Coffeechug #Superbetter Journey Begins

This post is more of a confessional.

For the past year I have been struggling. Struggling to develop a focus. Struggling to take care of my mind and body with proper exercise and nutrition. Struggling with body image and confidence. Struggling to be happy with who I am.

I have not been depressed, but I just have not felt good about myself. It is something that has not stopped me from doing things, but has stopped me from taking things to the next level of high quality work. It has stopped me from getting things done, organizing my thoughts, work, and office. It has stopped me from going after my goals that have sat on a shelf.

I am going public to declare that today it stops.

I just finished reading the book SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal  which has been one of the most powerful reads for me personally this year. A review of the book is coming shortly, but the book came at the perfect moment in my life where her research and message connected with me at a deep level. This book is a book we should all read because everyone can gain something from this book no matter who you are, your age, or what you do.

This book has helped me map out a plan to make myself SuperBetter. It is going to help me take care of myself and reach the goals I have not achieved yet. I have many layers to the quests and epic wins I plan on going after, but the first thing is simply fitness.

I have started and stopped my exercise routine more times than I care to count. It was three years ago that I was taking this big framed body and running sub 20 5K’s, a PR of a half marathon of 1:38, and knocking out two half ironmans. Times have changed. I don’t have 20-30 hours to devote to training because I have more things on my plate(which I love and don’t want to give up), but that does not mean I cannot get back to a state where I am back in shape, running faster, and racing again.

I started off with a marathon training group, but three weeks ago I stopped running while working on the patio. One excuse lead to another until I was back out of shape again. Seriously, look at my running for the month of July!

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Today I am giving a laser focus to develop my fitness habits again. After reading SuperBetter and understanding mechanics of the games and how to infuse them into our lives I have taken the first step to get started.

First, I am declaring my goals here publicly. I used to post all workouts. I am not going to do this because nobody cares, but I will be sharing my SuperBetter journey as I work on all aspects of my life.

Second, I developed my training plan to get myself back on track. I had to move my sights to another marathon to give myself proper time to train, but I am not giving up.

Third, I found an app called SquadRunner where I have created a team to battle against other teams in running. I have added a social element to my training to help me stay accountable. I want to beat the other teams and I don’t want to let my teammates down so this will help keep things exciting in a game like format.

Fourth, I will be creating a podcast sharing my journey backed with research. The title I have is, Inside The Mind of Coffeechug As He Battles The Quest of Life. This podcast will infuse my reading, research, projects, guests, and more as I work to hit my goals in life.

Fifth, I am actually excited to make this all work. The last few times it has felt forced and not fun.

Here is my declaration. It is time to make it happen. I am bringing back my mantra, Get It Done! Once I develop this first layer of exercise and nutrition, then I move to the next phases which are even bigger in scope for me.

I hope you follow my journey and create your own. In the meantime, check out SuperBetter, preorder the book, and get ready to make your life better.

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Coffeechug Fitness Challenge: June 2015

Are You Ready?

I have operated a small Facebook group called Coffeechug Fitness Challenge for the last year. The goal of the group is to share what you are doing to say healthy and use the collective power of the group to keep you motivated. It is not a competition against others, but instead using others to help you compete with yourself.

Last June we ran a monthly competition that worked out really well.

This June we are launching a new one and just want to extend the invite to anyone who needs a positive support group to make it happen.

Here it is! The June Challenge.

You choose – minutes or miles.

You choose your goal.

Let the community help you stay motivated and hit those goals.

To join you will have to ask to join by hitting the button on Facebook

I will approve you. You will see a post from today leading to a spreadsheet to type in your goals and start charting your work.

While there go ahead and introduce yourself, share a favorite recipe, training tip, etc.

We hope to help you as much as you help us!

Every few days I will share pieces of information to help you stay motivated. I am ready, are you?

If you need help on your mindset, check this out!


