Natural Doping

Michael Phelps was known to to stimulate his production of red blood cells by sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber that recreates high altitude conditions. Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum have flown to Germany to have their blood removed, heated, centrifuged, and reintroduced to their bodies, all in the hopes of stimulating tissue regeneration. During their 2011 championship run, many Dallas Mavericks players utilized cryotherapy, where they voluntarily entered a room as cold as -320 degrees Fahrenheit in order to turbocharge the bodies natural healing response mechanisms.

None of those behaviors listed above are illegal, yet the athletes utilizing those treatments are achieving much of the same results as those who are taking illegal drugs. I think we are at a stage today where those with infinite amounts of time and money can manipulate their bodies with technology in such a way that banned substances might become either irrelevant or overkill.
Continue reading “Natural Doping”


Mt. Whitney

Last June I climbed Mt. Whitney with some friends. Here is what happened:

I was roused out of my sleep by my alarm. It was 3:30 AM. I had driven up north from LA the previous day, slept in a tent, and was now readying to climb the highest mountain in the contiguous United States.

There were 6 other people in the group, and we gathered in the darkness to take stock of everything before we started the ascent. This was when I noticed that it wasn’t actually that dark, because every other hiker had a fitted headlamp. This shocked me. I thought those were only for coal miners.

Dressed for success. Tim rockin a pretty badass walking stick.

I then began to notice that it was not just the headlamps that set this crew apart. They looked like they were a film crew for Planet Earth: Mountains. Thick boots, pants of a special texture that zipped off into shorts, wide brimmed hats, super ergonomic ski pole looking things, backpacks with thousands of pockets and tubes sticking out at perfect drinking height. Those water bladders for your backpack are called camelbacks, and everyone had one.

Except for me. In fact, to this crew, I must have looked like the kid in little league who showed up for games without a mitt, his shoes untied, and snot dripping down his face. I think the money was probably on me to be the guy who sprains an ankle or passes out from dehydration.

I had on basketball shorts and a sweatshirt. I was wearing the beat up backpack I used throughout college. Also, I was rocking a pair of those funny looking shoes with slots for the toes, because who says you can’t climb a mountain AND look like a guy who cares way too much about ultimate frisbee? Continue reading “Mt. Whitney”

The 4 Year War: Drew vs. Coach Fitz Part 2

Basically, all the factors mentioned in the previous post culminated in me and Coach Fitz having our first of 2 epic showdowns.  Before I get to that, there is the little matter of Stacie the trainer to discuss.  The story cannot be complete without understanding that after I would get my body beat up by the strength coach, I would seek solace in the training room in the form of massage, ice baths, etc.  But at one point sophomore year the pain in my knee got to where I had to go to the training room everyday to get electrical stim and ice on my knee.  Despite this, I was never able to get Stacie to stick up for me in my fight to be exempt from heavy squatting.  She was very friendly with Coach Fitz, and was not keen on disagreeing with any of his philosophies.  I am not an expert, all I know is that my knee hurt a lot, and it hurt even more when I did squats.  Stacie would spin all these BS yarns about how I needed to maintain the strength in my leg (like i couldn’t do that other ways) and how squatting wasn’t that bad.  I also found out the hard way that there is no such thing as athlete-trainer confidentiality.  Many things I thought I was saying only to Stacie mysteriously ended up being used against me by Coach Fitz. (Lesson: Just because someone occasionally acts nice and has a hint of a warm southern accent does not mean they will not stab you in the back.) Continue reading “The 4 Year War: Drew vs. Coach Fitz Part 2”

The 4 Year War: Drew vs. Coach Fitz Part 1

Early Freshman year I was introduced to the person who would become the bain of my existence for the duration of my college basketball career.  His name was Coach Fitzgerald, and he had taken over the previous spring as head strength and conditioning coach.  To say he was a stocky 6’1 would not do the man justice.  He was more boulder than man, 250 pounds of barrel chested meathead.  He kept his hair short and his neck shorter. His posture was fit for a man who played high level college football and presumably spent the rest of his years perfecting the deep squat and hang clean. The first experience I ever had with him would prove to be a good foreshadowing of what our relationship would be like for the duration of my basketball career. Continue reading “The 4 Year War: Drew vs. Coach Fitz Part 1”


Soooooo, slight setback out here.  I was coming off a pick and roll and making a move toward the basket when I was fouled, causing me to slip.  My entire lower left leg bent inward as my knee slammed into the ground.   Needless to say, it hurt.

I hopped up and off the court cursing, furious that I had to sustain an injury at such a bad time.  My immediate post trauma treatment consisted of the old guy who fills our water bottles brining me two ice cubes in a plastic bag and some saran wrap.  That’s about as good as the care gets out here.  Then the manager tried to get me to stand on one leg to determine where it hurt, and it took a lot for me to not snap at him.  I then had to take a 30 min drive just to see the trainer, who used one poke and one twist to make his diagnosis of the problem.  (both of which caused shooting pain) It literally toke about 10 seconds.  I asked if I needed an MRI, and he assured me that I did not, and that he has seen this injury a million times.  Great. Continue reading “Setback”