Quick video highlighting some of the views available along the Montana/Idaho border! Just about an hour and a half southwest of Missoula, Montana, we made a Sunday trip to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest in Idaho County, Idaho. We explored the Mocus Point Trail and surrounding areas, took in some wintertime views and made our way over to the Weir Creek Natural Hot Springs.
For most of my life now I have played team sports that have required road trips in some shape or form. Since the start my collegiate career way back in 2010 for TCU’s Lacrosse team I’ve learned that long road trips are inevitable. Over the years as a player and now as a coach for Griz Lacrosse, I thought I would share some tips and tricks on how to make a team road trip easier.
Pack The Night Before
Personally, packing is not the most exciting part of a trip. Coaches demand that we be ready to go at a certain time (usually before the sun comes up). I have found that packing the night before prevents me from forgetting anything in those early morning hours when I am not thinking clearly. In addition, line your bags up at the door so you can have a smooth exit out of your apartment or dorm.
Carry Both Card and Cash
To get to a game you will have to travel though the middle of nowhere. And in the middle of nowhere often times you will find technological conveniences are nonexistent. It is crucial to have cash and not just a card on a road trip in case the store where you are trying to buy snacks is still stuck in the ‘50s. Being hungry on the bus is miserable.
Portable Chargers are Worth Their Weight in Gold
Missoula to Portland on a bus is anywhere from 8 to 12 hours depending on external factors. So even if you charge all your electronics the night before, you will run out of battery life on a haul like that. For $25 to $50 you can get a good quality portable charger that will keep your electronics charged and you blissfully entertained while the hours go by.
Bring Food and Drinks on The Bus
One of the reasons I pack and line up all my stuff the night before is to save time in the morning. With that extra time, I always run and grab food and coffee to bring on the bus. Doing this will save you money over the length of the trip, since prices in food vary from location to location. Additionally, you don’t always know when and where the team will stop for food, having your own will prevent any unforeseen problems.
Bring a Pillow is Key
This one is a little self-explanatory. Not all buses or cars have comfortable seats or headrests. In my case, the Griz Lacrosse team bus has some hard armrests. I always bring a pillow on bus trips. It not only makes the ride more comfortable, but I avoid dealing with hotel pillows that I am not used to.
Out of the five guys listed here, Trae Young and Domantas Sabonis probably have the highest upside, and have a chance to climb these ranks within the next couple years. Brandon Ingram flashes potential at times, but is wildly inconsistent and hasn’t developed as well as expected for year 3. As for Wiggins, and Parker, both are over-paid volume scorers who shoot poorly from deep and consistently play bad defense.
20. Julius Randle (age 24)
19. Myles Turner (age 22)
18. Jaylen Brown (age 22)
17. Lauri Markannen (age 21)
16. Kyle Kuzma (age 23)
Kuzma continues to build upon an impressive rookie season upping his ppg to 19.1 as the second option on the Lakers. Jaylen Brown and Myles Turner both play outstanding defense, but have taken backseat roles on offense within their respective teams. Markannen has been extremely efficient on offense for a Bulls team lacking any scoring while Randle has been a revelation since signing with New Orleans, averaging 20ppg and 9.2rpg for the year.
15. Jamal Murray (age 21)
14. DeAndre Ayton (age 20)
13. D’Angelo Russell (age 22)
12. Clint Capela (age 24)
11. Jayson Tatum (age 20)
Tatum is as smooth of a scorer as there is in the NBA and will continue to rise up this list. There probably isn’t another center better suited for the Houston Rockets than Clint Capela, who excels on the boards and finishing lobs. Russell has only gotten better since leaving the Lakers. Ayton has been a bright spot on an awful Suns squad, showcasing versatility on the offensive end. Murray has played a huge role in the success the Nuggets have been having this year.
10. DeAaron Fox (age 21)
Fox has done the impossible by making the Sacramento Kings playoff contenders for the first time in 12 years. Fox has been shooting 46% from the field and 36.4% from deep while averaging 17.2ppg and 7.1apg. Not only has Fox been extremely efficient, he also leads one of the most fun offenses to watch in the league. The progression of Buddy Hield and Fox as a duo is something to keep your eye on going forward.
9. Donavan Mitchell (age 22)
Mitchell has built on a phenomenal
rookie campaign following some early season struggles. He’s a great two-way
player with a chance to have a HOF career. These first two years are eerily
similar to Dwayne Wade’s early career.