Learn about Perception is Reality: Live It to Get It Done


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January Goals: Week 1 Update


Over in the sidebar I have my three goals for January posted. I realize now that perhaps they were not the best, but they are what they are and therefore I must reach these small milestones to reach my bigger goals for 2015.

This week I have been workout out more. I am signed up for three triathlons this summer and after two years off I am grinding back to fitness. I have a goal of dropping 5 lbs this month. This is a small number, but I I know from past failures that if I go too big I burn out.

Since January 1st, I dropped 2.4 lbs. It is 1% of my bodyweight. I tipped the scale at the heaviest I have ever been at 243.6 OUCH! So far, I have over 120 miles logged between running and bike. I have 8 days of workouts with days of rest and core workout. This brings me down to 241.0. This time last year I was working towards similar goals and weighed in at 237.4 Obviously, I did not reach desired results last year!

Eating has been the challenge. I eat good from morning until dinner. Then I go crazy and keep eating. Not bad food, but more than I need. I am slowly working on adapting, but too much change too quickly always backfires.

Sphero Workshop goal is moving forward. I have a session at a conference on the 19th where I will be testing out some new ideas to see where I should move accordingly for a full day workshop. I have drafted many new ideas in my notebook, but will be taking the next two weeks to build, design, and experiment to finalize plans.

Last, the 2014 lists are done. I have a few more to publish if I wish, but I have studied more data on my work this past year than ever before. It has really opened my eyes to develop a clearer purpose and clarity to what I share.

I have found my logbook idea working really well with keeping things in check. I am using some new online tools for my training that are working well. I have a list of some new things to try next week and will let you know how it goes.

Until next Sunday…..

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Journey of a Growth Mindset

Earlier this week I shared a video after a race I completed with a promise to share with you the actual revelation and journey from trying to sabotage my own goals myself to flipping the switch to believing


Perception is Reality: Live It to Get It Done


Today I want to share with you that video of my journey. This has been one of the biggest insights to hit me in a long time. I really had to come to terms with many things personally after discovering some things of my own. I hope this video inspires you to challenge your areas of fixed mindset.

Remember, Perception is reality. Live it to Get it done!


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Coffeechug Fitness Challenge Begins November 3rd

Today it begins. A 24 day challenge where my goal is to drop a turkey. You can read all about it here and feel free to join us!

What is great about this group is that everyone is doing things a bit different, but the goal of building good habits and making a change for the better is the same.

I shared this with the group yesterday

As we begin our journey tomorrow I will be doing a daily reflection using the following method


Steps I took today to achieve the goal______

Is this enough? Yes or No

Remember success is not a destination, it is a journey. It’s the direction in which you are traveling.

Be sure to snag you baseline measures for whatever you are charting whether it be weight, body fat %, measurements of body parts, etc. Mark those down so you can compare after 24 days!

This past week I started my goals of fitness for triathlons. I did not hit every goal, but I would say it was a good week. I was able to get in 6 miles of running, 20 miles on the bike, and 1000 yards swimming. I missed out on one 5 mile run and a 15 mile bike ride.

I forgot how much I love swimming. I forgot how much I love watching documentaries while biking(Sound City is great so far!)

I am not beating myself up about it because it is better than where I was doing NOTHING.

The goal this week is to hold myself accountable by using the simple checklist mentioned above. I am also working on eating healthy.

I mapped out my training using my old school system that works

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I am also doing the AdvoCare 24 Day challenge. Here are some resources





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Drop a Turkey in November: Coffeechug Fitness Challenge

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I have not posted about fitness on my website since June. It was one of the things that I removed when I decluttered my website. However, I have found myself lacking in exercise, motivation, and healthy eating. I went back and reflected on what kept me going. Like much of what I do, it comes to sharing. I am bringing back fitness posts in hopes of sharing my story to help others and make others feel like they have a place to work on their own health goals.

