Tag Archives: athlete

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The Athlete Next Door | Josh Keown

Josh Keown, 40, of Louisville 

Art Director for Pizza Today magazine and Digital Coordinator for Comedy Central’sTosh.0 screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-6-53-11-pm

Where do you workout? 

Home four days a week and ProFormance Health and Wellbeing one to two days a week.

What is your weekly fitness routine? 

After a few years of Crossfit, I went back to basics this year. I started working out at home. All you need is a few pieces of equipment and the willingness to get uncomfortable in your comfortable home.

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-6-53-02-pmMY ROUTINE 

Every day: 10 minutes of mediation, 3 rounds of Wim Hof breathing and Egoscue movements to get the body/mind primed for the day

Monday and Friday: 250 pushups, 75 strict pull-ups, 200 squats, 150 situps

Tuesday: A lot of shoulder work. Weightlifting and mobility because I have suffered a few dislocations in my right shoulder

Wednesday: Punching the heavy bag for six rounds and rowing at ProFormance

Thursday: Leg work and I will mix that in with some fun arm sets

Saturday: Trail run and a few hill sprints

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-6-53-07-pmWhat about your diet? What’s it like? 

I’m always asked why I don’t weigh 1,000 pounds since I work for Pizza Today, a national magazine geared toward the pizza industry. I limit myself to pizza once a week. I keep it simple. Find healthy foods that you like and eat them every day. I start each day with a protein smoothie that I make at home. Lunch will consist of a chicken breast and bag of frozen vegetables that are easy to heat up in the break room. Dinner is usually more fun with homemade tacos or gluten free pasta.

What compelled you to change how you approached your health? 

I always enjoyed working out, but I also liked wine and eating out six days a week. I wasn’t seeing any results. Then I started educating myself on nutrition and mindset. It was a game changer and since I started cleaning up my diet and meditating, things have slowly started moving in the right direction.

How differently do you feel at 40 as opposed to when you were 30? 

I definitely feel better physically, but the biggest difference is my mindset going into 40 versus 30 is I’m way more focused and happy.

What advice do you have for others? 

Patience. Be patient with yourself. If you start a program and you have a bad day or week. Don’t quit. Get back up. Be consistent. 

Incorporate small changes into your lifestyle. If you try to overhaul everything on a Monday, you’ll be back to your old ways by Tuesday night. Start with trying a new healthy breakfast for a few weeks. Then move to lunch, and so on. Start hanging out with people who inspire you to be better. Get rid of the friend who tries to drag you down. Keep it simple. Even if you have zero equipment and no gym membership you can have an amazing workout. Just get to moving and break a sweat.

BREATHE. Be conscious of your breath. A few times a day sit up straight and take ten deep inhales/exhales. You notice the tension you have in your shoulders will fade away. Around 3pm every day when I start to feel a little tired I will find an upbeat song and breath to the beat. It’s an instant pick-me-up.

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A Little Man’s Take On A Big Sports World | August 2017

The Circus Is Coming to Your Town (Or TV)screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-4-51-24-pm

By Jim Biery

On May 21, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus performed for the last time, ending a tradition of thrilling and exciting (and, sometimes, enraging) people of all ages since 1919. Fortunately, for those of us willing to pony up money to order the Pay-per-view spectacle known as the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight, a new circus will take center stage Aug. 26.

I won’t dance around the truth like Mayweather will dance around the ring that night. A three-ring circus has been replaced by a four-corner boxing ring. The only thing missing is high-flying acrobats and an endless supply of clowns, some of which were pretty scary if you were like me as a child. There is absolutely nothing that will resemble a real fight other than two men half-naked dressed in colorful shorts.

screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-4-51-20-pmThanks to the general public that cries out for anything in combat sports that can be entertaining, this so-called fight will again make muti-millionaires out of the two 154-pound adversaries stepping into the ring that night. They come from different backgrounds as far as fighting, but both know what it takes to sell a fight.

If you have watched the pre-fight press conferences, both fighters are masters at building interest into nothing more than a Pay-per-view staged event. It may sound like a harsh point of view, but I have some facts and personal history to back this up.

