Posted by Jo Gookin on November 25th, 2014
I was always a sporty guy. Since I was born I played soccer, the most popular sport in Europe. Then, in my late teenage years I started to train martial arts, mostly influenced by the Bruce Lee movies, and continued doing so for about 10 years. When I turned 24, I came to the US and fell in love with body building. Around that time, I started to pay attention to good nutrition and healthy eating habits.
A few years ago, my wife ran her first full marathon. I was extremely happy for her but also full of envy. I really wanted to have a taste of what she accomplished and signed up for my first sprint triathlon. I signed up for my first Nautica Malibu Triathlon and started training. I was a total newbie but absolutely ready for the challenge. My first race was tough but I managed to finish in the first 20% of participants. I was ecstatic! I fell in love with competing and never looked back.
Next year, I aimed at the longer Olympic distance at the Natutica Malibu Triathlon. It took me about a year to complete fairly good tri equipment, educate myself about the sport, and master my food intake for weight loss and the optimum energy. My efforts paid off. I did pretty good and placed in the first 20%, once more. From there, my path was clear. I decided to aim higher, again, and I signed up for Ironman 70.3 in Honu Hawaii. With help of tri couches, I continued to work on my speed and techniques. I was in the zone and so ready to conquer Hawaii! Unfortunately, my wings were cut short. One day, when training on the bike, I was hit by a car and broke my collar bone. My dream was shattered. I was devastated… I did go to Hawaii that year, but as a spectator. It was an emotional and extremely inspiring experience. I knew that I have to be back to join the athletes.
After I fully recovered from the accident, I continued to challenge myself in triathlons. I also started to race in half marathons, each one running faster than the previous one. Over the years, beside the several Olympic distance triathlons, I competed in several 70.3 Ironman finishing best 13 place and 70.3 HITTS races, as well as 70.3 Wildflower that proved to be the toughest half triathlon, so far. Then, it was time for the ultimate challenge. This year, I completed my first full Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 12 hours. Next year, beside Ironman 70.3 Honu in Hawaii and Ironman 70.3 Silverman and full Ironman Arizona that I already signed up for I’m also considering Ironman Boulder and running the Los Angeles marathon.
Posted by Jo Gookin on November 25th, 2014
I have been competing in Marathon Canoe Racing since 2004. Michigan has one of the toughest canoe racing circuits in the World. I gravitated towards the sport because the toughest canoe race in North America is in my home town of Grayling, Mi. The AuSable River Canoe Marathon. It is a 120 mile non stop race through the night with a cut off time of 19 hours. I have competed in the race 8 times. And with the exception of my first year where I finished 19th out of 65. I have been top ten or top 5 every year. My best finish was 4th place. I have competed in New York (General Clinton canoe regatta) and have finished top ten there as well. I am a husband, a father and while training for the sport I love I work 50-70 hours a week for Canadian National Railroad as a conductor. I love to compete. Whether it’s playing board games with my family or grinding down a river for 120 miles I thrive on competition.
Posted by Jo Gookin on October 8th, 2014
We all know how important hydration is for maintaining good health, but staying hydrated has benefits far and beyond what you may expect. Here are some of the unexpected benefits of staying hydrated to keep in mind!
Increasing your cognitive function: A study from King’s College in London found that long periods of dehydration could impair brain functions like planning and spatial relations. The first clue we often get that we are dehydrated is the failure to think clearly. Unfortunately as a result we don’t always make the connection that the impaired cognitive function is a sign that we have not been getting enough fluids. Experts suggest that staying hydrated can increase your brain’s performance by up to 30 percent!
For Weight Reduction: When the kidneys are operating effectively they help the liver to burn excess fat and turn it into energy. When we are dehydrated our kidneys do not function effectively and are unable to aid in the process of breaking down body fat into energy. Consuming healthy quantities of fluids can help prevent those pesky fat deposits from forming and aid in maintaining a healthy weight.
For Healthy Hair: When hair loses moisture it becomes dry, brittle and dull. This can be a particular problem in the winter when the air is more dry. Your hair needs to stay hydrated, and apart from deep conditioning and taking extra care externally, your hair needs to be treated from within, through consumption of a balanced diet and plenty of fluids.
For Glowing Skin: Hydration is essential to preserving skin moisture and providing nutrients for the skin cells. Staying hydrated allows skin to retain its elasticity, helping to prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. If you notice that your skin is cracking in the dry air try drinking a glass or two of Vitalyte in addition to applying lotion to help your skin retain moisture.
Being hydrated doesn’t just help us to feel good and stay active, it allows us to think clearly and look our best. Vitalyte Electrolyte Replacement is absorbed quickly, to promptly chase away those symptoms of dehydration and help contribute to quick thinking, weight reduction, healthy hair, and that gorgeous skin!
Posted by Jo Gookin on August 28th, 2014
Altitude sickness or “Acute mountain sickness” is a result of fatigue, dehydration and low oxygen levels. Just being at high altitude causes you to lose far more fluids than at lower elevations, more than a quart a day just from breathing. When you’re dehydrated, exercise makes you tired more quickly; real tiredness, not just being short of breath. Dehydration compounded by the low vapor pressure of oxygen results in changes in the blood chemistry, making it more acidic and harder to absorb what oxygen is available.