I will be posting my journey back into shape. Tomorrow I am going to be opening up with a real honest look at where I am and where I want to be. I am nervous to share. It is something we like to keep private, but maybe it will help others see that you are not alone.

Before I begin I have decided to put together a fitness challenge. I have a fitness group on Facebook where we were coming up with monthly challenges to stay focused and help one another. The group has been dormant for a while and it is time to bring it back!

I am kicking off a new 24 day challenge. I am going to be using AdvoCare 24 day Challenge kit and I would love for you to join me.

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So here is the deal for the next challenge. My goal is to drop a turkey! An average turkey is around 15 lbs. Starting November 3rd I am going to do the Advocare 24 day challenge. This will help me jumpstart my habits back into triathlon training and healthier choices. You don’t have to do the Advocare 24 day challenge, but you can still be part of this challenge.

Start Date: November 3rd
End Date: November 26th

How much excess “stuff” can you drop before the holidays? Yes, Thanksgiving is part of this challenge on purpose!

Are you interested? If so, then follow the steps below.

If you want to do the Advocare Challenge DM and I can send you the info, but I think almost all of you already are members so you probably don’t need the help.

Start thinking now. Start mentally preparing to get back on track!

Step 1: Join our FB group Come join our group over on Facebook. We have a private group for just fitness goals and sharing. Make sure you let me know who you are so I don’t deny you!

Step 2: If you are interested in using the AdvoCare 24 day product bundle I can order it for you or you can order yourself. It needs to be ordered by October 28th in order to receive it in time! Use my name as the distributor that you know(Aaron Maurer from Iowa) and you are good to go. You don’t need to buy it and I am not trying to sell you anything. My wife does not use it, but will do the challenge and follow the eating guide. I use it because I need the support and reminders which the supplements and drinks do a great job keeping me on track. It is up to you. I just want you to have the opportunity. Additionally, it does cost some money which also motivates me to not mess up because my money would be wasted. I find it to be a great source of motivation to keep me going.

Step 3: On November 3rd or a day or two before you need to measure yourself so you have a baseline established.

Step 4: November 3rd – November 26th we help each other. We share recipes, we motivate one another, we share what we are doing for health. It is not a competition, but a group of people wanting to help and we do that by sharing!

Step 5: November 26th – we share our results and if we met our goals

Step 6: November 27th – we take a day to indulge before getting back on track with the next challenge!


Are you ready? Join us and let us help each other help ourselves. I have found the power in changing habits lies in having people going along with you on the journey. Join us and let’s make it happen!



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Back in the Saddle Again – QC Tri Race Recap

It has been two years since I have raced a triathlon and worked to get back into shape. I have a long way to go to where I want to be, but the QC Tri was a great checkpoint to gauge where I am at fitness wise.

Two years ago I made my sprint triathlon debut at the QC Tri. I had one triathlon under my belt at that time in 2012. As I have shared many times on this blog after a bit of a health scare last year I fell off the training system and for 1.5 years did close to nothing in terms of taking care of my health and body. I was in a rut.

A few months ago I started back into training. It has been a long process and a hard balance. It is hard because I know where I once was and often think where I could be. It is hard because knocking the rust of the body and preparing for it to perform at high levels takes a great deal of commitment(something that still needs a lot of work). It is hard because I have a wife and three kids and have to be careful not to neglect them in all the pursuits that I have.

Summertime is great to shift gears. I can somewhat put the education pursuits aside, clear my mind and focus on other things like triathlons. I find it very important to step back from education and let the brain just forget it all and see the world in a new lens for a few weeks. I still have to be pursuing something because that is just who I am so training for races allows me to keep that boundary pushing aspect in check.

Heading back to the reflection of the race I will admit that this was probably the most nervous I have been. I slept terrible the night before only getting about 2.5 hours of sleep. I was hit with a major head cold that is still hitting me hard as I type this. I could not breathe, could not fall asleep, so I was getting mad and next you know it was time to get up and prepare.