8. Kristaps Porzingis (age 23)
Porzingis (when healthy) is among
the most skilled players in the league. At 7’2 he is extremely long but has
guard-like skills. His ability to shoot from deep makes him nearly impossible
to guard. There still remains a question of durability when it comes to his
7. Devin Booker (age 22)
Devin Booker has developed at a much faster rate than most expected. He’s currently averaging 25ppg and 6.7apg. While his scoring has been great, it hasn’t translated into wins for Phoenix. Expect Booker and Ayton to develop into a great duo within the next couple years.
6. Ben Simmons (age 22)
Ben Simmons recently made his first all star game, and it’s not hard to see why when you look at his averages of 16.7ppg, 8apg, and 9.2rpg. Despite not having a jumpshot, he’s been very effective because he has such a versatile game. I’m not convinced Simmons ever develops a jumpshot and it probably will hinder him in today’s NBA. Regardless, Simmons is a generational talent as a 6’10 point guard with exceptional court vision.
5. Luka Doncic (age 19)
Doncic has been the most impressive
rookie since LeBron James. His step-back 3’s in clutch moments are unreal for a
guy that’s 19. One of the most exciting players in the league already, expect
Doncic to develop into a great.
4. Karl Anthony Towns (age 23)
Karl Anthony Towns puts up
ridiculous stats and is as skilled a post as there is in the league. No one has
ever denied how talented Towns is, but it’s fair to wonder if any other star
has as empty stats as he does. Going forward, Towns will have to prove he can
lead a team to be contenders, otherwise, he’s likely to fall on this list.
3. Nikola Jokic (age 23)
Jokic may end up being the best
passing center of all time as he averages 7.7apg. His game is really
unconventional with a strange looking jumpshot and below average athleticism,
but it sure does work well. Denver currently has the second best record in the
West and Jokic is the biggest reason why.
2. Joel Embiid (age 24)
Embiid doesn’t have any weaknesses in his game. He’s very skilled and physically dominant in the post. Yet, he can also run the floor like a deer. Not to mention, he’s a pretty good defensive center. It’s not hard to envision Embiid having a hall of fame career, with a chance at being one of the great centers to have played.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (age 24)
The Greek Freak is most likely to be the face of the NBA after LeBron’s run is over. He’s electrifying in every sense of the word and continues to get better. The Milwaukee Bucks have become title contenders through the dominance of Giannis and there’s no reason they can’t sustain it for the next 10 years.
If you’ve played football at any level, you understand the expectations and pressure put on athletes to be able to gain or drop weight quickly. While these pressures can be felt at every position, there’s no position groups that feel these demands more intensely than the offensive and defensive line, where size matters almost as much as talent. I’ve spent the last few years of my life as an NCAA Division I student-athlete, but it wasn’t until football was over that I was finally able to achieve my fitness goals.
First Things First
So I don’t think it’s a secret that a lot of football players (especially the dudes in the trenches) are just wired a little differently than your Average Joe. You’ve gotta be a little bit insane to voluntarily sign up to commit 40 to 50 hours a week (not including school or work) to a jam packed schedule of workouts, 4:45AM wake-up calls, film sessions, training room work, practices, meetings, yada yada yada, all for the reward of bashing your head into another 300 lb grown-ass man over and over again… but for whatever crazy reason, we did that… And that madness instilled a mindset in us that is different than most. A mindset that allows you to face any challenge and attack it without hesitation. The mindset that allowed you to achieve your goals in football is the same mindset that its going to take to achieve your goals after football. Commitment, self-disciple, and a whole lotta that WORK. Easy as that. And just like in football, you’ve gotta have a game plan.
Through hard work and dedication, I’ve been fortunate enough to drop 70+ lbs (in under 7 months) twice in the last 4 years and the things I can point to that contributed the most to my journey were:
Working out with purpose
Keeping your eyes on the prize
You’re a former lineman. You love to eat. I get it. But believe me when I tell you that even though it sounds pretty intimidating, intermittent fasting is going to be your best friend in this whole process. In fact, if you do it right, you can still eat a lot of your favorite not-so-healthy foods somewhat regularly.
Contrary to popular belief, the entire idea behind intermittent fasting is NOT to starve yourself. With intermittent fasting, you’re still supposed to take in the same amount of calories you would normally, but instead of taking in those calories through the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner, you instead give yourself a 4-8 hour window (depending on what you can handle) each day where you scarf down an entire day’s worth of calories. After a few weeks, your body will eventually get used to your new eating pattern and you’ll start to not even get hungry outside of the window that you’ve set for yourself. Not only does intermittent fasting offer weight-loss benefits, but there are also cognitive and cell restoration benefits that come along with fasting regimens as your body enters into a state of ketosis.
As great as the benefits of intermittent fasting can be, it is definitely something that you shouldn’t jump into without doing your research first and making sure it’s the right weight loss method for you. Below are a few links to videos and podcasts to help you begin your research and better understand exactly how intermittent fasting works.
