Cody Lind's Western States 100: A Family Tradition and Personal Triumph

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Western States 100, the oldest hundred-mile trail running race in the world. Zenergy’s newest sponsored athlete, Cody Lind, will be toeing the line for the third consecutive year. Western States has been a part of Cody’s life for as long as he can remember. His Grandfather, Dr. Bob Lind, was not only the medical director of Western States for the first 30+ years of the race, but also started the race with the family’s single shot, 20-gauge shotgun. Like clockwork, Cody would head to Auburn the fourth weekend in June every year for the race alongside his grandfather – Cody has only missed two or three Western States in his 28 years.


Western States is one of the most prestigious ultramarathons in the world. It attracts the best runners from across the globe, who gather in Olympic Valley to cover the historic route, following remote mining roads and single track trails over mountains and through canyons all the way to the Placer High School Track. “As a kid I was scared of the distance,” Cody laughed. He had a uniquely intimate insight into the race as he tagged along with his Grandpa through medical check points over the course of race day, “Being out there every year, I understood that this is a really big thing – you have to be on top of everything: eating, drinking, managing the heat, on top of the fitness and mental strength to run that far. I learned a ton watching what others did over 100 miles to successfully finish.” Dr. Lind was an early leader of ultra-endurance physiology – studying what happened to the body as runners pushed themselves to the brink of human capacity. He developed many of the medical protocols that are to this day considered best practice and implemented throughout the world. One of his greatest contributions was his research on heat acclimation – which can make or break many a racers’ effort to get to the finish line of Western States.



“I knew I wanted to do the race someday, but recognized how hard it is on the body and knew I had to wait until I was ready to run that far,” Cody acknowledged. Growing up in the shadow of the tallest peaks of Idaho, in the small town of Challis, Cody developed a passion for running to explore the mountains that surrounded him. His dad, Paul Lind, was himself an ultra-runner, and started a cross-country running and track program for Challis High School. The team only had a dirt track to practice on, had to drive hours to compete with other high school running teams, and yet the Challis High School Team won multiple state titles in both track and cross-country. Cody spent his days training and competing in running races, but on weekends he was outside – exploring the Lost River Range, White Clouds, and Sawtooths with his family. Ultimately, his passion for the mountains is what continued to drive him in sport – he attended Western Oregon University for two years but had left his heart in the mountains. He returned to Idaho to pursue racing in the US and World Skyrunner Series. Skyrunning races are extremely technical, characterized by huge amounts of vertical gain and loss. The Tromso Skyrace covers 57km (35 miles) and over 15,000 feet of climbing and descending exposed ridgelines and peaks. These races were exactly the type of terrain that Cody loved the most, and it showed – he had multiple first place finishes in the US and was on the podium many times around the world.


“I felt ready to race farther and decided in 2021 it was time for my first 100k (62 miles)” explained Cody. The Bandera 100k is a Golden Ticket race for Western States – the top two finishers are offered automatic entries into the race. Going into Bandera, Cody knew that earning one of those golden tickets was a possibility, but his goal was just to get some experience at the 100k distance. In second place, with six miles to go, he knew he had done it – that he had earned an entry into the Western States 100. His Dad was at the finish waiting – all they could do was hug, knowing what was next.


“I had six months until Western States, and it became my sole focus,” Cody imparted. That year, 2021, turned out to be one of the hottest on record – over 100 degrees on race day. The day started with Cody’s Dad, Paul, sending the runners off with the crack of the family’s 20-gauge shotgun. The same one that Dr. Bob Lind had used for some 30 years prior. Cody felt decent all day, he started conservatively, with a goal of feeling good at mile 60 – the Foresthill aid station. “The whole day I was just pinching myself, thinking how lucky I was to be one of the few people that are able to run this race every year.” Not only was Cody in the race, he was picking off runners as he ticked off miles. Cody finished fourth in his first ever 100 mile race. “I couldn’t believe that I’d just run top five at Western States. It was surreal. I had my entire family there with me, and there was no question that I’d come back again, having earned a place at next year’s race with a finish in the top ten.”



In 2022, Cody ran Western States for the second time, and bettered his time by over twenty minutes – finishing 9th. With his second top ten finish in two consecutive years, he earned a place to come back again – for this year’s race in just over two months. “Right now, I’m having more fun training than I ever have before,” Cody expressed, “I just truly love getting out there and being outside – every day I go out excited to learn more and to focus on getting better.” Living back amongst the mountains that inspired him from the beginning, Cody is enjoying the process of working toward his short- and long-term goals. “I’ve been in the sport of ultra running for nine years and want to make sure I can continue to compete at a high level. Every day I’m gaining the experience to help me reach my long-term potential.”

Outside of competing as a professional athlete, Cody started his own coaching business, GOAT Adventures. He manages over 30 athletes and hosts running camps that focus on building technical mountain running skills geared toward being able to run in the mountains in Idaho.

