Parenthletes of the Week!

 James and Erica

Location: Anaheim Hills, California

Careers: Mom is a massage therapist, Dad is a physical therapist

Kids: 1 daughter…shes almost 2!

Healthy Lifestyle: Running, Triathlons, and playing with their daughter!

1. Tell us a little about yourselves and your typical weekday.

My name is James and I work as a physical therapist. My wife Erica
works part-time as a massage therapist, and we have our 2 year old
daughter Phoebe. We live in Anaheim Hills, California and we love
being active and encouraging and teaching our daughter to be active as

A typical Tuesday/Thursday weekday when I was training for my Ironman
consisted of waking up at 4:30am, having my coffee and checking
emails, grabbing my gym bag and heading down to the gym to make the
6am indoor spin class. Showered up and dressed for work at the gym, I
still have time to come back home and make breakfast as my wife and
daughter are just now waking up. Leave the house again and I’m at work
by 9am. Finish up work around 5:30 and then I head back to the gym
again to put in between 2500-4000 meters of swimming, which will
usually take anywhere from 45-90min to complete. Home by 7:30-7:45 for
dinner and down time with the family. Wednesdays/Fridays aren’t as
long of a day since those are just single workout days where I’ll just
do my treadmill runs followed by strength training. Mondays are my
rest days which means I try to sleep in…which for me is waking at
6am. I think what makes my triathlete lifestyle more tolerating with
my family is that I try to do the majority of my workouts as early in
the morning as I can so that by the time they wake up, I’m pretty much
home already, or home within a couple hours of them waking up. I call
these “invisible” workouts…getting it done when they don’t even know
you’re gone.

2. How did you keep active before having children?
I’ve always been a fitness guy through high school and college, but
once I got into physical therapy school, I spent more time studying
and trying to survive through classes and internships and found less
time for working out. Combine that with campus fast food and late
nights and that was just disaster. Once I graduated and passed my
state license exam I made it a priority to get back in shape. I was
doing my gym routine again and felt the weight just wasn’t dropping
off fast enough. So then I started running, and the weight just
started dropping off every week. Being the goal oriented person I am,
I decided to sign up for a 5K to give my running a purpose. That was
pretty much what started the ripple effect on where I am now. I just
got hooked on running and wanted to do it all the time. But running
really does take a beating on you after awhile. I had been doing spin
classes already, but wanted to take my cycling outdoors and feel the
wind again. So that got me back into road cycling again. When I met
and started dating my wife, I found out she was also really into
running. So we started signing up for events together and our
relationship also took off from there.

3. What adjustments did you make to your lifestyle to stay active after kids?

This is where it can get complicated but somehow it works out. My wife
gets her gym workouts in during the day while I’m at work. Phoebe is
old enough to where she enjoys playing in kids club while we workout.
We also have a jogger stroller for when we run together with Phoebe.
Pushing her in the jogger is becoming a bit more challenging now
compared to when she was still tiny though…I think you could make a
pretty good guess that I’m usually the one that pushes the jogger most
of the time.

4. What ages are your kids now and what activities do they enjoy?

Phoebe will officially be 2 next week on 9/20/11!! She LOVES swimming.
I started her on daddy & me swimming lessons when she was 6 months old
and she just took to the water naturally. She learned how to blow
bubbles and hold her breath before she event started walking! She
already has her first bike (a push bike, no pedals). And being that
all my bikes are made by Specialized, I had to get her one too…a
Specialized Hotwalk. It was a little too big for her to touch her feet
to the ground, but she’s grown into it quite nicely this year. Also as
of last week, we just signed her up for baby gymnastics, so now she’s
learning how to tumble and jump onto the mats and trampolines. She’s
pretty fearless right now.

5. What are your favorite activities to do with the whole family?

We are all annual passport holders at Disneyland so we tend to make a
lot of visits down there. We also live right next to a really great
park/bike trail so we can also be found there relaxing

6. Whats your favorite healthy meal?


7. ….and your favorite indulgence?

Frozen Yogurt

8. What are your favorite workout songs?

I tend not to listen to my iPod much when I workout…just gets in the
way for me sometimes. I’m good with whatever gym music is on. Erica is
a big on NKOTB and Maroon 5 so thats usually her workout sounds.

9. Do you have a favorite inspirational movie or book, if so which and why?

The latest book that I finished was “I’m Here TO WIN!” by Chris
McCormack. Great read, its both inspirational and informative. This
book gives you an inside look in the mind and mentality of one of the
best triathletes in the world.

10. Have you always been active or if not what inspired you into
living the parenthlete lifestyle?

I’ve always been active. And with having both my undergrad and
graduate degrees in exercise science, I feel its both my personal and
professional obligation to live a healthy active lifestyle. I have no
right to preach health and fitness to anyone if I don’t lead by

11. Balancing a career, family life and fitness can be tough. Any
other tips you have on this?

Its not easy, but its not impossible either. Its all about managing
your time and how much you really want to do it. Pack your gym bag the
night before, don’t stay up late, and get it done early in the
morning. For some people, mornings are not an option….so then don’t
stay up super late.


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