Team I CAN’s next race will be at http://vineyardrun.com/, on this Saturday 10/1/11. Its a great 5k fun run and the weather is always perfect (at least for the last 3 years…..)! Come on out, bring your family, and hang out with me and my family. Look for the guy in the red Team I CAN racing top and you’ll find me.
This past summer I went a little overboard in my racing by competing in a couple of track meets.
I injured my foot after racing in spikes (I hadn’t worn spikes in 14 years). After crashing and burning, I started searching for ways to get healthy once and for all so I could get back to doing what I do best. RUNNING.
I heard that yoga was great for runners in that it could help improve my flexibility as well as improve my core strength. Tight calves were partially to blame for my issues with plantar fasciitis as well weak areas in my core. Which brings us to today’s interview… Joseph Stingley is my yoga instructor.
Joseph was kind enough to take a pause in his busy schedule and allow me to interview him. I asked Joseph for an interview for 2 reasons, 1. He embodies the “I Can” dream and 2. I believe that he can dispell the rumors about yoga and can maybe encourage some other athletes like myself to give yoga a try.
A: Soooo, completely off topic but are you by any chance related to an old white guy that taught English in La Marque, TX in the late 80s…..my 8th English teacher was named Mr. Stingley and you’re the 2ndStingley I’ve ever met in my life.
J: Probably. All people with the last name “Stingley” are related. Our ancestral heritage dates back to the the 1600s – Germany.
A: So Joseph, how’d you get started in yoga? How long have you been active?
J: I was first introduced to Yoga in November 2003. Due to its positive effect on all aspects of my life, my interest blossomed. April 2004 I started teaching 5 classes a week.
A: For those that don’t know, what is yoga? What’s the biggest misconception about yoga? As crazy as it sounds I’ve heard people describe it as devil worship!
J: The best definition I can give for Yoga is: “Controlling the modification of the mind.” I can do this in 3 main ways: 1) with the physical practice of Yoga (asana), 2) the breathe and 3) meditation
The biggest misconception about Yoga I believe is it is a religion. Yoga is not a religion nor has ever been nor will be according to the Yoga tradition. Yoga can be a way of life.
The answer to your second part as some describing Yoga as devil worship relates to individuals not doing enough research on the history of Yoga. As you know Anthony as well as many who know me, my faith is strong in the Christian area. I can’t serve two masters. So, no, Yoga is not a devil worship!
A: Using one word, describe yourself before yoga came into your life and use one word to describe yourself post yoga. It’s okay if they’re the same word.
J: Before Yoga – traditional. Post Yoga – unconventional. Explain – I was no longer adhering to the religious traditions I was raised as a child and adult that were not scriptural based with the main one judging others. Post Yoga has allowed me to look back and take a closer look at the Bible, the teachings of Jesus and my life as a Christian. The two main things I follow now are found in the following:
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ . . . Matthew 22:37-40
A: How has your relationship with Christ benefited you being a yoga instructor?
J: It has given me the opportunity to see individuals from all walks of life (all can be found in a single Yoga class) in a single setting. Many if not all are searching for spiritual enlightenment. My relationship with Christ is giving me an opportunity to show them a side of God that they may have never seen before – loving them right where they are – not trying to change them – just loving them. Most individuals that I see in class will probably not set foot in a church again or never have. I get the opportunity to share Christ with them – sometimes using words.
A: Has yoga helped you in other aspects of your life?
J: Ironically I now walk in greater peace. I have become more spiritually, physically and even financially fit than I have ever been in my life!
A: What are the top 3 things you expect your students to benefit from by doing yoga?
J: I teach Yoga as a way for individuals to eat, exercise, breathe and think properly. You don’t become a Hindu or Buddhist practicing this art, you simply become a good healthy person. And, with a healthy body and a clear mind, one can then serve Christ more efficiently and creatively.
A: So, for the curious interested in yoga, where do they start?
J: Baron Baptiste is my first master Yoga teacher. I have had many since finding him in 2004. However, I always go back to him when it comes to foundations, transformations and beginners. I would suggest they purchase his first book “Journey Into Power.” This is an excellence book for beginners up to the more advance student of Yoga.
A: What’s next for you in the world of yoga?
J: I’m in the process of opening up my own Yoga studio in Dallas the end of October 2011. In simple words, a Yoga studio where my main focus and mission is a safe place for students to explore a relationship with God through Yoga.
A: How you can be reached?
J: I can be reach by the following:
Joseph, thank you very much for your time, I appreciate it. People, if you are in the Dallas area and are interested in giving yoga a try, be sure to check out his class. Later!
