By Dirk Smith
For most Masters athletes, the story seems to go that involvement in their particular sport (often swimming, track and field, or other sports that don’t have formalized leagues) starts with youth/ age group competition, high school, college and if they’re good enough then elite level competition. Master’s is what happens after all that and is a great way for adult athletes, whether experienced or otherwise new, to continue pursuit of competitive sport well into their… well as long as they can go for!
As a Master’s swimmer, I have attended many levels of competitions, from local and state to national and international competitions. Having joined many different clubs and teams for practice I have had the opportunity to meet many amazing people who have challenged me physically and mentally as an athlete, always in pursuit of becoming a stronger and better swimmer.
By Dirk Smith and Niki Trumpler
In the past 100 years of the culture of physical fitness, there has been a lot of growth and evolution of our knowledge to how regular exercise and fitness effects our bodies and minds. It has not been without a lot of learning and a lot of claims, theories and stereotypes that have been proving wrong; yet persist. A lot of the myths surrounding female fitness trends are rooted in a misogynist and sometimes outright sexist, antiquated standard. Thus here we are to bust some of those myths to help you get motivated to get moving!
By Dirk Smith
Growing up in suburban America in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I was witness to the emerging trends of kids taking a host of medications to treat their behavioral issues and disorders. It was a common trend for my classmates to have to take pills throughout the school day to treat everything from ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Sensory Integration Disorder, Bipolar disorder and the lot. Remember, these kids are just that; kids.
Now I am not trying to discount that these are real issues that people face which can have devastating impacts on a person’s quality of life. Yet, it seems liked more often than not, my classmates all had a cocktail of pills they had to take for these issues. I felt like one of the few kids at the school who didn’t have a daily medication to take. Clearly I had missed the bus on what was cool, as if mental disease and disorders were considered trendy and you weren’t otherwise considered special if you didn’t have to take drugs for your unique “condition” or had I?
By Dirk Smith
Every few weeks, if not days there is always an article floating around social media and the internet. Often titled “top health hacks” or some variation of the sort. Now with the increasing cost of health care and lack of access for it, it’s easy for us to click on the link and hope to discover the little tricks and secrets we can use to be healthy and prevent disease.
Everything from onions in the socks, rubbing banana peels on our faces, essential oils, PH balanced water, lemon-honey-ginger-water, doing that little finger exercise program that the old lady on PBS in her wind breaker use to have, Kegels. There was even a weird one that had you drinking Olive Oil straight from the bottle in between meals. Even to some of the more mainstream things like “Reverse Osmosis Filtered Water” to sitting on an exercise ball at work and yes… even standing desks. There is no short of whacky and outright weird things people will do all in the name of better health. They’re not all necessarily bad either, but while it is easy to think that you can cure cancer with PH balanced water or onions on your face. People often will turn right around and fill their body with junk food while sitting on the couch and negating any supposed “benefit” that their cheap health hacks might have.
By Dirk Smith
There is a lot of discussion surrounding the role of activism and politics within the realm of sports. This is a discussion that has been happening for well over a hundred years and no doubt will continue well past our lifetime. With large scale events like The Olympic Games bringing together people for all over the world to compete in sport, oftentimes people who don’t always get along and despite everybody’s best effort. There is bound to tension, discussions, arguments, boycotts and other conflicts. Human rights aren’t always political, but yet they are and often dominate political discussions on all levels. Everything from the NCAA hosting events in states that have adopted Anti-Trans legislation, NFL players kneeling to the national anthem to protest racial injustice, football (soccer) clubs with fans often chanting prejudicial things.
The Olympic Games themselves are no stranger to these debates, everything from where the games are hosted, who should be allowed to compete, role of doping and many other discussions. Needless to say there is a lot to unpack to fully understand that sports and politics will often intersect, especially when it comes to human rights.
By Dirk Smith
At my writing gig with Compete Magazine we’ve been talking a lot and sharing the story of Dr. Jen Welter whom (if you’ve been keeping up with Compete Magazine) has recently released her book “Play Big” to share her story of being the first female coach of the NFL on the sidelines with the Arizona Cardinals and the first woman to play professional American Football in a men’s league when she took the field with the Texas Revolution.
