Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Express Diets

When it comes to improving strength to weight ratio, no training strategy is as effective as weight loss. I wrote a series of express diet plans that we offer with our programs. Today I start one of my own. It’s an extension of the Bob Diet that I did last month. Instead of focusing on alkalinity, this time I’ll focus on caloric intake.

These diets came about when Jon Congdon, our president, asked me to write out what “seven days of perfect eating” would look like. Since this is different for each person, I wrote a bunch of versions of what a perfect week would look like for someone trying to kick-start a new exercise program. I worked with one of our trainers, Debbie Siebers, and created the 6 Day Express Diet Plan. It was so successful in our test groups that I then created a version for all of our trainers.

These are essentially a just week of ultra clean eating. They are also devoid of all but subsistence calories. Glorified fasts, if you will. They are about the minimum amount you should eat if you’re trying to exercise. Even then, they shouldn’t be done for long, hence the six-day moniker. We’ve extended them for up to two weeks, though it’s almost always with added calories during the second week.

I don’t have a lot of weight to lose, but if I can lose 8 pound, that’s nearly 5 percent of my body weight. It’s feasible that I could do this over the next month or so. There’s no way to gain that much strength in a month. So as long as I can maintain fitness my strength to weight ratio will improve nearly 5%. Massive.

This type of diet is the wheelhouse for supplements. With minimized caloric intake you want to eat nutrient rich foods. Supplements are condensed nutrients, so a strategic supplementation strategy is essential. If done correctly, you will get maximum nutrients out of minimum calories.

This morning’s weight is 177.4. Body fat is 14.8%. I’m using an in-accurate scale, as most are, and the highest readings. According to the scale, my body fat percentage went up 3% last night. But I’ll take my measurements under similar conditions each day. I don’t really care what the figures say as long as they read consistently. And drop, of course.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Upside of Jackson's Death

The King of Pop's legacy might stretch beyond moonwalking, odd adult behavior, unintentionally choreographing the world's most popular film genre, and defining the modern meaning of prodigy. The premature death of one of the world's most iconic figures may finally challenge us to stop turning a blind eye to the abuse of prescription medications.

Since I harp on this subject regularly I’ll spare y’all my opinion and offer you the perspectives of a couple of famous MDs.

High on Fame: Michael Jackson and Enabling Doctors

The article was written by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Drew Pinsky. Here's the tagline:

Being a celebrity does not change the simple fact that the user is a drug addict. And having an M.D. after your name does not change the fact that if you supply the addict you're still a drug pusher.

above and below: bollywood does michael jackson

Friday, June 26, 2009


I’ve been beaten down all week. Last weekend was long and work has been busy and somewhat frustrating, a combination that has made my training week rather dismal. Despite long days I’ve barely been outside. My one ride hurt my back and my only gym session was uninspired. Today I serendipitously got my motivation back.

Beata’s been wondering what’s happened to her training partner all week. Today, feeling guilty, I took her down the street so she could stretch her legs in the park. She seemed a little low on motivation herself so slipped out of my flips and did a barefoot lap around the park to get her going. The resulting sensation was shocking.

From the first stride, the sensation of bounding shoeless on the soft grass brought me back to being a kid. I don’t know when the last time I’d run barefoot was but the feel and smell brought on sensations of my youth. I’ve been training in barefoot-simulation running shoes but it’s not close to the same thing. After a couple hundred meters of striding slowly I felt like a different person. Another lap and B was beaming, knowing she had me back. I finally had to stop myself. Barefoot running is something you should approach slowly. And the last thing I need is another injury to deal with. But the switch had been turned on. We came home and started scheduling the next phase of training.

It’s funny how sometimes you lose perspective during a training program. I’ve been doing this stuff all my life. I know the drill because it’s happened before, many times. But I still manage to get overly focused during training programs; allowing myself to grow stale when all I need is a change of scenery.

The trick is in figuring out what kind of scenery change will work. From now on I'll consider the power of youth.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sun, Sand, and Stars

This weekend I climbed 10 stars of sandstone (or maybe 9), and far too much of it in the sun. Our objective was to climb a couple of the best multi-pitch free climbs in the world. The result was good training. And that’s cool with me.