I packed everything that I thought I needed. It was weird trying to remember routine. I ate my same old chocolate chip waffles, had my coffee, and double checked all supplies. I made my way towards West Lake around 4:30 to make sure I could park within the park.


I found my spot and worked to get everything set up and ready to go. I really wanted to swim because I had not done any open water swimming since my Pigman 70.3 in August of 2012. They were a bit behind schedule with the swim so I headed out for a run, made a few pit stops while scoping the scene and just tried to relax my mind and body.

What I love about races is the community. It was so great to see so many people who I have not seen in a long time. This helped to put my mind at ease.

After a mile run, stretching, and final nourishment, I attempted to put my wetsuit on. Let me just say this was a bit snug being that I am 25+ lbs overweight. I did add a few snags to the suit, but was able to get it on and swim a bit before the race. It felt good to be in the open water again.

Finally race time

Swim – 600 yards

In 2012 I swam this race in 9:29. My goal this year was to be under 10:30. I have been doing a few swims a week. Nothing too major, but pushing hard on intervals so I figured at this distance I would be okay if I could stay relaxed. I ended up swimming 9:54 so just 25 second slower than when I was cut, in prime shape, and killing the training.

I was very happy with this time. I was surprised to be honest. I though this would be weak for me. I had to stop two times for people swimming the completely wrong way. I forgot about how hard it is to swim straight and navigate the people. I got stuck on the turnaround as people were everywhere and I spent at least 30 seconds doing more of a wade stroke to find a place to swim again.

I felt good coming out of the water. Typically I cramp when I get out of the water. This did not help. Thanks Phil for the picture.

10479149_868548836492611_5612182348244559180_n(1)Reading my reflection from 2012 I remembered not to take my goggles off until my arms were out of my wetsuit.


Things went smooth. Suit came off and I was off. As I ran to the mount my bike I was feeling really good.



Right away I slipped on my pedals and crammed my goodies on the mainframe of my bike. I was in shock and just sat there. I was feeling so stupid. I finally got clipped in and headed out. I wanted to get relaxed and in good flow so I could take my nutrients. Being a short race it is probably not needed as much, but I need to practice nutrition because for the 70.3 I need to consume more after hitting walls back in 2012.

I felt great on the bike. I was cruising and riding out was great! I was cruising at a wonderful pace and much faster than I thought. I was not sure I could average 20+ mph being that only have a few rides under my belt. This has been the one aspect I have not trained very much and am mad at myself because this is also my strength of the three disciplines.

In 2012 I completed the course in 38:12 for a 23.6 pace. This time I was 41:58 for 21.4 pace. Not too bad, but it makes me mad because if I could pull this off with my little bike training where could I have been?

Riding back sucked. The wind was tough and a couple hills killed my legs. I had to just drive and learn to fight through. I passed a ton of people and was only passed once on the bike.



Was smooth and easy. I actually had the exact same time as 2012. Slipped my Newton shoes on and headed out with jelly legs.



I was a bit nervous for this because my right hamstring was tight on the bike and was tightening up during the run. I was not sure how to push for the run. I have learned the hard way not to push too hard early on because when you bonk that is it and you don’t recover.

I tried to keep it easy, but the beginning course is grass, rocks, trails and little hills so it is not easy for me. I ran 7:36 the first mile and felt good so I decided to pick up the pace a bit more. The second mile I was 7:06 or right around there and still was feeling good. I decided to kick it into high gear. I thought I was flying, but really I wasn’t and ran a 7:16 or something like that. I finished in 23:09 for a 7:29 pace. I finished and was mad because I was not that tired afterwards which told me I should have pushed harder on the run. In 2012 I ran 20:34 for a 6:37 pace.


