I’ve seen a lot of friends and others where they have kids ... and then their health goes down the drain. My wife and I have been intentional about finding that balance of it can’t be all about our kids because we still have a life to live. Obviously we’re in our 30s, but our life’s not over. So how do we incorporate finding ways to make our life infused with our kids, and fitness has been one of those avenues, to be able to do what we love and to do it together.
Being a role model for family and friends is not a role Scott Longley takes lightly.
As he’s built consistency with training, healthy eating and mental fortitude into his life, others have taken notice. That’s not to say that he’s doing those things specifically for others, but it’s something he’s proud to pass on, especially to his kids and his father.
“How humbling for something that I do more selfishly for myself and trying to role model for my kids of living that healthy lifestyle and staying active, but how it’s impacting my dad in that respect,” says Scott. “I’ve seen a lot of friends and others where they have kids and immediately turn everything off and it’s all about their kid, and then their health goes down the drain, and they’re not doing the things that they used to love. My wife and I have been intentional about finding that balance of it can’t be all about our kids because we still have a life to live. Obviously we’re in our 30s, but our life’s not over. So how do we incorporate finding ways to make our life infused with our kids, and I think fitness has been one of those avenues, to be able to do what we love and to do it together.”
Scott’s favorite way to stay healthy is by moving, and his favorite way to move is functional fitness-types of workouts and competition, like obstacle course racing and HYROX competitions. He grew up playing soccer, so team competitions are one of his favorite things, but he also likes the challenge of solo battles, too. His hardest challenge to date was a Spartan Hurricane Heat … followed by a Spartan Sprint with his family right afterward.
That, and keeping up with three active kids certainly keeps him busy! Besides the normal everyday activities and sports with the kids, the family also competes together and attends sporting events like triathlons to cheer on whoever in the family is competing.
At the end of the day, Scott says he’s happy to be able to stay fit and active, and be true to himself by living a life full of authenticity and living without compromise.
Read on to learn more about Scott’s personal fitness journey and how he has become a positive role model for so many in his life in this month’s Ambassador Spotlight.
Tell me a little bit about yourself, and how fitness and sports came into your life.
I’ve always been an active kid. I feel bad for my parents – if I don’t sit still now, I doubt I sat still back when I was younger. I primarily played soccer growing up, so soccer was a big part of my life. I played Division 3 college soccer. I did tennis, basketball, some of those things, to fill the off-season of soccer, but soccer was definitely my primary sport. It was really just “sports” that I did. When I got into my late 20s, I stopped coaching (I coached soccer for 10 years at the youth level) and just kind of lost the passion for playing and found obstacle course racing.
It was my wife who got us into OCR. It was 2015, she was like, “Let’s do this Spartan Race!” We did the Miller Park Stadium race, and that really fueled my passion and love for obstacle course racing. And then recently, more of the functional fitness like HYROX, DEKA Fit … I’ve come to love those. My fitness training has been kind of a whirlwind of traditional and now what is coming to mainstream, which is this more obstacle, ninja, functional fitness that a lot of people are gravitating toward.
I just love it. We get to do it as a family. A lot of our race weekends, the kids are coming, they’re racing. It’s been a really great way for us to connect with our kids. I’m just trying to be able to keep up with them! Part of my fitness journey is I’ve got to stay fit and healthy to keep up with them. As much as I like to go go go, they’re on like level 10 of what I’m capable of doing.
What is it about OCR and that functional fitness realm that you really like, and how does it contribute to your overall happiness and health?
I think it’s a number of things. The overall fitness it brings to me, just feeling healthy and being able to do anything. Great example: Yesterday I did a triathlon … I’ve only ridden a bike once this year. Certainly I’m putting on miles from a running perspective, so the 5K really wasn’t that much, but just being able to take a more holistic approach to fitness allows me the ability to go and do whatever I want whenever I want versus the idea that I need to train for months. I’ll certainly sprinkle some of that in if I’m going to do something specific that I need to hone in a little bit on. I think OCR and general functional fitness – hybrid racing, as they like to call it now – allows that adaptability to anything.
And then, too, the mental aspect of it. It’s individualized, for the most part. There’s some team stuff you can do, but it’s really you against yourself and the course. I like the mental challenge that that brings. I think there’s a lot to be said about mental toughness and grit that’s more difficult than being strong and fast. Being mentally strong and tough is so applicable in many respects, especially in today’s world, where anywhere you turn there’s a whole lot of crap going on. I’m finding that I want to bring that to my kids, because I think the world they’re growing up in is 10 times more difficult than what I grew up in. I think technology, as great as it is, poses a whole new challenge to kids growing up that I don’t think you and I experienced it to the level they’ll experience it.
