains through running safely and efficiently.
“It’s not running that hurts your body, it’s the way you run” Danny Dreyer
Compound Effect leads to Big Gains | Christmas Abbott
Christmas Abbott is a crossfit pro & fitness enthusiast that encourages others to use fitness as a means to turn their lives around. She does this through as many channels as she can find: she’s written books, started fitness programs, she tours, does motivational speaking, and nutrition consulting.
“I’m using my personal turbulence I’ve experienced through life and applying it to the wellness and fitness industry. I want to help people wake up and realize that they have the opportunity to change their lives every day,” Christmas says.
Growing up Christmas had many challenges through life. By the age of 13, she was drinking, smoking and doing drugs. By 21, her habits lead to her doing meth and becoming an alcoholic. She didn’t really consider the damage she was doing to her body at the time. It wasn’t until she took a trip to Iraq as a civilian consultant that she had an epiphany. “I realized I was continuing to make bad decisions and continuing to put myself in compromising situations. I was going to end up killing myself because of the decisions I was making. I decided to make a better decision. I decided to quit smoking. I decided to work out and I discovered fitness and health and wellness. That became my new addiction,” Christmas explains.
The moment that Christmas realized she was capable of achieving a state of health; she started with the realization that she had positive power. She was able to commit herself to a 30 day regimen. For 20 minutes a day, three times a week, Christmas would work out on an elliptical. “This was like my gateway drug to fitness. It was a very subtle transition into fitness but by the third week, I noticed a difference in myself. It wasn’t necessarily physically fit, but I just felt better. I felt proud of myself for the first time in my life. That’s when I caught the bug of positive reinforcement,” Christmas says. Since then Christmas admits it’s still been a bit of a struggle. However through her transitioning she has gained self-worth and confidence. “I love myself fully and I want to enrich my life with positivity,” Christmas declares.
Christmas grew up in a poor household, however her parents loved her very much. Her mother named her Christmas Joy because she brought joy to her mom’s world when she was born. Christmas’ father was the epitome of a biker. And the biker lifestyle that the family lived, while very exciting is what lead Christmas to picking up some of the habits that she felt was taking away from her life.
Of course, Christmas doesn’t blame her parents. They just didn’t know of a healthier way of living. “For me, when I saw that I had an option to change that, I felt more empowered,” Christmas says. However Christmas still remains very close to her family. “I wasn’t a product of a healthy lifestyle growing up. And I want people to know regardless of what upbringing you have, you can still change your future,” Christmas says.
Christmas had to overcome a lot of obstacles in her journey to being as fit as she is now. For her, the hardest one was to find self-worth. “I had to believe that I was capable and had to believe that I was worth something more. Once we find ways to feel proud of ourselves, that’s when we get on a path to loving ourselves. As soon as I started to love myself, that’s when the opportunities starting presenting themselves,” Christmas says.
According to Christmas, the keys to living a happy, healthy lifestyle comes from within. “I tell people you have five fingers and you usually have five obligations that you can commit to before it becomes overwhelming. You have to take care of yourself.
Sleep well, eat well, exercise, and meditate.
All of this comes into play. You can be eating well and be stressed out at work and still gain weight. So when one thing is out of whack, it has a ripple effect. Living a perfectly balanced life is pretty much unheard of, but you can get pretty close to it when you create this balance. It is a mental fortitude of tenacity. When bad things happen, you can actually navigate through them in a faster and more efficient way,” Christmas says.
Sirena Alise Williams isn’t easily discouraged…. That’s an understatement!
When it comes to un-deterred determination and a knock-down, drag out work ethic Sirena Alise is hard to beat. Just jotting down her titles is a chore. Sirena, who goes by Sirena Alise to limit the confusion between her and the “other Sirena Williams” does so many things. She is of course a professional track & field athlete, running the 60 meter hurdles (indoor) and 100 meter hurdles (outdoor) she was a 2015 Nationals Finalist both Indoors and Outdoors. Sirena is also a blogger, app developer, and the lead marketer of her finance’s (pro soccer player Quincy Amarikwa) book ‘The Perfect Soccer Player Blueprint‘.
Of course most of her seemingly endless energy is concentrated on training to improve her performance on the track. Like so many athletes, Sirena’s start in her chosen field came because her family had been involved in track and field as a youth as well. “I first started running track and field in middle school because it’s the sport my mom did as a youth”, Sirena says.
