Meet Top FITAID Athletes and Discover Their Favorite Products


Brianna Cope is a professional surfer born and raised on the beautiful island of Kauai, Hawaii. Growing up near the ocean, Cope fell in love with the power of its waves and began surfing on a longboard at the age of four.

“I love how free and alive I feel in the ocean. It is such an indescribable feeling to be able to ride a wave, always thinking how special it is that you can only ride that wave once—you will never get the same wave again,” says Cope.

Cope won her first surfing competition when she was just 11 years old, deciding then and there that she wanted to be a professional surfer. Currently, Cope can be spotted competing on the World Surf League qualifying series, traveling across the globe for competitions. Her 2018 documentary “Surfing to Cope” is now available on iTunes.‘Big Neechi’ is an internationally recognized celebrity, bodybuilder and festival host known for his incredible strength, muscular physique, and for throwing wild parties.

Neechi graduated from Texas State University as somewhat of a campus legend, obtaining a degree in Exercise & Sports Science. His capabilities in the gym came at an early age when he broke his Jr. High School’s bench press record of 315 lb. in the eighth grade! Big Neechi has since won the title of “Combine King” and “Strongest Man”. 

During college, Big Neechi also earned another reputation for himself after throwing a Project X-style pool party that went viral and ended up on every news outlet in America. Big Neechi has become the #1 event host in Texas, and even hosted Spring Break in South Padre Island. 

No matter how wild his lifestyle gets, Big Neechi always prioritizes fitness, maintains a great physique, and displays insane numbers on all his lifts. (He was the 2019 Iron Wars 4 champion after completing a 475-lb. pause-rep bench press!) Weighing only 215 lb., Big Neechi has proven he can keep up with the best of the best.

Greg Lutzka is a professional skateboarder, best known for his technical skills which have landed him countless trophies, gold medals and awards in contests including: X-Games, The Maloof Money Cup, Dew Tours and World Cups. Currently, Lutzka is also the only skater to have ever won the highly respected Tampa Pro an unprecedented three times.

Lutzka’s reputation as one of the hardest working skateboarders in the industry is well-earned. At the age of 18, Greg moved from the Midwest to Southern California, the Action Sports mecca of the world. During the course of his career, Lutzka has been featured in videos for Almost & Darkstar Skateboards, K-Swiss and Oakley Eyewear. He has also cross-branded himself with Harley Davidson and Aqua Hydrate, always representing sponsors to the fullest while also practicing and improving his skateboarding skills daily.

Lutzka has acted in a movie, commercials and music videos. During whatever remaining freetime Lutzka has, he enjoys snowboarding, cycle riding and spending time with family and friends.


> > > Stay well.

HindeSight #40: Entrepreneurial Lessons You Didn’t Learn in College

Joshua Schall sat down with LIFEAID co-founder Aaron Hinde during an April 2020* interview—just as the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to affect both business owners and consumers—for a candid discussion about how to harness the power of your mind to set yourself up for success.

(*Note: This interview contains dated information about the LIFEAID LIFT program which ran until late June 2020, to help get gyms back on their feet.)

You can watch the full podcast episode on YouTube here.

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Survey Reveals Gyms Will Never Be the Same After Coronavirus

A recent OnePoll survey asked 2,000 Americans how they will be handling their fitness and whether they will be returning to their local gym, as doors begin reopening worldwide. The results may shock you.

Read the full article here.

 

6 Quarantine Cooking Strategies to Make the Most of Every Store Trip

Two pro triathletes share their top recipes and tips for success in the kitchen.

Read the full article here.

“It’s very interesting that it took isolation to bring everybody together.”

—Aaron Hinde

10 Entrepreneurial Lessons You Didn’t Learn in College

Check out these 10 lessons from top entrepreneurs that you can’t learn from a textbook.

Read the full article here.

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AH

HindeSight  |  No. 40

Survey Reveals Gyms Will Never Be the Same After Coronavirus

Results from a recent One Poll survey, published in a New York Post article on June 26, 2020

One in four Americans will never be returning to gyms … even once the pandemic is over, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 Americans who exercise at least twice a week surveyed respondents on their attitudes toward gyms in the “corona age” and found 24 percent are over them, with one in three saying they will be likely to go less than before.

