I’ve Been Called a “Celebrity Stair Climber” and No One Can Take That Title Away From Me! (2018 Portland Fight For Air Climb Race Recap)

February 11, 2018

Some Sunday mornings are meant for sleeping in and lazing about. Other Sunday mornings are meant for racing up 200 stories! Guess which experience I had yesterday?

That’s the US Bancorp Tower, in Portland, Oregon, and I climbed the 40-story stairwell inside five times. It was quite the morning, in ways both expected and unexpected. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch My 5-Minute Presentation on Stair Racing!

August 17, 2015

In June, I went to the Fitbloggin’ conference in Denver. I had a blast hanging out with a couple hundred other health and fitness bloggers, seeing old friends, and making new ones, too. (Here’s my recap post.)

I WAS A SPEAKER, TOO! I gave a well-received presentation during the keynote event, called Ignite Fitness.


I haven’t talked much about this yet, because I was waiting for the video to go online. THE VIDEO IS NOW ONLINE, and you can watch it RIGHT HERE! Read the rest of this entry »

A Tremendous Weekend at Fitbloggin’

June 30, 2015

I was in Denver this past weekend for Fitbloggin’, an annual conference for health, fitness and weight loss bloggers. I’ve only been once before, two years ago, and I was excited to go back, for a few reasons:

  1. I get to see friends, meet new people, and hang out with folks that do the same thing I do.


The keynote event at Fitbloggin’ is called Ignite Fitness, where a bunch of people Read the rest of this entry »

Success in Pasadena

February 4, 2012

I took a little 48-hour blogging break, but I’m back. I spent a lot of time preparing for my Whole Foods talk on Thursday night, tracing my way back through the past two years, and, to be honest, I was kinda tired of thinking and talking about myself. Now I’m ready to be my regular ol’ narcissistic self! And I know that’s why you keep visiting this blog – because I’m such a selfish, arrogant asshole. I’m glad to be back, bitches!

The Whole Foods event on Thursday night went off wonderfully. If you didn’t make it, you missed out! I had been preparing to give my speech in their regular event space – a clearing between the service deli counter and the wine section, and this turned out to be a special night. Thanks to some building renovations, Whole Foods Pasadena had a new classroom/conference room in the back, and my event was the first one that got to use it! How exciting to inaugurate a new space! It was great because I didn’t need to use a microphone, and I didn’t need to compete with the sounds of squeaky carts, register dings, and the other noises that a functioning supermarket provides.

That’s me and my poster at the front of the store. I’m looking off to the side, because I was talking to a customer who had just complimented me! I tried to persuade her to stick around for the presentation, but she couldn’t – I did, however, give her a card.

The room filled up. I think every available chair was taken. Heather had printed out a bunch of “Before” photos, so I had visual aids to refer to.  I was prepared – I had my notes, and used them as a guideline, but told my story naturally, and I felt more comfortable this time around than when I made my motivational speaking debut at Whole Foods Porter Ranch.

The speech lasted about 30 minutes, and then there was a lively question and answer period that lasted about 20 minutes or so. We raffled off a bag of Whole Foods items, and everyone went on their way. My aunt, uncle, and cousin were there, in the front row, and friends came from all over: Culver City, Calabasas, Hollywood, and Long Beach – and if you’re familiar with southern California geography, none of those places are exactly Pasadena-adjacent, so that meant a lot to me as well, especially since it involved terrible rush-hour traffic. Then, there were a couple blog readers that came out specifically to meet me in person (Hello Chauncy and Christina!), which really touched me, and a bunch of people who were new to me and my story, that I hope had a good time.

I left the evening feeling proud, and also feeling motivated. I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately, and talking about all the steps that I’ve taken since Day 1 reminded me that all the difficulties I’m facing now, about staying focused and goal-oriented, are all difficulties that I’ve faced before, and successfully. It’s important that I don’t dwell in a “but-what-have-I-done-lately” fog or forget about my accomplishments from the past. Because I’ve accomplished a lot. And I’m not done yet.

I also left the evening with some produce. I was at Whole Foods, after all! I just wanted a few things to bring me through the weekend:

Carrots, broccoli, red bell pepper, bananas, nectarines.

I also brought home something I’ve never seen or heard of before. Do you know what this is?