The Transformative Power of Pilates

Pilates, developed almost 100 years ago, is experiencing a renaissance in the health and wellness community. What is it about this mindful workout that has drawn such a strong resurgence? German boxer and trainer Joseph Pilates developed his namesake exercise discipline while serving as an orderly in a World War I hospital. He gained notoriety by helping patients regain the ability to walk with an exercise regimen focused on core strength and flexibility. Pilates emigrated to New York in the 1920s, where he garnered immediate traction in the dance and performing arts community, helping performers build the foundational flexibility and strength necessary for their craft. Fast-forward to 2022, with state-of-the-art equipment and a deeper understanding of its effectiveness, a growing number of wellness seekers are headed to the Pilates studio to discover the many benefits that the practice offers.


Local Zenergy Pilates instructor Kati Freytag emphasizes, “I tell my clients that Pilates is like an oil change for your body. It lubricates the joints, turns on muscles you never knew you had, and balances the body in a way no other workout can. It’s the perfect complement to our hard-charging lifestyles in the Valley."

Pilates is a low-impact exercise that strengthens often-overlooked stabilizing muscles while increasing mobility and flexibility. It is a full-body exercise methodology that develops a mind-body connection through intentional breath-work. In the Pilates studio, we see people from all backgrounds experiencing these benefits. Twelve-time Olympic medalist swimmer and Zenergy-sponsored athlete Dara Torres was named to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Team at age 41, making her the oldest U.S. Olympic swimmer in history. Not only did she compete, but she also brought home three silver medals and firmly established herself as one of the greatest swimmers of all time. After retiring from swimming professionally, Dara discovered Pilates.


“I didn’t know much about it during my career but have since fallen in love with Pilates because it has really toned and leaned me out,” says Dara. “I like that you can simultaneously do a low-impact workout that is really challenging."


Pilates is an ideal place to start for those who are simply seeking improved mobility. As Zenergy Pilates instructor Nikki Collier puts it, “There are benefits to every BODY! Pilates is a great addition to any exercise regimen. The range of movements involved in Pilates strengthens your entire body, aligns your joints, and promotes mental focus. In addition, Pilates can help with osteoporosis and building bone density.”


The strengthening and lengthening of muscles while practicing Pilates is incredibly beneficial for core power and flexibility. The intentional control of muscles connects the mind to movement, helping to develop better balance. Flexibility, strength, and balance are pillars of Pilates that are important for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you’re a competitive athlete, recovering from an injury, or working to build fitness, the Pilates studio is there to help you reach your goals.


In October, Zenergy completed an extensive renovation of their Pilates studio with new Balanced Body Reformer Towers. It has expanded their talented team of certified instructors, offering clinics and sessions for people at any stage of their Pilates journey. Zenergy’s instructors combine the teachings of Pilates with innovative techniques to challenge coordination, muscle endurance, and core stability. Joseph Pilates declared, “You will feel better in 10 sessions, look better in 20 sessions, and have a completely new body in 30 sessions.”

Discover for yourself all the benefits Pilates offers for whole-body wellness!

For more information, email Zenergy Group Fitness Manager Kati Freytag at and visit



Enduring Wisdom of Charley French

This year is the 50th annual Boulder Mountain Tour, a beloved cross-country ski race that begins north of Ketchum, at the start of the Harriman Trail near Galena Lodge, and travels 34 kilometers south, paralleling the Big Wood River and the Boulder Mountains all the way to the SNRA Headquarters. Thousands of racers have made their way down the historic course since its inception, but arguably none more times than local legend, Charley French. This year, Charley will clip into his race skis at the start line of the Boulder for what he estimates to be the 47th time, at 96 years of age. 


Q: You’ve competed in nearly every single edition of the Boulder Mountain Tour - what keeps you coming back?

A: I like to compete, and I like the challenge. I’ve done somewhere between 200-300 triathlons, a few bike races, and a lot of cross-country ski races. 


In fact, Charley earned gold at each of the five Triathlon World Championships he contested, finished first at twelve nordic skiing World Masters competitions, and not only won his age group but set a course record in his first and only Ironman; these are only a few results among time trial and course records that he still holds. Charley didn’t start competing in triathlons until he was in his forties, around the same time he picked up cross-country skiing. After racing, and winning, against younger competitors for years, the Boulder Mountain Tour created a new 90-99 Charley Class age group in 2014.


Q: How do you stay motivated to continue training and competing?

A: I just like to do things; I like to accomplish things. My whole life I’ve always had goals for every day, and I think that keeps you going. You accomplish a goal and have this satisfaction, so you’re always up. I’m continually looking forward to things. In competing I noticed very early on that if you have a positive attitude, you go twice as fast. If you get down on yourself, everything falls apart. I’ve been lucky that attitude still prevails. You figure out that every day we get to be outside doing this stuff is great, you go skiing and even if conditions aren’t perfect you have a good day, you have fun. This year, I signed up to compete in the World Masters cross-country ski races in Seefeld, Austria this March. That’s my goal for this winter.


