2017 can be easily described as the year of the update and finding roots for business. Due to academic and entrepreneurial reasons, I did participate in very many running events. Something that hurt my ego somewhat....but I was committed to updating my credentials AND get a physical office for the services that require a physical setting. Here is my account of the journey of blending academics, entrepreneurship, and the occasional running event. 🙂
January 1, 2017
OKC NYD Blastoff 5k
WHEELER PARK, Okla. - I did this race EARLY in the morning in 2016. One year later, it was quite different doing it in a early afternoon setting (especially with temperature). What would become the theme of the year, it was difficult to train for running performance while trying to build a business and study simultaneously. At least for me it was. Even though it was not my best, it was still something I wanted to do and I'm grateful for the ability to do so. We all should be grateful for our health each and every day. Never take it for granted.
Also - the black eyed peas (which are given at the end of the race) where on point this year! AMAZING!!! 🙂
January 4, 2017
USATF Level 1 Coach
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - In mid-November of 2016 I attended the USA Track & Field (USATF) 2-day workshop in Allen, TX for their Level 1 Coaching certification. I had been studying the material ever since. Upon completion of the workshop, 90 days are given to complete the test online. Shortly after the new year, I decided to get after it and complete the test. Set your mind, keep it set, and take action. You'll be amazed what you can accomplish with hustle (and humility). I literally jumped for joy when I saw I passed my test. On Jan 4th, I officially became Coach Warren.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - In late January, the state of Oklahoma FINALLY passed legislation for a statewide license. It has been a long time coming (You'll notice that's a theme this year too). I was thoroughly excited to have my second degree (Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork) mean something more than what it did prior. The way the state was prior, you had to apply for a license in each city, which became costly. It did have an effect on where I did work. I only worked with this skill set as an occasional side hustle in 1 city because of the old law.
The new law allowed for business to be conducted statewide. This was definitely exciting and I embraced the new opportunity. I graduated with my applicable degree in 2006. It finally turned into something substantial in 2017! Better late than never. 🙂
March 25, 2017
OKC Dodgers CommUNITY Run 5k
CHICKASAW BRICKTOWN BALLPARK, Okla. - This was my second time to participate in a 5k conducted by the OKC Dodgers Foundation. This time they partnered with the OKC Police Athletic League or PAL. Running through Bricktown, Deep Duece, and a portion of the University of Oklahoma's Medical Center Campus is always a great trail. This acted as a bit of study break. I especially liked the finish being inside the ballpark with the finish line itself close to home plate. A great way to spend a cool March morning in downtown Oklahoma City.
April 24, 2017
First Published Article: OK Sports & Fitness Magazine
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Wow, Wow, and WOW! I still get goosebumps on this one. Since late October 2016, I had been in a muscle therapy specialty course called, "Muscle Activation Techniques", also known as, "MAT". I had also been attempting to network with the Oklahoma running community. I was able to connect with the publisher of Oklahoma Sports and Fitness in February and was interested in a piece on MAT.
This was exciting and daunting at the same time, as I was still trying to balance both academics and work. This was a new challenge in due diligence and was so happy I got to finish the piece in time to meet the publication deadline. The week of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, the May/June 2017 issue came out to the public. I grabbed as many copies as I could. 🙂 This was the first time I had written piece published in hard copy form. It was some work but it was such a great feeling of accomplishment after the work was done and the issue was published. 🙂
April 30, 2017
OKC Memorial 5k
DOWNTOWN OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - You guessed it, due to academics and work, I did not train for a half. I opted for the 5k instead...and honestly, barely trained for that distance. This event though, really isn't about PRs. This is a homage to those that lost their lives in the terrorist attack. The Memorial run is the largest fundraiser for the non-profit organization. It is self-sustaining by private donations only. No federal, state, or city funds go to the preservation and maintenance of the memorial. If you have not participated in this event (by volunteering, fundraising, or running), please consider doing so.
May 26, 2017
Found an Office!
NORMAN, Okla. - The biggest challenge to my business this year was finding a proper place to conduct it. I had been used to doing it online so much, that the transition did indeed seem daunting at first. I took nearly a year and half to find the right spot. The adage, "location, location, location" is accurate. Now that I finally had the right spot, the work really began. That "spot" is the Norman Regional Hospital's, "The Health Club". However, due to my further academic demands, I could not go full throttle on the business end. To this day, this is where you can find me for services requiring to meet in person.
Jun 12, 2017
VDOT O2 Distance Running Certification
As a compliment to the USATF Coaching Certification, I wanted to add more knowledge base specifically with endurance racing. I purchased the book "Daniels Running Formula". I went back and forth deciding if I wanted to do the V DOT Distance Running Certification option. The questions are related directly to the book. By the logo above you see that I did opt to take the test. I found this to be a missing link from USATF 1. Though USATF 1 has a well rounded education on all events track & field, it do not get too detailed in one certain event. My interest specifically lies in the endurance events that many people like to participate in (5ks, 10ks, half & full marathons). I was pleased with the information provided in the book. The bonus (to me) is the scientific VDOT system utilized. This is made simple for an individual to use when training. Worth the investment as a serious runner or one looking to help others run more efficiently.