But Sirena’s athletic journey didn’t start in track. “I grew up competing in gymnastics. It was the foundation of the attitude I have towards sports.” Sirena tells me that gymnastics taught her that if you work hard you’ll get results. “I competed up to level 10 and after that I was forced to stop because I tore some ligaments in my lower back. My nickname was baby Dawes. I was at the point in my gymnastics career where the next level was Elite level gymnastics or Olympic level. After my doctor told me the news he said if I decided to continue to compete that there would be a chance that by the time I was 16 that I wouldn’t be able to play in any other sports like normal high school student.”
At the very young age of 11 Sirena decided to end her gymnastics career due to the risk of further injury. “That was devastating for me because it’s something that I grew up doing.” Sirena recalls, “So after the news I decided that I would just try each and every sport that I could. I tried soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, you name it. I pretty much tried everything when it came to sports.”
“What inspired me the most was the story my uncle told me about my mom running track. which is why I think I love track and field the most because it was something that her and I could have conversations about. She would tell me her experiences and how far she made it. I could see how happy she was watching me run track, competing, and just having fun.”
“Gymnastics drove her crazy. She worried about me getting hurt all the time when I was in gymnastics. I could tell that she was more relaxed watching me run.”
After being told that she could no longer do a sport that she fell in love with, Sirena appreciates every opportunity that much more. “It was my life. It was what I did after school it’s something that I literally spent hours perfecting. To be told at that age that you can no longer do something you love is really hard and I think that’s why I put so much heart into everything that I do because to have something taken away from you it’s just really hard.” So when given the opportunity at something else to succeed, Sirena is going to make sure that she gives it everything that she has.
For someone that is so determined and focused, I always wonder if they have ever considered quitting. Most of the time people (even the most successful of people) can quickly come up with a story about when they were considering quitting. For Sirena, it’s a struggle to come up with a story about contemplating quitting.
“When it comes to thinking about quitting I don’t necessarily think about if I’m going to quit. It’s more so wondering why you’re doing something or why I’m not necessarily taking action on something I’m thinking about. Everyone has their down phases where they’re questioning why they’re doing something. When it comes to questioning why you’re doing something, that is when you need to remember why you started.”
“I have to say that I placed more pressure on myself, this Olympic year to qualify because it’s something that I have been training for for the past 3 years and dedicated all of my time towards. This year, I felt, was a defining year. Where all the hard work that I have been doing over the past several years would flourish and that’s exactly what I was on pace for.
“At any time where I was feeling doubtful, I didn’t quit because I reminded myself why I started. That’s how I feel about anything that you start. You need to understand why you’re doing it because that is what’s going to keep you sane, grounded, and focused when those times come when you’re feeling doubtful.”
The affirmation for me was when I ran 13.24 really early in the season and that kind of let me know that this was going to be a great year. I was on the right track.
Advice to your younger self
“Trust the journey.” – the advice that Sirena would give her younger self
“The only advice I would give myself if I had to do it all over again is to do it the exact same way. Trust that things are going to go well. I think I can say that because I understood why I started and I took all the necessary steps that I needed to take in order to achieve the goals that I set before I even started the journey.”
Advice to someone starting on a similar journey
Focus on a healthy mental mindset. My coach always says track and field is 90% physical and 10% mental. What controls the 90%?
The Impact of being in a relationship with another professional athlete
It most definitely helps to have someone who is on the same page as you when it comes to athletics. I have someone who understands how it can be after a tough workout, before a major competition, after a major competition and just understands the athlete mindset. Quincy has been huge in the amount of success I have achieved by being extremely motivating, uplifting and supportive of any and all decisions I choose to make. Good or bad. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive partner and best friend.
Training off the track
My off the track training regimen just includes long runs, pool workout, yoga, bike work and pretty much any other cross-training that you could possibly think of.
Beliefs on performance diets
When it comes to dieting I don’t really have a philosophy. I naturally eat pretty healthy. I eat a lot of fish, baked chicken, and noodles. I try to cook vegetarian meals every now and then. Eggplant lasagna is one of my favorite.
I’m not super strict about my diet. Sometimes I go for those viral food videos and every now and then I’ll find one I like, I’ll make it, and it usually turns out amazing.
So yeah, I guess that’s my take on diet. Put good in and get good out.
Jera Foster-Fell inspires with an “All smiles all the time” attitude
Twenty Seven year old New Yorker Jera Foster-Fell, also known as the @WorkOutBean radiates with personality and positivity that excites and inspires others to reach their potential. Jera is anything but shy and her triumphs as well as her trials are on display for her following.
Jera, who is a graphic designer by training is super psyched to “finally be doing something that I feel passionate about, that makes me happy, and gives me a sense of fulfillment. Through movement, sweat, social media, and hard work, I’ve created a brand for myself that allows me to not only feel good about myself, but have a positive impact on other people’s lives. ” I wouldn’t take this to mean that Jera doesn’t love graphic design but to say that fitness has struck a special cord with her.