Q: As a year-round athlete, what is your favorite way to train? What have you found to be the most effective?

A: When I was about 60, I decided to go to the gym for the first time, and said I’d stick to it for a year. My triathlon times dropped by about 10%, so I figured I better it up. This year, I’m working with Kyle Sela, a trainer at Zenergy, to see if I can get stronger in preparation for World Masters. I think it’s working - last year I was able to race the half-Boulder without stopping. 


Right now, I pump iron and cross-country ski. The rest of the year I swim and bike too. I just do what feels good for training, I’ll be out skiing two days a week versus one day inside at the gym.


Q: How did you start cross-country skiing?

A: I was born and raised in St. Louis and moved to California when I was about 13. I started surfing and skiing in California and lived there until 1970. At that point, I realized I’d never spent a weekend at home, because I was always driving to go skiing. That’s when I moved here to Sun Valley , and I skied bumps on the mountain over 100 days each season. One day, I realized I wasn’t going to get any better at bump-skiing, and that I needed a new sport. That’s when I started cross-country skiing, and I haven’t stopped. I’m still learning and improving. To start, I took a free lesson at Galena Lodge, then a mutual friend introduced me to Jon Engen and I started taking lessons from him which helped a lot. I started out when there was only classic skiing, then got into skating – but now I only classic ski. I will just double pole the Boulder.


Q: What changes have you made in your technique through your years skiing?

A: As I age, I notice that every year I’m a little weaker, and I’m not strong enough to skate anymore. I watch the World Cup cross-country races and noticed that when the best in the world are classic skiing, they are either double poling or running uphill. To do classic well, you have to double pole. I can still classic ski, and even a few years ago I could just double pole forever. I raced the Engadin Skimarathon in Switzerland in 2017 (at 91) and double poled the whole thing – my strength is in my upper body and really my core. To get up hills in races, I double pole as hard as I can into the hill, and then stride over the top. For a couple of Boulders, I didn’t wax at all (to have more glide), but now it’s easier to have a little kick wax. 


Q: In cross-country skiing, and all endurance sports, you have to be both physically and mentally tough, how important do you believe the mental aspect of racing is?

A: I just like to compete, and I like to train. I get great satisfaction out of working out – and in racing, well you just have to stay positive throughout. Every time I get to start a race, I just want to win. Here I am, the only one in my age group, all I’ve got to do is finish, and I still get nervous before a race!  Why am I nervous before a race? I try to get myself to relax, but I can’t!


Q: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the Boulder over time?

A: Every year the grooming improves, as does the equipment. As the equipment gets better and better, the technique changes to go along with those improvements. Every year you see little changes in the technique, which are kind of fun to try and replicate. 


Q: What’s your favorite part of the Boulder?

A:  The finish! Not the start! When you get about two thirds of the way through the race, you know you’re going to make it. My favorite part is right after I finish, standing there realizing it’s over.


Q: Do you have a friend you ski with?

A: I ski with Jack Hayes, he also belongs to Zenergy. He’s just a kid, he’s 89.


Q: You’re a lifelong endurance athlete and competitor, can you talk about what keeps you in sport?

A: I’m an athlete because I enjoy doing it. To me it’s a package, it’s the fun of competing and if you do well it’s a result of how much, how well and how smart you’ve trained. I enjoy the whole package. I’m lucky I’ve got the energy and want to go out and do these things.


Charley’s energy and joy for life and skiing are infectious. Just being near him makes you want to get up and go, to not be afraid to try something new, to give it your all. He is an inspiration for many reasons: multi-time world champion, competitive athlete at 96, inventor of the Aero Bars that redefined bike racing, and so much more. In everything he has accomplished, he maintains an enduring humility that shines through in the chuckle at the end of his sentences. Charley, we are so lucky to have you as a role model for our community. You’ve shown us what is possible if we just stay curious.


A New Perspective

There are moments in life that change you forever. They can happen at any time, and often occur when we’re least expecting them. Last February, Nicole Jorgenson started feeling nauseous and dizzy at a friend’s birthday party. Her symptoms were mild enough to start; she’d had a low-grade headache for the past week or so, and thinking she might be dehydrated, went to find some space to reset. On her way down the hallway, she suddenly staggered to the left, and had to hold onto the sink in the bathroom to regain her balance. She was searching but having a hard time finding words in her brain to communicate how she was feeling. A lifelong athlete, Nicole was used to pushing through pain. She grew up playing soccer, started racing bikes during college, is an avid skier, and works as a full-time ski patroller on Baldy in the winter. This kind of discomfort, though, was different. With the help of friends, she made the hard decision to go to the Emergency Room.


