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Triple threat

David Lutz, TriOut, D.C. Triathlon Club, gay news, Washington Blade

David Lutz of TriOut, a gay subgroup of the D.C. Triathlon Club. (Photo courtesy Lutz)

In 2011, the D.C. Triathlon Club began a loosely organized effort to reach out to the large number of LGBT athletes in the area.  In 2013, the club began a more formal outreach spearheaded by club members David Lutz and Jonathan Montet.

This year, with its club member list swelling upwards to 1,500 athletes, the Club launched a pilot project to begin segmenting its athletes into affiliate triathlon teams. The first new affiliate is TriOut, which will consist of athletes from the LGBT community and their friends. Also launching soon is MoCo Mafia (Montgomery County).

“We thought about forming our own entity,” Lutz says. “But with so many great programs already in place at DCTri, this was the best choice for us.”

Athletes interested in joining TriOut will receive the full benefits of the Club, $50 membership fee and will receive a member kit geared specifically to the TriOut athletes.

“We are just launching this project and the support has been amazing,” Lutz says. “There are already 69 members on our Facebook page.”

All club training events will be available to new LGBT team members along with some extra training rides, runs and swims to bolster an inclusive team feel. In the works for later in the summer is an intense training weekend in Lost River, W.Va., where attendees can expect to spend a three-to-four day weekend cycling, running, swimming and recovering with yoga workouts.

In addition to the club’s featured races, TriOut team members will compete in several LGBT-interest races.

“We will be sending athletes to the D.C. Frontrunners Pride Run and the District of Columbia Aquatics Club’s Swim for Life,” Lutz says. “In August, we are hoping to send at least 10 members to the Olympic-length triathlon at the Gay Games in Cleveland.”

Lutz competed in his second Ironman in Copenhagen last August followed a week later by an Olympic-length triathlon in Stockholm. He was awarded “Most Improved Triathlete” by DCTri for his accomplishments in 2013.

Currently, the TriOut members are holding happy hours every second Thursday of the month and the location rotates around the various bars in the area. Coming up in March is the first quarterly mixer with multiple local LGBT sports teams, which will feature the D.C. Gay Flag Football League, the D.C. Frontrunners and TriOut.

Interested athletes will also get a chance to talk to the triathletes one on one at the annual Team D.C. Sportsfest to be held in April. Over this past weekend, I was in attendance at the virtual Pride House event at the HRC for the Sochi opening ceremonies. I ran into Washington Wetskins water polo player Kris Prichard, who enthusiastically told me about training for his first triathlon with some of the inspiration coming from TriOut.

Welcome to the Team D.C. family, TriOut.

Stay tuned for the announcement of yet another LGBT sports team in the coming weeks.

13
Feb
2014

Staying pain free

Yoga, Fitness, Gay News, Washington BladeAs the weather has leveled off to a consistent summer heat, I am seeing more and more people running, biking and playing outdoor sports. This is a great thing for your overall health, but as you may know, the more intensity and time you put into your active lifestyle, the more wear and tear is put on your muscles and joints.  I’m currently playing basketball, flag football and still completing my workouts throughout the week, so I definitely can feel your pain.

As our workout time and body stress goes up, it’s even more important to include injury prevention — or what I call maintenance type sessions — to our regimen. I have two key elements you need to add to your current routine to keep you active and pain free.

Get your Roll On. One of the easiest ways to keep yourself injury free is by adding foam rolling into your current routine. You probably have seen these cylinders, usually black or white, long pieces of Styrofoam lying around the gym collecting dust. They are used to help you with a type of self massage called myofascial release. Rolling on the foam basically forms extra pressure on certain points of tenderness and tightness in our muscles and fascia (connective tissue).  This extra pressure forces the body to relax the area and therefore gives us better tissue quality and flexibility throughout our muscles.

When using it, make sure to roll out to a point where you feel tenderness and hold on that spot for about 20 seconds. Remember, despite what you may see from others, it’s not about quickly rolling your body out like a pancake. What does this mean to you? Basically by spending an extra 10 minutes warming up and cooling down with a foam roller, you could prevent some overuse injuries. Especially for my runners out there, you and your foam roller should be best buddies because I’ve seen a little time alleviate common pains like patellar tendinitis and IT band friction syndrome. Stay committed to this. I’ll be honest — it hurts lat first. But the more pain you have shows how much more you need it. Consistency is key.

Embrace Yoga. I always get asked about yoga vs. weights. Stop! Last I checked they were not in competition. In fact, I find they are more symbiotic than anything. I suggest yoga at least once a week for all of my strength training clients, others who strength train and those who play sports for a number of reasons.