When did you first start on your Fitness Journey?
Everything began for me in April 2015. I woke up one morning and it was like a lightbulb went off. I had followed some fitness accounts on instagram for about a year and I always had the urge to get healthier, but never did. But something changed that morning. I got out of bed with purpose, I bought Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide twelve week workout program, went to the gym, and began. That same day, I created a fitness Instagram account, @workoutbean, to hold myself accountable. I had no idea at the time that it would turn into what it currently is today.
It’s always so interesting to look back on certain times in your life and realizing things about your situation that you weren’t aware of at the time. Back in April 2015 when fitness first became an essential part of my life, I had just come out of a few challenging months. I don’t think I consciously realized that I needed some sort of an outlet, but clearly I did, and I found that through exercise. Working out allowed me to create the space I needed to focus on myself, and the social media aspect of it created a space where I was able to make connections and friendships with other women.
First, when I initially began working out consistently back in April 2015 with BBG by Kayla Itsines (a twelve week program), twelve weeks seemed like forever! I had never come close to working out consistently for that length of time. Despite that, I finished the twelve weeks and was incredibly proud of myself. Once I completed that guide, I felt confident that I could do anything else that I set my mind to.
When did you first know you were going to become a ‘Fitness Influencer’?
I think it took quite some time to realize that I was a “fitness influencer” and to be honest, I still have a hard time saying that phrase.
I feel like a normal person doin’ normal thangs!
But I do remember fairly early on, perhaps just a month or so after making exercise a priority and creating my instagram account, girls would message or or comment on my photos telling me that I motivated them to workout that particular morning. Or that they used my recipe to make dinner. Or that simply, I inspire them. I’ll never forget that feeling of realizing that however small it was, I was impacting people in a positive way. That made me feel so good. I realized that it was a feeling that I had never gotten before as a graphic designer, and that feeling made me want to seriously consider leaving my job as a graphic designer and transitioning over to fitness full time.
Is there anything about your upbringing that you can link to your inspiration and success thus far?
My parents always allowed me to explore creativity as I pleased. Whether it was stomping in the mud as a toddler, wearing pink zinc and blue sparkles on my lips as a kid, creative writing as a teen, or graphic design in college, I was always encouraged to try new things and do as I pleased. I think being given the flexibility to test the waters of new interests was huge for me and absolutely was a major factor in leading me to where I am today.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome in your fitness journey?
I don’t think there has been one single significant obstacle that I’ve overcome in my fitness journey thus far.
I would say that there is the more general day to day challenge of staying consistent with physical exercise.
Everyone always asks about motivation, and that’s such an interesting subject because motivation is so fleeting. Most days, I don’t wake up and say, “I can’t wait to work out today!”, that’s just not how it works. But a few things get me past that moment of hesitation:
1. Routine. Creating a routine for yourself forces you to create a habit. Once you have a habit formed, you do it no matter what, regardless of if you feel motivated.
2. Workout buddies. Having someone with similar goals as you, whether they’re with you physically or not, is incredibly helpful for keeping yourself accountable.
3. That post workout feeling. No one ever regretted a workout!
Why did you choose to start your fitness journey with BBG?
Close to two years ago, I was scrolling through Instagram’s explore page and I came across the instagram account, @kayla_itsines. I wasn’t into fitness at all at the time, it was probably the least active phase of my life, but I was enthralled by the transformations that I saw on her account.
When I decided to bite the bullet and try it myself about a year later, it seemed like the only logical step to take in terms of getting into a fitness routine. Besides going for a run or using the elliptical, I was clueless in terms of what to do in the gym. Following BBG laid everything out exactly as I needed to do it and gave me the confidence to walk into the gym and get my workout done.
BBG is an exercise program on the surface level, but underneath that, it’s so much more.
There is a huge community of mostly women on instagram who do BBG, and it’s such an incredibly supportive and empowering community. Where else in the world do you see strangers, particularly women, coming together to cheer each other on in such a genuine way? When I first created my fitness account back in April 2015, it was simply a way to hold myself accountable to consistently working out, but I quickly realized that it had way more potential than that. I started connecting with other women, many of whom have become my real life friends.
So is BBG a workout program? Yes, definitely. But is it also a revolutionary movement bringing women together from all across the globe to get healthy and support each other in the process? Absolutely.
What else did you try?
I did about two and a half rounds of BBG before switching to PPCG aka Progress Pure’s Curve Guide. The creator, Molly, was my very first instagram friend. Her guide is based around lifting. I was one of the first people able to test out her guide, and I loved it because it allowed me to explore the weight room which I was always a little intimidated by.
