There are over 600 muscles in the human body and I am now intimately aware of them all as I train for the 2012 edition of the Ultimate Florida Challenge. That’s because preparation for my third UFC encompasses walking, swimming, cycling, and paddling/pedaling the Hobie Adventure Island I’ve chosen to use. There’s also a routine to prepare the muscle groups needed to get myself back into the boat, lift myself onto a dock, drag the boat to the high tide mark and various other chores likely to arise during the challenge. Training began in earnest the second week of December and I’m very pleased there are 57 days remaining before my now aching muscles have to morph into a state where they can perform without my being reminded of their existence.  At least that is my hope. There also will be mental preparation, much of which will occur concurrently with the physical part as I deal with the long training hours under sometimes far from optimal conditions.

The purpose of this blog is three-fold: 1. Document the preparation for those who might have an interest in such things, 2. Motivate myself to do what needs to be done so I’ll have something to write about on a regular basis, 3. Serve as the basis for a high school advanced placement Psychology course curriculum being taught at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. The latter is the reason many of the posts will have an underlying theme pertinent to the topics being conveyed to the students. After the launch, I’ll be providing the students with daily updates in the form of audio and video files transmitted from my i-phone. It may be possible to post them here as well. I’ll spare you all the background information about who I am and why I’m doing this. That information is at http://drnickhall.com/ . Additional essays prepared for the teaching of English Literature and History can be found in the Pelican’s Poop series, which can be accessed directly at http://drnickhall.com/category/education/pelicans-poop/ It begins with an account of a blind amputee’s quest to complete the 2009 Everglades Challenge, then picks up with insights while training and completing the 2006 UFC.

But if you’re not interested in wading through all the stuff on the website, no worries. Here are the basics:

  • Happily married 41 years with two daughters and 5 (soon to be 6) grandchildren.
  • 63-year-old college professor and director of team building and leadership training at Saddlebrook Resort, Tampa.
  • Participated in WaterTribe challenges since 2002.
  • Formal training and research experience in Psychoneuroimmunology. If you know what that is, great. If you don’t, it will become apparent during the course of forthcoming posts.