The afflicted person begins with classic symptoms of dehydration: Muddled thinking, irritability and fatigue. Additionally malaise, nausea, and headache at the base of the skull, tight shoulder and neck muscles follow if not relieved by descending to lower elevations or rehydrating with an electolyte replacement drink. Pleural or cerebral edema (Fluid accumulation in the lungs or brain) can result as dehydration progresses and the situation becomes life-threatening. Shortly after Vitalyte was developed, we received a letter from a runner who each summer spent his two-week vacation backpacking in the Sierras. Every year, after the first day, he would have a splitting headache and malaise, no appetite, and feeling lousy and nauseous. He figured that this occurred at high altitudes. Then one summer he took some Vitalyte with him. He drank at least a quart every day, and had none of the usual symptoms; no headache, no malaise, no nausea, and he covered longer distances than ever before. That is until he ran out of Vitalyte with a day and a half to go and had to get by with just water. When he finally made it back to his car, he shucked off his backpack; leaned against the car to unlock it, wondering how on earth he was ever going to be able to drive four hours back home. He got out a packet of Vitlayte, sat on the ground and made a quart. After drinking the full quart (“It was gone before I realized it!”), he became aware that his headache was going away and he was hungry. He wolfed down a sandwich, mixed up another quart of Vitalyte, and headed home, feeling normal again.
Mountaineering expeditions have reported that Vitalyte keeps them going even above 20,000 feet, with “no muscle cramps or altitude sickness and less fatigue even with 100-lb packs.” One member of the 1984 American Medical Expedition to Mount Everest had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never even get to base camp because he usually suffered from altitude sickness between 12,000 and 14,000 feet and once had to be evacuated with cerebral edema. One day he realized that he was helping set up ladders across crevasses 2,000 feet above base camp … without even the slightest symptoms of altitude sickness. He made sure that he drank plenty of Vitalyte and finally backed off at 20,000 feet, the highest he had ever climbed by over 4,000 feet! Others who began to exhibit symptoms of a.m.s. were promptly “dosed” with Vitalyte and all recovered quickly.
Avoid altitude sickness and dehydration so you can enjoy your outdoor activities more; stay hydrated with VITALYTE!
Posted by Jo Gookin on August 21st, 2014
After running for months and biking with my brother regularly, I decided to learn swimming. I was never enrolled in any type of swimming classes during my childhood years so I had to start from scratch- learning how to generally move around in the water. I signed up for some classes and after 4 or 5 weeks of instruction, I decided to join a Masters class. I was in for a rude awakening. The Masters course included swimming more than 2000 yards a day, sometimes even 4000 yards. For me it was a test of both mental and physical resilience. I was in shape, but I was barely able to keep up. I basically took over the slow lane and chugged along as much as I could, most days completing about 90% of the workout. The coach helped me along the way and encouraged me to just do as much as I can and a little bit more, and to “stay hydrated to avoid cramps!” I always brought along a bottle of Vitalyte to make sure I was achieving optimal hydration. At some point in my training things clicked. It wasn’t necessarily that I became faster or had more endurance, but I knew I could do it. I just knew that with enough training, I could eventually swim longer distances, do faster sprints, and learn how to stay calm and breathe efficiently.
It felt really great each time I stepped into the pool and since then swimming has become my favorite activity. I realized I needed a goal to utilize my new-found mental strength to a maximum. I’m naturally competitive but there weren’t too many swimming races for adults so after some searching, I found my true calling – A sprint triathlon. I started biking again and running. I worked out wherever I could and was doing three swims, two bike rides and one to two runs per week. Soon enough, the day came for the Tri. On July 27th 2014, I completed in the Sprint event of the Miami Huntington’s Disease Triathlon. The swimming portion was in open water, which I hadn’t practiced much. I started at a fast pace within my group, easily getting ahead, but at some point my goggles were fogged and I was having trouble seeing. I looked up and realized how far I was from the shore and started panicking. I turned on my back and reverted back to those days in the pool and my place of zen I had visited so many times during the swim. Then I calmed down and started moving ahead. In less than 10 minutes I made it to the shore with the biggest sense of accomplishment even though I still had the bike and the run left!
The bike ride was out of this world, absolutely enjoyable. We had barely any wind so I was pushing hard averaging about 20 mph; this was surely the most fun part of the race. Both my water bottles were filled with Vitalyte Electrolyte Replacement, this helped me stay hydrated. I finished both of them before getting back to the transition area. My transitions were great and having my family and friends around really encouraged me to be just a bit faster and giving it my all. Last was the run, I was running on fumes at this point but I kept telling myself, “just a little bit more!”
Before I knew it, I reached the finish line and was overcome by a sense of joy and relief. I had done it! I had officially become a triathlete! I joined my friends and family and we cheered on the athletes coming in after me. What an experience! And the best part was yet to come – my name was called during the awards! As it turns out, I had come in fourth place out of my group! I can’t wait for the next race.