It’s called gobo root, and at this point, I know nothing more about it. That will change, though – I’ll figure out what it is, and how to use it, and I’ll share the end results right here in this blog!

Keep it up, David!

I’m Now a Motivational Speaker!

September 22, 2011

Last night, I slept like a baby.  It was great, especially since I didn’t sleep nearly as well for the two nights prior.  I had been anxious.  I had been nervous.  I made my debut as a public speaker last night, and for the previous two nights, my mind kept wandering into negative places.  I was excited, certainly, but that’s not where my mind goes as I’m trying to drift off to slumberland.  My mind makes a beeline to: what if you can’t remember anything and you stutter and stammer and what if people get up and leave midway through and what if nobody shows up and what if you accidentally drop your notes in an industrial paper shredder seconds before you’re supposed to start and what if what if WHAT IF!

Not all my fears are rational, but that didn’t stop me from thinking about them!

Last night’s sleep, however, was virtually thought-free.  It was restful.  It was wonderful.  And that’s because my little speaking engagement happened last night.  It’s over.  I am now a motivational speaker!

If this happens to be your first visit to my blog, than 1) Welcome! and 2) You missed my seemingly-nonstop plugging of my first speaking gig.  It took place at the Whole Foods in Porter Ranch, and, if I may toot toot toot my own horn, it was a success!  Here I am in action:

Joyce, the Marketing Supervisor for Whole Foods Porter Ranch, and I had started talking about this event a few months ago, but I didn’t start writing my speech (which was supposed to be 15-20 minutes) until I was in Michigan a few weeks ago.  At the beginning, there was a lot of distractions.  After a couple not-very-productive evenings (thank you Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), I finally put my laptop away and pulled out paper and a pen to tackle it longhand.  I left my folks’ house with a complete bulleted outline, and, on the plane back to California, I fleshed out most of the speech on my computer.  I spent the next few days finishing it, then editing, rewriting, and tweaking, and then I started practicing it out loud.

On Monday, I invited Tavi (you know Tavi) over for a dry run with an audience.  I spent most of Tuesday working further on the speech.  I went back through it, paragraph by paragraph, and shortened everything to bullet points and keywords.  I didn’t want to feel tethered to a script, and I wanted my talk to appear more conversational and personal.  I ran it a few more times, using only my bulleted note cards, and by Wednesday morning, I felt very comfortable, and very prepared.

The event was at 7pm.  I wanted to be there early, so Tavi came with me and we got to Whole Foods at 6pm.  The event was held in the cafe part of Whole Foods, at the front of the store, right inside the entrance.  Joyce was working with a couple other Whole Foods folks to set up the tech stuff: a projector and screen, some speakers, the microphone.  We tested the microphone a bunch of times to determine optimal speaker placement.  Joyce distributed some materials on every seat, so when people showed up, they got some info on Whole Foods and a box of coconut water.  I added my new business cards, so everyone got one of those, too:

Soon, people started filing in.  It was a great mix of friends that had come out to support me and new faces.  It took a good 15 or 20 minutes for people to file in and get seated.  I had a hunch that I would get most nervous during that time, but really, that time just flew by, and soon Joyce was welcoming everyone and introducing me.  Before I knew it, I was standing in front of the crowd.  All eyes were on me.


I had a plan for this moment: I would pick a spot on the wall just behind everyone, and focus on that.  I would rely on my index cards as much as I needed to.  I would find a way to get through it.

When I finally started to speak, though, I found myself much more comfortable than I was anticipating.  I suppose that’s not a huge surprise as I look back on it, because I was talking about my own story and life, but in the moment, it was a quite the welcome revelation.  I quickly dropped my plan to address the back wall, and found myself trying to make as much eye contact with as many people as possible.  I didn’t want to just tell my story, I wanted to engage with the crowd, and connect with them.  There were times that I needed to glance at my cards and get my bearings, but often times I found myself not needing them at all.

Here are a couple more action shots, all taken by my friend Robyn, who I roped into being official photographer about 5 minutes before showtime:

I spoke for over 20 minutes, and, quite honestly, it’s all a blur now.  I’m pretty sure I hit all the topics that I wanted to.  My talk was basically my story with weight, fit within a motivational framework.  I talked about a lot of the stuff that I’ve talked about on this blog: my life before this weight loss adventure, my life now, what I struggle with, what I’ve learned, what anyone can do to start on a new path towards health, and what anyone can do when you start to stumble on that path.

