By OCinSite At-Large | March 02, 2012 10:44 AM
Photos by Scott Sporleder
Text by Dana Nichols
For this athletically superior group, motivation for personal fitness is as natural as Laguna’s carved playground of inviting coastline. They sat down—an incredibly rare feat in and of itself—to share their fitness secrets with us, lend some hard-earned insight into maintaining a healthy lifestyle and dish about how they fuel an active lifestyle (what they eat, what’s off-limits), each proving in their own way that it’s cool to be a freak about fitness.
Beth Weber, 31, competitive triathlete and swim coach
“I could go on and on about this sort of thing,” says coach Beth Weber, who has been swimming since age 6, competing in triathlons since 21 and is now into 15K trail run races. She stays on track with a training log. “For the most part, I know the night before what the next day’s workout is going to be,” she says. “I know that everyone has days where it’s just plain hard to get out the door. I think having a plan is key to limiting the number of times you feel like that.”
On her weekly calendar: 30 miles of running, one or two bike rides, one or two swims and 20-minute stints of yoga and core strength training throughout. The calendar accounts for recovery days too: “I take a look back and if I discover that I have actually put in several good training days or several weeks with a heavy training load, then I know it’s time to take some rest. I have peace of mind because I know my body needs to recover. If I listen to my body on these days, the next training day is usually one of my best days.”
Two of her workout secrets: training with her husband, pro mountain biker Dana Weber (“He is a much better athlete than me!”) and getting her workout done in the morning before other distractions. “Morning is the most peaceful time for me, and nothing compares to enjoying a nice breakfast after a good workout.” For this, she carefully selects a meal with 15 - 20 grams of protein, plus some carbs for recovery, and consumes it within 30 minutes. On race days, her ritual is precise: “Two hours before a race I have oatmeal with only honey or maple syrup, a gluten-free waffle with some peanut butter or almond butter on top, and half a cup of coffee. During a race I drink Cytomax and use Clif Shot gels for fuel.”
Hans Hagen, 40, professional surfer
Oh, the dreamy life of a surfer—it must be easy to stay in shape when you get paid to paddle out … right? It’s not so simple, says professional free surfer Hans Hagen, who likes to mix things up.
“What you do in between the good swells is important,” he says. “A combination of mountain biking, yoga, swimming, distance paddling, stairs and some gym helps me not fall apart.” That’s when he’s home in Laguna Beach, of course. “With surf travel, you have to always expect the unexpected: endless flights, car, train and boat rides, bad sleeping situations, ‘No Reservations’-style foods,” he explains.
“The key is to stay hydrated, pack dietary supplements and protein powders, keep stretching and dial in a small space mini-workout.” Because an intense travel schedule would be taxing on even the fittest among us, Hans has found ways to keep his energy up with a strong diet and natural motivation.
“The great thing about the ocean is it’s cold, stimulating and wakes me up,” plus, there’s his daily morning smoothie of Matcha green tea and a Sambazon acai smoothie with banana, pea protein powder, almond milk or coconut water, flaxseed oil and branch chain amino acids giving him a boost. Hans was born and raised in Laguna Beach and is now raising son Lyric, 4, and daughter Hana, 6, in his hometown. Perhaps because his surf travels have taken him far and wide, he’s developed a fitness motto that is short and easy to remember. Just one simple word: “Now!”
For the Fun of It
Josh Plotkin, 28, stand up paddleboarder
Since he’s called Laguna Beach home, Josh is in better shape now than he was as a kid or high school athlete. “This is some of the best coastline anywhere. It just forces you to be outside,” says the East Coast native, who works five or six days a week teaching three to six standup paddle lessons per day. Rainy days? “I love it. It’s fun to be out there when it looks a little different,” he continues. “But that’s why Laguna is so great. There are 340 something sunny days a year, and even on rainy days the sun usually comes out in the afternoon anyway.”
Paddling as a profession is hardly monotonous thanks to weather and marine life (he says he sees dolphins at least half the time he’s out), but he switches up his routine as naturally as the changing tides—the embodiment of how God-given athleticism is amplified when combined with a propensity for adventure. Josh surfs and runs three to six miles on the beach or Top of the World trails three times a week and is getting into rock climbing—simply because he enjoys it.
“I guess I just do it for my sanity. I mean, the chemical benefits are all pretty well documented,” he reasons, as if it’s the first time he’s needed a reason. And his fuel-up secret is even simpler: “Peanut butter on everything.”
Josh has been guiding SUP lessons since the Stand Up Paddle Co. shop opened. “I was out paddling in front of the shop one day, and the owner was out with some ladies and asked me if I wanted to help out,” he says. He hasn’t looked back since, only forward. “Lately I’ve been having a lot more energy because I’ve been doing yoga,” he says. “It’s a good complement to paddleboarding.”
Always on the Go
Erin Jackson, 44, owner of Jackson Physical Therapy Studio and Pilates instructor
This busy mom of two, physical therapist, Pilates instructor and business owner is an expert at squeezing in workout time, anytime. “As a working mom, I have to get creative to find the time to get enough exercise,” says the former collegiate volleyball player. “There’s a lot you can do in 10-15 minutes. Taking 10 minutes at a time to jump rope, or 10 minutes to do push ups, core work, a quick Reformer session or mat work makes a big difference at the end of the day,” she says. “Even just a quick walk on the sand at my lunch break is a great way to boost my energy.”
Three keys to her go-go-go lifestyle: plenty of sleep, lots of water and always grabbing a simple and quick breakfast to jumpstart her metabolism. In fact, most of the foods she eats are time-savers, such as low-fat plain Greek yogurt with berries and granola, hard-boiled eggs and hummus as snacks, and easy, high-protein dinners. “My husband and I grill chicken and lean steaks ahead of time to use throughout our busy weeks,” she says.
Erin encourages her clients to move in whichever way they can throughout the day: “Take the stairs, park farther away from the store, do a wall sit while on the phone, calf raises while brushing your teeth, stretch while reading the mail ... just don’t sit around.”
Having a 5- and a 6-year-old helps too.
Still looking for the right answer to living your own super fit life? There isn’t one—these five fitness gurus prove that just as no two lifestyles are alike, and no two workout regimens are exactly the same. With boundless outdoor recreation and resources for healthy living, Laguna Beach is the perfect place to put your own lifestyle to the test. The good news: You’ll never look out of place trying something new here.