You all always hear me always talk about my running experiences and what it means to me in my life. I’ve expressed many times that I understand that everyone doesn’t like to run and that’s okay. The running experiences and successes God allows me to achieve through running give me strength and encouragement to apply those same skills to other aspects of my life.
I had the privilege to interview Brian who has just started training in the sport of all-natural weight lifting. Brian was sharing with me about his weight training which I thought would be a great opportunity to hear a different perspective from someone else who is involved in athletics and reaping the benefits throughout his life.
A: For starters, what is “all-natural” weight lifting? Does it mean you can take supplements just no ‘roids?
B: Good question! The sport of Natural bodybuilding is exactly the same as ‘regular’ bodybuilding except competitors cannot take banned substances including steroids, testosterone, growth hormones and/or illegal fat burners.
Natural competitors must constantly monitor and modify their diets, weight training and cardio to get into shape and this can be considerably harder without the extra ‘help’.
A: How did you get started?
B: Well, actually I’m still getting started. I’m building a foundation of muscle size, density and endurance that will allow me to compete in 2-3 years. My legs need some serious work (Thanks, Genetics!).
I’ve always worked out but when I first moved to Pittsburgh, I needed a hobby to further occupy my time outside of work since I knew no one here! Through trial and error, I’ve found that when I have extra time, I get bored and then I get into trouble!
I met a group of natural bodybuilders at my local gym that got me to understand proper form and how to push to the limits. Fortunately, I also met my (now) fiancé who was involved in the Figure aspect of the sport and she taught me how to manage my diet and cardio. When I met her, I weighted 250+ pounds (>25% body fat) and now I’m around 227 pounds (~15% body fat) with much more muscle density.
A: Since its all-natural how do you manage your diet? Is it difficult? Can this be done with a typical grocery budget or more costly?
B: All competitors will tell you that diet is 50-60% of the challenge in this sport. If you work out but consistently eat pizzas, cookies and other bad foods, you are wasting your time and efforts!
Actually, grocery shopping is easier and cheaper but incredibly BORING. Since we eat the same basic items (chicken, brown rice, salads, sweet potatoes, eggs, and oatmeal) every week, we don’t even have a chance to go down the potato chip or candy aisle!
A: Is this a hobby or something you do full-time?
B: This is a hobby. I work full time with >30% travel but I always find time for a workout, even while on the road!
A: Take us through a typical day and/or week of training?
B: Consistency is the key — I follow this plan every weekday except when I’m on vacation (when I’ll have a few glasses of Pinot Nior!)
6:00am – Wake up, Breakfast (Egg white omelet and oatmeal)
8:00am – Get into work
9:00am – Meal #2 – Chicken breast + Green beans
12:00pm – Meal #3 – Tilapia + Yams
3:00pm – Meal #4 – Protein Shake
5:30pm – Workout (30 min cardio + 1 hr weight training)
7:30pm – Meal #5 – Filet Mignon + Salad w/ Dressing
9:00pm – Snack (Fruit or Cheesestick) + Protein Shake
Rinse and Repeat…
A: How and where do you compete?
B: Again, I’m still building my basic muscle foundation for competing in 2-3 years. My fiancé competed last year in the Figure division (less muscle, more feminine look) and did quite well for her first show!
A: By incorporating this passion of yours into your life what kind of change has it had on your overall life as well those closest to you if any?
B: Due to the bodybuilding lifestyle and my own personal changes, my life is now governed by three principles:
1) Discipline of Diet, Workouts, Cardio and in life (Work, family, etc)
2) Perseverance despite obstacles in the gym (injury) and in life! I no longer allow setbacks at work or at home bother me to the point of giving up.
3) Honesty – It’s so much easier to tell the truth than make up a lie. And cheating on your diet ALWAYS shows up in the mirror.
A: Talk to us about some of the personality traits (i.e. discipline, focus, self control, the “I can” spirit, etc) required to be successful in this sport.
B: I’ve always been relatively successful but only due to natural talent (brains, athleticism, etc) without much discipline. I’ve come to understand that to realize my full potential I needed to refocus on the core principles of Discipline, Perseverance and Honesty.
A: For those interested in getting into this sport, where do they start?
B: Start by enrolling in a local gym less than 5-10 miles from your home (or you won’t go!). Next, do some research on training programs (e.g. bodybuilding.com) and talk to your doctor about an appropriate program to fit your physical needs. Finally, examine your nutrition and do some research on appropriate nutrition programs based on your ‘ideal weight’.
Fundamental Rule: Write EVERYTHING down (e.g. workouts, food intake) and examine them every week for ‘leaks’ (e.g. excess calories, not enough workout intensity).
Brian, thanks for your time and sharing. We wish you nothing but success on the journey to reaching your goal.