First of all, Mayweather has demanded and dictated that the fight will be judged strictly by boxing rules. No kicks, submission chokes, or elbows. Also, the fight will be with 10-ounce gloves, not the 4-ounce gloves that most MMA matches use. The amount of dancing Mayweather will do will rival Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta. Think about this, McGregor is used to getting hit with the lighter MMA gloves. Hitting him with 10-ounce gloves might feel like a pillow fight to him. The last knockout Mayweather had was in 2011. His last fight was in 2015. Oh yeah, he is 40 years old compared to McGregor, who is 29.

Now, before the boxing purists think I am just another modern-day MMA fan, I grew up a huge boxing fan. Ever heard of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini? Danny “Little Red “ Lopez? How about “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler? Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns?

Unfortunately, boxing has really faded away with the rapid growth of the UFC. That being said, I must divulge that I have trained in the very discipline that kicked started that growth. Thanks to Royce Gracie who introduced us to the power of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu at UFC 1, MMA has developed into what most consider to be the real measure of who is the best fighter in the world at each weight class.

With so many boxing matches going the 12- or 15-round distance, then followed by controversial judging results, the modern-day fight fan wants more action and more definite results inside the ring. No one can argue who won or lost when somebody is face down in the middle of the ring.

I don’t condone violence or aggression of any kind outside of a sanctioned boxing match or any officiated martial art contest. The submission tournaments I did fight in had clear rules and sportsmanship was clear and obvious for all competitors and fans to observe. When you fight out of anger or ignorance, you only put yourself, and possibly others at great risk given the situation you’re in.

I have been honored to have trained with many Jiu-Jitsu instructors that trained directly under a Gracie family member themselves. I was thrilled to be able to attend a seminar with Rickson Gracie that he was teaching himself. Anybody who knows or trains in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu understands what a presence Rickson is to the world of martial arts.

This is why I feel like this upcoming bout is such a circus. Half the people hope Mayweather will knockout a loud, arrogant, obnoxious MMA guy who can’t go two sentences without dropping F bombs among other vulgar obscenities. The other half would like McGregor to possibly pull off the upset of the century and beat what many say is the best pound-for-pound boxer that ever lived.

The hype will continue to build just like the two fighters want. The more interest, the more money they will make from Pay-per-view audiences, those attending the fight and advertisers.

This isn’t about a fight to see who’s the better man. This is a tug-of-war to reap the financial benefits of a world looking to find a real fighter who isn’t a real clown outside the ring.

I am not saying this won’t be must-see TV. The crowd in attendance, the build-up and excitement of what could possibly happen and what the outcome will be? Will McGregor snap and high kick Mayweather’s head right off his shoulders? Will Mayweather school McGregor in the sweet science of boxing and humiliate him in the ring?

All of this is yet to be seen. But remember, if at the end of the night you all feel like you have really been let down by the “The Greatest Show On Earth,” all I can say is: “Send in the clowns.” Because there are going to be clowns.

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Football Preview | August 2017

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Are you a Louisville, Indiana or Kentucky football fan? Howie Lindsey of 790 KRD and Jeff Nunn of Cardinal Sports Zone take a look at the upcoming season (and a bit of Fantasy Football, too).

LOUISVILLE OUTLOOK 

By Howie Lindsey

If you would have told Louisville fans their team would finish 9-4 on the season with a win over Florida State and Lamar Jackson would win the Heisman Trophy, nearly all of them would be as happy as could be with the outcome. But the way last season finished, with three-straight losses including disappointing performances against arch-rival Kentucky and the bowl stinker vs. LSU, have Louisville fans wishing for more in 2017.

The good news? Jackson is back for his junior season, and a good number of talented players join him on both sides of the ball. Louisville figures to be an ACC contender again this season.

COACH SPEAK 

Bobby Petrino: “We have high expectations for this team. I know our coaching staff does. I know our players do. Certainly, our fans and our administration have high expectations for us, and this is a really tough conference. It’s going to be very competitive. Every team that we play has really good players. Every team that we play is very, very well-coached, so we’re going to have to do a great job of being in great condition, developing our depth, and being able to perform in the fourth quarter when the pressure is on. I think that’s what you’re going to see, a lot of fourth quarter wins or fourth quarter losses this year throughout the conference.”