However, four in 10 remain undeterred by COVID-19 and said they will be returning to the gym at the same rate or more once it opens back up.

SWNS 

The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of LIFEAID Beverage Co., also found many active Americans are turning to at-home workouts.

Forty-two percent of those polled said they have a home gym set-up that they prefer over their membership gym.

Going back to gyms is currently a big unknown, but many safety measures will surely be implemented upon re-opening, including masks.

Wearing a mask during a pandemic is common sense for many, with only 26 percent saying they are anti-mask and won’t go to any gym that requires it.

Twenty-nine percent said they are anti-mask but would wear one if their gym required it, while 20 percent are for masks and will wear one at the gym reluctantly — and 26 percent are for masks and won’t go to any gym that does not require them.

All that being said, 62 percent of those polled said they believe wearing masks in gyms will help against the spread of COVID-19 and 83 percent agreed they’d feel much more comfortable in gyms if everybody was wearing a mask.

Masks aren’t the only safety concern for gym-goers, however.

Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed said they will be wiping down the equipment each time before they use it.

Over nine in 10 said they’d be more vigilant about others wiping down equipment properly and half (49 percent) said they’d call somebody out for not properly cleaning the equipment after they use it.

“We understand why some gym-goers may reject wearing a mask throughout their entire workout, but no one should drop the ball on cleanliness and disinfection of hands and equipment. It’s a courtesy and a personal responsibility as much as the responsibility of the gyms,” said Aaron Hinde, co-founder of LIFEAID Beverage Co.

“What gym devotees also need to understand is there is a price for higher standards of cleaning and safety at the gym. That requires more staff, more equipment, more cleaning supplies. So gym-goers should not be surprised or even indignant if they get hit with higher fees. And if the gym is critical to your balance and wellness, you should accept those fees.”

People are keen to exhibit caution when returning to public spaces to get back into their exercise routine.

The average respondent said that when their gym opens back up, they’ll still wait around four and half weeks before finally returning for a workout.

Many feel this can’t come soon enough, as 75 percent said they feel they need to put in some overtime in order to get back in shape after a lengthy quarantine.

But it hasn’t been all bad, as the survey showed Americans learned some self-love during the time in isolation.

Three in four said they are more accepting of their bodies now than they were pre-pandemic and the average respondent was found to have made four positive lifestyle changes since it started, too.

“If we experience lasting, positive change from the gym shut down, we hope it’s an embrace of some level of moderation. We can be fit, healthy and very strong without being obsessive,” said Hinde. “And smart moderation may also be better for our longer term physical health.”

5 Virtual Fitness Challenges to Tackle This Summer

Written by travel blogger Tiffany Ammerman 

From local 5ks to hikes in far-off, exotic destinations, many of our planned fitness challenges have been added to the list of canceled activities this year. Initially, it might be disheartening to have to remove these events from your calendar, but don’t lose hope. Many competitions and challenges are simply moving to a virtual platform so attendees don’t have to experience fitness FOMO. 

Check out these five fun, fitness-related challenges for the summer and get your fitness fix! 

  • Paddle Boarding Competition

    For those of you who are heavily involved in the sport of paddle boarding, check out this fundraising event for the World Wildlife Fund! The Panda Paddle helps to support the conservation work of WWF and is typically held in San Diego, California. The organizers of the competition stated, “While we’re sad to not be there in person with our great community of nature loving paddle enthusiasts, we’d like to recreate the friendly competition with our Virtual Paddle Competition which we can now open up to other paddle sports.”  If you’re ready to get out on the water for a good cause, sign up for the Panda Paddle HERE.

 

  •  Limitless Vertical Challenge

    This intense endurance challenge focusing on vertical gain is perfect for those who love to continuously push themselves and their physical boundaries. Starting at Level One and moving through to Level Six, you can register, log your vertical gain and attempt to get yourself to “Double Everest”. Run Steep tells us, “Like other virtual races and challenges, you are in control. You get to design your course, choose your location, mix up locations each day as you like, and keep track of your progress through the week. Keep us updated each day and #ShareYourSummit as you trek toward the next level.” Ready to put some elevation gain under your belt? Click HERE to get more info on the Limitless Vertical Challenge. 