Mick and I decided to use the longest weekend of the year to attempt the Rainbow Wall. The plumb line up the north face of Red Rock’s most impressive formation has been called the best route in the world. Praise across the web could not have been higher. Comments included it being “the pinnacle of my climbing career, makes Cloud Tower and Levitation 29 (two very famous long free climbs) seem like warm-ups, most amazing route I’ve ever done,” and so on. We left Salt Lake’s unseasonably-wet spring and headed south towards a perfect weather forecast.

Passing Kolob Canyon I recited the tale of Sand, Sand, and Sand. My friends Kevin Thaw and Scott Cosgrove, fresh off ticking the hardest aid climbs on El Cap’s perfect granite, decided to put their stamp on Zion. Their experience on the soft sandstone was less than stellar. After 5 days of “sand in our hair, sand in our sleeping bags, sand in our food…” they bailed one pitch from the summit in disgust. They called their route, Sand, Sand, and Sand in a parody of what was supposed to be the ultra classic in the canyon, Wind, Sand, and Stars. I had no idea our weekend would have a similar result.

Saturday morning we headed to Snow Canyon to try The Richness of it All, a four pitch “5-star” route. This had also received comments such as “the best multi-pitch route I’ve ever done.” We figured it’d be a perfect warm-up for the Rainbow. After driving ‘til the wee hours, we’d woken up late but still had time to squeeze it in before the afternoon sun would turn the wall into a microwave.

The first two pitches were nice. The rock was a tad soft, and often hollow, but the protection was fine and the climbing excellent. After dispensing the crux we had two 5.11 pitches to the summit. The first followed “beautiful wind-sculpted features” according to the guide. This, I suppose, was true. However these features tended to be hollow so the climbing had to be delicate. Near the top of the pitch my luck ran out as the sculpted features were gone and all I was left with was a series of sandy holes. I fell a few times trying to figure it out, blowing my onsight, and with the sun coming didn’t have time to re-do it. I hoped Mick would have better luck but he didn’t. Despite its meager rating, we both felt this pitch in its current condition was much harder than the crux. Climbable, for sure, but on soft sandy rock that was less than inspiring.

We dispensed with the last “amazing” pitch just as the sun came around. It was pretty good, but not nearly as hard or great as advertised. Mick’s comment as we arrived back to the car was “that was disappointing. I wouldn’t do it again.” No worries. We had bigger fish to fry. Little did we know we were the ones about to be fried.

We drove south and by late afternoon were nestled in a small cave at the base of the Rainbow Wall. Our plan was to get up at first light, have a leisurely breakfast, and warm-up as we waiting for the wall to go into the shade. We had heard to expect this by around 9am.

The next morning it wasn’t too hot in the sun so we started climbing. 10 pitches later we were still waiting for shade. We’d been sandbagged by our beta, which told us it was impossible to see the Red Dihedral in the sun unless you slept on Over the Rainbow Ledge. But here we were, melting on the ledge below the route’s crux, and wondering what happened to the shade that should have been on us hours ago.

While we waited it came up that neither of us was particularly impressed with the quality of the climbing. It was okay. It has some good pitches, for sure. But it also had a lot of hollow sandy rock. It was a great line, had a great position overlooking Las Vegas, but pitch by pitch it wasn’t great climbing. It was also hot. Really hot. Maybe it was a better route when it “never sees the sun.”

Finally the shade hit and we were off. However, our feet, swollen by our black boot rubber’s contact with the rock, were killing us. Still, I was somewhat hopeful as I ascended towards the routes crux. At least until I saw the move.

Not being too flexible, stemming is not my favorite thing to do in climbing. This crux was an absolutely brutal stem move up an overhanging corner on miniscule footholds with nothing at all for the hands. Mick, a much better stemmer than I, seemed to have a better chance so I lowered and let him have a shot. No go. And not even close.

Now maybe we could have done this in proper conditions. It’s not my kind of move, so I can’t really say. But rubber loses strength in the heat and, with our feet in their current condition, power-stemming on the tiniest of rugosities was just not in our bag of tricks. Mick pulled through and climbed the rest of the pitch. I followed, not able to sort the move, even on top rope.

After our failure, we couldn't be bothered to do the final couple of pitches. We weren't here force our way to the summit but to free the route. Nature had beaten us, so down we went.

