Getting Savage

Between January 27 and December 27 last year I worked out close to 200 days. From December 27 until I moved to San Diego on February 5 I worked out about 10 days. 

As I reflected in a blog post recapping my trip around the world in 2012, fitness was probably my most significant accomplishment over the year. Not long after stepping foot on California soil, though, I took a planned break. Just…taking it easy.

Over that time I lost considerable strength and muscle definition, not to mention I was, well, I’ll just say not taking the absolute best care of myself over that time.

Despite the month of low activity I wasn’t about to let all that progress slip away. So after five days in San Diego I started the new fitness regimen, and this time with a new workout partner, best friend and new roommate on WAWONA, Lindsay Barto.

==> Time to get savage.

Using You Are Your Own Gym over the past year and a half I’d worked up to Chief Class for “elite” fitness levels (according to the book), of which I completed two 10-week cycles. However, in part because of the inactivity and loss of strength, and in part to start back on the same level with Lindsay (he’s not been on Your Gym), we dialed it back to 1st Class for “intermediate” fitness levels. We figured we’d start slow, build a strong foundation and work up.

It’s ridiculous how easy it is to maintain a workout routine when you’re not traveling around the world living out of a backpack.

Although the first two weeks were tough – harder to do fewer reps of easier exercises – it’s come back pretty quick. The muscle memory didn’t go far; and with all the extras (see below), and having cut alcohol and substances out of my system completely, the body is back in beast mode. 05:45 Roll Call. Daily.

On top of Your Gym training, we tally up extras: really anything that constitutes a significant exercise.

  • The Pull-Up Challenge: the Wawona Pack – Lindsay, me and our third roommate, Downtown Nate Browne – have all signed up for the Thursday Pull-Up Challenge. Every Thursday you post up your best number. Improve every week. Easy to start, harder to finish. Downtown is leading with 18 as of week 4.
  • Extra abdominal workouts: shredding abs on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • Cycling: to and from the Round2 studio in downtown SD. 4.5 miles one way. Two days a week. SCREAMING: OOONN YOUR LEEEFFFTT, OUTSIDE OUTSIDE!! Walkers and leisurely cyclists diving for cover. We might need to dial these down slightly.
  • Surfing: Well. I’m not much of a surfer. Yet. Few sports have I walked away from frustrated at the end of a session. Except golf, obviously (still holding Most Professional Practice Swing, thank you Nick CLAGHORN). After getting pounded last weekend I’m resolved to step up my surf game. You might think you’re pretty tough, until you’re paddling with all you’ve got, going backwards.
  • Running: Not too many of these yet but earlier this week smashed out a 4.6 miler with surprisingly little trouble – AFTER leg day that same morning. MEAT PISTONS, BABY.
  • Athletics: So much here. I want to play…golf, football, softball, racquetball and lots of others. Played a round of golf and some racquetball so far down here…but most of all I want to SKI. In December and January, in Lake Tahoe and China Peak, I had a few days that reminded me: this is why I ski. Like I was about to burst inside.

So that’s fitness right now.


Sometimes you have to do the things you don’t necessarily want to do, so that you can do the things you want to do. For me that’s going to be not skiing much this year, and probably other things as well. Some people might think that sounds absurd from a man who just traveled around the world for 11 months.

I don’t.

Because I’m not complaining about shit. I’ve said it before: this year is going to be the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life, and that includes fitness. We’re going to get jacked out of our faces.

Putting in WORK.

So that I can live my life the way I want to live it, the way I have to live it. Because life is too short to have bad days, and to spend time doing things I don’t love doing.

Are you feeling that? 

I spoke yesterday with Scott Christie and with Ashley Ambirge. They are feeling that. I promise.

And I just got off the phone with Mike Wheeler, who I hadn’t spoken with in over a year, but who every time I talk to I’m as fired up as any time in my life, ever.

Here’s what I know:

I can do this. I am going to do this.

And if it matters to you, do it too.

3 Replies to “Getting Savage”

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