So obviously, throughout this process, your workout regimen is going to need to be pretty gnarly if you want to see real results fast. It’s crucial that you’re able to hold yourself accountable to not only get in the gym everyday, but also to work your ass off while you’re there! You don’t have your coaches to yell at you anymore, no more teammates to hype you up when you’re not feeling it, no real consequences for skipping a workout. IT’S 100% ON YOU NOW!
So now that you’re in the gym, you’ve gotta figure out how to transition from the year-round swoll-sesh that is lineman workouts into a workout that’ll get you slim and trim. I get asked all the time what my workout routine is and the answer varies but the one thing that is always a constant is CARDIO! I know… as a big guy, cardio is your worst nightmare and rightfully so! Even when you drop the weight, cardio still sucks but like I said before, you’ve gotta embrace the challenge! If it was easy to drop 85 lbs, everybody would do it!
While I 100% encourage you to attack the gym, it’s important to make sure you’re smart about your cardio and that you don’t try to do too much too fast! You can definitely put yourself in some sketchy situations if you’re going all out too early in the process. Nobody wants to be the guy that passes out at the gym because he was hitting the elliptical too hard so make sure you know your limitations, but cardio definitely needs to be the focal point of your workouts. Everything else is supplementary. You’ve been big as hell your whole damn life, you don’t need to lift anymore! Go ahead and hop on that treadmill big fella!
As many big guys do, I’ve always had some pretty serious knee issues and I know jogging isn’t too easy on the ol’ joints, especially when you’re pushing 300 pounds. I’ve found that the stationary bike is a great alternative to the treadmill and a much more comfortable place to knock-out a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session. I bike at least one hour (22-25 miles) on the stationary bike 5 to 6 times a week, alternating between 30-second and 90-second working sets with 30-second resting sets in between. It’s the worst thing in the world for the first few weeks but it’s a freakin’ game changer once you start getting comfortable with higher-intensity cardio! Find some good thermogenic pre-workout, search for a good playlist, and get crackin’ on that thing!
The first month or so of daily cardio is gonna be killer on your lungs and your legs. Your heart is going to be beating through your chest. You’ll probably be the sweatiest guy in the gym and I promise it won’t be a pretty sight. But as you gradually start to shred more and more, you’re gonna realize how worth it it was and be stoked that you did it!
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Just like chasing any other goal in life, its super important to be able to see the big picture and remember what you’re working towards. The biggest challenge you’ll face in this whole process will be the mental battle you’re going to be fighting with yourself to keep pushing your limits. It’s key that you don’t let yourself get discouraged or lose sight of your goals if you aren’t seeing the results that you want right away! Keeping the right mentality can make ALL THE DIFFERENCE!
You’re not gonna lose 10 lbs in a week and you might not even lose 5 lbs in a week, but you’ve always got to remember to keep a level head, put your head down, and keep on grinding! You’ll only get out what you put into your workouts and dieting, so if you give a shitty effort, you’re bound to get shitty results. At the end of the day, nobody else can want it for you. If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen! No excuses.
I hope this helps you in your journey! Good luck, be smart, and get after it!
Montana, the 4th largest state in the United States, home to more cattle than humans, with the largest migratory elk herd in the nation, and record holder of the largest observed snowflake… probably isn’t for you.
If you didn’t know Miles City as the “cowboy capital” of the west or if you’ve never heard of the Bucking Horse Sale… Montana isn’t for you.
If you have to google what all goes into a “whiskey ditch” … Montana isn’t for you.
If you can’t handle all 4 seasons in one month, constantly adjusting the temperature in your car, or dressing in layers because of inconsistent weather… Montana isn’t for you.
If you’d rather stay inside instead of fishing, hiking, floating the river, of even draggin’ main… Montana isn’t for you.
If you don’t wave or smile to strangers in passing, hold the door open for the person behind you, or support the lemonade stand down the street… Montana isn’t for you.
If you’re not prepared to dig your car out of 1 foot of snow, drive 40+ miles to visit a friend, or stomp on the brakes to let the cows cross…. Montana isn’t for you.
If you’d rather see large buildings outside your window instead of mountains, pastures, fields, or even jaw- dropping sunsets… Montana isn’t for you.
If you’ve never heard of the “Brawl of the Wild” … well….
Montana is a prideful state. A place that values the simpler things and respects tradition. But, it’s not for everybody. If you winced or questioned any of these points, Montana probably isn’t for you.
However, if you’re up for experiencing some challenging weather conditions, exploring some of the most beautiful terrain, and getting to know some of the greatest people around, then Montana might be the place for you.