Except for our feet, and a little sunburn, we felt pretty good. We figured if we hurried down we could make the six hour drive home in time for a decent sleep. From the base of the wall, we made it back to our car in about 1:15, sore feet and all. Getting up had probably taken 1:45. The guidebook said to plan 4 to 8 hours for the approach, and one of the trip reports we found said to plan 6 to 10 hours. On the descent we talked about whether this info was a joke, and then whether maybe all of the hyperbole surrounding the Rainbow Wall was a joke. It’s a good route, for sure. But a far cry from the best we’ve been on. It wasn’t even our favorite route in Red Rocks.

My wife often makes fun of me because I do things for “training” that are objectives to most people. The routes I do are training. My rides and runs, no matter how long, are always just referred to as training. I spy a long line up a mountain and say, “look at that. It would be great training!” I guess I don’t care that much about ticking off what most call accomplishments. I like getting outside, testing my body, and feeling tired enough to earn my beer at the end of the day. Mick is similar, which is probably why we climb together. What started as an objective was now just training and that was fine by us. As we arrived at the car, Mick raised a lukewarm homebrew and made a toast, “good exercise weekend.”

pics, bottome to top: a peregrine on over the rainbow ledge who was making little noises that, we're sure, was laughter directed at us; mick, a tad sweaty, and happy to see shade on the way 'if only it'd move a little quicker'; me on the first pitch. devious climbing, exacerbated by warmth; view of vegas from our bivy; mick enjoys a mug of wine in our cave; mick dealing with what once were, apparently, beautiful, sculpted features; me on the "crux" of the richness of it all; even hemlock's broiled steak couldn't save our day. now maybe if we had some wild turkey on the rocks to wash it down..."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What's In That Stuff?

My status as a human lab rat means that I must indulge in all of life’s various avenues, whether healthy or unhealthy. Last night’s little foray into the lower depths seemed innocuous. My wife sandbagged me with some new weird flavor of M&Ms. Both last night and this morning I felt awful. I’m very healthy most of the time but I also experiment with virtually any diet or training program that comes across my desk. In the name of science I drink, smoke, exercise for hours without food and sometimes water, and have been injured so many times from testing the limits of a training regimen I can’t begin to count. I’m a human test tube. But not much affects me as negatively as good old American junk food. What is in that stuff?

This will be turned into a more scientific article or series. Today I just wanted to cite some anecdotal observations. I think the last time I felt as bad as I did last night was when Ben and I ate a bunch of Halloween candy. The problem here isn’t sugar. I eat sugar all the time. It’s usually in a sports concoction of some kind but I also indulge in desserts and nice restaurants and, occasionally, eat a little chocolate or Nutella. But there is something different about standard candy that you find on any convenience store rack. Every time I indulge I feel awful, even if it’s for sporting purposes.

Last fall, after a long ride (hours longer than I was planning) with no food I was sugar crashing. I pulled into a Circle K and went for some candy items on sale. I don’t remember what they were, exactly (Twix and Reece’s come to mind) but eating a few hundred calories of this crap didn’t provide the same type of glycogen recharge as, say, Recovery Formula or a bunch of Hammer Gel would have. In fact, I don’t think it gave me a recharge at all. I went from feeling famished to feeling sick.

If you read the labels of these foods, as well as much of what you can get in fast food restaurant chains, it may not look too bad. The macro-nutrient profiles can look similar to healthy foods. A Snickers bar, at first glance, looks somewhat balanced. It’s under ingredients where things get fuzzy. Here we have an assortment of stuff you can’t pronounce, and most of it is some type of food processing by-product that we’ve found a way to add into our foods that has received very little scrutiny and testing.

One side of this argument is that the food scientists are trying to use Eskimo-like efficiency. The difference is that we were probably meant to consume every part of a whale but our creator never ran the calculations on the effects of genetically modified corn. Those scientists are using us as lab rats and, unlike me, most of you are being used unwittingly.

I once ran some experiments on food combined with long bouts of drinking. Those of you who went to college—especially those who participated in the Greek system—are fairly well-versed in late night eating. The entire chain of Jack-in-the-Box wouldn’t exist without this demographic. My experiments including getting schlossed and fueling to the best of my ability, not eating anything, or hitting the post-tavern fast food establishments. On all counts, I fared far worse when I ate junk food.

