The Write Fit, A blog about fitness and beyond, Blog 1

The idea of doing a fast or a cleanse never appealed to me.  Deprive myself of all the foods I love, why?  I live a healthy lifestyle, eat nutritious food, do tons of cardio and strength train 5 to 6 days a week, I’m just fine, thank you.  But you know what?  In January, with a New Year in front of me, I began to examine my “healthy lifestyle” a little more closely.  Because, despite my “healthy” eating and exercise, I felt sluggish, tired and old.  Yes, 50s approaching.  I can see it looming on the horizon like the sun before it sets, but I couldn’t blame how I felt just on age, I wouldn’t. 

When I took a step back I realized there were things I was doing that might not be all that healthy.  First, I was eating a lot of prepared foods and yes, they were pricey and from a nice market, but who knows how healthy they really were.  And, wow, was I eating a lot!  In my attempt to never be hungry or full (my former moto!), I ate often, even when I wasn’t hungry in fear that I would feel hunger or in preparation for a workout.  And as far as cardio goes, yes I was doing a lot, but was I really pushing myself as hard as I could, often enough?

I decided I needed to make some changes.  But diet?  No, all my experience and education told me that wasn’t the right answer.  A friend and Isagenix (a nutritional supplement company) expert had been suggesting a cleanse for months.  Not for me, I kept saying.  And then, one day, it was.  I decided to do an 11-day cleanse.  This meant 2 days of 2 Isagenix protein shakes (24 grams of protein) and a small, healthy 400-600 calorie meal of lean protein and vegetables.  Then 2 days of cleansing.  Isagenix has a product called Cleanse for Life that you mix with water every 4 hours on cleanse days.  In between your Cleanse for Life drinks you have Isagenix “snacks”—a nickel sized wafer or Isageniix Chocolate Delight—both of which you melt in your mouth so you don’t activate your digestive system.  Then you do another 5 days of 2 shakes and a healthy meal followed by 2 final days of cleansing. 

I was challenged to find the “right” 11 days to do my cleanse given my exercise schedule.  Once I scheduled it and ordered my Isagenix products, it was time to get organized.  When would I have my healthy meals?  For lunch or for dinner and what would they be?  I went to Trader Joes, planned meals for my shake days and then announced to the entire Body By X database (over 400 people) via our newsletter, that I would be doing a cleanse.  And then I did it!

It wasn’t easy.  The fact that I told so many people what I was doing helped me stick to the program.  And the fact that I felt better after Day 1 also helped.  I had challenges; I couldn’t workout as hard as usual, I was a little irritable and my final cleanse day was spent at a Superbowl party!  I was relieved that my blood sugar never dropped and that I was able to workout at all.

What happened next?  I lost 9 lbs., feel less tired, slugglish and old.  People have said “your skin looks great” and perhaps, most importantly, I have a new relationship with food and more discipline.

I eat when I start to feel hungry—not when I think I should eat or I’m stressed.  I eat more slowly, relishing every bite.  I have a renewed passion for cooking and preparing foods myself using truly, healthy ingredients. I’m pushing myself harder in half of my workouts making them truly high intensity.  I’m not saying I eat perfectly everyday, I’ve read some really interesting research about treating yourself to things that I’ll share soon.  The biggest thing that’s changed is that I’m being a whole lot more honest with myself!



Coaching and parenting are similar. It’s not that one is more important, well, obviously parenting is more important, but in my own experience as a father and a coach the two roles are virtually synonymous, especially in the areas of boundary setting and character building.

Boundaries are critical to a child’s development whether eating dinner, playing with friends or on the field. Children are far more successful when they understand the boundaries in any given situation. Coaches, like parents, need to provide an environment where children can grow, one that allows them to feel safe, an environment with rules and boundaries.One of the most important ways to create a safe, enriching environment is to be consistent! Whatever rules or boundaries are set, they must be reinforced time and again. If not, the child won’t know what the limits are, and if he doesn’t know the limits he can’t be successful.

Children who are coached and parented with consistent boundaries begin to hold themselves accountable. What happens in that kind of environent is that children begin to police themselves.

The very first thing I do as a coach is set parameters. For example, I will say: Here’s a box. If you go outside the box, the consequence will be that you need to run a lap. As long as you stay in the box, everything will be great. If you step outside the box, you run a lap, whether it’s the first time you step out of the box or the 30th time.