TEAM STRENGTH 

Quarterback. With Jackson in the pocket for year three, Louisville figures to have the most dangerous offense in the ACC and perhaps the nation. Jackson broke Michael Vick’s ACC records last season, and he was still figuring out Bobby Petrino’s full offense. How good could he be this season? That may depend on the next item.

BIGGEST QUESTION 

Offensive Line. Louisville struggled mightily at the end of the 2016 season and the LSU and Houston games were extremely frustrating for Jackson. He didn’t have a second to think much less make a play in either of those two games. Louisville lost starters Tobijah Hughley, Kahlil Hunter and Kiola Mahoni from last season’s line. Returning starters Geron Christian and Lukayus McNeil are both all-conference caliber, but the players around them will determine the overall line performance. Can Kenny Thomas, Toriano Roundtree, Linwood Foy, Cole Bentley, Mekhi Becton and others step in to make Louisville’s line more effective?

BREAKOUT STARscreen-shot-2017-08-05-at-3-58-57-pm

Jaylen Smith. Louisville lost its top three receivers from 2016, wideouts James Quick and Jamari Staples and tight end Cole Hikutini. Stepping into the spotlight will be Smith, who has all the physical tools to be an elite wide receiver. He caught 27 passes for 599 yards and six touchdowns last season. Those numbers could double in 2017.

WATCH LIST

Reggie Bonnafon, senior RB with multi-position skills

Jeremy Smith, Louisville’s top returning RB

Trevon Young, all-league talent at DE returns from injury

TOUGHEST GAME

Florida State, Oct. 21 in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are absolutely loaded with talent and most experts are predicting them to win the ACC this season. Playing at Florida State is never easy, especially when they have a team loaded with this many playmakers.

MY PREDICTION: The Cardinals will go 10-2. They will lose at Florida State and will slip up in one other game, possibly at N.C. State or at Virginia. The Cards will again just be on the outside of the playoffs and finish as a top 10 team.


NUNN’S WISE GUY PREDICTIONS

By Jeff Nunn

The Cardinals are coming off a season of highs and lows. They jumped out to a 9-1 start, beating second ranked Florida State by 43 points and only losing to eventual national champion Clemson in Death Valley.

But the wheels fell off during a trip to Houston. An unexpected home loss to Kentucky followed and an uninspiring performance against LSU in the Citrus Bowl concluded the season at 9-4. The offensive line was much to blame for the terrible finish as they surrendered 22 sacks over those last three games and 47 overall.

Louisville only returns four starters on offense but it helps that one of those four is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. Going into this season, the offensive line remains the biggest question. The other questions that remain are how new offensive line coach Mike Summers and new defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon will fare.

The Cardinals are loaded at wide receiver but running back is a different story. Due to injuries, it appears to be “running back by committee” this year. The defense returns seven starters, and the defensive line will be anchored by Drew Bailey. Inside linebacker Stacy Thomas and outside linebacker James Hearns will lead the charge in the middle while one of the best cover corners in college football, Jaire Alexander, will patrol the secondary.

The Cards must cut down on turnovers and protect Jackson if they want to have any chance to win the ACC. Louisville will beat Purdue, North Carolina, Kent State, Murray State, Boston College, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Virginia and Kentucky. The two games they need to win to have a chance at the college football playoffs are Clemson and at N.C. State.


screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-3-59-10-pmKENTUCKY OUTLOOK 

By Howie Lindsey

Lifted by a late-season win against Louisville, Kentucky’s optimism for 2017 wasn’t diminished much by a lackluster performance vs. Georgia Tech in the TaxSlayer Bowl. After finishing 7-6 last season, expectations for this season include a bowl and possibly more. There have even been a few analysts calling Kentucky a dark horse for the SEC East crown.