Nicole had experienced multiple, small strokes. She was transferred to Boise that night and stayed in the hospital there for three days, after which she spent three more days in a rehabilitation facility. That time passed in a blur – it took a few days to regain her ability to walk again because both her vision and balance were impaired by the strokes. “It felt like my eyes were spinning in different directions, and I’d have to cover one eye in order to focus,'' Nicole shared. “I stayed in Boise for additional occupational therapy for six weeks – the only thing you can do after a stroke, especially in a young person, is immediate rehab.” Originally from Boise, Nicole was able to spend time with family while enjoying some natural therapy outside on the dry, foothill trails where she’d go for walks. “It was good for me to be in a different environment, away from home, to find the space to recover,” she shared. Those weeks were spent building back toward the active lifestyle she’d always lived. It was slow going, as her post-stroke brain had to build brand-new neural pathways to regain full functionality.  


Although statistically, a healthy 29-year-old woman having a stroke is a very uncommon occurrence, the type of stroke that Nicole experienced is the most common for a young person to have. It was caused by a vertebral artery dissection: the inner lining of an artery supplying oxygen to her brain tore. Thinking back, Nicole can’t recall an event that may have caused her stroke. “This type of stroke can just happen randomly, in my case it was spontaneous. However, something as simple as flipping your hair over after taking a shower can cause this to happen.” Her doctors don’t know whether she’s likely to have another stroke, forcing Nicole to make a choice – was it worth changing the life she loves living because of the chance that this may recur? Her answer was no.


Determined, she turned her complete focus toward the recovery process. It took until April to fully find her sense of balance. She was dedicated to regaining her fitness, but was on blood thinners and could not risk a slip or fall. This meant finding new workout options – she learned how to classic ski and started trail running as an alternate to mountain biking. Nicole worked with Zenergy physical therapist and strength coach Kyle Sela to develop creative, non-traditional exercises to build strength and coordination without risking further brain injury. By the end of the summer, Nicole competed in her first ever trail running race at the Targhee Cirque Series event. She wasn’t sure how she’d feel when she was cleared to bike again, but when the time came, she didn’t feel nervous – she felt ready. 


Today, Nicole is back ski patrolling full-time and working to certify her dog Diesel as an avalanche search dog. “Going through this experience forced me to pause and look at my life from a different perspective. I am overwhelmingly grateful for what I’m able to do and the lifestyle that I live,” she remarked. “You cannot force recovery, you have to let your body heal at its own pace. Throughout this journey, I have found a deeper connection to my body and life itself. My biggest takeaway is that you have to be open to whatever new things come your way.”

Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center – a conversation with Executive Director Dawn Bird

Q: What is the Friends of the Sawtooth Avalanche Center (FSAC)?

A: The Friends is closely associated with the Sawtooth Avalanche Center (SAC), but is a separate non-profit entity that supports SAC financially through fundraising and public education initiatives. Here at the Friends, our mission is to support and promote life-saving avalanche safety information, education, and outreach throughout central Idaho. The Friends is an essential component of the SAC’s success. The SAC cannot solicit funds on their own behalf – yet needs additional funding to cover 50% of the annual operating budget. The Friends was originally established to help cover that gap, and has consistently raised funding through individual and business donations, and events.

Q: What does the funding go towards?

A: All the money that the Friends raise goes directly toward operating the Sawtooth Avalanche Center. Funds go toward avalanche forecaster salaries first and foremost. In addition, the funds help to cover: weather station maintenance, securing snowmobiles, fuel and insurance, website/IT maintenance and more. We pride ourselves on keeping our overhead at a minimum, operating with a staff of three part-time employees. We are able to accomplish as much as we do thanks to our nine very active volunteer board members who do a lot of hands-on work year-round to move our mission forward. We are, for the most part, a volunteer-led organization. 

Q: Who are your current Board Members?

A: Our current board members are Ryan Guess, Travis Vandenburgh, Steve Butler, Erin Zell, Megan Stevenson, Frank Gould, Olin Glenne, Louise Stumph, and Chase Gouley. These individuals are critical to the success of the Friends – they each bring their own perspective and experience that helps direct the Friends and work towards our mission of supporting the SAC and providing public avalanche education. 

Q: What kind of public education do the Friends offer?

A: We offer free and low-cost avalanche classes throughout south-central Idaho. All our classes are open to the public and provide up-to-date information on avalanche safety and best practices. One of our most popular courses Introduction to Avalanche, offered on December 8th. Although this Introduction does not replace a full Level 1 Avalanche course, it is a great place to start if you are brand new to the backcountry or are looking for a refresher. This year, we are offering both an in-person and virtual option for the classroom portion of the course. Students will learn from a team of snow experts, guides, and experienced avalanche educators. We will dive into fundamental concepts about snow and snowpack, how to travel safely in and near avalanche terrain, and discuss what avalanches are. Attending the classroom portion of the course enables participation in the hands-on Field Day. During the Field Day, students will spend the day outside, learning how to evaluate the snow and snowpack, identify avalanche terrain, and avalanche rescue basics. 

Q: Who do the Friends provide education for?