I finished in 1:18:32. Not too bad. I was about 7 minutes slower than two years ago so I have some work to do. This week I need to add some endurance runs and rides along with sprint workouts. It is a checkpoint. I knew I would not be amazing. I was satisfied with the results. Looking at the pictures I have some serious weight to drop to get to race weight and optimal conditions for future races. It is good to look at the good and the bad. The good is that I loved it. It felt so good to challenge my mind and body and to see where I was fitness wise two months ago and where I am right now. I have to remember that two years ago I was training all the time and Amanda is great at reminding me that I was doing nothing but training. I need to work to find balances. It has been helpful getting up at 4 am so I can get 2-3 hours of training in before any wakes up now that my kids are a bit older and sleep in a bit longer.

Today(one day after) my body is very sore. I was not sore at all yesterday, but today my body is sore. I am also battling a serious cold that is not helping the recovery. I have not felt this bad in a long time. Hopefully I can kick both elements of sickness and fatigue to get out for some serious training Monday – Thursday before I leave for Dave Matthews concerts this weekend. I have to get four days of quality training in.

It feels good to be back! Now off to the next checkpoint. Another tri race? Bix7? Time to make a decision.

Thank you to everyone who was there cheering and supporting. What a great group of people. LiveUncommon was everywhere and it is so good to see so many out doing great things. Thanks to Phil for taking pictures. All the support does not go unnoticed.

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Coffeechug Fitness Challenge Approaches! Time To Get Serious

On Monday of this week I launched the Coffeechug Fitness Challenge. The goal is to connect people to help each other strive to meet their goals for fitness, health, and lifestyle.

Since the launch we have about 16 people signed up and ready to go. There are others who are sitting back a bit to see what happens.

Regardless, I am excited that others are ready to give this a shot.

June 1st starts the group challenge where I have challenged everyone to get in at least 100 miles in the month of June. I don’t care if you run or walk. I don’t care if you use a pedometer and count all steps or count only workouts. You make it what you need to make in order for you to be successful.

We have a group on Facebook where I just posted two documents to track our mileage each day/week and another to track our weight gains and losses.

If you choose to keep your weight private to only yourself that is perfectly fine. Knowing myself I need to hold myself accountable and the only thing that works is to go public. On Monday I weighed myself and this was my result.

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I cropped my feet out because they are nasty. The numbers are not much more pleasant. I have a few weeks until the QC Triathlon and currently I come nowhere close to fitting into my wetsuit let alone be in shape for the race. I have some serious work to do, but it will be good to take my mind away from education and bit and work on developing some good habits of health again.

Before June 1st arrives I have two suggestions for you.

1. Start moving now and prepare the body for what you are about to do.

2. Take pictures of yourself. You don’t need to share, but what I have found to be the most influential is the look of my body. When I drop five pounds I might not feel any different, but my body will look different. Visualizations are key. Stand in that mirror and snap some selfies of your body and store them somewhere hidden and delete off your phone. Use them as a reminder on the days you don’t want to eat healthy or the days you don’t want to train/exercise.

Sunday, June 1st will be here before you know. Get signed up, create your goals, and lets kick some serious butt!

We must work our bodies so we can work out minds. I look forward to watching us hit our goals!

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Coffeechug Fitness Challenge – Are You Ready?

I have been at both extremes of health and fitness. A few years ago I was in the best shape of my life, but it consumed my every waking moment and I neglected many other important aspects of life. Right after that I had a minor health scare that put these neglected aspects of my life to the forefront. The last year I have been bounced around in many other endeavors, but have continued to neglect the health and fitness part of my life.


This is something for me to help me find that balance. I actually don’t believe that balance is real and tangible, but it is worthwhile to pursue. I want to get back to feeling good about my health, fitness, and body while still striving to live life to the fullest and have fun with family and friends.

This group and challenge is my attempt to do just that and hopefully inspire others to join along and make it happen. I have found that without a support group and feeling responsible to something more than my own being that I flounder. Together we can help each other all achieve what we want to conquer.