These experiments could be quite extreme. Drinking seven martinis, chased by only water, yielded a much lighter hangover than seven (or six or five or four) martinis chased by fast food. (Btw, using proper nutritional strategies, such as hydrating with an electrolyte replenisher (Recovery Formula fits this profile), could lead to virtually no hangover.) I then tried the late-night eating without the drinking. What do you think happened? The result was a bad night of sleep and a hangover.

These are just a few examples. I’ve got a life full. The weird thing is all of this is that eating after drinking doesn’t necessarily end badly. Eating normal—but not necessarily healthy food—at home, like cereal, some good cheese (unprocessed) and crackers, a sandwich, etc could have a positive effect. But eating fast food, whether it was from Jack-in-the-Box, 7 Eleven, Winchell’s or whatever, always led to worse results. What, in God’s name, is in that stuff?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Viva la France!

Back to now-not-so-recent trip, here is Romney's account of France. Tres magnifique!

Assault of Western Europe, Part IV: The French Revolution

It's a long report, with heaps of pics. Enjoy!

In spite of their reputation for rudeness, I've always enjoyed the French people and their county. Very much so. This trip was being hosted by Americans. Namely, my friends Bruce and Alisa, whom I knew from my climbing days and, also, from hangin' out at the art studio they opened just down the street from where I lived in LA. Like me, they were climbers turned cyclists. Like me, the loved the French lifestyle.

Bruce and Alisa were on taking a year off work and living in France. Actually, they still are. They have a blog that's worth checking out, if just to make you jealous:

Our Juicy Life

After a few years of riding and racing I began climbing again. This hadn't yet happened with Bruce or Alisa and it just seemed wrong given there were living amongst some of the most beautiful limestone walls in the world. One of the coolest things we did was to get Bruce back on a rope. He was a super strong climber, as well as a climbing instructor, back in the day. It was fun watching him, not only get psyched himself, but how his instructor-ness came back also. I think he taught Lisa more in a couple of days out than I have in a year.
bruce, attempting a F7b on his second climbing day in a decade. rad.
Actually, everything we did was super cool. The trip was amazing. It's always hard to leave Europe and this time was no different. It was probably harder than ever. On our last days we were looking at bed and breakfasts. I hope they buy one because I can't wait to go back.
our hosts and les artists at the incredible museum of the absurd.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Best Urban Ride in the US

Yesterday I used our still-spring-like conditions to put the finishing touches on Ronde van Salt Lake City. It’s got to be the best urban ride in the US. Seriously. Okay, so I always say that everything I'm currently doing is the best thing ever. But... seriously. I’m going to organize a group ride in the coming month or so and add coordinates on the web. Everyone should do it. No, really, seriously.

It’s called the Ronde because it’s my version of the Tour of Flanders (or Ronde van Vlaanderen). To mimic the ride (race course that’s marked for the public who ride it regularly), I tried to include all of the elements that make that course so amazing. This includes:

Great scenery
Very few traffic stops
Small winding roads with character
Lots of famous landmarks en route
Great places to eat en route
All of the famous “bergs” in an area (short steep climbs)
Sections of cobblestones
slc pave

It took me a while, and a fair amount of exploring, to concoct this. But there are very few sections of the entire ride when I’m not looking around and thinking about how cool it is. It’s hard, but not impossible for a weekend warrior. And it’s laid out in a way where those wanting to abridge the challenge can skip hard climbs or sections of “SLC pave”.

I’ll post the exact course later, along with a date for a group ride (which will be a Sunday in the next 6 weeks or so). For now, here is the general scope.

Probably 75 miles.
16 bergs, the longest of which is less than two miles and many are very short.
10 sections of SLC pave, the longest of which is less than two miles and many are very short.
20 or so bridge crossings, most of which are short (over the Jordan River), but all are made of “wooden cobbles”.

