Monday, March 7, 2011

Jeffrey Cohen, Guest Blogger & Cenegenics Patient, on Biking With Giants

I am pleased to present you all with Jeffrey Cohen, this week's special guest blogger. Jeffrey is a good friend of mine and a longtime Cenegenics Boca Raton patient of six years. At 59 years old, Jeffrey keeps up the excitement in his fitness routine by running, biking and swimming his way across Miami, Florida. Read on to learn about his unique regimen and experiences.

When I first read about Cenegenics, I wasn’t sure whether I believed it or not. But I’d read some articles about growth hormone and testosterone, which, in a reasonable dose, seemed like it would be of great benefit to me. So I met with Dr. Willix and found that he was an exercise lunatic, like I was, and equally as focused – kind of a no-nonsense guy. So I said, let’s give it a try. That was six years ago. 

Jeffrey running in Miami, FL
I was very skeptical at beginning. The Cenegenics program didn’t have the same level of diligence that other treatments had, and I’d always taken supplements and exercised. But everything Dr. Willix said made sense (for example, that blood loses certain hormones as you get older). I do know for a fact that, after starting the program, I felt more energy and started really moving forward. I got my body from 10 percent body fat to 6 percent. Being closer to retirement, I could spend more time doing exercises. Although I had a back operation two years ago then spent a year recovering, I’m moving forward once again.

Miami's endless biking & running routes
I really enjoy biking. To me, enjoyment is the satisfaction of doing something well. If I go faster and harder, I feel better, respect myself and am satisfied. That’s a deep level of satisfaction. There are a lot of beautiful things running down the beach in the morning or afternoon, and you don’t feel the pain when you’re looking up at interesting things all around you.

Biking is all about discovery. I may bike from Miami Beach up to Dania Beach and back, which is about 50 miles round trip. Or, I might bike down to Homestead and around Key Biscayne and back. Sometimes I bike to Coral Gables and around Miracles Mile, going in and out some old neighborhoods. I go back up through Coconut Grove, circle around Key Biscayne once or twice, and either come back on 395 for pure speed, or go through the Venetian Causeway for enjoyment. Having a few different routes keeps biking fun.

When I bike to North Miami, there are always buses on the way back. I ride at about 25 m.p.h., but I end up going about the same speed as the buses because, although they go from 35 to 40 m.p.h., they stop a lot. Buses actually create a vortex that helps pull you along while you bike, and come in handy for wind resistance.

When I first started biking with the buses, the drivers would get mad at me and beep their horn. They made really nasty remarks at me as they passed, and I’d just smile back. After three years and hundreds of times of repeating this process, some began pulling over really far to make it easy for me to pass, or would start up more slowly so I could keep up. Instead of being angry, they started giving me a pleasant wave and a, “Hey, nice to see ya.” Finally! After three years, they got a kick out of the experience and made it easier for me to bike with them. There was a sense of camaraderie.

I learned that people really want to be nice, you just have to give them a reason. That’s a lesson I’m taking everywhere now. I may not be spiritual in the same sense as Dr. Willix, but I do believe in the Ten Commandments, especially ‘Do unto others as you’d do unto yourself.’
I’m regimented in my fitness routine, but I’m also flexible. If I can't see my veins or if I can pinch too much on my side, I know to step it up. If someone wants to climb a mountain or kayak from one island to another, I’ll switch it up. It’s all a matter of calories in, calories out, and of course, the quality of the calories.

A typical breakfast

Every day I wake up at 5:30 or 6 a.m., check my e-mail and schedule, and take out my dogs, Hershey and Bubs. Breakfast is usually egg whites or salmon with whole grain, milk or coffee, a four-ounce probiotic drink, and two prunes. If I don’t have egg whites, I treat myself to a whole grain bagel with salmon and low-fat cheese. I work for four hours, and usually have a meeting scheduled. Afterward, I read some contracts and respond with a strategy. For lunch, I'll grab an apple, a protein shake, and some green and red vegetables. I like to use all the different colors to get all of my vitamins and minerals, like carrots, red pepper, and tomato. (I actually substitute tomatoes for carbs, because, really, tomatoes are carbs.)

Jeffrey walking Hershey and Bubs
I do aerobics six days a week: running, biking and swimming. I run between one and two hours, bike between an hour and a half and four hours, and swim between an hour and an hour and a half. I weight train three days a week, and always take one day each week to do nothing. However, “nothing” for me means fun activities like skiing, water skiing, scuba diving, and tennis.

My greatest accomplishment is simply not quitting over the past 30 years. I exercise even when I get up and don’t feel like it, or fit it in a workout before I go out at night. So my biggest achievement, I’d say, is my own tenacity.

59 years young

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