First, most people who love lifting or sports do a lot of the same muscle patterns causing muscle imbalances throughout the body. Bring in yoga can help even a lot of those muscle imbalances out. Yoga works in different planes of motion to both stretch some muscles while activating others, and it comes from a place of balancing the body.

Second, that five-minute static stretch at the end of your weights workout is not enough to gain real flexibility. Many serious weightlifters don’t like yoga because stretching for an hour is hard in a whole new way, but hard is good. Finally, yoga comes from a different mindset than traditional weight lifting or exercise. It really provides a calm and comfortable place to achieve goals, which mentally is a good break from the constant “PUSH HARDER” at the bench press.

Stick with these two new fitness flavors to spice up your routine.  And your muscles and joints will thank you in the long run. Stay fit, stay healthy, and stay on track!

28
Jun
2013

Queery: Sarah Blazucki

Sarah Blazucki, gay news, Washington Blade, Queery

Sarah Blazucki (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Mid-year last year, Sarah Blazucki was ready for a professional change.

The 37-year-old Baltimore native had a good six-and-a-half year run as editor at Philadelphia Gay News and was looking for fresh vistas to tackle. In October, she moved to Washington to work as a writer and editor with The Peace Corps.

“I felt like I’d done all I could do with the paper and it was time to let someone else take over,” she says. “Someone with new, fresh ideas and for me to do something else. I was sort of looking to take my career to the next level.”

Though she says things are “very good” in her new position, it’s a huge change from what she calls “the rhythm” of the weekly newspaper rigors. She also realizes it will take time to get integrated into D.C. LGBT life.

“Just being at the PGN, I very much had my finger on the pulse of the LGBT community and down here I just don’t,” she says. “Granted I’ve only lived here three months, but it’s just going to take some time to find the community again. And not just the bars. I know where they are, but I mean really the heart of the community. The non-profits, the larger piece that really makes up the heart of the community.”

Blazucki is also active in the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, the founder of website lgbtrights.me which allows web surfers to find out what laws apply in their part of the country. She also writes resumes on the side.

She has identified as queer since she was 21 and was in an 11-year relationship with a man whom she eventually married. But she says she knew all along she “was not straight.”

Blazucki’s dating but not in a serious relationship. She lives in Petworth and enjoys running, yoga, reading and “being a news junkie” in her free time.

How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?

Since I was 21. Sometimes I get flack from gays and lesbians because I’m not a gold-star lesbian and that can be hard.

Who’s your LGBT hero?

Can I have more than one? As a journalist, I really admire Rachel Maddow. She’s super-smart and she’s got moxie. I also have a couple of personal heroes, who I can also count as friends: Gloria Casarez, who is the director of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia, and Carrie Jacobs, the executive director of The Attic Youth Center in Philadelphia.

What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present? 

Tracks. I had some good times there.

Describe your dream wedding.

I was married before and that was probably as close as I would get. (See my answer about overrated social customs.) It was a 1920s carnivale theme, very fun. Less of a wedding, and more of a big party.

What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?

Gender equality/women’s rights.

What historical outcome would you change?

The 2007 Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. In the case, the court ruled 5-4 against Lilly Ledbetter, who had been getting paid less than her male counterparts at Goodyear for years. The court said her claim of long-term discriminatory pay decisions was filed after the statute of limitations, 180 days, had expired.

What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?

Pop culture really isn’t my forte, but Kurt Cobain’s suicide was pretty significant.

On what do you insist?

It’s OK to be gay. Also, good grammar and correct language use. It’s my job.

What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?

“So excited to have found what is likely the closest grocery store to my house, and it’s an organic grocer. That only took 3 mos. Sheesh!”

If your life were a book, what would the title be?

“Determined: How I got over a mostly shitty childhood and found my way in the world”

If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?

For myself, nothing. I like being queer. For others, encourage self-acceptance.

What do you believe in beyond the physical world?

The universe.

What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?

Keep up the good fight. Don’t let the LGBT-rights movement be sidelined by petty differences. Don’t sacrifice the minorities amongst us for the good of the majority.

What would you walk across hot coals for?

My family, my close friends, LGBT equality.

What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?

That lesbians “process” too much.

What’s your favorite LGBT movie?

“Bound”

What’s the most overrated social custom?

Weddings

What trophy or prize do you most covet?

I’m not particularly motivated by either, but a Pulitzer would be nice.

What do you wish you’d known at 18?

That my life and work mattered, and that I could have a positive impact with both.

Why Washington?

Work. And it helps that my family is close.

09
Jan
2013