To ensure that children understand the parameters, I always ask them to repeat them back to me. There is something about hearing themselves say it that makes the boundary more real to them. It also ensures that there is an understanding between us–an agreement, a contract, a promise.


Hello All, and welcome back to another edition of X on Fitness!

As we discussed about Coaching and Parenting Coaching & Parenting earlier, now we shall discuss about the 4 Ls:Look, Listen, Learn and Love. I want to explain the link these words have to training, and the bond they can create between you, your athletes and your children.

Let’s begin with Look. Children need to be able to take an honest look at themselves. They need to judge their strengths and weaknesses in order to improve, whether in sports, education or relationships. Being self-critical in a positive way is vital to a child’s development as an athlete.

Next is Listen. After a self-critical look, a child needs to listen to the coach to learn ways s to improve. This is not always easy. Many children are unable to hear constructive criticism. They would rather stop doing something they don t feel they are good at. This is where a skilled coach can be a tremendous asset. As a coach, I expect children to listen to me, but I also listen to them. There is mutual respect as we work together to make them better athletes.

The next L is Learn. After looking and listening, a child needs to analyze the information he has acquired. This is a real challenge for kids to do by themselves. Again, this is where the coach plays a huge role. Do I want to give kids all the answers? No, they don’t learn from that and they don’t develop from that. What I do as a coach is ask children the right questions and then allow them to find their own answer. It’s a real skill to be able to ask the right questions and have the patience to watch children discover answers by themselves. I encourage children to view themselves in a way that is positive and promotes growth from within. My goal is to use a child’s passion for sports as a way to help him learn to improve in all aspects of life. I want to build people of character out of these young men and women, not just athletes.

The 4th L is Love, love of the game and love of the sport. A passion makes all the hard work seem less like work. So love, I tell both my athletes and my own children. Love what you are doing, be passionate about it. And remember each of the 4 Ls: Look, listen, learn and Love.


From and

Body By X, an all-inclusive Marin fitness facility, has reinvented the kids’ sports camp model.

The mini-camps are four-day, three-night intensive tennis and basketball retreats for children that stress a spectrum of aspects of athletic ability, not just repetitive drills. The mini-camps allow children to work on skill building, conditioning, nutrition, sports psychology, injury prevention, and sportsmanship.

The camps are in June, July and August, and registration is now open. Please check our Mini Camps for Kids by X for additional detail and more photographs of the kids.


There are many obstacles to the dual role of parent-coach. Parents worry they will favor their own child. Other children on the team have concerns that the coach’s son or daughter will get more playing time or be shown favoritism in other ways. The child of the parent-coach has her own concerns. How will having my Mom or Dad as coach make thing different for me?

The first time a parent-coach critiques his own child, everyone watches the reaction of the parent-coach child. Most of the time the child reacts negatively, feeling as though she is being chastised in front of her peers more critically. How you address your child’s reaction is critical to the future success of your experience as a parent-coach and to your relationship with your child. This can be an opportunity to strengthen and build your relationship with your child. Most importantly, the parent-coach must communicate to their child that they are treating them in the same way as everyone else on the team. The way to do this is to be consistent. I always say that coaching is like parenting. And one of the things I think is so vital in parenting is consistency. If your child sees that you’re consistent with parameters and boundaries and how you discipline, they will begin to see that it isn’t just about them.

As a parent-coach you have an opportunity to create an even deeper relationship with your own child. I have a good example: One day my stepson said to his mom, Sometimes it feels like when we leave the gym the coaching doesn’t stop and Xavier continues to coach me in the car on the way home. . . . and at the breakfast table or in the car on the way to school. I told my stepson how fortunate we were to have the opportunity to delve deeper into the sport in question so he could get an even greater depth of knowledge about what he was doing, what we were trying to do as a team and what the other players were doing. This is something a parent-coach can share with her own child to help her learn from other kid’s mistakes, from her own mistakes, from her parent’s mistakes. It’s invaluable.

Coaching your own child is a difficult challenge. It can put a lot of stress on the parent-child relationship as well as the coaching-child relationship. It requires a delicate balance and some critical thinking form all parties, with the parent taking the lead. I happen to be a very lucky stepfather. The opportunity to coach my stepson’s team has not only improved and strengthened our relationship, it has improved his knowledge and respect for the game of basketball.