It passes by many of SLC’s famous landmarks, including great views of every canyon from City Creek to Little Cottonwood, a bunch of mtn bike and hiking trailheads, a few climbing areas, The Jordan River Parkway and most of its parks, most affluent neighborhoods, the hip neighborhoods, the burbs, the hood, downtown, every major sports venue, the U of U, a quarry (you have to ride through a quarry for full Utah experience), and, of course, the crazy downtown LDS complex.

atypical views for an urban ride

The first 40 miles or so are mainly flat, at which point you’re only about 15 miles from where we’ll start. This makes it a pretty doable ride for most people. Over the next 40 or so you hit most of the climbs and all of the pave. It’s brutal. Over the last 20 or so miles it’s almost never flat. If it were a race, any attack here could succeed as there’s never a point where a group would have a huge advantage for long. During this last section there is only one stop light to deal with, and probably only 20 or so over the entire ride.
cobble sector 8

I picked some of the steepest roads in town, including Zane, K Street, and I Street, but the climbs were chosen more for aesthetics then pure difficulty. One of the coolest climbs winds steeply through a cemetery, another is closed to cars, covered by trees and next to a river. Many crest the benches and offer incredible views. On almost every climb and every cobble section asked myself “how could this be any better?”

It could be better. It could have real cobbles. It could have Belgian food. But they don’t have our scenery, so it stacks up. Because this course doesn’t go into the mountains it’ll be best as a spring ride. Fall will probably come with too much puncture potential (stickers and such). Summer, when I’m doing it this year, can be brutally hot. So this modern classic will officially begin next spring, though I’m giving it a test run soon. And everyone should come. Seriously.
section of single track that's better on a road bike than a hippie bike. seriously.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


I made a little video of the type of things that go into a first ascent. Generally you do all of your cleaning hanging from a rope. This presents its own set of challenges but at least you don’t have to dig stuff out of the ground.

The work you do on first ascents can be grueling. We generally never climb on work days because we're completely exhausted. In fact, we used to schedule work phases into our training. Nothing burns calories like building new lines on an overhanging wall. It’s like combining aerialist training with construction work. It can also be a little dangerous as you’re often wielding heavy machinery. We used to lament that we should be paid for public service. Climbing activists generally have little in the way of funds but spend countless hours doing what is considered highly skilled labor for free.

My friend Micah was in town this week so it became a transitional block as I showed him around the local crags. This worked out well as my tendonitis has really calmed down. I think I’m ready for the next phase of hard training. This I’m going to need. Badly. The above little work session added about 10 reasonably hard moves to my project. And it’s not like it wasn’t going to push my boundaries already.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Open Discussion on Health Care

At dinner last night with my wife and one of her co-workers we were discussing the declining state of health in our society. There is no longer any question that most of this is due to poor health habits. We eat bad food, we eat too much of it, and we don’t exercise enough. The result is that type 2 diabetes and other related lifestyle-induced diseases are the fastest growing illnesses in the world.

I’m in favor of a national health care system of some sort. Dave’s main problem with this is covering people who don’t bother to try and keep themselves healthy. On this point, I concur, but I pointed out that we do this now. While we don’t have an actual health care plan we do have a national system. In this system anyone can use an emergency room. So now our ERs are filled with people who have minor ailments, which interfere with those who need emergency treatment.

While the above paragraph somewhat summarized to talking point of the left and right on health care, the actually issue lies elsewhere. The solution is health practice. As a nation we could easily afford to take care of those who are sick and injuries if we could get rid of the problems associated with poor eating habits and lack of exercise. We’ve done it in the past, with both alcohol and tobacco, when we realized the national impact it was having. It’s high time we begin doing the same thing with other lifestyle behaviors that are costing society.

I’m not going to cite any numbers or details yet. These are just my opening thoughts. I’d like to start formulating a plan. If we can formulate a compelling argument we can use to three or so million of us associated with Beachbody to make ourselves heard on a national level.

Part I of the plan: Food labeling

We need to make the next step in food labeling. Our current macro-nutrient profiles can hide how our foods are often devoid of phytonutrients. What we need is to have every packaged food to be given a grade by the FDA: A – F.

Then, like using Michi’s Ladder, you’d be encouraged to eat higher grade foods. Of course we’d have corporate lobbying and disputed grades but, for the most part, good foods would still be obvious. For example, maybe a good potato chip would get a C while a bad one got an F, but no potato chip could ever get better than a C because no matter how you look at it these have no place in your diet other than as an indulgence. Ditto for ice cream and most desserts. All fruits and veggies would be A or B. No sense splitting hairs here. We’ll want to do this as consumers but veggies from nutrient depleted soil are still better than the best French fry.