Last season the Wildcats produced the third-most rushing yards in school history. This season they’ll likely rely on QB Stephen Johnson to even out the rush-pass percentages. Johnson won seven of his 11 games as the starter, and now he’s the full-time starter. The Wildcats are deeper and more talented than they have been in many years and a return trip to a bowl seems likely. Like the last few seasons, the final regular-season game vs. Louisville will be a key to how the fans view this season’s success or failure.

COACH SPEAK 

Mark Stoops: “We feel like we have an experienced football team. We’re returning 17 starters, nine on offense, eight on defense. And the maturity level of your team is getting better. They can handle more. So, it will be much of the same this summer: push them harder and be more consistent.”

BIGGEST QUESTION 

Defensive Line. The Wildcats were downright dreadful for most of 2016 on the defensive line, and the final stats show an embarrassing lack of production. The line accounted for just 13 tackles and two sacks for the entire season. That’s a great single-game performance from a linebacker, but that’s what they did in an entire season. Stoops said the D-Line “must improve” for Kentucky to meet its 2017 goals.

BREAKOUT STAR 

Benny Snell. The sophomore back had a great first season, and SEC Network analyst Marcus Spears believes Snell could be one of the best in the nation in 2017. “He won’t get talked about because he’s at Kentucky. We’ll talk about backs at Bama and backs at LSU, but at the end of the year, Benny Snell is probably going to be one of the leading rushers in the conference,” Spears said.

TEAM STRENGTH 

Secondary safety. Mike Edwards has NFL talent, and the Wildcats also return talented defensive backs Chris Westry and Derrick Baity. At SEC Media Days, Stoops said, “We have some superstars in the making at that position.” UK can match up with every offense in the SEC in the secondary.

WATCH LISTscreen-shot-2017-08-05-at-3-59-24-pm

Stephen Johnson, now the full-time starter at QB and a team leader

CJ Conrad, this TE could be Kentucky’s top pass catcher for 2017

Josh Allen, a very productive OLB, led the team in sacks with 7 last season

TOUGHEST GAME

Georgia, Nov. 18 at Georgia. The Wildcats have the advantage of hosting Florida (Sept. 23) and Tennessee (Oct. 28). The SEC East has been down the last two seasons and this season there is no clear leader. A trip to Georgia could tell the tale for their season with Louisville closing out the season in Lexington on Nov. 25.

MY PREDICTION: The Wildcats will go 7-5, winning two of those three make-or-break games. I want to predict eight wins, but I just don’t have enough faith in this coaching staff to do so. But, don’t be shocked if they win eight games.


NUNN’S WISE GUY PREDICTIONS

By Jeff Nunn

The Wildcats finished the 2016 regular season winning their last two games and tallying up seven victories with five losses. They then lost to Georgia Tech in the TaxSlayer Bowl.

Kentucky amassed the most rushing yards in school history last season and even though power running back, Boom Williams, will be enjoying life on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad this year, they still have 2016 freshman All-American Benny Snell in the backfield.

UK returns a total of eight starters on offense and nine on defense. The offensive line will be one of the best in the Southeastern Conference, and dual-threat quarterback Stephen Johnson, who can throw an amazing deep ball, should be even better this year.

Offensively, Kentucky will look to pound the ball and take a few deep shots this year. The defense has a pretty good linebacking corp led by Jordan Jones. Pass rusher, Denzil Ware, will be a force against opposing QBs. UK gave up 200 rushing yards in nine games last season and allowed just over five yards per carry. If Kentucky can improve their run defense, then this could be a very good year for the Wildcats. I believe UK will beat Southern Miss, EKU, Eastern Michigan, Miss State and Ole Miss. UK has three games that could make or break their season: at South Carolina, at Vanderbilt and at home vs. Missouri.


INDIANA OUTLOOKscreen-shot-2017-08-05-at-3-59-33-pm

By Howie Lindsey

Indiana made a bowl last season. That’s a headline worthy of repeating. It was Indiana’s second bowl in more than two decades. Now the Hoosiers are going to have to try to replicate that success with new coach Tom Allen after Kevin Wilson resigned under duress after a scandal that involved how he treated players who were injured.

Allen, the former defensive coordinator, knows his defense will lead the way in 2017, and the question is whether the offense can put up enough points to win games. New offensive coordinator Mike DeBord was hired from Tennessee to lead the offense, and he’s very much a defensive coordinator’s pick – an extremely conservative play-caller.