July 28, 2017
NORMAN, Okla. - This was unfinished business. When I was at UCLA in the late 1990's, I took my first Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam on campus. I had passed my Certified Personal Trainer exam 2 years prior and at the time was working with several collegiate athletes. Might as well make it official, right?
Well imagine my surprise when I found out I only passed HALF my exam. I was devastated. Shortly after my results, my life took me in a different path. I moved back to Oklahoma and the CSCS test (and the fitness industry in general) lost it's appeal to me.
Fast forward 18 years to 2017. I finally found a home and there are many athletes at this location. I newfound passion for the industry and a new opportunity led me to try again. In 1999 there were no "testing centers" like there are today. You took a test, usually at a university and you received your results via mail within 6 weeks. Times have changed and so have I. I studied the right way this time and pleased to say I passed ALL the test this go around. It is definitely appreciated so much more now.
August 4-6, 2017
Completion of MAT Specialist Course
PLANO, Texas - What began with a down payment in July of 2016, came to a near conclusion in August. The Specialist Program for Muscle Activation Techniques concluded. In an 10-month time period, my class met in Plano, Texas (Dallas Metro) as a satellite location to the broadcast from Denver, Colorado.
To me, all other certifications attained were to compliment this modality. Here is a small sample of what is needed to understand and show competency to complete the program,
- Human Anatomy
- Human Mechanics
- Applied Physics
When you pass the final exam, you definitely have a firm understanding of anatomy, muscle movements, applicable neurophysiology, and physics. This is the last step that remains for me to conclude this goal.
August 26, 2017
Moore War Run 5k
MOORE, Okla, - This marks the first time I have been a part of my high school alma matre pretty much since my second year in college. In other words, a LONG time ago. A flood of nostalgia came at the starting line as the course began at the High School District's football stadium. Kudos to the trail that allows you to see the site of the city and end in downtown. Being late August, this was definitely one of the warmest, if not the hottest race of the year for me. It was nice to have a sort of homecoming after being away so long.
September 2, 2017
Brookhaven Run 5k
NORMAN, Okla. - This made Brookhaven #8. Again, if you follow me, you know this is the run that means the most. Why? This is the race that started it all. Even when I am not at my best, I do participate. Not my best time but not my worst either. However, the only number I really cared about this year is 8. This was my 8th consecutive Brookhaven Run!
As an experiment, I did something different post run. I brought my table and started working on fellow runners via massage and muscle therapy shortly after I crossed the finished line. This is something I may consider doing more in future events.
September 22-23, 2017
NSCA Oklahoma Fall Clinic Presentation
TULSA, Okla. - It has been some time since I did a presentation. With that, every presentation I have done was with my own organization I co-founded, the FMI Guild. Being given the opportunity to present at the NSCA Oklahoma Fall Clinic was quite an honor. What made it even more honoring, is they let me present on something I've grown to know decently, Intellectual Property.
I actually closed the clinic and it was a fantastic experience. I wish I had practiced more on my presentation, as I felt rusty in front of everyone. Then again, the best way to get better is to practice and do live events. This was a genuine surprise and once I pass my last final, I would not mind doing it again. Very honored to have been nominated and selected by the Oklahoma chapter to be a presenter.
PS: Another bonus to participating in this event, is earning enough credits to become recertified with "distinction".
September 30, 2017
OU Wellness Fun Run
NORMAN, Okla. - This is the second time I got to return to my alma matre and do this fun 5k. I always enjoy going back to my collegiate stomping grounds. For me, the OU Wellness Fun Run is a great way to see the old sites and sounds of my bachelor degree days. Considering the studying I have been putting in for MAT, I was happy with the time. It marked an improvement from the month prior. You know...that consistency thing works in everything you apply it to. 🙂
November 11, 2017
Taquito 10k Beach Run
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - This was my "vacation" for the year. I wanted a bit of break from the entrepreneurial and academic hustle and grind of the year. I was able to do so in South Padre, for the reasons I mentioned for my escape, are also the same reasons I did not do the originally planned half marathon. It simply did not make sense to push myself for a distance I did not train for. That being said, I opted for the Taquito Beach Run 10k. It was a blast....well, at least until the sun came out 🙂
I participated in the South Padre Island Marathon weekend last year. It practically rained the whole time I was there. Even at the beginning of the beach 10k, it was cloudy. Approximately 4 miles into the race, I began to feel South Padre in it's full glory with sun coming out. Beautiful scenery but not so great for running. It got humid and hot quickly. Fortunately, it did not last too long.
All in all, this was completely worth it for me. This was my first official "beach run" (as opposed to running an asphalt/cement trails in beach settings). The medal looks GREAT! Very thankful to the entire crew of the South Padre Marathon. They put on a great event weekend and wish them nothing but further success for future events. 🙂
THAT'S ALL FOLKS
The rest of the year was dedicated to studying and getting ready for the New Year's Resolution season from the entrepreneurial perspective. I still have my Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist final exam to complete (which will be sooner than later) and then it will be on to more exciting things in 2018.