A: We offer courses for all backcountry users – snowmobilers, skiers, experienced backcountry travelers, first-timers and everyone in between. We have especially expanded our motorized educational courses over the past few years. The data has shown that motorized users are getting into trouble with avalanches at a higher rate than other backcountry travelers. Motorized machines allow access to places otherwise too remote, exposing users to more potential avalanche danger. It is important that these backcountry users know we are a resource for them, and that they can use all the different tools that we have to offer. We have partnered with two local snowmobile clubs to expand our reach in the motorized community and look forward to engaging with them throughout this season and beyond.

Q: How can the public be involved with FSAC?

A: You can check out our website or follow us on social media @sawtoothavy to find upcoming events or sign up for education classes:. You can also donate to help fund the Sawtooth Avalanche Center at our website. Your donation makes our work and the work of the forecasting team at the Sawtooth Avalanche Center possible. 

Live Younger - A Presentation from Dr. Maria Maricich

Join celebrated local wellness doctor Maria Maricich for an illuminating address on increasing longevity and well-being next Thursday, October 13th at 6:30PM at the Limelight Hotel.


Dr. Maria will dive into the latest research about aging and, more specifically, our genes. “Just like any other component of our bodies, as we age our genes are more prone to cracking and breaking,” she explains. Left without any intervention, this degeneration can lead to malfunction in our bodies. On Thursday, Dr. Maria will highlight how we can take proactive preventative steps to increase our longevity and health.


This is the first time Dr. Maria will share her insights on genetics with the public. She specializes in brain health and has firsthand experience treating the root causes that impede brain functionality. Her focus is on the epigenome, the part of our brain that tells our genes what to do and how to act. She has successfully trained the epigenome to repair genes, changing the very way genes express themselves. By addressing harmful disorders in the genes at their inception, her patients experience improved performance, faster recuperation, better brain function, and an increased sense of well-being. They are also more likely to avoid disease and injuries. Dr. Maria will discuss what it is each of us can be doing to address the underlying causes that make cells age faster.


Her insight can be applied at any age. We often look back at the past decade and note the changes in our bodies. Compare how you feel today with how you felt ten years ago. Can you recover as quickly? Prioritizing our health as early as possible has long-term, lasting effects. The sooner we can start down this pathway of health and wellness, the better our chances to increase our potential lifespan and improve the quality of our years.


A true local, Dr. Maria was born and raised in the Wood River Valley as an avid alpine ski racer. Her skiing brought her to the world stage, where she competed in the downhill at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics. As a chiropractic doctor, she has built on the knowledge and experience she gained as a competitive athlete and through her community. She has been practicing in Idaho since 1991.

Finding Balance Through Mindful Eating

A conversation with certified functional nutrition expert and health coach, Jodi Fillmore, on her new line of ready-to-eat healthy meals, offered exclusively at Zenergy.

Jodi’s passion lies at the intersection of helping others and health and wellness. After using her own body as a test vehicle and spending years trying all the latest and greatest diets and health crazes, she found one constant: eating whole, unprocessed, organic foods made her feel her best. It didn’t matter if she was paleo, keto, vegetarian, or vegan, it all came down to high-quality ingredients that were free of antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones. Our bodies are constantly communicating with us, letting us know whether what we are consuming is harmful or healing. Food is information, and we need to start paying attention.

We have a lot of agency over how our genes express themselves, and therefore in our overall health and wellbeing, explains Jodi. She has seen, time and again, her clients and friends turn their lives around by modifying the way they eat, improving the quality of the fuel they put in their bodies. Here is one example:

A few years ago, Jodi worked with her client and friend and changed his life with two simple adjustments: nutrition and exercise. As a diabetic, he was having to drive 1.5 hrs to Twin Falls for dialysis multiple times a week. Jodi couldn’t stand to watch as his life became contingent upon these constant trips. So, she started making him nutritionally dense meals and helped him start an exercise routine. Today, he has lost 75 pounds and is off all of his medications.

Jodi helped him find his balance through whole body nourishment and an exercise routine. Most importantly, he is now taking care of his heart and soul by having the time and capacity to engage in his community and passions. He is living a life renewed, and discovering new interests as he discovers places in this community that weren’t accessible to him before. Jodi lives by the 80/20 rule – it is important to focus on health, but also necessary to indulge in what we love to do (and eat)!

From a nutritional perspective, Jodi explains, one of the best things we can do for our bodies is to eat fresh, unprocessed, organic foods. Whole foods are considered foods that remain in their natural state and have not been processed – a good example is fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that whole foods are often lower in sugar and higher in fiber, helping to balance blood sugar. They can also boost cognition through a concentration of healthy fats, and even improve gut health through prebiotics and probiotics.

Processed foods contain highly refined ingredients, such as oil, sugar, and salt. Over time, they build up in our bodies, creating residual inflammation that can manifest in hormone imbalances, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, ADHD, Alzheimer’s and more. We may not feel it for decades, but ultimately this long-term inflammation can catch up with us and have drastic impacts on the quality of our lives. The best way to realize the difference that whole foods can have is by putting it into practice and recognizing how much better you feel.