Opening the season with Ohio State won’t be easy. Out-of-conference games vs. Virginia, FIU and Georgia Southern are all winnable games. The season-ending stretch of at Illinois, vs. Rutgers and at Purdue could be needed to snag a second-straight bowl.

COACH SPEAK 

Tom Allen: “I think anytime it’s your first year, it gives opportunities to be excited. Having that experience is huge and having the whole offseason behind us and spring ball, that creates a lot excitement and confidence for what’s ahead.”

TEAM STRENGTH 

Secondary. Marcelino Ball is a big-time playmaker. He can rush the passer, he can cover a tight end, he can stop the run and he has playmakers around him to allow him to focus on his assignment. IU’s secondary is ready to compete at the highest level.

BIGGEST QUESTION 

Running Back. Indiana was 92nd in rushing offense last season and doesn’t return a lot of firepower. Even worse, against winning teams the Hoosiers averaged less than 100 yards per game last season. Throw in a new offensive coordinator and there are huge question marks about Indiana’s rushing attack.

BREAKOUT STARscreen-shot-2017-08-05-at-3-59-45-pm

Tegray Scales. The senior linebacker had 126 tackles last season with a ridiculous 23.5 tackles for a loss. He had seven sacks, four QB hurries, a forced fumble and an interception. And if the NFL doesn’t call at the end of this season? He says he’ll go into MMA.

WATCH LIST

Richard Lagow, the giant senior QB is Indiana’s clear leader at QB

Nick Westbrook, Had 995 yards receiving last season with 6 TDs

Marcus Oliver, Upcoming senior had 15.5 tackles for a loss last season

TOUGHEST GAME

Michigan, Oct. 14 at Indiana. The competition for toughest game is tough with road trips to Penn State and Michigan State and home games vs. Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin. That Michigan tilt might be the toughest because it is sandwiched in between trip to Penn State and Michigan State.

MY PREDICTION: The Hoosiers will go 6-6 again and win a bowl game, but don’t be surprised if they upset an upper level Big 10 team this year. They could be a sleeper in the Big 10.


NUNN’S WISE GUY PREDICTIONS

By Jeff Nunn

The Hoosiers came off a very offensive 2016 season. I mean offensive as they scored a lot of points, averaging just over 25 points per game in the regular season. It appeared as though head coach Kevin Wilson had a plan to try to outscore the opponent rather than stop them.

And why not when the strength of your team is your wide receivers.

Wilson is now the offensive coordinator at Ohio State so IU’s defensive coordinator from 2016, Tom Allen, is now the head coach.

Indiana boasts one of the best receiving duos in the Big 10 conference with Nick Westbrook and Simmie Cobbs. So the question is will Tom Allen continue the offensive mentality from last season or will he focus more on defense? Indiana finished last season 6-6, which was good enough for fourth in the Big 10 East. I feel like this year’s version of the football Hoosiers has the ability to hang with almost every team in the Big 10 but lacks that one piece to put them near the top. With the elite level receivers and very solid linebackers, this team should be fun to watch. They should be able to beat FIU, GA Southern, Maryland, Illinois and Rutgers. The two games that could make or break their season are at Virginia and Purdue.


Pick Your Fantasy

By Jeff Nunn

FANTASY FOOTBALL has been around for a long time. In fact, it was born in a New York hotel room back in 1962 by three guys from Oakland. While the game has changed and adapted with various modifications over the years, the enjoyment of playing has not wavered. That very enjoyment has led to millions of people playing every National Football League season. So, what universal longing does fantasy football satisfy and what exactly is fantasy football?

In its simplest description, fantasy football is a math-based game based on stats from real NFL players on a weekly basis. Participants (usually 12 people) join a league and draft a team of NFL players. Each week, they decide which players from their team to enter into their starting line-up based on projections and match-ups.

The goal is to start the players that you think are likely to achieve the most fantasy points. The number of players that you can start is based on the league setting. Most commonly, a league will require you to have a starting roster that consists of one quarterback (QB), two running backs (RB), two wide receivers (WR), one tight end (TE), one kicker (K), one defense (D/ST) and one FLEX (usually RB or WR) that you pick from the 13 NFL players you drafted.