Next, the government only allows food stamps to pay for A and B grade foods. If we don’t allow them to be used for beer and smokes, how can we allow them to be used for Coke and Cheetoes, which are arguably worse for you? There is no way a person on assisted living should be able to be obese. Yet this demographic is now highly obese and putting a huge strain on our health care system because of it.

The insidious reason why is because their diets are mainly made up of cheap processed food. There is no logic to why processed foods should be cheaper than those that take no processing until you understand how large scale food companies operate. Most “convenient foods” are made up of many bi-products from corn and soy production. These ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, etc, etc, should be waste products but we’ve clever found ways to not only use them in our foods, but make entire foods out of them. Oh, the wonders of what chemical flavoring agents can do with what is essentially trash.

Most of this doesn’t have much nutrient merit so we fortify with just enough cheap vitamins and stuff to label it food. Obviously, this gook will be lacking some of nature’s subtleties but, hey, if it’s crunchy, tasty, and fills us up who’s to question it? Maybe the FDA can step in here and do some good.

We may be eliminating health class in school, or having our nutrition taught to us by the soda companies, but it’s not going to take an educated person to understand that if their cupboards are filled with D and F labeled foods that they probably could eat a little better. I think this one step would end up saving our country billions of dollars in health care costs. And it’s just step one. Next time I’ll present my exercise ideas.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Monkey Feet

Since I'm not doing any reviews on my own yet, here's a link to something that looks pretty cool:

Vibram Five Finger Shoes

I'm intrigued enough to give these a look. A lot of this barefoot simulation that's a new trend in footwear definitely has some merit. I've been using Nike Free's and Newton running shoes since December. Since I've been injured I haven't given them what I feel is a proper test. But will do soon enough. So this is part one of the barefoot trend in footwear.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Hell Of The North

For part III of our European adventure, as well as a much higher quality version of this video, head over to Romney's Blog:

Assault on Western Europe: Part III: The Hell of the North

If you like cycling, you've probably read many accounts of Paris-Roubaix. But you probably haven't read a tourist's account of the race, which Lisa has summed up with her usual style.

Back in the states, I'm still exploring roads, bike paths, steep streets, and other more eccentric places to ride your bike for my upcoming Ronde van Salt Lake City. Took Trent our for some exploration yesterday where we got a couple of "I've never seen a road bike out here" comments. Trent says the ride is going to be stellar. I concur.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Getting Worse To Get Better

Finished my virtual Giro yesterday near the back of the pack. I’d say it was expected but think my lack of winter conditioning made it even worse than expected. I’m tired, of course, but also a weaker climber than when it began.

Training doesn’t yield improvements all the time. Sometimes you’ve got to lose fitness in one area in order to gain fitness overall. This month’s concentration on base conditioning and volume has reduced my absolute strength. It’s frustrating, but necessary. For one, my overall goals include long hard days and require a strong aerobic system. Also, my focus on climbing exclusively had resulted in a tendonitis flare-up, which also needed (and needs) to be addressed.

At the beginning of the virtual Giro I’d hoped to be able to have long climbing days. I had one, but as my tendon issue wasn’t getting better I needed to axe these, as well as the pull-ups, in order to focus on rehab. I did manage about 10 times as much riding and running as I’d done all year. I’m still pathetic in both of those areas, compared to where I’ve been the last decade or so, but starting to come around.

Dr. Fred Hatfield said, “Power and endurance, ne’er the twain shall meet.” My ultimate goals require both, so I want him to be wrong. But he’s right in that you can’t train both simultaneously. At least not effectively. So for phase two of my 90-day program I’ll be heading back into the gym to regain my climbing strength, while maintaining the aerobic gains I made in May, which will actually improve these areas because as I recover I’ll get stronger. And my virtual Giro beatdown has the old body screaming for recovery.

pic: I live in a beautiful place. Here's the view from part of my latest concoction, The Tour of Salt Lake, an urban ride that mimicks the Tour of Flanders. With 16 of SLC's steepest bergs, lots of miles, dirt, and SLC pave, this, too, will require improvements in both power and endurance.