Here is how it works

Start Date: June 1st, 2014

You have until June 1st to get ready both mentally and physically. I don’t want to get all preachy and sound like an educator, but it is time to develop some SMART goals(as much as we cringe when we see SMART they do work!). Instead of developing a goal that takes all year to tackle to only end up feeling like a failure, I am shaking it up with this challenge by developing small monthly chunks of planning and focus.

You need to set one goal for the month of June. This is a goal that by June 30th you can either check off yes or no to the goal.

Now, some of you might have a long term goal that goes beyond June. That is fine. What you need to do is chunk the goal into smaller blocks. Look at your long goal and create a June checkpoint. For me, I have two long term goals.

1. I would like to fit into my dress pants that I was not able to wear one day to school this year due to them not making pass my knees.

2. Complete a sub 5 hour Pigman Long Triathlon

You don’t need a long term goal. What you MUST have is a June goal. Pick a goal. I don’t care what you are trying to achieve, but it must be measurable and something that you can figure out at the end of June if you made it or not. For some of you might this goal might be weight loss, some might be fat %, some might be a Crossfit goal, a lifting goal, eating clean goal, etc. This is where you assess yourself and what you want to accomplish. The only rule is that you will be required to post your goal for all to see that sign up for the challenge so we can help hold each other accountable.

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Additionally, it is important that everyone has something in common that we are trying to achieve. I cannot speak for everyone, but dropping a few pounds of weight in general or body fat % is something that I think is important. Some of you who don’t need the weight loss it might be more to maintain or to tone. Regardless, there will be a group goal of tracking our weight loss. You do not have to share your weight if you are not comfortable(which would be a sign that you are not happy with that number!), but I would like for you to track with the group weekly weight losses.

Monthly Challenges

Each month I will be posting weekly, biweekly, or monthly challenges to add to your personal challenges so we have something in common. Some will be fitness challenges, some will be eating challenges, mental challenges, etc. I will try to keep things fresh as we go along.

So for the month of June I have developed one group challenge. The challenge is to run/walk 100 miles in the month of June. That comes out to roughly 3.3 miles a day to make the goal. I don’t care how you get it done, but that is goal. As we work collectively as a group I will have a group goal of total miles to achieve. Some might not reach 100, but others might go over. If the total of the group hits the goal we will have a celebration of some sort. This number will be dependent on the number who join the group. Miles can be ran or walked. Grab your pedometers, your favorite apps, or a manual clicker and start keeping track. This will force us to get moving and be active. More important than the miles it will require all of us to become aware of our current habits and see what we need to change. We will do this challenge in June before it gets too hot.

Not every challenge will be exercise focused. If you have great ideas I would love to eventually hand off the challenges to members of the group to run. For those that know me I love crowdsourcing so I treat everyone as a leader of the group. The more diverse and fun we make things the more we benefit.

At the end of the month I think it is important to party and celebrate. So depending on people and locations we will put together a gathering for us to get together and have fun before we embark on the July challenge. This is not all serious all the time. Remember the key is to strive for balance. We will work on this as people sign up.

How Do I Join?

Sound good? I hope so.

1. The first step is to fill out the registration form to join the group!

2. Join our Facebook Group Page:

Once I accept go ahead and say hi and start connecting. I hope to get a diverse group of people of prior friends and hopefully new friendships will develop.

3. Once you are signed up I will share out some Google Docs that are closed to only members. This is where we will track our numbers and hold each other accountable. This info is not public. It will be based on the honor system of telling the truth and respecting each other and our goals.

4. Here is our Pinterest Board to Share Ideas, Recipes, etc. I will add you to the board when you sign up

Once you are added you can add anything that you think we could all benefit from.

What’s next?

Go ahead and sign up.

If you have questions or ideas reach out to me on FB, Twitter, email, or in person.

I have some more information coming out as people sign up.

Let’s make this happen! Spread the word and let us all benefit.

As Jay Z proclaims

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