Was there ever a time when you were contemplating quitting?
I’ve been on a mission for close to a year now to become a SoulCycle instructor. As soon as I got my heart set on it, there was no turning back. It was probably good that at the time of this decision, I didn’t quite fully understand how difficult it is to become an instructor!
Part of the process is auditions, and this was absolutely terrifying for me. Up until that point, I was a graphic designer and I had zero fitness instructions experience. On top of that, I had a fear of public speaking. I went into that first audition with all odds against me, but I somehow pushed through and survived. And I thought I did a decent job!
A week later, I got an email saying that I did not make it to the next round. I was heartbroken. I felt like I put my heart and soul into the audition, and to have them say no hit me at my very core. It made me question if I was good enough, or if I would ever be good enough. Though I allowed myself to wallow in self doubt for a day or so, I was able to turn those feelings around and used them as extra fuel for the fire to prepare for the next audition. Getting a “no” made me work that much harder to eventually get a “yes”.
I didn’t quit because a “no” right now doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be a yes down the line. I think that sometimes, not getting what we want is important. Not only does it build character, but it makes us figure out how badly we want something. If we get a no and then quit, well, maybe that wasn’t the right path.
“It’s not failure until you give up.”
What’s been the most rewarding part of all of this so far?
The most rewarding part of my journey so far has absolutely been hearing that I’ve had some sort of positive impact on people’s lives. When I hear that my instagram post motivated someone to get out of bed that morning, or that sharing my own personal challenges has helped others tackle their own difficult times, I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel.
It’s an interesting cycle- I workout, feel good, share bits and pieces of my life, post about it, and in turn other people see it and feel motivated, feel good themselves, and tell me about, which makes me feel good. Though it’s not always glitter and unicorns, it’s this crazy positivity train of empowerment, and people just being real with each other.
What advice would you give to a person that wanted to follow a similar path?
If you want to commit to a healthy lifestyle, there are a few things that need to happen. First, you need to make a solid decision that this is not something that you’re just going to say that you want. It’s not something that you’re simply going to wish for. It’s something that you’re making a firm decision to do. No one else is going to make a change for you. Realize that you are the only one responsible for your body, your mind, and your health, and you are responsible for taking care of it.
Next, I think that when you want to start exercising consistently, it’s best to have some sort of a program to follow. It can be really confusing at first to walk into a gym, and I think a lot of people resort to the cardio machines as a default. Everyone needs to do cardio, but there are so many other ways to break a sweat, and it’s essential to keep your body moving in a new ways. By signing up for a workout program, you’ll feel confident about what to do, and you’ll have an easy plan to stick to.
Another great tool is having a workout buddy to hold you accountable. Whether that’s your significant other or someone you met on instagram, find someone who is going to make sure that you get your butt moving each day!
Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself to have rest days. Indulge in a dessert now and then. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout.
A huge part of a healthy lifestyle is balance.
Sometimes we get crazy at the gym, and sometimes we netflix and chill.
Who do you consider the icons in health & fitness?
I think that the everyday girl is quickly becoming the next icon in fitness. Social media makes everything so much more accessible and connected, and because of social media, people are able to have a voice in such a way that wasn’t possible just a few years ago. Models are gorgeous, athletes are powerful…. But they’re not relatable. Now, more so than ever, women want to look up to other women that they can find some common ground with.
What’s the next frontier in building your fitness tribe?
I would love to start creating video content! I grew up with my mom who is in film, so I learned how to edit from her. Every single project I did growing up involved video and editing, and currently, video is becoming more and more popular. Whether it’s workout videos, sharing about my life, or something more on the creative side, I’m really looking forward to diving into video this upcoming year.
Where did the name ‘WorkOut Bean’ come from?
My parents have had all kinds of nicknames for me growing up!
Bean, Jera Bean, JB, among many others (don’t ask why my dad calls me “Rabbit Brains”!) I’ve always loved Bean, so any time I’ve needed to make an instagram handle, I’ve used that.
My first account was my art and handlettering account, @bean_robin, and when it came time to make a fitness account, @workoutbean was the first thing that popped into my head.
What do you feel is the most important element for a personal just starting or struggling in a fitness program?
For someone who is just starting off in a fitness program or for someone who is trying to be more active, it’s crucial to create a routine for yourself. When you’re first starting out, everything is so new, it can be easy to get sidetracked. If you build a schedule for yourself and make a promise to yourself to stick to it. And you will set yourself up for success.