There was a great round of applause when I was done, and we opened up the floor for questions.  It had occurred to me (over and over and over again) that there might not be any questions at all, but there were about a dozen, and they were great.  I hope I had some great answers for them, too!

After the Q&A, Joyce and I raffled off a door prize: a bag full of groceries and a $25 Whole Foods gift card, and my friend Mat (you know him, too) ended up winning.  Woo-hoo groceries!

Here’s me and Joyce, in front of the poster she designed:

As soon as the evening ended, I felt a whole sense of relief.  It’s over.  I did it!  And people really seemed to have a nice time!  There were a LOT of really wonderful compliments that come my way, and I definitely got the feeling that the folks in attendance were able to take something away, and that was the whole point.

It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces in the crowd, too.  A big group of my friends had come out, from all over the city, and it meant a lot to me that they braved rush hour traffic to get to the other side of town to hear me talk about something I tell them about all the freakin’ time.

Now, nearly 24 hours later, a new thought keeps popping up over and over again in my head:  I can’t wait to do it again!  So… who needs a motivational speaker?

Keep it up, David!


September 1, 2011

I teased it on Twitter… I teased it on Facebook… It’s finally time to reveal my BIG EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!

Right after this lower back update!

Sorry to go all Seacrest on you, but since so many of you have expressed concern and sent kind thoughts my way since my lower back injury last weekend,  I just wanted to quickly mention that today I worked out for the first time since sustaining the injury, and all went swimmingly.  I used an elliptical machine for 45 minutes, at a much-lighter-than-normal setting, and no pain whatsoever.  I had to fight back urges to ramp up the resistance to get a better workout, but I kept it easy.  I plan on another lighter-than-normal cardio workout tomorrow.

OK! Ready for the BIG EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT?  No more delays.  Can I get a drum roll please?


I’m terribly excited and excitedly terrified.  Here’s what went down:  It turns out that one of my readers, Joyce, is the Marketing Supervisor at a local Whole Foods.  She’s become a fan of the blog, and invited me to speak at her store!

So, on Wednesday, September 21st, at 7pm, I’ll be sharing my story, live and in person, at the Whole Foods in Porter Ranch.

I’m not making this up!  See, I’m on the Whole Foods website, and here’s the poster that will soon go up inside the store:

Joyce and I have already been hard at work putting together what we hope will be a fun, special event.  I’ll be speaking about my journey and sharing some of the tips and insights I’ve learned along the way, and leading a question and answer session.  We’ll also have a drawing, and someone in the audience will win a great giveaway from Whole Foods!


  • Wednesday, 9/21/11, at 7pm.
  • Whole Foods Market, Porter Ranch: 19340 Rinaldi St., Northridge, CA 91326 (It’s super easy to get to… exit the 118 freeway at Tampa Avenue and head north.  It’s in the shopping center on your right just before the first stoplight, Rinaldi.)
  • Space is limited, and RSVPs are required.  RSVP via email at spptr.marketing@wholefoods.com, or on the Whole Foods Porter Ranch Facebook Page.

Help me out and tell your friends!  I love that my readers are spread out across the country (and overseas), so I know that many of you that would want to come just won’t be able to.  Surely you know someone in the LA area, don’t you?  Here’s a little something you can post on Twitter and Facebook:

Go see @keepitupdavid live and in person at @WholeFoods_PTR on 9/21 at 7pm! Details here: http://tinyurl.com/3ukw9un

I told a friend with extensive public speaking experience about how nervous I am, and she advised me to speak from the heart, and everything will go smoothly.  So that’s the plan.  I hope you can make it out on the 21st!

Since I’m in an Big Announcement Mode, here’s another one:  Keep it up, David is now on Google+!

Are you on Google+?  It’s the fastest-growing social network ever, and the newest place you can learn about new Keep it up, David blog posts!  If you already have an account, then go to my page and add me to your circles.  If you’d like an invitation to join Google+, then shoot me an email at keepitupdavid@gmail.com and I’ll shoot one your way.

Keep it up, David!