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“Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable”

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

My wrist watch alarm clock is going off, and it is somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00 AM…for the last 2 years or so I’ve been sleeping with my watch on, practicing that it can wake me up…time to get to the East Bank Club (EBC) here in Chicago. Several times a week, I go down and workout under the guidance, motivation, and expertise of Matt Pippin, 360 Coach and Trainer.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

This is his catch phrase and drummed into my head on a regular basis (along with “close your mouth, breath through your nose”, but we’ll save that for another post 😉), and while this may be a short post, I want it to be a heartfelt “thank you” to Matt for helping me get ready to tackle the most physically demanding thing I have ever done.

When I signed up for the Clipper in the summer of 2019, I knew I needed to be at peak physical fitness. Being physically fit can’t be underestimated for participating in the Clipper Race…these race boats are big, the equipment massive, the hours long and tiring. Balance, strength, cardio fitness are all key, and Matt and I worked on all of them through a variety of “low and slow” and “high intensity interval“ work outs…ranging from walking with weights, hip and shoulder mobility, the “grinder”, to sprints on the notorious “fan bike”, to weight training and pushups (“note, I suck at push ups”), we worked each morning, plus many more hours at the EBC on my own.

Matt and I began working together in the fall of 2019, just before COVID struck. We continued working remotely via Zoom, in my fancy “garage gym”, complete with plywood floor, through my rotator cuff surgery, and most recently, a sprained knee (“who thought it might be a good idea to play baseball, run the bases AND carry my 65-lb sea bag without negative outcomes?). Under his leadership, coaching and friendship, I’m in the best shape since high-school. I‘ve lost 30 pounds, realigned my diet, built my endurance, balance and strength.

If you want to “get comfortable with bring uncomfortable” and looking to get in shape for your own adventure or just life, give Matt a call at the East Bank Club, or join his website at Pippin Performance…you will be ready…I am! Thanks Matt, I won’t let you down!

As an update, we continue to make great progress on my fundraising…”thank you” to all that recently donated…it is greatly appreciated. Fundraising continues through 2023 and 2024, so if you haven’t had a chance to contribute, there is plenty of time to get your tax deduction by supporting UNICEF or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Lastly, just released last week, Team Qingdao has our own merchandise site with all profits going to UNICEF…today you can get 15% off and the merchandise arrives fast…support us now with a cool t-shirt, hoody, mug or sticker (note, sizes run a bit small, so consider sizing one up than normal).

I am about 48 hours from getting on a plane for the UK, so my next post won’t be for a days…I’ll focus on gear, and shift my posts to the run-up to race start on September 3rd. Things are happening fast and furious to finish getting ready!

Thanks for reading,


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