  •  Virtual Marathon

    Offering a 10k, half marathon, 30k and a full marathon option, this virtual race benefitting Blueprints of Love will have you running for a good cause in no time. This virtual race not only facilitates your marathon but it also helps to train and encourage you during the process. If you want to help out a great cause and get in some fitness, check out the virtual race with lots of options HERE

  • Camino de Santiago Virtual Pilgrimage

    The ancient 480 mile pilgrimage located in Spain beckons many people of all walks of life and all fitness levels. Unfortunately, the Camino has closed for the year but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own hiking challenge in your own hometown. Each time you log your miles, it inches you across the map and lets you see, virtually, what you would be seeing if you were on this legendary trail using Google Street View. You’ll also receive virtual postcards which give more information about each location you reach on the trail. This pilgrimage is meant to be an intensely personal experience for each pilgrim so not only is it a fitness challenge but it also serves as  a mental journey. Start your Camino today by clicking HERE

  • Swim the Distance

    Whether it’s in the local lake or your own backyard pool, this swimming challenge will have you clocking some serious distance. After you register, you choose your distance and you have the month to document and complete your challenge. This virtual competition is perfect for those who are looking for some virtual fitness motivation. Clock your miles HERE

C O N C L U S I O N

Whether you’re supporting a fundraiser or attempting to push your own physical boundaries, these virtual fitness challenges will have you motivated and staying fit during a time of many competition cancellations. These challenges are perfect for both beginners who are just getting started on their fitness journey as well as professional athletes who are looking for another sport to add to their repertoire. Join the league of other virtual athletes and start working towards your goal today! 

Cover photo courtesy of @the_goodish_traveler
Additional images courtesy of @pandapaddle and @aravaiparunning


 

About the Author:
Georgia native Tiffany Ammerman is the thru-hiker and CrossFitter behind the travel blog The Goodish Traveler. She spends the majority of her time traveling, eating sushi and searching for hiking trails. When she’s not blogging, Ammerman can be found training at CrossFit LaGrange and teaching art to kids.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram: @the_goodish_traveler or her website: TheGoodishTraveler.com

 


> > > Stay well.

It’s GO! Time: LIFEAID Introduces New Collection for Hydration + Vitamins on the GO!

LIFEAID is proud to introduce our new on-the-go collection for HYDRATION + VITAMINS YOU’LL ENJOY DRINKING, perfect for wherever life takes you!

Always made with only the good stuff, each packet of GO has just 5 calories and ZERO SUGAR, naturally sweetened with monk fruit & Stevia. Now you can throw a packet in your pocket, backpack or bag—just add water—and GO!

NOW AVAILABLE:

Workout Recovery + Hydration on the go
45mg Natural Caffeine  |  Flavor: CITRUS
5 calories  |  Naturally Sweetened


Immunity Boost + Hydration on the go

No Caffeine  |  Flavor: ORANGE
5 calories  |  Naturally Sweetened

Try FITAID GO and IMMUNITYAID GO!
Now available at LIFEAIDgo.com

 

COMING SOON:

Natural Energy + Hydration on the go
100mg Natural Caffeine  |  Flavor: MELON
5 calories  |  Naturally Sweetened

After-Party Recovery + Hydration on the go
No Caffeine  |  Flavor: Berry
5 calories  |  Naturally Sweetened

Rip. Replenish. GO!
Because life never stops.


> > > Stay well.

HindeSight #39: Helping Gyms Reopen Successfully

The FITAID Five: Helping Gyms Reopen Safely & Successfully

LIFEAID co-founder Aaron Hinde and daughter Trinity share the top-five steps to help our community safely return to the gym, as doors begin reopening nationwide. We know how important fitness is to our overall well-being, so please stay safe and stay fit out there. We’re all in this together.

Check out the full video here.