Jodi seeks out the highest quality ingredients, sourcing many from local farmers to provide the freshest food available. Her recipes follow the seasons - when food is harvested at its peak growing season, it contains more of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need – and it just tastes better! Jodi frequents the Wood River Farmers Market where she buys from Picabo Desert Farm and others, purchases whole wheat bread from Hangar Bread, has a CSA from Squash Blossom Farms, and consciously selects only high quality grass-fed and finished beef from Hyndman Beef, Big Lost Beef, and Alderspring Ranch – to name a few!

Through this work, Jodi is looking to share the opportunity to live a fuller, healthier life with our entire community. We have limited food options locally, and it can be challenging and time consuming to plan, shop, cook, and prepare healthy meals. Jodi is offering her own line of highly nutritious meals at Zenergy, through a limited lunch delivery service and as a private chef. Her business, Jodi’s Food For Thought, is inspired by what she eats on a daily basis: organic, whole, unprocessed foods. With each meal, Jodi develops her own recipes and tweaks them to level up the nutritional content. Her meals are restocked at Zenergy on Mondays and Wednesdays. Jodi is available for health coaching and as a private chef. Reach out to her if you are interested in either service:

(208) 721-0805

A New Tool to Fight Fatigue

Why do we fatigue, and what can we do about it? That is the driving motivation behind the development of AVA Cooling Technology’s revolutionary Anti-Fatigue Charge Bar. Developed by Zenergy’s own Kyle Sela, this simple tool can take your fitness and performance to the next level.


Kyle is a physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach who has been with Zenergy for five years. His approach with athletes is comprehensive, initially working to prevent and treat injuries and then progressing to help them achieve their highest levels of fitness and function. With this mindset, Kyle is always looking for the most advanced and cutting edge ways to help his clients and patients excel.  It was from listening to a human performance podcast about temperature regulation with experts in the fields of sports medicine and sports performance that inspired Kyle to develop AVA Cooling Technology, “It was this concept that I hadn’t really considered but that immediately made so much sense. I knew that there would be a way to leverage this physiology and help people in exercise and sports. I just had to figure out a practical way to do it.” 


As we exercise, body temperature rises. We’ve all experienced this during a training session, whether lifting weights, doing cardio or competing in sports. A by-product of doing work is a rise in body temperature, especially in the working muscle tissue. This rise in temperature affects the muscle cell rendering it less able to continue contracting - a form of fatigue. Another phenomenon of rising body temperature is that the brain receives signals that hamper motivation. Possibly an evolutionary protective measure, rising body temperature cues our brains to reduce our motivation to continue working hard. So, rising body temperature limits both our ability and our motivation to continue this hard work. What can we do to limit heat-related fatigue and optimize our workout potential?


There is only so much we can do to control external inputs and stay cool. The environment? Clothing choice? Nutrition? Once we’ve exhausted those options, what’s left? In exploring this question, Kyle found promising research from Stanford professor Dr. Craig Heller, who discovered that one of the most effective ways to mitigate heat-related fatigue can be found in the palms of our hands. Our palms are covered with a special kind of hairless skin, known as glabrous. Glabrous skin is especially efficient at mitigating body heat, and is also found on the soles of our feet and hairless portions of the face. Kyle explains that, “We all naturally use these areas of our bodies to help heat and cool our bodies. Think about warming up by holding a hot mug of tea or cooling off by sticking your feet out from under the covers.” The reason glabrous skin is so effective is that, “it has a special network of blood vessels below the surface called arteriovenous anastomoses (AVAs). These AVAs are essentially specialized mini circuits that exist to regulate temperature.” 


When applying his findings to the question of exercise and heat fatigue, Dr. Heller discovered that by cooling one’s palms during exercise, both motivation and the ability to work harder increase. His results were remarkable, with improvements of 40-60% in athletic performance when using palm-cooling. Intrigued and a bit skeptical, Kyle started testing this phenomenon on his own. In his strict trials, Kyle experienced a 15-30% improvement in his performance, and decided then and there that Dr. Heller was onto something. Not only was Kyle experiencing elevated performance, his readiness to do the next set had also increased. Dr. Heller had already developed an effective, but large and cumbersome, system for palmar cooling. But Kyle knew there had to be an easier and more practical way to make this promising training tool more accessible. 


Through testing and research, Kyle identified the materials he needed to create an affordable and convenient palm cooling solution. He chose a lightweight metal that has a high specific heat capacity, meaning it takes a lot of energy to change its temperature one degree plus or minus. A readily available way to keep the device cold? Cool water, which has an even higher specific heat capacity than the metal, is easy to find at a sink or faucet and keeps  the device in the right temperature range for up to an hour of use. Kyle’s research and personalized testing culminated in the Anti-Fatigue Charge Bar, a made-in-Idaho solution that is now providing cooling technology to the hands of elite and everyday athletes worldwide.