What’s been your favorite race and biggest challenge so far?
The toughest thing I've done to date: In 2016, my trainer asked me to do a 12-hour Hurricane Spartan heat. It’s essentially 12 hours of physical and mental challenges, and there’s times cuts; it’s not meant to be a 100 percent [completion rate]. You had a weighted backpack with 40 pound weight plus the required gear you had to carry as well.
Like two weeks before, she said, “Hey, you should do this Hurricane with me!” I didn’t even know what it was at the time. But my trainer tells me to do things, I’ll just do it. That was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Mentally – I’ve never done a long-duration event so I knew that was going to be a challenge itself, let alone some of the physical things I went through. I kind of had no idea what was coming.
To give you an idea: The start of the event was 300 burpees in unison as a group that we had to do in 40 minutes. Immediately when that was announced, two people left. Within 10 minutes, someone else decided to leave. So literally within 15 minutes of this event starting, three people were already gone. Halfway through it, I was ready to quit. Three hundred burpees … having not done a lot of burpees, I would say that was on the newer end of transitioning from soccer, I wasn’t super fit, but the physicality of all those movements and the weight was newer to me.
But, I persevered, somehow made it through the night, and I was one of 14 people to complete the event. I think 34 had started. It was one of my greatest accomplishments, given I’d never done something like that. I even had a couple of friends who told me, “You’re not going to complete this; you’re crazy.” So being able to prove them wrong and prove myself wrong.
It was very emotional when I saw my wife that morning, because they were coming to race the Sprint that day … I don’t know how I got through that, but then I was able to do the Sprint a couple hours after that.
It’s crazy to think things like that and the pride you feel, the raw emotion you have of going through a roller coaster of that event knowing there were multiple times that night wondering if I was going to meet the time cut offs and be able to complete the physical challenges.
It’s something that’s really built some mental toughness, telling myself that I can do anything I want. It’s helped me excel in the obstacle course racing arena, and even HYROX and DEKA Fit. If I can do that, I can do these of much smaller duration.
How did you find Athletic Brewing and the ambassador program?
It was really obstacle course racers. They started promoting – I want to say it was Ryan Kent. I know he’s a big athlete. He posted something about a non-alcoholic beer … I was kind of at a transition point of getting more serious about my training and deciding to cut alcohol out at least for the season. Even then, I wasn’t drinking a lot. I haven’t really been a big drinker. Obviously I experienced college and drank a lot then. I wanted to eat clean, be clean, eat healthy, all those good things. Then when I found that, I was like now I can drink year-round, not have to worry. So I was trying to find it. I heard about the ambassador program, and I had no idea what they were looking for. I filled out an application, got an email back, and I felt like a little kid in a candy store.
How has the ambassador program helped you in your professional, personal or athletic endeavors?
I think it’s just the community in general. Something I didn’t mention about obstacle course racing is the community. A lot of people come in for similar goals, to stay active, be fit, do something that’s not easy. Maybe with training, it’s become easier, but there’s nothing more fun than running and playing around a bunch of obstacles. I’m in my late-30s, so being able to do something that we all loved doing as a kid, you know, always at the playground. So that community feel, I feel like I’m a part of the organization even though I’m not an employee.
There’s a lot of things that morally, with my values and who I am as a person that I align with, and what better feeling to be a part of something that’s greater than yourself and to contribute to that and to help people find something that maybe fills a void for them or helps them be healthier. What you do for the trails – I run on trails, and I want those trails to be around for my kids. That’s a part of what I do on the regular. There’s just so much the ambassador program has brought to my life that I'm grateful for.
To be able to provide someone an alternative option – I find fulfillment in that. I love sharing products and things that I've found that help me, whether it’s athletically or nutrition. I think that’s the fun part about being in a community of sports is to share all the things that come with it, and Athletic Brewing has certainly been a big part of it. I’ve really enjoyed it – it’s given me a fun avenue to showcase it.
What are some of your proudest achievements?
Bringing three kids into the world is a pretty big accomplishment – keeping them alive. Parenting is not an easy thing by any stretch of the imagination, I’m sure a lot of people can understand and sympathize with that. That’s certainly a big accomplishment for me.
.. I don’t know. I don’t like to think of the big things, because I think a lot of the little things are more important. The consistency I've had in my training, I’m pretty proud of that. For someone my age with three kids, we have a lot of friends who say, “How do you do that?” I’ve been training consistently since 2016 four to six days a week.There have been times here and there where I’ve taken a week off, or an injury (I had foot surgery), but the more I think about it, that is huge.