How Athletes Are Handling Quarantine

We interviewed four FITAID athletes—Kelsey Kiel, Jacob Heppner, Neal Maddox and Jackie Perez—to get their take on how they’ve been staying fit and what key learnings they’re taking away from quarantine.

Read the full article here.

“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.

 

—Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle Is The Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph

Especially during difficult times such as these, this #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller has helped those who apply its wisdom to become more successful at whatever they do.

Check out Ryan Holiday’s book here or at your local bookstore. 

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AH

HindeSight  |  No. 39

How FITAID Athletes Are Handling Quarantine

 


Written by travel blogger Tiffany Ammerman 

Athletes around the world have become all-too familiar with the struggles of trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise regimen while gyms have been temporarily closed worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sharing our quarantine experiences and struggles with our fitness friends has become a major way for us to connect and stay motivated in a time of social distancing.

But what has quarantine been like for professional athletes?

We interviewed four FITAID athletes—Kelsey Kiel, Jacob Heppner, Neal Maddox and Jackie Perez—to get their take on how they’ve been not only staying fit but also what key learnings they may be taking away from their time in quarantine so far. Here’s what they had to say!

QUESTION 1

FITAID: Isolation coupled with a massive change in our normal day-to-day life can be tough for everyone. What obstacles have you experienced and overcome during quarantine?

Kelsey Kiel: I think one of the biggest things people (including myself) weren’t used to when we started this whole quarantine is the “being alone with yourself” thing. I always thought I was independent (I still think that), but being separated from normal life and interactions, you really have to be okay with sitting with yourself (all the thoughts and feelings that come with that). It was a tough thing for me at first, but I’ve really embraced FEELING and THINKING and BEING. Which is a bit abstract, but I think it’s helped me grow. 

Jackie Perez: Quarantine has forced me to really take a look at what I rely on for happiness. Total isolation has shown me that I rely on others and events to make me happy or motivate me. I have overcome this by trying to focus on the things that bring joy to me. The things that if they were taken away, they wouldn’t take my joy. I’ve started doing things I would never stop and take the time to do like read and go on walks or journal. Things that don’t require much but truly make me happy. 

QUESTION 2

FITAID: As many of our local CrossFit boxes have been closed, what are some ways that you’ve been keeping fit during quarantine? What is the most unique thing you’ve done so far for fitness?

Jackie Perez: I created a Running Club because I found myself very unmotivated to workout. It was a huge success and had over 500 people sign up. I thrive on community so I created one where we all pushed each other and kept each other accountable. Nothing replaces the community vibe of being at the gym, but we must adapt to the current situation instead of letting it control us. 

Neal Maddox: I tend to go for bike rides a lot. I put together a home gym so I am able to train still. 

QUESTION 3

FITAID: Staying positive and tuning in to our emotions have been very important lately. How have you been staying present, positive and connected?

Jacob Heppner: For those of you that know me you know I’m already a super positive and connected person! One thing I recently did during the quarantine period was to start Fitness Related Awesome News (FRAN) which shares positive and uplifting news from around the globe in the fitness space! 

Kelsey Kiel: I’ve been doing a lot of self work and reading and writing. It’s also been helpful to have people around me (not necessarily physically, haha) who have been there—FaceTiming, phone calling, and connecting that way. My dog also helps me stay positive because he’s so dang cute. 

QUESTION 4

FITAID: Describe how you’ve been focusing on nutritional wellness during this time. What have been some of your favorite healthy dishes you’ve made during quarantine?

Kelsey Kiel: I track my macros regularly, and I recognized after a few weeks that nutrition and food is something I can control, so it actually helped me feel a sense of normalcy to continue to count and track my macros and eat the normal, healthy and tasty things I normally would. 

Jacob Heppner: I’ve actually spent a lot of time focusing on my nutritional wellness and realized that so many others need that help and need accountability! So I recently started “Functional Eating” which is a nutrition company with a 1-on-1 coach, the same coaches I use for my diet and nutrition for competing at the Games. Our main focus is giving every person that accountability and relationship instead of just a plain ol’ diet template that doesn’t keep you accountable! 

QUESTION 5

FITAID: What advice do you have for other athletes during quarantine? What have you personally taken away from this experience?