How do you use it?

Fill the Anti Fatigue Charge Bar with cool water, ideally 45-60 degrees, which is the average temperature of most water fountains. Hold the charge bar for 30 seconds to 2 minutes between periods of exercise. The charge bar should last for 45-60 minutes. If it gets too hot, refill with cold water. You should see the effects of using the charge bar immediately. “There are a lot of things we can do to enhance performance,” explains Kyle, “but in the moment there is not a quicker or more beneficial thing you can do during a workout.” All you need to experience the benefits of palmar cooling is to hold onto the charge bar for at least 30 seconds. For weight training, this is simple to do between sets. The charge bar benefits endurance athletes as well. It can be used during rest between intervals, or as a way to quickly decrease your body temperature in the time between a warmup and the start of a race. Athletes have even been experimenting with using the charge bar as a way to cool and decompress before going to sleep. Many athletes participate in late games, practices or workouts and the Anti-Fatigue Charge Bar can help bring their temperature down quickly to aid in falling asleep.


Who is using the Charge Bar?

The AVA Cooling Anti Fatigue Charge Bar is such a simple, and powerful training tool that many different types of athletes have started using it. Major League Baseball pitchers cool down with it on the bench between innings. Eastern Washington University’s basketball team is using it between sets in the weight room and during breaks in the action during games. Olympic gold medal winning swimmer Lydia Jacoby is incorporating this revolutionary tool in her training as she gears up to break the world record in the 100-meter breaststroke. Kyle sees the positive effects of using this technique daily at the gym. His clients use the charge bar during workouts with him, and he hears from customers around the world who use it in between intervals in peloton workouts. Across the board the Anti-Fatigue Charge Bar is a game changer for rapidly increasing training capacity. 


AVA Cooling Technology’s Anti-Fatigue Charge Bars are available to demo and purchase at Zenergy. You can learn more or purchase online at

Lessons from the Standhope Ultra Challenge

While completing an ultramarathon is an impressive feat by any standards, Sturtevant’s Standhope Ultra Challenge puts even the best endurance athletes to the test. Described as “extremely difficult” by race organizers, the rugged course winds through the Pioneer Mountains up to a high point of 11,000 feet and back down again.

This summer, Zenergy’s own Jackson Long took the challenge—his first ultramarathon ever—finishing the 60-kilometer route in an impressive 7:51:26 and fifth place overall.

We caught up with Jackson, an avid cyclist and mountain biking and Nordic ski coach, to learn his secrets to success.

What inspired you to compete in the Standhope 60K?

I’ve been pondering the idea of doing an ultra for many years. It kind of just made sense to do my first one in my beautiful backyard. I’m infinitely inspired by the Pioneer Mountain Range and hadn’t fully explored a lot of the sections the course goes through.

What training did you do to prepare?

Perhaps unconventionally, I started the summer with a 200-mile bike race, so I was pretty focused on cycling fitness early on. It helped me really dial in my fueling strategy for long events and also my aerobic capacity and endurance without the impacts of running. After the bike race, I shifted into running and really emphasized getting some long mountain runs, a bit of intensity, and a lot of gut training to handle the fueling requirements of such a thing. Course recon was also important to understand the terrain better. I was lucky enough to take a group of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) Nordic skiers to a summer training camp in the same area as the race about a month before race day.

What was race-day morning like?

Early and dark! Race start was at 6 a.m., so I camped near the start with a friend who was also racing. We basically woke up, shoved some food into our mouths, drank coffee, and walked over.

What were the biggest challenges that you faced during the race?

The downhills. I felt great aerobically, but with so much technical vertical gain (and subsequent loss), my legs kind of shut down in the last couple of hours. The heat was also a big factor and staying hydrated was definitely a challenge.

How did you stay hydrated?

Luckily, there were aid stations regularly sprinkled in throughout the course—massive thank you to all the volunteers who were out there to support us with lots of fuel! It’s just hard to drink enough when it’s so hot and you’re running hard for so long. I had a running vest that could hold about a liter of water at a time, so it was just a matter of getting from aid station to aid station as quickly as possible. But I struggled and felt like I was always thirsty.

What about food and calories?

As a sports nutritionist and complete nerd about performance fueling, this was definitely a big focus of mine leading up to the race. There’s a lot of good research on the value of “training the gut” just like we train our muscles to handle the demands of what is almost as much of an eating competition as it is a running competition. So this meant practicing in training exactly how many calories I’d be trying to take in hourly from different sources to get used to that feeling. I used to always struggle with stomach issues while running and eating, so it took time to adapt. For the most part, I relied on a regular stream of fig bars, boiled potatoes, high-carb sports drink, ginger ale, gels, and anything else that sounded somewhat appetizing 5 hours into a run. But the key was eating early and often.

How did you pace yourself?