The on-field statistics each of those starting players accumulate in their NFL game are calculated into a value for each stat set by the league settings to give a weekly player point total. The point totals of all the players in your starting lineup are tallied into your weekly score, and if you have a higher total than your opponent (another member of your league) you win that week. Players on your roster who you do not start are considered on your “bench.” They’ll still score points like everyone else, but those points will not be counted toward your weekly total.

Each week you will face a different opponent in your league. At the end of the fantasy regular season (usually NFL Week 12 or Week 13), the teams with the best win-loss records will enter the fantasy playoffs. Playoffs are a “win and advance or lose and you are out” proposition. Whoever wins the remaining games in the playoffs is crowned league champion following Week 17 of the NFL season, although many fantasy football leagues are starting to hold their championship on week 16 of the NFL season because typically a NFL team who has clinched a playoff berth will rest their best players in week 17 (the final NFL regular season week).

Winning a fantasy football league can be quite profitable or it can just simply give you bragging rights, depending on your league. Like most things in life, there are many different levels and require different amount of commitment.

Personally, I play in four very different fantasy football leagues every year, two of which have high-dollar entry fees. One is a smaller entry fee, while the fourth is free and strictly just for fun and bragging rights. One of the high-dollar entry fee leagues that I play in has a weekly payout to the person with the overall weekly highest point total. Weekly payouts keep people interested all season despite not having a chance to win the league after starting the season with a bad record.

A profitable payout or just the joy of winning are not the only reasons fantasy football is played by more than 75 million people every year.

Some people are just superfans and feel a closer connection to their NFL team if they have players from their favorite team on their fantasy team. It gives them a greater rooting interest. Or they just love NFL football and want a reason to follow all 256 games played in a NFL season. Many people are simply competitive and love the adrenaline rush of winning and the motivation from the fear of losing.

Staying connected to friends is also another reason people play. Many high school or college friends move away after school, so online leagues offer a reason to stay connected for several weeks out of the year. Coworkers may not want to be left out of the water cooler discussions so some people play in office leagues just to be included.

In some families, the spouse plays just to have a closer relationship with their significant other. With your spouse having a vested interest, it can change their point of view on watching football. On Sundays, you can hear a question about how many touchdowns Tom Brady has thrown rather than, “Are you gonna watch football all day?” It should be noted that it has been estimated that 1 out of every 5 fantasy football players are female.

With there being so many different types of leagues, there is something for everyone. Yes, a standard league is the most popular, but there are also auction draft style leagues, dynasty leagues, keeper leagues, survivor leagues and IDP leagues. All have different variations within each individual league settings set by the league commissioner but all have the same basic strategies involved.

If you haven’t played but are interested, I suggest you go to Yahoo and check out the mock drafts. You can participate in a mock draft just to see what a draft is like or to see who the masses are picking with their first few picks. There are many other sites that offer mock drafts, but I feel Yahoo is the easiest. There are drafts starting literally ever few minutes.

Who knows, maybe you will be hooked and become one of the growing number of fantasy football players. If you decide to play or already are playing, best of luck to you. Unless, of course, you happen to be in one of my leagues, because then I hope have an average year.

IN ITS SIMPLEST DESCRIPTION, FANTASY FOOTBALL IS A MATH-BASED GAME BASED ON STATS FROM REAL NFL PLAYERS ON A WEEKLY BASIS.

Why do more than 75 million people participate in fantasy football? The reasons are many. 

 

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The Athlete Next Door | Corey Queen: Faster Than a Speeding Lifetime

screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-3-02-38-pmBy Grant Vance | Photos by Danny Alexander 

No relation to Green Arrow’s alter ego Oliver Queen, Corey Queen has proven himself to be a hero of many sorts. His history of fighting an unhealthy lifestyle reigns over the past seven years. And although he isn’t exactly the protector of a crime-ridden city, he’s proven to be a hero to family, friends and – most importantly – himself.

