Rock'ing For 30 Days

One Man's Journey to Eat and Train Like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Month: May 2016

Saying Goodbye to Old Friends and Finding New Ones

I spent a lot of time working out. What I don’t spend a lot of (any?) time doing is shopping for workout clothes.

I have two pairs of workout shorts, both of which I’ve owned for over 10 years. And I rotate through the same handful of gym shirts, all beat up old t-shirts I’ve gotten for free at some point. (This is all except for the one proper workout shirt I have, a gift from my lovely older sister after reading one of my earlier gripes on this blog).

But perhaps nothing is sorry than the sneakers I have worked out in for the last two years. After a workout session with a trainer, he pointed out I had wide feet and that the Nike Free sneakers I was wearing weren’t a good choice. So I ordered a pair of wide-width Saucony Kinvaras. The difference was immediately apparent, and were much more comfortable. I wore them religiously each time I worked out, 5 times a week, every week, for two years. A few months back I went back to Zappos to get a new pair, only to find out this particular sneaker is now discontinued. So I continued to wear my old pair.

Two years of punishment takes its toll.

Two years of punishment takes its toll.

Things got pretty bad. They started to tear in multiple places. My wife referred to them as my “hobo shoes.” So I finally broke down and decided to get new sneakers.

Where My New Kicks At?

I needed to find a new pair of wide width sneakers. When you look for sneakers on Zappos you will find 7884 items under “Men Sneakers & Athletic Shoes.” If you click E for Width, it drops to 208 items. Under the “Performance” filter, you can then click Crosstraining and Running, which results in…2 pairs of sneakers. There is literally one pair of Crosstraining sneakers: inov-8 F-Lite 195. I had never even heard of this brand, so I did some research online.

It turns out the F-Lite 195 is designed specifically for performance training, and for that reason, are popular in the Crossfit community. So I decided to give them a try.

My new gym sneakers.

My new gym sneakers.

Three weeks into wearing them, I’m happy to report they’re great. They look sharp, and are perfect for working out. Of course, I’m probably wear these until they fall apart, at which point they’ll have been discontinued, and I’ll have to start all over.

Maybe I should just embrace this behavior, buy like 5 pairs, and be set for the next decade.

(It occurred to me after writing this that it sounds like a commercial. I, unfortunately, have no financial interest here, and am just sharing my happiness about these new sneakers).

Bringing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to Amazon Alexa


It’s hard to top the success of The Rock. The highest grossing International Box Office Star of 2015 (and 2013, but who’s counting), it’s impossible to escape the pearly white smile of Dwayne Johnson. From summer blockbusters to hosting award shows to near daily Instagram updates to his 50 million+ followers, he has quite a few fans out there. Of course, I’m one of them.

People like The Rock for different reasons. Some find motivation in the hard work and discipline he brings to both his physical training and career. Others are inspired by how candid and open he has been about his past, reflecting on his struggles early on, a tough family life, and his battle with depression. And yet some just find him entertaining, from his classic insults during his rise through the WWE to his onscreen performances in big budget Hollywood films. But there is one area he has yet to conquer. Until now.

“Alexa, ask The Rock for an insult.”

At the same time I started The Rock Challenge, I became enthralled with the Amazon Alexa Skills platform. So as I learned more about developing Skills and the platform as a whole, it was only natural for the two to come together. And the RockBot was born.

RockBot brings insults from @therock to Amazon Alexa.

A video posted by Mark Webster (@markcwebster) on

RockBot brings motivational quotes, moments of reflection, and classic insults and taunts from The Rock to the Amazon Echo, all delivered in the soothing, pleasant voice of Alexa.

RockBot brings #motivation from @therock to #amazonalexa

A video posted by Mark Webster (@markcwebster) on

Bring The Rock to Your Amazon Echo

Want to bring The Rock to your Amazon Echo? Just visit this page, and click the blue “Enable” button. Then ask “The Rock” for an insult, motivation, or reflection. You’re not a true fan of The Rock until you hear Alexa say Jabroni!