Something else to keep in mind though is not to try and change too much at once. You don’t have to simultaneously start working out six days a week. Then drinking a gallon of water a day, getting 8 hours of sleep each night, and never eating dessert. Instead, try to slowly incorporate healthy habits one by one so. This you can adjust to each change with the time that you need to get used to it.
“For anyone who starts to doubt themselves. Otherwise, feels themselves struggling, remember that you didn’t come this far to only come this far.” – Jera
Whether it’s focusing specifically on our fitness journey or taking a step back and examining our lives, remember that the ups and downs are inevitable.
Track and field star Donald Scott is the epitome of inspiration and motivation. Growing up Donald’s father was not in the picture and his mother struggled. Donald found himself with a very troubled childhood. He and his sisters were placed under foster care until his mother’s brother and wife came along. Blessed with family members that went on to move him and his sisters into a better environment, Donald has come a long way from where he used to be. “The most rewarding part of my journey has been the fact that I am blessed to do what God has planned for me. I believe that’s the best reward anyone can have. Yes its fun to compete, travel, win money and meet new people but at the end of the day doing what God has blessed me to do will forever be the best reward I will ever be thankful for.”
Donald started running track his freshman year in high school. “The only events I knew of were just the running events and hurdles. I didn’t know there were field events until the first day of practice. I was mainly a sprinter/hurdler when I started. Shawn Proffitt, who is a great father figure in my life right now, he was my coach at the time and he basically forced me to do the triple jump,” Donald says. Donald initially wasn’t even interested in it. However, Shawn coached Donald with the knowledge that he knew about it. From there Donald went on to excel in the event even though he later found he was not using the proper technique during high school. He still managed to become a top 3 competitor in the state of Florida.
Coming out of high school, football was Donald’s passion. He wasn’t in love with the triple jump at the time. He ended up a dual sport athlete throughout college. As his college years went by, Donald knew that he could become a great triple jumper. This was especially clear when he started competing, winning and placing at the big college meets. He ended his college career with 9 conference titles, a Jr. national championship, Jr. Pan American games finalist, and Indoor NCAA Championship runner-up. He was also a 3x All-American in the triple jump.
For Donald, the first step to success was to establish a main goal. The next step was to follow the process in order to achieve that goal. “You have to have a great mindset that motivates you to keep pushing through all the adversity you will come upon during the season. You always have to think about why you are doing something and is it really worth the ups and downs you will come upon. Patience is the key to success,” Donald says.
“Things I believe that help me become good at what I do is staying on top of my priorities. Working out, maintaining a good clean diet, and staying positive about every situation in my life. Working out is the number one thing I must do in order to stay fit and to also get better at what I do. Getting stronger and faster is a major key when it comes to the triple jump. A good diet is a good thing to have when it comes to your body functioning the way it should. The body needs the right energy in order to perform well. In order to do that, you have to eat right the right things. Staying positive will always keep your head in the right place it needs to be. Staying on track and not letting your let downs take over and tear you down. You have to take the bad and let it motivate you to continue to do better.”
Donald certainly doesn’t plan to continue on forever. In the next ten years he plans to have his own business. For the moment, Donald is still building a name for himself in the world of track and field. He continues to work his way up on the ranking charts each season. “I just have to stay the course, perform well, and let everything else take its place,” Donald says.
Donald offers advices to others that find inspiration in his story. “The best advice I can give a young person is that if you believe that you can do something, there is nothing or no one in this world that can stop you from achieving what you want to do. You have to have faith within yourself. You have to stay motivated even when you’re having a bad day. Always keep God first because he is allowing you to chase your dreams and he will forever be your number one supporter. The main thing is patience is the key. Great things come to those who wait.”
What three pieces of fitness equipment should everyone have?
I think everyone should either have a treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike to do some cardio. Cardio is great for the body and the heart. For everyone who knows how to do squats and Olympic style lifting, they should have a bar and Olympic weights so they can do their explosion style lifts.
In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?
The most overrated exercise for me would be bench. As a jumper you don’t really need to do bench. I would rather do something like overhead push press which works on explosion while doing the push motion as bench. I think underrated exercise would be hip lifts. Many people don’t do hip lifts but I find it very beneficial to strengthen the hip flexors.
What are your go-to snacks when you’re on the run?
My go to snack is a fruit cup, yogurt, and/or trail mix or some kind of energy/protein bar.
What’s your beliefs on performance diet like? Do you prescribe to a particular philosophy on diet?
I would say my diet would be lean meats, fruits, and veggies. I am not the type to cut out bread or anything. Bread is full of the carbs and energy I need to get through the typical workout day. I have times where I do eat my share of candy. Although I don’t need it, I just love sweets from time to time.