Neal Maddox: Advice I could give is this: get off social media and pick up a book. I have been basically going back to school and gathering as much knowledge as possible. The reason is because I want to come out of this pandemic a better person and great coach for my clients. 

Jackie Perez: The best advice I can give is to only focus on what you can control. See opportunity in the situation that will help you grow. It’s a great time to get back to the fundamentals and make them bullet proof. We won’t have this kind of time to rebuild from square one again so focus on the basics and get really good at them so when things go back to normal, we can continue to build. 

C O N C L U S I O N

This experience has shown me just how important it is to control our thoughts. This can either be the biggest tragedy we have had to deal with or an opportunity for growth in areas of our lives we have ignored because we were too busy. 

As Jackie Perez mentioned in her interview, “Nothing replaces the community vibe of being at the gym, but we must adapt to the current situation instead of letting it control us.”

While it can be easy to lament the temporary closing of your local gym, remember that everyone—even professional athletes—are going through the same experience, and with that knowledge we can move forward together towards a positive and healthy future. 

All images are the property of respective athlete and FITAID, all rights reserved.


 

About the Author:
Georgia native Tiffany Ammerman is the thru-hiker and CrossFitter behind the travel blog The Goodish Traveler. She spends the majority of her time traveling, eating sushi and searching for hiking trails. When she’s not blogging, Ammerman can be found training at CrossFit LaGrange and teaching art to kids.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram: @the_goodish_traveler or her website: TheGoodishTraveler.com

 


> > > Stay well.

Cool, Eco-Friendly Products That’ll Heat Up Your Summer


Written by travel blogger Tiffany Ammerman 

Summer vacation may look a whole lot different for many of us this year—with beaches closing and tourist destinations no longer receiving visitors—but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still make the most of this season. Whether you’re redecorating your meditation room or paddleboarding out on the lake, check out these cool, unique products that’ll help heat up your summer! 

Homemade Finds

While many of us are spending our quarantine time redecorating and decluttering our space, the purchasing of homemade products has made a huge resurgence lately. From websites such as Etsy, Uncommon Goods and UK-based website Folksy, to Bali-based co-ops, you’ll be sure to find some useful items you’ll love. Artisans post anything from shibori dyed beach towels to custom pet-themed plant pots for sale on these creative websites. Discover a unique conversation piece to add to your space! 

  • Wangi Asri Balinese Women’s Co-Op: Wangi meaning aroma and Asri meaning beautiful, the women of the Wangi Asri Co-Op in Bali are whipping up essential oil carry bags from vintage, batiked Balinese sarongs. Each one is unique! So next time you’re on the go, be sure to bring along your favorite essential oils in your one-of-a-kind patchwork bag! Not only are you helping these women earn an income but you’re also supporting the hearty artisan culture of Ubud, Bali. Check them out at @wangi_asri on Instagram. 

  • Aya Textile Craftworks: Based out of Tel Aviv, Israel, Aya Textile is bringing creative shibori tote bags and blankets to the artisan fueled website, Etsy. Each one is a unique, indigo creation that will have your workspace or meditation room filled with good energy. Find them on Instagram at @ayeletiontef.

  • Simply AC-Handcrafted Skin & Mind Care: Specializing in handmade skincare goods with simple ingredients, Simply AC strives to create beautiful, natural bath salts, face masks and body scrubs to help you pamper yourself. Check out their Instagram worthy geode bath bombs to up your #selfcaresunday game. Head on over to @shopsimplyac for your next skincare haul. 

Wearable Summer Trends

The days are getting longer and the temperature is rising which means it’s time to get outside! First, check your local CDC recommendations on whether you’re able to safely enjoy some fun outdoor time before you venture out. If you’re permitted some time outside, we’ve found some products that are able to handle kayaking down the river or getting in some surf. These trending summer products are down for the ride! 

  • Freestyle Shark Leash Watches: This original watersports watch exudes some serious So-Cal vibes. With tons of different, bright colors, you’ll be sure to find one to match your swimsuit. Not only do they have analog watches but they also have clips for your Apple Watch if you’d prefer a more tech look. Loved by beach bums worldwide, you’ll definitely be ready for the waves! Find them at @freestylewatches on Instagram.

