Parker Rios: Taking his love of running to new heights!

By Dave Fidlin of Dave Fidlin Writing & Editing Services, LLC Runner Parker Rios on Elite Elliptical

In his youth, Parker Rios had little interest in running. It’s a fact many find surprising for a person who has competed in more than 100 ultramarathon races and is stretching his physical and mental capabilities in a series of hyper-competitive events. Parker, 46, began running as a student at UW-Madison. At the time, a roommate convinced him to take part in a 10k run to support a charity. The experience was intertwined with one of Parker’s greatest ambitions – competition. The rest, as they say, is history. Parker, a Brookfield resident and a member of Elite since 2004, is married to Kendra Wolff. They have two children: Lacey, 6, and Gillian, 5. Parker says he balances his time with family amid his workout regimens.

Runner Parker Rios Utilizing Elite Drop and Shop ProgramParker uses the club about five times each week for a portion of his rigorous workout regimen. He primarily uses Elite’s ellipticals, treadmills, resistance weight machines and free weights. Parker finds time to train in the club while his children are in Elite’s playroom or in Petite Elite, Elite’s pre-school. Parker sometimes utilizes the “Drop & Shop” program that gives club members an opportunity to drop off their children in the club’s play area and leave the club to run errands or literally run. He says Elite offers all of the amenities to assist in his training.

In the past two decades, Parker has competed in a variety of ultramarathon races – many with the Badgerland Striders, Wisconsin’s largest and oldest running club with more than 1,400 members. Parker has been actively involved with ultramarathon running since 1990. Ultramarathon races are runs longer than a 26.2 mile marathon. The most common distances are 50K, 50 mile, 100K, 100 mile and 135 mile races can last anywhere from 4 hours to 60 hours.

“I enjoy a lot of things about it,” Parker says. “Unlike a traditional race, such as the Boston Marathon, where there are anywhere from 10,000 to 70,000 people, ultramarathon races are held in more secluded and scenic areas.”

Ultramarathoners endure a variety of conditions through natural areas. Parker says running on softer surfaces has been less strenuous on his legs, knees and back than if he were running strictly on pavement. “Every step is very different, and it has resulted in less stress on my body overall,” Parker explains.

Parker emphatically states his love of ultramarathon running has never been stronger. In fact, he has been taking his competitive prowess to new heights by participating in a series of invitation only events.

Parker is in the midst of training for the self-proclaimed “Fire and Ice” ultramarathon races, a feat never accomplished before within a 12 month period by any person. The “Fire” taking place in Death Valley, California and the “Ice” taking place in Alaska. He had to undergo a rigorous application process and learned in February he was selected. Parker’s decision to take part in “Fire and Ice” came on the heels of a successful first-place finish in the Arrowhead 135, an annual 135 mile race held in International Falls, Minnesota, in February, 2013. The Arrowhead 135 is held during the coldest time of year in a city notorious for frigid conditions. Parker pulled a sled with 40 pounds of survival gear before reaching the finish line nearly 44 hours later.

The Badwater 135 Mile Ultramarathon, a 100-person competition starts in Death Valley and ends at one of the tallest portions of Mt. Whitney. Average temperatures reach about 120 degrees Fahrenheit when the competition takes place in mid-July. Parker is training for the heat by spending an exorbitant amount of time in Elite’s dry sauna. Once the “Fire” wraps in July, Parker will gear up for the frigid “Ice,” the Iditarod Trail Invitational, a 350 mile running race in Alaska, which will be held
in February 2014.

In the midst of his training activities, Parker also is fundraising to assist in the cost of the “Fire and Ice” competitions and to lend support to a cause near and dear to his heart. Corporate sponsors will help defray Parker’s out-of-pocket costs for the upcoming competition.

Individual donations will support a new recreational therapy program at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. Parker’s father, Robert, benefited from the center’s services in 2010 and 2011 before his passing. “He really received excellent care,” Parker says. “The people over there are great.”

Information on how to donate to Parker Rios’ endeavors:

  • Corporate Sponsorship for “Fire and Ice” expenses. Contact Parker via “Fire and Ice Runner” Facebook page.
  • Individual Donations to create a new recreational therapy program at VA Medical Center. Send check, payable to Zablocki VAMC with “Fire and Ice” on memo line, to: Zablocki VAMC – Voluntary Services (135) 5000 W. National Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53295

This member spotlight is from our Elite Sports Clubs seasonal magazine, in which we include an Activity Guide for upcoming programs and events, plus articles on popular health, fitness, and tennis topics written by our own trainers, tennis pros, and staff. Check out a digital copy of the West Side Summer 2013 Elite Magazine, the East Side Summer 2013 Elite Magazine, or pick up your own copy at any of our five Milwaukee-area Elite Sports Clubs locations.

We’d love to hear your story! Email us at MyStory@EliteClubs.com or tweet us at @MyEliteStory!

What’s the farthest distance you have ever run? Is an ultramarathon a goal of yours? How do you train for your own running races? Share with us in the comments!

New Aqua Endurance Program, Strength Training in the Water

By Ryan Holtzman, Elite Sports Club-Brookfield Personal Training Director

Aqua Endurance Training is a revolutionary new form of personal training that allows individuals of all different populations to break through mental barriers and physical limitations. By incorporating many of today’s most proven workout strategies in an aquatic setting, physical limitations are eliminated and real progress can be made. Aqua Endurance Training reduces stress on muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments, making it possible for many people who simply cannot exercise comfortably on land to achieve personal fitness through water resistance based strength/aerobic exercises. This would include but is not limited to individuals with Arthritic conditions, weight bearing limitations, and pre- and post- surgical requirements.