Now a personal trainer for Bluegrass Phoenix Personal Training and Nutrition, a company he started, Queen is set on mentoring anyone who chooses to embark with him on his heroic journey. Throwing a BANG! at weight loss here, a POW! at fitness there, Queen sees no end in sight for his war on the tyranny of lackadaisical health practices. screen-shot-2017-08-05-at-3-02-45-pm

With great health, comes great responsibility, he might tell you – he’s completed 42 different races and fitness competitions over the course of those seven years, after all. Recently competing in a Spartan Challenge, Queen is not one to shy away from a long, challenging race. It wasn’t always that easy for him, however; whether it’s a radioactive spider, tragic memory or crashed alien space-ship, every hero has an origin.

From the clutches of childhood abuse, mental health issues and a now fateful health scare, Queen is no different.

Year One 

The year is 2010. Corey Queen is casually going through his day, carrying on a discussion at work. He begins to tell a story about his wife, Damary, when something particularly strange happens.

“I’m telling this story about my wife, and I could see her in my head, but I couldn’t remember her name. This went on 90 seconds, which doesn’t sound like long, but when you’re married… it is,” Queen said. “So I jokingly posted on Facebook (about it). … Twenty minutes later, my wife called me and asked when I was going to the doctor… then if I had checked my Facebook after the post. I found about 20 comments of (friends warning me) this is the first sign of a stroke.”

After some slight resistance, Queen followed through with the wishes for a doctoral visit, not realizing how fatal a slight-though-significant memory lapse can truly be. First, he was directed to get a CAT-scan, which tested negative for a stroke.

It may not have aligned with the original scare, but it wasn’t all good news.

“The doctor asked if I had been sleeping well. I said no. I’m an adult survivor of child abuse. … If I made anything below a B, I would wake up to a backpack of books (being thrown at his head),” Queen said. “So, I grew up to be a light sleeper, because I never knew when it was coming.”

Despite the circumstance, the doctor recommended a sleep study. The results calculated a halt in breathing nine times within a 90-minute span of sleep, with 90 percent blockage another five.

“So (the doctor) said, ‘We’re going to have to get you a CPAP machine,’” Queen said. “But then (the doctor) said, ‘So here’s the thing: Most people I tell to come see me in six months. Looking at you, you won’t live three. You’ve got to lose weight, you’ve got to get active. I’ve had this conversation with 20 people this week and 19 probably walked out and went to McDonalds. … Are you comfortable having (your kids) call another man ‘Dad,’ because you won’t be around.

“I left that doctors appointment shook.”

Meanwhile… a Heroic Training Montage 

Queen took the doctors orders to heart, calling his wife immediately and beginning research on what his best strategy would be. Fitness can be hard to keep on its own accords, and soaring back into the game will almost always include a lousy jump or two before flight is achievable.

“I immediately started to think, if I’m able to sacrifice one hour a day, which isn’t a lot to sacrifice. I spend an hour a day doing a lot of useless stuff,” Queen laughed. “But I researched what I could do that would burn the most calories consistently. No matter how hard I looked, it kept coming back to running.”

To Queen, running was the last thing he wanted to commit to regularly. Joking he would sooner jazzercise or buy Richard Simmons’ workout DVDs (leotard and all), the act of running was about as daunting as it could be.

“I tied up my sweatshirt and my running shoes, and I went running,” Queen said. “I called my wife about 20 minutes later and asked her to come get me … she asked where I was, and I told her to open the front door and turn right.

“I went a quarter of a mile before I felt like my lungs had left my body.”

The drive was there, and Queen refused to let his first attempt at running discourage him from his mission. After a good deal of research, he stumbled upon a book called Marathoning for Mortals. Almost as if this was his pinnacle “overcoming the fear of bats and becoming them” moment, Queen found a true direction for overcoming the obstacle of running.

“(As a trainer now) this is the problem with the fitness industry. We want to compare ourselves to everyone. And there’s television and everyone and their mother is trying to sell you something,” Queen said. “With fitness you have to have short term and long term goals because you have to celebrate those victories.”

As a comic book fan, Queen is no stranger to the idea of the short-term satisfaction of monthly single issues to the long-term satisfaction of the giant events they build toward; he just needed to think of fitness in the same context.