  • Faherty Brand: Eco-conscious and family owned, this brand creates cozy clothes with the beach in mind. From their go-anywhere, water resistant ‘All-Day Hat’ to their board shorts made of recycled bottles, you’ll be glad you picked up a Faherty original. Check them out at @fahertybrand on Instagram. 

  • Wolfgang Man & Beast: Don’t think we forgot about your furry best friend! American-made leashes, collars and outdoor gear will have you and your four-legged pal ready for adventure. Wolfgang has loads of unique patterns to choose from. Check out the Huntington Sock as well as the foldable Field Dog Bowl and get ready for your next mountain trek! You can find them at @wolfgangmanandbeast.

Products to Splurge On

Sometimes it’s nice to purchase an investment piece to add to your lifetime collection. While expensive on the front end, these products should last for some time and save you from having to repurchase the same product over and over. So whether you’re sitting by your backyard pool or traversing some serious peaks, check out these timeless outdoors inspired products. 

  • YETI Tundra Haul: Introducing some wheels and a welded handle into the equation, the YETI Tundra has been updated into a handy, easy to haul version. Coming in at $400 at it’s retail value, this cooler is truly an investment piece. You’ll not likely be replacing it anytime soon, so throw in some cans of FitAid and get going! Indulge yourself and head over to @yeti

  • Pendleton Woolen Mills Spa Towel: Since 1863, this stalwart of woolen goods has found itself representing Portland, Oregon, with it’s National Parks themed patterns and nods to Native American designs and legends. Pick up the super-cozy Pendleton Spa Towel for your next trip to the lake and you’ll be glad you invested! Hop on over to @pendletonwm to find an array of beautiful wool products. 

  • High Society Freerider Paddleboards: Based in Aspen, Colorado, High Society can help you gear up for your next paddleboarding adventure. These inflatable, easy to transport paddleboards boast the ability to hold coolers as well as your favorite pup! Coming in at just over $1,000, you may be able to snag their buy-one-get-one-free deal if you hurry over to @highsocietyfreeride.  

C O N C L U S I O N

Getting creative with our summer plans is going to be a must this year, with many traditional modes of recreation canceled or postponed. Hopefully you’ll find something fun, creative and useful in our carefully curated product list to help jumpstart your summer adventures! Please stay safe and be kind out there, everyone.

All images are the property of respective brand, all rights reserved.


 

About the Author:
Georgia native Tiffany Ammerman is the thru-hiker and CrossFitter behind the travel blog The Goodish Traveler. She spends the majority of her time traveling, eating sushi and searching for hiking trails. When she’s not blogging, Ammerman can be found training at CrossFit LaGrange and teaching art to kids.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram: @the_goodish_traveler or her website: TheGoodishTraveler.com

 


> > > Stay well.

HindeSight #38: United We Stand

#BlackoutTuesday

This Tuesday, social media is providing humanity with a rare opportunity to come together, listen and empower the voices of those who have been silenced for too long. We’re here, we’re muted, and we’re listening.

Please consider joining the movement.

A Reminder to Those in Sports: Use Your Platform Wisely

 During this time of civil unrest, those with platforms for positive change are finally being called to action in unprecedented ways, to be authentic with their actions and words.
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Read The Oracle article here. 

“We must remain optimistic for our children, for the future. Love is always the answer.

 

—Aaron Hinde

Where Do We Go From Here: From A Call to Conscience

The powerful words of landmark speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Listen to the audible version of his book here. 

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AH

HindeSight  |  No. 38

The FITAID FIVE: Helping Gyms Reopen Safely & Successfully


The New York Times recently released their top recommendations to help gyms in the U.S. reopen successfully this summer. LIFEAID co-founder Aaron Hinde and his daughter Trinity share the FITAID FIVE with their community. Knowing how important fitness is to our mental and physical health and overall well-being, please stay safe and stay fit out there. We’re in this together!


CLICK TO WATCH:


> > > Stay well.