I knew I would need to start very conservatively so for the first hour or so I actually ran really slowly! I chatted with some friends and then quickly found a small group of runners that all had similar paces and we kept switching off leads. Once we hit the first big climb, people split up, but I was feeling great at that point so I pushed a little bit. I ultimately found myself in the top 10 and then just held on for dear life.

Was there any point where you questioned whether you would finish?

There were definitely some low moments. That’s what’s crazy about a race that long, and I think a big part of why we do it. There are so many ups and downs where you get caught realizing “I still have 10 miles left” after what seems like being out there all day in the heat. But somehow, you just bring it back to the present and focus on getting to the next aid station or checking off one more mile. You can’t think too far ahead, and even if you feel completely terrible, it’s likely you’ll swing back to feeling awesome.

What was your recovery like after the race?

My body was pretty shattered, but sadly I didn’t have much recovery time. I had a day off and then drove about 20 SVSEF Nordic ski team kids to Colorado for training camp, where we did plenty of alpine trail running. So I had to keep going!

Would you do it again?

I’m unsure if I’ll do it again next year. As of right now, the pain and suffering is still quite vivid in my mind. But based on how my short term memory loss works, I’ll probably sign up once registration opens this winter. Us endurance athletes are a special kind of masochist.

What’s your next endurance goal?

Have a really fun winter! I’m mostly into the whole “suffering in the mountains'' thing. So I can feel awesome when I’m out on long trail running or ski touring adventures with my friends and be able to be balanced and strong enough to jump at whatever sounds exciting. I’m definitely focused on cross-country skiing and backcountry skiing this winter and may try to do at least something epic when I’m not coaching or traveling.

Try Forest Bathing to Lower Stress and Improve Your Health

By Stacy Whitman

What if the secret to combating your stress and anxiety was as simple as...a walk in the woods?

For decades, the Japanese have embraced forest bathing as an antidote to high-stress work environments and urban living. Known there as “Shinrin-yoku” (or “taking in the forest atmosphere”), forest bathing isn’t an ordinary walk in the woods. It involves slowing down and consciously connecting to nature through the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. An established part of Japanese preventative medicine, the healing practice has been gaining traction in the United States and other Western countries.

The power of forest bathing

Since the 1980s, researchers from Japan and other parts of the world have studied the mental and physical effects of forest therapy. Numerous studies have found that it can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, depression, anger, and sleeplessness. Forest bathing also has been shown to have positive physiological effects that include lowering blood pressure, reducing arterial stiffness and inflammation, and improving immune function.

While exposure to any kind of nature can be good for you, spending time under a canopy of trees appears to have specific benefits. Inhaling the “essential oils” of wood bark is believed to help lower stress levels, according to research. Likewise, a faint smell of coniferous trees, including pine, has been shown to induce a relaxed state.

Studies show that natural airborne chemicals released by trees and plants, called phytoncides, also can benefit your immune system. When you breathe them in, your body responds by increasing the number and activity of a white blood cell known as natural killer cells. Scientists are currently exploring whether exposure to forests can help prevent certain kinds of cancer.

How to take a forest bath

There is no one “right” way to do forest bathing. The idea is simply to take a break from your routine and immerse yourself in nature in a mindful way. But here are some tips that can help you get the most from the experience.

Leave enough time. Any amount of time that you spend out in a natural environment is likely to have benefits. The idea is simply to take a break from your routine and immerse yourself in nature in a mindful way. But the longer you give yourself, the more you’ll get out of it.

Minimize the distractions. Leave your cell phone, camera, earbuds, and other technology at home or in the car so you can be fully present in the experience. If you’re with another person, try to hold off on talking as long as you’re out in the woods.

Stop, look and listen. If you’re walking, go slowly and pause from time to time in order to absorb all the sights, sounds, and sensations. Or, find a comfortable spot to sit and tune into your surroundings. Closing your eyes may help you focus on the sounds around you. When you open your eyes, imagine that you’re seeing the world for the first time.

Use all your senses. Look at the light streaming through the tree branches or water trickling down a stream. Listen to the sound of rustling leaves, the buzz of an insect, the caw of a bird. Inhale the earthy scent of dirt and the bark of a tree. Touch some prickly pine needles or feel the wind on your face.

Breathe deeply. Clearing your brain of outside thoughts can be a challenge, especially if you’re accustomed to being busy. Take deep, slow belly breaths to help you let go of all the activity in your brain and focus on your natural surroundings.

Who can benefit from forest bathing?

Forest bathing has been shown to offer benefits for all ages, from children to the elderly. Beginners and young children can start by focusing on objects in nature (such as a fallen leaf or a fish in a stream) that hold their attention. This is an effective way to calm the brain and train yourself to control the direction of your thoughts.



Trends in research related to “Shinrin-yoku” (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing) in Japan

The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan

Cardiac and pulmonary benefits of forest walking versus city walking in elderly women: A randomised, controlled, open-label trial

Acute effects of walking in forest environments on cardiovascular and metabolic parameters