He decided he was going to set a date to run a marathon in a year, despite friends suggesting otherwise.

“This was just a personal thing. I just wanted to cross the finish line,” Queen said.

Queen set out his long-term goal, but not without setting a preliminary short term goal along with it.

“The next week I decided to do my first 5K, the UofL Health Classic in Cherokee Park. I ran that in 48 minutes,” Queen laughed. “It’s not, you know, the best feeling being lapped twice … but I will never forget hearing and seeing my daughters cheer for me at the finish line. They didn’t care how long it took me. There was a mental switch that went on in that moment that said I love this.

“You have to find something to turn that light on inside you, flip the switch.”

The Marathon Man 

Soon, Queen started to sign up for any race he could find within the next year leading to his first marathon. Jumping from 5K to 5K, eventually attempting a 10-miler, there was no stopping Queen’s ambitious strides.

After only a year of epic training, Queen went for the marathon.

“I did it the first year and it was awful,” Queen said. “I finished in six and a half hours … felt like I was hit by a truck.”

Though slightly discouraged by the outcome, Queen achieved his goal: He crossed the finish line. But this wasn’t the end of Queen’s reign, not by any means. As a goal-oriented crusader, he set new goals to learn more and become a distance running apprentice imagine Dr. Strange with sorcery, only its Corey Queen, and with running.

“I became a student to the game,” Queen said. “Every book, article, documentary I could find.”

Along with the academic approach, Queen also emphasizes finding personal motivation and ignoring the naysayers. “Screw what your friends say (and) find what motivates you.”

Some examples of motivation for Queen include his own fortress of solitude, where he hangs his medals (as well as Superman shirts signed by his children Ayana, Annabelle, Adrianna and Jorel), and his routine of wearing his medal for a week after each race as a symbol of accomplishment.

“You have to get out of your comfort zone,” Queen said. “As you get older you find out how strong you are, and that’s a confidence booster.”

Queen, who has bipolar disorder and suffers from PTSD, found exercise therapeutic and discovered that “taking the ego out to learn” can be incredibly gratifying.

Queen started to see this more and more as time went on and ran marathon after marathon, working his way up to his standing 42-race count. But, at the end of the day, they are just milestones, he said. “Don’t get caught up in numbers. … Remember why you’re doing it. I’ve never lost sight of who I am; it’s part of me, not definitive.”

Emphasizing the importance of self is what really emerged through Queen’s journey to health: realizing you are worth something, and you owe it to yourself to believe in yourself enough to achieve these goals.

To Avengers: Infinity War and Beyond

Despite a scare in September 2014 caused by a stress-induced stroke, Queen’s health has drastically improved since he became dedicated to a healthier lifestyle and lost 80 pounds of fat.

With no true end in sight (although he claimed he told friends he was slowing down) Queen has five races on the docket, including the Spartan trifecta, which he plans to make a family “vacation.” These are only his short-term goals. His long-term goal? Running the Louisville Iron Man in five years, the year he will turn 50.

“I’m a terrible swimmer, so that will be a big challenge,” Queen said. “I’ll be drinking a lot of pool water the next couple years.”

In the meantime, Queen will continue as a personal trainer for his business, while also inspiring friends and family to try new fitness-oriented activities, including friends trying the Spartan Challenge, his wife running a mini-marathon and his kids more and more interested in exercise-based activities like volleyball and cross country.

Queen coaches cross country and also finds time to act as ambassador for the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon.

Then again, what super hero doesn’t jump around several different series and crossovers?


KEEPING UP WITH COREY QUEEN 

Dieting Tips: I eat based on fueling my body for workouts and recovery from races/ workouts. So, lean proteins and lots of veggies. I never go more than 3 hours without eating, so I keep my metabolism going.

Workout Routine: Find whatever motivates you personally I wake up at 4 in the morning to run before my family and the rest of the world.

Fitness Tips: Don’t get caught up in the scale; it’s just a number that tells you how much gravity is weighing down your mass. As long as you’re exercising towards what’s healthiest for you, that’s most important.