Meet my dear friend Daniel Smith. He is a USA triathlon coach, competitive triathlete, personal trainer, high school track and field coach, photographer, writer and artist. Daniel grew up on a small farm in a tiny township on Lake Erie, in Vermilion, Ohio. Daniel served in the US Army Combat Medic. Then went on to become a model in NYC, Miami and Europe until he was 28. His love of the industry got him on the other side of the lens and desk. He became a NYC casting agent and model agent for Boss Models and other top fashion designers and photographers. That is where we met, Daniel was one of my first modeling agents! We instantly connected and became fast friends. Although we were far from the healthy people we are now. We were chain-smoking, bopsy twins who were running around south beach together getting into trouble! I first remember witnessing Daniel's strength when he gave me a piggy back ride back from the Versace mansion, all the way to my house, because my feet hurt or I drank too much! Even back then, between cigarettes and obscene amounts of coffee, we would jog together and practice yoga on the beach. He was the first one to explain to me how to breath when I ran. Still we were a far cry from where we are today. Watching Daniel transform into the triathlete and inspiring coach he is today has been a gift to watch. Daniel just had his 45th Birthday! and is a shining example of what healthy life choices and hard work look like. He has had 9 lives, living all over the world but chose to go back to where his family and heart is. Daniel has taken everything he has learned on his travels and life to share with his students, colleagues, and like hearted people. I am truly blessed to have such a sweet soul in my life for all these years and I am so excited to share a little bit of him with you. [caption id="attachment_898" align="aligncenter" width="545"] Coaching the Us marine Corps Wounded Warriors along side Gold medalist Sheila Taormina.[/caption] 1. What is your work out regimen? I still compete regularly in US Masters swimming, and USA triathlon events from Olympic distance to Half Ironman distance event. So that keeps me on a track of fitness for staying “in the Game”, so to speak. I swim , bike, run or cross train daily..I subscribe to one day off a week and love trying new sports and have been known to still participate in Pole Vault and track events (which I still coach in HS also) Most of my swim workouts are based on the distances I have in my upcoming events, during masters swim season I swim 4000 yards 3-5x a week and during tri season I swim in the open water from 4-6 miles a week (I live right on Lake Erie and swim and run the beach here a lot!) I tend to bike more during tri season anywhere from 100 to 150 miles a week (depending on what I'm getting ready for)..and run only 3 days a week , as I am prone to overuse injury in running, as I am not a small guy, and have relatively small bones. Weekly mileage from 18 to 25 2.Tell us what you eat on a regular day? I always start with the morning off right with a fresh ground espresso roast big cup o Joe. I steer away from sugars as much as possible – so I use stevia or monk fruit sweetener. I like to give my self one day a week to “go off track”.. and really allow a reset and have no strict rules.. basically listen to what my body is craving and needs..the other 6 days I try to eat as clean as I can and try to steer away from processed foods as much as possible and I do try to limit carbs from refined grains.. I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner, unless I am travelling. Typical Day consists of: Breakfast- grits or steel-cut oats with stevia and maple syrup and a scoop of Protein powder and a banana. Lunch- either a tuna salad on spinach or sandwich on pita. OR 4 egg omlette (2 yolks) with cayenne pepper ans spinach on a bagel. Smoothie after workout- no sugar grape or cran juice with a ½ lemon and 1 cup of my homemade Kombucha and some fresh fruit and a scoop of protein mix and always add 2 big scoops of finely ground flax seeds (which I do in my coffee bean grinder) Dinner- Wild rice /brown rice mix with black and pinto beans (which I make a huge pot every weekend and lasts a week) chicken or fish on the side steamed/grilled or sautéed spinach. I do allow myself a glass of red wine in the evening on occasion, which relaxes me physically and helps me to unwind into a great night sleep… which I believe we need a minimum of 8 hours every evening and more when stresses are elevated. I also grow my own wheat spelt grass (organic and also my own kombucha. I do 8 days on 8 days off with 1.5 oz of wheat grass w/ breakfast (every other day i do beet juice too0 as well as 1 week on 1 week off with 7oz of kombucha 3. What inspires you to stay healthy and fit? I want to stay competitive and healthy in general. You can’t be fast if you are overweight or sluggish. I find that fitness keeps me strong and feeling young. I want to keep that as long as possible… I am a coach of 5 sports and feel I need to set an example also, so that I can continue to inspire and lead those that I coach and can know how to walk the talk. 4. What do you think the biggest mistake people make in trying to get into shape? Too much too soon and too high of expectations of what is possible. I believe in small steps and setting very realistic personal goals… keeping in mind it takes dedication, a plan and hard work with a very patient outlook toward the result. 5. If you had to choose one thing that you believe keeps you in best shape what would it be? Staying active mentally and physically with a goal for a new event or achievement.. I know If I do not have a goal or event I plan for myself, I will allow myself to slip sometimes, I set a 3 and 6 month goal to stay focused on a reason to work on reaching that preset expectation . Ex; in June I want to best my Olympic time from last season by 3 minutes and by Sept I want to drop 5 minutes at long course triathlon nationals by 5 minutes… it’s doable, but takes me stretching my comfort zones a little bit. 6. What is your guilty pleasure? Food! Candy (swedish fish)and evening snack (like salt & vinegar chips) TV- sometimes I love watching the ridiculous reality tv shows , while falling asleep. Maybe it’s because it makes me feel better to know there are lots of alternative ways people live and allows me to experience them without the drama personally. 7.What is something that you want to try but haven't yet? Hum.. I’ve tried a lot already, LOL,, so- I have to be careful what I say here, haha.. Actually, I am not married and have no kids, sometimes I find myself imagining what it would be like to have a family and how I might be as a Father. 8. What is the best advice you ever got ? Live every day as if you have limited time here on the planet and with family and friends and be conscious of your responsibility to the earth, and those you influence daily. Click here to follow Daniel's training/coaching Blog. Click here to check out Daniel's photography. You may even find some of me, when I first started modeling:) Follow Daniel's Facebook Page!