I’ve seen a lot of friends and others where they have kids and immediately turn everything off and it’s all about their kid, and then their health goes down the drain, and they’re not doing the things that they used to love. My wife and I have been intentional about finding that balance of it can’t be all about our kids because we still have a life to live. Obviously we’re in our 30s, but our life’s not over. So how do we incorporate finding ways to make our life infused with our kids, and I think fitness has been one of those avenues, to be able to do what we love and to do it together.
I think the culmination of all of that, looking back at it, that’s something I’m really proud of because it’s not the norm. I know it’s not because I see it and I hear from people constantly. And the cool part about it: My dad, who for the longest time would gain weight, lose weight, gain weight, lose weight … he’s told me multiple times just seeing me and my consistency has really helped him stay consistent. He’s in his late 60s, and he’s been running and staying in shape for the last 3 years. There isn’t a time he sees me that he doesn’t remind me of how grateful he is for me for showing him that way. How humbling for something that I do more selfishly for myself and trying to role model for my kids of living that healthy lifestyle and staying active, but how it’s impacting my dad in that respect. Now I really want to try to find ways to do things with him. I think we’re going to do a 70.3 IRONMAN relay in September.
What is a bucket list event or race that you’d love to compete in?
I want to do an 70.3 IRONMAN by myself. I think we’re going to start with a relay first. I want to do Spartan Killington or West Virginia, some iconic venues that I think bring a different mental toughness to the race along with the obstacles. And then I think something overseas. I want to race overseas – I haven’t been outside of North America. If I’m going to travel, I want to do something athletically.
My eyes right now are on HYROX and qualifying for the world championship. A buddy of mine, we have a team, and we qualified this year, but the timing [of worlds didn’t align with my schedule]. They sometimes do their world championships overseas, and I’m hearing rumors of the UK next year, so maybe HYROX world champions UK, if that’s where it’s going to be? I love to do team things, so I love that HYROX does teams. Those are a couple on the bucket list that hopefully in the next four to five years we can squeeze in. It’s kind of take it year by year and see what we can fit in the schedule.
What’s your favorite recovery food?
I do AdvoCare for supplements, and they have a post-workout drink that tastes like a chocolate shake, so that’s right after. I really like Fit Aid recovery drinks. A Honey Stinger waffle, you can’t go wrong with that. And then an Athletic Brewing brew. You put those four things together, and that’s my go-to for any after-race. In terms of food – give me a burger or a chicken sandwich. Usually a nice burger with some fries after a hard race. That combination is always a given for me and packed in my bag.
What do you like to do on rest days?
It just kind of depends. Yesterday, after getting back from a tri, I was sitting in front of the TV with the kids and relaxing. Sometimes it’s active recovery – going for a bike ride, paddleboarding in the summer time playing basketball in the driveway. I don’t really have a go-to. I like to say there’s usually not an off day. Maybe there’s an off day with training, but there’s usually something going on around my house with three kids, especially with school. But I like to do something active, an active recovery.
What gets you up and out of bed every day?
My family – providing for them. There’s a lot of days that I don't want to, but I know I have to come to work to provide for them. That keeps me motivated. I want my kids to have a better life than I did. And that’s why I want to be healthy, because I want to be around for a long time. You see a lot of adults who are passing at early ages who maybe aren’t healthy or made bad choices when they were younger, and it catches up to them. I don’t want that to happen, so I’m going to do whatever I can to control that, knowing I only have so much control at the end of the day. But, yeah, definitely getting up for them and my wife. It’s what I do every morning. Eat, sleep, work, train, eat, sleep, repeat, something like that. Whatever combo you want to put in there. I like structure though, that’s good for me. I’m a routine type of person. That’s why I’m grateful I can come into the office every day.
What does living without compromise mean to you?
I love that tagline. I think about this a lot. I boil it down to, for me, personally, is just being who I am, being authentic, being me. I think it’s so hard in the world today where you so much – celebrities, crap on the news – and you can easily fall victim to being someone you’re not because there’s a perception that’s potrayed on social media and news outlets that you have to be this type of person to fit in with this group or be associated with this group. For me, living without compromise is just sticking to who I am, what my core beliefs are, and being open to what others might say. I don’t mean that in the sense of that I’m never going to change, but being true to myself and being able to have that dialogue with someone else who has a different viewpoint, to me that’s living without compromise.
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