About 2 months ago, I had the pleasure to meet Dr. Welter at the 2017 Compete Magazine Sports Diversity Awards where she was being honored for her impact and leading the way for young girls and woman to defy gender stereotypes and become anything they truly want to be. Although I didn’t know much about her when I met her, my first impression was that she was unapologetically authentic and a very confident, kind, person that you can immediately establish a personal connection with.
By Dirk Smith
It’s that time of year again! Where you’re either going to decide that this next year will be “your year” or your going to roll your eyes at everybody who declares that. After 2017 was a year to forget (same with 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and so on…) suddenly 2018 will be YOUR year, unless history is any indicator. But all sarcasm aside, what’s the deal? Why was 2017 a crap year and 2018 going to be any different? It’s probably not and I’ll probably be sharing this same article next year with the dates changed.
New Years is considered a time for “new beginnings” or a fresh start for people. Which is why your local gym suddenly feels more crowded then usual and people are out and about with a newfound energy. Eager to shed the stress from the holidays and lose all that weight too. Now, is that willingness to start fresh borne out of a true desire to do so or is it just obligation with the time of year? What’s going to keep you going at the end of February, when everybody else drops off?
It is my pleasure as a coach, athlete and cisgender, white, gay man to introduce you to the Denver LGBTQ+ Weightlifting Club. My name is Dirk (sometimes known as David) Smith. I am a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with my Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Metropolitan State University of Denver. I have been working as a trainer, coach and instructor in Denver for 7 years
I decided to start an LGBTQ+ Weightlifting club here in Denver for many reasons. I have always wanted to work with the LGBTQ+ community in terms of encouraging people to be more active and fit. There are many physical, mental and spiritual health benefits to exercise and fitness. Exercise has been shown to help strengthen the immune system to better combat HIV/AIDS and Cancer as well as treat and reduce the risk of developing diseases like diabetes and hypertension among many others. It is no secret that people within the LGBTQ+ community often face many issues that affect their mental health, from depression, anxiety, stress, body image, eating disorders, even suicide. Consistent exercise has been shown to have a positive impact in helping people handle those issues.
Those are great reasons for LGBTQ+ people to take up exercise but I’d like to share with you why it’s so important to me and specifically why I chose weightlifting.
The past few weeks, more news about World Outgames Miami and the shambles that the event and it’s parent organization GLISA left over 2000 athletes, donors as well as the City of Miami and Miami Beach as come to light. The results of the fraud investigation revealed that on the first scheduled day of the event, which also happened to be the day the sports program plus the opening and closing ceremonies were cancelled; Miami Outgames had a total of $7,000 in their bank account.
By Dirk Smith
The internet, oh the internet… Is full of fitspiration memes with motivational quotes pasted on a picture of someone showing off their ass or cleavage. Between all that cleavage is no shortage of fitness and nutrition advice on how to have a body just like that. From so called “health tonics” (lemon water anyone?) to everybody’s special “Butt Blaster” fitness challenges and the like. With all this information out there, there is no shortage of resources and places to help you find programs and advice to help you work toward achieving your fitness goals.
Most of it is bullshit however. While it doesn’t hurt to try new things and everybody is unique in the way that there is no “one solution” toward achieving anything, what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you and vice versa. Unfortunately my computer doesn’t have nearly enough memory to cover all the bullshit so we’re going to narrow the focus on a topic I have had many discussions about.
Get 10 sessions of Personal Training or 3 Months of Online Training for $500! Get in touch with Dirk today!
My name is (Dirk) David Smith. I created Stonewall Fitness with a passion to unite the LGBT+ Community through exercise, fitness and sport.
My passion lies in breaking down the barriers and stigmas associated with exercise and fitness.
Focusing on goal oriented training and personal best in exercise, fitness and sport.
I am an openly gay swimmer, coach, trainer, writer and blogger. Stonewall Fitness is my vehicle to channel my passion worldwide. I am #FitwithPRIDE and #iCompete
Follow me on Instagram @FitwithPRIDE
Check out Dirk's Online Coaching programs!
Made for goal-oriented individuals and athletes in the LGBTQ+ and allied community all over the world!