Top 5 benefits of Aqua Endurance Training:

  • Rapid fat loss and effective toning through water resistance.
  • Ability to increase your exercise work load and burn more calories in less time.
  • Stay cooler, even while exercising hard.
  • Reduce stress on your joints, bones, and muscles.
  • Look forward to your workouts with an ideal combination of fun and effective training!

Types of exercises and equipment used with Aqua Endurance Training:

What our clients have to say about Aqua Endurance Training:

I am a very active person who enjoys working out and going to the gym. Having said that, I am always looking for different ways to sweat and get a good workout in! When I first noticed the Aqua E program, I was intrigued. I had to try it! I was a little reluctant due to the fact that I wasn’t sure of the intensity of the workout, and I wanted to make sure it was worth while. Well, it was. The intensity of the workout completely depends on what your looking to get out of it; in other words it IS for everyone. I love the variety of the exercises, and the way it makes me feel when I am done. I always thought I wasn’t a “water person” but this was great! Ryan is great too! He will put you through an awesome workout where the time flies by!!! I would absolutely recommend it to anyone; all different fitness goals or even any limitations. (Melissa Elgert, trains twice a week)

I work with Ryan Holtzman in Aqua endurance. It is a great program for me. I am 71years old, with arthritic knees. This workout is strength building without the stress on my knees. I also lost 6lbs. mostly around my waist. My blood preassure is 117 over 78. Plus Ryan is a great trainer. (Vaughn Trudell, trains twice a week)

Let us know if you are interested in trying Aqua Endurance training for FREE (currently only available at our Brookfield location). We also offer many water aerobics classes, swim lessons, lap swimming, and other types of aqua personal training; all in our salt water pools.

Do you include water workouts in your fitness routine? Tell us in the comments!

New Outdoor Boot Camp Facility Update

Progress is being made on our new outdoor boot camp facility at Elite Sports Club-Mequon! Interested in training on the new equipment? Check out this outdoor boot camp small group training starting this summer! We will also offer personal or semi-private training using the new facility. Contact us now if you want to get in on the action!

Elite Outdoor Boot Camp Facility
Assembling the new Elite outdoor boot camp main structure. It will have pull-up bars, climbing rope, battling ropes, monkey bars, and a TRX suspension system.

Your Weight Loss Journey: How to Make a Change

By Rita Larsen, Elite Dietian & Nutrition Counselor

There are “Stages of Change” that each person must go through in order to actually do anything new. The Academy of Nutrition has the following listing of processes for every person’s development towards change in behavior:

  • Pre-contemplation: Stage before any thought is given to modify any behaviors.
  • Contemplation: Subject is aware they have a change they would like to make, but have not made the commitment.
  • Preparation: Decision-making has arrived; and the person will take action within about 30 days. They are already making small behavioral changes.
  • Action: Subjects make notable overt efforts to change; and have targeted behavior they want to be different.
  • Maintenance: Persons stabilize behavioral changes to avoid relapse.

All in all, everyone must go through these steps in order to arrive at a good outcome.

One other excellent source of input on this matter of change is the work at the University of Pennsylvania Foundation for Positive Psychology. Dr. Martin Seligman, is a world renowned expert on the “positive approach” and its necessity in the change process. The Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program has been used by the military, workforce development, and many other social institutions that benefited greatly by the use of this process.

So, with that said, I challenge you to approach everything as though it is a new and wonderful day of experience.

  • Go to the gym with renewed energy and excitement.
  • Plan to meet friends at the gym and use teamwork to obtain a positive outcome for all.
  • Each day eat the best nutritious foods that you can find. Learn that perhaps a full feeling at all times throughout the day is not needed, and that waiting for the next meal is a positive experience.
  • Make the scale your friend and, for sure, your scorecard to success!

Energy and persistence conquer all things. -Benjamin Franklin

For more detailed information on the topics discussed above and how they can help you, let us know more about your goals and what you would like to change.

Where are you in the stages of change? Do you use positive emotions & psychology to get through your change process?

Member Spotlight: Dan Buss “I decided I needed to make a change”

We’re extremely proud of our members. Over the years their work out agendas and sporting endeavors serve as healthy examples of how it feels to be Elite, and how exercise not only adds years to your life, but life to your years! Today we’d like to highlight another member’s accomplishments:

Photo of Elite Member Dan Buss My name is Dan Buss and I’ve been a member of Elite for about two years now. I’ve never been someone who lived a very active lifestyle and have been overweight most of my life. Two years ago, it all came to a head. I hit an all-time high weight, the result of bad eating habits and no exercise while I juggled getting my MBA and frequent travel for work. I decided I needed to make a change!

That’s where Elite comes in. I decided to join the club on the recommendation of a coworker. It was a great experience from day one. Since I was so new to the fitness scene, I took advantage of a promotion the club was running for a package of personal trainer sessions. I worked with Ariel to do a fitness assessment and come up with a base workout plan that I could build on. What I appreciated most was how comfortable everyone made me feel. Ariel would offer encouragement whenever she saw me, and other trainers like Rob and Sue would stop and give me pointers when they saw me trying something new. While the facilities at Elite are wonderful, it really is all the great people that make it such an outstanding experience!

Today, I’m happy to say that I’m down over 100 lbs from my peak! That’s a goal I thought was impossible two years ago. I’m working out six days a week doing strength training and some running. I’ve participated in several 5K races, including the Warrior Dash and have even started taking swimming lessons with Laura, for a new challenge. My time at Elite has become part of my routine and I look forward to it every day. Thanks for helping me completely change my life!

We are so proud of Dan for reaching his goal and exceeding his own expectations. We are happy our staff could be there to help you on your fitness and health journey! You are truly an “elite” member!

If you have an “elite” story to share about your own personal accomplishment or someone else’s please share it with us at MyStory@eliteclubs.com or tweet it to us @MyEliteStory! We’d love to hear from you too!