EVENT: La Gran Fiesta @ The Scottsdale Civic Center Park (2013)


I had the privilege of taking photos of La Gran Fiesta hosted annually by the Scottsdale Center for The Performing Arts. It was a celebration of Latin and Hispanic cultures. This day fell right in line with Dia de Los Muertos (Day of The Dead), where those that have passed are honored. The celebration semi-correlates to Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day seen in other cultures. The images I captured focused on a stunning presentation teaching us the history of Dia de Los Muertos, and a Brazilian Capoeira & Samba performance by Capoeira Brasil Tempe. If you’re local to the Phoenix Valley, I suggest checking out some of the various classes offered!

Which Type of Flexibility Exercises are Best?

World's Greatest Stretch - Dynamic Flexibility ExerciseA Meeting of the Minds

Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to listen to industry gurus like John Berardi, Dr. Don Chu, Mike Boyle, Mark Verstegen, Gray Cook, and Mike Stone give their take on where the Health and Fitness Industry is headed. This annual conference  known as The Meeting of the Minds, covered topics that ranged widely from aspects of physical training to running a successful business. One I remember well, centered around the benefits of flexibility exercises, and which method is best used.

Creatine Supplementation: Is it Worthwhile?

Creatine SupplementsAccording to the Mayo Clinic, creatine monohydrate is one of the most popular supplements taken among athletes. It occurs naturally in the body, and helps muscles to release energy. (1) Surprisingly, just as in the 90s, only speculation exists as to whether high doses of creatine can potentially cause damage to the kidneys or liver. This stems from the fact that both are used to eliminate excess amounts not utilized by the body. As with the use of any supplement, side effects may occur, including cramping of the stomach, muscle cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and weight gain resulting from either water retention – or actual gains in muscle mass. (2)

Burnout: Avoid it By Maintaining Balance

Athlete BurnoutBurnout is a term used for long-term mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It can be caused by work, exercise, sport, or one’s lifestyle, and may even be influenced by certain personality traits such as being a narcissist, perfectionist, or pessimist (1, 2). Symptoms of burnout include apathy, disengagement, feelings of helplessness, lack of motivation, detachment, and depression. In sport, it can occur as a result of stale habits, too much racing, too much training, or repeated letdown. Burnout can often lead to departure from the sport, overtraining syndrome, and in extreme cases even suicide.

Some celebrity athletes that suffered from burnout include Andre Agassi, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods. These top athletes were so deeply consumed within their respective sport, that they had trouble striking a balance between their personal and professional lives.

Shin Splints: Prevention and Battle

Shin SplintsIf you’re new to exercise, and decided running would be a great way to get fit, you may have run into a few roadblocks here and there. Hopefully, shin splints weren’t one of them. In case they were, here is a way to rule out if your footwear caused them, and keep them from coming back!

Are You at Risk of Developing Shin Splints?

Check your feet and footwear. Do your shoes look overly worn on one side versus the other? And do you have flat, natural, or high arches? If you have flat feet, you should be wearing shoes that provide some medial posting for stability. Take a look at your shoes, and see if there is a small piece of plastic or harder material on the medial side of the shoes. If there isn’t, the chance exists you’re running in shoes that provide too much cushion, and not enough support for your arches. Every time your feet strike the ground, your arches fall unsupported; and, cause the various muscles involved to work less efficiently. Eventually, this leads to pain and injury.